HOW TO REMOVE a blog background, button or blinkie

I've had an email asking for help in removing my freebie blog backgrounds (see my Blogology link under the header if you'd like one). It's very straightforward - just delete the widget! But for those of you who are a little nervous, here's a comprehensive guide...

REMOVE THE BACKGROUND

Go to your Dashboard and click on Layout in the sidebar, as shown.

Particularly when you just start to blog, you see all these freebie backgrounds and blinkies, and want to experiment with them.

Virtually any blog will tell you how to add them: copy the code and paste it into an HTML widget on your blog (it's best to add it down near the footer as this helps the blog to load faster for some reason).

Look for the correct HTML widget - you may have a few, so just keep clicking on them in turn until you find one that looks something like the above. Click on REMOVE - and that's it! You've removed that background.
But a lot of blogs won't tell you how to REMOVE them! It's basically as simple as going into your Dashboard and clocking on Layout, then finding the HTML widget and deleting it. Just keep clicking on the various widgets in turn until you find the right one, then click the Remove button - and that's it! Job done.

REMOVING BUTTONS AND BLINKIES

Look for the code, then go ahead and click Remove to get rid of the widget.

The code for these looks a little different, but they're still just HTML widgets. Click on each widget when in Layout view until you find the correct one, then click Remove - and it's gone. Don't forget to click on the orange Save Arrangement button if you move things around whilst you're in tidying-up mode.


Alternatively, when looking at your blog, you'll see a tiny hammer&screwdriver icon at the bottom right-hand corner of any widget  - which means you can edit the widget in blog view instead of going via your Dashboard to the Layout view. Again, click on the Remove button to delete that button or blinkie. This is actually the easier way to do it, as you can see exactly what you want to remove without having to hunt for it.

REMOVING PICTURE WIDGETS ETC

This is a picture widget - looks a little different, but the principle is the same.
Just as simple to remove!

Here's another widget variation. Just as easy to remove!

I've also posted this on my Blogology site and in Computery, so everyone can see it. Hope this helps!

LOVE CAN BE A THIEF - journal page

Showing my pocket pages, each edged with lace and diamante.
Another journal page - this one's in my Zombie book, so of course she's a vampire. The journal is going to be all supernatural - the cover of that book was just too good to miss.


I drew the figure, and the text is hand written:
Love can be a thief and a ravager of time

I thought this fit my vampire theme very well, and that's also why the skin tone of the figure is greys and taupes. I stamped the background swirls and also partially stamped the dress with a floral design, and faded it out with gesso then drew the outlines back in with a black marker.

This is the journal, where I removed all the pages, retained the original covers, and put my own papers in.

My Zombie journal - where I retained the original covers and stitched my own papers inside (an eclectic mix of watercolour paper, vintage book pages etc) and stitched over tapes. That title just GAVE me the theme for the journal - and I do love sci fi and fantasy, so this was a no-brainer. If you're interested in making a similar journal, my tutorial is in my Etsy shop.

I'll post the tags etc to go into the pockets in a separate post.


THE MAGIC OF SHOPPING - journal pages


The double-page spread with a pocket page in the middle, which holds 2 tags

Here's the MAGIC OF SHOPPING spread I've done for the Spelling Bee journal.

First page, with pocket turned to the right

I tend to photograph my journal spreads in batches, so I've finally caught up for a while. I'll post all the new ones over several days, to break the posts up and not make them too long.

Second page, with pocket turned to the left, and the tags from the pocket displayed above

I'm also having a go at doing a journal flip for YouTube (my first, so that'll be an experience) which I'll post once I've done it.

Closeup of the left page - a gel transfer of a magazine image, which I've then totally over-painted and drawn into, to make the image my own. I added gesso where I wanted hair, then painted over that with black acrylic to add dimension and texture.

I've hand drawn all the lettering - on the left page, I've used a liner pen, which gives a raised image. I also threw just a touch of glitter on the top. On the pocket page, I have drawn the letters in black poster paint pen (Posca) and then gone over this with Lumiere acrylic paints in the tiny bottles, with fine nib nozzles attached. The Lumieres dry raised, but not as raised as the liner pen, and they all have a fabulous metallic finish. I love these! Very fluid and easy to write or draw with - and not too dimensional.

On the pocket page, on the left, you can just see a faint image of a gel transfer of Marilyn Monroe (wish it could have come out darker, but the magazine image wasn't that distinct). The transfer on the right is much more visible. I love these transfers, as I really adore the effect of seeing the background printing of the vintage papers to show through the images.
On the left, the reverse side of the pocket, with a magazine image, some stamping and torn paper which I've added throughout (more magazine paper, photos of roses) plus some watered down acrylic paint and a little stamping for background interest. On the right, another gel transfer image, which I sanded lightly to distress it.

A slightly different view of the spread. I think it makes a nice set, and I'm happy with the lettering. The journal is called Spelling Bee, so the (very loose) theme is fonts and alphabets etc...

The lettering is hand drawn - I used a white poster paint pen (Posca) then added a drop shadow in black. Then I went to town with a heavy layer of Ranger's Glossy Accents with a white snow glitter thrown on top. Once that was dry, I added another thinner layer of Glossy Accents to really bring this out and make the lettering stand right out.

The Spelling Bee journal
Hope you like the journal spread. Here's my post on gel transfers, if you want to know how I do them.



MONOPRINTING - Make your OWN jelly plates

Just came across this YouTube video by Colouricious, and had to share immediately!


I have bought the 8in x 10in Gelli plate (£28, not including postage - ouch, ouch, ouch - why IS it so expensive in the UK????) and would like bigger ones - and smaller ones - so for the Very Cheap price of a few sachets of gelatine and some foil trays, I'm going to give this a go!

I've left a message asking how long these home-made plates will last for (I would image a couple of weeks, but don't quote me) and I'll update this post once I have the information.
ADDENDUM: See Comment 1, below.
Coloricious replied immediately, and they say:
"After a day's use, they do break up a bit, but we enjoy printing those cracks too! Keep in the fridge and your plate will last a day or two. I agree it is a lot cheaper than the commercial ones. However, I do actually prefer having the convenience of being able to get a commercial one out, instantly ready - also the surface remains intact. Pros and cons for both versions."

Sorry, can't add the copyright info as I've no idea where this photo came from! If it's yours, please let me know so that I can credit you.

For those of you who aren't into fabric, and therefore won't be using fabric paints and dyes, just go ahead and use your favourite acrylics.

Below are a couple of YouTube videos by Andy Skinner, who I've just discovered (how did I miss him?) which are wonderful examples of mono printing, and are using the Gelli Plate.




Are you feeling inspired?

I know I am! Watch this space....

PLAYING DRESS-UPs - new dress form

Dress form by IndigoBlu

I finished this dress form last week - then couldn't find the photos on the computer!

I swear these machines like to play little tricks on us and hide things ...
Closeup of skirt detail
I painted the Kraft model with an off white acrylic, then layered cream lace over the top. The skirt is a double layer of black net, with black lace and faux jet droplets layered on top.
 Here's the model in the window of Blade Rubber Stamps, next to the basic Kraft dress form.

Another full view, this time taken from above - and showing the feathers and leaves and 'crystal' finishing off the neck area.

I'm counting myself pretty lucky I found these pix after only a week, as I have a nasty habit of tidying up and put things in that famous 'easy to find later safe place' that we all think we'll remember. I tend to come across things weeks or even months later, usually when looking for something else. A 'senior' moment? Or do we all do this?

My new workshop is on 27 July at Blade Rubber Stamps.



FLORAL STAMPS - carved


Here's the floral stamps I carved. I think the large floral looks totally mental (in a good way, lol)

The originak carving
Closeup of the main image.
I stamped the large flower on a large piece of watercolour paper, and a second time on a scrap. I painted the scrap, cut out both pieces with the X-Cut die set, and left the dies in place while I shaded with the Distress ink, which left a rather nice white border.

I painted just the flower petals on the small piece of card, and added Glossy Accents over the top. I mounted this to the main card with foam dots.

The original stamp.
Finally, I added dots of red paint on the leaves, and some Glossy Accents for emphasis.

I'm really getting addicted to this stamp carving. I've done another couple, which I'll photograph and upload tomorrow - then I'll have to stop for a while. I've run out of rubber!

STAMP CARVING - some finished cards

3 different cards featuring the bird stamp

I thought you might like to see what I did with the stamps I carved.

The bird stamp

I had a whale of a time - the cards just kind of made themselves!

I used Japanese origami paper for the background layer. The folded blue card is stamped with another of my carved images - a floral - which is stamped repeatedly with Brilliance Cosmic Copper ink.
I've coloured the entire image with watercolours and added two leaf-shaped brads.
I covered the bird itself with a really heavy coat of Inkessentials Crackle Accents. To make such a heavy crackle (this reminds me of a tray of toffee hit with a hammer) draw around the outside edges with the fine nozzle, then flood the middle with the Glaze. Make sure the card is totally flat, as this stuff is self-levelling. I also advise leaving overnight to dry.

Closeup of the word 'wish', which I also carved. I've added a layer of Glossy Accents to show this up even more.
This one uses Glossy Accents to pick out the feathers on the wings, and Sepia Accents to show up the petals on some of the flowers. I've also added lots of Stickles glue to give a little sparkle.

Another view. You can see the Stickles glitter on the leaves.
Paper flowers are layered with a heart brad, and fixed on top of Sari ribbon. The bird is cut with a Spellbinders die, layered on another Spellbinders-cut layer, and matted to a kraft card stamped with a Tim Holtz postoid. I've also added kraft photo corners.

A very simple card, with two layers of die cuts mounted to grey pearlised card, in turn mounted on white watercolour paper.
The most traditional card of all of them! I've used Distress ink to shade the edges of the card, cut with an X-Cut die which I left in place while I added the colour, so I'd have that white edge.

Closeup
Here, I've used Lumiere paints on the neck, in copper, bronze and turquoise. The red feathers were watercoloured and I added Glossy Accents on top.

Fun, huh? And so different once a little colour was added!


STAMP CARVING

You can see the vintage carving set (circa 1940s) propping up the leaf stamp, with the handle and one of the blades in the foreground. Plus two of the stamps I carved this afternoon.

I've been busy all day - carving some stamps.

I carved all these as well! With the exception of the orange tree stamp and the pink 'Drama' one, which I did some time ago.

I'd forgotten how much fun this is. I was tidying up (always a waste of time trying to keep all the art gear in some kind of order, but I do try, lol) and finally found my carving tools.

Here's a bird one - it's an old magazine illustration from around 1900, which I photocopied and then transferred to the back of the rubber with a Dove blender pen. I'm pretty pleased as this has taken on a character all its own, and although it's somewhat simplified I have still managed to retain the most important details.
I carved ALL THESE this afternoon - with the right stuff, the tools cut through like a hot knife through butter. I well remember struggling with lino - plus you really need some kind of press to get a good impression. With the modern stamp carving blocks (Blade Rubber stocks the Speedball range) there's no strain on the wrist.

Another view. You don't really need to use an acrylic block but I find I get a better impression, personally, if I use a block as I can get a lot more pressure on the image - and also not wobble. Plus I don't end up covered in ink.

The tools (in the top photo) are a vintage set I found in an old junk shop around 6 years ago, which started me carving again (first time since art college) then I put the set in a safe place - and hadn't seen them for over a year!

Leaf stamp - again, a transferred image from a photocopy.
It's the black toner (the cheaper the photocopy the better) which transfers with a Dove blender pen. This gives a great image which is so easy to carve out.
 I have to say I'm really addicted to these little carvings - somehow, they seem to have so much character. These will definitely be featuring in future journal pages.