Gel print backgrounds

I have had my gel plate out recently and I am addicted. It is what happens when I get it out. Gel printing can be frustrating because some of the prints are a whole lot of nothing much while others are full of pattern, texture and colour. I never know whether the next print will be the former or the latter so I keep on printing. I have a stack of prints sitting around and I decided it was time to cut a few up to make cards. I added some stamping and die-cuts.

This first card is my favourite but I must be honest with you, it isn’t a gel print. It is the scrap paper I cleaned the brayer on! I love how pretty the colours and blends are but I’m a bit miffed that my clean up page was prettier than many of my prints!

To turn it into a card I stamped and embossed the PB ‘contemporary’ stamp in white and added the hello, cut with the PB ‘thanks & hello’

Same deal with this background but embossed with gold and adorned with the PB ‘jumbo joy’ die.

I’m glad to add another card to my very small Christmas card stack. My resolution to add to it every month seems to be a bit off and on.

This background is a recent print and includes a fun thread printing technique I saw on Birgit Koopsen’s instagram. She recently completed a challenge gel printing every day in May. She generously shared all the techniques she tried.

I added flowers from the PB ‘perfumed’ set and a sentiment in white embossing powder.

I guess the title of this post was a bit inaccurate as only one of these cards features a gel print background! Watching beauty emerge when gel printing is so much fun. To glance over at my brayer clean up sheet and realise I have to save it because it looks like a pastel check table cloth is a bonus. To see the pale ghosts of stencils turn up on third or fourth prints also amazes me.

I did not participate in Birgit’s recent challenge as I was busy busy launching the new online Floral Faves class but now the gel plate is out I am challenging myself to post something gel-print related every day this week. See you tomorrow.

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2021 BuJo – June theme

New month, new bullet journal theme. I chose the PB delight stamp because it is just that, delightful. I also tried colouring with markers, just colouring no water blending! The journal pages are very smooth and a decent weight but nothing like watercolour paper so I’ve been hesitant to do much blending with water. I used Staedtler brush pens which are water-based ink and coloured the flowers and leaves as minimally as possible.

The red tended to go through the paper a bit but only where I had layered ink over ink. I stamped the image first in Gina K obsidian amalgam ink which doesn’t bleed when water based ink touches it. Stamping without a stamp positioner is not something I do very often any more, it was a bit nerve wracking but it worked ok. I didn’t put the stamp on an acrylic block, I just pressed it down with my hand, that way I could apply pressure to the whole stamp bit by bit.

For the wish & to do list I just stamped in Papertrey ‘new leaf’ ink and repeated the butterflies for list items. By the way for the first time this year I completed all items my wish & to do list in May! Of course the big item was launching the new online course but there were birthday cards made and sent on time which is rather surprising for me!

I used ‘new leaf’ ink again on the calendar page along with a pilot fineliner for the grid, a micron pen for the days of the week and staedtler brush pens for the shadows over the letters.

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Daisy Sunshine

Last week I asked what your favourite floral stamp was and several people mentioned PB ‘dancing daisies‘. That was all the motivation I needed to get it inked up. I used the same technique for today’s card as I did for a recent lilac card. I inked the stamp with three ink colours (listed below), spritzed and stamped on hot pressed watercolour paper. Without re-inking I spritzed the stamp again and stamped another print then another spritz, another pale watery print. I dried the panel a little then dipped it in a bucket of water. The result was the background you see in pale colours.

I made sure the panel was totally dry before putting it in a stamp positioner to do a bold focal print. I used the same colours berry sorbet for petals, orange zest for centre and prairie grass for leaves and stems. I stamped a second time adding aged mahogany shadows on the flower centre and abandoned coral definition on the petals. I did some blending with a paint brush but not on all the stamping.

I finished the panel with a sentiment from PB ‘thinking of you’ in acorn versafine clair ink. I’m glad to have been reminded about dancing daisies; it’s a lovely stamp which I’ve used a few times over the years.

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One colour floral

I know I’ve been talking a lot about FLORAL FAVES, my new online class, but today’s post is not all about a favourite stamp or a favourite technique. Today the star is my favourite colour. I am team blue all the way! Some might consider this particular blue a bit sneaky because it dilutes to pink and purple tones but I just consider it clever. The way this design turned out with overlapping flowers in shades of blue reminds me of a piece of clothing my mother had when I was very young, perhaps a skirt. My mother was definitely team blue as well!

Juniper Mist ink from Catherine Pooler is one of those magical inks that separates into several different colours. It might not be quite as magical as Memento northern pine, but it’s definitely up there.

Using a stamp from the transparent PB set ‘thriving’, I stamped what might be a lilac several times on hot pressed watercolour paper with juniper mist and painted each flower and leaf with water. I didn’t spend long on the painting so it’s a little messy but that’s the style for this one. As I painted I varied the amount of water I blended with, added extra ink for some flowers and dabbed other ones. Dabbing away wet ink when using juniper mist leaves a pink print.

I’m keeping it floral here on the blog for a while longer to celebrate the launch of my new online class FLORAL FAVES. Thank you to everyone who has joined already. The lesson content is all available now so dive in!

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Companions Video & a winner

I have a video and a prize winner to share today but first thank you for participating in the giveaway. I really enjoyed reading what your favourite flower stamps are and I’m planning to go back and read through again and feature some of them in upcoming posts. Several of you named stamps that have been on the blog recently, some of which feature in the new online class FLORAL FAVES. Others mentioned older classics which I hadn’t thought about in a while. Dancing Daisies came up several times so I pulled it out and made a sample for the class. But without further ado let me announce the winner of a registration in my new FLORAL FAVES class!

Denise Bryant

Gorgeous card! I love the design and colors! The effect of the layering to frame the design is so pretty!
My favorite flower stamp is Penny Black’s ‘Together’. It reminds me of the agapanthus plants my grandmother grew in her yard.

Congratulations, Denise, I will be in touch by email.

Another stamp mentioned among the favourites was PB companions which features in today’s video.

After watercolouring on bristol cardstock I can recommend it. I wouldn’t choose it over hot pressed watercolour paper but it worked well and is more of a bright white, if you like that for your stamping.

Flowers continue to my focus right now as I proof read for the 15th time and put the finishing touches on the lessons in the FLORAL FAVES class ready for Wednesday (when the lessons will be available). I also planted more flowers in the garden over the weekend. I transplanted the morning glories I grew from seed; they look rather spindly but they started out that way last year and ended up a big success.

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Captivating

This gorgeous stamp from Penny Black is called captivating; it’s a single large stamp which fills a card front and lives up to its name. Before painting I did a quick search on my phone and used a reference photo as inspiration. Fuchsias can be a single colour or two toned; I chose pink and white using Peerless watercolours and a few no-line watercolour techniques.

Peerless watercolour paints blend beautifully; they actually advertise as ‘self blending’ so the soft transitions from dark to light on the leaves and petals shine with this kind of paint. After stamping in papertrey soft stone ink I used a couple of greens for the leaves and a single red for the lower petals which I diluted as I blended to add depth and variation. The upper petals have a little yellow, green and pink but not much as I wanted them to appear white.

I posted yesterday about my new online class Floral Faves. I use the Captivating stamp in the no-line watercolour lesson covering the process from beginning to end. There’s a giveaway open for a place in the class, pop over to this post to enter.

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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


Rose Dance & a Giveaway

When I first posted a card with the PB ‘rose dance‘ stamp I mentioned I’d been putting it to work with several techniques. To create this card I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper with papertrey ink cubes.

With the stamp and paper in the stamp positioner I inked the roses in ‘royal velvet’ and a few dabs of ‘pure poppy’ inks, spritzed then stamped. I used three different greens (listed below) for the leaves and stems. The papertrey ink cubes are fairly juicy to start with but with a spritz of water before stamping the ink is wet enough to blend into the petals and leaves.

When it came to putting the card together I decided to mix things up a little by cutting out the main image on an angle before adding some dimension with a few extra layers of cardstock. The Waffle Flower A2 layer dies and additional layer dies made it possible to cut the image from the panel, cut a scrap the same size to fit in the space and cut a slightly larger green mat before putting it back together. I pulled out an older PB sentiment set ‘kind words’ and stamped the message in dusty concord archival ink.

This technique is covered in lessons 2 of my new online class FLORAL FAVES. The lessons cover a range of my favourite techniques, some simple and elegant, others requiring more time and fine detail but all outlined clearly on video so they can become your favourites too! Registration opens tomorrow and I will have all the information in tomorrow’s blog post.

If you would like to win a place in the FLORAL FAVES class please comment below telling me one of your favourite flower stamps. I will randomly pick a winner and announce it here on the blog on Monday.

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Lilac & Fern

I don’t think I am alone in calling this stamp set a favourite. The two lilac stalks are pretty alone but with a sprig or two of fern they are delightful. I stamped this panel a while ago so the exact process is no longer firm in my memory but I do remember a crucial step which I will share with you.

I inked then stamped the lilacs with a mix of distress inks and Karin markers and the ferns with peeled paint distress ink. It looked ok but not the soft blended bunch I was after. I did like the combo of lilacs and ferns though so I thought I would dilute it all and see what happened. I didn’t spritz it; I drowned it. I dipped the whole panel in a bucket of water (the laundry is right beside my workroom) and watched a lot but not all of the colour drain away. The brightness of the peeled paint ink washed out but the olive stain remained. The lilacs washed out to a paler version of themselves and it was rather nice.

I re-inked the lilac stamps with the royal blue, lush green, henna and gold markers and stamped darker more distinct lilacs over the top. I have a friend who has had many successes with what she calls the ‘drowning’ method. It’s worth a try if your panel is not going in quite the direction you wanted; what have you got to lose? It’s only paper!

Although it is not quite ready yet my new online class, Floral Faves, is getting closer every day and I will be teaching techniques using your floral stamps to create card sized art works like the one above. I can’t wait to open the class and of course I will let you know as soon as it happens. Stay tuned!

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Pathway

I’ve taken a moody path for today’s card using the new PB ‘trailing’ stamp for some overhead foliage and the scenic PB stamp ‘pathway’ for the background image.

I inked both stamps with Karin brushmarkers, a brown, a green and a blue. I added a spritz of water before stamping both images and then did more blending with a brush of the pathway image on the panel. To add some background colour I blended stormy sky distress ink with a blending brush.

To complete the card I stamped the scripty thank you from PB ‘million thanks’ and a separate phrase from the PB ‘ever thanks’ both in versafine acorn ink.

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