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.

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My very first ever Artists Trading Coins and a fab folded envelope for them.

The envelope is right near the bottom. There was a challenge on the Mixed Media Emporium for watercolours and doodling. Two things I REALLY struggle with, I’m not gonna lie. But I had a bash. I did a whole sheet using coffee and watercolours – OMG it smelled so good while I was working on them. Then I punched out the coins and did some doodling. Not stellar, but OK.

Some of the doodling was actually done with strong coffee and a dip pen. And when I draagged out the stamps to add some extra texture, I spotted that little stamped image I think I shared before, and it took my coins in a totally different direction LOL!

I dragged out one of the Tim Holtz word sticker books and found a sort of progression from despair to hope :

There is a lot of symbolism in it that may mean something only to me (like the direction of the fish and the 456 as we progress from 45 to 46) but in the end the underlying message is that as individuals we need to do all the good we can, rather than wait for the slowly turning wheels of government to solve things. I hope the set is ultimately hopeful. Not very trade-able, perhaps but these are the very first ATC(oins) I have ever made so I am happy with them.

I am really happy with this little origami folded envelope. It took m a few tries to get the sizing right and (hopefully) turn it into a more foolproof thing, but here goes:

Begin with a 5 3/4inch square of paper. Fold it in half, corner to corner, to create a triangle. Orientate so the folded edge is at the bottom

Fold down the top point of the top piece to meet the bottom edge

Slip your ATCoin into the fold, centre it as best you can.

Now fold the top tip down to cover the coin

Adjust the position of the coin, again, aiming to centre it. Fold over one side, so the fold line is very close to the edge of the coin

This part is a little tricky. Fold the other point over while slipping the folded tip inside the two pieces of the new fold

The trick is that sometimes one of the two sides will fit better into the other, and you may have to try both ways to see. It should create as close to a square as possible and the coin will be trapped inside. You can then decorate the reverse.

It’s not as elegant, but the Menko pocket I showed previously could easily double as am ATCoin holder as well. I’ll have to work out the exact dimensions but it’s tricky!

Still considering the A Card A Day. I’ve made about 40 cards, between the warm-ups and the daily cards and I wonder how many more is enough? And like the 100 Days project, I have made barely a dent in my card-making scraps. It all seems rather pointless some days, as scraps beget scraps….


Today is the exact middle of the year (day 182) and that day is kinda a deadline for the junk journal and a move-on-to-the-nest-phase day. So on Monday there might be a new project beginning…fingers crossed…

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Watercolour texture challenge – such fun!

I have been doing the Mixed Media Emporium challenges from a Facebook group and it’s been interesting. I had rather let my watercolours sit ignored and it was fun to drag them out again. The Watercolour Texture challenge really got me playing and I thought I would share my samples. The one I liked perhaps best of all was a disc of heavy watercolour paper that I sponged with a bit of iridescent medium using a sea sponge. It gave a really cool texture and a bit of a glimmer, and once I sprinkled on a few grains of brown and black Brushos (each made up of a multitude of individual grains of many colours) and a drop or two of alcohol, it was quite magical – not sure the photos really do this justice,

I tried angling it in the sunlight but still not as amazing as it is IRL.

More Brushos, with some larger alcohol drops to disperse the wet watercolours and some more colour

So then I had to drag out some old supplies, like those damn Silkies and spatter a bit of those over the Brusho sprinkles, wet and then dried:

And then another favourite – I tried the technique of sprinkling water on the paper, then adding embossing powder (which clings to the water and if you are fast, and have pre-heated your heat tool, you can emboss it before the water dries and the powder blows away) first Distress Embossing powder:

Then some very old gold UTEE – which gave very distinct dots, as it is so chunky.

The green one also has an interesting addition – I mixed a tiny bit of yellow Brushos with a few drops of alcohol and dotted that over the green (I misted it with water so the wet paint could react with the alcohol+Brushos) and I love how that turned out.

Don’t mix up too much and work quickly before the alcohol evaporates. I kinda feel like these could be nice ATC (Artists Trading COINS rather than CARDS) but not sure how to finish them off – too much would hide the yummy texture and leaving them plain isn’t really appealing for a trade. Maybe I will see about making some sort of sample book, as someone suggested, so I can keep them.


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Gloss sprays and something crazy – yep, I cut a stamp…

I made a page using the gloss sprays – my first one.

This is in my thin-page brown paper bag journal – it only has a few pages left to complete it so I thought I would do a page in it. The gloss spray is not great on the brown paper, but I added some yellow stars and that worked pretty well to lighten it up at least a bit

I added some figures cut from Collage Collective papers, then I did a crazy thing – I cut one of my expensive red rubber stamps. Yep. I really, really did. This asemic writing stamp has on section of very small text on it – not only is it repeated elsewhere on the stamp, it sticks out and (to me) ruins the look of the whole stamp if you want to stamp it repeatedly to, say, fill a space. So i got the sharpest, smallest scissors I had and, snip, snip, snip…

The unseen benefit was that the tiny bit of text was both small and quite straight, and it worked really well to use to stamp the asemic writing along the edge of the figures. This is a look I really like, but I am still at the stage where I think my own attempts at this scribbly writing will end up ruining a page I otherwise like. I am practicing but just not there yet! The stamp works OK to get the look in the meantime:

See how neatly it travels along the edge? I think alternating the orientation of the stamp will make it look less repetitive, but overall, I am pretty happy with it! And so, my 100 days page – getting so close to 50 now I can taste it ….

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The last page in my Junk Journal

Well. I finished my Junk Journal, and I had a whole lot of fun doing it. It really did provide me with a huge amount of freedom to try things, without the pressure of making fabulous pages – although some of the ones in there ARE fabulous, at least to me. I plan on doing a post that is a full flip-thru, once I photograph all the pages.

Once again, I did a terrible job of capturing the process. I have no idea why I am struggling with this – taking photos as I work was second nature for a long time. Now there is more often than not NOTHING between the beginning and the final page. I can share only where it begins:

and where it ends:

It might be hard to tell but I used my deli-paper masterboard leftovers for this. I still have SO MANY sheets left!

the beginnings….

While working on this page, I got into storytelling quotes. I love the Dina stamp that says We all have a story to tell. I would probably use it a lot, but I don’t want every 3rd page in my journal to have the same quote on it. Which got me thinking – could I re-create the style of the font and get it close enough that any quote I would make worked the stamped one? This was my first attempt. It’s not bad. But I am in the process of experimenting with an idea I have that might work. I think I identified the base font (Helvetica) and with a little manipulation I think I can make it match well enough, and more importantly have a guide for how I can use it in the future! If I can make it work, I will share.

And now another 100 days page. Still mindful of the middle bulk so staying to the edges, mostly. It is limiting. I can’t wait to begin again with the second 50 days book:

You can see the stamps punched with the circle punch I mentioned yesterday. My word was meant to be CHARITY, cause I was knitting charity squares and feeling productive, but it was just visually a bit too long.

Off to play with fonts…

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A hard fought art journal page…

I had a page on my desk and things were NOT going well. I got there in the end, but because it was such a struggle (at one point I literally wiped away a whole bunch of paint to start again from the last drying point) I took virtually no photos. Ah well. Here is the page:

I wish I had maybe left the middle of my guy’s face a little more bare, but the fronds were the dried layer, and the point where I was happy. What I wiped away was a large stenciled face:

that just did not work at all. I played around with a couple of other stamps as well, none of which worked either.

I tried to wedge in some collage collective bits, and didn’t like them either. While the leafy frond stencil might look a bit like the (discontinued) Dina stencil that is similar, this is my own version, cut YEARS ago from heavy card and still very usable.

So it’s a weird thing. I joined a FB group for Dina Wakely products. I posted my page from yesterday and apparently I ran afoul of the single rule of the group: If you use a Dina product (and you must or they delete your post) you have to SAY what the thing you used was, if it isn’t obvious. On that page what I used was the asemic writing stamp, within the blue circles. As I was feeling a little playful, I mentioned in my post that I had used a Dina product, it was subtle, guess what it was…One of the moderators slapped me down on that, referenced the rule and said I had to say, not ask them to guess, or my post would be removed. I was ok with that, cause I know how blinkin’ hard it is to moderate a forum (or a FB community) and added the info as soon as I saw the comment, but it really reminded me of a simple fact – FB pages like that one are not really about the people on there sharing their work. They are about both providing inspiration by sharing work using a specific set of products, and getting people to see the possibilities of those products. Equally (more so?) they are about promoting the designer and ultimately about product sales. Which is fine, I get it. But I think how it all ties together with THIS post is that I tried 3, no 5 different Dina products in an effort to finish my page. WHY? So I could share it not only here, but there as well, and not get slapped down, I guess. Well, that’s stupid. No doubt, I am a fan of Dina’s style. And I like her products. But I cannot fall into the trap of thinking that I have to force something DW into every page I do, just so I can share it someplace other than here. That makes my pages less about me and makes me more a shill than an artist (gosh, even typing that makes me feel like a pretender. Working on that….)

In the end my own stencil worked far better on this page than the original one. And my own leafy frond worked every bit as well as the stencil I have looked for and cannot find. I am now officially stopping my search. I did try something with another Dina product, just cause it was out on my desk from a different try – the tissue paper words.

Some of the little text snippets are good, they often resonate with me pretty strongly. But I am never keen on using them cause they really disappear into the background, and my backgrounds are usually pretty chaotic. But applying the tissue with gel medium over white or cream card turns them into something far more usable for my style (the no-white-space-left-behind style LOL!) and worked well on this page. I will do this again, I am sure.

So in the end, I think it was a valuable lesson to learn. Will I share it “over there?” Probably – I’ve satisfied the terms & conditions so I might as well. But I am going to be a little more critical in my choices in the future. After all this is MY art journal. The stuff I buy to use when making a page should not be the driving force, my own thoughts and words should be. Will be.

Now day 23! Next milestone is day 30, or ONE MONTH of the 100 days:

I am coming down to the end of those crackle letters (SO old) and I needed to trim them to make them fit. I added the little snippets in a few places, just cause I didn’t want to throw them away. Also I am at the end of my trimmed number tickets. I used both of the 21, 22 and 23 tickets at some point in the past and I was NOT going to buy a whole new book so those three were 121, 122 and 123 trimmed down. Now I think I am golden for 24-100! I am also branching out, having found other sorts of journaling spots other than the tiny notebook. It’ll add a bit of variety for a bit.

Phew. That got long. Sorry.

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Another AJ page – paper dolls!

I am always excited when I use something new for the first time, but more so when I use something I bought over a month ago and am just using. Here is the first page using one of the TH paper dolls:

I did a better (but still crap) job of photographing my steps. To be honest I am not sure anyone cares LOL! But my memory is shit so I do it as much for me as anyone. I started simple enough, with a bit of paint and the brayer to spread it. Then I smeared a little gesso with my fingertip

Then I got all into the stenciling and the stamping. I caught the striped edge stencil then…nothing

and before you know it…

I mentioned this little roller tool before – well, I mentioned I used the zig-zag one but couldn’t find THIS one. I did. They are both from a kids PlayDoh set and better than a credit card to make lines, as you can roll the line right up the page. It looks lovely IRL with the fine liquid gold ink lines. The wings are stamped and embossed in gold on gold-speckled tissue paper, so it all ties together:

I love this quote. I saw it in a downloadable pdf from Stampington. I think I have tried to share these before but as they came to me in an e-mail the links never seemed to work. I’ll give it another go a different way and see…. I googled the text but am not coming up with an attribution. No matter, it’s a good one for creative blocks.

My next 100 days page:

I am being mindful of the placement, so the bulk of the collage stack is not always in the middle. I have always shifted the focus around the page, but never so far to the inside edge! Maybe it’ll help. We’ll see.


Art journal page – and a ripped clear stamp repair

I broke out a new-ish set of stamps to play with and had a LOT of fun with them. I had used a bit of one of the collage collective sheets of a bunch of circles on one of my single pages, but only two of them (although I punched another one out, I never used it) and had the rest of the page left. I had a go at stamping over the circles with the foliage stamp and even with the gaps of white between they still worked out pretty well! Three columns of circles, three fronds.

Here is the page – I was having fun creating so I didn’t take photos. I really must remember to do that.

I also used a stamp by Effy Wild (the Wild and Free one) and an old set of Autumn Leaves stamps. Quite annoyed that the E clear stamp ripped as I was trying to peel it off the backing. Honestly, so many of my cling mount stamps have had issues – the sticky goes and cannot be revived, the silicone deteriorated and the stamp crumbles and rips…just very annoying. Yes, I know these are cheaper than proper red rubber stamps (both cling mounts and wood-mounts) but you still expect them to last for more than a few years! I managed to “repair” it by sticking a bit of the red-line tape on the back, the sticky side holding the rip together, the backing left on. You can see it here, I hope.

The important thing is it still clings

and because of the nature of the letters, with the grungy edges, it still stamps well, especially over a chaotic background like the collage collective, but well enough to use on plain card:

Good thing, too, as it’s one of the most used letters in the alphabet. Worth remembering as a repair tip. Not helpful for super intricate or detailed stamps, but works well for ones like this.

And lastly, my next 100 days page:

Seems like my handwriting is degrading again, but overall I think I am happier sticking to black and brown ink. Note I used those magnetic stamps from the other day as well. Woo hoo!

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A delivery! Sidetracked…

I’ll begin with my next 100 days page:

Like it. Maybe not LOVE it, but like it.

I ordered a few Dina things I had trouble finding (a couple of old stamp sets that I really wanted) and I had made a start on the other side of my single journal page, so when the delivery came I got totally sidetracked from my stamp re-org to finish that up.

I had started with some fairly standard stuff – white gesso and some tissue collage

and topped that with some texture paste and then various bits of colour – old Distress Stain and some of the LIDL acrylic spray in a teal. A little spatter, a little drippage and

I grabbed a sheet from the Collage Collective and punched a few circles

And then stamped, painted and cut out some different circles and cut a couple of that pebble die I am loving so much

It all came together like this!

Colour-wise it could not be more different to the companion page

but what ties them together is the use of circles and the text – one side says We all have a story to tell and the next page says Spilling my story. So while they are very much NOT a matched pair, they go better together than I thought they might.

Tomorrow is hubby’s birthday and all I will do is share my 100 days page. Likewise on Sunday, when I will take a day off for a while. My darling daughter starts in-person school on Monday and I am a little anxious about it. And because we will then have to keep our distance in the house (I’m still shielding till the 31st, or until a week after my 2nd dose of the vaccine) it is going to be a day full of Mom+Daughter time. What time I do have will be (hopefully) spent on my stamp re-org. I am determined to get that done before WOYWW.

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A FUGLY art Journal page – naughty word warning!

If bad language offends you don’t click thru! As I say to my daughter, I use bad language sometimes. I’m not going to stop.

This quote is one that has been rattling around in my head for a while. I kept it there, in my back pocket, ready fro a truly ugly art journal page. Yeah. This is it.

The quote is not one you will find by Googling. It is a quote from a live event with Kevin Smith (he is the Jay and Silent Bob guy from Clerks) discussing a film I mention often, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. It always struck me as a perfect explanation for any kind of art that people say But IS it art, REALLY? It’s art if the artist says it’s art. Is it GOOD art is a totally different question LOL!

This is a case of me beginning with my crappy junk journal. I have a handful of pages in this, maybe even the majority of them, that I really, really like, and I kinda wish they were in a better journal. But they aren’t.

I do love the weight of the pages, although some I glued together, just to keep it from being too triangular, and gaping open! The whole thing began nice enough…

I had an idea to add what I heard SOMEPLACE called a “carrot person” (either BY Dina Wakley or by someone talking about her oddly shaped people) and the bit of a mask you see there is the body. It began life as a digitally altered image of the Venus de Milo

and the carrot is made up of a Teesha Moore stamped head and some packaging from Japan.

And from there I just kept throwing things at it. It ALL stuck and none of it really made it better. It just increased the layers of crap, till I ended up with … this.

There are elements I like and a lot that I would like it it had been better executed. I had planned to use the little bit of text along the crown, that says Creativity is Mental Medicine, which in 2021 it certainly is! I will probably do another page with that at some point but for now I kinda think I need to recover from the horror above. I need to settle my artistic brain and clear it of too many outside influences and just play. And clean. My room is once again a bit of a tip. And it is half-term for my lovely daughter and she has a stacked queue of Netflix movies and Anime to share. Spending time with her is always, always a good thing.