Friday, August 26, 2016

Scrapbooking with DIY Background Paper!

Hello! Gigi is here to show you a new project using another fantastic StencilGirl stencil.
Today I would like to share with you a fun Irish summertime scrapbook page.
I hope you’ll create a page with me. The process is very easy and exciting. So let’s start!

Stencil I used: Traci Bautista’s Love Collage Stencil
1.                 I planned I would do a custom made background paper again with mixed-media technique. So, first I permanently fixed the paper with washi tape onto my desk. You can use Scotch tape or masking tape as well. But it is very important to secure your paper all along of its four edges when you are decorating your paper with mixed media technique. If you do this way, despite of the moisture of the medium you put on during the creative process, when the layers dried completely, your paper will be plain again.
2.                  At the first step, with a quick whipping motion I was splattering 6 shades of drawing ink onto the paper. I imagined that I would achieve some kind of rainbow, so I made the ink splatters forming a diagonal shape.
3.                  For the second layer I covered almost the whole surface with a light layer of white heavy gesso, using a plastic card. You know, I have found my “rainbow” was too bold, so I wish the colors would get a lighter shade.
4.                  Every mixed media project needs some texture, right? So I took the white crackle texture paste and Love Collage Stencil. I covered the pattern of the stencil with texture paste, then removed it. And place it to another area of the paper, covered it again with texture paste, and repeat it several times and let it dry.
5.                 After the previous layer dried and I got an exciting crackled surface I took the drawing inks again. After misting it with water, I painted the textured areas with the inks. Sometimes I let the inks flow down, sometimes I let them dry.
6.                 Then I wanted to color and characterize the flowers – which are my favorite parts in this stencil (after the dots!). Important: you may need a totally dry surface to make this step. I traced the contours of the dots and the flowers with multicolored pencils.
7.                Next I colored the edges of the paper with a light brown shade of Distress ink.
8.                 But, if you know my style, I love contrast, so I have changed my mind and using my fingertips I colored the edges of the paper with brown and black oil pastels.
9.                 Here you can see the finished background paper. Which, finally I have decorated with some white splatters. So my next DIY paper was ready to become the background paper of my next scrapbook page. Yay!
10.              You know, I love using custom made embellishments on my layouts, so I get the Love Collage Stencil again and made the flowers with dye ink pads. Cut them and recolored its surface with the same shade of Distress ink I used for the background paper.

Here you can see the finished project and some close-ups:
I have created this layout for my little sister as a present.
She lives in Ireland – pretty far from Hungary, where I live. These pictures are our favorites.
Hopefully this layout will remind her of a great time we had spent together in the summertime in Dublin in 2011. The journaling is in Hungarian and it says: So many times you are the rainbow for me after the rain.

Hope you liked my project and will try these techniques in the future!
I am so glad I could share my tips with you, here on StencilGirl Talk.
I would be happy to answer any questions you might have regarding this project.
You can contact me through my blog or on Facebook.
Hello, from Hungary,
Brigitta Budahazi aka Gigi :)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

History and My Creative Process, a Guest Post by Andrew Borloz

Hi, I'm Andrew Borloz and have been a member of StencilGirl Products design team since April 2012. I've already written about my early experiences with stenciling in my blog. As mentioned in my blog on creativity, I promised that I would give some sort of history on the design work that I did for StencilGirl Products.
     Even though I have cut stencils before, the set of stencils that I hand-cut at Penland School of Crafts back in 2012 was a turning point in the creation of pattern-based stencils for Stencil Girl Products. At that time, I was thinking of stencil more as a tool for the creation of various patterns rather than reproducing the image once on any surface. 
     For example, the stencil below is more of a static pattern which does not allow me to create different patterns except that I will have to overlay the same image over the previous ones to create a different effect. 
I used the above stencil to create "decorative" paper for the inside of an accordion book: 

As shown in the photos above, I have rotated the hand-cut stencil to create a "different" look effect. 
The next hand cut stencil shows the turning point in my stencil design creation - using the stencil as a pattern making tool. 
     I used the grid on the cutting mat as a guide for determining the shapes. 
At first, it looks similar to an old eye exam where multiple images of capital E were printed in various sizes on the rows but actually they're rectangular bars joined together. I used gouache to stencil them and overlaid or rotated the same stencil, creating square-like images as I used several colors. Hence, the name, "Pseudo-Squares". 
The above process has resulted in the creation of Pseudo Squares stencil:

The 9" x 12" Pseudo Squares stencil pictured above is also available in a 6" x 6" S028!
The next technique that I sometimes used in the creation of my stencil is the repeating pattern technique often used for fabric pattern designs. Because I want to create decorative paper for use as endpaper for bookbinding (similar to the one printing/stenciling techniques used by the French printers: papier dominot√©). 
     For the connection stencils, I carved a pattern on the linoleum plate so that I could block print them on the hand-made paper, and at the same time, I thought about creating stencils from them to make it quicker and easier to produce decorative paper.  The photo below shows how I used one of the stencils in creating this kind of pattern. 
I designed one of the stencils by printing the original on a paper, photocopied it, and then clean up the artwork by cutting it up and making sure the ends match. I then photographed it and upload the image to the photoediting software where I further cleaned it up and again made sure the ends match when repeated. 

The work that I did has resulted in four stencils - two large and two small. Shown below is one of them which is actually a negative of the above image.
The 9" x 12" Connection Open stencil has a large companion stencil, L017 Connection Full, 
After the stencils in two sizes were released to the public for purchase, I used it as a printing plate for the creation of another accordion book at a book arts center in upstate New York. 

The photo in above lower corner shows what's inside of the "envelope" - it was not stenciled, but letterpress printed. This is one of the projects that I used stencils for printing purposes - you can reproduce the similar effect using the gelatin printing technique. 
     Sometimes, I was inspired to create patterns using everyday objects. For example, I carved the lines on top of the pencil eraser and created these patterns by "stamping", uploading to the computer and digitally created the similar shapes. The top left corner of the photo below is the original one, the top right corner is where I duplicated the same images, and the bottom photo is where I come up with a cleaner and more abstract designs. 
The digitally created patterns above has inspired me to create two stencil designs as shown below:

Pictured left: 9" x 12" Crossed Rounds stencil 

The above mylar StencilGirl stencils then enabled me to create a whole different set of patterns:
Last May of 2016, I decided to create corrugated cardboard frames using two stencils mentioned in this post - Pseudo-Squares and Crossed Rounds:
From reading and seeing how I was inspired to create various stencil designs, I hope you can appreciate the various processes that I used to create different designs that would allow you to create a whole set of new patterns for your projects. 

Facebook Page:

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Art Journaling by Rae Missigman with StencilGirl Stencils!

Hi, everyone! Rae Missigman here! I am always happy to share some stencil inspiration, and today it is all about layering and covering it up. Layering is something we all love in the mixed media world, but covering it up is something altogether. It isn’t always easy to cover something up, but I love how the experience opens up our mind and our art journal page to new ideas. I love to add paint over layers and then quickly pull some off again before the paint dries completely. This is a great way to reveal partial under layers in your work.

Using stickers or collage paper is a quick and colorful way to “sketch” out a focal point in your work. I never overthink it, I just snip and stick and let the free form style dictate where the sketch will lead. This technique is not only quick and simple, but creates some color underneath the first layer of paint.

I love using my new Seaside Harbor stencils to build abstract layers in my journal. I like to rotate the stencils when playing with them, using them in a nontraditional layout or way. I am always surprised at how different they can appear. Layering your stencils is so rewarding, especially when you aren’t afraid to “cover it up.” Seeing a bit of something “peeking” through another layer creates the illusion of depth.
Seaside Harbor Art Journal Page from Rae Missigman on Vimeo.
TIP: For added dimension, reach for modeling paste or other textural mediums when working with your stencils.

TIP: Don’t let a stencil's name create artist’s block when you are creating. Use the shapes as you would any other art tool, as a springboard for inspiration.
Have fun with this new collection and don’t forget to think out of the box!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

StencilGirl's Gone to the Dogs

Hi, everyone! Mary Nasser here!
Today I'm sharing a project for our studio mascots: stenciled bandanas!
I enjoyed trying this technique on t-shirts, and wanted to try on bandanas, too!
For my project, I got bright colored bandanas from the local craft store, a Clorox Gel Bleach Pen, blue painter’s tape, small dauber, and two cardboard envelopes I received StencilGirl stencils in!
First, I washed the bandanas as directed, and then dried them without a dryer sheet.
This removes the sizing from the fabric.

I spread each bandana on a large StencilGirl envelope and taped them down to keep them from flat
(you can use cardboard cut to size, too).
I placed a stencil on each bandana and used blue tape to keep the stencils in place.

StencilGirl stencils I used:
Feeling Groovy
Bold Flowers
Then I shook my Clorox Gel Bleach Pen, squirted some out onto the paper palette and began. I placed the dauber in the gel bleach, daubed off the excess and pounced straight up and down through the stencils.
 I really like the thicker consistency of the gel bleach – the consistency is more like paint
(which is what I’m accustomed to stenciling with).
I also like that the gel bleach reacts more slowly that liquid bleach. 
I didn’t feel rushed at all during this entire process.

When the bandanas were bleached to my liking, I carefully removed the bandanas from the envelopes and washed the bandanas in the washing machine as directed again.

Have fun combining stencil designs like we did for one of Bruno's favorite neighbors, Sarah:

Or use just one stencil, like I did below for my brother's Shih Tzu:

My sister's Portuguese Water Dog loves her new Rae Missigman bandana, too! 

And of course, there's Bruno, donning his new bandana as well!!
Just when I thought he couldn't get more adorable!
A few helpful hints if the gel bleach doesn’t seem to be working: 
·         Try washing and drying your fabric again (without a dryer sheet) to remove any remaining fabric sizing.
·         Make sure to shake your Clorox Gel Bleach Pen before using.
·         Be sure you’ve purchased your Clorox Gel Bleach Pen within the last 6 months.
       Bleach does have a shelf life I learned.
·         And if you do get a few random dots of bleach on your fabric where you didn’t plan, don’t stress…
       it will still look cool!

I had lot of fun making these! 
And it didn’t take long at all!
I felt like I was breaking the rules…taking away color instead of adding it…and that made it all the more fun!

Happy Stenciling!
Mary C. Nasser

Monday, August 22, 2016

Gwen's Gems - Using Stencils for Beaded Mosaics

Hi everyone, it's Gwen back again today with August's installment of Gwen's Gems! This month I decided to try another project based on my inspiration files... I've had this on my "to try" list for a while. I'm a HUGE fan of the work of Betsy Youngquist (do a search for her work on Pinterest and prepared to be amazed,) and I've long wanted to see if I could make my own beaded mosaics. So that's what I did!

I have absolutely zero training as a mosaic artist, but from what I've read you generally start by laying out a pattern on your substrate that you'll fill in with the tesserae, or in this case, beads. What better place to start than with a stencil? I took the Five Hamsas Stencil by Jessica Sporn and picked one that I thought would be fun as a beaded design and stenciled it onto a piece of chipboard.

Many of the bead mosaics I've seen use epoxy clay, but the artists will push the beads directly into the clay, working on a small section at a time. I knew that I wanted to lay out the whole pattern at once so I decided to go a different route. I cut around the shape and then mixed up some Aves Apoxy Clay to coat the whole thing and covered it all at once. Before the clay cured, I laid the stencil over top and lined up the edges, then used a roller over top to press the stencil lightly into the clay (I spritzed the stencil with water first to help keep the clay from sticking to it.) 

This left just enough of an impression that I could see the raised areas of the design. I knew I was going to put an eye in the center of the design, so I pressed that into the clay while it was still open, then I let it cure completely and painted it with black gesso. (Of course, I have black Aves clay, but that would have been way too easy, right?)

Next up it was time to start adding some beads! I started doing a little outlining around the eye...

...then I got back to following the pattern from the stencil. Since I wasn't pressing them into uncured clay, I decided to use glue. I had some PVA glue in a fine liner bottle (I can't claim credit for that idea - I got it at Papercraft Clubhouse!) which I loved for this because it gave me the ability to do detail work while still using a fairly strong glue. Here you can see how I outlined a small area with the glue, then placed the beads.

I tried a few different methods for placing beads during the course of the project... by the end I was just using a hatpin and that was what was working best. 

Here you can see a few in-progress shots as I worked through all of the sections.

Is this a long and tedious process? Yes! (But I think I can say that about many of the things I work on. LOL.) This is something that's good to work on while you're waiting for paint to dry on something else because it's easy to just do a small section and then set it aside. I think that helps keep the tedium from getting too overwhelming.

Finally, all of my beads were in place.

While PVA is quite a good glue, I don't really trust it to hold all of that hard work in place long term. So at this point, I put some polymer medium in a bottle with a fairly small opening (this gave me more control in applying it) and put a thin coat over top of the entire piece. 

The polymer filters down in between the beads so that when it dries, everything is locked in place and you have a nice shine, but the texture of the beads is still very clear.

You could turn this into a pendant for a very flashy statement necklace, make it into a piece of home decor... whatever you want! I decided to mount it on a birch panel so I could hang it on the wall. Before doing that, I created the background. I used a 6x6 birch cradled panel (7/8" deep) and gesso'd and painted it. Then I used my Decorative Filigree Ornament stencil and some gold paint to put the main image down. Naturally, I followed that up with some gold dots all along the outside of the design.

You could leave it plain, but I wanted lots of color matching the colors of my beaded piece so I used coordinating paint markers to color in the sections of the stencil design, plus white to add some more dots.

Whew! Almost there! I decided that this just wasn't enough, so I got some gold dimensional paint and went over my gold lines. It was one of those... am I going to ruin this? moments, but I loved it! Then I took some black Apoxy Sculpt (I got smart this time) and put some on the back of my hamsa so that I could mount it to the panel and have it lifted up a bit for more dimension.

Voila! Finished! (Although... don't you think it needs some gold trim around the sides? Hmm...) I LOVE how this turned out, and I can guarantee you that I'll be doing more beaded mosaics in the future!

Coincidentally, the day after I finished this I was browsing through the May / June 2016 issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine and there was an article about painting with beads. If you're interested in this type of project, the artist / author used a slightly different approach that's definitely worth checking out!

Have you ever used a stencil to make a bead mosaic? We'd love to see!

Until next time, happy stenciling!