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Doll repair!

So, I made this paper doll banner in 2010. Some of them just needed a bit of bracing with coffee stirrers – perhaps due to The Hubster piling a load of computer equipment on top of them as we hustled to clear rooms for the window guys. There was crushing and bending. My fault for picking a bad place to stash them, I guess.

They have been hanging in a window for a loooong time. The fading was inevitable.

And there were other problems. My poor Keep Calm doll lost nearly all of her gems from her wings – I was hoovering them up for a week!

I found a handful of options to replace the wings but none of them were ideal.

The final solution was to colour the pink wings with alcohol ink markers to make them red. Worked well! The previous location is not really possible anymore, as I am not replacing the tatty old curtain that used to block the sun from my eyes for parts of the day. You can see it there

So while the dolls are looking OK at the moment, where to secure them is harder.

Luckily it isn’t summer so opening the windows often is less of an issue. I’m trying a couple of options. Or will do once my damn fragile back recovers – I threw it out TYING MY SHOES FFS, had to settle for a Dr.s call vs a visit to the hospital for a face-to-face appointment, and am still dealing with very limited mobility.

By Saturday I expect I will feel up to scampering up a ladder to test out the proposed location. And maybe by next week they will be back in place. And I will hope to get a few of the ABC Challenge items done over the weekend as well.

Wish me luck!

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A bit brief – K is for KEYS

Scheduling in advance cause all day today is taken up errands and stuff.

With the challenges, I sometimes catch the sponsored shorts on YouTube (under one minute, bare bones info) and I think to myself Well, that was MY idea for the challenge too – now what will I do? In some cases, really there aren’t a lot of options. Take the J: Jeans one. They used a pocket to put the texture on the plate, almost like an image transfer. So what else is there? I mean I have … two other ideas, but one is going to take a bit of experimenting to see if it will work, and the other (of course) requires an old pair of jeans. Which I don’t have – all bundled off to the charity shop at some point. Should I go buy a pair back??

Anyway, I kinda felt the same about KEYS. I played a bit with using some different things like alcohol ink and pan pastels, but frankly it was all just a key or two or three and not very interesting. So I went another way. A bit like my choice of using an image transfer of Joe EXOTIC for E: Exotic I used an image transfer of typewriter KEYS for this one. Inspired? Not really. It was still just an image transfer, but I do like the look of it. I used Payne’s Grey for the transfer part, and Quin Gold for the pick-up and the contrast is stark.

Just a bit of a close-up:

Sometimes, the amount of detail you can get surprises me!

That’s it for today, short and sweet.


WOYWW 694 – sorted, but for how long?

Happy WOYWW! Finally a week where I can get around to allll the desks, after weeks of chaos and all new windows! And my desk (and room) are as tidy as they ever have been. Plus, removing one bookcase (which had been part of a “false wall” ) and turning another has given me a lot more floor-space and lets the light reach all but the doorway. Result!

And the new windows are so fresh and clean! And lurking there is my ancient Cricut, 1st gen, still running Sure Cuts A Lot. Queen of old technology, me.

And my desk is quite tidy too.

Doing a little repair work on my paper doll garland, but I’ll save that to share when I have sorted them out. Other than that, it’s just pushing on with the daily Gelli Arts printing challenge, as small moments of art are all I have time for at the moment.

This has been a bit of a challenge for sure. But now it’s time for a new challenge…


See you round yours in a bit. Promise.

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L: Layers – yeah I am all over the place…

Still trying to catch up and get the house back to normal. My crafty space is getting there, but there are other places that need more attention so it keeps getting a bit of time, the promise of more, then forgotten for a bit.

I have a piece I was playing with and another use for a bit of rubbish. You may recall I showed using some plastic packaging to get a textured effect with acrylic paint.

Well, I had a thought…the fact it is plastic might make it an interesting thing to use with Alcohol inks!

It’s maybe a little hard to explain, but you know when the AIs are kinda more on the dry side and you pounce over them, the ink disperses into little cells? You can get that sort of effect better with the plastic packaging than with the foam pads. Or at least *I* think so. Anyway, this piece had a lot of layers: alcohol ink, mica powders, a few layers or stencils, acrylic paints…

And the final piece I really like.

I feel like this could end up as a tip-in art journal page. I had a further play and made a similar piece with only a couple of layers. What I loved about this was how the mica that was clinging to the edges of the letter stencil transferred and gave me an outline while also kinda containing the alcohol inks! I love it so much and (like happens all too often) wish I could re-create the effect reliably. I plan to play with this a bit more for sure.

I will be at the hospital for the day, but am still hoping I manage a decent WOYWW view of my space tomorrow. Fingers crossed I also manage a full day of visits, before and after a potential knitting mate visit!

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P is for Pastels!

Firstly, the whole window replacement thing was a LOT more mess and disruption than expected. Long days cleaning up 120 years of dust from the sash windows being pulled out, and truly endless cups of tea and coffee took up more time than expected.

Back to the Gelli Arts challenges. I had an idea I wanted to try so I skipped over a few of the ABC Challenge letters to jump right to Pastels. Weird, how we interpret things. When I first read it my mind went to pastel colours – pale, dreamy soft colours, very much not me most days. But I realized it was probably PAN Pastels so grabbed those instead.

I had this feather stencil I got a while back, I think from WISH, and it was a bit big for most things so I grabbed than and a rainbow of colours

I mean, I knew this was going to work in the usual way, obviously, but I also had my pot of mica powder on my desk so…

Both things are dry so I didn’t have a lot of concerns about rubbing the mica over the Pan Pastels, but I still took a bit of care. If I did this again, with this sort of stencil, I think I would take the time to cut out the image to make a mask for the rest of the background, or take even MORE care when smudging on the mica. Still, it turned out pretty cool.

My plate was VERY dirty, so I got a lot of residual stuff pulling up, and yeah, it looks a bit lackluster but, as ever with mica, when you tip it towards the light…

Just not able to truly capture the lovely effect. As ever with these challenges, the first attempts are only ever experiments. But taking what I learn with each one will inform further play.

I have a couple of classes I still need to either begin or finish, and J: Jeans thru O:Oval to catch up on but the house is still not back in order, although the windows are IN. Phew. Probably share a shot or two for WOYWW, where (for the first time in a couple of weeks) I will hope I can fully participate. Might try to squeak in a few visits before then if I can.

Seems weird, sharing such a colourful image on a sombre day. Luckily my important and much re-scheduled Drs. appointment is tomorrow, not today, so it was not cancelled. Phew. Life goes on.


ABC Challenge – Image transfer

Oops. Forgot the schedule this one… here it is, a bit late in the day…

Today, I: Image Transfer! Well, of course I was always going to play with the mica powder layer under an image transfer for this one cause I really love how it looks, and I have an image I really wanted to use. But I also had to play with my pan pastels to see if it does actually work on the same principle, as Zsuzsa mentioned she thought might be the case. So begin with the expected – smear the mica powder all over the plate in a thin but fully-covering layer:

Roll on the black paint in a thin layer, lay on the image (this one is a laser print, but yeah, magazine images work too) and rub fully but lightly. Remove, add the white paint in a thin layer and pull the print. I have walked thru this a few timesso won’t bore you with a ton of phots of paint on the plate LOL!

Such a funky image LOL! I love the paper used for the transfer too. Very interesting as well.

And it is fun to tilt to see the shimmer and then as it shift to a black image

So I did try the same with Pan Pastels and it does work in a similar fashion but for me, not as well. My rainbow-ish colour choice was wrong, the fuchsia and purple too dark, I think, and possibly the brayer should have been cleaned between black and white layers, but yeah, kinda it works

Wroth playing with a bit.


WOYWW 693 – a real shocker

Happy WOYWW to all. With every passing day the likelihood of making the crop gets slimmer and slimmer. Poo, say I. Poo Poo. But there is simply too much happening for me to ask the whole family to swan off for a weekend to travel so far for pure indulgence. I would have managed it if I could do the train own my own but a quick check shows a choice between leaving the day before, travel time between 5 and 10 hours with at least two changes, or travel on the day to arrive halfway thru the crop. Coupled with how weak I am at the moment and all the prep for potentially the arrival of Far-Flung Son, on balance, it just will not work. I am gutted. Maybe a zoom on the day is possible? Who knows.

OK, enough of my whinging. Here is the state of the craft room right now….This is main desk with window desk beside it. I am considering this, but not sure if it will mean I lose the window bay real-estate if I do.

A closer look at the other side of the room now – and that is the desk that has my printers and the bookcase that has been reorganized:

I also reorganized most of my art supplies to one shelf close to my main desk.

I mean, it’s functional but it isn’t PRETTY, is it?

Hopefully next week I will be back to full participation, although with the sad Bank Holiday for the funeral of the Queen, and a long delayed Drs. appointment that week who knows? I sure hope so.

Happy WOYWW to everyone. I’ll hope to have a peek at the desks even if my comments are brief or non-existant. I will hope, at least, for the former!

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H is for hexagon but…

…no hexagonal plate! I considered using a mask to block all but a hexagon shape, but then I remembered my high school Geometry class – it reminded me a hexagon is basically just a series of triangles. And I DO have a triangular plate! Woo hoo!

I grabbed it, some blues and greens, and a stencil, then set about creating my hexagon

For some reason my paint is beading up more than I would like – maybe it is that I am using too much, maybe it is because the brayer needs cleaning or it is the wrong one? I got there in the end but it could have been better.

Then I decided to try a different version. Bearing in mind there are workmen constantly wanting cups of coffee or tea or needing me to move something or have questions, I kept both getting interrupted and rushing to finish, it wasn’t awful, but not my tidiest work. Again, something I will play with again. I men, I know the mica works, but certain colours work better and certain paints work better to pull them off. I think I would love to try some sort of higher contrast version at some point, but not this week for sure!

Th tipped version is more about trying to capture the shimmer of the mica. The next one shows more the stencil patterns and colours.

WOYWW tomorrow. I did not manage a single desk last week and that might be the first time ever I joined but did not comment. I will probably join, if only to show how stark a contrast my room is now to usual but they will be working in there (I think) so time will tell if I get to my desk – or have internet if the server room is shut down. It will be quite a relief to have THAT done as it is one of the critical “business” room in the house, one of many LOL!

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More ABC Challenge, if a bit late and out of order…

Not managing to do the challenge on the day, cause of the chaos. But I did have a go at something I was keen to try, image transfer on fabric. Now, to be fair, my transfer was on the smooth side of a scrap of leather, one that I got in the grab-bag when the local glove factory closed down. It worked pretty much as you would expect it to!

You can see how clear the transfer was.

So the issue might be how waterproof the image is. In this case I tried heat-setting it with my embossing gun, then tried wiping the paint away with a baby wipe. I mean, you aren’t going to toss a leather anything in the washing machine, now are you? The paint didn’t move.

I pulled the image off without adding more paint, so the image is not as dark as I maybe would like, but it works for me.

I think this could work as a patch on a jacket, for example, but I do have a few ideas to also try:

  • will it work on materials other than leather?
  • would it be more permanent if the image was transferred using something like clear gesso?
  • what about gel medium instead? what about sealing it with Fabric Mod Podge?

So yeah, I am thinking this challenge is doing what it says on the tin – challenge participants to push the edges of the envelope and try crazy new things. Love that!

Seems I did I: Image Transfer here but I am not really claiming double days, so I still need to have another go at that with a different sort of technique…

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Stress relief that satisfies the Gelli Arts challenge…

I am trying to sneak in a tiny bit of arty play in between bouts of tidying. This ended up taking longer than I hoped, because the combo of the paint I wanted to use and the gel plate I needed did not play well together. This one is for G: Geometric.

I was very inspired by the sample shared from artwithmollie, a Spirograph sort of piece enhanced with coloured pencils. I really want to do a piece following her instructions, but didn’t think I had the time. Yeah. Right. I headed off in a similar vein, looking at patterns of overlapping circles in a grid. I found a couple I liked and printed them.

I thought if I printed the grid I could use it under some not-too-thick paper ti guide the placement of the circles. What you can see above is my crazy DIY on the fly temporary lightbox. The blocks support a piece of glass (from the original Creative Memories circle cutter!) and I slip my phone with the flashlight on unto the gap to illuminate the image. I can’t both use my phone for that AND take a photo so use your imagination!

You can see it works perfectly, and I don’t know why I didn’t just carry on with this first effort.No, I thought I could do BETTER. Queue about 2 hours of trying and failing to achieve my vision. First I wanted a more sheer version that would show the overlapping areas getting darker as I overprinted them

but the dang Distress Inks just beaded up and I wasn’t keen. So I thought maybe adding some pattern would work. And that was not great either. But in the end I did manage a few I didn’t hate. One of them I ended up doing the neurographic corner-rounding on, which had been kinda my original idea. Sorry to say this is not the greatest photo but you get the idea.

It’s hard to see all the bubble wrap texture in the circles but it is there. And that worked well enough so I went ahead to see what the neuro-lines would look like on the DI sample. And I liked that too.

I think I might play with this a bit more when I have more time – honestly doing the pen work, as always is a very restful process.

Next week will be hell. I might do a couple of days worth of posts over the weekend, see if I can catch up on the #ABCPrintingChallenge #GelliArts list, then it will be all about the windows. Ugh. Excited for it to be over!

Edited to add: Sadly, the Queen has died. As the longest serving monarch it really is the end of an era. It will be hard to get used to saying King Charles instead of Queen Elizabeth, unlike how easy it was to get used to President Biden!