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StencilGirl Blog Hop: Clearsnap

StencilGirl-Clearsnap Blog Hop HeaderThis week the StencilGirl creative team is joining up with Clearsnap for a fun blog hop full of great projects and inspiration! I had so much fun putting together my project for this, and I got to play with some fun supplies that I've been wanting to try with my stencils for a while now!

My project is a faux-ceramic tile treasure box with "tiles" made from cardboard (you all know how I like my cardboard!)

StencilGirl-Clearsnap Blog Hop - Gwen LafleurI started with a wood box I found at Joann that has a recessed top, perfect for filling in with tiles or some other kind of artwork. I painted the entire box with teal blue paint and set it aside. The opening on the top measured 6 3/8" x 6 3/8", so I cut 9 2"x2" squares out of cardboard so that they would fit with just a little opening between each one. Then I took the squares and used temporary adhesive to tack them together on a sheet of scrap paper so that they were all tight against each other - this way I could paint and decorate before separating my tiles and I'd have a pattern that continued from one to the other.

I painted the tiles and let them dry, then used a Mix'd Media Inx® Chox Inkpad in Pomegranate along with the Batik stencil by Nathalie Kalbach to put down the first layer.

StencilGirl-Clearsnap Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur Treasure Box 1Next, I was super excited to try using the Clearsnap Designer Foils - I used Lagoon. You can get adhesive design strips that work with the foils, but I wanted to use them with my stencils instead. I found that the best way to use this particular type of foil for this project was to apply the whole strip of foil to a piece of wide Score Tape and then trace the shapes I wanted, cut them out, and apply over top of some of the stenciled areas for some contrast and shine.

StencilGirl-Clearsnap Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur Treasure Box 2I have a stamp that I made from the Marrakech Set stencil using cardboard and fun foam... I stamped that in a few places with another Mix'd Media Inx® Chox Inkpad - this one in Butternut, then I heat embossed with Mix'd Media Inx™ Embossing Powder in honey.

StencilGirl-Clearsnap Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur Treasure Box 3Next up, I used some ColorBox® Blends by Eileen Hull in Melon to add a little more color and softness around the edges.

StencilGirl-Clearsnap Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur Treasure Box 4And of course, I can't do a project without my dimensional paints - I used some Scribbles in a few different colors to add some fun dimension and color on top.

StencilGirl-Clearsnap Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur Treasure Box 5With that, the base of my faux tiles was done, so I went ahead and used my Pomegranate Chox and Batik stencil again to put a border around the lid of my box. I made sure to secure the stencil with painters tape and it worked great.

StencilGirl-Clearsnap Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur Treasure Box 6After that, it was time to turn the cardboard into tiles... I cut a piece of cardboard that was about 6 3/8" x 6 3/8" and put it into the top, then I adhered my "tiles" on top (You want that extra boost because of the depth of the inset part of the lid.) Once everything was in place and the glue was dry, I was inspired by Mary Beth Shaw's article in the most recent issue of Somerset Studio on acrylic pours (it's an awesome article if you haven't read it!) I took some glossy polymer medium and poured it over top of the lid and let it dry overnight. This is what gives the faux tiles that glossy sheen like the ceramic ones, plus it seals in all your work.

StencilGirl-Clearsnap Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur Treasure Box 7Once it was dry, it was time to grout my tiles! I took some old Diamond Glaze (any clear dimensional adhesive will work) and filled in between all of the tiles. Once that dried, I went through with white dimensional paint and laid that down over the top. I let it dry and came back a few times to fill in where air bubbles showed up during the drying process, but finally it was all set and ready to go!

StencilGirl-Clearsnap Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur Treasure Box Top
StencilGirl-Clearsnap Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur Treasure Box TopYou still get the shine from the foil and texture from the dimensional paint, but it really does look like tile! I was pretty pleased with how this turned out, and immediately filled it up with some treasures I've collected to use in my work some day :)

So that's it for me, don't forget to hop over to the other blogs today:

Updated: Congrats to Burning Rubber who won the prize for this week's hop!

StencilGirl - Clearsnap Blog Hop Winner

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy all the great inspiration this week :)

Quick Update!

I have a few projects and updates that I haven't gotten around to posting here yet, so I'm doing a very quick round-up post...

First up, a few art journal pages that I did last month. The smaller book is a vintage physics book I found at the used bookstore and I've been working on top of the pages. I used the September StencilGirl StencilClub stencils on this page. The page on the right uses the Moroccan Doily stencil, acrylic paint, and lots of Liquid Pearls.

Sept Art Journal PagesNext up, I got the chance to go to see the Black Keys in concert last month at the United Center with my friend Mary. It was SO amazing!!!

Black Keys in Concert

Then I got to play around a bit with some new stencils by Nathalie Kalbach - I used Elephant Parade and Art Deco Wallpaper to do a page in my planner / art journal.


This last weekend I got out my sewing machine to make a little travel paintbrush holder for my upcoming mixed media classes in Connecticut (there are still some openings in my classes for anyone who's interested and on the fence!) I really just wanted an excuse to buy this awesome Cloud9 dragon fabric. lol. No pattern - I made it up based on some that I've seen. It's not perfect, but it's functional!

IMG_3905A very cool and flattering thing... for those of you who don't already follow him, Seth Apter has a weekly blog series where he highlights various blog posts - it's called the Week Links. This week he featured my post on StencilGirl Talk making the coptic bound books we'll be doing in my class on the 18th. I'm so excited to be included! Awesome inspiration if you haven't checked it out...

Another art journal page... more playing with the October StencilClub stencils! Love them this month... (and if you aren't in the club, if you sign up before the 15th, this is the set you'll start with :D) I had a background of acrylic paint and then used molding paste for the large circles (shaded with PanPastels) and then Wendi Vecchi gold embossing paste for the small circles. Various letter stickers for the message in the center.

October Stencil Art Journal Page

I started a few new classes, including the Paint Mojo eCourse with Tracy Verdugo (I'm already more than 2 weeks behind. sigh.) and my beginning drawing class at SAIC started this week. I haven't been drawing or sketching lately, so this should be a good jump start!

And last but not least, for those who haven't heard but who have been asking about it, I opened a shop at Society6 where you can buy prints, phone cases, decals, totes, stationary cards, and other stuff made from some of my art. I only have some of my doodle / Zentangle pieces up right now, but I may add paintings or other things later if it goes well. For those who are interested, right now there's a free shipping promo that goes through Oct. 12th.

Gwen Lafleur - Society6 Shop Opening

Whew! It's been crazy lately... and that's not even getting into how busy things have been at work! But it's all good, and more fun times and projects on the horizon!

StencilGirl: October StencilClub!

It's the start of a new month, and that means this month's StencilClub stencils have been revealed over at StencilGirl! I'm totally in love with this month's stencils... I've been playing with them since I got them. Today I'm sharing two art journal spreads that I made with them over on StencilGirl Talk... head on over for more details!

IMG_9606A little hint... the one on the right uses my first (but not last!) homemade screen print. It turned out great!

Anyway, hope you enjoy :)