scrappystickyinkymess


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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.

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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}


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Bet you thought I abandoned that AJ…

…but I didn’t.  The envelopes are working well, I think, and I have the three sets sewn in with room for at least three more.

envelopeAJ

Some of the pages have the pockets but I really needed to extend the gesso further in.

The background was done with scribbles of the Inktense. and I used my fave silicone hot pad to stamp the hexagons – I just wiped over it first with a baby wipe then rubbed the Inktense block over it then stamped.

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a couple of my in-process shots didn’t save (had to recharge my camera batteries – DOH!) but I hope you get the idea.  Boy do they come up INTENSELY coloured.

You can see two bits that used gilding flakes.  The little flecks are just a few flakes that I dusted over the still damp acrylic medium. And then I dropped a chunk of drywall tape into the box and scrubbed off the excess.  The flakes stuck great to the adhesive on what os meant to be the BACK and I just stuck it down with other adhesive.

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I took some shots in the afternoon sun and some in the dismal overcast morning, hence the variations…You can see the spine in this shot.

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I also did a title to add, coloured with the blocks as well.

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Hard to see all the layers of colour but there are many….

And it will just fit, if overlapped, to the side of the flap. Considering many alternatives for the closure but I may end up with a bit of ribbon or fabric threaded thru the spine stitching and used as a tie.

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It’s fairly large, about 8.5 x 12, so plenty of room!  It’s big enough that I can actually slip into one of the pockets a few pages from one of my previous attempts at art journaling if I want to house all those pages in one place as that is more or less just a few sheets, folded and sewn into a pamphlet.  I only did maybe two completed pages and a background spread in it so I may disassemble it so I can slip those pages into a pocket, not sure yet.

My room is littered with floating shreds of gilding so it may be time to put that back on the shelf.  And while my room is still extremely tidy, my desk has devolved back into a bit of a mess…

 


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Gilding flakes on Modelling paste

Rather scatterbrained today – our mail server has been down for nearly 2 days and the US ISP isn’t addressing it as quickly as we’d like, so worried I am missing out on some critical mail. But I guess that just leaves me more time to get crafty LOL!

So the shot of my desk yesterday showed an experiment.  I got a set of the Inktense blocks.  Frankly I wasn’t super keen on them until I read you can grate them and mix with water to create inks that are permanent when dry.  Now THAT is something I am very interested in.  My plan had been to have a go at this over some modelling paste, but as I had JUST tidied up (massively) and stuff I hadn’t used in ages was still in my short-term memory, I thought  I wonder…?

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and grabbed my pot of gilding flakes.  My feeling was that the modelling paste, while wet, would grab the flakes.  When it dried, the flakes would not only be stuck, they would be stuck strong. So while the paste was damp (ie maybe 5 mins or so after applying? )  It should still glisten on the surface but if you touch it, it should feel semi-solid

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I scattered on some gilding flakes – this bag is one I got ages ago and the flakes are very large, almost like sheets, 2 or 3 inches square.  I laid them over gently, covering the surface on 1/2 of the modelling paste figure.

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I left the paste to dry totally then whisked away the flakes with a brush.  Personally, I think that scrubbie thing that comes with the flakes dulls the shine so I don’t really use it.

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I think the bare areas might have been down to me not pressing the flakes into the paste or, for the tiny areas, that bit being drier than the rest.  But overall I felt the coverage was good and I was able to whisk pretty briskly and the flakes stayed stuck.

So what I expected to work was to re-lay the stencil then sponge the FlitterGlu over the dried modelling paste then gild as usual.

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I did that on the OTHER half.  And it worked as expected. So far so good.  I left it for a while to make sure the paste and glue was dry.  Then I grated up some of the Inktense block, mixed in a bit of water, and make a spray.  Easy Peasy.

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I sprayed that over the gilded area, and let it dry.

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Nice and watercolour-y – you can vary the vibrancy by adding more (or less) water. Now here is where it gets odd.  What I hoped to do was buff away the ink before it totally dried (’cause I keep hearing it is PERMANENT WHEN DRY) to reveal the gilded areas.

Yeah. Right.

So what I had read, and seen on videos, is that you can layer other wet mediums over he Inktense and it will not smear.  With this in mind I used a slightly damp baby wipe to wipe away the mist from the surface of the gilding flakes.  Two things to note – first, the flakes that were embedded in the modelling paste stayed put nicely.  The ones applied over the FlitterGlu?  Not so much.

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The left is the FlitterGlu.  But I also noted that the Inktense spray DID wipe away, at least partially. Not so water-fast then.

I suspect I need to experiment a little more with this.  But overall, I like the application of the gilding flakes over the modelling paste idea.  It could be quite an interesting technique on an AJ page, certainly for a top layer.  Likewise, I suspect glitter would embed nicely – and if it were a top layer then the FlitterGlu method would work as well, but why add another consumable resource if you don’t need to IYKWIM?  As to the Inktense mists, again, more testing.  Maybe heat setting it for longer rather than just letting it dry might help it remain water-resistant , not sure.  I know it is easy to scribble with the block then blend with a baby wipe and not wipe it away totally so it is at least slightly water-resistant.  And the colour is rich and deep.  But I am glad I had a go at the idea on a piece of paper rather than in my AJ.  I think I’ll enjoy pushing these blocks to their artistic limits, trying out a few ideas I have, to see what works. And I’ll be sure to report back!

 


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AJ page – Storm in my head (stencil shift)

I was thinking about the fact that I so often make stencils Using my Cricut.  Not everyone has one, so I was thinking of stencils I could make with other tools.  I thought about windows, and my Nestabilities.

So I took a filmstrip die – now this die cuts as a rectangle, and I thought that would suit my purposes.

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On a Gessoed page I sponged on dark green paint

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Replacing the stencil but shifting it slightly (I know I saw this someplace – could have been a Stencil Girl video but it’s been a while so I’m not sure) I sponged some lighter lime green paint over it. They key here is that you need good coverage and heavy bodied paint.

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It gives it a bit of a halo effect.  I added some olive-green Pitt pen, smudged along the join of the two paints for a little more depth, but given how much I layers over it, it was perhaps a wasted step!

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I scribbled some purples onto the background

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and blended them with a baby wipe, letting some of the purple skitter over the rough texture of the page

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Then I carried on with the usual – some stencils, some stamps, some punchinella stenciling, some tiny scripty text, and some BIG stamps in black.  That gave me a nice complex background.  Over a particularly busy area, I stencilled a face that I cut (sorry, back to the Cricut, but this time with SCAL tracing the image.

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I masked the lower compass so it (I hope) looks like it’s in front of the face. I stamped the “title” – do you call it a title when it’s and AJ page?  I do, but more as a way to call a particular page to mind,  less as a TITLE, IYKWIM.

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Now off to file paperwork.  And maybe try to finish up the last two cards from the Marathon – although cause I have to photo of the sample and only the barest memory of what the cards actually looked like, that may all come to nothing…..


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The reverse page done – I think it worked….

So I finished the reverse. I think the flipped edges worked pretty well, and I think it’s perfect for a page where you want to totally hide your journaling, as you can do all the writing then fold the edge over it.  Sneaky, humm?

After blending the watercolour crayons to get the background

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I flipped the edges from the book-paper coverage of the reverse back to this side.  I thought about leaving the edges as they were, and that is certainly an option, but instead I used an old curved ruler to mark and trim for a more decorative border

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Then I inked that border – I liked it plain but I liked it better inked.

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I did the lettering and that was here it all went wrong.  I stamped the text but the shading and decorating just didn’t live up to my expectations.  Live and learn – don’t run before you can walk…or letter LOL!

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Any excuse to  use some of my mad old stamps

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and just another shot of the edge…

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Most def. something I will do again.

Now to those who commented or emailed me asking about the WOYWW ATC backs – yes, I will pop another set without the WOYWW info on it for you, probably tomorrow – if not then, on Saturday when I am off at the Card Marathon. Hopefully I won’t be a bad student – I never can seem to follow instructions and sometimes my I wonder if…? process is just not appropriate.

Such  lovely day – too lovely for sitting in awaiting a delivery…

 


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AJ page

Very quick today, no waffle – DD is off school and we have a busy day together planned. Here is the first side of my twofer page – tomorrow I will hope to get the reverse done so I can see if the idea from yesterday has legs, as they say:

AJWander

From a poem by Tolkien.  It seems to reflect my wandering thru different arty playgrounds – I may wander, but I’m not totally lost, just looking around… Hard to see above but there are little graphite pencil squiggles tracing the path thru the mazes…

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and I forgot how much I really like these Rusty Pickle stamps.  SO OLD….

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Enjoy your day!