Just a taster – Gelli advent calendar?

DOH!  DD informed me that the advent calendars I’ve already made aren’t Christmassy enough – I’m not a big fan of the traditional red and green shades, so one is hot pink glitter, burgundy and lime with a lot of white and the other one is very vintage, with lots of brown. So I really loved the look of the Gelli pulls over gold embossing, and I selected a couple of stencils that show thru the embossing nicely – all circles, to unify them. I also still have a few of the gold embellishments from the last advent calendar I can use – DD did like them.  Phew!



Really, how could she NOT like that??

Anyway, I have at least a couple ready but will have to sneak in a few when I get the chance in order to have them ready each day – like I need THAT pressure.  Here is a glimpse.  They are tags, fairly simple, and attach to a strand of creamy pearls with a clothes peg:



I always opt for a grungy sort of font with anything Gelli, as I think it suits the style better, but I am not 100% happy with these.  Now I’m thinking maybe a black stencil surround?  Maybe I’ll have time to play tomorrow and see. Oh and it may not look it but that dark flower is really a forest green, not black!

The treat goes in a match box stuck to the back of the tag

3gelliadventJust push it open from one side or the other to clam your surprise.



Hope she likes this one better – I’ll know tomorrow….



Couple of quick things – Gelli stuff

Just a flying visit from me – a lot going on so not much time, but I have a plan….

Interweave had a sale – it’s still on for the next couple of days.  $5.99 for standard download of many of their online workshops.  I grabbed about 4 or 5 of them.  Most clock in near the 2 hours mark.  One left me a bit cold, although I did learn a couple of new bookbinding techniques from it, but one,  Add to, Undo & ReDo filled me with inspiration.  I would highly recommend it.  One of the techniques was for making paper “fabric” from scraps.  I had a go:



While she used a selection of different sorts of papers, I limited myself to scraps of Gelli prints, lots of them samples of techniques I shared, or other experiments.  I also kept to a limited colour palette.  I love how it turned out.



All the stitching holds everything in place with no adhesive at all:



She used different colour threads and black a lot, but I picked white.  My plan is to decide on the size for a journal/book cover then stitch a full-sized print to the back of this paper fabric – perhaps with black thread, then bind the book with that as the cover.  I am thinking this print from my stash will work well colourwise.



She also has a technique for covering a shape with tiny scraps (a bit like the old serendipity squares) then stitching over them to make very dimensional objects for collage or canvases.  It was so stinkin’ cute done with cut outs of  cat’s eye glasses and cutlery!

I seem to be drifting ever closer to actual collage work.  Oh dear.  I also enjoyed Paint, Print, Layer, Collage a LOT. Some of her images were fab and the focus is on creating “personal” imagery, i.e. stuff that is unique to you so your work is more YOU than just using standard commercial products like stencils and stamps.  Clearly that appeals to me, as previous posts will show.  I especially like the digital manipulation sections and scan-to-reuse tips.  There are a handful more workshops I could easily grab and watch and at that price, why not?  It’s about what? £3.50? Less than the cost of a magazine. And I have 300GB of free space on my disk so…..

I also had a play with making a paper rose from some other stray prints – I like it but it is BIG



No real plan for it, although I suppose I could always use one of the flower-template dies and make a much smaller version for a layout or a card or a book cover….

Now, a friend for lunch, sorting DH for ANOTHER chili cook-off, a bit of accounting and UKS work, and so much more. But I have to share  this:  Wordpress has added a little box of Recommended tags.  Something in this post triggered a recommendation of Desperate Housewives!  Was it me whingeing about being busy? all the other ones make sense, but THAT one doesn’t.  Still, it did make me smile….


Gelli over embossing

This is decidedly weird.  Sometimes, I have an idea and it’s more about seeing if it works and then trying to figure out how to USE the idea in the most effective way.  I tend to share even the pure experiments before I actually work out the use of them.  This is one of those posts LOL!

I was thinking of the technique with ink where you emboss then cover the embossing with ink, then iron off the embossing to leave the bare card showing thru.  Usually it is done with clear embossing powder so I did that first:



I have a couple of 6 x 6 inch background stamps so that made sense with the 6 x 6 inch plate.

I pulled a print onto the embossed cardstock



Ironing it off worked, sort of, but my choice of stamp and Gelli print combo wasn’t the best – you can barely see the Gelli part. But the ghost print was interesting.  where the embossing touched the plate it sort of impressed the pattern of the embossing into it and left it, much like it does with a stencil ghost print!



So I had a go with some gold embossing and a different stamp:



Again, my choice of Gelli prints (bubble wrap) barely shows thru the embossing.  But when I ironed off the embossing powder it gave it a really pretty batik-like effect:



The differences between the two are much more apparent in real life!

I tried a more bold Gelli pattern:



but again, not totally happy with the combo.  What is left on the plate:



and the ghost:


I did try, but didn’t photograph, a couple of text circles, embossed, with a print behind.  Again, it was the combination of the embossed bit and the Gelli print that left me lukewarm. I think more experimentation is clearly needed – as with most things, I like to try a LOT of stuff then try to work out a set of “rules” that will give me the greatest chance of success.  So, single images v overall stamp&embossing? Small scale Gelli patterns v large-scale? Open areas v overall texture? These are the questions I need to answer!  Once I get a firm grip on how the combos are likely to work I will then know in future what will give me the effect I like.

I am also curious about embossing on deli paper and what effect THAT might give – and if the embossing, if left in place and not ironed off, will tear, for collage work, for example, of if breaking the surface tension (is that the right term?) of the embossing will cause it to chip and flake?

So many ideas, so little time to play….So if you have a play be sure to report back your findings.  I’ll be very curious to know what your experiments produce!



Hardly worth stopping by this week.  Lots of mess.  None of it identifiable.



I had an extremely poor showing last week, due to both my illness and the visitor.  This week I aim to do better.

Happy WOYWW.


Text on Packing tape with the Gelli plate!

This is the first day in a week I feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel 0′ illness.  So, today – Three experiments.

I had the idea that as acrylic paint, when dry, is fairly stable, I could add some text to a strip of packing tape behind a Gelli print pull then wet it to rub it off, leaving the paint intact. It worked, sort of.

Experiment 1: pull the print as normal then add the text behind it.  Burnish well, wet the paper, rub it away




Result: It sort of worked.  The heavy-bodied paint remained fairly intact, although the bits that had the text behind them rubbed away pretty completely.  The thin-bodied paint (which is the pink-y circles from the pull) disappeared almost totally.

Experiment 2: block off the part of the tape where you intend to add the text.  Pull the print and add the text in the open ares.  Burnish well then wet and rub away the paper.



The magazine paper sticks to the plate so applying the tape doesn’t “attract” it away from the surface, it stays aligned as you placed it.


Once the text is in place you can press the open areas of the tape to what’s left on the plate to fill the gaps, if you want.



Result: again, it works, sort of.  MOST of the paint stayed intact, but the text was perhaps too thin, or my rubbing to vigorous, so it isn’t as crisp and clear as I’d like it to be.

Experiment 3: Apply the text to the packing tape, burnish well, wet and rub the paper away.  LET THE TAPE DRY TOTALLY – the “sticky” will come back enough to pull a print, and even enough to add your mica powder behind it! Hover over the images to see the text.

Result: Success! Love it.  Once you add the mica the tape is no longer sticky – I ran the strip thru my Xyron machine to add the sticky back and added it to the front of my little book.


Can you just about see that the print shows thru the tape, at least a bit?  It’s more visible in real life.

So that is another fun way to add text – although I see no reason you couldn’t do the same technique with images.  Because the packing tape is shiny, I think you have to consider that when using it, but in a mixed media thing, esp. one that gets a coat of varnish or has a shiny surface in the end anyway, it would be a fun thing to play around with, don’tcha think?


Stab Binding pattern

Well, no joy from the Dr. I’m afraid.  Just stay warn, drink lots and you’ll get over it.  {sigh} Maybe, but at this time of year being weak as a kitten and alternating fever and chills is not helping me get to my to-do list.

While sitting in the waiting room I worked out the instructions.  I made them a PDF.  I also included a template that is sized for an 8 inch tall book.  I’m sure you can resize it, or add more motifs.

Again, fair warning, the front and the back are NOT the same.  So if that is a distinct feature of stab-binding patterns I’ve failed miserably.  But if you don’t care about that, have a go – it’s pretty simple. This is the front – look back to the last post to see it sewn, and what the back looks like. NOTE:  I should mention that (like the original) in the instructions ENTER means come up from the back and EXIT mean go down from the front. I’ve added that info to the PDF.

lookslke and some better shots of the book where the colours are more true and you can get a better sense of the French Fold construction:

Now I need to lie down for a bit….


Stab Binding – doh!

As I mentioned I am loving the Japanese stab binding tutorials.  Although I’ve missed my window of opportunity for our Japanese visitor, I’ve no doubt the will be back and as I am laid up on the sofa trying to hold out till I can go to the Dr. tomorrow, I figured I’d have a go at another one.  The one I decided to use is the Stars one.  Yeah, well, whether it’s the fever or me being my usual stupid self, I mounted the template I printed upside down.  What I mean by that is I mounted it so the line of holes that should be along the outer edge were in fact along the inner edge of the spine.  That meant that the wraps around which should fall on the outside edge had no place to wrap. DOH!

Not willing to abandon the book I just decided to wing it.  I worked out my own pattern using the holes I had already punched.  It’s not too bad, although nothing at ALL like the stars!



Sorry it’s late in the day and my lights are rubbish.  I quite like the pattern I achieved.  I might have a go at writing it up but to be honest I have no idea if this s some common pattern for a stab binding that I just stumbled on – I’ve no idea how to research it so if I add it it’ll just be a case of putting it out there, not of claiming its some fab new discovery.

The pages are 8 x 10 Gelli prints, folded n half.  Each one sandwiches a strip of black cardstock and those strips form the spine edge of the book.  It’s a bit like a French Fold book, without sacrificing too much of the print to accomplish that. It measure 8 x about 6.25  and the pages have about 8 x 4.5 inches of usable space.

Here you can see the folded edges:

2jsbbookSo bad – not much better but ….

3jsbbookI like both the front and the back pattern of the stitching.

5jsbbookI’m not actually sure if it is meant to look exactly the same on the front and the back.  Mine doesn’t so it my not be “traditional” but I still like it.



Bear with me till the morning.  Dr. is first and foremost, but when the light is better I’ll try to get a more accurate shot of the true colours. It was more of a learning exercise at this point than anything else, and for THAT, I’m pleased with it.

I did wind up doing the stars tutorial on just a scrap of foam core.  It was dead easy and looked great.  I would suggest it over the kissing fish for a first go.  Just remember to orient the template the right way!





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Gelli + mists + japanese stab bindings

I was really hoping to manage to finish something for our visitor, but got struck down with strep throat.  Ugh.  I hoped to give him one thing but hope I haven’t given him the other!  Oh dear.

So not much one this.  Going back to an old Gelli Arts tutorial on using mists  I tarted up a handful of prints.



The mists do soak thru a bit but I think maybe I didn’t saturate them quite as much as I should have to get the full  effect.  Still, I do like them quite a bit



This one is a particular favourite



But the real focus is the brilliant Japanese Stab Binding tutorials from this site.  Fab.  I picked perhaps not the easiest one to begin with, one she calls Kissing Fish.  I grabbed her template and printed the pattern.  As suggested, I stuck it to a bit of foam core so I could practice.



The bottom edge gets trimmed too. Then, following the three pages (!) of instructions I managed to accomplish it while laying on the sofa and watch a movie with DD. Imagine the bottom edge is the spine of the book….



I love it.  I would say yarn isn’t the best choice of sewing material (I tended to split a strand and that distorted the stitches slightly) and I am not sure I would want to try it without the numbers.  I’m thinking I can print on to tissue paper or something that will tear away easily – this tore OK but I used too much adhesive for it to be a clean removal. Maybe for the next one.  All her patterns are stunning and so decorative, I just want to try them all…but not till I’m better. and then I hope the two things will come together with a third thing to produce a final project.  Right now I’m off for some more paracetamol then back to the sofa for a bit more rest.


Pipe Insulation Gelli tools

A few years back I saw something by Traci Bunkers about making stamps for printing.  One of the ideas was for using a soldering iron or wood burning tool to make incised pipe insulation tubes to turn them into rollers.  I always hankered after giving  it a go, but the only tool I could find had a US plug on it.  A couple of weeks ago I mentioned it to DH and he said we DID have a UK-plug soldering iron in the garage someplace.  I found it, but the tip was like a little bar, where what I wanted was a fine point.  I kinda gave up on the idea, but then, when trolling the wallpaper aisles I found this little roller set for like £2.  With no firm idea in mind, except maybe experimenting with wrapping the foam rollers with twine, wire, or string and using it to create a pattern (which does work, BTW)  I took it home.


While tidying up (still am not done with that yet!) I found the tubes.  And all of a sudden I had two idea.  First, I could clearly see that the foam roller, if slightly stripped, would fit neatly into the hole in the pipe insulation.  As the rollers are meant to be interchangeable on the roller handle they would turn a series of insulation tubes into rollers.




I tried carving (sort of) the insulation tubes by just cutting then with a knife and ripping out areas.  You can kinda see that above.  Once you get it started, the insulation material rips away easily.

3pipetoolSIMPLE patterns are best, blocks and lines.  With a decent woodburner and the right tip I think I could use the original idea and create “better” designs.



The prints are cool – but do bear in mind I only had a short time to play, as the next 4 days or so are pretty chaotic around here. But this will give you an idea. One important thing to note – don’t be too heavy-handed with the paint!  And keep the roller handle fairly flat, ie parallel to the surface.  If you increase the angle to 90 degrees, or even 45 degrees, the roller will sort of skip/slide across the surface.  flat angle and it rotates/rolls




Keep in mind once the roller is loaded it becomes a stamp – just roll the paint off onto another print.

So THAT got me thinking – could I make pattern rollers with Fun Foam?  Yep.





and another:





and a flawed one



The issue with this is that text on the plate is problematic.  You have to choose if it’s more important to have the text right way or wrong way, as a “stamp”


or a paint removal tool.



Now if you limited your choice of letters, using ONLY those that read the same forward and backward V M o O Y…etc) than it would read right either use.  But might be sort of boring.  Still, it’s a thought.

Now, the fun foam sticks, but not permanently.  A few of the super-thin letter ended up in odd places (stuck to the hem of my shirt, on the toe of my boot…) and one I did with thin strips of fun foam curled into spirals worked fine but by this morning the spiral had come loose in areas.  Big circles slide along the plate more than I wanted.  So that is an idea to play with a bit more.

I really want to have the time to work with these to make actual useful prints rather than quick playtime samples. but not this week, that’s for sure.

Have fun.




In a bit of a panic.  We have DHs client (and friend) arriving from Tokyo today and there is so much cleaning to be done.  Fortunately the HOUSE is ok for  day or two more, which is good.  Because my desk and office SHOULD look like this:


but it actually looks like THIS:


and behind me?


OMG, indeed. I really SHOULD have mopped the kitchen floor yesterday by it was my birthday and in the end I just…didn’t.

Hope your WOYWW day is altogether more crafty and artsy and a whole lot less soapy and scrubby than mine is going to be….