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!


Decidedly Quirky ATCs

As you will have seen back on Tuesday, the Crowabout digital images are a ton of fun. I decided to combine the quirky words and some of the creatures (some as they are, some created from bits) to top those masterboard ATCs.

I rather enjoy cutting stuff out. All the way back in my scrapbooking days, I was an avid letter-cutter-outer. Microtip scissors are the key. I gotta say I really love these cards. Not sure if you want to see all the close ups, but I took ’em so I’m gonna share ’em. Here is an overview so you can skip the detail if you like:

And three by three:

I have another use for the images that I think will be fun but I have to work out the details. I will, but it is taking a bit of time….


Final Tag book – all put together

I had fun making this – same sort of accordion construction I have done 100 times before, and I am sure everyone knows already. I attached the ribbon tie to the back of the book so it would wrap round.

Added the tags – I made the pages a little bigger so the tags would be framed nicely, yet the top would extend above the book so the ribbon and rik-rak would be free.

And the cover in place:

Just to save you looking back, here are al the tags in place. Some might have a few additions, like splatters, etc.

I have a really fugly art journal page that I may add. Not sure yet. I also have another box of stash coming and I may want to throw a little more onto the fugliness to see if it salvages it. Or not. I added a title that is pretty perfect for it so I may just share it as is. It is a cautionary tale…sometimes, more is crap. But is it ART?

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Cover for my trash-tag book

My cover is done and I really like it!

In the end I decided that the top words on cream and the bottom words on white were FINE.

I am looking at my old mini-book posts, and researching various tag-book constructions, to try to determine which of them will work best for my tags. The backs of them are the backs of the paint-chip samples so full of text, so I think something where the tags are stuck on the binding method is best, to avoid having to cover the backs fully and make them really thick.

I know I want it to be black, to set off the colourful chaos of the trash tags, but other than that, I have not yet settled on the best version. I think I am leaning towards a basic accordion, and indeed the cover will work well for that sort of construction. But there are a million variations of the accordion book, mostly spine variations. See? again, it is the finishing touches that delay the completion of the project! Maybe because I have a habit of looking forward to the next project before I am done, and the antici………pation of starting something new takes up valuable headspace.

Oh, and I have a much-requested calendar to finish up and add! I know it is one that gets a lot of downloads every year, and we are already into Month 2 for 2021. I really must get it sorted cause I don’t like to disappoint the people who like to download it every year!

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Tag book final tags

Just a quick one today. Here are the final tags – funny, isn’t it, that sometimes the finishing touches are the part of a project that takes the longest?

and the next three:

I am actually pretty happy with them. I was determined to make the bits of text I printed but did not use work as text on the tags. Some of it I printed in error on cream cardstock, rather than white, which is obvious to ME, but not a problem in the end as I didn’t have to mix the white and cream words on the same tag. I had trouble with stamping on the paint chips – I tried Versamark, as it was on my desk, but it didn’t seem to really want to dry and got a bit smeary. But Staz-on worked a treat so that is the way I went.

I had cut out a bunch of stuff from the packaging of the Dina stamps and that pile o’trash is destined to become the cover of the book. That and a few more bits from the leftovers. Really, I could make 20 tags from it, although I suspect the quality of the tags would suffer the further into the rubbish pile I went!

I may end up mixing the cream and white on the cover as I want to use all the leftover words and not print them again. That defeats the purpose of my challenge to myself. I’ll get it done, but maybe not today!


WOYWW 610 – trash project progress

Happy WOYWW to all! Best day of the week.

My desk is NOT clean. It should be – I tidied up in advance of a new project, but the project took over and things got messy.

If you saw my post yesterday you will know my project is to use up the scraps from the Collage Collective leftover from my The Hill We Climb art book. As you can see I made a LOT of progress on the tags, but not so much I am ready to take final photos of them all. I anticipate I will be ready for that tomorrow! I still have to make the cover and do the tag-book construction. I do have a couple of in-process tags not quite done, but they should give you an idea of where they are going! The one from yesterday, to save you paging back:

A second one that is still very much in progress:

and one that is pretty much actually done:

The last photo is a box of goodies I set aside for donation – Neet posted last week about a friend who is doing a worthwhile project and needs supplies. I have far too much and while some of the stuff is partially used (papers with a corner cut away, part-full sticker sheets) I figure it will be useful in some way. So off it will go (if not already off – depending on Hubby’s P.O. schedule this week) and hopefully happily received. I could send 10 of these and not miss what I am sending nor make a dent in what I have. Making the time to really sort thru it is always the bigger problem.

So there we go. A big old mess. Tomorrow I will share the final tags and then do the cover and assemble the book. Darling Daughter has been off school for a couple of days as her teachers are getting vaccinated (she attends a special needs school) and we have been watching movies and chilin’ out, which explains why my progress on this project has been slower than it should have been. MY vaccine went swimmingly, just a couple of days of a sore arm and a little bit of a lump and an itch near the injection site. Pretty much back to normal and just waiting for the next dose….

Have a great WOYWW day, y’all!

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Trash Tags – challenging but fun!

I tidied up my desks a bit, in advance of WOYWW tomorrow. I am determined to tidy up once a week AT LEAST. If I know anything, I know I find it VERY hard to work in chaos. I get distracted too easily and end up flitting from desk to desk, never completing anything – or at least it takes me a week to cycle around to the first thing I began. Anyway, I decided to challenge myself, once again, to use up the rubbish on my desk to make something good. I collected up all the bits and pieces of the Collage Collective remains from the Hill book.

and I grabbed that envelope of stuff from Voodoo Vixen

and riffled thru it to pull out all the large paint chips in mostly pale background colours

and managed to make a reasonably cute tag, although my desk looks a bit worse for wear at the end of it!

I placed a few limits on myself. I had to TRY to use the scraps as intact as I could – no pre-trimming, only cutting off the overhang. I got a new stamp set (you will have seen the journal page using the bar-code snipped from the packaging yesterday!) and that was on my desk so I could use that, and the tissue paper I got in the same shipment. Here is that tag, mostly finished, although I feel splatters are needed and I have to sort thru my ribbons to finish it off. I have a plan to make a tag book – we’ll see how it goes.


The Hill We Climb art book – all the pages done!

Still so pleased with this little book. It was challenging in some ways. I made it such a long time ago, I can’t recall the thought process or the making of the gel prints, only that I really loved them. well MOST of them. There was one REALLY ugly one that I will slip in where it falls. I am tempted to begin with my favourite page, but best if I go along in order. So, cover (again):

First page pair, in better light:

Second page pair:

Third page pair:

Fourth page pair:

Fifth page pair:

Sixth page pair:

And here is where it got weird. THIS page is nothing like any of the others. It’s really green and yet has a swipe of claret and some turquoise and I have no idea how it happened. I hope I made those weird colours work with my careful selection from the Collage Collective – those green-tinged butterflies were a godsend! AND they came in more than one size across the two volumes. Phew!

Seventh page pair:

I really love this pair. This one and the Fifth pair MIGHT be my favourites.

I am keeping the images at MEDIUM, because I am closing in on my allocation of storage. On WOYWW this week, someone mentioned how long they had been blogging. I had to look and found I am in my 12th year and nearly at my 3gb of storage. For most of my time I used massive images, so now I have to be a bit conservative. I think I can claw back some space by deleting old calendars (which aren’t super useful) but it’ll take time to do it.

I have another project I am keen to begin, nothing like as intensive as this one, but I think it will be fun. And I have about 100 journal pages swirling around in my brain. First, a massive tidy up, cause my desk…OMG my desk!

Hope you enjoyed this, and do go back and watch Amanda read the poem. Bring tissues…..


Tag Play

I am trying to remember to make the first image the one that matters most. Seems weird to do it this way but I hear it is what people prefer. Who am I to argue? My final tags:

I was hunting thru some small drawer units and found my stash of cheap luggage tags and decided to have a play. I grabbed a selection of things to play with, including s limited colour palette of acrylic paint…

and a few more tools as well.

There is a RubberMoon stamp, a dip-pen, some cheap acrylic ink sprays from Lidl, some of my deli-paper masterboard, some ancient rub-ons, and a little tiny stapler from Tiger. THAT came in a little set tat cost me about £3, if I remember right – the Tiny Attacher is about £15. OK, to be fair it is more robust, and has a greater throat depth so you can staple further from the edge of whatever, but at that much higher price point. My tiny stapler worked great for what I was doing. The brush made me laugh – it’s from Lowes so it has to be at least 27 years old. The scraper is branded CRAYOLA, so also from when the kids were small. The LIDL spray is great, very richly pigmented, and I think the box of four was maybe £5 or so. Th spray nozzles clog quick but not if you clear them with water every time you finish a session using them. They work fab with the dip pen. Oh and also a scrap of plastic bag. I saw an artist on YouTube called Dan Tirels who paints entirely using plastic bags on some of his pieces. It amazed me. An ink pad and a pen. I started by swiping on some colour

then switched to the dry brush for the next colour

and finally had a go at stamping with the plastic bag.

I think the impact of that is hard to see but it is an interesting technique that bears exploring. Next, I stamped the swirl stamp, changing the orientation and placement

and then grabbed my big deli-paper masterboard thingie and chopped off a couple of strips to use for collage – I stack some bits on with glue and some I stapled with my tiny stapler. A few swipes and outlines with the dip pen and the Micron pen and…

Oh yes, forgot the rub-ons – no real rhyme nor reason to the selection of the placement. A close up here to save you scrolling back to the top:

I quite like them, and it was just the playful session I needed. Now I just need to figure a way to use them as a page focal point. But that is a play for another day.

After a hard week of early morning travel and a thumping headache from the fast infusion, I might just take the weekend off. This is my last pre-loaded post so if I go missing it’s just cause I am resting up and taking it easy for a bit.

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Another Life Book taster – twinchies

I have been working thru the Life Book taster sessions that appeal to me, trying to decide if I want to enroll for the year-long session. I’m struggling to decide if I want to put the money towards a laser printer or spend it on a class that hopefully might inspire me for the year. If only it were not so heavy on the portraits. I just am not into that AT ALL. <sigh>

Anyway, I did the Laly Mille class on twinchies. Another thing that I am not super in to – I like making and occasionally trading, ATCs (to be fair, mostly for the annual WOYWW crops) but I am just not part of a group that does this sort of thing regularly. But the process was a bit of fun. The beginnings were usual art journal techniques – a bit of collage, a bit of stenciling, some daubs of watercolour…

and then I added a bit of some holiday tissue paper, full of little flecks of gold:

It just set off one edge nicely and even under matte medium, it stayed shiny!

They need a little more to finish them up. I have a few ideas….and then a decision on what to do with them! I COULD, I suppose, turn them into the focal point of an ATC. Or….