Friday, March 14, 2014

Bag it!

Janelle is our hostess this week for the Mix-Ability challenge on Splitcoast Stampers, and boy is it a fun one. Lots of people are wanting to explore the glamour of a Gelli Plate, but can't commit to the expense of buying one. I showed you how to make a permanent, DIY plate in THIS POST, but I know some of you are intimidated, don't have the time, or are like me - just too busy/lazy. HA! So Janelle's challenge is to do the faux-gelli technique using a simple plastic baggie as demonstrated in:

Here's my take on using this technique and a few things I discovered. First, I put my plastic baggie on my glass cradle board. This is a piece of repurposed glass that I taped and use as a lap-desk while I'm stuck in bed - nothing you need to do this technique (I just didn't want you confused by my bedspread underneath).

Tip: You can click any picture and scroll through them in order for a more detailed view.

On my baggie, I put various sized paper circles and strips. I did this to preserve some 'white' space - areas where there won't be any paint. This is important if you want to see the paper you're printing over through the paint. I dropped blobs of paint, then brayered it over the baggie.

**First Grrrrr moment: these bits of paper do NOT stay put on the baggie like they will on an actual plate. The will stick to your brayer like dust on a black kitteh! Be aware of that, and skip this paper masking, or be prepared to fuss with them A LOT.**

This is my plastic baggie after a couple of prints have been lifted. You can still see some areas devoid of paint where my bedspread shows through. ** Second Grrrr moment: paint dries REALLY FAST using this technique and does not respond like it will on a plate. ** Minor technical glitch: I didn't get photos of some of the in-between printings, but if you watch Alisa's video, then my step-by-step photos, I think you'll get the picture.

Here are some of my prints - the one in the upper left was a straight pull - meaning I didn't reapply paint and press it onto the paper over and over. I applied all the paint I wanted (some is glitter paint) to the baggie, then pressed it to the paper only once. The others I pressed on 2 or 3 times. You can see the faint repeat of the big yellow flower on the bottom center cardstock. All of these were printed on Gina K Designs pure luxury cardstock. Paints were cheap craft stuff and some more expensive Golden Fluid Acrylics. The craft stuff actually performed better (and I have heard this from many other people using regular gelli plates).

This one is a little different. I printed on a used manila file folder, reapplied paint, and printed over my first one, etc. Next, I cut all of these pieces down to 8 1/8 inches square and turned them into envelopes as the Envelope Board instructs. This is where the magic begins.

These prints are a little flat, a little chaotic, and frankly, directionless. How do you figure out the next step? Decide on a focal point. For me, I wanted these envelopes to contain some random goodies - leftovers from past projects, bits of product laying around my studio, etc. to gift to another crafter via 'happy mail'. I have a really cool sentiment from Stampin Up! Trust God sentiment set. It says "God has given us two hands -- one to receive with and the other to give with. ~Billy Graham. Perfect!

I needed HEARTS to convey the love from one artist to another.  So I cut hearts out of those pesky pieces of circles that grabbed onto my brayer up in step 2. Ha! That'll teach you to mess with me!

I hope you can flip that image over in your mind, because I turned it when I decided the orientation for the envelope - the big pink flower that was lower left is now upper right. I put some gesso in a heart shape in the left corner, added some stamped washi tape (SU!'s Tape It set), rubbed more gesso through stencils (the white ghosted areas), shaded around the gesso heart to make it pop with some dimension, and over-stenciled with gold modeling creme. I used a variety of product - if you have a specific question, ask in the comments or look in the ingredients at the bottom of this post.

Isn't that FUN? Magical? It makes me giddy! I want to send envelopes like this to pay bills in - just because the job of opening bills and logging payments must get incredibly boring and those people deserve art, too! Here's some more:

This one was similar, but it has some extra glitter paint, different stencils, some pen work. Just go with the flow. I also used SU!'s Gorgeous Grunge set on this one. Love that! And finally....

BOOM! Heehee!! This one makes me so HAPPY! I wanna dance! That gorgeous color really pops on the black cardstock. This is one virtue of paint over ink on dark paper. It's opaque. It's rich. It's playful!

Did I say that was the last one? Well, it was. Sort of. I have a by-product fun piece for you too. I hate to throw things away. I blame my parents, who were children of the great depression and dust bowl era. We were taught to use every little bit of everything we had (#noIamNOTaHoarder). I saw all the beautiful bits of paint and glitter stuck to my now well-worn piece of plastic baggie, and me-thunk an idea. Packaging tape. I put packaging tape over the paint on my baggie. It's now sandwiched so the glitter can't rub off, and the paint won't get scraped off. And it's sturdy enough to go through my paper cutter. And my die machine... I now have...


for a better view.

YES I LOVE IT!! Can you see the little bits of white fabric showing through? Yes, those spots are clear, so you can glue it down and still see some of the fabulousness beneath it. Fun fun fun!

I'm running around throwing confetti, so I'd better step away from the computer. I hope you give this technique a try, and please share with us (even if it flops) over on Splitcoast. We celebrate trying things over there. Better to try and fail than to have a really clean, neat studio. Go make some magic and mail it to a random person!

Ta for now,

Paper - Gina K Designs pure luxury cardstock - ivory, warm cocoa, black
Paints - Golden Fluid Acrylics, Bella Acrylic (craft, from Home Depot) assorted colors including glitter
Artist's Choice gesso
General's charcoal pencil, 8B
Copic multiliner pens
SU! Stamp sets: Tape It, Trust God, Gorgeous Grunge
Dylusions stencils: Diamond of a Border; Letter Jumble; Chequered Dots; 
Crafter's Workshop stencils: Mini Punchinella; Microbial
Viva Colour for Creative Imaginations gold Modeling Cream
Inks: Archival Ink (Ranger) coffee, jet black; Gina K Designs turquoise sea, sweet mango, cherry red, and fresh asparagus; Versafine onyx black, and Memories white dye ink pad by Stewart Superior
Plastic kitchen baggie, 3M packaging tape


  1. Fantastic! Super prints and love the idea of washi tape!

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  3. What great enthusiasm you have shared in presenting your thoughts, ideas and instructions. Thx for sharing your technique herein and the SC video. I have done this on my Ranger craft mat w/water only. I'll have to try it this way, misting w/the rubbing alcohol because I'm very curious to see what difference it will make! One note, when I put die cut or punched shapes on my mat, I used two-sided, removable Scotch tape to hold them down. I thought the tape might not stick to the non-stick mat. It did and when I removed them, I used my finger to rub off the residue. One note, a little bit of paint got under a couple of the die cuts so I blotted it w/a paper towel to lighten it up. :)

    1. That's a great idea to mist with alcohol, especially if you're using alcohol-active product like reinkers. I'll have to give it a try. I didn't use 2-sided tape because it would permanently stick to my plastic bag, and I did get paint under them in places anyway. I like the imperfection of it! Thanks for the ideas - and I hope to see your work on Splitcoast. Have a great day!

  4. Hey, just wanted to say I really appreciated your through notes, steps, and gorgeous pictures of the process! Love what came out of your play.

  5. Boom!!!!!!!! Awesome mixed media. Like you, I'm sure those people receiving bills would be delighted to see such colorful colorful, creative envies like this. Go for it!!

    1. Thanks! We should start a happiness revolution! ;)

  6. Thanks for sharing your play time with us - Lovely pieces of art w words - It really does not get any better than this!