As I mentioned recently, I am already in the throes of making Christmas cards as examples for my Autumn term card making courses. One of the techniques I'm planning for the more advanced group is creating backgrounds using gesso, and here are a couple of cards I've just made. On the first card I've made a layered background - sponging and blending various blue dye inks onto the card and then stamping over in dark blue. This was then painted with a thin layer of gesso and when dry I have stamped again around the edges. The large snowflake was stamped and clear embossed onto white card and inks sponged over. All stamps are from Stampin' Up's Serene Snowflakes set. I used a Tim Holtz die to cut the letters for 'snoel'. I can't claim that this was my own idea... I saw a card by Pete Hughes (of Sizzix fame) in a magazine a year or two ago using die cut snowflakes and the word snoel which really made me smile. I thought it was such a good idea that I've used it several times since.
The second card has a background of 'blended paper' - torn strips of printed and stamped papers that have been glued onto card and then covered with a layer of gesso. I didn't add any colour this time as I wanted a simple white, black and silver scheme. The 'Peace' stamp is by Inkadinkado.