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The next page…

I am really anxious to make enough pages on the file folders to get to the point I can test out the back-to-back construction.  I’m also wondering, like with an art journal, how unrelated pages will look side by side. So of course I had to make another one.

For this page, I also wanted and overall brighter look.  I went back to Bizous Zoo paper that I have had for YONKS.  I just couldn’t get enough of that line when it came out and still adore it. As the photo was B&W I could really use anything with it.



I liked this paper as it had both great blocks of fab colour, but also the plain, misty bottom strip and some perfectly punchable flowers. I deconstructed it.



Love this bit



I took the bits and first played around with the layers to get a basic idea of the size and position.



Of course it always changes.  I also wanted to look at how it would work with the other page. From there it’s just distressing and inking edges, adding the background texture and colour, then sticking it all down.



I feel like it needs a little shot of something upper right, not sure.  I always look at the rubbish on my desk to see what I might be able to add.  For this, the black star is the mask from that Gelli print last week,  I also coloured a bit of the drywall tape with an ink pad.  And there was a long string from one side that stuck to the roll.  I peeled that off and coiled it (it sticks to itself! How handy – much better than string or thread) and spritzed it with ink.



The ink sort of neutralizes (but to totally) the sticky on the top so I’m not worried about it sticking to the page on the other side.  Not sure about the title yet.  Maybe that will fill that top right corner and balance it better…..

Side by side:



Part of the placement is dictated by where dimensional elements from one page will press against the other page when closed.  For the most part I am trying not to have something press against the photo, but other than that I’m not bothering about it.

I am having so much fun…..


A new project – mixed media scrapbook

So I have been hunting for US-style manilla folders for YEARS.  The only ones I’ve found are at Amazon and the shipping is from the USA (about £60!) Recently we totally reorganized out home filing and I found a ton of old, tatty at the edges but mostly OK manilla folders mixed in with the hanging folders.  I collected ALL of them up – I am quite happy to us the UK version to replace them, even if I have to trim each one to make them fit the US file cabinet.

Now I finally have them I can play with an idea I had ages ago. Thinking about the things I love, and at the moment that is mixed-media, scrapbooking (now and always!), printables and book-binding, I sort of wanted to combine them all in one project. Here is what I plan to do:

I am starting with a file folder.  Each one will get one side covered with random papers, then gessoed to prep the surface.  This will make the base more able to take all I will add to it.



I am using a combination of printed sheets and bits from my stash



and at least one photo



All the photos are ones I’ve done a proper scrapbooking layout for already, so I am not bothered about the longevity of the work or the fact there will be no page protectors.

The base gets the full mixed media treatment, with paint, inks, texture, etc.



Andin the end will look more like an AJ page than a traditional layout


My plan is to create a “scrapbook” by using the back-to-back binding method to join them all.  I’ll then perhaps work out some sort of cover and sewn binding decoration for that. I’m planing on keeping the embellishments mostly flat (well -ish anyway) and some might be 1/2 the folder and some will cover the whole  surface (this is a 1/2 one.)

It’s just a bit of fun for me, slightly experimental but I don’t mind that at all.  And if it ends up as a disaster (which I think I will know within the first 4 to 6 surfaces) well then, so be it.  But more often than not it’s about the process for me, not always the end result.  I’m willing to spend the time just to see if it will work.

For a start, unlike my traditional scrapbooking style, for this project I feel I MAY need to rein in the grunge…..


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Just a few shares

I just wanted to quickly share a couple of things.  First the spray inks when printed using the Acrylic medium.  I sprayed them with water and they do smear a little but not as much as plain in does.  In fact, I rather like the misty effect.



Next, I thought I would share a print or two made on a pretty dirty plate – the plain one was pulled thru the stencil and it pretty much masked the grunge on the plate, but the black grid on the ghost is the leftover from the star-masks from a couple of days back. Nifty!








Next, the Spreecasts continue – yesterday there was one on what Julie calls Stendoodling (using stencils to doodle, both in creating the shape to doodle IN and/or to create the doodling.  I just did a simple pattern, using punchinella to do the small circles within the larger circles of the stencil and doing some lines.  I quite like it, although haven’t quite finished it. Another thing to play with a bit more.


I still want to find a face stencil I can cut to play with another technique (she calls her Zombie Girl) from the Face stencil Spreecasts.  If I like the process I may have to buy the real stencils!






More Spray ink on the Gelli plate play

So much fun.  After briefly playing yesterday I was flooded with ideas to try so this morning I cleared a space on my desk and had some fun.

A couple of things – as I said yesterday, I am quite sure I read someplace that using inks on the plate was not recommended as it could stain it.  To be honest, I’m not bothered about having a pristine plate, but even so my gut feeling is that a clean plate and an oiled plate will make the process work better.  I THINK that both the oil and the acrylic medium sort of protect the plate from allowing the ink to really sink in to it.  But even if it DID, the baby oil cleaning will pull out any deeply embedded ink. But you have to decide if you want to risk it.  All I can say is thus far I’ve not had any problems getting the plate clean when I’m done.

Let me start off by adding a bit of info regarding the acrylic medium options, from yesterday’s post.  The medium seals, perhaps not totally, but significantly, the Dylusions spray inks.  And that is what I’ve been using.  Other inks may not work the same. I you think about it, when you pull a print, what is at the BOTTOM of the plate is going to end up on the TOP of the print.  I haven’t taken photos, and my camera is recharging at the moment, but I did brush over those prints and while the ink does move a little, it isn’t anything LIKE as smeary as usually it would be.  I’ll snap a photo r two when the batteries are fully juiced up.

Now, on to the further play.

The first idea came to me as I was looking at the very inky stencil.  Stamping off the excess ink when you use a stencil in the normal way is a pretty well-known technique.  But as I was looking at it I though Why can’t I put the stencil on the plate and both stamp off the ink and pull a print thru it at the SAME TIME? So that is exactly what I did. Now, I had used a letter stencil and we all know how they need to be reversed to read right when you pull a print.  Obviously the ink was on the wrong side, but I still did it.



Bearing in mind I tried to be quick once I had the idea, but I wasn’t lightning fast. The ink was already starting to dry.  Even so I got a reasonable ghost print by removing the stencil and pulling the paint as well as the ink that squidged into the paint from making the first print.



That told me, in theory, that the process would work. So I thought about the steps and the best way to get set up.

  • 1. I cleaned the plate and got the brayer clean and ready.
  • 2. I squeezed out a dollop of paint onto the plate but didn’t roll it out.
  • 3. I sprayed the stencil


  • 4. I rolled out the paint QUICKLY and popped the inky stencil, ink up, on the plate then pulled the print.




That pulled the ink off the stencil and the paint thru the stencil at the same time, giving me my two-layer print.  Again, the ink from the stencil migrated to the painted surface and once I pulled off the stencil I could pull the ghost.



I felt like light paint would look best but then I saw that metallic gold tube from the circles AJ page a few days back.  I decided to use more of a mask, so I sprayed the ink onto one of my home-cut ones.  This is cardstock covered with contact paper, then cut out, so the ink really beads up.



It didn’t matter at all.  Oh, and I also pressed some plastic canvas into the paint to texture it before laying on the inky mask.

When I pulled the print the ink spread to fill the areas where it had beaded up, as well as oozing into the paint on the Gelli plate.



So cool! and the ghost print is just crying out to become something, but I don’t know what yet!



Of course I then had to try a dark paint – well, red, anyway.  I did the same basic process for the first pull – although I think I went to heavy on the brown and to light on the yellow.  Still, nice enough



But then, before I removed the stencil, I sprayed on a bit more yellow ink thru the stencil.  THEN I removed it and pulled that print.





Like that one a lot too!

I’ve got a couple more things to try/show but this is already very long and photo heavy so I’ll stop it there. I would really love to see any play you get up to with this so do drop me a comment and add a link.  Have fun…..



Spray inks on the Gelli plate

OK, so I’ve been watching Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and her free stencil classes on Spreecast. I’ve done a few of her online classes and always enjoy them.  She has been doing a Q&A at the end and one thing that comes up often is using spray inks on the Gelli plate.

When I first got mine, I remember reading, probably on the Gelli Arts site, that ink will stain the plate.  When I only had the 6×6 plate I worried I might ruin it, so I was more cautious that is my way.  Now I have the 8×10 as well, I feel a little less worried I might do something and ruin my plate!  Plus, discovering the baby oil when massaged into the plate will lift out any deeply embedded colour, I know I can clean it up with ease.  And that made me want to have a go.

Thinking things thru, as I do, I thought about using maybe paint as a base, then spraying the ink over that, but the colour of the paint would always affect the colour and at least for the first experiments I wanted to keep it pretty pure.  So I went to my much-loved Acrylic medium. Rolled that out onto the plate first, to give the ink something to cling to rather than beading up instantly.



I was aiming for a very light spray – in fact I think I ended up with a bit more than I wanted.



You can see it does bead up a little, in the areas of the heaviest concentration of ink, but in the lighter areas the ink just floats on the top.  I tried out a couple of stencils.  It seems like an overall pattern without too much of the stencil squidging int the ink, produces the best end result



While I love the look of both of these, the right one, pulled thru the stencil, is pretty indistinct.  The left one , pulled after the stencil was removed, is really smeary but still cool.

That stencil has small open areas and a lot of stencil. This one has more open areas, plus it’s covered with layers of paint so the stencil doesn’t slide around as much.  I like both of these, but the print after removing the stencil ( left) is really cool.









One thing I did try was then pulling a paint print over an ink print, masking off interesting areas so they show thru.  Def. something fun to play with a lot more!



Clearly I’ve not perfected this quite yet, but you know me – I always share my experiments as I go.  Now I want to think on it a little more and see where I want to take it….


The masked circles AJ page

Bet you thought I had abandoned it.  Nope.  Just a lot of layers that all needed drying in between.  Perfect for a day when I am awaiting a re-delivery of a package (sadly, not for me LOL!)

I took the print of layered masked Gelli-print circles that was on my desk yesterday and covered it with the acrylic mists in Brown Spice.  That filled in all the gaps of plain paper and even the little bits that were left as plain paper after printing.



Using my Stabilo All pencil I carefully outlined the circles, taking care to try to work backwards so the top-layer circle is most completely outlined and the circles “below” it are not, if that makes sense.



A whisk of a damp brush brings it all to life.



I Gessoed a two-page spread in my AJ and stuck this piece off centre but across the page-divide. From there is was all layering of stencils.



I paid the most attention to the outline of the stuck on piece, to try to unify it and the background as best I could



I added some bottle-top circles, some stamping, some of my modelling paste thru a thick stencil (yep, 2 weeks and it’s still not dried out in the slightest) and the printed text/quote.  All very intentional (56 is my age, hovering there over “this generation”) placement.  The quote is from  Ralph Waldo Emerson and is part of a longer one:

The life of man is a self-evolving circle, which, from a ring imperceptibly small, rushes on all sides outwards to new and larger circles, and that without end. The extent to which this generation of circles, wheel without wheel, will go, depends on the force or truth of the individual soul.

I may still opt to add the first part, I’m still undecided!



You can see the spatters too – always add them.



The very light looking circles are stamped with Silkies and don’t look quite so distinct unless the light catches them at just the right angle – like it did in the photo.  I’ll probably add a bit of something over that bit at the top to unify it a bit more too.

Probably won’t journal-around-the-edge on this one, although I might use the stuck-on piece as the journal lines.  I wonder will it make it seem more a part of the whole or make it stand out more?  It’ll depend on whether or not I opt to add the rest of the quote….



I’ve fallen down the Project Life printables rabbit hole for a bit but today I am putting aside digital things and playing with my Gelli plate and a circle mask and layering some nifty metallic paint I got, in red and gold.  No real plans for it, just a play day.


I’ve been not cleaning off the plate between masking and pulling and the variety of mixed colours is interesting.


and I can clearly see  “behind” ones and “in front” ones, which I like.  The metallic paint is slightly sheer so that helps with the depth.  More play to come, I think.


Poor showing from me last week, due to being offline for most of 2 days due to the upgrade at the local exchange, and not happy with losing nearly a MB of download speed since the upgrade.  Typical.  Perhaps it’ll get better….but I doubt it.

Have a crafty WOYWW day!


Bright Spring and Dark Fall month cards

Still playing …

I decided to go ahead and make the companion Month calendar cards, using one of my 2014 calendar cards as a base.  My only hesitation came from the fact each set really only has 6 or so colours.  I’ve added one yellow that doesn’t appear in the original set but that works with it, just because none of the other options worked for me.  Tell me what you think!



Now, if you grabbed the original set (which you can find in the Calendar Making menu at the top) you may recall that I arranged these 6 to a sheet.  Normally that wouldn’t work for A4 prints but as these have white backgrounds they do – taking advantage of the white border your A4 printer will add.  They should cut perfectly if you cut down the middle at the red lines then cut along the coloured bars to the left as your first cuts.  Then simply cut then at 3 inches.  That’s the theory anyway – any problems please comment.  If there is ever a problem with any of my printables and you don’t tell me, I’ll carry on, assuming they are fine!

The Bright Spring set can be downloaded HERE and the Dark Fall set HERE.



An experiment – Dark Fall printables

I always save my files in ways that (I hope) will make them easy to alter. I wondered exactly how long that might take, if I wanted to take a full set and change them.  So I just had a bash.

In reality, because some of the elements are actually a few layers, more than you think. For example, the little cameras are actually:

  • the camera dingbat
  • a tiny white circle to fill the button
  • a coloured circle to surround the lens

And they have to be layered individually, button circle at the back, dingbat, coloured circle on the top.  Ditto the words that are backed with white. The font alone isn’t enough – it needs a white box at the back, a solid box the same colour to fill the space bar character (which is white normally) and the words are both filled and stroked to get the right look.

Boring, isn’t it?  But what it means is all the little groups need to be ungrouped and the new colours applied to just the element that needs it.  And that takes more time than just selecting all the elements that might be BLUE and changing them in one click to a different blue. Even so, once I actually PICKED the colours it only took about an hour to process all 5 pages.  Some of it was learning the best way to do things.  For example, if I wanted all the BLACK elements with a BROWN options, it would be far faster to create them then alter just the one element and group it and store it in a file called BROWN.  I used to ALWAYS do a black and a brown option (or sometimes a PINK and a BLUE option LOL!) but this is the first set in a while that I did like that.

Want to see them?


So you can see it’s basically the same thing as the Spring set but with Fall tones.  And it’s just the one PDF with all five pages, which you can download here.

NOTE: Newly added, a companion set on Monthly calendar cards, both Bright Spring and Dark Fall, found here.

Do you mind only seeing the smaller sample of the sets?  It seems easier for me (esp. on my iPad or phone) than the huge multiple images, but it does give an overview of what the set contains.  Let me know….I always appreciate it.


Bright Spring journaling cards

These will match the previous set.  I’ve kept them plain but the faint background image will (I hope) add  a little extra interest while not detracting from your journaling.


The colourful areas are perfect for a small title or as a place to build a little cluster of embellishments.  You can download the 2-page PDF here.

As always I would very much appreciate any feedback you have on these.  I am hoping I’ve made commenting easier but you’ll have to let me know on that as well!