Gwen's Gems - Using Stencils in my Travel Journal

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

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

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


From The Artist Tribe - A Sage Shrine by Jackie Neal

Today I'm excited to share another fabulous project from The Artist Tribe! Jackie Neal has made a beautiful mixed media shrine using a whole bunch of shop goodies!

Sage box 1st post (23)

Here you can see where she's used my Art Deco Flower Medallion stencil as the main pattern, along with hand-printed papers and some jacquard ribbon from the Enchanting Elephants Mixed Media Collage & Embellishment Pack. She also accented the top with Turkmen jewelry parts and a bronze Hamsa charm.

Sage box 1st post (31)

On the back, there's more from the Enchanting Elephants pack, along with some washi tape and images cut from the Lovely Lotus downloadable collage sheet.

Make sure you head over to Jackie's blog to see more photos, along with lots of details about how she made this gorgeous project!

 

 

More Art Journaling from The Artist Tribe!

Artist Tribe member Jill McDowell is at it again... today she's sharing a gorgeous art journal page filled with collage, stenciling, and mark making!

Art Journaling with Stencils - August 2017 - Jill McDowell

Jill is using my Art Deco Borders and Ornamental Petals Screen stencils here, along with the flowers from the December 2016 set of Heraldry stencils that I designed exclusively for StencilClub! Make sure to head over to her blog for more photos, including some in-process shots and explanation on how she made this page!

 

PS... if you're looking for stencils or other shop goodies, I'm having an end of summer Flash Sale in the shop at Gwen Lafleur Studios!

Flash Sale Banner 10 off

I've extended the sale through Labor Day! From now until 9/4 you can save 10% off any order with this coupon code: WhereDidAugustGo

 

From The Artist Tribe... A Gorgeous Embroidered Bag!

The Artist Tribe is at it again... today Tribe member Lynda Shoup is sharing a gorgeous handmade embroidered zipper pouch made with my Ornamental Petals Screen stencil as her pattern. Isn't it stunning?

Embroidered Bag with Stencil Pattern - Lynda Shoup

Make sure you head over to Lynda's blog to see more photos and learn more about how she made this beautiful project!

 

PS... if you're looking for stencils or other shop goodies, I'm having an end of summer Flash Sale in the shop at Gwen Lafleur Studios!

Flash Sale Banner 10 off

From now until 8/31 you can save 10% off any order with this coupon code: WhereDidAugustGo

 

 

First Artist Tribe Project by Jill McDowell!

Hi everyone, I'm so excited to be sharing the first project from The Artist Tribe at Gwen Lafleur Studios! Today Jill McDowell is sharing a stunning mixed media art journal page on her blog... here are a few peeks to whet your appetite!

August Art Journal Sneak 2 - Jill McDowell - Gwen Lafleur Studios
August Art Journal Sneak 2 - Jill McDowell - Gwen Lafleur Studios

As you can see, Jill's project includes lots of intricate details and some very cool techniques, so make sure you head over to see her full project!

(In her peeks, Jill is using my Art Deco Flower Medallion stencil which is available in the shop.)

 

 

"Choose Love" Mixed Media Panel

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

Here's my project:

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

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

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

 


Art Journaling with StencilGirl and Colourcraft

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

SG Colourcraft Blog Hop banner

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

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

Ready for that tutorial?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

GIVEAWAY!

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

SG Colourcraft GIVEAWAY image

Visit the fabulous designers from both teams and comment for your chance to win! The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN! (One comment per person per blog please.)

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

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

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

August 16

August 17 

August 18 

 


A Dimensional Mixed Media Panel with StencilGirl & Imagine Crafts

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

SG Imagine Blog Hop banner

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

StencilGirl-Imagine Crafts Mixed Media Panel - Gwen Lafleur

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

Ready to see how I made this piece?

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

Dimensional Mixed Media Panel - Step 1 - Gwen Lafleur

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dimensional Mixed Media Panel - Step 5 - Gwen Lafleur

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

Dimensional Mixed Media Panel - Step 6 - Gwen Lafleur

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

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

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

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

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

Dimensional Mixed Media Panel - Step 9 - Gwen Lafleur

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

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

Dimensional Mixed Media Panel - Side View 1 - Gwen Lafleur

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

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

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

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

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

SG Imagine GIVEAWAY image

Visit the fabulous designers from both teams and comment on their posts for your chance to win! The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN! (One comment per person per blog please.)


You have until Sunday, July 23rd at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments. Winner will be announced on StencilGirl's Facebook page and Imagine Crafts’s Facebook page on Monday, July 24th.

July 19

July 20 

July 21 

 

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Making a Decorative Clay Flower with Stencils

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

Here's my flower:

Stenciled Clay Flower - Gwen Lafleur

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


Boho Mermaid Art Journaling

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

Jpg  memaid madness stencilgirl creative team hop

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

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

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

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

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

 


Gwen's Gems - Textured and Layered Art Journal Cover

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

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

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


June Classes at Papercraft Clubhouse in Connecticut

Hi all! I've mentioned the classes I have coming up at Papercraft Clubhouse in Westbrook, CT, (in less than two weeks now!) but I thought I'd give a little more detail about each class and also share some videos I've put together that may help decide some of you who are on the fence about coming. Hopefully they'll also help those of you already signed up so that you have a better idea of what to expect, what I'll be providing, and what you'll want to bring to work on your projects.

Here we go!

First up, Friday morning (June 16th) I'm teaching my Mini Mixed Media Medallions class from 10am to 1pm. This class is $60, but it also includes 1/4 lb of Aves Apoxie Clay (normally $10) as well as a few other goodies I'll be supplying for you. (You can also click through to the class page where there are lots more pictures of the class samples, plus a full description and supply list. You can watch the video there as well.) The samples are very much in my style, but you can bring elements, colors, themes, etc... that are totally different and really make these medallions your own!

Mini Mixed Media Medallion Samples - Gwen Lafleur

We'll use clay, beads, metal findings, and more to create 1-2 medallions during this fun and fast-paced class. For those who have taken my Mixed Media Shadow Boxes class, there are some similarities in how the projects start, but then we diverge quite a bit from that approach with how our foundation evolves into a medallion that can be used on a book cover, in a shadow box or assemblage piece, or as a piece of statement jewelry.

Here's a 9 minute video that shows you more about the samples and talks about class supplies and some of what you can expect from this workshop.

____________

Also on Friday 6/16/17, I'm teaching Boho Art Journaling from 2-5pm... this class is $55.

Boho-Art-Journaling---Class-Preview---Gwen-LafleurIn this workshop, we'll learn a background technique to start our pages (or canvas - you can bring your own canvas or panel if you'd prefer that to working in a journal,) and then we'll use stamps, stencils, and some fun techniques to make boho style animals to go on our pages.

Here's a 7-ish minute video going over more about the class and what to bring with you.

Again, you can hop over to the class page for lots more photos of the class samples with the full description and supply list.

_____________

Finally, on Saturday June 17th I'm teaching a full day class called Of Angels and Icons that runs from 10am-5pm with a one hour break for lunch. This class is $105 and includes the canvas, plus other supplies that I'll be bringing to share.

Of Angels and Icons Class Samples - Gwen Lafleur

We'll create an 11x14 mixed media canvas inspired by Russian Icons and Mexican Folk Art (with my own spin, of course!) You can go in whatever direction you want - lots of opportunities to really customize this for your style. We'll build the background for our canvas (different techniques from Friday,) as well as working on wings and halos and creating the paper doll itself, then we'll pull it all together.

I've got a video for this one as well - also about 9 minutes, that will talk much more about the samples and supplies.

As always, you can check the class page on my website for lots more details as well as many more photos of the class samples.

___________

Spots are filling quickly for these classes (especially Saturday's class which only has a few openings left!) so if you're interested, give them a call at the Clubhouse to sign up! (860-399-4443 - note that they're closed on Mondays.)

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or message me on my Facebook page. Hope to see you there!

 

 


Mixed Media Shadow Box - Seascape

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

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

Mixed Media Shadow Box - Ocean Scene - Gwen Lafleur

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

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

Mixed Media Shadow Box - Ocean Scene Top - Gwen Lafleur

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

Mixed Media Shadow Box - Ocean Scene Back - Gwen Lafleur

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

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

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

Mixed Media Shadow Box - Ocean Scene Closeup - Gwen Lafleur

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

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

Friday:

Mini Mixed Media Medallions  10am-1pm

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

Mini Mixed Media Medallions - Gwen Lafleur

Boho Art Journaling 2pm-5pm

Boho Art Journaling - Class Preview - Gwen Lafleur

Saturday:

Of Angels and Icons 10am-5pm

Mixed-Media-Angel---Gwen-Lafleur

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

 


Mixed Media Shadow Boxes - Class Recap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A few more from Patty...

Mixed Media Shadow Boxes - Classroom Antics - Gwen Lafleur Studios

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

Mixed Media Shadow Boxes - Class Demos - Gwen Lafleur

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

Mixed Media Shadow Boxes - Class Goodie Table - Gwen Lafleur

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

Mixed Media Shadow Boxes - Class Project Collage

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

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

Mixed Media Shadow Boxes - Fran and I - Gwen Lafleur

Then Jill and I - (hi Jill!)

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

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

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

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

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

Friday:

Mini Mixed Media Medallions

Mini Mixed Media Medallions - Gwen Lafleur

Boho Art Journaling

Boho Art Journaling - Class Preview - Gwen Lafleur

Saturday:

Of Angels and Icons

Mixed-Media-Angel---Gwen-Lafleur

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

 


May ATCs - Mermaids and Sirens

It's ATC time! This month's swap theme was Mermaids and Sirens, and I slid mine in just under the deadline and got them in the mail with no time to spare. They just made it to Connecticut for tomorrow's swap! Whew! 

Here are my cards:

May 2017 ATCs - Mermaids and Sirens - Gwen Lafleur

Because I was running behind this month I decided to make a masterboard as the base of all of my cards instead of doing them individually; normally that's where I spend a lot of my time when I work on these.

 

ATC Masterboard - Gwen Lafleur

This was my first time doing a masterboard for ATCs, but I think I'll do it again sometime! It was lots of fun and I like how the cards ended up having a unified look, yet they were each still different.

Here are close-ups of my nine cards:

May 2017 ATCs - Mermaids and Sirens Cards 1-2 - Gwen Lafleur

On the left I made a frame with patterned paper and wrapped it ribbon and added embellishments - all from our kit. On the right, I cut out two different collage images and layered them with ribbon, patterned paper, and some cool flattened metal beads, also from the kit.

May 2017 ATCs - Mermaids and Sirens Cards 3-4 - Gwen Lafleur

On the left of this one, there was a grungeboard sand dollar diecut in the kit that I painted and accented with Stickles, then I used a cutout collage image with some Dresden, patterned paper, and a strip of rhinestones. On the right, I used patterned paper with some lace stickers, thin Dresden, and some jewels and a charm from the kit. I framed the image with a chipboard frame from my stash that I painted and accented with glitter and some acrylic crystal thingies.

May 2017 ATCs - Mermaids and Sirens Cards 5-6 - Gwen Lafleur

Left, just a cutout image on the background with some gold wax and a corner sticker. I layered trims and beads and Dresden. On the right, some burlap trim, Dresden, and jewels from the kit. I just matted the cutout on patterned paper. Both of these were relatively quick and simple, but I really like how they turned out!

May 2017 ATCs - Mermaids and Sirens Cards 7-8 - Gwen Lafleur

Above left, I framed the collage image with patterned paper, a bead trim, acrylic embellishments, and a gold paint pen. Then just a bit of Dresden and ribbon. On the right, I had another grungeboard diecut - seahorse, that I also painted and glittered, and I cut the mermaid from the collage sheet and wrapped her around so she'd be riding the seahorse. Again, more Dresden and ribbon, and the frame was chipboard that I heat embossed and edged in gold.

Last but not least...

May 2017 ATCs - Mermaids and Sirens Card 9 - Gwen Lafleur

This one was lots of fun... the three little mermaids came from one collage image, and I cut out the coral image from a different sheet. More burlap trim, blue Dresden, and a few rhinestones. I thought this one was super fun!

May 2017 ATCs - Mermaids and Sirens 2 - Gwen Lafleur

That's it for this swap! I hope the group members who get one will like them, and I can't wait to see what everyone else did and which ones I get back! It's always so fun since we have such a great, really talented group :)

 


Gwen's Gems - Boho Stenciled Mandala

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

Boho Stenciled Mandala - Gwen Lafleur

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

 


March ARTifacts Art Journal Pages

So, I know that April is almost over... (seriously? how?) but I thought - better late than never posting my March pages from my ARTifacts journal! They've actually been done for over a week, so I'm only really behind instead of incredibly behind.

So without further ado, here's the title page for March along with my artsy goals for the month.

March ARTifacts Art Journal - Page 1 - Gwen Lafleur

For this page I used my new Art Deco Bookplates stencil along with the Acrylic MT washi tape, a very old rubon, alphabet stamps, and butterflies cut from my Beautiful Butterflies Collage Cut-Outs. Lots of paint pens, and deliberately bright colors! (I've been pretty dark lately...)

First full spread... lots of interactive elements!

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

The background uses Tattered Angels Natural Aging paints (love them!) and some old Basic Grey rubons. (I've been hoarding these for years - it was a big moment when I forced myself to finally use them!)

The left side has photos attached to a journaling card that flips up (attached with the Crystals MT washi tape,) and I used a scrap from a Spellbinders diecut as the tab.

March ARTifacts Art Journal - Page 2 - Gwen Lafleur
March ARTifacts Art Journal - Page 2 - Gwen Lafleur

On the right, I have a VERY old stitched diecut from L'il Davis Designs and then I attached a tag with more washi tape - this is the Jakten pattern. There are more diecut scraps here, scraps of fiber trim, and a punched tab.

IMG_9955

On the back side of the tab I included one of the ATCs I got back from our swap.

March ARTifacts Art Journal - Page 3a - Gwen Lafleur

Here's the last spread for March - the background is paint and ink with tissue paper, stamping, rubons, stenciling with my Art Deco Sunburst Background stencil, and another butterfly from my Beautiful Butterflies Collage Cut-Outs.

March ARTifacts Art Journal - Pages 4-5 - Gwen Lafleur

On the left, I have a pull-out card with photos of my StencilGirl projects for the month tucked into a Chinese New Year envelope with Double Happiness foil stamped on it in sparkly red foil.

March ARTifacts Art Journal - Page 4 - Gwen Lafleur

the back side of the card...

March ARTifacts Art Journal - Page 4a - Gwen Lafleur

Finally, the right side of this spread has lots of hidden parts! The basis is a mini file folder that I attached with the Tadanori Yokoo Posters washi tape, and on top of that is a tag attached with Tadanori Yokoo Eye and Mouth MT washi tape and then I used a faux-rusted diecut from Spellbinders to frame a photo of my boho fishies. The background is stenciled with my Art Deco Sunburst Background stencil,

March ARTifacts Art Journal - Page 5 - Gwen Lafleur

Here you can see the different layers of this page:

March ARTifacts Art Journal - Page 5c - Gwen Lafleur

Here you can see it with the tag flipped up to reveal photos and journaling...

March ARTifacts Art Journal - Page 5a - Gwen Lafleur

Then with the folder open for even more - I did a lot of work on handmade elements for the opening of my online shop, and I wanted to showcase that here!

March ARTifacts Art Journal - Page 5b - Gwen Lafleur

That's it for March... I've already started printing out photos for April in the hopes that I can be less behind for the next month.

As always, all of my ARTifacts pages can be seen in this gallery on my website.

 


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

SG & ACP Blog Hop Header

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I cut that out and adhered with matte medium. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SG & ACP Blog Hop Giveaway image

Visit the fabulous designers from both teams and comment for your chance to win!

The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN! (One comment per person per blog please.)

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

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

 

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

April 19 

April 20 

April 21 


Gwen's Gems - Art Journaling with Canvas Corp Brands

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

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

StencilGirl-Canvas Corps - Art Journal Spread - Gwen Lafleur

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

 


Art Deco Stencil Samples Round 2

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

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

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

Art Deco Sun Medallion Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

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

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

Art Deco Sunburst Corners Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

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

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

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

Art Deco Borders Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

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

Art Deco Stencils - Monogram Tag - Gwen Lafleur

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

Art Deco Stencils - Monogram Tag Closeup - Gwen Lafleur

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

Art Deco Flower Medallion Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

Art Deco Flower Medallion Repeating Corner Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

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


My New Art Deco Stencils are Here!

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

Gwen-lafleur-artdeco-stencils-sq-graphic

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

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

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

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

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

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

Art Deco Bookplates Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

Art Deco Sun Medallion Repeating Corner Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

Lots more stenciling on top of collage in the background:

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

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

Art Deco Borders Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

How about an art journal spread? 

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

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

Art Deco Flower Medallion Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

Art Deco Flower Medallion Repeating Corner Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

Art Deco Alphabet Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

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

Art Deco Medallion Stencil - Gold Embroidery 2 - Gwen Lafleur

Art Deco Medallion Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

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

 


Gwen's Gems - A Boho Mixed Media Canvas

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

Boho Stenciled Canvas - Gwen Lafleur

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

 


Boho Art Journaling - Elephants and Peacocks

Lately I've been working here and there on putting together one more half-day class to offer as an option when scheduling in-person classes (for now, at least... I'm sure there will be more later!) The original plan was to make collaged elements, but about half-way through my first sample the boho spin popped out of nowhere and insisted on becoming the theme for the workshop. I'm so glad I followed my inspiration on this - I love this new class which is now, quite appropriately, called Boho Art Journaling with Stencils & Stamps.

Here's the first sample - a boho elephants art journal page:

Boho Art Journaling - Elephant Spread - Gwen Lafleur

The idea for the class is that we'll learn a fun art journal background technique (which can be applied to panels, canvases, etc... as well,) and also make our own patterned papers that will then become part of a collaged element that's the focal point of the spread.

Boho Art Journaling - Elephants Close-up 2 - Gwen Lafleur

I love my boho ellies!

Boho Art Journaling - Elephants Close-up 4 - Gwen Lafleur

Of course, I had to take it one step further and try this out with a peacock:

Boho Art Journaling - Peacock Spread - Gwen Lafleur

This particular shape is not one that I'd recommend attempting in a 3-hour class (unless one is a very fast cut-and-paster!) but I wanted to show some of the possibilities of the techniques.

Boho Art Journaling - Peacock Close-up 1 - Gwen Lafleur

I love adding different textures and dimension into my journal.

Boho Art Journaling - Peacock Close-up 4 - Gwen Lafleur

I'm really excited about the possibilities with this workshop, and I'm crossing my fingers that it gets scheduled! I'm planning on doing some more samples soon to show how this can be adapted for more styles and shapes (it doesn't have to be boho if that's not your thing,) and I'm excited to experiment more.

You can see more photos and info on the class page, and if you're interested in hosting this and / or another class, shoot me an email!

 


Stenciled & Wood-Burned Diptych Photo Frame

SG & WH Blog Hop Header

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

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

  Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych - Gwen Lafleur

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

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

Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych - Step 1 - Gwen Lafleur

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

Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych - Step 2 - Gwen Lafleur

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

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

Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych - Step 3 - Gwen Lafleur

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

Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych - Step 4 - Gwen Lafleur

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

Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych - Step 5 - Gwen Lafleur

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

Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych - Step 6 - Gwen Lafleur

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

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

Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych - Step 7 - Gwen Lafleur

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

Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych - Step 8 - Gwen Lafleur

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

Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych - Step 9 - Gwen Lafleur

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

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

Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych - Step 11 - Gwen Lafleur

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

Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych - Step 12 - Gwen Lafleur

Voila! C'est fini! 

Stenciled - Woodburned Diptych 2 - Gwen Lafleur

Just a few close-ups...

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

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

GIVEAWAY!

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

SG & WH Blog Hop Giveaway image

Visit the fabulous designers from both teams and comment for your
chance to win!

The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN!
(One comment per blog please.)

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

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

 

March 15

March 16 

March 17 

 


February ARTifacts Art Journal Spreads

It's time for the next monthly installment of the #ARTifacts 2017 art journaling project! (Details about the project and the first month's pages are in my original post.)

ARTifacts-Project-Banner---Gwen-Lafleur

February was a very busy month - lots of projects, lots going on! I managed to squeeze all of my photos into just three spreads, though. I did them more by theme this month instead of chronologically since that seemed to make the most sense.

For the first spread I focused on introducing my artsy goals for the month, then featured my February StencilGirl projects (stenciled and embroidered handmade book using Kraft-Tex, and another handmade book using ICE Resin coated stenciled papers for windows in the pages.) Coincidentally, the little handmade books inside embroidered book from the Kraft-Tex blog hop are the ones I'm using for my ARTifacts journals.

 

ARTifacts Art Journal - February Spread 1 - Gwen Lafleur

The tag pulls out of the little envelope to show pictures of the second project:


ARTifacts Art Journal - February Spread 1 - Gwen Lafleur

The back of the tag has my journaling about the two projects.


ARTifacts Art Journal - February Spread 1 - Gwen Lafleur

 For the second spread, I focused on the projects that comprised my main goal for the month - pulling together the new classes I needed to flesh out my in-person class offerings, along with at least one sample for each class (as well as a new sample for an existing class.)


ARTifacts Art Journal - February Spread 1 - Gwen Lafleur

Here's just the left-hand page - I have kind of a folder that opens up to show all of the other class samples and the journaling. On the front are photos of the samples for the Of Angels and Icons and Mixed Media Floral Still Life classes.

ARTifacts Art Journal - February Spread 2a - Gwen Lafleur

Here's the inside with more samples, including the new one for the Mixed Media Shrines / Shadow Boxes class (which I'm teaching in Connecticut this May if you missed it,) along with the Art Journal Design: Stamp, Stencil, & Collage workshop and the Mini Mixed Media Medallions class.

ARTifacts Art Journal - February Spread 2b - Gwen Lafleur

The last page was just a quick overview of the art journaling I managed to get done from the Wanderlust class lessons. I keep getting further and further behind! Too much to do... I'm always happy when I can get anything done for this.

ARTifacts Art Journal - February Spread 3 - Gwen Lafleur

That's it for this month! Still tons going on even if I managed to squeeze the recap into fewer pages this month. I can't wait to see what the other ARTifacts participants were up to in February!

As always, you can see all of my pages for the entire year on the ARTifacts page on my website :)

 


March ATCs - In the Garden

It's time for another ATC swap! The theme for our group this month was "In the Garden," and it came with another fabulous kit to play with. I managed to work ahead enough that I didn't have to do all nine cards the night before they went in the mail, so that's a win for me!

Here's what I sent in for our swap this month:

March 2017 ATCs - In the Garden - Gwen Lafleur

I dug into my old scrapbook supplies a bit to try and do some stash busting. Here are close-ups of each of the cards and a little description of what I used:

March 2017 ATCs - In the Garden Cards 1-2 - Gwen Lafleur

Both of these use dies from the Spellbinders Art Deco collection. On the left, I layered several cutouts from our collage sheets with patterned paper, ribbon, and adorable pieced bumble bees (Jolee's, I think? They were in the kit.) On the right, similar formula with a white paper leaf from the kit plus some flat-back adhesive pearls from my stash, liquid pearls, an adhesive pearl border, and scraps of a border punched from gold cardstock. Both were edged with gold wax.

March 2017 ATCs - In the Garden Cards 3-4 - Gwen Lafleur

Above left is another frame from a Spellbinders die, flowers cut from patterned paper, ribbon, stenciled background, and the image was selected because her expression seems to say exactly how she feels about that hat. On the right, lots of glitter, a patterned cardstock frame from my stash (Pebbles, I think,) and a cutout layered on patterned paper. There's some stenciling in the background that's hard to see, but it's there!

March 2017 ATCs - In the Garden Cards 5-6 - Gwen Lafleur

Above left, collage cut-out layered over another collage cutout that worked as the background, plus flowers and trims from the kit. The top border was punched from gold cardstock. Top right - this might be my favorite one. I layered three collage images from the kit with ribbon and another punched border, and there's light stenciling in the background.

March 2017 ATCs - In the Garden Cards 7-8 - Gwen Lafleur

Top left, stenciling in the background that I went over with glitter glue, then a few collage cutouts and a "rusted" diecut from a Spellbinders set. On the right, stenciled background, punched border, another patterned frame, and a fun charm from the kit.

March 2017 ATCs - In the Garden Card 9 - Gwen Lafleur

Last but not least, patterned paper background, the frame is a printed chipboard diecut (Studio Calico, I think,) around a collage cutout and patterned background. I added flowers and trim and some Liquid Pearls.

That's it for this month! My cards are off and should be there any day... I can't wait to see what everyone else did and which cards I get back!

 


Mixed Media Shadow Boxes / Shrines Workshop

Hi all! As you probably know, I've been working hard over the last few months to get new classes available to be scheduled for in-person workshops. I'm excited to announce that my first workshop of 2017 is now open for registration!

I'll be teaching Mixed Media Shadow Boxes / Shrines at Papercraft Clubhouse in Westbrook, CT. The class will be Wednesday, May 3 from 10am to 5pm (there's a 1-hour break in there for lunch,) and the class is $100 for the day, which includes the cost of the supplies I'll provide (clay, shared tools, a few other goodies...)

Mixed Media Shadow Boxes - Shrines - Class Samples - Gwen LafleurHopefully I'll see plenty of you there! I know it's a weekday, but I'll be in the area for an art retreat that weekend and Tracie was kind enough to invite me to teach while I'm there. As a little teaser, I'll also be back at the Clubhouse June 16-17 with more classes! (We're still working out details, but watch for another announcement soon!)

In the meantime, you can get all of the class details and lots of close-up photos of the samples on my website, or you can call the store at 860-399-4443 to register today!

Hope to see you there!

 


Wanderlust 2017 Weeks 1-5

This year I wanted to challenge myself to do another year-long class; the last two years I did Inspiration Wednesday (although I stopped in August 2016 and haven't yet finished - too much traveling the last half of the year!) but this year I wanted to try something different. I liked the idea of Wanderlust from Everything Art, since it looked like a good mix of teachers, techniques, and learning about different tools that I want to try. So I signed up and as the lessons have begun, I've been trying to keep from getting too far behind! 

The first lesson was from Kasia Avery (one of the hosts) and was kind of an introduction - this lesson is the title page in my book, which is a new 11x11 handmade art journal (I'm LOVING both the book and the size!)

Wanderlust Week 1 - Art Journal Page - Gwen Lafleur

My statement for the year is "to learn, to explore, to grow." 

Wanderlust Week 1 - Art Journal Page Close-up 3 - Gwen Lafleur

Another close-up with some of the layers and texture on the page:

Wanderlust Week 1 - Art Journal Page Close-up 2 - Gwen Lafleur

Week 2 was with Mary Wangerin and I really liked this one - it was kind of a mandala inspired project with a lot of layers and exploration.

Wanderlust Week 2 - Art Journal Page - Gwen Lafleur

If you look closely, you can see some hints of the many layers on this page:

Wanderlust Week 2 - Art Journal Page Close-up 1 - Gwen Lafleur

Some fun texture too :)

Wanderlust Week 2 - Art Journal Page Close-up 2 - Gwen Lafleur

Week 3 was with Wilna Furstenberg and I really enjoyed this one as well... I added a bit more color and pattern and made it more "me" (but we're supposed to do that, right?)

Wanderlust Week 3 - Art Journal Page - Gwen Lafleur

Close-up of some of the page elements... the flowers are all hand-painted with a detail brush and acrylic ink. I added stenciling on top.

Wanderlust Week 3 - Art Journal Page Close-up 2 - Gwen Lafleur

Week 4 was a break for catching up (I'm so glad they built those in!) Week 5 was back with Kasia again, this time just working on breaking the blank page and creating backgrounds, with a focus on maybe using products or techniques that we don't normally use. I made a few backgrounds, including this one that featured my neglected Gelatos:

Wanderlust Week 5 - Art Journal Background - Gwen Lafleur

I'm looking forward to finding some more time to get to work on the next sets of lessons. It's fun to have something I can do now and then that's just for me and challenges me to go out of the box, try something new, or look at a new perspective. I like it so far!

 


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

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

Stenciled ICE Resin Window Art Journal 3 - Gwen Lafleur

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

 


Make a Stenciled, Embroidered Book with Kraft-Tex!

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

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

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

Here's how it all came together...

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

Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover Step 1 - Gwen Lafleur

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

  Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover Step 2 - Gwen Lafleur

A few tips for sewing on Kraft-Tex:

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

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

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

Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover Step 3 - Gwen Lafleur

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

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

Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover Step 4 - Gwen Lafleur

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

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

Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover Step 5 - Gwen Lafleur

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

Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover Step 6 - Gwen Lafleur

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

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

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

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

With that, the covers were done!

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

Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover Step 7 - Gwen Lafleur

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

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

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

Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover Step 8 - Gwen Lafleur

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

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

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

Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover Step 9 - Gwen Lafleur

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

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

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

Stenciled Kraft-Tex Notebook Cover Step 10 - Gwen Lafleur

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 GIVEAWAY!

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

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

February Blog Hop GIVEAWAY image
Visit the fabulous designers from both teams and comment for your chance to win!

The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN!
(One comment per person per blog please.)


You have until Saturday, February 18th at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments.

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

February 15

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February 17 

 


Of Angels & Icons

Lately I've been working on putting together a list of class offerings so that I can try and schedule a few in-person teaching appearances this year. I've already added some existing classes to the list, but I've never taught full-day classes and I'm working on developing a few (along with a few new half-day classes) so that I can add variety and options to the list.

One of the new classes I'm going to offer is called Of Angels & Icons and it's inspired by a few things I love all mixed together. The first is Mexican folk art - I love the bright colors and the relative simplicity of the shapes and figures. The second are icons - I spent ten days in Russia last summer and visited a lot of Orthodox churches and cathedrals. I was incredibly impressed by the beautiful icons and the artistry and detail (and let's not kid ourselves... I love how ornate they were with lots of beading, gems, embroidery - they were stunning!) I took those two influences and mixed them with a touch of Indian / Asian flair and my own personal style.

I was super excited to work on the sample for this class, and I LOVE how it came out!

Mixed-Media-Angel---Gwen-Lafleur

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

Mixed-Media-Angel-Close-up-1---Gwen-Lafleur

Her halo is based on a gorgeous diecut from Spellbinders, her wings are from the Fractured Angel stencil by Kate Thompson.


Mixed-Media-Angel-Close-up-1---Gwen-Lafleur

The heart is hand-made - I used clay, jewels, metal findings and paints and I love it!


Mixed-Media-Angel-Close-up-1---Gwen-Lafleur

I also hand made my own applique for the sample (making the applique isn't part of the class - sewing takes a while!) I used die-cut felt flowers from the Tim Holtz Tattered Flowers Sizzix die and the leaves were from another Spellbinders die set (did you know wafer thin dies could cut wool felt? I didn't, but they can... beautifully!) I spent WAY too much time adding all the stitching and a little beading, but I love how it came out. I even took my first stab at doing a fish scale technique with sequins. I'm thinking I'll do a separate tutorial on making your own appliques. I know I'll make more - I learned a ton from making this one.

Mixed-Media-Angel-Side-View-2---Gwen-Lafleur

The background features one of my all time favorite stencils - the Marrakech Mix stencil by Michelle Ward. There are tons of other stencils in the background, and some in the body as well but they all kind of fade into the background (deliberately, of course!) The head is a Dina Wakley Media stamp - it was just perfect for this project!

Mixed-Media-Angel-Close-up-5---Gwen-Lafleur

It was so much fun to work on this and to plan out how this class will work. I'm really hoping someone chooses this one for me to teach at some point, but I guess we'll see! If not, I still love her and I'm going to be making more soon!