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L: Layers – yeah I am all over the place…

Still trying to catch up and get the house back to normal. My crafty space is getting there, but there are other places that need more attention so it keeps getting a bit of time, the promise of more, then forgotten for a bit.

I have a piece I was playing with and another use for a bit of rubbish. You may recall I showed using some plastic packaging to get a textured effect with acrylic paint.

Well, I had a thought…the fact it is plastic might make it an interesting thing to use with Alcohol inks!

It’s maybe a little hard to explain, but you know when the AIs are kinda more on the dry side and you pounce over them, the ink disperses into little cells? You can get that sort of effect better with the plastic packaging than with the foam pads. Or at least *I* think so. Anyway, this piece had a lot of layers: alcohol ink, mica powders, a few layers or stencils, acrylic paints…

And the final piece I really like.

I feel like this could end up as a tip-in art journal page. I had a further play and made a similar piece with only a couple of layers. What I loved about this was how the mica that was clinging to the edges of the letter stencil transferred and gave me an outline while also kinda containing the alcohol inks! I love it so much and (like happens all too often) wish I could re-create the effect reliably. I plan to play with this a bit more for sure.

I will be at the hospital for the day, but am still hoping I manage a decent WOYWW view of my space tomorrow. Fingers crossed I also manage a full day of visits, before and after a potential knitting mate visit!

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P is for Pastels!

Firstly, the whole window replacement thing was a LOT more mess and disruption than expected. Long days cleaning up 120 years of dust from the sash windows being pulled out, and truly endless cups of tea and coffee took up more time than expected.

Back to the Gelli Arts challenges. I had an idea I wanted to try so I skipped over a few of the ABC Challenge letters to jump right to Pastels. Weird, how we interpret things. When I first read it my mind went to pastel colours – pale, dreamy soft colours, very much not me most days. But I realized it was probably PAN Pastels so grabbed those instead.

I had this feather stencil I got a while back, I think from WISH, and it was a bit big for most things so I grabbed than and a rainbow of colours

I mean, I knew this was going to work in the usual way, obviously, but I also had my pot of mica powder on my desk so…

Both things are dry so I didn’t have a lot of concerns about rubbing the mica over the Pan Pastels, but I still took a bit of care. If I did this again, with this sort of stencil, I think I would take the time to cut out the image to make a mask for the rest of the background, or take even MORE care when smudging on the mica. Still, it turned out pretty cool.

My plate was VERY dirty, so I got a lot of residual stuff pulling up, and yeah, it looks a bit lackluster but, as ever with mica, when you tip it towards the light…

Just not able to truly capture the lovely effect. As ever with these challenges, the first attempts are only ever experiments. But taking what I learn with each one will inform further play.

I have a couple of classes I still need to either begin or finish, and J: Jeans thru O:Oval to catch up on but the house is still not back in order, although the windows are IN. Phew. Probably share a shot or two for WOYWW, where (for the first time in a couple of weeks) I will hope I can fully participate. Might try to squeak in a few visits before then if I can.

Seems weird, sharing such a colourful image on a sombre day. Luckily my important and much re-scheduled Drs. appointment is tomorrow, not today, so it was not cancelled. Phew. Life goes on.


More PearlEx/Perfect Pearls on the Gel plate

I decided to have a go with adding the mica powders to the gel plate thru a stencil. Obvious next step, I think, and a much more reliable way to use it. People (me included, once upon a time) struggle with image transfer. It is all about finding the right magazine and the right paint, and getting the pressure right and the layer of paint right… For me, the laser printer was a game changer. But just daubing the mica powder thru a stencil then rolling on paint and pulling a print? That is nearly fool-proof. I mean, yeah, sure, you need to have a fairly thin layer but there is wiggle room.

and this was a blue mica powder with Payne’s Grey to pull the print.

The I used the Duo yellow/green and a Dina Wakely stencil and a sap green paint to pull the print. Wow. And hopefully you can see the paint layer is thin (ie you can see the stencil image thru the paint, which is an opaque one.

And you can get a decent second pull. The first one was a pearly Perfect Pearls thru a mandala stencil, transparent red for the first pull

and then a thin layer of a purple (opaque) paint for a second-gen pull. Fainter but still shimmery.

So, as is my way, I tend to get so swept up in the experimentation aspect, my mind leaping from possible technique to the next idea, I totally forget to actually make something out of the samples. Believe me, it was actually a couple of days of pulling tons of sample before I made those ATCs the other day. I still have a few really nice other samples that I will make into ATCs as well, and then maybe I will have exhausted the ideas and be ready to finish my card-box project! Who knows….


Gel Plate Image Transfer with Mica Powders and Laser Prints

I have been having so much fun experimenting with all kinds of things. I started playing around with a technique I had seen years ago, resist on the gel plate using cornstarch or baby powder. Funnily enough I bough some cornstarch baby powder for … making texture paste maybe? a decade ago so I can;t quite recall. Anyway I dragged it out to play and I made a really nifty looking print or two – or three!

These give a more matte old plaster effect that I really love, and all of these were layered by adding more paint and powder after the initial pull off the plate. Each one pulled bits that were left behind. But as my mind was wandering, I started thinking of other powdery things that might work in a similar way. I remembered I have a drawer full of little pots of Pearl-Ex (and one lonely pot of Perfect Pearls, which is just Pearl-Ex with the binder already added) go I grabbed them to have a play. Wow.

I sprinkled both the baby powder and the Pearl-Ex onto the paint on the plate (dark grey in this case) then brayered on some ochre I think, and pulled the print. I think it is just yummy and the photo simply does not do it justice. Of course that took me in some completely different directions! The best one was brushing the Pearl-Ex over the plate (no paint, just the mica powder right on the surface then using the brayer to roll black paint over the top. A very thin coating, as usual, then I laid on a laser printed image and gave a firm but not too firm rub over the back and…

Yes, Twiggy, I was shocked too! So, looking at it, it is hard to see but imagine the layers. The Pearly-ex is UNDER the black paint. So when you pull the print (and I used heavy bodies white paint and again, very thin layer) you get your image transfer where the image is the Pearl-ex and the white part is not so shiny.

Slightly different angle to catch more of the gold.

Of course then I had to have a play with THAT using different colours for the transfer and for the pull and using some of the colour shift Duo Pearl-ex (I have a red/blue and green/yellow) to see what happens. Oh yeah!

But the magic happens when you tip them:

I tried a bunch of other things as well but this is already a long post so will share more tomorrow!


BIG CARDS – 6 of Diamonds

Amazed that I have stuck with this, frankly.  I have a very short attention span for long projects.

As usual, I began with Distress ink – Barn Door, Worn Lipstick and Spun Sugar.

I then took a big stamp – the brand is cover a Card and they are really BIG – and stamped it over the Distress ink.  I did dry the ink first, to be sure none of the embossing powder would cling to any of it.  Versamark ink and (stupidly) the WOW matte embossing powder.  Only stupid because I was going to iron it off anyway so some less precious powder would be better.

Having said THAT, I actually did like the look of the matte embossing on it’s own, so def. something to add to my arsenal of techniques.

I kinda wish I didn’t have so much of it because there are some instances where the Perfect Pearls, with the binder included in the mix when you buy it, would be better.  While I usually use Pearl-ex over Versamark, it does stick better to that sort of viscous ink and I wasn’t sure if the DI would hold it well enough.  And that was the next step – smudging the lightest colour in (Spun Sugar) over the whole thing then dusting on the Pearl-ex.

I then put the piece between the sheets of an old notebook that I use for this sort of thing and ironed off the embossing.  This did seem to set the Pearl-ex quite well, because even brisk scrubbing with a stiff paintbrush didn’t whisk it away.  Phew.

You can see how the mica powder clings to the inked areas but the Distress Ink background (from under the embossing) shows through.

I over-stamped again with Versamark and a favourite stamp, then embossed with Primary Apple Red (WOW again – man is the colour intense!)

Finally I added the word.

Done.  Love it.  Def. want to play more with the batik look.  I have ideas, but will save them for another day.

The whole thing really GLOWS with gold.

All the Diamonds are on white backgrounds.  I am thinking I might experiment with using BLACK card for the backgrounds for the Hearts.  I won’t e able to Distress ink the whole thing but  as this whole process is about testing techniques, it might be worth doing to see what I can come up with. Still unsure where to go with the black suits, but with luck I will come up with something I can follow through on!

Happy Monday!

Edited to add:  I just got an email from Scrap Scene.  Looks like they are doing something like WOYWW so I am adding the link. Another chance for inspiration, yippee!