Wrapping Up Inspiration Wednesday 2015

While I'm in the mindset of catching up with projects that I completed at the end of December, I thought I'd post the last 4 challenges from Inspiration Wednesday 2015. I'm not usually one who does well at following through with year long challenges. Most of the time I can't even manage a month long challenge! But I did all 25 challenges from last year and I'm pretty proud of that! A few of them I don't like (but I always learned something,) and most of them I like or even love. That's a win! Without further ado, here are weeks 22-25.

Week 22: This was one of the weeks I liked but didn't love (although I loved Donna's!) I just need some more practice with the blobby flowers. lol. In the background I used the 9x12 stencil from the November 2015 StencilClub kit along with molding paste and paint.

Inspiration Wednesday 2015 - Week 22a - Gwen Lafleur

Here's the view with the inclusion flipped over:

Inspiration Wednesday 2015 - Week 22b - Gwen Lafleur

Week 23 is one of my favorite spreads in the whole journal. I used the December 2015 StencilClub kit for this one - I'll definitely be coming back to this technique again! I used my "inspire" stamp since it's an inspiration journal so I thought it was a propos.

Inspiration Wednesday 2015 - Week 23a - Gwen Lafleur

And the backside of the inclusion:

Inspiration Wednesday 2015 - Week 23b - Gwen Lafleur

Next up, week 24 - another week that I really loved. I used the Woodcut Roses stencil by Desiree Habicht for the background, along with joint tape and lots of paint :)

Inspiration Wednesday 2015 - Week 24 - Gwen Lafleur

Last but not least... challenge number 25. I used the Wall of Words stencil by Carolyn Dube - this one got quite a workout in this journal throughout the year!

Inspiration Wednesday 2015 - Week 25a - Gwen Lafleur

The flowers are actually a Sizzix low-profile die that I cut from very thin chipboard multiple times and then layered for lots of dimension on the page. Here's the back of the inclusion so you can see the quote I used for this one.

Inspiration Wednesday 2015 - Week 25b - Gwen Lafleur

So that's it! A whole year in my inspiration journal. Here it is at the very beginning of the year...

Inspiration Wednesday 2015 Cover - Gwen Lafleur

... and here's what it looks like now - it's hard to tell from the photo, but it's about 3" thick!


I signed up for 2016 of course, and have already done the first challenge. I'm looking forward to what fun new things I'm going to try out this year!

Inspiration Wednesday Weeks 19-21

So something surprising and unprecedented has happened... I think I'm completely ready for the movers to come tomorrow and it's still a few hours before midnight! Given a little bit of extra time, I thought I'd do a quick update to share the most recent pages in my inspiration journal.

First up, week 19 - this uses some painted underpaper that's covered with places where I cleaned off my brushes, etc... The stencil is from Andrea Matus deMeng, and the stamped sentiment is from Tim Holtz. (My book is really thick and uneven, so the photo isn't blurry, my stamping was just a bit wonky.)

Inspiration Wednesday 2015 - Week 19 - Gwen LafleurFor week 20, I followed pretty closely with the sample since the colors and motifs were right up my alley. (Teal and circles!) I drew the circles with a compass and just painted the lines. You can tell I was rushing, but it was still fun!

Inspiration Wednesday 2015 Week 20 - Gwen LafleurFinally, I just managed to squeeze in the time to finish up week 21. This uses a few stencils by Seth Apter along with lots of molding paste, collage, and a few layers of glaze and paint.

Inspiration Wednesday 2015 Week 21a - Gwen LafleurI was having a lot of fun just playing with building up texture, so I took this one a bit further than the sample. Here's the view with the inclusion flipped over to the other side:

Inspiration Wednesday 2015 Week 21b - Gwen LafleurThis last one is probably my favorite of this group... I also quite enjoy the library card catalog card (thank you Donna!) for a book called "Where Are My Bears?" I made sure that you could still read that part. ;)

So with that, I think it's time to finish up a few more things and get some sleep! The rest of this week is going to be very crazy. Tomorrow is packing day (I'm seriously skeptical of the claim that they're going to be able pack my entire apartment in one day... have you seen my studio? Or my kitchen?) and then we load the truck and I'm off to drive 1,300 miles southwest. I'm feeling quite antsy about getting this all moving, and I'm excited to start my new job next week and start setting up my new house. That's definitely one of the more fun parts of moving! For me, at least. Anyway, I'll see you on the other side!

Inspiration Wednesday Weeks 16-18

Just popping in for another quick update... I wanted to share the last three Inspiration Wednesday challenges I've done in my inspiration journal... I've really liked all of these!

Week 16 involved fabric and molding paste. I had this cool fabric from Alexander Henry - I believe it was from a 2006 collection. I've had it for years and not really used it, so this seemed perfect!

Inspiration Wednesday Week 16 - Gwen LafleurI didn't take a picture of the other side of the inclusion, but it's got more fabric (with some figures on it) and my date tag. The peacock was from a stencil that I roughly drew and then cut out of thin chipboard - I'm pretty pleased with how well it worked! I added words and texture with Seth Apter's Past Present Future stencil. I wish you could see the shimmer of the gold paint from the photos - it's so cool in person!

IW2015 Week 16 Closeup - Gwen LafleurNext up, week 17. I will shamelessly admit that I copied Donna pretty exactly - I used the same paint colors and just followed along because I loved hers so much. My stencil was different - I didn't have hers, but used the Bubbles stencil from StencilGirl and it worked perfectly. I liked all the different techniques in this one - molding paste, gel transfer, and the ways that we did the shading on the bubbles - very fun!

Inspiration Wednesday Week 17 - Gwen LafleurFinally, last week's challenge - week 18 - was mostly just acrylic painting in our journals with a focus on not over-thinking things. This is probably my favorite challenge so far - I absolutely love it! I mentioned it on Instagram in my original post, but I think that means I need to do more of this type of thing. Life is much more crazy than usual right now - travel, assignments, job hunting... but I need to do more of this asap! I'm itching to pull out a canvas.

Inspiration Wednesday Week 18 - Gwen LafleurAnd because I love it so much, close up pictures of either side of the spread:

IW2015 Week 18 Closeup 1 - Gwen Lafleur
IW2015 Week 18 Closeup 1 - Gwen LafleurAnd with that, time to get back to the next item on today's To-Do list while I enjoy our afternoon thunderstorm :)

Inspiration Wednesday Weeks 9-15

I'm WAY behind in catching up... if that makes sense! But I thought I may as well start somewhere... this will be a bit of a big post, but I wanted to make sure I got it all updated.

I've done seven Inspiration Wednesday challenges since the last time I posted an IW update, so without further ado, here they are!

Week 9 - I loved playing with color and mark making on this one... the face is the Yearning Desire stencil by Andrea Matus deMeng, the words in molding paste are from the Picasso's Words stencil by Carolyn Dube. That fluorescent pink is one of my favorite colors to use lately.

Inspiration Wednesday Week 9 Side 1 - Gwen Lafleur
Inspiration Wednesday Week 9 Side 1 - Gwen Lafleur
Week 10, a bit more minimalist with yet more bright pink. I liked this one - bonus, I got to use up some random bits of stuff from my junk drawers.

Inspiration Wednesday Week 10 Side 1 - Gwen Lafleur
Inspiration Wednesday Week 10 Side 1 - Gwen LafleurWeek 11, one of my least favorites so far. I really liked the technique of using the Caran d'Ache Neocolor IIs with wet media, and the softness was a nice change, but it's a bit too sparse for me. Nice future background technique, though.

Inspiration Wednesday Week 11 Side 1 - Gwen LafleurWeek 12: Love this one! We used the VerDay patina paints to get the aged metal look. I got a big plastic house number and glued it in there... it's pretty light so it doesn't way down the book as much as you'd think (I refused to get a metal one for that reason!) Looking forward to playing with these paints some more.

Inspiration Wednesday Week 12 - Gwen LafleurWeek 13: Another week where it was fun to play but I like it better as a background technique than a page in and of itself. I do like this, though. I used both store-bought and hand-carved stamps on this one, plus Carolyn Dube's Rembrandt's Words stencil in the background.

Inspiration Wednesday Week 13 - Gwen LafleurWeek 14 - This one was lots of fun. I used some old scrapbook paper in the background, then blew up an image from the Tim Holtz Crazy Birds stamps, colored with markers, and collaged it onto the page. I did random molding paste letters in two sizes - both using stencils by Carolyn Dube. The larger letters are from her Vintage Typewriter Alphabet stencil and the smaller ones are from the April 2014 StencilClub set.

Inspiration Wednesday Week 14 Side 1 - Gwen Lafleur
Inspiration Wednesday Week 14 Side 1 - Gwen LafleurFinally, week 15: another spread that I don't really love. It was fun to make and I got some good ideas from it, and that's all that matters, right? That's pretty much the point of the whole thing, I think. I used a few different scraps of handmade papers, a page from a vintage cookbook, and a swirl stencil by Jessica Sporn from the January 2014 StencilClub kit.

Inspiration Wednesday Week 15 Side 1 - Gwen Lafleur
Inspiration Wednesday Week 15 Side 1 - Gwen LafleurWhew! Now I'm all caught up on Inspiration Wednesday for approximately 36 more hours... lol.

Want to keep up with what I'm working on? Make sure to follow me on Instagram! I usually post there a few times a week.

Inspiration Wednesday Week 8

In an effort to not get so behind in my posting, I thought I'd pop in and share my pages in my inspiration journal from this week's Inspiration Wednesday video with Donna Downey.

This week was a lot about texture, and I went ahead and followed along with Donna to get some darker colors on the page.

IW2015 Week 8 - Gwen LafleurI used a bit more green and kept mine a bit more opaque than hers, but I really liked it. Donna used thin wooden letters on her pages, but I didn't have any of those. What I do have is a TON of old chipboard letters - this was from a set of old Heidi Swapp letters... they were pink and came in a box and you had to punch them out of a square (so you get the negative too) - the squares were like 3", so I liked both the size and the lightness of them for my pages.

Here's the view with the inclusion flipped over:

IW2015 Week 8b - Gwen LafleurI went ahead and used the same word as Donna - "becoming" because it resonated with me right now. I added some more text below, but I did it in a darker color. I tried it in white first and it was too much contrast for me.

Of course, I have some kind of allergy to monochromatic pages. I liked it when it was done, but I was dying for that pop of color, so I turned to my trusty Liquid Pearls  and added some of my signature dots. Then I wanted to do something to outline the letters a bit, but I didn't want color to stand out anymore than it already did, so I used black opal and dark chocolate Liquid Pearls and did some scribbling around them.

IW2015 Week 8 Letter Closeup - Gwen LafleurI think you can see it okay above, but it's even cooler in person. I loved this. I'm going to have to do more of this embedded chipboard lettering for sure!

And with that, I'm off to enjoy a beautiful weekend!

Inspiration Wednesday Weeks 4-7

I just realized that it's been a while since I did a round-up of the pages in my Inspiration Wednesday art journal, so I thought I'd post the new ones since my last IW2015 post. All but the most recent one have been shared on Instagram & Facebook, but I have a few additional views below, and week 7 is hot off the press!

First up, week 4 - working on book paper with stamping, molding paste, and glazing.

IW4 - Gwen LafleurI had picked up a book of vintage French comics at the Create vendor fair last summer (I'm so sad that Create isn't happening anymore!) and I used some of those in the background. The stamps are a set by Donna Downey, and the stencil is Rembrandt's Words by Carolyn Dube.

IW4 Close-up 1 - Gwen LafleurAnd the other side with the inclusion flipped:

IW4b - Gwen LafleurNext up, week 5. This one was lots of fun - I didn't realize you could make skins from molding paste the way you can from acrylics, and I loved learning a new technique! This week really has my brain going on other ways to experiment with my supplies.

Inspiration Wednesday Week 5 - Gwen LafleurThere's lots of texture gel in the background, plus the dimension from the molding paste skin seahorses, and I crumpled and collaged on some black paper ribbon at the bottom to kind of suggest coral and then painted and glazed it. I added some turquoise Inka Gold around the edges so it's a bit metallic. The seahorses were done based off of one of my favorite stencils by June Pfaff Daley. I traced the outline onto some thin chipboard and then used that to make masks to create my skins and then stenciled on a few details.

Inspiration Wednesday Week 5b - Gwen LafleurMoving on to week 6; I didn't have any of the tags Donna was using in her background - I had a punch if I wanted to make them myself, but I decided to go with the inspiration she used for this - use up something in your stash. I had a bunch of old Making Memories vellum metal-rimmed tags, so I used all of my circle and oval vellum tags. It gave me some interesting texture that was a bit challenging to work with, but in the end I like it, and I used some tags that I think I've had for 10+ years!

Inspiration Wednesday Week 6 - Gwen LafleurFor the inclusion, I used the Wall of Words stencil by Carolyn Dube - another favorite that's been getting a lot of use lately.

Inspiration Wednesday Week 6b - Gwen LafleurAnd finally, the challenge from last week involved using some of those rolls of gorgeous decorative paper that you get at Paper Source or the art supply store. Yeah... like I have any of those sitting around. (Patty can testify from a trip to Jerry's last year that the previous statement is 100% untrue. My basket of rolled paper is sitting right next to me and there must be 50 of them... some that I've had for 10-12 years!)

Inspiration Wednesday Week 7 - Gwen LafleurI picked one that I thought would work on this (read that as: I picked a roll of paper that I could bear to cut in to) and got to work.

Inspiration Wednesday Week 7b - Gwen LafleurThe words I highlighted on the book text are: gratified, shining eyes, happiness, bloom, flourish, enthusiastic, and indulgence. The test of the text is a bit odd, especially out of context! I might go back and obscure it a bit.

Inspiration Wednesday Week 7c - Gwen LafleurAnd once again, the Wall of Words stencil is making an appearance, looking quite nice with more molding paste and acrylic glazing.

So with that, I'm all caught up on Inspiration Wednesday! I've been keeping up with my challenges really well so far (I'm up to date on Documented Life too and will share an update soon.) And I'm even catching up on some online classes!

Anyway, I hope everyone is having a Happy Easter (or Passover, or just a lovely Sunday!) I'm just enjoying some playtime in my studio between sessions of General Conference... I have some more fun projects that I'll share soon. And with that, I'm back to playing!

Catching Up: Inspiration Wednesday

I've shared all of my Inspiration Wednesday pages on Instagram / Facebook, but I wanted to get them all in one place, so here they are... up through the February 4th pages. 

Starting out, I made my own inspiration journal. I had some turquoise canvas and this cool embroidered linen cloth that was leftover from some curtains I made for my house in Connecticut. I followed the same pattern as the ones Donna makes and then made two signatures for the inside - that should be enough for the whole year.

Inspiration Wednesday 2015 Cover - Gwen LafleurThe first week was just the front page - the introduction to this year's journal. I kept it pretty close to what Donna did in hers (especially since I share her obsession with teal,) but I had to include a peacock feather :)

Inspiration Wednesday 2015 Week 1 - Gwen LafleurFor the letters that spell "artist," I had a super old set of cardstock letter stencils like you get at the hardware store. I swear I've had them for 20 years or more! For the "2015," I used numbers from one of Seth Apter's stencils.

Here it is with the inclusion flipped so you can see the quote - that's a sentiment from an old Studio Calico stamp set.

Inspiration Wednesday 2015 Week 1b - Gwen Lafleur
Week 2 (which isn't actually week 2 but like week 4 or something, but I'm keeping it simple.) This was all about collage and layering, which I don't do a lot of. But I really liked this - lots of fun texture.

Inspiration Wednesday 2015 Week 2 - Gwen LafleurI had been at Blick looking for extra heavy gesso and they only had the gigantic tub, so I passed and came home and realized that I had some that I'd bought in CT last year and forgotten about. Duh. I like the texture and dimension that adds. And I pulled out some thin paper that was in a stash of stuff I brought back from China several years ago and used it to create kind of a travel / exploration theme. The sentiment is from a recent Studio Calico kit.

Inspiration Wednesday 2015 Week 2b - Gwen LafleurAnd the one I just did last week - week 3 (February 4th.) Another one where I followed Donna's process pretty closely. Mainly because I had literally every. single. thing. on the supply list for this project, right down to the identical colors. And I liked hers, so why not?

Inspiration Wednesday 2015 Week 3 - Gwen LafleurI got the drywall tape from Donna's store because that's the only place where I've seen it with the circles and I love that. I also used Donna's number stamps and used Seth's Numbers stencil again. It was a crazy week when I did this one, so it suited my mood perfectly to get in there and finger paint and do something really grungy.

Inspiration Wednesday 2015 Week 3b - Gwen LafleurAbove is the right side with the inclusion flipped over.

Can't wait for the next video in another week! In the meantime, I've got lots of other projects in the works that will show up in the near future both here and over on the StencilGirl Blog.