Welcome to my blog

I hope you enjoy reading my posts, and please leave me a comment. I always enjoy reading them, and will try to visit you in return.

You are welcome to copy any of my designs, as long as you do not take credit for them yourself. I am very happy for you to sell them. If I have used anyone else's design, I always try to give credit where it is due. If I have missed anything, please let me know and I will put things right.

This is intended to be mainly about my crafting stories, as a personal record of what I do. However, I interpret crafting quite widely, not just paper crafting but other things too. I have a butterfly mind and like to change from one thing to another depending on what I feel like on a given day - knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, cards, baking and several others.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

You can do it!

This is my second post of the day.  I would not normally do two posts, but I did want to share this one soon.  As you may have gathered, I am a big fan of Clarity Stamps and Barbara Gray.  That is because of the great quality of all they produce, and the great teaching you get from Barbara.

This card is no exception but was done in a rush to test out a theory.  I had received a comment from someone who felt they could not use a Gelli plate as they only had the use of one hand.  From my very limited experience of using the Gelli, I thought it might still be possible, so off I went to try.  I am stubborn in the extreme as my children and friends will tell you and I hate being beaten.

I started from the very beginning, getting the card and the Gelli out one-handed.  I followed the lesson Barbara Gray did with us at the Wollaton workshop.  Using the card ready cut for the 6 x 6 Gelli, I put one piece under the Gelli plate and, realising that keeping it still with only one hand in use, I put a couple of bits of low tack tape to hold the card onto my desk.  The Gelli does not move on the card so that was fine.

Then I assembled all the bits and pieces I would need.  The acrylic paint dries very fast so you do need to be organised.

6 x 6 Gelli plate
Ready cut card from Clarity (this included the main piece of card and the small centre piece needed to create the aperture)
Card to put under the Gelli (this can be kept to reuse for future projects)
Stencil of choice (I used the Ocean Swirl from Clarity - the first one I came to)
Piece of sequin waste
Blue and gold acrylic paint
Speedball brayer (others may cut into your precious Gelli)
Copy paper
Sharpie pen - black
Micron pen - black

1. Put a large pea-sized blob of blue paint on the Gelli plate and then spread it evenly with light strokes of the brayer (I also mixed a tiny bit of gold acrylic paint randomly)
2. Put your chosen stencil in place on top and then the sequin waste on top of that.
3. Place a piece of copy paper over the top and smooth over with your hand.
4. Remove paper and stencil and sequin waste.
5. Place the small piece of card in the centre of the Gelli.
6. Place your main card on top and press down with the flat of your hand,  Once you have pressed down well you can smooth over the back of the card to ensure you get a good image.
7.. Now pull one corner and pull the whole piece of card up and off.  The weight of the Gelli plate helps to keep that in place.
8. Remove the smaller piece of card in the same way.  This can be used later as part of an ATC or for a gift tag, or anything else that comes to mind.
9. Stamps of your choice for the central image - I used the Winter Wonderland set from Clarity as I knew it would fit into the aperture

You should now have the main piece of card with a clear frame in the middle into which you can stamp the design of your choice.  The sky was done with a make-up sponge and blue Adirondack and a moon mask (made from post it note), and I used the same technique to do the hills and shadows and to "ground" the deer.

I changed the colour of the frame slightly by using a make up sponge and rubbing Willow and a touch of Black Adirondack across it.  I finished off by trimming off the bits of the edge I had messed up slightly, then edging the whole piece of card with the Sharpie pen to give a black edge.  The micron pen was used to do a squiggly line to frame the central image, before sticking the whole thing onto a ready folded card.

I do not pretend to have invented any of these techniques - they are all learned from Barbara Gray.  I know that I would make a much better job of this card with more practice. I am only a novice at using the Gelli plate, but I hope I have convinced you that if you are one-handed for any reason (broken wrist or other damage) you can still use these things with a little more planning and practice.  Remember that it is mono printing so you never know exactly what result you are going to get, but  you then just think how best to use your result.  You do have some control, but do not expect to repeat any image perfectly again.  They are all unique masterpieces.

I sent this card off to Barbara Gray as a homework piece with an explanation of how it came about, and was amazed to see it shown in the homework section on Saturday.  I was even more amazed that it got there in time, thanks to Royal Mail, as I missed the post on Thursday so it did not leave until 5.30pm on Friday.


Elizabeth said...

Hi Maggie, spotted this on today's classroom programme, indeed, it was highlighted because of what you had done to make it, and all I can say is well done! I'm sure you have, with this lovely card, convinced anyone that it is possible to do this technique using only one hand. I particularly like the touch of gold in with the blue - it really does look beautiful. Elizabeth xx

Naomi said...

Maggie a super card and a great blog.
Congratulations on testing the one handed option out too. Thanks for entering the challenge and best of luck.

Di said...

WOW Maggie, this is absolutely stunning! Rushing to go out but I'll be back to read through properly - love all the detail you've so carefully given.

Hugs. Di xx

Emma Burns said...

Hi Maggie, have just watched taped TV show and popped over to see your blog. I personally don't have a Gelli Plate as I use something else, but I do think that what you have achieved 'one handed trial' is brilliant. Some people are a bit scared of trying new things but as long as no-one gets hurt I believe one should try everything (especially in the crafting world) So well done to you for proving your point so wonderfully xx

Bernie Simmons said...

Stunning Maggie Love it xxx Good Luck in the Clarity Challenge

Lynne said...

Great card Maggie. It was interesting to hear the story about it on the show this morning and to read more about it on here. Good luck in the challenge. x

Linda Simpson said...

WOW Maggie this is stunning! I love the background and the topper is stunning.

Linda xxx

NancyD said...

This is a cool technique and makes a wonderful card. It is good to see you making cards again. NancyD

Spyder said...

I've done the same with the caravan, (when we had one) There's no way it can come off unless you move a little bit! Caravans are scarrrry sometimes, once ours started zig zaggy down this very long steep hill.. hubby went to break but I yell, drop a gear go faster! I have no idea why, but it worked, and everything was okay I know all the news ones are lighter and better now days and they are such fun, my girls remember those times so well! and I know all about the messy crafty room, some time I wish I could closed the door on it as I don't know where to start! but.... the door won't close!! Haha! Have a great Crafty Week! Happy WOYWW?!
(((Lyn))) #46

Helen in the UK said...

I came to see your Craft a Scene card and started reading more! I saw this card shown on the Classroom show - how clever of you to attempt and succeed making this one handed. I hope you gave inspiration to the lady that left the original comment :)