Thursday, November 20, 2014

Gelli Plate Printing - Holiday Style!

I cannot resist any's time to start making Christmas projects.  I wanted to start by playing with my 5x7 Gelli Plate and Deco Arts Dazzling Metallics Acrylic Paint.  This paint has a beautiful luster and shimmer that translates very well onto paper (or other surfaces).

Start off by gathering all your addition to the Deco Arts Metallics & my Gelli Plate I am using some paper die-cuts, my speedball brayer, various stencils & embossing folders, white and blue acrylics.  The 5x7 Gelli Plate is a perfect size for smaller projects like cards and tags.  I think it goes quicker too because there's less space to fill up at least it feels like it.

A bit of paint...

roll it out and you're ready to start playing.

I placed one of the die cuts in the center then pounced the surface with the bumpy side of an embossing folder.

NOTE: if you do use an embossing folder be sure to clean the paint off.  I don't worry about cleaning stencils off.

And print....

This design was also made using an embossing folder...

here I have added multiple die-cuts.
Made a print pulling off some paint...

peeled them off and added more paint...

and here are those 2 prints side by side...positive & negative.

I was at it for less than an hour and made 19 prints, 

12 tags

 and numerous painted die-cuts!

I love playing with the Gelli Plate, it really makes you feel like you've accomplished something and in such a short amount of time.  In the coming days I will share some projects made using these fun prints!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Roses are Red Vase Transformation!

Happy Day Everyone!!

I hope you're all having a spectacular week so far...we got some good news yesterday so things are looking great here.

Today I have a really fun project for you...I took a plain old vase that was in one of my auction find boxes and transformed it into a beautiful piece using Craft Attitude Printable Craft Film....

For more info on how I altered this vase head on over to 

Be sure to stay tuned...I'll have another Craft Attitude project to share with you next week PLUS a fun give-away too!!!   You won't want to miss it :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Autumn - the lost season...

Gosh between the polar vortex and all of the craft companies having Christmas blog hops it seems like Autumn has become a forgotten season.  Well, I have a few cards I wanted to share with you today just in case you're still lovin' fall as much as I do...even though we have snow on the ground already.

This card was made with VersaMark ink and luckily I had some sequins that matched the cardstock colors I used!  Pure luck because these were leftovers from the last Club Scrap kit!

For this card I used a variety of inks to stamp and shade...the twine is green and orange but it looks more red in the photo...not sure why.

And finally my oak leaf card was colored with the Koi watercolors and a bit of spritzing with some makers.

Also, all of the cards are made using JFF Rubber stamps...

Monday, November 17, 2014

Digital Stamps + Alcohol Markers

If you recall last week I was talking about digital stamps and collage images.  Today I wanted to share a bit about using alcohol markers on your digital stamp images.  First let me say how much it honks me off when people show you their perfectly colored digital stamp images and all they do is list the color numbers from the pens they used but they don't explain to people HOW they got that great look.  It's very frustrating if you're not familiar with digital images because you can very easily screw them up.

NOTE: all digital stamps used today are from Susana's Custom Art and Card Designs.

Now I'll be the first to tell you I'm not a wizard at shading with these coloring is marginal at best but hey, I have fun so that's what counts.  I did learn something by trial and error that has had a major impact on how I color with alcohol markers (of any type).  

DO NOT under any circumstances color on the printed lines!!! 

Seriously, if you color on the lines you will screw the image up...sometimes just a little but other times a LOT.  This was the biggest reason why I originally disliked digital stamps.   So here are a couple photos of how I used to color with alcohol markers....  You'll notice that with my first pass of color there are already streaks by his hands and elbows...  

By the time I added the second color and tried to blend the black was really discoloring my image....this is usually where I quit and and gave up...multiple times!

 I actually figured out something by accident - alcohol markers wick into the paper...  if you watch when you draw a line you will notice that it spreads out a tiny bit - not a lot but just enough to make a huge difference when you color a printed image.

Now I never cross a printed line with my markers nor do I touch a printed line.  I let the wicking action of the markers help color the image.  I lay my marker tip along the edge of the line and let the ink wick towards the line.  You can see here that there is no smearing at all of the lines....

And I have added 2 additional colors plus blended them together (on the left side) and there is no smearing or smudging of the printed image lines at all.  None whatsoever!  You can see on the right side of the image how I just barely touched some areas with the marker tip and let it wick towards the edge.   Can you believe it....It is that simple! 

Here are the two images side by side (L = wicking action; R = old way of coloring) can see how much darker the 2nd image is because I was pulling the black ink from the printed digital image into the coloring.  You can also see how smeared the image got - especially near the hand and toes.   

The image on the left still looks crisp and clean because I didn't actually touch the ink lines with the marker.  

I went ahead and made a finished card using the wicking action coloring technique to color an image for the second APC for week #9.  I started off by adding some Distress Stain to my bingo card...

Added some PanPastels to the background...

Did a little stamping and added some washi tape embellishing to the flowers...

(flower stamp = Just For Fun Rubber Stamps)

And finished it off with my funky little alcohol marker colored digital stamp monster & sentiment.

And here are both of my week 9 cards together...
both digital stamps from Susana's Custom Art and Card Designs.

Friday, November 14, 2014

PanPastel Winner!!

The winner of the PanPastels "Tints" & Sofft Tools is....
(as drawn by

Victoria H.!!!!

Oh what a beautiful clean up print and your card is lovely!

Congratulations Victoria!
Please e-mail me your snail mail addy.

Be sure to check back soon for my next give-away!

IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko - I MADE IT!!!!


The 2015 team of Artists in Residence for IMAGINE Crafts - Tsukineko were just announced....


I am thrilled and excited to be joining such a talented group of artists.
I can't wait to share all of the goodness that is sure to come from this experience with you all!

(off to do my happy dance!!!)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Watercoloring Digi Stamps

As promised I have a project for you today that incorporates digital stamps with watercolor paints.  

The digital image is Poppie from Susana's Custom Art and Card Design (SCACD for short).  The "stamp" set comes with Poppie the cute little fairy and a poppy stem with two flower heads.   Since you can manipulate digital images to fit your project it's very easy to get a different look every time.  For this project I knew I wanted to have a cluster of poppies behind the fairy so I started off by sizing one of the flowers facing it's normal direction but then I added a second mirror image a bit larger right beside it.  This left a space between for the fairy.   

I wanted a few extra flower heads to fill in behind the fairy so I cropped just the flower heads and re-sized them in two additional sizes (than what the full poppies were).  The reason there is such a space between the two full sized poppies and the head only images is because I wanted to use the full size poppies as my background so I left enough space for my diecut. 

The images were then printed on Strathmore 90lb cold press watercolor paper, (my printer is an HP Deskjet 3520) using the normal settings.  I also printed out the little fairy a bit smaller than the poppies - she was printed on Georgia Pacific cardstock. 

Since my image was a bit larger than the die, I used my exacto knife to cut around the outside poppy heads.  I then slipped the die behind the flowers and used a bit of washi tape to hold it in place.  I then ran it though my die-cutter.

I painted all of the digital images using Koi watercolors and a waterbrush.  

I painted "Poppie" the fairy with the same watercolor paints.

Since I'm using this for my Altered Playing Cards (week 9) I applied some gesso to my card over a piece of punchenella then painted it with a variety of Distress Paints.

Mounted the main image onto the card and then finished embellishing with the other flower heads and fairy.

And here's how she turned out....

As you can see none of the images were effected by the paints or water on either the watercolor paper or cardstock.  I applied at least 4 colors and several layers on the poppies so if the ink was going to run or smear it should have done so then.  I used the same colors on the fairy dress and again, the inks held up just find as did the paper.

It doesn't show up but I added a bit of clear Wink of Stella to her wings and shoes for a bit of sparkle.

So there you stamp images + watercolors = Fun Fun Fun!

I did want to mention that SCACD has several digital stamps that are also available in rubber as well plus they just released several new Steampunk stamps that are available in both rubber and digital forms.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Digital "Stamps" & Digital Collage Images

I often get questions about using Digital "stamps" or digital collage images.  Most ask about how much ink they use and if they are really worth it.  

First let me address if digital "stamps" or collage images are really worth it?    

YES - In my opinion they are very much worth it.  My thoughts on digital "stamps in particular has changed over the years.  I was under the impression you had to be really tech savvy to use these types of images (like trying to digi scrapbook).  Not so...if I can do it, anyone can!  Trust me on this - I'm not a computer whiz but I can handle the basics which is all it takes!

Benefits of a digital "stamp" or digital collage image: 

By manipulating the image in either a photo editing software or even Microsoft Word you can change the size of the image to whatever you need for your project which you can't do with a regular stamp. 

You can easily print a mirror image if desired which you can accomplish to some degree with a real stamp but it can be tricky and difficult to replicate if more than one image is needed.  

If desired, you can select to print a portion of the image with a digital stamp and collage image alike. Yes, you can use a mask to stamp a portion of a rubber stamped image but it does take additional time and steps.

When needed you can print multiple copies of an image quickly and perfect every time.  Stamping a perfect image multiple time can be tricky - even the most experienced stamper has trouble with reproducing perfect images every time.    

Now don't get me wrong - there are some techniques that you just cannot reproduce with a digital image.  I would never trade-in my ink and rubber stamps for digital but they do have their place.

How much ink does it take to print the digi stamps or collage image? 

Not much...I don't have an exact quantity to give you but a digital "stamp" is basically just a solid line image (think of a coloring book image).  I have never used any special setting to print an image - just your regular settings work so it's not like you're printing with the fine or photo setting.

Yes, a digital collage image does take a bit more ink because you're usually printing in color but again, I don't use the photo or any other special settings, I print with the normal every day settings and my images always come out just fine.  I believe digital collage images have something over store bought or pre-printed images because again you can re-size or crop the image to fit your exact needs.  This saves you having to change your project to fit the image as you would have to do to with a pre-printed/store bought image.

What can you use to color a digital "stamp" image?  

I use just about any color medium I want.  I usually print my images on Georgia Pacific cardstock (not copy paper) or watercolor paper and I've not had a problem with the images bleeding after they have dried.  I use dye inks, watercolor paints, colored pencils, acrylics, alcohol based markers, Distress Inks, etc. and they all seem to work fine.  

I actually have a couple examples of this that I will share with you later this week for my Altered Playing Cards.  You can see for yourself how a few different coloring mediums look when paired with digital "stamp" images.

One additional benefit of purchasing a digital collage image is that you can use it over and over and over unlike packages of pre-printed or store bought images - use it once and that's it.

I hope this has helped to answer some of your questions on digital stamps and collage images.  If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask...I'm always happy to help when I can.  

Monday, November 10, 2014

I'm the Featured Artist....

Link to Unruly PaperArts

How cool is that??  I'm very excited about it (not so much about the photo part of it but ya know...).  They asked all sorts of fun questions that I hadn't thought about much until asked. I hope you stop over and check it out...  Later this month they will also share a project I made for this months theme - "Make & Bake" - things that need to set (and cure), be baked or similar.  I'll be giving the project away here on the blog so be sure and stay tuned!!

One of the questions they asked me was to suggest a book to read - well of course my first suggestion would be my own book - Teach Yourself Visually Collage & Altered Arts but I also suggested any of the Scrapbook Mystery series by Laura Childs....

Be sure to stop over and sign up to win :)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Gelli Plate Print + PanPastels & Give-Away!!!

Happy Friday!  So are you all preparing for the next big Polar Vortex???  Dang, seems like we were just warming up from the last one.  Oh well, guess we're skippin' fall and getting right into winter here - BRRRRRRR!!!!!

I'm not skipping Fall in my crafting so Mother Nature will just have to get over it.  Today I have a fun pairing - a Gelli Plate Print + PanPastels.

Now this is what my print started off looking like.  This print was actually just intended to lift off some of the paint already on the plate through a stencil - not a real for sure intentional print.  I thought the colors were pretty so I kept it.  I'm glad I did because it works perfectly with my PanPastels....

I pulled out my red/orange/yellow PanPastels and set about blending from reds to a pretty straw yellow.    

The PanPastels blend so smoothly it's very easy to get a beautiful effect.  I love how the lighter yellow design from the Gelli Plate print adds such a subtle pattern.

I trimmed it out to 5x7 - cause I couldn't stand to waste any of it, cut some leaves from another scrap of fall-ish colored print and stamped the sentiment "So Grateful" (Unity Stamp Co).

Fun and easy but such beautiful results!

Now for the give-away!  I have the set of PanPastels I got to use for the DT gig on Altered Pages when they partnered up (Pastels Set of 5 colors + Sofft Tool & Foams) for one lucky reader!!  Is that reader you???  It could be - all you have to do to be entered into the drawing is to answer this question...Fall or Winter?  Which is your favorite season???

You'll have until 11-14-14 to post your answer to be entered to win!  

Good Luck Everyone 
Have a wonderful weekend!!!