Last week I posted a card featuring gel printed leaves from herbs I grew. I tried to explain my process but a few of you wished for a video so I picked some more leaves and had some fun printing them.
I used two different methods in the video, the leaf printed in yellow at the top of the page uses a two step method. The blue + green leaf above uses three steps and has one technique layered over the other technique.
I think the part of gel printing that gives me most inconsistent results is the way I apply ink. I’m getting better but I still get unwanted lines from the edge of the brayer. That wasn’t so evident on these prints as I was working on little gel plates called ‘petites’ from Gel Press.
I did a bunch of prints for this video on the square and the circle ‘petite’ plates as shown on the top cards. For the ‘slimline’ card I used three of the square prints but die-cut them smaller so I could fit them side by side on a 8¾” x 3¾” card.
I hope you give this a try, it’s quite satisfying and addicting once you get going!
I have teamed up with the Foiled Fox again to bring you these pretty purple blooms made with My Favorite Things, ‘magnolia blossoms’ stamp set. The set contains two stamps; I have used one, stamped three times. To hide one bloom behind another I stamped a mask first on masking paper. I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper, stamped in versafine clair nocturne and embossed in clear powder.
I painted both the sky and the flowers with Dr Ph Martin’s Hydrus watercolour paints. They are highly pigmented so I added a droplet of each colour to a palette then added water. I describe the whole process on the Foiled Fox blog today so pop over there to learn more and take a look around.
The sentiment is also from a MFT set, ‘brushstroke expressions’ stamped in nocturne and embossed in clear for a little shine. See that little pop of yellow in the centre of the blooms, it’s what I call a booster in my new ‘Colour Clues’ class. If you want to know more, click here.
I’ve had oxide inks out on my desk the last few days so I put them to use on a journal page.
I taped the edges of the pages with painter’s tape which gave me a border and held the pages flattish while I worked and painted the page area inside the tape with absorbent ground so I could add water to the inks and move them around a little.
Because the journal pages do not lie flat any more I was only able to pick up sections of ink from my glass mat. To get more coverage I squished ink on a piece of acetate, spritzed it and dragged it across the pages spreading ink as I went.
I added visual texture with two stencils from Darkroom Door then stamped feathers from the DD ‘feathers’ stamp set in black and then in the oxide inks. When it came to doodling on the page I used black and gold gel pens and wrote the verse with the same pens. I finished it off with gold and black splatters then removed the tapes to reveal an uneven but quite artistic border.
This was an unplanned experimental page as many of my pages are. I was inspired mainly by what was on my desk and a desire to doodle some of the design and not just stamp.
I am rather frustrated by the paper in this journal. It is good paper but not made to handle wet media so I am limited in creating the kind of blends and wet into wet designs I love to do. The question is do I persevere and learn some new techniques that don’t rely so much on watercolour (gasp) or do I buy a good watercolour journal?
These loosely lined flowers cover a large background stamp, new from My Favorite Things. I chose three colorburst powders and kept the painting loose and funky as well!
After embossing the large stamp on hot pressed watercolour paper in white I sprinkled cerulean blue, lemon yellow and terre verte powder sparingly on the panel. I tried to be a little strategic in my placement of the colours, as much as you can with something as unpredictable and airborne as a paint powder! I sprinkled blue in the half flowers, green and blue in the full flowers and yellow in the spaces. ‘Really?’, I hear you say! I know colorburst powders don’t always stay in their lanes but I was happy with all the pretty blends and patterns anyway.
There are some little anthers coming out of a few flowers which I coloured with a gold gel pen. I used three sentiments from another MFT set, ‘all about you’, embossed in white on black then popped them up down the side of my panel. You’ll be seeing more of this pretty stamp; it’s a fun one! Thank you Foiled Fox for sending it my way.
As I hoped I fitted in some gel printing the other day. I picked leaves from my garden and experimented to see which would give me a good print. It also took me some trial and error to get the amount of paint right too.
I brayered titanium white, ultamarine blue and hooker’s green onto my circle gel plate then lay down the back of the leaf on the paint. I lay white cardstock over the top and taped one edge of the cardstock to my table before lifting it to see the print. Without untaping the cardstock I removed the leaves and lay the cardstock back down to take another print, that which was left by the leaf.
I know some extra visuals, even a video might be more helpful than a description so I am working towards that goal. Gel printing can be rather hit and miss for me so I haven’t done any filming yet.
I decided to use all three prints on the one card so cut a piece of snowbound textured cardstock 10⅞ ” x 4¾” and scored it at 3⅝” and 7¼”. I die cut each print using a 3¼” square die and attached them directly to the textured card base. I stamped ‘Thank you’ from PB ‘million thanks’ set on white in peeled paint archival ink then embossed ‘for your help’ from the same set in white on green then cut it out with an oval punch to make a tab on the side of the card.
This card is for my daughter who has put hours or work and loads of enthusiasm into our garden this year. It’s looking good and we have high hopes for the tomatoes, brussel sprouts and cantaloupes still growing!
I am getting closer to doing some satisfying gel printing but this card was made from a previous gel printing session. You can probably tell the texture on this panel was from a piece of corrugated cardboard. So simple and effective.
There is definitely some leftover paint printed on this panel. Leftovers are a feature of gel printing I really like. I usually print and print without cleaning the plate so the leftovers, often on edges or corners appear in subsequent prints.
I stamped the large and small cone flowers from the Darkroom Door ‘carved flowers’ set first in white ink then offset in black before embossing in clear powder. White ink is very sticky so when I stamped on top of it the stamp lifted some of the white ink off. It was necessary to wipe the stamp each time and restamp in black to build up a solid black layer. After embossing I used the large six square grid die from Waffle Flower’s color combo set to cut my panel into squares. I popped them up on foam on a 6″x4.25″ card base.
The sentiment is the DD ‘majestic mountains’ set and reminds me that not all adventures have to be in person or in the outdoors right now, although I am missing that. I am enjoying the adventure of creating with new and old friends through my online class. (yes maybe this is another shameless plug, but it’s true!) As I see what class members are creating I am inspired and encouraged to be ‘in class’ with friends even while I can’t be in class in person.
And I am sure new gel printing is imminent; I want to print fresh leaves and maybe petals from my garden so stay tuned.
I have been waiting for some time to get the gel press out again and it has finally happened. A gel press session needs a decent amount of time and space otherwise I barely remember what to do before I have to pack up again. I find when I am working with the gel press my first prints or ‘pulls’ are very uninteresting as I get back into the process and build up some interesting colour and texture on the gel plate. That was definitely the case yesterday when I got started. The squares above did not come from a gel print. I cut them all from the cardstock off to the side where I was cleaning off my brayer!
Maybe you can guess from the squares that I was using dark blue, dark green and deep violet acrylic paint. The reason most of the squares look softer and more pastel is because I also used white paint each time I rolled some colour onto the plate. I may not use any of the gel prints I made yesterday but the scrap sheet for cleaning my brayer was perfect for making a card inspired by ‘Dear Paperlicious’. I am often inspired by Joan; I’m sure you will be too if you take a look at her blog or instagram. Her cards are clever and cool, just like her!
I cut all my squares using one of the dies from the Waffle Flower color combos die set then popped them up on craft foam and added a sentiment from MFT. Hopefully you will see some actual gel printing in the days to come but until then don’t discount the usefulness of a pretty piece of scrap paper!
Don’t forget to check out my new online class about cards, colour and making pretty things!
I’m celebrating the opening of my online class today. All the lessons and projects are now available so if you haven’t heard click here to see what it’s all about.
What’s a celebration without balloons and shiny things? I know you don’t see too much sparkle and shine around here but I was intrigued to see how this Brutus Monroe deco foil would look with some watercoloured balloons.
Once I had created a foiled sentiment and some bows I flipped the arrangement and paired foiled balloons with a blended sentiment. As you can see in the photos below I allowed some of the foil to be over exposed in the photo so you could see how it pretty the pattern is as it picks up the light.
I did my foiling without heat by attaching double sided adhesive (stick-it) to cardstock then removing the backing so I could lay the ‘silver sketch’ transfer foil’ directly on the adhesive. I pressed it down with my fingers carefully to avoid air bubbles then die cut the balloons, strings and sentiment from the foiled cardstock. Once cut I removed the foil top layer to reveal beautifully foiled die cuts. Rather than attaching the balloons to plain black or white card stock I ran the panels through my die cutter inside the ‘snowfall/speckles embossing folder, then flipped the panel around to emboss speckles on both ends.
You can see all that pretty reflective pattern on the foil even better in this close up. Thank you Foiled Fox for sending pretty shiny things my way!
When I tried a bit of hydrangea painting the other day it got me thinking about hydrangea stamps and I’m not sure if I have ever inked this PB one before. As you know I tend to go for the blues and purples (like my mother before me) but I decided to go more for the pinky red you can find in some hydrangeas. As you can see I didn’t end up with pinky red; I have orangy red which I have never seen on a hydrangea! My mother always wanted her hydrangeas to be blue, purple or pink so she and my dad added something to the soil to make that happen.
Before I began stamping I scribbled rouge pink and punch pink Arteza real brush pens on my glass mat, spritzed it with water then swiped my hot pressed watercolour panel through it. I dried the panel before beginning the stamping. In the stamp positioner I inked the hydrangea first with Papertrey ‘pale peony’ ink then dabbed the arteza pens on the stamp as well to get a variegated print. I spritzed then stamped and repeated the process to get three hydrangeas. To colour inside the petals I used three arteza pens (rouge pink, punch pink, apricot) to dab a little colour then blended to fill the petals with a paintbrush and water.
I decided to try a fancy drop shadow greeting and it kind of worked; don’t look too closely. I stamped first in versafine clair tulip red, dried that, powdered it with the anti-static-thingy, dried it again and powdered it again and then moved the panel ever so slightly left before stamping with versamark and embossing with gold. Despite all my efforts gold powder still stuck to the supposedly dry tulip red ink. As a fix I used a red marker to make the shadow to the left a little more prominent. Then in another fit of fanciness I cut the panel with a dainty dashes die. I don’t know what came over me! Maybe it’s because it’s Friday or maybe it’s because I am getting increasingly excited about opening my online class on Monday.
Thank you to all of you who have signed up already; I am thrilled by the response so far. If you don’t know what I am talking about pop over here and find out!
I am pretty much beside myself with excitement and nerves as I tell you about my new online class COLOUR CLUES! I have wanted to create an online class for years and it has finally happened. My son Ben and I have been working on this for a few months and it’s finally time to share it with you.
In the class I focus on how we choose and use colours in our card making projects. We’ll do plenty of experimenting with blending, diluting and placing colours in combinations that will really catch the eye. We use stamps and dies to create backgrounds and foreground images on ten different cards.
I use a range of my favourite techniques throughout the class working with dye inks, watercolour paints and oxide inks. There are three complete lessons and each features three or four projects with additional suggestions and photos for further inspiration and experimentation.
There will be prizes and surprises so register early to be in the running!