Sunday, December 29, 2013

Homemade Gelli

Gelli plates are all the rage right now, but they are a little too expensive for my pocketbook. Ole Santa didn't leave me enough after I paid for the gifts . So this is the method I chose.

I picked up an inexpensive ($5) covered 9x13 cake pan. The cover will help me store it without the risk of critters, dust, or bunneh hair falling into it.

I bought 2 4-pack boxes of Knox gelatin - $2 per pack. I bought 3 6-ounce bottles of plain glycerin. These are $3 apiece. My total investment was $16. For comparison, an authentic Gelli plate 12 x 14 inches is $70 retail.

The order of ingredients is important. Start by measuring out 2 cups of glycerin in a bowl. I used a plastic bowl, but glass would work too. Sprinkle 8 packets of gelatin over the glycerin and gently fold in so it has a chance to soften. Set aside.

Start some water to boil water. Pour 2 cups of boiling water gently into the glycerin/gelatin mix. Gently stir it until the gelatin is well distributed. How will you know? You won't have any loose water pooling on top of the mix. Next, carefully pour into your pan. You can use any shaped pan, and this amount with this pan yielded a half-inch thick piece of gelli.

Take a moment to remove the little bubbles. I just lightly touched the bubbles, and they either burst, or they attached themselves to my finger. This will be the BOTTOM of your gelatin plate, so I don't think it's critically important. Set it on a level shelf in your refrigerator, or if the weather's cold, set it outside. Make sure it's level and do NOT put the lid on it. You don't want to trap any condensation as it cools.

Gently loosen the gel from the edges of the pan, place a piece of sturdy material (glass, plexiglass, plastic, etc.) over the pan and invert the gelatin. If it doesn't come loose in quick fashion, you need to help it by lifting a corner free, then invert the pan again. Your gel plate is ready to play!

If you did what I did, you could end up with a tear. No worries. Cut it up and place it in a microwave safe bowl, heat until melted, then pour it back in the pan and repeat the process. You can also change it from rectangular to round by doing the same thing and using a different pan/mold. Also, this doesn't have an odor, and doesn't degrade or rot. It's very stable and needs no refrigeration.

Here are some of the first prints I pulled. I used Basics acrylic paint (Michael's artist paint), Golden fluid acrylics and cheap Apple Barrel acrylic paint. They all worked about the same. If you want more time to work, mix a little fluid medium into the paint before you put it on the plate. That extends the drying time.

I used a variety of tools on my plate. I wasn't gentle because I wanted to know what my plate could do. It is really tough, and holds up to poking and smooshing. That said, it's not going to hold up if you stab it with a palette knife, but you can go into it with catalyst-type tools - I used cut cardboard, a floor adhesive texture tool, masks, and a palette knife.

I used Strathmore Bristol vellum and Gina K Designs Pure Luxury papers to pull these prints. I don't see much difference between them, except the GKD paper has a smoother finish. The paint, however, adds texture making the beginning hand of the paper moot.

This is going to be an awesome tool. I'm probably not going to use it every day, which makes the cover that much more important. Also be aware that once you unmold it, it's a bit like pandora's box - you can't fit it back in the pan the same way it was before you unmolded it. I cleaned it with a baby wipe and water. The best way to clean it is to put paper on it then let it sit until the paint is completely dry. The residual paint will stick to your paper and come off all at once this way.

I hope this encourages you to give a cheap plate a try. It's really easy and works great. Most of all, get out there and PLAY! Leave a comment if you have any questions, and I'll do my best to answer.

Ta for now,

Sunday, December 22, 2013

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It is a wonderful time of year! Maybe not the most wonderful (I like Easter a little better because it's not as commercialized) but still a great season. I love the shiny, the singing, the slightly breathless anticipation of what's to come. This year, I made more Christmas cards than I usually do. We've also spent more time in the hospital than ever before with my Dad. I also am an active choir member, which I think adds so much to this season in particular.

So, let me share some of my Christmas cards between now and new year's day. I'm also going to be ramping up the Valentine's cards, because our Operation Write Home deadline for those comes on New Year's Eve. I really enjoy sharing the love of OWH! If you enjoy cards, but don't have the time or inclination to make them - you can participate by donating toward the postage fees (we pay to ship them to our heroes), or by writing letters to encourage service-members far from home. Here's a link for you: OWH AnyHero Mail.

This card is a shaker card. That means the center piece is filled with glass crystals and glass beads so you can shake it and see motion. I love these kinds of cards, and snow globes just exemplify the winter season. I used 2 types of embossing powder - one with glitter, even! LOL Yes, I hate glitter - the herpes of the craft world!

I hope your Christmas season is shaping up the way you want. I hope you experience the magic and love of the season. Be sure to share the love!

Ta for now,

Recipe: Cardstock, Gina K Designs
Patterned paper: Basic Grey Eskimo Kisses, Carolee's Creations Snowball Fight
Stamps: Stampin' Up! Truly Grateful; Gina K Designs Season's Greetings
Die: Spellbinder's Lotus
Embossing powder: Stampin' Up! Sky Blue; Stampendous Winter Wonderland
Gina K Design's Buttons
Beading twine and miscellaneous rhinestones, Making Memories frame, May Arts ribbon, Art Institute glass glitter, misc glass beads.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Things to Do

Ok, so it's been since September that I've posted. Where does the time go? I'm going to try to do better - do I say that every post? Hahahaha!

My friend Tiffany Johnson gave us a mixed media challenge this week to use modeling paste on a project. I adore mixed media, and textures just make me so happy. Here's my card:

I mixed my texture paste on my craft sheet using two Dylusions colors squeezed orange and calypso teal (love those combinations!). I pressed them through my Heidi Swapp stencil, then found Bazzill paper to match. I punched the paper hearts (on the left side), and stitched them into a kite with a fun tail.

I stamped Tami Mayberry's Simple Hearts 'love' sentiment, embossed it with Zing fluorescent neon amber embossing powder, but it didn't match well. So, I fixed it! I carefully painted over the embossed image with gesso, then painted squeezed orange Dylusions spray over the gesso. Much better!

The base paper is Gina K Design's cardstock, Smokey Slate. I hope you get inspired to play along. Splitcoast Stampers is a wonderful, free papercrafting community. I'd love to see you there!

Ta for now,