Category Archives: Gesso

Bloom Where You are Planted Mixed Media Canvas


Heartfelt Creations Wednesday and the Debut of Majestic Morning!

Hello, paper lovers everywhere!  Welcome to another edition of Heartfelt Creation Wednesday.  Today I’m excited to share my Bloom Where You Are Planted mixed media canvas with you.  It’s also the debut of the glorious Majestic Morning Collection from Heartfelt Creations!  Oh, this vibrant paper collection will chase those winter blues away as you create with its inspiring pinks, oranges, greens and yellows.  And, you will be introduced to the fabulous new Majestic Morning Die which cuts out 12 flowers with just one pass through your die cutting machine.  What a time saver.  These flirty flowers are a joy to create, and a marvelous value as well.  And of course this collection contains numerous floral dies and images that coordinate beautifully with the paper collection.  For a limited time, Heartfelt Creations will also be offering a card kit featuring Majestic Morning images.

If that’s not enough to excite you, just wait til you hear this happy news: Purchase the Majestic Morning I Want It All Collection (IWIA 142) from January 8th – 15th 2014, and you will be entered to win all products we release in 2014. (2 random winners will be selected, prize valued at approx. $2,000.00)  Wow!  What a fabulous prize.  Now without further ado, let me share this week’s project with you.  You can find a complete list of supplies and detailed directions for this project on the Heartfelt Creations blog.  You’ll also find dozens of inspiring creations from the rest of the design team, so be sure to stop by and take a look.

Bloom Where You are Planted Mixed Media Canvas


Right off the bat, let me just say how much I loved working with this collection.  We’ve had a lot of dreary, rainy days here in North Carolina, so working with this bright and cheery color palette really inspired me.  And the flowers?  Oh, what fun to play with those stamps and dies.  Here’s a look at the finished canvas:

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The canvas is 8″ x 10″ so it was a lot of fun to use stencils, masks, paints, stamps,  gesso and ink to create the background.  It makes me think of a bowl of rainbow sherbet…and that is a happy thought indeed!


One of the things that was really fun to to was folding the petals of the flowers in half and tucking them under the clock face.  I also added folded flowers to the canvas, as well as simple flower buds.  Once I started playing with these flowers, I didn’t want to stop!

Working with Mixed Media is so liberating!  If you make a mistake, you can just cover it up with more paint or gesso.  It’s a good way to get your stalled Mojo in gear!  It’s also a fantastic opportunity to dig through your stash of embellishments and put them to good use. I loved adding the clock face, the light bulb and the buttons to this fanciful canvas.


That’s it for me today, folks. I’ll be back tomorrow to share another HC project with you.  Be sure to stop by the HC blog and take a peeky at what the other designers have created for your viewing pleasure.  I hope you were inspired to play and have fun with your own stash today.  I’d love to hear what you think of my Bloom Where You Are Planted mixed media canvas.  Your comments make me happy right down to the tips of my crafty little fingers.

Until next time…




Mixed Media Beautiful You Canvas (Heartfelt Creations Wednesday)

Happy Heartfelt Creations Wednesday one and all! Are you all ready for the 4th of July?  I have a Boston Butt in the crockpot, potato salad and slaw in the fridge and baked beans all put together.  The rest of the family is bringing more sides and desserts…because my oven DIED!  Yup.  Right before a weekend of company,  it went on strike.  I have a new one ordered, but it won’t be in ’til Monday.  So, no baking for me!  If this constant rain doesn’t stop, we’ll be celebrating indoors and that would be a shame since Dale has spent the last several days building a Corn Hole Toss.  So, a little sunshine would be mighty nice.

Anyway…rain or shine, I have a fun new project to share with you.  It uses papers from the gorgeous Daphne Paper Collection as well as the amazing Decorative Lace Border Die. I used several other stamps and dies in this piece, and you can find the full materials list and complete tutorial on the Heartfelt Creations blog.  While you are there, be sure to check out the fabulous projects from the other members of the design team.  You can find the links to their blogs in my sidebar, right below the Heartfelt Creations DT badge, too.   So, without further ado, I give you my Mixed Media Beautiful You Canvas:

Heartfelt Creations Canvas June 2013 I started with a blank 8×10 canvas frame and used a stencil to add some gesso for texture.  While that was drying, I made the dress by pleating the Decorative Lace Border Die into a skirt.  I sketched out a bodice and joined the two with glue dots and ribbon.  The details are on the blog. When the canvas was dry, I went to town with Distress Inks, stamping, die cutting and all kinds of wonderful Mixed Media fun.

Heartfelt Creations Canvas June 2013.jpg004 Here’s a close-up of the dress.  I added some Stickles for a little glam.

Heartfelt Creations Canvas June 2013.jpg007 Another close up of the die cuts, little flowers and stamping/stenciling/inking.   Mixed media is so much fun, because you just let yourself go and see how things unfold.  If you mess up, you can always cover up a goof with gesso and start over.  It’s very user friendly!

Heartfelt Creations Canvas June 2013.jpg006 This is where the Beautiful You Canvas got its name. 

Heartfelt Creations Canvas June 2013.jpg 01 And a view from the side so you can see the texture and dimension better.

Heartfelt Creations Canvas June 2013.jpg008 The center of the canvas …I love the butterflies.  This mixed media Beautiful You canvas is probably one of my favorite pieces.  I had that delightful free, relaxed, in the groove feeling while creating it, and ideas were exploding in my brain like popcorn.  I love when that ole Mojo flows, don’t you?

And that’s it for me today, friends!  I hope you enjoyed this edition of Heartfelt Creations Wednesday.  I had so much fun creating this project to share with you.  If you have any questions about the process after reading the tutorial on the Heartfelt Creations blog, please ask!  I’d be more than happy to help in any way I can. Don’t forget about my giveaway this week.  Just leave a comment here before Sunday at 6PM EDT, and I’ll give a Crafty Secrets $25 gift certificate to one lucky winner.  If you’d “like” my Kathy by Design Facebook page and/or subscribe to my blog, I would truly appreciate it!

I hope you all have a fun and safe 4th of July.  Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for your kind comments.  They make me happy right down to the tips of my crafty little fingers.  Until next time,



Spring Triptych with Gesso ( Step -Out)

Spring is Just Around the Corner

Well, here it is, March already!  I don’t know about you, but I feel as though someone has pressed the fast forward button on 2013.  I know many folks are socked in today with terrible winter storms, and spring seems pretty remote.  But here in North Carolina, even though the weather is chilly, the lovely spring birds are beginning to return to our yards and gardens, a sure sign that spring is just around the corner.  In honor of these sweet birdies, I decided to create a Spring Triptych with Gesso, and share the results with you here.  I’m also entering this triptych in the Crafty Secrets March Linky Party and the Simon Says Stamp and Show By the Numbers Challenge.

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Creating your Spring Triptych

A triptych is defined as a picture or relief carving on three panels, typically hinged together vertically and used as an altarpiece.   With Easter coming, this triptych would make a lovely centerpiece or home decoration.  So, let’s begin.

You will need watercolor paper, an embossing folder of your choice, a circular die of your choice, gesso, acrylic paints, distress inks, glue, ribbon and stamps for your triptych.  Cut two sheets of watercolor paper measuring 7″ by 10″.  Score each piece at 5″ on the long side and fold with a bone folder.  It should look like this:

001 Now, lay the left hand panel of one card over the right hand panel of the other and secure with strong glue.  I don’t recommend tape for this project, as we will be using lots of water and sprays.  We want this union to hold.  It should look like this: 003  Using your bone folder, really crease these fold lines as follows: right hand panel to center, then left hand panel to center.  It will look like this: 004 (2)  This is now the base for your triptych.  

Use a ruler to find the center point of your front panel.  (2.5″) Mark this point with a pencil.  Then, measure down 2.5″ on both the left and right sides of the triptych and mark with pencil.  Connect the side marks to the top mark using a ruler.  It should look like this: 005 (2)  Use scissors or a guillotine to cut off the two triangles.  When you are done, it will look like this: 006 (2) Voila!  A triptych!

Adding a window to your triptych

To add a window to your triptych, you will need to open out all three panels.  Place a circular die in the top of the first panel and secure it with stencil or painter’s tape.  008 (2)  Run this through your die cutting machine, pop out the die cut and set aside.  You now have a lovely window in your triptych.  Get out your craft mat, because we are about to get messy!

Adding Gesso to your triptych.

I used a foam brush to add thick layers of gesso to the front of my triptych.  Go for a thickness of mayonnaise on tomato sandwich,  but not quite as thick as peanut butter.  Put the gesso down in varying directions, intersecting stroke lines and varying the thickness.  This will add lovely texture to your front panel. 009 (2) While the gesso is still wet, you can add additional texture by scratching the gesso with Tim’s craft scratcher or a fine tooth comb.  Set this aside to dry.  The Studio gesso dries pretty quickly, but it’s best to leave this overnight.

You will also need to add gesso to the die cut portion that we set aside.  Lay the die cut on a Jumbo Shipping Tag and begin to layer on the gesso.  010 (2) Bonus!  When you lift the die cut from the tag, you will have a lovely dimensional image left behind.  Set this aside to dry and use it another day.  Set the die cut aside to dry as well.  Over night is best.

Adding Color to your triptych

At this point, I had to stop taking pictures for two reasons.  One, my desk looked as though a bomb had gone off on it, and two, my fingers were too messy to handle the camera.  You can add color to your triptych by using acrylic paints, as I did, or with distress inks, alcohol inks or even Distress Markers.  I use a divided plastic plate to mix my colors.  and then I just layer them on with abandon.  If a color is too strong, I spritz it with water, and then lift off using a cosmetic sponge.  I use the sponge to kind of “grind” color down deep into the gesso layers.  This part is fun!  Don’t worry for a second about doing it wrong, because you can easily lift the color off.  I do thin my acrylic paints with several spritzes of water.  You want it to be semi-transparent.  Once you are happy with the way things look, use a heat gun to carefully dry the whole thing.  You can go back and add more layers of color, or accent color.  Sometimes, I use a little piece of bubble wrap dipped in acrylic paint to add interesting texture and design.  The idea here is to play…the more fun you have, the better things will turn out. 


Adding papers to your triptych

All the papers I used in this project were printed from Crafty Secrets Creating With Vintage Typography CD.  This CD is loaded with gorgeous vintage images that you can print from your home computer.  I chose my papers, printed and then traced around a triptych panel so they would fit well on the page.  I edged the first panel with a Zig Gold Painty Pen.  019 (2) Here is the first inside fold, covered with paper and the die cut we created earlier.  The die cut has been generously spritzed with copper Perfect Pearls.  The paper was lightly spritzed with clear Perfect Pearls.  It adds a lovely sheen.  The edges were inked with Distress Ink (walnut stain) and edged with gold painty pen.  The center of the medallion was stamped with Sing For Joy stamp set using Jet Black Archival Ink and then heat embossed.  I used this stamp set throughout the project.  The little bird images are some of the dearest I’ve ever seen, and it is a joy to work with.  I also used Crafty Secrets Antique Trims to stamp a border on the front of the triptych.  Images were pulled from the Birds and Botanicals Art Journal booklet.

Finishing touches for your Spring Triptych

Because the finished spring triptych is rather bulky, I needed a way to keep it closed for mailing purposes.  I simply punched a hole on the right hand side of the triptych, then took a piece of seam binding ribbon, folded it in half and ran it through the hole from the backside of the card.  I pulled the loose ends of the ribbon through this loop and gently pulled to close.  Then I tied a bow.  Easy peasy, and pretty.  I created several spring flowers as well.  If you’re still with me, you definitely deserve a peek at some photos!024 (2)

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011 (2) Remember, you can click on the photos for a larger view.

Thanks for taking the time to visit my little blog today.  I hope you were inspired to create your own Spring Triptych with Gesso.  Playing with sweet birds and flowers and soft colors really made me believe that Spring will return one day soon.  Your comments are greatly appreciated….they make me happy right down to the tips of my crafty little fingers.  Until next time, stay warm and think Spring!






A Happy (Card-Making) Accident Chapter 2

Strike While the Iron is Hot!

Yesterday, I shared a happy card making accident.  While the Mojo was flowing, I grabbed another of these laser cut cards and began layering on the gesso and inks.  

001 (2) This time, I embossed the card after the gesso had dried, to add even more yummy texture.   And, I dipped bubble wrap into acrylic paint to create the fun blue dots.  More painting, pouncing and spritzing.  A little hand doodling, ink spattering and general playfulness were employed.  And a handmade flower, watercolored and spattered with ink just kind of set the whole thing off.  The corners were rounded and the front was done.  The hardest part of making this sort of card is waiting for the gesso to dry.  Stamp with Tim Holtz Lost and Found stamp on an embossed Spellbinders Die-D-Lites medallion and your’re home free!  A few more pics: (remember, you can click on the photo for a larger image)

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005 (2)  And the inside:

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009 (2)  Those of you who know me well are aware of my love for the original Winnie the Pooh, and this is one of my favorite quotes.   This is hand-lettered. I was going for whimsy here.  Here are a couple of shots with the decorated envelope:

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I also made another fun discovery while playing with this technique.  I’ll share that with you at a later date…it’s drying right now.  I’m also linking this to the Simon Says Stamp “Anything Goes” Challenge.  

016 (2)  Thanks for taking the time to read my little blog.  I love sharing my happy accidents with you, and would love to hear about some of your accidental discoveries as well.  Please leave a comment… it makes me happy right down to the tips of my crafty little fingers when you do!  Until next time,



Product used in this post:  Paper Wishes laser cut cards; Tim Holtz Distress Inks, Lost and Found Stamp; Claudine Hellmuth Gesso; Acrylic Paint; Spellbinder’s Die-D’Lites Medallions; My Favorite Things Die-Namics Layered Rose

A Happy (Card-Making) Accident

And Then it Happened: My Card Making Accident.  A Not so Happy Moment.

Has this ever happened to you?  You are working away on a card or layout or project, and everything is going along just swell. You ink up a chosen stamp, double check the placement, and then stamp away…with Archival Ink, of course, because it is permanent.  Oops.  The placement is off.  And the ink…permanent.  Yeah.  That’s what happened to me today.  A card-making accident.  Not a good moment.  Been there?


After a few moments of hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth…sudden inspiration hit me.  (Cue, angelic singing and harps playing in the background.) Gesso!  The card stock I was working with was watercolor paper weight…it would take Gesso just fine.  I pulled out my trusty bottle of Claudine Hellmuth Multi Matte Medium (say that three times really fast) and a paintbrush and began to paint over the jet black image.  Whoa!  Cool texture.  I wonder what would happen if I just layered this on the entire card?   It’s just paper, after all.  And, I’ve already had the accident.  What’s the worst that could happen? If I wreck it, Lord knows I have more.  I don’t know if it was the tea I had for breakfast, or if it was a divine intervention or just a glorious moment in time…but I felt free to PLAY!  With abandon.  And  I had FUN…serious FUN! 

009 (2) Here’s the finished product.  A very different look for me, but I’m loving it!  See that little birdie?  That’s where the goof took place.  (Oh, blessed, blessed birdie….you came to set me free!)  Here’s a close-up:

003 (2)Oooooh…texture. 

A Slippery Slope

You know what happens when you begin to play with gesso?  You have to get out your acrylic paint set.  The one you’ve never used.  The one you’ve opened and gazed longingly at, but were afraid to play with.  Well, no more.  I mixed colors (first time in my life) I spattered.  I brushed.  I highlighted.  I didn’t even  know what I was doing…but I liked how it was looking:

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011 (2) I brushed paint onto metal bits and then rubbed it off. I dabbed, pounced and spritzed.  Oh, yeah….having a good time here. 

Joy in the journey

This may not be the most perfect card ever.  It may not look that great to you.  But this card represented something to me….it opened a door I’ve been knocking on for a really long time.  Suddenly, creative ideas were flowing…some of which I will share with you at a future date.  And, some didn’t work out exactly the way they looked in my head. They were just accidents.  And accidents happen.  But there was an energy in my studio this afternoon that’s been lacking for a while.  And it all started with an OOPS…a happy accident. 

There’s this great quote by Jerry Seinfeld: “It is good to play, and you must keep in practice.”  A good reminder to me that this journey is supposed to be enjoyable.  I’d love to hear from you about some of your favorite happy card-making accidents.  Oh, and here are a few more photos of this card, just because I like it so much.016 (2) 001 (2)

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013 (2) 005 (2)Remember, you can click on the photos for a better view.

Thanks for taking the time to read my little blog.  Your comments make me happy right down to the tips of my crafty little fingers.  Until next time,




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