24 February 2010

My creative Space

It's looking rather lovely this week: finished Gocco invites - ready to ship! I stamped the recycled envelopes with a lace fan stamp. I am obsessed with stamps - and the Gocco obviously!

More spaces here! 

Wedding Invitations Gocco!

We had heaps of fun. We had heaps of accidents. Luckily we had heaps of spare cardstock!

I think Goccoing your invites is ace. Once you've got your screen, your colours and your cards, it really doesn't matter how many you print - printing is really the easiest part. The hardest part is getting the designs right, and waiting in between print sessions for the ink to dry.
 Some little bits of advice:
We wanted to print in black, pink and turquoise so we decided to take a chance and mix the Gocco inks to 
our taste. This worked totally fine - just make sure you use a plate and spatula to properly mix the ink, it is quite sticky.You can apply the mixed ink directly to the screen using the spatula.
Also, make sure you have lots of tissue paper or kitchen towel around. You need to make absolutely sure that you never, ever have any ink on your hands. It is hard to wash off and you will get ink all over your cards.

We printed on recycled cardboard. But you can use any kind of cardboard or paper you like! I advise against using shiny-surface paper - the ink won't dry properly and it will look blotchy. Natural card is best as it absorbs the ink nicely.

The Gocco copes really well with printing all kinds of fonts, but be sure you don't go below 11PT on your design, or it may get a bit blurry.

I think it is impossible to clean Gocco screens. I store them in a zip lock bag in the freezer. If you want to reuse them, you just need to thaw them out a little and they work fine!

22 February 2010

Gocco Weekend

We took the Gocc down to the beach shack for some serious printing. It was so much fun - I'm working on a big post with hints and tips for other first time Goccoers who want to do invites. It's entirely feasible and fun to print wedding invites yourselves! All you need is a big roll of kitchen towel and a bit of patience.

I hope you are enjoying the drizzle and the mellow Monday! Very welcome after another hot and busy weekend.

Giveaway Winner!

The winner of the crafty print book giveaway is Kate from One Flew Over! Number 1!

18 February 2010

My Creative Space

Saturday night at our place - making more place cards! I wasn't ever going to get around to producing 20 mini-quilts... was I. So now I'm glueing lace, tieing lace,  stamping on lace. They all look different.

 Feeling somewhat tired and a bit jittery.

This weekend we are going to hide away at the beach and start goccoing the invitations - I need to get my groove back by then. We have to do 80 invitations (30 for the Aussie wedding, 50 for the German one), 80 CD covers and 80 envelopes. In two languages!

Going to peek at more spaces here

16 February 2010


Hi everyone

I am running a little giveaway this week so if you are interested in winning a brand new copy of PrintMaking and Mixed Media by Dorit Elisha, please just leave a comment.
You don't need a Gocco to trial the projects in this book - it's just an introduction to creating a simple screen at home and printing on mixed media.

I will pick the winner Monday!

14 February 2010


I spent Friday on the floor next to the front door, enjoying the thunderstorm (until it got scary) and reading my friend Lucy's letter - I love nothing more than getting handwritten mail. 
Thank you Luce - I miss you heaps! xxx

PS: And thanks for my ace presents...

11 February 2010

My Creative Space

Love it. Never letting it go again!

I spent most of this week playing around with graphics and writing a little tutorial on gocco-ing photos, you can read it here. Not much going on in the craft room - it's too hot and I really don't think I can handle another day of it. An attempt to refashion some old lampshades I found on the street resulted in a very hot and bothered me, trying to detach my hands from the bin (spray glue accident). 
No more until it's cooled down!

More spaces over here!

10 February 2010

photo gocco - a tutorial

I've had quite a few responses to my graphics post so here is a tutorial explaining, in the simplest terms, how to gocco yourself. 

By that I don't meant you should do the same thing as "photocopying yourself" implies (don't sit on your gocco and try take a copy of your bum!). I will show you how to turn a cute photo of yourself into an image you can print easily using a gocco. All you need is a picture, a (free) software programme on your computer, and a gocco. Oh and something to print on.
A photo of yourself and your family looks cute on invitations or cards. Or in a frame. Or anywhere really. Teatowels are fine! If you are making wedding invites - this is what we did for ours. 
It was really fun. And a lot cheaper and craftier than using a printing service!
First of all, you need a picture. If you've got one already - great. It really doesn't matter if it's a particularly good picture, it can even be a bit blurry. It just needs to be a bit cute!

You can go and take some pictures with some funny props.
Make sure this doesn't happen

This one's better: Here we are posing for our wedding invitations. See all that crap surrounding us? The random koala next to the sewing machine and the ugly shelves? Doesn't matter - will all be cropped out of the final print image.

You then need to either use photoshop on your computer, or get something similar. I use Gimp - you can download it here, for free. Don't be scared to use it - it's pretty simple and I will show you all the steps and tools you need to be able to turn your image into something gocco-able.


The first thing you need to do is crop your image to whatever you want the print to contain. If you can do this in your computer's image programme (iPhoto for Mac users), do that. Alternatively you can open the photo you have chosen in Gimp,  and crop it here. To do this, first you use the square select tool, in the very top left corner of your toolbox.

Draw a square  around whatever you want your print to contain. There may be elements that you don't want in the final print, but you can't manage to crop them out completely - that's fine, we will clear that up later. Crop it to as close as the final print image as possible. Then click on Image, and Crop to Selection. That's the first step done. It will  look something like this (koalas and bookshelves gone!)


Now you will need to turn your image into black and white. You don't want to just grayscale the image - you want clear black lines and shadows to stay black, while everything else turns white. But if you just turn the image into black and white by removing colour, you will get huge shadowy areas and it won't look cute. The best way to do it is to turn your image into a cartoon image.

Here are the steps how to turn your image into a cartoon.
First, click on Select, and then None. Then click on Select again, and this time hit All.

Now click on Filters in your Menu, select Artistic, and then Cartoon. Just as we did below.

A little window will appear that will give you the option of adjusting the cartoon colours. What you should do is move the image around in the little window that appears so that a detail, such as a face, appears in the window. Just like below. You will now need to play around with the Mask Radius and Percentage Black settings. Shift around until you have sufficient shadow in the image without it looking weird. You want defined lines. 

Once you're happy with your image, click ok. Your picture will now be turned into a cartoon, like this one!


Now we want to remove all the bits other than the black lines. Otherwise we wouldn't be able to print nicely - there would be too much black (or whatever colour you choose to print in!).

For this purpose, you will use the colour select tool. Click on Select, then choose By Colour. Just like we did below. Then click on any black area in your picture - because you want to select everything black. In our image, we clicked on the polaroid camera. Hair would have worked fine, too. It needs to be something that's definitely black, and clickable! Double click on the black you selected, and lots of white, flickering lines should appear across your image. This is a good sign: that's all the black you've selected.

Now we are going to cut everything non-black out of the image. For this purpose, we will go to Select again, and then click on Invert. Now the selection will be inverted - meaning the only thing that's selected is now everything that isn't black.

Now remove the selection: hit Edit, and then Cut. Ta da! You're left with this:

We're not done yet! We now need to remove everything that we don't want to appear in the final print. I really didn't want that picture frame on my wedding invitations! 
For this we use the Eraser tool, as selected below:


Select the red squre tool in your toolbox. That's the eraser. You can select the width of the eraser - copy our settings above. Then go about erasing everything you don't want to appear in the print. A little tip: Don't move the mouse freely across the image, holding down the mouse clicker button as you erase. It's much easier to erase by moving the mouse, then clicking to erase, moving it again and clicking again. You're less likely to make mistakes this way! 

Yay! Now you can add text, or anything you want to the image. You can download some cute fonts, or add another image in. Once you have your final file, you're ready to Gocco! More on that soon!

I hope this is helpful - do let me know if it is (or isn't!)

08 February 2010

birthday surprises!

Hello! Yes it's me on my 31st Birthday thanks! I don't look a day over 29.
But clearly I need glasses.
For my birthday we headed to somewhere near Queenscliff. It was nice and warm.
We had banana bread and carrot cake and spaghetti and wine and I was walking
around in the dress I bought for my birthday. The haircut? It's called the grow-out-wash-out.
It works particularly well when windswept. 

Slightly intoxicated, we watched the giant container ships leave and enter the bay.
It's quite frightening, how much stuff gets shipped in and out! 
This is when I didn't know how to set the camera to automatic exposure.

Then this amazing white owl came to visit and hovered above us. It was absolutely amazing.
In broad daylight! Does anyone know what kind of owl this is?
It sort of hovered and was probably hunting.

Happy Face!

And the most awesome thing is that I got a Gocco for my birthday! Morgwn got it for me! I wasn't allowed to have it until my birthday but because he's as bad at keeping secrets as I am he took me with him when he went to buy it! We just walked into Eckersley's and he got it for me. I am super excited. Watch this space because it's about to go printy!
I really hope you had a lovely weekend. 

04 February 2010

My Creative Space



My creative space this week - we are working on designing our invitations and other bits and pieces, so this week has been pretty much all about taking photos and photoshopping. And then we will print them! With my birthday present, which is in the cupboard, and I'm not allowed to tell you about it yet! I'm so excited. On Saturday I will get to unwrap it! 

More creative spaces at Kirsty's

01 February 2010

found it!

This is where we are having our wedding - just next to a vegetable patch and a chicken coop!
It's a small pavillion that we can easily fit 30 people into.
I love it.