Concertina books … Have fun with squares, rectangles, circles!

Ever wondered what to do with oddments of wrapping paper, patterned envelopes, prints and paper?
How about having a go at making one of these? They’re easier than they look.

The mini one requires 8 squares measured at about 8cm across; the spiral book requires three A3 sheets cut in half lengthwise.

If anyone is interested in a pictorial tutorial, please comment below and I’ll put one together :–). Simples!
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The last image, showing the spiral book closed, is part of a pack of happy mail going off to Spain.

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Marbling fun is for adults too :-)

Happy Easter everyone .. Or just plain happy weekend :-).  Today, I finally got out the marbling kit and played around with gorgeous inks.  The cat, as usual got in the way because she wanted to be in on it too!

I’m taking part in an international ATC swap, so I set to work on ten ATC cards and then began to doodle on each card.  The shapes gave me inspiration and I was able to incorporate some of the ‘bubble’ patterns into the designs. The colour pallette is impressive.  Each droplet from the pipette left a clean colour and didn’t murk the marbling floater solution.

imageMy DimageH is hoping to trial some wooden handles in the solution next week.  I tried clothes pegs with varying results.

reminder to self: next time, read the instructions!

Random Craft Swap

How much do you love receiving gifts in the mail? Do you clutch the unopened envelope for ages and try and guess what’s inside? What about receiving something handcrafted? The person sending has taken a lot of thought into creating something special and unique. They’ve considered what the other person might like. When I started on a craft to swap I went over to Gladeridercrafts blogger’s page – check it out as there’s some gorgeous stitching on there! We did a random craft swap this week and I was so excited when my craft packet arrived.

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Isn’t it lovely? Thank you so much Gladeridercrafts 🙂

Also this week, I opened the post at work to find my OH had sent me a large padded envelope with the word fragile written on it! I would never have guessed what was inside…a box of Matchmakers – I love these chocolates!

It made me giggle just like a few years ago when I had a postie calling card to collect a packet from the depot. When I arrived with my ID, the postman looked at me apologetically as he handed over the mail.
‘Should it feel like that?’ He asked.
I admit it did feel as though the contents had smashed. Also, as I hadn’t ordered or been expecting anything, I had no idea what it was. The contents shifted and chinked beneath the padded envelope. I gulped.
Finally, As I sat in the car, I opened the packet to find 200 buttons of all different colours (nothing broken or smashed) inside. Lovely!

So, what have I posted out this week? Well two lucky people received handprinted fabric goodies: an ATC

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and an expanding notebook

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That was fun 😀

Printing with sweetcorn

OK, I’ve tried printing with apples, peppers, leaves, buttons, feathers and various garage paraphernalia such as nails, washers, wire mesh and even cutlery, so why not corn on the cob?

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The great thing about printing with corn on the cob is that it acts and feels like a textured rolling pin! Rolling it over the paint in the gelliplate pushes the paint away from the plate and onto the cob, leaving a lighter coloured pattern against the darker background. I like this texture almost as much as bubblewrap impressions and it’s made me look at the grocery store in a whole new light!

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This is the impressions made without any added embellishments, stencils or further textures.

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This is the sort of effect you can achieve by adding simple spirals and different layers of colour.

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Hares … A new craze for me!

Happy first of the month everyone! I’ve been busy creating art with hares being the main feature recently. This includes doodling at work during my short lunch break!

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..and another that I really love, just because it took me ten minutes to do and I like the expression:

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Then I wanted to explore making a large gelliprinted collage of a hare using feathers, sweet peppers, bottle tops and gel pens on a large board:

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Hard to know when to stop really, so I began doodling in my journal for February 1st in memory of my rabbit Pom Pom who sadly passed away at the end of last month and I don’t think we will be able to find another as placid and quiet as she was. Just as the dandelions dance away on the breeze, I hope she’s happily hopping over lush green pastures.

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Glorious Daffodils

What’s your favourite flower? Do you go for the colour or romantic connotations of red roses.
With Valentine’s Day approaching and my 24th Wedding Anniversary, I bought some daffodils. Their buds were still tightly closed and we’ve had frosts most mornings. Yesterday, the buds began to open, so I set to work on creating my latest print.
I sketched an outline of three daffodils and cut them out in sections

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I then took out my square gelli plate and pulled off a background print of blue

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You can see the blue here; I’ve done other layers of colour and removed the flowers
Several layers later, I began embellishing the print with a white gel pen and black fine liner

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Doesn’t it make you feel like spring’s on its way?

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Pepper foam stamps

This was interesting: carve into a foam cube and hope it looks like something once ink has been applied!
I chose to do a set of peppers. One whole one; one cut in half plus some chilli peppers. On another side I also sketched out some peppers growing among leaves, but for now this seems a bit complicated to cut out with the tool I have available.

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Will share some more pictures tomorrow, but before I say goodnight, how about this for making prints

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My daughter didn’t seem all that impressed when I asked if I could borrow her shoes to do some prints of the sole!

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This imprint was spotted this morning on my driveway after a frosty start. I think it would be a bit excessive to remove a car tyre just to make a Gelli print. What do you think?

Another day; another stamp

There’s a deer park not far from where we live. I love to see them out, dipping their antlers. They also look so graceful when the snow’s falling.
I did a very quick biro sketch and then created a smaller version on a 2cm x 1cm white rubber.

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Now, eleven stamps later, I have enough to put inside a shape:

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This was a bit of fun as I was able to display all the stamps I’ve created so far :-).

Handcarved rubber stamps

Hi everyone :-).

Hear is my latest stamp. I’m preparing my collection ready for a printmaking worksop next month.

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Years ago, I owned a Mini Clubman. I loved it until one day someone broke into it and stole the stereo, then took it for a joyride. It’s now probably in Mini heaven. My friend bought a Mini recently and has even given it a name: Poppy :-). I hope she likes this card I made for her using the Mini stamp 🙂

Hope you’re all well and not snowed in. We had our first bit of snow in the UK yesterday. I woke to find the roads wet and grey as usual, despite the severe weather warnings the previous day. I got in my car and drove four miles and suddenly the scenery was different: cars driving 2 miles per hour; rooftops blanketed with snow thick enough to disguise the roof tiles and big flakes falling. I wondered how on earth four miles would make that much difference and also whether I’d be late for work!
The town up on the hill was indeed unique to the snowfall. As soon as I’d driven out the other side and down a steep hill into the valley, the snow had completely vanished.
To some, snow is a satisfying and joyous experience. To others it signals disaster and triggers fear … Fear of injury and perhaps fear if being stranded on the way to or from work. Great if you don’t have to get anywhere.
I now have quite a collection of stamps for the group workshop and hopefully they will be inspired to carve their own 🙂

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Some more stamps … How about barbed wire and Celtic knots?

Trying out carving tiny motifs into household erasers proved a little challenging this evening (but then my daughter had fun colouring in the unprinted sections afterwards!).

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These erasers were even smaller than the tree I shared in the previous blog post. The barbed wire stretches across 1.5 inches! Sorry metric fans!!!

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2015/01/img_4245.jpgThe border’s all ready to colour in 🙂