StencilGirl: Stenciled File Folder Mini Art Journal

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

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

File Folder Mini Art Journal Finished Cover - Gwen Lafleur

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

StencilGirl: Making Your Stencils Your Own

Hi everyone, my December installment of "Gwen's Gems" is up on StencilGirl Talk! This month I'm showing a few different ways that I take my stencils and use just parts of the design to really make them my own. I'm featuring some ways to use my Ornamental Peacock stencil for this one!

Truth Stenciled Mixed-Media Portrait - Gwen LafleurMake sure to head over to StencilGirl Talk to see more details from the finished piece, as well as a quick tutorial on how I started building her headdress.

Also, just a reminder that if you haven't yet checked out Creative JumpStart 2016, now's the time! The coupon has expired, but you can still save $5 on registration through the end of the year! There's a lot of fabulous inspiration planned, and this year it's all downloadable. I hope I'll see you there!


December 2015 StencilClub

Hi everyone, today is StencilClub inspiration day over on the StencilGirl blog! I've got two art journaling spreads using this month's fabulous stencils - another release from Mary Beth's Private Collection.

To start, I used them for one of my Inspiration Wednesday challenges:

Dec2015 StencilClub - Art Journal Page 1a - Gwen LafleurYou can see the other side over on the group post.

I also did another art journaling spread in my junque journal:

Dec2015 StencilClub - Art Journal 2 - Gwen LafleurIt's hard to tell from the photo above, but the numbers have a dimensional, glossy finish. If you're interested, here's a quick little tutorial so you can see how I made them.

First, I used the 4x4 stencil with bronze metallic paint all over a sheet of vellum finish mixed media paper.

Dec2015 StencilClub - Number Embellishments 1 - Gwen LafleurNext, I used the 6x6 numbers stencil and black paint:

Dec2015 StencilClub - Number Embellishments 2 - Gwen LafleurOnce that was dry, I used my Dina Wakley Media paints with fine liner tips to outline the numbers. I tried a few different colors since I wasn't totally sure what I wanted to use.

Dec2015 StencilClub - Number Embellishments 3 - Gwen LafleurOnce all of the paint was dry, I used JudiKins Diamond Glaze and covered the numbers and let it dry overnight. This gives you a hard, clear, raised and glossy finish. When that was dry, I cut out the numbers - some in strips, some individual.

Dec2015 StencilClub - Number Embellishments 4 - Gwen LafleurIt's really hard to get a picture of the dimension since it's clear, but here you can kind of get a sense of it. Anyway, I hope you're feeling inspired! And if you're not a member of StencilClub yet and you love this month's stencils, sign up by December 15th and you'll get this as your first kit!

Happy stenciling!

November StencilClub - File Folder Art Journal

Hi Everyone, today is our creative team post sharing projects for this month's StencilClub stencil collection. I say it every month, but this is my new favorite StencilClub release. Take a peek at this month's stencils designed by Seth Apter:

NOVEMBER SC-MAIN(Here's a little plug... if you sign up for the club before November 15th, you'll start your membership with this collection! Just sayin'...)

I may have gone a teensy bit overboard this month. (Cough cough...) Of course, I was sitting in my empty house with nothing to do but play with the stencils and a few bags of art supplies I brought with me from Chicago in the trunk of my car. Thus my file folder art journal was born! I took three file folders, nested and bound them to make the journal (I just used a pamphlet stitch with some waxed thread.)

Without further ado, here's my project... starting with the cover.

Nov2015 StencilClub - File Folder Art Journal Cover - Gwen LafleurI used the 9x12 and 6x6 stencils for this... I took the "TRU" from "TRUTHS" and then the "E" from another word to spell "TRUE" and then stenciled "story" from the 6x6. Word stencils don't always have to say exactly what's on them - you can mix it up!

Nov2015 StencilClub - File Folder Art Journal Cover Close-up - Gwen LafleurSince I'm still working out of boxes, I pulled out a few random things to collage onto the cover that I ended up loving. A piece cut from some Chinese ephemera (it's probably a good thing I don't know what it says.) Also some fussy cut glittery pieces from a fancy paper scrap, some rubons, some dicrofibers (hard to see in the photos) and more stenciling. I love how much depth you can get while keeping the actual project relatively flat.

Next up is the first spread:

Nov2015 StencilClub - File Folder Art Journal 1 - Gwen LafleurOn the left I used a lot of repetition from the 9x12 stencil (my favorite of this set) with paint, ink, and a little collage. On the right, I used the textural elements on the stencil with molding paste and paint. I also added a little window that's framed with a chipboard slide holder (I believe it's a Maggie Holmes embellishment from Crate Paper.) It's backed with a piece of 7 Gypsies printed transparency.

Here are a few close-ups so you can see more of the stenciling on these pages:

Nov2015 StencilClub - File Folder Art Journal 1a - Gwen Lafleur
Nov2015 StencilClub - File Folder Art Journal 1a - Gwen LafleurMoving on to the second spread...

Nov2015 StencilClub - File Folder Art Journal 2 - Gwen LafleurBoth of these pages use the 6x6 stencil - words and textural elements (plus a few details from the 9x12.)

Nov2015 StencilClub - File Folder Art Journal 2a - Gwen LafleurI also used some of Seth's stamps with acrylic paint to get layers of texture into the background. On the right I just used a very old library card pocket and a shipping tag along with a strip of beaded and embroidered ribbon.

Nov2015 StencilClub - File Folder Art Journal 2b - Gwen LafleurFor the third spread I kept going with the 6x6 stencil and more of the textural elements on all of the stencils.

Nov2015 StencilClub - File Folder Art Journal 3 - Gwen LafleurThe butterfly is a Chinese papercut that I picked up in Beijing a few years ago. I added some old Basic Grey rubons, paint (most of this actually came from cleaning my brushes on a spare folder that I ended up using,) very light stamping in the background, and lots of stenciling!

Nov2015 StencilClub - File Folder Art Journal 3a - Gwen LafleurNext up, the fourth spread. I used a mix of the 4x4 and 9x12 stencils for this one.

Nov2015 StencilClub - File Folder Art Journal 4 - Gwen LafleurBits of collage, ink, paint... I really loved using the stencils to create repetition with the words - I felt like it made a powerful statement on the pages.

Nov2015 StencilClub - File Folder Art Journal 4a - Gwen Lafleur
Nov2015 StencilClub - File Folder Art Journal 4a - Gwen LafleurLast but not least, the final spread in my mini journal (which I actually did first!)

Nov2015 StencilClub - File Folder Art Journal 5 - Gwen LafleurI felt like using the entire 9x12 stencil on the right side was begging for an interactive element. It's a little literal, but I couldn't resist.

First, the left-hand side using the 4x4 stencil on the back of my peacock tag and the 6x6 underneath it (the design in the background is from one of my handcarved stamps.)

Nov2015 StencilClub - File Folder Art Journal 5a - Gwen LafleurAnd my overly literal but fun interactive flap on the right hand side:

Nov2015 StencilClub - File Folder Art Journal 5b - Gwen LafleurSo there you go... that's my project for this month! I hope you enjoyed it, and for you StencilClub members, I know you're going to adore this month's stencils!

Don't forget to visit the StencilGirl blog for our group post - there are several other awesome projects using this month's stencils that you won't want to miss!

StencilGirl: Stenciled Paper Beads

Hi everyone, just popping in to let you know that the first post in my monthly blog column, "Gwen's Gems," is up on StencilGirl Talk! (I didn't come up with the name... I'm just trying to live up to it! lol.) This month I'm sharing how to make the stenciled paper beads that I used for my Art is You Stamford trades, plus a bonus project where I made a paper bead bracelet.

Stenciled Paper Bead Charms - Gwen Lafleur
Stenciled Paper Bead Charms - Gwen LafleurHead on over for a tutorial and more photos!

StencilGirl: October StencilClub

Hi everyone, just popping in quickly to let you know that this month's creative team inspiration post is up on the StencilGirl blog! This month we have a very cool set designed by Mary Beth Shaw that is actually nine stencils in one instead of our usual 3. Make sure you check it out! Here's the art journal spread I did this month... you can see more details in the blog post.

October 2015 StencilClub - Art Journal - Gwen LafleurThere are more projects from the other three creative team members included in the post this month, so make sure you check them all out!

Traveler's Notebook Junque Journal

Welcome to today's stop on the StencilGirl and The Groove Tool blog hop!

Groove-StencilGirl-Blog HeaderI'm super excited that I got to work with The Groove Tool for this... you know how much I love anything I can use with my stencils!

For today's project, I thought I'd try something that's been kicking around in my head for a while. Traveler's Notebooks are super hot and trendy, and I've seen some homemade art journal inserts, but I thought I'd like to make a stenciled Junque Journal insert, so I did!

Traveler's Notebook Junque Journal - Gwen LafleurHere you can see mine inserted into my notebook. My cover is actually by Chic Sparrow and I use the wide one that fits the Moleskine Cahiers instead of the original, thinner Traveler's Notebooks (although those fit in here too!) With that, here's a very quick overview of how I made it, and how I used the Groove Tool to pull it all together!

First up, I did the cover. I used a sheet of very thin chipboard because I knew I'd want it to be somewhat sturdy after it's full and I take it out of my traveler's notebook. I cut it to the size of a Moleskine book - 8"x10.5." Then I used the brush attachment on the Groove Tool to stencil the Butterfly Duo stencil by Maria McGuire with acrylic paint.

TN Junque Journal Step 1 - Gwen LafleurI did both butterflies, spreading it across the whole cover so that both sides would be decorated.

TN Junque Journal Step 2 - Gwen LafleurThe brush attachment really works great for this - I just popped it off and cleaned it in water when I was done.

To finish the cover, I added lots of detail to the butterflies and then used pieces from a travel themed ephemera package from Art-C (makers of the Groove Tool) to embellish. I used one of the sanding attachments for the Groove Tool to do a little distressing around the edges of my cover. That's definitely a lot handier than trying to sand by hand!

TN Junque Journal Step 3 - Gwen LafleurNext, I made the inside pages of my journal. There were several very cool sheets of 5x7 patterned cardstock in the ephemera pack, so I combined those with paper scraps and some thin, black masking tape to make each folio - there are five of them, all sized 8"x10" when I was finished assembling.

TN Junque Journal Step 4 - Gwen LafleurI punched holes and bound them into the cover and then started decorating. The backs of most of those pages were pretty blank - perfect for stenciling, of course! This time I used the sponge attachment (I need to get a few refill packs of these!) These work great with ink, but I also really liked using them with paint.

TN Junque Journal Step 5 - Gwen LafleurHere you can see all of the completed inside pages:

  • TN Junque Journal Page 1 - Gwen Lafleur
  • TN Junque Journal Page 2 - Gwen Lafleur
  • TN Junque Journal Page 3 - Gwen Lafleur
  • TN Junque Journal Page 4 - Gwen Lafleur
  • TN Junque Journal Page 5 - Gwen Lafleur
  • TN Junque Journal Page 6 - Gwen Lafleur
  • TN Junque Journal Page 7 - Gwen Lafleur
  • TN Junque Journal Page 8 - Gwen Lafleur
  • TN Junque Journal Page 9 - Gwen Lafleur
TN Junque Journal Page 9 - Gwen Lafleur

I used some of my hand-carved stamps in here to alternate with the stencils. Here's the list of stencils I used in the order they appear in the book:

Finally, the back cover so you can see how it looks inserted into my notebook:

TN Junque Journal Back Cover - Gwen LafleurThere you go! I now have a portable Junque Journal, ready for me to work in on the go (or at home!) I hope you enjoyed today's project and that you've enjoyed our blog hop this week.

Make sure you leave a comment below and on all of the other posts this week since one lucky winner will get their own Groove Tool plus a $25 gift certificate to StencilGirl!

Groove GiveawayComments will close at 11:59PM Central on September 26th, so make sure you get to all of the blogs and leave your comments for your chance to win! (One comment per person per blog post, please.)

Today there's one more stop for you to visit, and make sure to visit StencilGirl Talk to get the list of any posts you might have missed on Monday and Tuesday.

For those who are interested, The Groove is available now at EVERY Hobby Lobby store.  Most Michaels and Joann Fabric and Craft stores have it now, as well. At Hobby Lobby and Michaels, it is in the stamping isle.  At Joann, it is in the paint and stencil aisle, near the unfinished wood.  Of course, it may be ordered directly from Art-C by calling Customer Service at 800-448-6656. (You can also ask your local independent store if they carry it or will order it - I know I'll be calling mine to see about getting more sponge attachments!)
Thank you Art-C for letting me play with this awesome tool! So much fun!

Travel Journal with StencilGirl and USArtQuest

Hi Everyone,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

USArtQuest Giveaway promo collage

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

Today's blog hop participants:

StencilClub: September Inspiration

Hi everyone, I'm just popping in to let you know that I've got a project I'm sharing in today's group inspiration post for the new September StencilClub stencil kit.

Here's what I came up with - going with this month's theme, I'm calling it "Hidden Messages." It's a 10"x10" mixed media canvas.

Sept2015-StencilClub-Mixed-Media-Canvas---Gwen-Lafleur-sm1There are a few in-progress shots over on the StencilGirl blog, as well as more inspiration from the rest of the creative team. I hope you'll stop by and check it out!

Making a Triptych with StencilGirl and VerDay Paints

Hi everyone, welcome to day 3 of our blog hop! The StencilGirl creative team has been playing with the fabulous VerDay Paint and Patina kits from TENseconds Studio, and this week we're sharing our projects.

For today's project, I wanted to do something with this cool wooden triptych that I had on hand from Paper Whimsy - I thought it would be a perfect substrate for adding a patina finish. Here's what I came up with, and below is a quick tutorial for those who want to see how to make it.

Triptych with Stencils and VerDay Paints Final - Gwen Lafleur

Before I got into the project itself, I made myself a little chart so that I could see how each of the paints in the kit would react with the patina spray (it was also great to get me used to working with it!)

VerDay Paint Reference Chart

Once that was done, I was able to pick out the paints I wanted to use for my project. To start, I gessoed all of the wooden pieces and then painted them with two coats of the VerDay copper paint, then let it dry. I added another coat in places and then sprayed with the patina spray and let that dry and change colors. Then I went in with some bronze paint and repeated the process so I'd get multiple colors of patina on my piece.

Triptych with Stencils and VerDay Paints 2 - Gwen LafleurNext, I used a texture medium (Goosebumps from Imagine Crafts) and the Crackle stencil by Nathalie Kalbach to get a subtle raised crackle effect on my piece.

IMG_5360Once that was dry, I brought in a little copper paint to knock back some of the patina a bit. Then I got out a sheet of heavy vellum where I'd stenciled and colored some "stained glass" windows using the Church Window stencil by Margaret Applin and some irRESISTibles. I thought it would be fun to use pieces of this in the panels of my triptych.

IMG_5361I cut those out and adhered them (I used Helmar Quick Dry - the vellum wants to curl otherwise, and it's great for gluing the wood together as well.) Next I stamped a favorite quote into the center as the focal point of my piece.

IMG_5362The quote is by Gustave Flaubert and roughly translates as, "To travel makes one humble. One sees what a small place one occupies in the world." I absolutely love to travel and this really resonates with me!

Next, I needed to fancy it up a bit. I pulled out a bunch of different metal charms and flowers and started assembling them (or cutting in one case!) into little clusters to embellish my triptych. Once I got them the way I wanted them, I glued them together and then used the copper paint and patina spray to unify them (they were all different metals) and age them up a bit so they'd match my piece.

IMG_5363Voila! So cute!

Triptych with Stencils and VerDay Paints 8 - Gwen LafleurAs much as I loved it (I even got my dots in there!) I thought it still needed a little something. So I took a piece of cardboard, measured, cut, gessoed, painted, and stenciled (whew!) and then I decided to use some copper leaf with the Church Window stencil to bring that motif into the project again and kind of make it look like the windows were glowing.

Triptych with Stencils and VerDay Paints 7 - Gwen LafleurI used some oil pastels to add a bit of shading and depth, then I adhered the center panel to the cardboard backing.

Triptych with Stencils and VerDay Paints 9 - Gwen LafleurNow I just set the side panels at an angle so it would stand on its own, and it's finished! 

Triptych with Stencils and VerDay Paints Final 2 - Gwen LafleurI really like how it looks, and together the triptych and the background create a fun little scene that I can set out in my studio.

I hope you enjoyed today's project! Be sure to check out all of the blogs on this week's hop and leave comments, because there's a giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a 4-piece kit containing VerDay Reactive Metal Paints and Patina, and a $25 StencilGirl Gift Certificate! (Make sure you also visit Cheryl from TENseconds Studio for an extra little giveaway she's got going on!)

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

Comments close on August 21st at 11:59pm Central.

Here's today's lineup, and if you missed the other posts this week, you you can always go back to StencilGirl talk to catch up!

Thanks for stopping by!


StencilGirl Blog Hop - Seth Apter New Release!

Hi Everyone, welcome to today's StencilGirl blog hop showing off the new stencil release by Seth Apter! 

I was pretty excited to work with Seth's new stencils - I always love his designs, and these are no exception! I'm pretty sure these will all get lots of use in future projects, but for today I decided to do an art journal page using one of my favorite techniques - building up layers with little "windows" in them so you can see some of what's below.

Never Again Art Journal Page - Gwen Lafleur

For those who are interested, here's how I did it. To start, I picked a color palette (otherwise I always pick the exact same colors!) and then painted the background and then stenciled the new Text and Texture Discovery stencil repeated across the whole page. Once that was dry, I used the square and circle from the Urban Outsiders Stencil in diagonal lines to create spaces for me to use the new Insiders stencils. 

Art Journaling with New Seth Apter Stencils Part 1 - Gwen LafleurNext I painted over the areas on the background where I didn't want the words to show through.

Art Journaling with New Seth Apter Stencils Part 2 - Gwen LafleurThen I went back through with the new Techno Insiders Square and the Techno Insiders Circle stencils that match up with the openings from the Urban Outsiders Stencil.

Art Journaling with New Seth Apter Stencils Part 3 - Gwen LafleurOnce that was finished and dried, I used paints with fine line tips, some distress ink, and my Stabilo All pencil to add a bit of contrasting color, definition, and detail.

Art Journaling with New Seth Apter Stencils Part 4 - Gwen LafleurI let that layer dry too, then went through my old rubons to find some fun images to add. I got a bunch of those on the page (sealed with matte medium) and then stenciled a phrase from the Text and Texture Discovery stencil onto a piece of gesso'd book paper, ripped it out, distressed the edges, and added on top with some foam tape. The final touch was some messy journaling wrapped around the shapes on the page. Voila!

Never Again Art Journal Close-up - Gwen LafleurAnd as a little bonus project, as I was working on this I started cleaning my paints off on a tag, and ended up finishing it up with the same technique as the art journal page, only I used the Techno Insiders Star stencil for this one.

Tag with new Seth Apter Stencils - Gwen Lafleur

Of course, it's not a blog hop without a giveaway, right? Here are the details:

$25 StencilGirl Gift Certificate to one lucky winner!

All comments left on the posts in today's hop will be entered. 

One comment per person per blog please. 

Comments close on July 24th @ 11:59PM Central.

Make sure you stop by each of the blogs on today's hop to see all of the awesome projects (and of course, to leave comments to up your chances to win the giveaway!)

Gwen Lafleur <-- You are here!
Thanks for stopping by!

StencilGirl: Making a Mixed Media Kalaga

Hi all - I've got a post and tutorial up on the StencilGirl blog today showing details and instructions for this project:

Mixed Media Dragon Kalaga Final - Gwen LafleurIt's a mixed media kalaga! A twist on the elephant sculpture based off of a stencil that I did a few months ago (and taught last month at the Clubhouse!) and I used it to make my paper and glue version of the gorgeous embroidered wall hangings. Make sure you head over for details and more photos... this was a fun one and I love how it came out!

StencilGirl - USArtQuest Blog Hop

USArtQuest - StencilGirl Blog Hop Banner

Welcome to today's stop on the StencilGirl blog hop using some awesome products from USArtQuest! I've been a fan of their products for a long time, so for this project I was really excited to play with some of their product lines that I'd never used before.

I've been in a collage / bookmaking frame of mind for a while now, so today I'm sharing a collage that I think will eventually double as a book cover.

StencilGirl-USArtQuest Hop - Final Collage - Gwen Lafleur This was actually a lot of fun to pull together... here's a quick little overview so you can see what products I used and how I made it.

I started with a 9x12 canvas board and used matte Perfect Paper Adhesive to collage pieces of various papers onto the background, knowing that I was going to be working on top of them. Then I got to work with the USArtQuest Dicrofibers and my iron to make myself a palette of fused fiber "papers."

StencilGirl-USArtQuest Hop - Step 1 - Gwen Lafleur I'll confess - when I first opened up the package of supplies and saw the bag of fibers, I was a bit stumped! Fortunately we also had a dvd that showed lots of different techniques and then I was intrigued! Once I tried it, I was hooked.

StencilGirl-USArtQuest Hop - Dicrofibers - Gwen Lafleur You can see above how the fibers fuse to create a solid surface. They're super glimmery, plus I added in some mica flakes for a little extra oomph.

Once I had several colored sheets, I went ahead and started using my Intersections stencil by Michelle Ward and a Stabilo All pencil to trace shapes from the stencil onto my fused fibers and then start cutting them out. I used the stencil again as a placement guide as I started placing the pieces onto my collage - I adhered them with Great Tape - which is really pretty great!

StencilGirl-USArtQuest Hop - Start Collage - Gwen Lafleur Here you can see more progress - I also added in a bit of Quinacridone Burnt Orange paint, and I also started using some of the awesome Mini Prills to add a different texture to the page - I used glossy Perfect Paper Adhesive for those and it worked great!

StencilGirl-USArtQuest Hop - Half-way point - Gwen Lafleur I just kept going like that until I had filled it in so that I liked it, but it still didn't feel quite done to me, so I went through my small stencils looking for something to add as a focal point. I decided to use the Classic Retake Feather stencil and mask by Rae Missigman. I traced the outline and cut it out, then used Archival Ink and a blending tool to stencil on some of the details.

StencilGirl-USArtQuest Hop - Dicrofiber Feather - Gwen Lafleur I used some more Great Tape to adhere it on top, and voila! It was finished. Here are a few close-ups so you can get a better idea of the texture of the different elements.

StencilGirl-USArtQuest Hop - Collage Close-up 1 - Gwen Lafleur
StencilGirl-USArtQuest Hop - Collage Close-up 1 - Gwen Lafleur

I really liked playing with the Prills - I knew I was going to love those as soon as I saw them, but the big surprise was the Dicrofibers - I'm going to have to get some more of those because they're really cool! A huge thank you to USArtQuest and Susan Pickering Rothamel for sending us such fabulous products to play with!

Don't forget to visit all of the other creative team blogs this week for even more inspiration!

Gwen Lafleur <-- You are here!

As always, you can also visit StencilGirl Talk every day to make sure you see all of this week's fabulous inspiration!

StencilGirl & Ken Oliver Blog Hop

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

StencilGirl-Ken Oliver Blog Hop Banner

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

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

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

StencilGirl and Ken Oliver Folio - Gwen Lafleur

Without the flap covering it:

Folio Cover 1 - Gwen Lafleur

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

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

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

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

Now for the inside...

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

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

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

Folio Inside Cover 1 - Gwen Lafleur

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today's hop list:

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

Making Plaster Sculptures from Stencils

Hi everyone, I've got a post up on the StencilGirl blog today showing more details about how I made this fun plaster elephant sculpture!

Stencil-Sculpture Elephant Final - Gwen LafleurI loved this project... I'm thinking about turning it into a class. Would anyone be interested in that? I've got a few more ideas for possible shapes. Just let me know :)

In the meantime, make sure to head over to StencilGirl Talk!

StencilGirl Blog Hop: Craft Attitude

SGCABlogHopTopperHi everyone, welcome to day 3 of the StencilGirl - Craft Attitude blog hop! All this week the StencilGirl creative team has been sharing projects using stencils and Craft Attitude Printable Craft Film. Lately I've been inspired by all of the gorgeous Artist's Trading Blocks that I've been seeing around the web, so I decided to make one for today's post. Here's what I ended up with:

StencilGirl and Craft Attitude - ATB by Gwen LafleurI used my stencils along with polymer clay and lots of beads and other trinkets and then used the craft film to apply photos to the clay. It worked out really well!

Here's a quick overview of how I made mine. I started by picking a few colors of clay and getting them pretty well conditioned, then rolled out a few sheets that were big enough to cover a side on my box (which I cut from chipboard using the Eileen Hull Sizzix ScoreBoards XL Box Die). Once I had those, I pulled out a few 6x6 stencils and used my little clay roller to roll the clay into the stencils to get an impression.

StencilGirl and Craft Attitude - ATB Step 1 by Gwen LafleurYou can see where the clay moved a bit while I was rolling, but it turned out fine. For the ones where it stuck a little to the stencil, I just cleaned it with a baby wipe. I rolled a few more pieces to use as layers on the top and sides - for the one with a 4x4 stencil, I just put it through my clay roller.

StencilGirl and Craft Attitude - ATB Step3 by Gwen LafleurFor the large square tiles, these are the stencils I used:

Then for the layers on the top I used Tiny Medallion Stencil by Maria McGuire (I cut out around the design with a knife) and the Bali Doily Stencil by Lizzie Mayne (cut with a circle cutter.) I also used a circle layer on one of the sides that was cut from the center of the Rose Window stencil, also by Lizzie Mayne.

I made the crown on top from a scrap of clay that I'd embossed with the Seaweed 6 Stencil. Since I wanted to use photos of my nieces and nephews dressed up and posing with princesses at Disneyworld, I thought it would be the perfect topper for my block.

After the clay was rolled out, I used Rub 'n Buff and some Inka Gold to color the clay. This is just after the first layer of color, but you can see how much it makes the texture from the stencils stand out.

StencilGirl and Craft Attitude - ATB Step 2 by Gwen LafleurFrom here, I kept adding color and started building layers on top of my tiles. I decided where I wanted my photos to go on each tile and then added embellishments around them. Once I had all the layers the way I wanted them, I baked them and let them cool, then started gluing them onto the cube.

StencilGirl and Craft Attitude - ATB Step 5 by Gwen LafleurI left the photos and frames off until after baking - I wasn't sure if the film would do okay in the oven and decided not to risk it. I sized my photos to fit the frames, printed them out on the Craft Attitude Craft Film and then cut them out. To apply, I just used spray adhesive and then adhered them directly onto the little clay bases I'd left for them.

StencilGirl and Craft Attitude - ATB Step 7 by Gwen LafleurI chose to use a light coppery clay with a little shimmer as the background for the photos, so that showed through the film - you can even see the shimmer! It's a pretty cool effect. You could also just use white clay so that the colors in the photo stayed a bit more true.

Finally, after all the glue had dried, I went through with dimensional paints to add details and also kind of act like grout to my clay tiles - I filled in around the edges with gold.

StencilGirl and Craft Attitude - ATB Step 4 by Gwen LafleurI let that dry and that was it! Here you can see the top and the four sides of my ATB:

StencilGirl and Craft Attitude - ATB 1 by Gwen Lafleur
StencilGirl and Craft Attitude - ATB 1 by Gwen Lafleur
StencilGirl and Craft Attitude - ATB 1 by Gwen Lafleur
StencilGirl and Craft Attitude - ATB 1 by Gwen Lafleur
StencilGirl and Craft Attitude - ATB 1 by Gwen LafleurI love how it turned out, and I'm excited to use my craft film in other projects - it worked so cool on this!

The giveaway is now closed... thank you to everyone for your comments!

StencilGirl - Craft Attitude Giveaway Winner

Make sure you check out all of today's posts and don't forget to check in on StencilGirl Talk to make sure you hop to all of the posts this week - not only will you find some fabulous inspiration, but you can enter to win on every post on the hop!

Thanks for stopping by!

StencilGirl Blog Hop: Leslie Riley TAP

I'm so excited to be participating in this week's blog hop with Leslie Riley and StencilGirl! I've always loved the look of transfers, especially photo transfers, so I was excited to use Leslie's Transfer Artist Paper (TAP) along with stencils for this week's project.

Blog HeaderI frequently audition ideas for bigger pieces of art in my art journal, and I had an idea I wanted to try out using TAP to transfer a photo and embellish with stenciling. So my project today is my art journal "prototype" using a picture of my niece Aubrey that was just begging to be played with!

I started out by following the directions on the packaging for creating the transfer and printed out my photo.

StencilGirl-Leslie Riley TAP Hop Step 1 - Gwen LafleurThen I cut it out and ironed it onto a blank page in my art journal.

StencilGirl-Leslie Riley TAP Hop Step 2 - Gwen LafleurFor my first time trying this, I was pretty pleased! I messed it up a little, but I was good with it... most of it was going to be covered up. The transfer has kind of a cool, grainy texture (which might be because I did it wrong... lol. It could happen.) and you get pretty true colors but with a slightly grungy feel. I really liked it!

From here, I wanted a background to surround the photo, so I took the backing I peeled off during the transfer and used it as a mask to stencil the background.

StencilGirl-Leslie Riley TAP Hop Step 3 - Gwen LafleurTo do this, I used the Rembrandt's Words stencil by Carolyn Dube and stenciled it first in light green ink, then just nudged the stencil over a bit and did it again with teal to create an offset effect with the words.

Next, I took the Layered Peonies stencil by Jessica Sporn and started creating a crown of flowers around Aubrey's head with various shades of pink acrylic paint.

StencilGirl-Leslie Riley TAP Hop Step 4 - Gwen LafleurSo far so good! Then, since she had pink and purple flowers on her shirt, I thought I'd add purple flowers to her crown. So I used purple paints and the Tossed Blossoms stencil by Terri Stegmiller to put some in here and there. Yeah... the purple? Not so good. Maybe it would look better with a butterfly? I had planned that all along, but was hoping it would cover up some of what wasn't working and make it better. I added that using the one on the Nature's Promises stencil by Roxanne Evans Stout. The butterfly looked good! The rest? Not so much. This was definitely an ugly phase.

StencilGirl-Leslie Riley TAP Hop Step 5 - Gwen LafleurAm I wrong? No. Ugly. (Not my niece, she's adorable. But the rest? Ugh.) In an effort to keep going and salvage things, I attempted several potential remedies that didn't turn out well. I was about 90% convinced that I was going to be starting over, but decided to give it just one last try before throwing in the towel.

I kind of morphed the pinks into yellow (because neon is really best in small doses.) Then I glazed the entire page with Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide Golden fluid acrylics and let it dry. And finally, when all else fails, add Liquid Pearls (and turquoise, of course!) I thought I might have gone too far and finally ruined it completely, but I kept pushing it and ended up really liking it, even though it was absolutely not what I originally had in mind.

StencilGirl-Leslie Riley TAP Blog Hop Project by Gwen LafleurIt's kind of like a cool, pop art piece and despite the fact that it's a little weird, I really like it! A few close-ups:

StencilGirl-Leslie Riley TAP Hop Project Closeup 1 - Gwen Lafleur

StencilGirl-Leslie Riley TAP Hop Project Closeup 2 - Gwen LafleurAnd that's my project for this hop! Despite my near epic failure, I had a lot of fun and really loved using the Transfer Artist Paper. Such a fun product!

And now for the part you've all been waiting for, the giveaway!

Do you want to try TAP Transfer Artist Paper and StencilGirl stencils? We have you covered! Just leave a comment and enter to win this FABULOUS pack that will get you started!

LRGiveawayALL comments left on all the posts in this week's blog hop are eligible to win! (One comment per person per post, please.) Giveaway closes on Sunday, November 16th @ 11:59PM Central Time.

If you haven't already, don't forget to hop over to the other posts today for more inspiration and chances to win!

Thanks for stopping by, and happy hopping!

StencilGirl Blog Hop: Clearsnap

StencilGirl-Clearsnap Blog Hop HeaderThis week the StencilGirl creative team is joining up with Clearsnap for a fun blog hop full of great projects and inspiration! I had so much fun putting together my project for this, and I got to play with some fun supplies that I've been wanting to try with my stencils for a while now!

My project is a faux-ceramic tile treasure box with "tiles" made from cardboard (you all know how I like my cardboard!)

StencilGirl-Clearsnap Blog Hop - Gwen LafleurI started with a wood box I found at Joann that has a recessed top, perfect for filling in with tiles or some other kind of artwork. I painted the entire box with teal blue paint and set it aside. The opening on the top measured 6 3/8" x 6 3/8", so I cut 9 2"x2" squares out of cardboard so that they would fit with just a little opening between each one. Then I took the squares and used temporary adhesive to tack them together on a sheet of scrap paper so that they were all tight against each other - this way I could paint and decorate before separating my tiles and I'd have a pattern that continued from one to the other.

I painted the tiles and let them dry, then used a Mix'd Media Inx® Chox Inkpad in Pomegranate along with the Batik stencil by Nathalie Kalbach to put down the first layer.

StencilGirl-Clearsnap Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur Treasure Box 1Next, I was super excited to try using the Clearsnap Designer Foils - I used Lagoon. You can get adhesive design strips that work with the foils, but I wanted to use them with my stencils instead. I found that the best way to use this particular type of foil for this project was to apply the whole strip of foil to a piece of wide Score Tape and then trace the shapes I wanted, cut them out, and apply over top of some of the stenciled areas for some contrast and shine.

StencilGirl-Clearsnap Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur Treasure Box 2I have a stamp that I made from the Marrakech Set stencil using cardboard and fun foam... I stamped that in a few places with another Mix'd Media Inx® Chox Inkpad - this one in Butternut, then I heat embossed with Mix'd Media Inx™ Embossing Powder in honey.

StencilGirl-Clearsnap Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur Treasure Box 3Next up, I used some ColorBox® Blends by Eileen Hull in Melon to add a little more color and softness around the edges.

StencilGirl-Clearsnap Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur Treasure Box 4And of course, I can't do a project without my dimensional paints - I used some Scribbles in a few different colors to add some fun dimension and color on top.

StencilGirl-Clearsnap Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur Treasure Box 5With that, the base of my faux tiles was done, so I went ahead and used my Pomegranate Chox and Batik stencil again to put a border around the lid of my box. I made sure to secure the stencil with painters tape and it worked great.

StencilGirl-Clearsnap Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur Treasure Box 6After that, it was time to turn the cardboard into tiles... I cut a piece of cardboard that was about 6 3/8" x 6 3/8" and put it into the top, then I adhered my "tiles" on top (You want that extra boost because of the depth of the inset part of the lid.) Once everything was in place and the glue was dry, I was inspired by Mary Beth Shaw's article in the most recent issue of Somerset Studio on acrylic pours (it's an awesome article if you haven't read it!) I took some glossy polymer medium and poured it over top of the lid and let it dry overnight. This is what gives the faux tiles that glossy sheen like the ceramic ones, plus it seals in all your work.

StencilGirl-Clearsnap Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur Treasure Box 7Once it was dry, it was time to grout my tiles! I took some old Diamond Glaze (any clear dimensional adhesive will work) and filled in between all of the tiles. Once that dried, I went through with white dimensional paint and laid that down over the top. I let it dry and came back a few times to fill in where air bubbles showed up during the drying process, but finally it was all set and ready to go!

StencilGirl-Clearsnap Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur Treasure Box Top
StencilGirl-Clearsnap Blog Hop - Gwen Lafleur Treasure Box TopYou still get the shine from the foil and texture from the dimensional paint, but it really does look like tile! I was pretty pleased with how this turned out, and immediately filled it up with some treasures I've collected to use in my work some day :)

So that's it for me, don't forget to hop over to the other blogs today:

Updated: Congrats to Burning Rubber who won the prize for this week's hop!

StencilGirl - Clearsnap Blog Hop Winner

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy all the great inspiration this week :)

StencilGirl: October StencilClub!

It's the start of a new month, and that means this month's StencilClub stencils have been revealed over at StencilGirl! I'm totally in love with this month's stencils... I've been playing with them since I got them. Today I'm sharing two art journal spreads that I made with them over on StencilGirl Talk... head on over for more details!

IMG_9606A little hint... the one on the right uses my first (but not last!) homemade screen print. It turned out great!

Anyway, hope you enjoy :)

StencilGirl: Stenciled and Shaped Books

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

Stenciled Shaped Dragon Book 3 - Gwen Lafleur

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

StencilGirl Blog Hop: Spray it Again Sam!


This week we're having a super fun blog hop celebrating all of the cool techniques that you can find in Mary Beth Shaw's book, "Stencil Girl Mixed-Media Techniques for Making and Using Stencils."

Stencil Girl Book CoverThis is a really great book, absolutely packed with great techniques and tutorials. This week, each member of the creative team is sharing a project inspired by one of the techniques in the book. I get to share my project based on the chapter "Spray it Again, Sam" (page 66) all about using spray paint with stencils. Yay! So fun!

So with that, here's the project I made - it's an upcycled cardboard "custom souvenir frame." You know how you go on vacation and the souvenir shops all have these expensive theme frames that you can buy? I decided to just make my own for photos from my trip to Monterey, CA in July.

StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop Project - Gwen LafleurReady for a tutorial?

First, gather all your supplies... I picked out five stencils that I thought would work together and go with a beach theme. Then I picked out five colors of spray paint that would go together and also work with the theme. I took the cardboard I wanted to spray and also an art journal that I use to mop up extra paint and ink off of my stencils (here's an example of how I used one of these pages in my mop up journal.)

StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 1 - Gwen LafleurAnd here's a list of the stencils I used:

Next up, I get my setup ready to go outside on my back porch. I cut out a big piece of cardboard from a moving box I saved from my move in May. It works perfectly to protect the deck.

IMG_9272I have my book handy to mop up the extra paint, and plenty of room to spray and lay out my stencils as I use them. I started with Rafters by Mary Beth Shaw as my base layer with a nice orange-red spray. I put the bright colors in the base layers because I didn't want them to be too prominant in the final piece - just little pops of color and pattern showing through the other layers. (Because I'm very nearly incapable of doing anything too monochromatic!)

Spray, lift off carefully, and voila!

StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 4 - Gwen LafleurThen I put the stencil paint side down in my book and get most of the paint off, then set the stencil aside to dry. The paint dries fairly quickly, and I let each layer dry most of the way before going on. Some of them were a bit wet - I was playing beat the clock with the sunset. lol.

Then just go through and add each layer... I added them using the stencils in the order I listed above.

StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 5 - Gwen LafleurAnd you can see my progress in my journal as I add layers there too...
StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 5 - Gwen LafleurI moved the Eddy Rose stencil around as I was working to make sure I got plenty of coverage.

StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 5 - Gwen Lafleur
StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 8 - Gwen Lafleur

StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 9 - Gwen Lafleur

And more moving the stencil around to get the shapes I wanted... since this was the top layer, I placed them a bit more carefully, keeping in mind that I was going to cut out the center of the cardboard.
StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 9 - Gwen LafleurSo that's the finished cardboard... and how cool are these new pages in my mop up journal? I can see some fun art journaling happening here in the near future...
StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 11 - Gwen Lafleur
So now it's time to make the frame. You'll want to make sure the paint is totally dry - no tackiness when you touch it. For the photo opening, I just traced a 5x8 index card with a white Stabilo pencil and then cut it out on a glass mat with an X-acto knife. I eyeballed placement - no complex measuring techniques. It's cardboard after all... my edges aren't straight and the opening isn't perfectly centered. And I'm totally okay with that. You can absolutely use a trimmer and a ruler if that bugs you - whatever fits your style.

StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 12-14 - Gwen LafleurThen I fancied things up a bit... first I took some washi tape that worked with my colors and theme and covered up the raw edges around the sides and in the opening.

StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 15 - Gwen LafleurThen, I got out my trusty dimensional paints - in this case Scribbles and Liquid Pearls, and added some detail and dimension to the sand dollars to make them stand out from the background and to just give it a little oomph.

StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 16 - Gwen LafleurHave I mentioned how much I love dimensional paints? Because I really do.

StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 17 - Gwen LafleurAnd here's the final for the front of my frame. I gave the whole thing a nice coat of gel medium to seal it.

StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 18 - Gwen LafleurYou could stop here and just tape your photo to the back and put it up with some Command Strips or something, but I decided to really make it a frame and add a back and a table stand.

So here's how I did this part. Again, I didn't measure or make my cutting lines straight and pretty, but you could make it nicer. I just took one of my StencilGirl chipboard mailing envelopes and cut it apart. I took the back and starting from one of the corners, just left a corner and then cut straight up toward the center... the picture probably gives a good idea of what I mean:

IMG_9308I cut that off, and then took the front piece of the envelope. I put the white side with the label so that it would face in... I cut it just smaller than my cardboard frame, and at the top I cut out a circle as a finger access place so I could slide a photo in and out. I used my ATG gun to adhere the sides and bottom of this backing piece to the back side of my frame. Then I put some more adhesive on the top of my "stand" and positioned it by matching up the corners and then gluing down the top. Hold your finger on the top and then fold so that you have a stand. Hopefully that makes sense!

StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 20 - Gwen Lafleur

StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop 21 - Gwen Lafleur
And that's my finished frame! I couldn't decide between two pictures of my niece and I together on the beach, so I printed them onto a single 5"x8" sheet and slid it into the frame. The backing holds it in place so there's no adhesive and I can swap it out if I want.

StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop Project - Gwen Lafleur
StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop Project - Gwen Lafleur
StencilGirl Mary Beth's Book Blog Hop Project - Gwen LafleurI like the raw look of the chipboard, so I left it. You could paint or even stencil that part too, if you want. I hope you enjoyed today's project and are feeling inspired to try some spray paints with your stencils! And be sure to check out Mary Beth's book for more ideas and projects to try.

Don’t have a copy of the book??
You can get yours HERE and if you order it from our website, Mary Beth will autograph it for you and send you the EXCLUSIVE bookmark stencil that only we at StencilGirl have to offer with the book!

Updated with the giveaway winner:

Mary Beth Book Blog Hop Winner

Congrats carolyndawn! She won Stencil Girl The Book with an exclusive bookmark stencil and (3) 6"x5" stencils designed by Mary Beth Shaw. 

Here's today's blog list for you to check out (go to StencilGirl Talk for all of the posts this week):