Excavating layers of past work.

I will share more of this, but I am trying to make sense of the piles of papers I have created over the years, mostly gel prints but not just that. I have stashes of things in multiple places, that are where I stuff experiments, finished pieces that I have no clear purpose for, but also things like images or pages I ripped out of magazines that I thought I might find a us for or I just wanted to save. I have also found a bunch of complete pieces – I have collected up some of these to share, but am not sure how best to use them. I must have had a plan once….

This piece was using a hand-drawn stencil I cut – the left is just a sample and the right is one I liked well enough that I framed it and it’s on my art space wall.

Not sure what my intention was for his piece, but it is might pink, isn’t it? LOL! Hard to see but the central book page is actually mounted above the background, for a more 3D look. I suspect maybe I meant to frame it but never did.

These three were experimental pieces with no real intention for them, then (when I made them) or now! I think the heart was using the gel plate as a stamp, by mounting it on a large hunk of acrylic block – common now, but I had never seen it done back when I made it. I still really like the middle one a lot.

This one is pretty recent, Distress inks and Vaseline resist on tracing paper with a stencil. Love the colours, but it’s backed with heavy mat board so unless I deconstruct it….

This is a piece I love, using a homemade stencil – I think an image from one of my subscription resources. Still use it. Actually it might be both the stencil and a mask? Might have to drag it out to know for sure.

And finally, a pile of recent work – some of the postcards that didn’t make the cut for a recent swap, some background tags and some completed ones, all within the last few months. Destined either for happy mail or swap extras.

While this is by no means all the hoarded stuff, these are the things that I would call closest to being finished items, rather than samples or experiments. I’m kinda thinking the first seven might actually work repurposed to perhaps fill the last few pages in one of my art journals. I have two that really only need a handful of pages in each to be complete. And it might give purpose to them, with the addition of a quote or some text of some kind. The swap/happy mail goodies will get used, no doubt, but some bits could help fill those journals instead, if I prefer.

It’s interesting how much stuff you can amass in 20+ years of arty-farty pursuits. I suspect I could cover the walls of more than one room as if with wallpaper if I wanted to. Hoe nightmare inducing would that be? LOL!




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…


Relief Roll-over technique

I have been watching a bunch of videos about collagraph techniques, and making texture relief boards. I had an idea to stick a stack of die-cut shapes (in this case, botanicals) onto cardboard and use them as either kinda stamps or as a relief print. I thought deli paper might work nicely as it is quite thin but very strong and I have a lot of it.

I rolled the paint over the deli paper and got some interesting grungy images. They should collage nicely onto art journal pages.

It’ll seem rather counterintuitive, but the bottom is where the brayer was most heavily coated in paint (Dina Eggplant – such a pretty colour!) and the clearer (ie less background coverage) images at the top left wre when the paint on the brayer was pretty light. I think that is a better image.

And it made me think that other things would work too. In the case of this stamp, the roll-over give you the image in the same orientation as you see on the stamp. Sometimes this is what I want, and in the past I have stamped on the deli paper then flipped it over to stick the stamped side down on the page.

Problem with that is the image is fainter cause it’s the back. And the paint gives it a really, well, painterly effect, different to ink. So yeah, over all, I really like it and it fit perfectly on my inserted round page in my Journal Petite!

And all I needed was a few words to complete it. The irony of the quote origin (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is not lost on me, but at least in the past his stance has been pro-choice and at least partially interested in limiting guns so I guess I’m OK with using it. It works.

Seems like this is morphing into a work-thru-the pain journal LOL! I may not live in the USA but I have plenty of female relatives there who potentially might be affected by the craziness. So yeah, working thru it….

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A few more pages in my Journal Petite

I have been having fun playing with the alcohol inks and paint on the gel plate and tried it with a word stencil. I didn’t really capture the step by steps, but the only thing worth noting was that the stencil was backwards on the plate, so when I pulled the print, the words were the right way round.

I used an older Dina stamp and with all the crap going on the song lyrics seemed appropriate. I recently watched a movie about Helen Reddy, and a bit of the history of this song and it took me right back to the pre-Roe days. It feels like it is time to revisit those lyrics even as we revisit that dark, dark time:

You can bend but never break me
‘Cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
‘Cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul

Now it might seem confusing as this page is made on a loose sheet of paper, but remember, one of the JP lessons was tip-ins or add ins to your bound journal. All it takes is a bit of washi tape (or other adhesive) to slip the folded sheet into the journal like so:


While tidying up my desk, I found a random strip of test I had clipped from a magazine at some point. I have no idea what magazine, or what the intention was, but serendipity is a wonderful thing. It perfectly summed up the feeling for my RAGE page:

This whole post has inspired me to do a little project that has been rumbling about in my brain for a bit. I have to see if I can find a couple of things that are critical to it’s success and then we’ll see…

WOYWW tomorrow. Let’s see if I can manage to get round ON THE DAY for a change. I always have the very best of intentions but…


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Stamp carving

One of the lessons in Journal Petite is lesson 15 Stamped Surfaces. Some of that is stamping with random things and some of it is about making stamps. Lord knows I have made a lot of stamps, but while having a bit of a tidy up in from of the windows to make the circle curtain less blocked by piles of things, I unearthed my carving tools. And I had a pack or two of little erasers to play with as well!

Now, these were not great erasers. The resulting stamps were also not great.

Compared to one I carved a long time ago fro a Speedball block – a world of difference!

I do quite like the little scallop and the way it stacks. I just need a better eraser I think. And maybe a bigger one?

Other parts of the lesson are about making stamps out of things like fun foam (tick) and pencil erasers (tick) and cardboard. Hummmm. Never really done that. So I think I will have a bit of a play with that over the weekend and see if I make anything I like.

I have also worked a bit more on my page of RAGE.

So yeah, just a few lines, but every time I go back to it and add another thing, I am consumed with rage all over again. Ironic it is “Independence Day” when it feels nothing like that.


Should be a new Art Journal Journey prompt so maybe I can find something positive to work on. Or not…

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Journal progress

I am realizing that I am at the point where I am adding additional layers to pages and sorting out how to share them is proving difficult. I’m just not sure how interesting the tiny incremental stages of each page might be. So like the Scribble page from the other day. It began like so:

And then after watching a few more lessons it morphed a bit into:

And finally, getting out a little anger and frustration, it became:

I kinda feel like I want to add the lesson 19 (One [BIG] Word) but there are still NINE lessons unwatched and every time I work on a page I worry that there is something in one of those lessons that would suit the pages better! Is that FOMO (Fear of Missing Out?) Not sure. But looking at the last ones there might be some real gems in there. And that still leaves me THREE lessons to do with finishing up – all in the Putting it all Together category plus a Cover one that I think I saw in the prepping section which will need revisiting!

Yeesh. Maybe it is best to group the techniques? I did this one-side page with scribbles/circles too, so where does that fall? With Scribbles? With Circles? Argh!

Why am I letting this stress me out so much? I think partially because I seem to be nearing my 3gb of free storage on my blog. I should maybe get rid of some old stuff but I really hate to lose the history, IYKWIM. I do regret loading massive images in the beginning – I mean some photos did not need to be over 1mb, did they?

Oh well. Maybe I’ll start the process and see how much space I can claw back…

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Adding inserts for my Journal Petite

Clearly I have circles on the brain LOL! Since I had the dies out, I cut some BIG circles to use as inserts to my Journal Petite. I had one that was a pretty perfect size

And yay! Using washi tape, to reduce my old stash. There are so many interesting new ones out but I can’t really buy more till I use up some of what I have!!

I used both a full circle folded in half to make an insert AND a slightly smaller circle cut off the center to make a single flip page. I opted to insert these in places where I had collage on one side and something different on the other, or at least where the two side-by-side pages were not … cohesive.

And now, with all the pages prepped, I can begin to work thru some of the other layering classes.

Should I begin with one of the CIRCLES ones? DOH!

Cannot believe it is WOYWW again tomorrow. Where does the time go!


I have no voice and I must scream.

With apologies to Harlan Ellison.

An out of the usual Sunday post, but still Art Journaling, as I process things.

Today, the Court discards … balance. It says that from the very moment of fertilization, a woman has no rights to speak of. A State can force her to bring a pregnancy to term, even at the steepest personal and familial costs. (from the dissent by the only three sane members of the court.)

…because no one told the conservative right and Scrotus that The Handmaid’s Tale was never meant to be aspirational.

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Two interesting (unknown to me) Art Journal techniques

Lesson 4 is Large Free Writing. I had no idea what that would be. I was surprised that I LOVE it. The idea is you basically write, with a paintbrush, a pen, a thick or thin marker, all over the page, with very large handwriting,and layer over and over till the whole page is full. Wow. It actually looks great (well to my eyes) either just as layers or layered over a plain painted background. And different sorts of pens or brushes give a totally different look!

The left is one where I layered a bunch of highlighters and a few pens on a plain page. The right is thick paint and chalk markers over an already painted page!

And I had to keep adding layers…

My problem was that words simply were not coming to me. But I had some book pages I had torn out for the collage lesson so I just kinda plucked words and phrases and sentences out from that and wrote them!

I think this is perhaps best as a second layer, at least. I like the writing over the painted background, but maybe slightly less so AS a background?

The second technique today is Lesson 6 Scribbles! That and the large writing seem slightly linked so I’ll save Lesson 5 for next week.More on that in a bit.

The scribbles is pretty much what it says, scribbling. It can be like the large writing, so it is layered over and over to create complexity.

That is stages of the same page. I think this sort of thing maybe takes practice to get it just right, but it is unique for sure!

Lesson 5 is Bindings, Flaps and Tabs – I’d like to think on that and try to come up with something unique. If I delay posting about it till Monday, it gives me the whole weekend to try to come up with something. I have an idea or two but will it be unique? Time will tell…

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Oh that thin, thin paper again!

I was warned, yes, of course, and I really TRIED to take not and use very little water but…

It isn’t just that the paper is so thin it buckles, but even the lightest touch seems to make the paper pill and almost dissolve.

Don’t get me wrong, I do really like the last one, for example, all misty and sea-foam-y, but it’s challenging to get full sheer cover without having to use too much water. I did have an idea, to use watercolour for mark-making, to kinda combine two lessons in one. I liked that pretty well, a totally different feel t the mark-making with acrylic.

Now, to be fair I didn’t layer the marks in quite the same way but with acrylic, you can start dark and layer light over it and it’s fine. With watercolour, you really need to move from light to dark and try not to obliterate the light by the end! Or leave enough of the white background that you can add a layer of light later and still have it show. Here is another more layered page that I really like:

I am getting to the point I will have filled every page with an initial layer. Not sure how I should have proceeded thru the lessons, maybe watched them all and grouped them in a way I found helpful, rather than just going in order. Whatever. The next post I’ll combine two lessons, neither I’ve ever seen before but I really like both. I may watch a few over the weekend, although I think I did book in to a couple of taster weekends/weeks so not sure hoe to best allocate my time…hope you will bear with me while is figure it out.