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Gotta love a free workshop!

A couple of weeks ago I signed up for a free workshop from Roben-Marie. I used to see her videos on YouTube eons ago and she popped into my feed. I wandered down a rabbit hole and found this free class she was offering. I thought Why not? and signed up. It was really fun.

Now, to be fair, her style is fabulous but I could never emulate the artistic restraint she has. All of her pages were bordering on minimal, with plenty of space to add extra tiny little bits of collage or daubs of paint. I would have had to work so hard to make pages like that. But the CONCEPT of the album, and the BINDING technique really appealed to me.

Next problem? The whole thing focused on a gutted book cover. I didn’t have one. I had some really BIG books, but no tiny likkle diddy one that would work. What I DID have was more of the canvas boards that I used for my recent mini art journal. So I MADE a book to use in the same way Roben-Marie used her gutted actual book.

I oriented the canvas boards portrait style rather than landscape, as I did for the journal, and it worked really well!

Lots of clips to make sure I got a good bond. Then I covered the outside with a cover-my-desk mop-up sheet of paper and covered the spine with heavy kraft tape stamped to tie it all together.

How long did I dither about which should be the front and which should be the back cover? Don’t ask!

I collected a bunch of things to use for the pages. There were some old Gelli prints, more mop-up sheets, sheets where I brayered off paint when Gelli printing, spray ink and Brusho over-spray sheets, even some newspaper that I stamped some extra gesso images onto then folded and stuck the two sides together to give them a bit more stability. There were some old collages sheets for a project I abandoned, some brush-off ink splotches and heaven knows what else. I took four of the brayer-off sheets and added some stamping and stenciling to what was there, to unify them more colourwise and used them as the folded signatures that the loose pages fit within. Here are some of the bits:

Now all that is needed is to bind it using Roben-Marie’s clever gummed tape binding. Watch this space!


WOYWW 598 – little tag book giftie

Happy WOYWW y’all! STILL not Good as Hell but creeping closer every day….

Today I have a tiny little tag book on my desk, destined as a gift. There is a photo I will hide but I won’t hide some shockingly old throwback supplies there:

When was the last time you used Silkies or Smooch pearlized paints? I am using them on my Gelli plate and they work very well. Here’s the close-up:

The poem is by my favourite poet, E.E. Cummings and is called [i carry your heart with me(i carry it in] . Yep. Weird, I know. You can click the link and read the whole thing if you like. Your should check out r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r as well. You have to read it carefully:

and when you do:

grasshopper who as we look up now gathering into the grasshopper leaps arriving grasshopper to become rearrangingly grasshopper.

Another throwback – remember when circle journals were a massive thing? One of my first spreads in a circle journal was of this poem. I wish I had a copy of it to share but I cast it into the wild and have no idea where it might be. Ah well….

Have a wonderful arty day, and I’ll be popping round to yours any minute now…


In limbo…

Well, the election results are still up in the air. Nothing else to say till they count all the votes.

To keep my mind and hands occupied, I made a little art journal. I have finished the basic construction of the Amazon packaging one, and made the signatures. The watercolour sheets I had were too big, but with careful planning, I was able to get the signatures for that larger journal (pages are 6×10 inches) AND signatures of 6 x just shy of 5 inches so I decided to make a smaller journal too. My plan is for this to be a use-it-up journal , where I can offload extra paint, stencil-stamp, roll off a brayer, etc.

The construction of the journal itself was prompted by some little 5×7 inch canvas-covered boards. I suspect I bought them eons ago for my daughter to paint on and I had a few unused ones. With a bit of canvas I was able to make a cover.

The canvas sheets I had were not big enough so I had to overlap them.

Lots of clamps of many different kinds held it in place – I used strong PVA as the adhesive. 

I used the bookbinding cradle I made for punching the signatures and I have to say I am super happy with how it worked. 

The cover ended up looking like this – really, there are no amazing techniques here, just paint and water and stencils and stamps.  OK, well there was ONE thing, my substitute for nickle Azo gold, which I don’t have, that worked out pretty well.  I’ll explain in another post.

The little skull beads are from knitting stitch marker making – I have loads of them. The inside looks like so – the first signatures is full of paint leftovers so I never have to begin with a blank page, and all the colours are the same as the cover.

The deli paper prints  on the inside of the covers are from that other page in my big journal.  Still love them! The back cover gives a hit that I am not yet successful in pushing the election out of my head!  The phrase is a riff on the thing they say at the end of campaign ads in the USA, My name is XXX and I approved this message. I thought it was pretty appropriate.

My stamping of single letters wasn’t too bad – ever so slightly wonky but overall pretty good. 

I guess I will have to make more of that deli paper – really, I can’t even say how much  love it and how many ideas I have for how to use it.  And it was so easy too! 

What I used up that was old or has been languishing in my stash:

  • the canvas boards
  • the canvas sheets
  • Pearl-ex in Aztec Gold
  • stamps bought on sale for about £3, never used
  • little skull beads
  • black baker’s twine
  • a Gelli print from at least 5 years ago
  • and used up the last of my deli paper prints from last week
  • needle tip bottle still filled with black paint, still flowing freely

All in all that was pretty good! I have managed to resurrect my bottle of crackle paint, and tested it – it still cracks!  I have four more bottles, all but one still factory sealed, and all dry as bones in the desert.  I will perform the same operation on them and then share how I did it.  I will def. use that on my next cover or page!

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Deli paper background for my art journal

I was having a bit of a play with deli paper. I started with a bunch of paint and a brayer and some stencils and some stamps and I created a bunch of sheets in a variety of colours. Basically just went with where the mood took me.

Just perched on the side of my desk there they are hard to see, so I’ll share them individually as well. For the paint I tried to limit myself to two or at most three colours for each sheet and one stencil, repeated in different areas.  One or two stamps, and some lid-rims for the thin circles.

I like them all, to varying degrees, but especially those with the little flashes of gold or copper (hard to see in the photos, as usual.)

I did consider just attaching them to the page, but  I ended up ripping them up and sticking the ripped pieces on the page to make a super busy, colourful background.

I can see the photo I have is of the bits laid, not stuck, on the page.  Oh well.  I can’t show the final completed page anyway, as I have to wait a few days.  I have a plan for it but it could go one of two ways and I have to wait till I “know” before I finish it- in so much as I am ABLE to KNOW, if you know what I mean.  Tomorrow is going to be much stencil cutting and testing, just a few ideas to see how they might look.  Maybe by the weekend I will be able to move forward with it – in joy or with sorrow, only time will tell.

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Mount for unmounted stamps – my best use for the Creative Palette (and a cheap alternative)

So there is history here.  You might like to go back and read a few previous posts (or not, as you prefer.)

  • My review of the CP v the Gelli plate and where I die cut it with my Sizzix

That last link is full of warnings – press the stamp HARD onto the CP.  Don’t use it in this way if you worry about messing up whatever you are stamping on to. Shake the mount.  Wash the backs. blah blah blah.

I kept finding that, with every use, the CP surface got less and less sticky and washing it was too much of a bother if I had to do it every time I wanted to stamp an unmounted stamp.

I store most of my unmounted stamps like so:

In binders, and then in baseball card sleeves:

I have not ever wanted to go to the expense of mounting all the stamps, and bulking up the binders.  So over the years I have come up with a few different methods that work for me.  Generally, a strip of strong double-sided tape on a clear mount will do the trick.

I bought a bottle of Aileens Tack It (over & over) cause lots of people recommended it as a good way to make the red rubber, unmounted stamps into “cling” stamps.  It works, sure, but then you have to store all these sticky backed stamps. Ah … No.

Fast forward to the post of CP as mount and….an idea!


Why this works – first, the CP is just a bit spongy.  Not too spongy, but enough that it acts as both the mount and the cushion and gives a nice image (might have been nice had I actually shown that – sorry, I’m out of practice at blogging) especially when stamping on to my cork-floor-tile-in-a-big-ziplock-bag stamping mat. Second, there is only the couple of CP chunks that are sticky. Easy to store.  I keep a lot of plastic packaging.  This is from a Spellbinders die.  I just flipped the halves so rather than tightly encasing the die, there is a slim open area that fits two of the sticky CP bits.

Perfect fit.

Now, this makes sense for me because I already own a (mostly useless for the kind of monoprinting I like to do) Creative Palette.  But the CP is not widely for sale anymore (or not that I could find) and if you don’t already have one, this is not a good enough reason to go buy one.

As a cheap alternative, I had a go at coating a piece of sticky-backed fun foam with the Tack It.  It worked just fine.

There is a slight issue with the fun foam being quite thin.  When you press to stamp the sticky surface can just grab the paper – I found this to be most problematic with tissue paper, not at all an issue with a paint-coated journal page, for example.  I did not find it as much an issue with the CP-as-mount.

In hunting for my CP package, I unearthed a nice gelli-print, so I can add at least one decent looking image for you LOL!:

Now I must decide what to do with it.

If you have a Creative Palette gathering dust, why not turn it into a set of stamp mounts? If you don’t have one, try the sticky-backed fun foam.  Let me know if it works for you!


Can it legit be called a “technique” if it works only 25% of the time?

I’m thinking NO.

I was super excited when I discovered that it is possible to pull a resist print from the Gelli plate by stamping with pigment ink onto glossy paper from a magazine, then pressing that to a gel plate covered with paint.

From yesterday, this was literally the first one I tried:

I think we can all agree there was, upon seeing that, reason to be excited.

I tried a fair few prints later in the day, using many different ink and paint combos and had nothing like the success of that one. Even the other ones from the same session were good, but not as impressive:

So, I thought I needed to sit down and do a rather orderly series of attempts to see what happened.  Try to come up with a set of rules that would, if not guarantee success, would at lease make it more likely.

Not bloody likely, more like it. This is the array of stuff I tried – and it looks like I cut out the Crafter’s ink pad and the Studio G one:

This is what I got:

For the most part, a pretty appalling array.  I did discover a few things.  First, and most disappointingly, the only pigment ink that works consistently was the one from the Greetings Card kit.  None of the ColorBox inks of any kind worked at all – not the pigment (tried a few colours) not the Chalk ink, not the Cats eye ones.  The Studio G left a very very faint hint and might be worth trying again with a jucier pad.

In all cases, at least some of the magazine text transferred.  So I feel confident the paper is not the problem.

What worked 95% of the time was:

There’s the Crafter’s ink!

The rules, so far as I can determine thus far are:

1. The paint on the plate must be thin – almost thin enough to be called transparent.

2. The pigment ink must be wet.  Ink, stamp on the glossy paper, then flip it over on to the plate and burnish the back right away.  Don’t dawdle. If the ink is too dry it seems to work less well.

3. Let it dry 100% before adding the next layer of paint and trying to pull the print off.

4. Again, this layer needs to be thin, but don’t overwork it.  Load the brayer off the plate, roll on the paint and brayer just enough so you can see the image thru the paint.  Pull the print quick – don’t let they paint get too dry!

That process resulted in these:

The lower right image used the Crafter’s ink and the Basics paint.  The other two used the Greetings Card ink and Basics paint for the upper right and Crawford & Black for the left one.

As for the most part you are going to only have ONE CHANCE to get a good result, this might just be a little too frustrating to actually try to justify as a technique.  To my mind, if 90% of people, using 90% of common variations on the basic supplies can’t get a good result at LEAST 50% of the time, it just might be filed away as interesting, but annoying and potentially wasteful.

But it sure has been fun!


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Gelli plate play – it’s been tooooo long

NOTE:  Might be worth reading the next post before you embark on the stamping technique!

I have not really felt up to much crafty play for quite a while.  BUT I have been dreaming about the Gelli plate and remembering how much fun it was to play with.  I watched a video – well more than one, I’m sure – about resist transferring of a magazine image on to the plate, which you then pull off by doing a basic, heavy-bodied paint pull.  This one is the first one I saw, I think.

There was mention in some videos about the combination of the ink and glossy paper quality making a big difference.  Looking thru may magazines, which are mostly scrapbooking ones, I came across my ancient Rubberstampmadness mags.

The paper seemed thick and glossy and it also seemed that the image weren’t fashion shots but art and stamp samples.

There are a lot of stamp catalogs full of cool images, and some printed art work, like the BEAUTY image here that would all make very cool prints or additions to other art.


And guess what?  They worked a treat.

One video mentioned that some people had success with printing on an ink jet printer and doing the same process.  I did not.  I tried printing on pain paper, photo paper, on coated matt cardstock, on sticky label paper, etc. etc.  and nothing worked.

So that gave me a bit of an idea.  If I stamped on to the glossy paper, might that transfer? I experimented with about 8 different inks and a stamp.  The ones I had the highest hopes for (Archival Ink, Clearly Better clear stamp ink, Staz-on and Memento) were all fails.  Not expecting much I tried Distress ink, Distress Oxide ink, Adirondack and Kaleidoscope.  Also all fails.

Just on a whim I tried PIGMENT ink.  Crazy, but it worked.

I did have a few fails using cheaper paint but the Basics was good pretty much every time.

The process is simple.

1. Stamp the image using pigment ink. Get a good coating of ink on the stamp.

Sorry for the poor quality there – I had already used the image before I realized the photo was crap.  Doh! I suspect things like Versamagic or maybe even chalk ink MIGHT work, and COLOUR pigment ink will add a different dimension to it if it works! – I’ll try that next and see. But this is very generic black pigment ink.

I let the image dry but when I tried to dry it with the heat gun then transfer it, it didn’t work.  So I think the ink needs to by dry-ISH but not super dry.

2. Roll the paint onto the gelli plate.  I find the darker colours work best for this stage. You need a thin coat but not too thin.  Press the stamped image into the paint – I burnished one with a teflon spreader. one with my fingernail, one with a spoon.  Just make sure you get good contact.


Remember the old Creative Palette that I hated?  I used one of the bits to roll out the white paint and get a thin coat on the brayer.  But you can also load the brayer by rolling in in paint on scrap paper.  Not too thick a coat.

As mentioned in a few of the videos, if you can SEE the image slightly, it’ll be a good print. Pull it.  Give the back a good rub.

And the coolest thing is that the text from the magazine transfers too!

I am so happy to have had a play.  It was seriously fun.  And now I know I can use my stamps as well as magazine images I am looking forward to more playtime!

Maybe even more regular blogging?  Maybe…..


Too hipster? Gelli ® print deer head

It has been SOOOOOO long since I got to do any sort of crafty thing except knitting (which is portable and that is the only reason I can squeeze that in!) so I am super excited to be able to add a fun project.  I love it, even if it was a ton of work to accomplish.  And the one day I sit down to actually craft I get non-stop interaction from my darling Hubby (to be fair, he is trying to sort out my desk phone so I shouldn’t complain) and deliveries that need signing for, and gutter cleaners needing input, etc etc etc.

Anyway, I had noticed these 3D animal head craft kits at Lidl for like £2.  I think there were a few options, but I only got three – the deer, a ram and an elephant.  I think there was maybe a bear and something else.  As soon as I saw them in the flyer last week I mentally noted that I needed to go on Sunday to get them.  Then I promptly forgot.  DOH!  I was in Lidl yesterday to get a few things and I thought I would check the section that has the “last week’s” stuff.  And lo and behold they had a stack of them! Woo hoo.


It’s all punch out, super simple but lots of pieces




Size-wise it is about 13 inches across


Now, given the base is white, I could have streamlined the process a LOT by pulling the prints right onto the pieces, but that seemed dangerous.  If I screwed up a print, I would ruin the whole piece. Instead, I went back to my stash of prints (recently unearthed in my ongoing office sort) and started matching up prints to pieces.  The pieces are numbered on the back so easy to see what will be next to what


I did the base piece using this weird paper – thick and almost foam-y in texture, with a wood print on it – than my DH’s Aunt sent, wrapper around a gift. I’ve been hoarding it.



and I inked the backs, except the big piece that included the antlers.


You can’t see the number at all once the ink is on so I had to be a bit more organized than I usually am.

I also covered the antlers in a similar but darker foam-y paper and that worked much better than the light version would have. AND I backed it with some quite thick black cardstock.  Cutting that was a pain but it made it all much more stable.


I inked the edges or dragged a fat marker around, and…..

ta da!


So hard to get a decent photo that really shows its loveliness!



I hung it up on my office door. It needs a name.



I think I need to go back and buy them all!!


Gelli print photo cube

What a palaver!  You may recall that the other day I was trying to find a tutorial for a folded Origami corner to create a cube.  I found it but the person who originally asked for it found a different version of it – that one matched what seemed to be the method I mentioned (from a no-longer-available HGTV tutorial.)  Well, the written “instructions” (and I use that term very loosely – having MADE one it makes sense, but they are pretty sketchy if you don’t do a lot of origami!) were there but the two accompanying videos were not. It wasn’t much like the original one she showed a photo of, but did a similar thing in an easier way, resulting in a much more stable end product.

I am glad I watched it when I first saw it cause for some reason I can’t make the video load – not here, not on YouTube, not on Pinterest.  I am going to leave it in place as it might just be a temporary blip but if it DOES come back I would highly recommend watching that video, if you are a visual learner.  It’s very good.  I’m adding step-by-setp photos because I am using a Gelli print on heavier than scrapbooking paper and there is one extra step that I found helped.  And I changed how you do the bottom of the cube so it sits flatter.

I am not using 6 x 6 squares to begin with.  That makes sense if you are using scrapbooking paper, cutting a 12 x 12 sheet into four equal squares, but I am using a print from an 8 x 10 Gelli plate.  There is a basic ratio for the elements so you can adjust them to make a cube of any size.

  • Size of starting square = X
  • Size of cube sides = 1/2 X
  • Size of insert = 1/2 X minus a sliver off two adjacent sides
  • Size of hinge = 1/2 X minus 1  1/8 inch

So starting with a 7 inch square

  • Size of starting square : 7 inches (X)
  • Size of cube sides: 1/2 X = 3  1/2 inches
  • Size of insert: 1/2 X minus a sliver off two adjacent sides = 3  1/2 inches minus a sliver off two adjacent sides
  • Size of hinge : 1/2 X (3 1/2) minus 1 1/8 inch=  2  3/8 inches

Starting with an 8 inch square

  • Size of starting square : 8 inches (X)
  • Size of cube sides: 1/2 X = 4 inches
  • Size of insert: 1/2 X minus a sliver off two adjacent sides = 4 inches minus a sliver off two adjacent sides
  • Size of hinge : 1/2 X (4 inches) minus 1  1/8 inch=  2  7/8 inches

Jeez – Math. Ugh.  Hope I got it right!

1. Print five or six Gelli Prints on 120 to 160 gsm cardstock (lightweight) – I did five and made the bottom of the cube solid. Cut your prints (or paper/card) down to a square (mine are 7 x 7)

2. Cut 12 hinges and 6 inserts to match your print size.


Insert = 3  1/2 inches minus a sliver off two adjacent sides
Hinges =  2  3/8 inches

Fold the hinges in half on the diagonal


3. Fold all six of the 7 inch squares the same:

  • Fold in half then unfold
  • Fold the two sides in to meet the middle fold then unfold


  • Rotate and repeat – at the last unfold you will see the sheet creased into 16 squares


  • Flip the square so the PATTERN SIDE is UP.  Fold each corner into the middle and unfold


  • Flip PATTERN SIDE DOWN . Add a bit of double-sided adhesive in the four corners then fold each corner in to meet the closest score line



  • Fold the two sides in to the middle


You will now collapse this.  But use your bone folder (or blunt butter knife or fingernail) to really crease each fold.  This is more important on the heavier paper

  • Pull downward at the V


  • Crease along the sides INSIDE the box


  • Push the top part down to collapse and meet the first V


  • and again crease well – with the thicker paper and the extra thickness of the paint, this will help avoid the gaping corners I got to begin with.


In that shot all but the top right corner have been creased over.  Trust me, when you do it you will see what I mean.

Phew.  I bet you are now thinking my advice to watch the video wasn’t such a bad idea, right?  LOL!

4.  Once you have folded all six sides, slip the inserts into the middle to help provide structure to the piece. If you are adding photos, stick them to the inserts NOW – it will be hard to add them to the completed cube. 

You can wait till after step 11 – when the cube is assembled but not yet fully stuck together – and pull the sides slightly away to slip a photo in, and SKIP adding the adhesive if you want a cube that you can change the photos in.

I haven’t done that step yet cause I’m not sure what photos I’ll be using.  I’ll probably just cut the photos to fit within the insert area, leaving a bit of a border, and stick them to the insert after the cube is constructed. WATCH the video – I am pretty sure I recall her talking about making a template for cutting the photos.

Here are all the elements – might have one hinge off to the side 🙂 and you can see the black base is reversed so the flat/no insert side is UP


5. Add a strip of double-sided adhesive  across each hinge valley


6. Peel off the paper backing (or not, if using the ATG) and slip a hinge into one of the side gaps


Press firmly to adhere it well.

7.  Slip another side onto the other side of the hinge.  Make sure the diamond-shaped insert is facing OUTWARD.  Carry on adding the sides in this way till you have THREE joined pieces. Add a hinge to BOTH side-gaps of the fourth piece and sip the two hinges in to create the cube sides, like so:


8. For the solid bottom, reverse the hinges so the insert diamond is facing up, and insert all four hinges like so:


9. For the TOP, insert all four hinges with the insert facing DOWN.  See the difference?


This gives you a flat bottom rather than the bumpy insert for the cube to rest on.  I figured that I could lose one photo area so the cube sat more solidly on a flat surface.

10. Insert the TOP of the cube first.  This way you can reach inside it and press the adhesive down fully. It’s more important that the top is stuck precisely than the bottom, as you will see it more.


11. Close the cube by slipping the bottom hinges into the last remaining gaps.


At this point you can still loosen the sides enough to slip in your photos.  Stop here if you want to be changing photos to update this cube, rather than making another one. The cube will be a little less tight, solid and square but it’ll still be mostly ok.

Finally, add a bit of paper-backed adhesive (or, I suppose, wet adhesive if you prefer) INSIDE, on BOTH sides of each hinge, to make a really tightly stuck, solid and neat cube! Once you do this there will be no slipping in or out of photos, trust me.


Ta da!


You could use a contrasting or more purposeful Gelli print bit instead of a photo and while it was a little fiddly, cutting them to about 3 1/4 x 3 1/4 let me slip them into the corners after construction.


And I had this kicking around – one of the Spellbinders die D-lites cut without the frame – so I just slipped it in over the white insert.  Cute!


And if you really did read that all, I’ll bet next time I say WATCH THE VIDEO you will do it LOL!


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Just a few shares

I just wanted to quickly share a couple of things.  First the spray inks when printed using the Acrylic medium.  I sprayed them with water and they do smear a little but not as much as plain in does.  In fact, I rather like the misty effect.



Next, I thought I would share a print or two made on a pretty dirty plate – the plain one was pulled thru the stencil and it pretty much masked the grunge on the plate, but the black grid on the ghost is the leftover from the star-masks from a couple of days back. Nifty!








Next, the Spreecasts continue – yesterday there was one on what Julie calls Stendoodling (using stencils to doodle, both in creating the shape to doodle IN and/or to create the doodling.  I just did a simple pattern, using punchinella to do the small circles within the larger circles of the stencil and doing some lines.  I quite like it, although haven’t quite finished it. Another thing to play with a bit more.


I still want to find a face stencil I can cut to play with another technique (she calls her Zombie Girl) from the Face stencil Spreecasts.  If I like the process I may have to buy the real stencils!