Further Adventures In Gamsol

I’ve continued to practice with the fabled Gamsol technique. The more I use my Prismacolor pencils and Gamsol, the more comfortable I become with the technique. I think I’m getting better with the application and blending. I’m still have some troubles getting the shadowing and perspective down…but I’m assuming that will come with time and more practice.

I started using blending stumps and then I came across some 6″ wooden stick cotton swab applicators that I really like. They come two to a package, so you can use a new stick with each color range and avoid cross-contamination. The longer applicator also gives you more range of motion and freedom in coloring, I think.

Here are some of the latest images I practiced on this weekend. If you haven’t tried this colored pencil technique, I’d highly recommend you check it out. The results are quite astonishing. It does take some investment on the front-end, but the dividends are very satisfying.




The stamps used: owl (Inkadinkado), butterfly (Autumn Leaves), bunnies (a RAK from AMKs_Mom), heart (Marah Johnson), poppy (Rhonna Farrar).

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Mosaic Tile Postcard

This project is modern take on the traditional postcard. It is done with a chipboard base, stamped images and distressing techniques. Your finished project will look something like this:


front side

reverse side

To do this project, you will need the following tools and supplies:

–a piece of chipboard measuring 4.5″ x 6.5″ (I chose to use a piece from the DCWV Chipboard Mat Stack Brights (wine), as it is already finished on both sides. If you use bare chipboard, you can choose to cover it with decorative papers that will match your stamped image or solid cardstock)

–a piece of white textured cardstock measuring 4″ x 5″ (I chose Bazzill corduroy textured cardstock in Snow)

–a rubber or acrylic stamp of your choosing (I chose an Inkadinkado stamp from “Affair of the Heart” Collection)

–ink pad matching your base chipboard color (I chose Cat’s Eye Queue in Ruby)

–a Tim Holtz Distress Ink pad (I chose the color walnut stain)

–several pieces of Kleenex or tissue

–adhesive of your choice (I used the Xyron 510 and Zig pen)

–glitter (I used Doodlebug Sugar Coating)

–a sheet of coordinating solid color paper

The key technique for this postcard is a trick using your favorite scoring device. I love my Scor-Pal. The use of textured cardstock also adds a lot of character to the distressing of this piece.

You want to take a piece of white textured cardstock and trim it to 4″ x 5″. Using your Scor-Pal (or other device), you want to score your cardstock at 1″, 2″ and 3″ on the shorter side. Turn your cardstock 90 degrees and then score the 5″ side at the following intervals: 1″, 2″, 3″, 4″. What you will end up with is a grid pattern of one inch blocks which will create the illusion of mosaic tiles in your finished piece.

Before stamping your chosen image, make sure that you stamp the side on which your scored your textured cardstock. It creates a deeper furrow on your scores and breaks up your stamped image for the desired effect. I chose to stamp the image multiple times to fill the cardstock.

Allow your stamped images to dry completely. Then you want to take your Tim Holtz Distress Ink pad. The secret tool you want to use for application is two pieces of Kleenex (or other tissue) balled up for hand application. You want to dab your tissue on the ink pad and then hand apply with strokes going in the same direction on each application.

The amount of distressing you want to apply to your stamped images is a matter of personal preference. You obviously don’t want to use so much stain that it totally obscures your stamped images. However, the more ink you use the clearer your scored channels will be accentuated creating the desired mosaic effect.

Once you’re happy with the distressing and all of the inks have dried, you can now adhere your cardstock to the chipboard base. I found it easy to run the cardstock through my Xyron 510. I then used a white rub-on (the word “LOVE”) to accent the corner. Any further embellishment is up to your heart’s desire. But, rememeber, you want your mosaic to be the centerpiece of the postcard and draw the most eye-attention.

On the reverse side, I simply glued a piece of solid pink paper and added another Inkadinkado stamped image to the corner. This leaves you the bulk of the space to do your writing.

Keep experimenting with this mosaic stamping technique. You’ll be surprised what a versatile (and easy) technique it is. But, it will look like you spent a long time to achieve the effect. Afterall, who doesn’t love immediate gratification more than crafters?

Keep Crafting!

Butterfly Trifold Card

I’ve been experimenting with different card shapes and folding techniques. This was my first attempt with a tri-fold panel card. I think I’m really going to like this shape.

I used Bazzill textured cardstock as the base of the card cut at 11″ x 5″. I used the Scor-Pal for my scoring (and I highly recommend you look into acquiring a Scor-Pal if you don’t already own one). Score your cardstock at the following intervals:

* The first score is at 2″
* The second score is at 4 1/2″
* The third score is at 7″

At this point, you need to decide how many of the card panels you wish to cover with decorative paper. I chose to to cover panels two and four on this particular card. You want your decorative paper to be slightly smaller than the panel dimensions to allow the base cardstock to frame your decorative paper. I chose to use paper from Die Cuts With A View (DCWV) Luxury Paper Stack and trimmed them down with my Cricut paper trimmer. I used my ATG714 adhesive gun to adhere the papers to the cardstock. After you’ve glued down your decorative papers, you can fold your card with a basic accordian fold and secure your folds with a bone folder.

The next major feature of this card is the tabbed opening. I decided to use a butterfly clear acryic stamp from Inkadinakdo. I stamped the image on Bazzill white textured cardstock using Tsukineko Dew Drop ink in Pearlescent Sky Blue. You want to stamp the image twice and them trim around your images. You next want a piece of cardstock in the same color as your base card. Glue one of your images to the cardstock and then trim around the stamped image leaving a border of approximately 1/4″ around the image. Apply adhesive to one half of your image and adhere it to the front of your first card flap. (TIP: if you position your image where you want it on the card front, turn it over and draw a faint pencil line which will guide you when putting your adhesive on.)

Once the tab front image is adhered to your card opening, open the panel and take your second stamped image to position. (TIP: You want to select a stamped image that will look well mirrored on itself; If it is not a balanced image, it will not mirror well and your tab opening will look funny.) Adhere your image to the back of the cardstock of the first image. The inner half of your image will be adhered to the inside flap

Your card is now ready for final embellishments. I chose to use a Prima flower with a Making Memories Epoxy brad on the card cover. The word “SOAR” is a white rub-on transfer. On the inside I used another Inkadinkdoo stamp (flower blossom) stamped in black ink. A journaling circle of blue paper creates a nice area for your card sentiment. The other butterfly is a Heidi Swapp clear acrylic cut-out.