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Art is personal and what you create is full of emotions.  All emotions, not just the happy ones. The Feelings and Emotions collection at StencilGirl Products was inspired by the rollercoaster ride this year has been and my need to be able to get a wide range of emotions honored in my play.

Embedding the words in the early layers of your play allows you to express and respect your feelings privately.  Since these are stencils, that means you have incredible flexibility on how you use them.

Not only can they be subtle layers, they can be bold too. You can use stencils in the way that fits your creative process.

Stencils can be used in a positive or negative way. This is about the only time negativity makes me happy!

Adding a word to your play can start the storytelling process. Stenciling a word onto a vintage photo, it begins to reveal the story. Once suspicious was stenciled, her tale began to reveal itself. What is she suspicious about? What did he do? Is that a magic wand in her hand (and I realize it’s just the photo angle and shadow but I can’t get magic wand out of my head).

What about finding the story and meaning in something that isn’t a photo? Keep reading!

On the stencils, there is space between the words so it’s easier to stencil just the one you want. There’s another perk to having that space between the words.

One of the benefits to the space between each row of words, besides making it easier to stencil just one word, is room for journaling. Below, I’ve reverse stenciled and then scribble journaled my thoughts between each row .

Inspired by illuminated letters, the Feelings and Emotions alphabet includes a large and small alphabet.  Having two coordinating alphabets in one stencil gives you lots of flexibility!  

Create a modern take on illuminated letters by starting a word with a large letter then stenciling the rest of the word with the smaller alphabet. That’s what I did for these mixed media tags below.

Can these help you when you have an ugly background? Absolutely! The layer under the black was ho hum. A layer of reverse stenciling transformed it in one single layer from something I didn’t really like to something I loved.

Words can add meaning or a design element (or both like it did here)!

So why didn’t I make one stencil with the happy words and one stencil with the others? Because they don’t happen in isolation in life so I didn’t want them to be isolated in the stencil either.

In the video at the top of this post, I explain the O.O.P.S. that happened with these stencils. An O.O.P.S. is an Outstanding Opportunity Presenting Suddenly and something like this has never happened on one of my stencils before.

This canvas represents all that goes into loving someone. When I tell my family or friends that I love them, it’s more complex than just one word. There are so many other feelings wrapped up in that word. Especially this year. I have been the full swing of emotions with my family and friends, and they have been with me too. Those emotions that over time have built one upon the next to create that powerful feeling, love.

This is just the beginning of what you can create with the Feelings and Emotions stencil collection! I can’t wait to see what you make!

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A plain white cheap t-shirt can become something so much more with some simple gel printing. I’m using The Awareness Ribbon plate by Gel Press to create a pattern on the shirt in honor of my mom and all the families impacted by breast cancer.

In the video, you’ll see the really simple way I made sure that I had the patterned centered on the shirt.

The pink was too dark so I simply mixed some white with it directly on a gel plate. Half of the prints were solid and half were patterned using my ATC Mix Up stencil from StencilGirl.

I used a screen printing ink on the plate but it’s not the only kind you can use. You can use any fabric paint that’s acrylic (water clean up) or turn any paint into fabric paint using a textile medium like GAC 900 If you’d like to see how to use GAC 900 and more gel printing on fabric, I’ve got a video.

Here are the supplies used. Some of these links are affiliate links which means I get a small percentage. For example, I’m an Amazon Associate & I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and you get a really good feeling knowing that you are helping keep the free tutorials coming!


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What’s the right way to store your gel plate? You’ve probably heard conflicting ways to store them from different people. The reason for that is there is more than one way to do it. Keep reading to find out the reasons behind storing your plate, because when you understand why something happens it is so much easier for you to confidently choose the way that fits you best.

To figure out the best way for you to store your gel plate, you’re going to need know something about you (that’s easy, you probably know you pretty well) and about gel plates. What I’m sharing here is for any gel plate that has squish, like a Gel Press plate. After all, that is the big factor that lets a plate do its magic.

So let’s talk about you.

What type of creative are you? Do you like everything you own to look factory new even after years of use? Do you let your art supplies get covered in paint and they stay that way? Or are you somewhere in between?

How much space do you have? If you have a studio larger than an Amazon warehouse you have a lot more options than someone who has a just part of closet to store their supplies.

Now let’s dive into gel plates.

There are only 2 things that I avoid at all costs when storing my gel plates. First, I avoid anything that is absorbent that causes the mineral oil in the plate to leach out. So that means papers, or anything that when left on a gel plate for an extended period of time creates an oil spot. That’s why I love using the plastic protectors that come with the plates or cheap copier transparency sheets. Be sure to use ones that have no coating on them.

Second, I avoid storing them in weird or drooping positions. So no hanging halfway off the shelf kind of a thing or resting at an angle. I store mine either horizontally or vertically so that the plate will hold its shape.

One of the benefits of stacking gel plates is it lets me have them all within arm’s reach. Any time I stack gel plates I tend to store them horizontally. When stacking plates that are different sizes, I keep the plastic on both sides of all the gel plates and stack them in size order, with the largest on the bottom.

Anything that is trapped for a while between the gel plate and the plastic can leave an indentation in the plate. Air bubbles can leave indentations, a strand of hair, or anything else that gets in there. Those little indentations don’t impact my prints the way I print so I don’t worry about them. But that’s me and what’s important is that you store your gel plates in the way that fits your needs the best.

But how can you store your gel plates if you want to avoid those?

If you store it between the plastic sheets, put the plastic on carefully and brayer out any of the air bubbles. Another option is to store them with nothing on top such as on a shelf or in a drawer.

Since I use my plates all the time, there is never any dust build up on them when I store them on a shelf. If you only use your gel plate infrequently, you may find that dust accumulates on them when left uncovered, so having a cover of some kind over it may be helpful.

The bottom line is storing a gel plate is about it keeping its shape and storing it away from the things that will draw the oil out of the plate. There isn’t one single way to do this so you have the freedom to choose the way that fits you best.

Now that you know what to look out for when storing your gel plate, you can look at your stash and storage options to choose the answer that is best for you.

If you’ve found that understanding why is helpful, check out my gel printing workshops, because they are all about understanding why so that you can get the most out of your gel plate.

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