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?

Leave a comment

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!

Leave a comment

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!

Leave a comment

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…..

1 Comment

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.


Tag Play

I am trying to remember to make the first image the one that matters most. Seems weird to do it this way but I hear it is what people prefer. Who am I to argue? My final tags:

I was hunting thru some small drawer units and found my stash of cheap luggage tags and decided to have a play. I grabbed a selection of things to play with, including s limited colour palette of acrylic paint…

and a few more tools as well.

There is a RubberMoon stamp, a dip-pen, some cheap acrylic ink sprays from Lidl, some of my deli-paper masterboard, some ancient rub-ons, and a little tiny stapler from Tiger. THAT came in a little set tat cost me about £3, if I remember right – the Tiny Attacher is about £15. OK, to be fair it is more robust, and has a greater throat depth so you can staple further from the edge of whatever, but at that much higher price point. My tiny stapler worked great for what I was doing. The brush made me laugh – it’s from Lowes so it has to be at least 27 years old. The scraper is branded CRAYOLA, so also from when the kids were small. The LIDL spray is great, very richly pigmented, and I think the box of four was maybe £5 or so. Th spray nozzles clog quick but not if you clear them with water every time you finish a session using them. They work fab with the dip pen. Oh and also a scrap of plastic bag. I saw an artist on YouTube called Dan Tirels who paints entirely using plastic bags on some of his pieces. It amazed me. An ink pad and a pen. I started by swiping on some colour

then switched to the dry brush for the next colour

and finally had a go at stamping with the plastic bag.

I think the impact of that is hard to see but it is an interesting technique that bears exploring. Next, I stamped the swirl stamp, changing the orientation and placement

and then grabbed my big deli-paper masterboard thingie and chopped off a couple of strips to use for collage – I stack some bits on with glue and some I stapled with my tiny stapler. A few swipes and outlines with the dip pen and the Micron pen and…

Oh yes, forgot the rub-ons – no real rhyme nor reason to the selection of the placement. A close up here to save you scrolling back to the top:

I quite like them, and it was just the playful session I needed. Now I just need to figure a way to use them as a page focal point. But that is a play for another day.

After a hard week of early morning travel and a thumping headache from the fast infusion, I might just take the weekend off. This is my last pre-loaded post so if I go missing it’s just cause I am resting up and taking it easy for a bit.


Old blog posts and when they spark an idea

I had a comment and a flurry of hits on an old post about adding gilding flakes to embossing paste. You can read it here. Sometimes, I forget something I blogged about years ago, and follow a link back to my own blog to see what I said. Old age is creeping in, but at least I recognize it was ME that said it, so it could be worse!

That idea totally sparked the idea to use something else I realized I have quite a lot of an nearly never use. Embossing powders. I have a drawer full of them:

And I found it interesting that some of them still have a price tag on them!

MJD – or MJ Designs, was owned by one of some number of brothers (three, I think, one owned Micheal’s, maybe still does!) and went out of business in 2003 – the price tag is dated 1997! At least one of the other pots still had the shrinkwrap on it. DOH! I painted the page with some watery acrylic paint in pinks and blues, pale colours made paler by watering them down and NOT colours I would usually pick. Hummm. seems I added the blue after the modelling paste and embossing. Whatever. Here is a process shot – I didn’t do a very good job of capturing every step this page.

I picked two colours, a Claret Tapestry and a Worn Lipstick Distress powder – they work well together, I think

I found it a challenge to know when they had embossed, given they don’t go SHINY per se, but you can just see the change in a ray of light:

THEN I added the pale blue and lots of water. The embossing resists the paint but it pools a bit in the craters and valleys of the embossing.

More water spray, some drippage, and un-filmed steps of background stamping…. Will do better.

I found a stamp with a quote I liked (stamp by Teesha, quote by Andy Warhol) and stamped then embossed it (in for a penny….) and dulled the extreme shine slightly by brushing matte gel medium over it, which worked better than I thought it might.

I stamped another Teesha image, and puled together some of the black embellishments from my vintage box of yesterday and eventually got to here:

I love the double circle stamp, which is the roll from the tape I used when wrapping Christmas presents! Quite glad I noticed it’s uniqueness before I binned it LOL! A close up:

The attribution to Warhol was on the stamp but when embossed it turned into a block of shiny black. Oh well. I will go back and add a date stamp – I have one, I used to do it on every page, but lately I have been forgetting. I really love this page, despite it being in colours I wouldn’t normally use. I am totally going to figure out how to pry off that slightly wonky don’t and re-set it! It’s buggin’ me.

30 hours to go, give or take. WOYWW tomorrow!

Leave a comment

Unearthed art!

Another brain dump, I’m afraid. I’ll share the unearthed art first then you can skip the blather if you like.

I was working on a page, which I thought I had a clear vision for, but it went haywire. I pulled out a box marked VINTAGE on the side and flipped open the lid to find:

I suppose you might think that the little piece in the upper right corner of the box was also unearthed art, and I would agree. It has been set aside for a jump-start for another page! But the real surprise was this piece:

What a surprise it was! I don’t even remember when I made it – It would have had to have been for one of the Stampotique Challenges I am sure, and maybe even a cross-challenge with Graphics Fairy. I could go back and do the research, but won’t. Suffice it to say that it was a LONG time ago.

Once I got over the surprise of finding not one, but TWO completed pieces of art in a random box from my shelves, I started to delve a bit deeper. It was all just overwhelmingly…..brown.

Don’t get me wrong – there was a lot of nice stuff in there, some bits and pieces I 100% know I can use in my journal, but the brown-ness was not fitting my vision of the page. I also found some stuff that surprised me.

There was a fair bit of empty packaging. These are all the cardboard sheets that various embossing folders came packaged with. The colours of the top one and those pinks matched the page I was working on to a T. I wonder how many of the companies represented in this pile o’ stash are still in business? Sorting thru the box, I finally came to a pile of kinda-vintage but not-brown things that I think will work.

And how about that very cool Book Depository free bookmark? Love the imagery on that and I think it could also be a focal point on a new page too! But first I have to finish the page I am working on NOW. And then, if we can make it thru the next 55 hours or so, I can FINALLY finish my Good as Hell page. I really would have liked to add it on WOYWW day but I just cannot take the chance jumping the gun will call down bad karma on the whole thing. I just pray for, finally, a peaceful transfer of power, and look forward to waving BYE, DON! and HELLO JOE!