Printmaking – Intaglio

Printmaking – Intaglio

Intaglio printing is the opposite of relief printing, in that the printing is done from ink that is below the surface of the plate. The design is cut, scratched, or etched into the printing surface or plate, which can be copper, zinc, aluminum, magnesium, plastics, or even coated paper. (Source:

An amazing video of the process


Mezzotint: Very Comprehensive Mezzo tint tools usage



Dry Point:

Mono prints:


A new journey……destination unknown

A new journey……destination unknown

Have you ever launched a journey without a destination in mind? You have a general sense of direction, sure, but no specific longitude or lattitude marker. Thats where I am at right now……a million little forays into the unknown have already happened. Like a maze of little paths that appear on old trees; Parallel, intertwining, straight, curvy. Some stopping short of the branch length, some going all the way. Others just going around infinite circles. But the branches always gravitate towards the sun…upward or outward… those lines follow suit. What is my sun? ……Destination unknown!

Every Journey presents learning opportunities. Academic, emotional, spiritual, physical and soulfull lessons. Over time I will come back to share some of these. At this stage I am using this blog to catalogue my academic learnings as I prepare for the first stage of this journey. This is like my own little topic Wiki for the various study areas. Bear with me if you find it random as there is no specific order in which this ifnormation will appear. This is a bit of a personal indulgence.

“Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter.” — English writer Izaak Walton

So come walk with me…..



AWOL and other news

AWOL and other news

Updating pictures on my facebook page today made me realise how much time has gone by since I have been consistently creative and making art! Wow my mojo sure took a long holiday it seems!AWOL – bad mojo!

I’ve had some crazy kind of creative block. Some of my favorite excuses ‘No time’, ‘Yes time but no mood’, ‘yes mood but physically unwell’, ‘Gosh my table is messy’, ‘gosh my studio is messy’, ‘Getting inspired by Pinterest….6 hours later still getting inspired by Pinterest because facebook came by to say hello and Whats app was feeling needy or Skype was beckoning’…one word procrastination!!! Like really! why would you procrastinate on something you enjoy! Isn’t that reserved for unsavory chores and tasks!

Well whatever the reasons (ahem excuses) fact is hardly any art happened! That’s not to say other creative things did not happen! Frames finally went onto walls (then took 2 months to have pictures in them), Art went onto walls, I creatively rearranged the studio (or so I like to think), cake orders happened……despite all this that ‘no art happening’ thing was really eating at me.

Then the USA happened…..OMG retail theraphy is the cure for all maladies! Hobby Lobby…check! Michaels…..check! Joanns…..check…….going to these stores was truly was a pilgrimage to the holy land of creativity. Having heard about all these amazing places over the years it was mind blowing to finally stand inside those doors….gawking! at the sheer size of the store and variety of materials available. I even discovered new crafts. But most important the prices! Had a bit of a Willy Wonka golden ticket moment handing over my 40% off coupon…:)))) Christmas came super early!

3 weeks since I got back and I have been bursting with ideas and plans and layouts and enthusiasm! yes lots of enthusiasm……did I mention enthusiasm! LoL let me exit on that note before I jinx myself.

Art is happening again…..will post pictures soon.

Xo Xo




World Journey – Mixed Media lab April 2016

This journal page was ready way in advance as this months DT theme at Mixed Media Lab is so relevant to me and my family. We have in fact just made such a journey half way across the world…from Africa to Asia!


I have to admit another reason why it was so exciting to make this page was all the materials and tools in my stash that were so well suited to such a theme!

My page started out as always with a coat of gesso. This was followed by some distress ink background in various shades of blue and brown. I used the world map stamps in a diagonal arrangement and followed that up with passing white acrylic paint through the ray stencil.


This little pile of suitcases was on the front cover of a craft magazine in SA and the moment i saw it I knew it would come handy. so I cut it out and saved it in my stash. And I was right…:)) It fitted so well in this page. But before sticking it down I placed it on the page and distressed the area around its edge. Looking at it now I am wondering why I did that but there probably was a good reason for it at the time.IMG_4333

Next I used a wording stencil that has some amazing journey and travel related text. Along with that I started to place some of the stamps too. I had so many to choose from I could not decide how many was too many. At this stage I stuck down the suitcases and carried on with the layering.


Next up was texture paste through a TCW stencil which also has some stamps and postal themed designs.


And so the layout was coming to life….


I found this lovely Africa stamp just begging me to use it…:)) how could I refuse???? And some more beautiful postage stamps and map related images.

Next came the message and ta da……the page was done….well almost! IMG_4343

Eventually I added some journalling to the edges of the page. Some ‘notes to self’ almost about the move and keeping myself motivated.


WordPress reminded me today was the first anniversary of this blog! Thank you for following me thus far. Your presence has been inspiring and fun. I hope you stay a while and accompany me onward….this journey is only just beginning!








CUTTLEBUG Cuttlebug where have you been all my life!

CUTTLEBUG Cuttlebug where have you been all my life!

Can you tell I am EXCITED!!!……You know when you have been mulling over something for a very long time, researching reviewing and going around in circles! That been me with die cutting machines!! It took me a whole year of going back and forth to decide on my Cameo and then between the Sizzix and Cuttlebiug and other smaller diecut/ embossers I just could not make up my mind!

A big thank you to Juliet over at Scrapfinnity (Durbanville, CT) who finally helped me to make up my mind! PNA had its annual sale a few weekends ago and this baby was just calling out to me!

I have been collecting embossing folders and dies for a short while now. Especially when they have been on sale or promotions. Now I can finally put them to good use!!!

This baby can cut some amazing stuff! Its is so easy to use and wayyyyyyyyy cool! (Ofcourse you need dies and folders for every design but hey its still so much more convenient than any other die cutter) It can cut dies from almost any brand. All you need to do is adjust the ”sandwich” (A, B C plates)


Look what I did yesterday. One more avenue to pursue my love of fonts! And the negative can even be used as a stencil or to create texture.


This is what I used my first letter cuts for. And a befitting page to use them in too. See the blog post about this page here.


Today we had our neighbourhood craft club meet up and we made some yummy cuts for our napkin stand projects too. I will update this post with links and pictures soon.

If you have never heard of a Cuttle bug look it up here and to see how it works check out this video. I’m off to play some more!





TLC – Inspired By Maremi Small Art

TLC – Inspired By Maremi Small Art

So as I type the title of this blog post I realize that the short form for ‘the Learning curve’ is TLC….how appropriate!!!

This page was inspired by a You Tube video by Maremi Small Art. Marta’s work is always very inspiring and this page really seemed to be simple and doable. I came across this video on one of my many ‘browsing sessions’ and saved it to my ‘must’do’ list.

So first of all watch the original video here so you know what Marta’s process was.

And this was my rendition…….I did say it looked nothing like hers!


My Approach

Layout – This new journal is an A4 portrait layout so that was the same as the original

First layers – I did the music notes collage with my own placement. Then regular Gesso only as I did not have any clear gesso or heavy gesso.

Main motif – None of my tissue designs would make an impression like those poppies so I decided to use a laser print of  vintage roses that I had been wanting to work with for a while.


Stencil – The TCW Art is stencils are my favorite script stencil, but I decided not to use them here as I wanted to try my new Americana old French script one instead. I used a regular texture paste through it and gessos as per the instructions.

Color layers – The sprays/inks in my color box did not match the colors I would have needed in this project so I decided to go with Acrylic paints instead. In retrospect inks would have been so much nicer because they are translucent as compared to Acrylics which tend to be more opaque. I used a whole lot of paint in varying shades, of pink, magenta, burgundy and plum along with some drippage effects to create the colored background. The roses were covered with gel medium before adding paint so I could wipe of any smears and keep the image clean. The excessive amount of wet media somehow melted away some of the texture paste (which was partially dry) but that gave it a bit of a grungy look so I was ok with that. The text was also very spaced out so it did not pool the paint quite like it would have if it were closer. Inks also pool a lot better than watered down acrylics. Also ideally the page should have had an off white background first to create sufficient contrast and show of the pretty roses more. It became a little too pink and blurred out the roses a bit.

Quote – I wanted something that expressed the sentiment behind this journal and I think this was just perfect.


Upper layers – I stamped whimsical flower motifs with Color Box chiffon white. The music sheets were barely visible anymore after all the layers of acrylics so I added some dictionary page stamps randomly in a royal purple Stazon. The text was stamped with stone grey Stazon and the while alphas were die cut with my Cuttlebug using the X-cut alphabet die.


Finishing touches- I created some shadows around the edges of the roses with Pitt brush pens in pink and brown. Remember I had covered the roses in gel medium, so that allowed me to have a non porous surface to smudge the pens on. The page looked to plain some how so I added some punched blossoms and a butterfly in the foreground.

And there you have it. My ”original” from an inspirational Video.