Black Friday Shop Sale & Cyber Monday Teasers

It's Black Friday, and you know what that means... sales! I've got a few deals to share if you're interested, starting with a sale + Black Friday coupon for my shop.

Black-Friday-2018-Banner

I'm downsizing my store, so most of the items are already on sale from 10-50% off, and for this weekend only you can also save an additional 20% (plus it's 20% off the non-sale items like stencils, embossing powder, and sari scraps) when you use the coupon BlackCyber2018 at checkout.

For all you stencil fans, here's a heads up that all of my stencils (and all stencils at StencilGirl) will be on sale starting Sunday, 11/25 through Tuesday 11/27 for 20-25% off - look for the details in the banner below and make sure to use the coupon codes!

StencilGirl 2018 Cyber Monday Banner

Finally, one more teaser... I'm an instructor in Art Walk Alchemy 2019 and there's going to be a little Cyber Monday sale for those of you who are interested in signing up... details coming Monday, but you can learn more about the course now.

Art Walk Alchemy Cyber Monday


Winter Wishes with Emerald Creek & Eileen Hull

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends, and welcome to my stop on today's blog hop with Eileen Hull and Emerald Creek! Eileen, Kim and the teams have created a fun blog hop challenge to kick off the Winter season and holiday festivities... we're bringing you Warm Winter Wishes!

For my project, I've created a winter-themed mini art journal using one of Eileen's Scoreboard Dies and plenty of embossing powder

Heat-Embossed-Passport-Winter-Art-Journal---View-3---Gwen-Lafleur

To show you more about how I made my journal, I've put together a little tutorial.

Starting off, I used Eileen's Sizzix Passport Book die and cut the covers, spine, and several inside pages.

Embossed-Mini-Art-Journal---Step-1---Gwen-Lafleur

I set the inner pages aside until I was ready for them, then attached the covers to the spine with a strong glue. When it was dry, I pulled out a few collage papers and adhered them onto the front and back covers with matte medium.

Embossed-Mini-Art-Journal---Step-2-3---Gwen-LafleurNext I took my Winter Cardinal & Holly stencil from StencilGirl and stenciled in a few places on the front and back covers using gold texture paste. You could do this with an embossing ink and embossing powder, of course, but I knew I was going to be using a lot more layers of EP and doing quite a bit of heating and I'd lose the outline of the design if I didn't use a texture paste that wouldn't melt. Once I had it the way I liked it, I let it dry.

With the stenciled texture paste dry, I used some Marabu Art Crayons to add a few spots of color in the background, blending them out with my fingers. I also added a bit of a frame around the edges of the cover with StazOn ink pads in brown and black.

Embossed-Mini-Art-Journal---Step-4-5---Gwen-LafleurI also pulled out some bronze acrylic paint to integrate some of the background elements.

Finally it was time to start embossing... I used a VersaMarker and embossing ink to trace around the outside of the holly sprigs and coat the background, then I coated it with Vintage Beeswax Baked Texture embossing powder. I let it cool, then repeated the process to make sure the coat was nice and thick. It also tends to smooth out more and give better clarity to the layers underneath when you add 2-3 layers of the Vintage Beeswax. I also used my heat gun to re-melt the Vintage Beeswax and embed some small metal star embellishments in a few places on the front cover.

Embossed-Mini-Art-Journal---Step-6-7---Gwen-LafleurNext I used my VersaMarker to color the berries of my holly design and used a tiny spoon to scoop in some Chinese New Year Classic embossing powder, tapped off the excess and put it back in the jar, and melted it. Then I repeated the process inside the holly leaves and used Patina Oxide Baked Texture embossing powder as my green color.

With the front covers done, I turned it over and painted the inside covers red, then used clear embossing ink through my Art Deco Sunburst Background stencil and embossed that with Charred Gold Allure embossing powder.

Embossed-Mini-Art-Journal---Step-8---Gwen-Lafleur

Once I'd finished all of the paint and embossing on the inside and outside of the covers, I took the inside pages and attached them through the die cut holes in the spine. I just used some waxed linen thread and lined up two pages stacked inside of each other with each set of holes on the spine and then ran the thread through the holes so I could tie it on the outside. This is how it looked inside:

Embossed-Mini-Art-Journal---Step-9-10---Gwen-Lafleur

Above, you can see where I pulled the threads through to the outside of the spine and tied them off. I repeated it until I had all three mini-signatures attached.

For the finishing touches, you can see below where I wrapped some fabric around the outside of the spine to cover the threads, then I used some washi tape on the inside to cover where the covers and spine are joined together.

Embossed-Mini-Art-Journal---Step-11-12---Gwen-LafleurVoilà! A finished mini winter art journal! I just took a scrap of red sari ribbon to use as a closure for the book when I'm not using it. Here you can see the finished insides and outsides of the book:

Heat-Embossed-Passport-Winter-Art-Journal---View-3---Gwen-Lafleur

Heat-Embossed-Passport-Winter-Art-Journal---View-3---Gwen-Lafleur Heat-Embossed-Passport-Winter-Art-Journal---View-3---Gwen-Lafleur
Heat-Embossed-Passport-Winter-Art-Journal---View-3---Gwen-Lafleur
Heat-Embossed-Passport-Winter-Art-Journal---View-3---Gwen-Lafleur

That's it for my project today... now for all the details on how you can get a chance at the big giveaway! To join in all you need to do is follow along and comment on every blog. If you play along and link up your own creation using Eileen and Emerald Creek products, you will get 2 bonus entries for the draw. Contest Closes on Sunday November 25th, with the Winner announced Cyber Monday!
 
The prize includes an Eileen Hull Journal Die and a $50.00 gift certificate to the Emerald Creek Shop.

Make sure to go through all of today's blogs for lots of inspiration and more chances to win!


Mixed Media Boho Fish Art with Ampersand & StencilGirl

Hi all, I'm excited to be joining in today on a fun and fabulous blog hop with StencilGirl Products and Ampersand (the makers of some truly fabulous panels, art boards, and other art products.) For today's project, I tried out some new-to-me products including an Ampersand 8" x 8" Gessoboard Shadowbox and a package of Ampersand Stampboard - I used the 1/2 lb bag in assorted sizes. I combined that with stencils, paint, fabric, beads, embossing powder, and a few other supplies to make this underwater-themed mixed media shadowbox. 

3D-Stampboard-Boho-Fish---Gwen-Lafleur

Of course, I also put together a tutorial showing how I made the fish as well as some of the details on the box itself. Ready to get started?

To begin, I took my Boho Fish stencil and stenciled one of the images onto a .20mm thick piece of acetate using black StazOn ink and then traced over the lines with a black Sharpie.

3D-Stampboard-Boho-Fish---Step-1-2---Gwen-Lafleur

I cut the fish out and then flipped it over and used some metallic alcohol inks and Vintaj Patina inks (both from Ranger) and dabbed color onto the back of the acetate with a felt pad. I wanted it on the back of the image so that none of the ink would be scratched or wiped off of the plastic as I added layers onto the front.

Next, I took out some of the pieces of Stampboard and started laying them out - I had the idea in my head to do a kind of layered, cubist approach (with lots of boho flair, of course!) and so I played around with the arrangement of the tiles until I liked it, then auditioned several different materials for fins and accents. For those, I landed on a few types of shell beads. Once I had everything laid out the way I wanted it, I took a photo so I could match it all back up as I worked on each layer.

3D-Stampboard-Boho-Fish---Step-3---Gwen-Lafleur

Once I had a plan for how it would all come together I took the Stampboard and coated the front and sides of each piece with black gesso then laid out the bottom layer on top of the acetate fish and glued the pieces down. (I used Weldbond glue - this works especially well when I'm gluing anything to glass or plastic.) When the glue was mostly dry and the tiles didn't wiggle, I took some gold embossing paste, lined up my Boho Fish stencil so that it matched the outline of the acetate one on the base, and then used a palette knife to add the texture paste. I carefully removed any overhanging bits of paste and let it dry.

3D-Stampboard-Boho-Fish---Step-4-5---Gwen-Lafleur

Once my texture paste was dry to the touch, I used some iridescent paints (I used Finnabair and Viva paints here) and added some color to the first layer of stenciled Stampboard blocks.

When the texture paste and paint were both dry, I repeated the process with the next layer of Stampboard, adhering them in place and then lining up the stencil and stenciling with more gold embossing paste. I also tucked some small green vinyl disc beads into place to give the suggestion of scales. Since they're fairly thin, I cut some of them so they'd follow the contours of my fish.

3D-Stampboard-Boho-Fish---Step-6-7---Gwen-Lafleur

When the texture paste on this layer was dry I used clear embossing ink and a VersaMarker to coat the areas where I wanted color and then used some Baked Texture embossing powder from Seth Apter and Emerald Creek to add the colors. I added the powder one color at a time and then heated it all at once. You have to be careful with this step as the heat will curl the acetate in the base layer if you don't watch what you're doing. If that starts to happen, just press the plastic back into place while it's still warm and put something flat and heavy on top until it cools again.

I added one more layer of Stampboard and more embossing powder, then I adhered my shell bead accents in place. I put some vintage rhinestones in the bead hole openings, then used a mix of Rocky Road Baked Texture embossing powder and chunky gold glitter and added it like shading around some of my elements, then carefully heated and melted those sections. I also added a glass Nazar bead as the eye of the fish. I used a bit of gold wax over the tops of the shells and embossed sections to highlight the raised areas.

3D-Stampboard-Boho-Fish---Step-8---Gwen-Lafleur

When the fish was done I moved onto the shadowbox. I painted the inside with a few colors of Matisse background paints and then used bronze gesso on the front edge around the opening and let it all dry.

3D-Stampboard-Boho-Fish---Step-9-10---Gwen-Lafleur

I used a bit more paint to add a cruciform in the background, then stenciled Seth Apter's Spinner stencil in the middle in bronze paint and layered my Decorative Medallion stencil over top and carefully stenciled so that the design looked like it was coming out of the one already in the middle (I love to do this with my medallions - you can mix them with other circle elements to create something totally new!)

I knew I wanted to "float" some beads as bubbles coming from the fish, so I used an awl to bore some holes inside the shadow box where I could insert some wire, as well as a hole in the bottom where I was going to anchor my fish focal point.

3D-Stampboard-Boho-Fish---Step-11-12---Gwen-Lafleur

I didn't really take pictures of the decorating portion, but I had some embroidered and embellished fabrics that were shaped a bit like sea plants and added those to the background (I adhered those with soft matte gel,) as well as some gold glitter circles from a holiday floral pick I'd bought at a craft store.

For the bubbles I took some beads that I'd coated with Deep Sea Baked Texture embossing powder that had some glitter and microbeads embedded in the enamel and strung them along a wire that runs from the top to the bottom inside the box - I used crimp beads between the "bubbles" to hold them in place. I also used a coat of Dirty Sand Baked Texture embossing powder along the bottom - it seemed like the obvious choice and it gave me the perfect texture and color to mimic the ocean floor.

For the focal point, I took a thick gauge of wire and attached it to the back of the fish with Aves Apoxie Clay, then ran the wire through some beads and into the hole in the bottom of the box, anchoring that with more Apoxie Clay. I used some props to hold the fish in place while the clay cured. To finish it off, I added a piece of white Kuchi beaded trim along the inside bottom and glazed that to integrate it.

Finally, I did some more stenciling around the outside of the panel. First I collaged on some pieces of newspaper from India, then I used my Collage Textures & Patterns, Circles stencil as well as one of the splats from Seth Apter's Text and Texture Discovery stencil and added a few of the circles along the top and sides with some molding paste and a palette knife.

3D-Stampboard-Boho-Fish---Step-13-14---Gwen-Lafleur

When the molding paste was dry, I coated it all with a brown glaze, then added some paint around it (I used PaperArtsy paints,) leaving a bit of the newspaper in the background showing around each stenciled design. I highlighted the raised areas with some gold and indigo wax. I also drilled a hole in the top and inserted a cool vintage drawer pull as a handle.

Voilà! My finished layered and stenciled cubist-esque boho fish shadowbox (that's a mouthful! lol.) Here are a few more photos so you can see some of the details:

3D-Stampboard-Boho-Fish---Closeup-2---Gwen-Lafleur
3D-Stampboard-Boho-Fish---Closeup-2---Gwen-Lafleur
3D-Stampboard-Boho-Fish---Closeup-2---Gwen-Lafleur
3D-Stampboard-Boho-Fish---Closeup-2---Gwen-Lafleur


3D-Stampboard-Boho-Fish---Front-Angle-1---Gwen-Lafleur

3D-Stampboard-Boho-Fish---Front-Angle-1---Gwen-Lafleur

And now for the part you've been waiting for... the giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a $50 Gift Certificate to Ampersand
AND a $50 Gift Certificate to 
StencilGirl® Studio!

StencilGirl & Ampersand Blog Hop GIVEAWAY image
Enter to win by leaving a comment below then be sure to visit the other blogs in the hop and comment to win. The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN! One winner will be chosen at random from all blog comments. 

(One comment per person per blog please.)

You have until Tuesday, November 20th at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments. The winner will be announced on StencilGirl® Product's Facebook page on Wednesday, November 21.

Make sure you visit and comment on all of the blogs in today's hop to increase your chances to win - here are all the links:


Fall Texture with Stencils, Molding Paste, and Acrylic Skins

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.

The-Dryad's-Tree---Mixed-Media-Artwork---Gwen-Lafleur

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!

 


From the Artist Tribe - Boho Stenciled Clutch

Lynda Shoup from the Artist Tribe has a fun new project today that's going to make you want to run right out and make your own stenciled boho phone clutch!

Stenciled Boho Clutch - Lynda Shoup

Lynda used my Art Deco Borders stencil to create the pattern on the front of the clutch... make sure you head on over to her blog for more photos and details!


From the Artist Tribe - Rust, Embroidery, and Stencils

I'm excited about today's Artist Tribe project from Jill McDowell... she's combined two of my favorite things in this fabulous mixed media piece - rust and embroidery!

Rust and Embroidery - Jill McDowell

Here you can see where she's used my Decorative Folk Flower stencil as an embroidery pattern, along with a lot of other fabulous elements! Make sure to head over to Jill's blog so you can see the entire piece and read about all the details!


From the Artist Tribe - Art Journaling for the Soul

Happy Friday everyone! Today we have Linda Edkins Wyatt from the Artist Tribe sharing a new art journal spread that shows how she uses her journal when she wants to relax, regroup, and re-center.

BRAVE STRONG WORTHY FINAL

Linda used several of my stencils on this spread, including my July 2018 StencilClub collection, the Art Deco Floral Medallion, the Ornamental Compass Mask, and she used my Not Afraid to Try stencil to create her own words! Make sure you head over to her blog to see the full post with a step-by-step overview of her process.


From the Artist Tribe - Encaustic Painting with Stencils

Check out what Jill McDowell is sharing today from the Artist Tribe! She's done a gorgeous encaustic painting using several of my stencil designs:

Encaustic Butterfly Painting - Jill McDowell

Jill used my Boho Butterflies, Christmas Poinsettias, Decorative Filigree Ornament, and Not Afraid to Try stencils. Make sure you head over to her blog for more details and photos!


From the Artist Tribe - Art Journaling

Hi all, Jackie Neal is back today from the Artist Tribe with another art journal spread in her sari journal.

2 Sari JJ 8-18 (3)

Jackie used the Enchanting Elephants and Irresistible India collage cutouts and some of the embellished trim, a small Kuchi patch, as well as my Art Deco medallion and Collage Textures and Patterns, Circles stencils.

Make sure you head over to Jackie's blog for all of the details and lots more photos!


An Artist Book Cover with Stencils and Embossing Powder

Hi all, and welcome to my stop on this week's blog hop with StencilGirl and Emerald Creek! At this point I don't think that it's really any secret that I love me some embossing powder. It's such a versatile medium, and you can use it in so many different ways! Of course, embossing powder also pairs perfectly with stencils, so I was thrilled to hear that StencilGirl and Emerald Creek were teaming up to do a second blog hop (we also did one in December of last year. If you missed it, make sure to check that out too for even more inspiration!)

This time around, I decided to decorate the cover of a handmade artist book that I've been working on. I wanted something that was extremely textured and grungy, and yet still fit with the overall theme of the book, which is courage.

Artist-Book-Cover---Stencils-and-Embossing---Gwen-Lafleur

Of course, I also put together a short tutorial so that you can see how to recreate these effects in your own projects. Ready?

To start, I coated the cover with black gesso, let it dry, then used a gold texture paste with my Chinese Garden Plum Blossoms stencil to get the flowers onto the background. You could do this with pigment or embossing ink and embossing powder, but I knew that I was going to do quite a bit of layering and melting in the vicinity of this design and I didn't want to lose the crisp lines, so I used the texture paste instead.

Textured-Embossed-Artist-Book-Cover---Step-1-2---Gwen-Lafleur

Once the texture paste was dry, I took out some scraps of tissue paper, matte medium, and a brush, and started laying the foundation of the texture in the background. It doesn't really matter what the pattern is on your paper, (or if there is one!) as it will all be covered up in the end. (Old sewing patterns also work great for this.) 

I coated the background in matte medium, scrunched up some tissue paper and then coated the back of that as well, and then laid it on the wet background, manipulating it with my fingers as I went so that I created lots of peaks and valleys with the paper. I kept doing this until most of the cover was coated, leaving the flowers peeking through.

I worked fairly quickly at this point - this was partly to keep myself from overthinking the positioning of the tissue paper, and partly because I needed the matte medium to be wet for the next step, which was the application of a lot of Baked Texture embossing powder.  I started with Rocky Road, sprinkling it around the edges and right along the areas next to the flowers - I wanted something very textured and crusty looking, and this was the perfect way to get that look. I tapped off the excess powder and returned it to the jar, then I used Dirty Sand, making sure to leave some areas open, then repeated one more time with Chunky Rust. I put the extra powder back in the jar each time so that I could use it again later.

Textured-Embossed-Artist-Book-Cover---Step-3-4---Gwen-Lafleur

Once the entire background had its first coat of powder, I pulled out my heat gun and went to work. I kept it pretty close to the surface so that the medium and powder would bubble as it melted. The effect you achieve with this is fabulous! (Just a note that you may have heard from me before, but because you're heating acrylic mediums here, you get fumes. I always cover my nose and mouth for this process - I even have a respirator in my studio for really extended embossing sessions!) 

After the first layer was melted, I took out Ancient Amber, Deep Sea, and Patina Oxide and alternately re-melted the surface with the heat gun, sprinkled powder on the hot surface, and then heated to fuse it into the surface. The result is a gorgeous, mottled look that you really can't get any other way!

Once I'd gotten the texture I wanted in the background, I pulled out a blend of gold leafing flakes and applied some on the background, then used some gold wax from PaperArtsy and applied with my finger on the tops of the texture - it adds depth and shine, all at the same time.

Textured-Embossed-Artist-Book-Cover---Step-5-6---Gwen-Lafleur

Next I used Seth Apter's Never Again stencil along with clear embossing ink and Charred Gold embossing powder to add a few words into the openings of my flowers.

To this point, I'd done a pretty good job of adding the grunge factor, but I needed some boho - bright colors to the rescue! I used my Posca paint markers to color in the flowers. I like to add in a few shades of the same color or two similar colors and blend them with my finger while they're still wet.

Textured-Embossed-Artist-Book-Cover---Step-7-8---Gwen-Lafleur

I also pulled out my Marabu Art Crayons and added bits of color into the background, using my finger and a water brush to spread it out a bit.

Finally, I took some Emerald Creek Fleur brads, poked holes in the cover with an awl, and then inserted them to give a subtle, decorative touch to the cover. I used my finger to wipe a bit more of the gold PaperArtsy wax over the surface - the raised design on the brad really picked it up beautifully!

Textured-Embossed-Artist-Book-Cover---Step-9---Gwen-Lafleur

Voilà ! The finished cover!

Artist-Book-Cover---Stencils-and-Embossing---Book-Standing---Gwen-Lafleur

Here are a few close-ups so that you can get a good sense of the amazing texture you can get by using embossing powder in your mixed media work:

Artist-Book-Cover---Stencils-and-Embossing-Closeup-2---Gwen-Lafleur
Artist-Book-Cover---Stencils-and-Embossing-Closeup-2---Gwen-Lafleur

I hope you enjoyed today's project... I know I did! Of course, now for the part you've all been waiting for!

GIVEAWAY
One lucky winner will receive $50 in Gift Certificates to Emerald Creek and StencilGirl® Products!

SG and EC blog hop GIVEAWAY image
Enter to win by leaving a comment below, then be sure to visit the other blogs in the hop and comment; 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, August 21st at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments.
The winner will be announced on the StencilGirl® Products Facebook page and Emerald Creek’s Facebook page on Wednesday, August 22.

Make sure you check out all of today's posts for lots of fabulous inspiration!


From the Artist Tribe - Romantic Collage with Stencils

Hi all - Linda Edkins Wyatt is joining us today, showing a few beautiful examples featuring one of her favorite ways to unwind... collage.

IMG_2199 change crop
IMG_2199 change crop

Linda has layered a variety of papers and ephemera and then added journaling and stenciling on top. She used my "Not Afraid to Try," Art Deco Alphabet, Ornamental Compass Screen, and Art Deco Flower Medallion stencils.

Make sure you stop by her blog for more photos, and to hear more about her process for how she chooses the different papers and brings these lovely collages together!


My First Online Class - Boho Grunge!

I've had requests to do online classes for quite a while now, and I'm thrilled to share that it's finally become reality! Today I'm releasing my first online class, "Boho Grunge," with StencilGirl on their StencilGirl Studio website.

This course will walk through the creation of a mixed media panel, done in my signature Boho Grunge style, from start to finish . I didn't have the project pre-planned other than to bring some likely options to the shoot, so you get to see the organic process as it really happens in my studio!

Here's the project that I make in this class - it's called "Crossroads."

Boho Grunge Full Promo - Gwen Lafleur

In the workshop, I'll share the background technique that I used for this piece, as well as some stenciling tips, how I created the layers, and how I selected and assembled the elements of the focal point. I'll even show how I made different metals look the same and applied a faux rust effect! You can use these techniques to create a similar piece on your own, or apply them individually to your projects.

I'm very happy with how the class came out, and it was a lot of fun to film it... I hope you'll enjoy taking the workshop just as much! You can check out the introduction video and intros to each of the course chapters for free, or register now! I hope you'll join me!


From the Artist Tribe - Stenciled Mixed Media Portrait

Linda Edkins Wyatt is joining us from the Artist Tribe today with a stellar stenciled mixed media portrait!

Stenciled Mixed Media Portrait - Art Journaling - Linda Edkins Wyatt

For this piece, Linda used the stencils from my July 2018 Ceramic Tile collection for StencilClub (these have already shipped to members, but you can always order any of the older sets after joining the club!) She also used several other StencilGirl designs as well as the Ornate Border Dresden trim from the shop. Make sure you head over to Linda's blog to learn more about her beautiful art journal page!


From the Artist Tribe - Boho Embroidered Pincushions

Lynda Shoup is joining us from the Artist Tribe today with some gorgeous embroidered pincushions that she made using one of my stencils as a pattern!

Traditional vs. Bohemian pincushion

She used my Boho Star Circle stencil for these - personally, I think it looks pretty fabulous this way! Make sure you head over to Lynda's blog for all the details and lots more photos!


Textured Abstract Art with Paint, Stencils, and Embossing Powder

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."

Sands-of-Time---Mixed-Media-Abstract---Gwen-Lafleur

Sands-of-Time---Closeup-3---Gwen-Lafleur

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!


From the Artist Tribe - Dimensional Stenciling

I'm excited to have Jackie Neal jumping in from the Artist Tribe today with her stunning mixed media panel called, "Are the Stars Out Tonight?"

Are the Stars out tonight.. (1)

Jackie is doing all kinds of fabulous dimensional stenciling using my new July StencilClub collection, "Ceramic Tiles." (This set of three stencils is available exclusively to StencilClub members, so if you're interested in getting your hands on it, make sure to check out the club! If you join before July 15th, you'll start with this set, and it comes with a mini online class too!)

Jackie has also added and then totally transformed some Dresden trim, and she's also thrown in some Turkmen / Kuchi jewelry parts.

Make sure you stop by her blog to see lots more photos and details!


From the Artist Tribe - Turmeric Flip Journal, & A Stencil Sale!

Today Lynda Edkins Wyatt from the Artist Tribe is kicking off July with this fabulous turmeric flip journal:

Stenciled Turmeric Flip Journal - Linda Edkins Wyatt

Linda used my new Boho Striped Circle stencil along with some our our Tribe favorites, the ever-popular Turkmen jewelry parts. Make sure you stop by her blog to see lots more photos and details about this fabulous journal!

And... I'm excited to share that it's time for Mary Beth's Birthday Sale over at StencilGirl!

Stencil sale stencilgirl gwen lafleur
 

Receive 14% OFF all my StencilGirl stencil designs! Make sure to use code MBS14 at checkout.

  • $100+ orders** CHOOSE 1 FREE Large STENCIL***
    • ***You MUST put the L### in the comment box at checkout. Sorry, no exceptions.
  • **6 of the same size 10% discount is applied first! $100+ orders post-discount.
  • *Sale does not apply to wholesale accounts or StencilClub membership.
  • The stencil sale begins July 6th and ends July 8th at 11:59 p.m. CST 

Introducing... Ceramic Tiles!

Surprise! I bet you thought that with last month's stencil release that I was done for a while, right? Nope! I'm thrilled to share that I'm the StencilClub designer for July! This month's collection is called Ceramic Tiles - I think you can see why. Here's a little peek at the stencils that will ship to members on July 15th:

July-2018-stencilclub-gwen-lafleur-ceramic-tiles-stencilgirl-1080-x-1080

I also filmed a quick introduction where I share the background on the design inspiration as well as a few fun little tips and tricks about how the stencils can work together:

Of course, I also have few samples using this months designs... (and seriously, now that the cat is out of the bag, I'm going to be using these all over the place!) First up, I've started yet another new artist book, and the first two spreads both use these new stencils. This is a handmade book, and the pages are a bit under 8" x 8." On the opening page, I used the 6" x 6" Fleur de Lys tile and cut out the center - that's backed with a vintage letter written in a beautiful Slavic script, and then I used the center of the 4" x 4" design in the middle.

July-2018-StencilClub---Art-Journaling-Angled-View---Gwen-Lafleur

On this second spread, you can see where I used one of the medallions from the 9" x 12" repeating Circle Tile stencil as part of the focal point:


July-2018-StencilClub---Art-Journaling-Angled-View---Gwen-Lafleur

One of the perks of StencilClub is that each month's collection comes with a mini online class... you get a sneak peek in the video above, but here are a few photos of the project we'll make in the class, which is a mini art journal made from a single sheet of paper.

July 2018 StencilClub - Mini Art Journal Closeup - Gwen Lafleur

In the close-up here, you get a better idea of what the 4" x 4" stencil looks like when you repeat it to create a full medallion:

July 2018 StencilClub - Mini Art Journal Closeup - Gwen Lafleur

During the video, I also create one of my collage papers as part of the process:

July-2018-StencilClub---Collage-Paper---Gwen-Lafleur

These stencils are exclusively available to StencilClub members, but it's only $25 a month and there's no commitment. You get all three stencils, plus the online class and downloadable PDF! Not to mention the fabulous and supportive Facebook group and a monthly coupon. If you're interested and you aren't already a StencilClub member, you can sign up before July 15th and this will be your first kit. (Plus, club members can order any previous StencilClub collection, including my December 2016 collection, Heraldry.) So what are you waiting for?


From the Artist Tribe - Translucent Art Journal

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to teach a few classes at Papercraft Clubhouse in Connecticut, and Artist Tribe member Jill McDowell was there to join in the fun. Today she's sharing the translucent art journal that she made in class and then finished up at home (we only did the backgrounds and the front side of the accordion journal in class, so she added a lot!)

Here are a few peeks at her journal:

Translucent Art Journal 1 - Jill McDowell
Translucent Art Journal 1 - Jill McDowell

Jill used several of my stencils, including the Decorative Stamen Medallion and Boho Birds stencils seen here, as well as some Mahjong Tiles washi tape from the shop.

Make sure you head over to her blog to see the whole thing, including a video flip-through!


From the Artist Tribe - Textured & Stenciled Art Journaling

Today I'm excited to share a post by Jackie Neal from the Artist Tribe... she's been using a few of my stencil designs in her art journal to make some gorgeous pages!

Art-Journaling-with-Stencils-and-Butterflies---Jackie-Neal

In today's pages, Jackie used my brand new Collage Textures and Patterns, Circles stencil along with some favorites from my Decorative stencil collection. She also added some embellished sari scraps and some collage images from my downloadable butterflies collage sheets. Make sure you head over to Jackie's blog to see lots more photos and details!

 


From the Artist Tribe - 9 Patch Paper Quilt

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

Wyatt-9-patch-final

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


From the Artist Tribe - Stenciled & Embroidered Tote Bag

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

Stenciled Embroidered Tote Bag - Jill McDowell

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

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

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


From the Artist Tribe - A Mixed Media Journal Cover

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

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

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

 


My New Boho Bird, Butterfly, and Fish Stencils

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

Boho-Stencil-Collection---Gwen-Lafleur

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

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

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

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

Boho Fish Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boho Birds Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

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

Collaged-Boho-Bird---Gwen-Lafleur

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boho Butterflies Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

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

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

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

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

Here are a few closeups:

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

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

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

 


Introducing... My Boho Stencil Collection!

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

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

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

Collage Textures and Patterns Circles Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boho Striped Circle Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

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

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

Boho Star Circle Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

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

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

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

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

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

Boho Mandala Circle Stencil - Gwen Lafleur

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Part 2, featuring the Boho Birds, Butterflies, and Fish is here.)


"Phoenix" Mixed Media Artwork - Phases from Start to Finish

Recently I posted one or two work-in-progress photos and then a picture of the finished product for a new mixed media painting that I called "Phoenix." As it happens, I took photos at the different phases along the way... not a full on tutorial, but I thought it would be fun to share how this piece progressed and maybe a little bit of my thought process as I worked.

To start, I had an inspiration piece in mind - vague, and totally subject to change, as always. I began by gathering supplies to do some collage on the background (as you can see, I always use really cheap, beat up brushes with gesso and matte medium - then I don't feel so guilty about gunking up the ferrule.)

Phoenix-Mixed-Media-Artwork---Phase-1a---Gwen-Lafleur

I pulled out my easel and set up my canvas - 24" x 30," and got to work. Here you can see what it looked like after I wrote all over the background (a highly cathartic part of my process that I do quite frequently on everything from canvases to art journal pages - it shows up in various layers of my work, and here it happened to be the base layer. I also frequently write in French - using a second language seems to make it easier for me to express thoughts and feelings. Weird? Maybe!) On top of the writing is the collage and white gesso.

Phoenix-Mixed-Media-Artwork---Phase-1a---Gwen-Lafleur
Next I started painting. I just grabbed Indian Yellow and Prussian Blue because they look good together and they were right there in big bottles, conveniently sitting out as if waiting for me to use them on this. Over the last few months, I've been very drawn to the plus sign or a modified Maltese cross - for me it symbolizes positivity, healing energy, and renewal.

Phoenix-Mixed-Media-Artwork---Phase-2---Gwen-Lafleur

As I worked, I used my typical process of cleaning off my paintbrushes on scrap paper, creating some fabulous collage fodder in the process...

Phoenix-Mixed-Media-Artwork---Phase-3---Gwen-Lafleur

While I was making these papers, I had no intention of using them in this piece, but the artwork seemed to call for some of the specific motifs that had ended up on those collage papers, so I tore them out and added them onto the painting.

Phoenix-Mixed-Media-Artwork---Phase-3a---Gwen-Lafleur

My original inspiration was already fading fast at this point, and as I continued to work I suddenly started thinking about my visit to the botanical gardens in Singapore four years ago. Don't ask me why... I still haven't entirely figured out how and why my brain makes the connections that it does, but I have learned that it's usually a good idea to go with it. So with that in mind, I sat down and sketched out some flowers and then colored them with soft pastels and then used an aerosol acrylic spray to seal them so I could collage them onto the painting without smudging the color.

Phoenix-Mixed-Media-Artwork---Phase-4---Gwen-Lafleur

After letting the sealant dry overnight, I cut out the flowers and collaged them onto the piece.

Phoenix-Mixed-Media-Artwork---Phase-4a---Gwen-Lafleur

I knew I wanted even more flowers, so I took out my Chinese Garden Plum Blossoms stencil and stenciled some more blooms into each of the clusters, then used acrylic paints to flesh them out.

Phoenix-Mixed-Media-Artwork---Phase-5---Gwen-Lafleur

You can see hints of it in the photo above, but my work wouldn't be "boho grunge" without the grunge - I love a nice, dark texture paste, and I'd added some all over the canvas here, and also used several word stencils and stenciled a series of words on top of each other all around the border of the canvas. More catharsis, plus it framed the artwork quite nicely! I also used my Ornamental Compass Screen stencil here and there in the background for the added impression of texture.

Phoenix---Mixed-Media-Artwork---Gwen-Lafleur

To me, the symbolism of the cruciform motif and plus signs inside circles along with clustered blooms of flowers seeming to burst out of the grit and darkness made me think of a phoenix - rising from the ashes to be reborn and start anew. (If only it was that easy to break through and overcome our challenges in real life, right?)

Here are a few close-ups of the finished piece:

Phoenix-Mixed-Media-Artwork-Closeup-1---Gwen-Lafleur

Phoenix-Mixed-Media-Artwork-Closeup-2---Gwen-Lafleur

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

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

I'm really pleased with how this painting came out... in fact, it's the first piece of my own work that I've ever displayed in my living room where visitors can see it! In any case, I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into my process :)

 


Stenciled & Collaged Art Cards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next is called "In Disguise"

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

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

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

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


Mixed Media with Relics & Artifacts

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

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


From the Artist Tribe - Springtime Art Journaling

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

Sari Journey Springtime (23)

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


From the Artist Tribe - Art Journaling with Teabags and Stencils

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

Art Journaling with a Tea Bag and Stencils - Jill McDowell

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

 


From the Artist Tribe - Boro Meets Boho Stenciled Handbag

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

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

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