Many Marvelous Mermaids!

Howdy friends! Today’s project combines a lot of crafty goodness! I had so much fun making these cards and I hope they inspire you to create!

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I worked an assembly line on these cards. I did a gel printing session, a coloring session, and an assembly session.

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It can be daunting to think of making multiple cards in one sitting. It can also be overwhelming to gel print backgrounds for only one card. By breaking up the tasks I get to extend my enjoyment of my craft without getting stressed out and have a batch of cards to show for my effort!

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You can see the complete process in the video!


Supplies (affiliate links used)

Here is a look at all of the images colored. I thought about just trimming them to ATC size at one point but I decided that I’d be more likely to use the greeting cards.

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I hope you have a lovely weekend! I’m off to watch my son play in his last tennis matches of the season and miraculously it’s warm and sunny! Yahoo! Til next time happy crafting!

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Create Without Fear

Hi friends! I have been drawing and painting as long as I can remember. It never occurred me to be afraid to try a new art or craft. (OK, using my bead torch give me a healthy dose of fear if I am completely honest LOL!)

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I mean really, what’s the worst that can happen? You waste a bit of time and materials. So what? I can waste gobs of time watching TV or scrolling on social media. The art supplies are already bought and paid for and if you are looking at stuff like stamps and stencils and brushes then can be used over and over again indefinitely. You might be out a few cents in paper, paint or ink but that’s about it. In most cases, you can give it a coat of gesso and carry on. The REAL waste is your paint or markers or inkpads going unused on your shelf to dry up or go bad. Now that’s what I’m afraid of, not making a mess, unspent potential. I think a lot of fear comes from shame. Are you worried about embarrassing yourself or someone judging what you make? Simple, make your art just for you, there is no law saying that we have to share everything. If you are going to let some random on social media keep you from creating because you are afraid what they will think you need to either not share it or think about why they have so much power over your actions.  There is so much pressure on our lives today we need a space where we can learn, stumble, make a mess and grow without worrying what anyone else thinks. Right now, right where you are, is the perfect place to start. You will not get better without practice. You are not obliged to share your work. You ARE allowed to share it if you want to. This is YOUR journey, you decide. Remember, what you see online is people’s highlight reel. Give yourself a chance to succeed, I’m rooting for you!

This tutorial is sponsored by Top Flight Stamps! SAVE 10% off your next order with coupon code: thefrugalcrafter10 *USA orders of $50+ ship free!

Supplies:

Now, let me be completely honest with you. I am a weenie. I am afraid of so many things. But art, it ain’t one of them, in fact, I think it is the only place I am actually brave. I don’t know what my life would be like if I didn’t have that one space where I could be fearless. Everyone deserves a fearless space of their own. Happy crafting!

DIY Gel Printed Business Cards for Creative People!

Hi friends! This idea has been rolling around in my brain for a while. I had used up my old business cards (after what seemed like ages) and I wanted something new and a bit unusual. Also I didn’t want to have to order 1000 or have them be super expensive. I love the way cardstock feels when you gel print on it and I thought it would be really special to make business cards with a real hand-pulled print on the back.

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The original plan was to print the contact info for my business cards on the cardstock 10 to a page, print on the back side and cut them apart. That would have works splendidly if I just stuck with gel printing with acrylic paint. However I decided to add some liquid acrylic ink and it seeped through to the front of the paper so I ended up backing them with cardstock and glueing on my contact info to that. In the end I actually liked this method better because they have a really nice thickness to them. Watch the video if you want to see how I made them step by step.

Supplies (Amazon affiliate links used)

Even if you don’t have a business you can still make these calling cards, think of Victorian calling cards. What a classy way to introduce yourself! I know I’d have an easier way remembering someone’s name if they handed me one!

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You can also use this method to make ATCs or artist trading cards. You might add more accents and details after cutting them up though. *ATC are mini artworks measuring 2.5″x3.5″ in size and traded between artists and stampers.

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I hope this project get your creative juices flowing but I hope you don’t wait til the night before you need some cards like I did LOL! At least it makes for a fun story! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Easy Gel Printing with Texture Plates!

Hi friends! Today I am going to share a project using a new to me supply that I think you might enjoy if you have wanted to dabble into gelatin printmaking but wanted to avoid the mess and the additional supplies that can go along with it.

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I will be using new texture plated by Carabelle Studios. These are essentially large unmounted rubber stamps that have all of the artwork already collaged and distressed so all you have to do is ink up your plate, press the texture plate to that and pull a print. Watch the video to see how!

This tutorial is sponsored by Top Flight Stamps!  SAVE 10% off your next order with coupon code: thefrugalcrafter10 *USA orders of $50+ ship free!

Supplies:

*Note I used a 5″x7″ plate as well and it can be found on Amazon with the printmaking cards and envelopes I used in a bundle. The price can fluctuate on Amazon depending on who is selling it though, I think I paid around $40. *Affiliate link used

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Remember when using the texture plates that any text or numbers will appear correctly when stamped on the gel plate and then a print pulled from that. If you want to use these as rubber stamps the text will be reversed. You can use regular background rubber stamps for this technique, just avoid ones with text. It is a fun way to get some use from supplies you already have too! I have also pressed embossed cardstock on a paint inked plate for a similar effect. I hope this tutorial inspires you to try printmaking. Happy crafting!

Gel Printing on Furniture!

Hi friends! Before you run away saying  “oh no, here she goes again like that time she painted her sofa…” let me ease your fears. 😀 This project is fun, easy and forgiving and will breath new life into an old piece of wooden furniture. (And nobody’s going to complain that it hurts to sit on LOL!)

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My sister gave me this old end table with a built-in bookshelf about a year ago. I had intended to paint it and sell in at the antiques shop I used to rent a booth at but that never happened. Ironically it wasn’t until I closed that chapter of my life that I had time and desire to tackle this project.

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I used a product that I really enjoy using but I don’t that often because I have put this prejudice in my head that gel printing is a big hairy ordeal when it is not. Especially when you use the smaller plates like stamps. It makes it more approachable. If you don’t have a gel printing plate can simply apply paint through the stencils with a sponge and build layers that way. I reckon you could also use “gel window clings” for a similar effect as the small gel plates, they are not as durable but I think it would get you through a project or two.

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Do you want to give it a try? Watch the video and see how easy and fun it is!

Sponsored by LAVA Soap! Visit their website for money-saving coupons and to find a store near you!

Supplies:

Project pointers!

  1. Use chalk paint for the base coat, it alleviates the need to prime and prep the surface, just wipe it with a damp cloth before painting and you are good to go.  The matte surface also hold the regular acrylic paint you are printing with.
  2. Layer til you like it! Don’t be afraid of the “hot mess stage” just keep on adding more prints until you like the look. It get ugly before it gets pretty:)
  3. Wash your varnish brushes right away…don’t ask me how I came up with this tip. Note to self: Put varnish brushes on my next art supply shopping list.
  4. Sleep on it. If you are stuck on the design or not sure if you are done or want to do more take a break. You will have better judgement about your project after you have been apart from it.

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Unlike the poor old painted couch my family loved this project and both of my daughters wanted it so I guess I better keep my eyes open for another old end table to print on. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting.

Playing with Pantone’s Color of the Year: Ultraviolet!

Hi friends! I was brainstorming some idea with REbecca over at Rubber Stamp Tapestry the other day and she suggested trying a project with the color of the year and I thought that was a great idea as purple is a color I don’t use very often.

Since it is not one of my go to colors I didn’t have any cardstock, pattern paper or ribbon that was that particular shade of blue-violet so I grabbed my media and got to work!

I am a bit embarrassed to admit that it took the course of 2 days to make the backgrounds, create the cards and clean up after myself (which, truth be told happened several days after the mass creation!) In fact I walked down to my studio yesterday forgetting the state I left it in and just about had a heart attack thinking someone came in and ransacked the place LOL! I didn’t use all of the supplies I grabbed but it did get me looking at and using stuff I had forgotten about. I am going to show you the process of making the backgrounds I used in these cards and I urge you to try something similar with the media you have on hand. Don’t feel like you must have the exact stuff I used, feel free to substitute, we are not making a souffle, substitutions will be just fine:) And, hey, if you mess up, keep adding more layers til you like it!

Video!

This video is sponsored by Rubber Stamp Tapestry! Use coupon code FRUGALJANUARY18 on all stamp orders over $10, expires 1/31/18

Supplies for Rubber Stamp Tapestry!

Other Supplies

The only rule here is to have fun! Don’t worry if your paper warps as you work because using it later in the die cutter will flatten it right out. Also make sure you cut your window before you emboss it so you don’t squash out the texture. You really can’t go wrong, just keep going until you like how it looks!

Exciting Announcement!!!!

I have a new line of stamps coming out with Rubber Stamp Tapestry! If you want to get your hands on them make sure you sign up for their VIP newsletter so you will be the first to know when they are available! My samples just came in the mail today and I can’t wait to play with them! I hope you like them:)

I hope this post inspired you to dig out that messy media and play! I have a couple of tutorials if you want to make your own gelatin printing plate. I have a traditional plate and a permanent plate. Make sure you refer to the recipes in the video descriptions of the videos for the most tried and true recipe. Either of the homemade plates can be remelted if you want a different size or if it gets scratched. Due to the expense of the glycerin needed for the permanent recipe I am not sure if you save much in making one over buying a gel plate so I’d probably recommend making a traditional plate and freezing it between uses so it doesn’t get moldy. Wow, that’s a lot of info! Don’t get overwhelmed, just grab supplies and play…yeah, I could have just said that from the start huh? Til next time happy crafting!

 

Layered Gel Printing Tutorial!

Hi friends!  We are hunkering down for the upcoming storm tomorrow! They have already cancelled school for tomorrow for the kids. They are calling for 12+ inches of snow and high winds so we might lose power. When we lose power our internet goes out (we are lucky, we have a generator but it still knocks the internet out) so I am blogging this project tonight in case I lose internet access:) I am planning to film a painting tutorial tonight before the storm in case I have no power on Friday for the live stream. Wish me luck:)

Tonight I want to share a fun gel (aka gelatin) printing workshop. I will show you how cool it looks when you layer gel prints. It can be discouraging to see beautiful gel printed paper papers and then when you go to try they don’t look as interesting as others you have seen. It’s not anything you are doing wrong, you just need more layers. There is no limit to the amount of layers you can add to a print, you just go until you are happy with it! In today’s video you will get to see how the prints look in progress layer upon layer (hot mess stage and all!) I hope you enjoy it and give it a try!

Sponsored by Smart Art!  get a box of full-sized art supplies delivered to your door every month. The December box had supplies from Gelli Arts including a 5″x7″ plate, brayer, acrylic paint and blank cards to print on. You can sign up for a subscription to get a surprise project sent to you every month or check out some of their past boxes. You get everything you need for a particular lesson in each box and you can use supplies from several boxes together as your collection grows.

 

There are many hand supplies you can use in gel printing. You can even make most of your supplies. Below I will list some suggestions!

*Feel free to use any textured items you have around the house that you don’t mind getting painty like: Mesh produce bags, bubble wrap, string, burlap, plastic bags, leaves, lace, ribbon, feathers, rubber bands, sponges, rubber shelf liner, plastic canvas, mesh, gauze etc.

Tips:

1. wash your brayer well with soap and water after printing because dried paint can leave bumps on the surface and it can prevent the brayer from rolling well if the axle gets cakes with paint. The brayer in the kit pops out of the handle for easy cleaning.

2. Use craft paint that comes in bottles rather than thicker artists acrylic, it works better and it cheaper too!

3. If at first you don’t succeed, layer, layer layer! Since you are using acrylics you can keep layering until you are happy with it.

4. Have fun!

If you are in the path of the storm stay safe and warm and hopefully I will be online friday with a live stream and if not hopefully I will have something prerecorded:) Take care and til next time happy crafting!

 

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