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StencilGirl Blog Hop: Craft Attitude

SGCABlogHopTopperHi everyone, welcome to day 3 of the StencilGirl - Craft Attitude blog hop! All this week the StencilGirl creative team has been sharing projects using stencils and Craft Attitude Printable Craft Film. Lately I've been inspired by all of the gorgeous Artist's Trading Blocks that I've been seeing around the web, so I decided to make one for today's post. Here's what I ended up with:

StencilGirl and Craft Attitude - ATB by Gwen LafleurI used my stencils along with polymer clay and lots of beads and other trinkets and then used the craft film to apply photos to the clay. It worked out really well!

Here's a quick overview of how I made mine. I started by picking a few colors of clay and getting them pretty well conditioned, then rolled out a few sheets that were big enough to cover a side on my box (which I cut from chipboard using the Eileen Hull Sizzix ScoreBoards XL Box Die). Once I had those, I pulled out a few 6x6 stencils and used my little clay roller to roll the clay into the stencils to get an impression.

StencilGirl and Craft Attitude - ATB Step 1 by Gwen LafleurYou can see where the clay moved a bit while I was rolling, but it turned out fine. For the ones where it stuck a little to the stencil, I just cleaned it with a baby wipe. I rolled a few more pieces to use as layers on the top and sides - for the one with a 4x4 stencil, I just put it through my clay roller.

StencilGirl and Craft Attitude - ATB Step3 by Gwen LafleurFor the large square tiles, these are the stencils I used:

Then for the layers on the top I used Tiny Medallion Stencil by Maria McGuire (I cut out around the design with a knife) and the Bali Doily Stencil by Lizzie Mayne (cut with a circle cutter.) I also used a circle layer on one of the sides that was cut from the center of the Rose Window stencil, also by Lizzie Mayne.

I made the crown on top from a scrap of clay that I'd embossed with the Seaweed 6 Stencil. Since I wanted to use photos of my nieces and nephews dressed up and posing with princesses at Disneyworld, I thought it would be the perfect topper for my block.

After the clay was rolled out, I used Rub 'n Buff and some Inka Gold to color the clay. This is just after the first layer of color, but you can see how much it makes the texture from the stencils stand out.

StencilGirl and Craft Attitude - ATB Step 2 by Gwen LafleurFrom here, I kept adding color and started building layers on top of my tiles. I decided where I wanted my photos to go on each tile and then added embellishments around them. Once I had all the layers the way I wanted them, I baked them and let them cool, then started gluing them onto the cube.

StencilGirl and Craft Attitude - ATB Step 5 by Gwen LafleurI left the photos and frames off until after baking - I wasn't sure if the film would do okay in the oven and decided not to risk it. I sized my photos to fit the frames, printed them out on the Craft Attitude Craft Film and then cut them out. To apply, I just used spray adhesive and then adhered them directly onto the little clay bases I'd left for them.

StencilGirl and Craft Attitude - ATB Step 7 by Gwen LafleurI chose to use a light coppery clay with a little shimmer as the background for the photos, so that showed through the film - you can even see the shimmer! It's a pretty cool effect. You could also just use white clay so that the colors in the photo stayed a bit more true.

Finally, after all the glue had dried, I went through with dimensional paints to add details and also kind of act like grout to my clay tiles - I filled in around the edges with gold.

StencilGirl and Craft Attitude - ATB Step 4 by Gwen LafleurI let that dry and that was it! Here you can see the top and the four sides of my ATB:

StencilGirl and Craft Attitude - ATB 1 by Gwen Lafleur
StencilGirl and Craft Attitude - ATB 1 by Gwen Lafleur
StencilGirl and Craft Attitude - ATB 1 by Gwen Lafleur
StencilGirl and Craft Attitude - ATB 1 by Gwen Lafleur
StencilGirl and Craft Attitude - ATB 1 by Gwen LafleurI love how it turned out, and I'm excited to use my craft film in other projects - it worked so cool on this!

The giveaway is now closed... thank you to everyone for your comments!

StencilGirl - Craft Attitude Giveaway Winner

Make sure you check out all of today's posts and don't forget to check in on StencilGirl Talk to make sure you hop to all of the posts this week - not only will you find some fabulous inspiration, but you can enter to win on every post on the hop!

Thanks for stopping by!

New Mixed Media Painting - Abstract Poppies

I think I'm finally starting to get caught up after the holidays... so much going on for the last few months! Anyway, one of my goals for this year is to make more of an effort to post things besides my StencilGirl scheduled posts. Looking back at my blog recently, I think that's all I've posted! So I'll try and mix it up a little more :)

Now that Christmas is over, I can share one of the big projects I worked on last year. My mom had been saying she wanted one of my paintings to hang in her house. There were a few small ones I'd done (one version in my art journal and another 8x10 hanging on my wall) and she wanted a bigger version. However, while she thought I was giving her a framed reproduction of the one she liked, I decided to actually paint her one. When she opened it on Christmas morning she was surprised and excited to have gotten an original :)

Here's the painting for my mom - mixed media on 16"x20" clayboard (mostly acrylic paints, heavy body.)

Final Abstract Poppy Painting Web - Gwen LafleurAnd of course, I have to show some close-ups and a bit of the process.

The original that she liked had some filigree type rubons in the bottom right corner and throughout the piece. I wanted to replicate that, but I used molding paste and stencils to get a similar look. I took bits and pieces of new stencils by Kate Thompson layered together to get the swirly parts (Fractured Cherub and Cherub Circle.)


(When I'm shopping for stencils, I don't just look at the image as a whole. These are both gorgeous stencils, but looking at bits and pieces of them makes them exponentially more usable!)

I also took the Tiny Medallion stencil by Maria McGuire and masked off part of it to get the design I wanted and added that here and there on the background.

IMG_1041I switched back and forth between working on my easel and working on my desk as I went...

IMG_1021(I'm pretty proud of my "poppy" circles... in the original versions, I cheated on the shading and used oil pastels. On these, I could really see the effect of my drawing classes on how I could shade with paints. Exciting!)

IMG_1023Since the piece was so much larger than my art journal page and didn't have a quote, I added more to the top right corner. Then I finished it all off by using Fragments embossing powder with gel medium along the bottom of the book paper (which was from a vintage copy of "Tartuffe" by Moliere) - when you heat the gel medium, it makes it bubble which is the exact look I wanted. And that was pretty much it!


Final Abstract Poppy Painting Web - Gwen LafleurVoila! The finished product. This was fun, and Mom loved it which is all that really matters :)