Monday, October 27, 2014

Mimosa Again ...

Above is the lovely birthday card -- made by my friend Cindy Powell -- that arrived in today's mail. 

She created it using my 9"X12" stencil Mimosa 9 -- and as usual, I find that artists like Cindy do a better job of using my stencils than I do! 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

KALEID shows up again...

My 6"X6" stencil Kaleid --

-- found at StencilGirlProducts --

-- came in handy when I was creating a collage for an online class I'm taking with Jane Davies.

With this stencil, I used a Gelli Plate and red acrylic paint to make a print on deli wrap.  When the print dried, I cut it into two pieces and added them to this work in collage and acrylic:

It's not easy to find in the photo above, but the close-up below shows where I used another stencil-made print, elsewhere in the same collage. 

My substrate was a piece of polka-dotted black-and-white scrapbook paper.  With red acrylic paint and the Gelli Plate, I made a print on that paper with my 9"X12" stencil Twinship --

The results are subtle, since this print was made on a busy and finely detailed background paper, but subtle was what I wanted in this area of the cruciform, since it wasn't meant to be the focal point.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Personalized Gift Idea

There are several blank readymade calendars available online; here's one that's 12"X12" and has cardstock pages --

Or you can download free printable calendars -- lots of online sources exist for that option; but I think many of us would rather skip the challenge of printing generous-sized calendar pages on cardstock. 

Why blank calendars?  Because it's fun to make a gorgeous calendar to give as a special personalized gift!  At Christmas, especially.

Below is a start of a layout that still has far to go till completion; my next step will be to lighten selected areas with layers of paint.  Then I can add words and/or photos to work toward creating one page of a brand-new calendar.

The starting layers above were created in a workshop I took in Oct. 2014, in South Orange, NJ, where a roomful of us had the pleasure of learning under the guidance of the energetic, entertaining and very knowledgeable Jane Davies

After a first layer of collage, I brushed areas with a mix of Golden Fluid Acrylics in Manganese Blue and Titanium White.  Immediately, while the paint was still wet, I pressed down my 9"X12" stencil FacetsUsing the reductive/subtractive technique that I've shown in earlier posts, I quickly rubbed off color in the open areas of the stencil.  Then I lifted the stencil, turned it over and applied pressure, creating the reverse-print which shows faintly in the lower left of the layout above.  (Click on the image to enlarge it.) 

To apply that pressure, I covered the stencil with a sheet of scratch paper and rolled firmly over the scrap paper with my hard rubber brayer.   The scratch paper has a dual role:  It keeps paint off the brayer, and it protects the stencil from the possibility of damage as the brayer's pressure is applied.  The stencil I used, Facets, has no unconnected/unanchored lines, so there was really no need to protect it from the brayer. 

But other stencils, such as Branching Blossoms Silhouette, were designed to have some fragile areas which are not connected to those anchoring lines that we designers call bridges.  This creates a more attractive stencil but also a more fragile stencil.  Ya can't have your cake and eat it too!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Rubbing Plates re-visited

My Sept. 26 post launched me into the topic of rubbing/printing plates made by my friend Mary Ann Russo.  In that post, I detailed her process, using my 9"X12" stencil Twinship

In today's post, I'm showing another rubbing/printing plate made by Mary Ann.  This time, she used my 9"X12" stencil Vases.

The difference between this plate and the one featured in my Sept. 26 post is that Mary Ann added one more step at the very end.  She covered the surface with two coats of a rubberizing spray to make it completely waterproof.

Household fix-it-yourself types are probably familiar with Napa Performix Plasti Dip spray.  Created to provide a non-slip, comfortable grip on tools and to provide protection against electrical shock and heat, it's available at --
Originally, this spray came in red -- the color used in this project -- and now comes in black, clear and gray-translucent.  The spray is to be used outdoors and its first coat must be allowed to dry before the second coat is added. 
The finished plate can be used to make impressions on a paint-coated Gelli Plate, for pulling prints on paper or fabric. 
It can also be used in two other ways -- with a Shiva stick and fabric to make rubbings, as well as with acrylic paints to make prints. 
Today's post will focus on the last of these three options.
Above:  The work surface has been covered with freezer paper, shiny side up.  To the right of the plate are a rubber brayer and a dollop of heavy-body acrylic paint. 

Above:  I've rolled paint out across the freezer paper, rolling back and forth until the paint reached a tacky stage.

Above:  I've rolled the paint-loaded brayer across the plate.
 After coating the plate with this paint, I pressed a sheet of pre-painted newsprint over the plate, using both hands across the whole surface, to make sure all of the paper made contact with the plate.  Then I pulled the print shown above.

Mary Ann used the same process with black fabric-printing paint to make the print below, on a piece of off-white fabric --

I used blue acrylic paint to print another sheet of pre-painted newsprint, as shown below.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Stencil-and-Scrape Technique, re-visited

Earlier, I've posted about a technique that I call stencil-and-scrape
-- on Jan. 4 , March 14 and April 2 --
where I've supplied numerous photos with directions. 

This technique is simply a wet version of the rubbings technique; traditional rubbings are done with soft-lead pencil or crayon, whereas I use acrylic paint and an old credit card. 

With masking tape, I secure a stencil to the work surface; then I tape a sheet of thin paper over that.  After adding a few dollops of acrylic paint to the top of the paper, I scrape the paint downward over the paper, pressing evenly to pick up the patterns in the stencil.

Just recently I made more stencil-and-scrape papers using my 9"X12" stencil Twinship.  Since I planned to use the finished paper in a multi-layered collage, I chose deli paper because it's thin; and its translucency allows underneath colors to show thru. Below is one of the completed papers.

After the paint dried, I cut the papers into shapes and added them to a collage on canvas, shown below.  To better see the stencil-and-scrape papers, click on the image --