Gel Printing with recycled cardboard

I posted a video last week featuring gel prints with stencils. In today’s technique video I use cardboard found at home. One piece was the packaging for eggs and the other a piece of corrugated cardboard.

The huge snowballs falling in the card above were printed using the large circles on the egg carton. I could have done more on the gel plate with extra colour or texture but I kept it simple which works well behind the more intricate sleigh. You can see my process in the video below.

The card below also features a gel print background made with an egg carton but I pulled two prints on the one panel both with green and white paint and egg carton circles.

The card below also features a gel print background made with an egg carton but I pulled two prints on the one panel both with green and white paint and egg carton circles. I stamped leaves from the Darkroom Door stamp set, ‘carved leaves vol 1’ over the bokeh-like circle background. To get the right tones of green in the stamping I used both shady lane and rain forest versafine clair inks one over the top of the other. The sentiment is from the ‘happy birthday’ sentiment strip.

In the video I also made prints with a piece of corrugated cardboard pressing it down on the gel press once for a striped pattern and twice for a grid pattern. I’ve turned a couple of those prints into cards which will be on the blog tomorrow. I hope you try gel printing with some recycling you find at your place. See you soon.

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Fine Flowers

I put some new inks and stamps to work on this card. The flower is from the Darkroom Door set, Fine Flowers vol 2 designed by my friend Godelieve (Stamping Matilda). There are six flowers in the set so this is just the beginning of the fun.

The background colour is a newish ink, speckled egg distress. I splattered masking fluid on a piece of water colour paper, smooshed speckled egg on a glass mat then added water before pressing the watercolour panel into the ink to create soft blurry blue smudges. The flowers are stamped with another new distress ink, crackling campfire. It stamps as a warm red but dilutes to more of an orange as you can see on the petals. I stamped the flowers one at a time and blended the stamped ink to fill the petals. I inked the centres with a black soot marker which blurred into the orange. To make the centres more prominent I drew dots and squiggles with a black embossing pen then embossed in black powder.

Before adding the embossed sentiment from DD ‘you are everything’ set I splattered speckled egg ink and also some water. At the risk of over dotting I also added white and black with gel pens. The stamp has its own little dots around it so adding a few more seemed fitting.

This watercolour technique is one featured in my Floral Faves online class and the colour choice is covered in my Colour Clues class. Both classes are self paced and filled with instructional videos and photo inspiration.

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Winter Garden art journal page

It’s been a while since I worked in my book themed art journal. As I looked over a table covered in gel prints I settled on two blue ones filled with pattern and paint. Both were on rice paper and sized 6″x6″ which is not big enough to cover the whole journal page. I decided to tear a rough edge on the bottom and glue the panels with space above and below.

The inspiration for the page is Kristin Hannah’s novel ‘Winter Garden’. I used Darkroom Door floral stamps to decorated the gel prints with blue flowers then added more stamping to the blue area and the white space at the bottom of the page.

Picking from a few themes in the book I stamped trees to represent the orchard, a suitcase to represent the escape from Leningrad, books from the library where the main character worked. I also used number, correspondence and snowflake stamps to complete the collage.

I am always in two minds about adding words to my pages and this time was no exception. Rather than a quote I just added the name of the novel and author. I used pigment and archival inks for all the stamping, white gesso around the edges and white ink and embossing powder to add the snowflake borders.

Have you read any Kristin Hannah? My book club considers ‘The Nightingale’ our best choice so far! We are always searching for good book club reads; if you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments.

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Gel Printing with stencils + video

In recent gel printing sessions I have used some of my intricate stencils from Paper Rose Studio. This stencil, ‘little swirls‘ makes a particularly beautiful background. I’ve been printing on a 6″x6″ gel plate with a 6″x6″ stencil but I cut the print down to make a 4¼” x 5½” card.

I used stamps from Darkroom Door’s nature walk , butterflies and happy birthday sets. (all linked at the end of the post). The process for making this type of print is shown in the video below.

After any gel printing session I usually have quite a pile of prints, some become cards but I am hoping to use more in my art journal. I have to be a bit more adventurous in tearing and layering and turning them into more than just a patterned print.

The making of the background above is included in the video. To turn it into a birthday card I stamped ‘have fun’ directly on the print then popped up a sentiment strip on top. The words are stamped in Gina K obsidian amalgam ink using the Pink Fresh Studio ‘Heather’ lowercase alphabet set.

The making of the background below is also part of the video and you can see the mustard paint beaded on the surface of the gel plate making an allover pattern when printed. I didn’t necessarily want the beading but was happy when it ended up uniform. Paints of different brands perform differently on the gel press so experimentation is necessary to work out how much paint and which brands will give you the results you want.

I turned this background into another birthday card by embossing a car from the Darkroom Door Classic Cars vol 1 set along with a sentiment from the same set plus one from the Happy Birthday set.

I also filmed some gel printing with a few textured surfaces from the recycling box; I’ll be sharing that video soon.

I’d love to hear how you use your gel prints; I’m always open to ideas.

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If you have a garden…

The rest of the quote says, ‘… and a library you have everything you need.’ My art journal is pretty much all book or flower related pages; I guess there is room for a new inspiration. Currently with a garden that is looking promising and an online course newly launched you could say flowers are on my mind.

The background for this page was created months ago when I was making subtle backgrounds for a few cards. Instead of swiping a whole panel through waterbased inks I was inking a piece of acetate then spritzing it and swiping it on a stamped panel. I opened a spread in the art journal and swiped the acetate across the pages a few times to leave some ink there. I don’t remember the exact colours but the smooshed ink covered the lower half of the pages in blue, green, yellow and pale orange. Last week I pulled it out again and turned the page into a messy garden.

As I said the lower half of the pages is smooshed ink. The upper half is broken china distress inks applied with a blending brush. The flowers are a mix of silhouette stamps from Darkroom Door’s ‘you are everything’ and ‘wildflowers vol 2’ sets. I inked with papertrey ink cubes, spritzed the stamp and stamped on the pages. Sometimes I blended the stamped ink, other times not. To make the blue flowers stand out a bit more I painted blue gouache paint over the stamping. The gouache works well on the journal pages so you will probably see more.

Once all the flowers were added I stamped the DD ‘scratches’ background stamp in black on the lower section of the page and added black and white splatter all over. I added the quote with a black gel pen. If you are in my Floral Faves online class you might this was inspired by one of the projects in lesson 3.

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Floral Faves – Online Class

After months of work behind the scenes and a few weeks of hints here on the blog I am happy to open registration to my new online class FLORAL FAVES. As the name suggests this one is all about flowers; stamping them, painting them, arranging them (on paper) and turning them into card sized works of art.

Once again my videographer son Ben has filmed and edited while I have designed, uploaded and scripted the content on the Coursecraft platform.

I hope you are inspired to join me in pairing your floral stamps to work with watercolour techniques. Every project is taught through video along with downloadable instructions, photos, tips and complete supply lists. We will work with different styles of stamps including background, outline, silhouette and brushstroke. We will pair all the favourite stamps with all the favourite mediums; dye inks, watercolour markers and watercolour paints .

As summer unfolds I’m sure you will be spending plenty of time outdoors, maybe in your garden, but when you need a quiet creative hour or two I hope you will join me in creating some bright and beautiful floral cards.

Registration is open now. Once registered you will have access to the introduction and supply pages. All the lesson content will be accessible on Wednesday May 26.

If you haven’t entered the giveaway yet click over to yesterday’s post.

Click here to register or find out more about FLORAL FAVES


Mixed Media-ish

I have in my workroom a few new items to try but with one thing and another I haven’t had a chance. I recently bought two new pads of paper, one is rice paper and the other is mixed media paper from Fabriano, that’s the one I used for today’s cards. I’m very taken with Fabriano 100% cotton watercolour paper so I wanted to see what I thought of the mixed media.

It is quite a while since I’ve done anything with my oxide inks so I pulled them out to make a blended background. After blending I did some water-stamping with both the DD ‘daisy delight’ background stamp and the floral silhouettes from the DD ‘you are everything’ set. The paper worked brilliantly for both steps. After drying the panels I stamped again with versafine clair inks and, as I hadn’t moved the stamps, the inked images landed inside the watermark images.

I dried all the stamping with a heat tool before adding background stamps over the top for added texture. I used white ink for both the DD ‘French script’ stamp and the DD ‘scratches’ stamp. The daisy stamp ended up with a double dose of script when I embossed a white base layer with the SU ‘scripty embossing folder.

I gave both cards a little birthday label and pronounced the mixed media paper a success. Of course I will put it through it’s paces with gel printing and a few other processes but so far so good.

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Crossword

Darkroom Door added four new background stamps to their line up recently and I’ve shown you ‘handwoven‘ and ‘daisy delight‘ in previous posts. Today I have three very different cards featuring the ‘crossword’ background stamp.

On this first floral card I have used the crossword stamp as a background. I stamped it on scrap first with versafine clair morning mist ink then on a panel of watercolour paper to get a pale grey image adding interest behind the silhouette flowers stamped in different distress inks. I used the same grey ink to stamp words from the ‘you are everything’ set to pop up along the bottom of the panel.

In this second card the stamp functions as both a background and a crossword (of sorts). Although the stamped image is a solvable crossword which comes with printed clues in the packet I have populated it with coffee themed words to work on my coffee themed card. I feel like coffee and the crossword is not an uncommon past time. I stamped the background with fallen leaves versafine clair ink and stamped the sentiment and coffee cup in the same ink on a gel printed panel. I added some blending and ink splatter in both brown and gold before popping up the coffee and sentiment over some gold cord.

Although it took some time to stamp the background and foreground images the hardest part of the coffee card was definitely finding and arranging coffee themed words in the crossword!

My last card reminds me of the riddle, “what is black and white and red all over?” A newspaper!

Get it?

“Read all over!”

On both the second and third cards I used bristol cardstock for sharper stamped images as I wasn’t adding any water or waterbased inks. I stamped a strip of three different DD background stamps, blended the edges and attached them to a red panel then used the ‘alphabet medley’ set to stamp the words in versafine satin red ink. I’m thinking I can use this card for any exciting occasion and stamp another sentiment inside which is more specific.

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Vintage layers

Today’s cards developed bit by bit over a week or so. I worked on flower panels one day, middle layers another day, let them sit a few days, searched for ribbon another day and finally a week later put them together still adding stamping, splattering and blending right up until I called them finished!

I featured the silhouette floral stamps from the new Darkroom Door ‘you are everything’ set. There are four floral stamps along with eighteen word stamps I mentioned in a previous post. The flowers above are stamped on cold press watercolour paper with papertrey inks. I used pale peony and pure poppy on the petals and olive twist on the stems. I spritzed lightly before stamping then blended further with a paintbrush on the paper. I used the same technique on the purple flowers in the second card but worked on hot pressed watercolour paper.

For the vintage and collage details on the card I above I used olive twist and fine linen inks to add painted areas, stamped text, splatter and blending with a brush.

The flowers above are stamped in pale peony, royal velvet and olive twist and I stuck with fine linen and royal velvet as the inks on the layered areas also.

I’ve listed all the stamps I used to add texture and interest to the floral panel and the layers underneath. You can see some of my favourite ‘filler’ stamps including French script and global postmarks. I also splattered water and white paint for some watermarks and subtle blots!

To finish both cards I punched a couple of holes in the top to thread some fabric through. I didn’t have a cream silk or sheer ribbon so I ripped some strips of what might be silk but I can’t remember. The ripped edge worked fine with my vintage layered look.

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Delighted with Daisies

This is the second card I’ve created with the new Darkroom Door background stamp ‘daisy delight‘. Once again I ended up using the whole stamp because it is just so happy and bright. At some stage I must try cutting a strip or some squares because I’m sure that would look pretty too.

Using the stamp in a positioner with hot pressed watercolour paper I first inked the centres of the daisies with an orange ink cube. I wasn’t careful to ink only the circles; I just gave each daisy a twist of orange ink then stamped. I cleaned the stamp and inked sections with raspberry fizz ink then stamped and finally inked remaining sections with bright buttercup ink. I gave it a spritz of water to help the inks blend before stamping the last time.

To fill the petals I smooshed the same three inks on my glass mat then used a paintbrush and water to paint loosely inside the petals and centres. I also mixed new blends with the pink, orange and yellow inks.

To put the card together I die cut a rectangle from the centre of the panel, popped in up on three layers of cardstock and wrapped some white and silver twine around it before attaching it to the card base. The sentiments are from the DD ‘Christmas bush’ set and they are perfect for many occasions; possibly a birthday this time.

Did you know Darkroom Door has a blog where they post oodles of inspiration for using their huge range of stamps and stencils? They also have a newsletter so you can receive emails full of inspiration.

Thanks for joining me today, see you again soon.

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