Monday, June 14, 2010

Clean-up, Aisle 5

I spent much of my art time Saturday cleaning up a mess I made. Nope, I'm not going to recreate it here, but here's what I did. You need to use your imagination and go with the flow.

I decided to use a spray adhesive in the house because it was raining. I used the box seen above as my catch all. The cardboard in the box got glue on it. Can you see the discoloration? That's when I decided to grab my craft sheet, which is supposed to repel any and every thing I can throw at it. Well let me tell you, it just isn't so! I had the biggest gooey mess you have ever seen. When I tried to wipe the spray adhesive from the craft sheet, I got an even bigger gooey mess, this time accompanied by a Bounty paper towel that stuck, bit by bit, to the gooey mess and the craft sheet.

Next I tried water. Water only puddled onto the craft sheet, exacerbating the problem. So, I got out the "little gun," turpenoid. It is an expensive alternative to turpentine, sold in craft stores at an exorbitant cost. I could tell it was trying to work, but I simply refused to use as much as would be needed to clean the craft sheet.

That was when I got out the "big gun," turpentine. Now this stuff smells to high heaven, so I had to take it outside. Thankfully, it had now quit raining. I grabbed a large plastic container and dumped a bunch of turpentine in the bucket, threw in the craft sheet, and prayed that I hadn't ruined it. Thankfully, the turp did the trick, as can be evidenced in the above photo, except the craft sheet is still a bit sticky feeling, because now I had spread the glue over the entire sheet, front and back.

There really IS an up side to this mess tale.

Back in 2008, I made some turpentine papers using National Geographic magazines. I had very little success with the process and was deeply disappointed.

Then, in 2009,

I did it again. That time I had marginal success. I had more success with the plate in the photo I was rusting!

Saturday was a different story. Since I had all the turp sitting in the bucket, I decided to try this technique one more time. I didn't use a brush, I just dumped the National Geographic pages into the bucket of turpentine, allowed them to sit for awhile, then separated them, allowing them to dry in the now sticky Kansas heat and humidity. Later, when I checked on them,

I was jumping for joy. Sure, they still smell and I mean SMELL, but they are awesome. The good news is, most of the scent will be gone in about a week. If you are sensitive to the scent, be sure to leave them in a place where there is plenty of open air.

I truly believe this is how they should have looked the first two times I tried this technique.

In a way, it made cleaning my gooey craft sheet almost enjoyable. OK, maybe not that enjoyable, but you get the picture.

Speaking of pictures, the top one is from 2008, the next two are from 2009, and the last ones are from Saturday. And I used that same can of turpentine, too (free from my Household Hazardous Waste Swap and Shop).

To answer your potato stamp questions from Friday, the HANDS were "cut" using a cookie cutter. I turned the cutter over so I would get both hands. I just cut completely through the potato halves.

For the numbers, I freehanded a number backward onto computer paper, cut it to size, laid it over the top of the potatoes, and marked the number after I found the right spot on the potato. A potato is limited by its size, so you may have to fiddle with position for awhile. For the birthday cake (not shown, but used in one of my anniversary pages), I freehanded the cake and did the same as the numbers. To cut out a center or middle, you will need a paring knife, which IS appropriate in this instance. Also, I cut deeply around the images, then cut slices away from the potatoes, so the stamps would be deep enough to not leave an outline.

Before you stamp anything, be sure to allow the potato to sit for no less than a few hours so it grows a slight skin. Before applying ink, be sure to pat the potato to make sure no moisture is leaking out. You can expect your potato stamp to be good up to a week.

Of all these techniques, the easiest is to cut the potato using a cookie cutter. Be sure the cutter doesn't have a back.

Today's blog is going to knock your socks off, well, at least if you are into book arts. Some of you may have heard of Randi Parkhurst from Washington (state in the US). I'm sure all the serious artists out there have. So, what is her specialty, you ask? Besides making her own handmade and hand painted papers, binding her own books, and constructing her own boxes, she makes the most incredible mixed media books. Talk about interactive. They fold into cubbies, hide in other books, then open up and become lives of their own. Randi's blog is aptly named Cubbyhole Book Arts, and even if you don't work in handmade books, you will love these. Now please don't tell me they don't put a smile on your face!

So clean up something and look at books that move (you) today. See you tomorrow for Tuesday Tea, when we enter the Spice Merchant and see what's inside.

19 thoughtful remarks:

Unknown said...

Hey Lady, wow what a GREAT post- I kept waiting for you to say "and then I had the whole mess stuck to my hands...." because that's what would have happened to me! Seriously though, the results are wonderful, I love, LOVE the patina of your papers- they're gorgeous! Any clues as to what you'll be doing with them? I'm off to check out your blog of the day.....

Diane said...

Isn't it amazing what you can do with just about anything and turn it into an art element?! And I guess everything happens for a reason--would you have retried this technique if you didn't get out the turpentine?

Brian K said...

Oh these papers would be very cool sown into a book for a journal! I am just woozie thinkin' about this! I wish I had my hands on all the old NG from when I was a kid! Cheers!

Marilyn Rock said...

Lots of work but great results! Love the papers! xxoo

Caterina Giglio said...

your sheets turned out great and I love it when we have those "mistakes" that turn into breakthroughs! I will check out the link! grazie!

Terri Kahrs said...

I'm chuckling as I read this, Elizabeth! Leave it to YOU to find a rainbow in a turpentine mess!!! Hugs, Terri xoxo

PS Am happy that you've enjoyed my colorful Sunday post!!! :)

Dianne said...

As I was reading I kept thinking "Get the 'Goo Gone'!" I use it to remove adhesive from pricing stickers. It's wonderful stuff & has a citrus smell...but you came up with roses, even after all the mess! can't wait to see what the Nat. Geo. pages will become!

Karen said...

Oh this did make me smile! You are far more patient than me as I would probably have passed the whole sorry mess over to hubby to fix hahaha!!! HUGS XXX

Halle said...

Oh what a mess you had! So cool that you were able to get it cleaned up and even have success with the turp papers!

Healing Woman said...

Love the way those sheets turned out. It tried the citra solve method-pour citra solve on the National Geographics and did not have any luck with that method either. I do love the rusticity of the last group you created. All kinds of art ideas come to mind.

Now here is a coincidence. Tomorrow or Wed. I will be doing a posting on spices too. Funny how we both honed in on spices at the same time isn't it? Something in the air? Anyway, I look forward to your posting and I'll bet they are entirely different.

Anonymous said...

wow! these new pages turned out FANTASTIC!! i enjoyed reading your story -- it sounds just like something i would do. i'm so glad something good and beautiful came out of the ordeal.

Chris said...

oooh I hate gooo... so I am glad I didn't have to clean up after
The pages look fabulous though hun so I guess it all turned out well in the end.
Brilliant job... don't think I will try it though cos I just HATE the smell of turps...even when decorating....uuuurghhh

Have a great evening
Chris xx

Julia Dunnit said...

Impressive staying power Elizabeth... I thought (and if it were me) the big finish would be about a very sticky pair of hands and a large waste bin! Gosh those pages look amazing..I guess you are even as I type, formulating another plan!
Thanks for the award..have been so slow to catch up this weekend..and this real time week day working thing - gosh how I don't like it!!

Unknown said...

I'm glad you were able to bring that project outside. That stuff will kill brain cells .... seriously!

About your question on the chemical dispersant in the gulf, this is what I know: The dispersant is called corexit. It causes kidney, liver and neurological damage. It pushes the oil below the surface, possibly helping to form the giant oil plumes. It is made by a company (Nalco) which is a joint venture company with Exxon/Mobil and has executives from BP's board of directors. Spooky.

Margaret said...

A classic case of 'flopportunity' or not??!! Awesome!! an absolute reward for your persistence, love these pages! Margaret

Unknown said...

Gosh you did get into a mess didn't you? and what will you use these papers for then? I am interested to know, as back grounds book pages do tell.

I have found a place that sells the rit die about £6.60 a bottle (liq) and I need a few colours you say? so I will get round to getting some soon I have a tub and material ready (just need the die) Oh and thanx for the comment on my blog he he you are probely better with a cat than children however I am glad I had them most days lol

Love Dawn xx

Sue from Oregon said...

Girl you are nothing but persistant that's for sure...You definitely are the technique of altered paper for sure!

Liverpool Lou (Anne) said...

Hi Elizabeth, sorry but I did have a little laugh as the story of the goo went on. Glad it's mostly sorted. Have you tried WD40 (do you have it over there - usually used to dispel moisture from car engines) for cleaning off sticky stuff? Love the resulting pages after using turps.
Anne xx

~*~Patty S said...

it's humid in Kansas too! imagine that!
here is proof there are no mistakes!!!
your Nat'l Geo final results are amazing!
thanks for sharing yet another inspirational technique!