Gesso Resist

It is no secret that I am in love with my distress inks and the resist techniques that go hand in hand with them. Recently, i tried my hand at gesso resist – and think it turned out pretty well. It could well be a new favorite. Well, after faux watercolor, perhaps. Because we ALL know that I am in love with faux watercolor. It’s true. It’s true. Anyhow, let’s talk about THIS technique, yes?

Gesso Resist (on shimmer paper [I wish the photos did the shimmer bit justice.])


Pretty, isn’t it??

Let me show you how it is done, eh?

Supplies needed:
paper (i used shimmer paper in this batch)
distress inks
ink blender tool
flat spreader – an old credit card or the stiff packaging from … anything


On a clean sheet of (shimmer) paper, spread a thin line of gesso across the width. Not too much, not too little – the goal is to have an uneven coverage across the paper for the ink to grab onto – or not, as is the case of resisting.


Spread it back and forth using your stiff flat … thing.

IMG_0361 Add more gesso as needed or desired for the sort of grungy resisty look you may be going for. It is best to start with a little and build up from there as it is next to impossible to remove it should you decide you want less. Remember that you want the paper to get some of the ink, too – and not simply have a flat nondescript layer of gesso.

IMG_0344I know it is difficult to see as it is white on white, but this is the result I ended up with after my spreading of the gesso.

Next, pull out your favorite combinations of distress inks. Apply the ink randomly across the surface in varying patterns and mixtures of color. The shimmer of the paper underneath really adds an extra POP to this project. I promise.


IMG_0351I like to do several at once, since it can be messy and i like to limit the amount of mess-time. Plus, the gesso dries pretty quickly so it doesn’t have a lot of wait time before moving on to the next step.

Which is stamping! Pick your favorites, and stamp to your heart’s content.


IMG_0353This technique also woks nicely on black paper and gives a particularly grungy sort of effect:




Enjoy playing with your newly-learned technique!



BONUS QUESTION: Do you pronounce ‘gesso’ with a ‘g’ sound or a ‘j’ sound?

Have Blendabilities?


Blendabilities holder

Have Blendabilities? Great! You know you’re supposed to store them horizontally, right? Coming soon to this post, I will update from Bev’s original design with a few corrections/tweaks.
Guess that means you are getting one,  Jessica…!

Paper Pumpkin Promotion

If you sign up for a Paper Pumpkin Subscription between now and August 31st, I personally will include a Snail/Tombow adhesive cartridge as an extra bonus!  That is a $6.95 value, my friends and -everyone- can use what my niece calls ‘the magick tape!’ Since Stampin’ Up constantly says that all you may need for completing your kits is scissors and possibly adhesive, I thought I’d throw that in for ya. Just put ‘Jessica Jokinen’ in when the system asks for your demonstrator. (Or do a search for the 32539 zipcode.) I will be informed of new subscribers, and BAMF – a tombow magick tape is all yours.

The low down on Paper Pumpkin: For $19.95 a month (that includes shipping) you get a super spiffy craft kit with everything included that you need to make whatever the project is for that month. It is great for a creative get-away, for time for yourself, as a monthly project for your kids, or as a surprise gift for a friend or loved one. It is subscription based and charges to your credit card once a month when the kit is shipped. Or you can now contact me for pre-paid subscriptions in 3/6/12 month increments.

You aren’t creative, you say?? Pshaw – the kit has all the designing done for you. All you have to do is put the pretties together. You don’t have the supplies to be crafty, you say?? Paper Pumpkin includes everything you need to create a fun and fantastic project included in every box. (Except possibly scissors and adhesive!) You don’t have time to be crafty, you say? PSHAW again! With everything designed for you, all you have to do is find an hour of ‘you-time’ once a month and voila – craftiness abounds! And -everyone- needs to find them-time on occasion, am I right!? You know I am. Do it. Do it now.




Make Your Own … Dots?

Enamel dots are all the rage right now. Stampin’Up sells some in co-coordinating colors but they are just so costly for what you get, am I right?  Below you can see the ‘candy dots‘ in the ‘brights’ colors – pretty!


So, when I stumbled upon a tutorial for making my own dots, you -know- I jumped all over it. (You can see the original [that I first found] here.) The gist is this – pick up a set of your own Perler beads and melt them down. THAT EASY.

So, I went on over to Amazon and found a couple of sets that I liked – one even has a pearly sheen! The sets are around $10, but if the count on the package is right you will get around 4k dots after all is said and done.

And then I experimented. The original tutorial says to put them in at 450* for 15 minutes, but i found that to be way too hot and i ended up making my entire house all plastic-y smokey icky. After some trial and error (and my husband inquiring as to what the heck I was up to…) I found that 350 for 20 minutes worked for me. She also says to use parchment paper to prevent sticking, but i didn’t find that to be all that helpful; they continued to glue to the paper like crazy. There I was, frustrated and tired and about to give up when the a-fore-mentioned husband suggested those silicone baking sheets. LIGHTBULB!! Yes, I -must- try that!

Silicone sheets were then acquired for around $15 for a set of two. A bit costly for a crafty thing, but they will come in handy for other purposes as well. (Craft sheet, perhaps… Oh, and possibly, y’know… baking.) I’ll tell you what – they work like a charm. No more sticking dots!

Here’s the short version:

Place your beads on your baking sheet in a cookie tray. This part is rather time consuming, but you don’t have to be as OCD about their placement as it turned out I was. Just make sure they are standing up on their ends.



Place your tray gently in the oven, making sure not to knock any of the beads over. They don’t melt in a perfect circle if you do; they turn into a rounded rectangle. But hey, if you want that shape instead, go for it! Then bake them at 350 for 20-25 minutes. It may seem like a long time, but that’s what it took for mine.


They melt up with little divets in the center, but that is part of the charm! With the silicone baking sheets, all you have to do is pop them right off and voila, you have your own dots to use on your projects. Just stick’em with a glue dot and BAMF. Away you go!