An Artist Book Cover with Stencils and Embossing Powder

Hi all, and welcome to my stop on this week's blog hop with StencilGirl and Emerald Creek! At this point I don't think that it's really any secret that I love me some embossing powder. It's such a versatile medium, and you can use it in so many different ways! Of course, embossing powder also pairs perfectly with stencils, so I was thrilled to hear that StencilGirl and Emerald Creek were teaming up to do a second blog hop (we also did one in December of last year. If you missed it, make sure to check that out too for even more inspiration!)

This time around, I decided to decorate the cover of a handmade artist book that I've been working on. I wanted something that was extremely textured and grungy, and yet still fit with the overall theme of the book, which is courage.

Artist-Book-Cover---Stencils-and-Embossing---Gwen-Lafleur

Of course, I also put together a short tutorial so that you can see how to recreate these effects in your own projects. Ready?

To start, I coated the cover with black gesso, let it dry, then used a gold texture paste with my Chinese Garden Plum Blossoms stencil to get the flowers onto the background. You could do this with pigment or embossing ink and embossing powder, but I knew that I was going to do quite a bit of layering and melting in the vicinity of this design and I didn't want to lose the crisp lines, so I used the texture paste instead.

Textured-Embossed-Artist-Book-Cover---Step-1-2---Gwen-Lafleur

Once the texture paste was dry, I took out some scraps of tissue paper, matte medium, and a brush, and started laying the foundation of the texture in the background. It doesn't really matter what the pattern is on your paper, (or if there is one!) as it will all be covered up in the end. (Old sewing patterns also work great for this.) 

I coated the background in matte medium, scrunched up some tissue paper and then coated the back of that as well, and then laid it on the wet background, manipulating it with my fingers as I went so that I created lots of peaks and valleys with the paper. I kept doing this until most of the cover was coated, leaving the flowers peeking through.

I worked fairly quickly at this point - this was partly to keep myself from overthinking the positioning of the tissue paper, and partly because I needed the matte medium to be wet for the next step, which was the application of a lot of Baked Texture embossing powder.  I started with Rocky Road, sprinkling it around the edges and right along the areas next to the flowers - I wanted something very textured and crusty looking, and this was the perfect way to get that look. I tapped off the excess powder and returned it to the jar, then I used Dirty Sand, making sure to leave some areas open, then repeated one more time with Chunky Rust. I put the extra powder back in the jar each time so that I could use it again later.

Textured-Embossed-Artist-Book-Cover---Step-3-4---Gwen-Lafleur

Once the entire background had its first coat of powder, I pulled out my heat gun and went to work. I kept it pretty close to the surface so that the medium and powder would bubble as it melted. The effect you achieve with this is fabulous! (Just a note that you may have heard from me before, but because you're heating acrylic mediums here, you get fumes. I always cover my nose and mouth for this process - I even have a respirator in my studio for really extended embossing sessions!) 

After the first layer was melted, I took out Ancient Amber, Deep Sea, and Patina Oxide and alternately re-melted the surface with the heat gun, sprinkled powder on the hot surface, and then heated to fuse it into the surface. The result is a gorgeous, mottled look that you really can't get any other way!

Once I'd gotten the texture I wanted in the background, I pulled out a blend of gold leafing flakes and applied some on the background, then used some gold wax from PaperArtsy and applied with my finger on the tops of the texture - it adds depth and shine, all at the same time.

Textured-Embossed-Artist-Book-Cover---Step-5-6---Gwen-Lafleur

Next I used Seth Apter's Never Again stencil along with clear embossing ink and Charred Gold embossing powder to add a few words into the openings of my flowers.

To this point, I'd done a pretty good job of adding the grunge factor, but I needed some boho - bright colors to the rescue! I used my Posca paint markers to color in the flowers. I like to add in a few shades of the same color or two similar colors and blend them with my finger while they're still wet.

Textured-Embossed-Artist-Book-Cover---Step-7-8---Gwen-Lafleur

I also pulled out my Marabu Art Crayons and added bits of color into the background, using my finger and a water brush to spread it out a bit.

Finally, I took some Emerald Creek Fleur brads, poked holes in the cover with an awl, and then inserted them to give a subtle, decorative touch to the cover. I used my finger to wipe a bit more of the gold PaperArtsy wax over the surface - the raised design on the brad really picked it up beautifully!

Textured-Embossed-Artist-Book-Cover---Step-9---Gwen-Lafleur

Voilà ! The finished cover!

Artist-Book-Cover---Stencils-and-Embossing---Book-Standing---Gwen-Lafleur

Here are a few close-ups so that you can get a good sense of the amazing texture you can get by using embossing powder in your mixed media work:

Artist-Book-Cover---Stencils-and-Embossing-Closeup-2---Gwen-Lafleur
Artist-Book-Cover---Stencils-and-Embossing-Closeup-2---Gwen-Lafleur

I hope you enjoyed today's project... I know I did! Of course, now for the part you've all been waiting for!

GIVEAWAY
One lucky winner will receive $50 in Gift Certificates to Emerald Creek and StencilGirl® Products!

SG and EC blog hop GIVEAWAY image
Enter to win by leaving a comment below, then be sure to visit the other blogs in the hop and comment; the more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN!
One winner will be chosen at random from all blog comments. (One comment per person per blog please.)

You have until Tuesday, August 21st at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments.
The winner will be announced on the StencilGirl® Products Facebook page and Emerald Creek’s Facebook page on Wednesday, August 22.

Make sure you check out all of today's posts for lots of fabulous inspiration!


Textured Abstract Art with Paint, Stencils, and Embossing Powder

I'm up today with my first quarterly column on the StencilGirl blog, focusing on paint and texture. Today I'm sharing a tutorial for this abstract mixed media piece called "Sands of Time."

Sands-of-Time---Mixed-Media-Abstract---Gwen-Lafleur

Sands-of-Time---Closeup-3---Gwen-Lafleur

I've used stencils along with a few different acrylic mediums and paints, collage, embossing powder, and a few other fun dimensional elements. Make sure to head over and check out the step-by-step tutorial and lots more photos!


Mini Stenciled Handmade Art Journal - StencilGirl & Lindy's Stamp Gang

Welcome to day one of a fabulous, inspiration packed blog hop with StencilGirl and Lindy's Stamp Gang! I've been excited to participate in this collaboration because Lindy's has some wonderful products that work perfectly with stencils and they'd been on my "to-try" list for ages! 

For my project, I decided to make a handmade mini art journal; I thought it would be a great way to showcase several fun techniques in a single project. Here you can see the outside of the book as well as the inside of the front cover and the first page:

Stenciled-and-Sprayed-Mini-Art-Journal---Gwen-Lafleur

  Stenciled-and-Sprayed-Mini-Art-Journal-Inside---Gwen-Lafleur

Of course, I put together some tutorials as well so that you can see how I used the different products. I really loved the effects I was able to get as I experimented!

I made the book using Indian cotton rag paper and bound it with the pamphlet stitch. In the past when I've used this binding I've had lots of requests for a tutorial, so this time I took pictures of the process so that you can see how to bind your own book. It's fast and easy!

To start, I took some very heavy-weight cotton rag paper (640 gsm, but you could also use chipboard) and measured and then folded so I'd have creases for my "cut" lines. (I took a class at SAIC in Chicago from a printmaker who impressed upon us that one should never cut the papers... you always tear them with a bone folder. Sometimes I ignore that advice, but because the paper had deckled edges, I tore so that it would match all the way around.)

I left it a few inches longer than I wanted the book to be so that I could fold up the flap to make pockets on the inside covers. Then I tore and folded five sheets of paper to make my book block, making sure to crease each one with my bone folder. (I don't generally like to do more than five sheets in a signature, especially with this kind of binding and the thickness of the paper I used - otherwise it doesn't lay as flat as I want it.)

Pamphlet-Bound-Art-Journal-Step-1-4---Gwen-Lafleur

Next, I made a jig - I just took scrap paper and cut it to the height of my book pages, folded it in half, and marked where the holes were going to be. This is the template you use to make sure that your holes are always in the same place. Technically you don't really need to do this with a single signature like this, but force of habit, I guess! I nested the folded papers, lined up the jig inside, and used my awl to poke the holes. (A traditional pamphlet binding has an odd number of holes, and this one just had three.) I generally place the awl and then let the pages fall so they're laying over my hand before pushing it through; this helps ensure that the tip of the awl will come out in the crease... if you poke the holes with the pages open, it's more likely that the awl will come out to one side of the crease instead. (Hopefully that makes sense!) 

Then it was time to start binding. I took waxed linen thread and cut the length to about 2-1/2" to 3 times the height of my book and then threaded it onto a tapestry needle. For this method, I start in the center hole and stitch from the outside in, leaving a tail of about 3-4" hanging out of the hole. (Bottom-right photo above.)

Stitch 2, go from the inside out (top left photo below,) then on the outside, bring your needle across to the other hole and go back inside (top-right photo below.)

Pamphlet-Bound-Art-Journal-Step-5-8---Gwen-Lafleur

Finally, on the inside you go back out through the center hole (bottom-left above,) and then tie it off on the outside... this way you don't have any gaps in the thread on the inside or the outside so it looks nice and clean. That's all there is to making your own art journal with a pamphlet stitch... I did say it was easy, right?

Now, on to the techniques with stencils, powders, and sprays!

For the covers, I used one of my favorite techniques - embossing powder resist. To do this, I took my Art Deco Peacock Feathers stencil and stenciled with clear embossing ink all across the covers (the stencil repeats so you get a seamless pattern!) Then I heat embossed with Lindy's Midnight Teal embossing powder. Then I used the Dark Chocolate Truffle shimmer spray with a dauber cap to add color in spots around the covers... the melted embossing powder will naturally resist the dye so you only stain the paper.

Mini-Art-Journal-Covers---EP-Resist-Step-1-4---Gwen-Lafleur

I followed up by spritzing with Mystic Malachite vintage spray, and then sprinkled some powder from the Oktoberfest Orange Magical Shaker and spritzed that with water to activate it. I added enough water that it would spread, but not so much that it would completely dissolve all of the powder - I wanted a bit of texture on the surface.

When everything was dry, I sprayed the cover with Krylon Crystal Clear acrylic coating and left it to dry overnight. This sealed anything that was water reactive so that I could work on top with wet mediums if I wanted to add more layers, and also ensured that great texture from the Magical Shaker wouldn't rub off.

Mini-Art-Journal-Covers---EP-Resist-Step-5---Gwen-Lafleur

I added some washi tape on the spine and a bit on the edges for a decorative touch, and the covers were done!

Stenciled-and-Sprayed-Mini-Art-Journal-Covers---Gwen-Lafleur

While I was in the groove, I decided to go ahead and start working on the inside pages of the book. I thought it would be fun to add some stitching and maybe custom dye my thread while I was at it! I started that step first and poured some of the Buccaneer Bay Blue vintage spray into a small paper cup, then added a few yards of regular 6-strand white DMC embroidery floss. I made sure it was totally submerged, then let it soak for a bit. After the color was strong enough, I pulled out the dyed thread and spread it on a paper towel, then used my Guten Tag Teal magical shaker to get a little more color in spots... I spritzed that with water to activate it.

Embroidering-with-Stencils-and-Lindy's---Thread-Dying-Step-1-4---Gwen-Lafleur

Voilà! Custom dyed thread! With that done, I was ready to prep the shape I was going to embroider, so I took out my Ornamental Embroidery stencil and used the Mystic Malachite vintage spray to get the pattern onto the paper. Then I mixed up my own fluid acrylic paint using Shabby Turbine Teal and Rusty Lantern Lime from the Industrial Chic Shimmer Magicals set along with some fluid matte medium.

Embroidering-with-Stencils-and-Lindy's---Pattern-Prep-Step-1-4---Gwen-Lafleur

I painted the center of my stenciled design with my custom color, then used the Dark Chocolate Truffle shimmer spray as a paint to add the details. Finally, I took my dyed thread and just back-stitched around my design and then added some gold seed beads.

Embroidering-with-Stencils-and-Lindy's---Stitching---Gwen-Lafleur

My embroidered embellishment was done, so on to the background! I took my Ornamental Petals Screen stencil and then stenciled with the Dark Chocolate Truffle shimmer spray and a sponge so that it wouldn't be quite as dark and I could get crisper lines.

Sprayed-and-Stenciled-Art-Journal-Page-Background---Gwen-Lafleur

Next, I found some collage paper in my stash that was the perfect shade of green and already had my Art Deco Medallion stencil applied on top with gold texture paste, so I tore that out and adhered it to the background, then tore out my embroidered embellishment, inked the edges with brown and black ink, and glued that on top. I also sprinkled some more Oktoberfest Orange Magicals on the background and spritzed with water - love that color!

Remember that paper towel I used earlier to lay out my dyed thread? There was no way I was throwing that out... it was too cool looking! So I took a large shipping tag (the perfect size for the pocket on the inside of my cover,) and used some matte medium to adhere the paper towel to the tag. I scrunched it up in places so I'd get some nice texture.

Sprayed-and-Stenciled-Tag---Step-3-4---Gwen-Lafleur

From there I brushed on some gold paint to highlight the texture and integrate the paper towel into the background, then stenciled parts of my Art Deco Sun Medallion Repeating Corner stencil onto the tag with black ink.

I wanted a focal point on the tag, so I took the Retreat Circle stencil by Seth Apter and stenciled that, again with black ink, and then stenciled the word "Lost" from Seth's Text and Texture Transform stencil in the center of the circle. (I want to use "found" as the word on a tag in the back pocket.)

To make the word stand out a bit more, I traced over it with a water pen, and then sprinkled pigment powder with the Black Forest Black Magical Shaker, then flipped the tag over and tapped off the excess. I was worried that it would bleed a lot, but it worked really well!

Sprayed-and-Stenciled-Tag---Step-3-4---Gwen-Lafleur

For the finishing touches, I used my custom fluid acrylic paint to paint the inside cover above the pocket, then used the same technique from the covers along with my Ornamental Floral Screen stencil to embellish the pocket.

Stenciled-and-Sprayed-Mini-Art-Journal-Inside-Cover---Gwen-Lafleur

Finally, I mixed some of the Steel Shimmer and Steampunk Sepia powders from the Industrial Chic Shimmer Magic set with some sand texture paste to make my own grungy finish to put on the edges of my tag and on the covers.

  Magical-Powder-Texture-Paste---Gwen-Lafleur

Whew... that's it for today! I'm looking forward to continuing to work in my new journal, but in the meantime, here you can see how the tag and first page turned out:

Stenciled-and-Sprayed-Mini-Art-Journal-Inside-2---Gwen-Lafleur
Stenciled-and-Sprayed-Mini-Art-Journal-Inside-2---Gwen-Lafleur

 

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

GIVEAWAY!


One lucky winner will receive both a $25 Gift Certificate to Lindy’s Gang AND a $25 Gift Certificate to StencilGirl Products!

Lindy's Gang Blog Hop Giveaway
Enter to win by leaving a comment below, then be sure to visit the other blogs in the hop and comment to win... the more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN! One winner will be chosen at random from all blog comments!
(One comment per person, per blog please.)

You have until Tuesday, April 24th at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments.
The winner will be announced on StencilGirl's Facebook page and Lindy’s Gang’s Facebook page on Wednesday, April 25.

 

Today's Blog Hop Order:

Mary Beth Shaw
Gwen Lafleur <-- you are here!
Mary C. Nasser
Debi Adams
Tina Walker
Kate Palmer
Cindy Wille
Natalie May
Pascale Bernard
Anat Weksler
Bertheas Peggy aka Nirvana
Elena Martynova


Gwen's Gems - Make a Wire Jewelry Pattern from a Stencil!

Just popping in to let you know that I'm up on StencilGirl Talk today with the March edition of Gwen's Gems. This month I'm showing how you can use a stencil to create a pattern for wire jewelry - see how I made this wire peacock feather pendant from start to finish!

Wire-Peacock-Feather-Pendant-View-2----Gwen-Lafleur

Make sure you head over to StencilGirl Talk to see the tutorial. (PS... the necklace is now sold - thank you!)

 


Create a Beautifully Etched Decorative Window with Stencils

Hi all, welcome to my stop on the blog hop with StencilGirl and etchall! For my project, I knew immediately what I wanted to do... about two years ago I'd taken an old multi-paned window that I'd found in an architectural salvage shop and painted it, then added some stenciled deli paper to the panes. At the time, I wished that I'd etched the glass instead, so when this project came up, I decided to go back and do what I'd originally wanted to do with that old window. Here's how it turned out! 

Etched-Decorative-Window---Gwen-Lafleur

The how-to for this couldn't be any easier. I took my window (or any glass surface,) and peeled off the old deli paper with a razor, then washed it. (One of the few times you will ever catch me washing windows. LOL.) When it was totally dry, I took the stencil adhesive spray and coated the back of my Decorative Curvy Ornament stencil as well as my Decorative 6-Petal Flower stencil, let the adhesive dry, and then placed them in the center of two of the window panes. From there, I just followed the instructions on the bottle of etching cream; I applied it with a squeegee tool, then scraped up the excess and put it back in the jar. 

Etched-Decorative-Window-Step-1---Gwen-Lafleur

Etched-Decorative-Window-Step-1a---Gwen-Lafleur

When the first two were done, I set a timer for 15 minutes and then rinsed them in the sink under running water, scrubbing lightly to get all of the etching cream off of the glass. I did leave the stencils in place until after I'd rinsed off the cream, as per the instructions. They started to loosen before that point, but it worked out just fine!

Etched-Decorative-Window-Step-2---Gwen-Lafleur

From there, I just repeated the process two more times; each time I dried and re-sprayed my stencils with adhesive since they'd been soaked in water during the previous step and I wanted to make sure they stuck well to the glass so I wouldn't get any seepage with the etching cream.

Voila! It took less than an hour to get rid of my unsatisfactory deli print stenciling and replace it with something that looks pretty darn professional!

Etched-Decorative-Window-b---Gwen-Lafleur

It's hard to get good photos of the glass, but here you can see a bit of the close-up of each of the stencil designs after they'd been etched:

Etched-Decorative-Window-Closeup-3---Gwen-Lafleur

Etched-Decorative-Window-Closeup-5---Gwen-Lafleur

That's it! I hope you enjoyed seeing how I used the etchall products with my stencils to finish off this decorative window... now I just need to find the perfect place to display it.

Of course, now it's time for the best part of a blog hop - the giveaway!

 

GIVEAWAY
One lucky winner will receive an etchall® Glass Etching Bee-ginner Kit, reposition/reuse stencil spray
AND a $25 Gift Certificate to StencilGirl Products!

Enter to win by leaving a comment below, then be sure to visit the other blogs in the hop and comment to win.
The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN!
One winner will be chosen at random from all blog comments.
(One comment per person per blog please.)

You have until Tuesday, March 20th at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments.
Winner will be announced on
StencilGirl's Facebook page and etchall’s Facebook page on Wednesday, March 21.

 

Here are the links to all of today's blog posts - make sure to visit and comment on each of them for your chance to win!

Mary Beth Shaw
Gwen Lafleur <-- you are here!
Mary C. Nasser
Debi Adams
Tina Walker
Cindi McGee
Nadine Carlier
Joe Rotella


Gwen's Gems - Add Some Glam to your Grunge!

Hi all - just popping in to let you know that it's time for Gwen's Gems again over on StencilGirl Talk! This month I'm sharing a pretty intuitive mixed media piece with a super textured and grungy background accented with pink, gold, and plenty of glam!

Mixed-Media-Collage-with-Stenciled-Texture-and-Skins-closeup-3-----Gwen-Lafleur

Head on over to StencilGirl Talk to see the full piece along with a tutorial.


Gwen's Gems - 3D Collaged Boho Fish!

Hi all,  just popping in to let you know that I'm up today on StencilGirl Talk with the January edition of Gwen's Gems! This month I'm taking my collaged boho fish and making them 3D, using a stencil as a pattern.

3D-Collaged-Boho-Fish----Gwen-Lafleur

There are lots more photos and details in the post, plus a tutorial to show how I did both the fish and the background! I hope you'll head over and check it out!

 


Reviewing 2017: Mixed Media Art Favorites

Happy New Year! I'm very excited about all of the possibilities of 2018 - so much on the horizon! But before I dive into the new, I thought it would be fun to close out 2017 with a "best of" review of my year in art.

To start, I went to this year's "best nine" site to see my most popular posts on Instagram. This is always fascinating to me, and as usual, the top nine was about half filled with hand-carved stamps (most from Carve December, including the 2016 overview on the top-left. The bird was from earlier this year.)

2017 Best Nine on IG - Gwen Lafleur

Of course, as fun as that was to see, I wanted to take a little time to go through all of the things I've done this year and pull together my own Top 10 list. The order on these is a little loose... it's hard to pick favorites!

10. Translucent Mixed Media Assemblage

This one should look pretty familiar since it's a new project, just posted as my "Gwen's Gems" tutorial for December 2017. I'm really loving the translucent parts here - expect to see more of this in 2018!

Transparent-Mixed-Media-Abstract--Tilt----Gwen-Lafleur

9. Lynne Perrella Workshop Project

I think this was only posted on Instagram, but I was fortunate enough to take a 3-day workshop with Lynne Perrella last May. I loved it... so fun to learn her process, and I'm thrilled with my project! I still need to finish the second one I started in class, but that's another story...

Class Project - Gwen Lafleur

8. Seascape Shadow Box

This was a demo piece that I started during the Mixed Media Shadow Boxes class I taught in Connecticut last June. I brought it home and finished it off and I'm really happy with how it turned out!

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

7. "Balance" Art Journal Spread

This is another project that I only shared on Instagram. It began as an experiment with some new chalk pastels that I'd purchased recently - I wanted to see how they'd work on the cotton rag paper in this journal, so I used pastels to do the Buddha portrait on the right, then it ended up morphing into an entire spread. The lotus is from a silkscreen that I designed earlier this year and then printed onto rice paper. (In case you're wondering, the Chinese characters on the right are from one of my hand-carved stamps and mean double happiness.)

Balance-Art-Journal-Spread---Gwen-Lafleur

6. Mixed Media Seahorse Sculpture

Another fairly recent project, this is part of an ongoing series of 3D sculptures based on stencil designs. My favorite parts are definitely the finished paint job and all of the broken jewelry and metal pieces I added.

IMG_2870

5. Flowers for Mom (Mixed Media Floral Still Life)

Ostensibly I made this to share as a second sample for an in-person class I offer, but in reality was was created as a gift for my mom's birthday. She loved it... I got to watch her open it over Zoom and my nieces and nephews were with her... one of my nieces said "wow, you're an even better artist than my teacher!" I'll take it. LOL.

Boho-Floral-Still-Life-Collage---Gwen-Lafleur

4. Winter Cardinal Art Journal Page

I did a tutorial for this art journal page as my November "Gwen's Gems" post for StencilGirl using one of my new Christmas stencils. I just love the layers of texture and the dimensional look I was able to get here... it's one of my favorite pages to date.

Winter-Cardinal-Art-Journal-Page--Gwen-Lafleur

3. Mixed Media Abstract with Stencils & Embossing Powder

I'm a long-time fan of heat embossing, and I love using embossing powder in mixed media so this blog hop project with StencilGirl and Emerald Creek was definitely a favorite of mine. Look for lots more fun with EP in the coming year!

Mixed-Media-Abstract-with-Embossing-Powder---Gwen-Lafleur

2. Seth's Paper Artsy Creativation Release

Last January I had the opportunity to work with some of Seth Apter's new products from Paper Artsy - I had a lot of fun with this one, revisiting the project I'd done in Seth's "Library of Memories" class at Art is You in 2015. This is a mixed media case with some assemblage on the inside as well as a handmade art journal (all of the inside pages and many more details are in the full release post on StencilGirl Talk.)

Library of Memories Take 2 - Gwen Lafleur
Library of Memories Take 2 - Gwen Lafleur

1. November Workshop Projects

While the other projects on the list are fairly loosely ranked, this is definitely number one - the 2-day workshop I took at Mary Beth Shaw's studio in St. Louis taught by Mary Beth and Seth Apter. I learned a ton, and I love the work I did in this class... I also came home completely rejuvenated! I couldn't narrow this down to just one of the two pieces I did during the weekend, so my favorite project of the year is the combination of both pieces.

Abstract Mixed Media Collage - Gwen Lafleur

Fish Food - Mixed Media Canvas - Gwen Lafleur
Honorable mention... I have to include my pages from the ARTifacts project. It's rare for me to stick with something like this for an entire year, but this was a lot of fun to do and it's cool to look back over my year in art and see how much I was able to accomplish!

March ARTifacts Art Journal - Pages 2-3 - Gwen Lafleur

I really enjoyed going back through the year and seeing how much things have changed since last New Year's Day. I don't really do resolutions per se, but I had a lot of goals for 2017 - both personal and art-related, and I was able to check several off my list and make significant progress on a few more. It was a crazy, hard, exciting, and unusual year. And now I'm enjoying the anticipation of all of the potential that 2018 has to offer - I think it's going to be a good one.

Wishing everyone a wonderful New Year... may all of our hopes and wishes for 2018 all be granted!

 


Gwen's Gems - Translucent Mixed Media with Stencils!

Hi all, just popping in to let you know that I'm up on the StencilGirl blog today with the December edition of Gwen's Gems. This month I experimented with using translucent elements in a mixed media piece, and I'm loving the results!

Transparent-Mixed-Media-Abstract--Tilt----Gwen-Lafleur

Here you can better see the translucent part of the piece:

Transparent-Mixed-Media-Abstract--Closeup-2---Gwen-Lafleur

Head on over to StencilGirl Talk to see more photos as well as a tutorial!

PS... in case you haven't heard, I'm also going to be an artist instructor in Creative JumpStart 2018! Join me and 30 other teachers to get a jump on your creative year with daily mixed media video lessons... it says $50 in the image below, but from now until December 31st, it's only $45 - that works out to just $1.45 per lesson, and you can download them to keep forever!

CJS18-Rectangle-Ad---Gwen

 


Mixed Media Abstract with Stencils & Embossing Powder

I love embossing powder. Love it. So when I found out that the StencilGirl team would be doing a blog hop with Emerald Creek (who makes pretty much my favorite embossing powder ever,) I may have jumped up and down a little in excitement. (On the inside, at least!) I started heat embossing twenty or more years ago as I dabbled in other crafts, but as my interests have evolved, my love of embossing has remained. I never get tired of watching that powder melt, and in recent years I've found a few ways to make it even more fun to use! I've mixed a few of my favorite techniques together in today's project, which is an 8"x10" abstract mixed media panel with lots of EP and stencils.

Mixed-Media-Abstract-with-Embossing-Powder---Gwen-Lafleur

I've put together a little tutorial so you can see how I used the various products in this piece and hopefully give it a try yourself!

To start, I took a plain 8x10 canvas panel and coated it with black gesso.

Mixed-Media-Abstract-with-EP---Step-1---Gwen-Lafleur

I set that aside to dry and pulled out a few sheets of deli paper that had some paint on them and not much else - I formed my color palette as I looked through what I had that was already painted and ended up with yellow, teal, dark gray, and a kind of blend of all of the colors with a bit of stenciling already on it. I pulled out a few different stencils, inked through them with a foam applicator and pigment ink, then heat embossed the designs.

Mixed-Media-Abstract-with-EP---Step-2-3---Gwen-Lafleur

I used the X Rows stencil by Michelle Ward along with Mirror Gold embossing powder, my Ornamental Floral Screen stencil with some Fractured Ice Embossing Crystals, and two StencilClub stencils by Mary Beth Shaw: the one on yellow is the 6x6 from the April 2016 StencilClub collection used with Oil Rubbed Bronze EP, and the one on teal is the 9x12 from the January 2016 StencilClub kit along with Northern Lights EP.

I wanted to have each paper be roughly one quarter of a wonky circle, so I made a template from a piece of copy paper and used it to cut the pieces I wanted from my embossed deli paper, then adhered them onto the panel with matte medium. When collaged, deli paper wants to wrinkle much more than regular paper - sometimes I want that look and let it happen, but here I wanted it smooth so I used an old hotel room key and scraped it over the top to force out all of the bubbles.

Mixed-Media-Abstract-with-EP---Step-4-5---Gwen-Lafleur

I let the panel dry thoroughly at that point since I was going to add more embossing powder, which would stick to anything that was still wet. Once dry, I used some soft gel medium and painted a thick outline around my circle of patterned papers, then used Charred Gold EP on that. I did not let that dry - if you melt embossing powder on a wet acrylic medium, it will bubble... and I love to make it bubble. (However, it will also create some not-so-lovely fumes - protect your nose and mouth or even better, use a respirator while doing this - especially for extended periods of time.) You have to be careful that you don't burn it, but this process makes a really fabulous texture in your work.

With the circle done, I got out the Verdant Moon stencil by Carol Wiebe and used gold pigment ink to stencil parts of the border designs into a slightly skewed cruciform over the seams of my papers. I embossed that with more Charred Gold EP.

Mixed-Media-Abstract-with-EP---Step-6-7---Gwen-Lafleur

To create a bit of a halo effect around the circle, I just used some teal fluid acrylic paint along with acrylic glazing medium and my finger and spread the paint around the edge of the embossed circle.

Next, I glazed the patterned sections with gray, then used some gold paint in a fineliner bottle to scribble an echo of the embossed circle.

Mixed-Media-Abstract-with-EP---Step-8-9---Gwen-Lafleur

I wanted to add a touch of contrasting dimension and texture, so I used some Pebeo relief paste to add tiny gold glass seed beads into the center of my Xs.  (As you can see here, I generally use a needle or hatpin to place beads.)

With that, the background was done and it was time to start building my focal point. I started by stenciling my Art Deco Sunburst Medallion stencil onto deli paper that had been painted black, then I embossed it with Mirror Gold EP. Next I took a shape from the Periscope Die Set by Seth Apter that had been cut from a thin sheet of teal colored aluminum and added some alcohol inks, then glued it on top.

Mixed-Media-Abstract-with-EP---Step-10-11---Gwen-Lafleur

I cut around the diecut piece and then adhered it onto my panel. To go on top, I rounded up a few found objects - a metal clock face, some broken jewelry parts, and a glass Turkish Nazar. I assembled those into a focal piece and adhered it in the center of the diecut.

Mixed-Media-Abstract-with-EP---Step-12---Gwen-Lafleur

Finally, I added a sprinkling of Pyrite Gemstones around the border of my focal piece, and it was finished!

Here are a few closeups so you can see some of the details of the embossing - it's such a natural pairing with stencils!

Mixed-Media-Abstract-with-EP---Closeup-3---Gwen-Lafleur
Mixed-Media-Abstract-with-EP---Closeup-3---Gwen-Lafleur
Mixed-Media-Abstract-with-EP---Closeup-3---Gwen-Lafleur

Mixed-Media-Abstract-with-EP---Closeup-1---Gwen-Lafleur
Whew... that's it! I hope you enjoyed today's project as much as I enjoyed making it :) 

Now for the best part... we have two amazing giveaways this week!

Emerald Creek Blog Hop Giveaway image

One lucky winner will receive a $25 Gift Certificate to StencilGirl Products AND a $25 Gift Certificate to Emerald Creek!

Enter to win by leaving a comment on this post, then be sure to visit the other blogs in the hop and comment since the more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to win! One winner will be chosen at random from all blog comments. (One comment per person per blog please.)

You have until Tuesday, December 19th at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments. The winner will be announced on StencilGirl's Facebook page on Wednesday, December 20th.

AND

Seth Apter is also generously giving away his original artwork which he created for this blog hop!

Seth-Apter

 Head over to Seth's blog and leave a comment on his post to be entered to win this piece. You need to do this by Tuesday, 12/19 at 11:59PM Central Time to be eligible.

Here are all of the posts so far:

December 13:


December 14:

And... don't forget to come back tomorrow for the final four projects!

December 15:


Gwen's Gems - Winter Art Journaling

Hi all! Just popping in to let you know that I have a new project available over on StencilGirl Talk... this month I'm sharing a tutorial showing how I made this page in my art journal featuring my new Christmas Cardinal and Holly stencil.

Winter-Cardinal-Art-Journal-Page-angle--Gwen-Lafleur

Be sure to check out the full post for lots more photos and that tutorial I mentioned :)

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Make a File Folder Art Journal with Stencils & Tim Holtz Distress Oxides

Hi all! I can't tell you how excited I am to be participating in this week's blog hop... all of the members of the StencilGirl creative team are using some of Mary Beth's favorite Tim Holtz products with our StencilGirl stencils. 

Tim Holtz Blog Hop Header

Today is all about the Distress Oxide Inks, and I'm so excited that I got to work with them! My friend Tracie owns Papercraft Clubhouse in Connecticut, and when these ink pads first came out, she couldn't say enough about how awesome they were, so I couldn't wait to play with them. I was not disappointed... in fact, if you've seen my projects lately, you can probably tell that I'm more than a little bit addicted!

For today's project, I've made a file folder art journal and then used my stencils and Distress Oxide Inks to decorate the front and back covers and to make five different backgrounds on the inside pages.

Stenciled-File-Folder-Art-Journal-with-Distress-Oxide-Inks---Gwen-Lafleur

Here are all of the inside spreads, and rather than my usual photo tutorials, I've made six little videos showing you how I made each one of the backgrounds in the journal. Ready to get started?

For my first spread, I used lots of browns and had a lot of fun with the oxidized background effects! I used my Art Deco Sunburst Background stencil, the X Rows stencil by Michelle Ward, and the Numbers and Inside Out stencils by Seth Apter.

Stenciled-File-Folder-Art-Journal-with-Distress-Oxide-Inks-Spread-1--Gwen-Lafleur

Here you can see a few close-ups of the finished backgrounds:

Stenciled-File-Folder-Art-Journal-with-Distress-Oxide-Inks-Spread-1-Closeup-2--Gwen-Lafleur
Stenciled-File-Folder-Art-Journal-with-Distress-Oxide-Inks-Spread-1-Closeup-2--Gwen-Lafleur

For the second spread, I went much brighter! I did some reduction printing with my Ornamental Petals Screen stencil, then added a few layers of pattern with my Ornamental Peacock Feathers and Decorative Medallion stencils.

Stenciled-File-Folder-Art-Journal-with-Distress-Oxide-Inks-Spread-2--Gwen-Lafleur

Here's the video for this spread:

And of course, a few close-ups of the finished pages:

Stenciled-File-Folder-Art-Journal-with-Distress-Oxide-Inks-Spread-2-Closeup---Gwen-Lafleur

Stenciled-File-Folder-Art-Journal-with-Distress-Oxide-Inks-closeup-2---Gwen-Lafleur
I just love the way the layers of pattern blend together when you use these inks!

For the third spread, I tried out an idea I had to use the Distress Oxide Inks with some Distress Paint to do a page inspired by a piece of metal with lots of patina. In the video, I added a little Wild Honey Distress Oxide on the right-side page to add a bit of a rusty effect as well. I love how it turned out! On this one, I used my Art Deco Borders stencil along with the Numbers and Inside Out stencils by Seth Apter. 

Stenciled-File-Folder-Art-Journal-with-Distress-Oxide-Inks-Spread-3---Gwen-Lafleur

Of course, the video to go with this spread...

Here's a close-up of the effects I got on this background:

Stenciled-File-Folder-Art-Journal-with-Distress-Oxide-Inks-Spread-3-Closeup---Gwen-Lafleur

For the fourth spread, I added in some Distress Glaze to do some resist effects using the Marrakech Mix stencil by Michelle Ward.  I also used my Ornamental Floral Screen stencil and the Decorative 6-Petal Flower Screen to build up some layers of pattern and texture.

Stenciled-File-Folder-Art-Journal-with-Distress-Oxide-Inks-Spread-4--Gwen-Lafleur

Here's the video for this one:

It's a very subtle effect, but I really like how it turned out!

Stenciled-File-Folder-Art-Journal-with-Distress-Oxide-Inks-Spread-4-Closeup---Gwen-Lafleur

For the final spread inside the book, I used the Distress Oxides to print directly from my stencils onto the background. On these pages, I used my Ornamental Floral Screen stencil along with the X Rows stencil by Michelle Ward.

Stenciled-File-Folder-Art-Journal-with-Distress-Oxide-Inks-Spread-5--Gwen-Lafleur

One more background tutorial video... 

With a close-up, of course! This technique was a lot of fun and I love how it looked with the stamped border!

Stenciled-File-Folder-Art-Journal-with-Distress-Oxide-Inks-Spread-5---Closeup--Gwen-Lafleur

Last but not least, I have a tutorial for the front and back covers of the journal. This one used quite a few stencils! The focal point was my Art Deco Bookplates stencil, then I did the lettering with my Art Deco Alphabet stencil and the front also uses the word "inside" from Seth's Inside Out stencil. I added a bit of texture with my Ornamental Floral Screen stencil and my Decorative 6-Petal Flower Screen.

Stenciled-File-Folder-Art-Journal-with-Distress-Oxide-Inks-Covers--Gwen-Lafleur

The last video tutorial... in this one I show you the back cover from start to finish:

A few close-ups from both sides... did I mention how much I love the way the Distress Oxide Inks blend and fade into each other to make such gorgeous effects?

Stenciled-File-Folder-Art-Journal-with-Distress-Oxide-Inks-Back-Cover-Closeup-2---Gwen-Lafleur
Stenciled-File-Folder-Art-Journal-with-Distress-Oxide-Inks-Back-Cover-Closeup-2---Gwen-Lafleur
Stenciled-File-Folder-Art-Journal-with-Distress-Oxide-Inks-Back-Cover-Closeup-2---Gwen-Lafleur

Whew! That's it! I probably went a little overboard with this project, but I really loved using the Distress Oxides with my stencils. It was so fun to play and experiment!

The links for my stencils go to my own website, but of course you can also find all of my stencil designs on the StencilGirl website.

Of course, it's not a blog hop without a giveaway, and StencilGirl has an especially awesome prize this week!

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive a $50 Gift Certificate to StencilGirl Products!

Tim Holtz Blog Hop Giveaway image

Sign Up for The Scoop for your chance to WIN!

* indicates required field
 

Then...

Visit the blogs of Team StencilGirl and comment for MORE chances to win!

The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN! One winner will be chosen at random from The Scoop subscribers and blog comments! (One comment per person per blog please.)

You have until Tuesday, October 24th at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments.

Winner will be announced on StencilGirl's Facebook page on Wednesday, October 25th.

 

Here are all of the links for the posts that have gone up so far - make sure you comment to be entered for this awesome prize!

October 18: Adirondack Alcohol Inks


October 19: Distress Oxide Ink Pads 

Check StencilGirlTalk.com tomorrow to get the links for all of the posts using Distress Crayons!

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Kantha Quilting with Stencils and Kuchi Patches

Hi all, it's that time again... today I'm up on StencilGirl Talk with this month's edition of Gwen's Gems! For October, I used some of the things I learned in India about Kantha quilting to make some hand-stitched embellishments for a canvas handbag. I used some of my stencils as my patterns and embellished with Kuchi patches and sari appliques.

Kantha-Quilted-Handbag-with-Stencils---Gwen-Lafleur

Kantha-Quilted-Handbag-with-Stencils---Closeup-1---Gwen-Lafleur

Make sure to head over and see the whole post for more photos and a tutorial!

Also as a reminder, if you're feeling inspired by all of the projects with Kuchi patches that are being shared this month, they're on sale in the shop for 15% off all through October!

October-Product-Spotlight-Banner-Kuchi-Patches

Just use the coupon 15OffKuchiPatches when you check out to get 15% off! (It only includes patches specifically marked Kuchi, and doesn't include other Kuchi textiles or jewelry.)

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Gwen's Gems - Using Stencils in my Travel Journal

Hi all! Today I'm up over on StencilGirl Talk with the September edition of Gwen's Gems! This month I'm getting ready to travel, so I'm showing how I use my stencils to help prep my travel journal so it's all set to go on the road with me :)

Stencils-in-Travel-Journal---Finished-Book-Side-View---Gwen-Lafleur

Head on over to see lots more photos, as well as a little overview of how I used stencils to make the covers and decorate the inside pages of my journal. Enjoy!


"Choose Love" Mixed Media Panel

Hi all! I'm up on StencilGirl Talk today with this month's edition of Gwen's Gems! This month I'm making a large mixed media panel featuring clay, collage, painting, and lots of stencils, of course!

Here's my project:

Choose-Love-Mixed-Media-Panel---Gwen-Lafleur

Make sure you head over for more photos and a tutorial!

(P.S. - for those who are interested, this piece is now available for sale on my website.)

 


Art Journaling with StencilGirl and Colourcraft

Hi all! Welcome to my stop on our blog hop with StencilGirl and Colourcraft! I was so excited to get to try some new-to-me products with stencils; I was able to just play and experiment and have a lot of fun in the process! 

SG Colourcraft Blog Hop banner

For my project, I used the Brusho starter pack with 12 colors along with Aztec Lustres Craft Paints in Aquarmarine and Dark Blue. I also got to try a very cool medium - EXpandit 3D Expanding Fabric Medium - you can see how I used them all with StencilGirl stencils in the tutorial below, but first... here's the art journal spread that I made:

StencilGirl-Brusho-Art-Journal-Page-Gwen-Lafleur

Ready for that tutorial?

I started with a spread in my handmade journal (my book is 11x11) and the elephant was actually a large patterned diecut that I bound into the book - it was fun to work that into the spread! I coated the pages and the elephant with gesso, then when it was dry I took out some of the turquoise Brusho crystals and sprinkled them on the background. I spritzed with water until it looked like they were dissolved.

StencilGirl-Brusho-Art-Journal-Spread-Step-1-Gwen-Lafleur

There was a good amount of water, which made for a great vehicle to move the ink around the page and get a cool look in the background. I dried that layer, then repeated with purple and dried it again.

I pulled out my Aztec Lustres Craft Paints and used a paper towel to dab them around the page - it added a subtle difference in color and some shimmer.

StencilGirl-Brusho-Art-Journal-Page-Step-2---Gwen-Lafleur

With that layer dry, I took the EXpandit 3D Expandable Medium and mixed it on my palette with some Leaf Green Brusho crystals and then used a cheap bristle brush to stencil the mixture through my Ornamental Peacock Feathers stencil

StencilGirl-Brusho-Art-Journal-Page-Step-3---Gwen-Lafleur

Then while it was still wet, I used my heat tool to do the magical expanding! I have no idea if this was what it was supposed to look like when I was done, but I really liked it - it feels like it's been flocked, and adds such cool texture to the background! (I think a thicker coat of the tinted medium would give you a more solid expanded surface, but I liked it this way.)    

Next, I mixed up some orange Brusho crystals and airbrush medium in a glass dropper bottle and dropped tiny puddles around the page. I waited a minute - just until I could see the color underneath start to reactivate and come to the surface, then I used a paper towel to blot it back off. This is a fun reduction technique; it pulled out the blue / purple colors but left a bit of an orange stain, which looks pretty cool!

StencilGirl-Brusho-Art-Journal-Page-Step-4---Gwen-Lafleur

Next I used some white acrylic paint with my Ornamental Floral Screen stencil and randomly added some pattern to the background. I like white for this since it brightens up the page and unifies everything all at the same time. 

StencilGirl-Brusho-Art-Journal-Page-Step-5---Gwen-Lafleur

With the background pretty much done, I moved on to the elephant inclusion. I used sepia and black Archival Inks to edge it on the outsides...

StencilGirl-Brusho-Art-Journal-Page-Steps-6-7---Gwen-Lafleur

Then on the inside - when I opened up the diecut, I painted it with aquamarine Aztec Lustres Craft Paint, stenciled "TIME" from the Story Time stencil by Seth Apter and added the rest of the title with small alphabet stamps.

I decided that the title area needed something more, so I used my Art Deco Sunburst Background stencil and sepia ink to add a bit of pattern.

StencilGirl-Brusho-Art-Journal-Page-Steps-8-9---Gwen-Lafleur

I had originally planned to do my journaling on the background of the spread, but after some trial and error I decided to add it as an outline around the elephant instead which I think worked really well. From there, I pulled my orange Brusho acrylic ink back out and added a few splatters, then let it dry.

To finish up the entire spread, I pulled out my washi tape - I love to use this to add just a little something to the edges of my pages.

StencilGirl-Brusho-Art-Journal-Page-Step-10---Gwen-Lafleur

I sealed the tape with a coat of matte medium, and voila! Completed art journal spread with fun new techniques and products.

StencilGirl-Brusho-Art-Journal-Page-Closeup---Gwen-Lafleur

Here you can see either side of the spread when the elephant is folded over:

StencilGirl-Brusho-Art-Journal-Page-Elephant-View-2---Gwen-Lafleur

 Just a few close-ups so you can see some of the cool effects I got with the Colourcraft products...

StencilGirl-Brusho-Art-Journal-Page-Closeup-2--Gwen-Lafleur
StencilGirl-Brusho-Art-Journal-Page-Closeup-2--Gwen-Lafleur

That's it! I hope you enjoyed my project for today. Now, without further ado, it's time for the giveaway!

 

GIVEAWAY!

One lucky winner will receive both a $25 Gift Certificate to StencilGirl Products AND a $25 Gift Certificate to Colourcraft!

SG Colourcraft GIVEAWAY image

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 Sunday, August 20th at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments.

The winner will be announced on StencilGirl's Facebook page and Colourcraft’s Facebook page on Monday, August 21st.

In case you missed it, here's the list of all of the blogs in this week's hop: 

August 16

August 17 

August 18 

 


A Dimensional Mixed Media Panel with StencilGirl & Imagine Crafts

Hi all! Welcome to my stop on this week's fabulous blog hop with StencilGirl and Imagine Crafts! I'm sure it's fairly obvious at this point that I'm a stencil addict, but I'm also a big fan of Imagine Crafts' products - I have a ton of them in my studio that I work with regularly, so it was fun to feature a few of my favorites along with my trusty StencilGirl stencils!

SG Imagine Blog Hop banner

For this project, I had an idea for a technique I wanted to try and dove right in - I was pretty pleased that my little experiment actually turned out a lot like I'd envisioned! I used stencils, cardboard, and some of the irRESISTible products, along with a few others that I'll mention below to make a dimensional mixed media panel: 

StencilGirl-Imagine Crafts Mixed Media Panel - Gwen Lafleur

It's hard to really capture in photos how this project looks in real life, but it's actually pretty cool looking! You can get a better sense for the details in the tutorial photos.

Ready to see how I made this piece?

My idea was to do something that would create depth, so that I could have pools of color that were reminiscent of enamel or stained glass. I had a few different ideas on how to do that, but decided to go with cardboard to create the dimension. I started by tracing the Ripples Small stencil by Michelle Ward onto the surface. Since I had decided I was going to layer this on a 6x8 panel, I then flipped the stencil and lined it up so I could continue the pattern and make it taller.

Dimensional Mixed Media Panel - Step 1 - Gwen Lafleur

Then I used an x-acto knife to cut it out. (The lines on the stencil were where I wanted to have "channels" on my piece, otherwise I could have just used molding paste. This gives me a reverse of what I would have gotten by just stenciling.) You can also see that I added a few bridges to the design so that my circles would still be attached after they were cut out.

Dimensional Mixed Media Panel - Steps 2-3 - Gwen Lafleur

Again, there were several methods I could use to adhere the cardboard to my panel and then cover the raw edges, but I decided to use masking tape because it's cleaner, a bit faster, and has the bonus benefit of no drying time! You can see above how I took small pieces and laid them over the cardboard, adhering to the wood panel on either side. 

Dimensional Mixed Media Panel - Steps 3a-4 - Gwen Lafleur

Above, you can see how I used the tip of a bone folder to trace along the edges of the cardboard and make sure the tape got worked into the corners and was flush with the wood along the lines of the cardboard. This gave me much cleaner channels for the next steps.

Next, I wanted to create a metallic surface across the whole panel. I painted the entire thing with white gesso, and then while it was still wet I coated the entire piece with gold embossing powder from Imagine Crafts. Without waiting for the gesso to dry, I used my heat gun to melt and bubble the embossing powder. (The bubbling happens because of the wet acrylic medium under the embossing powder. I love to do this! You can also use gel medium, matte medium, paint, etc...) I should note that because of how long it took to heat something this large, I covered my nose and mouth to help minimize any unhealthy fumes that might come from this process.

Dimensional Mixed Media Panel - Step 5 - Gwen Lafleur

This gives you such cool texture! I continued heating and bubbling until the whole thing was done, then I started adding color. I took my irRESISTible sprays (I took the sprayer off and poured as you see below,) and my irRESISTible Pico Embellishers and started flooding some of the channels with color. (I used Paris Dusk, Copper, and Morocco.) I love these products because they look so much like stained glass when they're dry.

Dimensional Mixed Media Panel - Step 6 - Gwen Lafleur

In the last photo above, you can see where I also used some of the StazOn Studio Glazes to add color to some of the smaller areas (I used Ganache and Gothic Purple.) Once all of the color was in place, I set the panel aside to dry overnight.

With all of the color in place (and looking pretty cool, I think!) I wanted to add some last accents. I started by taking one of my medium sized Kuchi Patches (which was also the inspiration for my color palette,) and putting it in the center of the top set of circles.  Then I added one of the Imagine Crafts Ancient Dynasty Coins on top of that.

Dimensional Mixed Media Panel - Steps 7-8 - Gwen Lafleur

I decided that the sides of my panel needed a little something extra, so I pulled out my Art Deco Borders stencil and used some Royal Purple StazOn ink to add the pattern on all four sides.

It felt like the front of the panel was still missing something, so I dug through my stash and pulled out one of my Beautiful Butterflies tassels from India and hooked the loop around my coin and adhered that in place, letting the tassel itself hang free. Then I used my purple StazOn Studio Glaze and my finger to add a little color along the edges, as you can see below.    

Dimensional Mixed Media Panel - Step 9 - Gwen Lafleur

Finally, I took my StazOn Studio Glazes out again and used them to add some dots throughout the design.

Voila! A finished dimensional mixed media panel with some fun new techniques, and some unique accents!

Dimensional Mixed Media Panel - Side View 1 - Gwen Lafleur

Here are a few close-ups of the project so that you can see some of the details:

Dimensional Mixed Media Panel - Closeup 5 - Gwen Lafleur
Dimensional Mixed Media Panel - Closeup 5 - Gwen Lafleur

I hope you enjoyed today's project and tutorial as much as I enjoyed making it!

Of course, the part everyone is waiting for...

GIVEAWAY!
One lucky winner will receive both a $25 Gift Certificate to StencilGirl Products AND a $25 Gift Certificate to Imagine Crafts!

SG Imagine GIVEAWAY image

Visit the fabulous designers from both teams and comment on their posts 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 Sunday, July 23rd at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments. Winner will be announced on StencilGirl's Facebook page and Imagine Crafts’s Facebook page on Monday, July 24th.

July 19

July 20 

July 21 

 

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Making a Decorative Clay Flower with Stencils

Hi all! I'm up on StencilGirl Talk today with the July edition of Gwen's Gems. This month I used Aves Apoxie Clay and stencils to make a fun, decorative flower that you can use on an art journal cover, in mixed media projects, or add to home decor. You can even make a smaller version to create your own statement pendants to use in jewelry making!

Here's my flower:

Stenciled Clay Flower - Gwen Lafleur

Head on over to StencilGirl Talk for lots more photos and a full project tutorial. Enjoy!


Boho Mermaid Art Journaling

Hi all, it's Mermaid Madness today at StencilGirl! The creative team is having a blog hop showcasing the fun mermaid stencils that were released last month.

Jpg  memaid madness stencilgirl creative team hop

When I was working on my project for this hop, I'd just finished teaching my Boho Art Journaling class in Connecticut and I thought to myself, why not a boho mermaid? So that's what I did! I made a boho mermaid and then put her on an art journal page with some other mermaids silhouetted in the background (each with her own crown, of course!)

Mermaid-Art-Journal-Spread-with-Stencils---Gwen-Lafleur

For my page I used the Mermaidia and  Crown and Scepters stencils by June Pfaff Daley.

Mermaid-Art-Journal-Spread-with-Stencils-Closeup-1---Gwen-Lafleur

Make sure you head over to StencilGirl Talk to see more projects, plus all of the links for the blog hop. Get ready to be inspired!

 


Gwen's Gems - Textured and Layered Art Journal Cover

Hi all! I'm over on StencilGirl Talk today with the June edition of Gwen's Gems. This month I'm using lots of stencils and even more molding paste to make a layered and textured cover for a new 9"x9" handmade art journal.

Textured Stenciled Book Cover Angle 1 - Gwen Lafleur
Textured Stenciled Book Cover Angle 1 - Gwen Lafleur

Head on over to the blog for more photos and a tutorial on how I made the cover! Enjoy!


Gwen's Gems - Boho Stenciled Mandala

Hi all, I'm up on StencilGirl Talk today with the May edition of Gwen's Gems! This month I made a mandala-inspired mixed media panel using a whole bunch of stencils and some fun, new-to-me products.

Boho Stenciled Mandala - Gwen Lafleur

As usual, there's a tutorial, so make sure to head over for that and more photos of the finished project. Enjoy!

 


Deco Book & Box with Stencils, Molds, Resin, & Shrinky Dinks!

SG & ACP Blog Hop Header

Hi everyone! Welcome to day 2 of this week's blog hop with StencilGirl Products and Amazing Casting Products! I'm excited to be joining in since I love using molds and resin in my work, and using them with stencils was even more fun!

For this project I took some left-over packaging (it was the box from the ceramic Peking Opera mask that I used in a panel I shared last week,) and turned it into a decorated case for a mini handmade book. Can you tell where I used molds and resin with my stencils?

StencilGirl - Amazing Casting - Deco Book and Box - View 5 - Gwen Lafleur

I put together a little tutorial for you, including a fun technique I came up with using Amazing Casting Products mold making putty and resin with a few of my stencil designs.

First up, my new technique. I wanted to use some of my new Art Deco stencils (here I'm using my Art Deco Borders stencil,) but I wanted to work with a smaller size. So, I inked the part of the design I wanted to use onto a piece of Shinky Dink film.

StencilGirl - Amazing Casting - Deco Book and Box Step 1 - Gwen Lafleur

Next I used an X-Acto knife to cut out the inside pieces. Since this was going to shrink a lot, and since it takes a fair amount of effort to cut through the film, I only cut out the details I really wanted to have show that were big enough to look good in a much smaller size.

StencilGirl - Amazing Casting - Deco Book and Box Step 2 - Gwen Lafleur

Then I cut around the outside of the design with a pair of sharp scissors. I repeated this process using my Art Deco Medallion stencil, then followed the instructions on the package to shrink them in my oven. It did take a few tries reheating and uncurling the plastic for the medallion, but in the end, they both worked!

StencilGirl - Amazing Casting - Deco Book and Box Step 3 - Gwen Lafleur

Now that I had my stenciled designs in a smaller, 3D version, I could move on to the next step - making molds so that I could create multiples! (Please keep in mind that all of StencilGirl's stencil designs are copyrighted, so you should only do this for your personal use, or for use in one-of-a-kind artwork that you sell.)

I took my Amazing Mold Putty and made molds of both of my mini stencil designs.

StencilGirl - Amazing Casting - Deco Book and Box Step 4 - Gwen Lafleur

Then I took some white casting resin and cast both molds. When they were cured (which only takes about 15 minutes!) I cleaned them up a bit and then they were ready to use!

StencilGirl - Amazing Casting - Deco Book and Box Step 5 - Gwen Lafleur

Before I started I had a few ideas for how I'd planned to use these, but once I got to this point I realized that the shapes I'd picked would fit together perfectly to make some really cool embellishments! I got out my Aves Apoxie Clay and mixed up a small amount to start connecting things together and then to start adding to the structure.

  StencilGirl - Amazing Casting - Deco Book and Box Step 6 - Gwen Lafleur

You can see above (middle photo) where I added thin ropes of clay around the edges as a border and then used it to start adding other bits onto the structure. I also put dots of clay in a few spaces and then indented the middles in order to create a space to add a jewel or pearl or something later on.

Next up, I painted it. I used gold and bronze metallic acrylic paints as well as a patina colored paint to make it all more cohesive. I also added a metal gear and a random piece of Turkmen jewelry and painted those as well so they'd all go together.

StencilGirl - Amazing Casting - Deco Book and Box Step 7 - Gwen Lafleur

You can see in the photo above right that I did end up adding some jewels, and also glued one of my embellishments to a scrap of Chiyogami paper so that you could see some of the color and pattern through the holes.

With that done, I set my new embellishments aside to dry and started working on the box. I taped off the metal corners and spine (it had a cool design I wanted to keep) and then gesso'd the whole thing.

StencilGirl - Amazing Casting - Deco Book and Box Step 8 - Gwen Lafleur

Then I used metallic gold and turquoise paints... you can see where I used my heat gun to bubble them a bit (I love the texture it adds!)

StencilGirl - Amazing Casting - Deco Book and Box Step 9 - Gwen Lafleur

Once the paint was dry, I used my Art Deco Sunburst Corners stencil and some gold embossing paste and added a bit of dimensional pattern to the cover of the box.

With the outsides of the box painted and ready to embellish, I started working on the inside. First, I stenciled a piece of blue mulberry paper with my Art Deco Sunburst Background stencil and bronze paint.

StencilGirl - Amazing Casting - Deco Book and Box Step 10 - Gwen Lafleur

I tore those down to the sizes I want and then adhered them (inking the edges of the piece for the inside cover first.)

To embellish the inside cover, I decided to use another molded piece. This time I made a mold of an old vintage metal face that was sent to me from Latvia and then cast that with resin and painted it to look like the original piece.

StencilGirl - Amazing Casting - Deco Book and Box Step 11 - Gwen Lafleur

The resin takes paint so well - it was actually almost hard to tell which was the original when I was done!

Once dry, I took my new embellishment and layered it with some other metal pieces and adhered them to the inside of the cover.

StencilGirl - Amazing Casting - Deco Book and Box Step 11a - Gwen Lafleur

Next up, to embellish the back of the box, I taped off a section of my Art Deco Borders stencil so that I could just stencil the middle circle I wanted to use. I stenciled on deli paper with pigment ink and then heat embossed with a mix of Emerald Creek embossing powders.

StencilGirl - Amazing Casting - Deco Book and Box Step 12 - Gwen Lafleur

I cut that out and adhered with matte medium. 

To finish off the inside of the box, I attached some different trims, then added a bit of gold dimensional paint.

StencilGirl - Amazing Casting - Deco Book and Box Step 14 - Gwen Lafleur

Whew... that's done. Back to the outside of the box!

With my resin & clay medallions cured and dried, I could finish up the cover. I adhered the medallion with the Turkmen jewelry pieces to the front in the center, then used a Tsukineko irRESISTible Pico Embellisher to fill in some of the stenciled sections.

StencilGirl - Amazing Casting - Deco Book and Box Step 13 - Gwen LafleurVoila! The cover is done!

StencilGirl - Amazing Casting - Deco Book and Box Step 15 - Gwen Lafleur

While that dried, I moved on to make the handmade book that would fit inside. I measured to see how big it could be, then cut down some pieces of Davey board and made a little 3"x5" book using the single-sheet Coptic binding. I painted the covers with a turquoise background paint by Matisse, then used a section of my Art Deco Bookplates stencil and some gold pigment ink to stencil the cover.

StencilGirl - Amazing Casting - Deco Book and Box Step 16 - Gwen Lafleur

I heat embossed the stenciled area with gold embossing powder, then adhered my other resin and clay medallion into the center and embellished it with some acrylic rhinestones.

When all was dry, I put the book into the box - all ready to have the pages filled and to be a fun display piece when I wasn't using it.

StencilGirl - Amazing Casting - Deco Book and Box - Inside - Gwen Lafleur

Here are a few more photos and close-ups of the finished project so you can see some of the details:

StencilGirl - Amazing Casting - Deco Book and Box - Inside with book - Gwen Lafleur

StencilGirl - Amazing Casting - Deco Book and Box - Inside with book 2 - Gwen Lafleur
StencilGirl - Amazing Casting - Deco Book and Box - Inside with book 2 - Gwen Lafleur

StencilGirl - Amazing Casting - Deco Book and Box - View 6 - Gwen Lafleur
There you go! I hope you enjoyed today's project and tutorial. Of course, this wouldn't be a blog hop without a  GIVEAWAY!

One lucky winner will receive both a $25 Gift Certificate to StencilGirl Products
AND a $25 Gift Certificate to Amazing Casting Products!

SG & ACP Blog Hop Giveaway image

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 Sunday, April 23rd at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments.

Winner will be announced on StencilGirl's Facebook page and Amazing Casting Products’s Facebook page on Monday, April 24th.

 

Here's the lineup of blogs for this week - make sure you visit and comment on all of them to increase your chances to win!

April 19 

April 20 

April 21 


Gwen's Gems - Art Journaling with Canvas Corp Brands

Hi everyone! I'm up on the StencilGirl blog today with the April edition of Gwen's Gems, which also happens to be a collaborative post with Canvas Corp Brands!

This month I have a tutorial for this art journal spread using lots of awesome Canvas Corp Brands products (like a 7 Gypsies journal and papers, and some amazing Tattered Angels natural aging paints,) and using some of my new Art Deco stencils, of course!

StencilGirl-Canvas Corps - Art Journal Spread - Gwen Lafleur

Make sure you head on over to see more photos and the tutorial. Also, there's a GIVEAWAY! Make sure you go to StencilGirl Talk to see the giveaway instructions. You need to leave a comment over on that post (not this one) in order to be entered to win. Enjoy, and good luck!

 


Gwen's Gems - A Boho Mixed Media Canvas

Hi all! Just popping in to let you know that I'm up today on StencilGirl Talk with the latest installment of Gwen's Gems. This month I went a bit crazy with different texture pastes and stencils to make a mixed media canvas centered around a vintage Afghan Kuchi patch.

Boho Stenciled Canvas - Gwen Lafleur

There's a tutorial along with lots more photos over on the StencilGirl blog, so make sure to check it out!

 


Stenciled & Wood-Burned Diptych Photo Frame

SG & WH Blog Hop Header

Hi all! I'm excited to be joining in with the StencilGirl / Walnut Hollow blog hop today! This was a very fun project for me as it gave me the opportunity to try something entirely new with my stencils. I knew as soon as I saw these decorator plaques from Walnut Hollow that I wanted to make a diptych and do some wood burning with my Versa-Tool.

Here's what I made - a diptych photo frame for me to display in my house - I love it!

  Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych - Gwen Lafleur

I've got a quick tutorial to show you how I made this piece. Ready?

First I started by stenciling each piece with my Decorative Medallion stencil using a light color of brown ink. I knew I was going to trace over this design with my Versa-Tool, so I wanted to make sure that the color I used wouldn't interfere with the beautiful burned wood color that was coming next.

Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych - Step 1 - Gwen Lafleur

Next step? Get comfy... this part takes a while. I pulled up a chair and turned on the hockey game and patiently traced over the stenciled lines with the detail tip of my tool. I really wanted that dark brown color, and I love the way that it created almost a debossed effect as I worked over the design. You can clearly see the difference in color and texture as each section was burned. Beautiful!

Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych - Step 2 - Gwen Lafleur

You can also see a circle drawn in the center - I knew that I was going to cover up the middle with a circular element, so why waste time burning sections that would be covered up? This was my line to tell me where I could stop since it would later be hidden.

With the burning done, I didn't want to do any painting, so I coated the plaques with a glaze made from polymer medium, transparent yellow iron oxide fluid acrylic paint, micaceous iron oxide, and gold interference paint. (All from Golden.)

Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych - Step 3 - Gwen Lafleur

I have several ready-made colored glazes I keep in small bottles, so I used those to add a few touches of color to some areas of the design. (These were cobalt turquoise and pyrrole red, both mixed with polymer medium and nothing else.)

Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych - Step 4 - Gwen Lafleur

Next I used some metallic waxes around the edges to frame the design and add a bit more depth. 

Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych - Step 5 - Gwen Lafleur

Everything was still feeling very flat and "blah" to me (keeping in mind that more is usually more in my world,) and I glanced over at my palette and just randomly started peeling off sections of dried gold paint and sticking them around the edges of my plaques. It was working for me - it looked a bit like gold leafing, so I kept doing it and then sealed it.

Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych - Step 6 - Gwen Lafleur

It was still all feeling like it was missing something, so I pulled out some molding paste skins I made several months ago and then didn't use. These were done from the Damask Borders stencil by Michelle Ward. (To make a molding paste skin, you just put molding paste through your stencil onto a non-stick surface like a Teflon of silicon craft mat, then set it aside on a flat surface and let it dry completely. The "skins" will peel off and work great as dimensional embellishments! I stored mine in wax paper until they were ready to be used. As always, make sure to clean your stencil immediately after using any kind of texture paste!)

Here you can see the steps I took to paint them - I wanted them to look kind of like metal, so I used several layers of paint and finished with a bit more wax.

Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych - Step 7 - Gwen Lafleur

I picked out a few other embellishments to use with my flourishes; some Dresden border trim, and some really cool vintage Turkomen jewelry findings. I adhered everything into place and let it dry.

Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych - Step 8 - Gwen Lafleur

From here I got out some small hinges and mini screws and turned my plaques into a diptych by connecting them together:

Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych - Step 9 - Gwen Lafleur

Finally, I took a few family photos and sized them in Photoshop, then printed them and used a large circle punch to shape them. I mounted those on some wood circles (I burned a pattern around the edge of them with my Versa-Tool that looks pretty cool!) I edged the photos with strands of rhinestones and then adhered them in the center.

Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych - Step 10 - Gwen Lafleur
Done? Of course not! I took some gold and brown beads strung on wire and adhered those around the circles - this helped cover up gaps between the circle and the plaques where there weren't any embellishments.

Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych - Step 11 - Gwen Lafleur

Okay, last step - for real this time! I took out some Liquid Pearls and added dots along my Dresden to bring the colors out from the center and into other parts of the piece.

Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych - Step 12 - Gwen Lafleur

Voila! C'est fini! 

Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych 2 - Gwen Lafleur

Just a few close-ups...

Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych - Close-up 1 - Gwen Lafleur
Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych - Close-up 1 - Gwen Lafleur
Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych - Close-up 1 - Gwen Lafleur

I'm thrilled with the results :) I hope you enjoyed today's project! Of course, now is the part that I'm sure everyone is waiting for...

GIVEAWAY!

One lucky winner will receive both a $25 Gift Certificate to StencilGirl Products AND a $25 Gift Certificate to Walnut Hollow!

SG & WH Blog Hop Giveaway image

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 blog please.)

You have until Sunday, March 19th at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments.

Winner will be announced on
StencilGirl's Facebook page and Walnut Hollow's Facebook page on Monday, March 20th.

 

March 15

March 16 

March 17 

 


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.

Stenciled-Kraft-Tex-Notebook-Cover---Front-Bottom-View---Gwen-Lafleur-sm

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...

 GIVEAWAY!

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

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

February Blog Hop GIVEAWAY image
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

February 16 

February 17 

 


Gwen's Gems - Stenciled Statement Necklaces

Hi everyone, I'm up on StencilGirl Talk today with a new project and tutorial... this month I made nine statement necklaces using stencils as my foundation.

Stenciled Statement Necklaces - Gwen Lafleur

If you hop over to StencilGirl Talk, you can see more photos of each of the necklaces, as well as a quick little tutorial on how I made them. Enjoy!

 


Mixed Media Medallions with StencilGirl and PaperArtsy!

PaperArtsy StencilGirl Header

Hi everyone, I'm excited to be participating in the blog hop with StencilGirl and PaperArtsy! It was loads of fun to combine stencils together with all the fabulous Fresco Finish acrylic paints, Infusions, and the awesome rubber stamp designs. In fact, it was so much fun that I made two projects!

Mixed Media Medallions 2 - PaperArtsy and StencilGirl - Gwen Lafleur

First, I made what I'm calling a mixed media medallion - I've named this piece "The Lady of the Lake" - I think you might be able to see why!

  Lady of the Lake - Mixed Media - Gwen Lafleur

Here's a little overview of how this came together:

I started with a sheet of vellum finish Bristol paper and put down some color with the Fresco Antarctica paint. Then I stamped the large image from the Lynne Perella Collection 009 stamp set with black Archival Ink (important to have something permanent since I was going to layer on top.) Next I put some molding paste through the Cornish Petals Large stencil by Lizzie Mayne, making sure to put the center of the stencil over the stamped face, and I let it dry. 

Once dry, I cut it out and then used Space Cadet, Turquoise, and Lake Wanaka Fresco paints over top. Originally I wanted more of the stamped image to show through, but as I painted it seemed to be telling me to keep edging in a bit more. I'm glad I listened!

Mixed Media Medallion Steps 1-4 - Gwen Lafleur

I took some Gold Fresco Finish and used my finger to rub it across the raised areas of the design, then mixed Slate with satin glaze and glazed the entire thing, let it dry for a minute or so, then wiped off the excess with a baby wipe. This really helped to highlight the dimension!

Once that was dry, I used gold glitter glue to go over all the gold areas and really bling it up. Here you can see how I considered just stopping here and using this in an art journal:

Mixed Media Medallion Art Journal Idea - Gwen Lafleur

As much as I loved this, and I did! I wanted to keep pushing with this idea. I mixed up some Aves Apoxy Clay and then sprinkled in some Infusions Dye Stain (A Bit Jaded.) I added just a spritz of water to activate the dye as I kneaded it into the clay so that it would stain it for me. I rolled that out and put a ring of clay around the stamped face, then inserted some clear crystals around the outside edge and embedded lots of brown and gold beads into the surface of the clay.

Mixed Media Medallion Step 5 - Gwen Lafleur

Once the clay was no longer water soluble, I filled the well in the middle with Diamond Glaze and then sprinkled more Infusions onto the surface. They spread just a bit on contact with the liquid (which I wanted,) and I was careful not to disturb it so that they would just be dots and splashes of color and not completely dye the glaze. I left this until the glaze was totally dry and the clay was cured (overnight.)

Of course, this still wasn't done in my book! I pulled my Gold Fresco Finish paint back out and rubbed it all over the clay and beads. Some of the color still showed through, but it helped to better integrate that area. Next I took out some brass findings and cut them and attached them onto the back of the medallion using E6000 glue.

Mixed Media Medallion Steps 6-7 - Gwen Lafleur

I wanted a bit of a patina effect on the metal, so I just used my fingers again to rub in a little White Fire Fresco Finish, as well as some Guacamole. I added a strand of rhinestones around the inside of the circle to cover up the seam with the glaze (and add more bling!) and then glued a few jewels into some openings on the metal bits.

Mixed Media Medallion Unmounted - Gwen Lafleur

Loving this! I felt like it now needed to be mounted on something, so I took out an unfinished wooden plaque type thing I'd gotten at the craft store, sanded the rough parts, then painted it with Gold, Guacamole, and Tinned Peas. I stenciled some flourishes from the 9x12 of my Heraldry StencilClub collection with gold texture paste and then filled them with a glaze mixed with more Gold. I also added some stamping using smaller elements on the Lynne Perella 28 stamp collection and Background Plate 5 with gold and chartreuse ink.

Mixed Media Medallion Steps 8-9 - Gwen Lafleur

I edged the whole thing with more Space Cadet and Turquoise paints and then coated the entire surface with metallic glaze for a little shimmer. Finally, I added some Dresden trim borders and some skeleton leaves and glued it all together. I'm so happy with how this turned out!

Lady of the Lake Close-up - Gwen Lafleur
Lady of the Lake Close-up - Gwen Lafleur
Lady of the Lake Close-up - Gwen Lafleur

Of course, that wasn't enough. I also really wanted to do something that I could turn into a big statement necklace pendant, so I used similar techniques along with my stamps, paints, and stencils and made an artsy necklace - a conversation piece for sure!

Mixed Media Pendant - StencilGirl and PaperArtsy - Gwen Lafleur

 

For the pendant, I started with a piece of white cardstock and stamped one of the large images from Lynne Perella Collection 34 with black Archival Ink. Next I took the Marrakech Mix stencil by Michelle Ward and used one of the larger openings to trace around the face - I wanted this to be the part of the stamp that showed in my pendant.

Mixed Media Pendant Steps 1-3 - Gwen Lafleur

I used colored pencils to color in the area defined by the stencil, then I cut it out, leaving about 1/4" since I knew I wanted to frame the colored image with clay. I also knew that I wanted some "stuff" sticking out of the clay, so I got some headpins and various colorful beads and made some picks to stick in there.

Mixed Media Pendant Steps 4-6 - Gwen Lafleur

I mixed up more Apoxie clay (I really love that stuff!) and rolled it out to about 1/4" diameter and then wrapped it around the image, pressing it lightly into the cardstock base so that it would stick (I also covered the back of the pendant with a thin layer of clay.) Since I wanted this to be able to be used as a pendant, I put a loop of wire into the top where I could attach a chain.  I then stuck my beaded picks into the clay around the bottom, added spike beads in between the picks, and added more beads into the other areas of the clay. I let the clay cure until it was nice and solid before moving on.

Next up, I got out my trusty Gold Fresco Finish paint and painted over the clay and beads as well as the back, then when it was dry I flipped it over and glued on some different gold trims that would show around the edges on the front.

Mixed Media Pendant Steps 7-10 - Gwen Lafleur

Again, I took some metal findings and added them onto the back with E6000 (to actually wear this as a necklace, you could cut and glue on a piece of felt or add more clay to cover up any rough bits that might bother your skin.)

Finally, I filled in the front with more Diamond Glaze and then edged the inside of the pendant opening with some fine gold trim to help emphasize the original shape. Add a chain, and voila! A fun and artsy statement necklace. (Of course, this could also be used on the cover or a book, on a mixed media piece, in assemblage art... it definitely doesn't have to be worn!)

Mixed Media Pendant - Close-up 2 - Gwen Lafleur
Mixed Media Pendant - Close-up 2 - Gwen Lafleur

That's it from me today - I hope you enjoyed my projects and that you're having fun as you go through all of the awesome projects in this week's blog hop. Make sure you comment on each one, because there's a giveaway!

PaperArtsy StencilGirl Giveaway

One lucky winner will receive a $75 Gift Certificate to StencilGirl Products

AND a £50 Gift Certificate for PaperArtsy!!


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 Friday, December 30th at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments.

Winner will be announced on
StencilGirl's Facebook page and PaperArtsy's blog on Sunday, January 1.

 

Blog Hop Order:

Dec. 21

Darcy Wilkinson

Kim Dellow
Mary C. Nasser
Gwen Lafleur <-- you are here!


Dec. 22

Jo Firth Young
Lauren Hatwell
Kristie Taylor

Tina Walker

Dec. 23
Clare Lloyd
Lin Brown
Anna Friesen
Janet Joehlin

Dec. 24
Kay Carley
Emma Godfrey
Cindy Gilstrap
Karen Gaunt

 

 


Stenciled Mixed Media Door Signs

Hi Everyone! It's time for Gwen's Gems again on StencilGirl Talk... this month I'm sharing a tutorial for making some fun stenciled mixed media door signs. My sign is being used to mark the door of my studio! (Well... since I'm lucky enough to have a studio AND a spare room, this marks my sewing / storage room.)

Stenciled Mixed Media Room Sign - Gwen Lafleur

Stenciled Mixed Media Room Sign - Hanging on Door 2 - Gwen Lafleur

If you want to see more (including that tutorial I mentioned,) head on over to StencilGirl Talk for the full post.

PS... don't forget, the extra $5 coupon has expired, but there's still a discounted price to join me and 26 other fabulous teachers for Creative JumpStart in January!

 


Stenciled Holiday Ornaments

Hi everyone, I'm up on StencilGirl Talk today with my November project for Gwen's Gems! This month I'm making stenciled holiday ornaments.

Stenciled Holiday Ornaments Final 1 - Gwen Lafleur

Make sure to head on over so you can see photos of the individual ornaments, as well as a quick little tutorial on how I made these!

P.S., all of these ornaments are now available for sale! $18 each including shipping within the United States. If you want one, better hurry - they're already selling!