Category Archives: Uncategorized

Do I Need to Use Gesso? For This Technique You Do

I belong to several Facebook Groups that focus on mixed media and /or art journaling. Predictably every so often someone poses the question about whether they should gesso every page. Answers invariably differ and quite honestly the answer depends completely on what you are creating, what techniques you are using and what effect you want to achieve. So, in a way everyone is right and each person must experiment and decide for themselves.

In my YouTube series Mixed Media Technique Tags I recently focused on the technique where you lift or remove paint through a stencil. It may go by a different name. I believe it originated with Dyan Reaveley and her Dylusions Sprays, but I’d seen it done with Distress Inks as well.The question I wanted to explore was if this technique worked with other color mediums; those that were water soluble and those that are not.

Normally I gesso every page I do. I like how it works. But to be honest I wasn’t always gessoing the tags for the MMTT videos. Since I wanted to ensure the actual technique worked with the various color mediums I did a little experimenting first. I painted half a tag with gesso and then applied each color medium on both the gessoed and non-gessoed sides and proceeded with the technique.

You can check out this Mixed Media Technique Video by clicking on this link

Now for the results.  For each product the left side is ungessoed and the right has a coat of gesso.  Each product went on way easier and smoother on the gessoed side. The technique definitely worked better on the gessoed side for all mediums as well.  Whether you chose to gesso or not as a rule is up to you, but if you want to do this technique I would highly recommend using gesso. The results will be worth it.

Here are the pictorial results.

Inktense Blocks  and Distress Ink


Distress Crayons  and Gelatos/Gel Sticks


Liquitex Basics and Dylusions Paints

There is not much difference here, but with the gesso you did have more working time. img_4268

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Happy Creating


I Was Just Published- Check It Out

Guess What!?!  I was just published in heART Journal Magazine!



To celebrate heART Journal Magazine has a given me a free issue bonus code to share with others so you can get your free PDF issue of heART Journal Magazine today!

Simply go to shopping cart  then choose the Nov/Dec 2016 Issue and use coupon code myfaVorit (case sensitive) in the check out process.

You will will receive an email with a link to download your .pdf file.  Please watch your spam folder if it doesn’t show up right away.  For help with the coupon code, please email   This code is good until Nov 13th 2016.

Karen Burchill/Creative Kady


ICAD #35 / Try It Tuesday Prompt Stick Challenge # 13- ” Sometimes the Smallest Things”

Combining the ICAD challenge and the Try It Tuesday Prompt Stick Challenge when I can helps me be able to cope with all the balls I am presently juggling.  Some would say, ” why would you do art , when you have so many other things going on”  . The truth of the matter is, the act of creating, of doing art and providing tutorials for others calms me. I’ve said it before , but I will say it again. Doing art/creating calms me, takes away the stresses and helps me cope.  It is very definitely my happy place. A place where the hours just fly by. Where all life’s drama and stress just cease to exist. And so I create.

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Try It Tuesday #13 Prompts

Use the following: sprays, gel medium, found objects, collage with a mask ( black or white) and your own lettering.

My found object is the paper towel that I used to clean off the blending tools after using dylusions paints. I ripped up the paper towel and adhered it with gel medium.

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I then used three colors of Lindy’s Starburst sprays. These are two toned where the spray is one color and the mica powder is another. They give amazing shimmer.

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See the close up below. What amazing texture from the paper towel and the collage technique. Look at the shimmer caught in all the nick and crannies. YUMMMY.

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I used one of Dina Wakely’s bird stamps and made a mask. I placed the mask on the card and using white acrylic paint I stamped  all the way around the mask to give a halo kind of effect. I went on the computer and played around with some of my newly downloaded free fonts  until I liked what I saw. I printed this out. Since the last prompt was to use your own handwriting I printed out the words onto deli paper while looking at the original that I printed out. I think that still counts as your own handwriting. I figure practicing like this eventually will get me brave enough to just do it all by myself. I also added a little stamped heart which I placed so it would look like the bird’s wing.

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I outlined the words , the bird and the edge  with my blue ( yes I said blue) Stabilo All Pencil and then activated it with water and my little round brush.

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Looking at the card I felt that it was missing something. I decided to paint the heart red to make it really pop. Why does it pop- that’s what complimentary colors do- they make each other pop.  ( red and green are complimentary)

I hope this tutorial makes  you want to create and go to your happy place.      CreativeKady


 I’ve done the work for you and organized my store by categories. Everything I chose is CreativeKady approved- I either own it OR want to own it.

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Other ICADs can be found at this link to my Youtube playlist

Step by Step Tutorial: Try It Tuesday Challenge # 9

Every second Tuesday I post  the prompt stick challenge Try It Tuesday. This Tuesday the challenge included

  1. Use Liquitex Basics
  2. Use colored coffee filters or paper towels
  3. Stamp into wet acrylic paint
  4. Tree or outside theme
  5. Collage technique
  6. Doodle flowers or vines

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After I gessoed my page  I applied Sap Green paint before the gesso was dry. Then I tool my foliage stamp and stamped into the wet paint. See the texture that it created. Then I applied the green to the stamp and stamped over the surface.

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Here’s a close up of the texture. Love those layers.

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The next step I applied a couple colors of blue to the sky and then stamped into the wet paint with my homemade spiral stamp. Here’s the link to the YouTube video where I made the stamp. It’s super easy.

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Yummy. Then I grabbed some Prussian Blue and applied it to the spiral stamp and stamped darker spirals. I followed this by doing the same with silver acrylic paint. Can’t have too many layers. Check out the close up above to see the pattern and texture the wet acrylic makes when you stamp into it

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The background is done. Sky above, grass below. I’m Now it’s time to get out those lovely colored paper towels and coffee filters. Whenever I have left over paint I clean it up with paper towel or coffee filters which are great to use when doing collage. IMG_5094 [168924]

I selected colors for my flowers and ripped up different papers/tones etc. Then I collaged them with mod podge onto white paper. When dry I doodled flowers ( I cheated and used a stencil) and then cut them out.

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I arranged the flowers on the page and glued them on with mod podge. I cut out stems and leaves from paper towels or gelli prints.

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Here are some close ups of the amazing layers and texture I was able to create.

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Join me with my next post to see how I transform this page with details.

Creative Kady

Motivation Monday IQ+ Card # 1


Use this IQ+ Card  (Inspirational Quote Plus) to get inspiration for your next gelli printing session, art journal page or mixed media project. It is triangular in shape and that means it has at least 3 ways to inspire you.

  1. Use the inspirational quote
  2. Use the  color combination or color scheme
  3. Use the patterns/designs and get  some great ideas on how to use patterns to create effective layering

Use  any or all of the three  inspirations to  create something wonderful.Please be sure to post your creations that were inspired by this deck on the Facebook Group


I would love you to join the “creationships” that are being developed there.

CreativeKady/Karen Burchill

Don’t forget to become a follower. That way you will get an email every time I publish a blog post. Want to create your own IQ+ Cards – click below.


Gelli Printed Inspiration Cards



As some of you may remember, this year is a big transition year for me. After 30 years of teaching I will be retiring. I am spending some of my time looking over my “teacher tools” and either repurpose them or get them ready to give away or sell.

Many of my organizational systems for teaching have found their way into my art studio. Lot of bins, tubs and rolling carts.

As I went through them again I came upon a lot of flashcards. All of them made of heavy tagboard. Then I came upon these made of the same nice tagboard and this cool shape. They quickly went into the repurpose for art pile.


I decided to make them into Inspirational Quote Cards. But how?

I tried gessoing them, but it would take at least 2 coats per side and they took a long time to dry. Then I decided to take them and cover each side with either gelli prints or colored papers from using left over paint. I have lots of gelli prints all stored in my Big Blue Box Storage system.

I got excited now as I realized I could choose those gelli prints that I really liked and this deck of cards would help me remember some combinations I used to get the prints . Now I could duplicate them another time ( as much as you can “duplicate” a mono-print).


Since the paper towel and the delli paper prints were on the transparent side I applied a couple coats of white gesso just over the numbers and just when I needed to.  I don’t know about you but I don’t want to do unnecessary work.

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I used Mod Podge Matt to glue the papers onto the triangular flash card. I glued on one side of all the cards , cut them out and then glued the gelli print onto the other side.


The edges were white so I  used Dylusions Black Marble paint on a Tim Holtz blending tool. I made sure that the edges showed black on both sides. You could use regular black craft paint and apply it with a make up sponge.


The next step was to select quotes. When I was making ATCs I had collected a  bunch of quotes I from Pinterest . I printed them out in a variety of fonts. I had these all in a binder so it was easy to just cut them to size and glue them onto the card with Gel Medium Matt. You could use Mod Podge here if you wish. I find Mod Podge Matt has a bit of shine and since I didn’t want to cover the whole card with it chose Gel Medium. You can see here that the card is 5 inches on each side  should you want to cut your own cards out of mixed media paper or tagboard.

I have lots of words and phrases from magazines. I may use some of them as well as the computer printed quotes. I may also so some quotes in my own handwriting to practice my lettering.


I outlined the quotes with my extra fine posca pens. I used colors that matched the gelli print.


Here are some of the cards. You can see the variety of color schemes and patterns. Looking at them just makes me happy. I punched a hole at the top of each triangle and put all the cards onto a large ring.

This triangular Inspirational Quote Deck stands on end with the quote of the day showing. I’m having trouble deciding if I will put this in the kitchen so I see it daily or in my art studio. More than likely I will divide it up so I will have it in both places. LOL




I realized that while my intent was to only do an Inspirational Quote Deck, I had created a lot more. I have preserved gelli prints that I love. Prints that I thought blended colors in a wonderful way or where the texture tools or combinations of stencils and stamps gave a lovely print. I can flip through this deck to get ideas for doing more gelli prints or for doing an art journal page or other mixed media project. Each card has a several ways to inspire me:

  1. an inspirational quote
  2. a color combination or color scheme
  3. patterns that create design or texture
  4. great samples of effective layering

I know you may be looking for inspiration too. I will post a picture of one of these cards each Monday . I will title it Monday Motivation. My hope is that you will use any or all of the inspiration these cards hold and create something wonderful.


Gelli plate –

Uni-posca Paint marker pen Extra Fine-

Liquitex Professional Matte Gel Medium, 8-oz-

Liquitex Professional Gesso –



 I’ve done the work for you and organized my store by categories. Everything I chose is CreativeKady approved- I either own it OR want to own it.

Please be sure to post your creations that were inspired by this deck on the Facebook Group


I would love you to join the “creationships” that are being developed.

CreativeKady   Karen