Gwen's Gems: Stenciled ICE Resin Papers in an Art Journal

Hi everyone, it's time for Gwen's Gems again over on StencilGirl Talk! This month I'm tackling a new technique that I've wanted to try for a long time... I used ICE Resin to coat stenciled papers (so fun and cool!) and then used those papers to make a handmade art journal with window pages and covers.

Stenciled ICE Resin Window Art Journal 3 - Gwen Lafleur

Make sure you head over to StencilGirl Talk to see the full post with instructions and more photos of the finished book!


Make a Stenciled, Embroidered Book with Kraft-Tex!

Hi everyone, I'm so excited to be joining in on this week's blog hop with StencilGirl and C&T Publishing (makers of Kraft-Tex!) This week the creative teams are using stencils with Kraft-Tex... I can't tell you how much fun it was to stencil on this incredible product. It's so cool! I could keep talking, but why not just show you?

First off, here's what I made - it's a riff on a traveler's notebook style book cover with two book inserts; I made it with elastics to give me the ability to swap pamphlet books in and out of the inside, only I customized the structure to be more like an actual book.


Here's how it all came together...

I started with the brand new turquoise, pre-washed Kraft-Tex and cut a piece approximately the size of the spine and covers, then used some Archival Ink and my Ornamental Peacock Feathers stencil to put down a pattern on what would become the front cover of my book.

Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover Step 1 - Gwen Lafleur

I really wanted to take advantage of the fact that Kraft-Tex is paper, but it has a lot of the qualities of fabric and leather, so I started the process of embroidering my peacock feather designs. 

  Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover Step 2 - Gwen Lafleur

A few tips for sewing on Kraft-Tex:

  • It feels like leather, but it's still paper. If you put the holes too close together, it will tear. (You'll probably want a designated Kraft-Tex or paper needle, for either hand or machine sewing.)
  • If you poke a hole in it and it's not where you wanted the hole, it will show - it doesn't disappear the same way it would on fabric. To outline each section of embroidery, I used a needle to pre-poke the holes for my back-stitched borders.
  • Use a needle with a hole that's big enough for your thread, but not unnecessarily big - you don't want too-wide holes because it will show.
  • It can be hard to pull the needle through - I wore Finger Gloves on my thumb, pointer, and middle fingers. This helped me grip the needle to pull it through as well as protect my fingers (I hate thimbles... I have a really hard time working while wearing one.) The other big help for pulling the needle and thread through - Thread Heaven - it takes some of the hand stress out of the stitching process.
  • Working with a design like this one with sections of color, work from the inside out. Re-use existing holes if you can when setting new stitches.

Honestly, all of that satin stitching probably should NOT have worked... lol, but I love how it came out! Of course, you do NOT have to stitch! You could stencil the design on as a pattern and then use paints, Liquid Pearls, markers, etc... to add in color and details.

When the stitching was done, I wanted to put some structure behind it to make sure that my stitches were secure, so I cut pieces of thin chipboard and adhered them to the back of my cover piece where the front and back covers were going to be.

Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover Step 3 - Gwen Lafleur

Next I cut another piece of Chocolate Kraft-Tex the same size as my cover and clipped it to the back to sandwich the chipboard and give me nice inside covers in a contrasting color. (Mine wasn't pre-washed... I cut a chunk off of the roll and threw it in with a load of colors in my washing machine, detergent, fabric softener, and all! It's colorfast, so there was no bleeding. Then I took it out and laid it on the table to air dry.)

I pre-poked holes around the chipboard and back-stitched with gold Sizzle thread from Wonderfil to bring it all together.

Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover Step 4 - Gwen Lafleur

You can also see where I added some ribbon... I had the perfect piece of peacock feather patterned ribbon so I tucked the ends between the pieces of Kraft-Tex and sewed it into place as I stitched the border. 

After I finished the front cover, I poked the holes for the back and then slipped another piece of chipboard into the spot which would become the spine. I kept stitching until the whole thing was finished.

Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover Step 5 - Gwen Lafleur

Next, I punched holes where I wanted to insert my elastics and put in grommets, then added Tim Holtz elastics (2 kinds - one for the inside to hold the book inserts, one with only one end that would wrap around the outside as a closure.)

Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover Step 6 - Gwen Lafleur

I went back and stitched a few beads onto my peacock feathers as a finishing touch.

Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover Step 6a - Gwen Lafleur

You could leave the inside covers plain, but of course... I stenciled them! I used gold pigment ink through my Decorative 6-Petal Flower Screen stencil and then heat embossed.

Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover Step 6b - Gwen Lafleur

With that, the covers were done!

Of course, next I needed to make some booklets that would fit inside. I measured my book - the height shouldn't be much taller than the distance between the holes where your inside elastics go. I kept the width about 1/4" smaller than the width of the cover. I cut and folded some papers - bristol and watercolor paper, and also cut and folded covers from Stone Kraft-Tex and Chocolate Kraft-Tex. Then I used my awl to punch four holes into the creases (you want an even number of holes for this method.)

Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover Step 7 - Gwen Lafleur

I used the pamphlet stitch and waxed linen thread to bind the books together. In total, it takes about 10 minutes to make one of these little books... quick and easy! I repeated this process for the second book so I could fill up both of the elastics I'd attached to the spine.

Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover Step 7a - Gwen Lafleur

Now for the fun part... embellishing the covers! Starting with the stone book, I once again stenciled with Archival Ink, this time using my Decorative Medallion stencil. Then I used Liquid Pearls / dimensional paints and Stickles and went over the top (this is another way you could do the outside cover if you don't want to sew.)

Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover Step 8 - Gwen Lafleur

I added a sari applique in the center (I picked it out first and then matched the colors of the Liquid Pearls and the Stickles,) and a scribbled gold border around the edge.

Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover Step 8a - Gwen Lafleur

For the second book, I did something a little different to decorate the cover... I stenciled with Versamark ink, then with the stencil still in place, I went over top of it while it was still wet using bronze PanPastels.

Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover Step 9 - Gwen Lafleur

I sealed that layer with a workable fixative, then used the same process to embellish with dimensional paints and Stickles.

Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover Step 9a - Gwen Lafleur

I let everything dry... I just love how these turned out!

Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover Step 10 - Gwen Lafleur

Slide your new journals into the elastic in the cover and you're ready to go!

Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover Step 10a - Gwen Lafleur    

I really like the stiffer, more structured covers, but you could totally follow this same process to construct your book and just leave the chipboard out. In that case, though, you'll want to make sure that the height of the books you make to go inside is a little shorter than the distance between the holes in the spine... without the chipboard, it would probably collapse it a bit to add that extra tension.

Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover Step 10b - Gwen Lafleur

Voila! A finished reusable notebook cover with your own custom books inside. I'm already using mine as an art journal :)

Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover without Band - Gwen Lafleur
Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover without Band - Gwen Lafleur

That's it from me... I hope you enjoyed the project and tutorial! Of course, now it's time for the best part of all...


One lucky winner will receive a $25 Gift Certificate to StencilGirl Products

AND a $25 Gift Certificate for C&T Publishing!!

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Visit the fabulous designers from both teams and comment for your chance 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, February 18th at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments.

Winner will be announced on
StencilGirl's Facebook page and C&T Publishing’s Blog on Sunday, February 19.

February 15

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Playing with New Seth Apter Products

Hi everyone! I'm so excited to have been asked by Seth Apter to create some projects with his new stamps and Wood Chips from PaperArtsy! For these projects, I thought it would be fun to take inspiration from the Library of Memories masterclass I took with him in 2015 and make a new version of that class project. 

Library of Memories Take 2 - Gwen Lafleur

These two projects are made to fit together, so here you can see how it looks when you put the book inside of the case:

Library of Memories Take 2 - Book in Case Open - Gwen Lafleur

Library of Memories Take 2 - Book in Case - Gwen Lafleur wm

There are lots more pictures and some short tutorials and process descriptions over on StencilGirl Talk, but that post is so chock full of photos and information that it was too long to include everything that I wanted to share from this project.

So, without further ado, here's a bonus tutorial showing my process for making my own patterned papers to use inside the handmade book.

On several of the book pages I did a patchwork background technique that Seth taught us in class. This time I made my own patterned papers using his StencilGirl stencils, his PaperArtsy paints, and his new stamp sets.

Library of Memories Take 2 - Book Pages Step 6 - Gwen Lafleur

To start, I took five sheets of 28lb copy paper and painted the backgrounds. (I liked this paper weight because it's sturdier and a nicer quality than regular copy paper, but it was still thin enough to easily use for making backgrounds in my book.)

Library of Memories Take 2 - Book Pages Step 2 - Gwen Lafleur

I used paints from Seth's PaperArtsy paint kit, as well as a collection of some of his favorite paint favorite colors. From left to right, Mahogany, Terracotta, Toffee, Midnight, and Squid Ink.

When the backgrounds were dry, I went back through and used the Urban Outsiders Stencil to stencil repeated shapes. I decided that each piece of paper would be a different shape, and I started with circles. I used Turquoise paint to start.

Library of Memories Take 2 - Book Pages Step 3 - Gwen Lafleur

Next I used the Urban Insiders Circle Stencil and the Techno Insiders Circle Stencil and added patterns inside of some of the outlines. 

Library of Memories Take 2 - Book Pages Step 4 - Gwen Lafleur
I repeated the process using stamps instead of stencils - I used the circle stamp images from both of Seth's new stamp sets. ESA 03 and ESA 04 (part of the Eclectica collection.) I stamped these with teal and red pigment inks and heat embossed with teal and red embossing powder. I also used a Versamark pen to draw in a few places and then heat embossed that as well (it's a fun way to add some extra details!)

Note that in some places, I stamped on top of the stenciling - Seth designed the stamps to work with the stencils, so they layer really well!

Library of Memories Take 2 - Book Pages Step 5 - Gwen Lafleur

I just repeated that process with the other four shapes until I had five full sheets of patterned paper. In the end, I used every stamp in both the ESA 03 and ESA 04 stamp collections, and I also used all of the following stencils:

From there, they were ready to be cut up and used to make patchwork backgrounds!

Library of Memories Take 2 - Book Pages Step 7 - Gwen Lafleur

I also used pieces from these sheets to make the end papers for my handmade book...

Library of Memories Take 2 - Book Step 1 - Gwen Lafleur

...I cut out larger sections to be used as focal points on some of the pages...

Library of Memories Take 2 - Book Pages 9-10a - Gwen Lafleur

... and I also used some of them to make backgrounds and covered the entire page.

Library of Memories Take 2 - Book Pages 5-6 - Gwen Lafleur

I still have quite a few scraps left - they'll be great on future projects, so I'll make sure not to throw them out!

That's it for my post here, but make sure you hop over to StencilGirl Talk to see my full project and more tutorials, plus even more fabulous projects guaranteed to inspire!


Mini Stenciled Junque Journals

Hi everyone, I'm up on StencilGirl Talk today sharing some mini stenciled junque journals that I made to give out as gifts. Here you can see the books I made:

Mini Stenciled Junque Journals - Complete - Gwen Lafleur

You can head over to the StencilGirl blog to see more photos of the books as well as a little tutorial on how I made them. Enjoy!



Art Journal Cover with StencilGirl and Impression Obsession

Hi everyone! Welcome to my stop on this week's blog hop with StencilGirl and Impression Obsession! This week members of both creative teams are combining StencilGirl stencils and IO stamps to make fun new projects that we hope you'll love!

SGP IOS Blog Hop Banner

For my project, I decided to decorate the cover of a small art journal I made a while ago that I haven't used yet (hopefully this will help change that.)

Here's what I came up with:

  Stamped and Stenciled Art Journal Cover - Gwen Lafleur

This could also work for an art journal page, mixed media canvas or panel... it could translate to a handmade card as well! Here's a little overview of my process as I made my cover, along with links to the products I used.

First, I used gold pigment ink and embossing powder and stenciled with my Decorative Folk Flower Screen stencil until I had covered the whole background. (I inked, applied the powder, and embossed before moving onto the next section. The background was painted back when I made the journal, so it made it easy to get started!)

Stamped and Stenciled Art Journal Cover Step 1 - Gwen Lafleur

Next, I took a few stamps and used black ink to add in a little texture. I randomly stamped over the cover without using a mount since I didn't want the entire image to print. I rubbed off over the embossing so that the stamping just showed up on the background (obviously you could do this before stenciling and embossing, but that would just be too easy.) For this step I used images from the Alphabet Scramble and Faded Fragments stamp sets, both by Seth Apter for Impression Obsession. 

Stamped and Stenciled Art Journal Cover Step 2 - Gwen Lafleur
With the background done, I moved on to the frame that I wanted to make for my focal point image. To do this, I got a good piece of thick paper (I used a scrap of Rieves BFK left over from an art class,) and then I tinted some molding paste with fluid acrylic paints. I put a nice, thick coat of molding paste through my Decorative Medallion Repeating Corner stencil - probably about 2mm thick. I used a heat gun to form enough of a skin that I could move on to the next section without smudging the paste (I made sure to oscillate it a lot so that I wouldn't bubble the wet molding paste.)

Stamped and Stenciled Art Journal Cover Step 3 - Gwen Lafleur

Once I had repeated the image four times to complete my medallion, I let it dry long enough to handle and then cut around it and applied some gold spray ink. I used a baby wipe to clean the ink off of the molding paste surface so that it only stained the paper.

Stamped and Stenciled Art Journal Cover Step 4 - Gwen Lafleur

I set that aside and worked on the focal point of the cover - I knew that I wanted to build everything around this Peacock stamp from Hannah Davies Designs.  (As soon as I saw this stamp, I knew it had to be mine! LOL.) I stamped it in black on heavy copy paper and colored it with Inktense pencils and Staedtler Triplus Fine-liner pens. (Later, I colored the background with a gold acrylic glaze.)

Coloring Stamped Image

After I colored the image, I used the Simple Geo Squares stencil by Kae Pea to frame the image and determine what was going to be shown through the frame I was making with my molding paste medallion. I traced the line around the peacock, then as you can see below, I used it again to trace on the back of my medallion to know where my opening was going to be.

Stamped and Stenciled Art Journal Cover Step 5 - Gwen Lafleur

 I cut out my opening and then glued the image to the back of the frame.

Stamped and Stenciled Art Journal Cover Step 6 - Gwen Lafleur

I went ahead and glued the frame onto the journal cover, then used some Aves Apoxie - Fixit Sculpt, and put a clay border around the opening to frame it. I embedded some metal findings and rhinestones, then I used an another image from Seth's Faded Fragments stamp set to add some texture. I spritzed the stamp with a mold release spray and then pressed it into the soft clay. The mold release made it so that it didn't stick to the clay or ruin the stamp, and I got some really fabulous texture!

Stamped and Stenciled Art Journal Cover Step 7 - Gwen Lafleur

When the clay was cured, I painted the clay with black gesso and then added some Art Stones around the edge for texture.

Stamped and Stenciled Art Journal Cover Step 7a - Gwen Lafleur

In between clay drying and paint curing, I also made a little label to be a title for the front of the book. I stamped a ticket image from the Balzer Designs Tickets stamp set, then used another image from Seth Apter's Alphabet Scramble set with gray ink to add some pattern to the background. Once that was done, I took the "Saturday" stamp from the Balzer Designs Days of the Week set and used a black brush marker  to just ink one letter at a time so I could spell "ART" on my ticket / title card. On the back of the stamp I placed my finger over top of the letter so that I would know where the letter was when I went to stamp it - it worked great!

Stamped and Stenciled Art Journal Cover Step 9 - Gwen Lafleur

I finished up by adding a few layers of paint on top of my clay frame, then I glued my title tag onto the cover. 

Stamped and Stenciled Art Journal Cover Close-up 1- Gwen Lafleur

I also decided I wanted a little more stamping on the background, so I used the numbers stamp from the Balzer Designs Tickets stamp set and put the lightest wash of white paint inside the image. I really love how it turned out.

Stamped and Stenciled Art Journal Cover Close-up 2- Gwen Lafleur

Stamped and Stenciled Art Journal Cover Close-up 3- Gwen Lafleur
Voila! Finished art journal cover!

I really hope you enjoyed my project today... make sure you visit all of the blogs on this week's hop and leave comments so that you can be eligible for an awesome... 


SGP IOS Blog Hop Giveaway image
StencilGirl Products will be giving away a $25 Gift Certificate to TWO lucky winners!
Impression Obsession will be giving away a $25 Gift Certificate to TWO lucky winners!
Visit the fabulous designers from both teams and comment for your chance to win one of these 4 great prizes during the hop!
The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN!
(One comment per person per blog please.)
You have until Friday, September 30th at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments.
Winners will be announced on StencilGirl's Facebook page on Sunday, October 2nd.

2016 Asia Travel Journal - Before the Trip

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted anything that wasn't for an assignment I was working on!  Life is as crazy as ever, but I've also been in a bit of a slump where I haven't worked on much besides what I'd already committed to. Sometimes you just have to wait those out, you know? I'm starting to pull out of it, and what better to get me excited about new projects than a big trip that needs a travel journal? 

I'm getting ready to head out on this year's adventure which I started planning more than two years ago. To think that it's almost time to actually go is a little weird - it hasn't quite sunk in yet, but at the same time I'm very excited! I ran across a word the other day - "resfeber." Sounds like something that someone made up, right? But the definition is "the restless race of the traveler's heart before the journey begins, when anxiety and anticipation are tangled together; wanderlust." That's exactly  how I've been feeling lately! But enough of that, on to the journal!

For the last 5-6 vacations I've taken, I've made a travel journal from scratch. I started with the Ali Edwards Scrapbook on the Road approach, using binder rings to hold them all together. I love the three journals I did that way, but I take big trips and save a lot of stuff, and the rings were HUGE - it makes the books a bit unwieldy and it's hard to turn the covers and pages. When I went to Bali last year, I made a case bound book and it worked really well, so that's what I did again this year. 

Here you can see where I've already made the signatures (14 of them!) and started pulling out things I thought I might use to decorate the outside and maybe some of the pages.

Asia Travel Journal - Preparing to Assemble

In case you couldn't guess, China is on the itinerary this year! I had a few bits and pieces I've picked up recently, along with some things saved from when I was there 8 years ago. Also some Russian book pages (because I'll be in Siberia / Russia!) I'll also be in Mongolia - I don't have anything specific to that (go figure,) so I just made do with what I had in my stash. I bound the book - here you can see where I left the end papers to dry overnight. I made the spine bigger than the text block (which is also bound a little loosely) so that I'll have room to add brochures, photos, and other ephemera as I go.

Asia Travel Journal - Gluing Down End Papers

When it was done, I used my Decorative Curvy Repeating Ornament stencil with some molding paste on both covers, leaving room for where I knew I was going to wrap fabric around the spine. I glued down letters for the title, then painted the whole thing gold. When it was dry, I added some color into the decorated area on the front cover, then I clear-coated both front and back and then waxed them lightly. I had a piece of beautiful Chinese silk that I cut to size and wrapped around, then added some dark blue flower trim along the edge.

Asia Travel Journal Covers 1 - Gwen Lafleur

Asia Travel Journal Covers 2 - Gwen Lafleur

Now for the inside! I had some Asian looking wrapping paper in my stash and I used that to cover over the end papers on the inside covers - I clear coated those too to help protect them since the paper wasn't all that durable. Then I started adding a little to the pages. For the front, it needed a title page! I had this awesome stamp of a map of Asia from Studio Calico (it's huge too!) and I stamped that and then added in my route and colored the countries I'll be visiting.

Asia Travel Journal - Title Page and Pre-made Labels - Gwen Lafleur

The title on that page comes from the fact that I will go in a complete circle around the globe on this trip - I'm really excited about that! You can also see all the labels... I've learned through experience that it's much faster, easier, and better for luggage space and weight if I prepare as much as possible in advance, so I take the absolute minimum of supplies with me. I go through my itinerary and make labels for the main things we'll see - cities, countries, points of interest... specific activities that we'll be doing (like sleeping in a yurt in Mongolia!) Then I just tuck them all in an envelope and I don't have to bring stamps, letter stickers, or anything like that. I do throw in a few blank labels so I can add dates or put in something that I did during free time. 

I made a pocket on the back of the title page to tuck in the official itinerary. This is handy, plus it covers up where you can see what I stamped on the front of the page :-P

Asia Travel Journal - Inside Pages 4 - Gwen Lafleur

In the second picture above, you can see where I added a few rubons to one page right at the front where I'll probably put travel info from my flight, add a ticket stub, etc... I also stuck in a fun Chinese envelope from my stash and stamped with a custom designed chop I got in China last time  I was there - it spells out the phonetic sounds of my name in Chinese characters. The third picture just shows a fun piece of paper I had that I stuck in the book to make it interesting.

I had very little to use for the Russia section of the book, so I carved a quick Matryoshka stamp to add into my book.

Handcarved Matryoshka Stamp - Gwen LafleurI mentioned it when I shared this stamp on Instagram / Facebook, but I tried a new kind of rubber for this one (Speedy Cut, ) and I did NOT like it. I keep checking around to see if I find anything new that's really wonderful, but I'll be sticking with my Moo Carve and Speedy Carve for now! I still like the stamp, even if the rubber was too soft for the detail I originally wanted.

Below you can see where I used the stamp along the bottom of one of the pages in my journal:


Asia Travel Journal - Inside Pages 2 - Gwen Lafleur

I also added a few rubons here and there, and I collaged in a piece of a map I happened to have that shows an area of China where we're going to be traveling.

Asia Travel Journal - Inside Pages 1 - Gwen Lafleur

The above-left photo has a little tipped-in glassine bag for ephemera, and I stenciled it with the 6x6 stencil from the August 2016 StencilClub kit - it's actually taken from a map of the Moscow metro! We're going to ride the metro while we're in Moscow in order to see some of the historic stations, so I tucked that in toward the end of the book for when we'll be there. Above-right, I found this stamp set by Lynne Perella for Paper Artsy and immediately fell in love. I think it's supposed to be Japanese, but I put her in my Mongolia section - I don't know why, but that's what I thought of when looking at her! I colored the image with watercolor pencils.

Asia Travel Journal - Inside Pages 3 - Gwen Lafleur

Just a few more shots of some of the more interesting spreads in the journal... most don't have anything extra done to them. Top left, I added a layered dragon diecut I've had in my stash for at least 10 years. Anyone remember L'il Davis Designs? Some flocked 7 Gypsies paper I've also had forever that I love... top right, I collaged in some Russian book text on a flap - I'll probably clip something to it. We'll see! Bottom left I've shared before, that uses the July 2016 StencilClub kit - I thought it looked a bit like Russian Folk Art, and since I didn't have much for that section, I just went with it! Bottom right is just the last page of the book.... I have this fun "globe" trotter stamp that I thought was great for the very end - I think that's from Evalicious.

That's it for the interesting (or even sort of interesting) inside pages - they'll hopefully be very cool at the end of the trip! Each signature in the book is made up of patterned paper, a sheet of watercolor paper, drawing paper (mostly for journaling,) and some of the signatures also have manila folders.

Here's what comes with me in my carry-on to work in the journal on the road:

Asia Travel Journal Supply Kit - Gwen Lafleur

I made a travel watercolor palette by cutting off small rectangles from my Peerless watercolors and gluing them inside of a partial file folder - I have a piece of deli paper that I put in to keep them from touching when it's folded. A few sheets of labels and my pocket of pre-made labels, water brushes, a small pair of travel scissors with blunt tips, a mini stapler, some clips and a little twine, a few rolls of washi tape, a glue stick, a tape runner (with a refill,) and a few pens and pencils (plus an eraser and pencil sharpener.) I bring ball-point pens since I've learned from experience that trying to use Microns or similar pens on drawing paper will dry them out quickly - I just use those for sketching. 

Here's the final package of what will come with me:

Asia Travel Journal - Ready to Pack

I also have a pouch with colored pencils that will be dual purpose - I can use them in my journal (since I'm really hoping to be able to add some sketching to this one,) and although I haven't gotten into the adult coloring book fad (despite owning several that I bought for the patterns,) I found one at Michael's recently called Imagimorphia that looks awesome - I figured it would be great for long plane rides when I need some variety to keep me sane.

So that's it! Depending on how much wireless access I have on the road I'll try and post some photos of the trip or maybe do some travel blogging. Hopefully I'll have a cool, bursting at the seams, travel journal when I get back :D Now I just have to get everything packed for a 3 week trip and still under the weight limit with room for souvenirs. Somehow I think I'll manage... I always do!


n*Studio - Mini Art Journal - Advice to My Future Self

Hi All! Just popping in to let you know that today I'm up on Nathalie Kalbach's blog sharing a project featuring several of Nathalie's stamps and stencils. Our theme  for this month centered on a letter to our future selves (like 10 years from now selves.) I thought it would be fun to make a little mini art journal where I could write out advice to myself. It's 2"x3" and I picked 5 pieces of advice to include:


Make sure you head over to see the full post - there are pictures of all of the inside pages as well as a little tutorial for how I made the entire thing. Enjoy!



May StencilClub Inspiration - Handmade Book

It's StencilClub inspiration day over on the StencilGirl blog! This month's exclusive club stencils were designed by Terri Stegmiller and are perfect for Spring! Of course, my project ended up going in the opposite direction, but I still absolutely love it. 

This month I made myself a new art journal - it's a 6"x8" codex-bound book and I used the stencils to make the covers and binding.

May2016 StencilClub - Handmade Art Journal - Gwen Lafleur

Head on over to see the full post with more photos of my project as well as more fabulous inspiration from the team!


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

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:


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.)

Mini Handmade Art Journal #2

I've slowly been working on filling the second of the 4"x4" mini art journals that I made for the StencilGirl / Inchie Arts blog hop last month and I finally finished! All of the pages have been posted on Instagram and Facebook, but I like to have them all together in a single post.

First, a reminder of what the covers looked like - this is the one with all the gold crackle paste that I just loved. It's the one on the bottom in this photo:

StencilGirl - Inchie Arts - Mini Art Journals - Gwen Lafleur

Here's a little close-up of the texture - both the front and back covers looked like this. I used my Ornamental Compass Screen stencil on top of the crackle - I love how the stenciling kind of floats in there.
StencilGirl - Inchie Arts - Mini Art Journals - Gwen Lafleur

Here's the first spread in the book - inspired a bit by the work of Jill Ricci.

Mini Art Journal - Spread 1 - Gwen LafleurI used the Marrakech Mix stencil to trace the main shapes and then lightly stenciled in off white with my Ornamental Flower Screen stencil. I got a lot of questions about the lettering on the left - unfortunately I didn't do that (it would be so awesome if I could letter like that!) but it was cut from an insert in an issue of Uppercase Magazine.

Spread number two uses another word from Uppercase, along with a lot of stamping with a hand-carved stamp I made back in December. I added some diecuts from a Spellbinders set (Persian elements,) washi tape, glitter tape, and the arrows are a diecut border - I think it's an old one from KI Memories.

Mini Art Journal - Spread 2 - Gwen LafleurSpread number three was inspired by nearly 60 degree weather here on President's Day. Yet another cutout from an Uppercase Magazine insert and some fussy cut collage pieces. I went over some of the open spaces with gold ink and my Ornamental Compass Screen stencil again.

Mini Art Journal - Spread 3 - Gwen LafleurLast but not least, I kept going with the theme of cut out words that all kind of worked together. This time it was from a page in an old Smash Book that I've been using for patterned paper. The background was crackled with DecoArt Weathered Wood, and I used my Ornamental Circle Cluster stencil across the background and then heat embossed it in white and distressed with ink.

Mini Art Journal - Spread 4 - Gwen LafleurNaturally some dots, glittery stuff, and Liquid Pearls made their way onto the spread. I love this sentiment... it seemed like a great way to end the book!

So that's it for this one, but I'm working on turning this into a class so you'll be seeing more soon... we'll see how that goes!


Mini Handmade Art Journal

On Tuesday in my post for the StencilGirl and Inchie Arts blog hop, I shared the covers for two mini handmade art journals that I made using the 4x4 Art Squares from Inchie Arts. Today I thought I'd share the inside pages for one of them (I was originally going to put them in Tuesday's post, but that seemed like it was just too much!)

Here are the books again:

StencilGirl - Inchie Arts - Mini Art Journals - Gwen Lafleur

I used the one made from the black 4x4 Art Squares (but the other one is going to get filled too!)

StencilGirl - Inchie Arts - Mini Art Journal 1 Cover Close-up - Gwen Lafleur

Here are the inside pages. I had a sheet torn from the Art Institute of Chicago member magazine for an exhibit with Indian art that I thought was really beautiful. I used imagery from that page throughout the four spreads in my book. There's lots of collage, and of course lots of stenciling too! I'll list all of the stencils I used at the bottom of the post just to keep things simple.

Spread number one:

Inchie Arts - StencilGirl - Mini Art Journal Spread 1 - Gwen Lafleur

Here's a close-up of page one - handmade paper in the background, washi tape, my magazine collage images, an old stamp, and stencils, of course! I added some gold Stickles in the centers of my stenciled images.

Inchie Arts - StencilGirl - Mini Art Journal Page 1 - Gwen Lafleur

On page two, I used a razor to cut a window in the page and put a piece of old 7 Gypsies printed transparency on the front (I knew I wanted something to fit into the window from the back.) I added a scrap of embroidered fabric and more stencils.

Inchie Arts - StencilGirl - Mini Art Journal Page 2 - Gwen Lafleur

Here's spread number 2:

Inchie Arts - StencilGirl - Mini Art Journal Spread 2 - Gwen Lafleur

Here you can see the back-side of my window, but as I mentioned, the transparency is on the other side so that the 2x2 art square on the right side page will nest right inside of the window when the pages are together.

Inchie Arts - StencilGirl - Mini Art Journal Page 3 - Gwen Lafleur

On the left side, I used a patchwork technique that I learned in my class with Seth Apter back in October. With a collaged butterfly and some stenciling on top.

Inchie Arts - StencilGirl - Mini Art Journal Page 4 - Gwen Lafleur

On the right, I stenciled over the background in gold. I placed the 2x2 Art Square so that it would fit into the window, then I stenciled on top and added glitter and Liquid Pearls. I cut out some gold and silver metallic and glittered circles from a piece of handmade paper and added some other collage and stenciling on top. 

The third spread:

Inchie Arts - StencilGirl - Mini Art Journal Spread 3 - Gwen LafleurBack to my Indian imagery with this one (I seem to be very drawn to this lately.) 

Inchie Arts - StencilGirl - Mini Art Journal Page 5 - Gwen Lafleur

More stenciling in the background with gold, then collage images. On top I have Liquid Pearls and rubons, then more stenciling. I'm loving the effect of the different stencils layered on top of each other in gold and then white.

Inchie Arts - StencilGirl - Mini Art Journal Page 6 - Gwen Lafleur

On the right side I used a red paint marker to bring out some of the stenciled design in the background and tie everything in a bit more.

Finally, the fourth spread in my mini art journal:

Inchie Arts - StencilGirl - Mini Art Journal Spread 4 - Gwen Lafleur

Lots and lots of stenciling on this one with just a little collage.

Inchie Arts - StencilGirl - Mini Art Journal Page 7 - Gwen Lafleur

More of the layered stenciling that I'm loving, and a gold diecut from a Spellbinders set with Persian motifs. I distressed it with ink and added lots of Liquid Pearls, naturally.

Inchie Arts - StencilGirl - Mini Art Journal Page 8 - Gwen Lafleur

So we come to the end of this quick little mini art journal! I loved working with this size... so fast and enjoyable, but still lots of room for experimentation. Using the Art Squares on this project was really fun too - they're perfect for making a good solid book, and take all kinds of media really well.

Here are the supplies I used:

I hope you enjoyed seeing the inside of my little book... now to finish the other one! 

ATCs and Mini Art Journals with StencilGirl & Inchie Arts

Hi everyone, welcome to my stop on this week's blog hop with StencilGirl and Inchie Arts! Talk about products that are made to work together...

I got to use black and white sets of 4x4" Art Squares, cream colored ATC Art Squares, and a lovely gray 2"x2" set of Art Squares along with my StencilGirl Stencils. I love that Inchie Arts makes their products from mat board - that makes them perfect for pretty much whatever I wanted to do with them! In fact, they were so much fun to work with that I couldn't stop with just one project. I made two 4x4 art books / mini art journals with the 4" art square sets, and of course I had to make some ATCs!

StencilGirl - Inchie Arts - Blog Hop Projects - Gwen Lafleur

 Here are the individual projects, starting with the ATCs. If you scroll down a bit there's also a little tutorial showing how I made all of these  :)

  StencilGirl - Inchie Arts - ATCs - Gwen Lafleur

Here are close-ups of the cards along with the stencils I used. All of my ATCs were done with the cream ATC Art Squares. All of the images I used are from photos that I took myself in my travels - this group includes photos from Cambodia, Bali, and Myanmar.

 Cards 1 & 2: for these I used my Ornamental Petals Mask and also the Ornamental Circle Cluster Screen stencils.

StencilGirl - Inchie Arts - ATCs 1 - Gwen Lafleur

 For the next two, I used the feathers from my Ornamental Peacock stencil as well as the Ornamental Floral Screen stencil

StencilGirl - Inchie Arts - ATCs 2 - Gwen Lafleur

The last two ATCs use my Ornamental Embroidery Stencil as well as the Ornamental Compass Screen.

StencilGirl - Inchie Arts - ATCs 3 - Gwen Lafleur

For those who are interested, here's a little tutorial that shows the basic process I use for my cards. I typically make them one at a time and I never know what I'm going to do when I start - I just pick one up, choose an image, and go from there. It's always fun to see what comes out! This was my process as I made the first card with the reclining Buddha statue from a temple in Myanmar.

Step 1: I choose the image to use for the card. Then I either paint or ink the background. For this one I used paint:

StencilGirl - Inchie Arts - ATC Tutorial Step 1 - Gwen Lafleur


Step 2, I stencil the background (this is the Ornamental Petals Stencil) and I also usually add some inking around the edge. I mostly use Sepia and Black Archival Ink for this with a mini blending tool.

StencilGirl - Inchie Arts - ATC Tutorial Step 3 - Gwen Lafleur

Step 3:  I took some gold cardstock and a border punch that had a design that worked with my theme and punched and inked a border to use on the card.

StencilGirl - Inchie Arts - ATC Tutorial Step 2 - Gwen Lafleur

Step 4: I absolutely adore sari trims, fabrics, etc... and have an ever-growing collection that I like to use in my artwork. I took a piece from my basket of scraps and used some of it here. You could use ribbon, any fabric, a border sticker... whatever you like! I also like to use glitter tape or washi tape for this. I added it to my punched border after adhering the image. This helps embed the image better into the overall design without leaving visible hard, straight edges.

StencilGirl - Inchie Arts - ATC Tutorial Step 4 - Gwen Lafleur

Step 5: Time to pile on the goodies! I love using jewels (with this type of theme, at least,) along with Liquid Pearls and a gold pen to edge the card.

StencilGirl - Inchie Arts - ATC Tutorial Step 5 - Gwen Lafleur

Step 6: I felt like this one still needed just a little something, so I pulled out some old butterfly rubons and added them, then embellished with some gold Liquid Pearls.

StencilGirl - Inchie Arts - ATC Tutorial Step 6 - Gwen Lafleur

That's it for my ATCs... I can't wait to make the other six with the rest of my package of ATC-sized Art Squares.

Of course, just making ATCs wasn't enough for today... as I said, I had a few packages of 4" Art Squares in different colors. Since the Art Squares are made out of mat board, they're absolutely perfect for making into books, so I took each set of Art Squares and bound them into mini art journals using single-sheet Coptic binding. Here are the two books that I made - one with black pages, one with white (maybe next time I'll mix them!)

StencilGirl - Inchie Arts - Mini Art Journals - Gwen LafleurHere you can see what the binding looks like - it's actually very easy to do! I use the tutorial from Boundary Press - I find it very easy to follow.

StencilGirl - Inchie Arts - Mini Art Journal Binding - Gwen LafleurHere's a close-up of the first cover - I used my Ornamental Petals Screen stencil along with some of the gorgeous new copper texture paste from Art-C as the base layer for the covers. Then I used the Ornamental Petals Mask and stenciled onto black cardstock with copper paint, cut it out, and mounted it on the cover with foam for some dimension. Finally, I had a polymer clay flower thingy that I'd made during my jewelry-making phase a few years ago. I'd tossed it in a bin as a failure, but pulled it out and repainted it and I love it on my cover! Naturally I added Liquid Pearls for my dots, and I tucked in some bits of DicroFibers (Angelina Fibers) for a little extra texture and bling.

StencilGirl - Inchie Arts - Mini Art Journal 1 Cover Close-up - Gwen Lafleur

Finally, here's a close-up of the second book. I painted the covers, put down a layer of gold crackle paste (leaving a few places where the background shows through,) and then used Archival Inks and some turquoise Luxe paint from Art-C to add extra dimension and interest. I actually stenciled with my Ornamental Compass Screen and black ink after doing the rest; it gives it a softer look and it feels to me like it's more a part of the whole rather than an obvious stencil design on top.

StencilGirl - Inchie Arts - Mini Art Journal 2 Cover Close-up - Gwen Lafleur
Now I'm just working on filling the pages of these fun little books :)

So that's it for today's projects! I really loved using my StencilGirl stencils with the Art Squares and ATCs from Inchie Arts - they take all of the paint, ink, and mediums beautifully, and are sturdy enough to build up lots of layers (even my clay flowers!) I hope you enjoyed today's post as well!

Now for the best part of the blog hop: 


We'll be picking one lucky winner to receive:

one $25 StencilGirl Products Gift Certificate 


1 package each of 4", 3", ATC (2.5" X 3.5") and Swatch (2" X 4") sized white Art Squares from Inchie Arts! (4 packages in all!)

All comments left on the hop list participants’ posts will be entered. One comment per person per blog please. 

Comments close on January 30th @ 11:59PM Central.
Winner will be announced on StencilGirl Product’s Facebook Page on January 31st.

Make sure you visit and comment on all of the blogs today, and stop back in at StencilGirl Talk daily to make sure you get links for the whole week!

January 26
StencilGirl Talk
Maria McGuire
Gwen Lafleur <-- you are here!
Dina Kowal

StencilGirl: Stenciled File Folder Mini Art Journal

I've got a new project over on StencilGirl Talk today - it's my monthly installment of Gwen's Gems! (I still giggle a bit when I type that.)

This month I've made a mini art journal out of a manila file folder. I've wanted to do this for a while, so I used my stencils along with my winter Art Bento Box to make this month's project.

File Folder Mini Art Journal Finished Cover - Gwen Lafleur

File Folder Mini Art Journal Inside 2 - Gwen LafleurMake sure you head over to read my post on StencilGirl Talk to see more photos and details as well as a tutorial so you can make your own!

Library of Memories Masterclass

Last week I had the privilege of attending Art is You - Stamford where I had the opportunity to take several amazing classes.  The first of my classes was a 3-day masterclass - Library of Memories with Seth Apter. I'd always heard wonderful things about his classes, so I was really excited to get to take one myself. It did not disappoint! If anything, it was even better than I'd anticipated.

The morning of our first day was a group expedition to New York where we got to do a little shopping and see some of the sites. We took the train into Grand Central and then spent most of the time in or near the Garment District - M&J Trimmings was like heaven! (I was too busy shopping to take many pictures... LOL.) We also found beads, paper, and spent some time shopping for metal findings to take back and use in our projects. It's probably for the best that I didn't know about some of those shops while I still lived in Branford - it would have been dangerous!

This is one of the few shots I got - we were in the basement of a very cool Japanese bookstore across from Bryant Park.

Japanese Bookstore ShoppingBack in Stamford, we got to work on our projects. The main goal of the 3-day class was to build and complete the box, as well as assembling the handmade book and then hopefully at least getting a start on it. There was such a great vibe in the class. There were twenty of us, and it was so fun to see the evolution of everyone's projects! Here's a quick little shot that Patty got of Donna and I during our second day of class:

Seth's Masterclass 3

After our last day of class finished, there was a mini exhibition for all of the projects in each of the masterclasses so we could see what everyone else had been working on. There was so much wonderful art made in these classes! We went around oohing and ahhing at all of it. Of course, I still think that our class was the best ;)

Patty, Seth and I(Me, Patty, and Seth.)

I kept working on my book pages a few evenings in the hotel after class was over, and have pushed to finish it at home before I move this week - I didn't want to lose my momentum since I know once I get fully into moving mode, it's going to be a few weeks before I'll be able to really get back into the studio.

In any case, I finished and so with no further ado, here's my completed project.

First up is the front cover of the case that we made:

Library of Memories - Cover 1 - Gwen LafleurI haven't done much of this type of collage and assemblage, but I'll definitely be doing it a lot more from now on.

Library of Memories - Cover 2 - Gwen LafleurDifferent pieces of metal, findings, paper, book covers... all kinds of fun things found there way into this project! I found that carved face on our expedition into New York.

Here's what it looks like after you open it up:

Library of Memories - Inside 1 - Gwen LafleurThe left side was more collage with just a few bits of assemblage type work. I really loved blending lots of different styles and types of materials into a single piece. (One of the women in class told me after it was over that she'd watched me making this and didn't think I'd be able to pull it off. Once it was finished though, she loved it! She thought it was very Bollywood. Not quite the vibe I was after, but I'll take it!)

Library of Memories - Inside 5 - Gwen LafleurThe right side of the case cradles a little handmade book. We actually brought in our own book covers and made a new book from them. I used a vintage copy of Kenilworth by Sir Walter Scott. It had some cool debossed areas on edges of the cover that you can still see under the collage.

Library of Memories - Book Cover - Gwen LafleurHere's a view of the completed book so you get an idea of the layers on the cover:

Library of Memories - Book Cover 2 - Gwen LafleurMoving to the inside pages... I used some wrapping paper printed with Turkish patterns for my end papers. The pages themselves were all originally just kraft cardstock. I started working on them in class with what I had and what I liked - initially there was no rhyme or reason to what I was doing, I was just looking for things that would look good together and keeping in mind some of the tips Seth gave us in class for making the pages.

Library of Memories - Book Page 1 - Gwen LafleurI started out doing the patchwork technique that Seth showed us on a few of the pages. This one has a few other bits collaged on top, rubons, liquid pearls, and a bit of stenciling on top.

Library of Memories - Book Pages 2-3 - Gwen LafleurI mainly worked on the foundation of the pages first and then went back and added most of the words later - I had pulled out a bunch of French vocabulary cards thinking I'd use them in one of my other classes, but I ended up liking them here better. The page on the right was a tipped-in transparency. I had a whimsical moment where I decided to add this soldier stamped on vellum (an old Stampington stamp that I've had for years.) I went back and colored him in with colored pencils and used a tiny piece of a stencil to make him talk. It seemed fairly a propos and now he's one of my favorite parts of the book.

Library of Memories - Book Page 3 - Gwen Lafleur

Library of Memories - Book Pages 4-5 - Gwen Lafleur

The "hope" didn't get added until toward the end... I thought it fit nicely with the sentiments on the tag. As for where the inspiration for THAT came from, I couldn't tell you... not quite my usual thing, but it worked! More stenciling and rubons on the top layer here.

Library of Memories - Book Page 5 - Gwen Lafleur

Library of Memories - Book Page 5b - Gwen LafleurI just randomly pulled the image on the left hand side from some Japanese block print book pages that were in my stash. All of the pages were built in stages - I didn't work on any of them from start to finish. I really like how well it all integrated into the book as I kept working, though!

Library of Memories - Book Pages 6-7 - Gwen LafleurThe right hand side images are from a quarter repeat hand-carved stamp that I made a little while ago. It's painted with acrylics with some other detail work on top.

Library of Memories - Book Page 7 - Gwen LafleurI'm going to say that I totally planned the way everything lined up through the opening even though I didn't.

Library of Memories - Book Page 8 - Gwen Lafleur

Another random Japanese block print - I initially used it because I thought it was cool looking, then I found this sticker in my stash that said "Eyes Wide Open" and I thought it fit my Samurai so I went with it.

Library of Memories - Book Pages 10-11 - Gwen Lafleur

Library of Memories - Book Page 11 - Gwen Lafleur

Library of Memories - Book Pages 10-11b - Gwen Lafleur

I love all of the flaps and folds - the interactive aspect of this project was very fun!
Library of Memories - Book Pages 12-13 - Gwen Lafleur

I don't usually like to use red as a main background color, but it ended up working pretty well here, I think.

Library of Memories - Book Pages 14-15 - Gwen Lafleur

Aesthetically, this ended up being one of my favorite spreads in the entire book. Again, totally by chance. I had the different pieces that ended up on the left-hand page on my desk and they kind of fell on top of each other. I would probably never have put them together on my own, but I love how it turned out!

Library of Memories - Book Pages 14-15b - Gwen LafleurI stenciled "Time" with one of Seth's stencils and embossed it with gold. (For those who are interested, all of the stenciling I did in my book was done using his stencils.)

Library of Memories - Book Pages 16-17 - Gwen LafleurFinally, the last page and the inside of the back cover. The flap on the right was painted red and then I used another hand-carved stamp and heat embossed it in gold. You can't tell in the photo, but the texture is very cool!

Library of Memories - Book Page 17 - Gwen LafleurThat's it! My completed project, and one of my favorite things that I've worked on in quite a while. I'll be back soon to post the projects from my other classes.

Travel Journal with StencilGirl and USArtQuest

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to my stop on the blog hop with StencilGirl and USArtQuest! I'm so excited that I got to participate in the hop... so many fun products to play with!

I'll get right to the project and then show you a brief step by step of how it evolved. A little background on how this came about - I love to make books, and I LOVE to travel! So naturally, I make books to use as travel journals. Usually I do a 3-ring book and don't actually bind it, but for my trip to Bali this month I decided to try something a little different, and I thought that using StencilGirl stencils and products from USArtQuest would be perfect!

Here's my finished book (pre-trip, of course!)

StencilGirl-USArtQuest Travel Journal 7 - Gwen LafleurAnd now for a little how-to... I started with the covers. I picked out some 8x10 canvas panels to use for those and started decorating. First, I did the back cover. I took a beautiful half-sheet of USArtQuest Art Papers  and decided that I would add a little copper Perfect Pigment Fluid Acrylic paint to the background to make the flowers stand out. I won't lie... this took a while, but I find it pretty relaxing, so I didn't mind.

StencilGirl-USArtQuest Travel Journal 1 - Gwen LafleurNext I started working on the front cover. I used more Perfect Pigment paints to cover the background, then stenciled the main image using the Bloom True stencil by Flora Bowley.

StencilGirl-USArtQuest Travel Journal 2 - Gwen LafleurIf you look closely, you'll see that this stencil comes in two parts - the outline, and then the actual flower mask. I left the pieces together for this part so that I could add an outline later. I used the Perfect Pigments paints again - I mixed Magenta and Wheat to get the lighter color for the flower.

StencilGirl-USArtQuest Travel Journal 3 - Gwen LafleurI knew I wanted the cover to be inspired by batik fabric designs, so for the outline (you can see above that I removed the mask) I used Duo Gilding Adhesive to put down a layer of glue so I could go back through and gild the outline. Once the adhesive was tacky (follow the directions - "when it's white it's not right, when it's clear it adheres!) I put down the Gildenglitz Leafing and then buffed off the excess.

StencilGirl-USArtQuest Travel Journal 4 - Gwen LafleurI used the Spring Fling stencil by Flora Bowley and repeated this process so that I had some leaves. Then I added a few other details and a title. I glazed both the front and back covers to they'll stand up to travel and handling. While that dried, I assembled my inside signatures. I separated the trip into travel time and then actual days in Bali and set up a signature for each day there and then one at the beginning and end for the travel (it's almost 2 days each way!) I bound it all together, and there you go!

StencilGirl-USArtQuest Travel Journal 6 - Gwen LafleurFor the inside, I used more of those beautiful half-sheets of artist papers to make the end papers of the book. Here's the inside of the front:

StencilGirl-USArtQuest Travel Journal 8 - Gwen Lafleurand the back - this paper is really iridescent - so cool!

StencilGirl-USArtQuest Travel Journal 12 - Gwen LafleurI also went through with stencils and Perfect Pigment paints and stenciled designs on some of the blank pages. I liked the transparency of some of the paints, because it makes good backgrounds for writing or other things I might add during the trip.

StencilGirl-USArtQuest Travel Journal 9 - Gwen LafleurAbove, I used the Going Global stencil by Mary Nasser along with the beautiful pearlescent green paint.

On the next ones, you can see where I bound this gorgeous textured artist paper into the book, and then added some stenciling next to it:

StencilGirl-USArtQuest Travel Journal 10 - Gwen Lafleur
StencilGirl-USArtQuest Travel Journal 10 - Gwen LafleurI used the Floral 1 stencil by Traci Bautista and the Flower and Leaf stencil by Daniella Woolf for these.

And last but not least, the finished and bound back cover:

StencilGirl-USArtQuest Travel Journal 15 - Gwen LafleurI hope you enjoyed today's project!

No blog hop is complete without a giveaway... one lucky winner will receive a $25 gift certificate to StencilGirl as well as some of the USArtQuest Decorative Papers and Perfect Pigment Acrylics that you're seen us use in this week's hop!

USArtQuest Giveaway promo collage

Make sure you visit all of the stops on this fun, 2-day blog hop and leave a comment on each to increase your chances to win! (One comment per person, per blog please.) The giveaway closes on Sunday, Sept. 19th at 11:59pm Central.

Today's blog hop participants:

Junque Journal Classes Part 2

Picking up where I left off yesterday, today I wanted to share a quick recap of the projects I did as part of the bundle of Junque Journal classes I took online with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer. The second of the two classes is called "30 Days in your Junque Journal," and I did a pretty good job of keeping up, I think! Especially since I was traveling during the class.

So let's just dive right in, shall we? For most of the class, I didn't copy Julie's sample pages exactly (there was a video for every day of the 30 days,) but I tried to stick to similar theme and composition while I was getting the hang of this junque journaling thing.

First pages... Julie had a face, I had to have a face! Since I was still pretty new to faces at this point, I pulled out my "Eve, A Modern Woman" stencil by Andrea Matus deMeng and used that as the foundation for the page. Note my super fancy low-tech redaction technique here... I write a fair amount about work in my journal, but I want to make sure that doesn't get out in public, of course! (I blurred that stuff for the rest of them, as you'll see.)

Junque Journal Spread 1 - Gwen LafleurNext up, there was another face on Julie's, so I opted to try something different by using Jessica Sporn's Krishna Deity stencil in the background. (Julie's background papers in her book had lots of more interesting stuff on them - things she'd drawn, samples and stuff like that, whereas my pages were pretty plain. So in an attempt to make them even half as cool as hers were, I added all kinds of stuff before applying the techniques from the class. Extra work? YES! But I'm glad I did it... love the results.)

Junque Journal Spread 2 - Gwen LafleurThe third spread I kind of followed and kind of deviated... I loved the idea of adding the earth - that was my deviation. The lettering was pretty copy-cat of me. I drew the earth, the leaves were a hand-carved stamp, and the flowers were the Imaginary Bloom and Nonsensical Bloom stencil and mask sets by Rae Missigman.

Junque Journal Spread 3 - Gwen LafleurFun intermission spread! I followed Julie's instruction to use a reference photo and draw my own face with markers and paint pens. The quote on the right was an insert in a Studio Calico kit I got sometime last year.

Junque Journal Spread 4 - Gwen LafleurThis next spread is one where I started to deviate a bit more from what Julie was doing on her pages... and I love how it turned out! I started with a Dina Wakley stamp, along with some techniques that I'd learned in her classes last year. The light bulb is a stamp I made from a stencil in the April 2014 StencilClub kit.  On the right, I used a tag I'd made with the April 2015 StencilClub kit, as well as some hand-carved stamps. 

Junque Journal Spread 5 - Gwen LafleurThis next page was kind of fun, even though it's not much to look at... I used scraps of paper where I'd cleaned off extra paint and tested out some new pens. Also some test stamping with new hand-carved stamps.

Junque Journal Spread 6 - Gwen LafleurNext up... another slight deviation. Julie had a big face on her page, but I decided I really wanted to use this funky drawing. In one of my art classes at SAIC last year, we were working on our final piece based on inspiration from the museum. I'd sketched a very cool African tribal mask and wanted to kind of combine it with a Picasso painting I loved. This was a concept that I whipped out on the paper covering the table, and I loved it so much I cut it out and kept it.

Junque Journal Spread 7 - Gwen LafleurAnother face... I drew this one free-hand on some book paper. 

Junque Journal Spread 8 - Gwen LafleurAnd yet more following along closely with the lesson... I used purchased and hand-carved stamps along with some doodling. The arrows were from the Pointing it Out stencil/mask by Rae Missigman. You can also see lots of fun stuff peeking through from the base pages.

Junque Journal Spread 9 - Gwen LafleurYet another face as I followed along closely... hand-drawn from a reference photo:

Junque Journal Spread 10 - Gwen LafleurAlmost there! I started deviating again (I was watching lots of Teesha Moore videos on the Artstronauts site.) Lots of collage and the quote is another insert from a Studio Calico kit.

Junque Journal Spread 11 - Gwen LafleurLast but not least (okay, it's kind of least... lol) I followed along with Julie pretty closely on this one (shapes were all me, though.) I was traveling at the time so I didn't want to get too fancy!

Junque Journal Spread 12 - Gwen Lafleur

So there you go! 30 days in my Junque Journal... hope you enjoyed it! As I'm sure you've seen on Instagram, I've continued to work in here, so I'll have another update soon with more of the pages I've done since the class finished.

Junque Journal Classes Part 1

In my never ending quest to get somewhat caught up with the list of "posts I want to put up on my blog," I bring you part 1 of my Junque Journal classes recap! 

I'd been eyeing these online Junque Journal classes by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer since she first put them up on her site, but I was hemming and hawing a bit over the price so I hadn't yet jumped in. Then, I went and spent a weekend taking in-person classes from her at the Papercraft Clubhouse in Connecticut, which I LOVED, and decided after seeing her journals in person that I had to take these classes. I signed up immediately after getting home.

I went with the Junque Journal bundle, and I'm really glad I did! The first of the two classes was one where we made our journals from scratch. Since I love making my own books, this was lots of fun! We started by making our own covers from 9x12 canvas panels, then created the inside pages and bound it all together. Here's how my book looked when I was done:

Junque Journal Cover 1 - Gwen LafleurFor my front cover, I used a few different stencils... the Aztec Sun Large Stencil by Lizzie Mayne for the background, then on the smaller panel I put on the front I used the Angel Circle stencil by Kate Thompson. I had fun using dimensional paints, embossing paste, and beads to get lots of texture. The whole thing is sealed with tar gel. On the spine, I used the Numbers stencil by Seth Apter.

Junque Journal Cover 2 - Gwen Lafleur

Here's my back cover, which I really like!

Junque Journal Back Cover - Gwen LafleurI used gelli prints, tissue paper, and the center is from a vintage French comic book. It's kind of a cool poem! I added some fun sticker words and again, sealed the whole thing with tar gel.

Here are the end papers - these were just made from gelli prints on deli paper left over from my classes with Julie.

Junque Journal Front End Papers - Gwen Lafleurand the back...

Junque Journal Back End Papers - Gwen LafleurI had received a package of washi tape I'd ordered on Etsy and it came from Hong Kong covered with the cutest stamps! I peeled them all off and collaged them inside the back cover of my book.

The inside pages were really fun to make - this is the "junque" part of the journal. They were made from lots of scrapbook paper, gelli prints, magazine pages, and lots of washi tape! I didn't take pictures of all of them, but here are several of the inside pages before working on them so that you can get an idea for what all of my base pages were like.

Junque Journal Inside Pages 7 - Gwen Lafleur
Junque Journal Inside Pages 7 - Gwen Lafleur
Junque Journal Inside Pages 7 - Gwen Lafleur

I travel as much as I can, so when I get home I like to take the luggage tags off of my suitcases and add those (along with the baggage claim stickers) onto the empty pages. There are quite a few scattered through the book!

Junque Journal Inside Pages 7 - Gwen Lafleur

On the one above, you can see where I've got an art journal page tipped into the book - this will obviously not get covered over! I have a few of these throughout the book, and I've added some decorated tags as well.

Junque Journal Inside Pages 7 - Gwen Lafleur
Junque Journal Inside Pages 7 - Gwen Lafleur
Junque Journal Inside Pages 7 - Gwen Lafleur

I've taken this book with me on several trips (at least three that I can think of off hand,) and it's holding up really well! It's pretty sturdy, and I've loved working in it. I'm getting close to finishing this one off (as I'm finally posting the beginning of it... ha!) and I can't wait to make another one!

Coming tomorrow... part 2 - the journal pages from the "30 Days in your Junque Journal" class.

Color Themed Book with Doodle It Border Stencil

I'm pretty excited to share this project... it's been under wraps for a while! A month or so ago, I got a chance to work with Maria's new stencil from StencilGirl called Doodle It Borders.

Doodle It Borders Stencil by Maria McGuirePretty cool, huh? I thought this would be awesome to use with some of the Pergamano techniques I've been playing around with, so I pulled out some vellum and my embossing tools and started playing. In the end, I decided to make all the pieces into a book and I LOVE it!

Color Themed Coptic Book by Gwen Lafleur

And, in my first ever blog video, here's a walk-through of the inside of the book. (This was just a quickie with my iPhone... one of these days soon I'll get an actual video camera with some editing software! But this worked okay for my first video, I think. Apologies for the vertical view - I wasn't thinking about how it would look when I uploaded it. Oops!)


Here's a quick overview of how I did the vellum pages. I'll admit... it can get a tad tedious. I did most of this sitting in front of the TV which helped a lot.)

First, I embossed the borders. Just use a stylus and a foam pad underneath - I have a Pergamano pad, but you could probably use some thick craft foam or something similar. I use wax with my stylus to help it glide better. You have to watch your pressure or it will tear through the vellum. I might have done that a few times, but you can work around it.

Color Themed Coptic Book 1 by Gwen Lafleur
Color Themed Coptic Book 1 by Gwen LafleurNext was the paper piercing part. (Say that 5 times fast!) I used Pergamano tools, but you could just use a needle or skip this part. I wanted to get some more texture into the design. I also cut out a few pieces from one of them.

Color Themed Coptic Book 3 by Gwen Lafleur
Color Themed Coptic Book 3 by Gwen LafleurThen I got some watercolor pencils and started coloring. This was about the point where I decided each one was going to be its own color, but I hadn't yet thought about keeping each signature the same color.

Color Themed Coptic Book 5 by Gwen Lafleur
Color Themed Coptic Book 5 by Gwen LafleurThis is the "ugly phase" that my project went through. I almost chucked it and went another route, but decided to see if maybe my Liquid Pearls could save the day. (Duh. Of course they could!!!)

Color Themed Coptic Book 7 by Gwen Lafleur

Color Themed Coptic Book 8 by Gwen Lafleur
As I was getting everything ready to make the signatures and start binding, I decided it would be really cool to have each signature be the same color, so I dug out patterned papers that went with each design and cut it all down to size, then bound it up.

The cover was painted with iridescent Pebeo paints and DecoArt black gesso, then detailed with more Liquid Pearls.

Color Themed Coptic Book Close-up by Gwen LafleurThere you go! My finished book. The Doodle It Borders stencil couldn't have been more perfect for this project... I can't wait to play with it some more! (And while you're looking, check out Maria's other stencil that was released today - Doodle It Bigger!)

StencilGirl: Stenciled and Shaped Books

Hi everyone, I'm over on the StencilGirl blog today sharing a new project... a shaped hand-made book made from stencils! I can't tell you how much I love how this turned out... there are some better pictures and an outline of the process in the post, so head on over and check it out!

Stenciled Shaped Dragon Book 3 - Gwen Lafleur

P.S. This is one of the projects we'll be making in my stencil classes at Papercraft Clubhouse on October 17th-18th in Connecticut. So if you're in the area, get more class info in my last post and on the Clubhouse newsletter and Facebook page for more details. There will be 3 designs for you to choose from in this class (You need to sign up by 10/1 to be guaranteed the design you want,) and the class will come with the stencil! This should be lots of fun... hope to see you there!

Fall Classes at Papercraft Clubhouse

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you've probably already seen me posting, but I wanted to put everything together in one place - I have three new classes that I'll be teaching on October 17th and 18th at Papercraft Clubhouse in Westbrook, CT. So if you're in the area and interested, give them a call to sign up!

Here are the classes... they're all mixed media, based on working with stencils (naturally!)

Friday night from 6-9pm, I'll be teaching Beneath the Surface. I'm totally in love with these projects, and I hope we'll get plenty of people coming out for this one! Here are two samples of what kind of painting you could make... we’ll be using stencils and acrylic paints to make an 11”x14” painting (on canvas) where we focus on building up layers and images and then using the Marrakech Mix stencil  by StencilGirl (included in your class kit) to create little windows in our top layer that allow us to see what’s underneath. You can choose whatever images and colors you want in the base layers - these are just ideas.

Beneath the Surface Class Samples by Gwen LafleurAnd here you can see the individual paintings:

Beneath the Surface - Abigail Painting by Gwen Lafleur sm
Beneath the Surface - Abigail Painting by Gwen Lafleur sm

Then on Saturday there will be two classes, both 4 hours. We'll start at 9am with 25 Ways to Rock Your Stencils!

25 Ways to Rock Your Stencils Sample

We’ll learn more than 25 techniques for using your stencils in your projects as during class, we’ll create 25 sample tags (with a few technique variations) that you can bind into a reference book to use at home. You’ll see how you can use stencils as a go-to tool in your studio to create tons of cool effects. This should end up being a lot of fun with lots of ideas on how to really get the most out of your stencils and mixed media supplies.

Finally, at 2pm we'll be making Stenciled, Shaped, Handmade Books. We’ll use paints, inks, stamps, and stencils to create a shaped, hand-made book out of cardboard. If you sign up by 10/1, you’ll have your choice of one of three designs: Elephant March, Opera House Empress, or Dragon. (The stencil you choose when you sign up will be part of your class kit. If you sign up after 10/1, you'll still get a stencil, but choice will be based upon availability. So sign up early!)

Stenciled, Shaped, Hand-Made Books Samples

We’ll also make the signatures to go in your book, and you can choose to bind with holes and book rings (which we’ll do in class like the elephant book above,) or you’ll have the option to do a Coptic binding (which is what I used on the Dragon and Opera House books.) You should walk away with a fun, finished book ready to be used as a note book, art journal, mini scrapbook, travel journal, or whatever you want!

Stenciled, Shaped Books - Backs
Stenciled, Shaped Books - Backs

So there you go! I'm so excited to be heading back to the store to teach, and I hope I'll be seeing lots of familiar (and new!) faces in class!

If you want to sign up and / or want more details, make sure to head over to Papercraft Clubhouse (or on the Clubhouse Facebook page) or check today's newsletter! I shipped my samples off to the store today, so hopefully they'll be there in person this weekend :)

StencilGirl Blog Hop: Eileen Hull / Sizzix!

This week the StencilGirl creative team showcasing stamps and Sizzix dies by Eileen Hull!

Blog Header HOPSGEH

I was pretty excited about this, because I'm kind of going back to my roots with some stamping and scrapbooking. We got to work with some of Eileen's acrylic stamps and Sizzix ScoreBoards dies. For today's post, I'm using the Picket Fence stamp set, and diecuts from the Sizzix ScoreBoards Mini Album XL Die, and the Sizzix Bigz Flower Layers with Heart Petals Die along with a few stencils from StencilGirl.

And without further ado, here's today's project:

StencilGirl-EileenHull Hop - MiniAlbum - Gwen LafleurI used the mini album ScoreBoards diecut to make... a mini album! It's been a while since I've done any scrapbooking and I had some photos I was excited to use. And I do love me a mini! Not only that, but I wanted to show how easy it is to use stencils and stamps to create your own patterned paper when you want to make a theme album and use the same colors and patterns to tie everything together.

Here's a little tutorial on how I decorated the cover and assembled the book. (The final album photos are in a thumbnail gallery at the bottom so you can see how I used the stamps and stencils on the inside pages.)

To start, I picked out a color scheme I wanted that would go with my theme and photos (yellow, blue, dark blue, ivory, and kraft) and then painted the outside of the album with Golden Titan Buff as the base. Then I laid down the Heart Grid Stencil by Terri Stegmiller and pounced Golden Hansa Yellow fluid acrylic paint through the opening with a Sofft Art Sponge

StencilGirl-EileenHull Hop - MiniAlbum 1 - Gwen LafleurOnce that dried, I put the stencil back in place and then stamped over it with one of the background pattern stamps from the Picket Fence stamp set. Two great things here: first, the stencils are thin enough that they don't interfere with getting a good impression when you stamp through them. Second, the background stamps are designed so that you can create a larger background pattern by matching up the edges. So I just stamped over the stencil like I was creating a large background across my cover.

StencilGirl-EileenHull Hop - MiniAlbum 2 - Gwen LafleurAnd when I finished... pull back the stencil, and voila!

StencilGirl-EileenHull Hop - MiniAlbum 3 - Gwen LafleurI repeated this on the other half of the cover, and then took my Fude black pen and did a little outlining of the stenciled shape.

StencilGirl-EileenHull Hop - MiniAlbum 4 - Gwen LafleurAnd then, even though it wasn't in my color palette, I really needed a pop of color, so I used Liquid Pearls to color the hearts.

StencilGirl-EileenHull Hop - MiniAlbum 5 - Gwen LafleurNext, time to do the inside covers. I painted the background with Golden Cerulean Deep Blue fluid acrylics, let it dry, and then stamped all over the inside cover with a cream ink and the polka dot background stamp from the stamp set. Then I layered the Heart & Flowers stencil by Margaret Applin over top and pounced my Hansa Yellow paint through the openings. Once that was dry, I outlined with a fine line applicator filled with Titanium White fluid acrylics mixed with a bit of airbrush medium. Finally, I masked off around the larger opening and then stamped through that again with more polka dots.

StencilGirl-EileenHull Hop - MiniAlbum 7 - Gwen LafleurYou can see how the this turned out in thumbnail gallery below.

Next, I worked on the inside pages. I cut several sheets of white and kraft cardstock into 10.5"x4.5" strips, folded them in half and creased with a bone folder, and then stacked them inside of each other and clipped them in place. I created a template showing where the holes were going to go (make sure you mark the top,) and used that to poke 5 holes in the fold of the pages.

StencilGirl-EileenHull Hop - MiniAlbum 6 - Gwen LafleurNext, I took my stamps, stencils, and inks and went and sat in front of the TV while I decorated the inside pages. I alternated stamping and stenciling and also switched back and forth between yellow and blue inks, just working steadily through them until all of my pages were decorated with patterns. I continued to use the Heart Grid Stencil, and also added the Inky Hearts stencil (also by Terri Stegmiller) and the Random Squares stencil by Jessica Sporn.

StencilGirl-EileenHull Hop - MiniAlbum 8 - Gwen LafleurFrom there I grabbed my dried cover and used my template and centered it on the spine and used an awl and a self-healing mat to drill the holes. Then I just used a embroidery needle and some bakers twine to bind the book (make sure all of your pages are right side up first. I'm not speaking from experience or anything. lol.) I took the needle through the top hole from the outside, and then just went in and out down to the bottom and then back up again so that there were no gaps between holes inside or out. You'll come back out again through the top hole, and I just tied it off, but you could add some beads or charms or something here - I've done that before and it's a nice effect.

Next I added the photos to the right hand pages and then I just went through my stash and found embellishments and journaling spots that went with my colors and theme to do the rest. Finally, it was time to finish the front cover. I took some flowers cut from mat board and stenciled and stamped them, inked the edges, and then added some blue and yellow ribbons to the back of the largest flower.

You can see here and in the inside pages where I took yellow and blue paint markers (the one below is from Krink) and filled in some of the openings in the stenciled and stamped images. It really made a difference and helped them look more like patterned paper. I loved the effect!

StencilGirl-EileenHull Hop - MiniAlbum 9 - Gwen LafleurThen I stacked them with glue dots and finished it off with a yellow enamel dot and adhered the whole thing to the front of my album along with a blank label to help it pop off the background.

StencilGirl-EileenHull Hop - MiniAlbum 11 - Gwen Lafleur

IMG_9374And that's it! Here are the inside pages:

  • IMG_9375
  • StencilGirl-EileenHull - Mini Album Inside 2 - Gwen Lafleur
  • StencilGirl-EileenHull - Mini Album Inside 3 - Gwen Lafleur
  • StencilGirl-EileenHull - Mini Album Inside 4 - Gwen Lafleur
  • StencilGirl-EileenHull - Mini Album Inside 5 - Gwen Lafleur
  • StencilGirl-EileenHull - Mini Album Inside 6 - Gwen Lafleur
  • StencilGirl-EileenHull - Mini Album Inside 7 - Gwen Lafleur
  • StencilGirl-EileenHull - Mini Album Inside 8 - Gwen Lafleur
  • StencilGirl-EileenHull - Mini Album Inside 9 - Gwen Lafleur
  • StencilGirl-EileenHull - Mini Album Inside 10 - Gwen Lafleur
  • StencilGirl-EileenHull - Mini Album Inside 11 - Gwen Lafleur
  • StencilGirl-EileenHull - Mini Album Inside 12 - Gwen Lafleur
  • StencilGirl-EileenHull - Mini Album Inside 13 - Gwen Lafleur
StencilGirl-EileenHull - Mini Album Inside 13 - Gwen Lafleur

That's my project for today! I hope you enjoyed it :) 

Updated with the winner - congrats Auntie Em!

StencilGirl - Eileen Hull Hop Winner

Here are the blogs to make sure you visit today, and check out StencilGirl Talk every day to make sure you get the full list for the week!

Happy hopping!

StencilGirl Blog Hop: New Traci Bautista Stencils!

I'm so excited about today's blog hop! I love Traci's work and I was pretty psyched when I found out she had stencils coming out. For today's project, I received Circles Circles to play with. If you know me at all, you know I love me some circles! So I couldn't wait to use this. And I used it a lot!

Traci Bautista Circles Circles Stencil - StencilGirlIf you follow Traci's work, you know she has a new book that just came out called Printmaking Unleashed so, inspired by the idea of printmaking, I used this stencil to make a mini art journal with background pages full of lots of prints and mark making using this awesome stencil.

Printed Mini Art Journal by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl Blog HopThe finished book measures 5.5" tall by 4.25" wide, and there are 40 pages packed in there! There's a thumbnail gallery of all of the inside pages at the bottom of the post if you want to see the whole thing. In the meantime, here's a peek into the process of creating it, along with some of the different techniques I used.

First, I got 11 sheets of paper roughly the same size (one will be the inside cover.) I had cardstock, deli paper, cut up manila folders, and some Rives BFK printmaking paper that I cut from scraps from another project. I also pulled out my Gelli Plate and brayer since I knew I wanted to do gelli printing as the basis of most of the pages.

Printed Mini 1 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl Blog HopNext, I got out three colors of paint and started rolling them out on my plate. (Remember to make them colors that blend well together - complimentary colors make mud!)

Printed Mini 2 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl Blog HopHere's where you want to have all of your paper handy ahead of time. I put the stencil down on the painted plate and then used a sheet of paper to print through it, and was able to pull a second print as well.

Printed Mini 3 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl Blog HopThen you lift off the stencil and put another sheet on the plate to print the reverse of the stencil with the paint that was under it. Sometimes you can also get a print off of the stencil itself. I got some faint ones that I built on top of. I repeated this several times, and changed my color palette halfway through to add some variety. On some of the papers, I didn't print, but instead cleaned my brayer on them to just lay down a wash of color... you'll see how I used that further down.

Printed Mini 4 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl Blog HopOnce the pages are printed, it's time to start adding more layers! I put away my gelli plate and got out stamps, inks, rubons, and more stencils. I'll share just a few of my favorite ways that I layered on top of my prints.

First up, part of why I love circles is because they create these happy little spaces just waiting to be filled. For this one, I used the Hunab Ku stencil by Mary Beth Shaw along with a foam stamp that I made out of it to fill in some of the circles.

Printed Mini 5-6 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl Blog HopNext, one of the options for how to use the papers that just have paint straight from the brayer. I layed the stencil on top of the painted surface and then used my blending tool to ink over it so that the color showed through.

Printed Mini 7 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl Blog HopAnother fun way to layer... I got my Circles Circles stencil back out as well as the Runes stencil by Jessica Sporn and layed the circles on top with the Runes underneath and then inked through them (being careful to keep the circle stencil in place as I moved the smaller one underneath.) Then I went back over with my blending tool and ink to add a bit more color to some of the areas that needed definition.

Printed Mini 8 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl Blog HopAbove is one reason why it's cool that these stencils are so thin, and below is another! This time I used one of Traci's stamps to stamp through the openings in the stencil (I lined it up with the print underneath.)

Printed Mini 9 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl Blog HopAnd one more layering photo... in this one I just used paint and a sponge to daub through one stencil directly onto the page. I just watched the lines to keep it within the circles, but you could also layer the stencils like I did with the Runes stencil above.

Printed Mini 10 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl Blog HopThe other layering I did was stamping, more stenciling, paint (and some reduction stenciling,) inking, and adding rubons which you can see in the finished book.

Once all the pages are done and dry, you can do a quick and easy binding technique to make a little pamphlet book. I fold all of the pages individually with a bone folder, stack them inside each other, and then use an awl to make the holes going through all the pages at once. I used binder clips to hold my pages together while I did this.

Printed Mini 11-12 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl Blog HopThen you make the cover. I took a piece of thin chipboard (I save the pieces that I get in the mail if I order paper or anything. The envelopes you get when you order from StencilGirl work well too - just sayin' ;) and cut it so it was about 1/4" larger than the pages on all sides. Then I fold it in half and center the paper that I've chosen for the inside cover and adhere it with gel medium.

Once that's done, find a piece of decorative paper or another print for the outside - it should be about 1/2" bigger on all sides than the cover. Center the cover and adhere with gel medium, and then clip the corners as you see in the photo below so that you don't get lumps of paper in the corners when you fold the flaps around. Once that's done, center the inside pages and use them as a guide to poke holes in the cover, and then tie it all together. I used a piece of waxed linen thread.

Printed Mini 13 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl Blog HopThat's it! Now I have a great little mini art journal with lots of pages that have completed backgrounds ready for me to build on.

The other stencils used in the book not yet linked up are:

Here's the thumbnail gallery, and make sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for the next blogs on the list and a giveaway!

  • Mini Printed Art Journal 1 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl
  • Mini Printed Art Journal 2 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl
  • Mini Printed Art Journal 2a by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl
  • Mini Printed Art Journal 2b by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl
  • Mini Printed Art Journal 3 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl
  • Mini Printed Art Journal 4 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl
  • Mini Printed Art Journal 5 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl
  • Mini Printed Art Journal 6 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl
  • Mini Printed Art Journal 7 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl
  • Mini Printed Art Journal 8 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl
  • Mini Printed Art Journal 9 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl
  • Mini Printed Art Journal 10 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl
  • Mini Printed Art Journal 11 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl
  • Mini Printed Art Journal 12 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl
  • Mini Printed Art Journal 13 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl
  • Mini Printed Art Journal 14 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl
  • Mini Printed Art Journal 14a by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl
  • Mini Printed Art Journal 15 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl
  • Mini Printed Art Journal 16 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl
  • Mini Printed Art Journal 17 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl
  • Mini Printed Art Journal 17a by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl
  • Mini Printed Art Journal 18 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl
  • Mini Printed Art Journal 19 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl
  • Mini Printed Art Journal 20 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl
  • Mini Printed Art Journal 21 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl
Mini Printed Art Journal 21 by Gwen Lafleur - Traci Bautista-StencilGirl

Links for today's blog hop:

And... of course, it's not a blog hop without a giveaway!

Update! The winners for the blog hop prize have been announced... congrats to the winners!

StencilGirl - Traci Bautista Blog Hop Winners

Stenciled Cardboard Art Journal

I shared a few sneak peaks of this last week on Instagram and Facebook, and I finally got all of the photos taken and edited so I can share the entire book.

So here you go... my latest cardboard art journal - this one is almost entirely stenciled. Just a warning... tons of pictures in this post! I'll share the pictures and a few close-ups as well as links to the stencils. I didn't think to take pictures from the very beginning of the project, unfortunately. But I took 7 pieces of cardboard, picked out 12-13 stencils, and grabbed several cans of spray paint (I used Liquitex Professional and Montana Black.) I sprayed the front and back of each of the big pieces that made the pages and then the front of the small piece that's on the cover. Then I just started layering and decorating and writing as I went and bound all of the finished pages together in the end. (Different from my previous books where I bound first, gessoed, and then decorated.)

Stenciled Cardboard Art Journal Cover - Gwen LafleurBackground is the Squares & Circles stencil by Jessica Sporn, and on the smaller piece I used Zen Landscape by Jamie Fingal. The lightbulb is a foam stamp I made from the April Stencil Club set designed by Carolyn Dube (alphabet in the background is also from that set) and then "Enter" is from Seth Apter's Inside Out stencil.
Stenciled Cardboard Art Journal Pgs 1-2 - Gwen Lafleur
The background on the left is Circle on Circle by Mary Beth Shaw, and on the right is Celestial Grove from Kae Pea.

On the left I layered the Union stencil from Carolyn Dube as well as Seeds by Maria McGuire. I drew the leaves (a little carry-over from my classes with Dina Wakley :D).

Stenciled Cardboard Art Journal P2 close-up - Gwen LafleurOn the right I added an image from the large May club stencil by Terri Stegmiller. It seemed like those two stencils were just meant to be together!

Stenciled Cardboard Art Journal Pgs 3-4 - Gwen LafleurBackground on the left is the Feathers & Lattice stencil by Daniella Wolff and on the right is Marrakech Mix by Michelle Ward.

Stenciled Cardboard Art Journal P3 close-up - Gwen LafleurThe left hand page I wasn't sure was going to turn out, but in the end I love it! And I like that I'm embracing purple again after years of shunning it a bit. I used the Layered Peonies stencil by Jessica Sporn for this one. And lots of Liquid Pearls, because it's me. lol.
Stenciled Cardboard Art Journal P3 close-up - Gwen LafleurFor this one, I used the Five Hamsas stencil, also by Jessica Sporn, to get the texture on top of the background shapes. For the window, I used the Inside Out stencil from Seth Apter (which I stenciled on the back of the window, so it was kind of inside out!)

Stenciled Cardboard Art Journal Pgs 5-6 - Gwen LafleurBackground on the left is the Twinship stencil from Cecilia Swatton and on the right is Buildings by Carolyn Dube.

Stenciled Cardboard Art Journal P5 close-up - Gwen LafleurOn the left, I just doodled around the window... nothing too crazy here!

Stenciled Cardboard Art Journal P6 close-up - Gwen LafleurThe right side was the 6x6 from the May Stencil Club set.

Stenciled Cardboard Art Journal Pgs 7-8 - Gwen LafleurThis was a fun pair of pages! Background on the left is Circle on Circle by Mary Beth Shaw and on the right is the Unfinished stencil by Seth Apter.
Stenciled Cardboard Art Journal P7 close-up - Gwen LafleurOn this side, I added the 6x6 peacock stencil from Jessica Sporn's January Stencil Club set and then on top of that was Quatrefoil Mix by Michelle Ward.
Stenciled Cardboard Art Journal P7 close-up - Gwen LafleurThe right side was another where I mostly wanted the background to show through, but I did use the 4x4 stencil from the April 2013 Stencil Club set to get some lines on there as texture.
Stenciled Cardboard Art Journal Pgs 9-10 - Gwen Lafleur
Background on the left is Crop Circles and on the right is the Gears stencil, both by Mary Beth Shaw.

Stenciled Cardboard Art Journal P9 close-up - Gwen LafleurOn the left, I didn't want to cover up the design, so I just used Liquid Pearls. We had been looking at Van Gogh in my art class this week, so I was a bit inspired by his brush strokes on this one.

Stenciled Cardboard Art Journal P10 close-up - Gwen LafleurOn the right, the yellow in the background is the X & O stencil by Andrew Borloz. The circles are the Journal Texture #1 stencil by Pam Carriker and then the butterfly is from the May Stencil Club kit by Terri Stegmiller.

Stenciled Cardboard Art Journal back cover - Gwen LafleurAnd the back cover... background is Tribal Leaves by Kae Pea.

Stenciled Cardboard Art Journal back cover closeup - Gwen LafleurLayered on top were the Latitude & Longitude Large by Mary C. Nasser, a foam stamp I made from the Hunab Ku stencil by Mary Beth Shaw, and the Timeless stencil by Seth Apter.

Stenciled Cardboard Art Journal Overview - Gwen LafleurWhew!!! That's it... LOTS of stenciling here, which I absolutely loved. It gave it a different look from my previous cardboard art journals and I had a lot of fun layering and playing with my stencils along with different techniques and mediums.

So... it would have been nuts to put techniques on here for every page, so if you have a question about how anything was done, just leave me a comment. I'll collect them from here and Facebook and they may turn into future blog posts!

Hope everyone had a great weekend and a Happy Father's Day!

A mini art journal

When I drove out to Chicago, I brought a few supplies with me in the car so I'd have something to do while I waited for my stuff to come (and when I say a few supplies, it was pretty much the entire back seat. Just the essentials ;) So during my evenings before delivery, I started working my way through the technique exercises in Dina Wakley's book "Art Journal Freedom." I decided to make a little mini art journal like the one we'd done in class and do one of the exercises on each spread. I ended up tweaking a few of them so they'd work with my format, but I had a lot of fun.

So with that, here's my book! I did the cover last... I actually broke out my sewing machine for this. Not only that, but I rearranged things a bit so that it has a spot on the counter and I just need to plug it in and it's ready to use. We'll see if I start using it more! Mostly I'm just impressed when I can thread the bobbin without reading the instructions, so this is a big step for me. lol.

Mini Art Journal Cover - Gwen LafleurThe cover was from the exercise on butcher paper collage and it was pretty fun to do. I still have some more of the collage paper I made so I can use it on something else.

Mini Art Journal page 1 - Gwen LafleurThis one uses lots of Ranger stamps along with Dylusions sprays. It's kind of funny... I use my Dylusions sprays more after taking classes with Dina than I did after taking classes with Dyan! I guess it just took a bit for me to get into using them and see all the possibilities.

Mini Art Journal page 2 - Gwen LafleurI was kind of limited in my available material for making silhouettes, but I think this one ended up working. The paints are Dina Wakley's and the stencil was a bookmark stencil that I got with my copy of StencilGirl by Mary Beth Shaw (you can also get the book at Amazon, but that one doesn't come with the stencil.)

Mini Art Journal page 3 - Gwen LafleurThis one used more of Dina's paints, Liquitex acrylic ink, Dina's stamps from Ranger, a clipping from a pamphlet I picked up in Myanmar, and the stencil is River Rocks from StencilGirl.

Mini Art Journal page 4 - Gwen LafleurThis was a fun page - I ended up using Dylusions instead of reinkers since that's all I had with me, but I think it worked. I used molding paste in the background with the January 2014 StencilGirl Stencil Club 9x12 stencil which I love. The bird is from Dina's bird stamp set. The green squares are inked paper towels. lol. (Another improvisation!)

Mini Art Journal page 5 - Gwen LafleurThis one was gel medium resist and also super fun. The stencil is the StencilGirl Greek Key Stencil and I used Dylusions stamps and one of Dina's older stamps, Dina's paints, and more Liquitex ink - a pearlescent one that I love. I was using a Krink steel tip paint marker for the black circles.

Mini Art Journal page 6 - Gwen LafleurThis page is my favorite... I drew the birds since the stamp set I had didn't have the right position and I was pretty much copying the page composition from the book. I used more of Dina's paints, Dylusions sprays and the StencilGirl Small Union stencil.

Mini Art Journal page 7 - Gwen LafleurAnd my least favorite page. I actually like everything except the stamped image, but whatever... just turn the page, right? This was with a Versamark pad and PanPatels. The background uses molding paste with the StencilGirl Crackle stencil along with the 4x4 stencil from the April 2013 StencilGirl Stencil club set.

Mini Art Journal page 8 - Gwen LafleurLast page... I just did this one yesterday as I was finishing up and I'm pretty pleased with it. The silhouette was cut from a Nieman Marcus ad, paints are Dina Wakley, and the black is Liquitex Professional spray paint in carbon black. It was my first time breaking out the spray paint and it was so much fun! I also used three StencilGirl stencils - Mixed Maltese, Circle 6, and Journal Texture #2

And the back cover...

Mini Art Journal back cover - Gwen LafleurThis was actually just extra ink left on my stencil from the bird pages that I printed onto some random cardstock so I didn't waste it. It turned out so well I decided to use it!

Mini Art Journal both covers - Gwen LafleurThe spine was just sticky back canvas and I sprayed with Dylusions through a Seth Apter stencil. I added a little washi tape and some Liquid Pearls to add just a hint of color, and that was it!

Mini Art Journal overview - Gwen LafleurAll of the inside pages were done on Canson 140lb cold press watercolor paper, and that seemed to work really well. I like the weight of the pages glued together - it gives it a lot of structure.

So that's it! This was a fun project and definitely kept me busy until my stuff showed up.

A Stenciled Mini Art Journal

There was a fun tutorial video posted on the StencilGirl blog yesterday that shows you how to do a quick mini art journal. I thought it would be cool to take that and combine it with some of the techniques I learned in our class with Michelle McCosh last month to do one of my own.

I took two sets of stencils from the club - the stencils from January (peacocks! And the one that finally made me decide that I HAD to sign up) and also the April stencils (not yet on the site.) I used one set on either side of the paper - I just used a 9x11 sheet of watercolor paper.

Here's the cover:

IMG_3065I used Dylusions sprays, Distress Paint and Adirondack paint daubers for the background, also used some gelatos and then removed the color through the stencil to get a kind of ghosted pattern - subtle, you can see it here and there.

Then the inside - I used the April stencils by Carolyn Dube for this, then went in with some Dina Wakely and Tim Holtz stamps, paint pens, and Liquid Pearls.

IMG_3067I'm loving all the color and pattern... it was a super fun little project and I'm definitely going to have to make some more!

Recent Classes at the Clubhouse

I was able to get to a few classes at Papercraft Clubhouse during March - one was our monthly Mixed Media Club - Tracie gave us a refresher course on a few Dyan Reavley techniques - we did the bleaching technique and also ghosting.

Here she is giving us a demo (and having way too much fun going crazy with the mist! Sue was frantically looking for refuge from the overspray. lol.)

March Mixed Media Club 1

And my sample in my notebook at the end of the night:

March Mixed Media Club 2I always forget how much I love these techniques until I do them again - I'm so glad we had a little refresher!

Next, I was able to take an art journal class from Ranger educator Michelle McCosh - we made a small art journal from watercolor paper using lots of different paints, mists, and mediums, lots of stencils, stamps, and deli paper. It was a lot of fun and I learned some gret techniques!

Here's our class (photos from Tracie) - all hard at work! (There was so much packed into this class that we were heads down non-stop for the whole 3 hours!)

March Mixed Media Club 3And I'm in the background spritzing and drying while Michelle was contemplating misting another class member.

March Mixed Media Club 4I started out keeping it pretty clean...

IMG_2896But that obviously didn't last. It took me almost 2 days to get the stain off my hands, but it was worth it!

IMG_2898I got the album almost completely finished in class - I just added in the quotes and stamped images and embellishments at home. I may keep adding quotes or leave it as is - it's also a great reminder of all the techniques we learned - I really love it! Lots of colors and layers, and stencils! and stamps! and paint! All my favorite things :)

IMG_8334This last page below has a little accordion fold-out on the right hand side - you can see it in the last picture.

IMG_8334I'm really glad I got to go! Lots of fun and some great techniques and projects.

Southeast Asia - Scrapbook on the Road

So I have this big trip coming up... I haven't really talked about it much, but it's been in the works for about a year and I'm going to be crossing a few things off my bucket list with this one! As it gets close, I've started to take care of some of the items on my pre-trip to-do list. For the last few years, I've been making these Scrapbooks on the Road (originally from Ali Edwards - I took her workshop offered on her blog) and I love it. So I had to put it on my list to make another one.

SE Asia SBOTR Cover
The cover is made from bookboard - it's like 1/4" thick chipboard - very sturdy. I used a stencil and modeling paste for the background and then added the title and painted the whole thing with Golden Teal fluid acrylic paint. Then I used some irridescent gold and LOTS of liquid pearls (surprise! lol.) For an idea of size, those are 3" rings (big!!!) and the book itself is about 6.5x9."

The hardest thing about putting together this book was that there aren't a lot of products on the market that are specific to this part of the world. So I went with general Asian (but not Chinese / Japanese) motifs. Some are a little more Indian, but I was going more for an overall feel rather than something that's really specific to the countries I'm visiting. I'm hoping I can collect a few things on the way that will make it a bit more personalized for the area.

SE Asia SBOTR Side ViewThis is what the whole thing looks like prior to the trip... I made sections for each country using plain manila file folders and I covered them with pretty paper and added labels - it's the same thing I did for my BYU Foreign Business Excursion SBOTR in 2011 where we visited several different countries. I really liked how that worked.

Here are some of my favorite inside pages all prepped and ready for journaling, photos, and ephemera from the trip.

  • SE Asia SBOTR 1
  • SE Asia SBOTR 2
  • SE Asia SBOTR 3
  • SE Asia SBOTR 4
  • SE Asia SBOTR 5
  • SE Asia SBOTR 6
  • SE Asia SBOTR 7
  • SE Asia SBOTR 8
  • SE Asia SBOTR 9
  • SE Asia SBOTR 10
  • SE Asia SBOTR 11
  • SE Asia SBOTR 12
  • SE Asia SBOTR 13
  • SE Asia SBOTR 14
  • SE Asia SBOTR 15
  • SE Asia SBOTR 16
  • SE Asia SBOTR 17
  • SE Asia SBOTR 18
  • SE Asia SBOTR 19
  • SE Asia SBOTR 20
  • SE Asia SBOTR 21
  • SE Asia SBOTR 22
  • SE Asia SBOTR 23
  • SE Asia SBOTR 24
  • SE Asia SBOTR 25
SE Asia SBOTR 25

 You can see that I used a lot of gold - gold foiled papers, gold paint, and gold embossing powder. Lots of peacock feathers (just because I love them, really), elephants (because I get to ride them in Thailand), maps from an old atlas, lots of jewels, lots of color and texture. The front "page" is actually a folder I got with information for a workshop I'd signed up for. I added some things to customize it for this trip and then inside of it is my itinerary.

I've done as much as I possibly can before hand so that I can minimize what I take with me - I'm going to be traveling as light as possible on this trip so my travel kit needs to be super compact. I did some stamping on tags, and this time I stamped on some of my lined journaling paper in light colors so that I can write over it but still have a design.

This is what I'm taking with me on the road:

SE Asia SBOTR KitI'm keeping it to basics for adding stuff to the book (travel scissors, small stapler, tape, adhesive, clips, a basic hole punch), a few pens, and some journaling cards. I'll also be carrying my Instax camera and film - I just love the look of those mini photos! This is about 1/3 the size of my previous kits, and that's going to be good, I think. I can't wait to fill this book with all of the memories I'm going to make! The trip is still a bit away, but I'm counting every day and can't wait to be off!

Another cardboard art journal

After I was asked to teach my original cardboard art journal as a class, I decided to make a second one with more of an eye to teaching... different techniques I could include that would be pretty easy to reproduce. Similar concepts, though. I do like this one a lot better... practice, I guess!

Cardboard Art Journal 2 - Cover
Cardboard Art Journal 2 - Cover

And the inside pages:

Cardboard Art Journal 2 - Cover

On this one, I thought it might be fun to put in some inclusions - I used a plain manila folder for both of them. The first:

Cardboard Art Journal 2 - Cover
Cardboard Art Journal 2 - Cover

The third spread - possibly my favorite, which is kind of funny because I really screwed up my original concept.

Cardboard Art Journal 2 - Cover

The last spread has the other inclusion - I used the fold part of the folder and created a little pocket.

Cardboard Art Journal 2 - Cover

And inside, a tag that uses some oil pastel resist.

Cardboard Art Journal 2 - Cover

I added a little bit of fabric onto this one as well.

Cardboard Art Journal 2 - Cover
And there you go! I have another new canvas and a few art journal pages... also a few photos from Francesca's visit and another quick trip to Chicago. Hopefully I'll get those up soon... more company coming this weekend so I'm getting ready for that. Can't wait!

Cardboard Art Journal

I was looking through blogs a few weeks ago and went back through some old stuff on Michelle Ward's blog... she has some fabulous cardboard art journals, and she recently taught one at an event and I saw a sample from it online. I have no idea how she made it, but it got me thinking that I could make one. After all... the worst that would happen was that I'd throw away cardboard that probably would have been trashed anyway!

So, I got a box, chopped it up, and pulled out a roll of masking tape and went to work. It took literally less than 30 minutes to make the book, and within an hour, I had a book with a finished cover. And I loved it.

Cardboard Art Journal Outside 1
It's all cardboard except the butterfly, which is an old chipboard piece. Paint, stain, stamps, liquid pearls (naturally), and some washi tape to cover the spine. Then I started the inside pages, which I finished over the next week or so.

I actually started on the 3rd spread, and the entire theme came from a phrase rubon that was in an old Fancy Pants set I was going to try and use up on this book. So it's kind of a motivational theme, but that's never a bad idea, right?

But let's go in order... 1st spread first (which I actually did last! :)

Cardboard Art Journal Inside 1
The background of all of the right-hand pages is a gelli print. On this one I added rubons and modeling paste with Pan Pastels, and then the other side is paint, rubons, gelatos, and Liquid Pearls.

Cardboard Art Journal Inside 2
Lots of stencils, some old book pages, more of those old rubons... some drippy India ink, washi tape...

Cardboard Art Journal Inside 3
"Find your Path" is actually the rubon that started the theme, and I filled in some more quotes as I went. The right side is a favorite quote from a book we read in my Business Judgment class. Stencils, paint, Gelatos, rubons, washi, Liquid pearls and pieces cut from other gelli prints.

Last up...

Cardboard Art Journal Inside 4
I decided to do this quote (Courage doesn't always roar like a lion...) and then remembered that I had this lion stamp... I almost sold it during the Great Purge of 2012, but now I'm glad I ended up holding on to it. I stamped him with Staz-On and then went over in pen to stylize it a bit. Lots more stencils, paints, rubons, Liquid pearls, India Ink.

And that's it - just 4 spreads. With cardboard it gets thick fast, and since I was just playing around I didn't add too many pages. Here you can see the finished product better:

Cardboard Art Journal Outside 3
I'll definitely be trying this again, I love it!