Category Archives: Design

I’m an Eclectic Magpie

Today’s post is just a motley collection of images that appeal to me, curated from my travels in the wonderful lands of Pinterest and Google Images. All credit and copyright remain with the original artist/photographer/designer etc. I always save my favourites to my Pinterest boards (just search for AlyZen Moonshadow), so if you need further information about any particular image, that’s where you should head first.

What can I say, I’m an eclectic magpie. I collect images like the ones below, to help stir up my creative juices, provide a springboard for inspiration, serve as colour or mood boards for future photography and art projects, trigger nostalgia, or just make me feel all sunshiney happy and gooey on the inside. :-)

Enjoy!

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Have a wonderful weekend, all! :-)

Mini Art Journals from Gelli Prints

So, I’m awash with all these Gelli plate monoprints. I’ve kept the best and my favourites (not necessarily exclusive to each other) for myself, but still there are dozens of prints that did not quite make the cut, but are too pretty to just throw away.

What’s a girl to do?

I know, make some mini art journals. I can then write in them, sell them on eBay and Etsy, give them away, or Abandon them. Hmmm…sounds good to me. Reuse, recycle.

Here we go!

I used my A3 prints. Folded them in half lengthways, tore them rather than used scissors. I like the ragged deckled edge look. Some further folding and tearing later, and et voila! I had enough to make four 10-page mini journals. I used some twine that I’d saved up from parcels received in the post (always one for recycling), and secured the pages together…if I need to add to the pages or change their order, I can simply untie the twine.

Some of the pages had empty spaces near the edges. Others looked a little drab. So I dragged out my stash of Tim Holtz Ranger Distressed Ink Pads and Ranger Dylusions Ink Sprays, and had a field day playing with colour.

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Some photos of individual pages:

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You like? I like!! :-)

The Fruits Of My Labour

Well then, April got off on a rocky footing. But I never let a thing such as being bullied by Facebook (see my 2 previous posts) stop me from continuing my daily blog. So here I am, bouncing back like the Easter Bunny. Only sweeter :-).

Now I hear folks asking how my hacked (literally) Gelli Plates are working out. If you’re still in the dark about what this is about, well I performed major surgery on my 8×10 inch Gelli plate the other day, and you can read about that here.

So, to recap, here’s my new Gelli set-up:
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Now to test out the circular Gelli plates, as inspired by a new YouTube video by the inventors of the Gelli plate, Gelli Arts.

Here are my first 3 efforts:

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Very pleased how they’ve turned out, cheerfully childish as they are. Now, hopefully with more practice I’ll improve on technique and composition and someday make something that can be called “Art”.

My Gelli Plate Is No More!

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That’s right. You’re looking at the remains of my 8×10 inch Gelli Plate.

No, I did not chop it up for my dinner last night. No, the dogs did not get to it. The Kid did not destroy it.

I have a confession to make. I did it. With a pair of sharp scissors. In my studio. On the table. But I did not do it in a fit of anger. Rather, I did it in the name of Art because I wanted some round or circular Gelli Plates and they were going to cost me upwards of $35 for a small one. And here I had a nice 8×10 inch rectangular Gelli Plate. Actually, make that 2, because I bought 1 for The Kid. His is still pristine in its clamshell packaging because we’ve been sharing mine.

So, instead of buying a circular Gelli Plate or three, I decided to sacrifice mine and see how many new Gellis I could get out of it.

Use scissors, as due to the wibbly-wobbly nature of the Gelli Plate, it is very difficult to cut it accurately with a knife. Even with the scissors, I found it hard to get a perfectly smooth edge, and so my circular plates have small imperfections.

Which won’t matter in the grand scheme of things, as I now have not 1 Gelli Plate but 15 different pieces of varying shapes and sizes, that I can use as stamps for monoprinting.

Note of caution: only resort to this drastic surgery if you are okay with having some imperfections on your resulting plates. Who knows, you might have a steadier hand than mine, or a better and sharper pair of scissors, and your new plates might come out perfect.

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These are the sweet tins I used to mark my circles. In this photo you can see I’ve already cut out part of the large circle. I feel a song coming on: 🎶🎶🎶Past The Point Of No Return🎶🎶🎶.

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Here’s what I got out of my 8×10 inch Gelli Plate.

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Reassembled back onto its original protective acetate sheet. The Gelli Plate is stored sandwiched between 2 of these acetate sheets, and then in a clamshell case, to avoid drying out.

Coming up next…what printing with these new Gelli Plates and stamps looks like.

Artist Inspiration : Anne Moore

Anne Moore is a printmaker specialising in monotypes. Monotypes, as the name suggests, are singular prints which are not repeatable; each one is unique.

I came across Artsy Shark’s write-up about Anne Moore last week, and my interest was piqued enough for me to find out more about Anne’s wonderful and fascinating work. I particularly love Anne’s use of scribbled text using her own invented “language”. It certainly adds an air of exoticism and mystery to her art.

For more information about Anne, check out her website.

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Every artist has their own set of marks. I need to find and create my own marks. And that will only be possible if I keep practising my artistic endeavours. Thanks to Anne Moore, I have a lot of inspiration to keep me going!

Homemade Letterpress Stamps

One of my favourite pastimes is searching for bargains at my local thrift stores. Depending on what I’m into at the moment, it could be books, canvasses, Art, bric-a-brac, dressmaking patterns, picture frames, teacups, toys…your guess is as good as mine. If it looks like I could use it somehow, or modify it to suit my purpose, I’ll buy it.

Last year I’d bought a set of 4 square melamine-coated MDF drinks coasters. Which I never got round to doing anything with.

A couple of months ago I’d bought a set of wooden alphabets. Which again I never got round to doing anything with.

Last week I bought a set of cork numbers. I’d been in town looking for stamps and stencils and had come across the set, and for some reason my mind did this calculation:

Coasters + wooden alphabets + cork numbers + acrylic medium = handmade upcycled letterpress stamp.

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I’d always admired Letterpress-style stamps. But they were always way too expensive to buy. So why not have a go at creating my own?

And so I did. Not just one, but 4. 2 with both letters and numbers, 1 with just letters and 1 with just numbers. The acrylic gel medium worked a treat as an adhesive. I also sealed the letters and numbers afterwards with a layer of the same acrylic gel medium.

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And now for the question – how would these stand up to being used as stamps?

I used acrylic paints and spray ink on my handmade letterpress stamps. They came out a treat, with minor imperfections, which just added to the charm.

Have a look:

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The next test was – would cleaning up these stamps be easy, or would they fall apart if they went under the tap for too long?

Turns out I was able to wash them under warm running water without any problems. I used a stipple brush to get into the cracks and spaces.

Very happy with my new letterpress stamps! I have big plans for my babies. :-) Oh, and by the way, I’ve discovered that old drinks coasters make ideal mounting blocks for stamps, so guess what I bought next from my thrift store…

Artist Inspiration : Jane Davies

Jane Davies is a mixed media artist and printmaker that I happened upon while researching Gelli Plate monoprinting. I really like her mark making as well as her colour palette. I wish I had her talent SIGH…

You can follow Jane’s creative journey through her blog:
http://janedavies-collagejourneys.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/vertical-experiments.html?m=1

Jane also has a YouTube channel, where she happily shares her techniques for creating her beautiful prints.

Now feast your eyes on some of Jane’s works. Talent? This lady has it in spades!

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Child’s Play

I have a confession to make. And I make it with great pride.

My Kid makes better Gelli prints than I. Mine come out all muddied colours and smudgy. I reckon I’m trying to cram too many techniques, too many stencils and templates, too many marks on one page. I’m impatient lol.

The Kid, on the other hand, keeps things simple. A couple of colour splodges at a time, careful brayering and a judicious selection and layout of templates.

Look at the results! Neat, huh? These are just his first 9 prints on sketchbook paper. That’s my boy! :-)

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Paris Ooh La La!

Always one for recycling, I found these 3 square art canvasses at my local thrift store, for a paltry $2 each. They look rather alien, don’t you think? ;)

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To start off, I wanted a sturdier background to work with, so I pasted some thick Laura Ashley wallpaper samples over the canvasses. There’s nothing worse than trying to stamp on a soft, wobbly background.

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I then laid down some blocks of colour using acrylic paint. Again, no idea where I’m going just yet. Next, I stuck on some vintage dressmaking pattern tissue paper – a favourite technique of mine, as it always sparks off ideas. Then, I added ephemera – scrapbooking paper, washi tape, birds, butterflies.
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And here’s what those alien critters became:
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Now for some stamping. I’d recently bought a set of Paris-themed ink stamps, so I tried these out.

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After a few mishaps (and cover-ups ahem!), and some judicious spray varnishing, here are the final results of this little experiment of mine. Voila!

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Work In Progress: Rainbow Lenormand

After creating 15 Lenormand fortune telling card decks in the short space of 6 months, I took a short hiatus to try out some other ideas. One of them was my Inspiration Deck…of which half of my intended 50 designs have been completed and printed as a deck. I Abandoned 12 of these last month for Valentine’s Day. Another 8 were given away to relatives and friends at my Uncle’s Chinese New Year Reunion dinner 2 weekends ago.

I then ventured tentatively into the field of mixed media collage and altered journals. Not so much the journaling part, but rather the recycling of old art canvasses and painting, gluing and stamping over them. There is a method to my madness – whatever the results of my mixed media experiments, I’m taking close-up photos of them to use in later projects as backgrounds for blending or for superimposing other elements onto. Some of these have been posted here on my blog as Freebies. I like sharing! :-)

In the midst of it all, I still found time to start another Lenormand deck. This time it’s the Rainbow Deck, on account of the rainbow-coloured border around the cards, and the general brightly-coloured and happy nature of this deck.

This time, the going is slower than previously, mainly because I have all these other projects lying around clamouring for my attention. To date, I’ve completed 12 of the 36 cards in a deck…so, still a ways to go yet.

But anyway, I thought I’d share some of them here with you. Here’s the “Rainbow Lenormand”, a work in progress:

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