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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Stamping, Masking, Gelli Printing: Another Favorite Background Technique!

Hello arty darlings! I wanted to let you know that I have a little tutorial up over at the Lost Coasters' Review blog on how to use gelli printing with masked stamped images to create interesting textural backgrounds in a jiffy for your fab stamped focal points!

Behold the piece ^^ I will teach you how to make! Of course you can--and should--use this technique to create your own many and varied amazing compositions.  ๐Ÿ˜œ  Go here for details, and do report back if you try this technique, because I'm dying to see what you do with it. It's SO much fun and really quite easy and quick! I must see your projects!!!!! Please link me up to them in the comments below.

Enjoy. ๐Ÿ˜€

Monday, April 3, 2017

Favorite Background Techniques: New Challenge for You at Lost Coast Designs

Hi friends! There's a new art challenge/contest up over at the Lost Coast Portal to Creativity--enter your art using rubber stamps (any company) featuring your favorite background technique for a chance to win badges for your blog and gift certificates for free rubber from Lost Coast Designs!

As a member of the LCD design team, I hereby present you with a project to inspire you to enter. This ATC, "Lesson 175," uses one of my very favorite background techniques: stamping and stenciling on a gelli print. I love the complexity and depth and dimension this gives to the finished piece! And of course, the delightfully weird bird-bug from LCD is just da bomb.

I'll be back later with a more in-depth look on how I made this card, but for the moment, I leave you with these pix. Hope you'll get creative and enter your art in the challenge!

And a second shot, tilted, to show the shimmer of the wings and the dimension:

As always, I look forward to your comments below letting me know that you've visited. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

How Were Those Made? Orient Enchantment Projects for Lost Coast Designs

Hello again, my stampy and mixed-media friends! Today's post will tell you how I made each of the projects that were posted to the Lost Coast Portal to Creativity as part of my design team role to inspire participation in this month's Orient Enchantment event.

Using stamps from Lost Coast Designs's India Set, I made three ATCs. The first, "Do More Than Exist," has the simplest directions...

I started with a gelli print (there's tons of information about how to make these on the Interwebz, so for space reasons let me refer you to Google if you don't already know what gelli prints are). I stamped the god from the India set directly onto it, then colored him with creamy colored pencils (leaving some of the background showing through) and with white and shimmery copper gel pens. Then I affixed stick-on copper gems to the card and outlined the pattern with more white and copper gel pen. Oh, and added a text label, of course!

For "Talk To The Hand," I scraped some white gesso onto heavy cardstock with a palette knife and let it dry. This gave a bit of texture and a nice base for the next layer. I got out some Distress Crayons, scribbled some color here and there, and blended it with my fingertip (the gesso helps the Crayons smear more evenly than they do on plain paper).

Using permanent black ink, I stamped the Calligraphy Square from Carmen's Veranda for a little background interest. Next I stamped the mehndi hand from the India Set, colored it with gel pens in fluorescent and glitter greens as well as metallic golds and white, and cut it out and collaged it to the card along with the computer-generated sentiment.

To finish the card, I scraped some black glitter paste through a stencil to get the little ball effects on the sides...added 3D dots made of shiny white Enamel Accents and metallic gold Pearl Pen...and edged the whole piece in more black glitter paste. This added dimension and texture to the finished ATC.

For "I Is For Indian Peafowl," I first stamped the peacock from the India Set onto white cardstock and masked him off, then stamped the Taj Mahal behind him and masked that off. Next I applied Distress Inks with a mini blending tool around the masked images, then used the spritz-and-flick method to forcefully apply water droplets to give a mottled effect to the ink background.

Next I stamped the Clover Scroll Border along the bottom of the ATC and embossed the image with silver powder. I colored the clover scrolls with colored pencils, and added a border of dots made with metallic blue, gold, and white gel pens.

I painted the peacock with various colors of Twinkling H2Os--the shimmer on him was amazing in real life! Since the famous mausoleum is white, I left the Taj Mahal uncolored, revealing the plain white cardstock underneath the mask.

Lastly, I stamped and embossed the capital I from the Old Typewriter Alphabet, collaged the genus label onto the card, and edged it all in black chalk ink.

And there you have three very different ATCs, but all with a touch of exotic India. As always, I welcome any questions or comments below...I love chatting with you!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

REVEALED: Secrets of Building a Rubber-Stamped Collage

Hello stamplings! Today I have a tutorial for you on how I made this zany collaged doll for the Black & White challenge over at the Lost Coast Portal to Creativity. You can use these same principles to help you plan and execute any sort of rubber-stamped collage.

1. Plan out the composition. 

(As this piece was always intended to be in black & white only--no color--I chose images in various degrees of texture and blackness, striving for a variety of line and pattern.) 

Gather the stamp images you'd like to use and start playing with them. You can stamp them and roughly cut them out to position them relative to each other...or sketch them on a piece of paper to approximate size...or use software such as Photoshop or InDesign to make a sketch. 

I used InDesign, layering the images on top of each other very coarsely (not removing the opaque white backgrounds from each image) just to get an idea of what I wanted to do. My sketch looked like this:

Crude, right? But that's all you need to get the job done in the planning stages.

2) Decide on your focal point. 

In all likelihood, this will be the image you stamp first--the one that appears on top of all the other layers in the collage, in the foreground. In my composition, it was the eyeglasses image.

3) Determine the order of operations.

If you have a fairly complex collage to build like this one (using more than say, three stamps), now you have to figure out the order in which you are going to stamp. The things that go behind, in the background, get stamped last. Determine what is "foreground" and what is "background," and proceed in a logical order. 

4) Using your sketch as a blueprint...start stamping! 

I recommend the use of a stamp positioner or stamp press tool such as the MISTI or the We R Memory Keepers press (which is what I used). This allows you to re-ink the stamp and get perfect coverage with subsequent impressions in case an image prints a little unevenly the first time. (When you are working on building a multi-step collage like this one, you don't want to wreck it with a faded-looking or partial print of one of the images!) These tools also allow you to place each stamp exactly where you want it to print--handy! You'll see what I mean below.

5) Cut a mask for each image as you work. 

After you stamp each image on the "real" paper, stamp off onto some scrap paper, and cut that print out to use as a mask. I used repositionable adhesive to stick down my masks precisely over each image before stamping the next layer atop it. 

TIP: Cut the masks juuuuust inside the image's outline--this avoids leaving a dreaded white halo around the masked image as you stamp over it, allowing you to get right up nice and close to abut the masked image with the image you are layering over (which will actually appear "under") it.

So! In the photo below, you can see that I stamped the eyeglasses first, then masked them off...followed by the face with hat, whose mask I placed over both the eyeglasses mask and the stamped image of the face/hat...then the viney flourish (which didn't get masked, because nothing appears behind it). Here's how the collage looked at this stage:

Leave all the masks in place as you work. It will help keep everything nice and clean in the event of a dropped ink pad or inky finger smudges. Don't ask me how I know this.

In the next pic, you can see how I placed the (uninked) body stamp right on the paper where I wanted it to print. (When you close the lid on the stamp press, the stamp clings to the lid...you ink the stamp up, the close the lid again, allowing you a precision print of your image. See the second pic below.)

I printed the doll's body (not inking the legs all the way down, since I knew I was gonna add cool stripey socks)...stamped, cut, and adhered a body mask...and continued to build the collage.

Next came the wings...here you can see them in position with the lid of the press closed, ready to make a perfect impression. (SO MY STAMP PRESS IS DIRTY DON'T JUDGE)

After this came the socks (and sock masks), then two fun borders for the doll to stand on--all of which in turn was masked off by a couple of Post-It notes, because they were easier and quicker than cutting and adhering precise custom masks (see pic below).

After the feet and borders were masked off, the area between them and the masked wings was stamped with the final background layer of loopy script.

6) Remove the masks; oooh and aaaah.

MASK REMOVAL TIME...yeah baby! The fun begins! I called my trusty 12-year-old son to help film The Big Reveal and to peel away a few masks with me. This was rather fun, seeing the composition slowly unveiled. 

Click the video here to see the final stamp collage REVEALED!

And that's it!

This technique would work great for limited edition pieces or cards...I mean, if you're going to go to all the trouble of planning an elaborate collage and cutting out a crap-ton of masks, you might as well have several "prints" to show for it...amirite?

If you have any questions whatsoever about this process, please ask me in the comments below. I will either answer there or revise this blog post if it turns out I missed some major point that you guys want to know.

Thanks as always for visiting!  ๐Ÿ’—

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Moar Inspiration for the "Orient Enchantment" challenge!

Hi stamplings! Are you ready to enter your art in the challenge/contest over at the Lost Coast Portal to Creativity? The theme is "Orient Enchantment"...all you need to do is submit your fab artwork using rubber stamping (any company's stamps, though entries using Lost Coast Designs rubber count double!) with an "Oriental" theme for your chance to win fun prizes, including a gift certificate for LCD stamps! Everything you need to know about how to enter is found here.

Here's a little more inspiration for the theme: an ATC made with the mehndi hand from Lost Coast Design's India Set.

Can't wait to see your projects! (Mine is here.) Good luck!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

New Art-Stamping Contest/Event: Orient Enchantment

It's time for another fun art challenge/contest over at the Lost Coast Portal to Creativity! The theme this time is "Orient Enchantment"...submit your artwork using rubber stamping (any company's stamps, though entries using Lost Coast Designs rubber count double!) with an "Oriental" theme for your chance to win fun prizes, including a gift certificate for LCD stamps! Details here.

To get your appetite whetted for the theme, here is "I Is For Indian Peafowl," an ATC made with the peacock and Taj Mahal images from Lost Coast Design's India Set, as well as the I from the Old Typewriter Alphabet and the Clover Scroll Border.

Looking forward to seeing your entries!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Black and White Challenge at Lost Coast Portal to Creativity

Hiya stamplings! There is a cool art challenge over at the Lost Coast Portal to Creativity running right now--just enter your art in black and white that uses rubber stamping in it for your chance to win cool prizes! Details here.

Here's my piece to inspire you to get out your trusty black inkpad and get stamping. It's a collage made from several whimsical (or downright strange) images from the Lost Coast Designs library:

I'll have a post up soon showing you the masking technique I used to build this image--plus a fun "reveal" video where the masks are removed to show the finished piece--so stay tuned.  :)

Go enter!!