WOYWW 617 – 100 days diary – sorting out the mess

So Happy WOYWW all! And a departure. NOT a clean desk, intentionally so. I am to the point in my 100 Days project that things are descending into chaos. I have a number of boxes and bins that sit in a stack at the side of my desk, and while I have TRIED to keep them orderly, it hasn’t really worked out that well. My error was organizing them by size rather than TYPE. So yesterday I started my clear up in anticipation of my WOYWW post and thought Well, why not share how bad it has gotten? instead of a clean desk?

Oh my.

So this shot is not long after completing my page for the day. I attacked the piles and began sorting the items into logical groups, picking the bin that is the right size to fit the largest of the items.

Papers, mostly scraps and leftovers from the original bin

Journaling options – labels, paper pads, etc – and tags


and options for adding my word that are NOT stamps. They sit on my desk with my ink pads and the punches that match them, and I’ve shown that before!

Phew. It’s all done now and my desk is back to tidy again! YAY!

So all that is left is to show my 7-day re-cap, including today’s page. So close to the halfway point…

Hope everyone has had a lovely creative week and looking forward to desk-hopping today! Me? I am looking forward to 1 April and hopefully it is no April Fool’s joke that I can finally stop shielding so completely. Of course I won’t be throwing caution to the winds and throwing myself back into society quite yet – my second jab is still maybe two or three weeks away, I have another infusion due end of April, and I feel like we have been here before. I will cautiously meet up with my best knitting buddy in the garden on the first dry and sunny day. I cannot WAIT.


Scrappy gel prints make a rainbow

I have been looking a this bin that houses old, unloved gel prints for a long time. Sometimes I drag one out and stamp something on to and cut it, or use it to cut letters, or any number of other not very interesting things. Well, I decided I was going to make something and use them up if I could.

I took them all out and sorted them by colour, I trimmed off the white bits, where I pulled a print from a plate smaller than the paper, and ended up with this:

Weird, really cause I have more green than anything else and I would always say with the exception of lime and sage, I don’t really like green much. This is all the trimmings and thus, all the proper rubbish to be recycled. Some got binned because they were made with water reactive things and smeared when brushed over, some bits got lost to the squaring up process

In truth, I ended up pulling out a few bits that had usable areas from the bin, but not many. Then I stuck them down to large pieces of heavy cardstock. I aimed to keep the sticking to an area that finished a block, so some smaller pieces got stuck on the top, masking any white space or covering a join, just for extra interest or to balance the composition (if you can call it that!) and make the overall piece “better.”

I didn’t have an equal amount, but the red and the orange seemed to often have both red AND orange in them so it made sense to combine

I didn’t have a tom on yellow either but still managed a decent piece – my camera did NOT like the yellow against the pink mat. See how different the mat looks above vs below? Yellow is also not a favourite colour but I love this piece – it is lovely in real life.

I made a mistake on the green – i use the leftover from cutting the yellow piece from the A3 card and I had WAY too much green. I have a handful of that leftover. I could have filled the whole A3 sheet had I started with one.

I did not make the same mistake with the blue! I began with a full sheet.

and with the pinks. I had lager pieces that were so similar, and same paint so not as much diversity in this one as I would have liked

And then I had some browns, a a single sheet of black on white. The brown & red bits were a small scrap but they really were the pop of colour this needed

And lastly, purple.

A nice shot of them all together, mostly to show the variation in size

Now, what the heck am I going to do with them??

Day 40! Excited that in 10 days I will be in Book two!


Watercolour play

I am so keen to get better at using watercolours so I am following the lead of a few of my WOYWW mates and having a go at some of the tutorials on CreationsCeeCee but the problem is there is so much good stuff there I have no idea what to try first!

I had a go at making some squovals (square circles) in a limited range of colours. I am using decent watercolours, crappy brushes from Lidl, and the wrong kind of paper (this is the cartridge paper pad I mentioned a fair few posts ago) so had pretty low expectations. It actually turned out a little better than I thought it would!

The tutorial uses rectangles but I like circles so the squovals are a compromise LOL!

I like the variation of colour within the colour, from adding more paint again over a dried layer. I should have left well enough alone and watched the videos again, but not, impatient as always, I jumped in to doodling and it all went horribly wrong. The pens I have are not super fine, and I fear some of them are not as waterproof as they should be. There are a couple of blocks I really like, at least one I abandoned when it went so wrong there was no recovering, and a few that are OK, but Meh. Probably best it’s a bit blurry. Doh!

Not giving up, just recognizing there is a long way to go before I get anything like proficient, let alone good at it. But it IS fine, and that is kinda the point too. My next step is to identify the right pen to be using and practice the lines a bit. Mostly identify the ones that are NOT waterfast – look at those smears…

Day 39 – although it is thicker, I am trying to use up some efemera.


Day 38

Still hanging in there. Not too long to go to the half-way point. I am determined to get thru the 100 days but I have lots of things I want to focus on so I am considering doing 50 day projects, or even 30 day/1 month ones. While I see the sense of sticking with something for 100 days, I can also see that even 30 or 50 days of any one thing is going to let me focus on that thing for enough time to improve or learn, or accomplish something significant. And that is really the point. AND it will let me pick and choose among the 100 things I am considering for the next X Days project after this one. Would it be madness to start a second X Days project while still in the middle of the first one?? Probably. Am I tempted? Definitely. Will I do it? Possibly….

Trying to stay to the edges but vary the position – putting things in one of the four corners (inside/outside lower, inside/outside upper) is really helping to balance the bulk. But lessons learned from Book One 1-50 Days will stand me in good stead for Book Two 51-100 Days!


The first page in my Doodles And Marks art journal

Having fun. The page itself is less than ideal – the original background of marks was lovely, I really liked it, but I think the black text was too much. I feel like maybe Payne’s Grey would have been a better choice.

This is in my recently named Doodles & Marks journal.

The stencil of me is an old one. It felt like the right choice. I love that – I made a book fold of a different stencil too, but this one was already cut at the right size!

The quote is from that printable sheet from a week or so ago. I finally had to replace my chisel tip black marker that I have been using for, I swear, 15 years. I got a pack of three, kept two and gave one to a friend at a crop, who saw me using it to edge things and said “I always wondered how you got that look….” The tip was frayed and getting dry. It was like saying goodby to an old friend!

The old one was a Zebra 5mm chisel and the new one is a Sharpie chisel – the Sharpie gives a really find line when edging. I like it!

Now another Day page:

Really like this one a lot.

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A little art journal page

I got some stamps I ordered from the USA – all my Googling skills failed me when I tried to find them to buy in the UK – and I made a super quick page in my little tape-bound art journal. I am trying not to keep working in the same one all the time.

I like it – the flowers were stamped on my deli-paper masterboard and cut out.

Still loads left LOL!

I am happier with how the letters worked out this time. I found a trick to almost eliminate the black spatter effect

By selecting a closed stroke, it adds a line around every area, including every spatter, individually. Making that line as tiny as possible , and white, almost obliterates the messy black!

Just for comparison:

Can’t tell easily bit I also got my gloss sprays – the spatters are White and Marine.

Day 36! Slightly experimental and I really like this one, for some reason. Used lots of scrappy bits from other pages…


100 days – book two done

As you may recall, my 100 Days collage diary book was in serious danger of becoming a wedge. I made the first 3 weeks of pages just crammed full of layers, not at all mindful of the effect.

I thought I had two options – rip out all the extra pages and begin a second book for the second half, or maybe stop at 50 days. But then I figured why not dis-assemble the first book, re-bind the remaining pages and make a cover, splitting the existing book in two? Yep. Do that.

It was actually pretty easy. I only had to open the coil on the book I was using, remove the pages for Days 51-100, then make new covers

Used my old Bind-it-all and it worked a treat. I covered the front is a sympathetic style so they look good together, using similar stash:

The Day 51-100 is something I created to mimic the new (but unavailable in the UK at the moment) Dina Wakely stamps. It was easy to do and it let me have the numbers as well – I don’t think the actual alphabet set has numbers – and I will do it again, until I eventually get the stamps. Or not. I have a file full of the black squares and the alphas (pink, cause white on white is tough to see LOL!) and I can make them and print as needed

Somehow I think I printed the ones I used with a stroke outline, hence the black grunge in the white. I’ll test that later. Anyway, here is a hot of the first book, hopefully showing how the first 3 weeks is super fat, the more recent pages, where I made great effort to shift the bulk away from dead centre, are thinner:

You can see how fat the existing book is compared to the new one LOL!

And here is my next page – still on the old book – I have quite a few more days to go before moving to book two. Part of the reason I am jumping in to this well in advance of the end of book one is that I have about 100 more ideas for 100 day projects and I am worried I will be too tempted to abandon this at Day 50 so I can begin a new one!

A little heavy-handed on this page, I think…

Some of my rub-ons work better than others! I was always annoyed by the pressure-marks that show when you have to rub REALLY hard to get them to adhere. It’s pretty obvious here:

Grrr. Problem is that I think these particular rub-ons did that when I first used them. Some craft fails are MY fault for not using stuff up in a reasonable amount of time, but not this one.


WOYWW 616 – the second 50 days book

Happy WOYWW once again. Keeping my desk tidy makes creating a joy rather than a frustration. So once again, a very boring space. Great for me, not so much for you. But there is the week’s re-cap of my 100 days collage diary so there is that at least! Oddly, my “messy” desk is the cleanest space:

with my clean desk not far behind!

After I took that shot I did get working, and I had just enough time to grab a shot of my work on the second 50-day book. I hunted down some paper that was similar so I could add the extra few pages I needed and got working on the cover.

It’s been ages since I dragged out the Bind-it-all! I also have the little watercolour booklet I mad from that single sheet of large format watercolour paper I had left, using the discs I got – the small ones are perfect, if a little oddly coloured. Not sure there will be much use for lime green discs but you never know…

I was super late getting to the desks last week – not the latest, but pretty late. Life gets in the way sometimes. I’ll be around to yours today! Here is the 100 days week overview for you. Still sticking to the edges – more on that tomorrow:

OK, ready to desk-hop!

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Musings about Art Journal types and about dividing by style

I have a fair few art journals. I’ve never bought one. I tend to make them. My oldest one is made from brown paper, soaked and left to dry, with a sewn binding. The paper really isn’t heavy enough but it has worked for me for six years – and it is not full. It has about 12 sides till it is full. That’s it in the middle:

To the right is a little one I made from watercolour paper from an Amazon mailer that is empty except fo leftover paint when working on other pages:

and to the left my little Roben-Marie scrap paper, tape bound one, from a free workshop. It has a few pages done it it, but as the pages are colourful papers (or at least full of SOMETHING) it generally isn’t the one I reach for first. I actually kinda LIKE a blank page.

I have a bigger one, also from an Amazon mailer and also with watercolour paper for the pages on the right below. This one has maybe two or so pages in it so far, mostly from prompts to do with LifeBook 2021 (taster classes all, I think.) That is the cover of the Roben-Marie journal from above on the left

I like the idea of having multiple journals, different sizes, with different substrates to work on, but I find it hard to grab anything other than the thing I am currently working on. So my junk journal was on my desk and I just turned over when I wanted to do another page. I am trying to get away from that. I really wanted to think about the style or techniques that I felt I wanted to explore/learn/improve.

I am kinda crap at mark-making. So I added a title to my small watercolour paper journal and will use it to explore mark-making and doodling. There is a lot of random colour on almost all of the pages so far, so this seems like a good plan.

My large watercolour paper journal will end up being a normal anything-goes journal. also sensible, as it is the biggest one I have and the paper is really nice. The brown-paper journal is also anything-goes, but I will be mindful of the lighter paper weight when working in it. I may focus on this one for now, as there are three single pages and five double-page spreads left in it. It has some of my favourite pages in it.

The other thing I am super keen on exploring is watercolours. I have been very inspired by WOYWW-mate Lunch Lady Jan and her watercolour pieces. I splotch them about on pages here or there but never really do a piece IYKWIM. I was also interested in disc-bound journals. Which is funny cause I got one in a Club Scrap kit maybe 20 years ago and hated them – I was sure the page would just fall out. But the more I looked in to it the more appealing they became. So I bought a few things.

I had this pack of cartridge paper and thought it might work for watercolours but it really doesn’t – it says good for “light wash” and that is not quite right. I am pretty much out of watercolour paper at the moment so while I punched some of the sheets to test out the sturdiness and the easy of inserting and removing, this paper pad I was keen to use up really isn’t right. I’ll re-visit this idea once I get some more watercolour paper – or some smaller discs! I have one massive sheet of 140lb. cold-press paper that could allow me to make a 12 sheet, 24 page journal, but the large discs I have are really too big for that. They are about 25mm and the box says they will hold 150 sheets! If the page are bulky, with lots of texture etc. we are still talking about a good 50 pages, I would think. This is 10 sheets – barely makes a dent!

I will ponder on this a little longer, maybe see if I can unearth the old Club Scrap discs (which were quite small, if I recall correctly) and then reassess.

OK, next 100 days page and then I am done! WOYWW tomorrow. Last week was crazy with other things so I was very late getting around. I’ll do better this week.

Funny how seeing something in a photo makes you look at it in a different way! I really feel like this needs another circle at the top – Adding one digitally to see…maybe two, for a visual triangle? Maybe too stark – Can’t decide!

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Junk journal covers done!

I was quite happy to finish a journal. Although I realized that not only did I work on pages pretty consecutively, I didn’t vary (much) the style of the pages. I mean they were all mostly paint, stamps and stencils, with a few odd techniques thrown in, like gelato-style crayon backgrounds, or the odd collage image. I am determined to shake that up a little. I have an idea and will talk about that perhaps tomorrow. But first, my covers! The front cover shows the booklet I used for this junk journal – the paper is glossy, a great weight, and the binding seems pretty stable. I just got a handful of stencils and the first one out of the package seemed perfect for the cover.

You can see the fit is exact.

Pretty minimal effort really, but I love it.

The back cover I went a little more experimental. I used some scraps of Collage Collective papers t0 stamp and cut/punch some letters

and paired them with another stencil. Scratchy outlining was OK, but maybe too much. Still, JUNK journal, right?

I am very happy with it but my plan is to not work solely in a single journal in order to “finish” it, and to very the style of journaling I am doing, to learn and experiment in all my journals.

Lastly, the next 100 days page. A month in and still motivated! Not a great photo – the colours are really far more purple and less brown than they look on MY monitor.

My hand was forced in the placement this time, as the large foam stamp cause some serious bleed-thru from the previous page! Luckily only the one page and not all the way onto the right hand one. Phew. Lesson learned!