Friday, October 9, 2015

Gelli "PLAY?" (the end)

So glad you were able to join me for three previous days of play with my Gelli.  I decided to try something a bit different for Day 4.

After cleaning the plate a bit the day before, I decided to use some of the pearl glaze for my first layer.

I also brought out some yellow and crimson acrylic paint, but I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.

I've always said I was brayer challenged, and this confirms it.  I even bought this new brayer a year ago, but it doesn't work any better than the first one I bought.  You can see that even after lots of rolling the glaze back and fourth, fourth and back, I still can't make it even.  The evidence is on the brayer itself, seen on the right side of the photo.

So I gave up and made some squiggle marks on the plate using a soft tool I had been given years ago.  Don't confuse these marks with Squiggles, who is not allowed in the basement, but is sleeping at my feet in the office as I type this post.

The crimson came out OK, after all, I had used it the day before.  But the yellow was too dry to use. It made sense since I've had that particular tube since the late 1980s.  So, I went with the newer yellow, instead.

About 30 minutes later, this was all I had to show for this very disappointing technique I thought would produce some favorable results.  Not to worry, though.  You'll see these either in my Journal 52 or 7 Continents spreads.  It hasn't been a waste of time, at least.

The next thing I did was brayer yellow on the Gelli and pulled one print.  Then, before the yellow was totally gone, added some maroon and more pearl glaze to the Gelli.

When I was as satisfied as I could be with the coverage, I laid down this gifted piece of wood in the middle of the plate.

I removed the wooden piece

and was basically satisfied with what I saw.  I apologize for the glare, but I'm in a basement and the light is not the best.

After aligning the plate with the yellow pull as best I could, I pulled this print.  I was over the moon with happiness, because I knew I could work with this!  It was wonderful, and reminded me of a wood cut.

One decent print and a bunch of rejects meant I was finished.  Done.  Through.  Ready to quit.

It was now time to clean and put everything away.  Contrary to the Gelli web site, water doesn't remove everything, and neither do wipes.  The Gelli site must not be as anal precise as I am.  After all, this plate cost an arm and a leg (exactly 2/3) of my yearly art budget, so I want to make sure I put it away clean.

I had purchased the baby oil specifically for cleaning the plate, so that's what I did.  You might be able to see how much more residual paint I got off the plate with the baby oil.

Next it was time to put everything away, sorting items that would return to the craft room on the main floor of the house and the ones that would stay in the basement.  All this paper, as well as the plastic doily would go upstairs.  The paper on the bottom is 12 X 12 inch scrapbook paper that is cardstock weight.  Since it's white, I  can turn it into anything I want to make.  The paper above it is old printer paper that has been around since daisy wheel and dot matrix printers were in vogue.  It's also white, so I'll be doing a few things with it, too.  But for now, I'll be concentrating on cleaning this basement studio, since this is where I've brought most of the items Sally gave my after I cleaned her garage.

In yesterday's post I mentioned there was a big difference in baby wipes and wet wipes.  I decided to show them side by side, but you may not be able to see the difference even though they look so much different through my camera's lens.

The wet wipes on the left have texture and are thin.  I could even see the green mat through the wet wipe.  The baby wipes on the right are much thicker, have no raised texture, and feel like cloth.  I have other wipes that I used to get free at the grocery store (seems they stopped having them at the front of the store lately) that feel like they have polyester in them.

Although wipes all work the same, the way you treat them when you recycle them is important.  For example, you can't iron wet wipes and the ones that feel like polyester melt under your iron.  Baby wipes can be ironed.

Reasons I don't like the Gelli:

1.  You have to be too careful with it.  It costs way too much and it scares me.

2.  It's hard to clean, regardless what other sites believe.

3.  My brayer doesn't work well with it.

4.  It's squishy.  Most sites tell you that's a plus, but I find it hard to pull prints from it.

I'll be back at some point next week with two alternatives to the Gelli that don't scare me.  One is an alternative I have used forever to make monoprints, and one Susi told me about in yesterday's comments about how she makes prints.

For now, thanks for visiting, and thanks for looking.  In between taking care of Sally who just had emergency surgery to have a new pacemaker installed, I'll be making quick art. I appreciate your comments, even when I'm slow in responding.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Gelli "PLAY?"

By now, I'm sure many of you who follow my blog know how much I dislike my Gelli Plate, a gift I asked for three years in a row, and finally bought for my Christmas present two Christmas' ago.  The first time I used it, I took it to my friend Kathy's to play with it.  It wasn't fun then, and we were both disappointed with it.

The second time I played with it, there was a circle that went through to both sides, so no matter which side I used, the circle was imprinted on the plate and still there.  You can see it, because it's dark in the photo, and it left marks on anything I made.  When I ran my hand over the Gelli, I could feel how it was raised, too.

This is how I originally set up my Gelli back in June, and it still looks
pretty much the same today.

Although I added a few things I wanted to work on, 

and changed where the paint was, I was simply tired of walking around this mess every time I wanted to make an assemblage or something else in my basement studio.  You would think I would have spent the summer down here, but this table spread out like it was, kept me from enjoying the cool of the basement.

The bad news was that I had completely forgotten how to use the Gelli plate.  The good news was, after sitting all summer, the Gelli healed itself and the circle that went completely through the Gelli is no longer there.  I can't explain it any more than I can explain how the raised circle got there in the first place.

Moving on, I decided to combine some pearl glaze with turquoise paint.  But the paint was so incredibly old and nearly hard, I had trouble with it. 

After about two hours of fighting with the paint and glaze, this is what I got.  I have NO idea why the color is so horribly wrong here, but no amount of adjusting in PS helped.  Not much to show for all that work I did.

On Day 2, the paint was finally dry on the bags, and I was ready to try again.  This time I remembered I needed water to clean my brayer, a spritzer of water to clean the Gelli, and the last of my baby wipes.  I have other WIPES, but they are not the same as baby wipes, which are much thicker and have a cloth feel to them.

A favorite color combination is red and purple.  I've loved this color combination since I was in high school and found fabric that my grandmother turned into a blouse I wore forever.  I didn't realize the red was going to separate, though.  I actually started out with a mess on my hands.

These were the only two colors I used and it took me about three hours

to create these.  Somehow, I don't think I have the concept of the Gelli down very well, even though I watched a couple of videos after the disastrous effects of Day 1.

Day 3 gave me these.  Thankfully, I won't be printing on any more of the paper bags, which were actually something I drew on from two of my internet friends.  Quite some time ago, Corrine used paper bags with her Gelli.  Although I couldn't find the link on her blog (she has a LOT of Gelli and Stencil Girl posts), I remembered the concept and even commented that I might have to try that some day.  Also, some of you might remember the lovely bag I got from Patty when she sent me a gift in the bag earlier this summer.  Since I thought it was such a great idea, I tried to create some of these bags using stencils Corrine sent me, and a plastic doily from the thrift store.

I hope to make a few things using the Gelli and some of my bed sheets before I put this plate and the other goodies attached to it, away.  After all, it took nearly a day to get everything originally set up, so tearing it down will be like pulling teeth.  However, I want to make some Christmas gifts, so I need the space for assemblages, and the Gelli takes up a lot of dedicated space.

Thanks for looking.  No, I don't like the Gelli much better than before, but at least I'm glad it healed itself.  Again, I appreciate all your wonderful comments, too.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

My first mixed media book cover assemblage

Today I'm joining Try It On Tuesday, where their theme this fortnight is autumn. 

This is the second TioT week, so I needed to finish this in time to share it.

I thought this looked like autumn, especially after I colored the white flowers (yes, they all started white) with yellow pan pastels and brown walnut ink.

I sprayed each flower with a fixative before I added it to the cover.  I'm out of E6000, my adhesive of choice for anything like this, so I grabbed the hot glue gun and promptly made a mess of things.

Except for the very first (and last) photo, these were all taken before I realized I hadn't cleaned the hot glue strings properly from the piece.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  I started with some autumn fabric and sprayed it (using a spray adhesive) to the book cover I had gessoed late last month.

To that I added fabric I rusted, some of my handmade paper, and an image of a young girl I fussy cut.  I sewed the paper assembly to the rusty fabric, then was horrified because the yellow from the pan pastel got on the rusty fabric.

Although I eventually noticed the problem, removing all that pan pastel dust

was a real problem.  I also forgot to show the back, which I covered in shaving cream paper I made several years ago.

One final look at this first altered book cover after I removed the hot glue spider webs, but before I got rid of the excess pan pastel dust.  I still need to punch holes to add a wire hanging, but I wanted to show this before time runs out on TioT.

Materials I used were five white flowers I colored, filler grass from my yard, commercial fabric, rust dyed fabric, handmade paper (made by me), a printed image, thread, shaving cream paper (on the back), all on a gessoed book cover that was about 8 inches by 10 inches (20,32 centimeters by 25,4 centimeters).
Thanks for looking and thanks as always for your continued support of my projects.  Don't forget to visit Try It On Tuesday for even more incredible autumn inspiration.

Monday, October 5, 2015

T Stands For Party Hearty

I know several of you wanted photos of the time I spent with friends last Sunday, but I didn't take a single photo.  Sad, but true.  Others wanted to see the photos of my friends when we got together last Wednesday, so I made sure I had my camera in hand, at least through the meal.  I originally didn't intend for this to be a T post, but I really had nothing else to show that would have been interesting.

I started long before the others arrived by burning the very first fire in my chiminea this summer.  You can tell it's the first because the rocks are clean, since I always clean and wash them before I put the chiminea away each year.  And of course, I save the ash for other projects, like dyeing or adding to my compost pile.

I brought all the food I had purchased the day before that did not need refrigerating, to the side table on my really dirty deck.  It made me realize how little work I had done out back since the party I had over Independence Day (July 4).   I had already cleaned this area, so was ready to move on.

When I brought the cups, lids, and plastic utensils out, I realized I needed to rearrange the side table, because it made no sense to me the way it was.  And if it made no sense to me, it wouldn't make sense to my guests, either.

It was also time to check on the fire again.  What a mess I still had to clean up. 

Next, I hung little glowsticks that have long lasting light inside them.  I thought they would be great light sources when night came.

As I was creating guacamole, my guests arrived.  The oil is for the foil I'll use to place carrots, potatoes, and onions on that I have waiting in the fridge.  I plan to make soap soon, so that's why I bought the large container of oil.  I also use it in my water candles.  One winter I went through a 35 gallon container of that oil while burning the water candles.  The only thing that stopped me was I ran out of wicks.

It looks like I need to clean my camera lens, too.

My friend Scott brought his friends from work.

In fact, they had just gotten off work.  I was glad I had started early.

Scott checked the fire,

then had a cup of coffee.  By this time, we had dismantled the table and gotten rid of the piece of concrete that held the old umbrella stand in place.  I had a new umbrella stand that I was really anxious to try, too.

While I was finishing the guacamole, Scott put the veggie packets in the chiminea.

Rearranging the wood to accept the veggie packets created a LOT of smoke, and I was surprised it showed so well in my camera lens.

Things got rather hectic after that, when I got out the charcoal and started the fire in my really, really old smoker/grill.  It was also time to bring out the rest of the condiments and such that had been refrigerated.

I did manage a few minutes to take photos when Scott found a swallowtail.  I would NOT have known what it was had he not told me.

I couldn't believe how close it let me get,

and how still it stayed,

while I took a few photos (have I mentioned how much I LOVE my camera?).

Next it was time to eat.  I made lemonade, but Scott and I both drank coffee the entire time.

You can see the old cinder block that originally held the table's umbrella stand in place.  Bobby (shown in photo) called it "Thor's hammer."

After the meal of hot dogs, hamburgers, and veggie packets, came the sliders.

Ice cream sliders, that is! 

Seems everyone was grabbing for one, and apparently, Scott got in the way of treats.  These were made using vanilla wafers and ice cream.  They were wonderful.

After about an hour or so of music (there's apparently an app for that on some phones) and great story telling, it started to sprinkle, so we had to move the party to the kitchen.  Clean-up had been quick because I had plenty of help.  Of course, I moved my camera to my office so it didn't get wet, and forgot all about it.

Chris wanted to know if my back yard was as large as my front yard.   My Sunday friends never went out here, because I would have been ashamed of this.  As I've mentioned before, although I have central heating and air conditioning, I keep a small window unit in the office to keep it cool because of all the electronics.

I have only edged and trimmed twice this year out back,

and the entire back yard needs to be trimmed, edged, and mowed.  You can see I've moved the cinder block until I can figure out where to recycle it.

At least I had cleaned the area before the party and before it rained.

I even remembered to place the top on the chiminea so it didn't get wet inside.

And finally, this is where I often do my resist dyeing, fabric bleaching, and other art that requires either water or a clothes line.  Yes, this is a horrible table, but it serves my purpose at the moment.  Maybe in a year or two I'll buy a new one, but now that I have a new umbrella stand that I can remove when I want to place a tablecloth on the table, I won't mind it so much.

I promise to NOT be so long winded next week, as I'm sure most of you are ready to share your own adventures this T Tuesday.  Share any drink related post, link it below, and Bleubeard and I, along with the T gang will be by to visit.  Be sure the post is in some way, drink related, whether it's art, music, books, sketches, scrapbook pages, photography, or some place you visited while out and about.