Thursday, March 19, 2015

Gel medium and embossing folders

I do not have an embossing machine but I have quite a lot of folders because the designs on the folders look cool and I can get them on sale for about a dollar. Good enough reason, I guess. LOL

I have done some embossing just by rubbing the paper with a popsicle stick over the embossing folder design. Kinda nice but over all it isn't really my thing. I find that the pattern doesn't hold for very long considering the abuse that paper takes when I'm working on my books and journals.

The other day I had a thought about using gel medium on the folders to make textured skins that I can paste on any page and that will hold no matter what I do to the paper.

I am happy to say that my experiment has worked beautifully.

And it was easy.

Beautiful and easy.... I love it when that happens.

Get out your matte gel medium and a popsicle stick (or any old spreading tool that you like to use).

Spread the gel medium on whichever part of the folder design you like. You'll have to pay attention to which part will leave a raised design or sunken design when the medium is removed after it is dry. That part is up to your preferences. I use both sides and then do a lot of random playing around.

Make sure that your gel is smooth on the folder because if it's lumpy on the back of your gel skin it will not lay down right when you adhere it to your project. Sometimes it matters, sometimes it doesn't. You'll get the hang of it pretty quickly.

At this point you can leave the back open or you can press a spare book page into the gel and then leave it to dry.

This is the part where you leave it for a day or two. There is no rushing the drying time of this much gel medium but I promise you'll have something fun to play with when it's fully set up.

When the medium is completely dry it should just peel right away from your embossing folder.
If you just run your thumbnail under the edge of the dried gel it should peel right up.

This one will look backwards but I still like it.

You can cut it into pieces if you like or use it all in one spot. My first couple of skins were lumpy on the back so I had to use more gel medium to fill in the edges where it met the page. I kind of like the effect. I might do this with the brick wall folder I have and make it look like a damaged plaster and brick wall on the cover of my book.
The edges won't lay down so I just gelled around until it smoothed down to the paper.
The edges are not exactly smoothed down but I kind of like the rough plaster look. I'll keep it.

Once you have your skin glued to your page (and you let it dry again...that pesky TIME thing) then paint and decorate to your heart's content.

I'm still painting on this set of pages in my book but you can see some of the  raised design in the photos.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Finishing up.

I still have a couple of stray, unfinished pages in last year's journal. I got a kick out of this one because I found an image to match the quote. The image is from a stamp by Daniel Torrente. I added the dripping water balloon.

Friday, January 3, 2014


 The colors for my inside title page for my journal look a little pastel in this picture but they are more bold in person. Still I like the effect.

The cover for my journal you'll find here.

The next page facing my calender squares page is just one I wanted to try from a clip art sort of book of fantasy drawings. I freehanded the castle in pencil and then used my nice new watercolor crayons just to see if I could make it look like a nice castle. Not bad for my first try. I'm happy with the doors. I have a weird thing for doors so I'm glad these came out well.

And here is my January page in shades of blues and grays. So far the weather has matched the theme for the squares. I'm glad I stock up the freezer in August because I'd hate to have to go out in the weather we've had for the past week. 
I'm playing with the idea of keeping this journal a pure watercolor journal. We'll see if my attention span will hold onto that idea. ;)