Paris Tag

I taught a class this week which was all about making backgrounds.  One of the simplest was using magazine pages lightly coated with gesso as a collage element.  Gesso takes inks differently to paper, so it can be interesting to mix and match them as I did in this tag.

I’ve inked up the tag with Crushed Olive and Dusty Concord distress inks, then used the same colours on the gessoed paper – you can see it’s much paler than on the tag itself.

I glued the gessoed paper onto the tag before stamping, but you can get a slight gap at the edge of the torn piece when you do that – you can just see it at the bottom of the tag.  To avoid that, stamp the two separately then line up the gessoed piece over the top of the tag.  You need to use a piece bigger than the tag so you can line it up accurately and trim round the edges after you have stuck it down.

I stamped the sentiment in Crushed Olive then repeated it without re-inking for a softer look.  I then overstamped the first sentiment with black and the Crushed Olive has given the text a drop shadow effect.

We covered a lot of different background techniques – Direct to Paper

Precious Metal Paper

and lots more.

I’ve taught this class many times, always with some new variants, depending what new products have come out since the last time and I always enjoy it.  I taught it to a bunch of calligraphers many years ago as they were looking for interesting backgrounds to write on.  I had to test that all my backgrounds were suitable for writing on with calligraphers ink and discovered that shaving foam backgrounds worked great.  I thought the soapiness would stop the ink from working, but it was fine.

As you will no doubt have seen yesterday, we had a Basement Bunneh in the garden again.  He was quite happy to pose for photos and came back for more in the evening.

When he turned to face the camera, you can see he has quite a lot of grey on his front, so we’ve christened this one Smokey.

He’s also very, very boingy.

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20 thoughts on “Paris Tag

  1. fab background Glenda – i’ve always wanted to play with gesso but haven’t had the confidence and thought i’d just make a mess or be wasting my time… can you use gesso on wood as i have a few items bought to ‘alter’?

    Bunneh is so cute – glad you were able to get a full frontal LOL…

    Paula x x x

    1. Yes you can use gesso on wood – it makes a pretty good primer for almost any surface – I’ve used it on metal and even glass, although the glass was accidental!

      It can crack if you use it on fabric, unless it’s stretched or kept flat.


  2. The Paris tag is gorgeous Glenda, I love the colours. Those precious metal backgrounds are fabulous! I have only used those paints for hard surfaces up until now, and hadn’t thought about paper. They really look special, even in the photograph. Love the bunneh pictures, as always, Judith xx

  3. Love the Paris tag and the other backgrounds too especially the precious metal ones. Might have to treat myself…….

    Basement Bunneh is cute as always, love the way you share him with us

    Jackie xx

  4. Love the Paris tag. Making backgrounds is one of my favourite ways of papercrafting. I didn’t think of using the precious metal paint. I got a bottle in my stash box. Will have to have a go.
    Pat x

  5. I can just imagine what a good time everyone had at the class Glenda, as one of the first workshops I ever did at Graphicus was the same class about 2 years ago. Obviously at that time we used different products but it was definitely a turning point in my papercrafting and showed me possibilities I had never even dreamed of. I almost chose to do it again this time but already had 6 others picked out. I think I might have to repeat that one next time as it was so much fun as well as being very informative.

    Your basement bunneh pics are captivating as always!

    Lesley Xx

  6. Hi Glenda, thanks for the tips on using Gesso and the lovely bunneh pics. I absolutley love the little critters, but I’m probably biased as we have a little indoor bun ourselves. Love watching him running like a whirlwind around our living room. He only has one eye (long story) so I am always worried he will crash into the furniture at the speed he goes, but thankfully he seems to manage.

  7. Love the tag Glenda and the bunneh pics are gorgeous. Look forward to seeing how you have snapped them each day :)

    Janet x

  8. Love the tag Glenda and the backgrounds, just wish I lived nearer so I could come to your courses. Basement Bunneh is so cute and lovely to see his face and smoky front.

    Best wishes Sue.

  9. Smokey looks a bit startled Glenda.Perhaps he is camera shy.
    Love the background papers.Should have come to that class!!!!Too late now xJoyce

  10. Love the Paris tag and all the backgrounds, I had been wondering about gesso and it’s uses so I found all of this really interesting stuff. I’ve not got any yet but am going to get some.

    I just want to pick Smokey up and cuddle him to bits, he’s gorgeous and so cheeky looking lol!! He has a really lovely shape of head……chunky little thing he is!!

  11. Great backgrounds Glenda. I imagine it was a thoroughly messy and enjoyable class. I haven’t tried the gesso & newspaper but will do as it looks soft, subtle yet interesting. Thanks for the tips.

    Smokey bunnie is just gorgeous. We have no bunnies at our London home but our lovely wildlife garden hosts many visitors and fox families have been visiting us for 20 years or so. They bring the young into the garden to show them the ropes. They are very fond of peanuts and we have copious feeders. I recently watched our dog fox Dad, bored with ground foraging for dropped peanuts, actually climb up into our willow tree to inspect the hanging trays. Amazing sight – where was the camera at that moment?

    My craft room overlooks the garden and it is sometimes so hard to concentrate on what I’m supposed to be doing.

    More pics please

  12. Love the backgrounds. The Paris one stands out, but the others are great too, they will look stunning once stamped up. Great bunneh shot:)

  13. Glenda

    That Paris tag is gorgeous, I love those two DI colours together – I must try them myself.

    I am sure your dear little Smokey bun must have escapee genes. We have had a number of dwarf rabbits, including a couple of black ones and his chunky little face definitely looks like he has dwarf rabbit genes in him somewhere. Please keep feeding us pics of this little one – he is a treasure!

    Elaine xx

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