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Away for the day…

I am up at the hospital for a small procedure today. I’m just going to pop in some more of my digital play. I took the sheet I made in Procreate, and tried to recreate it in Affinity Designer 2. The tools are not the same – or they are, but maybe AD2 is harder to use as a total beginner, and I spent a LOT of time looking in the online help section. I think the Procreate stuff is maybe more intuitive? Plus Darling Daughter is a dab hand at Procreate so I could ask her questions if I got stuck!

Possibly hard to see the real differences between them in the small screen grabs, and they aren’t EXACTLY the same as I used different brushes and I believe blending modes. Affinity left, Procreate right. Better shot of the Procreate one in a previous post if you care to look back.

Here is a bigger shot of the Affinity Designer 2 one:

The other thing I did in conjunction with making this in AD2 was make some damask brushes, so I could stamp those rather than find and drag in the .PNG all the time. It’s a handy thing, but it took me a stupidly long time to figure out how to use the Fx panel to change the colour of the brush – crikey.

I really am going to focus on getting this paper made into a full set, because I do like it a lot and I might even like this version better than the original. I think it would be very pretty as part of a junk journal.

OK, scheduled a post for WOYWW as well a this one, in case I need a day to rest up, but with luck something more interesting on Thursday and Friday! Sheffield Synchro comp for the Steel City Trophy on the weekend for Darling Daughter (last comp of the season) then life should settle down, a bit. Maybe.

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April daily journal DONE

Now the collage project is completely done. I’ve already plunked down the bits for my April daily journal. As I said, if I let myself get into March before making the next one, that is just the sort of thing that could derail the whole project. It’s a simple process and I have been thru it now four times so not expecting any surprises…famous last words, you say? I hope not!

Not super exciting but I really like this one. The gel print is from one of the first colour combo challenges, Pink and Van Dyke Brown, and I love it. I decided to add the little trimmed off strip to the inside and the right hand part of the mop-up/roll off print was a bit boring.

I went back to my collection of letter/number stickers and miracle of miracles, I actually had all the letters I needed, all in the same case, no weird all-next-to-each-other colours, in a bright a spring-y green. When does THAT ever happen?? AND they fit!

I cannot help but mention AGAIN how happy I am that I added the image of the 5-hole pamphlet stitch to the side of my homemade bookbinding cradle. I probably will mention it again the next time I make one, as it is the rare occasion of me not only thinking things thru, doing the thing and it actually making my life easier months later.

So there we go. I am all ready to leap into the March journal, secure in the knowledge that April is ready and waiting.

This week is going to be brutal so I may not be super inspiring in my posts. I’ll try. Wish me luck, but forgive me if I don’t manage it.


Slip knot binding and the covers of my collage book

The final bits!

First, let me share again the slip-know binding video that prompted this

Really, there is no need to re-invent the wheel here. Lisbeth did a great job explaining, visually. I did what she did. Well, a few tiny alterations. I used some very thick baker’s twine to bind and you can see how chunky it makes the slip knots. I wrapped the two ends with some tape to make threading thru the small binding holes easier.

From there it was just following the video, easy peasy

The other variation is I began at the front, ending at the back. This left me with the hanging fibers at the back of the book. I prefer that. OK so I didn’t watch the video again, but I am pretty sure Lisbeth ended with the binding fiber ends at the top. Doesn’t matter. Begin where you like and leave the ends top or bottom as you prefer. Here is the cover – I decided to make use of that perfectly placed C on the cover to add COLLAGE and the year.

Funny, in neither picture is it clear the binding ends at the back. I say again, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is I am really really happy with it. And I can move one, hopefully retaining what I learned. If not, I can look back and remind myself of those elements I liked. One more little task before the manic week begins…

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Collage book all done!

Well that was fun, challenging, and very much a learning experience. There are many photos of the side-by-side pages here so I hope you will be OK with it split. I’ll do all the page pairs today then finish up with the bound book and the cover decor tomorrow.

In the end I managed 22 pages and the covers. so not bad. Front cover (undecorated) and back cover:

Now just all the page pairs:

Phew! I am sure you will notice a few things that seem like they developed into my “signature style” over the length of the process. The text ripped from magazines, peeking thru the layers. The (mostly) vertical lines of the papers. The open circles, waste from punched out circles. The black letters and the waste from die cutting the letters. The gold foil circles. Most of those things appear on many of the pages, I like all of those things and feel sure I will use them often. But looking at the whole set I realize that in fact I do prefer the pages that use fewer different papers, and that have large areas of a single paper. Maybe it is the small size. Maybe it is just the struggle to make a load of bitty pieces work. No idea. But I know what I like.

The cover tomorrow, and the binding! Then I can move on with my learning programs for digital designing.

Well ONE more thing…


WOYWW 716 – collage debris all tidied up and the next project

Happy WOYWW again. Another anniversary is coming up so I will need to put my ATC thinking cap on for sure. I always try to make enough to trade but I sometimes come up short so this time, I will make sure my design is doable in multiples!

Desk. What a difference a day makes, right?

The thing about collage is that it creates as much mess and as many scraps as it uses up. Dear me. After a concentrated effort to collect up and dispose of the actual rubbish and store the useful pieces, my desk looks fab – for a moment.

It won’t last, unless I really do focus on digital work. I will share the binding of my small collage book tomorrow, and do the flip thru.

Lastly, super cute Cat. She lounges in this old chair when the sun comes thru in the bedroom. Doesn’t she look content?

I can’t help but fear this is one unique cat and the likelihood of me, very much NOT a cat person for more than 60 years of my life, gaining any affection for another cat is pretty slim.

Next week is a week full of hospital and Drs. malarky, the weekend full of commitments and preparations and entertaining, so I hope there will be anything to share. If I get no time at my desk to pre-prepare posts, you might only have the sound of crickets here till after the next WOYWW. Hope not, but you never know.

Off to hop, trying hard to get it done on the day, but so often I get surprised by how much stuff needs sorting out on a Weds! My plan is to stand firm and hop when I can, even if it is in small nibbles at the list thru the day. See you round yours…

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Final pages, decisions made

So I did decide to make “covers” for my little collage book. Love them both. I should explain. This is the front cover.

And this is the inside of the BACK cover:

But rather than make a collage on the BACK of the back cover, I decided to just cover it with mop-up paper that was just the right size.

And my stack of pages – not quite the 14 to 16 I planned, more like 12, but it makes a nice chunky little book and that suits me.

I think I have settled on the order of the pages but I may have a final shuffle before I bind it.

I will probably add the year numbers on there and I am thinking I might also add a little label maybe with a sentence about the project. Not a lot, just a few words so when I eventually go senile, there is an explanation of what the heck this little book is! So the kids can at least read that as they flip thru it before pitching it in the bin…

I did say I was self-aware, didn’t I? Not always, not perfectly, but I have zero illusions about the art I make standing the test of time. Keeps me sane, but it isn’t ever going to hang in a collection somewhere.

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Collage pages almost done!

Well. I have made much progress, despite a crazy busy weekend. Good thing too cause this week and next are even worse. Let’s see. First I will share a few more pages completed. Sorry I am not doing a lot of step-by-step shots for these but I was finding that taking the time out to grab the camera was interrupting the flow. First I have just a couple of pages, with one of them using a scrap of a gel print that came with my PMAS order a while back.

Nice, hummm? And the page:

Then I have the another page, front and back – or maybe it’s the back of one and the front of another? Doesn’t really matter, as they are all unrelated and made in no set order!

Now I have to assess the pages maybe put them in a stack in order, decide if I want to make covers that are different in some way, add any text to it, yada yada, yada. I am kinda expecting I will be ready to bind this in the next couple of days, we’ll see. I need to go back and re-watch the slip knot binding video and pick my binding cord/thread/? and will do a final flip-thru when I am done.

It’s been an interesting process and while I don’t feel I am an expert collage artist, I do feel a bit more confident and feel like I have gained some skills. I expect I might split up my week between paper-crafty things, digital play, and journaling but I do fear I will get a bit distracted by one or the other and focus on that. WHY is my brain so unfocused!? But I will finish this project for sure then assess. Best laid plans and all…

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Flip flopping again. Back to collage!

Life has gotten super hectic and I am trying to schedule some stuff ahead so when I have hospital appointments I don’t have to then also try to squeeze in blogging on top of perhaps feeling not great. I have been hyper focused on my collage bit and am determined to finish them up fro binding next week.

As I am using scraps and bits from gel printing sessions, the quality of the paper is a real mixed bag. Lots of it is on very heavy weight paper, and as I am building these little mini collages on heavy watercolour paper, adding more thick paper is not ideal. One interesting thing I learned is that I can split the paper in layers. The momigmi paper sometimes split all by itself, but if it doesn’t I can encourage it to.

Maybe you can see how flexible it becomes after peeling away the bulk.

I was also able to get a second piece that was usable in some cases! Almost like a ghost print, when ink seeped thru the surface layer deep into the depths.

So here are two pages I made with split papers. I like both.

They are not two sides of the same page but I have not completed both of the backside! That is a job or the weekend. The a clean up (hopefully for WOYWW) and making the next month in my 2023 daily journalling traveller’s notebooks. I need to keep ahead or I will get to the end of a month and find I have to make the book before I can journal. That way lies disaster. I can almost guarantee in that situation that I would likely just give up. At least I am self-aware enough to recognize that LOL! I have March ready, so April is next up. Now, what papers…?

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So hard to decide but I found a helpful tool….

I am struggling to decide which of the digital papers I want to develop more fully. I really like most of them, to varying degrees. I think I have narrowed it down to two different ones. The first is the first paper I made, using Procreate.

And the other is a different, much more vibrant one made with Affinity Designer.

I really like both of them and think they could easily be expanded to include a number of sheets that would work folded as signatures for a junk journal. The tricky part is always making the other sheets perfectly coordinate with the ones I’ve made. Enter the Adobe Color Tool. I used to use Kuler a long time ago, but I think at some point that maybe became an actual Adobe product, I’m not sure – I know it became harder to use unless you signed in. You know me. I hate that. Anyway, I was able to load images into the tool and it spit out a nice little palette of colours for me.

I really like that you have a selection of moods to pick from, and also that the little circles of colour can be dragged to the area of the image you want to focus on. I think both are really pretty combos and expect I will eventually develop both of them into collections. Right now, I seem t be able to do more with Affinity than Procreate, so I will possibly either re-create the pale misty one in Affinity, or see how easy it is to create new papers based on the original one.

I did try to export the layers from the one I made in Procreate – it was interesting. I may need to find some box I need to tick cause the layers were .pngs but all had white backgrounds not transparent ones! And a couple of texture layers seem to be missing.

I really do need to focus on the collage pages and stop jumping around! My butterfly mind won’t accept that – I flit, I float, I flee….



WOYWW 715 – a different view

Happy WOYWW once again. It’s been a week and what a week. I am not going to bore you with my cancelled/not cancelled Drs appointment except to say it took a few days of phone calls to sort out what happened (twitchy finger in Salisbury Central Booking seems to be the conclusion) and I finally have a new (phone) appointment for a month later. Not idea, but I expect once my bloods come thru this month that might be converted to an in person one. We’ll see.

So. Desk. The usual desk is as chaotic as ever, still in the throes of collage.

The little one front and center is I think the very first one I did and I am not 100% happy with it. I’ve been trying to shift a few things about to make me like it better, cause I really like the flip side and am not willing to give up on it.

But I am still short maybe six double sides. I am still working on my other desk (my desktop computer) making digital stuff.

ATM I am working with some vintage colour wheels and it’s been fun.

Cat is my constant companion, and does not appreciate the click of a photo. Yikes. If looks could kill…

So there we go. Another day of desks to visit and collect some inspiration. As ever I will try to get round on the day but it never takes much to derail me, not matter how focused I begin my day.

Happy WOYWW!