Too hipster? Gelli ® print deer head

It has been SOOOOOO long since I got to do any sort of crafty thing except knitting (which is portable and that is the only reason I can squeeze that in!) so I am super excited to be able to add a fun project.  I love it, even if it was a ton of work to accomplish.  And the one day I sit down to actually craft I get non-stop interaction from my darling Hubby (to be fair, he is trying to sort out my desk phone so I shouldn’t complain) and deliveries that need signing for, and gutter cleaners needing input, etc etc etc.

Anyway, I had noticed these 3D animal head craft kits at Lidl for like £2.  I think there were a few options, but I only got three – the deer, a ram and an elephant.  I think there was maybe a bear and something else.  As soon as I saw them in the flyer last week I mentally noted that I needed to go on Sunday to get them.  Then I promptly forgot.  DOH!  I was in Lidl yesterday to get a few things and I thought I would check the section that has the “last week’s” stuff.  And lo and behold they had a stack of them! Woo hoo.


It’s all punch out, super simple but lots of pieces




Size-wise it is about 13 inches across


Now, given the base is white, I could have streamlined the process a LOT by pulling the prints right onto the pieces, but that seemed dangerous.  If I screwed up a print, I would ruin the whole piece. Instead, I went back to my stash of prints (recently unearthed in my ongoing office sort) and started matching up prints to pieces.  The pieces are numbered on the back so easy to see what will be next to what


I did the base piece using this weird paper – thick and almost foam-y in texture, with a wood print on it – than my DH’s Aunt sent, wrapper around a gift. I’ve been hoarding it.



and I inked the backs, except the big piece that included the antlers.


You can’t see the number at all once the ink is on so I had to be a bit more organized than I usually am.

I also covered the antlers in a similar but darker foam-y paper and that worked much better than the light version would have. AND I backed it with some quite thick black cardstock.  Cutting that was a pain but it made it all much more stable.


I inked the edges or dragged a fat marker around, and…..

ta da!


So hard to get a decent photo that really shows its loveliness!



I hung it up on my office door. It needs a name.



I think I need to go back and buy them all!!


Gelli print photo cube

What a palaver!  You may recall that the other day I was trying to find a tutorial for a folded Origami corner to create a cube.  I found it but the person who originally asked for it found a different version of it – that one matched what seemed to be the method I mentioned (from a no-longer-available HGTV tutorial.)  Well, the written “instructions” (and I use that term very loosely – having MADE one it makes sense, but they are pretty sketchy if you don’t do a lot of origami!) were there but the two accompanying videos were not. It wasn’t much like the original one she showed a photo of, but did a similar thing in an easier way, resulting in a much more stable end product.

I am glad I watched it when I first saw it cause for some reason I can’t make the video load – not here, not on YouTube, not on Pinterest.  I am going to leave it in place as it might just be a temporary blip but if it DOES come back I would highly recommend watching that video, if you are a visual learner.  It’s very good.  I’m adding step-by-setp photos because I am using a Gelli print on heavier than scrapbooking paper and there is one extra step that I found helped.  And I changed how you do the bottom of the cube so it sits flatter.

I am not using 6 x 6 squares to begin with.  That makes sense if you are using scrapbooking paper, cutting a 12 x 12 sheet into four equal squares, but I am using a print from an 8 x 10 Gelli plate.  There is a basic ratio for the elements so you can adjust them to make a cube of any size.

  • Size of starting square = X
  • Size of cube sides = 1/2 X
  • Size of insert = 1/2 X minus a sliver off two adjacent sides
  • Size of hinge = 1/2 X minus 1  1/8 inch

So starting with a 7 inch square

  • Size of starting square : 7 inches (X)
  • Size of cube sides: 1/2 X = 3  1/2 inches
  • Size of insert: 1/2 X minus a sliver off two adjacent sides = 3  1/2 inches minus a sliver off two adjacent sides
  • Size of hinge : 1/2 X (3 1/2) minus 1 1/8 inch=  2  3/8 inches

Starting with an 8 inch square

  • Size of starting square : 8 inches (X)
  • Size of cube sides: 1/2 X = 4 inches
  • Size of insert: 1/2 X minus a sliver off two adjacent sides = 4 inches minus a sliver off two adjacent sides
  • Size of hinge : 1/2 X (4 inches) minus 1  1/8 inch=  2  7/8 inches

Jeez – Math. Ugh.  Hope I got it right!

1. Print five or six Gelli Prints on 120 to 160 gsm cardstock (lightweight) – I did five and made the bottom of the cube solid. Cut your prints (or paper/card) down to a square (mine are 7 x 7)

2. Cut 12 hinges and 6 inserts to match your print size.


Insert = 3  1/2 inches minus a sliver off two adjacent sides
Hinges =  2  3/8 inches

Fold the hinges in half on the diagonal


3. Fold all six of the 7 inch squares the same:

  • Fold in half then unfold
  • Fold the two sides in to meet the middle fold then unfold


  • Rotate and repeat – at the last unfold you will see the sheet creased into 16 squares


  • Flip the square so the PATTERN SIDE is UP.  Fold each corner into the middle and unfold


  • Flip PATTERN SIDE DOWN . Add a bit of double-sided adhesive in the four corners then fold each corner in to meet the closest score line



  • Fold the two sides in to the middle


You will now collapse this.  But use your bone folder (or blunt butter knife or fingernail) to really crease each fold.  This is more important on the heavier paper

  • Pull downward at the V


  • Crease along the sides INSIDE the box


  • Push the top part down to collapse and meet the first V


  • and again crease well – with the thicker paper and the extra thickness of the paint, this will help avoid the gaping corners I got to begin with.


In that shot all but the top right corner have been creased over.  Trust me, when you do it you will see what I mean.

Phew.  I bet you are now thinking my advice to watch the video wasn’t such a bad idea, right?  LOL!

4.  Once you have folded all six sides, slip the inserts into the middle to help provide structure to the piece. If you are adding photos, stick them to the inserts NOW – it will be hard to add them to the completed cube. 

You can wait till after step 11 – when the cube is assembled but not yet fully stuck together – and pull the sides slightly away to slip a photo in, and SKIP adding the adhesive if you want a cube that you can change the photos in.

I haven’t done that step yet cause I’m not sure what photos I’ll be using.  I’ll probably just cut the photos to fit within the insert area, leaving a bit of a border, and stick them to the insert after the cube is constructed. WATCH the video – I am pretty sure I recall her talking about making a template for cutting the photos.

Here are all the elements – might have one hinge off to the side 🙂 and you can see the black base is reversed so the flat/no insert side is UP


5. Add a strip of double-sided adhesive  across each hinge valley


6. Peel off the paper backing (or not, if using the ATG) and slip a hinge into one of the side gaps


Press firmly to adhere it well.

7.  Slip another side onto the other side of the hinge.  Make sure the diamond-shaped insert is facing OUTWARD.  Carry on adding the sides in this way till you have THREE joined pieces. Add a hinge to BOTH side-gaps of the fourth piece and sip the two hinges in to create the cube sides, like so:


8. For the solid bottom, reverse the hinges so the insert diamond is facing up, and insert all four hinges like so:


9. For the TOP, insert all four hinges with the insert facing DOWN.  See the difference?


This gives you a flat bottom rather than the bumpy insert for the cube to rest on.  I figured that I could lose one photo area so the cube sat more solidly on a flat surface.

10. Insert the TOP of the cube first.  This way you can reach inside it and press the adhesive down fully. It’s more important that the top is stuck precisely than the bottom, as you will see it more.


11. Close the cube by slipping the bottom hinges into the last remaining gaps.


At this point you can still loosen the sides enough to slip in your photos.  Stop here if you want to be changing photos to update this cube, rather than making another one. The cube will be a little less tight, solid and square but it’ll still be mostly ok.

Finally, add a bit of paper-backed adhesive (or, I suppose, wet adhesive if you prefer) INSIDE, on BOTH sides of each hinge, to make a really tightly stuck, solid and neat cube! Once you do this there will be no slipping in or out of photos, trust me.


Ta da!


You could use a contrasting or more purposeful Gelli print bit instead of a photo and while it was a little fiddly, cutting them to about 3 1/4 x 3 1/4 let me slip them into the corners after construction.


And I had this kicking around – one of the Spellbinders die D-lites cut without the frame – so I just slipped it in over the white insert.  Cute!


And if you really did read that all, I’ll bet next time I say WATCH THE VIDEO you will do it LOL!



Mixed media – pre-prep homemade bits

I often start something without a clear idea of the final outcome.  I mean I have an IDEA, but not a vision of the final piece.  I tend to riffle thru my stash and the debris on my desk and that leads me where the piece wants to go.  Problem is I have a LOT of stuff, but I never seem to have EXACTLY what I see in my head.  For example, I like embossed resist papers – I don’t own a single one.  I love big swirls, but I’ve pretty much used up all the chipboard ones I’ve acquired over the years.  When I think Oh that would work there… I am then too lazy  or too engrossed in the process to stop, switch gears, and make something specifically for the piece I am working on.  And my pockets are just not deep enough to buy everything I would like to have on hand.

Thinking about stuff I wish I had, I thought I would take a day and MAKE things that I know I will use, get them all ready to go and then when I think a lovely swirl will fill that space perfectly… I just grab it.

So I did two things.  First I grabbed lots of plain white heavy cardstock.  I stamped a bunch of border stamps and embossed them with white embossing powder. I made a couple of sheets, mixing up thin and fat borders.


Now, when I am layering up clusters of papers and embellishments, and I think a little embossed resist strip will add just the texture I want, I only have to grab the sheet, cut out one, spritz with a bit of ink to match….


then maybe stamp over it with some Distress ink.  That whisks away from the embossing, and the strip is ready to tuck into a layered group.


For a selection of swirls and some die cut border pieces (if I want more texture) I went to my Cricut mini and Craft room.  I figure as long as I am cutting, why not make a morning of it? LOL!

I set up the mat and went crazy.



I also did a mat of borders and one of banners.  Then I thought to myself should I cut two of each to stick together, for a more chipboard-like piece?  When I mist or ink or paint these they are going to droop and flop, even out of heavy heavy card. I had an idea.  A bit like the acrylic medium technique for sealing things, I thought why not seal them with a coat of Gesso?  It will give them a little more body and then they will be ready for adding to mixed media style things in my file folder book.

I brayered the Gesso on to the Gelli plate and laid on the piece – yes, I know the bigger plate would make more sense, but the small one was what was on my desk.  Told you I was lazy….


Brayering over the back coated both sides.  In the end I had a stack of them drying.


I didn’t waste the Gesso either.  I pulled a print off the plate and used the spray inks on it. Cool.


I like the shadow effect where there is no Gesso.  I’m sure I’ll find a use for it…

And I still have the waste from the cut-outs.  They will surely work for stencils and the cardstock is thick enough they will work with modelling paste as well, at least a few times as they are in no way washable!

I know it’s a calculated risk, cutting and stamping a bunch of stuff that I might not use, but I feel that by thinking thru my style, and my process , I’ve identified those things I most often wish I had on hand.  That makes it more likely I WILL actually use them.  We shall see.  I have plans for one of the swirls already and I’m interested in how the coating of gesso will affect it…

Oh and I forgot to mention…that doily sort of thing on the embossing sheet?  That is actually a cup coaster!


It would have worked FAR better had I used a flat stamp mount (which it clung to perfectly) rather than the curved one that I grabbed cause it was on my desk (see? LAZY!) I’ve never gotten the hang of the darn thing and never get a good clean impression.  I think I got a set of 4 of these for a couple of quid.  It’s a little girlie for me, but it might work.  I may cut out the centre circle with the dots around it as that would make a cute stamp too on it’s own. …

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Just a few shares

I just wanted to quickly share a couple of things.  First the spray inks when printed using the Acrylic medium.  I sprayed them with water and they do smear a little but not as much as plain in does.  In fact, I rather like the misty effect.



Next, I thought I would share a print or two made on a pretty dirty plate – the plain one was pulled thru the stencil and it pretty much masked the grunge on the plate, but the black grid on the ghost is the leftover from the star-masks from a couple of days back. Nifty!








Next, the Spreecasts continue – yesterday there was one on what Julie calls Stendoodling (using stencils to doodle, both in creating the shape to doodle IN and/or to create the doodling.  I just did a simple pattern, using punchinella to do the small circles within the larger circles of the stencil and doing some lines.  I quite like it, although haven’t quite finished it. Another thing to play with a bit more.


I still want to find a face stencil I can cut to play with another technique (she calls her Zombie Girl) from the Face stencil Spreecasts.  If I like the process I may have to buy the real stencils!






More Spray ink on the Gelli plate play

So much fun.  After briefly playing yesterday I was flooded with ideas to try so this morning I cleared a space on my desk and had some fun.

A couple of things – as I said yesterday, I am quite sure I read someplace that using inks on the plate was not recommended as it could stain it.  To be honest, I’m not bothered about having a pristine plate, but even so my gut feeling is that a clean plate and an oiled plate will make the process work better.  I THINK that both the oil and the acrylic medium sort of protect the plate from allowing the ink to really sink in to it.  But even if it DID, the baby oil cleaning will pull out any deeply embedded ink. But you have to decide if you want to risk it.  All I can say is thus far I’ve not had any problems getting the plate clean when I’m done.

Let me start off by adding a bit of info regarding the acrylic medium options, from yesterday’s post.  The medium seals, perhaps not totally, but significantly, the Dylusions spray inks.  And that is what I’ve been using.  Other inks may not work the same. I you think about it, when you pull a print, what is at the BOTTOM of the plate is going to end up on the TOP of the print.  I haven’t taken photos, and my camera is recharging at the moment, but I did brush over those prints and while the ink does move a little, it isn’t anything LIKE as smeary as usually it would be.  I’ll snap a photo r two when the batteries are fully juiced up.

Now, on to the further play.

The first idea came to me as I was looking at the very inky stencil.  Stamping off the excess ink when you use a stencil in the normal way is a pretty well-known technique.  But as I was looking at it I though Why can’t I put the stencil on the plate and both stamp off the ink and pull a print thru it at the SAME TIME? So that is exactly what I did. Now, I had used a letter stencil and we all know how they need to be reversed to read right when you pull a print.  Obviously the ink was on the wrong side, but I still did it.



Bearing in mind I tried to be quick once I had the idea, but I wasn’t lightning fast. The ink was already starting to dry.  Even so I got a reasonable ghost print by removing the stencil and pulling the paint as well as the ink that squidged into the paint from making the first print.



That told me, in theory, that the process would work. So I thought about the steps and the best way to get set up.

  • 1. I cleaned the plate and got the brayer clean and ready.
  • 2. I squeezed out a dollop of paint onto the plate but didn’t roll it out.
  • 3. I sprayed the stencil


  • 4. I rolled out the paint QUICKLY and popped the inky stencil, ink up, on the plate then pulled the print.




That pulled the ink off the stencil and the paint thru the stencil at the same time, giving me my two-layer print.  Again, the ink from the stencil migrated to the painted surface and once I pulled off the stencil I could pull the ghost.



I felt like light paint would look best but then I saw that metallic gold tube from the circles AJ page a few days back.  I decided to use more of a mask, so I sprayed the ink onto one of my home-cut ones.  This is cardstock covered with contact paper, then cut out, so the ink really beads up.



It didn’t matter at all.  Oh, and I also pressed some plastic canvas into the paint to texture it before laying on the inky mask.

When I pulled the print the ink spread to fill the areas where it had beaded up, as well as oozing into the paint on the Gelli plate.



So cool! and the ghost print is just crying out to become something, but I don’t know what yet!



Of course I then had to try a dark paint – well, red, anyway.  I did the same basic process for the first pull – although I think I went to heavy on the brown and to light on the yellow.  Still, nice enough



But then, before I removed the stencil, I sprayed on a bit more yellow ink thru the stencil.  THEN I removed it and pulled that print.





Like that one a lot too!

I’ve got a couple more things to try/show but this is already very long and photo heavy so I’ll stop it there. I would really love to see any play you get up to with this so do drop me a comment and add a link.  Have fun…..



Spray inks on the Gelli plate

OK, so I’ve been watching Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and her free stencil classes on Spreecast. I’ve done a few of her online classes and always enjoy them.  She has been doing a Q&A at the end and one thing that comes up often is using spray inks on the Gelli plate.

When I first got mine, I remember reading, probably on the Gelli Arts site, that ink will stain the plate.  When I only had the 6×6 plate I worried I might ruin it, so I was more cautious that is my way.  Now I have the 8×10 as well, I feel a little less worried I might do something and ruin my plate!  Plus, discovering the baby oil when massaged into the plate will lift out any deeply embedded colour, I know I can clean it up with ease.  And that made me want to have a go.

Thinking things thru, as I do, I thought about using maybe paint as a base, then spraying the ink over that, but the colour of the paint would always affect the colour and at least for the first experiments I wanted to keep it pretty pure.  So I went to my much-loved Acrylic medium. Rolled that out onto the plate first, to give the ink something to cling to rather than beading up instantly.



I was aiming for a very light spray – in fact I think I ended up with a bit more than I wanted.



You can see it does bead up a little, in the areas of the heaviest concentration of ink, but in the lighter areas the ink just floats on the top.  I tried out a couple of stencils.  It seems like an overall pattern without too much of the stencil squidging int the ink, produces the best end result



While I love the look of both of these, the right one, pulled thru the stencil, is pretty indistinct.  The left one , pulled after the stencil was removed, is really smeary but still cool.

That stencil has small open areas and a lot of stencil. This one has more open areas, plus it’s covered with layers of paint so the stencil doesn’t slide around as much.  I like both of these, but the print after removing the stencil ( left) is really cool.









One thing I did try was then pulling a paint print over an ink print, masking off interesting areas so they show thru.  Def. something fun to play with a lot more!



Clearly I’ve not perfected this quite yet, but you know me – I always share my experiments as I go.  Now I want to think on it a little more and see where I want to take it….


The masked circles AJ page

Bet you thought I had abandoned it.  Nope.  Just a lot of layers that all needed drying in between.  Perfect for a day when I am awaiting a re-delivery of a package (sadly, not for me LOL!)

I took the print of layered masked Gelli-print circles that was on my desk yesterday and covered it with the acrylic mists in Brown Spice.  That filled in all the gaps of plain paper and even the little bits that were left as plain paper after printing.



Using my Stabilo All pencil I carefully outlined the circles, taking care to try to work backwards so the top-layer circle is most completely outlined and the circles “below” it are not, if that makes sense.



A whisk of a damp brush brings it all to life.



I Gessoed a two-page spread in my AJ and stuck this piece off centre but across the page-divide. From there is was all layering of stencils.



I paid the most attention to the outline of the stuck on piece, to try to unify it and the background as best I could



I added some bottle-top circles, some stamping, some of my modelling paste thru a thick stencil (yep, 2 weeks and it’s still not dried out in the slightest) and the printed text/quote.  All very intentional (56 is my age, hovering there over “this generation”) placement.  The quote is from  Ralph Waldo Emerson and is part of a longer one:

The life of man is a self-evolving circle, which, from a ring imperceptibly small, rushes on all sides outwards to new and larger circles, and that without end. The extent to which this generation of circles, wheel without wheel, will go, depends on the force or truth of the individual soul.

I may still opt to add the first part, I’m still undecided!



You can see the spatters too – always add them.



The very light looking circles are stamped with Silkies and don’t look quite so distinct unless the light catches them at just the right angle – like it did in the photo.  I’ll probably add a bit of something over that bit at the top to unify it a bit more too.

Probably won’t journal-around-the-edge on this one, although I might use the stuck-on piece as the journal lines.  I wonder will it make it seem more a part of the whole or make it stand out more?  It’ll depend on whether or not I opt to add the rest of the quote….



Sometimes, you see something that is just begging to be used RIGHT NOW.  Sarah commented on by blog banner for WOYWW – apparently, the fact I had a Hunter S. Thompson quote on it almost made her head explode (her words.)

I sent her a link to one of my Stampotique projects that had many more HST quotes and she returned the favour by sending ME a link to her site with some cute/weird digi stamps.  After trolling thru her long list of them, and grabbing quite a few, a handful of them spoke to me so strongly I just had to do SOMETHING with them right away.

Now, when I want to do something creative but time is short, I tend to fall back on ATCs or tags – they are small, quick to do, and more often than not I can use stuff I have hanging around.  It has been a LONG time since I did any colouring in with my Copics and the images seemed to cry out for that – some of the areas are soooooo tiny, and my colouring skills are not the best, but I think they turned out OK.  I wasn’t even going to TRY to cut the thinnest areas so left a bit of a border.  Here they are:


The backgrounds are all bits of Gelli prints, scraps leftover from other projects.  Here are the close-ups so you can read the text a bit better:

668 – the neighbour of the beast



You’ll never find the answer to “What’s the right hat?”



I think I need another hat on the left to balance it better.  I just need to find one more….

and finally, If you were going to shoot a mime, would you use a silencer?



That one is actually from their Christmas selection, in lieu of 3 French Hens, it’s 3 French Mimes.  The unfortunate placement of the last bullet hole stamp is due to the annoying habit of cling/clear stamps when the sticky is less than strong – they fall off the block and if they are already inked, well, you get the stamped image where it falls.  Vaguely anti-feminist, I think, but That one was the MOST, the fiddliest, colouring in and I am not going to re-do it, so I’ll live with it.

Have a gander at the others – you might find one that appeals.  I still have a Day of the Dead sort of image and one she calls The Patron Saint of Low Bandwidth (OMG do I need a patron Saint like that!) waiting in the wings….

Sad that after missing 2 months of crops the one that was meant to be this week ended up getting cancelled due to low numbers, and the one NEXT weekend may conflict with something.  Since it seems I never get around to making layouts unless I am at a crop, holding on to planned pages for that fun, communal time, I am feeling like I may have to clear the decks and just make a page, to scratch that itch.  But not today…


Two interesting Gelli experiments

Another quickie from me.  Busy day!

I have two things I wanted to play with.  The first is cheap plastic stencils.  I like them but I never like the large areas of paint they remove from the Gelli plate.  it’s too regular and blocky.  I have a stash of these that were gifted to me from someone who used them in some past business capacity.  So as I have at least three or four that are identical, it wasn’t a struggle to decide to cut one up.


Due to how tight the letters are, with some of the descenders crossing the cut line, some of the edges aren’t a straight line, but I don’t mind that.  cut into strips it’s easy to arrange them in any way you like.

2cutstencilRemember if you are pulling a print that you need to reverse them so the letters appear to read the right way! and just to be clear I am NOT pulling the print thru the stencil here.  I’m laying it on, pressing lightly, then removing the stencil.  That is what gives this effect.  The stencil is really too thick and the area of the letters too thin/small to get a super effective pull THRU it.


I like that a LOT better than the large block.  Do you?

OK, so the other thing is sort of a jump from what has turned out to be my most popular post ever, the Glitter Gel technique.  Bizarre, really, as for me it was a total throw-away post.  Interesting but not something I expected to garner  over 30,000 hits since I posted it!


Basically I rolled paint on to the plate, then laid on a stencil.  I pulled the paint off from the openings for another print, then rolled on the glitter gel.


I did pull a print on plain paper but the photo isn’t good enough to really show how pretty it looks.  For the next one I pulled it off with packing tape – that had the added benefit of cleaning the plate of the glitter nicely as well!


And you can see the sparkle a bit better thru the lens


The packing tape sticks to paper OK, as I guess the gel has enough bare spaces in it to allow the tape to stick.

There is clearly more to play with here but overall I’m pretty pleased with the experiments so far.  Maybe if I’m lucky there will be time to play some more tomorrow.  Til then there is enough info for you to have a go.  If you do, share your experiments and results.  I’d be very interested!


Stamp-thru on a Gelli print

I have some stuff I need to do so I just thought I would add this thing I’ve been playing with – limited success, until I approached it logically LOL!

I used a stencil over a Gelli print, and stippled the black thru it, but there is no reason you can’t do the same thing when you have used a stencil to PULL a print.


Once I had the black in place and it was DRY, I used my homemade white acrylic ink stamp pad (I had to slightly refresh it with a bit more ink last week, but it is still working well) to stamp text thru the stencil so it only appeared on the black.



My problem was that the clear stamp was very fine, and although it sort of worked on my home-cut stencil, the raised text might not be deep enough to work with a commercial (thicker) stencil.



Some areas worked better than others.

So I thought how I might solve that – it’s a trade-off really.  The thin text looks better on the thin lines of this stencil, but the thicker foam stamps give a much bolder impression.



But with the bigger letters you lose the detail to the point you can’t tell they are letters.

So the solution is to use a stencil that has a much bigger area.  Shame I used the wrong stamp, the one with the letters reversed to use on the Gelli plate to remove paint.


With that much black, even the clear stamp showed up well. As I’d messed up the stamping already I figured I might as well give it a go over LOL!  I may still find a use for it, but even if  don’t it was worth having a go.



I def. like the effect so will be playing around with this a bit more, I’m sure!