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Art Journal? Neuro-art? Knitting? Too many things swirling around in my head!

I have so many projects and things I want to do and I seem to be in a phase where I am jumping from one thing to another and can’t seem to settle my brain. I started a piece based on some work I saw about Neurographic Art, where you begin with a distinct drawing of something – the ones I saw most often were hearts, although I’ve seen quite a few of tigers lately – apparently it is the year of the tiger, so that explains that. That gave me the idea to do a piece using the year numbers. If any year needs the “corners rounded” I think 2022, the third year of the pandemic, is the one. My base piece looks like this:

And I then scanned that so I could print out copies to play with before working on the original (micro pen on watercolour paper) and messing it up. And I did two-a-page so I could test a few things.

I am still not a lover of coloured pencils abut they do seem to be the medium of choice for a lot of neurographic art. I thought I would have another go. Problem is the print I did was on my coated cardstock, and that really doesn’t work great for pencil blending. The larger piece is the coated paper while the small piece is watercolour paper:

The other bits you see are Copic markers, which worked only OK on the coated cardstock, and watercolour markers, which were tragic, at best!

So there you go. A lot of time spent and not a lot accomplished, although I did learn a few things. But I am no closer to getting that piece done. I will think on it a bit more, I guess.


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Copic problems, more choices, and too many decisions

I was looking over my collage fodder bins, trying to find something that would work with the stamps I used on the last group of ATCs. I had a few ideas.

The bits on the left were from a piece I made while playing around with the gel medium-as-resist with gloss sprays (which I don’t think I ever photographed or shared, and didn’t realize till I had cut it up into pieces – DOH!) and the bits on the right were just a strip of watercolour paper that is not quite wide enough for an ATC. I am considering a collage but to make up the difference, not sure. I didn’t love them, at least not for this project, but then I came across an envelope I had printed and not used. You recall this, possibly, from one of my tutorial on making your own pre-decorated envelopes?

I managed to get 4 good bits to use for the ATC backgrounds but ended up having to piece the last one. A Frankenstein ATC!

It wouldn’t have mattered because the stamped image I planned for that one was big enough to cover all of the bits that looked wrong. But where things went badly wrong was in the Copic colouring. I am not sure what happened. I stamped with Versafine, which I have used many times before and which in the past has been fine for Copic colouring. I know Archival ink is a no-no but this time I got a LOT of smearing.

What a mess! In the end, it felt like the universe was telling me this needed to be a 4-card series and not a 5-card series LOL! I’d be interested in hearing what ink you stamp with for Copic colouring and if you get this happening to you ever. All the rest of the stamped images were OK. Darn that light!

I’m not quite done with them yet – once again the words are sort of there but not 100% sure. WOYWW tomorrow so we’ll see if I manage it. This weekend darling daughter has her first Ice Skating comp (syncronized skating) and getting her and all her bits and bobs ready for that takes centre stage. The last comp they took first place in the Mixed Ability category (as the only entry, but not to take away anything at all from the massive accomplishment it was for all of them) but this year DD has a new skating helper and this is their first comp together. I do hope it goes well! Fingers crossed….


This and that – Saturday Play

Well I blew the idea that when my CK levels are high, my back is impervious to clenching up on me. I have been taking painkillers and lounging about since about Tuesday. Can’t tell from my posts because I had a few scheduled. Today I am able to do a bit, but not much as you will see from this post. Hopefully by tomorrow I will feel up to more.

I have been playing with some Lynne Perrella stamps and trying to work out what I want to do with them. The first play was comparing colouring with watercolours and with Copics.

Not a lot in it really, and both bleed outside the lines. Paints left, Copics right.

Then I tried stamping them on some Collage Collective paper. I had an idea but in the end I think I picked the wrong paper, because I think the cut-out words aren’t quite right.

I mean, they’re OK just not striking, or inspiring. I might finish them off, not sure yet. I want to play with stamping them on white card and colouring them then cutting them out. I’ll see how that works. I also wanted to show my version of the pressing device a lot of people use on stamping platforms to get good even pressure all over it. Mine is not as swish as some, no big doorknob or drawer pull on the top, just a simple block wth a furniture pad on it. But it cost me nothing, since I had both of those things hanging about.

Took me a total of 5 minutes to find the bits and assemble. And it works perfectly. I think the bit of the Grand Calibur embossing mat that I cut and stuck on my (cheap) stamp platform helps a LOT. I suspect sticky back fun foam would do similar.

That is a single pressing, not a double one. Not bad at all.

We’ll see what all of this play turns in to. Maybe nothing, maybe something. I’ll share if it’s something …


I said I wouldn’t – Janet Klein images

Over the WOYWW weeks I have seen so many cards etc. with cute little big-eyed Janet Klein images on them. I thought they were cute, but in the best kind of weird way. But I swore I would not succumb and buy the stamps. Somehow while looking for something unrelated, I was directed to the Etsy shop that sells digital versions. That was a rabbit hole I should not have dived in to. I was rather restrained, I think I bought four things. One of them was a set of fish. I love fishy images, and in my head the words “Fish heads, fish heads, roly poly fish heads..” are always playing when I am working with them. Can’t help it. I had a bit of found poetry that I wanted to use for some ATC coins, but the fish needed teeth. Not all the ones from the set had them, but luckily as they were digital it was easy enough to add them:

Now that they are all lovely and toothsome the rest was a breeze. I coloured some spike-y scallop circles with a few sea-shades of Distress Oxides and layers on some stamps and some spatters for my base – I used a scrap of tracing paper to mop up all the DO left on my mat

After colouring all the fish with my Copics I die cut some leafy fronds from the tracing paper to add to the coins, layering but not so as to obscure the fish. Mostly the Copics worked fine on the printed images

except for the purple fish. Purple always did bleed, I remember that from before. A little surgery, a reprinted eye only, and…

All of them:

So cute, but deadly LOL!

Haven’t named the series yet. Maybe by tomorrow… WOYWW and OMG do I need to clean!


Houses in progress – and a Copic Trick!

I had a blast making the Steampunk Castle but it was def. brown.  Craving some colour, I went back to what had been the original plan when I had the idea to decorate one of the book-templates, and that was using the DillyBeans digital stamps.  I had a problem with the first set she sent – and to be honest I have no idea if it is her, me, my email, her email, PSE or some other weird problem, but the images were small when I got them.  The artist, Megan, has been brilliant in trying to sort this out, but I’m not sure we are there yet – I’m still seeing them at 96 DPI when I open them in PSE.  Any ideas, please LMK – if it’s some setting and the fault of my machine or tools, I’d love to let her know.

The 2nd set of images she sent work when resizing MUCH better, so I am happy to use them as I planned, and have made a start:

I need to get some A3 black card before I can continue, or play around with some A4 card and see if I can make it work.

Anyway, I’ll be cracking on with that today, but I wanted to share a little trick I found when colouring in.  First, let it be said that I am not a Copic-colourng expert.  I have a shaky hand when it comes to fine detail and while I can usually manage a pretty decent job, I am in AWE of some of the pieces I’ve seen.  Maybe it’s the card, maybe it’s my printer ink in combo with the markers, maybe it’s me, but the ink will seem to overflow the printed lines – more so with my new Canon than it ever did with my Epson. So I have to do the trick of using the colourless blender to push back the ink.  It doesn’t ever seem to work as well as I hope it will, leaving too much of a halo of colour.  But I had some success with a make up sponge in one hand, marker in the other.  I’ll explain and try to show you.

Here you see my intentional mistake – I’m shaky, but not THIS bad.  I did two leaves so I could try to show the difference!

Using the colourless blender and pushing the ink made it better, but by no means GOOD:

And when it dries you can see where we are – the colour is still leaching out from the “stamp lines” and looks…not great:

Now check this out.  By pushing the ink with the blender and immediately dabbing it with the make-up sponge, it gets a lot better:

You should  be able to see the difference between the petals. Now, the slightly greenish cast you see is because I tried this technique with a bold green Copic and there was a bit of that still on the sponge.  DOH!  This won’t make a huge difference with those colours where pushing the ink doesn’t, in and of itself, make a big difference.  Reds and Greens are the worst for that, in my experience, which is part of the reason I tried green, to see how it worked.  It makes a LITTLE difference but not enough that you can really see it in a photo.  But if you have over-spill, why not try this and see if you can make a better fix than just with the blender?  My guess is that the sponge is absorbing the ink, both blender and colour, and drying the card before it has a chance to seep.  But who knows?  All I know is it made a BIG difference on one of my little skellies so I will def. try it again if I need to.

I am liking the Dillybeans – they are more cute-creepy than creepy-creepy like the Stampotique ones (which I still adore) so at least my sister will be pleased.