Sometimes, you see something that is just begging to be used RIGHT NOW.  Sarah commented on by blog banner for WOYWW – apparently, the fact I had a Hunter S. Thompson quote on it almost made her head explode (her words.)

I sent her a link to one of my Stampotique projects that had many more HST quotes and she returned the favour by sending ME a link to her site with some cute/weird digi stamps.  After trolling thru her long list of them, and grabbing quite a few, a handful of them spoke to me so strongly I just had to do SOMETHING with them right away.

Now, when I want to do something creative but time is short, I tend to fall back on ATCs or tags – they are small, quick to do, and more often than not I can use stuff I have hanging around.  It has been a LONG time since I did any colouring in with my Copics and the images seemed to cry out for that – some of the areas are soooooo tiny, and my colouring skills are not the best, but I think they turned out OK.  I wasn’t even going to TRY to cut the thinnest areas so left a bit of a border.  Here they are:


The backgrounds are all bits of Gelli prints, scraps leftover from other projects.  Here are the close-ups so you can read the text a bit better:

668 – the neighbour of the beast



You’ll never find the answer to “What’s the right hat?”



I think I need another hat on the left to balance it better.  I just need to find one more….

and finally, If you were going to shoot a mime, would you use a silencer?



That one is actually from their Christmas selection, in lieu of 3 French Hens, it’s 3 French Mimes.  The unfortunate placement of the last bullet hole stamp is due to the annoying habit of cling/clear stamps when the sticky is less than strong – they fall off the block and if they are already inked, well, you get the stamped image where it falls.  Vaguely anti-feminist, I think, but That one was the MOST, the fiddliest, colouring in and I am not going to re-do it, so I’ll live with it.

Have a gander at the others – you might find one that appeals.  I still have a Day of the Dead sort of image and one she calls The Patron Saint of Low Bandwidth (OMG do I need a patron Saint like that!) waiting in the wings….

Sad that after missing 2 months of crops the one that was meant to be this week ended up getting cancelled due to low numbers, and the one NEXT weekend may conflict with something.  Since it seems I never get around to making layouts unless I am at a crop, holding on to planned pages for that fun, communal time, I am feeling like I may have to clear the decks and just make a page, to scratch that itch.  But not today…

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AJ page – Tick Tock

Back online after the successful upgrade of our local exchange.  Turns out it probably won’t make a lick of difference to my connection or my speed, but presumably the new equipment is more stable.  We shall see.

Just a quick page from me,  I decided to try NOT starting with a coat of Gesso.  Used the spray acrylic mists.



It worked fine – surprisingly, no leak thru to the page on the back.

Not sure where these stamps are from – maybe Banana Frog?  Sad they are no longer selling stamps so I can’t check and you probably couldn’t buy them anyway. But I do like them, stamped with white, on the dark background



The text is ALSO stamps, from Smeared Ink, I believe, probably the Lil Grumblies set.  I just picked the ones that expressed a similar feeling.



I was looking for something a little different from my usual dusting with DI or a hard marker edge, so I squirted a bit of the acrylic ink in a well of my palette, and dipped the edges instead.  I do like that – might like it better with Dylusions as they are a bit brighter but worth playing with to see.



And the page done:



I was a little worries the ingle pages might look rubbish when viewed together, but although I didn’t consciously pick these colours (I had the opposite page folded back while I was working on it) they seem OK together as they share the  greens.  Note sure if I had gone for reds and oranges I would have been happy.  I guess just seeing the page, no matter how briefly, registered in my brain and I made my colour choices to “match.”



WOYWW 247 – not much

Hello WOYWW-ers.


A blank page on my desk this week – we’ll see if, given my busy day, anything will come of it!

Julia asked some questions about WordPress that I had to hunt around to answer.  If you blog with, go to your Dashboard and click the SETTINGS button.  From the menu select DISCUSSION and UNTICK the first two items in Other comment settings.  This should mean people can comment without being logged in or adding an email.  Now, to my mind, WordPress’ SPAM filter is excellent.  This should not mean you get a ton more spam but if you DO, it is most likely going to get trapped – you just need to remember to empty it occasionally.  It seems I did have this set (or the default setting is) to require entering the email and name but I’ve changed it.  If anything odd happens I’ll report back, but I’m willing to give it a go for WOYWWers.


It’ll be interesting to see if it increases my comments for WOYWW and overall! It’s also probably worth noting that *I* can’t comment on Julia’s blog because it only allows comments from Google accounts – which explains why you never see me there. I’m not ignoring WOYWW etiquette, I just can’t do it from WordPress….

Have a great day.


AJ page with handwriting stencil

I finished my page – while I had hoped I might use my own handwriting stencil with the modelling paste, the rough and bumpy texture (and the light-weight nature of he crumpled paper-bag pages) made me think it would be a less than satisfactory effort so I opted for paint sponged thru instead.  I think it was a wise choice.



The hearts were “stamped” on using the Gelli plate and a mask.  The little angel is a Stampotique stamp, stamped on deli paper then stuck on – I coloured bits of it with the Pitt brush markers then added some Diamond Stickles to the wings.



The stamped honeycomb is actually a silicone hot-pad I got from Amazon.  I love that – it’s very flexible so I can get a more organic impression rather than a hard-edged one and the honeycomb is a bit bigger than the stamp I have that’s similar.



Tomorrow my ISP is upgrading the connection at the exchange.  Not sure what the fall-out will be.  DD has a couple of Drs. appts. and skating, and DH is off on site for the day so who knows what WOYWW day will bring for me!  I’ll have to switch to the other internet connection for at least part of the day but the way DD thrashes that, I expect we are close to our monthly limit – they might throttle me,  slowing me down to a crawl.  With luck it’ll be DHs first task when he gets back to reconfigure the router so I can desk hop but you may not see me till Thursday….


Handwriting stencil

So I was working on an AJ page and when I got to the “title” part I considered and discarded a number or ideas – stamps, printed text, a lettering stencil, magazine letters.  I tried a few lettering options on scraps, to see if I would be happy with just writing it, and I really wasn’t.



I have one handwritten letter stencil and I really like it, but it is someone else’s handwriting.


Much as I hate my own, I am TRYING to get more comfortable with it.  I had a bit of a flash and thought, well, why can’t I make one from my OWN handwriting?  and of course the answer was, I CAN.  And so can YOU LOL!

The first thing I did was write the phrase I had in mind on white paper.  I used three different types of pens: a fat Sharpie, a brush tip Pitt pen, and a chisel tip marker.



I scanned that.  No reason to scan it at a supper-high resolution.  Frankly you don’t WANT every little stray brush mark.  I did 150 DPI but I suspect 72 dpi is fine.



Once I had that, I cropped the scan to create three .jpgs, one for each version.  I imported each one into SCAL and used the TRACE option.  Once I had traced it I selected the BLACKOUT option – the effect is pretty much the same in the end, but there is no need to cut both the letter and the opening as cutting makes all the letters that have an enclosed white area (like the O, the a, the l, etc.) end up as just an opening, like the stencil.



Why cut both when it’s just going to fall out anyway?

I was being lazy so I lined up all three so I could cut them from one sheet



I can just mask off the ones I don’t want to use. It’s heavy card, covered both sides with contact paper and it wipes clean (but I wouldn’t try to wash it LOL!)



Cool!  I tested them with spray ink and paint with a stencil brush.



Not bad – it’s more my technique that needs work – I never press the stencil flat to the page, and I never move my hand back and forth like I should.  And with the paint I used paint that was perhaps a little too liquid.  A thicker, more heavy bodied paint and a sponge and I think it would have been crisper. But the real win for me was using my homemade modelling paste!  That worked out perfectly.



You can sort of see the commercial stencil sample I showed when I did the post. My handwriting is not so lovely but my STENCIL works equally as well.  So then it’s just a matter of deciding what phrases are worth doing, or, like the original, just writing out the alphabet in my own hand.  COOL!


Red and Black modelling paste

Sometimes, I just want a fast answer.  A question occurs to me and I just have to know.

I used the basic recipe of 1 part paint, 1 part talc, and 1/2 part fabric glue.  And guess what?  Even with red and black paint, the two I expected to have to most trouble with (ending up with pink and grey once I mixed in the white glue and the white talc) turned out great.



And since I was experimenting anyway, I decided to try using the stencil I have that has the tiniest holes imaginable in it, to see how well the homemade version performs.  Would it give me well-defined dimension or would it all create a blob of colour when it squidged under the stencil?? I think this shows that it works perfectly – those holes are no bigger than the head of a pin and they are perfectly formed.

With red:



with black:



Much as I want an immediate answer, only time will tell me if this modelling paste can be stored.  Ideally I think some sort of squeeze-y bottle would be my preferred option, but I’d have to mix up a lot of it, or find a tiny bottle.  These little stackable craft storage pods I have in abundance so I just popped the excess into them – I’ll keep checking and report back to say how long they stay moist enough to use or if they dry out too quickly to store them.  Even so, it only takes a moment to mix one up so I don’t see the problem with mixing a perfect match to your project one the fly…..



Two interesting Gelli experiments

Another quickie from me.  Busy day!

I have two things I wanted to play with.  The first is cheap plastic stencils.  I like them but I never like the large areas of paint they remove from the Gelli plate.  it’s too regular and blocky.  I have a stash of these that were gifted to me from someone who used them in some past business capacity.  So as I have at least three or four that are identical, it wasn’t a struggle to decide to cut one up.


Due to how tight the letters are, with some of the descenders crossing the cut line, some of the edges aren’t a straight line, but I don’t mind that.  cut into strips it’s easy to arrange them in any way you like.

2cutstencilRemember if you are pulling a print that you need to reverse them so the letters appear to read the right way! and just to be clear I am NOT pulling the print thru the stencil here.  I’m laying it on, pressing lightly, then removing the stencil.  That is what gives this effect.  The stencil is really too thick and the area of the letters too thin/small to get a super effective pull THRU it.


I like that a LOT better than the large block.  Do you?

OK, so the other thing is sort of a jump from what has turned out to be my most popular post ever, the Glitter Gel technique.  Bizarre, really, as for me it was a total throw-away post.  Interesting but not something I expected to garner  over 30,000 hits since I posted it!


Basically I rolled paint on to the plate, then laid on a stencil.  I pulled the paint off from the openings for another print, then rolled on the glitter gel.


I did pull a print on plain paper but the photo isn’t good enough to really show how pretty it looks.  For the next one I pulled it off with packing tape – that had the added benefit of cleaning the plate of the glitter nicely as well!


And you can see the sparkle a bit better thru the lens


The packing tape sticks to paper OK, as I guess the gel has enough bare spaces in it to allow the tape to stick.

There is clearly more to play with here but overall I’m pretty pleased with the experiments so far.  Maybe if I’m lucky there will be time to play some more tomorrow.  Til then there is enough info for you to have a go.  If you do, share your experiments and results.  I’d be very interested!

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St. Patrick’s Day printables

Funny thing happened.  This morning, as I came in to my office, I found my Lucky star book laying on the floor.  It had been on the shelf when I went to bed.  Not sure if that is an indicator of GOOD luck or BAD (oh please, had enough of that recently – let it be GOOD) but it did make me thing of the upcoming St. Patrick’s day holiday.  Also because St. Patrick’s day is one of the Living In Britain test questions, which I have been doing for fun, to check how well (after 20 years) I get on – great on the social questions, not so good on the political ones, pretty rubbish on the ancient history ones.) Anyway, as I mentioned I am still in a bit of a printables mood.  Something about my fairly tidy desk is making me hesitant to tidy it up.  Clearly I work better in chaos and must figure MORE chaos is fine, but going from NEAT to CHAOTIC is less so. LOL!

Anyway, I had a bit of a go at making a little set of printables.  Now, I’m not Irish – not in the slightest.  My heritage is 75% Italian and 25% German (which we all sort of ignore) so picking the greens was a bit of a struggle.  I collected all my green options that I already had stored in my program and took the time to print them, to see how they would look.  It would be very interesting to see how they look (and how they print) on 20 other machines!  It’s all down to calibration of your monitor and the colour settings of your printer.  I wonder if there might be some really ugly versions that get spit out of a printer somewhere?



Since I wasn’t sure and have no way to guarantee yours will look like mine, I made two versions – the PDF is here.  One set is more green and the other is more white, with touches of green.  I figure even if the greens are odd, the mostly white ones should still look ok.  And you can always go back to my how-to post for changing the colours. if you really hate them!  But any feedback on how they look when you print them would be most interesting to me.

This is what they look like:



And oh wow!  My two monitors (although they are set to the SAME colorsync profile) look totally different.  If I drag that image from the LEFT monitor to the RIGHT one the colours totally change as the image crosses from one screen to the other.  Very odd.  Am I the only one who obsesses about this??

If you wanted to make some embellishments to match, the dingbat is called Clover Things and the font is called Celtic Garamond the 2nd.


Colouring homemade modelling paste

Well, although I was pretty sure I had seen someone someplace colour modelling paste with alcohol ink, I made the BIG mistake of mentioning it before trying it.  When I DID try t I was disappointed with the results.  DOH!

So I took my little tub of past and had a methodical play with the things I thought would work to see how they performed.



I took less than a 1/2 teaspoon in each well and mixed one with alcohol ink, one with acrylic ink and one with bog standard student grade acrylic paint.



Pretty much in order of intensity – the alcohol ink was pretty pale but of the three adding the alcohol ink changed the consistency of the paste the least.  The acrylic ink made a VERY creamy mix, with not near the same body, but the colour was more intense.  The paint left pretty much the same consistency and the colour was the darkest, although lighter than the original paint, as you would expect when mixing a colour with WHITE.

To ramp up the body I added a smidge more talc to all three.  That worked fine.



and the results when using the paste as intended? Hover (or click if on a phone or iPad) to see my comments, but really the photos speak for themselves!

Now, I ALSO tried the other thing I mentioned, which is to made the original mix with a colour of paint rather than white.  Same ration (1 part paint, one part talc, 1/2 part glue)



as you can perhaps see, the consistency is exactly like the original paste made with white, which should have been expected. And the colour is quite vibrant.  It works perfectly – and it dried by the time I typed up this post, so maybe 10 minutes?



Sorry for the dark-ish photos but DD is off school this week. We are going to the cinema so I really have to dash and the morning light + artificial light is rubbish.

What I would say is if you want a true colour, mix up the paste with actual paint in the colour you choose.  I mentioned in my long comment I think what I would do is mix up a bit of a colour for a project  .  Based on how much coverage I can see I would get even with what amounts to about a teaspoon of mix, you can do this on the fly as you need it.  If there is a colour you think you want a lot of, or if you are doing something large and don’t want to risk any slight colour variation, mix up a couple of tablespoons on a palette (easier to scoop it all up with a credit card or palette knife) and pop it into the corner of a plastic bag (NOT a Zip lock one, a soft one) and knot it.  I think you could keep it for a while, it’ll stay moist in the bag, and when you need it, just snip the corner off, pipe the paste onto the edge of your credit card/gift card/whatever and apply thru your stencil or smear on with your palette knife! You could try to re-knot the bag or pipe it into another bag if you still have some left.  I’m interested to try RED paint, cause we all know red and white make PINK so am wondering how the colour will be affected by adding the white talc and white glue – the orange is pretty close to the colour in the tube, but RED and BLACK really are the true test….maybe after the movie….




Funny, but my desk is actually pretty tidy for WOYWW this week, but what is my desk shot of the week only shows a tiny bit of what I’m focusing on.


You can’t read it but it’s a little scrap of paper that says 1 part paint, 1 part talc, 1/2 part glue.  And you see those very things assembled.  at some point I found a recipe for homemade modelling paste, jotted it down, then it got buried under a ton of suff on my desk!  This week, while doing a good tidy, I unearthed it and made it.


I had some fabric glue and used that cause I thought it would be a bit more flexible. I think it worked great and it smells nice cause of the talc. It goes on perfectly well with a credit card or palette knife


and dries actually pretty quickly. Nice I can mix up a bit any time I need it.  Locally I can only get small tubes of modelling paste and it isn’t cheap.  This stuff I have around anyway.


And it is very flexible, so no worries it might flake off!