Monday, April 6, 2015

Quick & Easy Layered Greeting Cards

At rare times, I clean out pockets of my general, widespread chaos otherwise known as "collected art supplies." 

Today I found some old prints made with acrylic paints and a handful of my stencils -- 9"X12" Vases, 6"X6"Cats, 9"X12" Twinship and 4"X4" Fern Fronds Silhouette. 

Having found these prints, I decided to use them in making greeting cards, one of my favorite quick and easy layered projects.

Below is the cut-out cat -- looking a tad like a tiger -- glued to a background paper, then collaged onto a greeting card cover.  The blank greeting card was cut from gray cardstock.

The collaged greeting card cover below was made with layers of papers that include a print made with my 4"X4" stencil Fern Fronds Silhouette. Clicking on this image to enlarge it, you can see that the Fern Fronds Silhouette print was made on the inside of a security envelope pre-printed in a faint gray overall pattern.

Below is a paper printed from a plate created by my friend Mary Ann Russo.  She made the printing plate using my 9"X12" stencil Vases.

Her technique is detailed in two earlier posts.  To see this pair of earlier posts, scroll down to the end of today's post, where I have repeated them, along with their step-by-step photos.

It was from the edge of the above Vases print that I cut out the heart seen on the greeting card cover below.  This heart is the finishing touch on a 3-part background made with the Twinship print shown earlier in this post.  The greeting card blank was made from gray cardstock.

The two greeting cards below were both made from blanks cut from dark bronze cardstock.  I used "catch-all" papers as the middle layers and the top layers are cut-out cat prints made by tracing one of the cats n my 6"X6" Cats stencil.

 Today's post ends here.  Now for the two earlier posts:

My friend Mary Ann Russo made a series of rubbing plates using my 9"X12" stencils Vases and Twinship.

Mary Ann's method called for cutting matboard (sturdy cardboard) into squares and rectangles slightly larger than the stencils and coating them  with water-thinned gel medium on both sides, and along all edges.  Coating with water-thinned gel medium is an optional step that Mary Ann took because she wanted the rubbing plates to be washable.

After the gel medium had dried, Mary Ann masking-taped the stencils in place on the coated cardboards and used a spreading tool to apply a mix of molding paste and acrylic paint thru the openings of the stencils.  (Acrylic paint was added to the molding paste to make the resulting 3D patterns easier to see.)

 Above is an example of one of my stencils -- 9"X12" Twinship -- being placed onto the rectangle of pre-coated matboard.

 Above, Mary Ann is placing the mix of molding paste and acrylic paint onto the stencil, which rests on the matboard.  Notice that she had secured the stencil to the matboard with strips of blue masking tape.  This tape also holds the matboard in place on her working surface.

Above, Mary Ann uses an old spoon to spread the mixture thru the openings on the stencil.

As soon as this step is finished, she lifts off the stencil --

-- and places the stencil to soak in a water-filled basin.  The stencil will be thoroughly cleaned to remove all the residue yellow mixture.

My preceding 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

Now, 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 Twinship 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. 
The plate can be used in two other ways -- (1) with a Shiva stick and fabric, to make rubbings; (2) with acrylic paints, to make prints. 
The following photos focus on the the last use, making prints with acrylic paints:
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 prints shown above and (with blue paint) below.