Category Archives: Tips

3 Juicy Journals from 2 Sheets of Paper

Ok, make that 2 BIG sheets of paper. 58 x 42 cm each, to be exact. Or 22.5 x 16.5 inches, if you’re Imperial.

For this project, I wanted to create some square Juicy Journals. I decided to lop off 8 x 17 cm from the two 58 x 42 cm sheets of paper that I’d already Gelli printed on both sides. This meant I could then divide the sheets up into strips of 50 x 25 cm. When folded in half, this would give me a booklet 25 x 25 cm square.

From the 2 large sheets, I was able to get 16 strips of 50 x 25 cm, and the leftovers were enough to make another Juicy Journal, not quite a square one though.

image The 8 pieces that I further divided into 2, to get the 16 strips.

image The 16 strips that will be folded in half to create square signatures of 8 pages each. I’m going to bind 2 signatures together, to get 16 pages per Juicy Journal.

image Each signature consists of 4 strips of 50 x 25 cm, folded in half to create 8 pages.

imageI’m using a pamphlet stitch, so I’ll need 3 holes in each booklet.

Basically, this technique is a really simple one, and is an optical illusion. You simply put two 8-page signatures together and sew them using a pamphlet stitch, and then fold the pages back into their respective signatures. The stitches will be hidden within the pages. I could take this a step further and create a hard cover, but I like to show off my Gelli printing, so I’ll leave them naked, so to speak.

imageHere’s how I sewed the Juicy Journal. Stand the 2 signatures you want to join together like in the photo. Open them up and align their holes. Bind all 8 layers together using a pamphlet stitch.

imageSewing the pamphlet stitch.

imageTying the knot to secure all 8 layers together.

imageFold the 2 signatures back to their respective starting points. This technique produces a booklet with a very neat finish at the spine. The stitches are hidden inside the pages.

imageFrom my 2 big sheets of Gelli printed paper, I managed to create 2 square Juicy Journals and 1 not-so-square one (from the leftover paper). That’s the one on the right, with the pamphlet stitch’s final knot showing on the outside.

imageI like the square format and think I might create some more of these. They require a bit more thought in measuring and tearing to size, but the results are very encouraging.

I also like the technique of sewing 2 signatures together, with the stitches hidden on the inside of the booklet. Might make more the same, too.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial! :-)

Child’s Play

Gather your Ingredients:

1 crazy Gelli Plate addict (moi!)
1 Gelli Plate
3 double-sided children’s texture plates
Your choice of acrylic paint colours (I use them All!)
Some glitter paint (if you have them)
Brayer
8 sheets of A4 art paper (I use 190 gsm, but anything from 120gsm upwards is ok)
Sheets of Deli Paper (or Greaseproof paper for those who can’t get hold of Deli Paper)

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One side of the 3 children’s texture plates I used.
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The reverse side of the same texture plates.

Method:
1. Load up your Gelli Plate with several dots of different coloured acrylic paints at the same time.

2. Use brayer to spread paint over the Gelli Plate. Do this quickly and try not to smear the colours too much, or go over the same areas more than once or twice. Otherwise you will get mud.

3. Use the kiddy texture plates to stamp patterns onto the painted Gelli Plate. Take the painted texture plate and stamp it at random places on some of the A3 sheets of paper.

4. Place a sheet of Deli Paper/Greaseproof Paper over the Gelli Plate to absorb excess paint. Pull a print. Remove and put the printed Deli Paper aside for other projects.

5. Place a sheet of the A3 art paper over the Gelli Plate and pull a print. If there’s any paint still left on the Gelli Plate, pull another print.

6. Repeat steps 1 to 5 above with different colour combinations, until both sides of all 8 A3 sheets are filled. Leave some white spaces, for contrast.

7. Frame your favourite prints. Or, I would tear the A3 sheets into smaller pieces to bind later into my Juicy Journals.

Some of the results:

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And some close-ups:

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You can’t really make it out in the photos, but there is a glittery shimmer to the papers, as I’d mixed some glitter paint into some of the Gelli prints. I love the effect! It’s quite sophisticated, instead of being childish.

Now, go play! :-)

Gelli Printing with Deli Paper

At last! As part of a job lot I purchased from Interweave (the people behind the mixed media mag Cloth Paper Scissors), I was able to get my grubby paws on the almost-mythical, legendary American “Deli Paper”. The paper that American artists have been waxing lyrical about, pun intended.
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Now, I haven’t yet done a comparison study between our Aussie Greaseproof Paper and the American Deli Paper, but to me they feel pretty alike. I was intrigued by the claim that Deli Paper will become transparent when glued to other substrates. So, let’s take this baby for a spin, on my Gelli Plate.

First, I must share with you the object that inspired this latest experiment. It’s actually a teacup and saucer that The Kid picked out for me from T2 in Perth City. The range is called “She Loves“, and my teacup and saucer are no.633 of a limited edition of 900.

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The wrapping paper it came in echoed the theme, and once I’d painstakingly removed the sticky tape cleanly, said wrapping paper went up on my bedroom wall. I used a couple of Apps on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 to edit a photo I took of the wrapping paper, and added slme more colour and texture to it. It is now my Note 4’s wallpaper.

Here it is:
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So, with this colour palette in mind, I decided to play with my new Deli Paper, to put it through its paces and see what all the hype is about.
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As my Gelli Plate is 8×10 inches, and the Deli Papers are 6×10.75 inches, I found the best way to marry the two was to use 2 pieces of Deli Paper. I’d already tested out 2 sheets previously, glueing them onto a large art tag, and making more art tags seemed a good place to start. Of course, in retrospect, I could’ve used all the Deli Paper on my Gelli Plate, leaving some extra paint on the outside of the Plate…but hindsight is always 20/20, right? ;-)

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I deviated from my usual method of Gelli printing, by experimenting with the way I laid my acrylic paints down. Normally, I would work with 1 colour at a time. This time, however, I decided to go for a mixed, ink splashy look, just like on my teacup and saucer. So, this time I squeezed a few drops of 1 colour onto the Gelli Plate, followed by a few drops of a different colour, and perhaps a third colour, before using my brayer to smoosh the colours around. I tried not to mix the colours too much, as I didn’t want to end up with homogenised mud.

So here are the results:
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These are the printed Deli Papers. I’ve put them aside to dry. I also have 4 A3 sheets of paper, printed on both sides, as a result of brayering off excess paints and stencils etc. Because I only used 4 sheets this time, as opposed to my usual 6 or 8, the sheets are super-saturated with all sorts of interesting abstract shapes and colours. I don’t think I’ll be needing to use any or much Dylusion Ink Sprays to fill in the blank spaces, as there aren’t that many blank spaces!

Not sure what I’ll do with all these yet, but watch this space!

T2-inspired “WOW-MOM” Gelli Prints : Part 3 Assembling the Juicy Journal

Here we are, following on from yesterday’s post. What have we got? A bunch of Gelli Plate printed papers, printed on both sides and torn by hand into equal, smaller pieces, ready to be made into Juicy Journals.

Now to assemble the Juicy Journal. Hmmm…how shall I stitch this one? I have some ideas for new stitches, let’s see if it works.

First, get your gear together:
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Twine, scissors, pen, measuring tape (I can’t find my ruler!), knitting needles (my awl), drawing pin (my other awl for making pilot holes), stack of paper. These are the papers that I “juiced up” earlier in my last post. I have grouped them in couplets i.e 2 pages to a signature…so in that stack are 6 signature couplets.

Here are the 6 signatures, on end. Just to show you how vibrant and colourful they are.

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I marked 4 holes in each of the signatures’ spine. And used the drawing pin to make pilot holes, which I then enlarge using my knitting needle. I’m high tech, like that LOL.
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Now that all 6 signatures have 4 holes, it’s time to bind them together. Remember, it’s all an experiment…and I have no idea how it will turn out. Here goes!

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I’ve decided to bind 2 signatures together, side by side. That will make 3 couplets when the whole journal is assembled.

imageOne couplet done.

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Now to bind all of these together.

image I used black twine for the middle, to join up all the signatures and ensure the top and bottom bindings do not get undone easily.

Here are some close-ups showing the bindings.
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Quite pleased with this, the brown twine knots gives it a rustic look, but I’d rather have a stronger stitch down the middle, not just one on its own.

T2-inspired “WOW-MOM” Gelli Prints: Part 2 The Prints with Paint and Inks

Following on from yesterday’s post, here are some of the results of my Gelli Printing, using only a colour palette of shades of pinks, reds, oranges and yellow.

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Previously, I would use all the acrylic paint colours I had, when Gelli Plate printing. I like my colours to sing, like those raucous flocks of cockatoos that fly over my house in the mornings and evenings. My aim when Gelli printing, is to fill every surface of my paper with paint and interesting shapes by using stencils and texture mats. Then the fun really starts, when I pull out my Dylusions Ink Sprays and Tim Holtz’s Ranger Distress Inkpads, and go to town with them.

I wanted to create a contrast, and using the same colour palette with my inks as with the paint would not work. This is where I diverged from my original plan..hey, I’m Divergent! Cool! :-)

So, goodbye WOW-MOM idea, here comes AlyZen’s colourful take! Here’s a photo of the ink sprays and inkpads I used – in shades of blue, green and purple. I also used some shimmery ink sprays, as I like a bit of bling on my artwork.

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I wasn’t sure how this experiment would turn out, but it turned out amazingly good, if I say so myself. I am turning these into another Juicy Journal, so in preparation, I’ve torn my A3 papers into smaller sheets and folded them, before inking over them. I do the preparation and tearing first, so my torn deckled edges get inked too.

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Ok, next up – handbinding these papers into another Juicy Journal. I have thought up a stitch I want to try out, so in my next post you can see how that goes.

T2inspired “WOW-MOM” Gelli Prints: Part 1 The Inspiration

I came across T2‘s online advertisement for Mother’s Day, which was a GIF that slowly transformed the word WOW into MOM, over a background of abstract shapes. The colours used for the background were restricted to varying shades of pink, red, orange and yellow.

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I decided I would try creating some Gelli Prints using only those similar colours. Using my newest homewares-sources texture mats. And then, for contrast, using inks from the blue spectrum to fill in the spaces in-between.

So, here are my latest finds from the homewares aisle of local shops, which will create the marks for my Gelli plate prints. These are silicone trivets, a pencil case (yes, really),  felt placemats and a plastic/raffia round placemat.

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And here’s my restricted palette of colours to be used:

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As you can see, I get my acrylic paints from various sources. I like them runny and squeezy, as they’re easier to apply to my Gelli Plate that way. I find the paint in tubes a little too dry and hard to brayer on the Gelli Plate. These tubes are cheap, costing me only around $2-5 each.

Tomorrow I will show the results of this WOW-MOM Gelli Plate Printing experiment.

4 more Juicy Journals – Pamphlet Stitch

I got such a great response from my latest Art Abandonment exercise, that I was prompted to go make some more of my Juicy Journals Journals. Some members of the Art Abandonment Group on Facebook wanted to buy my Juicy Journals. I haven’t made enough to warrant selling them just yet, but I offered to send one to the first 3 people to Private Message me their address. I got 5 within just a few minutes, so I decided to honour all 5.

So, after doing my Art Abandonment exercise on May 1st, I popped 5 more of my Juicy Journals into envelopes and posted them off to the lucky 5. 2 to USA, 1 to Canada and 2 within Australia.

And now, finding myself low on Juicy Journals, I’ve just made 4 more. This time with a simple pamphlet stitch. Simply put, this stitch works over 3 holes in the spine of the journal. (These have 4 pages, folded in half, so you get 8 pages in all). To make the stitch, I simply passed a length of coloured hemp (great stuff, that), into the spine at the holes on both ends of the journal. Then I poked each end through the hole in the middle. Then I simply made sure each end was on either side of the stitch in the middle of the spine, and tied them together in a shoelace knot.

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And here are some details of the pages within these Juicy Journals:
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For my next experiments, I’m going to try using a limited colour palette, for the Gelli Printing. On top of which I will use inks of contrasting colours. This advertisement that I saw recently on T2 (below) will be my guide. Stay tuned!

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Handbound Juicy Journal Tutorial

A la AlyZen Moonshadow. This is a handbinding technique that I invented by accident, while experimenting with different bookbinding techniques. I’m not an expert on making books, but here are some books I can recommend:

Making Handmade Books

The Little Book of Bookmaking

At Home With Handmade Books

Making Mini Books

These are some of the books on the subject that I have personally read. Of these, Alisa Golden’s “Making Handmade Books” is the closest to a bookmaking bible I’ve come across, and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a book to get you started on creating your own books.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. I’d used 6 A3 sheets of paper, Gelli printed on both sides, to create 3 separate booklets with 4 pages each, as seen below (aren’t the colours just gorgeous?):

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Now, each of these booklets will be stitched together to form what’s called in bookmaking circles a “signature”. And I will then be binding each individual signature to each other using my newly invented technique. The 3 booklets will then effectively become 1 book.

Here are my tools laid out for ease of reference. Notice my very high-tech tools for creating the holes for sewing my books…yes, I do mean the drawing pin and knitting needles. The knitting needles have more than one function, as you will soon see. image

So, to begin, I measure and mark off 4 evenly spaced points on the spines of each signature. These will be where my black twine ($3 for 32m from the discount store) will go through.
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And now to make those holes…I use the drawing pin like an awl to make the initial pilot hole, then drive a knitting needle in to enlarge the hole. Here in the picture you can see the drawing pin in the bottom hole, and the knitting needles in the two top holes.
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Ok, one signature down, two more to go. Lather, rinse and repeat the hole (sorry, couldn’t help it, I love puns) exercise. Until you’ve got 4 holes made in each of the 3 signatures, like so:
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Now comes the fun part. For this technique to work, the thing to remember is to always have an even number of holes per signature, and always have an odd number of signatures.

I’m sure there’s a technical term for the sewing method I’ll talk about next, such as sewing in the “valleys” or “mountains” (similar to Origami or the art of paper folding)…but my mind wants me to remember the order of sewing thus: In Out In Out (Shake It All About) :-) As in the needle goes In the first hole, Out the second, In again at the third, and Out the last. This way, your needle and thread will be coming Out of the signature, so you can then bind it to the next signature. Think about it: if you started with Out instead of In, by the time you reach the 4th hole, your needle and thread would be on the inside of the signature, with nowhere to go next.

Ok, so here we go. Here I’ve stood up the 3 signatures in the order they will be bound together. Starting from the right of the one closest to me, push the end of the black twine into the first hole, then out, in and out again at the other end. This is the IN OUT IN OUT movement, which will be replicated on the other 2 signatures.
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To continue, simply thread the twine that’s come out of the last hole on the left of the 1st signature, into the 1st hole on the left of the 2nd signature. When you get to the other end, do the same with the 3rd signature. Try to pull the twine tight very gently, so as not to buckle the paper or worse, tear it.

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Now all 3 signatures are linked. Notice that the start of the 1st signature and the end of the last signature are not linked to the others. There should be around 1 foot of twine on either end of the bound signatures.

To tie in the loose ends, literally, slip the end of the twine through the loop on the signature that’s already bound to its neighbour, and then slip it out through the loop that’s just created. It’s hard to explain, so here’s a photo showing the move.

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Do the same for the other loose end. The ends of the twine will now be on the spine of the middle signature.
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Next, hook the end of the twine through the top of the middle long stitch. And start weaving! There are 3 signatures, so there are 3 long stitches. Weave across these in an Over-Under-Over motion, alternating from one side to another.

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Here’s where the knitting needle comes in handy. I just slide it under the stitch I want to weave my twine through.

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Continue weaving the twine ends through the 3 stitches, until they meet in the middle. Then, all you need do is tie the ends into a knot, pull tight, and et voila! All done!

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I hope you like it! :-) I think, with my next Juicy Journal, I might make the long stitches even longer, so as to show off the weaving even more. I like the rustic woven effect a lot.

WAKING UP – over 30 FREE Audio Sessions

Just sharing this with anyone who feels like they’re undergoing a spiritual transformation, or awakening. If you’ve been feeling out of sorts with the world, thinking there’s so much wrong out there and nobody’s doing anything to help sort it. If you’re wanting to do something to improve your life and the lives of others, that doesn’t involve money or material goods. If you know there’s something missing in your life or that you should be doing but just can’t put your finger on it. If lately you’ve been experiencing flu-like symptoms or feeling tired but the doctor says you’re fine. If you start feeling disconnected from the daily grind of life and feel there should be more to Life than working, paying bills and dying. If you suddenly feel like what you knew and believed in or followed in the past now no longer holds meaning for you. If you are starting to realise and are willing to accept that perhaps you were wrong in your past beliefs and lifestyle choices and it is time to change that around completely. If you’re beginning to see past the lies, subterfuge and fabrication put out to the populace by mainstream media. If an event or circumstance make you feel your eyes have been opened to the real truth. If you are just beginning your search for that elusive something in your life.

All these, and much more, are the symptoms of Waking Up. Everyone has their own way or time of spiritual awakening. Some are resistant to it, others are not even aware of it. Others choose to ignore it as poppycock New Age nonsense. Those that have Woken Up know that you can’t Wake someone else up, they have to realise they’ve been sleepwalking their whole lives, and want to wake up themselves.

Waking Up is not a one-time event, it happens gradually and evolves over time; like a tree, once the seed is planted and roots take hold, the first shoots appear and then eventually a sapling grows which matures into a tree. Flowers bloom, die, bloom again.

We are all on our personal Journeys. Everyone’s story is unique and different.
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If you’re the least bit curious about what this all means, then simply register with Sounds True and avail yourself of over 30 FREE Audio Sessions with the world’s leading spiritual teachers and speakers during the entire month of May this year. My favourite teacher is Eckhart Tolle , whose book “A New Earth” was what woke me up last year.

Here’s the blurb about the audio sessions, taken from the Sounds True link:

A growing number of people are beginning to see things in a radically different way. In other words, more and more of us are starting to “wake up” spiritually—to discover an entirely new identity beyond the usual sense of who we think we are.
But what is spiritual awakening, really? How does it happen—and what are the consequences? Is it possible to attune to this dimension of experience at any moment?

In Waking Up, Sounds True publisher and founder Tami Simon speaks with over 30 of today’s leading authors and teachers who will share their personal understanding of spiritual awakening—how it takes place, what changes (and what doesn’t), and how their experiences can inspire and inform our own realization.

Here’s that link again. Please do visit and listen to at least one or two of the speakers. You never know where that may lead you.

Gelli Printing Experiments using Homeware Finds

Yesterday I wrote about finding new sources of textures-making tools for Gelli Plate printing, from the homewares departments of my local stores.

I have put my newly acquired treasures to the test. And am very pleased to report that they have all performed superbly. I printed several A3 sheets on both sides, in preparation for making handbound art journals out of them. But I like some of them so much that I’ll be keeping them as part of my growing portfolio of Gelli prints.

Re: the art journals idea. I initially thought the pages could be used for doodling on, adding ephemera to, painting, gessoing etc…but now it’s evolving to mean that the Gelli printed pages themselves are “juicy backgrounds” for my handbound art journals, and the sum of the parts, Prints + Book = ART. The pages can be enjoyed just as they are, as part of a Juicy Journal. Yes, I’ve decided that’s what I’ll call these art journals.
Here are some of the prints I made. Enjoy! I hope you like them as much as I did printing them.

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