Tag booklet done.

Very happy with this. I raided my stash of ribbons to make quite a lush tie for the booklet and used that paper to cover the front and back – thee was JUST enough!

and I went to my stash of tags to fill it. Not all of them are finished, and not all of them will stay in the book, but some of the less wonderful ones may get added to. I expect I will keep the two-word theme going, because I do like those ones best so far.

I am toying with making another one, with some changes, but I am just not sure if that is something I really need to do. I have been playing with some Brushos and I will just have to see where it leads. I am also still deep in the weeds of digital papers, so honestly, just no clue where I will land at this point. But I like this booklet a lot, think it is really pretty, and just have to decide if I want to add some more words to it, add some sort of focal point to the cover, IDK.

Indecision is my downfall….

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Determined. Not just PLAY but actual items made

I seem to have fallen into the trap of endless play days with nothing that you can call real finished pieces. Gel prints I love bit haven’t used for anything, endless experimental pulls that are piling up, just so so much stuff.

I am making a conscious effort the make stuff. So I had a play with those bits of card I pulled from the mostly dried up paints and made some tags. I always need things for extras in a swap envelope, or Happy Mail , and these will fit the bill quite nicely. The UK tags I get are not huge and I wanted to use the hole protectors too so I punched them out, then covered the tags with the papers.

I used bits and bods from my desk t decorate, including chopped up sheets of my various word printables and some collage fodder.

I ended up making six of them and in the process had a bit of an idea for a set of printables based on the two-word combos I ended up using. They should be fun and I’ll sort them in a couple different fonts then share them with you all. I like the idea of drawing “one from column A, one from column B” to get an odd and maybe surprising phrase to then build a piece around – tag, ATC, art journal page, whatever.

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Those paints worked a bit….

So if you saw yesterday’s post, you know I have been attempting to bring back to life some very old, slightly dried out paints I got second-hand many, many years ago. I did manage to get some useful stuff out of them by wiping the knitting needle I used to stir in the water (trying to re-hydrate them) on my 5×7 gel plate and pulling a simple print, either by adding a bit of texture, or even by just spreading it with the brayer and picking it up.

I actually got some pretty prints, and the final pick up one from everything dried on the plate I think is a stunner!

I rather like this one as well!

The best pick-up print from a plate that looks kinda meh.

I mean looking at it you wouldn’t think I could get much off it, but:

I cannot tell you how pretty it is IRL. Soft and grungy with a hint of texture, and little flashes of metallic paint here and there. I don’t know what to do with it but I think scanning it is step one! I will never get over the difference between a scan and a photo

I am still leaving the paints to sit and giving them an occasional shake, but will hope to find time for a proper play this weekend!

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Having fun with an old old tool

Now, you will have to go back a full decade ago to see the first time I made one of these. It is a page protector, sliced in strips, front one way back the other, that I use to flip and flop and mask of areas of the gel plate, when printing. The washi tape just makes it easier to see the slices.

The idea is to roll out the paint, flip over the vinyl, and print. You can easily add texture to get interesting overlapped areas

And the paint trapped below the vinyl can then be used on the main print (left) or a secondary one (right)

and the mop up prints have just a hint of the lines, which I think makes them interesting in their own right.

The final piece looks like this

and you can see I made use of that sheet of ATC mark-making elements on it for some final drama!

I thought as the 12×12 page protector isn’t QUITE big enough to use with the 12×12 plate, I might try making another version with contact paper instead. I have some ideas, as do some of the folks in my artist group. I will be interested in seeing how it all develops.

Busy week.


Experiments with my glue gun stencil conversion piece.

Oh man this was fun. Totally unplanned, totally unexpected, but I love, love, love the results. If you recal the stencil looks like this

It was just all a bit random, but I totally loved it from the first moment I made it. Yesterday’s post details the process I went thru, converting it from hot glue to a cut stencil and I wanted to get some paint on it right away. I had been playing with some other stuff, had a bit of paint on the gel plate, and made a few rather random pulls just to use it and kinda coat it. I did some brown, cause it was on my desk, and some turquoise, and some copper, and just pulled the paint with some cut bits, thinking … well I don’t know what really. I really liked theone on deli paper, which picke dup the paint within the stencil but also the paint stuck to the stencil.

I had been using my 12×12 plate as a palette and pulling some prints on the 5×7, so there was a bunch of random colours on the bi one. I had plopped the stencil down on it and then decided to just pull a print thru the stencil, which gave me this:

I just really liked the mix of colours, and when I removed the stencil I could see there was a lot of paint still trapped under it. A thin coat of white and I pulled all kinds of stuff that was on the 12×12, probably from a few sessions.

I mean, wow. It’s weird and wonderful and I love it.

And of course I had to scan it, because it always looks so different in a scan than a photo:

I think this is going to be fun to play with, and I really want to figure out the best use of this print. I feel like I need to cover something with it, or maybe use it in a collage. Ir maybe momigami it. I wonder if I could scan it and print it and momigami that? Ooh, that could be fun to try too!

I am not doing enough to make actual projects at the moment, just playing and having fun. But I will be in dange of becoming overrun with random prints if I don’t kind a way to actually USE them productively. Putting on my thnking cap…

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Slightly random for Friday…

Just a chaotic selection of stuff I have been playing with, while still not feeling 100% yet.

Where to begin? Let’s start with a further Teal+Purple play and a technique I played with first in 2013. Yikes. A full decade ago. Mixing up mic and glitter with gloss (or matte) medium then adding it thru a stencil on the gel plate

You don’t need much and mixing well is the real key. But it resulted in some interesting prints.

The last one, I laid the stencil over the clean gel plate then used a baby wipe to “clean it” – this forced a little pigment and a little mica/glitter into the opening which I was then able to pick up. All of them look much better in real life, I promise, the leaf in particular.

Then I also have a swap of ATCs I received, which was the first ATC swap I have done in AGES. I kinda miss it. Lovely getting art i the mail for sure. The envelope was very pretty too and totally going to end up as collage fodder.

And lastly, my own envelop for the swap items, where I used that glue-gun stencil I made ages ago.

Hard to see but man, I really like it. I am thinking of ways I might convert it into a stencil. I might be able to actually scan it, or I might be able to print with it maybe with black to make it into a cutting file? I don’t know – but I know it is something I will hope to play with over the weekend and maybe by Monday I will have found a solution!

This is the best I can do with my current brain fog from Covid. Still am not totally enjoying my coffee and when I do I will know my taste and smell have fully come back. I read it could take a YEAR. Ugh.

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Purple and Teal – another colour challenge

This colour combo is one of my all time faves. So rich, so deep, so…regal! Add in gold and it is a winner every time.

I began with a selection of colours and a butt-ugly piece of scrapbooking paper, one that was not quite 12×12. The reverse was a nice two-tone turquoise that I must have used on a layout sometime.

I know the steps aren’t super informative but they might help if I explain. I love the PM Artist Studio stencils because they always give you the surrounds and even the bits from inside as well. I like the edges for helping create a border, even if future layers obliterate it, mostly. And a layer of a much lighter colour always lifts things when I let them get a bit too dark.

From there, I added in the teal, straight and lightened with white. Numbers, mark-making, and just lots and lots of layers.

Always something metallic at the end, and it has to be gold, doesn’t it? Wish I knew where I got the symbols for this stencil. I cut it AGES ago and can’t find it on my computer anywhere. No idea what it is called. I thought something like RUNES, but nope. Nuts.

I do want to add the SCAN of the final piece, because really, there is a world of difference between the PHOTO and the SCAN. Crikey.

The deep rich colour in the scan more than makes up for what you lose of the glimmer of the gold, catching the light. Love it a lot. It feels like…November! Maybe.

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Cards – the woven one too, although…

…not a massive success.

The original one I did, from the white-on-white paper turned out really sweet, I think.

I had a lot more to work with, frankly, because I had the foresight to scan the paper and work with that from the beginning. Note to self: even if you don’t LOVE it, SCAN IT! With the Green+Red I only had the bits trimmed off from the 12 x 12 sheet to create the weave. Now I think of it, if I could have cut a smaller card front, I bet I could have covered it – I just didn’t think of it!

I stuck the sentiment down too far to the left on the actual card so the white touches the white background, which is annoying, but this is one that goes in the emergency stash – when I need a card quick and am out of the top tier ones. It happens. Someone shows up with a card and you have to dash upstairs to “get the one you made” just for them but, well, you didn’t. A stack of pre-signed and with-envelope cards that one need a name scrawled on the front can be a lifesaver. So while this one may look a bit like the ugly step-sister of the group, it will do in a pinch!

They look quite arty, really, so happy enough.


Resticking my S&C mat and cutting sentiments

I used one of the tips online for re-sticking the mat (spray adhesive) and it worked OK. Honestly, the more I read about how crap the Brother mats are and the more I use them, the more I agree. I am tempted by the tutorials that suggest using a Cricut mat cut and stuck to the brother one. I suspect you would need to do a test cut to get the pressure right but it sounds like it might work. I designed and cut a sheet of sentiments for cards using the Red & Green paper from last week. I think these will end my card-making or the holidays. I should have enough. These used the actual paper, not a scan. I really wanted the texture and painterly feel to be there, showing them as actual physical art, not an image of art.

In one area of the mat I had some bubbles from the spray adhesive, and that sentiment cut perfectly but would not let go of the mat. Not bad to have only one sacrificed to the cutting Gods. The big sentiment looked good on the background and there was enough to cover four cards

Simple enough. I designed the MERRY to be straight across, and used that to keep it aligned nicely.

It can be really hard to get them straight sometimes. Anyway I added a trio of gold sequins as well, just for that little bit of extra bling

If this had been a die, I might have cut a fun foam duplicate to pop it up a bit, but these might well be mailed (yeah, takinga chance there, given the state of the global post services lately) so lat is where it’s at!

There are some strips trimmed off to get to the 5 1/2″ square chunks I wanted to fit the card fronts, so I will play around with them to create a 5th card, I think. Might be OK, I’ll have to see. I did make a woven background from strips of the white-on-white scan and I really liked that a lot, so if I can, I may try that. I’ll share both if it turns out well. If not….crickets!

Dithering over what I will do over the holiday week between Xmas and New Year. I might go dark, I might bring back some old posts, I might have a massive spurt of creativity. I honestly don’t know. This year more than recent years, with Dear Son in residence, I feel like it will be precious family time to enjoy together. Between that and surely a ton of family Zooms or Facetimes, arty time might be in short supply. Not gonna lie, I’m looking forward to chilling out with a ton of sappy holiday movies (and Die Hard, much to Darling Daughter’s chagrin LOL!) and getting some cat cuddles in front of the tree. One more skating event before the big day, a Teams meeting for DD about a new project she might work on, a Holiday lunch with friends and a Dr. phone call. so not the most restful week.

Enough moaning. Cards!

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Experiments in colour, and paper, transformed

Been a while since I did a colour challenge, but I wanted to play with traditional Christmas colours so I did.

Mostly Green + a bit of red. I allowed myself a metallic, gold.

I always begin with good overall coverage on the sheet, then touches of darker and/or lighter. I am loving brayer work too.

When it came to the red. I had a lot to choose from but I knew I wanted only one

For me, that was Pebeo 50 Primary Magenta. It’s not what I think of when I think of Magenta but hey ho… I added it using the scribbly circles from PMAS. Lots of them. And finally my favourite grid circle, the biggest one this time, for the touches of gold.

I really liked how the brayer skittered over the white dots (used punchinella for those in a previous layer) and really seemed to highlight them

This one was always destined to be cut up for cards, I just need to consider the topper. They are so chaotic with colour and pattern it feels like a simple word is all that is needed. I don’t need too many more, the postal strike means it is best to stick with hand delivered cards this year where possible, and increase my stash for another year.

Another skating performance – outside, in the cold, the Mixed Ability SPICE Synchro team were are the Windsor ice rink for a night. Brrrr. Cold just looking at the photo, but how festive!