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Book done!

Finished the book from Roben-Marie’s free class. I am sure I will use this binding method again in the future! Very simple and effective. I love how the pages open up so flatly and fully.

This is the inside cover on the left, the first signature on the right.

The binding is clever, although I would make a small change next time. Rather than creating the signature (made up of a folded sheet filled with loose-leaf sheets, not additional folded sheets!) and sticking it into the spine, I would stick all the loose sheets in and complete the “signatures” THEN stick them in to the spine. You may just need to sign up and watch the construction to get what I mean – it’s hard to explain!

It is only the outside wrap of the loose pages that gets stuck into the book. The rest of the binding is all tape. Strong, reinforced tape, but tape nonetheless. On one page I did cut the tape in half, thinking I didn’t want to obscure too much of the page, but then forgot to keep doing it. I would def. try that next time. Don’t think I photographed that smaller tape strip either – but the tape is 2.5 inches so cutting it in half lengthwise will work, I’m sure.

Just a few shots of the various junk pages…

The one on the right below is a sheet from the Waitrose newspaper, a desk cover to catch over-spill, with a gesso stamped image or two to brighten it up. I just stuck the two sides together to make it more sturdy – I really like how it looks!

I didn’t add the tape between the stuck signature wraps. I might still go back and do so, not sure yet.

Now the real question is what to do with it? It feels like maybe a Gratitude journal, full of uplifting quotes, might be an idea but frankly, as the election results drag on, and the psycho toddler-in-chief refuses to concede, and my Good As Hell journal page gets delayed again and again, I kinda feel like a RAGE journal is more likely. But there are dozens of pages in this book, and I am just not sure I can sustain my rage for that long.

Who am I kidding? I have FOUR YEARS of pent up rage to let out! LOL!

Time will tell….


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Gotta love a free workshop!

A couple of weeks ago I signed up for a free workshop from Roben-Marie. I used to see her videos on YouTube eons ago and she popped into my feed. I wandered down a rabbit hole and found this free class she was offering. I thought Why not? and signed up. It was really fun.

Now, to be fair, her style is fabulous but I could never emulate the artistic restraint she has. All of her pages were bordering on minimal, with plenty of space to add extra tiny little bits of collage or daubs of paint. I would have had to work so hard to make pages like that. But the CONCEPT of the album, and the BINDING technique really appealed to me.

Next problem? The whole thing focused on a gutted book cover. I didn’t have one. I had some really BIG books, but no tiny likkle diddy one that would work. What I DID have was more of the canvas boards that I used for my recent mini art journal. So I MADE a book to use in the same way Roben-Marie used her gutted actual book.

I oriented the canvas boards portrait style rather than landscape, as I did for the journal, and it worked really well!

Lots of clips to make sure I got a good bond. Then I covered the outside with a cover-my-desk mop-up sheet of paper and covered the spine with heavy kraft tape stamped to tie it all together.

How long did I dither about which should be the front and which should be the back cover? Don’t ask!

I collected a bunch of things to use for the pages. There were some old Gelli prints, more mop-up sheets, sheets where I brayered off paint when Gelli printing, spray ink and Brusho over-spray sheets, even some newspaper that I stamped some extra gesso images onto then folded and stuck the two sides together to give them a bit more stability. There were some old collages sheets for a project I abandoned, some brush-off ink splotches and heaven knows what else. I took four of the brayer-off sheets and added some stamping and stenciling to what was there, to unify them more colourwise and used them as the folded signatures that the loose pages fit within. Here are some of the bits:

Now all that is needed is to bind it using Roben-Marie’s clever gummed tape binding. Watch this space!


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WOYWW 598 – little tag book giftie

Happy WOYWW y’all! STILL not Good as Hell but creeping closer every day….

Today I have a tiny little tag book on my desk, destined as a gift. There is a photo I will hide but I won’t hide some shockingly old throwback supplies there:

When was the last time you used Silkies or Smooch pearlized paints? I am using them on my Gelli plate and they work very well. Here’s the close-up:

The poem is by my favourite poet, E.E. Cummings and is called [i carry your heart with me(i carry it in] . Yep. Weird, I know. You can click the link and read the whole thing if you like. Your should check out r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r as well. You have to read it carefully:

and when you do:

grasshopper who as we look up now gathering into the grasshopper leaps arriving grasshopper to become rearrangingly grasshopper.

Another throwback – remember when circle journals were a massive thing? One of my first spreads in a circle journal was of this poem. I wish I had a copy of it to share but I cast it into the wild and have no idea where it might be. Ah well….

Have a wonderful arty day, and I’ll be popping round to yours any minute now…


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Filling my journal – and word stencils

The first, not very good journal I made from Amazon packaging is one large tri-fold page from being finished. I am holding out for that much mentioned Good As Hell page! It may take till January 21st but I will make it one day LOL! Here is my last page, but one:

I haven’t completed any journaling on it, and am on the fence as to whether or not I will. I’ve never used such thick. dimensional letters (chipboard, old scrapping supplies, and not very nice ones at that) and I wish I had split the chipboard and made it thinner by doing so. This journal was always meant to be a bit experimental, not really filled with deep thoughts or intended to have strong emotions poured into it. It was a way to loosen up and try things out, after years of doing nothing artsy fartsy at all. So doing this page and thinking Next time I will thin those letters... really is what it was all about. It’s about learning what I am good at at what I am NOT good at.

What I know I am good at is making things for my journals that are unique to me. Like the word stencil in the background. Last month when cleaning up I found a stash of transparency sheets. They make good word stencils. I had done a couple of pages of typically British expressions, many that totally made me go Huh? the first time I heard them, and have been considering how best to use them for a while. The title came first, from the classic SciFi novel, then the rest flowed from that. Here are the two sheets of words and phrases:

A few things you can’t see, like upper case letters in the event I want to capitalize a word, and ! and ? so things like Alright become, as they should be, Alright?

So, back to the journal….while there are a handful of pages I really like a lot, like these two:

it also has some with techniques I tried that I am pretty sure I won’t do a lot more of cause I am NOT good at them. I don’t think magazine collage (as much as I love it when I see it done by, say Teesha Moore) is ever something I will do a lot of, for example. And the overly stylish, cohesive and pretty pages that people like Kate Crane seem to be able to crank out at will are unlikely to ever come naturally to me. If a page ends up being pretty, it is more often by mistake and not by design! Sometimes things look…forced. Like I am trying too hard to achieve a style that is not natural for me. So I’ll just carry on. Let my stress levels melt away for the few hours I am playing and hopefully the pages will please me, and if they don’t, I don’t have to share them, do I?

I’ll sign off with another phrase that always makes me smile:

Cheers, Big Ears!


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In limbo…

Well, the election results are still up in the air. Nothing else to say till they count all the votes.

To keep my mind and hands occupied, I made a little art journal. I have finished the basic construction of the Amazon packaging one, and made the signatures. The watercolour sheets I had were too big, but with careful planning, I was able to get the signatures for that larger journal (pages are 6×10 inches) AND signatures of 6 x just shy of 5 inches so I decided to make a smaller journal too. My plan is for this to be a use-it-up journal , where I can offload extra paint, stencil-stamp, roll off a brayer, etc.

The construction of the journal itself was prompted by some little 5×7 inch canvas-covered boards. I suspect I bought them eons ago for my daughter to paint on and I had a few unused ones. With a bit of canvas I was able to make a cover.

The canvas sheets I had were not big enough so I had to overlap them.

Lots of clamps of many different kinds held it in place – I used strong PVA as the adhesive. 

I used the bookbinding cradle I made for punching the signatures and I have to say I am super happy with how it worked. 

The cover ended up looking like this – really, there are no amazing techniques here, just paint and water and stencils and stamps.  OK, well there was ONE thing, my substitute for nickle Azo gold, which I don’t have, that worked out pretty well.  I’ll explain in another post.

The little skull beads are from knitting stitch marker making – I have loads of them. The inside looks like so – the first signatures is full of paint leftovers so I never have to begin with a blank page, and all the colours are the same as the cover.

The deli paper prints  on the inside of the covers are from that other page in my big journal.  Still love them! The back cover gives a hit that I am not yet successful in pushing the election out of my head!  The phrase is a riff on the thing they say at the end of campaign ads in the USA, My name is XXX and I approved this message. I thought it was pretty appropriate.

My stamping of single letters wasn’t too bad – ever so slightly wonky but overall pretty good. 

I guess I will have to make more of that deli paper – really, I can’t even say how much  love it and how many ideas I have for how to use it.  And it was so easy too! 

What I used up that was old or has been languishing in my stash:

  • the canvas boards
  • the canvas sheets
  • Pearl-ex in Aztec Gold
  • stamps bought on sale for about £3, never used
  • little skull beads
  • black baker’s twine
  • a Gelli print from at least 5 years ago
  • and used up the last of my deli paper prints from last week
  • needle tip bottle still filled with black paint, still flowing freely

All in all that was pretty good! I have managed to resurrect my bottle of crackle paint, and tested it – it still cracks!  I have four more bottles, all but one still factory sealed, and all dry as bones in the desert.  I will perform the same operation on them and then share how I did it.  I will def. use that on my next cover or page!


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WOYWW 596 – am I good as hell?

Happy WOYWW y’all.

Well, I am pre-typing this cause it is likely I am going to be up all night watching election results, just to get an idea of where things are heading. The election isn’t over until all the votes are counted, so unless the results are overwhelmingly obvious, by the time this posts I’m not sure I will know if I am, in fact, Feelin’ Good as Hell or not. I prepped a stencil just in case.

and closer – can you tell that is actually Lizzo?

The only difficult part was adding all the bridges to ensure the text didn’t have big open areas – which I like for some things, not for this. I am in process, testing a few stencils. I have about three stencil books – this one was a tip off from a WOYWW desker, but I’ve forgotten who now. This stencil might be the other option if things go the wrong way… 

I am testing the image on deli paper so I can lay it on a page to check for size, etc. and also testing a stark white and subtle shading effect. I also cut a few other stencils – cause I am still on the look out for the best face.  This one is stark and simple and might fit the bill:

I have had this next image for a while and at this point have no idea where it came from – it might have been from a now defunct stencil site or just some random image I liked.  But I do like it – a lot.

Not sure if I will add them on the deli paper, or book paper or if I will stencil directly on a page.  I also snapped a photo of the deli paper page from the other day, all stuck down.  I almost hate to cover it with anything, it’s so pretty!

And very lastly, I have some stamps I ordered from the USA.  Sadly, no UK seller has them and and no one was willing to order them for me.  Luckily the seller, Rubber Moon, does ship internationally.  It took about a week or maybe 10 days to get here.  I can’t wait to use them.  I add the ink pad so you can see they are actually pretty big stamps!

So that’s me for this week.  Hope you are all weathering the lock-down OK and are keeping your spirits up and still making art.  I’ll be making my visits, as many as possible, today.  Looking forward to both the distraction and the inspiration in equal parts!

(and ps. At the moment I am most definitely NOT feelin’ good as hell…)

 


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Deli paper background for my art journal

I was having a bit of a play with deli paper. I started with a bunch of paint and a brayer and some stencils and some stamps and I created a bunch of sheets in a variety of colours. Basically just went with where the mood took me.

Just perched on the side of my desk there they are hard to see, so I’ll share them individually as well. For the paint I tried to limit myself to two or at most three colours for each sheet and one stencil, repeated in different areas.  One or two stamps, and some lid-rims for the thin circles.

I like them all, to varying degrees, but especially those with the little flashes of gold or copper (hard to see in the photos, as usual.)

I did consider just attaching them to the page, but  I ended up ripping them up and sticking the ripped pieces on the page to make a super busy, colourful background.

I can see the photo I have is of the bits laid, not stuck, on the page.  Oh well.  I can’t show the final completed page anyway, as I have to wait a few days.  I have a plan for it but it could go one of two ways and I have to wait till I “know” before I finish it- in so much as I am ABLE to KNOW, if you know what I mean.  Tomorrow is going to be much stencil cutting and testing, just a few ideas to see how they might look.  Maybe by the weekend I will be able to move forward with it – in joy or with sorrow, only time will tell.


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Interesting art journal techniques

I made a page where I tried out a couple of odd things.  The first was an I wonder…? thing.  I wondered if tinting water with acrylic ink might alter the effect of water-over-Distress ink.  Simple enough to test.

I smudged the ink over a bit of paper – not particularly carefully, or blended particularly smoothly.  Just decent coverage

I added a drop or two of acrylic ink in white to a small mister bottle.  I misted the left with plain water then the right with the white-tinted ink. Only managed to remember to take a photo of the white side.  Doh!

After letting it sit, and blotting off the excess you can see there is a slightly more…opaque look, I think, to the white mist side.

I agree, it is not a starling difference, but it seems like the stencil outlines are more defined and less, well, distressed I guess.  I also added a drop of a teal colour and also a bit of white to another mister and did a different area:

This resulted in more of a halo in the darker teal at the edges.  Again, subtle, not dramatic.  Interesting and well worth playing with to refine the concept.  I also saw a thumbnail on YouTube of a hedgehog painting using a snipped-in-strips loo roll tube as a paintbrush.  I thought it was a pretty neat idea, had a loo roll or two I could rescue from the recycling bin, and gave it a go. I tried it in dark Payne’s Grey, and used it in white on my page.

One is snipped quite closely in very fine shreds (dark) and the other is snipped a little wider.  I expected to like the thinner more, and I ended up liking the fatter more. Or maybe it is the light vs dark that pushed me that way,  time will tell. Here is the page:

Since he text is a stencil I cut, what I SHOULD have done was re-cut it laid out so I didn’t have to line up the words – something I am clearly not good at.  But otherwise I am pretty happy with the page. 

Overall I am happy with the way it is going in this experimental journal.  Finding my way again, trying new techniques as they occur to me, playing and having fun.  Frankly I need the distraction, and it is kinda working.

Lastly, I noticed that the image of the stencils that I have multiples of was missing from yesterday’s post. Happy to consider any trade of an item you have multiples of, not just stencils. I’ll probably re-post this for next week’s WOYWW – or maybe offer them as giveaways for the 600 week Zoom Crop. Now that’s an idea….


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WOYWW 595 DIYing like mad

Howdy Y’all and Happy WOYWW again.  After a pretty tiring week up in Salisbury, I am now playing the waiting game to see how much of an improvement I get from the treatment.  It wears me out, but probably just the early rise, long drive, and stress of leaving the house LOL!

Let’s see.  What is on my desk this week? First let me show my head-swap from last week.  Quite pleased with the results.  Hard to read but the stamped image says Your Artistic License has just been revoked.

MOSTLY what is all over my desks are bits and pieces of various things I have been creating. It isn’t very taxing or time consuming, so easy enough even when I don’t feel up to doing much. I grabbed a few magazines at the hospital shop, and cut out a few silhouettes that I think will work on journal pages.

I am always looking for an interesting outline that I can use.  The ladies faces are line drawing I converted into stencils.  I’ve used them, they are OK, once you fill in the bridges (gaps in the lines) that keep the whole inside from falling out in one blob.

Here is a trio of pages where you can see one of them

Both quotes (Hey, hey, hey now don’t be mean and Mystery is the source of all true art and science) are from a movie, although as the tiny little line of text says Einstein expressed the sentiment, but Buckaroo (Banzai) said it better. Love that movie SO MUCH. You will also see another movie line in the stencils I cut here:

No matter where you go, there you are. The blacked out bit is another quote, Creativity takes courage.  Matisse, not Banzai in this case! Another conglomeration of stencils.  I have used the weird arcs and the glyphs and the globe and the quote.  I have a plan for the circuit board too – oh and the cluster of roses I used on the journal cover.  

I cut some stamps out of fun foam, from a die. What I love about that process is depending on whether I cut from the foam side or the backing paper side, the stamp orients a different direction. So every time I can cut a mirror image if I want.  Looking forward to testing that out!

Looking forward to testing this one out as well.  I think it is going to look fab. 

Lastly, anyone want to swap for a stencil?  I ended up with FOUR of these (don’t ask) and while I do really like the images, I do NOT need four of them.  They are 5×5 inches. Got a mistakenly bought duplicate you want to trade? Leave me a comment, and I’ll get in touch. 

 

I did well last week, visiting every desk, commenting where I could, and saw lots of fun and amazing art.  I have missed this and am glad I have been able to join in. Here’s hoping the IVIG really takes and I feel like dancing in a month. Will there be dancing on the WOYWW 600 Zoom, I wonder?  Oh dear!


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Printable strips and what you can do with them…

I created a couple of pages of strips, some decorative, some words or phrases.  I suppose you could print them and add them to your photos in a Project Life style book, but my intention is to use them on scrapbook layouts.  This is what they look like – again, since I made them for ME, they are things I know I will use.  Some of the phrases are more British, but then after nearly 20 years here that makes sense.  There are only a couple you may not get immediately – CRACKING (as in “Cracking cheese, Gromit!”)  is used similar to Awesome or Great, as is ACE, SMASHING and BRILLIANT (although you can surely use it in a more literal way, as in Bright, either in terms of brain-power or like bright white or a bright sun.)

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Now I’m not kidding myself – these were super-simple to make.  Obviously you can make your own, in fonts you like and words you like with no more than a basic word processing program.  But you might appreciate NOT having to type it all out, so I’ll add them for you – the letter/number/decorative strips are here, and the stencil words here.

The more interesting bit is what you can do with them, although again, this is not earth-shatteringly original stuff. You may still appreciate seeing my samples:

10stripsaltered

All of those were altered with various mixed-media like stuff, inks, sprays, stamps, stencils…

This one was first cut into a banner shape, then coloured with Distress ink, then a couple of spray inks were flicked over the top:

3stripsaltered

You can see I printed on some linen paper – lovely stuff, really holds the printer ink, and it was not expensive at all.  Not as heavy as cardstock weight but more than printer paper.

This one I inked then stamped over:

7stripsaltered

A tiny text stamp in a slightly darker colour, then I punched out the butterfly for some added interest.

This was stamped with a grid, and I rounded two corners to make it look more like a tab:

5stripsaltered

This was masked – you can see in the final sample above I also drew around the masked areas:

4stripsaltered

This one I used a baking grid and spray ink:

6stripsaltered

And then of course the little banner made from the words:

9stripsaltered

So there is a lot of scope for you to  customize these.  And of course they would work perfectly printed over light patterned paper as well, and could also be printed two images per page to make them much smaller.

Have fun…I am LOL!