scrappystickyinkymess


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Finally, and Art Journal page – woohoo!

Easing back in to it a bit. I went back to my own pull-a-quote challenge, where I pick a trio from my little pots of printed and cut quotes. If you want to print your own and challenge yourself, you can find some here and here.

I pulled only one, from the pot of longer quotes, and it was very appropriate for what is going on in the world, both the ongoing war in Ukraine and in the USA, with the leaked Supreme Court decision. Because, yeah, now is not the time to remain silent.

I have been missing the AJJ challenges, but this month it is BIRDS and this page, with the best will in the world, is never going to be about that. I mean, I could randomly stick a bird on it, but that feels too much like cheating, so I’ll have to make another page with an intentional bird on it LOL!

I had an image, can’t recall exactly where from now, that I liked so I decided to cut it as a stencil. {shudder} That meant going back to my old Mac mini, running the last operating system that works with my ancient Cricut (1st gen) and SCAL.

Yep. The one with the mini-Japanese keyboard and the right-only monitor. I had to have The Hubster remind me how to access that. Such a numpty, and a forgetful one at that. But it worked, thankfully, and as I had unearthed a mostly full pack of laser transparency sheets and my stash of new (sharp) blades, I cut it in a flash

And it stenciled like a dream. I did have to add a few lines to join things up but yeah, I love it and can see using it again. I don’t mind cutting a stencil that I need only once or twice when the resources are cheap. I only pray I NEVER need the Great Cheeto Coloured Git’s stencils again. But I digress…

I always love working in my very small journal from a Roben-Marie tutorial. It is by far one of my most favourite ones. especially when I have been away from journaling for a while and need to ease back in to it gently. The pages themselves are bright and colourful (mostly) so I need only add a focal image and a quote for the barest minimum page to feel that all important sense of accomplishment we all need. And…

There we go. Challenge success. Now, about those birds…


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All you need to create your own quirky envelope for mailing art!

Settle in. This is not a super complicated process but it does have a few steps and you will maybe want to really explore the links I’ve added. First, let me show you the kind of envelope we will be creating in a low tech sort of way:

This version uses another of the quirky character downloads you will find linked in this playlist on YouTube. The one we will use for the play today is this one:

This is a low-quality image! Be sure to go to the video and use the link there to grab the HIGH QUALITY version.

Next, grab this envelope template. Print it. It will print on A4 or US letter but the envelopes will be of slightly different sizes. That should not matter in the slightest. But you might like to print it on heavyweight cardstock so you can keep using it over and over.

Now go grab some digital paper – you could use scrapbook papers, but frankly they will likely be too thick. If mailing, you don’t really want to add a lot of weight it you don’t have to. I have found that quality printer paper is fine for envelopes, 90-120gsm. Here are a few links to some free digital papers that would work. You don’t want super busy patterns, nor heavy, dark colours. This is a good link to begin with and the paper I used for the sample above AND the one today is this one. Right click and save the image. Now print it, ticking the SCALE TO FIT option (or whatever the equivalent is on YOUR printer) so you fill the whole page with the image of the paper. You may need to rotate it to portrait orientation first.

Now use the template to cut an envelope shape out of your digital paper.

The images from the download are quite large. Possibly too large for your envelope! Print them, but select the option to print TWO images per page – on my printer that is COPIES PER PAGE. The page prints with figures of about 5 1/2 or 3 1/2 as they come, but if you print them 2 sheets per page printed, they are more like 3 1/2 and 2 1/2. MUCH better for envelopes!

OK. one more bit of techie stuff. Grab this PDF of decorative address blocks. Sorry it isn’t a full sheet, but there area few styles.

Now you have a bunch of elements and it is time to put them all together!

And this would be the time for the glue stick or maybe even better, some temporary adhesive. That way, you can use the same envelope base and make a variety of envelopes to scan!

And I also used an image for another collage sheet I bought

and yet another that uses bits from a number of collage sheets that I shared before, I think:

In close-up I think you can see all the bits I cut to assemble the figure. At this point you just need to scan the envelopes and print them as you need them! Or, as I mentioned, you could possibly photocopy them and then use them up and then copy more.

I hope that was useful and you will share with me your envelopes, if you makes some! I had an ATC come to me in a trade this week that was from someone I didn’t know personally and she had my own designed ATC by Me back on her card! Honestly, it totally made my day, to see someone using something I made and cast out to the winds!Doesn’t take much to make me happy LOL!

WOYWW tomorrow. I have had chaotic days lately, all I can do to keep up with my blogging, and WOYWW visits on the day are getting harder and harder. Even when I don’t have my knitting friend over, I have a meeting of some sort, like today. I always get to them but it seems to take till the weekend for me to manage it. Bear with me…


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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?

LOL!


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Pure Play – Vaseline, Hand Sanitizer and Distress Oxides

Note: edited to add a quick PDF tutorial for anyone who needs more info. Hope it helps you wrap your head around the technique.

I love experimenting and I love figuring out a new way to do something, especially a substitute for something I don’t have, if I am on the fence about buying it. I had seen a demo of Distress Glaze over top of Distress Oxide inks, used to revive the bright colours, rather than leaving them oxidized and chalky. to be fair, I wasn’t 100% sure I actually LIKED the effect, but I wanted to see for myself. I don’t have a lot of glossy cardstock but I did find a little pack of a few sheets. Considering the properties of Distress Glaze, Vaseline seemed like a reasonable thing to try. And yeah, it totally works. This is not, actually, a “new” discovery. Once I knew it worked and I went looking, yeah, people have been doing it for a while, although they seem to mix 91% alcohol with the Vaseline. I suggest watching at 1.5 or 2x speed and the meat of it is at about 5minutes.

I didn’t, I just used Vaseline straight, with a blender, and it totally works al by itself. But that got me thinking of a few other ideas to try. The first thing I did was to add the Vaseline thru a stencil on the blank glossy cardstock then add the Distress Ink over the top.

When you then buff off the Vaseline, you are left with the white glossy card under it. You will not be able to see this super clearly, but the right is buffed the left not in the first shot and totally buffed off in the second:

It made me think that you could layer the DIs into the white spaces…except the Vaseline prevents it. Buffed off (on the right) you can still see the sheen of the petroleum jelly.

But the info from the video gave me a bit of an idea. I squirted a dot of hand sanitizer onto a aper towel and rubbed that over the piece – It kind of remove the Vaseline, at least a bit, and while it might have dulled the shine very slightly, it did then allow me to layer more Distress Inks over it and not have the jelly resist it! The first photo shows the piece in two halves. The left half has only the Vaseline applied thru the stencil and then rubbed off. The right side has the Vaseline rubbed off then the hand sanitizer applied over that, with both having more DI added as a final layer. Then you see the half with the Vaseline only after buffing and the next the side with the hand sanitizer after final buffing.

Here are the samples. I love them all. They are in no way tacky to the touch, and you need only the barest dab of Vaseline to get the colours to pop. But using it as a resist is really a nifty technique.

I think I was influenced by a Distress Resist spray video I saw, but I am 100% sure this is something I will carry on playing with. I also want to give the samples some time, to see how they look in a day or two. I may need to buy some glossy cardstock!

But wait – there’s more! I happened to have a scrap of tracing paper on my desk, and decided to see what would happen if I had a go at the Vaseline-thru-a-stencil on that, Distress Oxides over it, and then buffing off the jelly and cleaning the residue off with the hand sanitizer. In a word, WOW!

Do not be tempted to dry this with the heat gun between layers, the Vaseline will totally melt and you will not be able to layer the DI. Totally ok for the final layer, as the Vaseline will have done it’s job by then. Look at it. It’s just lovely.

And to add a few more images from the PDF:


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Safmat substitute? Maybe….

Funny sequence of events. One of my WOYWW mates stumbled across a very old (2011, I think it was) post about SAFMAT. That is an old product as well, clear, that you can print on and it is self-adhesive.

So I never saw the point of it for what they seemed to tout as it’s selling point – that you could print a sentiment on it and lay it over a card, where it would sort of melt into the background. First, it didn’t – there was a clearly defined sheen to the product, and second, why not just print on the paper? I wanted to put the printed area very specifically over a pattern on the paper, so for that, yeah, it was helpful. But otherwise, not 100% sure it was revolutionary. It was acid-free and that was unique, I think. When I posted about it Letraset had just re-released it, after being unavailable for a long time. It is now unavailable again (but there are a few for sale at stupid prices, like almost £100 on Amazon. doh!)

Considering the qualities that made Safmat useful, I thought of what else would work the same. I riffled thru my stash and found some full-sheet self-adhesive labels from Avery and had a go using those.

What I remember was that the ink-jet ink dried fast and if not permanent on the Safmat, it was …semi-waterproof, let’s say. On the labels material it was quick to smudge. I tried my usual sealing technique, using matt gel medium on a gel plate, and it worked pretty well – although there was a weird byproduct of that which bears exploring some day – so long as I gently laid it on and tapped lightly on the back rather than, say, brayering over the back to get a really good coat of the gel medium on it. That did tend to smear a bit more. Left, brayer over the back, right, lightly tapping to coat.

Applying the clear sticker to paper, in this case some rubbish, an old gloss spray overspill sheet, works really well. and if you burnish the sticker paper better than I did here, it really does almost disappear.

In this case, I planned to cut out the wings so there was no real need to do that. In the end I didn’t end up using these wings as I planned, but they did look good!

I have a couple of other kinds of clear labels to test. Both are from Amazon, in the under £7 range, but for far fewer sheets than the Avery ones:

The glossy vinyl one says specifically non-waterproof. and all the “waterproof” ones seem to be white. Still if the gel plate sealing works on the plain sticker paper, surely it will work on both of these. And it does. A couple of interesting facts. The glossy-labelled one is not only glossy, it is a lot thicker. May be good if you want something to retain some dimension – like the wings,raised above the surface but not great if you want it to melt into a background. For that, the Avery labels are thinnest.

The PPD paper is also glossy and slightly thinner.

Unlike the Avery sticker labels, the inkjet ink dries very well and pretty quickly on both of these. But they are quite glossy, compared to the Avery version I sealed with the gel plate and matt medium.

And of course you can seal the other two just like the Avery one. I tried a couple of methods. Brushing on the gel medium smears the inkjet ink pretty easily. Daubing on the medium with a sponge actually works pretty well, although for my sample I had a slightly dried blob on the sponge and didn’t realize it so it isn’t as good as I am 100% sure it would have been if the gel had been all smooth. I did try sealing with the gel plate on other samples but then messed them up by trying to pick them up before they were fully dry – busy day and no time to hang about! On the top is the daubed on gel and the bottom is brushed on. Personally the brushed on is very smooth – except where it smeared. DOH! I used totally the wrong brush for this, but it was what was in arm’s reach.

I think that the Avery labels, especially if you have a laser printer, and laser print labels, is 100% the best option. The resulting print has a definite sheen but is not gloss-glossy IYKWIM. Of the other two, again, it’s likely the laser version will work best, and otherwise if you want a thicker sturdier piece, go for Evergreen Goods. A thinner more flexible version, PPD. And if you want to seal the inkjet ink with a spray fixative, it is likely going to be better than anything else. You can get a bundle of clear sticker paper + fixative spray (in gloss or matt) from PPD. I have it. It works. It does smell a bit, but they all do! I should test the spray over the Avery labels. That might be the magic bullet. Now, where did I put that…?

So then the only real issue is the acid-free question. And that might be a question that won’t get answered for years, when someone can look back and see if the art has deteriorated or bits have fallen off! I am not sure if I care about that. I cared deeply when I was scrapbooking and it was my photos of my kids (and even so many were duplicates or prints from digital media, so not one-of-a-kind photos) but I am not making art that I sell or that I expect to last for decades. No one cares about it but me. If I were selling it then I might buy that £100 package of Safmat from Amazon LOL! I’d be able to afford it…


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A low-tech way to use your sentiment dies with printed text

I knew this idea was going to be one people liked and wanted to replicate. The probelm is the tools I use on my Mac are not ones everyone will have and I simply have no idea how to explain how to do the same process on a PC. So it has been keeping me up, considering how it might be possible to do this in a low-tech way, without any computer skills at all. It is pretty tedious, and the die I have is perhaps the most tedious of all, as the strips that will cut are not in any sort of alignment. The start spot for the text is in a totally different place every line.

The only way I can think you might be able to do this is to get out your ruler and measure. And it occurred to me that while the die has 22 spots, for ease, you could just make use of the horizontal bars only. That automatically makes the whole process a lot simpler. Taking my die as a sample, the area I would work with (starting with the first line) is 1 inch, 1/8 inch space, then 2 1/2 inches. The text can be no taller than 1/4 inch. So if I were to type a sentiment that was 1/4 inch tall and 3/4 inch long, left a 1/8 inch gap, then typed a 1/4 inch tall, 2 1/4 inch sentiment, I would have to use that as my baseline. Already I am loosing the will to live.

Now, if I look at just the easiest part of the die to deal with, I am looking at just this:

That leaves out all of the die that is problematic – the spots to fill can all be right justified (or left, if you rotate the die so the beginning is on the left) and the spots are pretty evenly spaced. So as a first try, with no real measurements beyond what I already know, I can type sentiments that are just under 1/4 inch tall to begin with, and I can group the boxes (loosely) into only a couple of sizes – the first four are close, between about 1.7 inches and 1.8, so if I aim to make four that are no longer than 1.6 I know they will fit. The next five are similar – the shortest is and the longest is 2.2 inches. If I make sentiments no longer than 2 inches they will all fit. That leaves the longest at 2.37, so I can sneak in one slightly longer sentiment of 2.2 inches. For the strip of 10 spots you need to create 10 sentiments

four lines 1.6 inches x .25 inches

five lines 2 inches x .25 inches

one line 2.2 inches x .25

This is a VERY simplified process, obviously, but it should work.

ANY text processing program will surely have the ability to size things. Once you find a font that seems to work – and for my sample I went with the bog-standard Helvetica Neue, which should be free on most computers, at 19 pt size. – type out your text and justify it. If you can create boxes, do that, but if not just create the text, using whatever tools you have in your word processing to check the sizes. Turning on the grid, if you have one, might make the process easier

If you can’t turn on a grid you either need to measure the area and work out the distance between the lines of text. My die looks to be about 1/8 inch between where I think the bottom of the text will fall and where the top of the NEXT line of text should fall, in order for it to be within the die-cut area. I spaced out my text with that gap between them. At some point the only thing you can do is to print and test it with your die!

Not quite right. But seeing the text within the spaces gives me a better idea of how to scoot the text up or down to get closer….

and finally to get it just about right.

Is it perfect? No, but then I don’t need to do it this way so I am happy to stop here, having given you an idea of how you might make something even without the program I have. I would say once you have the text placed where you want, save that file and when you want to make different ones, duplicate the file and edit the text, then test print and check you got things in line.

Sorry it isn’t easier – there is a lot of trial and error with this method (I printed 3 or 4 sample sheets before stopping where I was, and one or two more might have been needed – or much more detailed and accurate measuring and mapping to begin with) but maybe this concept will be enough for you to figure out a better way to do it for yourself!

Now, I heard the mail drop and I am betting it is the OTHER die I am waiting on…and THAT one might be more common. Watch this space.


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Creating my own printable sentiments for sentiment dies

I originally planned to add some junk journal stuff today but when something I ordered came early I had to take some time out to see if I could do the thing I planned when I ordered them – and I did! Yippee!

I ordered a set of stamps with the matching die from Amazon. The brand was one I had never heard of, Alinacutle, and it was more the die than the stamps that I wanted. I like the one set OK, maybe a little heavy on the !!!s, but the other one is just not to my taste at ALL. There are only a couple of them that I think I would use.

For me, the ones on the left are just not appealing fonts. The ones on the right are…usable. They come with a die that cuts all of the sentiments in one go. That was the driver for the purchase. It took a bit of fiddling to create a template of the open areas of the die but I did it.

By scanning the empty die, backed by black cardstock, running the resulting image thru an SVG convertor, cleaning up the bits of edging that were part of the scan (although I thought of a better way to do this that will let me skip that step) and sizing it to match exactly the size of the die (with no scaling allowed by the printer!) then making the blocks light, locking them in place and overlaying and centering the text I wanted in them…

… then copying just the text and the placement dots to a new file, I could print my own sentiments in the font I wanted, in any colour, on any card, then cut them out.

I am pretty happy with them. And because I did the work to create the template, I can just plug in any sentiment, any font, at any time. I can create longer ones by using multiple spaces, I could do two line sentiments, I could make the white writing on a black or a coloured background. The only thing I can’t do is emboss them. I can live without that. I have been DYING to see if this was possible and super excited is was. I ordered another die ages ago from Wish, a banner version, so with this one and that one, I think I will have all I need.

I am super tempted to just keep making these, but I will move on to my junk journal tomorrow.