Tag Archives | Gelatos

CHA Winter 2013: Innovations Showcase Products (Part 1)

Each show, CHA holds its Innovations Showcase, which serves as a combination media event and buyer preview. The top 20 entrants in the Innovations Showcase (as pre-determined by  a panel of celebrity media judges) take part in a speed round of presentations to the audience, and then attendees get a few minutes to visit each entrant’s booth around the outer edge of the room to talk to the various manufacturers about their products. (At CHA Winter 2013, Craft Critique’s own editor Nancy Nally was one of the celebrity media judges!)

CHA Winter 2013

Needless to say, we arrived with our cameras and notebooks in hand to get the most information possible in the short amount of time allowed for our readers. Our first stop was to see Julianna C. Hudgins demonstrating her new jewel loom from Beadalon.

Beadalon Jewel Loom by Juliana Hudgins
Beadalon Jewel Loom by Juliana Hudgins

This patented loom works like a traditional bead loom but is specifically created to be portable and easier to use.  Notice the cool curve that allows for Julianna’s fingers to easily control the beads while stringing.

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Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY: Faber-Castell Color Gelatos

Reported by Susan Reidy
They stamp. They color. They blend. They paint. They spray.
After playing with Faber-Castell’s Color Gelatos and Clear Stamp kits, I had trouble finding something they couldn’t do. Seriously, I was able to put aside most of my other coloring tools and use just these juicy sticks of color for my papercrafting projects.
Of course, some of the techniques (painting, spraying) require some manipulation, all of which I could do with just a few supplies I already had on hand.

Faber-Castell describes the Gelatos as “acid-free pigment sticks that glide on creamy smooth for vibrant color and coverage.” I just call them yummy. You can blend them with water for a water color effect, apply them directily to stamps or use them to color chipboard and other embellishments.

They are packaged in a lip balm-like container that you twist from the bottom to reveal more Gelato. It’s a fitting package, since their consistency reminds me a lot of lipstick.

Each set comes with four color Gelato sticks in coordinating colors (red/yellow, blue/green, neutrals and metallics), a clear stamp and a matching paint brush. Two-pack sets, with no brush or stamp, are available in black and white and gold and silver.

I love that the paintbrush color coordinates, and love even more that it’s triangular so it doesn’t slip slide its way off my craft table.

The Gelatos are part of Faber-Castell’s new Design Memory Craft line that is being marketed to scrapbookers, cardmakers and other papercrafters. The line also includes Stampers Big Brush Pens, Art GRIP Aquarelle Watercolor Pencils, PITT Artist Pens, kits and Mixed Media Samplers.
I think this is awesome way for scrapbookers/papercrafters to try out some artsy techniques without investing too much money or buying too many products. You can pick up a pack or two (for most likely under $15) and try out the products before committing to more.
I used to walk down the art aisles in Hobby Lobby and stare at all the colorful tubes and tubs of paint. But the prices were too high and I was too intimidated to buy something that I wasn’t sure I knew how to use. This line of Faber-Castell products erases those fears, and makes art so much more approachable for me.
Plus, the Design Memory Craft products are part of the Mix & Match color system. Each package is marked with a color dot so no matter what medium you choose, you can be sure they will match. For example, you can pick up a pack of blue/green Gelatos and know they will coordinate with the PITT pens or watercolor pencils in the same color family.
The Gelatos themselves can work on a ton of different surfaces including paper (heavier is better for wet techniques), chipboard, canvas, textured embellishments and dark paper.
And did I mention all kinds of techniques are possible such as applying color directly to stamps and then misting with water; blending on a surface with water for a nice color wash; blending colors with your finger or blending stump; shaving color off the gelato and mixing it with a medium to create a custom paint; or mixing it with water to create a mist. If you need any more ideas, check out the Design Memory Craft blog for some awesome projects.
For my first project, I wanted to blend the Gelatos with water; I chose a heavy manila tag as my substrate. Heavier paper like this tag or watercolor paper is best if you’re going to use a lot of water, since the water can warp thinner paper.
I colored with the Gelatos like you would with a crayon, then used the included brush to blend the colors together. In my first attempt, I was haphazard with my coloring. On paper, I found it was hard to completely blend away my coloring lines. For my second attempt, I was much neater with my coloring.

They blended smoothly with the water and each other, making this awesome background.

Next, I wanted to add a sun to my tag. Again, I colored with the gelatos, this time just in the corner of my tag. I wanted the color to be stronger, so I decided to blend with a Fantastix instead of water.

Even without water, the gelato blended so smoothly. I was even able to pull some color down to make rays of light coming from my sun.

Faber-Castell really emphasized the Gelatos ability to color textured embellishments. I pulled out some flocked letters and gave it a try. Here they are all white and boring.

And here they are all pretty and red. The Gelato glided smoothly, even on the flocked surface. It was tricky to get to the sides of the letters because they are slightly raised. I solved that by using my handy Fantastix to get down the sides and all the nooks and crannies. Worked perfectly. Plus, my letters still had their fuzzy texture even after coloring.

Here’s my finished tag. Peeking out from under my letters is one of the clear stamps included in the kit. While I think the quality of the stamps is good, I do think the designs are too small to color with the gelatos, if you want more than one color. I found the stamps worked best if I colored them with one color of gelato or just used an ink pad.

Next up, using the directions from the Design Memory Craft blog, I set out to make my own paint using the gelatos.

First I shaved a bit off the top.

I sprayed some water on the shavings and mixed them up.

Next, I added some Lumiere so my final paint would have some shimmer and shine.

Here it is ready to go. I used it to paint some old Cosmo Cricket Blackboard (black chipboard) that I’ve had for awhile.

I love how this turned out. I think I have finally found a way to use up this blackboard.

I needed some more embellishments for the page I had in mind. This time, I tried the Gelatos on some textured grungeboard. The creamy nature of the Gelatos let it slide right onto the grungeboard. I used my Fantastix again to work it into all the crevices. Here is is before I blended.

And here it is after. I took a yellow Gelato and gently rubbed it over the surface so that it would highlight the texture. Super yummy.

I made several more numbers in different color combinations. I added some Glossy Accents to the numbers so they would match my shiny rocket ship. Here they are on my layout.

And here’s the finished layout with my numbers and my rocket ship.

With all that experimenting behind me, I was ready to get in touch with my inner frustrated artist. I decided to try making a layout using just the Gelatos and my photos.

I started with a blank Canvas Corp. canvas sheet.

I laid down some blue Gelato, starting in one corner and working my way down.

I blended the Gelato with water and a paintbrush to get this watercolor-like background. I didn’t have trouble blending away my lines on the canvas like I did on paper.

Next, I took a polka dot background stamp from Stampin’ Up and inked it with the darker blue Gelato.

I spritzed my stamp with some water.

And used it to add some texture to one side of my canvas. I didn’t need to re-Gelato my stamp every time, and I also didn’t have to spritz every time. My canvas was still a little damp from my first color wash, so not much additional water was needed.

I wanted some bolder circles, so following the same steps for making the paint above, I mixed some Gelato shavings with gesso this time. I laid down a mask and painted over it with my Gelato-tinted gesso. You can also mix the Gelatos with gel medium or even regular white acrylic paint.

For my last step, I mixed Gelato shavings with just water and added it to a Mini Mister. I used a Crafter’s Workshop template as a mask and added some circles.

It’s a subtle look, but I like the touch of contrast that it brings.

I pulled out the clear stamp again from the Gelato kit, added some red Gelato and used it around my title and on the edge of my photo. Again, I found it easier to use just one color of Gelato on this more detailed stamp. The tip of the Gelato is large enough that it is hard to detail color a stamp.

Here’s my final “artsy” Gelato-only layout. I used negative pieces of chipboard to paint some of my title and letter stamps for the rest. I’m pretty pleased with my first artsy attempt, and loved trying out so many different techniques with the Gelatos.

Last, I wanted to try some more direct stamping with the Gelatos. I tried two different methods — coloring the stamps and then misting and spraying down a piece of water color paper, and then stamping.

I used this bold stamp, which made it easier to use two different colors of Gelato.

In the photos below, the watercolor paper is on the right. The Gelatos blended and ran more with my spray-the-paper technique, but I like the look of both.

I used the image on the left to create this card.

Whew! I had tons of fun giving these Gelatos a work out. As much as I used them, I still have plenty of color left in my tubes. A little certainly goes a long way.

The Gelatos not only work on many surfaces, they also are very flexible in terms of techniques. They are a worthwhile addition to any coloring stash.

  • Works on multiple surfaces — paper, canvas, chipboard, grungeboard, embossed surfaces.
  • Can be used for many techniques — painting, misting, water coloring, stamping.
  • Kits make it easy and inexpensive to try out artsy techniques.
  • Color matched to other media in the Design Memory Craft line.


  • Stamp included in kit is too small to use with Gelatos if you want to use more than one color.
  • Heavier paper is better if you plan on using techniques with lots of water.
  • Gelatos have a big tip, so they’re better suited to bold stamp images for direct coloring techniques.

The cool folks over at Faber-Castell are giving a set of cool Mixed Media colors to one lucky reader! Just leave a comment on either of the Faber-Castell reviews today answering the question in the Comments section of either article to be entered to win!

Have you tried the Color Gelatos? What is/would be your favorite way to use them?

One comment per person, per article, please. Winner will be selected on Saturday, June 4, 2011.


Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY: Faber-Castell Mix & Match Mixed Media Sampler

Reported by Julie Tiu

has provided a variety of products for crafters, artists, designers and the general population for generations. In recent years, I’ve seen Faber-Castell come out with more kits for art journaling and crafting, including products in their Creativity for Kids line. How easy and convenient is that for busy, crafty people? So, I am eager to share with you my review of their Mix & Match Mixed Media Sample, their collection of five different media that they’ve formulated to work reliably together. This media sample from their Design Memory Craft line comes in four color schemes: red, blue, yellow and green.

I’ve long admired mixed media artwork, and it’s been a while since I’ve experimented. What better way to get back into it than with a color-coordinated set that includes an Art GRIP Aquarelle Watercolor Pencil, PITT Pastel Pencil, Metallic PITT Artist Pen, Stamper’s Big Brush Pen and a Metallic Gelato (which incidentally makes me want to have a frozen treat every time I use it). The first four media are pretty self-explanatory. Their Gelato is a creamy metallic pigment stick which blends with or without water.

Let’s take a look at the media’s color and coverage on regular text-weight paper.

The pictures don’t do the colors justice; the colors are vibrant and rich. The metallics are shimmery, but I found the Rose Metal PITT pen less shimmery than expected.

The products can work on their own with simple drawing and shading techniques, and a wet watercolor paintbrush for the watercolor pencil and gelato. The gelato will dry blend nicely, too, with a little tissue paper. The pens, pencils and gelato are great to use on paper and fabric, the two surfaces I tested.

Artist Trading Card series: Watercolor pencil on cardstock
Mini Asian Scroll: Stamped image (Stampington) on cotton

Trying the Stamper’s Big Brush Pen on my stamps, both rubber and clear, gave decent results. There is definitely a lot more control brushing ink onto stamps, as many of you know, but you may find it slightly tricky to brush this India ink-based pen on clear stamps. You may not get even coverage, or your ink may pool in certain areas of your image.

Better inking with rubber stamps

Uneven inking with clear stamps

Stamped images (Donna Downey) with blended pen, watercolor pencil, pastel and gelato on paper

The pastel pencil is fun to use in the sense that you don’t get a chalky mess all over your work surface and the “lead” doesn’t break, but you still get a nice soft pastel. Blend with your fingertip, blending pen or stump. It erases easily too.
Stamped image (We R Memory Keepers) on watercolor and gelato
Using metallic pen on clear stamp results in good coverage

Stamped images (We R Memory Keepers and Paper Source) in metallic ink over watercolor, gelato, ink and pastel
The metallic blue ink shines over the Big Brush ink. Love that color!

I find that the pencils and gelatos blend so nicely. When you try it out, be careful to adjust the amount of water that you load onto your brush. The beginner that I am, I flooded a few areas and the color faded quite a bit, but the main point is… the color was still where I wanted it.

Featured Projects

This mixed media project is a series of artist trading cards ready to be cut. (I can’t take credit for the words. I heard it on a newscast or morning show actually.)

ATC series to share.
Here the Mixed Media red collection starts off an altered book project. (Stamps by Donna Downey, embellishment from We R Memory Keepers)
A mini Asian scroll made with stamped images and various coloring, ready to hang or frame.

Faber-Castell’s idea of color coordinating is perfect for the beginning mixed media artist. They’ve put together a great sample pack, and you won’t be disappointed if you give it a whirl on your next project!


  • The pens are odorless and won’t bleed through paper.
  • Stamper’s Big Brush pen ink stays moist while brushing onto rubber stamps.
  • Fantastic blending between the different media.
  • Color coordinated kits take the guesswork out of creating a color palette from scratch.


  • When using clear stamps, India ink from the Stamper’s Big Brush pen goes on unevenly
  • The sample pack contains a great variety of media, but would also be nice to have a textural tool included.

The sampler retails $12-$15, online or at your local art supply store.

The cool folks over at Faber-Castell are giving a set of these cool Mixed Media colors to one lucky reader! Just leave a comment on either of the Faber-Castell reviews today answering the question in the Comments section of either article to be entered to win!

What color(s) of the mixed media sets would you most want to win? What would YOU create?

One comment per person, per article, please. Winner will be selected on Saturday, June 4, 2011.


Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!