Announcing... The Artist Tribe at Gwen Lafleur Studios!

I am so incredibly excited to announce The Artist Tribe! The first creative team for Gwen Lafleur Studios! I'd thought about whether or not to do this for months, and finally decided to go for it. I started with one member, then opened up a call to grow the team, and I was seriously blown away by the response! I wasn't expecting to get very many applications, so I was shocked at how many came in and how much talent I had to choose from! In the end, I had to make some difficult decisions... I really wish I could have found a way to make the team bigger, but I ended up choosing a few people who felt like the best fit for my stencil designs and shop products.

That said, without further ado... I present the Artist Tribe!

The-Artist-Tribe-at-Gwen-Lafleur-Studios---August-2017

Let's get to know these talented ladies, shall we?

I'll start with my friend Jill McDowell - she just had to be a member of the team...

Jill-McDowell

I've said more than once that she uses my stencils better than I do, and her artwork is diverse and totally incredible! Here are just a few samples of her work...

First, a beautiful textile collage that she did as a member of StencilClub Voices (you can see my Ornamental Petals Screen stencil peeking through the background!)

Textile-collage-voices-stencilclub-aug-2017-post-card

Second, Jill makes these super cool Infinity Books - art journals where the pages flip to reveal different spreads. I haven't wrapped my brain around making these, but I love to look at them!

Infinity Flip Art Journal by Jill McDowell

Next, I'd like to introduce Linda Edkins Wyatt!

LindaEdkinsWyatt-headshot

Linda is a trained surface and textile designer (she even has a Tommy Award under her belt!) and has immersed herself in art quilting and mixed media since discovering them about eleven years ago. Her work has appeared in multiple publications, including a fabulous book I just got - Mixed Media Self Portraits by Cate Coulacos Prato.

Check out her beautiful art journal spread about her inner warrior princess:

Warrior priestess by Linda Edkins Wyatt

And this... sigh... I'm absolutely enamored of the textile work that she does! This is from an art quilt called "The Eye of Panic."

Art quilt art journal - Linda Edkins Wyatt

Next, a big welcome to Lynda Shoup!

Lynda-Shoup

Lynda spent some time studying art in college before earning a degree in Communications and eventually a Masters in Library Science, and she also lived in Japan for ten years where she worked as a copy editor for Japan Publications Trading Company in the Japanese traditional crafts division. She translated three books The Joy of Flower Arranging, Rice Bowl Recipes and  The Joy of Antique Beading.  How cool is that?

I love the way Lynda uses monoprints in her work - check out this creative project where she used a few of them to make origami boxes!

Monoprint Origami Boxes by Lynda Shoup

I also love her writing style, her art journaling, and check out these amazing hand-bound "mood books" that Lynda made from upcycled magazines!

Handmade Mood Books by Lynda Shoup

Next, I'm pleased to share that Sandee Setliff is joining the Tribe!

Sandee-Setliff

I know Sandee from the StencilGirl creative team and I was thrilled that she was interested in joining the Artist Tribe as well! Sandee is quite a talented artist... she draws beautifully, and I love her sense of exploration and the diversity of techniques and mediums that she uses in her art.

Don't just take my word for it on her drawing skills, check out this beautiful watercolor sketch she did!

Watercolor by Sandee Setliff

And with this one, see what I mean about variety? This is one of Sandee's most recent pieces - a gorgeous mixed media canvas!

Divine Messenger Mixed Media Panel - Sandee Setliff

Last but definitely not least, I'm excited to introduce Jackie Neal!

Jackie-Neal

Versatility in techniques and mediums seems to be the theme for the Artist Tribe, and Jackie is no exception to the rule! She combines color, layers, and textures to create beautifully detailed artwork - everything from mixed media panels to art journaling to ATCs to assemblage.

Here you can see lots of gorgeous layers of texture - the more you look, the more you can see how many details went into making this stunning piece, and of course we all know that I'm a sucker for any kind of heat embossing in mixed media!

Mixed Media Panel by Jackie Neal

Of course, my jaw literally dropped when I saw this masterpiece! A gorgeous Marie Antoinette shrine!

Marie Antoinette Shrine by Jackie Neal

Whew... are you as excited as I am? I absolutely cannot wait to see what these talented ladies do with my stencils and the products from my shop, and I hope you're excited too! I know that whatever it is, it's going to be totally fabulous!

Make sure you're following my Facebook page and signed up for my newsletter to keep up with all of the happenings with the shop and The Artist Tribe! Of course, you'll also want to be sure to follow all of the new members of the Artist Tribe - you can get all of their blog links above (click their names in the introductions,) and blogs and all social media links are also on my website.

 
 

Gwen Lafleur Studios Creative Team Call!

Hello friends! For a few months now I've been thinking about starting a creative team for my stencils and shop and have finally decided to go ahead with it!

CT-Call-Banner

I currently have a team of two (me and one fabulously talented lady soon to be announced,) and I would like to expand that just a bit... (Limiting it to US and Canada for now, just because of shipping!)

So... I've just posted a call for a few new team members! The details are on my website, but the short version is that I'm looking for 2 projects a month using my stencils and shop products. Those will be posted to your blog and social media, and then I'll share them as well. In return, I'll send you some awesome free goodies monthly, plus you'll get a shop discount for the duration of the term. Depending on what I add as we go, there may be some other benefits as well!

Make sure to read through the details - I'm looking for a few different styles to showcase my stencils and the funky global-eclectic supplies in my shop - that could be YOU!

Hope to hear from you soon! Deadline is August 12th.

 


July Shop Update - Lots of Goodies!

Whew... I looked at the dates and it's been two months since my last update! For most of that time, new goodies were piling up in my spare room, which made me feel guilty for not working on getting it all online every time I looked at it. So after travel, classes, more travel, and getting through some deadlines, I set aside time (a LOT of time... lol,) over the last few weeks getting it all photographed, packaged, edited, and posted. So now I'm mostly caught up and ready to share!

Here's a little visual overview for you:

What's-New-in-the-Store---July-27-2017---Gwen-Lafleur-Studios

Ready for some details?

First up, I'm excited to share a new theme, with lots of gorgeous products to go with it! Fabulous Florals has hit the shop and it includes a collage and embellishment packeleven embroidered and embellished trims from India, two styles of washi tape, beautiful flower appliques, and two styles of English scrap, direct from the manufacturer in England.

Fabulous-Florals-Collage-and-Embellishment-Pack---Horizontal---Gwen-Lafleur-Studios

Next, it's been on my list for a long time to do some type of mini kit, and I'm pleased to share the first four - my Mixed Media Happy Packs! These are available in four themes: Exotic Orient, Irresistible India, Enchanting Elephants (with two colorways to choose from,) and Going Global. Each one comes with a fun matching pouch that can store supplies, be used for gifts, help organize a purse, etc...

Going-Global-Happy-Pack---Horizontal---Gwen-Lafleur-Studios

I've also added a bunch of beautiful Japanese Chiyogami (Yuzen) papers - available in sheets, as well as some sampler packs that I've made up, and some samplers from the manufacturer.

Japanese-Chiyogami---Yuzen-Paper-by-the-Sheet---Gwen-Lafleur-Studios

There are also seven new Florentine papers available by the sheet, as well as some new sample packs that I've put together so you can get a variety of patterns in smaller sizes.

Florentine-Paper-Sample-Packs---Gwen-Lafleur-Studios

I've added ten new travel washi tapes, great for traveler's notebooks and travel journals... this includes USA, the UK, the Czech Republic, Italy, France, Greece, Egypt, and a few more in addition to the ones already on the site (make sure you look in Exotic Orient Scenery & Buildings washi tape as well as the Irresistible India washi tape for more travel designs.)

Travel-Washi-Tape---Italy-Sites-and-Scenery---Gwen-Lafleur-Studios

I also added some fabulous new Turkmen and Kuchi products... tribal textiles and beaded trim, gorgeous repousse fish pendants, coin pendants, and I have a new stock of jewelry parts that are perfect for mixed media and assemblage.

Vintage Turkmen Jewelry Parts - Bulk - Gwen Lafleur Studios

There's so much that I can't fit it all in one post! I also added:

Plus, I've restocked the sold out Stupendous Sea Life and Irresistible India Deluxe Collage and Embellishment Packs. I also restocked my collaged Boho Fish!

Whew! That's a lot, and it took me a while to get it all done, but I'm excited to have it all available and I hope you love it as much as I do! Now that I can walk past my spare room without feeling guilt from piles of unlisted products, I can get back to making art :D

 


Mixed Media Shadow Box - Seascape

Things have been so busy lately that I haven't had time to work on much art, especially art that's just for me, so I'm pretty excited that I managed to finish the demo piece that I started in my Mixed Media Shadow Boxes class back on May 3rd at Papercraft Clubhouse in Westbrook, Connecticut.

Here you go - it's a seascape featuring a (mostly) handmade fishy!

Mixed Media Shadow Box - Ocean Scene - Gwen Lafleur

The box itself is decorated with stencils, paint, cool sequined and metallic trims from India, sari yarn, and of course, the old drawer handle on top!

Mixed Media Shadow Box - Ocean Scene Side 2 - Gwen Lafleur
Mixed Media Shadow Box - Ocean Scene Side 2 - Gwen Lafleur

Mixed Media Shadow Box - Ocean Scene Top - Gwen Lafleur

Here's the back, using my new Art Deco Borders stencil.

Mixed Media Shadow Box - Ocean Scene Back - Gwen Lafleur

On this piece, I accessorized the front of the box with some sea themed goodies - I took store-bought jewelry components and beads and completely revamped them to use here.

Mixed Media Shadow Box - Ocean Scene Front Angle 2 - Gwen Lafleur

And of course, a close-up of my fishy! He was based on a wood cut-out, but I modified that as well :) I cut parts of the wood, and then I used Aves Apoxie Clay as the basis for constructing the rest of it (as well as for most of the rest of the assemblage that I did on this piece.)

Mixed Media Shadow Box - Ocean Scene Closeup - Gwen Lafleur

I'm super happy with how he came out! It was really fun to make, and it's one of my favorite pieces in quite a while :)

Finally, If you haven't already heard, I'm excited to be going back to the Clubhouse in June for three more classes (June 16-17.) You can see the events on my Facebook page, or check out the class pages on my website.

Friday:

Mini Mixed Media Medallions  10am-1pm

(if you like my shadow box, or wanted to take that class but missed it, you'll love this class! It also uses the Aves Apoxie clay as a base for creating super fabulous embellishments - or even statement pendants!)

Mini Mixed Media Medallions - Gwen Lafleur

Boho Art Journaling 2pm-5pm

Boho Art Journaling - Class Preview - Gwen Lafleur

Saturday:

Of Angels and Icons 10am-5pm

Mixed-Media-Angel---Gwen-Lafleur

Space in the classes is filling quickly, so make sure to call soon if you're interested in joining us! Also, if you have questions about the classes feel free to message me, leave comments, etc...

 


Huge Shop Update!

Hi all! I try to keep the salesy stuff on my blog to a minimum, but I realized that I haven't posted about my shop since it opened and there have been a LOT of new goodies added, including a huge update this week.

I'll keep it short and sweet with lots of photos :D 

In keeping with my global eclectic boutique theme, I've added goodies from India, China, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Nepal, Turkey, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and Japan... maybe more? 

For those who missed it, here's a snapshot of April's updates:

New-in-the-Shop---April-8-2017

Woodblock stamps, Banjara tassels, adorable buttons, ceramic Chinese opera masks, Japanese washi tape, Turkish nazar charms, beautiful sari appliques...

What's-New-in-the-Store---April-15-2017---Gwen-Lafleur-Studios

Czech glass elephant beads, lots of German Dresden, new sizes of vintage Afghan Kuchi patches (I absolutely can't get enough of these!) plus some of my essentials like my stencils from StencilGirl and Aves Apoxie Clay.

Finally, here's this week's huge shop update:

What's-New-in-the-Store---May-25-2017---Gwen-Lafleur-Studios

Handcrafted nichos from Mexico, Emerald Creek embossing powder, Florentine papers, 70 styles of washi tape (seventy!) plus intricate Chinese paper cuttings, lots of stunning Indian sari trims (sold by the foot so you don't have to buy more than you need,) and I just debuted a brand new collage and embellishment pack called Birds of a Feather that includes Dresden, lots of trims, hand-printed papers, and a few other treats.

With all of the fun new goodies I've added in the last month, I also updated the shop navigation so you can browse the whole store, but also shop by product type or by theme. I don't know about you, but I'm super excited about all of these new products - after all, I'm my own best customer ;)

Enjoy, and let me know if you have questions or requests!

 


Mixed Media Shadow Boxes - Class Recap

I wanted to post a little recap of the Mixed Media Shadow Boxes class I taught two weeks ago at Papercraft Clubhouse in Connecticut. It was such a fun day, and I was overwhelmed by how many people came out on a Wednesday during the day for a workshop!

Here's a quick photo of my samples of what type of project we were going to do:

Mixed Media Shadow Boxes - Shrines - Class Samples - Gwen Lafleur

We had six hours, and we did some dimensional stenciling on the inside and outside of our boxes, we worked on creating a sculptural focal point (which most everyone made themselves!) and we also had a lot of fun embellishing the whole thing.

I did actually remember to take a few photos this time (I'm terrible about remembering to take photos during class!) and fortunately Patty also took several.

Here are a few candids I took of class members, hard at work:

Mixed Media Shadow Boxes - Class in Progress 1 - Gwen Lafleur
Mixed Media Shadow Boxes - Class in Progress 1 - Gwen Lafleur
Mixed Media Shadow Boxes - Class in Progress 1 - Gwen Lafleur
Mixed Media Shadow Boxes - Class in Progress 1 - Gwen Lafleur

A few more from Patty...

Mixed Media Shadow Boxes - Classroom Antics - Gwen Lafleur Studios

She also got a few of me during demos throughout the day:

Mixed Media Shadow Boxes - Class Demos - Gwen Lafleur

Also a fun shot of our goody table where I spread out some of the embellishments, tools, and stencils that were available for the class to use:

Mixed Media Shadow Boxes - Class Goodie Table - Gwen Lafleur

And, of course, there's all of the amazing and creative artwork that everyone did! I remembered to take pictures at the end, but I MISSED ONE! I'm so upset! There's also a gorgeous seahorse / ocean themed box that I somehow missed photographing (please send a photo so I can add it to the gallery!)

Mixed Media Shadow Boxes - Class Project Collage

I added a student gallery to the class page (scroll down) so that you can see each individual project and, if you'd like you can click through to a larger version. They were all unique, creative, and so beautiful! I was very impressed by what everyone did and how each person put their own style into their piece.

A few shots with friends throughout the day... me with the uber-talented Fran...

Mixed Media Shadow Boxes - Fran and I - Gwen Lafleur

Then Jill and I - (hi Jill!)

Mixed Media Shadow Boxes Class - Me and Jill - Gwen Lafleur

Finally, a fun little selfie with me, Patty, Kim, and Fran:

Mixed Media Shadow Boxes Class - Me-Patty-Kim-Fran

It was such a wonderful day and a great class where I think I learned just as much as the students! I've been working on finishing up my demo piece from class, so I'll share that in the near future :)

In the meantime, I'll be back at the Clubhouse in June for three more classes (June 16-17.) You can see the events on my Facebook page, or check out the class pages on my website.

Friday:

Mini Mixed Media Medallions

Mini Mixed Media Medallions - Gwen Lafleur

Boho Art Journaling

Boho Art Journaling - Class Preview - Gwen Lafleur

Saturday:

Of Angels and Icons

Mixed-Media-Angel---Gwen-Lafleur

Space in the classes is filling quickly, so make sure to call soon if you're interested in joining us! Also, if you have questions about the classes feel free to message me, leave comments, etc... 

 


Art Deco Stencil Samples Round 2

Hi everyone! Ready for a few more samples using my new Art Deco stencils from StencilGirl?

I'll start with a pair of pretty classic Art Deco style jumbo ATCs. I took some old scrapbook journaling cards that are about 4"x6" and painted them, then stenciled and embellished.

Art-Deco-Stencils---Jumbo-Butterfly-ATC---Gwen-Lafleur

Art Deco Sun Medallion Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

The first one uses my Art Deco Sun Medallion stencil and then I colored it with a gold paint pen and topped it off with a Dresden medallion and a butterfly cut from one of my Beautiful Butterflies Downloadable Collage sheets.

Art-Deco-Stencils---Jumbo-Gold-ATC---Gwen-Lafleur

Art Deco Sunburst Corners Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

The second one was stenciled with both sizes of the design on my Art Deco Sunburst Corners stencil and then I heat embossed those with a gold mirror embossing powder from Emerald Creek. In the center I added another Dresden medallion (I really love those things!) which I glazed, and I used gold-foiled leaf MT Washi Tape on both ends. I finished it with Golden Gold Mica paste.

Next project... another spread in my 3"x5" mini art journal. This one was pretty simple... I used gold acrylic gesso on the background, then stenciled across the middle with my Art Deco Borders stencil. I used paint markers to just start adding layers of color in the background until I liked it, then added some journaling. Easy peasy!

Art Deco Stencils - Mini Art Journal Spread 1 Angled - Gwen Lafleur

Art Deco Borders Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

How about one more for today... this one was really fun and slightly unexpected to pull together!

Art Deco Stencils - Monogram Tag - Gwen Lafleur

This is the inside cover of a small 6"x8" handmade art journal. The patterned paper background was already there - that's the endpaper of the book, but it was still pretty plain so I added this tag. I had been cleaning off my stencils on it as I worked on other projects, and at one point I looked at it and realized that it had a pretty fun composition! So I started defining the images and added color with paint pens.

Art Deco Stencils - Monogram Tag Closeup - Gwen Lafleur

The stencils I had cleaned off on here were my Art Deco Flower Medallion and its matching Repeating Corner stencils. I added the circle frame from my Art Deco Alphabet stencil to a scrap of painted deli paper and put my initial in it to make a monogram, then cut it out and adhered it to my tag. I love how this one came out!

Art Deco Flower Medallion Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

Art Deco Flower Medallion Repeating Corner Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

Art Deco Alphabet Stencil - Gwen Lafleur
That's it for today... I hope you're enjoying the projects!


My New Art Deco Stencils are Here!

I'm so excited... I have new stencils releasing today from StencilGirl! It's my Art Deco collection, and it includes ten new designs that I really love. I've been sitting on these for more than six months and I'm so thrilled that I finally get to share them! Without further ado...

Gwen-lafleur-artdeco-stencils-sq-graphic

All ten designs are in stock and ready to ship... you can find them in my online store (along with lots of other global eclectic mixed media supplies, like the Chinese Opera figure in the sample below!) or you can get them directly from StencilGirl.

Here are a few of the projects I've made with these so far... it's so fun to finally get to share what I've been working on!

First, this is a 10"x20"x1" mixed media panel - my Art Deco / Asian Fusion piece.

Art Deco Stencils - Art Deco Asian Fusion Panel - Gwen Lafleur

The center section uses the Art Deco Bookplates stencil with the Art Deco Sun Medallion Repeating Corner layered on top. The Peking Opera character is a fun little ceramic piece I found - so much fun to use here!

Art Deco Stencils - Art Deco Asian Fusion Panel - Closeup 1 - Gwen Lafleur

Art Deco Bookplates Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

Art Deco Sun Medallion Repeating Corner Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

Lots more stenciling on top of collage in the background:

Art Deco Stencils - Art Deco Asian Fusion Panel - Closeup 2 - Gwen Lafleur

You can see peeks of the different designs on my Art Deco Borders stencil above:

Art Deco Borders Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

How about an art journal spread? 

Art Deco Stencils - Dream Art Journal Page Angled - Gwen Lafleur

This is in a handmade mini art journal (3x5, so the spread is 5" tall by 6" wide,) and uses both the 6x6 and 4x4 versions of my Art Deco Flower Medallion stencils. The title was done with my Art Deco Alphabet stencil - my first alphabet! It's hand-drawn, and I really love how it turned out!

Art Deco Flower Medallion Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

Art Deco Flower Medallion Repeating Corner Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

Art Deco Alphabet Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

One more project for today... this uses my Art Deco Medallion stencil - it's goldwork embroidery (or an attempt, at least!) on iridescent silk - a piece of an upcycled sari.

Art Deco Medallion Stencil - Gold Embroidery 2 - Gwen Lafleur

Art Deco Medallion Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

I hope you like the new stencils! I'm super excited about them, and I can't wait to see what everyone makes with them! I'll share more release projects over the next few days, and definitely lots more to come in the future :) Enjoy!

 


Open for Business!

Over the past several weeks, I've shared photos here and there of things I've been collecting with the intent to sell them. I'm not entirely sure what I was thinking - I'm super busy with all of the obligations I've already taken on, but this is something that I really felt driven to try and do. So I've jumped straight in to starting my own business. A small one. Very small. But I've thought many times over the years how much I would love to be a buyer since I really enjoy the process of seeking out unique items and getting good prices. (Not to mention having said items land on my doorstep!) While I love mixed media products made by big companies as much as the next person, not to mention raiding Blick during their sales, I've been sourcing a lot of my more unique items from outside the country for quite some time now. When it finally hit me that most people aren't willing or maybe not able to find reputable vendors in foreign countries and buy supplies directly from the source, the idea to open some kind of shop started to germinate. In typical Gwen fashion, thought and action weren't all that far apart...

Mixed-Media-Kits-and-Supplies-Category-Header

It's been a lot of hard work and late nights, not to mention shopping on a pretty small budget, but I finally launched an online store! It's not huge, and what's there is... odd eclectic. LOL. If you know my work at all, this shouldn't surprise you. If this is a success (and I'm hoping it will be!) I'd like to expand - I've already been researching vendors for the products I'd like to carry and my tax ID should be coming in the mail any day! But in the meantime, I've started with a kit concept based around themes and supplies that I love and use myself. I wanted to do something where I could include unique, hand-crafted items along with cool products from other countries that are either expensive in the states, or hard to order - especially in small quantities. (Of course, there are some not-quite-as-hard-to-get-but-still-fairly-unique-items too!)

Going Global Collage and Embellishment Pack - Gwen Lafleur Studios

This is my Going Global Collage & Embellishment Pack - lots of papers, trims, and fun embellishments in here (you can click through and read all about each element - what they are and where they're from.)

Every pack (so far,) has at least one sheet of hand-printed paper (printed by me, of course!) I really like the idea of not only using my woodblocks instead of just admiring them on the shelf, but making these prints accessible so that you don't have to go out and buy the woodblock yourself in order to use hand printed paper in your own artwork.

My favorite find by far, are these absolutely AMAZING vintage Afghan Kuchi patches that I managed to buy in a big job lot from a vendor in England. (You might have seen the project I posted Monday where I used one of these on my mixed media canvas.)

Going Global Large Kuchi Patches - Gwen Lafleur Studios

Of course, there are also peacocks. Lots of peacocks. An entire peacock-themed pack, in fact, along with several different individual embellishments. My absolute favorites are the sequined peacock sari patches that I discovered about two years ago, I think? They come in many sizes and styles and they're so cool. (I must admit, however... I do a lot more hoarding than using when it comes to these.)

Peacock Sari Patches - Gold Flower Tails - Gwen Lafleur Studios

Some of you have also already found my new collection of downloadable collage cut-outs. I have a hard time finding images that I can use in my collage work or in my art journals, so I finally decided to just make my own collage sheets. I scoured the web for public domain images that I like and would use, then edited them and cleaned them up so that they would print well. I figured that since I'd done all the work, I may as well make them available to others who might be running into the same issues!

Collage Cut-Outs Category Header
I could go on and on... I'm super excited about what's here. If all goes well, I'm hoping to be able to buy in larger quantities so that I can standardize things and expand my offerings. I'd also like to bring in products like washi tape, carry my own stencils, and there are plans to do my own rubber stamps as well. We'll see! Of course, I'm thinking I'm already so busy I don't know how I'll handle it if things go well (you know, demanding full-time job and existing art commitments?) But when has any of that stopped me before? Bring it on! LOL.

If you have requests, please let me know! Types of products you've seen me use or that are similar that you'd like to see... things in packs that you really want individually... do you want just paper packs? etc... No promises, but if I'm going to do this, I want to do it right!

In any case... check it out - I hope you like it!

 

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