Double-flag book is finally totally DONE!


Not a ton of photos here, but still worth marking the completion of another project.

I took a couple of the samples from the Vaseline-resist play and some scraps from the tissue-paper resist and brought it all together into two companion pieces for the covers, front and back

Those are a couple of older Dina Wakely stamps (Godesses, I think) and they seemed to fit quite wekk on the samples. I added a couple of stamped letters, which were appropriate, given all the flags inside begin with BE …

and again, I used a scrap from the tissue paper resist play for them – to be fair, the letters are pretty small so you don’t see much of the stars on there.

I love that the book is basically the same. So I can choose either side to be the front, based on how I am feeling.

What next? I have been really enjoying going back and looking over some of my old (sometimes a decade old!) gel plate play and sometimes I feel inspired to create a new project from an old one. I might head down that route but then again, I might not. I’ll see what the weekend brings. It might be that the next few weeks are taken up prepping for then dealing with the window replacement. As The Hubster keeps reminding me I am the project manager of this task so crafting time might be a bit thin on the ground. I may just re-visit some of those old projects for a bit. Maybe you will remember them, maybe not. Either way, I will hope not to just disappear for 2 weeks. fingers crossed…


Revisiting DI and Stencils with Vaseline Resist

I was playing with this the other day when it took me off in a new direction and I played with deli-paper to create translucent collage elements. But I made some sample with this play that I felt would maybe work for the cover of the double flag book. The process is the same as I did way back when but to refresh your memory, smudge Vaseline or other petroleum jelly product thru a stencil onto coated cardstock or photo paper. WARNING: HP photo paper DOES NOT WORK but virtually any other one I tried, including cheap £ store versions, work great

In the past, I smeared the Distress Oxide inks on something slick like a page protector or a tile and spritzed with water then dragged the paper thru for a more mottled look. This sample is with vellum (which also works) but the effect is so pretty.

For these samples, I smeared the inks on to a gel plate then spritzed that with water. It gave me more defined areas of colour, IYKWIM.

Once you buff off the Vaseline the DI gets brighter and the piece is sealed.

I think these will work very well as elements for the cover of my double-flag book and once I put that all together I am going to call it DONE and move on!

But will I move back to the card-box? humm……

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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.

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Experiment with Vaseline resist, Distress Oxides and glossy photo paper

I have been wondering about glossy photo paper and how it might work with DO inks and I finally found a longer bit of time to give it a go. I dragged out the paper I have the most of which is HP premium glossy photo paper – I had an HP printer for a bit and got a pack of it when I bought it but never really used it. I did the thing I showed a while back, sponging Vaseline thru a stencil, then covering the paper with DO inks, in layers. Let’s just say this was an EPIC fail:

Oh, it looks pretty enough but as soon as you try to rub off the Vaseline, the ink just sloughs off like snake skin. Ugh.

I wondered if maybe I had not let the ink dry enough, or if using the heat gun, even lightly, to dry it, caused this effect? So I grabbed another sheet of the HP photo paper, some Epson gloss photo paper and some no-brand linen texture paper I got from the £ shop eon ago and cut strips to test:

I think you can guess which was the HP. Even letting it dry naturally it is still an epic fail. But the other two are WINs for me. I cut a few ATC sized cards from the two good strips:

and added a bit of surface embellishment, stamping with a couple of colours of Archival Ink

I am really happy with them! I can’t say it is anything superior to glossy cardstock, but I have only small sheets of glossy card stock (two ATCs at most with a TON of wastage) and lots of old photo paper that is of dubious quality for photos. The HP paper is fab for that and rubbish for this. So yeah. WIN/WIN/WIN.

Now what to top them with? I had a last minute binge over the final week of the Mischief Circus site before it closed down on Sunday and I am pretty sure there are a few images that will call out to me once I unzip and review them all. I do have one idea…


Interesting technique with Distress inks and waxed paper

I stumbled on my box of waxed paper while tidying up in my sewing room and had an idea. I wondered about the texture that comes from crumpling the paper. I’ve played with it a lot over the years, but not for a very long time! What I had in my head, was to crumple the paper and use that as the surface, rather than a glass or a kraft mat, to smoosh or pounce Distress Oxides or Distress ink onto tags.

It’s interesting, but a few experiments are needed. I like the original concept, of smooshing the inks on to a crumpled piece of waxed paper, then spritzing them and pouncing the tag on to apply the ink, drying between layers.

The effect is different, more mottled, than you get with normal ink smooshing.

What I then wanted to try is to add some Distress Ink (not Oxides) as a layer, trying to retain the crinkled pattern of the waxed paper. For contrast, I used Ripe Persimmon, which I daubed onto the crinkled waxed paper then pressed onto the tag:

It’s there, but not as pronounced as I wanted – although it IS more pronounced in real life that it shows in the photo. I decided to simplify the process a bit, by creating the base of the tag in the “usual” way. I swiped the DO inks onto a kraft mat, gave it a spritz, then pressed the tag into that, again, drying between layers for a more complex background.

Loving the colour combo of Twisted Citron, Ripe Persimmon and Mustard Seed! This time, I daubed the Distress Brushed Corduroy ink onto the crinkled waxed paper quite heavily and pressed it quite firmly onto the surface – I even weighted it down to make sure all the ink and the texture transferred to the tag.

And the texture transferred pretty well for a nifty effect!

I think next time I would swipe more than daub, although I kinda like the boxy outline from the pad itself. I think it bears more exploration, cause the effect is cool and not difficult. I am curious to see how it works with all DO ink. It might not work at all, but then I won’t know till I try LOL!

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Finally took the plunge…trading ATCs

I finally decided to join a few ATC swap places so I could maybe exchange some of my ATCs with others. It’s a minefield, I tell ya! I worry all the time that I will mess up a swap, send the wrong item, that people will hate them, that I will hate something I get…. Doesn’t help I wrecked my back AGAIN and have been hobbling around for a few days unable to do much crafty “work” cause sitting at my desk is a struggle, except when the painkillers are in my system in full force. Before that happened I did complete some ATCs. My Lunar Series cards are all made from the backgrounds I created with the Vaseline resist/Distress Oxides technique, a couple of stamps, a torn strip of tracing paper sprayed with gloss spray, a die cut and quotes from men who walked on the moon. Not sure if the stamps are actually of the moon, but call it artistic license.

I really like them, and they are not so cluttered that they don’t show the backgrounds to good effect. I am playing around with the tracing paper sample too, but not managed to do much. It’ll have to wait till my back is all better!

WOYWW tomorrow. Might be a messy desk if I don’t feel up to cleaning….



Stamping with Vaseline as a resist for Distress Oxides

So yeah, I actually did this on the same day as the Vaseline thru a stencil as a Distress Oxides resist post, but I really wanted to add my art journal page, and I had already edited the post on Thursday to add the PDF, so I decided to leave it and add this today. Pretty simple stuff really and as is so often the case, it really depends on stamp choice! You need glossy cardstock and a stamp that has both a good portion of stamped image areas as well as a good bit of areas that let the background show thru. Here are a couple that I know will work (left) and a couple I am not sure about but curious (right):

The first thing I did was make a sort of stamp pad from a piece of stiff, dense packing material. It has a nice bit of give to it but is still also quite firm, IYKWIM. You need a fairly thin coat of the Vaseline, not so much that you are getting a lot of sqidge into the open areas of the stamp.

I hope you can see I am getting a reasonable stamped image on the glossy cardstock and plenty of open areas:

Again, I used a bit of plastic packaging to tap on the water-activated Distress Oxide inks, in layers, drying between. As you can see, it has the typical oxidized (chalky) effect

I always like to buff off the Vaseline on half the piece in hope you can see the difference side-by-side (left buffed, right not)

And finally:

Really love it. Now I tried the not-sure stamps on the tracing paper – I missed out the stamping-only od the swirl, but you can see it mostly under the Distress Oxide ink here, and you can also see the tracing paper wanting to curl, hence the addition of the painter’s tape:

I think you can see how the top stamp was pretty useless – the bottom one is a bit more interesting. I love that one, but it isn’t very distinct for sure.

I have some ideas for using these but not done anything with them quite yet. I’m still refining the technique.

Oh, and it bears saying loudly:

WASH YOUR STAMPS. You are not going to get a good stamped impression ever again with a slick coat of Vaseline clinging to the rubber/silicone. Do it. Do it NOW.


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:


Dyeing paper with Dylusions spray for my colourful Junk Journal

I had a few comments and a few questions for people I know in real life about the scrapbook dyes. Sorry to say they are such an old product and well and truly unavailable so far as I have been able to find. It did get me thinking ‘tho. What else did I have in my stash that would work as well? One of the (sometimes) annoying properties of Dylusions spray inks is the extreme water reactivity. Sometimes it is a good thing, but unless you are careful to keep them as a final layer, they are going to mix and run with any wet medium that goes over them. I thought that it was actually useful then for mixing them with water and dyeing paper!

I grabbed a few sprays and had a go. The first try was straight After Midnight. My stash of dyes did not contain any purple and while I was able to mix what was left after doing the Fuchsia and the turquoise papers, it was super pale lavender. Nice but I only had the one packet of dye. I did spray a few spurts on the paper first, thinking the darker spots would be interesting over paler dyed paper. I used about 1/2 cup of hot water and three good sprays of the ink and…WOW. Super dark and way deeper than I wanted.

Next, I tried Campso Teal and Cherry Pie, one spray of each and cold water. It was not the right purple, although it was OK. A lot lighter than the After Midnight. One weird effect was he paper, a heavier weight printer paper, was one colour on one side and very much another colour on the other side.

Then I tried the Turquoise, the cherry and the Fuchsia and left it in for 5 minutes or so and it was JUST the right colour…on one side. No idea what that is all about. Above, you can see the blue-y Teal+Cherry Pie and the purple-y Turquoise+Cherry Pie+Fuchsia on heavier (120 gsm) paper at the top then the Turquoise+Cherry+Fuchsia on the thinner 75gsm printer paper and I think I am calling that a success.

Now, after how dark the After Midnight became using three sprays, I limited these attempts to a pretty light single spray, but honestly, it worked better than I expected it would. I will 100% do this again. I do want to go back and play with the odd spatter of darker ink, either before dyeing, or after dyeing (and both while the paper is wet and when it is dry) to see the sort of effects I might get. I can see making a whole journal just out of hand dyed papers. I may have a play with some other inks I have. I am betting dye-ink re-inkers would work in a similar fashion…and what about Distress Oxides? Ooohhh. This could be really fun!


Another AJ page from unearthed art – and camera complaints

I decided to make a page using the other bit of re-discovered art, and using my Inktense blocks. I swear the box looks untouched, although I am sure I’ve used them once before!

The missing wells are because I picked those colours to go with my piece.

I used the horrible old Creative Palette as a … palette, so I could make use of the inky pools.

Here is where the camera issues come in. I don’t have a “real” camera at the moment. My old one was giving me problems and as I am not really leaving the house I saw no reason to buy one. I had an old iPhone that has no SIM card in it, but I keep it in my craft room solely for taking photos for blogging. I can’t be doing with carrying my large actual phone around the house with me. Problem is it has been acting up a little, not actually seeming to store a photo I think I have taken, so if I don’t check, I may find, three steps down the line, that I have no record of a step I want to document. Annoying. That will be why this gessoed and scribbled-into page

seems to jump forward a few steps to this:

What’s missing is me daubing Inktense ink at the top, letting it drip down across the page, and me adding a little water to help it along. What you are SEEING is the step where I pressed a stamp into the puddle on the palette and stamped with ink. Keep up…. {wink}

…and then I brayered on a bit of that across the background

I like how the brayered ink works with the scratchy scribbles in the original gesso layer, catching on the raised edges:

and then stamping with various lids to make circles…or at least loading the lids. The stamping will magically appear on the final page.

Finally, I used the rest of the pooled ink to colour the edges of the art piece that is the focal point

I can’t really express in words the difference between the inked edge and what you would get if you used an ink PAD, but it is very different and really wonderful

It is…defined, somehow, I just can’t explain. Do it once and you will see what I mean! I added back in some more white, for highlight and brightness – and Abracadabra! Ink circles!

and finally used a weird tool I got in some long-forgotten kids Play doh set and rolled a little zig zag of gold across the page in lines – you can just about see one zig zag here, but the photo of the tool is missing. Doh!

I added text, cobbled together from the various word-books, and I have more to say on that but this post is super photo heavy and too long already, so I’ll save it for another day! Imagine if the missing photos had actually saved. Oh my. Here is the final page, with a last minute addition of some sparkle to support the gold zig zags, some small gold confetti circles dotted about:

I quite like it, again with an unusual colour palette that isn’t what I would normally pick. I keep saying that, and I think that it is misleading. I don’t think, at the moment, I HAVE a usual colour choice. I am just going’ with the flow and experimenting.

Having said that, I may feel the need to take a break from orange for a while, given the last four years of far too much of that orange face on TV…