June Classes at Papercraft Clubhouse

I've been working on a bunch of different projects lately, including planning my next round of classes at Papercraft Clubhouse in Westbrook, Connecticut. I'll be teaching there on Friday, June 5th and Saturday, June 6th - registration is open now!

Here are the classes I'll be teaching that weekend. Note that all students get a 10% store discount on the day of the class, and any supplies that aren't provided in your class kit will be available for purchase at the Clubhouse.

Stamp Carving 101, Friday, June 5, 2015, 6-9pm

Stamp Carving 101 - Gwen LafleurCome join us and learn to carve your own rubber stamps! Perfect for scrapbooks, cards, art journaling, and mixed media, hand-carved rubber stamps help you add your own unique mark to your work.  We’ll cover tools and supplies, drawing and transferring stamp designs, and of course, carving! We’ll make several stamps in class including geometric designs, repeating patterns, and word stamps. As a part of the class, you’ll get a stamp carving starter kit that includes a carving tool with blades and rubber. (If you already have carving tools and you tell them when you register they'll take $5 off the class; we’ll still provide the rubber.) There will also be sample designs for you to use, or you can design your own!    $40

Supplies You Need To Bring:

  • Cutting mat (glass is best if you have it)
  • X-acto knife
  • Pencil, ruler and ball point pen

Getting Started with Handmade Books, Saturday, June 6, 2015, 9:30am-1pm

Getting Started with Handmade Books - Gwen Lafleur

Have you ever wanted to make your own art journal? Or a hand-bound scrapbook? Or just hand-made books in general? Then this is the class for you! We’ll be discussing the basics of bookbinding as well as different types of binding stitches, and we’ll use one of my favorite binding methods to make our own completed book in class. You’ll be surprised by how easy it is! We’ll talk about different ways to make your cover, and I’ll show you an easy way to wrap your cover with paper or fabric.  $45

Supplies You Need To Bring:

  • Basic Tool Kit: craft mat, paper trimmer, scissors, pencil, bone folder
  • 12” or longer ruler (centering is best, but regular will work)
  • 20 sheets of paper sized 9”x12” or larger (can be plain cardstock, watercolor paper, patterned paper, etc… whatever you want for the pages of your book)
  • Gel medium
  • Gesso
  • 1” flat paintbrush
  • 1-3 colors of paint for your cover

Optional: black gesso, washi tape, stencils (for the spine of your book,) embellishments for your cover, paper to cover your book (if you don’t want to paint,) a heavy-duty awl (there will be a few to share, but if you have your own you won’t have to wait.)

Below are two different versions of the book we'll be making together in class.

Sample Handmade Books - Gwen Lafleur
Plaster Sculptures from Stencils, Saturday, June 6, 2015, 2-5:30pm 

Plastic Sculptures from Stencils - Gwen Lafleur

Get ready to take your stencils to a whole new level! We’ll be using stencils by StencilGirl as the basis for creating our own plaster animal sculptures. You’ll be surprised at how fun and easy it is as we work with cardboard and plaster to create our masterpieces. I’ll show you how to use a stencil to start the process, as well as how to go from there into making a pattern to turn it into a 3-D piece. We’ll make and decorate one sculpture in class, but you’ll go home with enough plaster to make more.  When signing up, please choose whether you’d like to make a seahorse, an elephant, or a bird.  $45

Supplies You Need To Bring:

  • Basic Tool Kit: craft mat, paper trimmer, scissors, pencil, bone folder
  • Sharp, heavy-duty scissors (like Tim Holtz)
  • Water bucket or cup with an opening that’s at least 4” wide
  • Flat paintbrush (1/2” to 1”)
  • Detail paint brush
  • Apron (optional)
  • Glue (Aleen's Tacky Glue or something similar will work)
  • Supplies to decorate your sculpture including: paint in the colors you’d like for your animal, any stencils or stamps you’d like to use, beads, liquid pearls, etc…  I will have stencils, stamps, and a few other goodies to share with the class.

These little guys are hard to photograph, but here are individual photos of the three options for class:

Plaster Bird Sculpture from Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

Stencil-Sculpture Elephant Final 3 - Gwen Lafleur

Seahorse Sculpture by Gwen LafleurI'm so excited for these classes - they should be lots of fun! I'll have class samples in the store next weekend for classes with Dina Wakley for those who want to see them in person.

Hope to see you there!

Sequined Art Journal with May StencilClub

Just popping in to share a project that I have over on StencilGirl Talk using the May stencils from StencilClub. This was a fun month, and I love how my sequined art journal turned out! May StencilClub - Sequined Art Journal 2 - Gwen LafleurIf you want to see more, head over to StencilGirl Talk for more photos of the finished book, as well as some details on how I made the cover.

Gelli® Printed Mini Art Journal

Just stopping by to share that I have a new post up over on StencilGirl Talk today - a mini art journal that I made with stencils and the new 4" and 6" round Gelli® plates (plus my 8" round plate) from Gelli Arts®.

Gelli Printed Art Journal - Gwen LafleurThis is a fun little 16-page 6"x9" journal and all of the inside pages are made from a single piece of paper! Head on over to StencilGirl Talk if you want to see all of the inside pages and get more details about how to make your own.

(Note: I  received permission to use the Gelli® and Gelli Arts® trademarks, which are owned by Gelli Arts® LLC.)

Inspiration Wednesday Week 8

In an effort to not get so behind in my posting, I thought I'd pop in and share my pages in my inspiration journal from this week's Inspiration Wednesday video with Donna Downey.

This week was a lot about texture, and I went ahead and followed along with Donna to get some darker colors on the page.

IW2015 Week 8 - Gwen LafleurI used a bit more green and kept mine a bit more opaque than hers, but I really liked it. Donna used thin wooden letters on her pages, but I didn't have any of those. What I do have is a TON of old chipboard letters - this was from a set of old Heidi Swapp letters... they were pink and came in a box and you had to punch them out of a square (so you get the negative too) - the squares were like 3", so I liked both the size and the lightness of them for my pages.

Here's the view with the inclusion flipped over:

IW2015 Week 8b - Gwen LafleurI went ahead and used the same word as Donna - "becoming" because it resonated with me right now. I added some more text below, but I did it in a darker color. I tried it in white first and it was too much contrast for me.

Of course, I have some kind of allergy to monochromatic pages. I liked it when it was done, but I was dying for that pop of color, so I turned to my trusty Liquid Pearls  and added some of my signature dots. Then I wanted to do something to outline the letters a bit, but I didn't want color to stand out anymore than it already did, so I used black opal and dark chocolate Liquid Pearls and did some scribbling around them.

IW2015 Week 8 Letter Closeup - Gwen LafleurI think you can see it okay above, but it's even cooler in person. I loved this. I'm going to have to do more of this embedded chipboard lettering for sure!

And with that, I'm off to enjoy a beautiful weekend!

Documented Life Project: March / April 2015

Wow... I've been meaning to get this post up for weeks and it just kept slipping! But I'm finally getting around to knocking stuff off of my to-do list, and here we are - the last six weeks worth of art journal pages for The Documented Life Project. Again, most of these were posted on Instagram / Facebook, but I like to get them all in one place :)

Without further ado, my pages for March and the first half of April. The theme for the month was mark making and doodling, and the first week was to incorporate doodling as a layer. I did most of my doodling with Liquid Pearls and then added just a bit of pen work (there's a little journaling hidden in there too.)

DLP2015 - Doodle Layer Element - Gwen LafleurThe next week was to use mark making to create borders of some kind. I was at my parents' house after spending a weekend taking classes with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer up in Connecticut, so I kind of slapped this one together using a leftover gelli print from class, and then I doodled on some scallops and then added a baggage sticker - ephemera from my week! It's not my favorite page, but it's good enough.

DLP2015 - 5 Mark Making Borders - Gwen LafleurThe March 21st challenge was using something I'd made as a focal point - I was still at my parents' house, so I pulled out some colored pencils and a sheet of book paper and did a kind of doodled sketch inspired by a bird that Julie had shared that I really loved (and she was inspired by someone else!) I think I'll play with this motif some more... I have a few ideas that are on that never-ending to-do list. (My mom loved this one when she saw it, but she thought it was a Christmas ornament. Ha!)

DLP2015 - Doodle as Focal Point - Gwen LafleurMarch 28th was a challenge to use a custom element. Since we were still talking mark making, I pulled out some hand carved stamps and then added some hand lettering on top (and crossed my fingers that I didn't jinx our weather!)

DLP2015 - Make a Custom Element - Gwen LafleurWith the April 4th challenge, we switched to a new theme: exploring inks and paints. The first one centered around watercolors, so I got out some Dr. Ph. Martin's Hydrus watercolors along with Golden QoR watercolors and used them to do a mini version of one of the exercises in week 2 of the Paint Mojo eCourse with Tracy Verdugo. (I signed up for the course last October and, of course, I'm just now getting around to it. I'm almost through week 3! lol.) I like this one a lot. I used the 6x6 stencil from last October's StencilClub kit for the center of the dream catcher.

DLP2015 - Watercolors - Gwen LafleurAnd finally, the most recent challenge (April 11) was with acrylics. Since this is something I use all the time I wanted to make it a little more interesting for me personally, so I used acrylics to paint a pattern for the background, then stenciled a face on top and used more paint to add some highlights. I'm actually liking this one a lot too - it goes with my new obsession with faces that I succumbed to during Julie's classes (I know this has been a *thing* for a while now, but I didn't think it was my thing, so I'm just getting on board.)

DLP2015 - Acrylics - Gwen LafleurAnd that's it! All up to date again. Hopefully it won't take another 6 weeks before the next round-up :-P

StencilGirl: April Club Stencils

Just dropping in to let you know that I have a post up on StencilGirl Talk today where I share several projects I made using the new April StencilClub stencils.

This month I got the embroidery bug - it's been a while, but I had a lot of fun pulling these together. I also included some fun tags showing how you can take the same technique and use it with paint and paper if you're not in the mood to sew.

April 2015 StencilClub Projects - Gwen LafleurIf you're interested, head on over to see more photos of the individual pieces along with some details.

Inspiration Wednesday Weeks 4-7

I just realized that it's been a while since I did a round-up of the pages in my Inspiration Wednesday art journal, so I thought I'd post the new ones since my last IW2015 post. All but the most recent one have been shared on Instagram & Facebook, but I have a few additional views below, and week 7 is hot off the press!

First up, week 4 - working on book paper with stamping, molding paste, and glazing.

IW4 - Gwen LafleurI had picked up a book of vintage French comics at the Create vendor fair last summer (I'm so sad that Create isn't happening anymore!) and I used some of those in the background. The stamps are a set by Donna Downey, and the stencil is Rembrandt's Words by Carolyn Dube.

IW4 Close-up 1 - Gwen LafleurAnd the other side with the inclusion flipped:

IW4b - Gwen LafleurNext up, week 5. This one was lots of fun - I didn't realize you could make skins from molding paste the way you can from acrylics, and I loved learning a new technique! This week really has my brain going on other ways to experiment with my supplies.

Inspiration Wednesday Week 5 - Gwen LafleurThere's lots of texture gel in the background, plus the dimension from the molding paste skin seahorses, and I crumpled and collaged on some black paper ribbon at the bottom to kind of suggest coral and then painted and glazed it. I added some turquoise Inka Gold around the edges so it's a bit metallic. The seahorses were done based off of one of my favorite stencils by June Pfaff Daley. I traced the outline onto some thin chipboard and then used that to make masks to create my skins and then stenciled on a few details.

Inspiration Wednesday Week 5b - Gwen LafleurMoving on to week 6; I didn't have any of the tags Donna was using in her background - I had a punch if I wanted to make them myself, but I decided to go with the inspiration she used for this - use up something in your stash. I had a bunch of old Making Memories vellum metal-rimmed tags, so I used all of my circle and oval vellum tags. It gave me some interesting texture that was a bit challenging to work with, but in the end I like it, and I used some tags that I think I've had for 10+ years!

Inspiration Wednesday Week 6 - Gwen LafleurFor the inclusion, I used the Wall of Words stencil by Carolyn Dube - another favorite that's been getting a lot of use lately.

Inspiration Wednesday Week 6b - Gwen LafleurAnd finally, the challenge from last week involved using some of those rolls of gorgeous decorative paper that you get at Paper Source or the art supply store. Yeah... like I have any of those sitting around. (Patty can testify from a trip to Jerry's last year that the previous statement is 100% untrue. My basket of rolled paper is sitting right next to me and there must be 50 of them... some that I've had for 10-12 years!)

Inspiration Wednesday Week 7 - Gwen LafleurI picked one that I thought would work on this (read that as: I picked a roll of paper that I could bear to cut in to) and got to work.

Inspiration Wednesday Week 7b - Gwen LafleurThe words I highlighted on the book text are: gratified, shining eyes, happiness, bloom, flourish, enthusiastic, and indulgence. The test of the text is a bit odd, especially out of context! I might go back and obscure it a bit.

Inspiration Wednesday Week 7c - Gwen LafleurAnd once again, the Wall of Words stencil is making an appearance, looking quite nice with more molding paste and acrylic glazing.

So with that, I'm all caught up on Inspiration Wednesday! I've been keeping up with my challenges really well so far (I'm up to date on Documented Life too and will share an update soon.) And I'm even catching up on some online classes!

Anyway, I hope everyone is having a Happy Easter (or Passover, or just a lovely Sunday!) I'm just enjoying some playtime in my studio between sessions of General Conference... I have some more fun projects that I'll share soon. And with that, I'm back to playing!

Mixed Media Classes with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer

Two weeks ago, I had the chance to spend a weekend taking classes from Julie Fei-Fan Balzer at Papercraft Clubhouse in Westbrook, Connecticut. I had been looking forward to this for a long time! It was so fun to go back and see friends, make art, shop, play, and of course, to meet and learn from Julie! She was just as fun in person as I'd imagined from her videos.

The first day was an all day class called Art Journal Playground. It was so cool to see Julie's art journals in person - they're stunning! I was so inspired, and it was awesome to get to hear and see more about her process. I think it may have changed my own perspective and process for art journaling.

Sharing Samples - Classes with Julie Fei-Fan BalzerAnd one of the demos:

Class Demo - Classes with Julie Fei-Fan BalzerI've never been a face person. I've admired them when other people do them, but never thought I'd do them myself. But seeing how Julie makes faces in her journal was too intriguing for me to pass up trying it in my class project. I made three background spreads, but this is the one I finished. I added a quote from class - something Julie said to Kirsten who was sitting next to me.

Day 1 Project - Gwen Lafleur - Classes with Julie Fei-Fan BalzerAnd yes, I did in fact add Liquid Pearls to my spread. It's a sickness! (And I really don't want to get over it. lol.) I did really like learning how Julie does the shadows on her hand lettering - I don't usually do my own lettering in my books, but I loved how this turned out!

Then, obligatory fan-girl moments. I hauled my copy of Julie's book Carve Stamp Play to have her sign it for me - she's the one who got me into carving stamps. (More on that in a future post!)

And photos... Julie and I, and also Patty and her niece Jen.

Julie and I - Classes with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer

Patty, Jen and Julie - Classes with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer

After class, we went over to a restaurant called the Cukoo's Nest for dinner. I'd been there before - it's supposed to be Mexican food, but when I was there in October, they were having a German Oktoberfest special (which was pretty good!) We were placing bets as to whether they'd have a corned beef and cabbage special this time... and they did! But I got the nachos. Yum! It was a fun night :)

The second day's class was Painted Paper Collage. We spent the morning learning different techniques for printing our own patterned papers and then that afternoon we cut up our papers and turned them into collages. I've been wanting to learn this for a long time, and it was so fun! Julie did a fantastic job of breaking it all into steps - there were some absolutely stunning collages from the different class members.
Painted Paper Collage Demo - Classes with Julie Fei-Fan BalzerAnd my final piece... I loved Julie's sample so much that I decided to try a face for mine.

My Painted Paper Collage - Gwen Lafleur - Classes with Julie Fei-Fan BalzerIt was such a great weekend! I learned a lot, and I've already signed up for Julie's Junque Journal class bundle online. It was also wonderful to spend time with Patty and Tracie, and of course everyone else that I've gotten to know from the store, classes, and Mixed Media club! I really love that I've had chances to go back and see people and keep in touch.

Julie put a really great post up with a recap of the weekend and lots more pictures for anyone who wants to see more of what we did.

I can't wait for my next chance to head out... I think I'll be teaching again in late spring, so I'll post as soon as I have all the details together.