Thursday, March 23, 2023

Get your ATC on with the new Berber Compass Stencils by Roxanne Evans Stout

We've got a new ATC stencil launching today from Roxanne Evans Stout based on the Berber Compass.   Not sure what a Berber Compass is?...that's ok, neither was I when I first heard the name. So I did a wee bit of digging via Google and found out that the Berbers were a nomadic desert tribe in North Africa and Morrocco and way back when they developed a compass to help them find their way.  These designs are loosely based on this compass and similar etchings found on them.   Use this stencil in your art to add organic symbolism to your work. 

Available now at

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme


It's March in St. Louis and I, Nancy Curry, am all about the next seasons coming.  Apologies to those reading this who are approaching the colder times of year, or are still in the cold now.  The only season I really don't like is winter, but I really enjoy spring into early summer when things seem all new again.  I enjoy the spring holidays of Easter and Mother's Day especially, and always try to find interesting ways to share what I do with family members.  To that end, I plotted this project starting in January. Luckily, the big box stores seem to be ready to move on to spring quickly so I was able to find what I needed easily.  I'll list materials and stencils here before you watch the video. 


bamboo plant labels
acrylic paint (craft or fine art)
cosmetic sponge
brushes (thin and one for tint mixing) and a toothpick
gesso or white acrylic
scrap paper 
permanent marker (very thin) to sign if desired  
verbiage:  either alphabet stamps and permanent ink, stickers or printed herb names 
Krylon Kamar Varnish and Krylon Gloss Varnish or similar


               Floral Frolics                         Woodland Blackbird                    Wild Daisies
This project could easily be done with many types of stencils and have any kind of vibe you'd like.  Let your imagination go wild and think outside of the box looking at all sizes of stencils. So many stencil parts will shine when used by themselves. You can prepare these sets in all quantities for gift giving so it makes them a convenient and interesting practical gift.  
Without further adieu, please enjoy my foray into functional art:  

As always, it's been my pleasure to create for all of you.  For more of my tutorials, follow me on Instagram or Facebook, and for artwork to purchase, my store.  




Thursday, March 16, 2023

The Woodgrain Collection from Bridget Benton, Encaustic Artist, and Our Newest Designer!


The stencils in this collection are all inspired by my nature prints, actual prints done by directly inking and printing the visible woodgrains in tree stumps, logs, and lumber ends! I love these natural textures and the ways that the patterns echo other natural elements like the whorls of fingerprints or ripples on the surface of the water. The stencils can lean more industrial with the lumber ends, or more organic with the full tree cross sections. 


I do a lot of collage – whether in acrylic or encaustic - and am always looking for interesting textures to add interest and depth. And I’m a symbolism junkie . . . Woodgrain represents years of growth and the passage of time. Trees and wood provide us with shelter and warmth.  As I’ve been playing with these stencils, I began to see them not only as background textures for a forest-themed encaustic piece or fabric for a cabin quilt but as clock faces and the sands of time in an hourglass! I hope you are similarly inspired. 




Stacked Lumber Cross Section  (L959)

These woodgrain patterns, taken from scrap lumber ends, are both organic and industrial. Stack or stagger the lumber shapes, and you can create the look of rough boards, floors, or walls. Focus on just the curving lines, and you’ll see they resemble the whorls of fingerprints, the ripples on the surface of the water, or even topographic maps. Ideal for creating textured papers for collage, printing fabric, and creating backgrounds for art journals. Use with paint, gel plate printing, stitching, and encaustic.


Post Lumber Cross Section (S952)


Stacked 4x4 lumber, intended for fenceposts, became the inspiration for this stencil! The whorls of woodgrain come straight from nature, the strong square shapes straight from the hardware store.  Ideal for creating textured papers for collage, printing fabric, and creating backgrounds for art journals. Use with paint, gel plate printing, stitching, and encaustic.



Big Tree Cross Section (L960)


Based on a nature print done by directly inking and printing the visible wood grain in an old tree stump, this captures the rough texture of the bark and the variation of the tree rings. This stencil is so full of possibilities. Woodgrain represents years of growth and the passage of time. Trees and wood provide us with shelter and warmth. Use this gorgeous texture to enhance any nature-based project, to call in the essence of home, or celebrate a major milestone.  Ideal for creating textured papers for collage, printing fabric, and creating backgrounds for art journals. Use with paint, gel plate printing, stitching, and encaustic.


Small Tree Cross Section (S951)


This stencil was adapted from a nature print created by directly inking the cross-section of a small log. It captures not only the visible wood grain of the tree rings but also calls to mind labyrinths, halos, spinning wheels, a vibrating aura, and even a glowing sun! Ideal for creating textured papers for collage, printing fabric, and creating backgrounds for art journals. Use with paint, gel plate printing, stitching, and 


About Bridget


Bridget Benton loves making stuff, and helping other people make stuff! She has been a working artist and teacher for over 20 years. 


Bridget has always been drawn to mediums that support working intuitively and building layers - printmaking, photography and collage, fiber, and assemblage. In 2006, she began incorporating encaustic into her work, and found her “perfect medium.” She comes to encaustic with a collage sensibility, combining encaustic with nature print, her original photography, and joyful mark-making.


Her work has appeared in Wax Fusion, Mixed Media Art Magazine, Professional Artist Magazine, and in galleries from coast to coast. She has taught for Art Unraveled, The Nature Printing Society, and the Painting with Fire online encaustic masterclass. 


Bridget’s passion as a teacher is helping people discover and develop their own creative voice. Her workshops focus on techniques and processes that facilitate self-discovery and creative exploration. Her workshop-in-a-book, The Creative Conversation: ArtMaking as Playful Prayer, is a guide to creating flow in your creative work and building intuitive artmaking skills. In 2012, the book was awarded a Nautilus Book Award Gold Medal as the best book of the year on Creative Process. Bridget is currently the lead encaustic instructor at 310 Art in the historic River Arts District in Asheville, NC.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Problem Solving: One Stencil at a Time

Hello! Nicole here, and I don’t know about you, but I am so ready for spring! For some reason, this past winter felt really long, and I live in the southern part of the US where we typically don’t see a lot of snow. We did, however, have a really bad ice storm this year taking out many of our tree branches.

With that longing for spring as my inspiration, I grabbed my art journal and some stencils to begin creating. However, it was a struggle! My vision didn’t go as planned, I over-thought a lot, I made some mistakes that I had to fix. In the end, it came together, but there was a lot of problem solving involved.

I began by gessoing my journal pages. I used a journal that had a normal watercolor type paper on the left and a canvas page on the right, so I spread the gesso over to that canvas page a bit. 

Next, I added a ledger page to each side with matte medium and some gesso on top.

Since I knew I wanted to use the thistle stencil, I grabbed a bunch of paints to make a purple-pink palette to match the color of thistles. I watered-down the paint a bit and allowed it to mingle on my pages, letting it to mostly flow horizontally. Since the thistle stencil has a vertical direction, I wanted to contrast this with the paint.

To add even more interest to the background, I used three different stencils. My process was the same for each application. I applied the paint through the stencil with a foam applicator in three different areas to create interest and move the eye around the page. Then, I “scruffed” the marks up a bit with my paint brush and extra water. I added a bit more watered-down paint and some splatters, too.

First, I used the plus signs from the ATC mixup art marks stencil with yellow green paint.

Then, the small lines from the Boro stencil with dioxazine violet deep.

Last, the circles from the interesting dots stencil with red violet. For this one, I stenciled a bit more so the circles would really flow across the spread. 

I also circled around the stencil marks with the graphite and black stabilo all pencils and activated with water.

After all those layered stencils, I evaluated my pages and realized I needed more small lines. My eye was stopping and not moving around the pages, so I added a few more to the background. 

Now that the background was finished, it was time to add the thistles. I went back and forth on how I wanted to approach this, and in the end, I decided to use light molding paste. I spread the paste through the stencil to add the flowers to my page and allowed it to dry overnight.

The next day, I was indecisive again in how to color my thistles, but I decided to do some glazing. I mixed about two-thirds glazing medium with one-third Payne’s gray, applied it to the flowers and edges of my pages (scary, right?) and then waited about a minute.

With lots of baby wipes ready, I wiped away the glazing medium mixture. The glaze was left behind in the uneven texture of the molding paste and added a grungy hue to the outside of my pages. I wanted just a bit more, so I repeated this process with a little less medium and in specific areas that needed it.

The flowers weren’t sitting right, so I made a bold move and painted them a bit with Payne’s gray and grabbed some walnut ink to add to them. I pulled some away with a baby wipe to add some highlights back. They were started to look a bit better. 

I also added some walnut ink on my pages to warm them up. 

Then, it was too warm and dark, so I added some light back in with watered-down gesso.

Bravely, I grabbed my fluorescent violet paint to add a bit to the flowers and some spatters to the background, too.

Then, it went a bit downhill. I think I was suffering from problem-solving fatigue, and I added to it!

I thought the canvas edge on the page looked funny, and wouldn’t it be cool to cut it off and have the rest of the ledger page on the next journal spread. Well, it didn’t look as cool as I thought it would, and I cut it all uneven.

After lots of thinking and pondering, I decided to just stick the pages together with matte medium. I fixed my cutting mistakes, then added some gesso to that ledger page.

I actually really liked that plain ledger page peeking out on the right, but it needed something. So, I used the thistle stencil to trace one flower with stabilo pencils and activated it with my dirty paint water, that was slightly purple at this point. 

As a reminder to myself, I added a little encouragement that I cut from Dina Wakley’s typed ledger sheets and a chipboard piece as well.

I also touched up the page a bit with some more Payne's gray to darken the edges.

Watch the entire process in the video below!

Art journals are always a place that I play, explore and discover new ideas. I really like how all the stencils layered together on these pages. While these pages were a struggle, I also made a fun, new discovery.

The way the plain ledger with the simple flower contrasts with the darker pages is really cool, much cooler than my original idea. I know I’ll be using that technique again!

Grab some stencils and make your own discoveries today!


Connect with me on





  • Dina Wakley Media Journal, black edition
  • Gesso
  • Matte Medium
  • Golden So Flat Paint (blue violet, fluorescent violet, dioxazine violet deep, red violet, yellow green)
  • Walnut Ink
  • Light Molding Paste
  • Stabilo All Pencils (graphite and black)
  • Dina Wakley Media ledger sheets and chipboard
  • Baby Wipes

Friday, March 10, 2023

StencilGirl® Art Journaling by Frieda Oxenham

It’s March and Spring is coming. I can’t wait! However beautiful snow can be I prefer flowers even though I know that they too will pass just like winter is on its way out now. This spread celebrates the coming and going of the seasons.

Here is the tutorial:

1.     Start by making some collage materials by using copy paper, a gelli plate and acrylic paints. Add a mix of colours to the plate and take prints. Add more paint to the plate and put a stencil on top. Take prints on your previously made papers. Remove the stencil and take more prints on those previously made papers. I used Daisy Daisy.

2.     Working in an 8 x 8” art journal (I used a Dylusions one with black pages) glue down some torn pieces of a textured vintage wallpaper with a flower theme. Then brayer the pages with white gesso and while still wet brayer on fluid acrylic paints (I used Golden).

3.     Using some of the collage papers made in step one glue down pieces of it onto the spread and cover with a mixture of white gesso and fluid acrylics as in step 2.

4.     Add more white gesso to the spread and remove it again with a baby wipe through Daisy Daisy.

5.     Drip blue acrylic ink onto the spread.

6.     Glue on transparent text and cover it with a blue Distress Crayon. Remove the crayon with a baby wipe through Daisy Daisy.

7.     Add orange Distress Crayon and repeat step 6.

8.     Add more white gesso randomly over the spread and in some areas remove again as in step 4.

9.     Cut out flower parts from the pages made in step 1, and glue them onto the spread after marking the outline onto the page and outline them with a permanent black marker.

Make a total of 5 flowers in this way placed randomly on the spread. I covered up a too dark area on the spread in this way too.

10.  Using a green Faber Castell artist pen add flower stems to each flower from step 9. Outline in black.

11.  Glue on the text and outline with a permanent black marker.

12.  Rub on some blue glaze onto the textured vintage wallpaper. I used Ocean Wave Silks Acrylic Glaze and my fingers.

13.  Edge the pages with a blue permanent inkpad.

© Frieda Oxenham 2023