Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Creating background designs with the Gelli Printing Plate...

I think by now you must all know how much I love creating background designs and have experimented with all sorts of techniques, so for me it was a no brainer investing in a Gelli Printing Plate.

I bought a 6" x 6" Gellie plate as this is the size I use most but I can see me investing in a larger size as I love, love, love the results you can get.

Gelli 3

If you have never heard of a Gelli plate or seen it being used there are lots of fab Youtube tutorials, but the one that probably inspired me the most is by Andy Skinner of Decoart which you can see here. I can only dream of becoming as good as this.

I have only been practising for about an hour with the Gelli plate but I have already picked up a few little techniques that appeal to me, although they may not be for everyone. I prefer a more subtle background so all over bright colours do not generally appeal. I layered orange and blue colours by "pulling" some of the paint off with paper before adding another colour, and then repeating. The first pull often has too much colour, it is the second pull, or "ghost" pull where I achieved the softer colouring. That's how I achieved this more subtle grungey background.

Gelli 1

And this is the background naked as it were, I just added some random stamping using a Bo Bunny text stamp called It Is Written stamp, but not too much as I just didn't want to cover up the background!

What I also love about this technique is that because I used acrylic paint and there is no need to add water, there is no card warpage, and card warpage is the bain of my life no matter how heavy the cardstock I use.

Gelli 4 

The flourish die is by Tattered Lace called Ornamental Baroque and the flower is Hobbycraft. The sentiment is a Tim Holtz Chit Chat sticker.

Gelli 2

 I know that my Gelli plate is going to get used a lot and know that I haven't even scratched the surface of what it can do so I look forward to more experimenting.

I will pin my photos on Pinterest, but I think like a lot of people, I am having huge problems loading and viewing images, and despite reporting it I am getting nowhere. Fingers crossed they sort it out soon. See you soon x

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Using embossing powders on metal...

  Just a really quick post today to show you how I completely changed the look of a metal embellishment with embossing powder.

On the left is the original metal embellishment and on the right after I pressed it into a Versamark pad,  dipped it in embossing powder and heated it. I used this lovely two tone embossing powder and then added a tiny bit of Decoart Metallic Lustre in Gold Rush around the edge. 

A little bling gem finishes it off.

Metal embellishment 1 

I think it looks a litte more vintage and it was very quick and easy to do.

Hope you like, will be back soon x

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Mini scrapbook cover...

Hi everyone, hope you are all enjoying your weekend.

I recently bought a lovely little scrapbook from Hobbycraft for just £3.00. They come in white or Kraft and measure 8" x 8" and I have to say for such a reasonable price they are really good quality. 

I did not feel brave enough to stamp direct onto the front cover so I stamped and made my design onto a piece of white card and mounted it onto the front of the journal instead.

journal cover 2 

I've used a fantastic text stamp by Justrite to create my background, along with a script stamp from my stash. The bracket stamp is from the stamp set called Functuation by Technique Tuesday and the sentiment is from Tim Holtz chit chat stickers.

Journal cover 1 

And, yes, I've used another Prima flower!

journal cover 3

  I will use my scrapbook to keep lots of my art ideas, and probably use the same principle of designing onto cardstock first and then mounting them onto the pages inside.

Anyway, enjoy the rest of your weekend, and I will be back soon x

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Creating designer tissue paper...

This is a follow on from my last post in which I used paper napkins to create a card. As the napkin was 2 ply, with the top part being the floral design and the bottom part just plain white tissue I decided I would have a go at making my own designer tissue paper for decoupage with the plain white napkin. 

I used black Archival ink to randomly stamp a selection of stamps all over the tissue...


For the purposes of comparison I have created the card in a similar layout to previous posts using a large Prima flower which I have sprayed with Lindy's sprays and the same little metal frame. As before I used matte Mod Podge to adhere the napkin...


 I added some copper colour Lindy's Starburst ink sprays before adding the texture flourish as I wanted the texture paste to remain white.


I have such a lot of scrapbook style stamps that have rarely been used and are perfect for this type of project.

And my creations are getting ever inkier as I get a little braver! Hope you like, see you soon x

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Creating cards with decoupaged napkins...

That's not a title of a blog post I thought I would ever have, but there are so many lovely napkin designs that I could not resist trying to use them in my crafting.

Decoupage napkin card 1

I used some floral napkins from Amazon and applied matte Mod Podge just to adhere the napkin to the card. I didn't apply the Mod Podge over the top, it didn't seem necessary plus I thought it would make it easier for stamping over the top of the napkins. I'm not sure it would have made much difference though had I applied it over the top as well.

Unlike Gesso, Mod Podge dries fairly quickly which is great for me as I have absolutely no patience for waiting for stuff to dry. To help obscure the edges of the decoupage I randomly stamped a script and texture stamp over edges of the napkin area. This was my fave bit of the whole process. The stamping wasn't perfect but I still like the outcome.

The lovely die topper is by Penny Black called "Pop on a fold-royal swirl" from the Foiled Fox, one of the fab new products from the new Penny Black Bliss collection. The metal frame is just an old frame I have had for many years found buried in my stash.

Decoupage napkin card 2

I also sprayed some DIY shimmer spray which I made by mixing Sepia ink, Aged Mahogony Distress ink and Liquitex ink in Gold. It really is absolutely beautiful and I think as good as any shimmer spray you can buy.

I think by the time I had finished, even up close it is not immediately obvious that napkins have been used to create this card.

Decoupage napkin card 3

Finally, here is a photo of my latest DIY inks. You can find my previous post about DIY shimmer sprays here. The lovely little glass bottles are from Amazon, and although they are small they work perfectly. They are just right for mixing up small amounts of DIY shimmer spray. I have made these with Sepia ink, gold Liquitex ink and Distress inks. The Sepia gives these inks that "Moonshadow" effect of Lindy's ink sprays.

DIY shimmer spray-Sepia ink with distress inks

I love the napkins, they provide such a lovely background that you can then add to with stamping and embellishments, and there are lots of lovely designs to choose from too. I am sure I will be trying this again in the future. See you again soon x

Monday, 13 March 2017

Stretching my creative synapses...

It has been a while since my last post but behind the scenes here at Little Princess I have been experimenting with various mixed media techniques. I confess I really cannot get to grips with it at the moment. I think my main problem is I can't seem to be able to give up my white space, and although I know you can create white space even in a mixed media piece I have not yet achieved the look I want.

So I am sticking inside my comfort zone for the time being. Here I've created a very simple card using distress inks in Walnut Stain and Seedless Preserves, what a fab colour combination this is. I also added some Lindy's ink in Cowabunga copper for some added glimmer.

 Distress ink border handmade card

  The large flower is by Prima which I've had for years. I simply coloured the flower with the inks to match the border of the card. It's nice to have finally found a use for it.

distress ink border handmade card 3

The lovely stamped border flourish is an old stamp by Tim Holtz from the Nature's Discovery stamp set. A stamp I've had for years but never used. The little metal frame is by a company called Delish, a company I really loved but I think they ceased trading many years ago which was a shame as their products were fab.

Distress ink border handmade card 1

 Anyway I am not giving up and will continue experimenting, even after all my years of crafting I am still learning but I love that as it stretches my creative synapses!

See you again soon x

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Creating abstract art with texture paste...

I don't think I've ever mentioned on my blog that I am passionate about abstract art although my last few posts have probably given the game away.

It is only recently I have thought about creating mini pieces of abstract art, and I have been thinking about how I can come up with abstract art ideas that can be incorporated into card making. Having said that I may move more into mixed media art especially as I am now getting a better grip on mediums like Gesso and texture paste, something that as a CAS card maker for many years has been alien to me.

So I thought I would dabble with texture paste to see what I could come up with. I wanted to leave 3/4's  of my card white with the focal point being the line of texture paste and ink. I used 300gsm cardstock and decided only to apply clear Gesso in a line where I was going to apply the paste and ink. That way it would give the ink something to grab onto instead of just sinking straight into the card, and leave the rest of the card pure white just as I wanted.

It pretty much worked, although I think I should have applied at least 2 coats of Gesso where the paste and ink was going to be applied. However, I applied a line of texture paste and allowed it to dry. Then it was a case of dripping (not spraying) the various Lindy's spray inks with teeny tiny spritzes of water as I went. The key to not splattering the entire card is to hold the nozzle very close to the card. That way it minimises splashes and creates this lovely "bleed" effect, especially as it spreads through the texture paste.

  Abstract Art with texture paste 3

I suppose this is a way of dipping my toe in the water and finding out about effects you can get with texture paste, but this kind of art is soooo me.  I hope you are enjoying my creative journey as much as I am! See you soon x 

Thursday, 2 March 2017

DIY Shimmer spray with Brushos and Pearl Ex Powder...

Can you tell I'm going through an experimental phase lol.

I've seen quite a few Youtube tutorials about creating your own DIY shimmer sprays using all sorts of inks and mica powders. Even though I have quite a few Lindy's sprays and Glimmer Mists there are gaps in my colours so I thought why not have a go at creating my own. I have so many inks that can be used to make shimmer sprays such as Dylusions inks, Distress inks, Altenew re-inkers, Adirondack re-inkers and Color Wash, Liquitex inks and acrylic paints to name but a few. Until now I'm not sure if anyone has tried with Brushos!

Everyone appears to have their own unique way of making their own shimmer sprays. I just took bits of advice from various tutorials and came up with my own recipe that works for me. I did a test run and it is only as I did it I began to realise what works and what doesn't.

DIY Shimmer spray with Brusho and Pearl Ex 1 

You will need a binder for the mica, otherwise the mica will not stick to the cardstock. Some tutorials recommended using a clear glue, but there was one that recommended Jacquard Gum Arabic as the best binder. It is very fine and less likely to clog up the nozzle. It wasn't easy to track down but I eventually found some here. Like the instructions on the Lindy's bottle,s I added warm water to my mix of mica, Brusho and gum arabic and let it sit for ten minutes before using. This is because the gum arabic takes longer to dissolve than the mica.

  DIY Brusho shimmer spray with Pearl Ex 

Then it is a question of quantities.  This is where it is very much trial and error. I used the smallest palette knife I had to add the powders (as shown in the first photo). I put one palette knife of Brusho and half of Gum Arabic. The amount of mica depends upon how shimmery you want it. I put in one palette knife of Solar Gold Pearl Ex but it turned out too glimmery so I watered it down and added a bit more Brusho. 

The right hand side of the sample below is where I added too much mica and not enough Brusho. The left side is better when I added more Brusho and bit more water to dilute the mica. The best thing to do is test it as you go and adjust accordingly.

  DIY Brusho shimmer spray with Pearl Ex 5

Finally I came up with something I was pleased with. To indicate the colour of the ink in the bottle, rather than stick a sample of the colour to the bottle itself, I die cut a small heart of the inked up cardstock and tied it around the neck of the bottle which I can remove when using. As I make more colours I think I will just put a number on the back of the heart and keep a little index book of the recipe I used in each case.

The final thing is to give it a name! As I used Prussion Blue Brusho, I shall simply call this Prussian Blue Shimmer, at least for the time being.

DIY Brusho shimmer spray with Pearl Ex 7

The only other tip I could give is to wear latex gloves when handling Brushos. It does eventually come off your hands but you do have to handle the powder carefully as the pigment is very intense and stains easily. Although I like using Brushos neat as a powder it is nice to be able to use them in a different way. Despite getting a little messy I enjoyed doing something new and it very satisfying creating a totally unique shimmer spray. I have so many inks and mica powders the colour possibilities are endless. Ooh I just thought...I wonder what would happen if I mixed two or more Brusho colours together and added a different colour Mica? An experiment for another day. See you soon x

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Creating vintage style DIY background papers...

I was having a bit of a tidy up and came across lots of different coloured embossing powders I have never used. I picked a pink embossing powder and gave myself the challenge of using it. Yep, I did say pink. And pale pink at that.

I stamped the lovely Stampin Up flourish with Versamark and heat embossed it with the pink embossing powder to provide a resist for the ink. I also stamped up a script stamp in white embossing powder, I thought all over pink might be a bit too much. Then I sponged distress inks in Walnut Stain,  Vintage Photo and Black Soot all over the stamped image with a little Lindy's Starburst spray in Screamin' Banshee Black.

Vintage DIY background paper 2

I think one of the reasons I don't do heat embossing that often is because most of my embossing powders were buried at the back of a wardrobe, so I dug them out and found shallow tray to put them in. I've turned them upside down so that I can clearly see the colours. I know I have others scattered around so I will add them in, and now I can see them more easily hopefully I will use them more.

I can't believe I have so many lovely colours that have never been used...

  Embossing powders

All of the distress inks have blended to provide a lovely vintage background.

  Vintage DIY background 3

It definitely pays to have a sort out now and again! See you soon x

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Creating abstract backgrounds with acrylic paint...

I thought I would have a go at creating some abstract backgrounds using the same "technique" I used in my post last week which you can see here. I say technique in the loosest sense of the word. I'm not sure pressing two pieces of card together is a technique but I don't think I could have achieved this smooshy look with paint brushes.

I wanted to compare how the acrylic paint worked to the gouache I used previously. Overall I preferred the gouache but I still managed to achieve a similar effect with the acrylic paint.

  Acrylic abstract background 3

A couple of pieces turned out OK and this was one of them. I did have to spray quite a lot of water and Lindy's Moon Shadow spray ink but I love the movement that I eventually managed to create...

  Acrylic abstract background 2

I did end up with quite a few very messy pieces that ended up in the bin. I only used inexpensive acrylic paint and generally with any paint you get what you pay for. Maybe a better quality paint would have been more successful. Also there are so many types of acrylic paints and mediums that the only thing to do is experiment and see what works, a glaze might have helped move the paint around a bit better.

The other thing I really really should have done is prime my cardstock with Gesso or used acrylic paper, However all of this was done late at night and I didn't want to get out loads of stuff, but I will use Gesso next time and report back to you to let you know the difference it makes. I suspect quite a lot. Considering I just used cheap card I did manage to get some nice pieces but I probably wasted more card than I needed to.

  Acrylic abstract background 1

I quite like the effect on the tag which was salvaged from what looked like a pretty messy piece of card. I think sometimes what can look like a mess can look totally different when die cut.

  acrylic abstract tag

My methods may be a little rudimentary but if it works it works as far as I'm concerned. I will continue to experiment and hope to be back soon with more background designs.

Have a great weekend and thank you for stopping by x

A little acetate tag...

Following on from my last post I later made an acetate tag from my first practice piece of acetate using texture paste. I simply sprayed Glimmer Mist in the same colours onto some roses to match my tag.

  Texture paste on acetate tag

I just had too! Enjoy x

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Texture paste on acetate with Glimmer Mist...

This was definitely a "I wonder what would happen if..." moment for me when the thought of applying texture paste on to acetate popped into my head. I really did not know if it would work to be honest.

 Luckily it did...

  Prima Flourish Stencil on acetate 3

This was my kit. The lovely stencil by Prima is called "Flourish" and the Glimmer Mist colours I used are Sunkissed Peach and Sorbet.

  Prima Flourish stencil on acetate 4

I applied the Ranger Opaque Matte texture paste and sprayed the Glimmer Mist before the paste had dried. I suspect you are supposed to let the texture paste dry first. However, although it took a good couple of hours to dry with the Glimmer mist it turned out fine.

  Prima flourish stencil and Glimmer Mists 1

Here is a close up of the gorgeous Prima flourish stencil with the Glimmer Mist...

Prima Flourish Stencil and Glimmer Mist 2

This is the finished card before it had dried completely. I added a small sentiment by Stampin Up so as not to obscure the background too much.

Prima flourish stencil on acetate 5

...and this is what looked like when it was completely dry.

Prima flourish Stencil on acetate 1

It has made me re-think stencils. I don't actually have that many but can see I that I will want to experiment more with this technique so I will be searching for more lovely stencil designs. I really love the effect and I think applying texture paste is easier than stamping on to acetate.

Thank you for stopping by, I will be back soon x