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Page and Paper

Finished (except the journaling – I usually share the pages without that)and happy with it – I used a favourite old stamp that fit my thoughts exactly.


I think I am a better scanner than I am a photographer.  But the closer shot of the stamped image (stamped on Deli paper with Archival ink and stuck to the page with acrylic medium) shows it better.



I really need to spend some time calibrating my monitors!  The left monitor is much darker and brighter for some reason, even though they use the same colour profile.  It throws me off when I view a photo in iPhoto on the left then it pops up on the right monitor in the mail message which is how I resize them.

I also bought some fairly cheap canvas inkjet paper from Amazon

4AJsecretsdoneand the scan printed quite nicely, I think.



Slightly more intense and the pink in particular is VERY bright, but it has a lovely texture to it.  Maybe a bit on the heavy side for collage, but at £5 for 50 sheets I’m sure I can make use of it.

Happy Friday!


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Still playing with inks – AJ start

I am a little frustrated.  I was able to do what I wanted to do a couple of weeks ago but am having trouble recreating my experiment.  It was mixing inks (and as it was all I had at the time, I was using Colorwash spray) with glaze medium and loading it into a bottle to create a waterproof mist.  I swear it worked, but then I laid my sample down on top of some wet paint and ruined it.  I threw it in the bin because I didn’t expect I would struggle to make another.  Well, I am.  I want to get some liquid medium and see if that improves my success rate.

But anyway, I also just wondered if I could mix the inks with the glaze and get something more waterproof.  Not perfect but much better as only a hint of colour leeches out when I brush over it with the acrylic medium, rather than getting great smears all across the page. But let me begin at the beginning…

I used that fun-foam stuck to pipe insulation tube material on a paint roller handle to roll on some grey paint



I stuck a few scraps of papers in a couple of areas. Then I mixed up some of the Dylusions ink (some pink and some yellow) with some glaze medium and brushed that over, a bit splotchy. It is nicely sheer and slightly glossy.



Not sure you can properly see how nifty this looks.  Then I smeared some acrylic paint on a bit of deli paper and pressed that to the surface – I like the contrast of sheer and matte.





Maybe more obvious here?



The ink mixed with the glaze medium over the white gessoed background is really bright.

Let’s see.. then, as I had some of the yellow with glaze left I forced that thru a stencil.



When it dried it was interesting as it was translucent and showed the colour behind at least a bit and can you see the text thru it?



And as I had some of the pink left as well I mixed that with some white PAINT and added another layer of opaque colour. Just scraped it on with a credit card.



There is some stamping with a coffee jar lid that has an odd shape, you can just see that above, I think.

So then I went back to the stamp pad I made a couple of days ago with the white acrylic ink – the lid was on and when I opened it it still stamped fine.  But then I let the stamp touch some pink on my palette and that contaminated it, so there’s my excuse to try washing it out!





I think you can just about see the numbers there in the middle.  I also added some letters with a stencil and a graphite pencil



I’ll finish it up and share it tomorrow when I can get a decent photo of it.  I have to say I am really liking the layers and the colours! We’ll see if I still love it in the morning…..

Cars in the shop, to finish up  the problem from last week, and DD is back in school. Pick up in the AM, I hope, then the rest of the day to finish up the page – and do laundry and shop and clean.  My life is just SO full of fun, isn’t it?


WOYWW243 – more experiments

Happy experimental WOYWW.  My desk is in a bit of a state but only because I am still playing about with the spray inks. You might find it handy to look back to yesterday’s post so this one makes more sense.



I’ll explain my results via this gallery of shots. Hover over them to reveal the text for each image.

It’s an interesting experiment but gives rise to the question  is it worth it?  You can just use archival ink and that will be waterproof.  And while I haven’t looked, there must be a decent white waterproof stamp pad out there.  But I really do think the shimmery colour with the addition of the Pearl-ex is so pretty.  I can see that looking quite nice on a card or a layout.  And certainly the acrylic ink stamped images from yesterday have an interesting matte finish, and a little texture to them – And mixing in the white ink and glaze medium give some pretty pastels, slightly opaque, that you don’t get with a stamp pad.  I do like the idea that I can use stuff I have even if it is a little more effort, rather than buying more stuff. Plus, I like the I wonder if I can….? aspect. I do get that not everyone is like that LOL! 

I finally took delivery of something I’ve been waiting for that I hope is going to be fab but that will have to wait for some more experimentation, so check back – THAT is what is on my W today, really. I do hope it works…..but you know me – even if it doesn’t work, even if it is a spectacular FAIL, I’ll still share it.  


Homemade stamp pad and white acrylic ink

So there was a post on UKS about white ink.  A trick that was shown at CHA for stamping with the Dylusions spray ink came up.  Now, I had this on the way via mail order, but hadn’t received it yet, and I didn’t have a blank stamp pad (another new product) so, as is my way, I went on a hunt in my overstocked craft room to see what I could come up with.

I grabbed a few things:  a bit of Fun Foam, a bit of fabric store felt (not the thinner, less dense craft felt, although I have that too and it might work almost as well) and an old dried up stamp pad.  I peeled off the dried foam from the stamp pad. I cleaned it of old ink and dried it, then stuck a bit of the felt to a bit of the fun foam (I had high-tack spray adhesive for curtain making on hand, but other stuff might work too)  and cut it to fit the empty stamp pad.


I stuck it to the empty stamp pad with low-melt hot glue – I thought the hotter glue might melt the foam, and the low melt version was already in the glue gun anyway.


I thought having a lid MIGHT make this something I didn’t have to wash out after use. I may cut a piece of plastic to cover the pad, a bit like the plastic over a Staz-on, tho’ not so tight-fitting, to see how that works.

I squeezed a bit, maybe a dropper full, of the Speedry liquid acrylic ink onto the pad and stamped with it.  I didn’t bother with mounts for the stamps, and to be fair I think that might have given an even better impression, but for all the types I tried they ALL worked well.


Here you can see the range


Nice and white, I think.  So I tried two other things – first using the acrylic ink on a bit of Cut&Dry foam, and then on an off-cut of the fun foam & felt version.


A couple of points here.  First, the Cut&Dry foam is really deep and it holds a lot of ink.  For me, that means you either need to be very gentle when “inking” the stamp so you don’t get too much of the liquid ink in the depressions of the stamp (making the text in particular less crisp) OR you need to be very sparing with the ink when loading it – and that balance can be tricky.

See the orange, done with the C&D foam VS the purple with the fun foam & felt?



Now, as this IS acrylic you do need to be sure to clean your stamps…I’m just sayin’…

So then I got my order and had a go with the Dylusions white ink – I really should have turned the bottle a bit but you should be able to tell that is what it is:


Taking into consideration I am NOT using the suggested blank stamp pad, I think it’s pretty good – white, fairly crisp (as crisp as a loose floppy stamp is ever going to be LOL!) and even the smallest text is pretty clear.

But here is where it gets interesting.  My annoyance with all things ink and the fact they bleed when you apply anything wet over them has been mentioned before (often? Perhaps….) so my next step was to check the permanence.  With the acrylic ink I didn’t just wet the paper, I saturated it:


and guess what?  It made NO DIFFERENCE at all. But even wiping over the spray ink version with a baby wipe, you are left with this:


Side by side:


So there you go. I DID try Distress stain as well (can you JUST see the bottle top middle of the photo above?) but I might as well take a photo of a plain black piece of paper, it was so … nothing.

What’s left? Well, I should try washing out the homemade pad to see what happens to it, and likewise I should try leaving it with the lid on for a week or two and see if the ink stays wet. If it doesn’t, how the dried ink will affect the pad might be worth seeing.  But to be honest making the actual PAD is something I would only do for white.  For the colours, I think I would use a bit of the fun foam & felt just loose,  then rinse it out when I was done stamping whatever ink colour I was using.  I did try mixing colours on the pad, which worked but my camera died at that point, and with DD unwell and home from school, I now need to spend some Mom time with her.


AJ page – Where you’ll find me…

Another slightly odd one.  I was looking at my watercolour paper pad for some other project, and I was drawn to the little bits leftover on the spiral binding when you tear out a clean sheet.

I carefully tore those scraps out and coloured them with a mixture of drawing ink and acrylic ink – it was interesting the way they interacted when mixed. Spritzing them with water made each run, but at a different pace, and they also sort of separated.  Hard to explain but they looked like this:



I had some other thinner weight graph paper notebooks that also have a tear off strip so I grabbed a few of them as well and used Distress stain and pink Cosmic Shimmer on those.



That scrap paper under it, after the Cosmic Shimmer got sprayed, will appear again later – this whole page is very much made from rubbish.

I journaled on the little area of the watercolour paper strips, under the holes

3tearoffstripsThen I took a pile of Gelli prints on deli paper, all scrappy bits leftover mostly from the canvases I made for DH and DS at Christmas, and some bits from DS’s Flowers for Algernon book – they were all colours that worked, for me.

The trick is to stick the deli paper layers just UNDER the bottom edge of the watercolour paper strips.  The upper layers should all be loose over the watercolour strips so they can be flipped back to reveal the journaling.



An angled shot



and the full page:



Now, remember I mentioned DH was doing an online cook-off, with chilies? It was for the Capsicana Twitter cook-off

It was for a BRUNCH dish and this is his take on a spicy version of a British classic, Toad in the Hole.  It’s called Fire in the Hole.  There were LOTS of entires and quite surprisingly, he won! You can see all the entries by searching for the hashtag #CapsicanaCookoff. And you can see more photos and the process where he VERY infrequently blogs here. There were A LOT of chilies in it…



AJ page – working thru the ugly

In one of my Interweave classes, the presenter came to a point where she said we viewers would be saying OMG! Paula what are you doing? That’s a hot mess! and her advice was that you need to be prepared to work thru the uglies.  I get that.  That is one of two problems I have already identified while I am exploring and playing with the whole art journal lark.  The other is the whole knowing when to stop/knowing when NOT to stop. I get to a point, I like where a page is, and then I carry one to the ugly – usually I move past that (ok, yes, in the all of 4 or so pages I’ve done, clearly I have a WORLD of experience behind me….NOT) to something I like again, but sometimes I do think longingly of that perfect point where I liked it a lot and wished I had stopped.

This page has two meanings – the journaling, which is just down along the right side, simply says In art, like life, sometimes you just have to work thru it…. So true.


I don’t usually bother to take staged photos of a page – first because it seems to break my flow if I’m constantly grabbing for the camera, but more importantly I don’t view myself as any sort of talent or expert and feel I don’t really have much to add to all the really talented folk out there already doing detailed step-by-steps for people like me to learn from.  But I will note a couple of things.  The larger words are stamped on a scrap of my palette paper – I felt that was a nice way to get the same colours without any additional effort.


They tiny book text is cut from a Famous Five book – this is a problem for me.  I’ve never READ the Famous Five, not growing up in the UK.  I was very much a Nancy Drew kinda gal.  But as I looked thru the old book, I kept getting sucked in to the story.  I should have read it before I cut out the first few words.  LOL!  The text is a little stilted, making the best of what was available, rather than finding the perfect words, but I think it gets the point across in a quirky sort of way….



And one tiny bit more…



MPnotgoodI also discovered on major issue with using the highly crumpled and textured paper bags as a base.  They are fairly flimsy but even gessoed it is mighty hard to lay on a stencil and be able to press it flat to the ridged surface and get a clean modelling paste detail.

You can see it here best – the stencil just can’t make smooth and tight contact with the background enough to keep the paste from squidging under it.  I guess I can live with it.

I rather like the perhaps unusual colour combos on this page.  I’d use it again…it’s a struggle to keep myself from lapsing into tonal/ombre/expected colour combos and just thinking PURPLE, LIME and MINT with a touch of magenta, to myself makes me go YUCK!  but I actually love it.

I DO have something I am dying to try but need to wait for a delivery first.  Fingers crossed it’ll be tomorrow. If it works like I hope it will I’ll take the time to show more detail, I promise.


Highs & Lows/Ups & Downs colourful Project Life Printables

Bet you thought with all my messy art journal play I had totally abandoned my other interests.  Not so.  I’ve had these on my mind for a while.  DH is doing an online cooking competition for brunch recipes (with chilies, of course – a BAG of chilies, in fact!) so while he was getting that sorted I popped to my desk to make them.

Not a huge set, a couple each orientation and a single matching journaling card that you should be able to flip any way you need to, to fit your page. I should mention there are no box-lines on that but plenty of white space for you to cut it to size, OR cut just the colourful strip to add to a small photo as a little tie-in embellishment!


They’re bright and bold, and there is a slight texture to the colourful stripes.  I’ve been called to the kitchen so not had time to print them.  Do let me know if there are any issues! Just a one page PDF and not huge, sizewise – grab it here!


Another AJ page

Well.  What can I say about this one?

A couple of years ago we found out that a professional we hired to do a job did it not only poorly, but WRONG.  Badly wrong.  Since then it feels like life has been consumed with sorting it out.  The anger, the frustration, the worry – it may not seem like it from what you read here, but it has been …. awful.  Last week we received word that there was a resolution in sight.  Decision time.  Choose one path, and things would basically be concluded in a not-great, but not the worst possible, way.  Choose to carry on fighting and it could be two or more years before there was any sort of resolution, with no guarantee of a better (and always the possibility of a WORSE) outcome.  I don’t think either of us were totally HAPPY with the resolution but I know we were BOTH ready for it to be over.  But I find myself second-guessing every decision, looking for the path that we might have taken for a better outcome.  And I realized that it was time to let it go and just move on.  Nothing is going to change where we are now, at this moment, but the future is still unwritten. Time to look ahead rather than back.

There is a fair amount of symbolic things used here – there is a bit of a base of some torn bits of security liners for business envelopes.  AJletitgobase

The letters were also stamped on that same paper.  There is some washi tape and some shiny number tape too

2AJletitgobaseThen, plenty of black and blue – my black mood, having the blues, feeling battered black and blue…take your pick.





Some thread stuck o the page as well, my unravelling, the snarl of emotions, you get the idea…2AJletitgo

So do I feel better about it all?  Not sure yet.  I haven’t written the journaling yet – I am rather thinking of using a white gel pen on the white background, maybe around the edges, maybe in the white areas, but I know I will have a LOT to say. Maybe that will mark the turning of the page.

One commenter said “Pretty is over-rated”  – well this page isn’t pretty, but then it wasn’t a pretty situation to be in so I guess that fits symbolically too!

My first two-pages-treated-as-one.



and that rather means getting a good scan of two pages will be tricky.  Oh well – something to keep in mind for the future…..





Re-Create Yourself (AJ page)

Still having fun – and I decided that, yes, in fact, having a riot of colour with no real care towards what pages are next to each other, is def. the way to go.

Here is the page I hinted at yesterday:



Now, that is a photo of the page, as is this:



But one thing I have seen over and over in the mixed media world is the suggestion to SCAN your own pages to use them later torn up, resized, or even just smaller areas, as a way to make your art more YOU.  Rather than depend on commercially, mass-produced papers, doing this means what you are using will be uniquely yours.  I love that.  So I had a go – once I stopped doing two-page scrapbook layouts routinely, I haven’;t really used my scanner like I used to.  Well, look at this scan of that same page – how much richer the colours are, and crisper the stamping. Interesting.

I scanned it without the writing around the edges, and edited out (not very well) the date stamp:




Now, I just need to find the sort of paper for printing digital images that is light-weight but with a bit of a sheen to it.  My feeling is photo paper will be too thick and matte paper won’t really show the colours off at their best.  Something tells me I’m not going to find what I need at Staples….. {sigh}



Super short WOYWW today – stupid car needs to go in for a repair.  Pah! Still playing with the art journal thing.  not a lot of progress but I am enjoying the process anyway.

I wonder – regarding my musing of yesterday, about facing pages needing (or NOT) to coordinate, should the page I am working on, with these colours



and which is starting out as this



have been placed further away from the first page, that looked like this?



What do YOU think?