Latest Posts

Mono Printing on a Homemade Gelatin Plate.

Today I made a slab of gelatin (actually I made that yesterday) in a cookie pan and used it to make mono prints of bamboo leaves and crochet doilies!

I was reading Courtney Cerruti’s book ‘Playing with Surface Design’ and she was talking about how a handmade gelatin plate behaves slightly differently to a commercial gelli plate.  I have been using and loving my gelli plate for a few years now, so I was keen to try!

Making the ‘plate’ was super easy, I used 4 envelopes of unflavored gelatin according to the instructions on the packet (they suggested apple juice but I went for water!) and I left it in the fridge over night to set.  I forgot to remove any surface bubbles so I had immediate access to some extra texture (oops!). There are lots of videos and recipes for gelatin plates on the inter webs but I was happy with this one as it lasted for an afternoon of printing and I can make another one when I need it.

This picture was taken once I had finished printing and you can see how the plate gets nicked and pot holey.  I left it in the cookie pan to help keep it sturdy.

By the end of my printing play session, my gelatin slab was pretty well used and starting to distribute blobs of gelatin hither and thither, but I had some lovely prints and it was well worth making the plate and giving it a go.

It is much ‘wetter’ than a commercial gelli plate and the prints come off a little more softly, there is still plenty of definition but the paint is a bit more washy in the final effect.  I usually am a single print kinda gal but in the name of research I used some sheets for two prints and I am pleased with them.  I like my prints simple but I like the extra texture from re-printing the same sheet.

The gelatin really keeps the detail of whatever you are printing with so that the ‘ghost’ prints are still full of texture and detail.  The veins in the leaves I printed were all nice and clear and the doilies left a very detailed and clear print.

I would absolutely recommend making your own gelatin printing plate especially as gelatin is cheap as chips which is a good thing because this is a one time use item.  I still liked to print with the plate even when it was getting a bit worn because it is all extra texture.

Have you made a gelatin plate to print with or do you like the commercial plates?  I enjoy them both, of course I can pull out my Gelli Plate whenever I want to but I enjoyed the process of making and using my own.

Happy Thursday x

The 100 day project 2019

What to do when you can literally do anything, for 100 days? I have been deciding what to do for this year’s 100 day Project.

100 yoga poses?

100 found poems?

100 altered playing cards?

100 altered vintage photos?

These are some of the ideas which have swum in and out of my mind, I decided found poems might be boring after about 27 and I did playing cards a few years ago.

I enjoyed the cards project best out of all of my 100 day collections, so I decided to use them again but with other ephemera. ‘100 altered vintage pieces of ephemera’ will be my 100 day project for 2019.   I can use playing cards, flash cards, book pages, book covers, rolodex cards, business cards, library catalogue cards, vintage photos et al.

I will allow myself to sketch on, paint on, collage on, stamp on and cut up the ephemera of the day. I will mark make, write words, splash ink and stick down stuff!

In 100 days I should have a nice collection.

Are you doing the 100 day project this year?  What are you doing?  Or are you still deciding?

Happy Tuesday x

Have Art Supplies, will Travel.

Every time I travel I give a lot of thought to my art supplies and not nearly as much thought to how many t shirts I will need! Clean shirts, jeans and a nice scarf. Clothes done.  Art supplies need way more thought.

What will I be able to do? How big do I want my sketchbook? What paper is in it?  Wet media or dry?  Will I be able to use watercolors or acrylic paints?  How about water-soluble pencils?

Some things always travel with me, my mini Moleskine Art Plus sketchbook, a Micron pen or three and my trusty Pentel Pocket Brush pen with a spare ink cartridge.  For this trip to New York City, I have added some Derwent Inktense pencils in a few favorite colors and a water soluble graphite pencil.  In fact as I write this, I have remembered that if I want to use water soluble pencils, I am going to need a water brush, so in that goes!

The Field Notes book is for jotting down ideas and anything interesting I hear or read.  I always need my ideas book on hand.

I am lucky enough to be participating in a workshop taught by Amy Maricle of Mindful Art Studio while I am in the Big Apple, so some supplies are specifically for that.  The paintbrushes with no paint in sight are because I plan to do a spot of art supply shopping while I am there for this class.

I like the mini Moleskine because it is the ideal ‘in your bag’ size and the paper is nice and thick.  I treated myself to a Fabriano Venezia book because the paper in these is so nice and just look at that cover!

So I am all set and this little lot should entertain me nicely, and I have some clean clothes too!

What are your must haves when you travel?  Nice skincare products?  A soft scarf?  Comfy leggings? Or as many art supplies as you can carry?

Happy Tuesday x

Good books

I have just finished reading ‘The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden’ by Jonas Jonasson of 100 year old man fame.

This book was in-depth with lots of characters but it wasn’t a laborious read it was interesting and witty at each turn.

Nombeko is an endearing leading lady and holds her own without bashing you over the head with all her good points.

It is full of subdued drama and dry wit and I loved it!

The book I have literally just started (last night) is ‘Little’ by Edward Carey and it was only when I read the list of other books he has written that I realised that he is the author of the Iremonger Trilogy which I read to my son when he was a tween. This series of books was the last we read together and we still talk about them now that he is a teenager and taller than me.

Consequently I went into this book with high hopes and so far I am not disappointed. I will only stay with a book if I am captivated by page 30-50 and this one had me in it’s grip by about word 30!

I am sure it will carry on in this vein and I can’t wait to jump back into it this evening.

Are you reading any fabulous books? Fiction? Non-fiction? All recommendations are welcome, I love to hear what people are reading.

Happy Monday x

Daily planner practice 2019

I wasn’t going to use a planner for my daily practice this year, so I started in a regular sketchbook.  Part way through January I realized that this was not working, I liked the dates and style of a planner.

So after some investigating and deciding I ended up with an ‘EDiT’ daily planner to work in.  To be honest it was a little smaller than I thought it would be (even though I looked at the measurements!), but it turns out I love this size and the paper is like magic, it is so smooth and even though it is quite see through it still holds a little wet media and pens don’t bleed through.

For the rest of January (I started on Jan 23rd) I sketched a flower a day with my Micron pen.  When February rolled around I had spotted a couple of collage challenges on the interwebs, so collage was in my mind.  I started sticking down some images and adding a little note which made me smile and I think I will carry on with this through February.

I am really enjoying this mini collages and they are keeping me entertained!

Are you keeping a daily practice of any sort?  How is it going?

Happy Monday x

Wanderlust 2019

We are now a month into Wanderlust 2019 and I am having a blast!  Wanderlust is a year long series of tutorials, ideas, techniques and inspiration for all of your art making and art journaling needs.

I am biased because I am teaching this year and my class will be live in the Rivers theme in March.  Having said that I have no truck with a class I don’t enjoy and Wanderlust is so varied and prolific that if there is a class or a theme you are not feeling, fear not, another is just around the corner.

I made my journal which should last all year and I am looking forward to seeing it fill up with a variety of work, ideas and art.

For all the information and enrollment details, follow this link Wanderlust 2019 information 

Please note that the above link is an affiliate link.

Happy Sunday x

Looking back at 2018, a year in review including books read.

I like to look back over photos and diary entries from the past year, remember what I did,what I learnt and where I went.  Here is a brief summary from 2018, what did you get up to?  Any surprises?  I had no groundbreaking moments, but some new techniques were learnt and new places visited. I have also included the books I was reading each month.

January  I started my tutorial making year for Get Messy and it was quite the learning curve! I got this fabulous typewriter which works very well. We went metal detecting and found things like ring pulls, a screwdriver and a swallow brooch. Book – Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich.

February  I have been working at the library for one year. We went to the Contemporary Art Museum and the Pulitzer Arts Foundation to see some art (darling). Book – Started The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan, but I had to return it to the library, so I made a note of the page I had got to!

March I had to renew passports for our trip to the UK in June and I booked the Air BnB for two weeks!  Book – The Gargoyle Hunters by John Freeman Gill.

April The 100 day project started and I made 100 mandalas by July.  I finished my Brooklyn Art Library sketchbook (below).  Book – Finished The Keeper of Lost Things and started The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

May We had a Royal Wedding party at the library! School out for the summer. Book – Tin Man by Sarah Winman.

June We went to England for two weeks in Lincoln and a couple of day trips to London.  We visited family, ate fish and chips and did some mudlarking on the Thames. Book – The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder by Sarah Harris.

July The kids re-did their bedroom and I got a bumper crop of gooseberries. Book – The Lido by Libby Page.

August To the Sunken Cities exhibition at the St Louis Art Museum which was very interesting.  Back to school and at last we bought a new mattress!  Book – Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon.

September Went to estate sales for treasures, tried the Megaformer at the gym for the first time and could hardly walk straight afterwards and spotted these colorful ‘chicken of the woods’ fungi in the woods. Book – Dear Mrs Bird by A J Pearce.

October Met some friends in Portland OR and had a lovely few days making art and visiting Lisa Congdon’s shop.  Book – French Exit by Patrick Dewitt.

November I spend a day using indigo dye and had a lovely time, I was so happy with all the things I dyed including a length of fabric, a string of wooden beads and a vintage book. The kids had a snow day which is unheard of in November! I had my 49th birthday. Book- Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver.

December I spent December carving a stamp a day and loved it, I didn’t miss one because I was enjoying it so much!  book – Man with a seagull on his head by Harriet Page.

A good year was had and I am so pleased that I keep a very casual diary in the form of a Moleskine large daily planner.  Using this I keep track of books I read and daily goings on.  It is always nice to look back and see what we did even the small things are good to note and remember.

Turns out read about a book a month!

Happy 2019 and happy Sunday x