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April 2016

Using StencilGuts in a Handmade Art Journal

Hi Everyone! So excited today to be part of the blog hop for a brand new StencilGirl product launch... StencilGuts! Yup... now you'll not only know what happens to pieces that get cut from stencils, but you can get your hands on them to use in your projects. They're super versatile and fun to use as well. For my project with them, I decided to put together a new handmade art journal that features the StencilGuts in lots of different ways.

Without further ado, here's the cover of my journal:

StencilGuts Handmade Art Journal - Cover - Gwen Lafleur

On the cover, I coated the entire background with gel medium, one section at a time, then just grabbed pieces from the Random DirtyGuts and pressed them into the gel. I kept adding pieces until it was pretty full, then let it dry. At that point, I brushed on some green paint and some brown ink, then I covered the entire thing with a brown glaze, waited a minute, and wiped it back so that the only part left was in the holes between the StencilGuts. I love how it turned out - it really highlighted the edges and made a cool pattern!

StencilGuts Handmade Art Journal - Cover Close-up - Gwen Lafleur

I also used two different sizes of the same shape from the Geometric StencilGuts Shapes as the basis for a clay medallion to put as the focal point. I just took some air-dry clay and smoothed it out over the shape, then pressed some marks into it and added little details. I did the same with the smaller shape and then put it in the middle to make it two-tiered, then stuck a jewel in the middle while the clay was wet. After it dried, I just applied a few layers of paint to make it look kind of like antiqued metal. In the background, I actually took a strip of mylar that came with my Random DirtyGuts and diecut it with a Spellbinders die. Yes, you can diecut them! Of course, if you use a detailed die, not all of the pieces will come out and you'll need to run it through a few times. But it cuts and embosses beautifully!

First page of the book and the inside front cover:

StencilGuts Handmade Art Journal - Page 1 - Gwen Lafleur

On the left, I used some underpaper that I really liked to put over the inside of the cover. On the left, I traced another of the Geometric StencilGuts Shapes and then cut it out slightly smaller to make a window. I used alcohol inks on the shape itself and then glued it onto the backside of the page to make the window. I used my Ornamental Compass Screen stencil around it to add some pattern to the page.

StencilGuts Handmade Art Journal - Page 1 Close-up 1 - Gwen Lafleur

Check out how cool it looks when you put the light behind it - it's like a stained glass window!

StencilGuts Handmade Art Journal - Page 1 Close-up 2 - Gwen LafleurHere's the next spread:

StencilGuts Handmade Art Journal - Pages 2-3 - Gwen Lafleur

The back side of the first page with some embellishment and it's hard to see, but I used my Ornamental Floral Screen stencil in the background with gold ink for a subtle touch. That stencil has really become one of my favorites! On the right side, I created a pocket and covered it with patterned paper, then inside are different leaf shaped StencilGuts. As of right now I don't think there are any of these available, but what's in stock will change depending on what stencils are being cut, so check back! Anyway, I used more alcohol inks on these and then added some word stickers and tucked them into the pocket (the top one is glued in place, though.)

StencilGuts Handmade Art Journal - Pages 3a - Gwen LafleurNext up, the third spread: 

  StencilGuts Handmade Art Journal - Pages 4-5 - Gwen Lafleur

For these pages I used Dylusions paints, stenciled on top with my Ornamental Petals Screen stencil and gold ink, then edged the pages with more ink. On the right corner, I got two of the same shape from the Flourishes StencilGuts Shapes pack and I knew I wanted to use them back to back on the corner of  a page like this. I used gold crackle paste to do the front of one and the back of another and let them dry. Then I glued one in place on this side and cut off the cardstock around it on the corner. 

StencilGuts Handmade Art Journal - Page 5 Close-up - Gwen Lafleur

 Then I added the matching reverse shape on the back and decorated that page.

StencilGuts Handmade Art Journal - Pages 6-7a - Gwen LafleurFor this one I used more Dylusions paints and gold ink, this time with my Ornamental Circle Cluster Screen stencil. On the right side, I used the same technique as on the first page with two smaller shapes from the Geometric StencilGuts Shapes pack.

StencilGuts Handmade Art Journal - Page 7 close-up - Gwen LafleurHere you can see the back side of that page:

StencilGuts Handmade Art Journal - Page 8 close-up - Gwen LafleurAnd the full spread:

StencilGuts Handmade Art Journal - Pages 8-9 - Gwen Lafleur

I used my Ornamental Compass Screen stencil again, and added a little flap on the right side with another shape from the Flourishes StencilGuts Shapes pack along the edge - I colored this one with a gold paint pen.

StencilGuts Handmade Art Journal - Pages 8-9a - Gwen Lafleur

There's a fun little space tucked away in there just waiting for some journaling, collage, or whatever I want to add!

Second to last spread:

StencilGuts Handmade Art Journal - Pages 10-11 - Gwen Lafleur

This spread uses my the Birds StencilGuts Shapes along with my Ornamental Embroidery stencil on top of more Dylusions paints and some collage. I coated the birds using a white, oil-based paint marker and let them dry, then glued them in and added some shading with a Stabilo All pencil. I love the bird shapes pack - there are a lot of different StencilGirl stencils that use birds, and you get a great mix of them in here! 

Last page in the book...

  StencilGuts Handmade Art Journal - Page 12 - Gwen Lafleur

 I used a larger piece from the Geometric Shapes StencilGuts pack and diecut and embossed it with another Spellbinders die. I just left this one plain since I liked how it looked. (Again, to get some of the details I had to run this through the diecut machine several times, then use my scissors to help some of the pieces come out.) I used my Ornamental Petals Screen stencil one last time along with a bit of collage. More painted underpaper on the inside of the back cover (you can see some hints from the March StencilClub 9x12 stencil on there too!)

So that's it! The entire book, all done and ready for some journaling (or not!) I hope you enjoyed it and are feeling inspired to use StencilGuts in your projects!

StencilGuts Handmade Art Journal - Cover Side View - Gwen Lafleur

 Now for the part you've all been waiting for!

StencilGuts Blog Hop Giveaway image

GIVEAWAY CLOSED.
 
StencilGirl Products will be giving away StencilGuts from EACH category
(Geometric Shapes, Birds, Cats & Rabbits, Flourishes, Hands & Body and Dirty Random Guts)
to one lucky winner!
 
Visit all the blogs on today’s hop and comment to win!
The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN!
(One comment per person per blog please.)
 
You have until Saturday, March 26th at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments.
Winners will be announced on StencilGirl's Facebook page on Sunday, March 27th
 
Here's the hop order:
 

 


Gwen's Gems: Make a Clock with Stencils and a Vinyl Record

It's that time again... today my March Gwen's Gems post is up on StencilGirl Talk! This month I was inspired to try using my stencils and a hot knife to make a clock out of an old vinyl record.

Use Stencils to Make a Clock from a Record - Step 11 - Gwen Lafleur

There's a full tutorial for this project, plus pictures of the assemblage piece I made using my original test cuts on an old 45, so make sure to head over and check it out!

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March ATC Swap - Women Who Dared

This month is my second time doing an ATC swap and our kit and theme this time centered around Women Who Dared. We picked women from the collage sheets in the kit (there was a story for each of them which I put on the back of my cards,) and it was fun to learn more about people I knew, and learn about some women that I knew nothing about.

Here are all of my completed cards (I only sent ten to swap, two are for me!)

March2016 ATCs - Women Who Dared - Gwen Lafleur

Here are close-ups of the individual cards. Of course, I put these in the mail before I wrote this post, and I don't remember the names of two of them. Oops!

First up, Emmaline Pankhurst and the other lady I don't remember her name, but she was a physicist and did some amazing things for science in a time when not many women were in that field! The background on the first one is my Ornamental Petals Mask and on the second one, there's a scrap of silk, some glitter tape, and lotus flowers from a collage sheet along with some gears from the kit.

March2016 ATCs Group 5 - Gwen Lafleur

Second set, Florence Nightengale and Clara Barton. It was totally chance that I put them next to each other, but they probably could have been good friends. Florence is backed by some Florentine patterned paper (total coincidence!) and I used a Spellbinders diecut for the frame that I aged and embellished. It's hard to see in the background, but I used my Ornamental Compass Screen stencil with gold ink behind Clara, along with a Dresden trim crown (Relics & Artifacts / Prima.)

March2016 ATCs Group 6 - Gwen Lafleur

Third set, Eleanor Roosevelt and another lady whose name I don't remember. She was a doctor when women just weren't doctors, and obviously eschewed many other female restrictions; she was known for her male garb. Eleanor has an old crown rubon, and in the background is my Ornamental Floral Screen in gold ink with an old Prima flower. I used a gold pen to color part of the trim from the kit. The good doctor is framed with another Spellbinders diecut, some gold printed handmade paper, and I put a very old border sticker over some trim from the kit and added an old piece of jewelry.

March2016 ATCs Group 2 - Gwen Lafleur

The fourth set, Nelly Bly and Margaret Mead... I did a report on Margaret Mead in elementary school and didn't remember much about her, so it was fun to revisit that a bit. Nelly has letterpress patterned paper in the background, of course, another Spellbinders diecut that I rusted with paint and she had to have the pen nib that was in the kit. Margaret had some roses from a collage sheet and some other goodies from the kit.

March2016 ATCs Group 1 - Gwen Lafleur

Fifth set, Mourning Dove and the Divine Sarah Bernhardt (I kept that one for myself :D) For Mourning Dove, I used some old Basic Grey paper and a pearl flower sticker, then the frame around her photo was actually a plastic buckle - I took out the center piece to make it a frame. Sarah has the Ornamental Compass Screen stencil again, another rusted diecut frame (I made several at once,) and another Dresden crown along with jewels and trim from the kit.

March2016 ATCs Group 3 - Gwen Lafleur

Finally, Amelia Earhart and Mary Wollstonecraft (I kept her too... lol.) Amelia had to have a map of the world, then I used part of a frame from a Spellbinders die that I had embossed without cutting, then I added alcohol inks to give it some depth. There are a few gears and a little mini compass from the kit that was perfect for her! Mary has the Ornamental Floral Screen stencil again along with more roses from collage sheets. I added some cool jewel-esque circle stickers from the kit to make her headband.

March2016 ATCs Group 4 - Gwen Lafleur

That's all for this month! I'm looking forward to seeing what the rest of the group did and finding out what the theme is for May :)

 


April 2016 Classes at Papercraft Clubhouse

I'm excited to be heading back to Connecticut to teach at Papercraft Clubhouse again on April 8th and 9th! I've been sharing lots of peeks of class samples on Instagram and Facebook, but now it's time for full class descriptions with all the photos!

 

Stamp Carving

Friday April 8th from 6-9pm

Cost:  $40 (take $5 off if you already have your own carving tools and tell them when you sign up)

Stamp Carving Class - Gwen Lafleur
Come join us and learn to carve your own rubber stamps! Perfect for scrapbooks, cards, art journaling, and mixed media, hand-carved rubber stamps help you add your own unique mark to your work. This class is for all experience levels, whether you're a beginner or already carving your own stamps. We’ll go over the basics, including creating your stamp designs, and of course, carving! We’ll make several stamps in class including repeating patterns and word stamps. As a part of the class, you’ll get a stamp carving starter kit that includes a carving tool with blades and rubber. (If you already have carving tools, tell them when you sign up and you can take $5 off the class and we’ll still provide the rubber.) There will also be sample designs for you to use, or you can design your own!

Students should bring: a cutting mat (glass is best if you have it, self-healing will work) an ex-acto knife, pencil, ball point pen, and a ruler. If you're bringing your own carving tools, make sure you have a #1 or detail blade.

 

File Folder Mini Art Journal

Saturday April 9th from 9:30am-1:00pm

Cost: $55

File Folder Art Journal Class Sample - Cover - Gwen Lafleur

Join us to learn how to turn basic office supplies into a fun mini art journal! We'll make our journal using file folders and shipping tags and then we'll use several different background, stenciling, and mixed media painting techniques to decorate the book and tags. These little journals also make great gifts or mini scrapbooks.

Students should bring: your basic mixed media kit (gesso, craft mat, water cup, baby wipes, scissors, pen and pencil, paper towels.) Bring matte medium, several colors of acrylic paint, a 1" flat paint brush plus something to apply gesso and matte medium, sponges and / or brushes for stenciling with both ink and paint (I like Dina Wakley brushes for paint and Tim Holtz Mini Blending Tools for ink,) and a few of your favorite stencils. Bring a selection of patterned paper and / or collage and ephemera materials to decorate your tags and cover. 

Optional: heat tool, washi tape, black gesso, bone folder, ribbons or fibers and any other mark making tools or mediums you want to use in your journal.
 
Here are more photos of the sample project. Please note: in this class I'll be teaching you how to make the album and we'll decorate the background inside and out. I'll also show you 4-5 different techniques to use on your tags (3 background / stenciling techniques, one embellishment technique.) You should have time at the end to work on adding collage or other decoration to your cover and tags and I'll be available to answer questions, give feedback, etc... Come ready to add your own style and flair to your mini journal!
 
2File Folder Art Journal Class Sample - Cover - Gwen Lafleur
 
File Folder Art Journal Class Sample - Inside - Gwen Lafleur

File Folder Art Journal Class Sample - Inside - Gwen Lafleur
 
File Folder Art Journal Class Sample - Tags 1 - Gwen Lafleur
File Folder Art Journal Class Sample - Tags 1 - Gwen Lafleur

4"x4" Mini Hand-Bound Art Journal
Saturday April 9th from 2:00pm-5:30pm
Cost: $55
 
4x4 Mini Art Journal Class Sample - Front Cover - Gwen Lafleur
In this class, we'll make our own hand-bound 4"x4" art journal out of mat board Art Squares from Inchie Arts with a fun and easy binding stitch that will have you wanting to make minis all day long! This little book is also perfect for making mini scrapbooks or gift books. Once we've made the book, we'll decorate the covers and create backgrounds using various stenciling and mixed media techniques (these will be different techniques from the File Folder Art Journal class.)     

Students should bring: your basic mixed media kit (gesso, craft mat, water cup, baby wipes, scissors, pen and pencil, paper towels.) Bring matte medium, several colors of acrylic paint, a 1" flat paint brush plus something to apply gesso and matte medium, sponges and / or brushes for stenciling with both ink and paint (I like Dina Wakley brushes for paint and Tim Holtz Mini Blending Tools for ink,) and a few of your favorite stencils. Bring a selection of patterned paper and / or collage and ephemera materials to decorate and fill your book. 

Optional: an awl and self-healing mat (there will be some available, but if you bring your own you won't have to share.) Heat tool, a ruler, washi tape, black gesso, and any other mark making tools or mediums you want to use in your book.
 
More images of the cover and inside of my sample journal:
 
4x4 Mini Art Journal Class Sample - Outside - Gwen Lafleur
 
4x4 Mini Art Journal Class Sample - Spread 1 - Gwen Lafleur
4x4 Mini Art Journal Class Sample - Spread 1 - Gwen Lafleur
4x4 Mini Art Journal Class Sample - Spread 1 - Gwen Lafleur
4x4 Mini Art Journal Class Sample - Spread 1 - Gwen Lafleur
A few notes about this class... like the file folder art journal class, we will make the book, decorate the backgrounds of the covers, and I'll teach you 4-5 techniques to use on the inside of your book to make backgrounds and accents. These are completely different techniques than the file folder mini album, and you should have time at the end of class to work on embellishing your cover and inside pages. Also, for those who have taken my book-making classes before, this is a new binding stitch that I haven't taught previously... and it's a super fun and easy one too!
 
It's possible that there might be a brand new stencil release from me available at the store the weekend of classes. Just sayin'!
 
I hope to see lots of you in class! Just let me know if you have any questions. If you want to sign up, you can stop by or call the Clubhouse at (860) 399-4443 (note that they're closed on Mondays.)
 
 

Going Into the Deep with March StencilClub

It's StencilClub Inspiration Day over on StencilGirl Talk... the new March 2016 StencilClub kit features some fun and versatile designs from Suzi Dennis. They were so much fun to work with! When I looked at these stencils, I saw water and sea plants (because my brain is a bit weird like that... LOL.) I decided to use the stencils to help create an underwater scene in an assemblage piece. The whole thing is based on a cigar box.

Into the Deep Assemblage - Cover - Gwen Lafleur

Into the Deep Assemblage - Inside - Gwen Lafleur

This piece took several days to complete and I didn't do a tutorial, but I did take a few photos along the way so you can get a sense of how it progressed.

As I mentioned above, I knew it was going to be an underwater scene, so I started with the fish. He's made from Aves Apoxie Clay over a small hand-cut cardboard armature with watch parts, beads, and a little vintage art deco finding in his tail.

Into the Deep Assemblage - Step-out 1 - Gwen LafleurNext, I put the base coat of paint on the fish and constructed the porthole that he would be swimming in inside of the larger piece. The porthole is also made out of Apoxie Clay, and the "glass" is a sheet of mica - I sized this part so that it would fit perfectly over the 6x6 stencil, which I used with some turquoise crackle paste to begin making the background for the porthole.

Into the Deep Assemblage - Step-out 2 - Gwen LafleurNext, Mr. Fishy is completely painted, and the stenciled background got a few layers of paint and glaze.

Into the Deep Assemblage - Step-out 3 - Gwen LafleurAssembled porthole with fishy inside... there's no going back on this section of the project now!

Into the Deep Assemblage - Step-out 4 - Gwen Lafleur

Next it was time to start on the cigar box. Rather than invite a giant mess by attempting to stencil inside of the cigar box, I measured and cut a sheet of bristol paper that would fit perfectly inside and created the background on that. Crackle in the background, then I stenciled over top with copper crackle paste. Do you see sea plants coming up from the ocean floor? Maybe that's just me...

Into the Deep Assemblage - Step-out 5 - Gwen LafleurAt this point, I got fully immersed in the project and taking pictures didn't even cross my mind. Everything started falling into place for the cover (inside and out,) and I discovered that I really like making clay tentacles. Never thought those words would ever come out of my mouth...

Into the Deep Assemblage - Cover Close-up - Gwen LafleurI used the 9x12 stencil as the background directly on the lid of the box, the 4x4 stencil used as part of the foundation of my cycloptic tentacled monster medallion box embellishment. (Say that 5 times fast! LOL.) If you look closely, you can see it in copper behind a few layers of metal. The whole thing is set on a Spellbinders circle diecut that I aged with paint to look like rusty metal.

On the inside of the lid, an image of what I was going to do just popped into my mind, so I quickly sketched it out and got to work. I decided to use beads to suggest the bodies of my tentacled sea monsters, and I really like the effect! The beads were all set in Diamond Glaze.

Into the Deep Assemblage - Close-up 1a - Gwen LafleurClose up of the little guys...

Into the Deep Assemblage - Close-up 2 - Gwen Lafleur

You can see where I used the 4x4 and 6x6 stencils in the background to frame each sea monster and show through behind the beads. The stenciling also helps to ground each little sea monster hole within the composition by connecting them to the edges of the lid.

Into the Deep Assemblage - Close-up 1 - Gwen Lafleur

This project was so much fun to make, and I LOVE how it turned out! I think it's also pretty cool that the stencils provided the inspiration, the framework, and necessary detail to make the whole thing happen... bonus! They're super versatile and I'm sure I'll be using these a lot.

Make sure you stop by StencilGirl Talk to see more projects from the team using this month's fabulous StencilClub collection!


n*Studio Project - Opposites Attract

Hi everyone! Today I'm super excited to share my first project as a member of the Creative Squad for Nathalie Kalbach / n*Studio! This month the team is working with the new Bird Stamp and Stencil set from Stampendous. These sets are so cool... you get a 2-sided foam stamp, a rubber stamp, and a coordinating stencil all in one! We're also working with the theme "opposites attract" this month.

NStudio Creative Squad - Opposites Attract

I focused on new / bright / shiny vs. old / rusty / brown for my project. Here's a little peek of what I did this month:

Opposites - Bird Stamp Art Journal Page Teaser - Gwen Lafleur

To see the full page, a few close-ups, and a little write-up of how I made it, make sure to pop over to Nathalie's blog. Be sure to check back every week to see what the rest of the team does with this month's featured theme and products as well!