Happy WOYWW! My desk is not awful, as I have tidied up a bit from the making of my White On White colour challenge piece and moved on to make a bunch of cards from the 12 x 12 sheet.

I’ll walk thru the card tomorrow. I thought I would share the scan of the paper – I haven’t tried doing it before, but I wonder if I can print the scan and perhaps add some touches of gold to it then use THAT for making more cards. I really like it so I might give it a go.

What else? I was also working on a long piece of packaging paper, but with no real firm idea what I want to do with it. I feel like it’s best use, when done (and it’s not QUITE there yet) is for covering something. Maybe some boxes? Not sure. It has been draped over the paint cart for a few days while I worked on the W-on-W challenge, but now I need to finish it and decide what to do with it!!

It is def. my usual chaotic style.

The Cat. Her most favourite spot, other than on the cushion in my sewing room while he in on his computer, is at the top of the stairs. Like Yertle the Turtle, she is the ruler of all she surveys…or thinks she is anyway!

Photo? Not this week….

Happy WOYWW to all – we are putting up the tree this coming weekend…how about you?


Shades of White – success!

So happy with the result!

I ytook the plunge, and added some of the gold to the titanium buff+white and some iridescent medium too, then pushed it thru a stencil for some dimension. I don’t get really any of the medium, and really not a LOT of the gold, but I still like it a lot.

The dimension makes the very very similar colour stand out on top of the base, so that worked out well. I mixed more gold into the same colour, and got a much more shimmery tone, but not full-on gold quite yet. I was holding that back for the last layer! Time for text of some kind, a small alpha-numeric stencil…

I had a smidge of that colour left so I dragged it across the surface with a palette knife

The trick of adding the gold TO the other colours stays true to the challenge but gave me a different shade to play with. A win!

Time for a pop of really bright white now, and as part of the challenge is to make a finished project with it (I am planning a set of Christmas cards – six or more if I can manage it) stars seems appropriate.

The light catches the gold nicely here so you can see how it shines. And that leaves the final layer, my favourite gold grid circles over the top. Woo hoo!

I love it and there is a lot of depth for such a limited range of colours! There is more difference IRL to the golds than you see in the photo. But this shot does a good job of capturing the all layers

Working from the bottom up:

  • Book papers
  • titanium+white schmear
  • Gesso wash
  • stencil with grey+white
  • pen work circles
  • gold+titanium+white dimensional circles
  • pale gold letters+numbers
  • palette knife schmear
  • bright white stars
  • bright gold grid circles

Now, I really have to think about the card design before I get anywhere near my trimmer! And I really need to scan this one cause I love it a LOT…

1 Comment

Another challenge! Shades of White?

So another member of the art group I am on issued another challenge… using White and Shades of White. She says:

Colour combination: White and shades of white 😲.


  • 1. One additional metallic colour (gold, copper, silver etc).
  • 2. You can use dark papers to pull the prints.
  • 3. There must be an end use of at least one print (so cards, tags, decorations etc).


After mulling it over for a while, I decided I would begin with book papers. I like the idea of that rather than the dark paper background. I created an overlapping grid from a few different books, so different text, different colours, etc and tied it all together with a watered down Gesso wash.

I collected up a handful of whites and what I think are shades of white – titanium buff and a pale grey. I dithered about using other close to white shades, like a very pale blue or pink or very pale green or coral. I felt like keeping to neutrals was more in keeping with the challenge. Gold was my metallic, although generally, silver would likely be the “obvious” choice. I did add white to those shades to make them even paler.

I did a swipe of the titanium+white and then the grey+white thru a stencil

I was a little stymied as to the way forward, but I tried adding some paint pen circles thru a stencil.

It proved my point, which was that adding the bright white over the shades made it pop nicely. But where to go from here? It feels too early to add the gold, but I feel like I can mix the gold in with some of the other shades to alter it and give a different tone. So I might try that. And to be honest, I am kinda loving this as is – I mean it isn’t a finished piece, not yet, but it feels like it is going in the right direction!

After the catastrophe of the Navy + Red attempts (and no-one will convince me they were anything but fails, so don’t even try! Although try two was less awful than One was…) this is a huge relief. I don’t feel like I have to work hard to “bring it back” but I do need to be careful not to let this go off the rails!

I’ll take a breath before moving on…

1 Comment

Red and Navy re-do, but STILL not happy!

Had another go and while I like this one better I am still not in love with it. It feels like this is a cursed colour combo. I took step by step photos of each layer and I can see where I went wrong. The thing is, I think it is kinda the same place as the last time.

The first layer is usually a bit of brayering of the main colours, just to get a background. Then I added some leafy fronds in a lighter blue. So far, so good! Then some layered buttermilk circles to further lighten it up.

Then I went for a bit more red, in small Xs. But I also did a wonky bit, and that annoyed me a LOT. I was trying to get the Xs to look more like + signs but that didn’t work out too well.

Still, I didn’t HATE it. I added some little wheel like circles from one of my first Cricut stencils in navy, slightly transparent, and some big white circles, also from an oldie but goodie.

at this point I am liking it pretty well. But I feel like it needs something dramatic, like black. Oh dear, It went off the rails at this point, but I think it was the CHOICE of stencils here, more so than the colour.

I wish I had used a different alpha stencil because this one is too much of a jumble if used in parts. Or maybe it is the placement? Not sure. I do think I kinda pulled it back from the edge with the addition of some bright gold circles. What do you think?

I mean, it is still pretty chaotic but I don’t despise it like the other one. Especially when I hold it up to catch the late afternoon sunlight coming in the window. I think it will work for one of my monthly journal covers for sure, and I think maybe third time lucky? A scan always helps me really SEE it, better than a photo. I have been trying to scan all of my transformed papers for later use and I do find the scans often hit me different than either seeing it on my desk or seeing it as a photo. Something to do with seeing it head on, fully flat, with no angle of distortion. Do you agree?

One more? Maybe using my new birthday 12×12 gel plate will change the dynamic? Shall we see?

Leave a comment

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.

May your turkey be tender and your mashed potatoes fluffy!


WOYWW 703 – Fat cat? Fast Cat!

Happy desk-hop day! Preparing for a day of celebration tomorrow, finally doing Turkey Day on the actual day. Must be the first time in years with the whole family in the same place. Not the extended family, mind, but at least our small nuclear one. We have a meal, a day with no work, a family film and some board games – relaxing and enjoying time together. Bliss.

My desk has my main birthday gift on it, a 12×12 gel plate. What fun that will be to play with. I dithered about getting the new A4 size, but really, I can mask of the unneeded part to achieve the same thing so going big was the best plan for me.

I shuffled stuff about to reveal better the things there. First is an insert and some possible cover choices for another monthly journal for my Traveler’s Notebook – I love the pink one and considering it for December. Can you see the No. 12 there? Not very traditionally festive, but I like it.

also playing with creating a stencil from a die cut, extending the area. I use one I cut previously a lot and really like it, but I wanted a bigger one. I think it will work. You can barely see the join!

And I did TRY to get a decent cat photo but she was pouncing on a toy that I used to tempt her into my office. Dang they are tricky to photo unless they are sleeping LOL! A bit blurry but still quite cute.

I have to sneak in a photo of my birthday gifties from the lovely Tracy. I am simply blown away by what a wonderful community we have here on WOYWW. A card would have been sublime, but a notebook? and a calendar full of the most gorgeous illustrations? AND a stamp set? Even the envelope is stunning. All those words to say I’m speechless LOL! WOYWW folk will know her blog for the whimsy, the colour, the emojis and the little drawings that flow from her pen or pencil like water from a tap. If you’ve never been, do treat yourself and pop round!

Have a fantastic WOYWW day desk hopping – I know I will, because tomorrow I plan to not touch my keyboard at all if I can help it!

1 Comment

When a colour challenge goes bad…

I think I mentioned doing some colour challenges from a gel printing group I am part of. I have done a few and really enjoyed both the process and the results. But now…

The challenge was Red & Navy. Should have been simple, right? So many cases of those colours, not least the flags of BOTH my countries. But somehow it all went Pete Tong.

The first few layers were ok, ish. I was really bothered by that few slightly diagonal swipes. In a way I don’t think I really ever recovered from them LOL!

Can’t go wrong with letters or numbers, usually, and in this case, yeah, great added layer. But then, because it was an added bit of a challenge to use up, if possible, some bottles of very old Making Memories paints, I added in the colour that was closest to being finished. Lime Green!

There was no coming back from that!

I added in a few more layers, thinking each time it was going to help, but it just got worse and worse.

I cut the sheet up, added some bright green and some more stamping, and it just did not get any better

I wish I could show you some of the failed attempts to make them better, but they are all in the bin! Funny thing is, there were comments, when I shared the fails with that group, that said how much they liked it, and that I should walk away and come back and look at it with fresh eyes – all things I myself have said to people when they are weeping with despair over some bit of art (or knitting or whatever) and I am trying to help them feel better about it. And none of it DID help. It was a dog’s dinner from the jump.

On a more positive note, I grabbed another sheet of paper and on complete auto-pilot, I made a sheet that I like a lot and which will end up being another monthly journal cover. So not the worst day ever.

That sheet has a weird colour combo but I freaking love it. Now I just have to go back and make a Red & Navy one that I don’t hate, and maybe in the process try to analyze what the tipping point is. How does it go from ok, fine, kinda like it, to OMG I loathe every inch of this piece with every fiber of my being. And can you come back from that?

Maybe, but maybe not. And maybe that is OK.

1 Comment

Scraps on a roll

I have been seeing something called a snippet roll around the internet, and I decided to have a go making one. The ones I’ve seen tend towards the shabby chic and/or vintage style and also often includes fabric and lace and ribbon. I wanted to create something more in keeping with my slightly chaotic gel prints. My idea is to see if I can bring it to play in my journaling project, as a quick sort of page embellishment.

Basically it’s just a collage on a long thin strip. One of the first ones I saw was on old adding machine paper rolls. I used the same amazon packaging paper for mine. I gathered up a load of colourful scraps, paper-weight or deli paper, nothing too thick, and collaged it along a 2 or 3 metre strip.

I used a glue stick to adhere the scraps, but not working too hard to cover every bit with adhesive cause the next step is some wavy, zig-zaggy sewing.

Then, you can embellish with whatever you like. Labels seem popular (hence my making labels last week) but again, too vintage. I uses some stamping and embossing and adhered some little punched elements (or their negative spaces)

In the end I rather liked it, but how well it will work in my junk journals I do not know. The whole thing is an experiment but I hope I’ll find a way to make it work!

And yes, thank you, I did have a lovely birthday!


Leave a comment

Just having a play with tea bags….

I have seen some really cool art using tea bags. The Hubster finished up his jug of iced tea so I made another one and kept the bags to test out something I saw on YouTube. Love that there are annotations in English.

You know I am very fond of image transfer using the gel plate so I had to give it a go.

As you would expect, I just added the paint to the plate in a thin layer. As the tea was Tumeric and Star Anise, the bags had a very yellow cast to them. I picked a red paint to work with that warm tone.

It really captured some great detail. The text was a bit too light to really read but I am ok with that. I had another image from the page I tore out so decided to try the mica-first technique. Even better results, I think.

Added bonus, the original book image coated with the mica and the paint, top of the right side photo? Still usable!

And just a side-by-side of the plain and mica-added images:

The text was much sharper this time. And final shot to show the mica shimmer, with a bit of a tilt. You know you can never quite capture how shimmery and golden it is in real life.

I am not sure what I would use this for. Like so many samples they may sit, untouched and unloved in a drawer for years before I finally drag them out and make use of them! Who knows? Maybe I will think of the perfect thing in a day or two….

…but probably not!


1 Comment

Making the inserts

As I mentioned yesterday, I picked out some pairs (cover and lining) for my journal inserts. My plan is to have one per month. I will have 32 sides each month (28 for February) so I can fill a sheet or decorate to fill the space, and write as much or as little as I like. My first pairs:

For the pages, I had th idea to do a bit of upcycling and use some Amazon packing paper. In my heart of hearts, I fear it might be too thin and fragile in the end, but I am going to give it a go and see what happens. It comes in loooong pieces, perforated at just about the right size. I fold it along the scorelines then slice to the size I need and tear each sheet off then fold to create the signatures. You can see my little note of the measurements for each insert

I went back to my hand-made book cradle, and glad I printed a little image of the 5-hole pamphlet stitch – cause I always forget between bookbindings

The paper is thin, but I hope it will hold up. I also have some heavier paper so I can switch if Month One is really a disaster. The cover turned out nice too!

And it fits perfectly inside the cover of the holder. I can have two books in there (or even three if I want) and they will fit fine.

Happy so far! Let’s see if I am happy on February 1st!!