Clean Up Fairies

No, sadly I don’t have any clean up fairies; that would be a win! This little moonlit scene is stamped with Lavinia stamps on one of my gel printing ‘clean up sheets’ and I couldn’t resist the name. As I gel print I clean the brayer on clean up sheets off to the right of my plate. I use thickish drawing paper and when the sheet is well covered but still looking pretty I move it and start on a new sheet. So, yes, I have many clean up sheets to turn into cards or other projects.

I am still learning my way with Lavinia stamps; there is an art to the layering and arrangement. One of the fairies looks like she is doing a little cleaning of the fairy bud but the other looks like she is diving off the high tower. I know there is a plethora of Lavinia inspiration videos out there so maybe I should watch a few.

I stamped all the bold images in black and used blue and green inks to stamp some sprinkly stars and shadowy leaves in the background. The clean up sheet was mainly blue, pink and green so I cut a circle mask and blended more green around it to suggest a moon. I used sparkly gel pens to colour in some of the fairy buds and the fairy wings.

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox, Ecstasy Crafts* & Scrap n Stamp)

*if you visit the Lavinia products at Ecstasy Crafts make sure you use the heathertecs10 discount code at check out

Potted Pretties in Pencil

This is the new ‘potted pretties’ stamp from Penny Black; it is pretty isn’t it? Although I love the soft blends of loose watercolour I also find pencil colouring very satisfying too, especially on kraft cardstock.

I use Faber Castell Polychromos pencils and chose a dark and a light pink along with white for the petals, two greens for the leaves and a tan with white for the pot. Once I had almost finished I added some more shadow to the centre of some flowers and the shadows of the leaves with a dark burgandy pencil – a trick I learned from Kathy Racoosin, colouring wizard.

If no-line watercolour is more your thing then I am colouring the same image in that style too. I’ll post it on the blog soon.

Don’t forget to check out my new online course if you haven’t already. The discount TEAMBLOG10 is still valid for a 10% discount at checkout. Thank you to those of you who have joined already. I am excited to hear from or see some prints once you’ve had a chance to dive in!

And another event you might be interested in if you are local is the Community Paper Crafting Garage Sale on June 10.

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox)

Mushrooms & Pods

I often combine my gel prints with stamping and on this card there is a bit of brand matchy-matchy which really works for a whimsical look. The print is a ghost print made while filming my new class Gel Print Journey. There is a surprising amount of paint and pattern on this ghost print; sometimes they are a lot more ghostly!

The gel print was made with the Lavinia stencil ‘pods’. Last week when stamping with a friend I was able to pair the background with some Lavinia stamps. I don’t own any…yet but I did enjoy the fun of arranging little scenes with their pretty silhouettes.

If you are not familiar with the world of ghost prints or stencil prints or even gel printing, check out my new online course. The TEAMBLOG10 discount is available until the end of May so now is a great time to join me.

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox, Ecstasy Crafts* & Scrap n Stamp)

*if you visit the Lavinia products at Ecstasy Crafts make sure you use the heathertecs10 discount code at check out

Gel Printing with the Strands stencil

A stencil gel print for you today. I created this distressed print on a large gel plate so I could pick up a card front and an envelope print at the same time. If you don’t have a large plate you could just use the same paint colours and stencil on a second print. Just in case you didn’t catch my news yesterday, my new online course Gel Print Journey is now available! (And there is a discount for blog readers TEAMBLOG10)

The stencil is called ‘strands’ and it is a digital design I created and have made available in the Echidna Studios etsy store. The bold print shown on the card above was made with copper, burgandy and purple paint so I chose a dark burgandy cardstock to cut dragonfly elements and a sentiment strip. Printing directly on the envelope is a easy way to co-ordinate with your card and I placed a sticker on the white envelope before printing to preserve white space for the address. I think I might make a video of this process because it’s quick and effective, a combination I like.

The pattern on the second card is very muted because it is a ghost print, the leftovers on the plate after I pulled the one above. I cover this technique in my new online class using a range of different stencils and colour combinations.

Even though ghost prints are often patchy I like using them for collage or backgrounds as I have here. The line between cream and grey ended up looking like a path or lawn and I just like the unique grungy texture.

The dies and stamps I used to finish the cards are all Penny Black, those dragonflies on the first card are some of the first dies I ever got and they’re still a favourite.

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox & ScrapNStamp)

Gel Plate Plant Prints

I have a few more plant gel prints to share with you. I put these ones together as a gift a while ago but saved this post to co-ordinate with the launch of my new online class Gel Print Journey. This class has been in the works for a while so I am excited to finally share it with you. It is an introductory class covering printing with acrylic paints and includes loads of techniques, hours of video instruction and a few inspiration galleries at the end so you can see what I do with some of the prints. (there is a discount code at the end of this post)

In the new class three of the lessons cover leaf, grass and feather prints teaching the techniques used to make the cards in today’s post. For the card above I used one large leaf but often I use a mix of leaves, grasses and when available, flowers.

Because I made all these prints with a 6″x6″ gel plate I was able to cover the card front and save a strip to add to the edge of the envelope. I used double sided adhesive to add these prints to my card fronts but a tape runner or gluestick would also do the job.

As you can see in the print above ferns print very well. I rolled red paint on my plate, pressed a fern frond and a flower into the paint, removed paint all around the elements with tissue paper then pulled the remaining print with gold paint. So much fun! Now that I have plants growing again in my garden I will be creating a new pile of nature prints.

I promised to let you know when my class launched and because my blog readers are such an encouragement to me feel free to use the discount code TEAMBLOG10 for a 10% discount when you register.

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox & Scrap n Stamp)

Sun Kissed

These breezy flowers are from the new Penny Black release. The stamp is called ‘sun kissed‘ and I have stamped it twice on this card. I used both distress markers and ink pads to ink the stamp; I know the markers are being discontinued but while I have them I will keep using them.

I inked the flowers with barn door and worn lipstick, spritzed the stamp lightly then stamped on hot pressed watercolour. Often I follow this step by blending the ink on the petals with a damp paintbrush. I decided not to do that this time as I liked the soft ‘impressionistic’ look of the uneven coverage. I inked and stamped the stems with mowed lawn then added some fossilized amber to some of the flowers.

I added fine lines and dots to each flower head with a fine black marker then added a sentiment from the PB ‘Enjoy builder set’. The builder sets include one or two large solid stamps then a range of phrases or words to stamp adjacent to the large word. Once again I decided not to add any background blending or shading. I like the simple clean look of the stem and flowers on white and it gives me a chance to get to know the stamp before combining it with other stamps or techniques.

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox & Scrap n Stamp)

Hollyhock Heaven Indeed!

This is the stamp I didn’t know I’d been waiting for until I saw it in the new Penny Black release! Hollyhocks are such beautiful flowers. I don’t have any in my garden so obviously I need some on my cards!

As usual I worked in the stamp positioner with hot pressed watercolour paper. I first inked the centres of the open flowers with a dark red zig clean color brush marker, spritzed with water and stamped. Next I inked the stems and leaves at the top of the image with a green zig marker and stamped. I used saltwater taffy distress ink to ink all the flowers wiping ink off where I could see there were leaves. This is a bit of a tricky step but a bit of green in the wrong place can usually be diluted and dabbed off with paper towel. I blended all the petals with a paintbrush pulling the dark red ink into the paler pink. When stamping the lower leaves with mowed lawn distress ink the fence ended up green so I went over that with some hickory smoke ink and a paintbrush. When I was sure the flower petals were dry I added yellow to the centres just like my reference photo. To finish I splattered some green and taffy ink, added a little greeting from the PB ‘how sweet!’ set and tied some twine to fit in with the little fence.

Isn’t this stamp a stunner? I can’t wait to try other colours and pair it with other florals.

Now back to my gel printing class; it’s not going to publish itself!

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox & Scrap n Stamp)

Close-up Blooms

You’ve seen this digital stamp once before on my blog but it is much bigger this time. I printed it on hot pressed watercolour paper at a size that would fill the square card front. The set is called ‘bud & bloom‘ and this is just one of the three images in the set.

A bigger image fills the card front beautifully and is easier to colour. I enjoyed colouring this one while relaxing on the couch. I used zig clean color real brush pens which are highly pigmented. I was able to add intense colour to one side of the petals then blend it out with a waterbrush. It is easy to add a bit more ink if needed or add a different colour just by touching the tip of the brush pen to a wet area on the petal. The zig pens are easy to control and mine are lasting very well.

This time I kept the background clean and added a little Penny Black sentiment. If you haven’t visited the Echidna Studios etsy store lately pop over and see what’s new. There are a bunch of new stencil designs ready for cutting from a plastic film for stenciling or from cardstock to add to a card front.

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox & Scrap n Stamp)

Printed & Stamped

Now the grass has turned green I am looking forward to gel printing with fresh plants again. I have used some dried ones over the winter and also some I purchased but nothing beats pulling a few grasses, leaves or flowers from the yard to print immediately. On the card above and below I pressed grasses into blue paint on a gel plate, removed the surrounding paint with paper then picked up the whole print with white and yellow.

To turn the printed panel into a card I added stamping with Darkroom Door stamps in a collage style with a dark blue ink and attached the paper print to the card base with double sided adhesive sheets.

I used the same process to create another collage card adding stamping over a feather gel print. The Darkroom Door fine detail stamps once again add to the grungy printed background.

I left the cards blank to be used for any occasion. As you can see in both cards, the gel print isn’t the main feature, nor is the stamping; it’s the combination of grungy background and stamped elements that make these work for me. Depending on the size of the gel printed sheet it is usually possible to add a co-ordinating strip of the print to the envelope as well.

There are lessons on gel printing with grasses and feathers in my soon to be released online Gel Printing Journey class; I can’t wait to invite you in!

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox, Scrap n Stamp & Ecstasy Crafts)

Gel Print Mandala Thank You Card

Gel printing continues to entice and delight me. This brown and burgandy print was done with a mandala mask from The Crafter’s Workshop; it’s called ‘beaded mandala’.

This print is a good example of the bonuses you pick up when you don’t start with a perfectly clean gel plate. If you look closely you can see some tiny remnants of text from an image transfer as well as the more obvious grey leftovers. I chose burgandy for the stacked PB diecut ‘thank you’ because there are some patches that look more burgandy than brown.

This technique with stencils is one of my favourites and is included in my upcoming online class Gel Print Journey. I am excited to be talking about it again despite the months that have passed since I began. I am back on it and excited to release it soon!

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox & Scrap n Stamp)