Gampi Paper Prints

September 26, 2013 in Mixed Media Posts by Ursula Smith

I have printed on regular white tissue paper before, but I just got some cool tissue paper, called Gampi paper. It is sheer, but has an aged feel to it, because it has a slight brown tint. I decided to try to print on it, and see how it looked layerd on some paper I had laying around the studio.

First- how to print. The easiest thing to do, is find a spray adhesive that is removable. I use a spray by CC International called Stick and Spray. It comes in a purple spray can, and a little goes a long way. Some folks (myself included) use it to refresh the stickiness on our cutting mats for our digital cutters. For this purpose, spray a light coating onto paper the size you want to print. I normally use 8.5 x 11 inch copy paper. Let it dry, so it will be non-permanent. I also take the paper and lay it sprayed side down onto carpet, so it removes even more of the stickiness.

Then I cut the Gampi paper to fit the sprayed paper and adhere it. Run it through the printer, and voila- a tissue print! Gampi also seems to be a bit less fragile than the regular white tissue paper, so that is nice.

I use medium to adhere the tissue print to another piece of paper or a print or a canvas. I am not choosy about the medium I use- gel medium, matte medium, clear gesso, polymer medium- they all work fine.

Here is one print I layered over shimmery gold cardstock. I am not sure the photo does it justice. In real life, it looks lovely with the shimmery gold peeking through. I have also layered it over glitter paper, although that is even harder to photograph.


Gampi paper on shimmery


Here is another tissue print I layered onto old sheet music. I would re-do this again, and probably soften the sheet music by painting it with a light, watered down (to make it sheer) coat of gesso, so it isn’t competing as much with the tissue print.


Gampi paper on old sheet music


Here is another sample where I layered the tissue print onto lacy, rice paper.

Gampi paper on rice paper


This final print could be layered over something else, as both the lace paper, as well as the Gampi, allow you to see though it. Try some tissue prints for a soft, layered look!

Gelli Art Rejects

September 18, 2013 in Mixed Media Posts by Ursula Smith

It is no secret that I adore my Gelli Art Printing Plate. I go through lots of paper, and sometimes I get prints that are not quite so stellar ;-). However, I very rarely throw them away, because often I use those Gelli Art Rejects. Also, when I teach classes with the Gelli Plate, I always tell the folks in class to look at the back of the print.  I use a brayer to roll paint onto the Gelli Art Plate, and after I place the paper on the plate to pull the print, I roll with my paint covered brayer to make sure the paper has full contact with the plate. Often I get a cool pattern on the backside of the print. I call these two-fers- two prints for the price of one. I will scan in the back side of the print, so I don’t have to waste it, if I am planning on using the front as well.

I had two Gelli Art Print “rejects” that I ended up using in my Photoshop play time this week, and I liked the results. I hope you do too!

Here is a background that was super busy, and difficult to use because it tended to distract…


Gelli Art Background in Photoshop
I haven’t used it yet, so I scanned it, opened it in Photoshop, and combined it with a drawing. Here is the end result:


Gelli Arts Print Girl


I like the texture it added to the drawing. It is almost a carved stone effect.

The next print was the back/wrong side of a Gelli Art print. I liked the markings left behind from the brayer, and so I saved that section of the back.  I had another drawing of mine printed on tissue paper (more on that in a future post), and I adhered that to the print. But, Yuck! I hated the way it looked…


Tissue over Gelli Arts Print

It was way too dark, no constrast etc. I decided to try to scan it and bring it into Photoshop to see if I could salvage it. By combining this print with a scan of the original drawing, some other drawings and photos, and a whole lot of tinkering with blend modes, I arrived at this picture:


Gelli Arts Print in Photoshop


So next time you are hesitant to throw away your “rejects” try to see what you can do to salvage them!

Sanded Frame in Photoshop

September 6, 2013 in Digital Related Posts, Photoshop Posts, Video Posts by Ursula Smith

Building on a couple of previous posts, today I have a quick video tutorial on how to take a picture that is sanded and use it in Photoshop to create a custom brush. I made it easy on myself by starting out with a print that was a solid color. Then I sanded it and scanned that back into the computer. I brought it into Photoshop and worked with it in a couple of ways and this video shows how…

I have done this same process with other sanded photos- it just takes a bit more work to isolate the sanding. I hope this gives you some ideas on how to use a sanded photo in Photoshop! Enjoy!

Shabby Chic Wedding Idea- Say it with Flowers

September 2, 2013 in Mixed Media Posts by Ursula Smith

Hi everyone! A reader has asked for some ideas for her daughter’s wedding invitations, and one of the styles that they like is “Shabby Chic”. Shabby Chic can mean a bunch of different things to different people, but I tend to like what I think of as “Shabby Chic” and so I decided that I would challenge myself to a few blog posts to come up with different ideas for wedding invitations. I decided to cover different mediums, as well as different degrees of complexity. Creating your own wedding invitations, can be fun and rewarding, but it can also be a lot of work. So let’s start out with an easier project. One that only requires photos, a minimal amount of photo processing, and perhaps some stamping.

In my opinion, nothing says “Shabby Chic” like flowers- especially Roses. I didn’t happen to have any great pictures of roses, so I chose other flowers for this example. A photo of some roses on a white picket fence would be ideal for this project. Grab a digital photo or scanned image of flowers, and open the image in any photo editor of your choosing. For example, I use Photoshop, however any basic image/photo editor (even the online ones for photo printing services) will work for what we are doing here. Use the transformation or re-size tool in your editor and re-size the flower photo to fit on the size of the card that you would like to send. Greeting card size (A2: 4.25 x 5.5 inches) typically, is a great size to use for making your own cards, because the card base can be made from a half sheet of 8.5 x 11 inch card stock. However, this might be too small for wedding invitations. Once you have determined your size for the card base, you can then re-size your photo so that it will fit on the card base.

The next step is to add a quote using the text tool. One of my favorite quotes for weddings, anniversaries, etc., is the one by Rumi- “Be with Those Who Help Your Being”. I loved it so much, I made a stamp out of it. So that is another option- you could print out a photo and stamp or hand write a saying on it. This is a lot more time consuming than editing it directly onto the photo. However, it can have more of that handmade, “Shabby Chic” feel to it. Next week I will cover some ways to get around the time consuming part. But for now let’s stick with simple choice.

If you have a photo editor that has a tool to turn the photo into either black and white, and/or Sepia you could also experiment with that. I chose to make one of my photos sepia toned in this example.

Since I have my own printer that prints photos nicely, I can print my photos from home. However you can also have them printed from a service. I have the option to print on matte, lustre, or glossy paper. I generally like matte myself, but in this example I had lustre paper sitting next to the computer, so I went with that choice. I also printed a sheet of photos at one time, so I could get 4 greeting card fronts from a single sheet of 8.5 x 11 inch paper. If your card base is bigger, you may be able to print only 1 or 2 photos at a time.

Here is how the image sheet looked after I printed it…

Weddng flowers

You could stop here, but this doesn’t really have the “Shabby Chic” look. So I took the photos and sanded them with sand paper. I cut the photos down and then sanded them each individually, all around the border. I sanded the corners a bit more heavily, and on a diagonal so that the sanding framed the image. I lightly sanded the interior portion of the image on some of them, but for the most part I concentrated on the borders. If you want the card from to look even more shabby, you could also bend and wrinkle the photo, but for my taste, with these images, I liked just the sanding. Here’s how they looked sanded…

Shabby Chic Flowers

Now all there is to do is to attach them to a card base, and stamp, write, or print the interior page with the necessary invitation. This project is not too difficult, and not all that time consuming. This method also works great for making wedding and anniversary cards. Try it out!