Thursday, May 26, 2016

Blog Hop Fathers Day - Paper or Cloth?

Fathers day is rapidly approaching and I have here a little project you can do for  your dear ol dad.

Welcome to our "Just For Him" blog hop with Gel Press™!  Please take time to hop through all the great blogs of our designers for inspiration.  Go back to the Gel Press Blog Hop and leave a comment as to which blog project gave you the most inspiration!  We will draw a random winner from the comments to win a prize from Gel Press™

You will find links to all the projects below

This  also includes a perfect project for kids too. At home or at school.

The point of this post is what you can do with your Gel Press™ Prints.  They are so versatile that they can be used for any project requiring printed papers - or even cloth.

This is the first time that I have used my Gel Press™ plates as a platform for printing fabric, but what a lovely experience it was.

I used the large format Gel Press™ plate 12 x 14 as it suited my needs perfectly and I needed to cover a large area.

I used an old white cotton shirt of mine to test the method.  And was very pleased with the results.

FABRIC BOWTIE with Gel Press™ 

CLICKHERE for both the pattern and how to tie the bow tie - please refer to this for the instructions for cutting out and construction

Always be sure to comment, and thank the originator of a project or photo....without these generous people (us included) these projects and tutorials  wouldn't circulate like they now do! 


12" x 14" Gel Press™ large format plate
Old white cotton shirt
Acrylic Paints
Stencils and stamps
Card and Paper stock

With your chosen colours brayer paints evenly and lightly and include stamps or stencils to lay down pattern.  Carefully place your fabric over the plate and smooth firmly but gently making sure you don't disturb the fabric.  Peel off carefully.  Leave to dry!

I ws thrilled with the result and immediately pulled a ghost print above the original, in case I needed it. (Now saved for future use)  I also repeated the process over the rest of the shirt in other colours.  Again, saved for future use. Go to the site and proceed to print out the pattern layout and cut out the pieces.  I deliberately made it half the length for this exercise.  You would need two neck extensions for a "real" neck......

I then pressed each piece and ironed on the interfacing to the relevant sections and sewed together following the instructions.

This can of course be made as a tiable bowtie or a static bow with adjustable straps.  

I am really happy with the results....Now to make it more special!

Take a piece of A4 white card fold in half. Open, cut approx 4 cms down the middle and turn the collar 3/4 way own.  Cut 3cm  towards right from centre and 3cm on the other side, so it looks like photo A.  Turn up corners of first fold.  Draw line down centre from neckline (optional) for shirt opening.  For waistcoat chose complimentary print to bowtie.  Fold to fit front across shoulders and stick down.  Lapels could be cut also.  Trim to fit when dry.  Add 3 buttons to the front and hey are done!  Fix the Bowtie to the card so that it can be removed easily.

You could of course do the same process for making a standard tie. 

Here I created a very simple card using a Gel Press™ print for an Origami paper tie that I glued to the front of the card.  Simple but effective!  Doing a fabric one would be just as fun!

Here are three more shirts, (short sleeved) made by using the Origami techniques that I found whilst surfing Pinterest (as you do)! Pinterest links to Origami models

Each of these have additional features like the pocket or turned up sleeves.  Use your imagination.  They can be opened to reveal a message or gift, or stuck to a card.  Lets see what you come up with!
There are so many wonderful techniques out there but ONLY your printed design makes it unique.

I hope you have enjoyed this feature visiting all the creative design teams items and we look forward to hearing your comments and seeing who will be this months winner!

Want a bonus chance to win a prize from Gel Press™?  Between now and Father's Day (June 19, 2016) create your own "Just For Him" project and post it on our Facebook page Gel Press Junkies!  Everyone that plays along will be entered in a drawing as well.  Yes, we would love you to use a Gel Press™ in your entry- but you don't have to! Just make a fabulous project featuring Fathers Day and post it!  Maybe you will win a Gel Press™! 
To Qualify for the drawing: 
1) You may enter a maximum of 3 times with individual projects.
2) You must by 18 years old.
3) You must live in the USA.
4) Mentioning other products or other companies in your post disqualifies your project.

See you again next month

Bixxy xx

Please Hop to the next blog hop post via these links....

Back to to Gel Press Blog 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Concertina Style Sketchbook

I am using my Gel Press™ prints for the covers of this concertina style sketchbook.  After an enormously inspirational day last week holding a Draw with Stitch workshop here at Bandouille with the lovely Jenny Harris last week my ideas are spiralling. 

The idea is based on Free motion stitching and the prints are perfect for this technique as the acrylic paint has given each print the stability to withstand the needles going through and added to that after the page has been glued to the backing card it is further stabilized!
Please click here to view the video slideshow

After I chose my base paper Gel Press™ prints I then embellished them by glueing on the two birds and embroidered around a similar flower from another print, cut it out and glued it on. I finished these off by sewing in Free motion around each element.

Select some card

Glue prints to the card after embellishment.  Here I have used another set of prints

You can add a pocket with clear acetate on outside back to collect bits of memorablia

The buttons and beads just added a bit of fun and the elastic holds the pages together when not in use.  The ends of the elastic are hidden by the first page of the sketchbook and will be glued into place also

Glue to pages onto the prepared card and fold over the edges neatly and also glue into place

Glue the embellished page to the front page of the book taking care to line it up and then glue the back to the back page.

Go as far as you want!

I hope you enjoyed this little project and will try this yourselves......

See you again soon

Bixxy x

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Sketching in Lanzerote April 2016

Just a quick post to show that I still paint!  Of course that is something that I would never give up.

Having just been to Lanzerote I brought my faithful paints and brushes with me together with a couple sketchbooks.

I am still at a loss though with sketchbooks and will finally decide on the right one for me!  But at the moment just have some basic watercolour ones and a couple cartiridge paper ones which I like the effect of but not the buckling of the paper when wet.  I am also in the process of making my own sketchbooks, but that will have to be another post in the near future!

So here are some of my sketches.

The aim was no longer than 20 minutes and try and get some different heights going to exercise my perspective lessons.

Also bear in mind I was painting by the pool and the beach only in a I didnt want to hang around cooking only one side of me!!!!

Having just joined on a online perspective sketching course with Stephanie Bower (Craftsy - great value) I was determined to test some theories and was pleased with the results.

These are by no means works of art that are wall worthy or sale-able but did what they needed to do and that was to give me more confidence in recording what I was seeing and having a "reasonable" entry in my sketchbook.

All advice received gratefully on urban sketching and keeping a "good" sketchbook.  Its what I am striving towards, so that when I finally do more travelling I can record in fab detail the things that stir me!

So if you you didn't know we do Art Holidays visit and book a week with us where we can go out sketching and come back to do the painting from the sketch in the afternoon.

We still have places left on Jane Minters workshop which I am really looking forward to this year so contact me now if you want to reserve a place.   You wont be disappointed!

Till nextime


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

World Earth Day with Gel Press

Welcome to the Gel Press Earth Day Blog Hop!

We want to encourage you to reuse and recycle with Gel Press.  Have you thought of making Gel Press Prints on old maps?  What about old Christmas cards or even magazines? 

Hop around and see what our designers have come up with for this hop.  We will be giving away a prize again for the comments on the Gel Press Blog listing what your favorite project was and why. 

Enter by going to all of the blogs listed and linked below.  Leave a comment on the Gel Press Blog telling us your favourite project. 

We will accept comments from April 20th - April 24th.    

The winner will be announced April 25th  on Gel Press Junkies FB page !  Good Luck!

****Please note that the prize is only valid for US residents at this stage***  Sorry!  But this doesn't stop everyone else joining in and commenting

Here is a Step by Step to show what I did to achieve this look and more!

8 inch Round Gel Press Plate                                                  SLIDESHOW BELOW
Acrylic Paints
Torn Paper
Images for decoupage
Assorted pens for embellishing

***Top Tip***  
If you don't know where you are going with a project,  I like to do good quality photocopies of the base print that I like and keep some spares so that I can try different effects on each of them. Its also useful to have so you can create different things for different occasions. Each will still be unique.  This is also useful if something you are trying fails.   You will always have another at hand to do it again.

First select the plate you wish to use

I then printed off a design for under the first layer of paint (have more ready, just in case!!!!!)

I then spread the paint with the brayer making sure that this coat was thin and transparent

Next I lined up my prepared sheet of paper and made my pull. Wipe any areas of paint to expose more of the layer underneath 

I then add the stencil hearts all around the circle.  I prefer this method on the plate as the pull wont be so dense and it will have more texture to it.

I made my pull!

Tweak any changes you want to make whilst paint is wet maybe to reveal more of the writing beneath

I then added a decoupaged endangered Green Cheek Parrot on tissue and added the lettering via the computer as I was not sure if I want to make this permanent or not.  Remember you are in control!

Here is a slideshow of the others prints created from this session.  Some are finished and some are not and will be saved for a future occasion.  Click on the first image to activate slideshow

Please feel free to leave a comment and ask any questions you may have.
I hope that you enjoyed this blog entry and not its time to visit the others.  Just click on the links below and it should take you to where you need to go.

Till next time

Bixxy x

Gel Press
Bix(you are here),

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Simple Landscape Video

As promised I have released a short video of how I do my landscapes under the Gel Press umbrella.

As you will see the steps are simple and easy to follow and you can make yours your own by introducing different colours, textures and subjects into your work.

I have shown the materials used and the outcome of each print.

Click HERE for video

Please feel free to comment or ask a question if you want

The final results of 4 pulls with embellishments

Click Here In the meantime France is sunny and getting warmer and together with the April showers we are also blessed with stunning views like this.

Holiday bookings are picking up once more after the terror strikes and there still a few places left on a couple of our Guest Tutor workshops.  Email us here at France Painting Holiday  for more info or visit the website

Also if you are interested in a printing workshop or a craft week also please inquire.  These workshops cannot takeplace unless we know that enough people are interested. 

Preparing now for the World Earthday bloghop on the 20th so visit this page again then with a chance to win a prize.

A bientot
Bixxy x!286&authkey=!ACoJkgvPjb8nLXU&ithint=folder%2cjpg

Monday, April 4, 2016

Inspired by Art

Having fun playing with my Gel Press plates again this weekend and have set aside a new blog post step by step for April 20th for World Earth day which will be a blog hop where you can win a Large Format Round plate from Gel Press so keep an eye out for that. 

In preparation for that I was playing around getting ideas for it and the ideas kept flowing. This one is inspired by Monet,

I will post the other ones after embellishment after the Blog Hop;

I have discovered one thing whilst doing all this printing on the Gel Press Plates...I do love it but I love an instant result too.  As I am not a "art journaller per se" (and I do so admire those that are) I cannot see myself cutting out bits n pieces to use in a book or journal.  I paint. I paint pictures mostly in watercolour and therefore I like to produce that is what I am going to strive for mostly from this process.

As so many people have requested a video showing how I create my small poppy landscapes I have just finished filming a simple landscape routine which I will be publishing later this week.

In the meantime I have decided I want to run "Inspired by my favourite artist" every month and will deliver the final print on my blog.  I think it is important to study other artists famous or not as it expands our knowledge of techniques, mediums and colours too.  Also the way that those worked before us set certain styles in motion which became the fabric of all the art movements.

So this month I am working on a huge favourite of mine and may do more of his....that was a big hint!!!!

Can you see who the artist is yet????  

More to come soon


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Birds Nest for Easter Step by Step

"If we always do what we always did we always get what we always had!"

Perfect quote sent to me the other day by my lovely friend and fellow artist Joanne Boone Thomas

What a great saying! And its so true.  I am very much climbing out of my comfort zone and having such fun experimenting with new printing techniques.

I can't believe it was only last week that I received my delivery of all my new Gel Press plates and this is the first time or using a round one. 

So much has happened since then and all of it doing printing! Oh and planning, dreaming, sketching out ideas..............

Gel Press junky is now an understatement.  So whilst the paint is still wet I will fill you in with what I have done.

Here is a short step-by-step on how I achieved my nests of eggs.  A favourite subject at this time of year in all mediums and printing by no means gets left behind!
                                                                 SLIDESHOW BELOW

  • 8" Round Gel Press Plate
  • Acrylic paints
  • Brayer
  • Copy Paper
  • Bunch of grasses
  • Scrap Paper 
  • Egg cutouts (masks)
  • Embellishing materials and spare prints

 First I dabbed on nest colours of yellow ochre and burnt sienna
 I brayered this over the plate till the colours blended but in a patchy way
I then took my bunch of reed grass and moving around the plate pushed it into the paint thus picking up the paint on the way and leaving an impression
I then used the brayer to roll black paint on the grass
 and then pressed this onto the painted plate to leave black grass impressions
At this point I took a print with the centre a solid colour as one option
I then added three egg cutouts (masks) and pulled another print
I added cream and pink paint and rolled it out over the Gel Press plate
And got this, which I love!  Can you see the childs face in there?  Something to work on later.

Here is a short slideshow showing how some of them ended up.  A couple I would call finished and the others ....well i'll just have to play with those.

Click HERE view slideshow

Happy Easter and see you next time!

Bix x