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.











Crafty resolutions?

My track record with crafty resolutions is poor.  But one that I always make and one that I kind-of stick to most years, is to make an effort to bring stuff I own into my daily craft work, and to not let new stuff languish on the shelf.  With that in mind I had a go at a technique that I’ve done before but tried to expand it.

One of the more pricey supplies I have is Pan Pastels.  I love the smooth coverage they give but hate the fact they rub off unless you seal them.  But I’m not willing to just keep ignoring them because of that.  I had done a little sample with the pastels, acrylic medium, and Gelli printing before so I though I would play around with layering and see what happened.

First, I experimented with different wipe-off techniques.  The basic process is:

  • Cover the paper with Pan Pastels
  • load the Gelli plate with acrylic medium – thinner coat is faster to dry!
  • cover the plate with stencil or mask and pull the print thru the stencil.


The medium traps the pastel but everything else can be whisked away. I used an eraser before but wanted to see what else worked.




The paper towel leave a bare hint of colour, sort of a two-tone effect, that I really liked.  The eraser totally removes the colour not trapped under the medium, so the paper is nearly white.  The baby wipe is too wet and makes the paper fuzzy.  Better cardstock might produce a better effect.

So I tried layering a series of stencils working from light to dark, yellow, orange then red.



I think that is actually the yellow layer after the first stencil pull, with the orange over it. Then a second stencil pull and rub off the excess:


then a third colour and stencil:



You can see the yellow background, the darker swirl, and the red surround. with each layer of pastels, a bit of the new colour will cling to the medium, even if it is super dry, but you still get the light to dark working pretty well.  I do think colour choice is important for multiple layers but will have to play a bit more to see if there are “rules” I can keep in mind to ensure the best possible outcome in future.

So I then had a look at what was on my desk.  First off, a little handful of goodies I grabbed with a Paperchase gift card DH and DD gave me for my birthday back in November:



Adorable little stamps and a real find – the Uniball Signo pens at 3 for £5! Total bargain. The stamps were under £4 for the set.

So I assembled a bunch of stuff and made a quickie ATC to remind me what the new year should bring:



  • a freebie stamp from Craft Stamper (I often like them but never seem to use them.  Why not?
  • my Staedtler pseudo-Gelatos
  • an old stencil
  • Clearly Better ink for clear stamps.  I adore this stuff, it is truly CLEARLY BETTER, but I can’t seem to find it anymore.  Why not? It is fab and no pre-prep of clear stamps needed to get a really good impression
  • that Signo pen
  • the Pan Pastels
  • the Gelli plate

and the ATC made with the experiment a little closer:



LOL!  DH will tell me my New Year’s Resolution SHOULD be to take better photos, but to be honest as long as they communicate the info, I just whack ’em up here.  Perhaps had I planned the thing better I would have left more space for the stamp, but to be honest I had a few to choose from and while the image on this one ended up being the one I liked best, it fit least well in the space I left.

Now I feel very virtuous, having used both NEW and OLD items.  If I can only stick to it….


Pan Pastels + acrylic medium and the Gelli Plate

I mentioned using a bit of a sample of a Pan Pastel technique on the SDC post last week where I pulled a print on the shiny side of an old CD, but the thin strips were so small you had no chance of actually seeing what it was like! This is the ATC background I alluded to:


How I got to this is:

I smudged Pan Pastels all over the paper.  It can be a solid covering or a patchy one, single colour or lots.


I brayered on the Acrylic medium through a stencil. You can either then remove the stencil to get the pattern only, or you can brayer on the medium, lay on the stencil, pull that print, then remove the stencil and pull THAT one. You know the drill. Pull the print over the Pan Pastels.



Now, once it dries, the pastels are trapped under the medium. You can erase the rest of the background, you can add more pastels over it …



Here you can see the different techniques in the four quadrants. Bottom right you can see it with the background erased.  I’m curious to play more and see what happens if you maybe then pull a regular paint-y print over that.  Might be cool, might be rubbish, not sure yet.


or even daub on the Distress Stain,like in the Gelli Arts video,  or mist  mica-mists. What is kinda cool is that the pastels trapped under the gel still retain a slightly matt quality (or at least with the matt medium they do!)



I really like the ATC background.  I’ll have to consider a bit more what I want to do to finish that off…




BIG CARDS – 3 of Clubs (pan pastels over embossing)

Phew.  Two to go.

I did say I would get back to Pan Pastels and so I did.  I had played, as you may have seen in a recent post, with Pan Pastels over black cardstock.  I wasn’t happy with the dusty side effects, even when the pastels showed up really well on stamping with Versamark, for example.

I quickly realized I just needed to reverse the process.  Easy peasy.  I stamped on the black cardstock and heat embossed with black


I masked off the center strip and rubbed the pastels over the entire exposed surface. The pastels do not cling at all to the shiny embossing so it still really pops.


The dividing lines are simply the plain background cardstock – I used a magenta and dark violet.


You can see off to the side another colourway I played with.  I like it a lot, and the indistinct areas of colour work well, I think.


For the letters I stamped on the black card and painted inside the letter outline with Twinkling H2Os.


You can see I tried using just the pastels, but they DID dull the shine of the glitter embossing powder more than they did the plain black.

DONE! Very monochromatic (or nearly) but quite striking.  I think you can see from the angled shot, there at the top, that the embossing is still glossy.  The pastel colours are still deep and rich, but not so bright as they would be over white.  I think it is another to play with some more.


1 Comment

Christmas Card and Pan Pastel technique

I was playing with my Pan Pastels and embossing ink, and it occurred to me that old techniques might actually work quite well with them so I had a go.

I grabbed a few things from my chaotic space – clean up is the order of the day as soon as I get this posted!  Shocking, it is.

Embossing ink, pastels, a scrunch of cling film/Saran wrap and paper. I think you see where this is going….

PPcardTry to get as much of the edges of the cling film out, and not so much large flat areas.


Tamp the wad of cling film on the embossing ink pad then stamp on the cardstock.  Scatter the areas at this point.  Then with a light touch pat on the Pan Pastel.  Once the areas grab the pastels you can rub, but lightly. It’s actually pretty cool at this point – a great art journal first layer.


But carry on.  Tamp on some more embossing ink, filling it some of the open areas, and add a darker shade of pastel.  You can do as many layers as you like.


I tend to try to leave a few white areas then do a last fill-in with the light colour again, so it really shows.


I would perhaps normally stop there but I have been told that people like techniques, sure, but what prompts them to give it a go more is an actual finished project they can see.  So I’ll carry on.  I printed a couple of my printable toppers. They were OK on the background but they needed something to tie them in a bit better.  So I punched a smaller circle and laid that over the printed one and smudged the pastels in just that area.


It does dull the text slightly but not as much as you might expect.


I embossed a swirl on the bottom of the first piece and brayered over some embossing ink, then heat embossed with glitter embossing powder.


Trim to fit your card front and pop the circle.


Simple but effective, I hope.  I think the pan pastels over text is a trick to play with more.  I want to try brushing over it with an ear bud/Q-tip to see if that brings back the crisp intensity of the printed text a bit more.  Also I am interested to see what happens if I print with a light shade then do the pastels over it – will it make the text just a darker version?  Ans how can I use that as an arty technique?

I think this could be quite cool as an ATC background and I def. have to have a play with assorted colours rather than the monochromatic version.

Have a go.  It’s easy peasy.