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September 2014

StencilGirl Blog Hop: Viva Las VegaStamps!

The StencilGirl creative team is back again all this week with a new blog hop going with the team over at Viva Las VegaStamps.

SGVivaBlogHeaderWithout further ado, here's my project for the hop - a steampunk inspired index card art journal in its own little case.

StencilGirl-VivaLasVegasStamps - Gwen Lafleur - Index Card Art Journal 1I got to use a fabulous plate of stamps - steampunk animals and lots of other fun images. I combined their stamps with a bunch of great StencilGirl stencils and used the steampunk theme as inspiration for the project. Here are the stencils I used:

And now for the tutorial...

I started with the case using a matboard diecut that was made with the Sizzix / Eillen Hull Index Card Folder XL Die. I took the Warped 9 stencil and picked the part of it I wanted to use and traced it onto the part of the diecut that was going to be the front of the case.

I used a sharp X-Acto knife to cut out the pieces and then went through with a small pair of detail scissors and some files to help smooth any little bumps and notches left behind.

SG-VLVS Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur - Step 2Next I painted the whole thing on both sides with Golden Irridescent Stainless Steel (Course) acrylic paint. I thought that would work pretty well with the vibe I was going for.

SG-VLVS Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur - Step 3Then I added pewter Liquid Pearls to suggest rivets and some copper mica powder to make it look a little bit aged around the edges (you can also use eye shadow!) For this, I edged the places where I wanted the powder to apply with some Versamark (you need something to make it stick) and then applied with a brush.

SG-VLVS Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur - Step 4
SG-VLVS Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur - Step 4To finish off the case, I ended up taking a few pieces of thin cardstock and cutting / folding them to fit on the sides so that the ends would be closed off - I didn't want the cards to slide out the sides. I painted those as well.

For the insides: I took six index cards and gessoed both sides. I only decorated the fronts so that the backs could be used for journaling or adding photos or whatever I might want. Here's the process I used for all of the cards after the gesso layer was dry:

1. Stencil the background - I used either the Industrial Fence or Grid A1 stencils along with either a greenish turquoise or copper ink.

SG-VLVS Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur - Step 62. Add some collage elements - I used book paper or sheet music along with some graph paper. Just a few bits since I was going to add more layers.

SG-VLVS Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur - Step 73. Since steampunk is Victorian, I found a piece of patterned paper (an old sheet from Prima) that had some Victorian looking roses and did a little fussy cutting until I had enough flower groupings to use on each card. I added that on top with gel medium and then, while the medium was still wet, I used an eye shadow applicator to add some more copper or blue mica powder.

SG-VLVS Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur - Step 84. Stamped elements: I stamped one of my steampunk animal stamps onto deli paper with black Archival Ink and cut it out, then adhered on top with more gel medium.

SG-VLVS Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur - Step 95. I added a few words that I'd cut out of magazines and saved, and then once everything was dry I wrote some journaling around the edges of the front of each card. Then I used my finger to add in a bit of paint here and there.

SG-VLVS Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur - Step 10You can also see where I added an actual gear onto the card over the gear in the stamp design that was the elephant's eye - I did this on each card using some watch parts I had in my stash from when I thought I was going to make my own steampunk jewelry (ha!)

6. I used some cream Distress Paint and the Seeds stencil to just give a little bit of brightness and texture, and then used a black Stabilo All Marks pencil to outline and highlight a few areas. I went over that with a slightly damp baby wipe to get just a bit of smudging.

SG-VLVS Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur - Step 11
SG-VLVS Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur - Step 11And that's it! It doesn't actually take all that long since you can do each step for all the cards at the same time.

  • StencilGirl-VivaLasVegasStamps - Gwen Lafleur - Index Card Art Journal 2
  • StencilGirl-VivaLasVegasStamps - Gwen Lafleur - Index Card Art Journal 3
  • StencilGirl-VivaLasVegasStamps - Gwen Lafleur - Index Card Art Journal 4
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  • StencilGirl-VivaLasVegasStamps - Gwen Lafleur - Index Card Art Journal 6
  • StencilGirl-VivaLasVegasStamps - Gwen Lafleur - Index Card Art Journal 7
  • StencilGirl-VivaLasVegasStamps - Gwen Lafleur - Index Card Art Journal 8
StencilGirl-VivaLasVegasStamps - Gwen Lafleur - Index Card Art Journal 8

For the closure on the case, I had a large, round, silver bezel that happened to be the perfect size for a metal clock face I had (I think it's Tim Holtz). So I glued those together and then added a few other watch pieces. I attached that to the front flap of the case - I used Weldbond glue for all of that part - it's super strong and works great for this kind of thing. I also added a few old Making Memories metal hinges toward the bottom. They help give support and add to the steampunk look.

StencilGirl-VivaLasVegasStamps - Gwen Lafleur - Index Card Art Journal 11
StencilGirl-VivaLasVegasStamps - Gwen Lafleur - Index Card Art Journal 11
StencilGirl-VivaLasVegasStamps - Gwen Lafleur - Index Card Art Journal 11That's it for today's project... I'm loving my little steampunk art journal :)

Don't forget to visit the rest of the blogs on the hop because every comment on every blog will all be eligible for a grand prize from StencilGirl and Viva Las VegaStamps! So, the more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to win! (One comment per blog per person, please.) 

Updated: Here are the winners from the blog hop drawing - congrats!

StencilGirl - Eileen Hull Hop Winner

Here are the rest of the blogs for you to visit today, and don't forget to check StencilGirl Talk every day to get all of the blogs for the whole week!

Thanks for popping in... I hope you enjoy all of this week's projects!


StencilGirl Blog Hop: Eileen Hull / Sizzix!

This week the StencilGirl creative team showcasing stamps and Sizzix dies by Eileen Hull!

Blog Header HOPSGEH

I was pretty excited about this, because I'm kind of going back to my roots with some stamping and scrapbooking. We got to work with some of Eileen's acrylic stamps and Sizzix ScoreBoards dies. For today's post, I'm using the Picket Fence stamp set, and diecuts from the Sizzix ScoreBoards Mini Album XL Die, and the Sizzix Bigz Flower Layers with Heart Petals Die along with a few stencils from StencilGirl.

And without further ado, here's today's project:

StencilGirl-EileenHull Hop - MiniAlbum - Gwen LafleurI used the mini album ScoreBoards diecut to make... a mini album! It's been a while since I've done any scrapbooking and I had some photos I was excited to use. And I do love me a mini! Not only that, but I wanted to show how easy it is to use stencils and stamps to create your own patterned paper when you want to make a theme album and use the same colors and patterns to tie everything together.

Here's a little tutorial on how I decorated the cover and assembled the book. (The final album photos are in a thumbnail gallery at the bottom so you can see how I used the stamps and stencils on the inside pages.)

To start, I picked out a color scheme I wanted that would go with my theme and photos (yellow, blue, dark blue, ivory, and kraft) and then painted the outside of the album with Golden Titan Buff as the base. Then I laid down the Heart Grid Stencil by Terri Stegmiller and pounced Golden Hansa Yellow fluid acrylic paint through the opening with a Sofft Art Sponge

StencilGirl-EileenHull Hop - MiniAlbum 1 - Gwen LafleurOnce that dried, I put the stencil back in place and then stamped over it with one of the background pattern stamps from the Picket Fence stamp set. Two great things here: first, the stencils are thin enough that they don't interfere with getting a good impression when you stamp through them. Second, the background stamps are designed so that you can create a larger background pattern by matching up the edges. So I just stamped over the stencil like I was creating a large background across my cover.

StencilGirl-EileenHull Hop - MiniAlbum 2 - Gwen LafleurAnd when I finished... pull back the stencil, and voila!

StencilGirl-EileenHull Hop - MiniAlbum 3 - Gwen LafleurI repeated this on the other half of the cover, and then took my Fude black pen and did a little outlining of the stenciled shape.

StencilGirl-EileenHull Hop - MiniAlbum 4 - Gwen LafleurAnd then, even though it wasn't in my color palette, I really needed a pop of color, so I used Liquid Pearls to color the hearts.

StencilGirl-EileenHull Hop - MiniAlbum 5 - Gwen LafleurNext, time to do the inside covers. I painted the background with Golden Cerulean Deep Blue fluid acrylics, let it dry, and then stamped all over the inside cover with a cream ink and the polka dot background stamp from the stamp set. Then I layered the Heart & Flowers stencil by Margaret Applin over top and pounced my Hansa Yellow paint through the openings. Once that was dry, I outlined with a fine line applicator filled with Titanium White fluid acrylics mixed with a bit of airbrush medium. Finally, I masked off around the larger opening and then stamped through that again with more polka dots.

StencilGirl-EileenHull Hop - MiniAlbum 7 - Gwen LafleurYou can see how the this turned out in thumbnail gallery below.

Next, I worked on the inside pages. I cut several sheets of white and kraft cardstock into 10.5"x4.5" strips, folded them in half and creased with a bone folder, and then stacked them inside of each other and clipped them in place. I created a template showing where the holes were going to go (make sure you mark the top,) and used that to poke 5 holes in the fold of the pages.

StencilGirl-EileenHull Hop - MiniAlbum 6 - Gwen LafleurNext, I took my stamps, stencils, and inks and went and sat in front of the TV while I decorated the inside pages. I alternated stamping and stenciling and also switched back and forth between yellow and blue inks, just working steadily through them until all of my pages were decorated with patterns. I continued to use the Heart Grid Stencil, and also added the Inky Hearts stencil (also by Terri Stegmiller) and the Random Squares stencil by Jessica Sporn.

StencilGirl-EileenHull Hop - MiniAlbum 8 - Gwen LafleurFrom there I grabbed my dried cover and used my template and centered it on the spine and used an awl and a self-healing mat to drill the holes. Then I just used a embroidery needle and some bakers twine to bind the book (make sure all of your pages are right side up first. I'm not speaking from experience or anything. lol.) I took the needle through the top hole from the outside, and then just went in and out down to the bottom and then back up again so that there were no gaps between holes inside or out. You'll come back out again through the top hole, and I just tied it off, but you could add some beads or charms or something here - I've done that before and it's a nice effect.

Next I added the photos to the right hand pages and then I just went through my stash and found embellishments and journaling spots that went with my colors and theme to do the rest. Finally, it was time to finish the front cover. I took some flowers cut from mat board and stenciled and stamped them, inked the edges, and then added some blue and yellow ribbons to the back of the largest flower.

You can see here and in the inside pages where I took yellow and blue paint markers (the one below is from Krink) and filled in some of the openings in the stenciled and stamped images. It really made a difference and helped them look more like patterned paper. I loved the effect!

StencilGirl-EileenHull Hop - MiniAlbum 9 - Gwen LafleurThen I stacked them with glue dots and finished it off with a yellow enamel dot and adhered the whole thing to the front of my album along with a blank label to help it pop off the background.

StencilGirl-EileenHull Hop - MiniAlbum 11 - Gwen Lafleur

IMG_9374And that's it! Here are the inside pages:

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  • StencilGirl-EileenHull - Mini Album Inside 2 - Gwen Lafleur
  • StencilGirl-EileenHull - Mini Album Inside 3 - Gwen Lafleur
  • StencilGirl-EileenHull - Mini Album Inside 4 - Gwen Lafleur
  • StencilGirl-EileenHull - Mini Album Inside 5 - Gwen Lafleur
  • StencilGirl-EileenHull - Mini Album Inside 6 - Gwen Lafleur
  • StencilGirl-EileenHull - Mini Album Inside 7 - Gwen Lafleur
  • StencilGirl-EileenHull - Mini Album Inside 8 - Gwen Lafleur
  • StencilGirl-EileenHull - Mini Album Inside 9 - Gwen Lafleur
  • StencilGirl-EileenHull - Mini Album Inside 10 - Gwen Lafleur
  • StencilGirl-EileenHull - Mini Album Inside 11 - Gwen Lafleur
  • StencilGirl-EileenHull - Mini Album Inside 12 - Gwen Lafleur
  • StencilGirl-EileenHull - Mini Album Inside 13 - Gwen Lafleur
StencilGirl-EileenHull - Mini Album Inside 13 - Gwen Lafleur

That's my project for today! I hope you enjoyed it :) 

Updated with the winner - congrats Auntie Em!

StencilGirl - Eileen Hull Hop Winner

Here are the blogs to make sure you visit today, and check out StencilGirl Talk every day to make sure you get the full list for the week!

Happy hopping!


A peek inside my sketchbook | Sketchbook Skool part 2

Just popping in with a quick post... things got crazy (again!) but I finally have a little time to start getting back to normal. I hope! Probably for just long enough to enjoy it before I get bored again. lol.

So, last week was my final figure drawing class, and it went really well! I have a few things I might be able to post, but also a few class projects that I'd like to finish up now that I have a bit more free time. So hopefully I can share something soon.

Also finishing up in the last week was my first semester of Sketchbook Skool... the Beginnings course. I gave a summary of the first 3 weeks of class a few posts ago, so I thought I'd share the rest of my class work now that we're done.

The 4th class was with Jane LaFazio - we brought in watercolors and used them with some of the things she does in sketching which was really fun. Here's my homework from that class:

IMG_3624I actually cooked that week! Those tomatoes became panzanella a few hours later.

Next was a week with Roz Stendahl. She was fascinating... she gave us so much information and so many examples! It really changed some of my views on keeping a sketchbook and was very different from the other instructors. First, we had an unofficial assignment to draw our sketch kit. Mine varies, but these are the basics. Sometimes I carry watercolors. (This ended up being a great warm-up for my last class!)

IMG_3722aAnd then my homework for the class - sketching animals. We started with a toy or something inanimate - I used a carved wooden elephant. We started with warmup exercises and then moved on to a more finished sketch.

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IMG_3679Then our second homework assignment was live animals. Short of going outside and trying to chase down some pigeons, I didn't have easy access to anything during the time I had for sketching, so I used the Monterey Bay Aquarium live webcams.

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IMG_3693My last class was with Tommy Kane - I'm a big fan of his work, and I'm super excited for my copy of his new book to be delivered. He had some great videos and demos, and the homework was fairly long and involved, but I really enjoyed it and love the results! (Plus, he commented on my homework that it was awesome and worthy of being a professional illustration in any magazine. Probably a bit of teacher hyperbole, but I'll take it!)

We had to draw our kitchens - we were supposed to be super detailed, looking for details within details, and it was supposed to take us around 4 hours or more. I did it in about 3 hours and 15 minutes or so (including color,) but I just felt like it was done. Here's the initial sketch before I added color:

IMG_3721And the final with watercolor and colored pencil:

IMG_3724And that's it! Sadly, I'm not sketching every day, but I'm still doing something creative every day and sketching has now become part of my list of things that I turn to, and I definitely do it a lot more than I have before! So I'll keep practicing. And, they're in production for a new klass that should be announced in a few weeks, so I'm excited to see what's coming next!