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August 2014
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October 2014

StencilGirl: Stenciled and Shaped Books

Hi everyone, I'm over on the StencilGirl blog today sharing a new project... a shaped hand-made book made from stencils! I can't tell you how much I love how this turned out... there are some better pictures and an outline of the process in the post, so head on over and check it out!

Stenciled Shaped Dragon Book 3 - Gwen Lafleur

P.S. This is one of the projects we'll be making in my stencil classes at Papercraft Clubhouse on October 17th-18th in Connecticut. So if you're in the area, get more class info in my last post and on the Clubhouse newsletter and Facebook page for more details. There will be 3 designs for you to choose from in this class (You need to sign up by 10/1 to be guaranteed the design you want,) and the class will come with the stencil! This should be lots of fun... hope to see you there!

Fall Classes at Papercraft Clubhouse

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you've probably already seen me posting, but I wanted to put everything together in one place - I have three new classes that I'll be teaching on October 17th and 18th at Papercraft Clubhouse in Westbrook, CT. So if you're in the area and interested, give them a call to sign up!

Here are the classes... they're all mixed media, based on working with stencils (naturally!)

Friday night from 6-9pm, I'll be teaching Beneath the Surface. I'm totally in love with these projects, and I hope we'll get plenty of people coming out for this one! Here are two samples of what kind of painting you could make... we’ll be using stencils and acrylic paints to make an 11”x14” painting (on canvas) where we focus on building up layers and images and then using the Marrakech Mix stencil  by StencilGirl (included in your class kit) to create little windows in our top layer that allow us to see what’s underneath. You can choose whatever images and colors you want in the base layers - these are just ideas.

Beneath the Surface Class Samples by Gwen LafleurAnd here you can see the individual paintings:

Beneath the Surface - Abigail Painting by Gwen Lafleur sm
Beneath the Surface - Abigail Painting by Gwen Lafleur sm

Then on Saturday there will be two classes, both 4 hours. We'll start at 9am with 25 Ways to Rock Your Stencils!

25 Ways to Rock Your Stencils Sample

We’ll learn more than 25 techniques for using your stencils in your projects as during class, we’ll create 25 sample tags (with a few technique variations) that you can bind into a reference book to use at home. You’ll see how you can use stencils as a go-to tool in your studio to create tons of cool effects. This should end up being a lot of fun with lots of ideas on how to really get the most out of your stencils and mixed media supplies.

Finally, at 2pm we'll be making Stenciled, Shaped, Handmade Books. We’ll use paints, inks, stamps, and stencils to create a shaped, hand-made book out of cardboard. If you sign up by 10/1, you’ll have your choice of one of three designs: Elephant March, Opera House Empress, or Dragon. (The stencil you choose when you sign up will be part of your class kit. If you sign up after 10/1, you'll still get a stencil, but choice will be based upon availability. So sign up early!)

Stenciled, Shaped, Hand-Made Books Samples

We’ll also make the signatures to go in your book, and you can choose to bind with holes and book rings (which we’ll do in class like the elephant book above,) or you’ll have the option to do a Coptic binding (which is what I used on the Dragon and Opera House books.) You should walk away with a fun, finished book ready to be used as a note book, art journal, mini scrapbook, travel journal, or whatever you want!

Stenciled, Shaped Books - Backs
Stenciled, Shaped Books - Backs

So there you go! I'm so excited to be heading back to the store to teach, and I hope I'll be seeing lots of familiar (and new!) faces in class!

If you want to sign up and / or want more details, make sure to head over to Papercraft Clubhouse (or on the Clubhouse Facebook page) or check today's newsletter! I shipped my samples off to the store today, so hopefully they'll be there in person this weekend :)

StencilGirl Blog Hop: Spray it Again Sam!


This week we're having a super fun blog hop celebrating all of the cool techniques that you can find in Mary Beth Shaw's book, "Stencil Girl Mixed-Media Techniques for Making and Using Stencils."

Stencil Girl Book CoverThis is a really great book, absolutely packed with great techniques and tutorials. This week, each member of the creative team is sharing a project inspired by one of the techniques in the book. I get to share my project based on the chapter "Spray it Again, Sam" (page 66) all about using spray paint with stencils. Yay! So fun!

So with that, here's the project I made - it's an upcycled cardboard "custom souvenir frame." You know how you go on vacation and the souvenir shops all have these expensive theme frames that you can buy? I decided to just make my own for photos from my trip to Monterey, CA in July.

StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop Project - Gwen LafleurReady for a tutorial?

First, gather all your supplies... I picked out five stencils that I thought would work together and go with a beach theme. Then I picked out five colors of spray paint that would go together and also work with the theme. I took the cardboard I wanted to spray and also an art journal that I use to mop up extra paint and ink off of my stencils (here's an example of how I used one of these pages in my mop up journal.)

StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 1 - Gwen LafleurAnd here's a list of the stencils I used:

Next up, I get my setup ready to go outside on my back porch. I cut out a big piece of cardboard from a moving box I saved from my move in May. It works perfectly to protect the deck.

IMG_9272I have my book handy to mop up the extra paint, and plenty of room to spray and lay out my stencils as I use them. I started with Rafters by Mary Beth Shaw as my base layer with a nice orange-red spray. I put the bright colors in the base layers because I didn't want them to be too prominant in the final piece - just little pops of color and pattern showing through the other layers. (Because I'm very nearly incapable of doing anything too monochromatic!)

Spray, lift off carefully, and voila!

StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 4 - Gwen LafleurThen I put the stencil paint side down in my book and get most of the paint off, then set the stencil aside to dry. The paint dries fairly quickly, and I let each layer dry most of the way before going on. Some of them were a bit wet - I was playing beat the clock with the sunset. lol.

Then just go through and add each layer... I added them using the stencils in the order I listed above.

StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 5 - Gwen LafleurAnd you can see my progress in my journal as I add layers there too...
StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 5 - Gwen LafleurI moved the Eddy Rose stencil around as I was working to make sure I got plenty of coverage.

StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 5 - Gwen Lafleur
StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 8 - Gwen Lafleur

StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 9 - Gwen Lafleur

And more moving the stencil around to get the shapes I wanted... since this was the top layer, I placed them a bit more carefully, keeping in mind that I was going to cut out the center of the cardboard.
StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 9 - Gwen LafleurSo that's the finished cardboard... and how cool are these new pages in my mop up journal? I can see some fun art journaling happening here in the near future...
StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 11 - Gwen Lafleur
So now it's time to make the frame. You'll want to make sure the paint is totally dry - no tackiness when you touch it. For the photo opening, I just traced a 5x8 index card with a white Stabilo pencil and then cut it out on a glass mat with an X-acto knife. I eyeballed placement - no complex measuring techniques. It's cardboard after all... my edges aren't straight and the opening isn't perfectly centered. And I'm totally okay with that. You can absolutely use a trimmer and a ruler if that bugs you - whatever fits your style.

StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 12-14 - Gwen LafleurThen I fancied things up a bit... first I took some washi tape that worked with my colors and theme and covered up the raw edges around the sides and in the opening.

StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 15 - Gwen LafleurThen, I got out my trusty dimensional paints - in this case Scribbles and Liquid Pearls, and added some detail and dimension to the sand dollars to make them stand out from the background and to just give it a little oomph.

StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 16 - Gwen LafleurHave I mentioned how much I love dimensional paints? Because I really do.

StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 17 - Gwen LafleurAnd here's the final for the front of my frame. I gave the whole thing a nice coat of gel medium to seal it.

StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 18 - Gwen LafleurYou could stop here and just tape your photo to the back and put it up with some Command Strips or something, but I decided to really make it a frame and add a back and a table stand.

So here's how I did this part. Again, I didn't measure or make my cutting lines straight and pretty, but you could make it nicer. I just took one of my StencilGirl chipboard mailing envelopes and cut it apart. I took the back and starting from one of the corners, just left a corner and then cut straight up toward the center... the picture probably gives a good idea of what I mean:

IMG_9308I cut that off, and then took the front piece of the envelope. I put the white side with the label so that it would face in... I cut it just smaller than my cardboard frame, and at the top I cut out a circle as a finger access place so I could slide a photo in and out. I used my ATG gun to adhere the sides and bottom of this backing piece to the back side of my frame. Then I put some more adhesive on the top of my "stand" and positioned it by matching up the corners and then gluing down the top. Hold your finger on the top and then fold so that you have a stand. Hopefully that makes sense!

StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 20 - Gwen Lafleur

StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 21 - Gwen Lafleur
And that's my finished frame! I couldn't decide between two pictures of my niece and I together on the beach, so I printed them onto a single 5"x8" sheet and slid it into the frame. The backing holds it in place so there's no adhesive and I can swap it out if I want.

StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop Project - Gwen Lafleur
StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop Project - Gwen Lafleur
StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop Project - Gwen LafleurI like the raw look of the chipboard, so I left it. You could paint or even stencil that part too, if you want. I hope you enjoyed today's project and are feeling inspired to try some spray paints with your stencils! And be sure to check out Mary Beth's book for more ideas and projects to try.

Don’t have a copy of the book??
You can get yours HERE and if you order it from our website, Mary Beth will autograph it for you and send you the EXCLUSIVE bookmark stencil that only we at StencilGirl have to offer with the book!

Updated with the giveaway winner:

Mary Beth Book Blog Hop Winner

Congrats carolyndawn! She won Stencil Girl The Book with an exclusive bookmark stencil and (3) 6"x5" stencils designed by Mary Beth Shaw. 

Here's today's blog list for you to check out (go to StencilGirl Talk for all of the posts this week):