Hi all! I'm up today on StencilGirl Talk with my quarterly blog column focused on paint and texture. This month I've taken inspiration from the fall season and made a mixed media panel with a tree bark-esque textured background, and fall leaves made from acrylic skins.
Of course, there's also a tutorial for both the background and the leaves, so make sure you head on over to check it out!
Make sure to head over to my website to see the tutorial in its new home, plus you can still see all of the other fabulous posts from my day on the blog hop here:
I'm up today with my first quarterly column on the StencilGirl blog, focusing on paint and texture. Today I'm sharing a tutorial for this abstract mixed media piece called "Sands of Time."
I've used stencils along with a few different acrylic mediums and paints, collage, embossing powder, and a few other fun dimensional elements. Make sure to head over and check out the step-by-step tutorial and lots more photos!
If you're looking for my project and tutorial from this blog hop, it has moved to my website!
If you're looking for more from this hop, here are the rest of the posts for this day:
Just popping in to let you know that I'm up on StencilGirl Talk today with the March edition of Gwen's Gems. This month I'm showing how you can use a stencil to create a pattern for wire jewelry - see how I made this wire peacock feather pendant from start to finish!
Make sure you head over to StencilGirl Talk to see the tutorial. (PS... the necklace is now sold - thank you!)
Hi all, welcome to my stop on the blog hop with StencilGirl and etchall! For my project, I knew immediately what I wanted to do... about two years ago I'd taken an old multi-paned window that I'd found in an architectural salvage shop and painted it, then added some stenciled deli paper to the panes. At the time, I wished that I'd etched the glass instead, so when this project came up, I decided to go back and do what I'd originally wanted to do with that old window. Here's how it turned out!
The how-to for this couldn't be any easier. I took my window (or any glass surface,) and peeled off the old deli paper with a razor, then washed it. (One of the few times you will ever catch me washing windows. LOL.) When it was totally dry, I took the stencil adhesive spray and coated the back of my Decorative Curvy Ornament stencil as well as my Decorative 6-Petal Flower stencil, let the adhesive dry, and then placed them in the center of two of the window panes. From there, I just followed the instructions on the bottle of etching cream; I applied it with a squeegee tool, then scraped up the excess and put it back in the jar.
When the first two were done, I set a timer for 15 minutes and then rinsed them in the sink under running water, scrubbing lightly to get all of the etching cream off of the glass. I did leave the stencils in place until after I'd rinsed off the cream, as per the instructions. They started to loosen before that point, but it worked out just fine!
From there, I just repeated the process two more times; each time I dried and re-sprayed my stencils with adhesive since they'd been soaked in water during the previous step and I wanted to make sure they stuck well to the glass so I wouldn't get any seepage with the etching cream.
Voila! It took less than an hour to get rid of my unsatisfactory deli print stenciling and replace it with something that looks pretty darn professional!
It's hard to get good photos of the glass, but here you can see a bit of the close-up of each of the stencil designs after they'd been etched:
That's it! I hope you enjoyed seeing how I used the etchall products with my stencils to finish off this decorative window... now I just need to find the perfect place to display it.
Of course, now it's time for the best part of a blog hop - the giveaway!
One lucky winner will receive an etchall® Glass Etching Bee-ginner Kit, reposition/reuse stencil spray
AND a $25 Gift Certificate to StencilGirl Products!
Enter to win by leaving a comment below, then be sure to visit the other blogs in the hop and comment to win.
The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN!
One winner will be chosen at random from all blog comments.
(One comment per person per blog please.)
Here are the links to all of today's blog posts - make sure to visit and comment on each of them for your chance to win!
Hi all - just popping in to let you know that it's time for Gwen's Gems again over on StencilGirl Talk! This month I'm sharing a pretty intuitive mixed media piece with a super textured and grungy background accented with pink, gold, and plenty of glam!
Head on over to StencilGirl Talk to see the full piece along with a tutorial.
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.
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!
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.)
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!
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!
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...
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!
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.)
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.
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!
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!
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!
Here you can better see the translucent part of the piece:
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!
If you're looking for the original post and tutorial for this project, it has moved to my website.
For the rest of the posts in this blog hop, you can still visit them here:
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.
Be sure to check out the full post for lots more photos and that tutorial I mentioned :)
Looking for my blog hop post featuring tutorials a file folder art journal with stencils and Distress Oxide Inks? This post has moved to my website.
You can also still see see these posts from this blog hop for even more inspiration:
October 18: Adirondack Alcohol Inks
October 19: Distress Oxide Ink Pads
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.
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!
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.)
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 :)
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!
Here's my project:
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.)
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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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...
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.
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.
I sealed the tape with a coat of matte medium, and voila! Completed art journal spread with fun new techniques and products.
Here you can see either side of the spread when the elephant is folded over:
Just a few close-ups so you can see some of the cool effects I got with the Colourcraft products...
That's it! I hope you enjoyed my project for today. Now, without further ado, it's time for the giveaway!
One lucky winner will receive both a $25 Gift Certificate to StencilGirl Products AND a $25 Gift Certificate to Colourcraft!
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.
In case you missed it, here's the list of all of the blogs in this week's hop:
You can head over to my website to see the full post and tutorial, or check out all of my mixed media tutorials.
Don't forget to check out the rest of the inspiration from this blog hop - the other posts are all still available here:
- Mary C. Nasser
- Janet Joehlin
- Gwen Lafleur <-- you are here!
- Carol Baxter
- Jennifer Vanderbeek
- Nadine Carlier
- Roni Johnson
- Mischelle Smith
- Sandee Setliff
- Karen Gaunt
- Cindy Gilstrap
- Tina Walker
- Neva Cole
- Kyriakos Pachadiroglou
- Renee Zarate
- Elina Stromberg
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:
Head on over to StencilGirl Talk for lots more photos and a full project tutorial. Enjoy!
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!)
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!
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.
Head on over to the blog for more photos and a tutorial on how I made the cover! Enjoy!
As usual, there's a tutorial, so make sure to head over for that and more photos of the finished project. Enjoy!
Hi everyone! Welcome to day 2 of this week's blog hop with StencilGirl Products and Amazing Casting Products! I'm excited to be joining in since I love using molds and resin in my work, and using them with stencils was even more fun!
For this project I took some left-over packaging (it was the box from the ceramic Peking Opera mask that I used in a panel I shared last week,) and turned it into a decorated case for a mini handmade book. Can you tell where I used molds and resin with my stencils?
I put together a little tutorial for you, including a fun technique I came up with using Amazing Casting Products mold making putty and resin with a few of my stencil designs.
First up, my new technique. I wanted to use some of my new Art Deco stencils (here I'm using my Art Deco Borders stencil,) but I wanted to work with a smaller size. So, I inked the part of the design I wanted to use onto a piece of Shinky Dink film.
Next I used an X-Acto knife to cut out the inside pieces. Since this was going to shrink a lot, and since it takes a fair amount of effort to cut through the film, I only cut out the details I really wanted to have show that were big enough to look good in a much smaller size.
Then I cut around the outside of the design with a pair of sharp scissors. I repeated this process using my Art Deco Medallion stencil, then followed the instructions on the package to shrink them in my oven. It did take a few tries reheating and uncurling the plastic for the medallion, but in the end, they both worked!
Now that I had my stenciled designs in a smaller, 3D version, I could move on to the next step - making molds so that I could create multiples! (Please keep in mind that all of StencilGirl's stencil designs are copyrighted, so you should only do this for your personal use, or for use in one-of-a-kind artwork that you sell.)
I took my Amazing Mold Putty and made molds of both of my mini stencil designs.
Then I took some white casting resin and cast both molds. When they were cured (which only takes about 15 minutes!) I cleaned them up a bit and then they were ready to use!
Before I started I had a few ideas for how I'd planned to use these, but once I got to this point I realized that the shapes I'd picked would fit together perfectly to make some really cool embellishments! I got out my Aves Apoxie Clay and mixed up a small amount to start connecting things together and then to start adding to the structure.
You can see above (middle photo) where I added thin ropes of clay around the edges as a border and then used it to start adding other bits onto the structure. I also put dots of clay in a few spaces and then indented the middles in order to create a space to add a jewel or pearl or something later on.
Next up, I painted it. I used gold and bronze metallic acrylic paints as well as a patina colored paint to make it all more cohesive. I also added a metal gear and a random piece of Turkmen jewelry and painted those as well so they'd all go together.
You can see in the photo above right that I did end up adding some jewels, and also glued one of my embellishments to a scrap of Chiyogami paper so that you could see some of the color and pattern through the holes.
With that done, I set my new embellishments aside to dry and started working on the box. I taped off the metal corners and spine (it had a cool design I wanted to keep) and then gesso'd the whole thing.
Then I used metallic gold and turquoise paints... you can see where I used my heat gun to bubble them a bit (I love the texture it adds!)
Once the paint was dry, I used my Art Deco Sunburst Corners stencil and some gold embossing paste and added a bit of dimensional pattern to the cover of the box.
With the outsides of the box painted and ready to embellish, I started working on the inside. First, I stenciled a piece of blue mulberry paper with my Art Deco Sunburst Background stencil and bronze paint.
I tore those down to the sizes I want and then adhered them (inking the edges of the piece for the inside cover first.)
To embellish the inside cover, I decided to use another molded piece. This time I made a mold of an old vintage metal face that was sent to me from Latvia and then cast that with resin and painted it to look like the original piece.
The resin takes paint so well - it was actually almost hard to tell which was the original when I was done!
Once dry, I took my new embellishment and layered it with some other metal pieces and adhered them to the inside of the cover.
Next up, to embellish the back of the box, I taped off a section of my Art Deco Borders stencil so that I could just stencil the middle circle I wanted to use. I stenciled on deli paper with pigment ink and then heat embossed with a mix of Emerald Creek embossing powders.
I cut that out and adhered with matte medium.
To finish off the inside of the box, I attached some different trims, then added a bit of gold dimensional paint.
Whew... that's done. Back to the outside of the box!
With my resin & clay medallions cured and dried, I could finish up the cover. I adhered the medallion with the Turkmen jewelry pieces to the front in the center, then used a Tsukineko irRESISTible Pico Embellisher to fill in some of the stenciled sections.
While that dried, I moved on to make the handmade book that would fit inside. I measured to see how big it could be, then cut down some pieces of Davey board and made a little 3"x5" book using the single-sheet Coptic binding. I painted the covers with a turquoise background paint by Matisse, then used a section of my Art Deco Bookplates stencil and some gold pigment ink to stencil the cover.
I heat embossed the stenciled area with gold embossing powder, then adhered my other resin and clay medallion into the center and embellished it with some acrylic rhinestones.
When all was dry, I put the book into the box - all ready to have the pages filled and to be a fun display piece when I wasn't using it.
Here are a few more photos and close-ups of the finished project so you can see some of the details:
One lucky winner will receive both a $25 Gift Certificate to StencilGirl Products
AND a $25 Gift Certificate to Amazing Casting Products!
Visit the fabulous designers from both teams and comment for your chance to win!
The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN! (One comment per person per blog please.)
You have until Sunday, April 23rd at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments.
Here's the lineup of blogs for this week - make sure you visit and comment on all of them to increase your chances to win!
Hi everyone! I'm up on the StencilGirl blog today with the April edition of Gwen's Gems, which also happens to be a collaborative post with Canvas Corp Brands!
This month I have a tutorial for this art journal spread using lots of awesome Canvas Corp Brands products (like a 7 Gypsies journal and papers, and some amazing Tattered Angels natural aging paints,) and using some of my new Art Deco stencils, of course!
Make sure you head on over to see more photos and the tutorial. Also, there's a GIVEAWAY! Make sure you go to StencilGirl Talk to see the giveaway instructions. You need to leave a comment over on that post (not this one) in order to be entered to win. Enjoy, and good luck!
Hi all! Just popping in to let you know that I'm up today on StencilGirl Talk with the latest installment of Gwen's Gems. This month I went a bit crazy with different texture pastes and stencils to make a mixed media canvas centered around a vintage Afghan Kuchi patch.
There's a tutorial along with lots more photos over on the StencilGirl blog, so make sure to check it out!
If you're looking for the original post and tutorial on how to make this stenciled and wood burned diptych photo frame, it has moved to my website.
If you're looking for more inspiration from the original blog hop, the rest of the posts are still available:
Hi everyone, it's time for Gwen's Gems again over on StencilGirl Talk! This month I'm tackling a new technique that I've wanted to try for a long time... I used ICE Resin to coat stenciled papers (so fun and cool!) and then used those papers to make a handmade art journal with window pages and covers.
Make sure you head over to StencilGirl Talk to see the full post with instructions and more photos of the finished book!
If you're looking for my original blog hop project and tutorial for this embroidered book using stencils & Kraft-Tex, it has moved to my website.
You can see the updated version of this post and tutorial on my website or check out the full listing of my mixed media tutorials.
If you're looking for more inspiration from the original blog hop, you can still see those posts here:
If you hop over to StencilGirl Talk, you can see more photos of each of the necklaces, as well as a quick little tutorial on how I made them. Enjoy!
If you're looking for the post and tutorials for these projects from the blog hop with StencilGirl and PaperArtsy, it has moved to my website.
If you're looking for more inspiration from the original blog hop, you can still find links to all of those posts here: