sunprinting workshop with Sweet Paul + the Makerie


sweet paul makerie retreat workshop

April 16 + 17 I had the great pleasure of teaching sunprinting workshops at the Sweet Paul and the Makerie retreat held at the URBN’s corporate headquarters in the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The weather was fantastic and perfectly sunny – which is VERY helpful when sunprinting!

Three workshops were held at full capacity and everyone had tons of fun. The makers had the choice of a terrain silk scarf or a tea towel. For my usual sunprint workshop we first make a bookmark to get the process down. Then we forage for materials and create a 5×7 paper print. The fabric was a bit of a challenge and being rather windy didn’t help, but pinning to foam core boards worked well.

sweet paul makerie retreat workshop sunprinting silk scarf

The laundry looked great drying in the sun. Everyone’s creativity was great. Lots of unexpected surprises, like the holes from the tables creating polka dots THRU the foam core. I still can’t quite figure out how it happened, but with art they are always happy mistakes.

I made some new friends and had a blast!

type journal

Over the summer I attended CREATE NJ and it was very inspirational. Joanne Sharpe’s The Illustrated Word was an evening classes I registered for. Her book The Art of Whimsical Lettering has been on my wishlist and was REALLY looking forward to the class. Unfortunately, I got a massive headache and never made it to the class. I was bummed!

Summer and fall went by and the book was still on my wishlist. UNTIL, I had a JoAnn’s 50% off coupon and the book jumped in my cart. In her book, Joanne talks of starting a type journal. That sounded easy enough, I just need to start one. Well, I’m finally getting around to it. I have a “vintage” composition notebook that has blank pages that will work perfectly. I painted the covers and absolutely hated it, couldn’t stand to look at it or touch it. So I quickly covered it with some old book pages and became much happier. The way I look at it, if I hated the cover so much, I would NEVER use it. That kinda goes against the whole point of the thing.

dinnys garden | type journal mixed media

The letters are hand cut from some old gelli printed pages. They didn’t get glued down because I’m not totally sold on them.

dinnys garden | hand cut type

One thing I have learned about myself is I am VERY sensitive to the actual touch and feel of my art. If the pages are either all bumpy or too smooth, I don’t like it. There is a certain feel to nice old paper that just feels right and I REALLY like that. Some of my gelli prints have a texture that just bugs me. That is fine if I’m scanning them to create something digital. BUT if I have to touch it, I don’t like it. The letters will probably be replaced because they feel icky and I want to start this journal.

digitally alter Gelli Prints

Mixing real paint, real paper and Photoshop has always worked for me. Photoshop allows me to fix things that are not quite right with my prints once they have dried. I can digitally erase or add things precisely where I want. What control I can have after making a fun mess with paint!

Each digital paper is created with SEVERAL layers in Photoshop. Various blending modes are used and sometimes I also adjust the colors a bit.

Here are some digital papers I made from that Gelli Print in my last post.

dinny's garden | digital paper dinny's garden | digital papers Be Mine dinny's garden | digital papers collage

All of these digital papers are available for sale at photoDUDS

photoDUDS | Be Mine Digital Paper Pack

great use for Gelli prints

It’s so much fun printing with my Gelli Arts Plate. However, I have a problem finding something to do with ALL of my prints. My art journal is a natural spot for them, but today I found something else for this print.

dinny's garden | gelli plate mono print

While wrapping up a  gift for a friend I found the perfect size box, but it had no lid. So I improvised! Recycled paper shred saved from some other gift cradled the glass jars in the box. Heavy craft paper was wrapped around the box and glued to itself, so all my friend had to do was slide it off to get the goodies. My gelli print was not large enough to completely wrap the present, so I tore off a strip to wrapped around the kraft paper.


Alphabet rubber stamps spelled out THANKS with brown ink.

dinny's Garden | Gelli Print Gift Wrapping

Tied with baker’s twine and it’s ready to ship. I hid bubble wrap under the kraft paper, so it should survive shipping (fingers crossed). I hope my friend likes the treats inside, I had fun wrapping it.



mother nature

The other day I spotted something odd from my window. I wasn’t quite sure what was at the base of the tree across the street. Deciding to investigate with my camera, I found this.


mushroom macro

It was an enormous group of mushrooms! All around the base of the tree, and it was a rather large tree.

Simply amazing.