I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Friday 3 April 2020

Collect Beautiful Gelli Prints!

Hello all!  I hope you're all doing okay.  Here's some distraction for you today - it's time for a new challenge theme over at A Vintage Journey, and for the next month the lovely Julia wants you to have a play with your Gelli plates because It's Gelli Time!

As always there's lots of fabulous inspiration from the Creative Guides to start you off, so do make sure to check it all out.

I've got a very photo heavy post for you (yes, another one after the Creative Skypeing extravaganza, sorry!) but this is what happens when you start playing with the Gelli plate... you never get just one print.  I ended up with eight tags (and a few spares that I didn't like so much)... printed front and back!

So what was I to do with them all?  Well, I bound them into a book so join me as I turn the pages for you.

I'm afraid I don't have much on the process... there often isn't time when you're drawing prints to keep stopping to take photos.  Besides, I got into the swing of things and was really just working intuitively, printing and reprinting to build the layers until I was happy.

I do have a couple of photos from before it was all assembled - here are the tags, one side of the sets at least.  I did some inky prints over the paint on some of them, so that you get translucent layers too.

As you may have spotted in the top left of that group photo, I started out with some real leaves in the printing process.

Using natural elements is my favourite thing to do with the Gelli plate, and the multiple print thing happened to me last time I had some Gelli playtime too, when I ended up with my Meadow Medley album.

I like that in places you can see them hovering in the layers...

I like to work with quite watery washes of paint on the Gelli plate for some layers, or with ink and water to create soft artsy effects.

For the most part the stencil became my major tool for adding detail.  The leaves kept curling round the brayer which was really annoying!

Once I decided I was going to make a book, I did some stamping with the Field Notes stamp set onto some watery inked card to create lots of ephemera to use in collages on each page.

I like that there are lots of the same labels and fragments, repeated in various formations.  It gives the album a harmonious feel to have those elements echoing from page to page.

For the cover, I used some of those same ephemera in a simple collage with some of the paint-covered leaves and the other element which became part of the harmony - some flowers stamped and embossed for extra delight.

So, I'm mostly going to shut up now and let you see the finished mini-album with maybe a few words about the stories emerging in the collages...  I hope you enjoy seeing it as much as I enjoyed creating it.

Remember, all the tiny photos will become big ones if you click on them for a close-up.

Let's start with the completed cover...

The book is bound very simply with rustic twine.

As well as the real leaves (sealed with matte medium), I added some glass droplets of "dew" and tangled thread to give movement and randomness.

There's a butterfly from the Field Notes ephemera packs, and a quote chip, all layered over the tiny flower tendrils stamped in Pumice Stone and clear-embossed.

Given the topic is Gelli prints, I didn't want to cover the pages too much...

... so the collaging inside is very minimal.

As well as my hand-stamped ephemera, there are some Photobooth photos, embossed stamping of nature images...

... and some of my new PaperArtsy quotes mainly from EAB16 Magic & Wonder.  There's a real joy and positivity to the words in this set... I feel they're much-needed right now.

On the next page spread, the tiny flowers are embossed in bright white...

... and you have Celia's joyous exclamation from As You Like It by William Shakespeare.

I added embossing ink around the edges in places, and these words just had to go with the lovely silhouette print of the leaves.

It's almost a one-layer print, but I added the tiny touch of inked stencil printing very late on.  Happy tags!

The next pages are full of insects - the one from the ephemera pack leaps to the eye...

... and then there are some multiple Entomology stampings done in Pumice Stone and clear-embossed for sunlit shimmer.

The quote here is an odd-one-out.  Rather than Magic & Wonder, it's from EAB02 Darkness & Light, but it felt like it belonged with these happy women.

The circle stamping is done with a Distress Paint lid, and of course there's always white spatter to add extra life.

A fragment of story on the next pages - the young girl full of Celia-like enthusiasm for the wonders of the world...

... and the older woman looking back and knowing that it is from that joy and curiosity in the things around you that wisdom grows as you get older.

We're back to the Pumice Stone flowers here, and lots of inky stencil layers on the prints - a couple of my favourites...

The balancing act of the collages at the far edges, with the book page butterfly turning into a beautiful blue one on the facing page, makes this one of my favourite spreads in the book.

For the next pages, I shifted the collage positions to the inner edges of the tag book, towards the "spine" (can't really be a spine with only one point of attachment, can it?!).

And we're back to some more insects, ephemeral and embossed, this time against some slightly deeper colour tones on the gelli prints themselves.

Since she has a whole letter to read there, I decided she didn't need any extra words.  I think from the smile on her face that it's from someone rather special to her.

You can feel her excitement about the letter buzzing off the page, like the energetic bees surrounding her - or is that just me?!

This one is probably my favourite spread of the whole book - though it's a close-run thing, to be honest.

I love the lighter than air prints and the glint of the skeleton leaves (Pumice stone, clear-embossing again).

The dragonfly perched on his grassy stem was a late addition, but he really makes it come alive for me.  And the W.B. Yeats quote is an out and out favourite too - just beautiful, and so true.

My senses are certainly sharper now that the roads are little quieter and time stretches out a little further.  Or else the birds are singing more loudly all of a sudden!

The young girl puts in another appearance on the final spread (I'm pretty sure it's the same girl as was in the hat earlier), and you can see how confident she is in the beauty of the natural world.

I love how these two tags have a sort of ombre moving across them from the yellow-greens at the left to the more vivid blues over at the right.  Complete serendipity - I didn't know this particular front and back would end up playing together!

More of the gorgeous, rambling white embossed flower vines here (it's the Rubber Dance Weed Love stamp again - it's working overtime this spring here at Words and Pictures!).

And the large and small butterflies echoing one another on the facing pages really please me too, for some reason.

The back cover (happily) is one of the prints I wasn't so wild about - it was a bit too colourful! - but it's had plenty of white splatter and inking around the edges and lots of lid-stamped bubbles and I'm now fine with it being the end of the book.

So there you have it.  I know it's one of those War and Peace-length posts, but I really have tried to keep the chat to a minimum so that you can just focus on the photos.  One day soon I'm going to experiment with a bit of video filming, because I'm well aware that with a book, your best bet is to turn the pages on camera.  I'm not there yet, though, so here's a quick flip through to let you see the page spreads in their full connected glory.

If you hop over to A Vintage Journey you'll find lots more inspiration from my fellow Creative Guides who have all been enjoying the fact that It's Gelli Time!  We hope you'll be inspired to travel along with us at some point this month.  If there was ever a crafting activity to absorb your attention and distract you from everything that's going on, it's creating prints.

Thanks so much for stopping by today and bearing with me to the end of this mammoth blogpost.  This blog is my virtual scrapbook, so the record is for me too.

If something were to happen to this journal or if I decide to give it away/sell it, then I'll still be able to enjoy it (and have a record should I want to create something similar).

I hope you're all staying well, and that these light-filled, positive pages have given you some respite from the real world out there.  Stay safe and I'll see you soon.

Whenever you are creating beauty around you, you are restoring your own soul.
Alice Walker

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.

Try It On Tuesday are hosting a theme called Beauty of Nature.  I'm guessing this won't be my only entry!!
At the Funkie Junkie Boutique Blog the challenge is April Showers Bring May Flowers - over my watery prints are lots of trailing flower tendrils, so I hope it will fit in well there too
The Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge has a Spring Moodboard this week - this is full of the joys of spring, but again, mainly those blues and greens from the top corner.
Tag Tuesday are looking for Bunnies and Butterflies - no bunnies I'm afraid, but plenty of butterflies and multiple tags!
At the Sweet Stampin' Challenge they want you to Make Your Own Background
As usual Anything Mixed Media Goes over at the Creative Artiste Challenge Blog
I'd also like to share this Gelli journal in the March/April challenge at Mini Album Makers
There's just time for one final entry at More Mixed Media where the theme is Anything Goes with an optional twist of Green
I'm always in two minds about whether insects count as animals, but I'm going to risk it and play along with Animal Magic over at Country View Challenges


aussie aNNie said...

tHESE ARE JUST BEAUTIFUL, today I have my gelli plates out and debating just what to make and which to use...love the inspiration and results her, and the colours, wow.xx

Julia Aston said...

So many beautiful tags created for your tag book Alison! The colors and patterns on the tags are gorgeous! xx

Valerie-Jael said...

Wow Alison, what a *****FAN*TAS*TIC***** project, I am gobsmacked! Love everything about it. You all had a fab time crafting via Skype and playing with the gelli plate. Well done. nd thanks so much for linking to Tag Tuesday, much appreciated! Stay safe, hugs, Valerie

Helen said...

Fabulous tag book! gorgeous pages. Stay safe.

Fliss said...

Your little tag book is stunning Alison! The gelli printing is sooo gorgeous and all the amazing little details you've added look so beautiful. As you say, it would be a shame to cover up those backgrounds.
I think the birds are singing louder as they're so happy about the lack of traffic as I've heard them a lot more on my local seaside walks.
Stay well and safe.
Fliss xx

scrappymo! said...

Gorgeous project. Just looking through it on line was a peaceful process. I can see that to have something like this tossed into a tray on a coffee table, would be a perfect item to while away some time in a positive manner, especially if one ws feeling a wee bit fed up with being house bound.

I once read that finding at least one moment of joy in a day is enough to keep the blues at bay.

Stay safe.

Marci said...

Very pretty colors in your small album.

Jennie Atkinson said...

Wow! every single page is stunningly beautiful. Gorgeous colours and patterns from the gelli plate combined with fabulous collages on each page. A fabulous project Alison x

Ann Chuang Crafts said...

Amazing!! So many beautiful tags.
Stay safe❤️

Fonda said...

Your tag book is gorgeous. I love the layout on each of the tags. You did a wonderful job!

Meggymay said...

Wow, now this post spoke tome today Allison. It is a fabulous book you created and i loved reading the post and seeing the photos you shared.The gelli plate backgrounds are great lovely colour shades for all the detail you added. Thank you so much for linking to our theme at Try it on Tuesdays.
Stay safe and well.
Yvonne xx

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Mesmerizing, Alison. I love the stamps you used. These are some I would actually like to buy. Stunning tags and completed project.

I have a hate/hate relationship with my gelli, so I am totally impressed with what you created. These tags are truly out of this world AND I love the subtle spring colors, too. Just lovely indeed.

Chris said...

Amazing set of beautiful tags, the backgrounds and stamps are gorgeous! Thank you for playing along at Sweet Stampin' this week.

Craftyfield said...

It's a beautiful book Alison, I should try something like this just for me and just for fun! You've done well to keep everything subtle and harmonious, I have had better luck with inks than paints on he Gelli plate…
I smiled at your comment on my latest post… yes I thought you might enjoy a 3D make! My favourite bit was indeed making the terracotta pots… xx

My name is Erika. said...

This is a fabulous tag book ALison. I like your choice of color and those are really cool Gelli prints. They have just enough subtle details to make them really interesting. And you added so many nic details. I am quite fond of those new Field Note stamps. I bought I set and I use them a lot. They are really versatile, aren't they? Hope you have a wonderful and safe weekend. Hugs-Erika

paperwishesbyamanda said...

I love the use you have mede of the field notes stamps. A tag book is a great idea for all these lovely ephemera and perfect for the gelli prints. I will definitely pop over to VJ for a look. I also love the Alice Walker quote you have put up, perfect for these days of soothing our souls through these days. take care. x

Monika Gulyas said...

Wonderful collection of tags with your beautiful pastel greens and blues!!! Happy April and big hugs!!!

craftytrog said...

A beautiful little book Alison! I love what you did with those gorgeous prints.
Alison xx

Let's Art Journal said...

Wow, what an amazing booklet of gelli print tags! The colours and transparency of the patterns is so beautiful and I love how you decorated them with the white embossed leaves and delicate foliage - so stunning 😁. I so enjoyed seeing all the fabulous photos too. Wishing you a happy weekend! Stay safe and well! Hugs, Jo x

Helen said...

Wowsers!!! LOVE your gelli print tags! Just stunning! The colors, the quotes, everything! Thanks for joining us at Try it on Tuesday! ((HUGS)) Helen

Let's Art Journal said...

... Thanks so much for joining in the fun at Try it on Tuesday, you have captured the beauty of nature perfectly and also for joining us at Creative Artiste with all the mixed media that you used too! Happy weekend and stay safe and well! Hugs, Jo x

Chrissy said...

What a great collection Alison, I love the Gelli prints and just learning how to do different prints with mine, so I love your idea of the leaves and need to have a go at that..I love how your tag book came out,FABulous work.


Lys said...

A fabulous book. I can't stop looking at the details you added on these gel print backgrounds. I love the soft tones and the fresh feel they have. Thanks for sharing with us at Creative Artiste Mixed Media challenge!

Redanne said...

The tag book you created is gorgeous Alison. Your gelli print tags are so delicately beautiful and I love how your minimal collage still lets those wonderful backgrounds show through. The white embossing, splatters and paint marks enhance those backgrounds even further. Truly wonderful tags.

Keep safe and well. Anne xx

Felix the Crafty Cat said...

Gorgeous tag book. Loving the Gelli plate prints. I understand that sometimes you get so carried away with what you're doing that you forget to take photos but I think we can see what's gone on there. Sending best wishes and hugs, Angela xXx

Mac Mable said...

Great storytelling throughout and what a unique and creative tag booklet. Wonderful gelli prints and such beautiful colours and stamping too x. The veined leaf looks so delicate and I love, as always your amazing attention to detail x.

Maura said...

Beautiful project! Love the soft and gentle colors with the vintage images. Be well, stay safe, Maura

pinky said...

Oh wow Alison! I hope you know that you are an amazing artist. This was such a pleasure to scroll through!! Thanks for sharing with us at Tag Tuesday xx

Diana Taylor said...

Wow! These are jaw-droppingly beautiful. I LOVE everything about them (I think I say that a lot about your work!) and they just hit all the right notes for me - everything I adore in one bundle of tags. An absolute delight of a blog post!
Diana x

Dorthe said...

Alison, your little book is so beautiful,- The gelli backgrounds are gorgeous , and your use of old images and text in mostly nature tones are so wonderful on top, and with the lovely sprigs stamped . I always love to read your words , and go through your photos , clicking them to see details better , as the skeleton leaves .
I hope you are safe Alison , take care , dear friend. xoxoxoxo

Corrie Herriman said...

AWESOME ! Thank you so much for playing along with my 'Animal Magic' challenge over at Country View Challenges.
Corrie x

Margaret said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I love all of the subtle details on your amazing tag book! Every time I visit, I find something new I want to try, but this time I'm not sure what to experiment with first!
Hope you are well and staying healthy!

Joan said...

Absolutely stunning tag book, i love your colour palette and how you used real leaves. I can't seem to get to grips with gelli plate, after seeing this I need to try harder !

Thanks for joining in at Try It On Tuesday challenge


Sue said...

Wow Alison what a wonderful album. I have a gelli plate but have never really got to grips with it, but you have used it beautifully here. I also love that you've used real leaves here, and kept to such an harmonious colour palate. Thank you so much for joining in with our challenge at Country View Crafts (insects are good) take care and stay safe, Sue xx

Cocofolies said...

You have made a subtle, harmonious and wonderful album of tags Alison. I Love each and every page playing with your gelli, inks, true and white embossed leaves above, and lovely nature ephemera a bit altered, how beautiful!
I also love your choice and photos of your tags selected side by side, they go perfectly together... As usual, we are immersed in a magical and unique world full of beauty ansd delicatessen, so you :)
Thanks, stay safe.
Hugs, Corinne xxx

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Hey Alison, feel free to drop by my blog today:


Cath Wilson said...

Stunning prints here, Alison. But you're right - that's what happens when you start playing with gelli plates, lol ;-) And what a shame it would be not to take advantage of these gorgeously coloured results.
The colours are wonderful and I love your stamped additions, plus the edgings. Beautiful. Love what you made with them.
Don't know how I missed this post, sorry.

Thank you so much for linking to Try it on Tuesday.
God bless you and keep you safe. Happy Easter!
Cath x

nwilliams6 said...

What a delightful creation! Love all the different prints and details you added. Truly beautiful and inspiring. I am going to go try something like it.

Mrs.B said...

A fabulous tag book Alison, the prints themselves look great, but with all the extra little stamped additions they make the most wonderful backgrounds for the 'words and pictures' I loved seeing the double spreads, with their positive quotes.
Thank you for sharing this with us at Try it on Tuesday.
Avril xx

Patty O'Malley said...


Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

Never apologise for your long posts Alison, they are a delight and the perfect reference for us all as well as yourself. It's a wonderful tool is the gelli plate but I have to limit myself, I find I create far too many pages that just sit for months, possibly years untouched. A lovely way to keep them together by creating a tag book, the field notes ephemera pack is a little too addictive and makes me very happy to see so many shared on your created pages, the bare back cover is just as amazing as the rest. Thank you so much for sharing it all with us Hugs Tracey xx

Amanda said...

A stunning piece, well pieces as each tag is a piece of art in its own right. Fantastic backgrounds, delicately adorned with their own story.
Amanda x

sarascloset said...

Alison, I don't know if you can hear it from there, but I just gave you a standing ovation on this wonderful spring themed journal! You have keep observation skills, and I know of no one who can recreate the beauty of nature the way you can. Each of these tags, front and back are absolute eye candy! I had never really looked at the faces on these photos, but I'm sure you are right about the young girl in the hat being the same as the one you used further along. And there seems to be some family resemblance to one of the 'older' gals, too. Just love this project and your post--what a breath of fresh spring air you have created, and I'm just tickled pink you shared it with us in our April Showers Bring May Flowers challenge at The Funkie Junkie Boutique Blog!

PS Sorry to be late. I've had your post open on my computer reading a bit each time I took a break from other things, and eventually my computer crashed and took the post with it. Being so absent minded (I think they refer to that as ADD; more so now), I forgot I hadn't finished with it. Sending hugs your way!

Lagene said...

I love your gel print tags book!

Annie said...

Beautiful and inspiring post Alison x I love the soft artsy prints you created as well as the fabulous ephemera pieces x Your tag book looks amazing and I really must have a play once I finish the Altered File Folder I am currently working on x
Take care and keep safe
Annie xx

Suzanne C said...

Beautiful backgrounds and beautiful use of the ephemera on each of the pages. A lovely idea to make a gorgeous book with all the different printed tags. Thanks for sharing with us in our April Showers Bring May Flowers Challenge at The Funkie Junkie Boutique Blog!

Jenny Marples said...

There is always so much to marvel at in your posts as we learn about the process and story behind your beautiful makes and this is no exception. Gel Plate printing truly is addictive and I love the backgrounds you've created for each of the tag pages in your wonderful book. The collaging is so well balanced and paired back perfectly - all the more effective for it and for seeing how it compliments the backgrounds. Thank you so much for joining us for this challenge at The Funkie Junkie Boutique Blog xx

Neet said...

I hope I remember how you used the Gelli plate to create this beautiful tag book. Too often I am put off using my Gelli plate by the number of papers I have that I don't know what to do with. If I had something like this to do, a purpose, then I would have a great time with it.
Thank you for showing how delicate you can make your artwork with the Gelli plate, I love the colour obviously and the translucent effect you showed us is gorgeous.
A beautiful way to decorate the tags without overdoing it too. I love the bee and butterfly as they add impact with being in a strong contrastilng colour but all pages are equally beautiful and I could not have a favourite really.
Hugs, Neet xx

pearshapedcrafting said...

I have missed so much Alison! Gelli printing is so relaxing though! I love how you used your gorgeous backgrounds! hugs, Chrisxx

Evelyn Walter said...

Oh, this is utterly beautiful, dear Alison! I love that subtile gelli prints and you finished the tags so wonderful. Love all the pages!
Thank you so much for joining in with our challenge at Country View Challenges and take care, Evelyn xx

Aimeslee Winans said...

Hi, Alison! This is such a wonderful tag book. The softness of your background patterns is an art unto itself. I shall Pin this for a future gelli plate play day. XOX

Caty said...

What a Wonderful tag book Alison !! I like very much how you created it, the tags are Amazing, love the so soft and beautiful colours, and the ephemera embellishments you added. Congratulations!
I wish you a very nice new week, stay safe and big hugs

rachel said...

such beautiful tags Alison - really fabulous project - love it! Hugs rachel xx