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.

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Die cut Gelli Skins

I’ll bein by acknowledging that the particular pattern of this skin is not ideal for this application.  But I will use it somehow anyway.

Once the skin is totally dry and not at all tacky to the touch, lay it onto the plasticky side of some freezer paper.  I just used the bit I had peeled another skin off of



and lay another bit of freezer paper over it, plasticky side on top of the skin.



I decided to try a few different sorts of dies – including a fairly intricate one.

3cutgelliskinsThey all cut perfectly



They are fiddly to peel, but a little poke of a paper piercer loosens the edge enough for you to peel the skin from the paper (and it is the die cutting  that compresses the skin to the paper which makes it tricky to peel) without damaging the skin.  You can maybe see the really intricate one tore – one of the little humps on the edge is missing, just above the upside down V – but you can also see how they look layered over another print


This is def. something I will play with a bit more.  I suspect these will work on a couple of Gelli advent tags.

I thought I would grab a shot of the scribble one, made with Jane Davies’ tutorial, and show that die cut as well –


I think the scribble lines look fab cut in a shape.



Note the shredded edge of the biggest circle was NOT due to any trouble peeling off the skin – and this time I tried waxed paper rather than freezer paper to sandwich, worked great – but because I didn’t tape down the die and it shifted, due to the lumpy nature of the skin, and cut off the edge.  I think it’s still usable.

Now, I love rough cut, wonky circles A LOT, but sometimes I prefer nice clean CIRCULAR circles and it’s nice to know I can get them if I want them.

Another crop tomorrow and I will have to try to finish up (or make exceptional progress) my advent tags, in order to avoid disappointing DD.  There is prep work to be done before that, and I will def. tuck some of these skins in to use them.  Then I can make more…



Gelli print book from those sewn scraps

Argh!  I spent all day yesterday doing a whole host of Admin things and in between I played with the japanese stab binding patterns I posted about a while back.  I wanted to finally finish up the book from Gelli prints with the sewn paper scraps “fabric” I also showed.  I tried out so many of the patterns, with the focus of working out, if possible, a two-colour version.  None of them I was happy with in the end, and after looking at the cover on my desk for most of the day, I decided a simpler traditional pattern would actually compliment the cover better than a super decorative one, which might distract.  I have to say I still love ALL of the patterns and want to use them ALL.  And her instructions are superb – I had to research the pattern I decided on and write it up in the Enter/Exit style for myself so I was sure I would get it right the first time. See my screens?




Bad enough, the little area in front of my monitors, not to mention the chaos on the screen, but OMG my proper desk….



You can see all (no, really only SOME) of my practice pieces and printed instructions.

And the book:



I rather like it, but it was really more about DOING it than having a plan for what to do WITH it IYKWIM.  I’m sure I’ll find a use for it.  Full of lovely colourful prints



and I love how the eyelets that echo the stitch holes let the contrasting first page show thru to the cover.

Now, having shown the shame of my desk, I hope to get it all tidy for WOYWW.  As my parents have had same pretty bad weather there in Northern Virginia (lots of ice and snow) and lost power, I’ve been without email for a day (our email server resides in their basement) so much of what I should be doing I can’t so till their power come back on.  So cleaning is the order of the day!

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More Gelli print advent tags

VERY productive at my crop yesterday.  I got well ahead of the game with my Gelli print advent tags.


A couple need the little sequins added, like the stars and small dots seen on this one, and I have a few more backgrounds completed that need decorating, but I am no longer needing to do them every day before they can get used.


DD has seen them and pronounced them good and Christmas-y – if she’s happy so am I!

Tree is up and finally has had the ornaments added (too early for ME, but again DD insisted it go up last weekend where I usually try to put it off till mid-month) and this year we added only the front of the tree branches (artificial tree LOL!)  to the bottom half so is nestles nicely in the window curve with no need to move al the furniture around to fit it in.  That helped with me agreeing to have it up so early – in the past three years I seem to throw out my back EVERY TIME cause I try to move the heavy sofas in the lounge by myself.  You think I’d learn! Anyway, it’s starting to feel more like Christmas and after months of trying not to think about it I am finally getting into the spirit of it all.


Gelli ornaments and another tag embellishment

I am still being inspired by that Interweave class Add to, Undo, & Redo: Stress-free Collage Techniques (although the sale has ended it is still pretty cheap) and this time I had a go at her technique for using scraps.  I again used bits and pieces of Gelli prints, ones that were not great or the leftovers from ones that had been partially used.

The first step was to tear them in little bits



then stick them to a shape – in this case a circle

2tornbitsTurn over the shape when all the bits are dry and trim back to the original shape

3tornbitsI then stitched around the shape – easier than expected – with a couple of different stitch options

4tornbitsI grabbed a couple of images from Project Guttenberg’s entry for Twas the Night before Christmas and made two little ornaments for the kids – our tree is very much in the “handmade” style, with very few ball ornaments.  Even the mass-produced ornaments have a “handmade” look to them. So these will fit right in!



Must stop working in the dark! One minute the light is flooding in thru the window and the next I am straining to see what I am doing.  Apologies for the photo. The final circle will adorn the tag for day three – I am awaiting a supply f tags to arrive in the mail but can always cut one if they don’t come by tomorrow.  I think they turned out quite sweet.  The kids can hang them on Christmas eve and I’ll write the year and some little message on the back.

My desk looks unbelievably messy at the moment.  Must make time tomorrow to clear up a little so I am not working in 4 square inches of space with chaos all around that.  Doh!






WOYWW 232 – a variety of things

Today what is on my WOYWW desk?  all manner of goodies! First, do you visit Dan99?  He is a super talented crafter, and I love his blog.  We have chatted, virtually, a few times, and I am always fast to admire his work and recently made Bathtub Dan and sent it off to him, on  a whim.  I wanted to make another bathtub shrine and had the idea to make one using a funny image from his blog, so I did.  It seemed the right thing to do to gift it to him.  Well imagine my surprise when I got a lovely box from him yesterday.  Having made the comment before that we were Kindred Spirits, I couldn’t have been more pleased to get this:


Isn’t it scrummy?  and I LOVE how he signs his work:


What else?  Well, I did a short online class from Carla Sonheim.  I stumbled across her work and loved the unusual Gelli prints she makes – very different to most.  She has a handful of techniques that I am not very good at but she inspired me to create a “tool” (and I use that only in the loosest sense)  to help me achieve the look I wanted but seem incapable to doing they way she does.

My prints are nothing like hers, really, and I’m not 100% happy with them but I’m getting there.


There are areas that I love, like this bit from one of them:

woyww232and in fact my desk is not as horrible as it has been the last few weeks because I cleaned up the flag book mess  so I could make a different kind of mess.


I have to sort thru my photos, but I’ll share my tool tomorrow. Now I am happy with it, I just need to play a bit more so I can have some samples to share and explain the process.  It’s not rocket science, but I found it helpful in getting the look I wanted.  And I want to explore the possibilities a little bit more.

Off with DD for ice skating and shopping to fill the empty fridge today, but I’ll return any visits one way or another!

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Decorating the pages

Just a few final bits.  I didn’t actually use a lot of different things to decorate the book but there are a few that are worth mentioning:

1. The vellum background – Wallpaper motif.  See the post on anaglypta wallpaper samples.


I used the wallpaper motif in three ways – first, I used it to remove a bit of the paint from the plate to pull a ghost, then I loaded the plate with a darker yellow and brayered on an orange to the motif.  I stamped the motif ONTO the yellow on the plate then pulled that over the lighter yellow, then I brayered red paint onto the motif and added it as a stamp over the print.


2. The Quote – printed and embossed on Deli paper prints

I first ironed the Deli paper to some freezer paper, but in the end I could have just stuck it well to cardstock, and run THAT thru the printer, as the sheer Deli paper let too much of the stuff behind it thru for the text to actually be readable.

4how2vbgelliAs soon as it came out of the printer I coated the wet ink with Superfine clear embossing powder and heat embossed it.


Black might have been better but I worried stray specks would ruin it.  Now I know as long as the Gelli print is DRY as a BONE, the embossing powder will not stick to it, and the black embossing powder would really stand out more.


3. Pearl stamping – Lumiere paint and Liquid Pearls mixed.

I squeezed out a couple colours of Liquid Pearls and a bit of Lumiere paint then mixed them by brayer (I wanted it patchy, not one smooth colour!) and tried both brayering that onto the stamp then stamping and pressing the stamp to the mixed paint – both worked although the brayered paint was lighter.




4. The doughnuts – odd tools

I love the tiny circles but finding bottle caps that small is hard.  I used a little eraser holder, but I also find removing the eraser from a mechanical pencil and using that also gives a really cute small stamp.


5. Backing with white paper – blocking the light from behind

Just like the original Vellum book, if you back the vellum with plain white paper, it blocks the light, giving a different effect when the piece is backlit. And the white, even when the piece is NOT backlit, highlights those areas in a different way. Adding deli paper bits give yet another layered effect – see the big circles?  In real life you can see the layers of pattern better…



Also, I realize I neglected to add a photo of how the twine wraps around the cover to tie


Hope that helps.  I have a nifty one to add tomorrow {wink}



More Gelli print packing tape uses

People have commented that they (like me) have tons of Gelli prints that they struggle to find a way to use.  If you don’t do collage that must be a universal problem.  I love the effect of the Gelli prints on packing tape and while I also love the iPad decoration idea, there are just so many iPad covers anyone needs!

Although the original tutorial applies the Gelli printed tape to foil, or adds mica powder to fill the still-sticky gaps, or glitter flakes or glitter, I tend to leave the sticky so the piece can be stuck to something useful.  I am careful in my placement of the paint so the areas that are sticky are spaced, and enough to adhere the piece.  But in considering ways to use it, I thought of a simple little mini-book.

I cut an old dishwasher tab box down to 6 x 10 (that size suites my 8 x 10 plate)


and scored it with a 1 inch spine.


I will make maybe two, maybe three, little Gelli printed signatures to sew in.  I’m thinking I might try sewing them in with my sewing machine.  With a heavy-duty needle it might work, although I may end up dodging broken needle tips! Goggles a must, I think LOL!

I intentionally set it up with the shiny printed side inside the book.

I painted the raw cardboard on the other side with white, then pulled a print directly on to that.

I did my Gelli plate set up and pulled the printed on the sticky side of the packing tape.  I made sure the side edges matched as best I could, but left plenty extra tape top and bottom. As I pulled them off, I “stored” them on a bit of release paper from a previous contact paper pull, but the cheap Teflon baking liners, wax paper, shiny side of freezer paper will all work as well


As a sidebar, let me say that if you DID do an iPad cover, you could do a few and store them on sheets so you can change them around daily.  They do stay sticky and peel off and re-stick reasonable well. You could have a whole little wardrobe of strips, even mixing them up, one strip from this set, another from that…

Starting just at the spine on the cover, I stuck the packing tape on, wrapping the extra bit top and bottom to the back.  That’s why I made the slightly slick printed surface on the inside.  The tape stick very well to that and really secures it in place.  That avoids most of the issue with the printed areas not being sticky anymore and give a good overall adhesion.



Just line up  the tape strips.  I made sure the last one had a strip of unprinted area on the right so I could miter the two outside corners and wrap the tape to the inside.



I could have covered the spine and the back too, but haven’t yet.  I am pretty sure sewing thru cardboard, a stack of paper, AND packing tape would be a struggle at best, impossible most likely.

Despite have the most enormous stack of Gelli prints, I find MOST of them are not right for this.  I get an idea, and print willy-nilly here and there on the paper, sometimes two 6×6 prints on one A4 sheet, slightly overlapping.  I have to really examine them and see if there are any I could use by over-printing to unify them, and check on the double-sided-ness of them.  And I may have to just plan a session that is much more INTENTIONAL printing and not random play.  But overall I am liking the look of it, and liking that I can play with packing tape and actually USE it.  

Just a glimpse into how my mind works  – so I’m thinking…

  • could you pull a print on tape and wrap it around a candle?
  • is packing tape flammable?
  • could you pull a print right onto a wax candle?  
  • is the PAINT flammable?  
  • when the candle burns down will it all catch fire?
  • are burning paint fumes toxic?
  • could you pull a print made with inks on tissue paper?
  • would Deli paper work?
  • apply that to the candle in the usual way?
  • is that practical? more or less effort than doing it just by stamping?

All of these things dash thru my had in seconds:  consider, assess, discard, consider more, TRY it.  

and that’s the problem.  There are so many ideas that pop in to my head there is simply not enough time to try them all…



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More Distress Ink on the Gelli and Ink + Paint

Oh now I am having fun.

Two experiments today.  First, I have been combining the press-on and brayering of Distress ink.  Interesting.  I love the deep, dark ink application and the weird secondary pattern I get if I press the pad to the plate


but I found if I then brayer over that it totally smooths out the ink without removing too much of it.  It still seems to me to give much deeper coverage than simply brayering on the ink.



And it is QUICK.  You can cover as large an area as the Gelli plate in a flash, and using less ink than you would if you were to laboriously sponge and blend the DI.  I’m curious to try pressing on different colours of ink then brayering to see what effect I get as they “mix” on the plate.

Just a quick card background – I ran the ink-filled brayer over a foam stamp and then pressed that on, and ditto a grid texture plate.

DIgelli3A ribbon and a topper and card done.  Took literally two minutes to do.

So then I was thinking of ways to combine ink and paint in one pull.  The obvious choice was to load the plate with paint and lay on a stencil and pull thru it to remove the paint


fill the gaps with ink – and as there will be paint left on the plate use the brayer rather than pressing the ink pad to the plate or you will get paint on your ink pad – not good!


Then pull.  Mine shifted a bit due to too vigorous pressing to clear out as much of the paint thru the stencil gaps as I could. even so, you get the idea.

Had another go




This time I decided to see if I could both clean off the brayer and get a second piece by laying the reverse side of the first pull on to the paint+ink pull and using the inky brayer on the back.  It cleaned the brayer of ink and filled the gaps around the first pull.  Where this would be useful is if you needed a double-sided print, like for a mini book, or if you wanted to cover both sides of an envelope with a similar colour/pattern!


Now this is cool.  I didn’t clean off my stencil from when I pressed on the DI in one of yesterdays samples.  So although the ink was DRY on the stencil, pressing it to the paint reactivated it somehow to give me a really pretty effect.





I REALLY like that one.  I like the fact that the inky part if both textured looking and has the little halo around it.  That is a happy accident, and better that just pulling a paint print with open areas and smudging on DI over it IYKWIM.

What might make it even more interesting is to now try some sort of next layer that capitalizes on the properties of Distress Ink – like the fact it is reactive with water.  So you could, for example, write with a water brush on the DI areas then heat it let the ghostly writing emerge (neat for an AJ page, I think, but perhaps not with this particular print as maybe the areas are too small) or stamp over it with water so the inked part gets the bleached out image but the PAINT areas stay solid.  Or even flicking on water droplets to make the inky part even more splotchy.  Maybe stamping over it with dye ink then wiping off the ink from the paint, which should resist the ink, so you get a sort of masked effect….

SO many things to try, so little time.  If you try them do let me see your results.




Funky circle Calendar printables for 2014

My WordPress stats confuse me sometimes.  Usually I get a link that tells me where people came from – except for Facebook!  Most of the time, hits from Facebook come via the Gelli Plate Facebook page – they share my blog posts every so often.  But I only found that out by guessing.  If all of a sudden I am getting loads of hits from Facebook, I assume that is where they are coming from! But yesterday I got loads of hits (over 1200) with a large number of them from Facebook, and I have NO IDEA where or why because it is all for the Calendar circles, not Gelli stuff.  Makes me crazy.

I did do as I said I would and made a much more my-style set of circles.  Using grungier, funkier fonts and in a slightly smaller size, leaving a bit more around the edges for arty decoration, they feel more appropriate for Gelli prints than the scripty, pretty fonts on the first set.


You can download them here – 6 pages, two months to a page. Of course there is no reason you can’t use them for something else rather than Gelli prints – that is just how I chose to do them for the sample.

I simply masked off the middle


and pulled the print then added some stamping


and trimmed to fit the CD case.  But just like the samples from yesterday, you can trim the sheets bigger (they thin light grey lines to denote the CD case size all but disappear under the Gelli print) and take advantage of the larger area.


I like the purple one a lot more than the blue one.  Note that the stray Y in February has been fixed in the download. Can you spot it?