This morning, I took some time to experiment with an inchie from my little stash of ephemera, a gold and a white gel pen, and Derwent Drawing Pencils on black paper.
Here’s the Time Lapse video of the process:
And, here’s the longer (approx 1 hr and 20 m) version. In this one I do talk about mental and emotional health, stigma and discrimination, so if you don’t want to listen, then watch the Time Lapse version 🙂
I did argue with myself about whether or not I should publish the full video with me talking about such things. In the end I decided to do so, along with the time lapse version. That way I can let people know about some of the content of my chatter and then they can choose for themselves which to watch/listen to.
It is Mental Health Awareness Month, so it was bound to spill over into my vlog at some point!
I’m feeling rather drained at the moment. I had my second dose of Covid vaccine earlier on. I don’t think that’s anything to do with the vaccine, I think it’s more to me being anxious about being out in the world! I did do other things – visited a Post Office and a shop as well. That’s enough of me being in places that are ‘peopley’, though just one or two people around me now counts as very peopley!
I woke this morning with the desire to make a little box to store ephemera in. So I did.
I used a video from PootlesPaperCraft to help me make the box, which is 4″ square with a depth of 2″, so sizeable enough for some of my smaller ephemera such as inchies and little shrink plastic charms (you can just see them peeking out from under the envelopes to the left of the photo).
I used plain, white card for the box base, which I coloured with Tea Dye, Rusty Hinge and Vintage Photo Distress Inks. For the top, I used a piece of Tim Holtz card from my stash that I’ve had for a number of years. This I grunged up with Vintage Photo and Rusty Hinge Distress Inks.
Once I made the box up, I used Aged Mahogany to distress the edges of the box.
I coloured a square piece of white card with Aged Mahogany and Rusty Hinge Distress Inks and then used a light brown pen to draw a zentangle design on it. This panel was layered on a piece of the same Tim Holtz card I used to make the lid, and then I adhered it to the box.
The box really needed a label to identify it’s contents. Now, I could’ve printed the label out, but I thought this would be an opportunity to practice my hand lettering, which I did.
Then, I aged the label with Aged Mahogany Distress Ink, applied lightly over the face and a bit darker around the edges. Next, I layered the label on another piece of the Tim Holtz paper. Before adhering the label to the box lid, I edged the panel with some Rich Gold Starlights paint from Imagination Crafts.
It’s been a long time since I made any boxes, but they really are easy enough to do. I need to make a longer, thinner box to store tags and other bits and bobs in, once I work out the size I need to make.
Teeny, tiny one inch square works of art are called inchies. Here are two sets of six inchies.
For each set, I cut an ATC sized (3.5″ x 2.5″) Distress Oxide coloured mixed media paper into one inch squares.
I took the chisel nib of a black Copic Ciao marker to the edges, and then drew on the squares using either Copic Multiliner SP or Faber Castell Pitt artist pens. When I was happy with the designs, I added metallic watercolours to bring out some highlights.
What to do with them? I don’t know…yet. All I know is they were fun to do and quite satisfying.
Under the weather
I’ve not been feeling too grand, hence the lack of a blog post yesterday. I had a stomach upset on Saturday night, along with headache, tiredness and loss of appetite.
I’m still not right today – tired, another headache and an uncomfortable digestive system still. I think it’ll be another quiet day for me.
I’ve been awake since stupid o’clock, which roughly translates to 3:30am BST. While I was trying to get back to sleep I watched a youtube video about making pockets and tuck-ins for an altered book journal.
I thought that could be something good for my sketchbook-journal. I have worried a little about gluing my little artworks into it, but pockets, tuck-ins, see-through envelopes could be a good way to both show the work and store it in a non-permanent way.
So, with my mind now working and sleep eluding me, I decided to have a go at making my own pockets. You can see the result at the top right, with a journalling card popped in one of them for now.
How I made the pockets
I used some ordinary white card, cut it into what I thought would be good sizes to make a set of stacked pockets for the ATC sized cards I’ve been working on.
I then coloured the cards with Distress Oxide Inks. For one of them, I used a brayer to add ink to a gelli plate. Before pulling a print, I spritzed the gelli plate with water that had some white perfect pearls added to it.
For another panel, I used the brayer to add ink directly to the paper. It did that unevenly. So, I used a ball-tool to carve some texture into the black side of a piece of cut and try foam and used that to add colour. That worked really well! Dabbing the foam added a lovely textured layer of colour. A spritz of water activated the dusty, chalky, soft nature of the Distress Oxides.
I enjoyed the look I achieved with the distressed foam that I coloured the remaining pair of paper panels in the same way.
I then tore the top edge of each panel, for added interest, then used a piece of foam and Rich Mahogany Distress Ink to add grunginess to the edges of each panel.
I wanted to add some embellishments to each panel, so I used a copper sparkle Gelli pen to draw patterns on them.
Finally, I used Tombow Mono adhesive to stick the panels together.
When I put the panels on the page in my sketchbook-journal, I thought a panel behind them. So, I coloured a panel of the same card with Distress Oxide inks and the distressed piece of foam and used the same gelly roll pen to add some sparkly patterns. Then, I adhered the back panel and pockets to my sketchbook.
When I tested some ATC cards in the pockets, I realised I need to work out a way for some more ‘give’ in the pockets as they’re too tightly put together to slip more than one ATC card in them. Also, I placed them just low enough down the page so the ATC card doesn’t stick out of the sides of my sketchbook.
I’m not well known for my fore-planning projects like this, though I do try to learn as I go along.
Inchies and Twinchies
My mind was working in weird ways this morning. As I was making the pockets, my mind strayed to inchies and twinchies. I’ve not made any of these for a long, long time. I thought it could be fun to do so and add them to my sketchbook-journal.
I cut two 1″ wide, and one 2″ wide strips of card. I used the distressed foam to apply Distress Oxide inks to them, spritzing with water to add to the distressed look. Then, after drying with a heat tool, I cut them into squares – 1″ x 1″ inches and 2″ x 2″ twinchies.
I decided to use metallic watercolours from Cosmic Shimmer to add a sparkly, shimmery border to each tile. I used rich gold, pale gold or copper on each tile.
Then, I got to draw on the tiles. Teeny, tiny zentangle-style drawings. That was fun to do!
After adding some dots using a white Sakura Soufflé pen, I adhered the inchies into my sketchbook-journal. I’ve left the twinchies for decoration later.
I realised that I could stored journalling cards in the pockets. All I needed to do was to colour the back of one of the ATC cards I coloured a few days ago. I also just realised that I could have added a layer of squared, dot grid or lined paper to write on too. That’s an idea for another time, maybe.
After drying the ink, I used a rollerball pen to add what notes I wanted to about this mornings creative sessions.
In fact, I’ve just created another journaling card to jot down ideas and notes to self as a result of reflecting on my pre-dawn arty activities!
I finally got my happy hands on the new Distress Oxide colours today! I had enough time between appointments to have a quick play, so four sheets of mixed media paper, some circle and tag dies and my Sizzix Big Shot as well as 1″ and 3/4″ square paper punches this is what I’ve ended up with.
The colours are lovely, different, kind of, to the original Distress Inks, but lovely.
So, I now have a lot of bits to doodle and draw on!
I spent yesterday creating more inchies and betwinchies, as well as shopping for some supplies. This morning, I created the ACEO/ATC above.
The card itself is made by Strathmore and is some of their 400 Series Watercolour paper with a cold pressed surface. I added layers of Distress Oxides, spraying with water to get the textures. I also added patterns through stencils and stamps, followed by a final spray with gold Perfect Pearls. I edged the card with Ranger’s Archival jet black ink.
It took a little while to rifle through my growing collection of inchies and other art tiles to find one that suit the background. This tile has a faint crazing pattern and an aged/distressed look achieved by the use of Tim Holtz’s Collage medium – crazing followed by some distress ink rubbed on to bring out the crazing. A layer of 3D Crystal Lacquer added a gloss finish to the tile.
Once the tile was stuck in place, I used a Pitt artist pen to draw patterns around it, added the words, more patterns and highlights using a gold gel pen. Finally, I added some small gems using Glossy Accents as a glue.
I do have a couple of things left for me to do with the ACEO/ATC – to add a layer of Micro Glaze to seal the surface so any water/moisture won’t affect it, and to add information to the back of the card.
I am really chuffed with this ACEO, as well as the background created with the Distress Oxides; I’ve achieved something I never, ever thought I could! Before Distress Oxides I struggled to make backgrounds. I don’t really get along with acrylic paints, spray generally are too messy for me, the original Distress Inks would run into one another and the colours become really poopy.
However, the Distress Oxides are a completely different medium, one that really seems to suit me and work for me and with me. They are opening up doors for me to express and explore my creativity in ways I’d given up on with the failures (well, what I consider failures) with the arious paints and other media I’ve used in the past.
All it took was for me to find the right medium for me to use.
Yesterday , I also I made two beautiful backgrounds that I just can’t bear to cut up or cover over, yet. I’m sure I will. The photo doesn’t do them justice. There are many layers of colour, all made using Distress Oxides on some really heavy and smooth waterolour paper (300gsm I think it is). Patterns have been added using water, stencils and stamps. Finally, the backgrounds have been sprayed with copper Perfect Pearls, which shimmer and also really bring out the depth of colours in the layers.
Over the past two or three days, Ive been making ‘inchies’ and decided it was time to put them together as a mixed media artwork, which isn’t yet finished, as you can see above.
Inchies are 1″x 1″ pieces of art, though I have made some 1″ x 2″ tiles too.
There is something very satisfying in making such tiny pieces of art, and it’s nice to turn them into some kind of mosaic. I’ve chosen inchie (and betwinchie) tiles that say something about me, some of them quite literally by the words on them, others more symbolically.
Making the inchies and betwinchies
To make the inchie and betwinchie tiles I started with mixed media paper. My preferred brand is Claire Fontaine, and I used some sheets of white mixed media paper, and some that are natural in colour.
Distress oxide inks and a stencil brush were used to add colour to the sheets of paper, with a misting of water applied once this was complete to bring out the ‘oxide’ effect. The Distress Oxides look quite different on the natural paper, more muted as the oxide ‘bloom’ is more apparent.
Next, I cut the sheets into 1″ x 1″ and 1″ x 2″ tiles. I edged the tiles with black by using the edge of a wide tip on an alcohol marker. Drawings and patterns were then added using Pitt Artist pens by Faber-Castell. I wrote words on some of the tiles, on a few I used some ChitChat stickers from Tim Holtz’s Ideaology range. Then, Derwent Inktense pencils with a water brush and coloured pencils with a blending stick from Faber Castell were used to add colour depth to the tiles. The next step was to add white highlights and metallic and iridescent details using gel pens and paints.
To finish the tiles, I added a layer of 3D Crystal Lacquer by Sakura Hobby Craft to give them a highly glossy, slightly domed finish.
I then had a small bowl filled with these tiles, and had to try to do something with them. So, I thought I’d make a kind of mosaic of ones that said something about me.
Making the background and mosaic
I needed a background for this, so I took another piece of the Mixed Media paper, in white, and added colour using ink blending tools and the Distress Oxide inks, followed by a light spray of water.
I used various stencils, again with ink blending tools and Distress Oxides to add patterns. After each stencil, I sprayed the stenciled areas quite liberally with water so that the dye part of the Oxides inks ran, but the pigment ink remained in place. I also let any puddles of water form or run as they wished to do so. Finally, I edged the piece of paper with Vintage Photo Distress oxide ink, again using a blending tool, and then sprayed with water once again.
I didn’t take a photo of the background, which I was really pleased with and almost didn’t want to do anything with other than keep it and look at it.
However, I gritted my teeth and started to choose the tiles I wanted to use and to lay them out on the background.
I then used a collage medium to stick the tiles down, and the result is what you see.
It’s all a bit wibbly-wobbly, but that’s quite representative of me!
I know it’s not finished yet, but it’s drying as I found that if I got the collage medium on the Crystal Lacquer finish I got dull patches, so an extra layer of Crystal Lacquer has been applied to the affected tiles and these are now drying. So, I need to make the inchies and not finish them off before I adhere them to a project, or I need to find a different way to adhere them!
The background has warped – a lot. I need to think about how to either keep it as flat as possible through all the repeated sprayings and dryings of the paper when the background is made, or I need to find a much thicker paper/card to use for this.