Ain't No Ninny

Where Creativity and Everyday Life Collide


Gelatin isn’t just for eating…

For the last month I have been taking an online workshop “Gelli Jam Art Journal Workshop with Joanna Grant” through the Artful Gathering Online Art Retreat.  My objective was to learn more about monoprinting.  To monoprint just means that you can ‘pull’ a single print off the printing surface before adding more paint or ink. You can keep building up layers on your given substrate by adding more paint, ink or stamps and pulling another print on top of the prior one.  The class uses gelatin plates as the printing surface rather than something like a screen, as in screen printing.  Gelatin plates are made of gelatin (the unflavored kind) and a few other materials.  Rather than make my own gelatin plate, I am using a Gelli Arts gelli plate which I purchased at  They come in various sizes and will last for years if taken care of properly.

In this particular workshop we have learned how to create mini-journals by monoprinting on used greeting cards, old calendars, new or used shipping tags, file folders, and watercolor paper.  What results are very attractive little ‘booklets’ that can be given as gifts or decorated with your own art or used as your own private journal.

Here are three monoprinted mini-journals I have created so far.

Shipping Tag Journal
This is a mini-journal created with unused shipping tags and embellished with clip and fibers.  This will be used to collage  inspirational sayings and other tags will be added when I need them.


This is a mini-journal created with 5 different used Christmas cards from 2013.  I plan to embellish this journal with sayings and doodles about gardening.  I already started by stamping and doodling the front cover.


P1020454 P1020453 P1020452

This is a simple accordion booklet created by gelli-printing on watercolor paper, then cutting and folding it into an accordion shape.  I already doodled and collaged this one using materials that were on hand on my work table.

I still have more to create and I hope you do too!



Journal 52 Week 21, Prompt: Mandalas

The prompt for this last week’s journal page was “mandalas”.  I usually draw and create my own mandalas from scratch starting with a hard-lead pencil in my journal then finishing with Micron pens and coloring with alcohol marker.  But I wanted to do something more organic this time.  Mandala means circle in sanskrit.  The circle symbolizes eternity or completion of a cycle or homeostatis/balance.  That made me think of the principles of Yoga and all the elements in Nature that are organically complete and balanced. 

Materials used:

  • Dylusions Journal 9×12
  • Acrylic paint (different brands and types and colors)
  • Gelli plate monoprints that I had previously created on copy paper and deli-paper (this formed the background and the cutout flower, spirals, snake)
  • Stencils by StencilGirl and (the webbed design) by TCW
  • Pitt artist big brush pens in black, purple, and green
  • Sharpie paint pen in white
  • Sakura gelly roll gel pen in white
  • Micron pen in black (.03)
  • Washi tape (to form the header)

And this was the result which I think turned out well.  I really love the colors.