All you need to create your own quirky envelope for mailing art!

Settle in. This is not a super complicated process but it does have a few steps and you will maybe want to really explore the links I’ve added. First, let me show you the kind of envelope we will be creating in a low tech sort of way:

This version uses another of the quirky character downloads you will find linked in this playlist on YouTube. The one we will use for the play today is this one:

This is a low-quality image! Be sure to go to the video and use the link there to grab the HIGH QUALITY version.

Next, grab this envelope template. Print it. It will print on A4 or US letter but the envelopes will be of slightly different sizes. That should not matter in the slightest. But you might like to print it on heavyweight cardstock so you can keep using it over and over.

Now go grab some digital paper – you could use scrapbook papers, but frankly they will likely be too thick. If mailing, you don’t really want to add a lot of weight it you don’t have to. I have found that quality printer paper is fine for envelopes, 90-120gsm. Here are a few links to some free digital papers that would work. You don’t want super busy patterns, nor heavy, dark colours. This is a good link to begin with and the paper I used for the sample above AND the one today is this one. Right click and save the image. Now print it, ticking the SCALE TO FIT option (or whatever the equivalent is on YOUR printer) so you fill the whole page with the image of the paper. You may need to rotate it to portrait orientation first.

Now use the template to cut an envelope shape out of your digital paper.

The images from the download are quite large. Possibly too large for your envelope! Print them, but select the option to print TWO images per page – on my printer that is COPIES PER PAGE. The page prints with figures of about 5 1/2 or 3 1/2 as they come, but if you print them 2 sheets per page printed, they are more like 3 1/2 and 2 1/2. MUCH better for envelopes!

OK. one more bit of techie stuff. Grab this PDF of decorative address blocks. Sorry it isn’t a full sheet, but there area few styles.

Now you have a bunch of elements and it is time to put them all together!

And this would be the time for the glue stick or maybe even better, some temporary adhesive. That way, you can use the same envelope base and make a variety of envelopes to scan!

And I also used an image for another collage sheet I bought

and yet another that uses bits from a number of collage sheets that I shared before, I think:

In close-up I think you can see all the bits I cut to assemble the figure. At this point you just need to scan the envelopes and print them as you need them! Or, as I mentioned, you could possibly photocopy them and then use them up and then copy more.

I hope that was useful and you will share with me your envelopes, if you makes some! I had an ATC come to me in a trade this week that was from someone I didn’t know personally and she had my own designed ATC by Me back on her card! Honestly, it totally made my day, to see someone using something I made and cast out to the winds!Doesn’t take much to make me happy LOL!

WOYWW tomorrow. I have had chaotic days lately, all I can do to keep up with my blogging, and WOYWW visits on the day are getting harder and harder. Even when I don’t have my knitting friend over, I have a meeting of some sort, like today. I always get to them but it seems to take till the weekend for me to manage it. Bear with me…


Interesting technique with Distress inks and waxed paper

I stumbled on my box of waxed paper while tidying up in my sewing room and had an idea. I wondered about the texture that comes from crumpling the paper. I’ve played with it a lot over the years, but not for a very long time! What I had in my head, was to crumple the paper and use that as the surface, rather than a glass or a kraft mat, to smoosh or pounce Distress Oxides or Distress ink onto tags.

It’s interesting, but a few experiments are needed. I like the original concept, of smooshing the inks on to a crumpled piece of waxed paper, then spritzing them and pouncing the tag on to apply the ink, drying between layers.

The effect is different, more mottled, than you get with normal ink smooshing.

What I then wanted to try is to add some Distress Ink (not Oxides) as a layer, trying to retain the crinkled pattern of the waxed paper. For contrast, I used Ripe Persimmon, which I daubed onto the crinkled waxed paper then pressed onto the tag:

It’s there, but not as pronounced as I wanted – although it IS more pronounced in real life that it shows in the photo. I decided to simplify the process a bit, by creating the base of the tag in the “usual” way. I swiped the DO inks onto a kraft mat, gave it a spritz, then pressed the tag into that, again, drying between layers for a more complex background.

Loving the colour combo of Twisted Citron, Ripe Persimmon and Mustard Seed! This time, I daubed the Distress Brushed Corduroy ink onto the crinkled waxed paper quite heavily and pressed it quite firmly onto the surface – I even weighted it down to make sure all the ink and the texture transferred to the tag.

And the texture transferred pretty well for a nifty effect!

I think next time I would swipe more than daub, although I kinda like the boxy outline from the pad itself. I think it bears more exploration, cause the effect is cool and not difficult. I am curious to see how it works with all DO ink. It might not work at all, but then I won’t know till I try LOL!


Decidedly Quirky ATCs

As you will have seen back on Tuesday, the Crowabout digital images are a ton of fun. I decided to combine the quirky words and some of the creatures (some as they are, some created from bits) to top those masterboard ATCs.

I rather enjoy cutting stuff out. All the way back in my scrapbooking days, I was an avid letter-cutter-outer. Microtip scissors are the key. I gotta say I really love these cards. Not sure if you want to see all the close ups, but I took ’em so I’m gonna share ’em. Here is an overview so you can skip the detail if you like:

And three by three:

I have another use for the images that I think will be fun but I have to work out the details. I will, but it is taking a bit of time….


Final Tag book – all put together

I had fun making this – same sort of accordion construction I have done 100 times before, and I am sure everyone knows already. I attached the ribbon tie to the back of the book so it would wrap round.

Added the tags – I made the pages a little bigger so the tags would be framed nicely, yet the top would extend above the book so the ribbon and rik-rak would be free.

And the cover in place:

Just to save you looking back, here are al the tags in place. Some might have a few additions, like splatters, etc.

I have a really fugly art journal page that I may add. Not sure yet. I also have another box of stash coming and I may want to throw a little more onto the fugliness to see if it salvages it. Or not. I added a title that is pretty perfect for it so I may just share it as is. It is a cautionary tale…sometimes, more is crap. But is it ART?

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Cover for my trash-tag book

My cover is done and I really like it!

In the end I decided that the top words on cream and the bottom words on white were FINE.

I am looking at my old mini-book posts, and researching various tag-book constructions, to try to determine which of them will work best for my tags. The backs of them are the backs of the paint-chip samples so full of text, so I think something where the tags are stuck on the binding method is best, to avoid having to cover the backs fully and make them really thick.

I know I want it to be black, to set off the colourful chaos of the trash tags, but other than that, I have not yet settled on the best version. I think I am leaning towards a basic accordion, and indeed the cover will work well for that sort of construction. But there are a million variations of the accordion book, mostly spine variations. See? again, it is the finishing touches that delay the completion of the project! Maybe because I have a habit of looking forward to the next project before I am done, and the antici………pation of starting something new takes up valuable headspace.

Oh, and I have a much-requested calendar to finish up and add! I know it is one that gets a lot of downloads every year, and we are already into Month 2 for 2021. I really must get it sorted cause I don’t like to disappoint the people who like to download it every year!

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Tag book final tags

Just a quick one today. Here are the final tags – funny, isn’t it, that sometimes the finishing touches are the part of a project that takes the longest?

and the next three:

I am actually pretty happy with them. I was determined to make the bits of text I printed but did not use work as text on the tags. Some of it I printed in error on cream cardstock, rather than white, which is obvious to ME, but not a problem in the end as I didn’t have to mix the white and cream words on the same tag. I had trouble with stamping on the paint chips – I tried Versamark, as it was on my desk, but it didn’t seem to really want to dry and got a bit smeary. But Staz-on worked a treat so that is the way I went.

I had cut out a bunch of stuff from the packaging of the Dina stamps and that pile o’trash is destined to become the cover of the book. That and a few more bits from the leftovers. Really, I could make 20 tags from it, although I suspect the quality of the tags would suffer the further into the rubbish pile I went!

I may end up mixing the cream and white on the cover as I want to use all the leftover words and not print them again. That defeats the purpose of my challenge to myself. I’ll get it done, but maybe not today!


WOYWW 610 – trash project progress

Happy WOYWW to all! Best day of the week.

My desk is NOT clean. It should be – I tidied up in advance of a new project, but the project took over and things got messy.

If you saw my post yesterday you will know my project is to use up the scraps from the Collage Collective leftover from my The Hill We Climb art book. As you can see I made a LOT of progress on the tags, but not so much I am ready to take final photos of them all. I anticipate I will be ready for that tomorrow! I still have to make the cover and do the tag-book construction. I do have a couple of in-process tags not quite done, but they should give you an idea of where they are going! The one from yesterday, to save you paging back:

A second one that is still very much in progress:

and one that is pretty much actually done:

The last photo is a box of goodies I set aside for donation – Neet posted last week about a friend who is doing a worthwhile project and needs supplies. I have far too much and while some of the stuff is partially used (papers with a corner cut away, part-full sticker sheets) I figure it will be useful in some way. So off it will go (if not already off – depending on Hubby’s P.O. schedule this week) and hopefully happily received. I could send 10 of these and not miss what I am sending nor make a dent in what I have. Making the time to really sort thru it is always the bigger problem.

So there we go. A big old mess. Tomorrow I will share the final tags and then do the cover and assemble the book. Darling Daughter has been off school for a couple of days as her teachers are getting vaccinated (she attends a special needs school) and we have been watching movies and chilin’ out, which explains why my progress on this project has been slower than it should have been. MY vaccine went swimmingly, just a couple of days of a sore arm and a little bit of a lump and an itch near the injection site. Pretty much back to normal and just waiting for the next dose….

Have a great WOYWW day, y’all!

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Trash Tags – challenging but fun!

I tidied up my desks a bit, in advance of WOYWW tomorrow. I am determined to tidy up once a week AT LEAST. If I know anything, I know I find it VERY hard to work in chaos. I get distracted too easily and end up flitting from desk to desk, never completing anything – or at least it takes me a week to cycle around to the first thing I began. Anyway, I decided to challenge myself, once again, to use up the rubbish on my desk to make something good. I collected up all the bits and pieces of the Collage Collective remains from the Hill book.

and I grabbed that envelope of stuff from Voodoo Vixen

and riffled thru it to pull out all the large paint chips in mostly pale background colours

and managed to make a reasonably cute tag, although my desk looks a bit worse for wear at the end of it!

I placed a few limits on myself. I had to TRY to use the scraps as intact as I could – no pre-trimming, only cutting off the overhang. I got a new stamp set (you will have seen the journal page using the bar-code snipped from the packaging yesterday!) and that was on my desk so I could use that, and the tissue paper I got in the same shipment. Here is that tag, mostly finished, although I feel splatters are needed and I have to sort thru my ribbons to finish it off. I have a plan to make a tag book – we’ll see how it goes.


The Hill We Climb art book – all the pages done!

Still so pleased with this little book. It was challenging in some ways. I made it such a long time ago, I can’t recall the thought process or the making of the gel prints, only that I really loved them. well MOST of them. There was one REALLY ugly one that I will slip in where it falls. I am tempted to begin with my favourite page, but best if I go along in order. So, cover (again):

First page pair, in better light:

Second page pair:

Third page pair:

Fourth page pair:

Fifth page pair:

Sixth page pair:

And here is where it got weird. THIS page is nothing like any of the others. It’s really green and yet has a swipe of claret and some turquoise and I have no idea how it happened. I hope I made those weird colours work with my careful selection from the Collage Collective – those green-tinged butterflies were a godsend! AND they came in more than one size across the two volumes. Phew!

Seventh page pair:

I really love this pair. This one and the Fifth pair MIGHT be my favourites.

I am keeping the images at MEDIUM, because I am closing in on my allocation of storage. On WOYWW this week, someone mentioned how long they had been blogging. I had to look and found I am in my 12th year and nearly at my 3gb of storage. For most of my time I used massive images, so now I have to be a bit conservative. I think I can claw back some space by deleting old calendars (which aren’t super useful) but it’ll take time to do it.

I have another project I am keen to begin, nothing like as intensive as this one, but I think it will be fun. And I have about 100 journal pages swirling around in my brain. First, a massive tidy up, cause my desk…OMG my desk!

Hope you enjoyed this, and do go back and watch Amanda read the poem. Bring tissues…..

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Interesting art journal technique – mask stamping

Once again, I’ll begin with the page and then tell you how I got there:

I’ll show it bigger at the end. I was looking at the page from yesterday and it was kinda a hot mess. No, that isn’t really right. I find that sometimes a large, close up photo of a page has a different impact than a more distance shot, with a little bit of breathing room around it. In any case, all the dark made me want to do a light and airy page. I decided to give myself a bit more space too – the problem with the junk journal is the pages are half-A4 size. Not huge. That’s fine for experiments, and two side by side pages equal A4, but I have maybe 10 pages (single sides) in my old paper bag journal and I was keen to finish it up. So I slapped on a bit of gesso at night so when I got to my desk in the AM it was dry and ready to go.

I began with some watercolours. Not my thing. My sister will remember gifting me a set of watercolours, goodness, 30+ years ago and me telling her Thanks, but no thanks. Shockingly ungrateful, I know. Anyway, I have gained a little more of an appreciation for them. I’m not GOOD at using them (YET) but playing with them is fun. The flowy, watery colour is different than even heavily watered down acrylic paint is.

Hard to tell, maybe, but this page is on the back of a page where I stuck a gel print that was on firmer cardstock. Can you see the defined edges of it? I grabbed another one of the circular masks, from the same set as yesterday and masked off with gesso. It was pretty insipid. You can kinda see it in the upper right corner below.

I also used my ink minis to stamp a bit of text and bits of the butterfly – a very old stamp but still a good ‘un. Then I had an idea. I liked the cascading foliage effect so I thought I could ink the back of the mask and use it as a stamp. I inked it with Versafine cause it was a juicy pad and stayed damp long enough for me to clean up the frame edges and still be able to stamp

Not rocket science, but when I tried it, the effect was…different that I expected. It had an almost ghost-print effect, not solid at all. And I had brayered over the mask to try to get the best contact I could.

The strange sketchy-ness of it was interesting. The brayer makes the mask skip about a little, so you get a slightly off double print. I really want to play with it more – I suspect it might give a different effect if I used the OTHER side of the mask – knowing stencils have distinct side, one being more smooth, I suspect this was the more rough side. I picked the side that matched the masking I had already done, which would have been, by default, the less flat side, if you follow my logic! Anyway, I inked and stamped (brayered) the mask on the page.

I like it!

Not perfect so far as placement, but no matter. I stamped the butterfly and coloured it with some purchased-but-never-used Lidl art supplies, watercolour pencils and markers, and aged it slightly with Old Paper distress ink.

Then back to my little text stickers to compose some words of wisdom to myself. 2021 is the year I push negativity to the side – it’s a battle, one I do NOT always win, but after a good 60 years of viewing the world as glass-half-empty, I hope I can be forgiven for taking a bit of time to accomplish that.

Perhaps a little cheerleader-y, maybe too much so? Or is it just my negativity, bleeding thru?

{sigh} It’s a challenge.