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When I am an old woman, I shall wear PURPLE….

The ABC Printing Challenge I am working on is U: Upcycle. At the moment I am sharing experiments. I was watching the sample video, gelli plate printing on plastic bags, and it made me think of clear things, like plastic page protectors, hard plastic packaging, and clear contact paper. And I thought about things that would remain clear – like Alcohol inks. That set me off on a journey LOL!

First experiment was thinking I might make a version of the circle curtain, using page protectors or contact paper instead of plastic bags. I thought they would be too opaque. Interesting but not very crisp, visually

So I tried adding the AI to the plate thru a stencil then sat looking at all that wasted ink ON the stencil. With the ink drying on the plate

I shifted over to another idea. I stuck a sheet of contact paper over the STENCIL – both sides had plenty of AI on them – and dripped a bit of straight alcohol into the holes. As part of the Upcycle part, I was using that hard foamy, plastic packaging to apply the ink, so pouncing that thru the holes added some of the ink on the packaging as well.

Such a lovely burst of colour! I stuck that to a bit of hard plastic clamshell packaging and held it up tot the light. Yummy!

Much like the first one, it is still indistinct, albeit pretty enough. Possibly need more of a play. In the end I peeled it off the plastic and added it to some white paper. And I pulled the print off the plate and did the same.

Love it but not sure how to use it. I do have a thought for the other bit, and will share that tomorrow!

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Bamboo pen for ink scribbling

About those scribbled circles…I love to be able to combine things when I can, so I am taking something I saw in a class (Kate Crane on FB – highly recommend the class but not the platform!) for markmaking. Now, I may be totally off on this, as she didn’t really teach it as part of the class – or at least not what I have watched so far) but the visual was enough for me. The Hubster has some bamboo plant stakes in the garden, and while (from what I recall) Kate mentions “a reed” I thought I would try using what I had. So I snipped off a bit from one of the stakes, and found my little hacksaw. It is a point of contention that I can never find tools in his workbench room so I have a small toolbox with smaller duplicates of things I use often (pliers, hammer, a small set of Muji screwdrivers, a hand cranked drill, box cutter and a hacksaw) that I know I can always find.

Used an old block so I didn’t hack into my desk and

Ta da! Well, kinda. So the way I cut it, the pointy one, which is the one I thought would work better, is stubby. Harumph. I worked on the rounded one a bit with an emery board but then I had an idea. I jammed a paintbrush with crappy bristles into the end and Ta Da again! Sorry for the unfocused blurry photo but you get the idea!

And most interesting, I possible didn’t really need to worry, because both ends work about the same. Maybe the pointy one gives arks that are a bit finer, but not significantly. And ink works pretty much the same as thinned down acrylic paint, so all good there.

I didn’t really explain the circular scribbles from the collages so I will now. After scribbling a circle (or after punching a hole, then scribbling a circle – I did both) I cut the outside edge of the scribble so I had a slightly organic shape. Then I was able to use my micro-tip scissors to cut inside the circle as well.

I love the effect and have made a pile to add to my collage fodder keeper! You can look back and see them on the collages.

You can see, in one of the photos above, my little card-box lurking there, all but screaming “FINISH ME!” and yet I don’t want to work on it and mess it up. Argh! Maybe I will have a solution over the weekend. Here’s hoping.

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Class project…done?

Well, I did embrace the imperfections and pushed on. The carbon paper technique I mentioned yesterday appeared a few more places.

and got more out of whack in the top left. Jeez.

Because the flower was from a book rather than a thin magazine, integrating it with paint was harder. My piece ended up with more colour than the samples by the teacher.

While it is better integrated, it still seems to be more floating on the surface than I’d like it to be. I think a thicker application of paint and more sanding might have helped, but this is still a first attempt at a technique/method very much out of my comfort zone. Will I try it again? Probably. But I really want to focus on the right images and composition. I don’t mind this one, I’m just not sure it says anything. It’s just a little vingette. I like the balance of it, and the composition, mostly, but it isn’t speaking to me. Maybe whispering, not sure. Anyway, I also have the little collage project as well, and really just a couple of weeks of appointments and commitments and deadlines to deal with. When did summer morph from a time when things slowed down into the busiest time of the year??


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Progress on the class. Result!

Well, this has been interesting. I decided on a bit of a different approach to the Print & Paint class. Normally, I kinda follow along step by step. This time, instead, I sat and watched all the lessons first. I think it helped me focus, knowing that the end result might be worth the effort. As you will have seen, I collected up a bunch of things

and began trying to make sense of them as a cohesive whole. In the end, this is the basic idea:

There are a couple of interesting items used for the class, the most unusual would be the carbon paper! I really liked that sort of grid made of the pile of…. I think it was ginger, from (what else?) one of the freebie Waitrose magazines. And the teacher made special mention of the unpredictability when using the carbon paper, as you can’t really place the lines you scratch perfectly because you can’t actually see where they will end up thru the paper. And yeah, I certainly found that to be true. I am one who usually likes lines, and straight ones at that (unless they are circles LOL!) so not hitting the grid perfectly should have really irritated me. It kinda didn’t. I am trying to embrace the process. After doing the paint addition and masking out much of the actual images, Iadded some of the carbon paper lines and…

Not perfect but I am taking a moment to embrace the imperfections. I can see me adding in that technique to many projects…partly because you don’t buy just ONE sheet of carbon paper. I have probably 50 to play with!



WOYWW 686 – serendipity rules!

Happy WOYWW day. I am having a break this week from my knitting mates because so much else is going on. But I am still keeping busy in an arty way, just not with yarn for a day.

I should begin with my horrifying desk. There is just a ton of stuff all over it – lots that you might recall from my AJJ prompt page, with the weird stenciling tip using packaging debris. Page back a day and see.

Yeah. I work in chaos most of the time. Luckily I have the other desk. And this is where the serendipity comes in. Forgive me for all of the upcoming links (or maybe you will appreciate them?) I have a few things laid out, ready to begin a project birthed from such a wide variety of things I feel like the trail is interesting at least.

The gel printed papers are from a couple of days of playtime, trying to mimic a technique by Robyn McClendon that she calls Venetian Plaster. She uses a weird product called Stainz to get the effect, and these were from some of my attempts to get similar with none of that. The deck of cards was from a box of card decks I found while having a tidy before the in-laws visit and set aside in my craft room. While walking on the treadmill, up popped a 6-year-old video about making a little accordion book from playing cards and that included just a hint about making “washi tape” using Scor-tape. Which I have. Hearing that was enough, no need to watch. I had signed up for a small class (also by Roben Marie) called Urban Journal Remix. THAT came with a load of really lovely printables (you can see a sheet of what she calls washi strips there) that I thought went nicely with the papers. I have something like 23 pages of those and while not all go with my papers, a lot of them do. So there you go. All of those breadcrumbs led me to a creative trail I plan on following to the end.

But before I do, I have some desk hopping to do! Happy WOYWW once more!




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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When will I learn? Or maybe it’s OK

Yes, I know, I have flitted back to something from a little while ago. But I thought it was worth sharing. I am so often wanting to push things past the point they look good and into a hot mess. It’s just my nature.

What if I do THIS?

What if I do THAT?

then, inevitably

Oh NO!

I had this one print (on the left) from my play last week. I liked it, but I felt it needed something. I had added the flower as a stenciled image over the alcohol ink+paint print, and it was all a bit pale.

My first misguided effort you can’t really see, but I tried sketching around it with a very fin black pen and it was rubbish. You can maybe faintly see it if I zoom in, although it is pretty blurry, sorry.

{sigh}. What to do, what to do? I needed something that would both outline the image and highlight it in some way. The black pen limited my options A LOT. But I did have one idea. I grabbed my Art Glitter Glue and some VERY old foil sheets

and it worked!

OK so maybe it isn’t perfect, but I sure like it a lot better than the black pen! I am currently waiting for some added small dots in the middle to dry to tacky then I will rub that on as well.

You see? THIS is why I try not to throw things out, even when I suspect I am not going to ever use them again and even when I say far too often I am not a “bling-Y” person who is very much NOT tempted by foiling… DOH!

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Magazine image transfer with WHAT? And yes, it works.

So yeah. I was playing around with something I did back in 2018, which was transferring images that I had stamped with archival ink onto glossy magazine pages. You can see that post here. It didn’t always work but depending on what you stamped on, it did offer some interesting effects. Or at least I thought it did. But because it was so hit or miss, I really didn’t do much more with it. Kinda th same with image transfer on a gel plate, or at least for me. At some point I saw something about using ink to transfer images and I decided to have a go with that. Blimey. It works a treat.

Weirdly I almost get a better transfer from the Waitrose grocery store freebie than Vogue, but yeah, you really do need to pick a very high contrast image, just like with the paint. Well. The success with that made me want to give the old stamp-with-archival a go and see if the transfers worked better. And yes, they do work pretty well!

So the reason to do this vs. just stamping the image would be what you fill the image with , by stamping over something on the magazine paper. Had I pulled that print ontoplain white paper, I think you would have seen the mag text within the image but as a transfer. But I ended up pulling it on an already painted page in my Journal Petite so it kinda disappeared into that. Oh well. I am 100% not done playing with this, but I have a knitting thing to share first and tomorrow is a day packed full of appointments and meetings, and phone calls so not for a few days I’m sure. Anyway, here is the page – I like it, and yes, truncating SPILL to PILL was very much intentional…

I really love the misty and indistinct nature of the transfer but do wish the text was seen more.


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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Busy weekend. Firstly, one more update on the curtain

I keep doing this. Sorry. I did finish my deli-paper filled curtain for all three windows. I did add a little something, as I mentioned I was planning in one of my WOYWW comments, and a couple people said they were looking forward to seeing it finished so…

The thing I added was a bit of stamping in some of the circles. I used some of my Dina Wakley stamps including the little guys that I love so much.

To be fair some of my choices were more successful than others. In the cases where there was black paint, the stamping was pretty obscured.

As the circle had already been stuck in place I was limited as to where the stamping would fall. Otherwise I would have rotated the circle so the faces were in the area with no black paint. Ah well, live and learn. I just have a few of the images dotted around but I do like them. Every time I spy one, I smile.

Pretty dark and dismal when I took the photos above and I am struggling to show that they still let in a lot of light, because of where the windows are! No matter. I just love it. But I am done now. No more to share on this one.

I have been working on my Journal Petite a fair bit, so there will be more to share on that. After a certain point, the lessons move to things that are better, perhaps, as further layers. My focus has been to get a base down on every page and not will hope to move to topping those plainer pages with more layers. Well, after I go back to the inserts part. More circles! LOL!