Old idea revisited

A while back I was looking thru some of my saved links for iPhone stands – DH gave away the one from his desk and needed a new one. I was looking at this post but it was the overall photo that caught my eye more than the stands. It looked like wall art to me, so I made it as such. Original links is gone, but this idea is similar enough.

I used some 12 x 12 scrapbooking papers and some 6 x 6 pieces.  I started with double-sided sheets because I wanted to use the tutorial for making a two-colour/pattern unit, but in the end I liked them better one pattern.  But using the double-sided papers helps make the scoring and folding clearer.

1. Score in half (whatever the size of your paper) – so

at 6 inches on a 12 x 12 sheet
at 3 inches for a 6 x 6 sheet.


Fold and crease.  open up.


2. Flip over and score in fourths.

12 x 12 – at 3 inches, at 6 inches, and at 9 inches
6 x 6 – at 1 1/2 inches, at 3 inches, and at 4 1/2 inches


The pattern on the finished piece will follow these score lines – so the leaves on the paper will be seen up and down on the finished piece.

Fold  the sides in to meet in the middle.


3. Reinforce the middle fold, keeping the opening on the outside.


4. Fold the two sides in, on the diagonal, first one way


then the other, creating an X


5. This part is hard to show in still photos.  Basically you are going to rotate the piece so it is lengthwise.


and fold the V so the sides are together at the back.  Opening up the top layer on one side, push the other three layers inside.

11foldedpaperartDo the same on the other end. Not proper origami technique, but feel free to add a bit of adhesive inside to keep it all stuck together.


I think there is a video linked in the original post.  That might be more clear if you need to see the action. The point is, you will end up with the above, and when you flip it, this!


Now, I laid it all out on a spare piece of mat board, and once I liked the arrangement, I stuck the units down by running a bead of hot glue along the centre bar in the back and putting a blob in the tip and the tail.


Bet you are dying to know what it looks like….



The crisper your folds the sharper it will look! I put it in the frame, left off the glass, and it’s already hanging over the mantle.  Matched the new curtains and rug perfectly.

Off to the PO today, finally, to mail off some more baby beanies and my ATCs. Had to stay in awaiting deliveries for DH, so didn’t manage it yesterday like I hoped.  DS and his GF are due on Sunday and I STILL haven’t finished my WOYWW visits.  I suck, I know.  But I will get to them.  Promise!



A gift – look away if you are related to me….

A few weeks back I mentioned A Little Hut.  I have had this project in my head for…well, look at the date of the blog post.  That long.  I wanted to put a spin on it, but didn’t want to get all math-y to work out the right proportions, so I cheated.  I found an image of the Golden Ratio spiral and printed it out of sturdy card then cut along the spiral.


Again, I didn’t have the time to sit and cut a load of triangles from scraps, by hand with scissors, so I created an SVG file to cut them out with SCAL.


Just laying out strips of scrap card let me cut them all in two lots, getting 14 different colours.  As DH had picked out small canvases (a pack of four 8 x 8 ones) I was dealing with a smaller scale project than her large wall canvas. I used the golden ration spiral (two of them) to mark the lines.  Had I cut it a bit smaller I could have arranged them on the canvas to create a heart. Maybe I’ll use that idea for one of the other in the set of four.  Then it’s just a matter of arranging and sticking, really.


Cute, humm?  I think he’ll like it



Gilding flakes on Modelling paste

Rather scatterbrained today – our mail server has been down for nearly 2 days and the US ISP isn’t addressing it as quickly as we’d like, so worried I am missing out on some critical mail. But I guess that just leaves me more time to get crafty LOL!

So the shot of my desk yesterday showed an experiment.  I got a set of the Inktense blocks.  Frankly I wasn’t super keen on them until I read you can grate them and mix with water to create inks that are permanent when dry.  Now THAT is something I am very interested in.  My plan had been to have a go at this over some modelling paste, but as I had JUST tidied up (massively) and stuff I hadn’t used in ages was still in my short-term memory, I thought  I wonder…?


and grabbed my pot of gilding flakes.  My feeling was that the modelling paste, while wet, would grab the flakes.  When it dried, the flakes would not only be stuck, they would be stuck strong. So while the paste was damp (ie maybe 5 mins or so after applying? )  It should still glisten on the surface but if you touch it, it should feel semi-solid


I scattered on some gilding flakes – this bag is one I got ages ago and the flakes are very large, almost like sheets, 2 or 3 inches square.  I laid them over gently, covering the surface on 1/2 of the modelling paste figure.


I left the paste to dry totally then whisked away the flakes with a brush.  Personally, I think that scrubbie thing that comes with the flakes dulls the shine so I don’t really use it.


I think the bare areas might have been down to me not pressing the flakes into the paste or, for the tiny areas, that bit being drier than the rest.  But overall I felt the coverage was good and I was able to whisk pretty briskly and the flakes stayed stuck.

So what I expected to work was to re-lay the stencil then sponge the FlitterGlu over the dried modelling paste then gild as usual.


I did that on the OTHER half.  And it worked as expected. So far so good.  I left it for a while to make sure the paste and glue was dry.  Then I grated up some of the Inktense block, mixed in a bit of water, and make a spray.  Easy Peasy.


I sprayed that over the gilded area, and let it dry.


Nice and watercolour-y – you can vary the vibrancy by adding more (or less) water. Now here is where it gets odd.  What I hoped to do was buff away the ink before it totally dried (’cause I keep hearing it is PERMANENT WHEN DRY) to reveal the gilded areas.

Yeah. Right.

So what I had read, and seen on videos, is that you can layer other wet mediums over he Inktense and it will not smear.  With this in mind I used a slightly damp baby wipe to wipe away the mist from the surface of the gilding flakes.  Two things to note – first, the flakes that were embedded in the modelling paste stayed put nicely.  The ones applied over the FlitterGlu?  Not so much.


The left is the FlitterGlu.  But I also noted that the Inktense spray DID wipe away, at least partially. Not so water-fast then.

I suspect I need to experiment a little more with this.  But overall, I like the application of the gilding flakes over the modelling paste idea.  It could be quite an interesting technique on an AJ page, certainly for a top layer.  Likewise, I suspect glitter would embed nicely – and if it were a top layer then the FlitterGlu method would work as well, but why add another consumable resource if you don’t need to IYKWIM?  As to the Inktense mists, again, more testing.  Maybe heat setting it for longer rather than just letting it dry might help it remain water-resistant , not sure.  I know it is easy to scribble with the block then blend with a baby wipe and not wipe it away totally so it is at least slightly water-resistant.  And the colour is rich and deep.  But I am glad I had a go at the idea on a piece of paper rather than in my AJ.  I think I’ll enjoy pushing these blocks to their artistic limits, trying out a few ideas I have, to see what works. And I’ll be sure to report back!




Title for my page

Yesterday turned into the day from hell.  I made the mistake of trying to clear a bit more space on my desk, which lead me to look at my super-messy stencils and stamps and think they needed cleaning.  And that led me to the chaos of my stamps in general, then to the pile of need-to-mount stamps, and…you get the picture.  Add shopping and skating and some time with DD and it was a fairly non-productive, craft-wise, day.

I DID do the title for the last page.  I love how it turned out.  I first picked the word from a bag of random chipboard letters and stuck them to a bit of paper.



I smeared on some modelling paste then pressed a grid into it.



I picked off the letters and shifted them to a clear spot – I didn’t want the overspill paste to dry and the letters to stick…



Propping them up I sprayed with spray ink, dripped on some acrylic ink, etc and let them dry



and stuck them on.  Yummy. I think it really balances and finishes the page off nicely.


It MIGHT benefit from a bit more ink or spray ink under the title but I’m not sure.  I may think on it….

Now a few WOYWW return visits to finish up then on to the next one.




More Gelli stamping

I wanted to play a bit more with the Gelli-as-stamp idea and as they have a challenge giveaway at Gelli Arts I thought why not?

Most of the background had other methods of applying paint, but when it came to adding the key image, well that had to be the Gelli-as-stamp.



The background is A4 in size, so fits neither the 8×10 plate or the 6×6 one perfectly.  For easy of use and the size of the image I wanted to add I used the 6×6.

I stuck the plate to a large acrylic plate (yep.  Found ’em)


I mixed a bit of glaze medium with the paint first, to increase the open time.


Rolled it onto the plate and created the detail of the print on it.



As I mentioned yesterday, I feel the paint removal techniques are where this technique really comes in to its own. Now with the mask removed all I had on the plate was my heart.



I hovered over the plate, deciding exactly where it looked best.  It wasn’t exactly where I first thought, so this helped me place it better.



I did a second heart, darker purple, and again, I was able to put it right where it needed to be without trying to peep under the paper, had I done it the usual way.



The glaze medium left the hearts semi-sheer but for the last one I wanted it to be more opaque.  It was fine, as I knew exactly where I wanted it to go so I could stamp it pretty quickly.  I rolled on some liquid paint and added the mask, then bounced a metal ruler (not TOO hard) over it.

8heartgelliLooks ok but when I stamped it…



then checked out the print, OMG!  Such a simple thing but I do love the effect, esp. of the purples showing thru.



I did a few more things to it, but maybe stopping here might have been better. Anyway here is thew whole thing.



All a bit chaotic but certainly colourful.

I also think that the Gelli-stamp idea is a good one to be able to print on a larger sheet.  I can see using the plate as a stamp on a LARGE sheet of paper, but not overlapping and printing random (square or rectangular) areas, but doing more intentional printing.  I do know I’ll do it again.  Might even try the larger plate just to see what happens.





Journal done

I finished and it worked out fairly well.  who am I kidding?  I’m over the moon with it.

I sewed the signatures to the spine – I won’t know until I actually use it how effective and sturdy that will be!  I did one signature with a small stitch and one with a bit longer one – I worry that the small stitch will be too weak and in future I think I might use the clear nylon thread or thicker linen thread.  What can I do but use it and see what happens?

There is very little gap between the signatures – I marked and clamped it all carefully to try to keep it all straight.



And the signatures open nicely and pretty flat – certainly at least as flat as a moleskin journal



You can see the stitching but it’s not obtrusive IYKWIM

Cutting the cover pieces to fit was simple enough – I cut the two areas I liked best to size, and stuck the spine to them, front and back, then stuck the leftover bits (just a bit too small widthwise) to sandwich



I added a strip of the bags left over when I trimmed them to size, over the bare bit, both to reinforce it and to cover the gap.


I pressed some drywall tape into gold paint on the Gelli plate.  I often use my smaller Gelli plate as a sort of stamp pad, for lack of a better word.  I find the giving nature of the surface and the fact the paint does stay damp for a bit, works really well  to press in a stamp, get good cover on it, and then stamp. So I thought this would work with the drywall tape.  It did, but to be honest I’m not sure just brayering the paint on wouldn’t have worked equally as well. 

5PBAJmoreI Covered the spine with a bit of the brown bag then layered the gold drywall tape over that. The adhesive on it is not that strong, so I may end up adding a layer of acrylic medium over it – in fact I may end up doing the whole cover, just to make it waterproof too.



I one sense I am dying to get some paint into it, but in another I am scared stiff to mess it up.  I just gotta let go, I think, and have at it!




Ink jet acrylic medium sealing without a Gelli plate

NOTE:  Just to be sure I asked the Gelli Arts folk about the baby oil trick and they said:

Gelli Arts – Gel Printing Plate yes! baby oil is fine on the Gelli plate and yes – it does remove much of the deeply ingrained color. Thanks for sharing your great results and the fun video!!
 On to new stuff then….

As I suspected, it is possible to use the acrylic medium sealing of ink jet prints technique WITHOUT a Gelli Plate.

There are issues – it is not as smooth an application, it uses a bit more medium than the Gelli plate would, and the wiggle-risk is greater, but on the flip side it does give a (perhaps?) more interesting texture to the sealed piece than the super smooth Gelli plate version.

I am pretty sure I mentioned I felt this would work, so really, having said that I just had to give it a go, didn’t I?

I just grabbed a small piece of Fun Foam – these are 6 x 8.5 inch pieces that I got in a big pack for pence – and brayered on the acrylic medium.  It sits on the surface a bit better than plain acrylic paint does but you still need to be a bit generous.


As with the plate, lay the printed piece printed side down into the medium.  I didn’t leave the extra at one side to make peel off easier and regretted it! But as you can do a transfer of ink jet prints with acrylic medium it won’t surprise you that some of the ink transfers to the foam “plate!” This is a character from a font – love him


the lines on his belly are part of the print – either in the actually character or due to my printer – but def. NOT a smear from the transfer. You can just see the ghost of it on the foam


For the text sample you can see it a lot more clearly, and I hope you can see the texture of the medium better too



So there you go – while I would always say the plate is BETTER than the foam, the foam will work in a pinch!

With either, you can always let the medium dry then do a second coat – that’ll make the paper thicker and stiffer, which may be useful for some applications.

DS is nearly healed from the wisdom tooth surgery and demanding “special” meals before he heads back to Uni (chicken with walnut and whiskey cream sauce and enchiladas so far, with 7-layer bars to take home with him) so shopping is top of my list today, right after I get back to a few WOYWW return visits.




Just some more Gelli sealing samples

I did a little YouTube slideshow thingie with a few more samples of sealing ink jet prints with the Gelli Plate and acrylic medium.  It’s such a good way to bring printed stuff to mixed media art – or at least I think it is.

I find that a quick blast of the heat gun – or waiting till the ink jet prints are very very dry – helps a bit too.  I think this will depend on what printer you have and the inks it uses.  I can’t test anything other than mine, which is a Canon with compatible inks, so I would ALWAYS advise you to test it first, as I did, with throwaway pieces, to make darn SURE than they aren’t going to smear.  To be fair, over a busy background a little smearing isn’t going to matter a lot, but on white or light backgrounds you could notice it more.

Not sure how well this will show, but this is an image over just plain old white card.  There was virtually no smear at all.

sealedsamplesThis is another – here is the beginning image, just printed and sealed so you can see the ink jet ink outlines looking pretty pristine:


Here it is coloured with Pitt brush pens and affixed to the random Gelli print background with acrylic medium – I did try a print on Deli paper, which I do NOT deem a success, as the ink did smear and sealing it kept the Deli paper from “disappearing” into the background.  It’s a bit better on the lighter area than the darker but not consistent enough for me to endorse it.


Here is just an image left white – again you see no smearing with the medium brushed under and over:


And finally, another image, also with Pitt Pens brushed on then smudged over the print. This one is cut out.


The YT thing doesn’t really have a lot more info in it, except this bit: what is important is that the plate be very clean when you brayer on the medium.  Any residual paint is going to get picked up in the medium.  Look at this – this plate was well cleaned with hand sanitizer. I wiped over it with a baby wipe at the end – it looks clean doesn’t it?


Not one bit of colour on that wipe.  BUT if you add a few drops of Baby Oil and massage that into the plate, guess what?



Yep.  ALL THAT COLOUR pulled off the plate with a clean baby wipe.  Once you massage i the oil and wipe it away a wipe of the plate reveals it is TRULY clean.


Now, I am sure I recall something on the Gelli Arts site saying you can oil the plate with mineral oil.  But I also know that I have been using Baby Oil for months with no problems.  And in fact, as I have mentioned in the past, oiling it actually improves the pulling of prints – they sometimes seem to stick harder to the plate and a quick oil makes them glide off.  No issue with colour change or oily residue that I can see so long as you massage it in well.  But if you doubt it, don’t do it.  I’m happy to risk my plate having some problem down the line but not willing to say unequivocally This is OK to do and risk yours.

I’ll embed the video just in case you land here without having seen any other posts so you don’t have to hunt for it, but you wont miss much if you don’t bother to watch it!



Weirdest Gelli plate usage!

This is very odd indeed.

So I was playing with the Pan Pastels, wanting to try out a couple of things.  I was experimenting with a sort of ghost print idea, using the acrylic medium and pressing a thick letter stencil to the plate then pulling a print, it to see what sort of effect that gave me over the Pan Pastels.  Not anything special.  But I had a thought – could not the acrylic medium be used as a sort of fixative for the Pan Pastels?  And could the Gelli Plate be used as the application tool?

I’ll preface this all by saying that I’m not sure it is a superior method to some sort of spray fixative – unless the whole spray thing is something you avoid – but it is an option.  Let me explain.

I first added the Pan Pastels to a tag, just the usual sponge technique



Then I used the stencil to smudge thru more pastels

2weirdgelliI loaded the Gelli Plate with acrylic medium, a fairly thin coat, maybe the size of a large pea over the 6 x 6 plate, with the brayer



then I pressed the tag onto that.  Like with the experiment yesterday, the medium traps the pastels, fixing them.  Then I did another stencil layer with a different colour and sealed that.

4weirdgelliThere is a matte sheen to the surface that I am pretty sure this won’t capture:

5weirdgelliMaybe a bit.  Anyway THAT gave me another idea! I am frustrated by the fact I often want to add text to things and what I have is an inkjet printer.  Printed text smears when you apply acrylic medium over it.  Yet I would want to seal the text, or maybe choose to use a printed image, for example, then seal it.



Rubbish, hummm? Well I thought that perhaps using the Gelli plate to apply the medium over text would seal it without the smearing…and ya know what?  I does!

7weirdgelliSame process.  Just print the text, apply the acrylic medium to the Gelli plate, then carefully press the text down on to the plate.  when you pull it off, the text is sealed. Try not to wiggle it about, which WILL smear the text – although that does give a kinda cool, almost shadowed look to it, that is better than the smeared look if you brush the medium over it.  It’s a bit like a halo, but more as if you shaded the text with Copics, I think, than it bled, as the shading is in the SAME position, not uniformly all around the letters.  Can you see it is really only at the TOP, and more at the end of the words?


Now, I added some of the Signo white pen and it was ages till I brushed over it.  I didn’t expect it to smear, but it did.  I suspect that as it was the pen over the medium, that might be why.



See the smear there under BREATHE? I simply added a bit more medium to the plate, pressed the half of the tag I’d not yet worked on to it, let it dry, then carried on with the last bit f text.  And look, Ma, no more smears! You can see the brush strokes, but the paint around the Q is smear free.


So the question becomes is it worth it?  More worth it than some other sort of fixative?  Well, I would say if you hate, or are affected by, spray fixative, or if it is miserable and rainy outside and you can’t get to a “well-ventilated area” or if you just don’t have any fixative handy, using acrylic medium and the Gelli plate to apply a fixative to a SMALL piece is an option.  I will def. use it for text from my ink jet printer in the future!

A few notes.  Do make sure your plate is scrupulously clean, and your brayer, and in fact the application tool for the medium, be that brush or tube nozzle.  On white card, every little smudge or dot of ANYTHING is going to show.  You might like that.  I think you could easily add Distress Ink to age the paper first, then print the text over it, then seal it.  That would keep the DI from remaining water-reactive, if you needed it to be.  And it is completely useless, to my mind, for BIG pieces.  I don’t think you would want to seal a large canvas this way.  BUT it does let you seal small bits, then layer them on without the fear of the smear, so you should be able to then use acrylic medium over the whole of the piece.  For me, this is a quick and easy solution for no-smear inkjet text, and for THAT, I am doing the happy dance.












Crafty resolutions?

My track record with crafty resolutions is poor.  But one that I always make and one that I kind-of stick to most years, is to make an effort to bring stuff I own into my daily craft work, and to not let new stuff languish on the shelf.  With that in mind I had a go at a technique that I’ve done before but tried to expand it.

One of the more pricey supplies I have is Pan Pastels.  I love the smooth coverage they give but hate the fact they rub off unless you seal them.  But I’m not willing to just keep ignoring them because of that.  I had done a little sample with the pastels, acrylic medium, and Gelli printing before so I though I would play around with layering and see what happened.

First, I experimented with different wipe-off techniques.  The basic process is:

  • Cover the paper with Pan Pastels
  • load the Gelli plate with acrylic medium – thinner coat is faster to dry!
  • cover the plate with stencil or mask and pull the print thru the stencil.


The medium traps the pastel but everything else can be whisked away. I used an eraser before but wanted to see what else worked.




The paper towel leave a bare hint of colour, sort of a two-tone effect, that I really liked.  The eraser totally removes the colour not trapped under the medium, so the paper is nearly white.  The baby wipe is too wet and makes the paper fuzzy.  Better cardstock might produce a better effect.

So I tried layering a series of stencils working from light to dark, yellow, orange then red.



I think that is actually the yellow layer after the first stencil pull, with the orange over it. Then a second stencil pull and rub off the excess:


then a third colour and stencil:



You can see the yellow background, the darker swirl, and the red surround. with each layer of pastels, a bit of the new colour will cling to the medium, even if it is super dry, but you still get the light to dark working pretty well.  I do think colour choice is important for multiple layers but will have to play a bit more to see if there are “rules” I can keep in mind to ensure the best possible outcome in future.

So I then had a look at what was on my desk.  First off, a little handful of goodies I grabbed with a Paperchase gift card DH and DD gave me for my birthday back in November:



Adorable little stamps and a real find – the Uniball Signo pens at 3 for £5! Total bargain. The stamps were under £4 for the set.

So I assembled a bunch of stuff and made a quickie ATC to remind me what the new year should bring:



  • a freebie stamp from Craft Stamper (I often like them but never seem to use them.  Why not?
  • my Staedtler pseudo-Gelatos
  • an old stencil
  • Clearly Better ink for clear stamps.  I adore this stuff, it is truly CLEARLY BETTER, but I can’t seem to find it anymore.  Why not? It is fab and no pre-prep of clear stamps needed to get a really good impression
  • that Signo pen
  • the Pan Pastels
  • the Gelli plate

and the ATC made with the experiment a little closer:



LOL!  DH will tell me my New Year’s Resolution SHOULD be to take better photos, but to be honest as long as they communicate the info, I just whack ’em up here.  Perhaps had I planned the thing better I would have left more space for the stamp, but to be honest I had a few to choose from and while the image on this one ended up being the one I liked best, it fit least well in the space I left.

Now I feel very virtuous, having used both NEW and OLD items.  If I can only stick to it….