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About those circles – one done!

I still have a LOT to do on the hexipuff blanket but I have finally finished the gel print circles so I can share a bit more info about the project and the inspiration. I saw a post …. someplace, I forget where, but a quick search led me to this YouTube video

The project is called Biology Rising and the process the artist used to create it… well… WOW. Lots of steps created a stunning result. The short version is gel prints on tissue paper, stuck to wire frames, coated in beeswax, hung like a curtain. With the light coming thru it’s magnificent!

Anyway, if you read regularly, you will have seen my process so far, but I will recap it here:

After sticking the black circles front and back, I cut them all out and began playing around with placement:

I decided that a few empty circles would add something interesting to the mix so I cut a few and played with placement again:

The frames are stuck together with double-stick adhesive. I needed a method to hang them and what I came up with was kinda interesting. I cut a piece of cardboard the width of the window and covered the front with black cardstock. I unbent a few large paper clips, creating a sort of U shape that fit over the window frame. I stuck that to the back of the cardboard with a combo of Art Glitter Glue and strong tape.

Now it is in place, sadly, on quite a dull and dismal day so not seen at it’s best, I think it looks fab.

I’ll hope for a brighter, maybe even sunny day tomorrow. I still have a pile of deli paper to use, and I think I may make a companion piece to fill the other window, as this is a three window bay.

Now, this is not anywhere near as stunning as the original, but I used stuff I had on hand, and all it really took me was the time to make it. The result if really pretty – it lets in plenty f the light so not worried about that being an issue, and it was a lot of fun to make. I will have to see how it looks from the outside LOL! The deli paper has a very definite front and back, and without the beeswax step it doesn’t have the same translucency but my version is achievable with some pretty basic supplies.

Now, back to cranking. Really hope I can get to maybe the halfway point on my blankie (or near to it) so I can share a progress shot.

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Circles on the brain

I have a project on my desk that is also circle-based. I need to get a bit further along with it before I explain too much about it but it involves cutting circle frames and making use of some deli paper gel prints from a while ago:

It’s pretty simple – cut two frames, stick on on the deli paper

the hold it up to the light and place a second circle to match on the back side.

I have a large pile of the deli paper prints and LOTS of circle dies. Not sure about the ones with the cut out edges – I may or may not use them in the final piece.

At the moment I am hopping back and forth between these circles and the yarn ones! My butterfly mind… With all the Jubilee stuff coming up I fear both projects are going to get pushed aside. But WOYWW tomorrow and one more ATC to share. I do hope a few more of mine got to their recipients by now! First class mail my eye!


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Gel plate! New life for scrapbooking rub-ons?

I am going to try to get back to experimenting with my supplies and today it’s Gel plate printing.

I saw a YouTube video about things that resist when gel plate printing and it made me think about the box of old scrapbooking rub-ons that I have hanging around. I did get rid of a ton of them in my last major tidy up (which, of course, I now deeply regret doing) but I do still have a lot of word ones. I had a play. It’s as easy as rubbing on the words them pressing them on to the (lightly) paint covered gel plate

It’s a bit tricky to get the pressure right but you can see the rub-ons resist the paint!

And the words pull the right way round, which is critical.

I am very out of practice, but I had a go at pulling an actual print.

I build up the entire composition (well, tried to anyway) by adding some texture and stencils and ended up with this:

It probably doesn’t look a tn better IRL but overall I like the process and the technique. What I still have a LOT of is the little individual rub-on letter booklets so I am not limited by the few word sheets I do have. I think this is something worth playing with to see what can be done. I don’t have a photo of it but I was able to get a resist from a second attempt. Not sure how many you can get from one rub-on, but I’ll have to give it a go and see. And I am curious to see how image rub-ons might work, if there are brands that are better than others, and how best to use them. I am quite interested in the one-pull prints, rather than layered ones, so yeah, probably going to play more with that for a bit. But even typing this I have an idea to test so…


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Paper Dolls found and idea sparked

I think I mentioned that I had “lost” my bag of Paper Dolls. I swear I hunted for three days trying to find the bloody things. Of course, as is the way, I found them 10 minutes after I received the wrong kind of dolls from Amazon and 5 minutes after I sorted the return and re-ordered the right ones from someplace else. DOH! Of course as soon as I saw them it sparked an idea for those colourful coins from the very old gel print on contact paper. I also found the 4th coin from the first sheet I die cut. It seemed to be stuck to the back of one of the other ones and I was just sure I had lost it.

I played around with some ideas

I wasn’t 100% sure they would work, but I carried one with some ideas and eventually I think they did. What helped was using more of the medium sized dolls rather than the small ones (even if I had to amputate their legs or feet) and the slightly wonky circle of kraft paper and finally the words.

The words are from a “clippings” style sheet I made of phrases found in an old book about crime! There were some lovely (or maybe unlovely but striking) phrases, like:

  • hopeless and futile in themselves
  • her worthless disorderly bore of an existence
  • As he remarked, “This is a helluva time to be caught without a gun!”(and I actually mistyped that as “This is a helluva time to be caught without a GIN” and I like that too LOL!
  • No doubt all generations are lost generations, but some are more lost that others

My plan had been to scan them for re-use but I got excited and used a few. Oh well. The book is loaded with gems so I’ve no doubt I can find more but for now I have typed up the ones I really like and made them into my own sheet of clippings. I used a traditional book font and as I use them for ATC cards and coins I wanted them to be small-ish. You can re-type them to print for your own project at a different size or in a different font. I’m pretty sure I will use them all eventually. Here they are! I like to use partial phrases sometimes and I think these are interesting ones. They would work well with a quirky image.

As ever, I love them and hate to trade them, but that is why I made them so….

I still have the other four to work with as well.


Art from 2013? I think I am a hoarder…

Yep. If there was ever any doubt. I was organizing some stuff while doing a back up on my Mac. It is super old and I had bought some digital elements from a place that announced it was closing down within a month. I wanted to make sure the files were backed up because once they closed down I wouldn’t be able to get them again. But nearly 4 hours and 300GB in and I am losing the will to live. There is only so much I can do without my computer. I can compose a blog post for today, I think, but we will see. In any case, I came across these two sheets made in this post here

and I thought they would possibly look quite cool as ATC coins. I managed to get 7 clean circles with a die and I really do love them.

The problem is they are almost TOO colourful. I am struggling to think what would look best on them. My knitting mate saved the packaging from her tattoo protection cream and there are some nice B&W images on that, but the seam of the box runs thru many of them. I’m going to have a close look and see. Otherwise, I am thinking some other sort of simple B&W image is about all that would work. But I need to consider the theme, if it will be a series of seven (or two series, one of three and one of four) and blah blah blah. I will probably do that over the course of the weekend and see what I have to share.

I may be a hoarder, but these were well worth saving, I think. But I really want to do them justice, now they have been given a second life!


A neat trick for sticking intricate die cuts and a weird thing I discovered

I gotta say, adding tiny dots of glue to large, lacy die cuts is an annoying and tedious process. What I do, usually when I am working on a few cards like I did this time, is grab one of my smaller gel plates and brayer on some matt gel medium then press the back of the die cut into that to coat it, It doesn’t dry that quickly that I can’t press all the areas of the die cut and use all of the medium on the plate. Then I just press it on to the card and lay a large stamping block over it – the one the gel plate is on is heavier – till the medium dries.

Take moments and it dries matt, not shiny. That tip was from Natasha … Foote, I think. I’ve seen a few of her YouTube videos, but she is very much an ink&stamps gal and I am trying to use up paper&card. But the tip about the matt medium rather than glue is a good one.

It works great for all those tiny little areas that drive you mad, pouncing a dot of glue on each and every one. It works best for me if I made a stack of cards (like I am doing nowadays when I am on a roll and the whole A-Card-A-DAY thing isn’t working for me) and have loads of things to stick. I’ll lay them out, all ready, then get out the plate, brayer on the matt medium, and stick them all, assembly line style – look at this die. consider all the bits you would want to stick and then tell me this is no a better way to do it LOL!

Both the lacy leaves and the large floral are from the same stamp & die set I bought a couple of weeks ago. The weird thing I discovered was that, while watching a YouTube video, that the set I bought from some Chinese manufacturer selling on Amazon was actually a Stampin’ Up! set, but much cheaper. The SU! set is called Artistically Inked and it costs $53 from SU! It is under £14 on Amazon and the only thing missing is the name. The conversion is about $20:

I don’t think I have ever bought an SU! set in my life, so I didn’t recognize the packaging, but as soon as I saw it in the video I was like WHAT? and then went to have a look. Makes me wonder how many other ones there are and how long it will be before Amazon cracks down on this. I did at first think maybe it was a retired set but it does seem to be still for sale from SU!

And there’s more! I also stumbled across a set by Stampendous called Peeking Pals. It is sold on Amazon as a Stampendous set for about £15 but by the other company for about £9. Not really my taste but cute, I guess:

Crazy, right?


Art Journal experimentation

I kinda feel like I have gotten away from making art journal pages, instead doing experiments on other paper or doing smaller projects, and I don’t know why. I get a little antsy when I don’t get to make an actual page. I made a couple of pieces, playing with the technique of stenciling with gloss gel medium then applying gloss spray over it, with no clear idea of a final project for the pieces. I decided to do something I very rarely do – just stick the piece to a page in my art journal and build on it.

I never really captured the process but basically I filled the background with stamping then stenciled the stars over the top then sprayed the gloss spray over that and when it had mostly at least partially dried on the PAPER (very quick) I wiped the spray away from the gloss gel stars. I did some other stamping over that for a bit more depth. I decided to gesso the brown paper bag page and stick it on that, then stencil more of the stars around the perimeter of the stuck-on piece to (hopefully) tie them together a bit.

There is a bit of scribbling round the stars. black around the yellow ones and white around the original ones – I wish I had done the white around the original before stenciling but oh well…

I wanted to add some text so I went back…waaaaaayyy back, to the technique I came up with the seal inkjet printer text so you can use gel medium over it without the whole thing becoming a dense black smear. We still have a laser printer to buy but finding the right one with all the options we want is tricky. Anyway, the original post is here and originally was more abut using the technique to seal your pan pastels without using a stinky spray sealant, but basically you print the text

then roll gel medium onto your gel plate and press it on the text, being careful not to wiggle it about.

Worked a treat, as usual. Added a face stamped on deli-paper so it could melt into the lumpy background better. The final page turned out ok, although I am not sure if the lower left needs…something there or not. I’ll consider it for a bit.

DAY 60 feels like a milestone. Definitely on the downhill slope, although right at the beginning of it! And nice to occasionally put something smack in the middle of the page. There MIGHT be too much going on here. A lot of colour, a lot of pattern…just A LOT.