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Trash Transformed – again

Yeah, I feel like I am finding so much trash to transform that 100 days of it might be do-able, but the problem is could it be 100 consecutive days? I’m not sure. This one is a good one I think, so worth sharing.

I got my set of Dina Wakely alphabet stamps and as I was popping them out of the surround, it occurred to me that the SURrOUND would make a fab stamp in its own right. Problem was many of the thin bars between the letter blocks were either too thin t support their own weight, with the cushion, or I was too impatient and ripped them. Be more careful and you MIGHT get the whole sheet, which had been my goal, and I failed at that.

I managed these two blocks and another set of four with a pretty ropy bottom edge. They stamp pretty well, although I was testing them on a mop-up sheet from art journal play and it was pretty rough and bumpy, with a variety of substances (paint, ink, gel medium, gesso) over it. But still…

So while they work really well just as blocks of colour, they work better with stamped letters inside – words as well but I’m focusing on the letters for now. I had a good rummage thru all my letter stamps, trying out anything that struck my fancy:

and while this font isn’t a perfect fit, the area below the letters could have a small word or a tiny image fit in there. This is an old Rusty Pickle stamp set from eons ago

Hands down my favourite is the Banana Frog Jeannie Shrimpton font in the large size.

Bev responded to my pleas for this font cause I loved it so and I still do. It is such a good fit for the blocks!

The K from above is actually a different BF stamp set, which also works OK – pretty sure it is Steelfish Outline, but like many of my BF stamps, the rubber is deteriorating and they have morphed into super-sticky, easily ripped items. Oddly enough, if you remember the last ripped letter, the one I ripped this time was ALSO an E! what are the odds….

Day 57. Can’t decide of 60 or 75 will feel like my next milestone…


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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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Stamps re-organization and another 100 Days page

First, my next 100 Days page. One I like – more restrained. I decided to photo this before the journaling cause it’s getting easier to read as I try to make my handwriting a little more legible.

On another note, I have been stuck on my art journaling because I ordered a few things that I had a vision for, but they have not arrived – I literally just got notice they will be delivered today! So in trawling thru my existing supplies I realized my 3rd (4th? 5th?) stamp organization and storage system was simply not working for me. And I also realized I was holding on to SO MUCH that I know I am never going to use. A cling stamp of a cartoon frog? WTF? Why do I even have this? Loads of twee little border stamps gotten as freebies on magazines? About 15 variations of leaping stags/reindeers with swirls on them (from Christmas issues of magazines?) Literally 100s of small flowers. I felt a cull coming on and during the process I had a really hard look at every stamp – cling only. I have lots of wood mount stamps, and even three boxes of ones that I am pretty sure I won’t use, but they are sorted and stored so I’m OK with them. I have good muscle memory of where they are so can usually go to a drawer and find what I need.

I mean really. It was chaos. I started by looking at my existing storage and thought about how I use the stamps I do use. Washed all of the cling ones, hoping to rejuvenate them so the ones that no longer stuck to a mount would do so.

And yeah, that was an epic fail for a lot of them. I looked at a lot of videos on making them stick and most of the tips didn’t work very well. There seems to be some variation is the quality of the cling stamps. Some are super sticky, even now, but virtually disintegrate when you try to peel them off from existing storage. Some still stick fine. Some, no matter what I tried, will not stick at all. For those, I have my best use for the crappy Creative Palette and this works amazingly well for both totally unmounted red rubber and for cling stamps that will not stick. But it doesn’t work when the storage system depends on the stamps clinging to something! Bah!

So I am still at the how best to store these? stage and looking at the WAY I now use stamps pretty critically. I am finding that for most of the art journling uses, I need the stamps to be close to where I work, easy to access, and grouped by specific uses. So is it a text stamp that I am using to add background “texture” to a page? Is it an element (hats, crowns, wings, glasses ?) that I might use to create a quirky figure? Is it a mark-making sort of stamp? Is it ready-made words or sayings? How can I store those so I can just grab them and use them while I am painty and mucky and in a real creative flow? How can I do that without investing in a huge pile of new stuff to organize it all? It’s a challenge.

Sorry, no resolution quite yet. But I’ll get there and I’ll share when I do. I do know it will be some weird hybrid of my own, and not some super-organized system I found elsewhere. Tried that. None of them, not all in CD cases, not all in 3-ring-binders, not all is DVD cases, not all heaped in a drawer, ever worked for me. I really want to find a system that works for ME – and maybe works ONLY FOR ME – and be done with it!

Wish me luck!


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WOYWW 611 – Too much sadness

This is scheduled as we have some other stuff going on at Chez Walters today.

I really can’t say Happy WOYWW this week, as I usually would. The news we lost Shaz Silverwolf to cancer, after she battled so long and mightily, made me so very sad. My heart breaks for Shaz and Doug both. I am thankful she was able to slip painlessly away – small mercies. She will be missed, every week. So I will just say It’s WOYWW.

I did manage to tidy up pretty well, just a good hoover left to be done. At the very least, a good, active, intense clear up helped take my mind off how sad I was feeling. Interestingly, I was doing more of a deep dive this time, actually sorting thru some of the boxes of old embellishments, rub-ons, stickers, etc. One box had a real surprise in it. Along with some debris from the WOYWW 6th annual crop ATCs I had made, I found a sheet of Tim Holtz birds I stamped. I am nearly 100% sure they must have been Helen’s and she was kind enough to let me stamp out 3 or 4 sheets of them. And there they have languished. I used some of the stamping on thin paper to cut pattern pieces, and assembled these little sweeties on the day (from what I recall – it has been, after all, from 2015 till NOW that I have seen them.) And of course that made me think of meeting Shaz at a crop and it made me sad all over again.

The other odd thing is also quite old, a JAVA conference notebook freebie from 2000. I am a hoarder. What can I say?

The plan is to use the boxes full of old scrapbooking embellishments, stickers and mini-paper pads to do the 100 Day project. I have been very inspired by all the WOYWW folk who have done their own versions of this, and things like INK-tober. I struggle to stick with long projects so I am determined to stick with this one. Today, I begin by making the cover. My plan is to do a few things. 100 days of diary entries. I tend to gravitate towards Caro (and other Deskers) who are doing bullet journals or Hobonichi style journals and this seems a good test. If I can manage it for 100 days, one of two things will happen – either I will be so relieved the 100 days are up I will know I will NEVER mange it, or I will love it so much, and the 100 days will produce something worth keeping, that I will then have the habit of daily journaling, so carrying on will be a breeze. We’ll see. I have messed up my desk for a final shot of the piles of stuff I have to work with. I am planning a collage-style page per day, also tied to a word – of encouragement, a goal or an aspiration, or just something positive. The more I can use up the better. I am so over hoarding the nicest things cause I don’t want to use them up – how could I? Just LOOK at how much I have!

I have pulled together a few things for page one, but I really want to begin with the cover, so that will be the task for the day!

I will do my best to get around to the desks, once the real-world obligations are dealt with.


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Where I repair a ruined rubber stamp

Yeah. I am a bit chaotic with my supplies. And in the past I was not always very careful with them, either unknowing of the dangers or unmindful of them. I often used acrylic paint on my red rubber stamps and was not as careful as I should have been about cleaning them off. As a result, I have had this stamp, which I have always loved, sitting in my stamp drawer, unusable because of the blank spot that will not stamp:

It was really a combo of two careless events – one was putting the stamp away still choked with acrylic paint and the other was putting it in a drawer with another stamp’s wood block pressing down on the stamps surface. It left a visible dent and a blank spot in the stamped image.

No amount of pressure on the block would make that image stamp in that area! I could feel the paint crust on the surface and the dip in the etched rubber. First, I squirted a bit of alcohol on to the surface and gave it a good scrub. I could immediately feel a difference. Then I unmounted it form the wooden block, and washed the surface. I wanted to get ALL the alcohol off, lest THAT damage the rubber.

In order to give that dented area a better chance of stamping well, I stuck the now unmounted stamp to a bit of clear plastic and marked an X right where the stamp was still stamping fainter than it should:

Then, when stamping the image, I can put just a bit more pressure right behind the area that was dented – sadly removing the paint didn’t completely solve the problem – and get a good image.

Now, most likely this is a stamp I am going to use as a background text layer in my art journal, so it giving a pristine and clear stamped image isn’t critical, but solving the big gap in the image was. And I did. It is quite satisfying to bring something back from the dead and put what could have been the replacement cost towards something NEW instead. It really was an easy fix once I diagnosed the problem. What do you have in your stash you can revive? Maybe you are more respectful of your supplies than I was, but if not, maybe have a look and see what you can bring back to life! Then be sure to tell me what you fixed and how – I know I have other disasters that I don’t want to bin if I don’t have to!


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Altering stamps for art journaling

Yesterday I shared a page I made with some Janet Klein images that were altered to make them more usable for art journaling. This is how they began life.

Cute, no doubt, but less useful (for ME) in my art journal. I love the technique that MANY people do, of creating figures with more “normal” heads but amorphous blobs for the body. I am a fan, but don’t have a ton of appropriate images. Plus, the journal I am working on at the moment is my very small one made from a free Roben-Marie class. The scale of many of the things one MIGHT use is all wrong. These stamps are just the right size.

While I love the faces and the body bits, those hats! Interestingly, I found that cutting them off produced what I needed. That little dip from removing the cup?

Perfectly filled by flipping the cup, minus handle upside down, creating a little hat.

And that technique works for a couple of them. The birthday cake, when cut away, leaves a hatless lady that can be used as such (see final page) but the hats can also be shuffled around to fit all of them.

And other hat or hat-like things can be brought in as well!

Nice! On the final page I also used a large flower stamp, stamped on deli-paper then coloured and coated (both sides) with GLOSS (not matte) medium on a non-stick surface, like a page protector, and left to dry. This creates what I have seen called crystalline paper.

You can sort of see the shiny translucent nature of the bits, and cut in a certain way they make nice butterfly wings!

I did say there were three things I altered, so lastly, and the most scary, I cut into a stamp set. Yep. I have this stamp and die set, but the dies actually don’t include the little words, and those words could be very useful in many other ways.

With micro-tip scissors I snipped away the text

and used it on the final page.

I think this cluster of figures idea is one that I will explore more. In fact, I had a book delivered that I want to play with, that has some tools (sort of) inside that I think will be useful in this.

Watch this space! And HAPPY NEW YEAR’s EVE! 2021 cannot come soon enough…


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WOYWW 604 – altered stamps

Happy WOYWW to all – and creeping closer to the final days of 2020. They cannot come soon enough for me.

I finished an art journal page that I quite like. It is what is on my desk today:

Yes, careful watchers will note that I now own a set of Janet Klein images. I have commented for many weeks on WOYWW how tempted I have been by them. Mostly I have seen the little people with flower eyes, which I like well enough, but when I saw these, I just couldn’t resist.

Ignore the rubbish stamping – it was more for demonstration purposes than for use in the final page above! I almost passed them by, because of the head-toppers. I have been wanting images that will work as collage-y figures in my art journal but oh my, that fruit bowl! Anyway, once I got them in my hands, a little knife work and they were transformed. I ended up using them exactly as I intended when they fell into my basket.

A few posts back I mentioned I was on a mission to find supplies that could be used in different ways, to make standard issue items more unique to me. There are three things on that page that have been altered or used in a different way. I wonder if you can spot them all? I have a few step-by-step sort of photos to take but I will be sharing probably tomorrow.

Hope you all had the best socially-distanced Christmas that you could – we are still working our way thru family Zooms, cause if Thanksgiving taught us anything it was that massive multi-houshold Zooms are rarely satisfying. I prefer smaller groups, so that means many more Zooms!

I have not made it thru the list from last week, as of today as I type, but expect to do so by the time WOYWW posts tomorrow. Here are a few more can’t comment links that I like to add to let people know that I visit even if I can’t leave a comment to prove it! ~Stacey had a great idea for using monogram letters as gift tags! I will totally do this next year. Dorlene is another who often posts scrapbook layouts that I love seeing and can never say so.

See you in 2021!!


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Art Journal text for not very confident writers

Well, that sums me up in a nutshell. I love adding text to my pages, but my lettering is not great. I know I should be fearless, like I keep telling myself, but I am just not. I also know with time it is likely I WILL get better. But what to do in the meantime?

I am always finding things when I am tidying up and organizing. I found a ton of old scrapbooking frames and journaling spots and I thought how can I use those in my art journals?

Turns out, LOTS of ways. Even the journaling spots, which I thought might be a bit useless, actually work well. Hands up if you have a ton of these and haven’t used them in ages?

They work well if you stamp them with some sort of very light ink, then use the lines as guides.

And then cut them out to add them to a page. This is just the block, plunked down on an old page, to show you how it might look:

I love that I can make 50 samples if I need to and stick the best one on the page – and all that practice has to help me improve!

The frames offer many more options, I think. Just filling the space with quirky lettering looks cute.

A little not-perfect drop shadow looks good. You can also stamp on old gel prints, watercoloured backgrounds, whatever.

Drawing a few curved lines, you can do some funky lettering inside the frame

Then cut it out to stick to your page

And if you REALLY are scared about lettering, you can add pre-printed bits of text (either with the blank paper inside the frame or you can cut that away, leaving the page to show thru)

Or you could stamp the letters within the frame – helpful if your stamping is dodgy or your placement is, or if you want to alter the stamping – like maybe stamp one word on each line, rather than the way it is laid out in the stamp:

Or use simple stamping as a jumping off point and do that thing where you make the ends into triangles, to funkify the text a bit. I have plain letters in many sizes, and there are LOTS of ways to alter plain letters – bullet journal lettering tutorials always seem to have a ton of simple ideas.

This is so photo-heavy, sorry, but there were a lot of samples. I am not so much altering these old supplies, and I am only sort of using them in a non-traditional way. – a frame is a frame, a journaling spot is well, a journaling spot for keeping text aligned. It’s more about looking at my stash of stuff and finding a way to use them TODAY. And the practice I get taking the time to make something a little better than just my writing on the page is a bonus!


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Altering common art journal supplies to make them yours

Merry Christmas! Hope you all had a good one. I am excited cause I found a few new art supplies under the tree and I have been playing with them. Well, between all the holiday movies my darling daughter has insisted we watch, and all the cooking that we have had to do. Seems like the fact Christmas was not the usual affair didn’t sink in till we were faced with a very full fridge and a dawning realization that we were only THREE people this year. So my holiday goal is to not shop till after New Year and I think I can do it!

Anyway, back to the art. I have mentioned that I tend to watch a LOT of art journaling videos while I walk on the treadmill. I have my favourites, and they all have their favourite supplies. Some of them (a LOT of them) are sponsored videos, or monetized in some way, so I always watch them with that in mind.

I have resisted, mightily, buying a Dina Wakely face stamp. Don’t get me wrong, I love them SO much, but I just felt like every page I used them on would be more about HER art and less about MINE. But in the end I caved. I bought one.

I like the words too, and that was probably what swung me towards this one over another. Well, that and availability LOL! I wanted to figure out a way to alter it to make it more useful to me, to make it look more unique. I liked the different halves of the face and that was what gave me my idea.

I started my masking off the mid-line of the face and stamping just half on deli paper.

Then, I inked the same half and turned the deli paper over. with the stamp on the desk I lined up the midpoint as best I could and pressed the deli paper on to the stamp.

Not perfect, but then on the right (forward facing) side, I drew over the face stamped on the back and fixed any little issues with alignment

Not bad, if I do say so myself. As it is on deli paper, over a background, it all melds together even better.

And adding the catch lights makes it even better. Ages ago, I saw Teesha Moore do this with her collage images (Good lord! I just checked – that video was from 2009! Crikey) and I was reminded of that trick when I saw it again it on a few more recent videos. It really makes a difference, don’t you think?

What’s more, I also have the OTHER side of the face that I can mirror, so I get two versions with one stamp!

I think by masking off, for example, the squiggle over the eyebrow on one side it could make it all look less symmetrical. And this technique would ALSO let me stamp on the reverse to use the half-face along the edge of the other side of a page. So stamp a right-side image then reverse it so I get the half I want along the right edge of the page rather than the left edge.

It is a small thing, but as my proficiency in drawing faces is, well, pretty much non-existent, this lets me use the image in a way that is unique to me. Well, until someone reads this and does the same LOL! This is one of my goals in 2021 – find as many ways as I can to make mass-produced supplies my own. I like the challenge and while I may falter after a month (because I mean really? how many options are there?) I will give it my best shot and see how it goes. And I suspect future purchases might slip into my basket only after I have considered how appropriate they are for altering…