Leave a comment

Class project…done?

Well, I did embrace the imperfections and pushed on. The carbon paper technique I mentioned yesterday appeared a few more places.

and got more out of whack in the top left. Jeez.

Because the flower was from a book rather than a thin magazine, integrating it with paint was harder. My piece ended up with more colour than the samples by the teacher.

While it is better integrated, it still seems to be more floating on the surface than I’d like it to be. I think a thicker application of paint and more sanding might have helped, but this is still a first attempt at a technique/method very much out of my comfort zone. Will I try it again? Probably. But I really want to focus on the right images and composition. I don’t mind this one, I’m just not sure it says anything. It’s just a little vingette. I like the balance of it, and the composition, mostly, but it isn’t speaking to me. Maybe whispering, not sure. Anyway, I also have the little collage project as well, and really just a couple of weeks of appointments and commitments and deadlines to deal with. When did summer morph from a time when things slowed down into the busiest time of the year??


1 Comment

Progress on the class. Result!

Well, this has been interesting. I decided on a bit of a different approach to the Print & Paint class. Normally, I kinda follow along step by step. This time, instead, I sat and watched all the lessons first. I think it helped me focus, knowing that the end result might be worth the effort. As you will have seen, I collected up a bunch of things

and began trying to make sense of them as a cohesive whole. In the end, this is the basic idea:

There are a couple of interesting items used for the class, the most unusual would be the carbon paper! I really liked that sort of grid made of the pile of…. I think it was ginger, from (what else?) one of the freebie Waitrose magazines. And the teacher made special mention of the unpredictability when using the carbon paper, as you can’t really place the lines you scratch perfectly because you can’t actually see where they will end up thru the paper. And yeah, I certainly found that to be true. I am one who usually likes lines, and straight ones at that (unless they are circles LOL!) so not hitting the grid perfectly should have really irritated me. It kinda didn’t. I am trying to embrace the process. After doing the paint addition and masking out much of the actual images, Iadded some of the carbon paper lines and…

Not perfect but I am taking a moment to embrace the imperfections. I can see me adding in that technique to many projects…partly because you don’t buy just ONE sheet of carbon paper. I have probably 50 to play with!


1 Comment

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.


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…

Leave a comment

ATCs from vintage movie posters – with a modern twist

As I mentioned, I wanted to alter the message of the original postcards from movie posters to offer a more positive spin on them. Some of them just got right up my nose, as we say here in the UK.

As you will have seen the other day, I printed quite a lot of bits of text, played around with so many different versionsof these, and in the end, I still have a LOT of bits left over!

But the cards all turned our pretty well IMHO. I am not sure I want to trade them LOL!

This one had to change as I didn’t really want to focus on the gun. I think I covered it pretty well and like the final version a lot better:

I know they aren’t “arty” in the same way most of my ATCs are, but I do like to mix things up a bit every now and again!

I am really feeling the pull of my art journal lately. I might step over to that one day soon. And I have two or three more KDP notebooks and even a couple of kids books I am finalizing (with help from my sister, and my two nieces, one a writer, one a teacher) so they may seen the light of day one day soon.

I just have too much I want to accomplish and too many drains on my time….


Arty Envelopes to download

My ATCs have begun to land and I am getting a LOT of questions about the envelopes. I thought I would do a post about them again, with some to download, made from freebie images and free digital papers.

The thing is this – the program I use to do this kind of work (and by the way, the book folding templates) is no longer supported. The Mac mini I use is from 2009 and while it is not the last one this program will work on, the new ones running Big Sur break the Intaglio completely. So I am nursing the poor thing along, doing frequent back-ups, and hoping it stays healthy. So while I COULD explain how I do these, there is little point. I have downloaded a few potential replacements and frankly none of them work as well as Intaglio.

Here are the ones I made. Clicking this link will download all four but you can print just the one you want if you select that page and print only the selected page.

And this one, which I like a lot.

The original files were pretty massive, so this PDF has been reduced using a Quartz filter. If the images are less that crystal clear and crisp, it was either that or a 30+mb file to download and stored on my blog. Trade-offs, ya know?

The images came from a variety of places. The quirky face is from CraftyHodges on YouTube, who I have linked to before. She has a number of downloads that would work very well for the sort of low-tech solution I will walk you thru, and I will use one of her sets to shoe the steps. The crazy cat dressed as Brunhilde comes from a free image collection from the Library Of Congress. The butterfly is from The Vintage Moth – old site, but still with some nice images. The lovely face is from Freepik, which is a site I have a paid membership to so am able to use and share the images without copyright concerns. I think the digital papers came mostly from Freepik but some might just be from my collection, the download link lost to time. You can use Freepik personally without attribution, for this sort of work, so go have a look. I’ve had a membership for years and it is well work the yearly fee for the wide range of digital goodies it has.

Rather than go into some long explanation of my steps to make digital envelopes, using a program that you can’t get anymore, tomorrow I’m going to explain how you can do this in a more low-tech way and show you the steps I would use. You will need a scanner at the very least, to make your own digitally, and to print at will, but you COULD use a photocopy machine in a pinch! I will try to add a lot of links to freebies so you can have a go.

1 Comment

Pre-decorated Envelopes

I was watching a very old You Tube video that I stumbled on by someone called Crafty Hodges. She is just my style! One of the things she has in her videos are links to some quirky character downloads. I love them all. There is a link in this video (and a few others) to some free downloadable sheets. In one video she shows an envelope she made using some digital papers and some of her collage clips. She built hers by printing out the bits, cutting them and sticking them to a blank envelope that she cut using a score board. I did that:

but I went a bit more high-tech. I cut an envelope of the size I wanted using the punch board.

Then, I converted it to a .png. When I add it to my program , I make it slightly sheer. I can see the score lines clearly. I drag in a piece of digital paper and arrange it so the template is over the paper. I can build the collage elements on the address area.

Then all I do is hide the envelope template layer and print, cut, and make the envelope as usual. To be honest I probably don’t have to ass the digital paper, just the template of the correct size is enought for placement, but I like to preview the whole thing to see how it all works. I can even add the address digitally before I print it. I messed up on the brown one (the envelope was actually too small for the folder holder and all the goodies in a double ATC card swap) but it was easy enough to cut out eh address part and stick it to the front of a bigger envelope

I think they are very cute and make nice goodies to send as happy mail. I will probably make a few more, but I also saw a video on making a “magazine journal” and I quite like the idea of that to fill with collage play. I am far too distractable. but I am having fun so what’s the harm?



Painted Papers part 2

Finally. Sorry for the wait.

So, I have cleared my desk and begun by setting out all I need:

  • a large A3 sheet of sketch paper
  • gel medium
  • a brush
  • my painted papers

The first step is to tear all the papers into strips as you like. I began with strips this time, although I did more chunks last time. I’m interested to see the difference.

Also different, I added in some bits of the glitter-full tissue paper from my Twinchies. Love that stuff.

Begin to add the strips to fill the page. Use plenty of gel medium to make sure it is all stuck down well.

I left a few gaps where the white showed thru on the first pass, then filled those gaps the next pass. For the final pass I filled any remaining white spaces with the glitter tissue:

So that is the first sheet. And I MAY have over-produced. Look at all I have leftover from making sheet ONE using one sheet each of the six colours. Remember I have two more sets of six left!

I think I could ALMOST get another full sheet from the scraps – and I am pleased to see (maybe with the exception of the green) there is about the same amount of scraps for each colour. I have an idea of a variation that I will play with later and report back.

Th final step is adding additional surface colour and design. I’ll collect my tools and carry on. More tomorrow – and this time I do mean tomorrow, not with a two day detour into cleaning and organizing LOL! There is more work to be done in my craft room, for sure, but it can wait.


Mixed media canvas for DS

and not a Gelli print in sight for a change.  I am pleased with how this turned out.  The idea was to document DS’s obsessions.  They come and go but there are a few that seem to carry on – sushi, cards and magic tricks, and League of Legends (a big online game) – so those were the main elements to incorporate.

The cards, as you may have seen, form the base of the piece, on top of the canvas.


Only barest hints of them show thru


The sushi is represented by some napkins, a gift from DH on one of his trips to Japan:



and again, only a few glimpses survive



If I would have had a stash of metal gears I might have used them but I didn’t so used tarted up card ones – some rust and Distress embossing powder gave them texture, and gold leafing pen provided some shimmer.  The single diamond gem is because he’s achieved a goal – Diamond status in the game (apparently something like the top .2% of players from what I can find but I’m sure he’ll correct me if it’s wrong )



There is some black modelling paste, squidged thru a screen, with metal leaf over it in a few places and a bit of stamping.


When DS is playing his game, he often streams the feed on Twitch (like YouTube for gamers) and I drop in every so often to see if he’s broadcasting.  If so I can watch the live gameplay and listen to him chatting with his team.  Always interesting.  Sometimes we’ll have a Skype chat running at the same time so I can make the odd comment.  After watching perhaps too many hours of games I have my favourite “champions” he plays.  That brings me to the focal point – a desktop wallpaper graphic I found at a LoL site and printed.


Most of the graphic are very colourful but this B&W one appealed to DS a lot.  I considered and discarded a number of methods to get a print onto the canvas but while hunting up a possible solution (tee-shirt transfer on fabric) I found this ancient pack of specialty paper:


DS saw it on my desk and his first comment was “Jeez.  How old is that? Look at that FONT!” The apple does not fall far from the tree….

Anyway, it’s a bit of a faff, as you have to print the graphic on special film, stick a sheet over it, peel off the backing and stick THAT to cardstock, burnish it for a while, then carefully peel away the film, leaving you with the ink-jet print now waterproof and with a sort of canvas-like texture. I stuck THAT to a piece of board and the board to an embossed scrap of metal.

Here is an OK overall shot – in a lot of ways the covering of the old obsessions, with the current one taking pride of place, makes symbolic sense:


DS has seen it and pronounced it “good”

So that may end up completing my foray into mixed media – unless you are so talented that you can sell your work, or such a brilliant teacher you can do classes or workshops, or you have a large family that loves getting your art as a gift, or you have seriously large and very bare walls, there really are only so many pieces like this you can make before you end up with a storage problem.  I love doing it but I have to be a bit sensible about it.  As I say that I am looking into the wall behind my monitors and can see a very empty corner that could easily take maybe four canvases so…..