scrappystickyinkymess


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Filling my journal – and word stencils

The first, not very good journal I made from Amazon packaging is one large tri-fold page from being finished. I am holding out for that much mentioned Good As Hell page! It may take till January 21st but I will make it one day LOL! Here is my last page, but one:

I haven’t completed any journaling on it, and am on the fence as to whether or not I will. I’ve never used such thick. dimensional letters (chipboard, old scrapping supplies, and not very nice ones at that) and I wish I had split the chipboard and made it thinner by doing so. This journal was always meant to be a bit experimental, not really filled with deep thoughts or intended to have strong emotions poured into it. It was a way to loosen up and try things out, after years of doing nothing artsy fartsy at all. So doing this page and thinking Next time I will thin those letters... really is what it was all about. It’s about learning what I am good at at what I am NOT good at.

What I know I am good at is making things for my journals that are unique to me. Like the word stencil in the background. Last month when cleaning up I found a stash of transparency sheets. They make good word stencils. I had done a couple of pages of typically British expressions, many that totally made me go Huh? the first time I heard them, and have been considering how best to use them for a while. The title came first, from the classic SciFi novel, then the rest flowed from that. Here are the two sheets of words and phrases:

A few things you can’t see, like upper case letters in the event I want to capitalize a word, and ! and ? so things like Alright become, as they should be, Alright?

So, back to the journal….while there are a handful of pages I really like a lot, like these two:

it also has some with techniques I tried that I am pretty sure I won’t do a lot more of cause I am NOT good at them. I don’t think magazine collage (as much as I love it when I see it done by, say Teesha Moore) is ever something I will do a lot of, for example. And the overly stylish, cohesive and pretty pages that people like Kate Crane seem to be able to crank out at will are unlikely to ever come naturally to me. If a page ends up being pretty, it is more often by mistake and not by design! Sometimes things look…forced. Like I am trying too hard to achieve a style that is not natural for me. So I’ll just carry on. Let my stress levels melt away for the few hours I am playing and hopefully the pages will please me, and if they don’t, I don’t have to share them, do I?

I’ll sign off with another phrase that always makes me smile:

Cheers, Big Ears!


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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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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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Pan pastels in my Art Journal

I must head back to WOYWW and finish up my visits. I am determined to visit EVERY participant, whether I can comment or not!

But first – I never really used pan pastels often in my art journal. Funny story. The other night we were doing a family TV night and my daughter was trolling thru YouTube. Up popped a video from…omg, 7 years or so ago where Carolyn Dube (love that gal SO MUCH – so inspiring) had done a video of my seal pan pastels with gel medium idea. Yes, she did ask me and gave me a shout out in the video, which totally made my daughter crack up. Like most kids it surprises her that I have a life outside my Mom role. ANYWAY, because that happened, pan pastels were on my mind.

I decided to do a little experiment with them. I ALSO have a tube of iridescent medium (also never used) and I thought I would try brayering the medium on over the pastels instead. Yep. Works great. I brayer it onto a sheet of fun foam, although using the gel plate works to, it’s just more of a clean up.

and the result is a very pale and shimmery page.

I wasn’t sure if the while chalk marker pen around the leafy stencil was bold enough so I went around it again.  Maybe I should have left it. Oh well. And added some text from a word stencil I cut last week.  Because this journal is all about experimentation, the words seem appropriate.

Might be work showing the page from WOYWW finished off too.  A reminder to myself that I don’t always need to speak my mind when it comes to things other people love, that I don’t.  While I may be happy to speak freely on SOME topics, taking care over the feelings of others must me in the forefront of my mind.  Just cause I am not a fan of the cute doesn’t mean there isn’t something to be gleaned from it.

It looks all askew cause I was trying to snap a quick photo without showing the page from today! Might as well show the side-by-side, with the other page still in progress, so you can see that I am not worried about the pages coordinating.  I was like that in my scrapbooks too. Each page stands on it’s own and does not need to be matchy-matchy with the neighboring page!

I really like the way I organized the pages to offer me so many options for how I use them and I really WILL share the journal construction tomorrow. 


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Are two pages “a roll?”

Impossible to overstate how much fun I am having with my paints and inks and stamps and stencils.  I keep coming across things I bought years ago that I have barely touched.

I was actually looking for some tissue paper and came across an old Starbucks flyer that had some text on it which sparked this page.

I also found a couple of other things – a Teesha Moore stamp, a graffiti stencil book, and a bit of non-skid rug underlay stuck to a piece of cardboard.  The 2020 stencil I cut on the fly from heavy card.

Some of the text from the flyer I used as it appeared – well, close to anyway.

I think originally it was Terrifying? Perhaps and Thrilling? Definitely but I think my re-shuffle works more accurately for 2020! And the Are you ready for a challenge? was cobbled together from other text as well.

The waving tentacles from the Teesha stamp might not be a biologically correct depiction of the virus, but the slightly unsettling movement implied gives the right sort of feel for me.

Better use of white on this page, although it could be a better photograph.  No matter, I am enjoying the process and that works for me, for now.

 


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Getting back to arty pursuits….slowly

Well, son is safely back in LA (or as safe as one CAN be in LA) and much of the trauma and turmoil of recent months has settled down a bit.  We have a decision on DDs further education from the SEN panel and it is good news from almost all aspects, my health is as good as it has been since the onset of the NAM, my meds are reasonably well figured out, and I have found the time and energy to be creative.  We have made progress on the house and the garden and at least for today, the sun is shining – no mean feat for June in England!

I thought I would share the pages as a result of the Permission to Play class by Carolyn Dube.  I felt so out of practice, my mojo well and truly gone walkabout, that I thought a structured class that stressed no rules, just play, would be a great way to stay focused.  And I feel like that DID happen.  I made the ATCs last week, while beginning on the cardboard pages of the journal for the class.  But then life intervened and they sat, bare and unloved, waiting for me to be ready.  This morning, while DH and DD were off ice skating, I started Breakfast at Tiffany’s  on Audible and by the end of its 3-hour run time I was pretty much done with the pages and the lessons up to the binding.

The covers are bits of a beer carrier box, I think.  I’ve had them squirreled away for a few years, awaiting a project.  I like the hand-hold holes!  The left page in the photo above is a total OOPS, or Outstanding Opportunity Presenting Suddenly, as CD calls a big mess! I have been feeling like my desk is smaller than it used to be and I finally figured out that it is, and why – I lost the HUGE WIDE window ledge in the old house, that extended my desk widthwise, and as I don’t have my computer desk, my working space and the side desk all in a row, I am working on a MUCH smaller area!  That causes overlap

The reverse of one of the pages sat on top of my paint palette and picked up a lot of colour, in shade that couldn’t help but make mud.  With some spray ink and some white paint thru a stencil it ended up being OK, but def. one for the back of the journal LOL!

Other pages:

The only one that I managed to identify something in the Spark is the middle one above, with what I see as a very dejected fellow leaning against a wall.  There is also one Spark page that is still bare.

Overall I am pretty happy with the pages as a base for more stuff.  I feel a need to let it all fester in my brain for a bit before moving on.  I am also inclined to consider another binding method than the ribbon – I’ve never been a fan of ribbon binding and while it does seem like the best option from a practical for a class standpoint, I just feel I will end up being less happy with it.  I’m hoping the festering will either present me with another suitable option or the time will let me come to grips with it!

On a side note, while watching the class I was tickled pink to catch a glimpse of something on her shelf:

I thought Hey! I recognize that! and indeed it was a little thing I sent her 5 years or so ago. I surely intended to cut apart EVERYDAY to make EVERY DAY and didn’t.  DOH! So me.  And so nice of her to display it despite the error.  Oops.

I have another project on the go, unrelated to art, that I will also share, but not today!


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My ATCs done!

Boy, am I out of practice!  But I managed to finish my ATCs so I am happy.  And I not only used and old tool that I thought was only fit for the bin (the Creative Palette) but I used something I bought and had not used yet.  It is a little stamp set from Tiger that cost me all of £3 and is so useful.  Doubly so since I bought two, recognizing that it would be useful to have multiples of letters and more than one upper case set.

You can see it comes with both a circle and a flat piece.  What I love is that the flat piece can be arranged either in a long strip of in two or more lines.  I may even get a third set to extend the amount of typesetting I can do.  To be fair, the font is dead simple, not anything to add any real style, and since I stamped the text then cut it out, printing the text would have worked as well.  But had I decided to stamp directly onto the background I could have.

You can see a couple of the ATCs – here is the whole set:

You can see I added a few little resin dots here and there.  I actually really like them! And it got me doing SOMETHING creative so for that it is all good.

Now off to help clear the dining room and hubby’s office – having one hardwood floor sanded and oiled, and a new wood floor added to make hubby’s home office warmer in winter.  The cold air actually BLOWING up from below the floor made working in there a challenge.  Also, dearest son will be visiting from tomorrow, as he breezes thru Europe on his way back to LA.  So I may be otherwise occupied and back to not crafting for a few more days.  Oh well, it was fun and I’m sure I’ll get back to it soon….

fingers crossed…


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Finally, a use for the Creative Palette!

It has been far too long since I felt up to any crafting but knitting.  I am finally feeling a bit better and trying to flex my creative wings once again.

I am taking a free class from Carolyn Dube called Permission to Play (link in the sidebar) because I used to take part in her Gelli Print Party and I like her enthusiasm and her style.

I am not quite ready to jump in fully as I am very much out of practice, but a post in her group  showed some fab ATCs.  I remember that whenever I felt like I needed a little jumpstart, making ATCs usually worked a treat.  Little bite-sized pieces of creativity, very manageable, and using nothing too precious.

I collected up some stuff – I wanted to make use of the prompt (Using Cardboard or Trash) so I started by covering some cardboard with bits of the Sparks of Art-spiration Carolyn includes as an endless resource – mess it up? print another! I also dragged out a sheet of Teesha Moore stamps that I had not yet even cut from the sheet. And cut them.

I think I may have mentioned about 100 times how much I loathe mounting stamps.  I was not sure I had that sticky backed mounting stuff so I wasn’t sure how best to deal with them.  I considered using sticky backed fun foam, which I have done before and which works pretty well, but what had been in my head was the crappy Creative Palette pseudo-Gelli plate that I reviewed in the past.  Carolyn also has a video on using the Gelli plate to pick up the overflow from acrylic pours and when dry, use them as skins to add to your art.  I saw that a day or so ago and thought that THAT might be a good use for the CP.  It has languished in a drawer for YEARS and I hate to waste money so I’ve held on to it, SURE I would find a use for it SOMEDAY.) It was something I was already thinking about. A solution presented itself.

One problem with the CP is that is is really sticky, for Gelli plate-style pulling.

I had previously cut the CP into shapes with my Big Shot, thinking this was going to give me mini-gelli-plate style tools. It didn’t. But I pulled it out and stuck one of the bits to a stamp mount

and I pressed the unmounted stamp into the plate.

The first time I tried it the stamp fell off – it doesn’t grab the rubber supper firmly with just finger pressure, but if you are ready to stamp and you tamp the ink onto the stamp with a bit of pressure, it will hold.

And it’s a pretty sharp image, right?

So this makes me very happy!  It means I can pretty closely trim the rubber around the stamp without stressing that I have undercut the image, I can cut close enough that I can see where the image will be placed, and I don’t need to buy sheet after sheet of mounting foam!  RESULT!

Now, word of warning.  If you try this, I would shake the mount and make sure the stamp is firmly attached before inking.  It is a temporary hold, strong right after you have pressed the stamp into it and strongest after you have really pushed it down with the inkpad.  It will eventually loosen and you might have the stamp fall off onto your project if you dally.  Washing the CP (like you do with cling stamps) to refresh the sticky will help.  I guess it depends on your tolerance for error, and need for perfection.  For me, as I am not placing the images but will cut them out, it’s a great solution.

Sorry for the portrait style photos – after I decided to post it I realized my camera batteries were dead, the charger MIA and that my phone was downstairs.  My iPad was near so I used that for the photos.  Next time I’ll rotate it 90 degrees so the post isn’t so long.  It’s like I have to learn how to blog all over again…  DOH!


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That Black Magic technique, updated

I am always surprised when an old post of mine all of a sudden keeps getting views and pinned, and I get questions that I can’t answer cause it’s been SO LONG since I did the original thing. This post is getting hit hugely. I did that back in 2012 so I hope I can be forgiven for being a little fuzzy on the details LOL!

I decided I should go back and do the technique again and try a few other variations.  Luckily (?) the power was out AGAIN today so I had plenty of time to play.

So let’s begin.

I thought I would try

  • the black acrylic paint
  • Archival ink
  • Memento ink
  • Pigment ink

The process is pretty much the same to begin with, then there are some options.

1. ALL – Smudge on your Distress ink to create areas of colour

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2. ALL – let it dry COMPLETELY or blast it with the heat gun.  Distress ink stays wet for a bit and will grab the embossing powder if you rush this step.

3. ALL – stamp with Versamark or other clear embossing ink then sprinkle on clear (ideally DETAIL) embossing powder, depending on your stamp.

4. ALL – Heat emboss and let cool

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5.  ACRYLIC PAINT – using something smooth, like Cut ‘N Dry foam (can’t find mine, used a make-up sponge, and that is NOT as smooth) spread the black paint over the entire area.  You can let it dry and cover it again if any inked areas peep thru.

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6. ACRYLIC PAINT – with a slightly dried out baby wipe, daub off the paint from the embossed areas, revealing the trapped Distress ink under the embossing. DO NOT use a super wet wipe, and DO NOT rub hard.  You will take off too much of the paint.

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This is pretty much exactly as described in the original post.

5A. ARCHIVAL INK – smudge Archival Ink over the entire area.  You will find this easier (I suspect) if your ink pad is new and juicy.  Mine is older so I struggled to get a deep,rich, black cover.

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6A. ARCHIVAL INK – burnish off the Archival ink from the embossing.  Harder than it sounds.  I tried using the clean area of the make-up sponge, It worked OK but not great.

Then I tried a damp baby wipe.  Better,  but still the Distress Ink below the embossing wasn’t bright like with the paint.

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Then I tried a wetter wipe and it took away some of the ink on the background as well.  Here you can see the difference between the Archival Ink and the Paint.

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5M. MEMENTO INK – again, smudge the Memento ink all over the surface.  This was a background stamp so the areas to grab the ink were smaller.

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6M. MEMENTO – I almost didn’t need to bother burnishing off the ink.  Just the rubbing of the ink over the embossed areas with the make-up sponge removed any ink from the embossing.  The Memento is grabbed by the background card only.  So perhaps the EASIEST, but check out the next shot – even with the different sorts of stamps, I hope you can see the Memento isn’t super dark and rich.

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again, it COULD be my slightly tired ink pad.  I would expect Versafine to work in a similar way.

5P. PIGMENT INK – this worked a treat.  Smudged on the ink with a Colorbox teardrop, direct to paper.

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Nice and dark, good cover.  Some hint of the Distress Ink showing thru but a 2nd coat maybe would help.

6P. PIGMENT INK – I just knew that a wet wipe was the wrong way to go with this so I didn’t even try – I used a finger wrapped in dry paper towel to rub off the pigment ink. I did this while it was still slightly damp.  If it were super dry (and pigment ink takes a while to dry!) a very very slightly damp wipe might be OK.

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Really, that doesn’t do it justice.  The pigment ink is deep and dark, and the trapped Distress Ink is brighter than it looks.  Still not as bright as the PAINT version, but better than the Archival and almost as good as the Memento.

7. ARCHIVAL and PIGMENT ink – sandwich the piece between two sheets of paper – I used an old graph paper tablet – and iron off the embossing powder.  It will melt and get sucked into the paper

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and when you remove the paper…

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WOW.  Totally POPs.  Trade off is that the raised embossing from the clear powder is gone, so it looks more like plain old stamping, although you do get a bit of a halo effect on the edges, which is nice.  But colour-wise it’s pretty close to the brightness and intensity of the paint version, even if the black isn’t as nice for the ARCHIVAL version.

Not sure how to rank them, frankly.  The best technique is the one you have all the stuff for already LOL!  But in terms of cost, I suspect the PAINT is the cheapest (paint is dirt-cheap compared to an ink pad.)

In terms of fewest steps to get the best colour. I would say PAINT is the winner – with Memento closely behind if your ink pad is new and dark.

I think Pigment ink is closer to OK than not, stopping after rubbing off the ink, but better than Archival by a mile.

Then with an extra step and a flatter result, Pigment Ink and Archival are both good in terms of COLOUR when you iron off the embossing, but Pigment ink gives a better BLACK coverage.

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As ever, YMMV.  I really do think there are a lot of variables – how dark and juicy your ink pad is, how light, or heavy your hand when doing the wipe-off, how damp/wet your wipe is…. But overall I had forgotten how pretty this can look.

I’ll make a PDF of the post, although it’s the quick-and-dirty Readability version, so it requires me to post it first and then do the process, and come back to add the link.  If THIS BIT is hot (clickable) then it’s there and you can download it.  If not come back and it will be in bit.

And luckily, just before the power went out, I had printed a little spiky guy that I edited to include a bit of art.  DS is a fan of Nujabes (Japanese hip-hop artist, now sadly deceased) so I made him this little desk-top pal. Just for fun.

nujabes

I’ve finally worked out the best order to stick the bits to ensure the ears are nicely curved.  I haven’t folded the feet yet and may not, in case DS prefers the feet flat so you can see the sneakers….

 

 


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A Documented Life journal

I thought it was about time I caught you up on this.  Progress is not as fast as I would like and I am slipping behind every day.  My thought was the best way to drop in to this so late in the year was to make the bare bones of all the pages up to the current dat.  It’s fun but time-consuming.  I came up with a few shortcuts, mostly (surprise, surprise!) by creating digital bits to print.  I would imagine that if I carry on doing it I would do more from scratch.  My plan is to begin doing it and create a month of pages just before the first of the month, so I can just get into the habit of updating it daily.

I already talked about my tabs.  I joined the FB group (must be driven, cause you KNOW I think Facebook is evil and not much will drive me there) and saw this post by Carole.  I loved the stripe-y border she used but couldn’t tell if it was cut from paper, stamped, doodled… My method of accomplishing it was to print out a sheet of stripes then slice it into thin strips.

stripes

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That way I can print as many as I like and don’t have to keep finding checkerboard or striped paper.

Then I did a background or two – at this point, in the interest of speed, I am looking to get them done – I’m playing around with a few techniques and this one grew out of my concern that the Inktense blocks are…intense.  To soften them I decided to scribble on the page, but when it came to blending them I used a damp baby wipe that had been dipped in a smidge of gesso.  I liked the effect. Much softer colour and maybe you can see I really used very little of the blocks in the scribbling.

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To get some pattern in there, but again, quite soft, I brushed some gesso onto one of the texture plates I made from the anaglypta wallpaper for using on the Gelli plate.  That gave me a nice enough print (although it probably doesn’t show up in the photo as well as it does IRL.

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You can see that texture pad is caked with acrylic paint, but it didn’t transfer when printing with it.

So then I decided to try rubbing the side of the Inktense block onto it and misting it with water to activate the ink.

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That gave me a much darker impression.  Def. will do THAT again – I have A LOT of these texture pads that I’ve made and lots more (a near endless supply) of options cause I can tear off a “sample” at all of the wallpaper departments of about 5 or 6 different stores i my area.  I only need a few inches, although these are more like A4 size cause I wanted them for the bigger Gelli plate.

I carried on adding the little date and day printouts (cut ‘n paste) and did one page using thin Washi Tape for the divides.

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So far so good.  If I can do a month a day (unlikely) I’ll probably be ready to start properly in a week.  I did do the January prompt (front door) but as this is already long I’ll add that tomorrow, along with a better look at the elements that make my book different.

I am also reading Flash Boys (I adore Michael Lewis, back since Liar’s Poker) and have a little Rainbow Baby doll on the go for a fellow WOYWWers charity project, plus the crochet circles…. just too many things and all of them vying for my time.  {sigh}