Mixing CAS & Monoprinting

Have you ever mixed a monoprint with clean and simple design? Monoprinting is not only super easy, it’s fun, quick and I’m always amazed at the results. I highly encourage you to give it a try. And most of us LOVE clean and simple, so why not mix them together?

It’s snowing here today in the Black Forest – hard to believe it’s almost May! Seems like a good day to work with my Gelli Plate.

Clean and Simple Mixed Media

In the spirit of creative card making, today we’re going to mix it up a little – for the CAS Mix it Up Challenge. I’m addicted to this challenge, and although it’s in it’s infancy – just two months old…it has a HUGE following already with some amazing card makers.

It’s the brain child of Bonnie Klass and Loll Thompson. You probably have crossed paths with one or both over the years, as they are avid card makers, have designed for numerous teams and both have distinct styles each their own.


This challenge is all about mixing clean and simple stamping/design with mixed media. Now the words mixed media get one of two reactions – interest and terror. But today’s project is hoping to not only peak your interest, but dispel the myth that all mixed media is intense, takes a long time and is only for artists who love to art journal.

Both projects today were from the creation of one monoprint. To make a monoprint you need three things – a printing plate (I use a gelli plate), some acrylic paint and a tool to spread the paint – I used a brayer.

Gelli Plates are inexpensive tools that give you the ability to make your work looks masterful, unique and will definitely leave the recipient of your card wondering…how in the world did you do that?!! Here are just a few prints I made quickly one day to give you an idea of how fun this artform is:

Gelli Arts - Gelli Plate Monoprints for Mixed Media

Today we’re going to use a 6×6 inch plate by Gelli Arts. And for this challenge, we’ll incorporated a few stencils as well – after all, that is the theme of this month’s challenge! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see there’s not much else to it.

Why don’t we get started. I filmed the process for you, wrote a step by step tutorial below and added some detailed pictures. The video has three distinct parts – the monoprinting (first five minutes – yup…that’s it), card specifics and why, and lastly (final 2 1/2 minutes) – all about clean and simple design and the rules I live by – don’t miss that part!

Click Here to watch in HD on YouTube

What do you think? Of course you can always use stencils in the traditional way too – I just thought it would be fun to bring a little monoprinting into the mix.

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CAS Monoprint Tutorial

  • Start out by gathering up all your supplies. Monoprinting goes fast - and there's nothing worse than not having your paper right there and your paint drying up on you!
  • Spread out your background color with a brayer and the rubber attachment.
  • Clean off your brayer on a piece of scrap paper and immediately roll over your gelli plate to "lift" some of the paint you just laid down. You want to get the look in the video - lots of color still, but a bit subdued. TIP - Don't "lift" more than twice - you'll remove too much paint.

Gelli Plate Mixed Media

  • Place your Latticeworks stencil by Tim Holtz over your paint and pull the positive print. TIP - if you want it to be a bit random, only pat the back of your paper in random spots. Try to leave a little paint behind, I chose to pull most of it.
  • Lift your stencil, and place your white card stock on the pattern left behind. Burnish the back of your paper with your hand (I like to add a piece of copy paper if my paper is shorter than my plate as in the video) to transfer as much of your print as possible.
  • Lift your print and try and pull a ghost print with copy paper if you can - I was unable to.

Monoprints and monoprinting

  • Clean your gelli plate in-between if you desire, for me that always depends on how much is left behind and what my goal with the project is.
  • Add the Bloom Silhouette stencil by Artplorations to your plate and add a dark color with a brayer to the desired flowers. I chose to add Paynes Grey. You want a contrasting color to your first color. Brown or Dark Purple with Yellow, Black with Blue or Red, etc...
  • Lift your stencil and pull the print onto your second print (the negative), if you have a ghost print - pull that as well onto another piece.

Mixed Media and CAS Monoprints - Ingrid Blackburn

  • Add some marks to your Gelli Plate with more Paynes Grey and the inside of a Starbucks Cup Wrapper. The corrugated inside is great for texture.
  • Add the lines in three spots - if I could do mine again, I'd add the last one a bit higher. I remember thinking not too high, but my original spot in my mind would have been better. TIP - Lesson learned - go with instinct in art, not the mind.
  • Trim your positive and negative prints down. Measurements are below.

Clean and Simple Mixed Media CAS

CAS Monoprint Card #1 - Black

  • Stamp Thanks from Mini Thanks (Create a Smile) in bold with Versafine Black ink (Tsukeniko) and emboss in clear.
  • Add the negative print to black card stock leaving more space on the bottom than the top (Rule of thirds). Add five sparkling clear sequins.
  • Add a little paper piercing to the top and bottom around your print and you're set with Card #1


  • Black card base - 5 1/2 s 4 1/4" Folded
  • Monoprint -  5 1/4 x 2 7/8" (trimmed down)

Gelli Plate Prints - Ingrid Blackburn

CAS Monoprint Card #2 - White

  • Stamp Thanks from Mini Thanks (Create a Smile) onto a scrap piece of black card stock with Versamark (Tsukeniko) and emboss in White. Trim it down as in the photo leaving more space to the right and left and just a hair top and bottom.
  • Adhere print to black card stock, making sure it's centered and the black comes out left/right.
  • Adhere to white card base.
  • Add greeting, popping it up with fun foam.
  • Add five sparkling clear sequins.
  • Paper Pierce three holes top and bottom as in the photo.


  • White card base - 4 1/4 x 5 1/2" Folded
  • Monoprint - 3 1/2 x 4 1/2"
  • Black Matte - 3 5/8 x 4"

In the video at the end, I go over my rules for design and clean and simple cards. It's the last 2 1/2 minutes.

Creative Cards - The Creative Grove

That's it! What do you think? Don't let mixed media scare you. It's just combining different mediums on a project. This project used Acrylic Paint, Stencils, textured surfaces, stamping and heat embossing. We added a little sequins for bling and you're all set - easy peasy!

Now it's your turn to get those fingers a little inky. The challenge is coming to an end today, but there will be a new one on the 1st. There's still time to get one last project in though!I'm also going to play along in some never ending challenges as well...I love all the companies products I used today, and can't say enough about them. I purchased them all on my own....they are products that I use over and over again.

Playing along with - Stamplorations Anything Goes Challenge for my Bloom Silhouette Stencil, April's Project Share over at Create a Smile , and Happy Little Stampers Stencil Monoprint challenge - how perfect is that!

Stamplorations and Artplorations Happy Little Stampers CAS Challenge

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think! Have you tried a little Mixed Media before? I'd love to know!

Till next time -


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Mixing it all up…SOA Style

So, you’ve probably seen the five projects I posted in the last two days, right? All clean and simple, great, fun projects. Now I’m going to mix and shake it all up! I’m going to take the dies from yesterday’s feature – Enchanted Garden and several of the same greetings you saw from All about You on Day One…and we’re going to create some Mixed Media fun today!

Now mixed media may or may not be your thing, but read along with me. My good friend Kylie asked me to be on a mixed media team a few months ago. I’ll be honest – I was scared to death. BUT, not one to be afraid to try something new…I found myself saying yes…feel familiar? Do you also have a problem saying no…lol?!! Well let me tell you – it was the single best decision I’ve made, as it opened an entire new art form to me and allowed me to put my creative juices to work. Many more than I even realized I had.

You may think you’re not an artist – but I have the same doubts and questions about myself that you do – trust me! So when I decided to make a few mixed media projects for the Stamp of Approval collection, I thought…okay – I’ll stretch myself. The point I’m working toward is that you can take any kind of image or die and turn it into any kind of art form you want. Just let the creativity flow. With that in mind…here’s what I have for you today:

Mixed Media SOA – Day Three

Project One – Enchanted Monoprint

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m addicted to monoprinting – a print that can only be made once. I started off by brayering my Gelli Arts plate with some various colors of Acrylic paint, laid down some paper die cut images from the Enchanted Garden collection and the Enchanted Butterfly and then went to work pulling layers of prints and ghost prints. I then layered some of the heart vine die cuts from the same collection with a little Cobalt acrylic paint mixed in with a little Paynes Grey. the end result was just stunning. I trimmed it down and added one of the awesome saying fromt he Beautiful World stamp set, a few sequins and there you have it!

This was a quick little project that is just so cool to look at. I love how the paint colors when layered took on some very cool tones. Now wait till you see the next one!

Gelli Plate Monoprint

Project Two – Mixed Media Garden

I’ve been playing around with simple mixed media techniques, just building my base of knowledge until I let loose on this project. I was finally ready to dive right in. This card measures 5 3/4 x 5 1/2″ tall, and the photo doesn’t do it justice. To give you an idea of what the layers looked like leading into the final piece, I put a six step shot below.

SOA Mixed Media Garden

I started with several distress layers – inks and stains, followed by some acrylic paints in the corners, applied with a fan brush. Once I had the layers looking like I wanted, I began to layer some textures on using things we all have hanging around – bubble wrap, the inside of a starbucks cup holder, some drywall mesh. Okay – not everyone has that last one, but my dad’s garage has a treasure box of cool textured items I use in mixed media…lol. I added each with more acrylic paint and distress inks.

Before moving on to the dies, I added a little white gesso randomly in the middle to give me a light source in the distance. Then you’ll want to go to work on some deeply layered wrinkle free distress pieces in the most vibrant colors you have. Die cut them out using the Enchanted Garden Dies and grunge them up with some Tea Dye and Ground Espresso inks.

Add them along with the greetings from All About You, add a little doodling around the edges with a pigment liner and white gel pen and you’re all done! Okay, that made it sound like it takes just a few minutes. Not quite, but it was a relaxing time and this is a special project that anyone would just love.

SOA Mixed Media Garden Six

So what did you think? Do you see projects like these when you see the stamps sets I’m talking about? Now go look at your stash, what can YOU use for cool projects?!!

You’ve heard me talk about Stamp of Approval for the past few days…if you aren’t sure what it is, be sure to check this page out – Click Here to find out More.

When you decide to get the Stamp of Approval Beautiful World collection – April 20th is coming up quickly, you’ll also get a PDF with more projects than you can imagine. Included…are full written tutorials on both of these projects, my first five and the rest from the next two days! 🙂

Stamp of Approval Beautiful World

So be sure you’re on the wait list for Stamp of Approval – that’s the only way to get the link first before the public. It sells out quick! To see what all the products look like, visit Catherine’s Blog and check out her videos. And don’t forget to keep checking the other great designers blogs too. Here are some quick links for you:

And just in case you missed them – there are the first five projects from the first two feature days – just click which day you want to see.

Day One                        Day Two

See you tomorrow with more!


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Video, 2 Tutorials, Blog Hop & Prizes


I have all sorts of goodness for you today! Towards the bottom of this über long post, I have two – yes TWO tutorials for you – one in video form and another after.

First I wanted to tell you about an exclusive collection of stamping stuff just coming available – yup…it’s brand spankin new – not on the market yet! There’s a blog hop filled with awesome projects – great to inspire you this morning, plus at the bottom, I have a new video for you and more crafty goodness!

Normally I would be participating alongside these great card makers for a great blog hop showcasing the new Stamp of Approval collection – Young at Heart. But alas, customs has benched me. They’ve kept my supplies – secretly I think they’re having too much fun making birthday cards and have decided to keep all the fun for themselves! Not to worry, I still have all the information you need, plus I have some fun inspiration for you too!

SOA Feb 2016

Stamp of Approval (SOA) is an exclusive box of Stamps, Dies and Stencils designed by Catherine Pooler and some of your favorite stamp companies. Available quarterly, and only till they sell out – and let me be the first to tell you, it’s quick – the first SOA sold out in hours!

This year, StampNation celebrated it’s 5th Birthday, so naturally a box about birthdays makes sense – it’s called the Young at Heart Collection. I would think that birthday cards are probably the #1 card type made – so I’m sure you’ll find something in it for you. But don’t think just birthdays – after seeing the products myself in the videos, I have all sorts of ideas for non-birthday cards too! Here are some links to the three videos highlighting product from the box:

The stamps, dies and stencils designed for this collection are first only available through the SOA box. They will eventually be released by their stamp companies sometime later in 2016/2017, so this is your chance to get your hands on some great products before everyone else – I’m all about that! 🙂

Here’s how it works – you have to be on the waitlist to get the information and link about when the box goes on sale! And it goes quick. If you are a StampNation member – you’ll get the link an hour before the public on February 3rd! This box has products by CAS-ual Fridays, Sugar Pea Designs and Winnie & Walter – three of the hottest stamp companies out there today!!

And to give you some incredible inspiration, hop along with this talented blog hop. Be sure to leave a comment on everyone’s blog – Catherine is giving away two boxes!! And not to worry, if you purchase one and end up a winner – you’ll be reimbursed. The boxes are stuffed with over $100 worth of brand new product…that’s a pretty awesome prize!!!

Neutral Tone Stenciling Video Tutorial

So, are you on creative inspiration overload yet? I hope not, because I have some crafty goodness to share with you too! The other day I released a new video on my YouTube channel. It’s a great birthday card that is quick, easy and has some great neutral tones in it – perfect for a masculine card. Here it is:

Watch video on YouTube

It’s a pretty straight forward card and the stencil really is the star here.

Masculine Birthday Stencil 004

Don’t you just love that stencil from Hero Arts! I love all the neutral tones. It’s simple, and kind of reminds me of New Mexico/Arizona a bit. What do you think?

Masculine Birthday Stencil 002


I’ve been playing around with stencils for the past month on overdrive. Mostly because I’ve been creating content for the Stencil Class over at StampNation that’s been going on for the past 2 1/2 weeks!

CSM 14

You may remember my Gelli Plate creation from last month, well, I filmed a video for the stencil class at SN and put up many more samples.

Gelli Plate Monoprinting in Layers Tutorial

Here’s a new one for you though. I have been having SO much fun with my Gelli Plate – it’s an amazing tool that really allows my inner artist to break out. Do you have one, or are you thinking about getting one? Let me know in the comments below!


Working with a gelli arts printing plate has been truly an eye opening experience. While I won’t say I’m and expert, I have learned a ton along the way! For instance, paper and paint do matter. You want a paint that will give you time to work, acrylics dry so quickly, the longer your paint remains open, the more flexibility you have. And when you’re new to something like this – that’s key. That doesn’t mean you can’t use your cheap acrylics, just work quickly!


  • For this project, I started by layering on some Phthalo Blue. I cleared my brayer of any paint and promptly brayered some back off. leaving only some around the edge and a little in the center.
  • The key to creating a monoprint in layers on your Gelli Plate, is to allow the layers to dry inbetween.
  • Next you’ll want to add another color – I chose Cobalt Blue. Repeat the process pulling up a lot of the blue.
  • Add your stencil – I added the Tula stencil by Memory Box. Pull a positive print to use on another project. That leaves a lot open space.
  • Finally, add your lightest color – I chose Ochre for a contrast.
  • I pulled the entire print up at this point. The Ochre allowed the dried layers enough moisture to pull the print up in it’s entirety. If your paint isn’t open enough, this can be a frustrating process and you won’t pull up all your colors. Sometimes that can look cool, other times it can just be frustrating. You’ll find that sweet spot for yourself.


The interesting thing with this print is that in some spots the blue and yellow blended to form a slight green – that only gives this a more worn and aged look. The background naturally is the star, so keep the rest of the card simple. I added the Handlettered Thanks die by WPlus9 and a few Rhinestones.

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you enjoyed these couple of projects – can you tell I have stenciling on the brain? Be sure to check out the new SOA box, or hop on over the StampNation and check it out along with the free stenciling class. I have a few videos in lessons #5 & #14.

See you next time, till then, keep those fingers inky!


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Mixed Media Stencil Backgrounds

Gelli Plate Stencil Backgrounds 001

I love creating backgrounds for cards – it’s probably one of my favorite things to do…and in the past year, I’ve grown quite addicted to Stencil Backgrounds! This card takes stencils to a whole other level. This month over at Happy Little Stampers Mixed Media Challenge we’re playing around with Stencils. If you’ve taken any class with me in the past year online or watched any of my YouTube Videos – then you KNOW I love stencils.

HLS Mixed Media challenge January 2016

I’m still getting my feet wet in the Mixed Media world, but this Gelli Plate has quickly given me the ability to create some amazing pieces of art. And let’s be honest – that’s exactly what it is – art! I used to spend a crazy amount of money on papers that look like this….now I can create them myself…what? That’s insame!!! Don’t worry – some videos will definitely appear in the future, but for now – just enjoy one of my latest goofing off pieces (I wish every goofing off piece turned out like this!).

Of course for the Mixed Media Challenge, you don’t need a Gelli Plate – just a trusty ol stencil. Use your favorite way to add a medium – gel, embossing paste, ink, sponging, gelli, you name it – they are a tool not just every Mixed Media gal and guy needs – but every stamper!

Gelli Plate Stencil Backgrounds 002

Creative Tips on How to Create Stencil Backgrounds using a Gelli Plate

  • Add some acrylic paint to your Gelli Plate – start off with your darkest shade. I used Phylo Blue. Use a brayer to spread your acrylic paint covering it edge to edge.
  • Roll off on a piece of scrap paper and pull off some paint leaving a blue layer around the edge of your Gelli. It took me a bit to get the hang of this.
  • Allow the blue to completely dry, then add some Raw Sienna and cover in the same manner. Remove a bit of it toward the middle, then place a stencil over – I used My Favorite Things Scallop stencil.

Gelli Plate Stencil Backgrounds 004

  • Place a piece of copy paper over and lightly tap with your fingers to remove a bit here and there. Remove your stencil and allow to completely dry.
  • If you want to get a feel for what it’s starting to look like, lift your Gelli Plate and see it from the bottom. Of course, don’t place your finger in your creation!
  • Next, add a layer of white. Now, I have white acrylic paint – but it’s lost somewhere in my craft room – would you believe that! I knocked my paint box over and now I can’t find that one all important tube…maybe the cat took it away…yeah – I’ll go with that! Of course, that prompted me to clean my work area today – I think Bria still has my tube…lol! So I used the next best thing – white gesso.
  • Lay a sheet of small bubble wrap over the white to get a stamped impression in white. Tap it lightly in random places to create a slightly stamped circular pattern.
  • Quickly place your piece of paper over – I used 138 lb Canson Mixed Media paper.  Firmly rub the back of your paper with your fingers. I didn’t quite do this quick enough and a little of my paint didn’t lift properly around the perimeter, but that was okay because it created this gorgeous distressed look. I bet I couldn’t duplicate that if I tried!

Gelli Plate Stencil Backgrounds 003

  • My Gelli Plate is a 6 x 6 inch one. My piece also measures 6 x 6″. I cut my paper in two (Pained me to do so – it was SO beautiful). This is the left half.
  • I trimmed it down to 5 3/8″ x 3″. That was a happy accident. Originally I intended on 5 1/2 to go top to bottom, but I love the slight 1/16″ border it ended up with.
  • You don’t want to take away from the beauty of the background. So I opted to add a sponged die cut that was embossed in clear. This is the Handlettered Thanks die by WPlus9.
  • To get a similar hue to the Raw Sienna in the project, so I first sponged a piece of white scrap paper with Rusty Hinge, then a bit of Gathered Twigs and Walnut Stain Distress Inks to get a matching hue. Distress inks really helped here, as their translucent nature allowed me to build upon previous layers fro just the right color.

Gelli Plate Stencil Backgrounds 005

A few clear sequins finished it off. I love the simplicity yet complexity that this card has. I have to admit, some of the creations I whipped up with my Gelli Plate really stunned me. Once I got the hang of it, and that creating mono-prints was about layering and pulling it up together, I really started to have fun! I see a ton of “Gelli-ing” in my future!

So whip out those stencils – take what you will from this project, mono-printing, sponging, color combo, layout, anything and get those stencils out. Add fun stuff to the challenge gallery!

Remember our definition of Mixed Media is – stamps + ink, plus two other elements which add texture and/or dimension. Can’t wait to see what you stencil up!

Now go get those fingers inky –

ingrid signature

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