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ICADs Six and Seven

True to my word!

Card Six – I had a thought about the Pearl-Ex that I used a lot for Image transfer with the gel plate. I went a slightly different way, and am happy it (mostly) worked.

I started Pearl-Ex covering my 3×5 gel plate. I then used an embossing folder and white paint (on the bumpy-out side) to press the design into the Pearl-Ex. Once dry (mostly – I rushed it a bit) I used gloss medium to pull the print on the index card, which was covered in that cheap Amazon packing paper.

Super grungy and very old-crumbling-walls, isn’t it? I had to add some words and when my eye fell on this little dude (Teesha) it seemed to fit – as did the words. Not Pushing the Envelope, but …

Card 7 – Wanted a simple one for this, but interesting enough and using a long forgotten supply, if possible. Yeah. Not as simple as I originally planned. Not difficult, just not a 5-minute card.

I began with a bit of embossed cardstock that was hanging around my desk. I remember doing something with Gloss Sprays and gloss medium, but the iridescent medium was closer to hand. Using a kind of combo of pressing the (deep) embossing into the gel plate and also running the brayer loaded with the medium over the top, I tried to coat just the top of the embossed areas. Not a total success but not awful either.

I went to my spray box and did the usual gloss spray thing – spray roll off with paper towel, spray more…

Then I wiped off the gloss spray from the areas coated with the medium and added a couple of altered phrases to finish it off. Stuck it to the index card.

Like this one a lot. I really need to figure out how to make the multiple-card posts not so long.

I am also still doing lots of digital designing but just finding it hard to fit that in as well so if that is what you like, maybe pop on to Creative Fabrica to see what I’ve been up to? Downloads are free if you happen to be a subscriber but there is a whole lot there I just haven’t been able to squeeze in here. If you DO want to subscribe and you do so from this link, I think maybe I get something from it? LOL! Not even sure about that. I am really fond of this kit, as it is not just flowers and butterflies but still nicely vintage – I always try to bring something a little different to my designs.

Well that got long …. AGAIN!

Maybe you will see me Sunday for a full catch up to where I should be on the ICADs. Fingers crossed.


WOYWW 731 – challenges and whatnot

Happy desk hopping day! Well, not quite!an odd night before post from Julia so…

All my trades have been received and my mailbox is a bit mournful there will not be pretty ATCs flooding in. Ah well.

My desk is in chaos, after doing so much that has been only digital, as I am doing (hands up if you are too) Index Card A Day for the first time. I have seen it for years, but never in the right head space to take on another challenge. This is the year!! I have shared the first four over the last couple of posts and five (actually Monday’s card) here, and will hope to catch up so I am always sharing the previous day’s card by Friday. My desk reflects the chaos of actual rather than digital art LOL!


Poppy is a sweetie. She has been happy enough being an inside cat, but it is a bit unfair for us to be out enjoying the sunshine and keeping her in. While I would love to let her roam free our garden is in no way secure and it is just too dangerous around here. We are working on a proper Catio for her but for now, she adores this little pen. She goes in to it every time she wants to go out, we zip up the door, put it on it’s side, and she walks out like she is in a huge hamster wheel! She sits, she sniffs the air, listens to the birds, and sometimes lays down for a little snooze in the sun. I can slip in a bowl of water for her without letting her escape – not that she tries.

None of that “Cats need to be free to roam” please. I would let her if there was a way to keep her safe. This is temporary, and better than never letting her outside. Compromise the the word!

So, enough of that – on to the Monday ICAD. I stumbled across the stencil I made with “mark making” designs on it and wanted to use it. I had mopped up the DO inks when making the previous card so I thought I would make it easy on myself and use that one.

But I also realized what had been bothering me about the cards – no words! I mean they are really mini art journal pages, right? And I struggle to think of a page I ever did that did not have at least a single word on it! Ta da!

Happy now…and Happy WOYWW!


ICAD – days two to four

Card two- I have been chatting with Angela of Crafting with Jack, a WOYWW mate. We seem to share some interests an it’s been fun. We are both doing ICAD and I had mentioned something I did a long time ago, Looking back at the post gave me some ideas. I began with a bit of collage. Turns out I was wrong about my index cards, they are NOT blank on one side. DOH! Anyway I used a bit of paper that I had rolled some white paint on to build the base. Then I used my not-gelatos-but-like-them to outline the paper edges.

I had an idea to scribble some of the gel on my glass mat and use it thru a stencil. It worked great – I love the particular effect, so different to paint, more like a dried out ink pad.

I also tried scribbling on a stamp, and that worked too. Not with water, just rubbing the gel onto the stamp. Added some circles and done!

Card three – Wanted to try some recently bought washi tape and a deep embossing folder. Crikey it was tricky to get it to go thru the machine I had out. Tricky working out the sandwich. Anyway, it needs…something. Not sure what.

Card four – Really liked this one. Went back to those shiny Ikea paper rulers they have to tear off. The shiny part was what appealed. I did another collage using them the did the Distress Oxides over top

It ended up really nice – after I rubbed a bit of Vaseline over to bring the colours up a bit. Used this trick often, but usually with a stencil on photo paper or some other shiny paper. I liked how the various levels of the collage caught the DO but think maybe the black (paint this time!) might be too bold and stark. Still, interesting experiment.

Still running a day or two behind but I want to get WOYWW out of the way without needing to add multiple cards, and then I should catch up!


2024 Doily Calendar- 3×4 cards and Onesheet

Here is your heads up – 2024 is a LEAP YEAR. I meant to mention it when I posted the first one, but forgot.

I have been beavering away on my calendars, making little adjustments that I hope will be useful. I am trying to focus on the calendars that I know people want and not wasting a lot of time making…speculative ones that may or may NOT be embraced. I have already done the most popular, the Pretty Circle CD one (find it for free here) and am now adding the next most popular, the Doily calendar. This time I am adding both the 3×4 cards and the onesheet in a single post.

Hard to see in the small sample size, but I did add this is a leap year just under the 2024 on the onesheet. Nice that it ends up centered over February, the month effected!

The onesheet version is here

The 3×4 card version is here

I have also been beavering away on my ICADs. I’ve done the four between 1 June and today. Here is the first one, which I kinda envision as a “cover,” if you will.

Mixed success on that one. I wanted to go back to the neurographic art but incorporate the words, like I did here:

The index card is a LOT smaller than that piece, and I used a thicker Micron pen so the curved areas were tricky to keep small. AND the paper of the index cards is crappy, so the watercolour markers did not perform as well as they do on watercolour paper. Imagine that…. DOH! I got annoyed and then lazy and I think there is just too much pink. I might go over the pink in the circle maybe with orange and see if I can alter it. Maybe.

I will share the rest of them tomorrow as there is a bit to say about each one and I don’t want the posts to be massive. I expect I will catch up at some point soon, where I am sharing the previous day’s cards. I do like these sorts of challenges and am getting better at sticking to them. I always seem to add in an additional layer for myself and in this case, just not buying anything especially for the challenge, and trying to:

  • revisit techniques I have not done in ages
  • use products I own but have been underutilized

I am not insisting this apply to every card, just that it should be the overarching theme of it all for me.

Seems like it got long anyway.

Watch for the DIY calendar coming soon. I made a small improvement that I think those who love that decorate-it-yourself one will like!

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Finally managed the colour challenge!

OK so this is late being posted, although I did create it in February…just! I had the cardstock being used set up for WOYWW but the page was completed before the stroke of midnight LOL! The PM Artist Studio FB group posts a colour challenge each month. February’s was Prussian Blue and Yellow. Challenging indeed.

I tried to capture the steps, kinda. First layers:

Lots of yellows to block out the ugly cardstock design. Then more layers using a few home cut stencils

Layering lights and darks to lift it a bit with a touch of metallic

Big Bold Text (love that always) first in black then some yellow ones, and paint spatters to help incorporate the big letters better

and finally a scan of the final sheet. always captures the essence of it better than a photo

I wish the yellows were a bit brighter, but my brightest yellow is quite transparent. Maybe adding white to it would have helped? An experiment for another day!


First Card. Forst of a few or first of many?

I have never been one to send out stacks of cards. I just never really go into the habit of it and carried on the same. Recently, I feel the draw of holiday cardmaking more than before. I have a small (and I mean very small, probably less than 10 people) list that is 90% family (and not even all of them) and a couple very very close friends. So the cards from my one masterboard will probably make 80% of the cards I need. The design is pretty simple, but with a lot of parts.

The card bases I have that I want to use up are actually embossed with a large rectangle in the middle. I am covering that with a bit of the W-on-W sheet

The sentiment is a die cut from a sheet of cardstock covered in sparkly gold tissue.

The tag has some gold stenciling then is topped with a couple of stars. The smaller stars are hand cut using the same stencil as the stars on the masterboard and the bigger ones are a punch.

That goes on top of the card front and… Ta Da!

I really like it, and while it is perhaps more time-consuming than is ideal for someone making 50+ cards, for someone making 10, it isn’t so bad.

I am still hoping to experiment with my scan, to see if I can print something that looks decent enough and embellish it. I don’t have enough of the sparkly paper the stars are cut from to make a lot more, so I need to consider altering the design. I might hold that for the weekend, and work on that long sheet of packaging paper. Still not sure what to make of it but something will reveal itself at some point – or someone will suggest something and I will slap my forehead and say Of course!

Collaborative projects are so much fun ….



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…

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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…

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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.