Thursday, March 19, 2015

Gelli™ Stamping: Layered Circles!

WOW! Gelli plates in three ROUND sizes!! Triple the fun for stamping circle prints! Watch this fast-paced video showing the 4", 6" and 8" round plates in action — on an art journal spread with layered, overlapping circle stamped images! 

Our round plate news is out! And the verdict is in! The new 4" and 6" round Gelli plates are irresistible! Use them along with our 8" round plate — and take circle imagery to a whole new level!

You may have already seen that Gelli plates function perfectly as stamps when placed on an acrylic block or acrylic sheet. 

Once the Gelli plate is on an acrylic block, apply paint to the gel surface and roll into a smooth layer with a brayer. Make your marks in the wet paint and press onto your surface to stamp your image. It's that easy!

When using a stencil, it's easiest to place it directly on your substrate. Stamp your painted Gelli plate right over it — then pick up your gel plate and remove the stencil. The stencil may stick to the gel plate, so don't be surprised if both come off together.

The real excitement in stamping with your Gelli plate is how easy it is to layer the printed images! Aligning each imprint is simple because you can see through the clear mount. 

There's no guesswork in overlapping images when you stamp your Gelli plates onto your surface. Place your circle imprints right where you want them! Overlapping circle prints create a dimensional appearance — with some in front and others in back.

Use your favorite acrylic paints — with any techniques and texture tools of your choice — to create dynamic stamped layers. Have a blast covering large areas with layered images using the 3 different size gel plates! Stamp up an entire spread in your art journal, or a piece of fabric, or a large art board or canvas. Go WILD!!!

In the video, I'm filling a spread in a Strathmore Watercolor Art Journal (7.75 in. x 9.75 in.) with layered, stamped circle images. The 140 lb. cold-press paper holds up beautifully to the layers of acrylic paint! It lays flat when open, so it's a great journal for Gelli stamping.

And, it's a perfect surface for adding watercolor or paint pen doodles — especially if you leave some blank (negative) space between some of your circles to work back into. Derwent's Graphik Line Painter 0.5 markers produce a juicy thin line of paint — and can also be used for splatter and drip techniques!  

Stamping circles is beyond fun — it's totally addicting! Each stamped circle is layered with another! And those are overlapped with more circles — and more layers! The journal spread gives me room to keep going! That's a good thing — because I CAN'T STOP!!!

Looking for a fabric project? Be sure to check out my previous blog post tutorial for making a circle-stamped pillow. You'll also find more information there about stamping layered circle prints.


Winner is Ami G!

Gelli Arts® is 'printing in circles' and we couldn't be happier! To share the joy, we have a thrilling GIVEAWAY to start one of you printing in circles too!!

The Prize Kit includes: 

To enter the giveaway, click on the red "ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE" button below! (This will ensure that we can contact the winner and that entries are limited to one per person. One winner will be selected from all the entries via a random number generator to receive this very special giveaway!) 

Entries will be accepted until Tuesday, March 24th at 5pm. Our lucky winner will be contacted by email and announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page no later than Wednesday, March 25th at 12pm. 



Remember, we now have Gelli partners all over the world, so it's easier than ever to find a Gelli retailer near you! 

Good Luck and Happy Printing!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Printing and Stamping with our NEW 4" and 6" Round Gelli™ Plates!

Gelli printing is going in CIRCLES! Introducing two NEW round Gelli plate sizes— a 6" round and a 4" round! The perfect compliments to our 8" round plate! 

Oh the fun!!! Now you can use all three round plates together to create exciting prints designed with varied circular imprints! You won't believe how easy it is to achieve amazing prints by overlapping circular images, layering the round sizes, and switching between transparent and opaque paints! The design opportunities are truly endless! 

The two new round plates each work beautifully as stamps when stuck onto a piece of acrylic or acrylic stamping blocks. The 8" round plate works great as a stamp when pressed onto the bottom of an 8-1/2"x11" acrylic box frame. Using the round plates as stamps allows you to place the images right where you want them! That's great when you're overlapping images. 

Have you wanted to print your own fabric for a sewing or quilting project? Try stamping circle prints in different sizes all over a piece of fabric! What a great way to cover a large area! 

Printing your own fabric is so rewarding—and totally unique. I'm starting with a 16" square pillow. It takes a printed piece of fabric measuring 17" x 40". That's a whole lot of fun to Gelli print! 

For this pillow project, I chose drill cloth—a tightly woven 100% cotton medium-weight fabric that's very durable and easy to work with. It's unbleached and has a natural color, similar to unprimed canvas. Typically, when printing on fabric, I temporarily stabilize the fabric by ironing it onto a piece of freezer paper, which peels away easily after the printing is done. However, the substantial drill cloth is perfect for printing as is—so no need to stabilize it. 

I used DecoArt's Multi-Surface Satin Acrylics and SoSoft with great results. When printing on fabric, use a heavier application of paint on the gel plate than when printing on paper. 

Create images using your favorite texture tools and techniques. I've used stencils, rubbing plates, embossed paper, combs, and a variety of found textures like corrugated cardboard and bubble wrap. There's lots of room to play when you're printing up a larger piece of fabric! 

When the round Gelli plates are placed on an acrylic (clear) base, you can layer stamped images with some precision. Many of the impressions on my fabric were made by first stamping a solid opaque color, then stamping directly over it with a textured image—using stencils, combs, and other tools—in a different color. 

Mixing it up with opaque and transparent paints in different layers makes exciting prints. Playing with different color combinations adds even more fun! But keep the color wheel in mind to avoid making mud. When in doubt, use colors that live next to each other on the color wheel. 

If you make an impression you aren't so happy with—here's an easy fix: Stamp over it again with titanium white (or a solid opaque color)—and have another go at it! It can be that easy to undo a yucky color! 

The overlapping areas of the circle images give a certain dimension to the overall print, as some prints are in front and some recede. You can enhance the dimensional aspect by adding shadows and highlights with colored pencils, paint and markers. Doodlers will find tons of inspiration in circle prints—on paper and fabric! There are plenty of pens, markers and pencils that work great on fabric. So many options! 

If your idea of fun is pulling print after print—try stamping with three round plate sizes to cover a large piece of fabric with fabulous circular images! Pure bliss! 

Here are the steps for how I made this super-easy pillow. If you need visual step-by-step instructions for making a simple pillow, they're all over the internet. 

The pillow form I used is a 16" square. To make the pillow cover, it required a 17" x 40" piece of fabric. 

The measurements are based on the size of your pillow. Add 1 inch to the width of your pillow size. For the length, double the pillow size and add 6 inches. 

  1. To create a finished edge on the short sides, fold the hem a half inch and press (wrong sides together). Then turn up another half inch and press again. Stitch along the edge of the inside fold. Do this on both short sides. 
  2. Lay your printed fabric right side up on a table, positioned vertically. 
  3. Bring the bottom edge up past the center (no need for exact measuring yet) 
  4. Bring the top edge down past the center point so that your folded pillow fabric now measures exactly the same as your pillow form. (In my case, 16 inches) TIP: You can tweak the placement of the top and bottom folds—but make sure the folded fabric ends up measuring the same as your pillow form. 
  5. Make sure the sides are lined up together. The top hem should overlap the bottom by about 4 inches. 
  6. Pin the sides in place. 
  7. Sew the side seams with a half inch seam allowance. 
  8. Turn the pillow cover right-side out, through the opening. If needed, use a knitting needle or other blunt pointy tool to poke out the corners. 
  9. Insert your pillow form into the opening and finesse it into place. You're done! 

I'm hooked on printing fabric and making pillows! Sew much fun :) Give it a try!!! 

Remember, we now have Gelli partners all over the world, so it's easier than ever to find a Gelli retailer near you! 
Happy Printing! 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Gelli™ Printing with DIY Foam Printing Plate Stamps!

Easy-to-make foam printing plate stamps create fabulous textured Gelli prints! Watch this video to see how to create DIY foam stamps for unique prints on cards! 


They're so easy and fun to make, you'll have a collection of these stamps in no time! 

Express your creativity by making the stamps for printing your cards! 

There's a variety of materials that you can use to make a texture stamp. Here we're using thin sheets of foam—available at art stores for use as printmaking plates. It cuts easily with scissors or a craft knife—and drawing into it with a pen, pencil, stylus or other pointed tool gives you endless design opportunities! 

Decorative-edge scissors cut smoothly through the thin foam material—and hand punches work well too! If you have a die-cutting machine (like a Cuttlebug, etc.)—you can run it through with an embossing folder and create a very cool embossed surface on the foam. Then cut your own shapes from the embossed printing foam! 

Instead of the foam sheets for printmaking, you can also use styrofoam plates or repurposed clean food trays. 

Incise lines into the pieces with a pencil, ballpoint pen or stylus. Cut or punch out some small areas. The design can be simple shapes, or as intricate as you want. You can plan your design beforehand, or just wing it! 

As you make your marks in the foam, keep in mind that what you see is what you get. So that means you can write words in the foam too! No need to figure out reversals—how perfect for adding a sentiment to your cards! 

The prints in the video are made on the 5"x7" Gelli plate—using Amsterdam Standard Series Acrylic paints and Pebeo Studio Acrylics

Strathmore has a new line of printmaking paper and they've made it into beautiful card and envelope sets. The cards and envelopes shown here are all printed on Strathmore Printmaking Cards.

The following steps describe the process shown in the video for creating the Gelli printed card: 
  1. Roll a thin layer of acrylic paint onto the Gelli plate with a brayer 
  2. Press a texture tool (like bubble wrap) into the paint 
  3. Cover with your card and pull a print 
  4. Wipe the plate clean (not essential—but makes a nice clean print) 
  5. Roll a layer of a contrasting color onto the plate with a brayer 
  6. Place your foam stamps on the painted plate 
  7. Cover with thin paper (such as deli paper)—to press the stamps into the paint and remove the paint from the plate around the stamps 
  8. Remove the cover paper and remove the foam stamps 
  9. Place your printed card on the Gelli plate to print a second layer 
  10. Rub to transfer the paint and pull your print—the second layer on your card!
TIP: Your printed image will 'pop' more if the paint colors for each layer are of different value (light/dark). You'll get very different results with transparent paints vs. opaque ones. Metallic paints also offer an exciting option as one of the layers. 

While you're printing your cards, also print on the envelopes! 

There are various ways to create a blank space for the address. Here are a few suggestions: 
  • Strategically place a piece of torn or cut paper on the painted, stamped Gelli plate to create a blank space. 
  • Place a removable label on the envelope as a mask. Print over it—then remove the label. 
  • Scrape or wipe off an area of wet paint on the Gelli plate, then print your envelope. 

Receiving hand-printed cards and envelopes is always special! Printing your unique stamp images on beautiful paper enhances your artwork and shows the love! 


Winner is Roberta K!

And to show OUR love—we have an exceptional GIVEAWAY for cardmaking!!! 

The prize kit includes: 

1 - 5"x7" Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plate 
1 - Strathmore Printmaking Cards - Package of 50 Cards and Envelopes 
8 - Amsterdam Standard Series Acrylic Paint - 120 ml tubes (4.1 fl. oz.) 
1 - Speedball 4" Pop-In Soft Rubber Brayer
1 - Inovart 'Presto' Foam Printing Plates - Package of 20 - 9"x12" sheets 

To enter the giveaway, click on the red "ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE" button below! (This will ensure that we can contact the winner and that entries are limited to one per person. One winner will be selected from all the entries via a random number generator to receive this very special giveaway!) 

Entries will be accepted until Wednesday, February 25th at 1pm. Our lucky winner will be contacted by email and announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page no later than Wednesday, the 25th at 5pm


Special thanks to our friends at Strathmore for their generous donation to our giveaway prize! 

Remember, we now have Gelli partners all over the world, so it's easier than ever to find a Gelli retailer near you! 

Good Luck and Happy Printing! 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Valentine Collage from Gelli Arts® - Winner of Tool of the Year at Creative World!

Before I get started... I want to share that the Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plates just won 2nd place in the "Tool of the Year" category at CreativeWorld in Frankfurt! We are excited, proud and honored. Here are a few pictures from the special occasion.

Now back to our Valentine collage!

Every now and then, I go through my stacks of Gelliprints and separate them into four basic categories: Prints that are finished, prints that need additional printed layers, prints to work back into, and prints to tear or cut up to use in collage or for making paper cloth. When I'm ready to start a new project, my source material is relatively organized and ready to inspire! 

In addition to the colorful array of Gelli-printed papers to work with, my inspiration for this Valentine collage came from a Chinese proverb with a beautiful sentiment: 
An invisible red thread connects those destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstances. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break. —Chinese Proverb

Here are the steps for making a collage like this: 

This project began by sorting through a bin of Gelli prints that were previously cut into pieces. Some of the pieces are left over scraps from other collage projects and are quite small. Some are just slivers! For this collage I wanted to create a very flat, smooth surface, so the pieces I selected were all the same weight—in this case, copy paper—with lots of color! 

The base for this collage is a 12x12 Blick Studio Artists' Board - Gallery Panel. The paper pieces can be glued directly to the panel with matte medium or your favorite paper adhesive. But that's not how I chose to approach this particular collage, so I'll include the details of my process. 

Instead of glueing the collage together, I arranged the snippets on Steam A Seam 2— a double stick fusible web. It's a sticky adhesive layer between backing sheets on each side. To use it, remove the paper from one side. Arrange your collage papers on the sticky fusible surface. They'll stay put temporarily —the pieces can be moved around until you're ready to fuse them for a permanent bond. To fuse the pieces, cover with parchment paper and press with a hot iron following the manufacturer's instructions. 

Remove the remaining backing sheet and fuse the collage to your substrate. Or, you can fuse it to a medium-weight interfacing first—in case you want to machine sew or hand stitch on the collage. Not essential, but a good option if you sew on paper. As it turned out, I fused the collage onto interfacing, but ultimately decided not to sew on it. Regardless of whether you've sewn the collage or not, the next step is to adhere the interfacing to your final substrate (the Blick panel). You can use matte medium or the adhesive of your choice. Let it dry completely. Trim any excess collage edges flush against the panel on a cutting mat with an Xacto knife. 

Brush several coats of DecoArt Media Gloss Varnish on the collage to seal the surface, allowing each coat to dry before adding the next. Paint or collage the sides of the panel. 

If you want to add words to the piece in your handwriting—acrylic pens, like Montana PaintMarkers, work well over acrylic paints. Or you can transfer a laser-toner printed version, as I did. There are many ways to transfer an image. Here's how this one was done: 

  1. Create a mirror-image and print it with a laser printer. The words must be reversed. Inkjet prints won't work for this technique. 
  2. Brush several coats of gloss medium onto the print, allowing each coat to dry before adding the next. I used DecoArt Media Gloss Varnish and it worked great! 
  3. If you haven't varnished the collage, you'll need to give it a few coats of medium (gloss seems to work best for this method of image transfer). 
  4. Let everything dry. Then place your image face down on the collage where you want it to transfer. 
  5. Iron it in place with a hot iron, bonding the paper to the collage surface. 
  6. Apply water to the back of the paper and let it soak in. Gently rub the paper away to reveal your transfer! 
  7. When all of the paper has been rubbed away, brush a coat of medium over your transfer to seal it. 

The collage has two heart embellishments. They're fun to create—and add a meaningful Valentine message! 

Here's how to make a heart like this one: 

  1. Run a fairly long piece of red thread through a small puddle of fabric stiffener. I used 6- strand embroidery floss and Fabric Stiffener by Crafter's Pick
  2. Arrange the thread to create a heart shape on a piece of freezer paper. Let it dry and harden. Then carefully remove it with a palette knife. 
  3. Glue the stiffened heart-shape onto a scrap of Gelli-printed cardstock. Let it dry, then trim close along the heart edge with scissors. It's an interesting collage element as is, but you can paint it. I rubbed it with several colors of DecoArt Metallic Lustre, then buffed it to a shine. I absolutely love this stuff! 

Here's how to make the other heart: 

  1. Draw a heart-shaped design on a piece of Gelli-printed cardstock using red metallic dimensional paint. 
  2. Let it dry completely, then trim along the edge of the heart design. 
  3. Rub a little gold DecoArt Metallic Lustre along the very top of the dimensional paint design— and buff with a paper towel to make it shine. 

To complete the collage: 
  1. Stitch one tiny X on each heart with red embroidery floss. 
  2. Adhere the hearts to the collage. I used double sticky foam to add more dimension. 
  3. Arrange the red thread (6-strand floss) in a meandering design, connecting the two hearts— and glue in place. 

Have fun making heart-inspired collages and Valentine's Day art!

Remember, we now have Gelli partners all over the world so it's easier than ever to find a Gelli retailer near you!

Happy Printing! 

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