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Interesting effect – mucky bubble wrap

Just a quickie today.  I am working on something (not quite ready to share, sorry) but I achieved an interesting effect that I DID want to share.

If you Gelli print, or even if you use it for other art journal type things, I’ll bet you have some mucky bubble wrap floating around.  I tend to press it to the Gelli plate to impart the dotty texture to a print, but I often go a few sessions without cleaning it off.  Who am I kidding?  I probably have some bubble wrap I’ve never cleaned off.  Sometimes, when the paint on the wrap is still wet, I’ll press it on to something else, which SORT OF cleans it but not totally.  Well today I was printing on some coin envelopes and found that pressing the still-damp wrap onto a still-damp print pulls off a LOT of the paint from the wrap –  thick, textured, multicoloured old paint – for an interesting result.

Hard to see in the first photo but better in the second, I hope.



If you look closely at the bubble wrap you can see some very obvious almost bare areas, where the thick old paint pulled off. But look at the effect on the print:



See how textured and chunky it is?  See the layers of colour?

The key is the paint on the wrap needs to be wet – ideally having sat for a minute or two, to let the moisture loosen the old layers under it.  And the print you are pressing (quite firmly) to needs to also be slightly damp.  Once it all dries you aren’t going to get any transfer, so plan for it.

I just think it looks nifty, and I have now vowed to NEVER clean off my bubbles! It’s too good to waste. I’m thinking a really layered and messy bit of bubble wrap is going to add, in a simple step, a really unpredictable and colourful texture layer with such little effort.  Nice.



Placement tool for perfect Gelli Pulls

Oh the irritation of two standards!  The Gelli plate is 8 x 10 and A4 paper is… not.  I was finding that all too often my pulls were not QUITE as lined up as I would have liked them to be.  Sometimes there was a pattern from a layer off-centre, or drifting off the edge, leaving a blank area on the opposing side.  Now, I KNOW part of the joy of the Gelli is the randomness and the SURPRISE element of a pull – you just don’t always know what you are going to get!  But there are times when you really do want to do an intentional pull, when you want things to line up.  Let’s say you wanted to frame something, for example, and wanted the edges to be fairly neat.  This may help with that.

OK so there are really two parts – first, I was tending to use my plate still stuck to the clear backing plastic sheet it comes on.  THAT resulted in a bit of slippage – the plate would sometimes slide about when I was brayering on the paint. To solve THAT problem, I bought a cheap (£1) teflon baking sheet and stuck it to a larger piece of matboard. I just used double-sided tape.  This is not a permanent bond to the TEFLON (it sticks pretty solid to the matboard) but you can easily peel off the Teflon sheet for cleaning or replacing.  You may need to add more adhesive at some point, but not every time.


Try to stick it as flat as possible – the fact the Teflon doesn’t stick completely securely to the tape will allow you some wiggle room.


That, in and of itself, is handy.  As you can see it lets me work on my desk (or would if it wasn’t a horrible mess) or on my little side table, and I can pick the whole thing up and move it off to the side if I need to.

Part two is the equivalent of a stamp positioner, and uses that old staple of the home-made stamp positioner, Lego Bricks. Just build a couple of corners (or ask any 8 YO kid to do it!) then add the double-sided tape to the bottom.


The tape will stick well enough to the Lego to let the Lego stick to the Teflon but is still removable.  I will store these Lego corners stuck to a bit of plastic.  I could even just stick then to the top of the Gelli Plate box, they won’t stick forever but should stick well enough to store them.

Lay a piece of the paper you intend to pull on over the plate then frame the top two corners of the paper with the Lego corners.


Now, I made the decision that the most useful placement FOR ME is an A4 sheet of paper on the 8 x 10 Gelli plate.  Once I had placed the corners I removed the paper and drew around the base of each corner with a Sharpie.


I don’t feel you need to draw around the Gelli plate – so long as it is close to centred within the corners and stays in the SAME PLACE for the entire multi-layer pull it will be fine.  I worried the Sharpie might stay on the plate if I drew around it anyway.

The reason I did this is because it is tricky to roll on the paint with the corners in place.  Because the tape is removable and re-stickable, I just wanted to be able to replace them in the SAME PLACE after I rolled on the paint.  So roll on the paint, and do your first technique (jumbo bubble wrap – cheers Annette, you didn’t even know that was an added bonus in the blog-candy box!)


Place the Lego corners, then slip the paper into the corners and down onto the plate to pull.  I didn’t have any trouble applying the pressure I needed to pull the print with the corners in place, but once the paper is placed you can certainly remove them to get fuller pressure if you need to!


OK, now you can add your second layer of paint as you like.  I thought about the reasons why placement might be important, other than simply getting neat edges, and thought about a border sort of design.  Really I should have had the border hanging off the edges, which would have demonstrated it better, but it’s early and I’ve only had one cup of coffee! I added the hot pink thru one of my Cricut stencils.  I was lazy and left the corners in place and it was fine.


and then placed the first pull using the corners to guide me


Check out the near perfect match!  I have NEVER achieved even close to that eyeballing it.


I can see this working well with masking, if you want to ensure something is going to fall exactly in the same place.

If you are using different sizes of paper, all of which are larger that the Gelli plate, you could easily draw the corner placement in different colours.  With smaller paper this is not going to help you at all – unless you stuck the smaller sheet to one the size of your usual sheet (for me, A4) and then lined up to the larger sheet.  That would work.  Might also give you an interesting surround on the base paper, rather frame-like once you remove the smaller sheet.  Gotta love a twofer, hummm?

You COULD use it effectively with the 6 x 6 inch plate, if you wanted to do a complex, multi-layer pull and have it all line up centred on a larger sheet.  Then you could easily frame the print with a nice border around it.  It would look fab on say watercolour paper, or in the middle of a large format dictionary page or even scrapbook paper!

HTH if you ever want to be precise with your prints.  And if you don’t have kids who have Legos, Duplo (the toddler version that is much bigger)  may work as well.


A random selection

In the spirit of showing what I do with stuff rather than just how to make them, I thought I would share a few things that are almost completed projects using tools or techniques I’ve shared.

First, a Gelli print that uses a foam stamp I cut on the Cricut Mini from a cart image – the skull – as well as some circles I cut with dies.  They are mounted on the cut up bits of plastic placemats as mounts.



Liking that one – you can’t really see it too well but the green letters in the centre section are also from a stencil cut on the Mini (now I have to hunt back to find it… It’s from Edge to Edge) and the lighter green swirls that are buried but you can faintly see at the very bottom,  are also a stencil that I showed in the review, on the right:


Next, an ATC from that same Jake Blues dingbat mask:



That one has the mask, the foam letter stamp cut using the QuicKutz die plate, and printing then embossing on to washi tape.

Now this.  Grrr.  It turned out SO well (at least to MY eye) that I so wish I had pulled it on to a canvas I have kicking around on the side of my desk.  It has just the look I wanted, like a grungy old painted and repainted wall, with graffiti on it maybe.  I just don;t think it would look any good in a frame, but I bet DS would like it.  I thought of maybe sticking it to a canvas but it’s not QUITE the right size, and I am not keen to risk completely ruining ti thru experimentation.


The image is actually cut from another print – perhaps as close as I am likely to get to “collage” – so I just do not know.  Suggestions?  Just stick it to the canvas and do something to hide the edges?  Deli paper prints maybe, or simply paint and ink??


I really do need to come up with something USEFUL to do with all my prints.  I can make endless mini-books, and a gazillion ATCs for sure, but I crave functional use.  and since I can’t make myself art journal no matter how hard I try, what the heck do I do?






Round Gelli calendar

DOH!  I had a look at my calendar stuff and realized I’d not made more than one 2014 version!  Because I wanted to play with the round spots I quickly modified one from last year.  The longest part of the process is obsessively checking to make sure each month starts and ends on the right day of the week and has the correct number of days!

Of course the PDF here is usable for a standard CD calendar, so even if you aren’t keen on the Gelli print version, it’s still useful.


The text area is designed ti be easily masked with a standard Post-It note, just like the square version. I used the Standard Circles Large Nestie set, third in from the outside.  Perfect fit.

One warning about using the Post-It notes – the adhesive is only on one edge.  BE CAREFUL (and I obviously was NOT) that the note doesn’t fold up when printing.  Good thing this one ended up a bit too dark so I was happy to do another one anyway.


Another point to note – I don’t obsessively clean my plate or my masks/stencils/stamps.  As you can see, some leftover green that was dried onto the stencil transferred.  If I was just pulling prints for fun, I’d like that.  Not for these.

MOST of the “backgrounds” were light, with a pattern that I felt would not detract from the text.


Bubble wrap, grids, plastic canvas, most f them work pretty well to my eye.  Most of the over-printing was with a darker tone.  For the first version I didn’t go for crazy, multi-layered prints.  That’s an experiment for another day.

Although the font is pretty fine, for most of them it printed perfectly well.  June, the paint was pretty thick in the area right where I printed.  You can see how the printer ink pooled.


This is what the rest of them were like – much better:


Just a quick peek at my progress.  I’ll do close-ups when I’m done and happy with EVERY print.


Some I love, some I will redo.  The Pull then Print version, with the text over a print is nice, I like it a lot, but I wonder if the other calendar, with the quite BOLD text, is better for that and if THIS one might be more suitable for the Print then Pull options, where the text area is masked so the plain cardstock shows thru? Just a quick shot of that:


Somehow the  funky font appeals to me more.  But I like the circular masking….and the funky font, for some months, is HUGE, making the Post-It note coverage impossible unless the font is scaled down A LOT for September, for example. Arrgh!  I just can’t decide….. Clearly there is more playing to be done.


Simple Gelli Book

This is a really simple book that works for Gelli prints.  It is based on a single sheet of 12 x 12 cardstock (although you could easily use a larger sheet of watercolour paper to make a bigger book, with more pages) and it goes together in a flash.

Cut your 12 x 12 sheet in half, creating two 6 x 12 pieces.  Score and crease both at 3, 6, and 9 inches.  Accordion fold exactly the same.


I only have the 6 x 6 plate, so this size works perfectly for me.  You can EITHER print directly onto the sheets OR you can print on plain cardstock, deli paper, whatever, and stick that to the pages.  If you are going to print directly, just fold up the pieces so you are printing only on the section you want – I did the 3 x 6 sides as pages, then did the middle 6 x 6 pair as a single surface.  Does that make sense?



Once you have printed both let them dry.


Take a length of ribbon about 24 inches long – and used grosgrain, which was a mistake a it’s a little too stiff for easy tying so seam binding would be my future choice – and print on both sides.  By laying the ribbon down right at the bottom then moving up the plate, I got one entire side printed from one plateful of paint, making the pattern all the same along the length.  Set that aside to dry.


Cut two 6 x 6 squares of matt board.  Again, you can easily print right on the matt board, but knowing my proclivity to go too far and then not like what I made, I printed on other paper to cover the matt board.  That also let me make a number of prints then pick my favourites for the front and back!

I also lined the back of the middle pair of pages with thin black paper.  Not required, and you could print on this area as well, but you aren’t going to see much of it so why bother? LOL!


To construct the booklet:

Lay the un-folded pieces over each other,  and pierce along the first and last score lines.  So you will have a 3 x 6 page, pierce in the score line, leave the middle score line alone, pierce in the last score line and then you will have a 3 x 6 page at the end. Pierce at 1 3 and 5 inches along the 6 inch score line.


Now you will sew these signatures together with a simple stitch.

With the printed sections facing out, with a good yard of thick thread:

  • come out from between the signatures, leaving a long tail (and that bit of thread you see in the photo shows the tail going in just one of the middle holes.  Can you see that?


  • go in to the holes at the 1 inch point in both signatures
  • go thru the middle holes in both signatures
  • go thru the last holes in both signatures
  • go back thru the middle hole in the top signature, so your thread comes out between, where the original tail is, and tie off.

I don’t know if this helps or not.  I did look for an image to add but couldn’t find one so I made this.  I hope between the steps as text and the image you will see I did! Despite being two colours it is all one length of thread.  I’m just trying to help you see the steps.


You can repeat the middle steps then finish off with the tying to reinforce the sewing.

Once the two pieces are sewn together, you will see the first two 3 x 6 pages and the last two 3 x 6 pages are loose, like flaps.


Fold the ribbon in half and slip it around the book, with the fold at the left.  Stick the ribbon to just the front from left to right.  Leave the rest loose at the front and all the ribbon behind the book loose.


Stick the front cover over the ribbon and stick the back cover to the back unprinted pages.


Done.  When you open the book just angle the covers back towards the middle.  You can rotate the book around and re-angle the covers to reveal the back pages.



Lordy, those photos are a bit rubbish. I’ll hope to show a better shot once I decorate it up.  Note sure where I’m going with it at the moment, possibly quotes or maybe play on the two-sided aspect of the piece (good v bad, night v day, light v dark, something like that) but even if I shelve it for a bit, one day the perfect solution will present itself, I’m sure.

I have a hankering to do a multi-part version with some watercolour paper, ideally either piecing together two pieces to create at least two middle folds or using long paper, but I have to rummage around in my room to see what my options are.  Watch this space….


Gelli project – Top Hat (sort of steampunk)

Hello.  I am clearing the decks for a long WOYWW hop as I managed to throw out my back yesterday.  Knowing I had to take DD skating I didn’t manage much time at my desk and commenting from my iPad is a pain, when it is even possible.  Managed skating but took it easy last night.  Feeling much better now, although with another day or two of DS’s home-from-Uni laundry still on the kitchen floor, I must pace myself.

What I DID manage before clenching up was a little project I’ve been thinking about for a week or so.  A collision of things new and old.  Went back to an old Craft Stamper – just grabbed an old issue off the shelf and immediately saw Kim Costello’s lovely Steampunk top hat from last summer.  I knew a new stamp I got at Newbury would fit the bill perfectly.  Last year the hit of the show for me was some images from Visible Image.  Love them.  This year they had some new character stamps.  I am so not a fan of cutesy characters, and while these don’t have the appeal of the Stampotique ones, for example, they work for me.  I deeply regret not snatching up all of them, but I passed on Edward (got Isabella – the whole Twilight thing, ya know?) and got Edgar as in Edgar Allen Poe, complete with raven) but passed on one called Bradley – missing the connection there.  There is an Emma too, that I don’t get the connection with either, not even sure if they are a pair.  The skateboard kids and “cuter” ones aren’t me but they might be YOU.  At least they have mouths…

Anyway, I grabbed the top hat template from the CS site (still there YAY!) and read thru the instructions in the mag.  Oh dear.  too fiddly, no grungeboard,  blah blah blah.  I set out to make it easier (for me anyway) and to use my Gelli prints from the other day.


I decided to give paper, heavy cardstock, a go. I cut out the template but rather than doing what the mag says and cutting apart the panels then sticking them together with glossy accents I snipped away the overlap, leaving it connected at the top.



I covered that with one of the paper towel Gelli prints.

tophat3Sort of tucking the bits of the paper towel behind the card to snug up the panels, I then glued them at the back.



That gave the same effect, so when the hat was made round the curved brim worked as it should.



Then it was just a matter of following the mag instructions.  Of course virtually the next thing needed as…grungeboard.  I looked around and spied some fun foam.  That worked perfectly to ass the backing strips that let the top hat top get glued to the little lip the grungeboard (fun foam) creates.

Rather than using a tiny attacher to staple the brim in place, I added red line tape around the inside lower edge and stuck the brim in place that way.  Worked a treat. I used a phrase from the Edgar set and some random cogs and gears, plus a metal rose from a disassembled Primark bracelet to finish him off.  I coloured Edgar and stuck him to a bit of paper towel core (loo roll cut down a smidge works too) that had been covered with another Gelli print. And old stamp mount forms the base, and about then was when my back went so none of that is stuck on yet. I may paint and decorate it yet.


The back shows the laced up hat better.



Might need to take a better shot of that once the sun moves around a bit, it’s a little dark, but too washed out digitally manipulated.

Oh and I also stamped the feather from another Visible Image set.  It’s lovely.



Now, I need another painkiller then desk hopping.


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Mixed bag – Gelli ATCs and printables

Very excited to be meeting up with Julia for a day mooching around fabric stores and hearing all about her Gelli play.  So I am keeping the text minimal and just adding some ATCs I made last week with Gelli prints.  I had to fix one word (lis-remembered lyrics – DOH!) and wanted to try to capture the glitter and Pearl-ex add-ins.


You can’t see it very well in the top photo, better (if you know where to look – where the cards “meet” in the middle you can see the M all shiny.)  The glitter is more obvious.


The other thing came about after a discussion on UKScrappers about Word clouds.  I just took a moment to make a sheet.  Maybe they are useful, maybe not, but I offer them as a single sheet PDF, and let you decide!





ATCs and ATC back printables for Gelli fans

I finished the ATCs I had planned for those paper towel and baby wipe pieces from yesterday.  I like plays on words, puns, and all that sort of thing, and have often used slogans etc for layout titles.  These are a substitution joke, if you will.  DD, with her SEN issues, is still straddling the line between child and teen.  On the one hand she is a boy band fan (I may actually be forced into the cinema today to watch the One Direction movie…ACK! UPDATE: I’m saved!  she mis-read the listing and the movie isn’t out til the end of August.  Phew!) and on the other she is likely to pull out an old Sesame Street video to watch.  She has been watching Get Up And Dance often lately and the song Do the Jelly is stuck in my head.  As I was playing with MY Gelli, the idea for these sort of came to me.


The backgrounds are the paper towel pulls (For Jiggle and Do the Gelli!) and the baby wipe for the middle one. The glitter mixed with medium technique produced the sparkly dots. One thing about that is there is NO CHANCE the glitter will come unstuck.  RESULT!

I need to drag out my pasta machine to try a chine colle technique – I think I first saw that in a book by Claundine Hellmuth at some point in the past – for this sort of thing, and maybe even go back to something I’ve done before, printing on paper towels.  I just iron them on to freezer paper and put that thru the printer. My thoughts are that it will meld the cut outs to the backgrounds more effectively, making them seem all one piece.  I am also thinking it might be totally possible to pull a Gelli print, let it dry 100%, stick THAT to the freezer paper and run it thru the printer.  I don’t see why it WOULDN’T work, as I have printed on Gelli prints before.  We’ll see. And I wonder why I keep having to replace my printers……DOH!

gelliatcbackThe other thing is a set of ATC backs that I made.  I made them for me, of course, and almost didn’t share them as I think they do have limited appeal, but one or two people might find them fun. The old Jell-O slogan There’s Always Room for Jell-O! was the origin, slightly altered to make more sense.  I tried to mimic the Gelli packaging, with a typewriter (rather than rubber stamp) font and made the colours work, but the ATC by Me logo is my design from ages back.

The sheet is tightly packed, nine backers, in both orientations.  They SHOULD print ok on US letter paper, although the top and the bottom border line will be cut off.  That shouldn’t matter as they are just the right size for ATC backs and the borders of the paper will still be usable to get the fit right.

If you use your Gelli prints to make ATCs then you might like to use these for the backs.  If you print them on quite heavy card you could even use them as your base – although if you are mucky like me you might want to stick a large Post-It not over the back, or stick them with temporary adhesive to a plain piece of paper to keep them pristine. My ATC backs are SHOCKING usually.

So there you go.  The experimentation continues.  Keep cool…another hot one here, and the only redeeming aspect of sitting in the cinema watching a boy-band movie is the AC.


It’s a bank! It’s a display stand! It’s a Gelli project…

You know me by now, I think, if you read here often.  I get obsessed with a project or a tool or a technique and am not happy till I feel like I have exhausted all the possible uses. And often, if I am obsessed with more than one thing, I’ll do a bit of a mash-up.  The results are not always a success but in this case I think it  is.

I had so much fun making the little Gimme Gimme Gimme bank from Petrina’s template.  I had said to her that my original idea was to use it as a bit of a display stand for ATCs.  My thinking was that it would be a nice little thing to have on my desk to display ATC trades.  Not that I am really likely to need it till the 5th Anniversary of WOYWW, as I don’t do ATC trades regularly.  I have been considering taking part in the ATC trail on UKS so who knows….

I’m going to start with the template.  I’ve altered this from Petrina’s original, with her OK.  I use the SAME template for the different versions. This is what it makes:


An ATC Display stand


A bank, with a coin slot on the back


A single-slot display stand

And there is one more use that I need to work out a sample of.

Decide what  you want to make.  I think it’s pretty obvious what is needed for each option, but I’ll try to mention which bit is needed for which version in the steps.

1. Print the template. Cut out the elements.

banktemplateWhat you see is the BACK of the of the project, or at least that is how I think it is easiest to do it.  The instructions tell you to punch three of the circles, and you should be able to do that from the non-template areas of your printed template.  Only one circle is printed.

2. Score the lines and fold as VALLEY folds.  This puts all the printed areas INSIDE. This would be handy if, for example, you wanted to print the template on the back of a Gelli print, or cardstock or patterned paper – or if you wanted to decorate with inks and stamps, like the bank seen in detail here!


3. FOR A BANK ONLY:  Stick the extra triangle to the inside of the BASE.  Stick the 3 circles in a stack.


4. Decorate the various triangles.  Note the two that make up the FRONT.  If you want to coordinate them, or decorate them so they are views as one area, your can.

banktemplate4 banktemplate5 banktemplate6

5. FOR A BANK ONLY: Cut out the circle and the coin slot.  Again, if you plan on making this just as a display stand, don’t make the cuts!


6. FOR A DISPLAY STAND ONLY Cut the display notches.  Also, you can choose to cut just one, just two, or all three of them, as you prefer!

I find it easiest to fold the front, and cut the notches with scissors…


then open and snip.


I am not sure about this step!  I snipped off the point of the triangle, thinking it would make it easier to slip in whatever you will display.  But I am not sure it’s an improvement.  Some of my ATCs are quite thick, and for them, it helps,  But super thin ones, it’s less of an improvement.  Think carefully which will be more useful for you.


7. If you want to, you can alternatively either cover the triangle with Gelli print pulls on the sticky side of contact paper OR stick those pulls to whatever paper you want then cut them to decorate just like the ones above.

contactpapergelli contactpapergelli2

8. FOR A BANK ONLY:  attach the circle stack to the base, over the smaller hole, with a brad.  That will allow you to rotate it out of the way and get the money out!


9.  Although the template will say GLUE on the INSIDE of the flaps the adhesive goes on the BACK OF THE FLAPS so you can stick it together on the inside. You can see the position in the photo above.


I probably could have milked this for about 4 days worth of blog posts, but it made more sense to me to show all the variations at once – that way if one doesn’t appeal, another might!

I had the thought too that this might be adapted to make a “card” – or at least something that is a card as much as the display stand one is a CARD, IYKWIM.  The issue is that you have to be super confident in your recipient! will they take the time to assemble it?   Unless yo are sure, it’s just not worth the time.  But I have a bit of an idea for that too….

If you made it all the way thru, well done.  I have a gazillion other things I could say, but I won’t.  It may take another post or two after all…..



WOYWW 212 – playtime!

Hello there WOYWWers!  I am playing and playing.  My plan today is to carry on with the original idea for the pyramid thing from yesterday.  Petrina and I have been chatting via email and she is happy for me to alter the template slightly so I’ll probably give that a go first, then carry on with creating.

My desk is looking like this today – not too bad, for a change.

woyww212The one thing worth mentioning is those brush looking things on the left.  Sorry in advance for the upcoming rubbish photo.  I took it then it got dark before I uploaded it, and only then found it was blurry.

woyww212aPopped in to town with DD yesterday to sort her new glasses, and I found these in a store called The Works.  They are soft rubber tools, perfect for the Gelli plate.  I saw some at an art shop for over $20 so £2.99 is a deal.

I have a little pile of Gelli pulls on contact paper, but a couple of them I have to hide, lest someone who I don’t want to see them, sees them.


And to update – the electrician was here again yesterday, for HOURS, but he seems to have fixed the power issues – turning off the kitchen light no longer trips the circuit YAY! It’s safe to leave my Mac on. Fingers crossed .

Looking forward to desk hopping today – shopping and ice skating, as ever on a Wednesday, but I really want to see what everyone is up to!