Mixed-media paper crafter; stamper, freelance craft tutor, designer of PaperArtsy JOFY stamps

31 October 2015




23 October 2015

The freedom of going LARGE!!

Recently I had the urge to make something BIG!  Usually my projects using my stamps are quite small - and I always lean towards making small things (my C&G tutor would testify to that) but I just wanted - no, needed, to make something big.. or lets say bigger - going really LARGE is something I will have to build up to.

So I attacked the stash and pulled out some 6x6in patterned paper and cut 3 circles of different sizes - yes I cut them.. by hand.. with scissors.. not die cut.  You might wonder what the big deal is but for me if its a circle I like it to be accurate and round so normally I would die cut it  - but not this time!! This time I was liberating myself from neat and accurate - the piece would be 'better' if it things are not 'accurate'.. more organic...
I didn't have a plan - I was just going with the flow... making BIG JoFY flowers - they're my flowers so they can be any shape I choose - in the same way as if you were cutting out flowers/shapes they would be any shape you choose!

So three lovely circles, and 3 leaves later (I drew the leaves before I cut them out... I can only improvise so far! lol) I chose a board canvas to work on - 12 x 9 in - might not sound big to you but it is for me... all that white space.. but I embraced the space lol - painted it in shades of blue - Lake Wanaka, Inky pool and Blue Oyster.  Then I stuck on the 3 circles, shaded around the edges, drew stems, added the leaves.. a bit more shading and voila:

At this point (without any of the white pen work you can see) I liked it but kept thinking it was missing something - needed something 'more'.. but not too much.... (JoFY-ing it up as my OH calls it)... so I got busy with the white pen....

Now I love it - the simplicity, its joyful and the colours make me smile - luscious and ... well, juicy! ... especially the deep pink flower on left..

and now I want to go even bigger!!  which is good because I 'need' to make a firescreen for the new fireplace in lounge.. (40x90cm!)..... watch this space...


21 October 2015

Masterboard = Cards

I really enjoy using the 3x5in Gelli® plate - especially to make 'masterboards' such as the one I created here - there are lots of tutorials out on the web so go take a look at how to make one.  (Anneke de Clerck did a lovely vibrant project HERE on the PaperArtsy blog).

One of the best tips I've read/seen is to put the 3x5in Gelli® plate onto an acrylic block - it makes it easy to pick the plate up and take it to the journal/paper rather than bring the journal/paper to the plate (if you see what I mean)... much easier to get 'accurate' print placement.

This is the masterboard I made - I know Gelli printing is a process (building layers etc) but at this point I was not overly happy with it (did I carry on or stop and start afresh) - I knew as soon as I put the yellow on that it was wrong (I'm still not feeling/loving yellow!)... but I persevered.. sort of... 
I reached for the bubble wrap - large bubble version - brayered it with pale yellow/cream and printed all over the page.. here's the result:
(bubble wrap fixes everything!) The bubble wrap print has knocked back/obscures the original pattern and the yellow..but I still wasn't happy so, not to be beaten, I cut it up - thinking it might look better that way - in smaller pieces - it would break up the blocks of yellow even more and highlight the good bits of the masterboard...(accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative!!).. once it was cut into pieces - I loved it!!  All these interesting little panels...

 Here are the cards I made with them:

I love how they look like a group, but are all individual - that's whats interesting about masterboards.

Die cut flower, stamped scallop border (JOFY13), and drawn lines around the masterboard panel to frame. (the flower die cut is the one I used on the masterboard to create a resist - its the white flower on pink rectangle you can see on the left hand side of the sheet - perfect colour match!)
 Panel has been stitched on a Kraft card, yellow bakers twine wrapped around and a swing tag tied on (JOFY34), the sentiment is from JOFY14.
I really like these 10x15cm cards that open on the short edge rather than the usual long edge (hinge here is on the left hand side by the twine), the twigs are a die cut (memory box), and the panel has been sewn on to the card

I like the simplicity of this card, even with the coloured patterned panel it is still quite 'less is more'/ 'clean & simple'. (Flower stem is from JOFY38)

and then 'less is more' went out of the window!  Bring on the glitter!!  This card has been splashed with water and gold embossing powder... distressed & glitzy! love it!

Gelli prints, stamps, stenclils & masterboards - a whole lot of fun!


(Gelli® used with permission. Owned by Gelli Arts® LLC)

19 October 2015

ALBOTAT: Gelli prints meet doodles...

I have a backlog of little projects to share - little bits and pieces that I created over the summer when I was taking a break.. and here is the first:

These are basic prints I made with the Gelli® Plate, and when playing around with a Gelli® plate I end up with lots of prints (as I'm sure we all do) so I decided to doodle onto a few of them...

In the centre is the first print taken of a gelli plate with a stencil laid on (using pink & orange (fresco finish) paints). On the left is the 2nd print, and on the right is a print of the stencil itself... sometimes I find the second print more interesting as the paint is less solid so more texture is created.

The print below was created by pressing a stamp onto the Gelli® plate (thats how the white lines you can see were created) and doodling on top and around that print/ image when dry (the black lines).. I like the white & black lines - a shadow and/or a highlight??  Its similar to a screen print where the registration is a little 'off'.

(Gelli® used with permission. Owned by Gelli Arts® LLC)

ALBOTAT: Last minute decisions....

...are sometimes the best.... 

The National Theatre screened a live performance of Hamlet last week on Thursday night to thousands of cinemas across the country and around the world - no pressure on the cast & crew... eeek
I knew that the National Theatre has a program of streaming performances across the country/world and I was curious to see a performance shown in this way... and I liked the idea that across the country there were lots of people sitting down to watch this same live performance, sharing the experience.  (our cinema has 8 screens and 4 of them were showing Hamlet.)

The performance was Thursday evening and I booked the tickets on Thursday morning (the last minute decision of this post title), and I'm soooo glad I did

I've never seen, or studied, Hamlet (I have a basic knowledge of the plot).. It was a brilliant production - Benedict Cumberbatch was amazing in the lead role... the set design was clever, interesting and beautiful (and made me want to repaint our lounge wall dark blue).

It was interesting to watch- the production was soooooo slick that you forgot that you were watching a LIVE theatre performance - but I suppose that is the point.

(image: National Theatre)

If you have tickets to see it at the theatre you are in for a brilliant night - but if you can't get to a theatre (ticket are like gold dust) check cinema listings because this coming Thursday (22nd) lots of cinemas are showing it again ('Encore' NT Live)... I'm tempted to go again!


18 October 2015

Doodling inside the lines...

... My stamp designs lend themselves to all sort of treatments - watercolour, Copic/Promarkers, paint and paper piecing (naming just a few) but one day I wanted to play around with doodling into the designs - a sort of zentangle?? I stamped the same image/motif (from JOFY38) over and over & started doodling - I used the same design/motif because then I can compare the doodles not be swayed by different motifs.
Filling in the spaces with different pen marks or black&white print/pattern... this was a lot of fun and a good way or experimenting with ways of space filling & doodling.... who doesn't love a bit of doodling??
There's no wrong or right -its just pen on paper..

I encourage you to give it a go... pen on paper.... one doodle leads to another.. a little bit addictive.. :o (next step - colour!?!)


12 October 2015

Put aside your inner 'bah humbug' and let the 'ho ho ho' begin!!

I'm in the middle of teaching Christmas themed classes at the moment... which is a lot of fun... !

I don't want to start a panic but there are only 74 days left until Christmas day which sounds quite a lot but its only 10 Saturdays!! The shops are starting to release their Christmas decorations and products - I found myself eyeing up a Christmas tree yesterday! (its ok, I spoke sternly to myself and closed the web page before pressing 'buy')

My next class is at Blade Rubber Stamps in London this coming Saturday (17th October) when we'll be making cards with the latest JOFY festive stamps, a touch of bling and a lot of ho ho ho!...

Come along and release your Christmas spirit!! There are a couple of places left - contact the shop to book a place.
I look forward to seeing you - I'll be the one wearing festive antlers!!


6 October 2015

A painty inky stampy day...

... on the other side of the desk...

On Sunday I went to a class with the uber-talented Kate Crane, as part of Its Crafting Time Mixed Media weekend.

It was a lot of fun!!  Creating art journaling pages with paints, inks, stencils, and stamps of course!  It was fun to play and learn, and be reminded of things - like background stamps! I'm going to rummage through my stamp stash to rediscover those!



3 October 2015

ALBOTAT: Birthday cards for boys....

... are tricky aren't they! (well for me anyway) I tend to reach for the Stampotique stamps when the Nephews' birthdays come around... 

This time  I went for a funky-dancing-dude-party card...

The Stampotique character is 'dancing' with one leg in the air which, I thought, made it look like he could be standing on something... so I doodled a present - he's bringing a gift to the party!

The background is a Gelli® print (little bit obsessed with these at the moment!), the text is the Fortress alphabet from MaVinci - (really nice, slightly distressed font), the streamers are one of my new christmas images (from JOFY40, seems to work everywhere!). The dancing chap is Jasper Fruhling by Stampotique (available at www.itscraftingtime.co.uk )

(Gelli® used with permission. Owned by Gelli Arts® LLC)

2 October 2015

Christmas Inspiration day at The Craft Barn....

... tomorrow (3rd October - OCTOBER - how is that possible!!)

You can find details HERE on The Craft Barn blog...

It'll be a fun day full of festive inspiration - I'll have the latest JOFY stamps.. 

Look forward to seeing you there..


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