From the Artist Tribe - 9 Patch Paper Quilt

Hi all! Linda Edkins Wyatt is joining us today with a fabulous nine-patch art quilt made from paper!

Wyatt-9-patch-final

She's using my "Not Afraid to Try" and Art Deco Sun Medallion stencils, along with a few others from StencilGirl. Make sure you stop by her blog to see her whole process as well as lots more photos!


From the Artist Tribe - Stenciled & Embroidered Tote Bag

I'm just loving this stenciled and embroidered tote bag that Jill McDowell is sharing today... I had the chance to see it in person last weekend and I have to say, it's even more awesome up close!

Stenciled Embroidered Tote Bag - Jill McDowell

Jill used my "Not Afraid to Try" and Art Deco Peacock Feathers stencils as the patterns for her embroidery. Here are a few close-ups so you can see some of the amazing details:

Stenciled Embroidered Tote Bag Close-up 2 - Jill McDowell
Stenciled Embroidered Tote Bag Close-up 2 - Jill McDowell

Make sure you stop by her blog to see lots of photos and to get more details on how this gorgeous bag was made!


From the Artist Tribe - A Mixed Media Journal Cover

Jackie Neal is joining us from the Artist Tribe today with a truly mixed media creation! She's combined lots of different types of products and techniques to make a journal cover full of fabulous details!

Mixed-Media-Journal-Cover---Jackie-Neal

Jackie has used embellished sari scraps, my Decorative Flower Stamen Medallion stencil, block-printed elephants from my Enchanting Elephants Collage & Embellishment Packs, and some Chiyogami papers. Make sure you head over to her blog to see all of the details and lots more photos!

 


My New Boho Bird, Butterfly, and Fish Stencils

Welcome to part two of my posts highlighting my latest release from StencilGirl... my Boho Collection! (If you missed part 1, you can check that out here.)

Boho-Stencil-Collection---Gwen-Lafleur

Today I'm sharing more details and examples using the three Boho animal designs: fish, birds, and butterflies. I'll start with the original Boho design... the fish. This actually came about more than 10 years ago when I was trying to find a way to fill space on the huge walls in the stairway of the townhouse I lived in at the time. I was still pretty much a mixed media novice, but I had an idea to make a series of 16" x 20" canvases and cover the background with textured shapes and patterns and then put collaged animals on top. Heading down the stairs was all cool colors and I used fish, collaged in paper. Heading up the stairs was all warm colors, and I used birds collaged from fabric. It actually turned out really cool, and I kept those installations in place for years, even after moving to Connecticut!

Fast forward to about a year ago... I still have the original collaged fish, and I took one and traced it to make an updated version - my handmade collaged Boho fish. (My original design was a basic hand-drawn shape made from cardstock and I carried that over.) 

Stupendous-Sea-Life---Boho-Collaged-Fish---Gwen-Lafleur-Studios

I was really surprised out how popular these little guys ended up becoming! I continued to make and even teach similar versions of these fish, and then this last January it evolved into what I call my 3D Boho Collage technique. I hand-drew a new fish design for one of my early versions of this technique, named him Gus, and instantly fell in love. That exact drawing was then scanned and became one of the fish patterns on my new Boho Fish stencil.

Boho Fish Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

You may have seen it, but in case you missed him, here's Gus:

3D-Boho-Collage---Gus---Boho-Fish-Stencil---Gwen-Lafleur

I also used the new middle fish design as a beaded embroidery pattern for one of the pages in a new artist book I've started... it's on a transparent page that layers on top of a paper page that has a collage version of the fish on it - they line up so that when you layer them, it looks like this:

Beaded-Boho-Fish---Art-Journal---Gwen-Lafleur

(You can also see where I used my new Collage Textures and Patterns, Circles stencil in the background.) Here you can see the separate pages:

Beaded-Boho-Fish---Art-Journal-Closeup-1---Gwen-Lafleur

The third fish on this stencil is actually the exact same body as my original pattern, and then I added fins and some other details.

Of course, if I did fish, there had to be birds as well (had to close the loop on that original concept from more than a decade ago!)

Boho Birds Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

While I was playing around with the Boho collaged fish, I also drew a stylized bird pattern and made a collage of that:

Collaged-Boho-Bird---Gwen-Lafleur

Like the fish, this guy was traced and scanned and became the first of the birds on my Boho Birds stencil.  Of course, I had to try out my 3D Boho Collage with the birds as well, so he also became Rusty:

Rusty-the-Boho-Bird---Gwen-Lafleur

Rusty-the-Boho-Bird---Closeup-1---Gwen-Lafleur

Rusty needed some friends, so I drew two more less stylized birds to keep him company and added a few words and phrases to the design. One of them cried out to become another 3D collage, so this one is the "Queen of Her Nest."

Queen-of-Her-Nest---3D-Boho-Collage-Sample---Gwen-Lafleur

Queen-of-Her-Nest---Closeup-4---Gwen-Lafleur

Queen-of-Her-Nest---Closeup-6---Gwen-Lafleur

Finally, I wanted to branch out to something new for the third stencil. Butterflies are a motif that I use frequently; for me they symbolize change and transformation. I drew three designs, including a Peacock butterfly, of course! and added those words to this stencil:

Boho Butterflies Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

I pulled out my art journal to work with these, starting with the largest butterfly and some soft pastels on top of a collaged background:

Transform-Art-Journal-Page---Gwen-Lafleur

On another page, I stenciled the other two butterflies and the word "change" and then used watercolors to fill in the designs.

Change-Art-Journal-Page---Gwen-Lafleur

Here are a few closeups:

Change-Art-Journal-Page-Closeup-2---Gwen-Lafleur
Change-Art-Journal-Page-Closeup-2---Gwen-Lafleur

Here again, you can see where I used the Collage Textures and Patterns, Circles stencil in the background.

Whew! That's it for my introduction to this new stencil release! I just love all of these designs, and I hope you do too! I took pictures of the process for several of my samples, so watch for some tutorials in the near future. In the meantime, all of my stencils (including the new ones) are available in my shop, and of course they're also available from StencilGirl.

 


From the Artist Tribe - Not Afraid to Try Art Journaling

Today we're taking a brief break from the new stencil love to showcase one of the designs from my last release in this powerful art journal page by Linda Edkins Wyatt.

IMG_1873 final twk lg

Linda used my Not Afraid to Try stencil along with recycled paint skins from her craft mat. In her post she discusses both the idea fear as well as overcoming it, and she's also sharing several other art journal pages with this stencil. Make sure you stop by her blog to read more and see all of the details!

 


Introducing... My Boho Stencil Collection!

I'm thrilled to share that I have seven new stencils releasing today from StencilGirl!Boho-Stencil-Collection---Gwen-Lafleur

This release includes six "Boho" stencils (hopefully there will be more, but we'll see!) as well as the first of what I hope will be many in my new Collage Textures & Patterns collection. I've been working hard to create samples for these new designs and there's a lot to share, so I'm going to break it into two posts so they don't get too long. Today I want to focus on the circle stencils.

First up, the Collage Textures and Patterns, Circles stencil. The inspiration for this collection came while I was making collage papers in my studio. I started thinking that it would be great to have stencils that had been specifically designed with the idea of making the types of collage papers that I use most frequently, so why not design some? I hope there will be many more, but I wanted to start with my favorite motif - circles.

Collage Textures and Patterns Circles Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

The top section was designed to create random areas of texture and pattern - large or small, and it's great for filling in spaces. The middle can obviously be used as a border, or you can mask off specific areas to use them on their own. The bottom was tricky to design, but I'm so thrilled with how it came out! You can repeat this both horizontally and vertically to make borders and backgrounds, or just use part of it for a section of pattern. The whole stencil works beautifully with molding and texture pastes as well (just make sure to clean it thoroughly so the pastes don't gunk up the openings.)

I've used this stencil on several of my samples, starting with this one - "Crossing Paths," which also features my Boho Striped Circle stencil (more on that one in a minute.)

Crossing-Paths---Mixed-Media-Artwork---Gwen-Lafleur

This piece is 16" x 12" x 2" on canvas and has lots of layers of collage and paint. You can see where I used the top section of the stencil for random pattern, and then the border design was used to decorate and emphasize the lines in the cross behind the focal point.

Crossing-Paths---mixed-Media-Artwork---Closeup-3---Gwen-Lafleur
Crossing-Paths---mixed-Media-Artwork---Closeup-3---Gwen-Lafleur

The focal point of this piece is an assemblage of found metal objects and jewelry parts all layered on top of the Boho Striped Circle stencil. This design was inspired by a hand-carved woodblock I found in India last year.

Boho Striped Circle Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

I used gold texture paste through the stencil onto some painted deli paper and then tore it out and collaged it onto the canvas. You can also see how I've used it on the top and bottom of the "Ornery Ostrich" mixed media piece below:

Ornery-Ostrich---Mixed-Media-Artwork---Gwen-LafleurOf course, this piece also showcases another design; the Boho Star Circle stencil, again inspired by a woodblock from India.

Boho Star Circle Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

Here's a closeup of "Ornery Ostrich" so you can see some of the details:

Ornery-Ostrich---Mixed-Media-Artwork-Closeup-2---Gwen-Lafleur

The ostrich is a digital sketch I did on my iPad that I printed out and accented with colored pencil and an acrylic glaze. The stenciling was done with molding paste on cotton rag paper, then I cut out the star-shaped center of the design and used it as a frame, surrounded by beaded embellishment.

Ornery-Ostrich---Mixed-Media-Artwork-Closeup-3---Gwen-Lafleur

The last stencil I'm featuring today is my Boho Mandala Circle stencil. Again, inspired by a woodblock from India as well as traditional mandala designs.

Boho Mandala Circle Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

On this piece, entitled "Stolen," I once more used the stencil as the base for layering various dimensional elements, then repeated it around the sides of the wooden panel.

Stolen---Mixed-Media-Artwork---Gwen-Lafleur

Stolen---Mixed-Media-Artwork-Closeup-4---Gwen-Lafleur

You can also see where I used the top and bottom sections of the Collage Textures and Patterns, Circles stencil to add to the background:

Stolen---Mixed-Media-Artwork-Closeup-3---Gwen-Lafleur
Stolen---Mixed-Media-Artwork-Closeup-3---Gwen-Lafleur

For a different look with the Boho Mandala Circle stencil, I used it to create a layered and collaged focal point on this art journal page:

Away-Art-Journal-Page---Gwen-Lafleur

Away-Art-Journal-Page---Closeup-3---Gwen-Lafleur

Also, the title of this page - "Away," was done by rearranging the letters from a phrase on the Boho Fish stencil. I stenciled them onto the fabric background with black StazOn ink and then stitched over top with gold thread.

Away-Art-Journal-Page---Closeup-2---Gwen-Lafleur

That's it for today... I hope you love these new designs as much as I do! Check back on Saturday for a more in-depth look at the new Boho Fish, Birds, and Butterfly stencils. Of course, the whole collection (along with all of my other stencils) is available now in my shop as well as at StencilGirl.

 


Stenciled & Collaged Art Cards

I started a project almost two years ago... making small pieces of stenciled & collaged artwork on oversized playing cards. I had originally planned to continue and make lots of small pieces that would be available for sale, but then never made the time to get back to working on them. This week I pulled those cards out again and started reviving that series, and the first three new cards are now done. It was fun... fulfilling, even, to work on these!

Stenciled-and-Collaged-Cards-1-3---Gwen-Lafleur

I started by sanding the glossy surface of the back of each card so that my mediums and paints would stick well. I decided to leave the suits visible as the back of the piece. Each card was then coated with colored gesso, then I layered collage elements on top - Japanese and Florentine papers, vintage book pages from France and Germany... old typed ledger pages... and, of course, my own hand-painted and hand-printed papers. 

Stenciled-and-Collaged-Cards-1-3b---Gwen-Lafleur

I added layers of paint and stenciling on top of that (stenciling was also done with acrylic paint,) and then some rub-on letters and numbers. I followed that with painted elements and emblems, some asemic writing, and some actual writing and mark-making with a black graphite pencil. I finished each piece with a small scrap of sari fabric or trim, attached with six mini staples shaped into Xs. I also added a few stenciled words for the titles and a few splatters of paint to finish things off.

Here are the individual pieces, starting with "Positive Change:"

Stenciled-and-Collaged-Card-1---Gwen-Lafleur

Next is called "In Disguise"

Stenciled-and-Collaged-Card-2---Gwen-Lafleur

The last one (for now!) is called "Warning."

Stenciled-and-Collaged-Card-3---Gwen-Lafleur

I'm looking forward to getting back to this series a little more frequently, I hope! These were so much fun to make, and I really love how they turned out. All three of these are also now available in my shop, just in case anyone is interested.


Mixed Media with Relics & Artifacts

I'm thrilled to share that I'm the Guest Ambassador this month for Relics & Artifacts! I've been a fan of Sandra's line since it first launched, so I was excited to have this opportunity to put together a project using a variety of the awesome products available. Here's what I made:

Ancient-Energy-Mixed-Media-Canvas---Gwen-LafleurI used resin blanks, wood shapes, Bohemian jewels, Dresden trim, and one of Sandra's rubber stamp designs along with my Art Deco Bookplates stencil, sari yarn and a large Kuchi patch from the shop, and lots of paint and collage. Of course, there's a tutorial to go with it, so make sure you head over to the Relics & Artifacts blog to see my full post with lots more photos and step-by-step instructions.


June Workshops at Papercraft Clubhouse!

I'm excited to announce that I'll be teaching two all new workshops at Papercraft Clubhouse in Westbrook, CT next month - June 8th and 9th (Friday and Saturday.) Both classes center around fun, technique-driven projects and I'll be sharing lots of new tips and tricks throughout both days. Registration is now open! You can call or visit the store to sign up (860-399-4443.)

First up, Friday June 8th we'll be Getting Abstract with Crunchy Collage...

Crunchy-Collage-Class-Sample---Gwen-Lafleur

Class is $105 and goes from 10am to 5pm with an hour break for lunch (bring a lunch or plan to order from one of the local restaurants.)

Crunch-Collage-Class-Sample----Closeup-1---Gwen-Lafleur

In this class, we'll work on an 11x14 canvas panel to build a background using paints, stencils, stamps, and collage. Then we'll use my "crunchy collage" technique to add some really cool texture. You'll also have the option to add in some dimensional pieces. You don't have to do circles or flowers - I'll show you how to use this technique to create pretty much any shape, and colors, motifs, etc... are all up to you!

Crunch-Collage-Class-Sample----Closeup-2---Gwen-Lafleur

Check out the class page on my website for more photos, class details, and supply lists, or you can call the store to register (860-399-4443.)

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On Saturday, June 9th, we'll be making my Translucent Art Journal - a 5"x7" accordion style art journal with watercolor paper, and of course, a few cool translucent pages.

Translucent-Art-Journal-11---Gwen-Lafleur

I'll show you my "faux resin paper" technique, and we'll make some translucent papers to use in our journals. You'll have the option to add in skeleton leaves or dried flowers, or bring something from home! (It needs to be quite thin, though.)

Translucent-Art-Journal-2---Gwen-Lafleur

I'll also show you some fun background techniques and we'll use paint, stencils, stamps, and collage to prep some backgrounds in your new journal, and then we'll assemble it so that it's ready to work in when you get home!

Translucent-Art-Journal-9---Gwen-Lafleur

You can see more project photos as well as class details and supply lists on the class page on my website. The class will go from 10am-5pm with a one hour break for lunch (bring a lunch or order from a local restaurant,) and the class fee is $105. I'll be providing the paper for your journal and supplies for your translucent papers. Interested? Spots are limited, so make sure you call and sign up soon! (860-399-4433.)

Any questions? Feel free to shoot me an email or message me on Facebook.

Hope to see you there!

 

 


From the Artist Tribe - Springtime Art Journaling

The Artist Tribe and I are excitedly welcoming Spring with open arms, and today Jackie Neal is sharing a gorgeous spring-inspired art journal spread!

Sari Journey Springtime (23)

Jackie used some of the embellished sari scraps from the shop along with lots of beautiful papers, beads, and my new Chinese Garden Plum Blossoms stencil. Make sure you head over to her blog for lots more photos and details!


From the Artist Tribe - Art Journaling with Teabags and Stencils

Jill McDowell from the Artist Tribe is jumping in today with a new art journal page done with teabags and some of my newest stencil designs.

Art Journaling with a Tea Bag and Stencils - Jill McDowell

Jill used my new "Not Afraid to Try" stencil as well as my Chinese Garden Plum Blossoms stencil to make this gorgeous art journal page. Make sure you stop by her blog for more photos and details on how this page came together!

 


From the Artist Tribe - Boro Meets Boho Stenciled Handbag

The weekend brings another fabulous project from the Artist Tribe as Lynda Shoup shows how she used some of my stencil designs to bring boro stitching and boho style together in this fun and functional handbag!

Stenciled-and-Boro-Stitched-Handbag---Lynda-Shoup

Lynda used designs from my Decorative Medallion stencil as well as my "Not Afraid to Try" stencil to decorate this bag, then added all of that lovely boro stitch work and some fun beading! Make sure you head over to her blog to get all of the detail and lots more photos.


From the Artist Tribe - Boho Collaged Flowers

The Artist Tribe never stops creating inspiring work, and today Jill McDowell is sharing a stunning piece of mixed media artwork she made in my "All Mixed Up" workshop at Mary Beth Shaw's studio in St. Louis two weeks ago, along with a workshop summary. Here's a little peek at her finished artwork:

Boho Collaged Floral Canvas by Jill McDowell

Jill used Dresden trim, a bunch of my stencils - including the new Decorative Flower Stamen Medallion stencil (and you may also see one here that's going to be released in June that was handed out to workshop attendees as a special surprise!) Make sure to head over to Jill's blog to see the entire piece and get all the details on her class experience!


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


From the Artist Tribe - Art Deco Portal

Linda Edkins Wyatt from the Artist Tribe is jumping in today to share an absolutely fabulous Art Deco inspired mixed media project! I absolutely love the quote by Rumi that she used - it really resonates with me!

 

IMG_1402 final portal

For her piece, Linda used my Art Deco Bookplates stencil, along with some Turkmen jewelry parts, plus some brads and other metal findings and accents. Make sure you head over to her blog for all of the details and lots more photos!

 


From the Artist Tribe - Stencil Your Teabags

We have another fabulous post from the Artist Tribe today as Jill McDowell shares a fabulous way to upcycle your used teabags... stencil them and turn them into mixed media artwork!

 

Stenciled Tea Bags 1 - Jill McDowell

Jill used a bunch of my stencil designs on these projects, including my Decorative 6-Petal Flower Stencil (4x4) and the Decorative 6-Petal Flower Screen (6x6,) as well as my Decorative Medallion stencil.

On the art journal page below, she's used both the 4x4 and 6x6 Ornamental Compass designs from my Ornamental stencil collection.

Art Journaling with Stenciled Tea Bags - Jill McDowell

Head on over to Jill's blog for lots more photos and details, including a how-to on turning those soggy teabags into gorgeous works of art!

 


From the Artist Tribe - Worth Saving Mixed Media Wall Hanging

Another wonderful project from the Artist Tribe today... Lynda Shoup is popping in with this gorgeous mixed media wall hanging!

Worth-Saving-Mixed-Media-Wall-Hanging---Lynda-Shoup

She's used my Ornamental Petals Screen stencil along with some sari yarn, embellished sari scraps, and a Turkmen pendant along with some other beads and papers from her stash. Head on over to her blog where you can see more photos and get details on this beautiful artwork!

Also, today is the last day for the anniversary sale at the shop! 15% off all mixed media supplies with the coupon 1stAnniversary15. The offer expires tonight (3/28) at midnight mountain time.

Anniversary-Sale-Banner---Extended


From the Artist Tribe - Art Journey in an Art Journal

Jackie Neal from the Artist Tribe is joining us today to share how she's journaling her art journey with this gorgeous art journal page!

Art journey - Art Journaling - Jackie Neal

Jackie used my Ornamental Peacock Feathers stencil along with some sari scraps and a few bits of Turkmen jewelry to help complete her page. Make sure you head on over to her blog for lots more closeups and details!

Just a quick reminder - my shop anniversary sale was extended so you can still save 15% on all mixed media supplies when you use the code 1stAnniversary15 between now and 11:59pm mountain time on 3/28.

Anniversary-Sale-Banner---Extended


Five New Stencils, Part 2

Last Wednesday I announced the release of five new stencil designs from StencilGirl and shared the background and inspiration for my two new 9"x12" stencils along with some samples. Today I wanted to focus on the other three designs.

First up is my new Scribble X Mask stencil.

Scribble X Mask - 4x4 Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

I've been a doodler for as long as I can remember - I doodled in my classes all the way from elementary school through college, and then as an adult I've continued; I think that's the reason I continue to take notes in a notebook instead of on my computer! It helps keep my hands busy and my brain focused. 

This particular design was inspired by a series of doodles that showed up in my notebook during meetings at work last Fall. I had the idea to turn a few of my doodles - including this one, into a hand-carved rubber stamps, and I loved this particular design so much that I knew it just had to be enlarged and become a mask that could be used for even more applications in my artwork.

Here you can see how I used it in my art journal:

Scribble-X-Stencil-Art-Journal-Page---Gwen-Lafleur

And a close-up so you can see some of the details for both the stencil and the page:


Scribble-X-Stencil-Art-Journal-Page-Closeup---Gwen-Lafleur

Next, I also used this as the pattern for one of my 3D boho collages. This was done on a 5x5 cradled panel, and you can also see one of the borders from Not Afraid to Try as well as a bit of the Decorative Flower Stamen Medallion peeking out from under the dimensional piece.

3D-Boho-Collage---Circle-X-Scribble-Not-Afraid-v2---Gwen-Lafleur

I really love doing these collages... it's a very detailed process (some might say tedious?) but I find it to be kind of zen. Then there's the fun of finding the perfect way to embellish the openings and add fun little accents to the finished collage. Here's a close-up so you can get a better idea of the dimension as well as see a bit more how I used the Baked Texture embossing powder (Patina Oxide,) as well as some Emerald Creek Pyrite Quarry Gemstones, and more Emerald Creek embossing powders inside the collage and on the background. I also added a button from my Turkmen jewelry parts, and then triangular pendants around the circle are from my personal stash of jewelry bits.

3D-Boho-Collage---Scribble-X-Closeup---Gwen-Lafleur

Next up is the Decorative Flower Stamen Medallion stencil - one of my new 6"x6" designs.

Decorative Flower Stamen Medallion - 6x6 Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

Like the Scribble X Mask, this design started off as a doodle in my work notebook. I had these organic elements that looked like the stamens of a flower growing out of the margins of my pages, so I went home and turned them into a quarter-repeat hand-carved rubber stamp. When I printed and repeated the stamp, the results were so much cooler than I'd anticipated! I knew immediately that it would make a fabulous addition to my collection of medallion stencils. 

This design is perfect for creating background textures and patterns (it worked great with texture paste on my sample canvas below.) Like all of my medallions, it's also ideal for layering... try using smaller circular designs and objects layered over the center and build up from there to create a unique focal point in your art!

Here's the canvas I mentioned - lots of layered and collaged elements, and then I used gold texture paste (Wendy Vecchi / Ranger) to add the stenciling on the top.

Flower-Stamen-Medallion-Stencil---Mixed-Media-Canvas---Gwen-Lafleur

Here's another close-up so that you can see more of the texture and how detailed this design really is!

Flower-Stamen-Medallion-Stencil---Mixed-Media-Canvas-Closeup-2---Gwen-Lafleur

Finally, the other 6"x6" that I released last week is my new Art Deco Peacock Feathers stencil.

Art Deco Peacock Feathers - 6x6 Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

It's really not much of a secret that I love both peacock feathers and Art Deco - I've already created stencils aplenty for both of these themes! That probably means that a mash-up of the two was inevitable at some point, right?

I have a particular fondness for Egyptian Art Deco designs, and have wanted to do something along those lines for quite a while now. While visiting my family in the DC area last year, I spotted a pillow in a shop that immediately sparked the idea in my head to make Egyptian Art Deco peacock feathers. I drew it out and carved it as a stamp to see how it would work, and I loved it so much that it was the first thing I worked on when I started this round of stencil designs. 

The hand-drawn pattern was created to repeat, so all you have to do is line the stencil up along any of the edges to create seamless backgrounds as large or as small as you want. You can also mask off a single feather to use as a stand-alone motif in your work.

Here you can see where I used this design to create a repeating background on some painted deli paper:

Art-Deco-Peacock-Feathers---Collage-Paper---Gwen-Lafleur

If you look closely, you can see where I tore out pieces of the above paper and used them to create the background on a page in my most recent artist book:

Artist-Book-with-Art-Deco-Peacock-Feathers-Stencil---Gwen-Lafleur

On this page I also added some torn sari ribbon on top, along with pieces cut from a Dresden medallion, some sari patches from my stash, printed handmade paper, and a large Kuchi patch (I seriously love these things - so much!)

I also used this stencil along the edges of one of the translucent pages in the same artist book (my Decorative Curvy Ornament stencil is the one you see in the center.) I finished it off with some trim and sari patches from my stash. (I don't have these in my shop, but you can check out my Curated Stash Packs if you're interested in this kind of thing!)

Transparent-Art-Journal-Page---Art-Deco-Peacock-Feathers---Gwen-Lafleur

Finally, I used the Art Deco Peacock Feathers stencil for one of the layers of pattern on the background of the art journal spread I shared last week which also uses my two new 9"x12" stencils.

Art-Journaling---Not-Afraid-to-Try-closeup-3---Gwen-Lafleur

So that's it for this release! I'm so beyond pleased with how the stencils came out... the team at StencilGirl did a stellar job with them, as always! I'm so excited to continue using them in my work, and also to see what you do with them!

Of course, all 37 of my stencil designs are available both in my shop and directly from StencilGirl. You can also check your local stores - I know there are quite a few out there that have some as well (shop local if you can!)

For those who are interested - I've still got my anniversary sale going on in my shop... you can save 15% off of all mixed media supplies and downloadable products with the coupon 1stAnniversary15. Thanks to the great response so far, I've extended the sale so this coupon is good through midnight mountain time on Wednesday, March 28th.

Anniversary-Sale-Banner---Extended

 


Mixed Media Texture with Baked Texture Embossing Powder

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of using embossing powder in my mixed media artwork, so when Seth Apter asked me if I'd be willing to do a project showcasing his seven new flavors of Baked Texture embossing powder from Emerald Creek, I jumped at the chance!

When the long awaited powders finally arrived, I dove in head first and explored. One of the results of my playtime, er... experimentation was this mixed media panel that uses all 7 blends and a variety of different techniques.

Textured-Circles-Mixed-Media-Panel---Gwen-Lafleur

I took some photos as I worked so that you can see some of the ways that I used the Baked Texture powders. To start, I stenciled elements from Seth's Numbers stencil with pigment ink, then added Ancient Amber and heat embossed it. I repeated this randomly across the background (keeping mostly toward the edges since I knew I was going to cover the center,) and making sure to wrap some of the embossing around the sides of my cradled panel. I also used a VersaMarker to edge the panel, and I added more EP and heat embossed that as well.

Abstract-Embossed-Mixed-Media---Step-7-8---Gwen-Lafleur

For the next layer, I randomly stamped some circle patterns from two of Seth's PaperArtsy cling rubber stamp sets onto rice paper using pigment ink. I did them one at a time - stamping one pattern and embossing, then repeating with the other pattern. I used Chunky Rust with the larger stamped circles and then using Dirty Sand for the smaller design. I then tore the paper into strips and collaged sections onto the background of my panel using matte medium, making sure to layer some of it over the embossing that was already on there since I wanted to start to build up layers of texture.

Abstract-Embossed-Mixed-Media---Step-2---Gwen-Lafleur

I set the panel aside to dry, then moved on to the circular elements that I knew I wanted to have running down the center. I took several different sizes of chipboard circles and painted them with different colors of Seth's PaperArtsy Fresco Finish paints.

Abstract-Embossed-Mixed-Media---Step-3-4---Gwen-Lafleur

Once the paint was dry, (which is important because the embossing powder will stick to wet paint and you may get embossing where you don't want it,) I ran the edges of the circles across an embossing ink pad (above,) and then ran them through a pile of Ancient Amber.

Abstract-Embossed-Mixed-Media---Step-5---Gwen-Lafleur

Above, you can see that I heat embossed the circles - I love the effect of the embossed edges! A few of them I just coated completely for some variety. When I'm working with smaller items like this, I have a set of long copper tongs that I use to hold the piece that I'm embossing so that I don't burn my fingers - super helpful!

Next, I went back through and used some of Seth's latest stencil designs from StencilGirl to add patterns to the tops of my circles using pigment ink and then Chunky Rust and Patina Oxide powders.

Abstract-Embossed-Mixed-Media---Step-5a---Gwen-Lafleur

At this point, my circles were ready to add to the panel, so I set those aside and went back to work on prepping my background which I coated with a brown glaze. I applied it, let it start to dry for about a minute or so, and then used a baby wipe to take some of it back off, leaving it darker in the crevices of the texture I created with the embossed stenciling.

Abstract-Embossed-Mixed-Media---Step-6---Gwen-Lafleur

Once the glaze was dry, I placed my circles down the center of the panel and glued them in place, then started coating the background in embossing powder. For this step, I started from the outside and the sides of the panel and worked my way toward the middle. First, I coated sections of the panel with embossing ink and then used Vintage Beeswax on top, repeating this process twice to get really smooth coverage.

Abstract-Embossed-Mixed-Media---Step-7-8---Gwen-Lafleur

Once the Vintage Beeswax is melted, you can see how the texture and color from the background layers still really show through! I continued the same process, adding ribbons of color moving toward the middle with Patina Oxide and then with Deep Sea.

Next comes my favorite part... this was what I knew that I wanted to do the very first time I ever saw Rocky Road - I wanted to create some serious texture using acrylic mediums. For this section, I used High Solid Gel and a small paintbrush to apply the gel around the circles throughout the entire center section. I used a very thick, stiff gel medium because I wanted it to hold its shape so that I would get more exaggerated peaks and valleys in my texture.

Abstract-Embossed-Mixed-Media---Step-9---Gwen-Lafleur

I coated the gel medium section with Rocky Road and then heated it at very short range. Any time you emboss with a wet acrylic medium, especially with the heat gun so close to the surface, you're going to get lots of bubbles. (And fumes! Keep your mouth and nose covered, especially if you do this for extended times like I did here - I have a respirator that I keep in my studio for serious melting and bubbling.) It's going to smell pretty funky, but the texture... oh is it ever worth it. Amazing. (At the bottom of this post there's a link to a video tutorial where you can see this process in action.)

Below, you can see how I went back in with a VersaMarker and lightly brushed ink over the surface of the embossed area...

Abstract-Embossed-Mixed-Media---Step-10---Gwen-Lafleur

I added a light sprinkling of Chunky Rust and embossed, repeated with an even lighter sprinkling of Patina Oxide, and then added a bit more Rocky Road on top. I kept sprinkling and heating until I was happy with the results - I think I had at least 10 layers of embossing powder on this section! When you look at it up close, it's a really cool effect.

Finally, it just wouldn't be one of my pieces unless I added some funky boho touches, so I dug through my stash of Turkmen jewelry parts and added some buttons and other cool bits on to some of the circles, finishing with a Turkish glass nazar bead in the center of my focal point. I used a touch of black wax around the edges of the panel to frame it, and that was it!

Abstract-Embossed-Mixed-Media---Step-11---Gwen-Lafleur

Here are a few close-ups so that you can get a better sense for the different textures you can get using the Baked Texture powders... they're so addictive!


Textured Circles - Top 2 - Gwen Lafleur
Textured Circles - Top 2 - Gwen Lafleur
Textured Circles - Top 2 - Gwen Lafleur
Textured Circles - Top 2 - Gwen Lafleur

Also, not too long ago I did a video tutorial using Baked Texture powders and another Emerald Creek embossing powder, and in that video you can see the live-action version of how I use embossing powder with acrylic mediums (it's fun just to watch that stuff bubble on camera!) Check out that blog post for the video as well as the three samples I shared.

Sadly, this brings us to the end of our week-long celebration of all things Baked Texture, but hopefully you've picked up tons of ideas and inspiration for how you can incorporate these amazing embossing powders into your own mixed media work! If you missed them, make sure to check out these four posts from this week, each with lots of amazing inspiration and fun techniques for you to try:


Five New Stencil Designs!

I'm super excited to share that I have five new stencil designs releasing today from StencilGirl! I'm really excited about these stencils - it's a bit of a mixed bag and in the past I've always released in collections, but each one is a design that I really loved and so I decided to just put them all out there together in a bit of an eclectic mix. Without further ado... here they are! (You can tell that mine are already getting plenty of use :)

March-2018-StencilGirl-Stencil-Release---Gwen-Lafleur

Do these designs look familiar at all? If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen these motifs before since most of them came from the stamps I carved in the last round of Carve December. It's not unusual for my stamp designs to turn into stencils... I started counting how many of my hand-carved stamps are now available in some form or another from StencilGirl and it was a surprisingly large number!

March-2018-Stencil-Release-Original-Stamp-Designs---Gwen-Lafleur

The Chinese Garden Plum Blossoms actually started as a drawing for a stencil, but then I turned it into a 3-part stamp so that I could print it in different colors. I loved how that came out, so I decided to submit the stencil design, and here we are! I'm especially thrilled to have my first Asian themed stencil... it's been a long time coming, and hopefully this is the first of many!

Plum-Blossoms-Original-Stamp-Design---Gwen-Lafleur

I'll be sharing the individual stencils and the inspiration behind them as well as some sample projects here, as well as on Facebook and Instagram over the next week or so, so make sure to keep an eye out for inspiration with my new designs!

Today I want to share a bit more about my new 9x12 stencils. The first one is called Not Afraid to Try.

Not Afraid to Try - 9x12 Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

As background on this design, in 2009 I went back to school to get my MBA and during my second year I took an elective called Business Judgment, which was my favorite class of the entire program (it was much more interesting than it sounds!) One of the books we read in class focused on the concept that our own fears are our biggest impediments to making decisions and moving forward, and with achieving success in both our professional and personal lives. This really stuck with me, and I ended up making it the subject of my final project for the class (which I aced, by the way!) I've continued to keep that as a mantra in the years since, and for close to a year now I've really wanted to have a version of that concept as a phrase on a stencil so that I could use it for art journaling and other projects. I thought that it was probably likely that others might want this as well, and luckily StencilGirl agreed with me!

Art-Journaling---Not-Afraid-PlumBlossom-ArtDecoPeacock---Gwen-Lafleur

Art-Journaling---Not-Afraid-to-Try-closeup-1---Gwen-Lafleur

The words on this stencil are all hand-drawn, and you can also mask off individual letters to form other words and phrases like I did with the page below from my latest artist book which reads, "Doubt Not, Fear Not." (I stenciled just part of the "o" and then drew in the horizontal line to make an "e.")

Not-Afraid-to-Try---Artist-Book-Page---Gwen-LafleurOf course, I couldn't have a quote without some decorative elements, so I added two borders which were inspired by traditional Indian woodblock designs, as well as a fun ornamental motif that's a combination of inspiration from a vintage metal finding and architectural elements. You can repeat the borders to make them longer, or turn them into backgrounds! That's what I did on the back side of the above page - since the background is translucent, I wanted them to show through to the front a bit (as you can see above,) but also stand on their own if you were looking at the reverse side of the page.

Not-Afraid---Artist-Book-Page-Reverse-h---Gwen-Lafleur

My other new 9x12 is called Chinese Garden Plum Blossoms, and it was inspired by my first two visits to China where I explored the Yu Garden in Shanghai and also learned about the symbolism of the plum blossoms during a Chinese watercolor painting demonstration - these trees flower in late winter and have come to embody the ideas of perseverance and hope, as well as beauty and purity. After I learned about the symbolism, I developed an immediate and abiding love for the blooms of this tree; I have a painting of plum blossoms in my home that I bought from a master artist in Beijing that I had framed and keep displayed in a prominent place to remind me of the concept of hope and beauty blossoming through adversity.

Chinese Garden Plum Blossoms - 9x12 Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

I also added Chinese characters for beauty (top,) harmony (middle,) and tranquility (bottom,) to describe the feeling while visiting those stunning traditional gardens. The design of the plum blossom branch was deliberately created as an outline to allow you to color the flowers with whatever color combinations and mediums you choose. Here you can see how I stenciled the design onto rice paper and then colored it with gouache:

Plum-Blossoms-on-Rice-Paper-with-Gouache---Gwen-Lafleur

I tore out the designs from this page and used them on the same art journal spread I showed above... here's a close-up so you can see the blooms in particular. (The Chinese characters on this page mean "strength" and are from another of my hand-carved stamps.)

Art-Journaling---Not-Afraid-to-Try-closeup-2---Gwen-Lafleur

I also used the Chinese characters from this stencil to make a tag - these frequently end up as tip-ins in my art journal.

Plum-Blossoms-and-Flower-Stamen---Mixed-Media-Tag---Gwen-Lafleur

All five of my stencils are available NOW from StencilGirl, and later this week you'll also be able to get them from my shop!

I'll be back soon with more inspiration behind the other three designs... in the meantime, make sure you're following me on Instagram where I'll continue to post projects with the new designs!

 


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


From the Artist Tribe - Stenciled Easter Eggs

I'm absolutely loving the project that Jill McDowell is sharing today from the Artist Tribe... she's used my stencil designs to make these utterly fabulous stenciled Easter eggs!

Almost-Dirty-Dozen-Stenciled-Easter-Eggs---Jill-McDowell

Aren't they incredible? She's used several of my stencil designs from both my original Ornamental stencil collection as well as my Decorative stencil designs. Make sure you stop by her blog today to see more photos of these beautiful eggs as well as details on how she made them!

P.S., don't forget about the shop anniversary sale that starts Friday! You won't want to miss it!

Anniversary Sale Preview Banner


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:


From the Artist Tribe - DIY Holiday Tags

Today Linda Edkins Wyatt from The Artist Tribe is sharing some fabulous DIY holiday inspiration with her beautiful tags! She's created elegant simplicity with her black and white color scheme on these first four, just using paint, stencils, and ribbon with lovely results.

DYI Holiday Tags - Black - Linda Edkins Wyatt

(The above two use my Christmas Cardinal & Holly stencil as well as my Ornamental Petals Mask while the two tags below use my Christmas Cardinal & Holly stencil again as well as my Decorative Medallion stencil.)


DYI Holiday Tags - Black - Linda Edkins Wyatt

Linda also added a vintage touch with German Scrap Angels and German Dresden trim on these two tags:

DIY Holiday Tags - German Scrap and Stamping - Linda Edkins Wyatt
DIY Holiday Tags - German Scrap and Stamping - Linda Edkins Wyatt

(This second tag above also uses papers from my Marbled Paper Sampler Pack.)

Make sure you head over to Linda's blog to see lots more details about her beautiful project!

Ready to make your own holiday tags? All month long Dresden trim and English & German Scrap are 15% off with the coupon DresdenScrap-15. Plus, I just added three new styles of Dresden and three vintage scrap designs, most of which work perfectly for Christmas projects!

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From the Artist Tribe - Mixed Media with Dresden

Today, Jill McDowell from The Artist Tribe is back again with another spectacular mixed media piece... this time she's focused on our December challenge to use Dresden and / or Scrap sheets

Mixed-Media-Panel-with-Dresden-Swans---Jill-McDowell

Jill used Dresden Swans and the XL Angel Wings for beautiful, dimensional embellishments. I also spy my Decorative Filigree Medallion stencil in the background! Here's a little close-up so you can see part of her process on how she colored the gold swans for her piece:

Mixed Media Panel - Dresden Swans - Jill McDowell

Make sure you head over to Jill's blog to see more details from her gorgeous project and to find out more about how she made it!

If you're feeling inspired by Jill's project, you're in luck! All month long Dresden trim and English & German Scrap are 15% off with the coupon DresdenScrap-15.

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