My five favorite tools

I recently have been asked which are my favorite tools. This made me think of what I really don’t want to miss anymore.
Some are very new and some are very old, one is not even mine. Two I had no clue they even exist, but got them from friends.

So here is my list. Have fun!

I start with the oldest, more than 30 years old: my punch I got when I studied fashion design to make holes in leather. Its big advantage is that there is a much higher distance to the edge of an item than with the handy and pretty new little punches and the different sized holes in one tool.

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This unspectacular handle is just a heavy weight. It comes from the textile industry to help the pattern stay in place while cutting garments. It is VERY heavy and now I use it for all and everything that may not slip while I work on it. It is on my work table all the time for more than 20 years thanks to a friend. I got it as a gift, because she thought I need this, very thoughtful and so right! We are still close friends, thank you!

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This is not mine, but borrowed for good from my partner, who bought this digital gage at the hardware store and never used it. It wandered on my desk and I use it all the time. Mostly I measure my finished product samples for the item descriptions. With one touch you can switch from inch to centimeter, very handy.

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This pointy tool is not very old, but you can see already how often I use it. It is hanging on the wall always in place, because I get crazy when I need it and it is covered by stuff. The Craft Pick by Tim Holtz for Tonic Studios. You can get it at the crafts store. I use it for removing little bits from die cuts, pulling thread through tiny holes, making little holes  and maybe some more works I just can’t think of now. Highly recommended.

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And this is my number one: the edge blending tool also from Tim Holtz, from Ranger. Last week I got the two little round ones even if the vendor on the crafts show said I don’t need them when I have the big one. This was not true and I am glad I bought them anyway (from an other shop). Now I tried them first time and I LOVE them to color the edges of my die cuts and elements from the electronic cutter. It makes paper crafts look so much better and this is a work I really can relax with. Thank you, Tim!

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some new gelli print experiments

After so much precise vector work the past weeks I did some relaxation with my gelli plate last night.

First I prepared some embossed papers and die cuts I wanted to use. Of course I could not control myself again when Sizzix UK had their big sale lately, so I got a big box with new embossing folders and decorative strips dies. I was instantly in love with the Tim Holtz dies.

On the top print I used them as stencils, but they kept sticking on the print after removing the page from the gelli plate giving a lovely effect just like the flower masks from film, which are covered with acrylic paint and sticking between the stencils and the page. So this has become a mixed media page without intention.

I tried adding golden modeling paste, which looks much more beautiful on the original print than on the scans.

The black and white is just decorative and maybe I will go on working on it.

For the purple print I used some dots from the trash from mirror cardboard and wow, they also been sticking and still shiny after removing, so I just let them stay and shimmer.

And the bottom print will be a wonderful background paper whenever I need a walltexture. I never expected it to come out so cool. The first print did not look very spectacular, but this is the second print with removed stencils. What a surprise.

Altogether a successful gelli session and so much fun!

 

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Gelli Print with Acrylic Medium

Last week I made a whole bunch of own stencils from overhead film. I find them perfect for use with the gelli arts plate. The prints from the stencils are giving a different structure than from the gel plate. This way you get beautiful effects and you can make more prints from one session.

I used some embossed card stock for texturing and got a beautiful scrap for further use.
One of my most favorite “paint” for gel printing is acrylic medium. I use glossy and matte and I love both of them. It is perfect to make a pastel last print from left over paint on the plate. You can liquidify with just putting 3-4 drops of medium onto the plate, then using the brayer to spread it over the plate.

This is one big advantage of the natural gelatine plate. It is wet, the Gelli Arts plate is dry. But with acrylic medium even the last traces are going off and make wonderful last prints.

Have fun trying this!

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Gel Printing – my first attempts with a self made plate

I used a simple small brayer from the do-it-yourself store here. I had just 3 colors of acrylic paint: red, blue and yellow, in addition black and white. And I had a whole Sunday afternoon for myself…

These are some of my first prints.
I am still having a lot more sheets that I do not like so much. I will keep them for further use, for stamping, die cutting or another layer of gel printing.

I love the random results. For me as I usually want to have full control over all my designs this is a wonderful exercise to let loose.

In the top pics I used some simple paper doilies I once made with my Big Shot and folded paper.
With gel printing you always get a first color intense print and a second print, which is more pale. I find the second prints more beautiful. For cleaning the brayer you even get a good 3rd print sometimes. This way I got little series from all types I tried. Great to find out what you prefer!

But I will not use an embossing folder anymore! The paint dried too quick and I didn’t get it clean anymore.
It is better to mess around with my own stencils cut from paper or film.

And I “stole” my bfs advent calendar numbers….lol…he will get new ones (or the painted ones?) on end of the year. I LOVE the number prints!

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