My adventures with PB & Gelli

I'm not talking about a lunchbox sandwich - I'm talking Paint, Brayer & Gelli! 😜

I got my gelli plate & brayer yesterday - hurrah! This is a first for me - I know everybody has had one of these for ages (yawn) but I've been scared of them so don't judge. 😋

The more I watched videos & saw them on blogs, the more I decided I had to have one.

I got a PolyGel plate in the 5"x7" size to start with. This stuff is pretty cool - for you experts, just humor me as I play with my new toy. 😀

And so I started playing with colors & laying stencils on top lightly to see what would happen on some small pieces of scrap paper.  Kind of cool! 

I then decided to use some metallics. I have some Ken Oliver liquid metallics & found they kind of sit on top of the acrylic paints the first couple of times with the brayer but then blend in. They left behind the metallic sparkly affect which was cool. 

This one I didn't really brayer smooth on the plate & I laid my Andy Skinner stencil of women's faces on top. It looked kind of neat - I think I'll fool around more with targeting specific colors in certain areas where I know my stencil will be laid, like maybe black for the actual faces to stand out. But hey, this was just getting the lay of the land type of stuff. 

So after goofing around a little bit, I got out a little mini canvas from Simply Art. 

I put my color down, pressed down my canvas.....and horror of horrors....it took off some of my canvas! And somehow I got a blue dot of something on it! 

But hey - this is art, am I right? So when life gives you oopsies, you make untamed creativity. 

Just add some words, some stenciling, a little wax around the edges to frame it & you've got a masterpiece that you can tell everyone you methodically & painstakingly created by the sweat of your brow. 😎

I hope you can see the shimmer. And yes - I kept the blue dot. Why? Because everyone is going to ask 'What is that blue dot for?' That's art, my friends - no other explanations needed. 

I hope you've enjoyed my maiden voyage into the world of PB & Gelli. I have lots of ideas & lots of trial & error to get through. But all in all, I think it's a cool addition to my art arsenal! 


Mini Album Makers - UNITE!

There's a new blog in town, my friends, and it's called Mini Album Makers!  

Blog Launch Giveaway and Design Team Call

Mini Album Makers Challenge is pleased to announce the launch of this new challenge blog that focuses on handmade mini albums, scrapbooks, journals and book arts.  If you've longed for a place to share and learn more about creating such books, please take a moment to become a follower!  Our monthly challenge theme is any handmade book goes.

Follower's Giveaway!
To encourage growth in this new venture, I'm offering a giveaway of a $25 gift card to the Funkie Junkie Boutique to one lucky follower.  All you need to do to enter is become a follower.  I would love for you to add our blog badge below to your sidebar to help us grow.  Please link it to our homepage.  If you do so, please leave a comment and you will receive an extra entry in the draw.  If you copy and paste this post and repost it on your blog you can receive a third entry.  Just say so in the comments below and give a link to your post.  The winner will be announced on September 1st in our inaugural challenge post.

Design Team Call!
I’m looking for a team of five or so creative individuals who will share design team duties to include:

1. As a part of the monthly challenge inspiration, one project photo per month with link to your own personal blog post containing a tutorial or tips and tricks for assembling one of the abovementioned book forms.
2. Rotating with other DT members to post one complete tutorial on challenge blog per month.  (If five team members, then one complete project every five months.)
3. Encourage, comment and support challenge entries.

Please email Autumn at teamclark@rocketmail.com with questions or applications.  Include your blog and social media links with a permalink to your favorite handmade book(s).  Please note this is a teaching blog and all projects, even if they are CASEd from another designer, must be tutorial based (photos or videos).  Applications will be taken through August 25.  Selected applicants will be notified by August 28.  Challenges begin September 1 with DT announcement (including a photo of your application book and backlink to that post – no new project necessary for September).  Thanks and best of luck!

Please share with your friends and get projects ready for our first challenge September 1!


Psychedelic man

I had a crazy idea while I was painting in my art journal book and it's probably not new. I really don't think there's anything new under the sun as far as techniques or things to upcycle. Anything goes with mixed media so you've probably already seen or tried this yourself. Or maybe I've stumbled onto something I should be patenting or using as my trademark style. 😜

I have my Anne of Avonlea book that I've been messing in & a bunch of Studio 71 acrylics in bright colors & thought 'How about a psychedelic effect with a stamp instead of plain old ink or embossing?' So I set about adding some colors randomly to a page, dried it completely, then started adding black on top.

I already had my gentleman and top hat stamps ready to go because the key is to stamp while the black is wet. When you stamp, really press down to get the black onto your stamp, leaving the colors underneath the stamp pattern. You might have to do it a couple times, wiping off your stamp in between. 

I think the effect was really cool! 

I took the rounded end of a skewer and also printed 'psychedelic man' while the paint was wet. 

When drying all the colors & the black, get your heat gun close to the paint to get some great texture added with bubbling. I also did all the painting with my fingers so I'd get uneven ridges of paint that was thicker in some spots. 

I was pleased with how it turned out and I was just playing around really, not sure what to expect. I think it'll be an awesome affect on a canvas with a harder surface for the stamp. Don't know that it's a unique technique but it's definitely something I'm going to do again! 


Butterflies are free

Fashionable Stamping Challenges has a challenge going on -  Use Your Inks Any Way You Like. Since they're all about stamping, the main focus has to be on your stamping.

I have some small, empty tins - about 2.5" x 1.75" - and decided to use one as my base. I covered it with clear gesso & found it dried whitish which was fine.

Then I got my stamps & ink together. I had a cute stamp with a couple of butterfly girls which was perfect because I wanted to use a new set of stamps I got from Sin City Stamps called Love of Butterflies.  

I went over the tin with a couple different Art Alchemy waxes before putting everything together and the result, I think, is whimsical & fabulous! 

I stamped the girls on a scrap piece of patterned scrapbook paper, did some fussy cutting, & colored it in with some oil water colors. Some areas of the tin had some thicker areas of gesso which gave it a little texture inside. And look at the patterns within those butterflies - gorgeous! 

I used various sizes of the butterfly stamps & stamped them on regular cardstock with different ink colors and cut them out, adding some ink around the edges. I then mounted them with foam squares. Also added some word phrases. 

On the back, I used a larger butterfly stamp, using first a shade of blue & then stamped over it with black. I drew on some antennas then lightly went over it with a little Art Alchemy wax for some shine and color contrast.  I also used black ink around the tin edges and various areas to grunge it up a little. 

This stamp is so gorgeous - it has writing within the butterfly. 

This little project packs a punch - dimension, color, texture - and most importantly for the challenge, stamps & inks! 


Whimsical pin cushions

Cork is the challenge going on at Mixed Up Magazine & I've come up with these whimsical pin cushions!  

I'll show you the process for the steampunk version which is my favorite! 

First, I got 3 corks in varying sizes...lucky for me, I collect & upcycle bottles so I have a big stash! 

I picked one that would fit the embellishments I was going to use & painted it with Art-C gold paint. While drying, I got the nozzle right up to the paint so that it would bubble. 

I then decided I wanted to emboss a little bit of the clock face, just for added texture. 

I ran my finger over various areas with Art Alchemy wax & a touch of black distressing ink & started putting everything together. 

I think the end result for all three came out awesome - each has its own style. 

Here's more of the steampunk version. 

I got some creepy doll wood shapes from Etsy, picked one, and framed it. 

I really liked the combo of the paint, the wax, & the ink. It gave it an oxidized look. And the bubbles! 

This next one I covered in a strip of distressed Toile ribbon I had. 

I added some blue wax to the top which matched the color of the fabric - it's really pretty. 

For the last one, I covered it in a fabric swatch (from J. Wecker Frisch - she has AWESOME fabric!), then twisted rusty wire around the neck to secure it, and cut off the excess giving it a ragged look. 

I added a button for fun.... 

These were so easy to make and took no time at all. They'd make great, personalized gifts for a sewing enthusiast or just as decoration! 


Anything goes with salt dough

There's a reason it's called salt dough - it takes a ton of salt! And believe me - do not sneak a taste, thinking it's yummy sugar cookie dough or something. I don't know how fish live in the salty ocean. 😝

Anywho - and you'll get the 'who' reference in a second - here's Ollie the Owl, my salt dough friend. Get it? Owl?  Who/hoo?  😀

I created Ollie for the Emerald Creek Anything Goes Challenge - he's my 2nd of two entries.  Let me say this: I am in no wise an artist (another owl reference ~ 'wise' 😉). What I mean is painting. Forgive me, Ollie, for not doing you justice like alot of others would have!

Here's naked Ollie after baking - kind of liked him like that.

And Ollie with a coat of white. I liked that even better & thought about keeping him that way. 

But I had to play around so I got out my arsenal of sprays, inks, & waxes & came up with Oh, My Eyes! Ollie (feel free to grab your shades, especially when viewing closeups):

I think now you're getting my not-an-artist-in-terms-of-painting reference. I didn't want to do the regular brown tones, didn't want to do steampunk.  I was just winging it (again with the owl pun)! 

I used various sprays & inks from Tattered Angels to Lindy's to Tim Holtz, using a water brush to control it.  I then went over everything with various Art Alchemy waxes.

I wanted to keep him mainly white but it needed something more than just the flat paint so I just rubbed more Art Alchemy wax all over the white - still kept it light but had a brilliant shine & iridescence.

I've mentioned this before but I'll say it again: those Art Alchemy waxes have an intoxicating scent to me - Ollie smells so good!

As an added bonus, I had leftover dough which I molded using miscellaneous stuff around the house. 

This first one is a small owl I have & I just used his eyes & nose. Maybe I should add a stick to one side & he could be a masquerade mask for a doll. 😀

This next one was a camel head from a brass letter opener I've had for some 40+ yrs when I lived in Greece as a kid. 

This last one is a partial mold from a trivet my daughter sent me from Germany. 

I guess you could say everything is kind of folk artsy and/or kitschy. Again, I apologize to Ollie for not making him as fabulous as he could be. Hopefully, no harm - no fowl. AGAIN with the owl pun! 😎  Until next time, owl be seeing you - I've really got to stop!