scrappystickyinkymess


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Finishing…anything.

{sigh}

I seem to be either in full experimental mode with my gel plates or fumbling about, unsure what to do. I have had a ton of fun playing with various things lately, but I am never seeming to get from paint to project, IYKWIM.

I was looking at my Roben Marie journal (you know I have mad love for that) and trying to decide what to do. I really really wanted to make a page in it. Life has been super crazy on many levels, none of which I am going to bore you with. I also signed up for a handful of free sessions and bought a couple of smaller classes, so keeping on top of all of that is difficult. I really hate that so many of the taster sessions are kinda all at the same time. ANYWAY, I had made a little journal for a freebie class called Flower Magic (more on that at some point) and I had my book-binding cradle out. I was looking at the squidgy foam and my brain went Huh. I mean don’t we ALL have what is, I think, technically known as a shit ton of this stuff hanging about? It comes in about 70% of the packaging we get.

I cut a bit off and used it to stencil thru a stencil previously used to do an alcohol ink technique. And I really liked the results:

It has a really textural effect on the paint, and the rough surface seems to catch and transfer the alcohol ink from the stencil. When you run your finger over it, you can really feel the nubbly effect in the paint.

I also had a bunch of stuff hanging about on my desk, so I decided to pull it all together into a page. I had printed out a bunch of gothic arches on my laser printer (from a free image I found) with the idea to maybe have a go at the Art Journal Journey prompt before we roll over into August.

and planned to have a go at transferring that onto the page, but instead I flipped forward to a B&W page, stenciled that same stencil on it in the background, cut a bit from the stencil and covered it with gold paint. I added a bit of stamping and some Stabilo black for a shadow (I think it really worked to make the arch look very dimensional) then grabbed my pot of printed quotes. I altered the quote with a one word exchange, and that got me where I wanted to be.

It was just good to finish something really, and while it won’t ever win any prizes for great colour choice or perfectly balanced composition, it really made me happy. The fluorescent red. The contrast of that with the gothic arch. The shiny gold. The Stabilo depth. The damask. The altered quote. It is all just very me, in all my weirdness.

I really love using the free resource for stenciling and really love the effect so much. I will play with this a lot more. I know. Will you? Better than buying make-up sponges right? Cause guess what? You can wash it!

me, doing the happy dance…


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Finally, and Art Journal page – woohoo!

Easing back in to it a bit. I went back to my own pull-a-quote challenge, where I pick a trio from my little pots of printed and cut quotes. If you want to print your own and challenge yourself, you can find some here and here.

I pulled only one, from the pot of longer quotes, and it was very appropriate for what is going on in the world, both the ongoing war in Ukraine and in the USA, with the leaked Supreme Court decision. Because, yeah, now is not the time to remain silent.

I have been missing the AJJ challenges, but this month it is BIRDS and this page, with the best will in the world, is never going to be about that. I mean, I could randomly stick a bird on it, but that feels too much like cheating, so I’ll have to make another page with an intentional bird on it LOL!

I had an image, can’t recall exactly where from now, that I liked so I decided to cut it as a stencil. {shudder} That meant going back to my old Mac mini, running the last operating system that works with my ancient Cricut (1st gen) and SCAL.

Yep. The one with the mini-Japanese keyboard and the right-only monitor. I had to have The Hubster remind me how to access that. Such a numpty, and a forgetful one at that. But it worked, thankfully, and as I had unearthed a mostly full pack of laser transparency sheets and my stash of new (sharp) blades, I cut it in a flash

And it stenciled like a dream. I did have to add a few lines to join things up but yeah, I love it and can see using it again. I don’t mind cutting a stencil that I need only once or twice when the resources are cheap. I only pray I NEVER need the Great Cheeto Coloured Git’s stencils again. But I digress…

I always love working in my very small journal from a Roben-Marie tutorial. It is by far one of my most favourite ones. especially when I have been away from journaling for a while and need to ease back in to it gently. The pages themselves are bright and colourful (mostly) so I need only add a focal image and a quote for the barest minimum page to feel that all important sense of accomplishment we all need. And…

There we go. Challenge success. Now, about those birds…


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Metal tape for ATCs

I have been having a good old play with my 3M metal tape, on sale at LIDL in October. It is not QUITE wide enough to cover an ATC in one pass, but I have been experimenting with either landscape or portrait strips abutted or slightly overlapped. For me the real issue is getting it smooth. I found this little scraper/spreader from Letratac that works a treat:

I know the extreme shine makes it hard to see, but the smooth application after pushing it down to the ATC substrate with the scraper (use a credit card – it’ll probably work close to the same with enough pressure) is smooooth.

A couple of the things I have been trying are embossing the card with an embossing folder then colouring it with alcohol markers OR dripping or sponging on alcohol ink or acrylic ink.

Very cool but so hard to really SEE.

The problem with that is that the card … contracts a bit, I guess, when embossed so it is slightly smaller than ATC size (very slightly, but still) and the back is lumpy so harder to stick the back with the info on to it.

Here is another idea then – I got out a handful of stencils, and with a small stylus/dotting tool, drew thru the stencil to deboss the pattern but keep the back of the card flat.

I have a lot of stencils and many, but not all, work really well for this. I have a set of images from one of The Octopode Factory sets that I printed and cut out, then decided they weren’t right for the backgrounds I had made. I think I will see if I can make them work with these. Still working on a few things to share at some point but still no quite there yet!


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The first page in my Doodles And Marks art journal

Having fun. The page itself is less than ideal – the original background of marks was lovely, I really liked it, but I think the black text was too much. I feel like maybe Payne’s Grey would have been a better choice.

This is in my recently named Doodles & Marks journal.

The stencil of me is an old one. It felt like the right choice. I love that – I made a book fold of a different stencil too, but this one was already cut at the right size!

The quote is from that printable sheet from a week or so ago. I finally had to replace my chisel tip black marker that I have been using for, I swear, 15 years. I got a pack of three, kept two and gave one to a friend at a crop, who saw me using it to edge things and said “I always wondered how you got that look….” The tip was frayed and getting dry. It was like saying goodby to an old friend!

The old one was a Zebra 5mm chisel and the new one is a Sharpie chisel – the Sharpie gives a really find line when edging. I like it!

Now another Day page:

Really like this one a lot.


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I got so sidetracked – new stencil storage that I LOVE!

Sorry if you were expecting the follow up to the painted papers post from yesterday. I meant to do it today, but my desk is an almighty mess and before I have the room to work I really have to tidy it up. And I am doing another Roben-Marie class called Printmaker Pro: Press, Stitch & Stash that means I need to get my stencils in order, sharpish. They have been in a variety of storage solutions, none of which actually work for me. I have some in a bin, some in a binder, some in one of the old Crop-in-Style 12×12 Paper/Sticker binders…just chaos. Too many places to look so in the end I tend to just use what I can reach or what is already sitting on my desk. It is NOT workable in any way.

I mean really.

So I was looking at it all and thinking How the heck am I going to sort this out? It was treadmill time so I decided to search YouTube for stencil organization. Yeah. 90% of the hits were…what I did. In binders, in sleeves, in tubs with dividers… But then I saw the Stencil Girl video using this what LOOKS like a professional shop display. The stencils were clipped and hanging and although she mentions that the product she used was mostly no longer available, she did link at the end some other people with similar ideas. And of course that gave ME a few ideas. I played around with a few construction-oriented things, using stuff I had hanging around, then my eye fell on a paper bin. it was wire, with two little bars on each side to hold hanging folders…you have never seen a bin dumped out onto the floor so quick! The rest was just finding the curtain clips (old Ikea ones work – the newer ones clip the wrong way) and pulling out all my 12×12 and A4 stencils. An hour or two later and:

Now I can look thru my stencils with ease. and this rack sit nicely to my left, within reach of my gel printing space. I have room to hang rings of the smaller 6×6 and even smaller assorted sized stencils from the sides, hooking BIG rings thru the wire then hanging smaller rings (with similar stencils grouped together) from those. Sorry for the crap photos but I took them yesterday evening.

I have one more small bin of assorted 6×6 ones that I suspect are in that bin cause they are my most used ones. I am considering a different method for those. We’ll see… I think this is going to be a game changer. I looked at stencils I barely remembered either buying or making! Once I saw them I had 100 ideas for how to use them. I am 100% convinced that I will never use what I have if I don’t KNOW what I have. So As this is my desk at the moment:

I have to beg your indulgence for another day until I get this mess sorted out! Once my space is clear I will carry on making the painted papers then link all the posts in each post so you can find everything no matter where (and when) you land on any of them.

I know a lot of people will be less than happy about the new lock down, but honestly? I think it was about time they realized that the partial lock down measures were NOT working against this very virulent new strain of Covid rampaging thru the UK. I just hope it can break the transmission chains and slow things down till the vaccine roll-out can really get rolling! Until then, stay home, say safe and craft away.


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Unique Art Journal supplies – handmade, from unusual sources

Happy New Year!! I am scheduling a few posts this week so I can enjoy the family time we have blocked out, before normal life resumes.

Regular readers (I do have a few of them LOL!) will know that I always strive to create art journaling tools that are unique to me. That could be by altering an existing item (like I did with the Dina Wakely face stamp a few posts back, or with the Janet Klein Housewives stamp set the other day) OR by creating a version of something in my own way. My goal was something a bit like this stencil:

I saw this book and mentioned I had it on order.

A bit of a cheek on the part of the seller when they say “a book of stencils” as this is NOT a book of STENCILS but a book of stenciled IMAGES that you are free to cut and use. Humpf. Luckily since discovering a documented issue with the driver on my ancient Sure-cuts-a-lot software and newer versions of Mac OS, and sorting that (thanks to my tech support guy, the Hubster) my Cricut is working just fine again (OMG – touch wood immediately lest I curse it!) So scanning the images and creating stencils was easy enough. The stencils are, in some cases, pretty basic – only the mere hint of the face they depict. This one of a French anarchist, Louise Michel, could be anyone, frankly.

On the other hand, this one of Mother Jones is pretty detailed:

and stencils pretty well

So I scanned a bunch of the faces and edited the stencils to focus on just the facial features. I love I can re-size them so they fit a very small or a very large journal, depending:

I cut a sort of face-shaped holey stencil too. My plan was something like this (and FYI, those faces are Anna Mae Aquash, Brigitte Mohnhaupt and Vera Zasulich), with the heads on blobby bodies.

I changed that idea as I was working. Having just done the little group of ladies with the Housewives stamp, I didn’t want to do another page so similar right away. So I ended up with floating heads instead – this is my last page of my experimental techniques journal, except for completing the Good As Hell page that is creeping towards its final reveal! So funny on this week’s WOYWW post Helen (who’s work I love and who is often right on my wavelength, or I on hers!) did a page that looks so similar, yet different.

I have been loving my gold acrylic inks and my dip pen, although I need a bit more practice with both, but once I scribbled and dripped some of that onto the page, and found this quote, the page came together nicely. Note I took my own advice and used one of my old frame stamps around the quote. And there is another weirdly serendipitous element here. My daughter loves watching beauty videos on You Tube, and she has always loved an influencer called Michelle Phan. We often get roped into watching these videos with her, as she wants to share. Lucky us – and in this case, I kid you not. We saw a video where Michelle gathered up a few other people and did a set of Galaxy inspired things. I think one person painted on cut-off jeans, one did make-up, one did nails, and one maybe … hair? I forget. One of them doodled little crosses and dots to give the effect of stars. I grabbed that technique and ran with it!

I love the look of mark-making on journal pages, but it isn’t something I feel I excel at. But 2021 is a year for moving forward, in all aspects of life, even as we are forced (hopefully for not too much longer) to stay indoors till vaccinated. So I am choosing to shine, even if it isn’t yet to shine brightly. With time, I might get better, but not if I refuse to even try, right?


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Saving a page in my art journal

It is totally heartbreaking when you make a background for a page that you LOVE and then have a so-called brilliant idea that you think is going to do justice to that background and instead it totally bollocks it up. Remember this background?

Love it. almost just left it as it was for a bit longer but I got a new stencil I was DYING to try and I was pretty sure it would look stunning over this. Yeah, not so much….

Maybe you can see that I tried to salvage it by drawing around the stenciled areas with a white paint pen, hoping that might make it pop out from the background a bit better, but it didn’t help. What to do but weep.

I had seen various videos about salvaging a page by masking off an area then painting out the whole background black, so just a bit of the ugly page showed thru, but that wasn’t really what I wanted – I loved every inch of the background, it took ages to do over multiple days, and I didn’t want to sacrifice any more than I had to. I considered painting the whole image area black them stenciling over it with white, but wasn’t sure that would look like I wanted. Then I had the idea to cover the stencil with one of the colours from the background and then stencil over it with black again.

Bingo.

I wish the pink, which I mixed, was slightly warmer, to better match the pink in the background – it is more obvious in the photo than in real life, I think. I already know 100% that I need better lighting in my craft room. The combo of it getting dark early, my aging eyes, and the rubbish lighting means no crafting after dark if I want anything like a good colour match LOL!

Still slightly obsessed with the election, and trying to hold the words on the page to heart….


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WOYWW 596 – am I good as hell?

Happy WOYWW y’all.

Well, I am pre-typing this cause it is likely I am going to be up all night watching election results, just to get an idea of where things are heading. The election isn’t over until all the votes are counted, so unless the results are overwhelmingly obvious, by the time this posts I’m not sure I will know if I am, in fact, Feelin’ Good as Hell or not. I prepped a stencil just in case.

and closer – can you tell that is actually Lizzo?

The only difficult part was adding all the bridges to ensure the text didn’t have big open areas – which I like for some things, not for this. I am in process, testing a few stencils. I have about three stencil books – this one was a tip off from a WOYWW desker, but I’ve forgotten who now. This stencil might be the other option if things go the wrong way… 

I am testing the image on deli paper so I can lay it on a page to check for size, etc. and also testing a stark white and subtle shading effect. I also cut a few other stencils – cause I am still on the look out for the best face.  This one is stark and simple and might fit the bill:

I have had this next image for a while and at this point have no idea where it came from – it might have been from a now defunct stencil site or just some random image I liked.  But I do like it – a lot.

Not sure if I will add them on the deli paper, or book paper or if I will stencil directly on a page.  I also snapped a photo of the deli paper page from the other day, all stuck down.  I almost hate to cover it with anything, it’s so pretty!

And very lastly, I have some stamps I ordered from the USA.  Sadly, no UK seller has them and and no one was willing to order them for me.  Luckily the seller, Rubber Moon, does ship internationally.  It took about a week or maybe 10 days to get here.  I can’t wait to use them.  I add the ink pad so you can see they are actually pretty big stamps!

So that’s me for this week.  Hope you are all weathering the lock-down OK and are keeping your spirits up and still making art.  I’ll be making my visits, as many as possible, today.  Looking forward to both the distraction and the inspiration in equal parts!

(and ps. At the moment I am most definitely NOT feelin’ good as hell…)

 


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Interesting art journal techniques

I made a page where I tried out a couple of odd things.  The first was an I wonder…? thing.  I wondered if tinting water with acrylic ink might alter the effect of water-over-Distress ink.  Simple enough to test.

I smudged the ink over a bit of paper – not particularly carefully, or blended particularly smoothly.  Just decent coverage

I added a drop or two of acrylic ink in white to a small mister bottle.  I misted the left with plain water then the right with the white-tinted ink. Only managed to remember to take a photo of the white side.  Doh!

After letting it sit, and blotting off the excess you can see there is a slightly more…opaque look, I think, to the white mist side.

I agree, it is not a starling difference, but it seems like the stencil outlines are more defined and less, well, distressed I guess.  I also added a drop of a teal colour and also a bit of white to another mister and did a different area:

This resulted in more of a halo in the darker teal at the edges.  Again, subtle, not dramatic.  Interesting and well worth playing with to refine the concept.  I also saw a thumbnail on YouTube of a hedgehog painting using a snipped-in-strips loo roll tube as a paintbrush.  I thought it was a pretty neat idea, had a loo roll or two I could rescue from the recycling bin, and gave it a go. I tried it in dark Payne’s Grey, and used it in white on my page.

One is snipped quite closely in very fine shreds (dark) and the other is snipped a little wider.  I expected to like the thinner more, and I ended up liking the fatter more. Or maybe it is the light vs dark that pushed me that way,  time will tell. Here is the page:

Since he text is a stencil I cut, what I SHOULD have done was re-cut it laid out so I didn’t have to line up the words – something I am clearly not good at.  But otherwise I am pretty happy with the page. 

Overall I am happy with the way it is going in this experimental journal.  Finding my way again, trying new techniques as they occur to me, playing and having fun.  Frankly I need the distraction, and it is kinda working.

Lastly, I noticed that the image of the stencils that I have multiples of was missing from yesterday’s post. Happy to consider any trade of an item you have multiples of, not just stencils. I’ll probably re-post this for next week’s WOYWW – or maybe offer them as giveaways for the 600 week Zoom Crop. Now that’s an idea….


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WOYWW 595 DIYing like mad

Howdy Y’all and Happy WOYWW again.  After a pretty tiring week up in Salisbury, I am now playing the waiting game to see how much of an improvement I get from the treatment.  It wears me out, but probably just the early rise, long drive, and stress of leaving the house LOL!

Let’s see.  What is on my desk this week? First let me show my head-swap from last week.  Quite pleased with the results.  Hard to read but the stamped image says Your Artistic License has just been revoked.

MOSTLY what is all over my desks are bits and pieces of various things I have been creating. It isn’t very taxing or time consuming, so easy enough even when I don’t feel up to doing much. I grabbed a few magazines at the hospital shop, and cut out a few silhouettes that I think will work on journal pages.

I am always looking for an interesting outline that I can use.  The ladies faces are line drawing I converted into stencils.  I’ve used them, they are OK, once you fill in the bridges (gaps in the lines) that keep the whole inside from falling out in one blob.

Here is a trio of pages where you can see one of them

Both quotes (Hey, hey, hey now don’t be mean and Mystery is the source of all true art and science) are from a movie, although as the tiny little line of text says Einstein expressed the sentiment, but Buckaroo (Banzai) said it better. Love that movie SO MUCH. You will also see another movie line in the stencils I cut here:

No matter where you go, there you are. The blacked out bit is another quote, Creativity takes courage.  Matisse, not Banzai in this case! Another conglomeration of stencils.  I have used the weird arcs and the glyphs and the globe and the quote.  I have a plan for the circuit board too – oh and the cluster of roses I used on the journal cover.  

I cut some stamps out of fun foam, from a die. What I love about that process is depending on whether I cut from the foam side or the backing paper side, the stamp orients a different direction. So every time I can cut a mirror image if I want.  Looking forward to testing that out!

Looking forward to testing this one out as well.  I think it is going to look fab. 

Lastly, anyone want to swap for a stencil?  I ended up with FOUR of these (don’t ask) and while I do really like the images, I do NOT need four of them.  They are 5×5 inches. Got a mistakenly bought duplicate you want to trade? Leave me a comment, and I’ll get in touch. 

 

I did well last week, visiting every desk, commenting where I could, and saw lots of fun and amazing art.  I have missed this and am glad I have been able to join in. Here’s hoping the IVIG really takes and I feel like dancing in a month. Will there be dancing on the WOYWW 600 Zoom, I wonder?  Oh dear!