I’ve been on a lettering kick recently – last month I took a pointed-pen calligraphy class at Meant to Be Calligraphy and I’ve been obsessed with Jenny Doh’s Creative Lettering: Techniques and Tips from Top Artists – but struggled with adding my lettering to my traditional and Project Life layouts. Finding the right ink/paper combinations with my very limited lettering supplies (I seriously have over 100 pens but only a few of them are right for the loopy lettering techniques I’m in love with), is very challenging. The Higgins Eternal black ink we got in class absorbs straight into the Becky Higgings Project Life paper. It looks okay on water color paper but as a newbie to pointed-pen and other technique-centric pens, I’m still getting used to the scratchiness. The Mister Huey’s inks work on the Project Life cards but the pointed pen part leaves weird scratchy marks for this nube….
Complaining aside, I’ve been trying to figure out ways to add personalized/custom lettering to my projects without the hassle of figuring out what ink to match with what medium and the solution seems to be the Silhouette Cameo. For the layout below, I tried some brush script techniques using a tablet, drew the image, saved it as an image file (e.g., jpg), and then cut the file out using water color paper. Voila! No special inks needed!
Then I colored the words using some Faber Castell Gelatos. My favorite part was distressing the outline of the words using the Black Soot distress marker. I originally created a harsh line, but using a water brush, I was able to blend the gelato and distress marker for a unique look.
For the rest of the page, I used scraps from my Gelato swatches and other projects. I seem to use up a lot of my scraps in the scrapbooking process and generate a lot of scraps working on greeting cards and Project Life. I don’t scrap very much, but I’d be very curious to know if that happens to others.
The most recent Amy Tangerine/Kal Barteski woodblock stampset is perfect for so many layouts that I created a cut file so I could easily create embellishments. I used Delicata Gold ink to stamp it and then distressed the paper using Mowed Lawn and Black Soot distress pens.
Below is the first card I made with the Gelatos. I started by cutting out some die cuts using my Silhouette Cameo and swiping multiple complimentary colors on the cut outs. The coloring was haphazard because I wanted to see how well the color would blend. I blended the colored cut outs on a fresh sheet of white Stampin Up cardstock and not only were the cut outs beautiful, the cardstock ended up with this gorgeous pattern.
I love how it turned out and am so thrilled that I can use the gelatos to easily turn boring die cuts into beautiful and textured embellishments so quickly. I also used a hot glue gun to adhere my embellishments – something I learned from watching Wilna Furstenberg’s videos. Once I can master the technique, I think the wisps of remaining gluestick glue will also add some more texture and visual interest to the card.
After binge reading Wilna Furstenberg’s blog and watching countless videos she’s posted online, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase the Gelatos full set.
Before purchasing from Amazon — at the time of purchase, they had by far the cheapest price — I spent two nights deep reading about the “gelatos vs gel sticks” debate. For me, even if the quality is exactly the same, color choice was the determining factor. I use the Peach, Guava, Mango, and Lavender colors all the time and I simply would not have used the primary colors of the gel sticks. After playing with them for a few days, I know I made the right choice. Some swatches of the first row of colors below.
I’m watching many videos to learn how to control the intensity of swaths of color — the traditional watercolor look is easiest to recreate when I use swipe a wet brush against the stick. For more intense color, I swipe the stick directly on the water color paper a few times. Sometimes it blends smoothly but other times, it doesn’t work as well as I want it to.
I also read about using gelatos for stamping and creating both slightly embossed or water color effects. I’ve read that rubber stamps work better than acrylic or clear stamps — I’ve only tested it out on rubber stamps so far. The first example, I spritzed the stamp first then swatched the stick around like messy lipstick. It created a slightly raised impression.
With this stamp, I sprayed the stamp after I colored the rubber surface. Can you tell that this is supposed to a be a macaron? I bought this stamp on a whim when I had a class coupon from Paper Source.
Next up — I’m going to test it out on different types of paper.