Saturday, November 1, 2014

Pre-Printed Papers Speed Projects from Start to Finish

Welcome, all!  It's Day 2 of this series of posts using the stencils shown below:

100 - Trillium
101 - Sunflower

102 - Black Orchid

103 - Lily
 To quickly and easily build a complex image -- for greeting cards and art journal pages -- I like to use pre-printed papers.  These include old calendar pages, sheet music, magazine pages, foreign newsprint, old maps, catalog pages and earlier Gelli Plate prints that needed a little more pizzazz.

This colorful catalog page makes a great starting point with a nice variety of colors and a striped pattern.
The step-by-step photos below were taken as I began to use a dollar-store wedge-shaped cosmetic sponge to lightly daub/pounce acrylic paint thru stencils; my printing surface was an old calendar page.
(A short video of this daubing/pouncing technique done by Chris Cozen is here --   )

Above:  Step 1

Above:  Step 2

Above:  Step 3
After the first 3 steps, I continued placing different stencils from the series onto the first-stage prints, then the second-stage prints, and so on.  I continued to use cosmetic sponges to add layer upon layer, each in a different color.

These 4 Kaleidoscope stencils are perfect for layering over one another --  the kaleidoscopic format shows you the perfect dead-center every time you place a stencil over earlier printed layers.  This feature allows the artist to print exactly over the previous print(s) -- or kitty-cornered to them --

In creating the papers shown above, I made multiple prints, allowing drying time between each. 
The final prints are ready to be glued into readymade art journals -- or they can be folded and bound into handmade art journals. 
Two ways that I, personally, use them is to cut them up for use in large collages (artwork to hang on the wall) and collaged greeting card covers like the one below. 
I also use these brightly decorated papers as gift-wrap and gift-tags --

Above:  the bottom of a giftwrapped package.

Above:  the top of the same package.

Above:  the gift-tag, cut from a different multi-print.

Above:  The final gift, with gift-tag and bow.
In days to come, I'll show many more ways to use prints created with these just-released Kaleidoscope stencils.  Again, this Signature Series of four 6"X6" stencils is available here:

Stay tuned for Day 3 -- coming very soon!  Meanwhile, here is a sneak peak at a print that will be described step-by-step in one of my upcoming posts --


Friday, October 31, 2014

Announcement -- 4 New Stencils


I'm the "caboose" in this blog hop that introduces a four-part set of 6"X6" stencils inspired by the kaleidoscopic imagery that has intrigued me since early childhood.

100 - Trillium
101 - Sunflower

102 - Black Orchid

103 - Lily

For this post, I've chosen a project using Paperclay -- an air-dry clay available at and other outlets.

Supplies I used:

a dollar-store plastic spatula
a Teflon non-stick rolling pin
freezer paper
a rack or two normally used for cooling cookies or cake from the oven
1 package Paperclay
paper towels
a mister bottle filled with water
optional:  scissors for trimming the clay medallions
acrylic paints
matte or gloss gel medium

My first step was to spread freezer paper, glossy side up, across my work surface, securing it with masking tape.

Next, I sprinkled a little cornstarch across the freezer paper.  I spread it smooth with my hand.  Even freezer paper can sometimes stick to Paperclay, so this thin layer of cornstarch helps to insure success.

Then I tore off a chunk of Paperclay, kneaded it to make it more pliable, and placed it on the freezer paper -- much like a chunk of dough about to be rolled out to make a pie crust.

Before using the rolling pin, I sprinkled a little cornstarch across the top of the clay, and spread it with one finger.  I take this extra step to keep the Paperclay from sticking to the rolling pin.  Even a non-stick rolling pin can sometimes stick to Paperclay.

I rolled out the clay to a thickness roughly 1/4 inch - 3/8 inch.

Again, I sprinkled a pinch of cornstarch across the top of the clay and smoothed it out with one finger.

Then I placed the stencil atop the flattened Paperclay, as shown below:

The next step was to roll over the stencil-Paperclay combination with the rolling pin.  When I applied the rolling pin, I started in the center of the stencil and worked outward from the center in all directions.  This approach was important, to keep the stencil from sliding off the clay (due to the pressure of the rolling pin.) 

Below, you can see the stencil still pressed down into the Paperclay, right after I've lifted the rolling pin:

Below is the stencil lifted off.  You can click on the image to enlarge it.

Below is a close-up of the Paperclay, with the stencil's imprint.  You can click on the image to enlarge it.

Using sprayed water and paper towels, I cleaned each stencil as soon as I'd finished using it with the clay.

I used all four stencils in the Kaleidoscope Series, making a Paperclay medallion with each of them.

As each medallion was finished, I placed it onto a rack.  (It's the kind of rack meant for cooling cakes or cookies right after removal from the oven.)


On each medallion, I decided to leave the edges rough -- but, while the Paperclay is still wet, it's easy to trim off rough edges to create uniform shapes such as squares.

Over the medallions, I placed wax paper.  Deli wrap would work too.  This paper slows the dry-time but prevents the medallions from curling upward around the edges.  The thinner the medallion-slab, the more likely the edges will tend to curl. 

I placed lightweight books over the wax paper on the medallions -- lightweight because I wanted to avoid pressing away the embossed patterns I'd just created.

I left the wax paper and books on overnight, then removed them, allowing the medallions to continue drying.

The Paperclay will feel cool to the touch, and will be a darker shade of ivory, while it's still damp.  When dry, it will no longer feel cool to the touch, and it will be a very light shade of ivory, nearly white.

Next, I brought out acrylic paints and began to apply one color at a time, using paper towels to rub off part of the color before the paint had time to dry.

Above:  the first coat of paint is being applied.

Above:  the second coat of paint has been added and some of it has been rubbed back off with a paper towel.  In the upper left is the matte medium that I used on some medallions to thin the paint.

Whenever this rubbing failed to remove enough paint to please me, I spritzed the clay surface with a very small amount water and rubbed a little more.   I knew from experience that too much water would cause the clay to soften. 

Above:  another medallion, with its first coat of paint.

Above:  the same medallion, with its second coat of paint.
I added layer after layer of acrylic paints in assorted colors, using paper towels to rub off some of each paint layer while it was still wet.

Above:  one of the medallions after 2 coats of paint.

Above:  another medallion after 2 coats of paint.

Above:  the same medallion after 3 coats of paint.
After the medallions reached color levels that I liked, I coated each with a thin layer of gel as my final step, sealing them.

Some artists glue these medallions to the covers of their art journals.

I used heavy matte gel medium to adhere two of the finished medallions onto greeting cards:

And I used the same adhesive to adhere a medallion onto a collage:

In case you missed any of the earlier blogs in this day-to-day hop, here are the links: (Oct. 25 post) (Oct. 26 post) (Oct. 27 post) OR (Oct. 28 post) (Oct. 29 post)  (Oct. 30 post)

Leave a comment below this post, for a chance to win these 4 brand-new stencils.

I will announce my winner on November 4, here on this blog.  When I announce the winner, I will ask him or her to leave a comment below my post of Nov. 4, providing a mailing address.  To preserve the privacy of my winner, I will delete the Nov. 4 comment so that it won't appear on my blog.  But I'll need the information myself for the mailing of the free stencils.