Metal Embossing Tips

March 13, 2015 in Mixed Media Posts, Video Posts

I am all over the place lately with work, and play, so this post is going to be all over the place as well :) . I have posted a couple of previous articles on embossing metal here and here. I was going to continue in that vein for the next several posts however, next week I am switching gears and plan on posting my experiences with a new material for me- Resin. I’ve also signed up for a Photography class in order to force myself to try to improve my skills there, so I have been playing with my camera and Adobe Camera Raw. So today I think I will just post a quick video  I made on Embossing Metal tips, and an image I created for the class.

Here is the video:

I will return to this series in a couple of weeks.

Here is the image I made for the photography class TheStudio  (you can read about it here)…

Chcolate Stack Chocolate Preset

Chcolate Stack Chocolate Preset

I have learned a bunch about Adobe Raw presets in this class, which enhances my Photoshop work! It’s a fun class with LOTS of creative (and nice!) people!!

Stay tuned next week for my experiments with Resin :) .

Gelli Arts Print Rescues a Sketch

August 24, 2014 in Mixed Media Posts, Photoshop Posts

For those who know me, you know that I have been trying to learn to draw, especially faces, for the past couple of years. It is my goal to be able to one day draw my Grandchildren, so I have some time to get better :-) . There have been a few times when I have drawn something that actually resembles someone –



That sketch took me probably an hour in total. Lately I have trying to do faster sketches in conjunction with some of the online Art classes I have been taking. I sketched this in about 5 minutes…

Fast sketch

Fast sketch

As you can tell, I am even worse at bodies than I am at faces, ;-) . I decided to try to do something with this girl though, and so I brought her into Photoshop along with this cool Gelli Arts print that I made. If anything can salvage a sketch, it’s a Gelli Arts print, right? :-)

Gelli Arts Leaf Over Print

Gelli Arts Leaf Over Print

I played around with some blend modes and such, and my sketch started looking even freakier still-

Gelli-Arts Photoshop Face

Gelli-Arts Photoshop Face


My husband was walking by the computer at the time, and I asked, “Can you look at this?”. He looked at the image, then he looked at me with this quizzical look. It was akin to when your Mother puts her hand on your forehead when you were a kid to check whether you were feeling ok :-) . So, clearly he was not a fan!  I was just about to give up, close the window and move on to something else for this week’s project when I stopped. The window was zoomed in and just one of the corners caught my eye. A crop and a cut and paste later, and here is the result..

Gelli Arts Leaf  Print

Gelli Arts Leaf Print

This one got a nod from my husband, and an almost audible sigh of relief that I wan’t going mad! So, remember even a crop of a Gelli Arts print can save the day!!


Gelli Arts Hand-y work

May 23, 2014 in Mixed Media Posts, Photoshop Posts

I know folks have used their Gelli Arts printing plate to print on a LOT of things, but after my last play session, I happened to glance down at my gloves. They were so cool looking! Here is what it looked like…

Gelli Arts Printed Hand start

Gelli Arts Printed Hand start

I decided to bring it into Photoshop and play around with it, until I arrived at something like this…

Gelli Arts Printed Hand

Gelli Arts Printed Hand

I liked it so much, I decided to add it in as design for a new set of Moo stickers that I use for the backs of my ATCs for a group I belong to…

Gelli Arts Printed Hand Sticker

Gelli Arts Printed Hand Sticker

I know, I know- it is bad enough that we won’t throw away scraps of paper, now we have to save gloves? Or you can just scan in your Hand-y work instead :).

Another Gelli Art Print with Photoshop

April 23, 2014 in Mixed Media Posts, Photoshop Posts

Hello friends! I just designed a pile of stencils and stamps, and while I was waiting for the stencils to be made, I decided to cut a couple on my Black Cat Cougar cutting machine and test them out. I pulled out my trusty Gelli Arts Printing plate, and pulled some of the new Golden Inks that I had just ordered. I only had a few colors, and one of them was green which I usually am not a huge fan of. I didn’t even remember ordering that color, but it was only a small bottle so maybe I was trying to get myself to branch out?

Anyhow, I had a pretty successful session, and came away with quite a few prints. I really liked the Golden inks. They are VERY fluid!! The way I liked them best was mixed with some of the normal Golden paints. Maybe 1-2 colors of paint and 1-2 colors of the ink seemed to be about the right mix. The prints with all inks are very juicy as you will see in one of the examples below.

Here was one of the prints with mostly ink. You can see lines where the ink pooled around the stencil…

Gelli Art Photoshop First Print

Gelli Art Photoshop First Print


I then pulled a second print and liked the background a lot better, but the funky circles didn’t come out as detailed…

Gelli Art Photoshop Original

Gelli Art Photoshop Original


I liked the circles in the first but the background in the second. Not to worry- I could combine them in Photoshop, but the selection might be a bit difficult. I tried a trick and it worked to give me some help to isolate the circles for the mask. First of course, I lined the two prints up on different layers in Photoshop. Then I chose the blend mode of exclusion on one of the layers. This made the background more of a consistent color so I could use the quick selection tool to more easily grab the background. Here is what it looked like in Photoshop:

Gelli Art Photoshop Exclusion

Gelli Art Photoshop Exclusion


Once I made my selection, I changed the blend mode to multiply and hit the mask button on the bottom of the layers panel (it looks sort of like a camera- a rectangle with a circle in the middle). The mask was actually backwards from what I wanted, so I clicked on the mask in the layers panel and used Ctrl-I in order to invert the mask.

Gelli Art Print Spirals Final

Gelli Art Print Spirals Final


I played around with opacity and arrived at the final print…

Gelli Art Print Spirals Final

Gelli Art Print Spirals Final

The final print has the best of both original prints- the background I liked from the second with the more detailed circles from the first! Give it a shot yourself!

And now I really like that green color, so I am going to need to order a bigger bottle ;)

Marbled Leaves in Photoshop

November 1, 2013 in Mixed Media Posts

I had planned on doing something for Halloween, but got sidetracked on a number of other things. One of these side projects was creating a pattern using the leaves from last weeks post. I got it done, decided it needed to become a stencil, and while working on the stencil, found images that I wanted to turn into stamps, and started down that path. Long story short, it was like the children’s book- “If you give a Moose a Muffin”- where I finally circled back to the original project of the leaves, but that left me with no time for a Halloween project. So, that will need to be put on hold until next year ;-)

In my leaves experiment, I was working with a Gelli Arts print in Photoshop to add some color to my leaves. I also had another print that I was using to try to give the illusion of water, so it would look like the leaves were floating on a pond. In my mind, I wanted to make the leaves look as if they were swirling around on the water. So I used a filter from the Filter Gallery (Distort-Wave). I was on the wrong layer and instead of rippling the water, it rippled the layer that I was using to color the leaves. I loved the way it turned out, although it wasn’t what I had planned originally. It looked like marbling.

Here was the print I started with for the leaf color:

Gelli Art Print Abstract

And here is the way the leaves turned out. On the right, image I added a light effect to look like there was sun shining on the center of the leaf pool.

Marbled Leaves

Try one of the distort filters and see what you can come up with!

Tracy Verdugo Inspired Intuitive Paint in Photoshop

October 25, 2013 in Mixed Media Posts

I was lucky enough to be able to attend an Art Is You retreat this year in Stamford. I have never done anything like that before, never done art for 6 days straight, and never met such a great group of creative, fun, kind people all in one place. It was fabulous!!

I took different classes, and tried different types of art. I wanted to be inspired, and learn new things, assuming that I probably would not leave with a finished piece that I really liked. I was right ;-). Just kidding- I actually have a couple of things that I will do something with. However, one of the classes was an Intuitive Painting, taught by Tracy Verdugo. I have seen a couple of pieces by her, and have wanted to take a class from her from a while. She doesn’t teach online (yet, hint hint), so I was happy to be able to take a class from her during the retreat.

Her class had lots of differents steps in the process of creating a large (30″ by 30″) canvas, but it also had lots of room for creative freedom. That freedom was probably my downfall! Having never done any painting like that before I was at a slight disadvantage, so my painting came out, er, um less than stellar shall we say ;-). However, I definitely got a lot for the class, and I really want to try again. It has been two weeks since the retreat, and with work, family, and other obligations, I have not had a chance to paint since then.

However, one night I was waiting for something on the computer, I had Photoshop open, lots of scanned images from Gelli Arts printing sessions, and I thought “hmmmm , I wonder if I could do something similar to what we learned in Tracy’s class?” So, I layered a bunch of prints, along with digital images of my stamps and my own photographs, used a bunch of blending modes and paint brushes in Photoshop, and got something with a similar feel to some of the art I saw in Tracy’s class. It still isn’t as nice as the real thing, but it was a fun experiment!

Since I was in Photoshop, I got to add some extra things like the circle borders. I am trying to make those into a stencil, but that is a story for another day ;-).

Wild Leaves


Another thing I get to do in Photoshop is switch part of it to black and white. Oh yeah, and there is an eraser tool, and an un-do button! I really wish I had those options when I paint in real life ;-).

Leaves wild 3

Photoshop Conte Crayon

October 3, 2013 in Mixed Media Posts

Last week I took a class from Pam Carriker. It was fabulous, and during the class she showed us some sketches she had done of faces. In Conte crayon, so they were this lovely orange-y brown color. They were have done and very sketchy, and I loved them! I had some sketches going, one from the class actually using Pam’s new face stencils, and I decided to see if I could get the same feel as her conte sketches in Photoshop.

I used a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, and clicked the colorize button, and then played around with the Hue slider until I got the orange-y brown color I wanted. I also tried using a Photo Filter adjustment layer with the same color, but I felt that I had more control with Hue/Saturation. Of course I then added other layers to add texture and interest.

Here are some of the sketches after colorizing in Photoshop. This first one is the sketch I made using Pam’s face stencil:

Pam Carriker Sketch class


Here is another one I worked on after taking Pam’s class:

Pam Carrkier Class Sketch


Here is a sketch I drew while in Vermont, and decided to give it the same treatment, but just as a skight overtone, keeping most of the original colors:

Conte Crayon Sketch


This was a fun experiment, and you could do it with any color you like. Just choose Hue/Saturation and click the colorize checkbox at the bottom. Enjoy!!

Gelli Art Rejects

September 18, 2013 in Mixed Media Posts

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!