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More collage progress.

I am trying to get at least one a day done, but life tends to get in the way some days.

I like both of these quite a lot, and I feel like they reflect the musings from yesterday pretty well. I feel like I am really beginning to identify my “style” and using the same sort of elements again and again.

I think that while they share elements, like the black die cut letters, the open circles, and a mostly vertical lines orientation, those things appear differently in each piece. I mean I don’t see them as copies of the same design, just variations. And they share a similar vibe with this previous piece.

One of the hardest things I think, is to identify your style. And I often seem to do things that go against the grain, my grain, I should say. I place something and I think to myself Well, that open circle is something I have used a lot. Maybe I should use something else… instead of thinking Open circles are my thing. Is there a place for one in this piece? There is no need for constant innovation. Was it Picasso that had his blue period? Maybe this is my open circle period. Maybe I just happen to have a ton of the waste bits from previously punched circles in my scrap stash! Who knows? What I do know is I rather like the small pieces, and when I flip thru the pages I’ve done, the first few, the ones that are more bitty, and don’t share those elements, make me less happy and maybe even seem like they don’t belong!

But then these two DO feel like they work with the others, or at least they work better. No idea why.

It is all very interesting. One thing is the one that feels very out of place, above? That is the one on the slightly smaller block, turned the wrong way so it is very out of place on MANY levels. I might just ditch it and carry on with the style I think I’ve identified and see where it leads….

Hoping I was going to have all of them done for binding on Thursday, but we will see if I manage that. Got sidetracked by a custom project that had a deadline. Now that is completed I can focus my energy a bit better.

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Collage progress with a deviation.

As you saw end of last week, I made a larger collage in my journal, as planned, then flipped over and began making one on the back.

Then I realized a couple of things. Firstly, I am not great at this technique. I mean I have made collages before that I really loved. Like these:

But those were using a coordinated set of papers that were created with the collages in mind, rather than a completely random set of scraps from creative play that could be years (decades?) old. I considered. And I decided smaller was better to begin with. So in addition to the few I shared, I made more of the smaller pages.

I have thoughts. For me, working on the smaller size is doing two things. They feel a bit like warm-ups so there is little pressure. The amount of space is smaller, so fewer pieces can be used. THAT has revealed that for me, lots of bitty pieces appeal less that mostly large chunks but with some smaller overlapping layers to focus the eye. Lastly, leaving “white space” or background has more impact when the overall space is small. I think these are helping me focus on the decisions I am making maybe because I have to make fewer of them to fill the space?

Anyway, I have a pile of the mall pages cut and punched and once I complete them all I will be able to try that slip knot binding. So that will be fun. I would like to mention I was able to use one of my image transfer with white paint experiments from a while ago. Can you see it?

I like it a lot.

So yeah, I will be playing with these little ones then at come point I will move on to a bigger canvas. That’ll be…interesting.


Embarking on collage

I had a bash at a page in my journal, earmarked for collage, then turned over and started on on the back (kinda going with the flow) then realized if I made something I really loved, and, for example, that I wanted to pull out and frame or display, I would sacrifice the one on the back. Yikes. So I preemptively pulled it out and decided to work only on the one side from here forward.

I will say it looks slightly better in real life than in the photo, but I am OK with having pulled it out LOL!

Then, I saw a nice video on the slip-knot binding. Really liked it.

I have made literally 100s of mini-albums and handmade books, and have tried dozens of binding methods over the years, but never done this one. So, as is quite often the way, I altered my plan. I thought I might make a smaller series of collages, 4×4 inches, and kill two birds. I will be getting some practice on collage in the smaller size, save my nice journal for when I can (hopefully) make some more quality work, and make a little book like this to practice the binding. Win-Win-Win!

I began the smaller pages, and made one plus the reverse side as well. Different issue with the two-sidedness on this one ‘tho.

You can guess. The binding requires holes to be punched and I really need to know where they will be lest I punch a hole in a place that would be less than ideal (like the little scrap at the top or the bright pink block at the bottom, on the photo on the left!) Made a little guide, which I would need anyway for the binding work, so I can carry on now.

One thing about collage, it both uses and produces scraps. Oh dear. I will never use them all up, will I?

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Determined. Not just PLAY but actual items made

I seem to have fallen into the trap of endless play days with nothing that you can call real finished pieces. Gel prints I love bit haven’t used for anything, endless experimental pulls that are piling up, just so so much stuff.

I am making a conscious effort the make stuff. So I had a play with those bits of card I pulled from the mostly dried up paints and made some tags. I always need things for extras in a swap envelope, or Happy Mail , and these will fit the bill quite nicely. The UK tags I get are not huge and I wanted to use the hole protectors too so I punched them out, then covered the tags with the papers.

I used bits and bods from my desk t decorate, including chopped up sheets of my various word printables and some collage fodder.

I ended up making six of them and in the process had a bit of an idea for a set of printables based on the two-word combos I ended up using. They should be fun and I’ll sort them in a couple different fonts then share them with you all. I like the idea of drawing “one from column A, one from column B” to get an odd and maybe surprising phrase to then build a piece around – tag, ATC, art journal page, whatever.

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Deli paper, Vaseline + Distress Oxides for the win!

You may recall me doing a play session using Distress Oxides, Vaseline and stencils over coated cardstock and photo paper.

Tons of fun, lovely pieces in the end, and I then did it using stamping with Vaseline too. Well. I have been thinking of best ways to get the DI over the Vaseline and it occurred to me that the Gel plate might offer some interesting options. For example, previously I just smeared the DI on to my glass mat or a tile or something like that, then added the water and dragged the paper rhtu it. The effect was more … scattered ink, which was lovely, don’t get me wrong, but it was always pretty wet and took a while to dry so you could get to the buffing part. This was the same technique on tracing paper/vellum, which really highlights the scattered ink effect.

I also had the idea, being that I seem to be playing with collage a lot, that deli paper might also work. I love the translucency of it and the collage options so…

As the last time, Vaseline thru the stencil, but the DI added to a gel plate then the ink misted with water to get it moving

Once the ink is more liquid, press the plate over the Vaseline from the stencil

Without looking back, you may find it hard to tell that there is much less ink on the deli paper than what my past experiments with smeared-on-glass/time efforts. And it was OK to blot LIGHTLY with a piece of plain paper to remove some of the wet ink so you can buff off the Vaseline sooner.

Another stencil:

You can even add a bit more Vaseline (or any generic petroleum jelly product) and buff it but even if you don’t, the jelly you originally pushed thru the stencil will be enough to make the piece resist water and allow you to collage it, the matte medium will not smear it.

I like the distinct line of colour with this method, just a different effect than the other. Two more tricks to add to your gel plate play and collage! I have been playing with this, trying to develop the cover focal points for my double flag book. A couple of samples speak to me. Not shown here, cause it was photo paper not deli paper, but, yeah, should work. Nearly done…


Affirmation boards – little collages all done!

I put my head down, cleared my mind of clutter and focused on finishing that little collage project. Yes, yes, I know the card-box still awaits, but this project MIGHT inform that one. Let me begin with using up stuff LOL! I have this bit of pop-dot stuff from (I am not kidding) 15 years ago. I just do not find I need to pop things up a 1/2 inch, ever. Not sure I ever did! But I had a kind of plan for the collages and I thought I could use pretty much every scrap of this and be done with it. I started bu covering a couple of exactly the same size mats (off-cuts from a frame maker) with black card

then added not only to pop dots but all of the cut up surround as well to the back of the collages

That was going to let me pop them up from the background and I liked how that looked.

I had an idea for adding what I call active affirmations to each one, so I could hang them near my computer and take note of them each day. I made use of something I learned in the Kate Crane class and a printed sheet of affirmations I created and:

Very happy with how this turned out, and as I have a TON of other useful affirmations from my sheet, I might use them on the little cards. Then again, I might not. If I do, it might feel like I am just repeating the same thing, IYKWIM, and I wouldn’t want to do that LOL!


Riddled with indecision – little collages

I keep referencing a project I have on the go on my side desk and because I am riddled with indecision on the card-box project I have decided to share that. It is going…better, I guess. I collected up all of my small samples from recent gel plate play (the “old walls” ones)

and used my metal edged ruler to tear them into more or less the same size.

My plan is to mount them all on an exact same size background and make a little accordion spine book. I had quite a large pile of bits I had torn off and they seemed too good to waste – I felt those + gel plate + Quin Gold would work well with all the backgrounds so

Yep. Happy with them. I am not great at collage, so this pile o’goodness is def. going to let me experiment and hone my skills maybe.

and adding in some of the things from the Fodder Challenge and various other bits I think they will be fun to make and in the end give me a sort of sample book where I can determine what I like, in terms of colour combos, groupings, etc. I also have a new set of line stamps I am keen to play with so it’ll all come together one way or another.

The card box is still swirling in my brain at the moment. I will get back to it when concrete inspiration strikes…

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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!



My little Collage Fodder book

The Fodder Challenge freebie taster session is still going on, but not for much longer. This little pocket fodder book was one of the lessons and quite easy to make. I went off piste, as is my way, and sorted out a slightly different way to make it, to be able to use a full A4 gel plate pull (from the Quad of Collages lesson) and some bits, rather than the larger piece required from the class. This is your basic flutter book, with a fold-over that makes a pocket. I have seen this before, which is why I didn’t feel the need to follow the class precisely, to understand the process.

What is in it at the moment are some bits of text snipped from a magazine. I often see interesting bits in various places and I really like to save them. More often than not they get thrown in a pot with sentiments or printed and cut words and phrases, but now I have the perfect place to stash them and keep them nice. You won’t believe where I found them!

Yep. One of the freebie Waitrose mags had 4 or 5 pages of interesting phrases, mantras by “famous people” that I thought could be used in my Journal Petite or on another art journal page.

Not all of them fit perfectly, but they can all be trimmed into words or shorter phrases to fit. Cute, humm? I plan on making a larger version and if I can streamline the process and make it work (easily) for a variety of sizes I’ll share. I think a larger version would be handy for keeping little bits in one place. And I have some ideas for using some mop up sheets or making a collage of gel plate pulls that might be interesting. We’ll see. It’ll alllll depend on Mr. Sun and the temp in my room!