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Bamboo pen for ink scribbling

About those scribbled circles…I love to be able to combine things when I can, so I am taking something I saw in a class (Kate Crane on FB – highly recommend the class but not the platform!) for markmaking. Now, I may be totally off on this, as she didn’t really teach it as part of the class – or at least not what I have watched so far) but the visual was enough for me. The Hubster has some bamboo plant stakes in the garden, and while (from what I recall) Kate mentions “a reed” I thought I would try using what I had. So I snipped off a bit from one of the stakes, and found my little hacksaw. It is a point of contention that I can never find tools in his workbench room so I have a small toolbox with smaller duplicates of things I use often (pliers, hammer, a small set of Muji screwdrivers, a hand cranked drill, box cutter and a hacksaw) that I know I can always find.

Used an old block so I didn’t hack into my desk and

Ta da! Well, kinda. So the way I cut it, the pointy one, which is the one I thought would work better, is stubby. Harumph. I worked on the rounded one a bit with an emery board but then I had an idea. I jammed a paintbrush with crappy bristles into the end and Ta Da again! Sorry for the unfocused blurry photo but you get the idea!

And most interesting, I possible didn’t really need to worry, because both ends work about the same. Maybe the pointy one gives arks that are a bit finer, but not significantly. And ink works pretty much the same as thinned down acrylic paint, so all good there.

I didn’t really explain the circular scribbles from the collages so I will now. After scribbling a circle (or after punching a hole, then scribbling a circle – I did both) I cut the outside edge of the scribble so I had a slightly organic shape. Then I was able to use my micro-tip scissors to cut inside the circle as well.

I love the effect and have made a pile to add to my collage fodder keeper! You can look back and see them on the collages.

You can see, in one of the photos above, my little card-box lurking there, all but screaming “FINISH ME!” and yet I don’t want to work on it and mess it up. Argh! Maybe I will have a solution over the weekend. Here’s hoping.


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Interesting technique with Distress inks and waxed paper

I stumbled on my box of waxed paper while tidying up in my sewing room and had an idea. I wondered about the texture that comes from crumpling the paper. I’ve played with it a lot over the years, but not for a very long time! What I had in my head, was to crumple the paper and use that as the surface, rather than a glass or a kraft mat, to smoosh or pounce Distress Oxides or Distress ink onto tags.

It’s interesting, but a few experiments are needed. I like the original concept, of smooshing the inks on to a crumpled piece of waxed paper, then spritzing them and pouncing the tag on to apply the ink, drying between layers.

The effect is different, more mottled, than you get with normal ink smooshing.

What I then wanted to try is to add some Distress Ink (not Oxides) as a layer, trying to retain the crinkled pattern of the waxed paper. For contrast, I used Ripe Persimmon, which I daubed onto the crinkled waxed paper then pressed onto the tag:

It’s there, but not as pronounced as I wanted – although it IS more pronounced in real life that it shows in the photo. I decided to simplify the process a bit, by creating the base of the tag in the “usual” way. I swiped the DO inks onto a kraft mat, gave it a spritz, then pressed the tag into that, again, drying between layers for a more complex background.

Loving the colour combo of Twisted Citron, Ripe Persimmon and Mustard Seed! This time, I daubed the Distress Brushed Corduroy ink onto the crinkled waxed paper quite heavily and pressed it quite firmly onto the surface – I even weighted it down to make sure all the ink and the texture transferred to the tag.

And the texture transferred pretty well for a nifty effect!

I think next time I would swipe more than daub, although I kinda like the boxy outline from the pad itself. I think it bears more exploration, cause the effect is cool and not difficult. I am curious to see how it works with all DO ink. It might not work at all, but then I won’t know till I try LOL!


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Stamping with Vaseline as a resist for Distress Oxides

So yeah, I actually did this on the same day as the Vaseline thru a stencil as a Distress Oxides resist post, but I really wanted to add my art journal page, and I had already edited the post on Thursday to add the PDF, so I decided to leave it and add this today. Pretty simple stuff really and as is so often the case, it really depends on stamp choice! You need glossy cardstock and a stamp that has both a good portion of stamped image areas as well as a good bit of areas that let the background show thru. Here are a couple that I know will work (left) and a couple I am not sure about but curious (right):

The first thing I did was make a sort of stamp pad from a piece of stiff, dense packing material. It has a nice bit of give to it but is still also quite firm, IYKWIM. You need a fairly thin coat of the Vaseline, not so much that you are getting a lot of sqidge into the open areas of the stamp.

I hope you can see I am getting a reasonable stamped image on the glossy cardstock and plenty of open areas:

Again, I used a bit of plastic packaging to tap on the water-activated Distress Oxide inks, in layers, drying between. As you can see, it has the typical oxidized (chalky) effect

I always like to buff off the Vaseline on half the piece in hope you can see the difference side-by-side (left buffed, right not)

And finally:

Really love it. Now I tried the not-sure stamps on the tracing paper – I missed out the stamping-only od the swirl, but you can see it mostly under the Distress Oxide ink here, and you can also see the tracing paper wanting to curl, hence the addition of the painter’s tape:

I think you can see how the top stamp was pretty useless – the bottom one is a bit more interesting. I love that one, but it isn’t very distinct for sure.

I have some ideas for using these but not done anything with them quite yet. I’m still refining the technique.

Oh, and it bears saying loudly:

WASH YOUR STAMPS. You are not going to get a good stamped impression ever again with a slick coat of Vaseline clinging to the rubber/silicone. Do it. Do it NOW.


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Pure Play – Vaseline, Hand Sanitizer and Distress Oxides

Note: edited to add a quick PDF tutorial for anyone who needs more info. Hope it helps you wrap your head around the technique.

I love experimenting and I love figuring out a new way to do something, especially a substitute for something I don’t have, if I am on the fence about buying it. I had seen a demo of Distress Glaze over top of Distress Oxide inks, used to revive the bright colours, rather than leaving them oxidized and chalky. to be fair, I wasn’t 100% sure I actually LIKED the effect, but I wanted to see for myself. I don’t have a lot of glossy cardstock but I did find a little pack of a few sheets. Considering the properties of Distress Glaze, Vaseline seemed like a reasonable thing to try. And yeah, it totally works. This is not, actually, a “new” discovery. Once I knew it worked and I went looking, yeah, people have been doing it for a while, although they seem to mix 91% alcohol with the Vaseline. I suggest watching at 1.5 or 2x speed and the meat of it is at about 5minutes.

I didn’t, I just used Vaseline straight, with a blender, and it totally works al by itself. But that got me thinking of a few other ideas to try. The first thing I did was to add the Vaseline thru a stencil on the blank glossy cardstock then add the Distress Ink over the top.

When you then buff off the Vaseline, you are left with the white glossy card under it. You will not be able to see this super clearly, but the right is buffed the left not in the first shot and totally buffed off in the second:

It made me think that you could layer the DIs into the white spaces…except the Vaseline prevents it. Buffed off (on the right) you can still see the sheen of the petroleum jelly.

But the info from the video gave me a bit of an idea. I squirted a dot of hand sanitizer onto a aper towel and rubbed that over the piece – It kind of remove the Vaseline, at least a bit, and while it might have dulled the shine very slightly, it did then allow me to layer more Distress Inks over it and not have the jelly resist it! The first photo shows the piece in two halves. The left half has only the Vaseline applied thru the stencil and then rubbed off. The right side has the Vaseline rubbed off then the hand sanitizer applied over that, with both having more DI added as a final layer. Then you see the half with the Vaseline only after buffing and the next the side with the hand sanitizer after final buffing.

Here are the samples. I love them all. They are in no way tacky to the touch, and you need only the barest dab of Vaseline to get the colours to pop. But using it as a resist is really a nifty technique.

I think I was influenced by a Distress Resist spray video I saw, but I am 100% sure this is something I will carry on playing with. I also want to give the samples some time, to see how they look in a day or two. I may need to buy some glossy cardstock!

But wait – there’s more! I happened to have a scrap of tracing paper on my desk, and decided to see what would happen if I had a go at the Vaseline-thru-a-stencil on that, Distress Oxides over it, and then buffing off the jelly and cleaning the residue off with the hand sanitizer. In a word, WOW!

Do not be tempted to dry this with the heat gun between layers, the Vaseline will totally melt and you will not be able to layer the DI. Totally ok for the final layer, as the Vaseline will have done it’s job by then. Look at it. It’s just lovely.

And to add a few more images from the PDF:


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Dyeing paper with Dylusions spray for my colourful Junk Journal

I had a few comments and a few questions for people I know in real life about the scrapbook dyes. Sorry to say they are such an old product and well and truly unavailable so far as I have been able to find. It did get me thinking ‘tho. What else did I have in my stash that would work as well? One of the (sometimes) annoying properties of Dylusions spray inks is the extreme water reactivity. Sometimes it is a good thing, but unless you are careful to keep them as a final layer, they are going to mix and run with any wet medium that goes over them. I thought that it was actually useful then for mixing them with water and dyeing paper!

I grabbed a few sprays and had a go. The first try was straight After Midnight. My stash of dyes did not contain any purple and while I was able to mix what was left after doing the Fuchsia and the turquoise papers, it was super pale lavender. Nice but I only had the one packet of dye. I did spray a few spurts on the paper first, thinking the darker spots would be interesting over paler dyed paper. I used about 1/2 cup of hot water and three good sprays of the ink and…WOW. Super dark and way deeper than I wanted.

Next, I tried Campso Teal and Cherry Pie, one spray of each and cold water. It was not the right purple, although it was OK. A lot lighter than the After Midnight. One weird effect was he paper, a heavier weight printer paper, was one colour on one side and very much another colour on the other side.

Then I tried the Turquoise, the cherry and the Fuchsia and left it in for 5 minutes or so and it was JUST the right colour…on one side. No idea what that is all about. Above, you can see the blue-y Teal+Cherry Pie and the purple-y Turquoise+Cherry Pie+Fuchsia on heavier (120 gsm) paper at the top then the Turquoise+Cherry+Fuchsia on the thinner 75gsm printer paper and I think I am calling that a success.

Now, after how dark the After Midnight became using three sprays, I limited these attempts to a pretty light single spray, but honestly, it worked better than I expected it would. I will 100% do this again. I do want to go back and play with the odd spatter of darker ink, either before dyeing, or after dyeing (and both while the paper is wet and when it is dry) to see the sort of effects I might get. I can see making a whole journal just out of hand dyed papers. I may have a play with some other inks I have. I am betting dye-ink re-inkers would work in a similar fashion…and what about Distress Oxides? Ooohhh. This could be really fun!


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Making spray inks…permanent?

This is a tricky one. Let me begin with the page –

I hope you can see that the ink in the circles is darker than the ink outside the circles. I have been on a quest to figure out how to make the Dylusions ink no longer water reactive. Heat drying it does not work. I have had instances in old journals where adding a layer of gel medium over them, even carefully, leaves a colourful schmear. Not ideal. I am 90% sure at some point I saw a video where no less that Dyan herself said she often gets asked about how to make the inks permanent and said “You can’t.”

But still I try. I had a comment on a very old YouTube video (about sealing pan pastels with gel medium using a gel plate) and was reminded of that technique. My still video is less compelling than one Carolyn Dube did after seeing my take on it (and she did ask, in case you were wondering) and the technique is one I use for sealing lots of stuff. I thought, why not spray ink?

I began with gesso and modelling paste in my experimental junk journal.

Just a few warm colours of acrylic paint and some punchinella stencil wiping. Then I sprayed the ink – cool blue and lime-y green.

A fair amount of ink, and it is worth noting the depth of the colour to be able to see the effect of the protective stamping. Basically I brayer on gloss gel medium onto a small round gel plate, then stamp onto the page, over where I want to preserve the ink.

I did this in three places. The plate picks up a bit of the colour, and I just stamped that off on the edges of the pages. You can see the ink is, as expected, water/wet reactive.

So the tricky aspects are worth noting. First, it can be a little hard to see exactly where you have protected. I thought I might maybe use something at the very edges of the gel plate, maybe my Stabilo All pencils, after adding the gel medium, and stamp a defining line around the protected area. Also, and this is a broader question, how MUCH of the page for you protect? Is sealing the ink sort of the final step, before pen work? In which case why bother, you aren’t adding wet over reactive. If you are sealing the whole page, how does that affect other things like how acrylic paint moves, or stamping? Do you have to commit to protecting a shaped area and does that prevent you from then doing something else over top? Like more ink? The whole thing just needs a little more experimentation! What I did way spray quite a lot of water on the inked area – and I hope you can see that the area that I stamped remains much darker and much more vibrant than the area where the water washed away the ink.

You can just see the halo of the gloss gel medium around the top circle, can’t you?

On the right hand page I hope you can see, in that bottom drip, how much paler the ink is. Inside the circle it is stronger, right? It’s maybe more obvious in real life, but I think you can still see it here.

Still having fun with words, another quote built from phrases in the Small Talk booklet.

And just to wrap up a bit from yesterday – in looking for the gel wax crayons from United Office I have, for a reference, I came across these:

At 36 crayons for about £17 that seems a real bargain. 33 gelatos are almost £40. I would say if you are tempted, maybe try the less expensive ones first and see if either they will do. I am pretty happy with my cheaper ones, but this set has a much wider variety of shades and a nice carry case. I’m just sayin’…

Finally, if you liked the Project Life card I used in my journal, the whole set looks like this:

and you can download the sheet to print and use yourself from the post here. That post is about a second set, but there is a link in it for the ones I used as well. I might just print the other set out for another page myself.

I must have a rummage about and see what other unused or rarely used supplies I have to play with.


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Are two pages “a roll?”

Impossible to overstate how much fun I am having with my paints and inks and stamps and stencils.  I keep coming across things I bought years ago that I have barely touched.

I was actually looking for some tissue paper and came across an old Starbucks flyer that had some text on it which sparked this page.

I also found a couple of other things – a Teesha Moore stamp, a graffiti stencil book, and a bit of non-skid rug underlay stuck to a piece of cardboard.  The 2020 stencil I cut on the fly from heavy card.

Some of the text from the flyer I used as it appeared – well, close to anyway.

I think originally it was Terrifying? Perhaps and Thrilling? Definitely but I think my re-shuffle works more accurately for 2020! And the Are you ready for a challenge? was cobbled together from other text as well.

The waving tentacles from the Teesha stamp might not be a biologically correct depiction of the virus, but the slightly unsettling movement implied gives the right sort of feel for me.

Better use of white on this page, although it could be a better photograph.  No matter, I am enjoying the process and that works for me, for now.

 


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Some DIY samples (Decorate it Yourself calendars)

OK, well I had hoped I could get all 12 done, but we had a bit of a family day yesterday and I only managed a handful.  Some of them are things I already mentioned.

DIYcalendar

I have a few favourites.  The simple collage on March is one.

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I really like the wrapped baker’s twine with tag for November and the inking+stenciling+stamping on January (even if I worked on it with wet hair from the shower and I smudged a bit of the A.

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and the Washi-tape chaos on April and faux Letterpress with an inked embossing folder on February

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You can just see the MAY, with a chunk of patterned paper filling the gap, there at the back.

The point is it is pretty easy to tie your calendar blocks in with your PL page with not a lot of work.  So go ahead and grab them here and then show me what you do with them……

 


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Creative Palette with pigment ink

I had a further play with the Creative Palette with acrylic paint the other day, and my results, no matter what I tried, were equally disappointing.  I tried a prussian blue chalk ink on it, thinking inks might work, but it stained the circle very BLUE and nothing I did would remove it. I stuffed it in the sleeve and on the shelf and decided that I would waste no more time with it.  I was going to blog all the things I tried but then I thought Why bother? I’ve already said it was an epic FAIL for me and nothing I said was going to expand on that.  But then an odd thing happened – I turned on the TV at just about 6 pm, ready to set up a recording for DD and the TV happened to be on Create & Craft.  Odd, cause I haven’t watched it for DAYS.  In the seconds before it went off the air on Freeview I noticed mention of CREATIVE PALETTE!  I went to the website to watch the show, which had been on at 3 PM, I think, and watched the bit where the guest demoed the CP with Crafter’s Ink re-inkers.  Crafter’s ink is just pigment ink that can be heat set and becomes permanent.

A dim memory surfaced.  I had a handful of little bottles of pigment ink re-inkers that I swear I bought 20 years ago, most of them had never been opened.  I dragged them out and sat down to have a play.

Creativepalettepigment

One thing the guest mentioned was that she brayers on some hand sanitizer first, then adds the pigment ink.  I did do that for the first few ones, but to be honest in the end I mostly skipped that step – the pigment ink stays wet enough without it.

It worked.

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That is a couple of colours, with one of my Gelli Plate anaglypta wallpaper samples pressed in to it then the print pulled.

Very Gelli plate like! But with pigment ink not paint.  Softer, chalkier.  Pretty. But worth the effort?  Maybe.

So then I tried a stamp. In general my success was only with removing the ink on the palette and letting the lighter/white space do the talking:

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This was a big, rubber background stamp. The tone-on-tone look is OK, I just wonder how worth it it is.  Could I get close enough to a similar effect by just stamping?

Foam stamps really remove the ink – not ones that are caked with paint from Gelli play, but fairly clean ones:

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The was probably the last one that I used the hand sanitizer first.  I think that and the too heavy layer of ink muddied the print too much:

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Still it was mildly interesting. A MUCH thiner layer of ink now, but I didn’t clean off the blue.

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I really liked that one.  And this one – more blue over the top, big bubble wrap, and you can still see the foam stamp impression.

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One of my favourites for sure.   Another foam stamp cut from one of the Die Delights.

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I thought I could brayer on the pigment ink from an ink pad, so I did – this is one of those multi-colour strip pads. It is very light, and as the bubble wrap still had wet ink on it I pressed that to the palette to transfer the ink for another layer

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Keeping the brayer in position gave me a rainbow effect when I brayers the ink on.  It is a bit more vibrant than it looks here.

I tried brayering on gome mossy green then stamped over that on the palette with some copper:

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Again, the photo doesn’t do it justice, but why not just brayer the ink onto paper then over-stamp?  The palette really doesn’t ADD anything to the process, except for a slight more…atmospheric look, I guess.

I then HAD to try a stencil.  I still felt that HAND CUT (so much thinner) stencils would give a better impression and they did, but still not what I would call sharp and defined.

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You maybe can see I first ran one of my foam shape rollers over the plate to give it some added interest.  Again, the stencil was loaded with ink so I pressed that onto another earlier attempt that wasn’t brilliant – I think I tried something I thought I heard on the show, which was that hand sanitizer would re-activate the ink.   I brayered it on over some leftover ink after that first, very un-defined foam stamp print and that gave me the background you see here:

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And that one was REALLY cool.

So here is the array:

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Some maybe worth keeping (probably great for ATC backgrounds) but I am still not convinced this is something I am going to do a lot of.   Oh, I just noticed – that single foam stamp towards the right?  Between the blue and bubble one?  Fo THAT one I simply pressed and small pigment ink pad onto the palette.  The pattern of small overlapping squares was neat, and def worth playing with.

Final thoughts on this?

  • if you are using re-inkers keep he application light – small dots of ink scattered across the palette.  Hand sanitizer first will help a think layer cover.  Too much ink produces a blotchy impression
  • removal tools (foam stamps, rubber stamps, textured wallpaper samples, combs, etc) produce the best images
  • you can brayer on or press on an ink pad rather than droplets from re-inkers but you will get a lighter colour.  AND if pressing on use ONE colour or yo will cross contaminate your ink pads.
  • stencils are best f ones yo cut from thin material – so far.  I really need to try a thick one again at some point to be sure.
  • do press whatever you used to REMOVE the ink back onto a print or even onto the ink on the plate.  Those are def. my favourite effects.
  • acrylic paint is CHEAP – I don’t think re-inkers are.

One BIG warning is keep in mind pigment inks dry super slow – that’s their benefit for embossing, for example.  But you have to put the prints aside to completely dry for a LOT longer than you would do with a print from paint on the Gelli plate.

I might try Distress ink at some point, but as the Chalk ink so badly stained my plate (but made NO DIFFERENCE and did NOT transfer to future prints) I’m kinda afraid it might end up brown and opaque at some point if I carry on.  The jury is still out on this, for me.  Except on one point – do NOT buy this thinking it will work anything LIKE a Gelli Plate.  It doesn’t. Well, maybe if you take the added step (and expense) of adding Flow Medium to every application of paint, it might, but I just don’t see the point when a Gelli plate doesn’t need that and works for paint better.

But at this point I can’t say the Creative Palette is a TOTAL FAIL.  That’s as far as I am willing to go at this point LOL!


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Stencil letterpress

I saw this video late one night and fancied having a go, but I have very few wood veneer pieces.  A star from last year’s advent calendar and a couple of trees, I think, and that is about it.

The star worked, although I had the same problem she had with one area impressing too deeply and cracking:

star
 I was looking for other things that might work and decided to try some chipboard.

fauxletterpress

It worked too, although the pigment ink soaked in to the chipboard more than I would have liked on some pieces – and getting the pieces down on the cardstock in any sort of reasonable alignment was tricky,  The pigment ink is so wet and stays wet for so long, even the tiniest dot on a finger tip ends up on the final piece.

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But the emboss is quite deep, which is nice. Also some cracking…not so nice.  I did play around with the idea of coating the chipboard with gel medium to keep the surface from peeling away when you pull it off, but the brush strokes (and even the texture from the brayer, using my Gelli plate-to-coat trick) show.  Maybe the kind of chipboard that has a coating on it would be the best kind for this.

So I have done faux letterpress with embossing folders but the real problem with that is it’s so hard to skim the paint or ink on just the raised bits and not into the open areas.  But as I had the big shout out anyway, and a couple of new stencils, I thought why not try those?

stencilletterpress

Not bad – some darker areas along the lines where the ink was heavier, and the stencil has a border around it, like many stencils do.  I played around with cutting a mask, which helped, but you still get the embossing even if you don’t get the ink:

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I may play around with it a bit more, but the best plan seems to be just to trim it – which makes it less like letterpress!  But overall it looks better.

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Stencils without a border are clearly the best choice for this, but I only have maybe three like that so not ideal.

You can see on the back the emboss is decent – not as deep as the veneer but it doesn’t crack at all.

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Well work further play.  I must go back and watch a few more of her videos – I always liked her work in scrapbook mags and books and her cards are cute, but she seems to have a lot of technique videos.  I am ALWAYS on the look out for them!

Off to make falafel.  Should have bought some while I was out, then I could keep playing…. oh well….