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Bamboo pen for ink scribbling

About those scribbled circles…I love to be able to combine things when I can, so I am taking something I saw in a class (Kate Crane on FB – highly recommend the class but not the platform!) for markmaking. Now, I may be totally off on this, as she didn’t really teach it as part of the class – or at least not what I have watched so far) but the visual was enough for me. The Hubster has some bamboo plant stakes in the garden, and while (from what I recall) Kate mentions “a reed” I thought I would try using what I had. So I snipped off a bit from one of the stakes, and found my little hacksaw. It is a point of contention that I can never find tools in his workbench room so I have a small toolbox with smaller duplicates of things I use often (pliers, hammer, a small set of Muji screwdrivers, a hand cranked drill, box cutter and a hacksaw) that I know I can always find.

Used an old block so I didn’t hack into my desk and

Ta da! Well, kinda. So the way I cut it, the pointy one, which is the one I thought would work better, is stubby. Harumph. I worked on the rounded one a bit with an emery board but then I had an idea. I jammed a paintbrush with crappy bristles into the end and Ta Da again! Sorry for the unfocused blurry photo but you get the idea!

And most interesting, I possible didn’t really need to worry, because both ends work about the same. Maybe the pointy one gives arks that are a bit finer, but not significantly. And ink works pretty much the same as thinned down acrylic paint, so all good there.

I didn’t really explain the circular scribbles from the collages so I will now. After scribbling a circle (or after punching a hole, then scribbling a circle – I did both) I cut the outside edge of the scribble so I had a slightly organic shape. Then I was able to use my micro-tip scissors to cut inside the circle as well.

I love the effect and have made a pile to add to my collage fodder keeper! You can look back and see them on the collages.

You can see, in one of the photos above, my little card-box lurking there, all but screaming “FINISH ME!” and yet I don’t want to work on it and mess it up. Argh! Maybe I will have a solution over the weekend. Here’s hoping.


Fodder Keeper, surprise additions!

You will have to look back a day to see my version of a fodder keeper. I snapped another photo of the in-&-out wrapping of the long elastic from the name badges to give you a better idea of how this bit works.

After stripping the elastic from the badges, I had all these little sleeves left. Too good to waste and a perfect size!

I joined them in pairs, using first metal tape and them some washi. Again, using stuff up…

I punched a half-circle for easier access into the sleeve. Each page has three distinct areas of elastic at the spine.

And that area was PERFECT to slip in one of these little bi-fold sleeves – or even two!

And here is another surprise – one of the Challenge classes was making a mini-fodder keeper (which I think I showed here a couple of weeks back) and it ALSO slips inside that elastic to add to the space in the book!

And even with all that, and with a lot of fodder inside already, there is still room for it to grow.

I am pretty happy with this for sure. Are there things I would improve? Of COURSE there are – I mean this is me, after all. But it does what it is meant to do, and even without the badges I could totally recreate it by using elastic on a roll, then creating the bi-fold extra pockets from page protectors cut to size.

How it compares to the original I don’t know, but it sure suits me down to the ground.

Cannot BELIEVE it’s already WOYWW day tomorrow. and I think my desk might actually be tidy for a change. Check back to see….


My version of a Fodder Keeper

Although I enjoyed the Fodder Challenge, I let time get away from me and missed the discount days. Knowing my struggle with completing classes that isn’t an altogether bad thing, I guess. I saw a few versions of a fodder keeper book (perhaps from a class, maybe even from last year? Not sure) and decided it would suit my needs so I decided to figure one out. I THINK the original is constructed from chipboard, or the like, but I had an old book that has been kicking around for YEARS that was JUST the right size. I am on a mission to use things I have so…

I grabber the stack of papers I dyed … last year maybe? and some old US letter-sized page protectors. Useless, and yet I hold on to them. No more

After trimming off the strip with the holes and trimming the overhang, I used my Stabilo All pencil to mark where I wanted to sew to create some pockets. I folded and arranged each sheet

and cut a curve in some where I wanted the page split into stacked pockets, just for easy access

and trundled over to my sewing machine. After sewing all the pockets with the thread in my machine (grey – and I think I like it better than I would have black)

I cut the guts out of the book and covered it with some gel prints from a week or so ago. Just random play.

And when it came to the spine, and adding in the pages, I had a bit of a brainstorm. I have this box of name-tag/badge holders and I thought I could use them in a couple of ways. First, I used the elastic to make a sort of Traveller’s Journal style arrangement, where the folded sheets would slip under the elastic. I like that as it would mean they were removable.

I wasnot keen on the messy spine, so I threaded both ends thru some large-hole beads. Not perfect, but OK and decorative, I guess.

The length of the elastic from the badges was pretty long, and the little metal tips made threading them super easy. They went from inside out of the top and bottom holes, then came in from the outside (bottom thru top, top thru bottom) then both out the middle holes in the centre of the page protector and the middle of the book spine! This presented me with a great extra place to add something unexpected. TWO somethings, actually, but that will have to wait for tomorrow. I have to sort out the best what to photograph it so it makes sense.


My little Collage Fodder book

The Fodder Challenge freebie taster session is still going on, but not for much longer. This little pocket fodder book was one of the lessons and quite easy to make. I went off piste, as is my way, and sorted out a slightly different way to make it, to be able to use a full A4 gel plate pull (from the Quad of Collages lesson) and some bits, rather than the larger piece required from the class. This is your basic flutter book, with a fold-over that makes a pocket. I have seen this before, which is why I didn’t feel the need to follow the class precisely, to understand the process.

What is in it at the moment are some bits of text snipped from a magazine. I often see interesting bits in various places and I really like to save them. More often than not they get thrown in a pot with sentiments or printed and cut words and phrases, but now I have the perfect place to stash them and keep them nice. You won’t believe where I found them!

Yep. One of the freebie Waitrose mags had 4 or 5 pages of interesting phrases, mantras by “famous people” that I thought could be used in my Journal Petite or on another art journal page.

Not all of them fit perfectly, but they can all be trimmed into words or shorter phrases to fit. Cute, humm? I plan on making a larger version and if I can streamline the process and make it work (easily) for a variety of sizes I’ll share. I think a larger version would be handy for keeping little bits in one place. And I have some ideas for using some mop up sheets or making a collage of gel plate pulls that might be interesting. We’ll see. It’ll alllll depend on Mr. Sun and the temp in my room!

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Collage Fodder paper weaving

So this was a bit of a blast from the past. The next lesson I did was Paper Weaving with Rebecca Sower. Yep. The same scrapbooking Rebecca Sower. I always liked her style so it was lovely to see her name again.

Paper weaving is pretty much as you would expect, and I had done it before, so while there were a few tips & tricks in the lesson, it wasn’t earthshaking IYKWIM. My sample was made from a few gel prints that I didn’t use from the first lesson and a few mop up sheets. It was nice. I like it.

I had the idea to cut it in a circle. I did. It only took a daub of glue under a few key pieces to really secure the whole thing.

She shows her sample in a frame, either mounted on a background and matted or kind of floating in the frame, I think. What I really want to try is cutting another smaller circle (just a bit smaller) thm mounting that within the waste bit from the first circle cut. I think that might look cool, especially on different levels. I’ll play with it and if I make it into a final piece I will def. share it. But that wasn’t enough! I saw something about Op Art paper weaving so I had to have a go at that as well! I used mop up sheet and a rather uninspiring gel print that was very high contrast to the mop up. I ended up with this, which I also like. Might be nice covering a small journal, maybe.

The process is not really very different, although you make the cuts by folding the base sheet in half and making the wonky cuts without cutting thru the edges. Then you do the weaving. As this already has a fold in the middle, it would seem to naturally create a cover. Something I def. want to play around with – there are loads of variations on simple under-over paper weaving that would be super fun to play with! I think one of the upcoming lessons is a small book of some kind. It might be quite interesting to create a book but somehow use the class samples as the interior. I’ll think on that and see.


Loads of Gel plate prints and a little collage set

Well. One of the collage fodder classes is Gelli Prints to Finished Art Pieces with Drew Steinbrecher and (cause I am a rebel) I skipped over the first lesson to do this one next. When I know there is a time limit, I tend to either quickly watch all the lessons on 2 x speed (just to get a sense of what it is) then go back and really watch the ones that interest me most – that way if I run out of time fore a limited taster, I get to see the things I am MOST likely to do. This one I just went right to it and it was good.

I made a LOT of prints, just playing around, and also did some mark making with a chisel tip Sharpie, just trying to see how many different marks I could make with just that one pen. That was fun.

Then I made the single sheet collage and cut it into the four quadrants. I liked them!

I added a bunch of things, including the mark-making sheets and some circles and the waste from cutting them and…

drying by the window

The class was lots of fun and I enjoyed it. But as usual I am not sure what to do with them now. I would need a LOT more wall space to display all of the things I make…. Oh well, I learned a bit and had fun so it’s ALL GOOD…