Two interesting Gelli experiments

Another quickie from me.  Busy day!

I have two things I wanted to play with.  The first is cheap plastic stencils.  I like them but I never like the large areas of paint they remove from the Gelli plate.  it’s too regular and blocky.  I have a stash of these that were gifted to me from someone who used them in some past business capacity.  So as I have at least three or four that are identical, it wasn’t a struggle to decide to cut one up.


Due to how tight the letters are, with some of the descenders crossing the cut line, some of the edges aren’t a straight line, but I don’t mind that.  cut into strips it’s easy to arrange them in any way you like.

2cutstencilRemember if you are pulling a print that you need to reverse them so the letters appear to read the right way! and just to be clear I am NOT pulling the print thru the stencil here.  I’m laying it on, pressing lightly, then removing the stencil.  That is what gives this effect.  The stencil is really too thick and the area of the letters too thin/small to get a super effective pull THRU it.


I like that a LOT better than the large block.  Do you?

OK, so the other thing is sort of a jump from what has turned out to be my most popular post ever, the Glitter Gel technique.  Bizarre, really, as for me it was a total throw-away post.  Interesting but not something I expected to garner  over 30,000 hits since I posted it!


Basically I rolled paint on to the plate, then laid on a stencil.  I pulled the paint off from the openings for another print, then rolled on the glitter gel.


I did pull a print on plain paper but the photo isn’t good enough to really show how pretty it looks.  For the next one I pulled it off with packing tape – that had the added benefit of cleaning the plate of the glitter nicely as well!


And you can see the sparkle a bit better thru the lens


The packing tape sticks to paper OK, as I guess the gel has enough bare spaces in it to allow the tape to stick.

There is clearly more to play with here but overall I’m pretty pleased with the experiments so far.  Maybe if I’m lucky there will be time to play some more tomorrow.  Til then there is enough info for you to have a go.  If you do, share your experiments and results.  I’d be very interested!


Stamp-thru on a Gelli print

I have some stuff I need to do so I just thought I would add this thing I’ve been playing with – limited success, until I approached it logically LOL!

I used a stencil over a Gelli print, and stippled the black thru it, but there is no reason you can’t do the same thing when you have used a stencil to PULL a print.


Once I had the black in place and it was DRY, I used my homemade white acrylic ink stamp pad (I had to slightly refresh it with a bit more ink last week, but it is still working well) to stamp text thru the stencil so it only appeared on the black.



My problem was that the clear stamp was very fine, and although it sort of worked on my home-cut stencil, the raised text might not be deep enough to work with a commercial (thicker) stencil.



Some areas worked better than others.

So I thought how I might solve that – it’s a trade-off really.  The thin text looks better on the thin lines of this stencil, but the thicker foam stamps give a much bolder impression.



But with the bigger letters you lose the detail to the point you can’t tell they are letters.

So the solution is to use a stencil that has a much bigger area.  Shame I used the wrong stamp, the one with the letters reversed to use on the Gelli plate to remove paint.


With that much black, even the clear stamp showed up well. As I’d messed up the stamping already I figured I might as well give it a go over LOL!  I may still find a use for it, but even if  don’t it was worth having a go.



I def. like the effect so will be playing around with this a bit more, I’m sure!



Lucky, lucky me

Not really.  LOL!  I’m not a person who thinks of themselves as “lucky” – we’ve had too many bad things happen over the years.  But when a bookbinding group I’m part of set a challenge to make a star book with the theme of LUCK I decided to have a go.

The title comes from a song by the Hank Dogs, Lucky Break. I do so love their harmonies and easy, folky sound. Oh and yes, the YOUR slipped a bit but it’s straight now!



The background is a Gelli print that I made ages ago but had no immediate use for.  The shamrock is ringed by some old (and I do mean OLD) glass/mirror mosaic tiles.  They don’t photo well due to the reflection but love how they work in real life.





The usual star book construction.  Opened out it forms the star shape – but functions as a flat, flip-able book if you prefer:


The footprint is pretty big, as the pages are 6 x 6 for the largest layer. Each black page has two shamrocks cut out (you may have spied them to the side of my WOYWW desk) and I just set up the file in SCAL and cut them all in about 10 minutes. They are all stamped and heat embossed in black with a swirly sort of pattern and the cut outs are backed with Gelli prints on vellum.  The middle layer of pages is white, with s checkerboard just at the top edge – I wanted the white behind the vellum to enhance the prints.



The top edge of the back most pages have a punched border for some additional interest



Maybe you can just see one of the mirror tiles highlighting the word LUCK in each of the quotes.







I dithered about outlining the shamrock (either inside the cut-out or just outside the black) with white pen and I may still do that. Problem is outside it, which I think I would prefer, will have to go over the embossing, which might be a bit tricky.

I was a bit lucky yesterday when DH surprised me with a lovely long lunch out – part Valentine’s day (as we have other commitments on the day) and part celebration of the final wrap-up of a year-long battle we have had with a poorly performing professional that ended up causing us untold stress and expense.  It was a total surprise and much enjoyed.  AND he agreed to watch a movie with me – very unusual, especially since, as he is quick to point out, he loves music, and he loves documentaries, but HATES music documentaries.   We watched  Muscle Shoals – about the recording studio in Alabama.  Too many talking heads and not enough music for his liking but I enjoyed it.  All in all a lovely day, even if it delayed my WOYWW visits.

The Gogozombie font?  Well, not entirely sure what the deal is, but I did find that if I type in all upper case the Os print fine with no need to create a .jpg to make them visible.  Still can’t quite work out why  can SEE them but they won’t PRINT in lower case and it isn’t just Intaglio – Text Edit does the same thing!  The left is the lower case version followed by the upper case and you can see on the right how it prints.



So anyone care to give it a go in some Microsoft software?  I’d be interested!


More Gelli stamping

I wanted to play a bit more with the Gelli-as-stamp idea and as they have a challenge giveaway at Gelli Arts I thought why not?

Most of the background had other methods of applying paint, but when it came to adding the key image, well that had to be the Gelli-as-stamp.



The background is A4 in size, so fits neither the 8×10 plate or the 6×6 one perfectly.  For easy of use and the size of the image I wanted to add I used the 6×6.

I stuck the plate to a large acrylic plate (yep.  Found ’em)


I mixed a bit of glaze medium with the paint first, to increase the open time.


Rolled it onto the plate and created the detail of the print on it.



As I mentioned yesterday, I feel the paint removal techniques are where this technique really comes in to its own. Now with the mask removed all I had on the plate was my heart.



I hovered over the plate, deciding exactly where it looked best.  It wasn’t exactly where I first thought, so this helped me place it better.



I did a second heart, darker purple, and again, I was able to put it right where it needed to be without trying to peep under the paper, had I done it the usual way.



The glaze medium left the hearts semi-sheer but for the last one I wanted it to be more opaque.  It was fine, as I knew exactly where I wanted it to go so I could stamp it pretty quickly.  I rolled on some liquid paint and added the mask, then bounced a metal ruler (not TOO hard) over it.

8heartgelliLooks ok but when I stamped it…



then checked out the print, OMG!  Such a simple thing but I do love the effect, esp. of the purples showing thru.



I did a few more things to it, but maybe stopping here might have been better. Anyway here is thew whole thing.



All a bit chaotic but certainly colourful.

I also think that the Gelli-stamp idea is a good one to be able to print on a larger sheet.  I can see using the plate as a stamp on a LARGE sheet of paper, but not overlapping and printing random (square or rectangular) areas, but doing more intentional printing.  I do know I’ll do it again.  Might even try the larger plate just to see what happens.




Gelli plate as …. stamp?

This is another one of those odd things where initially I think Genius idea! but then start to question myself – is this really the easiest way to do things?  What makes it different to how you would normally do it and does it bring something new or not?

Not sure I have an answer, but I had to have a go.  And since I still have a foot tall pile o’ papers to sort thru and organize (from yesterday – no, I didn’t finish. Double Poo) it’s unlikely I’ll get more than the quick try I did earlier to illustrate.

Right.  So I did a background – that was simple enough, using the Cosmic Shimmer (but not shimmery) acrylic ink sprays.  I had a go mixing them on the palette with a bit of glazing medium and rolling that on to the Gelli to pull, and liked it, as it has a nice sheer quality to it.  So then I was thinking I wanted to add some stencil text, but I wanted it to be perfectly placed.  I thought I could just stencil onto the piece, but what I wanted to try was adding other text INSIDE the stencil areas, and that seemed easiest by using the plate.  I did make a placement tool, and it works, but sometimes I get the whole need to reverse things muddled up and when I think something will appear say top right, it ends up top left cause I have not  focused.

So I thought to myself The Gelli Plate is clear – you can see thru it. Hum. Now SOMEWHERE in my office I have a large piece of acrylic a mate cut for me for a totally unrelated purpose.  THAT was what I wanted to find – I will find it, but not today.  What I did find was my old CM circle cutter glass mat.  While the acrylic blocks are 9 x 11 (so totally usable with the larger plate, then glass mat is about 8 x 8 so only useful for the 6 x 6 plate.

I simply stuck the Gelli plate to the glass mat. I laid on the stencil and rolled over the paint, then stamped into it to take some away, giving me the text within text look I was after.


I already know a better stamp for this, but that’ll have to wait for the next playtime.  But you can sort of see the effect.


So that is what is on my plate.  A little glaze medium added to the heavy-bodied paint to let it stay open a bit longer, and this is important.  Why? When I started, my only goal was perfect placement of the text.  But when I was holding the Gelli plate upside down over the background, and getting ready to stamp it down onto where I thought I wanted it to go, I realized I could move the plate over the pice, looking down thru it, and make some more conscious decisions about exactly where I wanted it to be.  The paint needs to stay open long enough for you to dither….


As you can see the old glass mat has a lot of cuts in it, so I didn’t let the Gelli plate hang about on top of it.  But so long as you don’t leave the Gelli on  a scarred glass mat it should be fine for a session – a day and you will find the marks in the glass have transferred to your plate.


Where I think this way of using the plate is helpful is if you don’t want the SURPRISE! element with your printing.  I agree that pulling a print when you have an idea of how it might look, but no certainty, is fun but the flip side of that is sometimes I pull off the print and go OH NO! cause I messed it up.  And some techniques on the plate are not as easy to do another way.  Sure, like I said, you can always lay on the stencil and ink or paint thru it, but the taking AWAY paint is harder.  So if you wanted to say mask off a big circle, then add a stencil and brayer over the stencil to remove the paint, than add some marks THEN print all that onto the background maybe inside a circle you had already pulled on the background, I don’t know how I would do that without using the Gelli plate!

I like the idea of creating my little composition on the plate then turning it over, looking THRU the plate to the background and knowing when I stamp it down I will get exactly what I want where I .

Sorry the photos aren’t more informative, and I am wordy, as ever, but I hope it gives you some ideas for play.  SOMEONE should be having fun today cause it sure isn’t me.  I should have taken another photo of the appropriate mug to sum up two days of boring paperwork, but I’ll settle for adding it a different way


I should be cropping….

…but unfortunately I have a date with a massive pile of paperwork instead.  This month both my crops fell today and as it turns out I can’t make either of them now.  Poo.

But I did want to quickly add this little play-time sample.  I was so intrigued by the ALL pencils, and love that you can add them over acrylic paint and they mix with water over the surface.  So I just did a pretty basic Gelli print with some bubble wrap and a stencil then added first the white pencil (activated with a wet brush)





then some black pencil for shadows



and a bit of paint thru a stencil and some stamping with lids and white paint, and some more black pencil



I love the painterly effect!



The pull is on black cardstock for a change.  I’ve done it before with metallic paint but not played too much with the standard acrylics.  I kinda wish I had done it right in my journal – or at least in my experimental play-time journal,  but at least I know I can add it by sticking it to a page, cause that’s worked before.

Now, DH ordered me a mug.  I think he thinks the fact I am  blogging  (and occasionally people actually read it) is…amusing.  And he thought this oe was a good match for me:



Hard to read as the text curves right around, but it says Be careful, or you’ll end up on my blog. It’s a little small, to be honest, but I have to use it, now don’t I? I do like a BIG mug. He ordered a few of them and this one is probably my next favourite:



Pretty much sums up how I feel about sorting papers…Now I just have to stop my brain from drifting into crafty mode and focus.  Easier said that done….

Hope your Saturday is more creative than mine is destined to be. Again, I say POO.


A variety of things

Let’s see.  First thing I did was scan an image from an old book, from a 1915 Italian magazine cover, that I’ve always liked a lot.  I cleaned it up digitally, sorted out the bits that needed to touch, and cut these three guys as stencils.  Love ’em.


Then I went back to a Gelli print that I’ve had hanging about and added to it.  I was curious to see if it would look OK to have a page in my crumpled paper bag journal that had a print stuck to it, rather than having the page built on the paper bags.  I started with this guy, who looks slightly smarmy to my eye.  That fits the subject. I just inked the plate with black and pulled the print over the old one.


Now, the purple colour you see is from something I knew I had but just had to locate.  I was sure I had some form of waterproof, non-smearing sprays someplace but I  needed to think where I might have stashed them, as they were NOT with the other sprays.  Found ’em hiding with the Distress Stains – what was my thought process for that?  Probably just that’s where they fit at the time.


Tricky to get a decent shot of the metallic labels but they are called Cosmic Shimmer Misting Ink Spray.  I got them a couple of years back as a freebie gift from Craft Stamper.  They worked great over the Gelli print!  It was interesting to see how they at first seemed to sit on the surface of the paper, but before my eyes just seemed to sink in to all the empty areas.  They may be branded Cosmic Shimmer but they don’t really have a “shimmer” to them at all.  It took me ages to find someplace that sold them still and I am sure I’ve duplicated some of the colours, but they are fab.


I must have used them once, as Mallow is pretty depleated.

Then I went back to the stamp pad I made a week back – still wet, still stamps perfectly fine with the white acrylic ink still making a good mark.


That smear of pink isn’t the issue I thought it might be.  Yay! And then I stamped with the fun foam letters from yesterday.  A tiny bit of over-stamping but like I said,m with a grungy font it matters less to me. And then I stuck it in and I think it’s OK.


LOADS of room to add my journaling around the edges and I am pretty happy with it.


Word masks for the Gelli plate

It’s been a while since I’ve played with my Gelli plate.  I had an idea for my art journal and wanted to try it out on some random Gelli prints I had kicking around and am pleased with how well it worked.

I am using Intaglio (Mac only) for the design, but no reason it can’t be done the same way in PSE.  I am cutting with the Cricut and SCAL, but again, no reason any cutter that has a TRACE function wouldn’t work as well.

First I created the layout.  They key is for each letter to be its own layer, so you can move them to touch. This font is called Art Post Black – it’s very distressed but by changing the settings in SCAL I can get rid of the tiny dots that the grungy font gives – just take CORNER and DESPECKLE up to 100.  Not sure what this would be in PSE, but you can just pick a less-grungy font instead.

Can you see each letter is its own object?


and grouped as a single unit


Then imported into SCAL and traced



Now, rather than do this from report cover plastic, as I have done loads of times, I wanted something with a little more weight, more stable.  I covered an index card with contact paper, front and back


I trimmed the excess from the edges and then (just to be sure it didn’t move on my old, less than perfectly sticky mat) added a bit of painters tape.  I took the speed right down and the depth of the cut right up.



Cut perfectly.



The second one, with a more scripty font, I only covered the front of the card with the contact paper (beig frugal) but more on that later.

I cut a circle just bigger than the block of text

7wordmaskthen covered the Gelli plate with black paint.  Laid on the circle mask, placed the word block (REVERSED) within it, and pulled the print on an old print.





I did some sketchy black lines to better define the letters but not required.  Love it.

Because the word block mask was slick on the back, I was able to pull a ghost on another print. Because the circle mask was NOT slick, I got virtually none of the black – which is what you want.



I just defined the edge of the circle with a black pen, and outlined the words with white for some nice contrast



Now, with the scripty writing I laid it down on top of another scrap print and sponged over it – this gave me a more…organic looking black-out to define the text.


Ditto the white outline, although I did first try outlining with hot pink.



One advantage of using the index cards is the lines – they help if you want to make sure things are straight

When I tried to pull this mask off, as there was no contact paper on the back, it fell to pieces.  and no hope of a ghost.  So this is NOT the time to skimp – cover both sides of the card and you will not only make it possible to get a print AND a ghost, you will make the whole thing a lot more stable.  And choose your fonts carefully – too scripty and the mask will be thin in places, and therefore weak.  Big and bold and it will be stronger – and personally I think big and bold and grungy suits the Gelli plate “look” better than pretty does.




Just some more Gelli sealing samples

I did a little YouTube slideshow thingie with a few more samples of sealing ink jet prints with the Gelli Plate and acrylic medium.  It’s such a good way to bring printed stuff to mixed media art – or at least I think it is.

I find that a quick blast of the heat gun – or waiting till the ink jet prints are very very dry – helps a bit too.  I think this will depend on what printer you have and the inks it uses.  I can’t test anything other than mine, which is a Canon with compatible inks, so I would ALWAYS advise you to test it first, as I did, with throwaway pieces, to make darn SURE than they aren’t going to smear.  To be fair, over a busy background a little smearing isn’t going to matter a lot, but on white or light backgrounds you could notice it more.

Not sure how well this will show, but this is an image over just plain old white card.  There was virtually no smear at all.

sealedsamplesThis is another – here is the beginning image, just printed and sealed so you can see the ink jet ink outlines looking pretty pristine:


Here it is coloured with Pitt brush pens and affixed to the random Gelli print background with acrylic medium – I did try a print on Deli paper, which I do NOT deem a success, as the ink did smear and sealing it kept the Deli paper from “disappearing” into the background.  It’s a bit better on the lighter area than the darker but not consistent enough for me to endorse it.


Here is just an image left white – again you see no smearing with the medium brushed under and over:


And finally, another image, also with Pitt Pens brushed on then smudged over the print. This one is cut out.


The YT thing doesn’t really have a lot more info in it, except this bit: what is important is that the plate be very clean when you brayer on the medium.  Any residual paint is going to get picked up in the medium.  Look at this – this plate was well cleaned with hand sanitizer. I wiped over it with a baby wipe at the end – it looks clean doesn’t it?


Not one bit of colour on that wipe.  BUT if you add a few drops of Baby Oil and massage that into the plate, guess what?



Yep.  ALL THAT COLOUR pulled off the plate with a clean baby wipe.  Once you massage i the oil and wipe it away a wipe of the plate reveals it is TRULY clean.


Now, I am sure I recall something on the Gelli Arts site saying you can oil the plate with mineral oil.  But I also know that I have been using Baby Oil for months with no problems.  And in fact, as I have mentioned in the past, oiling it actually improves the pulling of prints – they sometimes seem to stick harder to the plate and a quick oil makes them glide off.  No issue with colour change or oily residue that I can see so long as you massage it in well.  But if you doubt it, don’t do it.  I’m happy to risk my plate having some problem down the line but not willing to say unequivocally This is OK to do and risk yours.

I’ll embed the video just in case you land here without having seen any other posts so you don’t have to hunt for it, but you wont miss much if you don’t bother to watch it!


Weirdest Gelli plate usage!

This is very odd indeed.

So I was playing with the Pan Pastels, wanting to try out a couple of things.  I was experimenting with a sort of ghost print idea, using the acrylic medium and pressing a thick letter stencil to the plate then pulling a print, it to see what sort of effect that gave me over the Pan Pastels.  Not anything special.  But I had a thought – could not the acrylic medium be used as a sort of fixative for the Pan Pastels?  And could the Gelli Plate be used as the application tool?

I’ll preface this all by saying that I’m not sure it is a superior method to some sort of spray fixative – unless the whole spray thing is something you avoid – but it is an option.  Let me explain.

I first added the Pan Pastels to a tag, just the usual sponge technique



Then I used the stencil to smudge thru more pastels

2weirdgelliI loaded the Gelli Plate with acrylic medium, a fairly thin coat, maybe the size of a large pea over the 6 x 6 plate, with the brayer



then I pressed the tag onto that.  Like with the experiment yesterday, the medium traps the pastels, fixing them.  Then I did another stencil layer with a different colour and sealed that.

4weirdgelliThere is a matte sheen to the surface that I am pretty sure this won’t capture:

5weirdgelliMaybe a bit.  Anyway THAT gave me another idea! I am frustrated by the fact I often want to add text to things and what I have is an inkjet printer.  Printed text smears when you apply acrylic medium over it.  Yet I would want to seal the text, or maybe choose to use a printed image, for example, then seal it.



Rubbish, hummm? Well I thought that perhaps using the Gelli plate to apply the medium over text would seal it without the smearing…and ya know what?  I does!

7weirdgelliSame process.  Just print the text, apply the acrylic medium to the Gelli plate, then carefully press the text down on to the plate.  when you pull it off, the text is sealed. Try not to wiggle it about, which WILL smear the text – although that does give a kinda cool, almost shadowed look to it, that is better than the smeared look if you brush the medium over it.  It’s a bit like a halo, but more as if you shaded the text with Copics, I think, than it bled, as the shading is in the SAME position, not uniformly all around the letters.  Can you see it is really only at the TOP, and more at the end of the words?


Now, I added some of the Signo white pen and it was ages till I brushed over it.  I didn’t expect it to smear, but it did.  I suspect that as it was the pen over the medium, that might be why.



See the smear there under BREATHE? I simply added a bit more medium to the plate, pressed the half of the tag I’d not yet worked on to it, let it dry, then carried on with the last bit f text.  And look, Ma, no more smears! You can see the brush strokes, but the paint around the Q is smear free.


So the question becomes is it worth it?  More worth it than some other sort of fixative?  Well, I would say if you hate, or are affected by, spray fixative, or if it is miserable and rainy outside and you can’t get to a “well-ventilated area” or if you just don’t have any fixative handy, using acrylic medium and the Gelli plate to apply a fixative to a SMALL piece is an option.  I will def. use it for text from my ink jet printer in the future!

A few notes.  Do make sure your plate is scrupulously clean, and your brayer, and in fact the application tool for the medium, be that brush or tube nozzle.  On white card, every little smudge or dot of ANYTHING is going to show.  You might like that.  I think you could easily add Distress Ink to age the paper first, then print the text over it, then seal it.  That would keep the DI from remaining water-reactive, if you needed it to be.  And it is completely useless, to my mind, for BIG pieces.  I don’t think you would want to seal a large canvas this way.  BUT it does let you seal small bits, then layer them on without the fear of the smear, so you should be able to then use acrylic medium over the whole of the piece.  For me, this is a quick and easy solution for no-smear inkjet text, and for THAT, I am doing the happy dance.