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.

December-Product-Spotlight-Banner

 

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Mixed Media Seahorse Sculpture

The last few weeks I've had lots of energy and inspiration and have been working on quite a few projects! One of them is a new seahorse sculpture that I started before Thanksgiving and just finished up Friday night. I have to say, I absolutely love how this turned out!

Mixed-Media-Seahorse-Sculpture---Gwen-Lafleur

It was really hard to get good pictures of this guy because of his size and the darker paint colors I used, but hopefully you get the idea... personally I think he's even cooler in person :)

Over the last few years I've been working a lot with the idea of making 3D sculptures based on stencil designs; my original idea started with inspiration from a class I took at a Create retreat as well as some old grade-school art class techniques, but slowly I've been evolving my process as I find new supplies and tools and get more experience in this area.  At some point I'll probably make this into a class (most likely online or a 2-day in person class,) but for now I thought I'd share a very quick overview of how he was made. 

I started with the Seahorses stencil by June Pfaff Daley and inked it onto cardboard and then cut out the general shape.

Mixed-Media-Seashorse-Sculpture-Steps-1-2

From there, I used aluminum foil and masking tape to start to build up the armature. I found that the tip of a bone folder was really helpful for molding some of the details. When the armature was finished, I covered the whole thing with Aves Apoxie Clay and then once it was no longer water soluble, I went back in and added details. While the clay was still workable, I also made sure to insert a wood skewer so that he could be attached to a base later on and then let the whole thing cure overnight.

Mixed-Media-Seashorse-Sculpture-Steps-3-4

Once it was cured, I coated it with gold gesso, then started adding layers of paints and washes as well as some waxes and gold leafing until I got it looking the way I wanted. It started to take a very metallic and steampunk-esque turn along the way, so I just went with it. When all the paint was dry, I continued along those lines and started adding some metal gears that I aged in Jax solution as well as some old watch parts and vintage watch faces. I also inserted some vintage rhinestones to tie in the broken Turkmen bracelet piece I had added as a collar.

Mixed-Media-Seashorse-Sculpture-Step-5

It still felt like it needed something, so I pulled out my collection of broken Turkmen jewelry (which is admittedly large and also pretty fabulous,) and started searching for the perfect finishing pieces.

Mixed-Media-Seashorse-Sculpture-Step-6

I found a few pieces of chain and the absolute perfect section of another broken bracelet to attach to the collar as a kind of pectoral piece. That was the exact detail it needed to feel finished. I added a bit of sari yarn around the skewer and inserted it into a vintage wooden spool that I'd glazed and waxed and accessorized with some embellished sari trim and more broken jewelry parts. (The skewer is held in place with more Apoxie Clay.)

Did I mention how pleased I am with the result? Here are some more photos so you can see details of the finished piece:

Mixed-Media-Seahorse-Scupture---Front-View---Gwen-Lafleur
Mixed-Media-Seahorse-Scupture---Front-View---Gwen-Lafleur

The sculpture itself came out quite symmetrical, but I didn't want to have the embellishments the same on both sides so I mixed it up a bit.


Mixed-Media-Seahorse-Scupture---Front-View---Gwen-Lafleur

On the post, I added more chains and some bronze microbeads to cover the join with the sculpture. (And let's face it... I really just wanted to add more bling!)


Mixed-Media-Seahorse-Scupture---Front-View---Gwen-Lafleur

I've got plans to keep working on a series of these sculptures - maybe different sizes of seahorses, different animals... (an elephant for sure!) We'll see where it goes!

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

 


Gwen's Gems - Winter Art Journaling

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

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

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

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July in my ARTifacts Journal

My attempts at catching up with posting pages from this art journal aren't happening quite frequently enough for me to actually BE caught up... lol, but I'm trying! Here are the July pages from my ARTifacts journal :)

For the first spread, I just used a few colors of paint in the background, then stenciled lightly with ink and my Art Deco Sunburst Background stencil. I added some washi tape along the spine and to attach the tag, then used a bunch of old Basic Grey rubons to embellish.

July-2017-ARTifacts-Art-Journal-Spread-1---Gwen-Lafleur

The tag on the left flips up to show photos and journaling for my July StencilGirl projects...

July-2017-ARTifacts-Art-Journal-Spread-1a---Gwen-Lafleur
The tag on the right side pulls out to show the Christmas stencils that were released earlier this month - I had gotten the test stencils and was checking them to make sure they didn't need edits before going into production.

July-2017-ARTifacts-Art-Journal-Spread-1b-no-blur---Gwen-Lafleur

Here's the second spread for the month...

July-2017-ARTifacts-Spread-2

On the left side, I used an old enveloped and stenciled my Art Deco Flower Medallion Repeating Corner on the inside of the flap, then added some stamping, old rubons, and a Dresden crown.

The card pulls out of the envelope to detail my insane bead buying spree (which is now, finally, resulting in some handmade jewelry being made! That was the intent, so at least I'm following through, even if it's slow in coming!)

July-2017-ARTifacts-Art-Journal-Spread-2b---Gwen-Lafleur

The envelope flips up to show the design from my Art Deco Bookplates stencil that I'd stenciled and then heat embossed with the Emerald Creek Mirror Gold embossing powder.

July-2017-ARTifacts-Art-Journal-Spread-2c---Gwen-Lafleur

The right side shows the collage image for the HUGE shop update that I did that month... I also used a few kinds of washi tape, and the marbled paper is from my Going Global Collage & Embellishment Pack.

July-2017-ARTifacts-Art-Journal-Spread-2d---Gwen-Lafleur

That lifts up too for some journaling about the shop update...

July-2017-ARTifacts-Art-Journal-Spread-2e---Gwen-Lafleur

Whew... that's it for July! Now I need to get back in the studio and get busy catching up on new pages, and then try and do better about getting them blogged!

 

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

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

Tim Holtz Blog Hop Header

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here's the video for this spread:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here's the video for this one:

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

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

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

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

One more background tutorial video... 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GIVEAWAY

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

Tim Holtz Blog Hop Giveaway image

Sign Up for The Scoop for your chance to WIN!

* indicates required field
 

Then...

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

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

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

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

 

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

October 18: Adirondack Alcohol Inks


October 19: Distress Oxide Ink Pads 

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

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Kantha Quilting with Stencils and Kuchi Patches

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

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

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

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

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

October-Product-Spotlight-Banner-Kuchi-Patches

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

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Introducing... Two New Christmas Stencils!

I'm super excited today to announce that I'm releasing two new stencil designs with StencilGirl! There are a whole bunch of new holiday stencils coming out today, and I'm thrilled to be a part of it!

Christmas-Stencil-Collage---Gwen-Lafleur-Studios

My Christmas Cardinal & Holly stencil and the Christmas Poinsettias stencil are both hand-drawn designs that were inspired by Christmas with my family at my parents' home in Northern Virginia where I grew up (and still go back every year to celebrate with them!) You may also recognize this cardinal from a hand-carved stamp I made a year or two ago... I loved it so much that I took the original drawing, enlarged it, and made it part of this stencil!

The cardinal always reminds me of my mom, plus in Virginia, we see quite a few of them flying through the yard in the winter! Holly also grows wild along the paths in the neighborhood in sharp, tangled branches that reach out at you as you walk by. The Holly and the Ivy is also one of my favorite carols, so it seemed natural to include it here.

Christmas Cardinal and Holly Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

Here you can see how I've used both elements from this stencil to make a colorful and elegant handmade greeting card.

Handmade-Card-with-Cardinal-and-Holly-Stencil---Gwen-Lafleur

I stenciled the cardinal with black ink, then filled it in with colored pencils. Here you can see it a little more closely:

Handmade-Card-with-Cardinal-and-Holly-Stencil-Closeup-1-Gwen-Lafleur

In the background, I used layers of Distress Oxide and regular Distress inks along with some gold foil, then I stenciled the holly with gold pigment ink and heat embossed it with gold Emerald Creek embossing powder. I love the subtle impact - it's there and works with the feel of the card, but doesn't detract from the bird as the focal point.

Handmade-Card-with-Cardinal-and-Holly-Stencil-Closeup-2-Gwen-Lafleur

I also did a whimsical little "Dear Santa" page in my small art journal, using the holly design to frame the journaling space. (The journaling will come later, once I'm ready to add my Christmas wish!)

Dear-Santa-Art-Journal-Page---Cardinal-and-Holly-Stencil---Gwen-Lafleur

I stenciled in black ink and colored in the images (and added some glitter glue berries, of course!) and then outlined everything with a gold gel pen.

Dear-Santa-Art-Journal-Page-Closeup-3-Cardinal-and-Holly-Stencil---Gwen-Lafleur

The Christmas Poinsettias stencil was inspired by all of the poinsettia plants - of all sizes and colors - that my mom always has around the house in December. Even in my own home, it's not Christmastime without at least one poinsettia as part of the decor!

Christmas Poinsettia Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

I designed these so that you could use them singly with the option of multiple sizes, or layer them. I made this "JOY" banner out of large manila tags and added stenciled and layered poinsettias on top. 

Christmas-Joy-Banner-with-Poinsettia-Stencil---Gwen-Lafleur

Here you can see a close-up of one of the tags, where I again used pigment ink to stencil the design, then heat embossed it for a slightly dimensional tone-on-tone background.

Poinsettia-Stencil-Holiday-Banner---Closeup---Gwen-Lafleur

For the flowers, I stenciled them individually, then cut them out and layered them and added some glitter glue accents. For the center tags that spell "JOY," I used my Art Deco Alphabet stencil for the letters, then cut those out as well and adhered them on top.

Poinsettia-Stencil-Holiday-Banner---Closeup-5--Gwen-Lafleur

Poinsettia-Stencil-Holiday-Banner---Closeup-3--Gwen-Lafleur

One final project with the Christmas Poinsettias stencil... I used it to make a border along the edge of a page in my large, 11"x11" art journal.

Poinsettia-Stencil-Art-Journaling---Gwen-Lafleur

I created masks for the two different sizes of flowers by stenciling them on copy paper and cutting them out, then I masked off some of the stenciled flowers and added others around them - I like the effect this gives so that it looks like they're overlapping.

Poinsettia-Stencil-Art-Journaling-Closeup-2---Gwen-Lafleur

That's it for my projects... I'm so excited about these new stencils - I'm just thrilled with how they came out, and I hope you like them too! Make sure to stop by StencilGirl Talk today to see all of the other new designs being released - they're all wonderful!

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Blog Hop with The Artist Tribe Day 2

Hi all! Welcome to day 2 of the blog hop with The Artist Tribe at Gwen Lafleur Studios! Today we have three more fabulous projects to share, bursting with inspiration!

 

First up, Sandee Setliff is sharing some beautiful ocean-themed art journaling:

Ocean adjectives Art Journaling by Sandee Setlff

The way she incorporated the Stupendous Sea Life collage cut-outs into the page with the stamped words and her fabulous background is super inspiring!

 

Next, Linda Edkins Wyatt made one of her amazing mixed media paper dolls:

Mixed Media Paper Doll by Linda Edkins Wyatt

Linda has discovered the healing and therapeutic value of participating in activities that made us happy as children, and for her this includes the simple joy of making paper dolls. Of course, her efforts have evolved into art dolls which come complete with crazy hats, crowns, shoes, mismatched clothing, and often with wings to help them soar!

For this doll, Linda used Florentine paper sheets, (for smaller projects like this, the sampler packs would be ideal!) plus the Beautiful Butterflies and Wondrous Wings collage sheets.

 

Finally, Jill McDowell is back with a stunning art journal page! She, in her own words, has a tendency to become rather fixated on some things, (or so she's told...) One of those things is apparently my Ornamental Peacock stencil and today, along with her new project, she's sharing 9 other projects she's done with this stencil in the past! 

Blog Hop Art Journal Page - Peacock Mania - Jill McDowell

In addition to the peacock stencil, she used four other designs from my stencil collections:

 

Whew! That's a lot of eye candy! I hope you're feeling as inspired as I am by all of the projects this week, and thanks so much for joining us on our first blog hop!

Of course, today also means you have three more chances to enter the GIVEAWAY!

Blog Hop Giveaway Banner

One lucky winner will receive $20 Gift Card to the Shop at Gwen Lafleur Studios! All you need to do to enter is leave a comment on any or all of the blog posts during the hop - the more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to win! (One comment per person per blog please.)

You have until Sunday, October 1st at 11:59pm mountain time to leave your comments. The winner will be announced on the Gwen Lafleur Studios Facebook page on Monday, October 2nd.

 Today's posts:

Did you miss yesterday's posts? Make sure to check them out and comment to increase your chances to win!


Artist Tribe Blog Hop - Making ATCs!

Welcome to the first ever blog hop for The Artist Tribe at Gwen Lafleur Studios! I'm so excited to see and share all of the fabulous projects from these talented ladies, and I hope you'll enjoy it just as much!

There are three posts today, and three tomorrow, and of course, there's a giveaway! But before we get to that, here's a summary of today's inspiring projects:

First up, we have Jackie Neal,  who's sharing some beautiful diary style art journaling!

Dear Diary (29)

Here's what Jackie had to say about her project:

"Today I would like to share with you a journal spread I put together using some of Gwen's yummy products.
Most times I gather my inspiration from things around me, something in my studio or from the beauty out in nature.
For this journal spread, I was actually was inspired by Gwen and her travels to exotic countries where she procures these gorgeous papers, trims and embellishments!
Thank you and please stop by my blog for more details on how I put this together."
 
Items from Gwen's Mixed Media Supplies store:
 

 

Next up in today's lineup, Lynda Shoup is sharing another fabulous project! Lynda took inspiration from a recent outing where prayer flags and beautifully carved paving stones helped bring everything together.

Mixed Media Elephant Banner - Lynda Shoup

Lynda used some Turkmen jewelry parts, newspaper yarn, an image from the Enchanting Elephants downloadable collage cut-outs, and some hand-printed paper I sent to the team that's similar to the ones in my themed collage and embellishment packs to make her beautiful banner!

 

Last up for today... it's me! I'll show you how I used my stencils and some goodies from the shop to make a set of ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) for my latest swap.

Here are the cards - believe it or not, I made all of these in one sitting... it just took a few hours (which for me is pretty fast!)

Stenciled-and-Embellished-ATCs---Finished-Cards-2---Gwen-Lafleur

Ready for a little tutorial? I started with an 11"x14" sheet of heavy weight paper, then I blended some Distress Oxide Inks onto the surface, spritzed with water, and dried it. I wanted to do two different colorways so that I would have some variety in the backgrounds for my cards.

  Stenciled-and-Embellished-ATCs---Steps-1-2---Gwen-Lafleur

Next, I pulled out my stencils and just started adding designs all over the background without much rhyme or reason. Here, I used two designs from my Art Deco stencil collection: Art Deco Sunburst Background, Art Deco Sun Medallion, then the Decorative Medallion stencil and Decorative 6-Petal Flower Screen, and from my Ornamental stencil collection, the Ornamental Peacock Feathers stencil, Ornamental Floral Screen, and Ornamental Embroidery. I stenciled all of those with Archival Inks - I wanted the slightly more soft and transparent look of inks for this, plus they give a nice, crisp image and no drying time. 

With that done, I cut the sheet down into 2-1/2"x3-1/2" cards, then took paper scraps and adhered them along the bottom or side with matte medium.

Stenciled-and-Embellished-ATCs---Steps-3-4---Gwen-Lafleur

Then I took different washi tapes and added those as another layer, sealing them with matte medium.

With the matte medium dry, I took some different Dresden trim border designs and added a small section on each card.

Stenciled-and-Embellished-ATCs---Steps-5-6---Gwen-Lafleur

Next I cut out nine images from the collage sheets (these were provided as part of a kit for my swap group, but you can find similar designs in my Irresistible India downloadable collage cutouts.) I decided which backgrounds looked best with which images and then adhered them in place with matte medium.

After that it was time to embellish! For this, I mainly used different trims, jewels, and charms from various ATC kits for my swap group and glued those in place.

Stenciled-and-Embellished-ATCs---Steps-7-8---Gwen-Lafleur

Finally, I used Sepia and Jet Black Archival Inks along the edge of each card, then finished them with a line of gold from a Pen-Touch paint pen.

That's it! The cards themselves are quite easy to make - the key is the background, which adds a lot of complexity and depth without a lot of work. Then you just add a few layers on top, and voila! Fun ATCs, all ready to trade!

Here are close-ups of each of the cards I made:

Stenciled-and-Embellished-ATCs---Closeup-1---Gwen-Lafleur
Stenciled-and-Embellished-ATCs---Closeup-1---Gwen-Lafleur
Stenciled-and-Embellished-ATCs---Closeup-1---Gwen-Lafleur
Stenciled-and-Embellished-ATCs---Closeup-1---Gwen-Lafleur

Stenciled-and-Embellished-ATCs---Closeup-5---Gwen-Lafleur
And of course, one final look at all of them together:

Stenciled-and-Embellished-ATCs---Finished-Cards-1---Gwen-Lafleur

I hope you enjoyed my project today! Of course, wow it's time for the part everyone is waiting for... a GIVEAWAY!

Blog Hop Giveaway Banner

One lucky winner will receive $20 Gift Card to the Shop at Gwen Lafleur Studios! All you need to do to enter is leave a comment on any or all of the blog posts during the hop - the more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to win! (One comment per person per blog please.)

You have until Sunday, October 1st at 11:59pm mountain time to leave your comments. The winner will be announced on the Gwen Lafleur Studios Facebook page on Monday, October 2nd.

 Today's posts:

Make sure to come back again tomorrow to see the next three projects!

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ARTifacts Art Journal - June Pages

It's time for another catch-up post! Today I'm sharing the art journal pages I did in my ARTifacts journal to document my artsy endeavors in the month of June.

First up - opening page for the month, with a window flap that lifts up to show my StencilGirl project for June's "Gwen's Gems" post:

June-2017-ARTifacts-Art-Journal---Page-1---Gwen-Lafleur

On the left, you can see where I used the Tadanoori Yokoo Posters washi tape. I also added random texture stamping and rubons to the background as well as some paint skins from my palette. The tag is an old Heidi Swapp tag with a resist design on it, and I dyed it with some Tim Holtz stain. I backed the diecut frame with a scrap of an old Hambly printed transparency.

June-2017-ARTifacts-Art-Journal---Page-1a---Gwen-Lafleur

To create the hinge that attaches the tag to the page, I used the Icons & Calligraphy washi tape from my shop. I just journaled directly on the background, then edged the entire page with Sepia and Jet Black Archival Ink as well as with a gold paint pen.

For the second spread of the month, I documented the weekend of classes I taught at Papercraft Clubhouse in Westbrook, Connecticut.

June-2017-ARTifacts-Art-Journal---Pages-2-3---Gwen-Lafleur

Here's a closeup of the left-hand side:

June-2017-ARTifacts-Art-Journal---Page-2---Gwen-Lafleur

You can see that I used some of the Calligraphy on Gold Japanese Chiyogami paper from the shop, along with rubons, some Plum Blossoms washi tape, and some old American Crafts Thickers (chipboard alphabet) that I painted and then distressed a bit.

The front of the flap on the right side shows pictures I took of the amazing student work in my Mini Mixed Media Medallions class and it also has a Dresden medallion that was cut in half and then positioned on the top and bottom, and you can see stenciling from my Art Deco Bookplates stencil in the background, along with a blue skeleton leaf peeking out along the edge of the flap.

June-2017-ARTifacts-Art-Journal---Page-3---Gwen-Lafleur

The flap (which is actually the front of a mini file folder that I adhered to the page,) flips up to show the student projects from the other two classes - Boho Art Journaling and Of Angels and Icons.

June-2017-ARTifacts-Art-Journal---Page-3a---Gwen-Lafleur

Nothing too exciting on the inside - lots of photos and journaling to help capture the highlights of the weekend!

That's it for June... I'll be back again soon to share July and August pages!

  

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Gwen's Gems - Using Stencils in my Travel Journal

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

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

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


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.

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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.

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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!