StencilGirl & Ken Oliver Blog Hop

Hi everyone, welcome to day 2 of the blog hop with StencilGirl and Ken Oliver!

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Today I'm sharing a project I did using Ken's awesome products with StencilGirl stencils. I'm mostly going to be using the Ken Oliver Crafts Color Burst collection, along with some of his very cool Click It stamp pads. If you want to see more, Ken has put together a great video on Color Bursts showing how to use them.

For my post, I've wanted to play with one of the Tim Holtz Folios for a while and this seemed like the perfect time to do it. Below is my final project, and I'll share a few tips on how I used Ken Oliver Crafts products with stencils for some fun techniques.

First up, the cover (using the Falling Feathers stencil by Lizzie Mayne) with the flap closed (I just doodled on that using dimensional paints.)

StencilGirl and Ken Oliver Folio - Gwen Lafleur

Without the flap covering it:

Folio Cover 1 - Gwen Lafleur

And the back cover (using the Nature Notes stencil by Roxanne Evans Stout:)

Folio Back Cover - Gwen LafleurFor both of these, I used a mix of Color Burst and DecoArt Media fluid acrylics along with lots of dimensional paints (of course!) To start, I gesso'd the whole thing and then just spritzed some Color Burst powder around and sprayed with water.

Folio Outside Base - Gwen LafleurI let all of it dry (it lightened a lot as it dried) and then went through with paints, stencils, and more color burst. For the stenciling, I tapped some powder (like in Ken's video) over the stencil and then spritzed with water to get the shapes. You do have to be careful - both the Color Bursts and the Click It stamp pads will react to water, so you need to plan for that as you build up your layers.

Color Burst Technique - Alcohol Ink - Gwen LafleurI wanted to get more saturated color around my stenciled images, so I mixed some of the Color Burst powder with rubbing alcohol and then used a pipette to drop it onto the folio. Because I'd outlined my feathers in dimensional paint, that acted as a resist and kept the liquid to the background area. I just used a paper towel to dab any seepage. I love the effect! You can see it even more clearly on the back cover.

Now for the inside...

Folio Inside 1 - Gwen Lafleur
I decided I just wanted three pages, so I glued down the tabs to work the way I was picturing it, and added some Ranger watercolor paper to make the actual pages in my little booklet.

For the pocket on the inside cover, I made more feathers. Again, just tap the powder over the stencil and then spritz through it with water.

Color Burst Technique - Stenciling - Gwen LafleurThen I just cut them out and embellished and made them a little pocket. I thought it would be fun to journal on the backs of the feathers.

Folio Inside Cover 1 - Gwen Lafleur

Folio Inside Cover 2 - Gwen Lafleur
For the first page, I created a stenciled background using the Color Burst and the Curvy Ladder stencil by Julie Snidle. I used the Love Story stencil by Cathy Nichols along with acrylic paint to stencil the design on top and outlined with dimensional paint.

Folio Page 1 - Gwen LafleurFor the second page, I used book paper to help create the background and then built layers on top of that.

Folio Page 2 - Gwen LafleurTo get the pattern on the right side, I started playing a bit with the Color Bursts - I mixed some of the powder with my gel medium to create a colored gel.

Color Burst Technique - Tinted Gel - Gwen LafleurI used my palette knife to spread that through the Love Collage stencil by Traci Bautista, waited for it to dry, and then used it as a gel resist to get more color onto the background with Color Burst and water. It worked so well, and I love how vibrant the gel turned out! I also used the Click It stamp pads with some Dina Wakley stamps to do the left side.

Folio Page 2 Close-up - Gwen LafleurFor the third page, I did even more experimenting...

Folio Page 3 - Gwen LafleurFirst, I made my own color mist by mixing some of the Color Burst powder with water and then spritzing through the Doodle It Tornado Bloom stencil by Maria McGuire.

Color Burst Technique - Homemade Mist - Gwen LafleurThen I stenciled some blooms onto the page with white paint (keep in mind it will pick up color from the dye below it) using the Nosegay Stencil by Cecilia Swatton. I outlined again with dimensional paint, and then made a dimensional colored glaze using some Color Burst mixed with Diamond Glaze (you could use Glossy Accents or other similar products.)

Color Burst Technique - Diamond Glaze - Gwen LafleurI apply this with a rubber brush so that it doesn't gunk up and ruin my regular brushes. It worked pretty well!

Folio Page 3 Technique - Gwen LafleurAnd that's it! I had a lot of fun experimenting with all of the different ways I could use Color Burst and the Click It ink pads - these are really fun and versatile products, and I hope you enjoyed today's project! If you're interested in trying them out for yourself, you can find Ken Oliver Crafts products at Blue Moon Scrapbooking and of course, all of the stencils can be found at StencilGirl or your local store.

And now for the really fun part! Each of the creative teams has a fantastic giveaway, so make sure you visit and comment on all of the blogs this week to enter to win. Leave a comment here to be entered to win a $50 gift certificate from StencilGirl: to enter, comment by Sunday, March 29th at 11:59PM Central Time  (one comment per person per blog, please.) Make sure to check all of the posts each day to find out about the other prizes and enter to win - the Ken Oliver Crafts team has some fantastic prizes as well!

Today's hop list:

Thanks for visiting, and make sure to visit StencilGirl Talk every day to get each day's participants in the blog hop! 

Catching Up: Documented Life Project

Just popping in to do a little catch-up on posting recent projects. I've shared all of these on Instagram / Facebook, but I wanted to get all of my pages so far this year that I've done for The Documented Life Project posted here as well, including the cover that I did months ago.

I started this back in July of last year, thinking I'd start half-way through 2014 and then do all of this year. I did the cover, prepped all the pages in my 18-month Moleskine planner, and then did 4 layouts and never really got back to it. But this year I'm really trying to keep up because I just love the concept, and I like having a place to just jot down a few notes about daily life, even if I'm not writing a ton. So, here's the cover... and I have to say, I totally love it! (so much humility!)

Full view front / back:

DLP Cover - Gwen LafleurI used the Elephant March stencil along with the small one from the June 2014 StencilClub set. And the front cover when the book is closed:

DLP Cover Front - Gwen LafleurThe first week, I did a start to 2015 page that I've already shared - this was done with DecoArt Media projects for a blog post on StencilGirl Talk.

StencilGirl-DecoArt Journal Page 4 - Gwen LafleurThe next one was the challenge to use gesso. I painted and stenciled the background, then used DecoArt Media black gesso to cover a lot of it up. The circle and background stencils were from the January StencilClub kit.

DLP2015 - Gesso - Gwen LafleurThe next challenge on 1/17 was based on the Color Wheel. I decided to take this one pretty literally and used the Complimentary color wheel stencil by Pam Carriker to make my own color wheel. The butterfly is a stamp from Dina Wakely, and then I used the 4x4 dots stencil from the October StencilClub kit to finish it off.

DLP2015 - Color Wheel - Gwen LafleurI kind of skipped the Words with Friends challenge... I'll go back and do that page, but I might just do something besides the challenge. Then this week's 1/31 challenge was to use some of your under paper (the scrap paper that gets all junked up with paint as you work on top of it.) The piece I used reminded me of an underwater scene, so I painted a tropical fish on top.

DLP2015 - Under Paper - Gwen LafleurIn the bottom right corner, you can see some remnants from working with Carolyn Dube's Small Union Stencil, and I finished it by using the Bubbles Stencil.

So that's my Documented Life Project work so far this year... looking forward to keeping this up as much as possible. More catching up to come :)

New Mixed Media Painting - DecoArt Media

Today I have a new mixed media painting to share. It was so much fun to get back to this after weeks of traveling and craziness with holidays and work and classes... I finally had a chance to relax and do one of the projects that's been floating around in my head!

Background for this project: early last month I was contacted to see if I would be interested in playing with some new products. Um... yes!!! So when I got back from Thanksgiving, there was a wonderful and extremely generous box from DecoArt waiting for me with lots of cool products from their DecoArt Media line for me to play with. It was like Christmas came early! They have lots of professional quality fluid acrylic paints (including irridescent,) mediums, shimmer sprays, antiquing creams, and more! I have to admit, before I was asked to do this, I didn't even realize that they had a line of mixed media art supplies!

So... my job - to do a project using their products with stencils to share. Here's my disclosure - all paints and mediums were provided to me by DecoArt, but projects, thoughts, and opinions are all my own.

That said, here's my painting and a quick overview of the steps to complete it and what I used for each part.

DecoArt Media and StencilGirl Painting by Gwen Lafleur
I started with a plain 18x18 canvas and mixed up a few colors of DecoArt Media fluid acrylics with their tinting base to start the underpainting.

DecoArt Media and StencilGirl Painting Step 1 by Gwen Lafleur
DecoArt Media and StencilGirl Painting Step 1 by Gwen LafleurThen I used the untinted fluid acrylics to start building layers of color. The paints are mostly translucent, which works well to get lots of layers, but you have to be patient.

DecoArt Media and StencilGirl Painting Step 3 by Gwen LafleurI have to say, I was super impressed with the quality of the paints. I'm pretty picky about my paints, but these are really good and I'll keep using them for sure!

DecoArt Media and StencilGirl Painting Step 5 by Gwen LafleurBetween the Tinting Medium and the transparency of the paints, I was able to get lots of different gradations of color just by mixing and layering. And I love how vibrant they are! They have a nice finish too. I also took some of the white DecoArt Media Shimmer Mist and spritzed it across the flowers to get a little softness and lots of white dots. I really liked how thick and opaque it was, but you have to be careful because it comes out in a pretty heavy stream rather than a mist.

After I got the main images down, I brought out my stencils to get some pattern on the vase. I used the Stitch a Circle stencil by Maria McGuire with some Pthalo Turquoise fluid acrylics. (Just a hint - the trick to stenciling with the thinner paints is to keep your brush almost dry - don't load it with paint - and then build up layers so that the paint doesn't spread under the stencil.) I also put some of the acrylics in fine line applicator bottles so I could add some dots.

DecoArt Media and StencilGirl Painting Step 4 by Gwen LafleurYou can also see above where I used some of the DecoArt Media Sand Texture Paste in the background. I also used some of their Ultra Matte Varnish to collage some pieces of torn patterned paper and maps onto the background. I wanted to get some additional texture into the background and this worked perfectly!

For the vase, after everything was dry I went over the entire area with a thick coat of Crackle Glaze and let it dry. Then I used some dark brown Antiquing Cream and rubbed it in so that you could really see the cracks. I love the effect! (See the close-ups below for a better look.)

DecoArt Media and StencilGirl Painting Step 6 by Gwen Lafleur I used a few different colors of turquoise and green fluid acrylics to work my way around the painting putting in the background. You can see where the Texture Sand Paste is because it grabs the paint and makes it a tad darker and you get the rougher texture.

Once the background was dry, I took the River Rocks Stencil by Mary Beth Shaw and some Pthalo Turquoise fluid acrylics to add a bit more to the background. To finish it off, I mixed some glitter and microbeads with some of the Ultra Matte Varnish and spread them in a few places to get a bit of sparkle. It might have been a bit of overkill, but I've always liked lots of "stuff" in my work, and this was definitely no exception!

DecoArt Media and StencilGirl Painting by Gwen Lafleur
Here are a few close-ups so that you can see how vibrant the paints are and how the crackle glaze and texture paste turned out.

DecoArt Media and StencilGirl Painting Close-up 1 by Gwen Lafleur
DecoArt Media and StencilGirl Painting Close-up 1 by Gwen Lafleur

I just want to say a HUGE thank you to DecoArt for sending me their wonderful products to work with! I have to say, there wasn't anything I didn't like, and that's being totally honest. Their Media paints and mediums are very nice and the results were excellent. I definitely feel like they're pretty comparable to some of the higher-end professional paints but without the price tag; I'm excited to keep playing with them!

If you haven't already, be sure to check out their website and sign up for the newsletter. They have a lot of tutorials posted and other great content as well as links to their social media sites.