From the Artist Tribe - An Art Box with Dresden & Scrap

Today Sandee Setliff from the Artist Tribe has a fun project in store... she's using Dresden trim to decorate the outside of this fabulous art box!

Mixed-Media-Art-Box-with-Dresden---Sandee-Setliff

Sandee also used one of the bronze Hamsa charms on her paintbrush embellishment. When the box opens up, there's even more awesomeness to behold!

Mixed-Media-Art-Box---Inside---Sandee-Setliff

I love the way Sandee used the Children with Signs sheet of English scrap on the left side of the box and then added her own handwritten sentiment.

Make sure you head over to Sandee's blog for lots more photos and details! And of course, don't forget that Dresden trim and English & German Scrap are all on sale for 15% off through the rest of the month!

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Mixed Media Abstract with Stencils & Embossing Powder

I love embossing powder. Love it. So when I found out that the StencilGirl team would be doing a blog hop with Emerald Creek (who makes pretty much my favorite embossing powder ever,) I may have jumped up and down a little in excitement. (On the inside, at least!) I started heat embossing twenty or more years ago as I dabbled in other crafts, but as my interests have evolved, my love of embossing has remained. I never get tired of watching that powder melt, and in recent years I've found a few ways to make it even more fun to use! I've mixed a few of my favorite techniques together in today's project, which is an 8"x10" abstract mixed media panel with lots of EP and stencils.

Mixed-Media-Abstract-with-Embossing-Powder---Gwen-Lafleur

I've put together a little tutorial so you can see how I used the various products in this piece and hopefully give it a try yourself!

To start, I took a plain 8x10 canvas panel and coated it with black gesso.

Mixed-Media-Abstract-with-EP---Step-1---Gwen-Lafleur

I set that aside to dry and pulled out a few sheets of deli paper that had some paint on them and not much else - I formed my color palette as I looked through what I had that was already painted and ended up with yellow, teal, dark gray, and a kind of blend of all of the colors with a bit of stenciling already on it. I pulled out a few different stencils, inked through them with a foam applicator and pigment ink, then heat embossed the designs.

Mixed-Media-Abstract-with-EP---Step-2-3---Gwen-Lafleur

I used the X Rows stencil by Michelle Ward along with Mirror Gold embossing powder, my Ornamental Floral Screen stencil with some Fractured Ice Embossing Crystals, and two StencilClub stencils by Mary Beth Shaw: the one on yellow is the 6x6 from the April 2016 StencilClub collection used with Oil Rubbed Bronze EP, and the one on teal is the 9x12 from the January 2016 StencilClub kit along with Northern Lights EP.

I wanted to have each paper be roughly one quarter of a wonky circle, so I made a template from a piece of copy paper and used it to cut the pieces I wanted from my embossed deli paper, then adhered them onto the panel with matte medium. When collaged, deli paper wants to wrinkle much more than regular paper - sometimes I want that look and let it happen, but here I wanted it smooth so I used an old hotel room key and scraped it over the top to force out all of the bubbles.

Mixed-Media-Abstract-with-EP---Step-4-5---Gwen-Lafleur

I let the panel dry thoroughly at that point since I was going to add more embossing powder, which would stick to anything that was still wet. Once dry, I used some soft gel medium and painted a thick outline around my circle of patterned papers, then used Charred Gold EP on that. I did not let that dry - if you melt embossing powder on a wet acrylic medium, it will bubble... and I love to make it bubble. (However, it will also create some not-so-lovely fumes - protect your nose and mouth or even better, use a respirator while doing this - especially for extended periods of time.) You have to be careful that you don't burn it, but this process makes a really fabulous texture in your work.

With the circle done, I got out the Verdant Moon stencil by Carol Wiebe and used gold pigment ink to stencil parts of the border designs into a slightly skewed cruciform over the seams of my papers. I embossed that with more Charred Gold EP.

Mixed-Media-Abstract-with-EP---Step-6-7---Gwen-Lafleur

To create a bit of a halo effect around the circle, I just used some teal fluid acrylic paint along with acrylic glazing medium and my finger and spread the paint around the edge of the embossed circle.

Next, I glazed the patterned sections with gray, then used some gold paint in a fineliner bottle to scribble an echo of the embossed circle.

Mixed-Media-Abstract-with-EP---Step-8-9---Gwen-Lafleur

I wanted to add a touch of contrasting dimension and texture, so I used some Pebeo relief paste to add tiny gold glass seed beads into the center of my Xs.  (As you can see here, I generally use a needle or hatpin to place beads.)

With that, the background was done and it was time to start building my focal point. I started by stenciling my Art Deco Sunburst Medallion stencil onto deli paper that had been painted black, then I embossed it with Mirror Gold EP. Next I took a shape from the Periscope Die Set by Seth Apter that had been cut from a thin sheet of teal colored aluminum and added some alcohol inks, then glued it on top.

Mixed-Media-Abstract-with-EP---Step-10-11---Gwen-Lafleur

I cut around the diecut piece and then adhered it onto my panel. To go on top, I rounded up a few found objects - a metal clock face, some broken jewelry parts, and a glass Turkish Nazar. I assembled those into a focal piece and adhered it in the center of the diecut.

Mixed-Media-Abstract-with-EP---Step-12---Gwen-Lafleur

Finally, I added a sprinkling of Pyrite Gemstones around the border of my focal piece, and it was finished!

Here are a few closeups so you can see some of the details of the embossing - it's such a natural pairing with stencils!

Mixed-Media-Abstract-with-EP---Closeup-3---Gwen-Lafleur
Mixed-Media-Abstract-with-EP---Closeup-3---Gwen-Lafleur
Mixed-Media-Abstract-with-EP---Closeup-3---Gwen-Lafleur

Mixed-Media-Abstract-with-EP---Closeup-1---Gwen-Lafleur
Whew... that's it! I hope you enjoyed today's project as much as I enjoyed making it :) 

Now for the best part... we have two amazing giveaways this week!

Emerald Creek Blog Hop Giveaway image

One lucky winner will receive a $25 Gift Certificate to StencilGirl Products AND a $25 Gift Certificate to Emerald Creek!

Enter to win by leaving a comment on this post, then be sure to visit the other blogs in the hop and comment since the more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to win! One winner will be chosen at random from all blog comments. (One comment per person per blog please.)

You have until Tuesday, December 19th at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments. The winner will be announced on StencilGirl's Facebook page on Wednesday, December 20th.

AND

Seth Apter is also generously giving away his original artwork which he created for this blog hop!

Seth-Apter

 Head over to Seth's blog and leave a comment on his post to be entered to win this piece. You need to do this by Tuesday, 12/19 at 11:59PM Central Time to be eligible.

Here are all of the posts so far:

December 13:


December 14:

And... don't forget to come back tomorrow for the final four projects!

December 15:


From the Artist Tribe - Dresden Trimmings & Ornaments

Jackie Neal from The Artist Tribe is back again today with some stunning seasonal projects made with Dresden trim and English & German Scrap! Check out how fun and festive these are:

Dresden trimmings and tidings (16)
Dresden trimmings and tidings (16)

Seriously, these mixed media paper dolls made from the sheets of cherub and angel scraps are amazing! (This first one has a skirt made from a sequined peacock feather applique! How creative is that?)

Dresden trimmings and tidings (14)
Dresden trimmings and tidings (14)

I love the Dresden medallion halo on the last one, and her wings are from the Wondrous Wings downloadable collage sheet. Make sure you head over to Jackie's blog to see lots more photos and details!

If you're feeling inspired by Jackie's gorgeous projects, don't forget that Dresden trim and English & German Scrap are all on sale for 15% off through the rest of the month!

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From the Artist Tribe - A Keepsake Ornament from a Nicho

I'm love this fabulous bonus project from Linda Edkins Wyatt... she took one of the handmade Mexican Nichos from the shop and turned it into a keepsake Christmas ornament!

Memorial-Ornament-from-Mexican-Nicho---Linda-Edkins-Wyatt

It's such a simple, elegant way to display a favorite photo, or even a piece of artwork! Isn't that a fabulous idea? I love how she added a few little accents and got such great impact! Make sure you head over to her blog to see all of the details on how she made it.

If you're doing any last minute DIY Christmas projects, don't forget that Dresden trim and English & German Scrap are all on sale for 15% off through the rest of the month!

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From the Artist Tribe - DIY Holiday Tags

Today Linda Edkins Wyatt from The Artist Tribe is sharing some fabulous DIY holiday inspiration with her beautiful tags! She's created elegant simplicity with her black and white color scheme on these first four, just using paint, stencils, and ribbon with lovely results.

DYI Holiday Tags - Black - Linda Edkins Wyatt

(The above two use my Christmas Cardinal & Holly stencil as well as my Ornamental Petals Mask while the two tags below use my Christmas Cardinal & Holly stencil again as well as my Decorative Medallion stencil.)


DYI Holiday Tags - Black - Linda Edkins Wyatt

Linda also added a vintage touch with German Scrap Angels and German Dresden trim on these two tags:

DIY Holiday Tags - German Scrap and Stamping - Linda Edkins Wyatt
DIY Holiday Tags - German Scrap and Stamping - Linda Edkins Wyatt

(This second tag above also uses papers from my Marbled Paper Sampler Pack.)

Make sure you head over to Linda's blog to see lots more details about her beautiful project!

Ready to make your own holiday tags? All month long Dresden trim and English & German Scrap are 15% off with the coupon DresdenScrap-15. Plus, I just added three new styles of Dresden and three vintage scrap designs, most of which work perfectly for Christmas projects!

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From the Artist Tribe - Mixed Media with Dresden

Today, Jill McDowell from The Artist Tribe is back again with another spectacular mixed media piece... this time she's focused on our December challenge to use Dresden and / or Scrap sheets

Mixed-Media-Panel-with-Dresden-Swans---Jill-McDowell

Jill used Dresden Swans and the XL Angel Wings for beautiful, dimensional embellishments. I also spy my Decorative Filigree Medallion stencil in the background! Here's a little close-up so you can see part of her process on how she colored the gold swans for her piece:

Mixed Media Panel - Dresden Swans - Jill McDowell

Make sure you head over to Jill's blog to see more details from her gorgeous project and to find out more about how she made it!

If you're feeling inspired by Jill's project, you're in luck! All month long Dresden trim and English & German Scrap are 15% off with the coupon DresdenScrap-15.

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Mixed Media Seahorse Sculpture

The last few weeks I've had lots of energy and inspiration and have been working on quite a few projects! One of them is a new seahorse sculpture that I started before Thanksgiving and just finished up Friday night. I have to say, I absolutely love how this turned out!

Mixed-Media-Seahorse-Sculpture---Gwen-Lafleur

It was really hard to get good pictures of this guy because of his size and the darker paint colors I used, but hopefully you get the idea... personally I think he's even cooler in person :)

Over the last few years I've been working a lot with the idea of making 3D sculptures based on stencil designs; my original idea started with inspiration from a class I took at a Create retreat as well as some old grade-school art class techniques, but slowly I've been evolving my process as I find new supplies and tools and get more experience in this area.  At some point I'll probably make this into a class (most likely online or a 2-day in person class,) but for now I thought I'd share a very quick overview of how he was made. 

I started with the Seahorses stencil by June Pfaff Daley and inked it onto cardboard and then cut out the general shape.

Mixed-Media-Seashorse-Sculpture-Steps-1-2

From there, I used aluminum foil and masking tape to start to build up the armature. I found that the tip of a bone folder was really helpful for molding some of the details. When the armature was finished, I covered the whole thing with Aves Apoxie Clay and then once it was no longer water soluble, I went back in and added details. While the clay was still workable, I also made sure to insert a wood skewer so that he could be attached to a base later on and then let the whole thing cure overnight.

Mixed-Media-Seashorse-Sculpture-Steps-3-4

Once it was cured, I coated it with gold gesso, then started adding layers of paints and washes as well as some waxes and gold leafing until I got it looking the way I wanted. It started to take a very metallic and steampunk-esque turn along the way, so I just went with it. When all the paint was dry, I continued along those lines and started adding some metal gears that I aged in Jax solution as well as some old watch parts and vintage watch faces. I also inserted some vintage rhinestones to tie in the broken Turkmen bracelet piece I had added as a collar.

Mixed-Media-Seashorse-Sculpture-Step-5

It still felt like it needed something, so I pulled out my collection of broken Turkmen jewelry (which is admittedly large and also pretty fabulous,) and started searching for the perfect finishing pieces.

Mixed-Media-Seashorse-Sculpture-Step-6

I found a few pieces of chain and the absolute perfect section of another broken bracelet to attach to the collar as a kind of pectoral piece. That was the exact detail it needed to feel finished. I added a bit of sari yarn around the skewer and inserted it into a vintage wooden spool that I'd glazed and waxed and accessorized with some embellished sari trim and more broken jewelry parts. (The skewer is held in place with more Apoxie Clay.)

Did I mention how pleased I am with the result? Here are some more photos so you can see details of the finished piece:

Mixed-Media-Seahorse-Scupture---Front-View---Gwen-Lafleur
Mixed-Media-Seahorse-Scupture---Front-View---Gwen-Lafleur

The sculpture itself came out quite symmetrical, but I didn't want to have the embellishments the same on both sides so I mixed it up a bit.


Mixed-Media-Seahorse-Scupture---Front-View---Gwen-Lafleur

On the post, I added more chains and some bronze microbeads to cover the join with the sculpture. (And let's face it... I really just wanted to add more bling!)


Mixed-Media-Seahorse-Scupture---Front-View---Gwen-Lafleur

I've got plans to keep working on a series of these sculptures - maybe different sizes of seahorses, different animals... (an elephant for sure!) We'll see where it goes!

PS... in case you haven't heard, I'm also going to be an artist instructor in Creative JumpStart 2018! Join me and 30 other teachers to get a jump on your creative year with daily mixed media video lessons... it says $50 in the image below, but from now until December 31st, it's only $45 - that works out to just $1.45 per lesson, and you can download them to keep forever!

CJS18-Rectangle-Ad---Gwen

 


From the Artist Tribe - Stenciled Holiday Gift Boxes

Lynda Shoup from the Artist Tribe is back again today with part 2 of Thursday's adventure... this time she's sharing how she used stencils for some stenciled DIY holiday gift boxes!

Stenciled Holiday Gift Boxes - Lynda Shoup

Lynda is using my Christmas stencils again, along with lots of other fun supplies. Head on over to her blog to see all the photos and details!

In the meantime, if you're looking for some fun supplies to make your own holiday boxes, tags, and cards, don't forget about this month's coupon for Dresden trim and English & German Scrap!

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From the Artist Tribe - Art Journaling with Faces & Stencils

Today Artist Tribe member Linda Edkins Wyatt has some gorgeous art journaling to share using some of my stencils!

Art-Journaling-with-Stencils-and-Faces-2---Linda-Edkins-Wyatt

I love how bright and colorful these pages are, as well as the cool ways that Linda used pieces of the various stencil designs! In the spread on the left, I spy my Decorative Medallion stencil, along with the Art Deco Borders and the Decorative Folk Flower Screen stencils.

Art-Journaling-with-Stencils-and-Faces-1---Linda-Edkins-Wyatt

Make sure you stop by Linda's blog to see more photos and details on how these spreads came together!

 

P.S... it's December! (already! Eek!) That means that The Artist Tribe has a new product challenge and you have a new coupon available for the shop! This month, watch for posts featuring German Dresden trim / shapes, as well as German and English Scrap. Both of these products are versatile enough for year-round use, but they're especially fun for holiday projects! Just use the coupon DresdenScrap-15 to get 15% off!

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From the Artist Tribe - Stenciled Holiday Fun

Today Lynda Shoup from The Artist Tribe is sharing the results of a fun and crafty party where she and some of her friends used my stencils and other supplies to make gift tags and all kinds of fun projects! Here's a little sneak peek of what they got up to using my Christmas Cardinal & Holly stencil...

Stenciled-Holiday-Tags---Lynda-Shoup

Intrigued? I know I am! Head on over to Lynda's blog to read about the party and see what they came up with!

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