Friday, March 11, 2011


It's my turn to present the "Freestyle Fridays" project this week, and I think this has been the most challenging one for me so far.  With her project post last week, Julie issued a mission for me to create something using Gesso.  [gulp]  I already had some Gesso on hand, but I had never used it with any stamping projects.  In case you're wondering what Gesso is, it's a primer . . . something used to prepare a surface before painting.  Supposedly, it gives a "tooth" to the surface--something for paint (or ink) to grab onto.  But . . . I also learned that Gesso can be used on card stock to create a hint of texture or, when applied heavily, it can create an actual texture.  It can even be used on thin, glossy magazine pages to make stamping less slippery.  Also, as you can see in the photo of the finished card at the bottom of this post, a thin coat of Gesso will allow the magazine print to peep through a light sponging of ink.  For my project (the one shown at the bottom of this post), I used a piece of Stampin' Up!'s "Newsprint" designer paper, and you can see that some of the text shows through the sponged ink and the embossed/sponged floral image.  Now . . . for my main project, I used the Top Note die to cut a piece of Whisper White card stock and applied Gesso with a brush.  I wanted to create a noticeable texture, so I applied a somewhat heavy coat and let the Gesso dry overnight.  The next day, I inked the butterfly stamp with VersaMark and then clear-embossed the stamped images.  I used torn copy-weight paper to give a shaped edge to the ink colors that I sponged on the card stock on top of the stamped/embossed butterflies.  To tell you the absolute truth, this Gesso'd attempt was actually my SEVENTH one!!!!!  Choosing your colors carefully AND having a sense of what you hope to accomplish are good starting points.  Stampin' Up! products used on these two cards include rhinestone jewels, "Easter Blossoms," "Dreams du Jour," and "Elements of Style" stamp sets, antique brad, Fancy Flower, 1-3/4" Circle, Boho Blossoms, and Scallop Circle punches, Square Lattice embossing folder, and Elegant Eggplant, Pear Pizzazz, Early Espresso, Whisper White, Perfect Plum, and River Rock card stock. 

Pictured to the right are my first six attempts.  The bottom three aren't too bad, but the top three were kind of hideous.  Interesting to note is that I used mostly alcohol inks on the top three samples, but then I realized that my dye inks work on top of the Gesso'd backgrounds just fine.  One more thing that I would like to point out, should you wish to try some Gesso for backgrounds, is that you can mist your inked background with water for an interesting look.  You can also tissue off some of the water or let it run to change the look of your finished background.  As you can see from the sample on the top left, I attempted a gilded Gesso'd background with silver embossing powder, but it's pretty stinkin' difficult to avoid getting the embossing powder where you don't want it.  Still, you might want to try it.

Thin coat of Gesso on "Newsprint" designer paper allows the print to show through after the paper has been sponged with ink.  Don't forget that you can click on the project photo to open a larger one to see detail.


Julie said...

Oh My Regina, you've certainly outdone yourself with this week's mission. Thank you for sharing how it came about.

Anonymous said...

I really like what you have done. Not sure I could do this project one day I will give it a try. As Julie says you've outdone yourself. Good Job


Patrice said...

Wow! oh Wow! These are stunning I am going to have to reread your post so I can learn how to make these famazing cards I just love the look you have created THANK YOU !!!