Monday, November 16, 2015

Papercraft Clubhouse!

About a month ago, John and I snuck away for a li'l vacation before selling stencils at the Art is You retreat in Stamford, CT. We had an unbelievable relaxing time on the coast of CT where we could see Rhode Island from our house, right across the river. The towns were quaint, the food was good (can you say Lobster!) and we melted into bliss. 
Of course I bought toys. 
Seth Apter stencils, canvas bookmarks and slap bracelets to decorate, Tropical Gelatos, Dina Wakley bag!
On the way to Art is You, we stopped at a terrific store, Papercraft Clubhouse, in Westbrook, CT. They sell our stencils and we wanted to stop in and say hi! Imagine Tracie Larson's shock (she is the owner) when she saw me, hehehe, I love to surprise people. We had met at CHA earlier in the year plus I have heard lots about Tracie from our lovely Gwen Lafleur. So I feel like I know her. 
Tracie has the cutest darn store, here's their FB page
I so wish we had a store like that here in the St. Louis area, we just don't have access to so many of these mixed media supplies, ooh la la, I saw things I had heard about but didn't know where to get! And I saw stuff I had never even seen before. Yeah, I bought some stuff, more than what is shown above. 
Check it out!!
Panorama of StencilWall at Papercraft Clubhouse
Oh my goodness, I have never seen anything like that before. Wow, just wow. You can tell by the number of tables what a large room this is, I mean there are LOTS of stencils. I am happy to report that StencilGirl Products holds its own. I felt really proud.
Here is a picture of me and Tracie in front of the wall. I am standing on a platform because Tracie is really tall and I am not. 
Tracie Larson, Mary Beth Shaw
In my opinion, this is a destination shop. If you are anywhere nearby, you gotta make time to visit. I hope to get back there myself some day soon. Thanks, Tracie and staff for doing such a great job!!

And also, a reminder.......I am teaching At Life Book this year, click on that link (right hand column) to find out more and sign up. One of the best deals on the Internet, I kid you not. I'm working on my video and will have to say this is going to be good. Very very good. I am super excited!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Golden is Rocking my World

All my adult life I have wanted to go to Art Basel in Miami, FL. This is the year and it is all because of Golden. You know I am a certified artist educator for them, right? Well, they are having a meeting of all us educators and working artists. It just happens to be in FL. During Art Basel, oh be still my heart. 
Yesyesyes, I am going. I am so flipping lucky. 
I am still pinching myself. 
And......yep, there is more......Mark Golden, the head dude of Golden, is friends with an artist, Frank Hyder, who has has so generously invited all of us to submit a piece that will be on display. 
Here's the one I have submitted. The show is called Square Foot Art Basel Miami. The concept is one foot square pieces, like getting a foot in the door. Wildly exciting to say the least. 

Monday, October 05, 2015

Musing about life and today Life Book is open!

I recently took a class from Laurie Doctor. She is one of my all time favorite teachers; I met her back in the day (2001?) right when I was getting started.
She never fails to inspire me with her contemplative style of poetry meets calligraphy meets bookmaking = spirit. Her workshops are hard to explain, but suffice to say the classes help me with personal restoration and I think they are rather sacred, at least to me. 
I made this book. The process was simple yet looks more complicated, yay for that! 

The workshop was held at Madeline Island School of the Arts which is a pristine campus located way way way up north in Wisconsin, a remote location on Lake Superior found via plane, then car, then ferry. No trains, but you get the idea. There are only 200 permanent residents on this island, it is that kind of place. 
The synchronicity of this recent class, with my preparation for Life Book has not been lost on me. (for more information about Life Book, you can click here). Imagine a year where you experience artistic self development activities each and every week. That is Life Book and I am so very honored to be one of the 23 teachers. My class will be a reflection (of sorts) about my recent experience and how I work to maintain harmony and balance in my life. Here is my class description to give you an idea of what to expect: 

With Praise for the Present

Using collage, acrylic paint and stencils, Mary Beth will guide a mixed media journey of celebration that honors the one and only you. We will create glorious collaged words that memorialize the idea of being present and the present that is life.

I think that Life Book is going to be life-changing and I want to share it with as many people as possible. You may sign up starting today. I hope to see you there. 

And in other news......
Over at StencilGirl Talk, we are bringing back the Mary Beth's Musings feature. 
Yep, they are letting me talk about whatever I want, hehehe. 
You would think I own the company or something.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Feeling Groovy with the Groove Tool and StencilGirl Stencils

Welcome to Day 1 of our Blog Hop with Art-C and The Groove Tool. I want you to read this entire post while humming 'Feeling Groovy." Because that's what I did while working on this post. Could.Not.Get.It.Out.Of.My.Head.
I'm going to confess that I didn't expect to like this tool. I'm not a tool junkie in general, I am kind of old fashion and tend to do things the way I always have. When Art-C sent me one I didn't know what to make of it. First of all, I had just purchased a Clarisonic (for my face) and the Groove Tool looked suspiciously similar, ha! Note to self, keep it in the studio.
Here is a picture of the little guy, isn't he cute! There are four heads the come with the tool, moving from the left, we have a sponge, brush, coarse sander and fine sander. Being a stencil maniac, I knew I wanted to try the sponge tool for sure. And if you are a regular reader of my blog, you surely know how picky I am about my stencil sponges. Ahem.....
But I digress. 
As I was trying to figure out what to make, I opened my journal to find two pages totally stuck together, I hate it when that happens. Being up for an experiment, I snapped on the coarse sander and went to work: 
breaks my heart when this happens, argghhh......

I sanded the damage and then painted over it.
First I used the brush tool to cover up the damage with a similar color. Then I snapped on the sponge tool and stenciled a pattern.
Newly stenciled areas.
Wow. Honestly I was so impressed with this darn sponge, I went ahead and added pattern in a couple more areas. It requires hardly any paint! Seriously, I used just a few drops and it made such a nice clean result, check out this close-up. It is a real fooler - I could barely tell I was depositing any paint and when I lifted the tool it was such a crisp pattern I was super pleased. 
Closeup up of stencil parts. 
Next I wanted to distress something because I like doing that but my hands are arthritic and using sandpaper is not their favorite thing.  
Journal page thick with paint.
This journal page had some thick paint and I feared it was going to be a sticky mess, so I used the coarse sanding attachment and went over the white circle area. No pressure whatsoever. The tool does all the work. And amazing, I got this cool distressed look. 

Distressed with sanding attachment.
To sum up:
  • Groove Tool sponge rocks with stencils - use very little paint, you get a terrific result
  • Groove Tool sandpaper will knock the sticky edges off your journal pages easy peasy
  • Groove Tool sandpaper will distress a painted surface with ease
  • I think that Groove Tool is going to seriously help my arthritic hands.

The Groove is available now at EVERY Hobby Lobby store.  Most Michaels and Joann Fabric and Craft stores have it now, as well. At Hobby Lobby and Michaels, it is in the stamping isle.  At Joann, it is in the paint and stencil aisle, near the unfinished wood.  Of course, it may be ordered directly from Art-C by calling Customer Service at 800-448-6656.
Thank you Art-C. I love this Groove Tool!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Life Book 2016 Blog Hop & Give Away!

Congratulations to Jennifer Van Pelt, the winner of Life Book 2016. 
Thank you so much for all the heart felt entries. I hope to see you all in Life Book 2016.

I am so thrilled to be teaching on Life Book 2016. The lineup of teachers is 'pinch me' amazing and I have a sense this year's instruction is going to be transformational.
I am ready, are you?
Well..........drumroll please..........I get to give away one (1) space to this amazing year long course. I mean how cool would that be to win a spot!?!?
Keep reading if you want to find out more about Life Book 2016 and if you want to find out how you can win a spot! :) 
First let me tell you a bit more about Life Book in case you haven't heard about it yet! 
MB Shaw Journal Spread
“Life Book, a celebration and honouring of YOU” is a year-long mixed media art class organised by Tamara Laporte from Willowing Arts. Tam is joined by 23 incredible art teachers (including moi) who are all gearing up to share their mixed media techniques, tips and tricks with YOU! Themed around self-development and healing, you’ll be creating several loose mixed media art journal pages per month which by the end of the year you will bind into a glorious journal (a Life Book)! You will have a wonderful keepsake that you can treasure for the rest of your life!
Truly, I am so rocked by this concept that I am going to work along because I mean who wouldn't want to be part of this??
You can find out why this course has been so popular (joined by over 8700 people in the past!) by clicking HERE.
I am pretty excited about the class I am developing and will share tons of my journal and painting techniques such as those seen here.
Close up drips MB Shaw
Registration opens on October 5th 2015 and the class begins on January 1st 2016. 
So if you want to start the year with a fabulous creative BANG and spend 2016 with a wonderful creative community of like-minded souls, learning more about art and how to be kinder and more loving towards yourself, be sure to join once registration opens! :) Keep this page bookmarked so that you can sign up the moment it goes on sale!
Closeup neon MB Shaw

Now then, onto the give-away and blog hop! 
I can give away 1 space in Life Book 2016. And if you follow the blog hop (see below for links and dates) you can increase your chances of winning a space by entering all the other give-aways also.
To enter my Give Away, all you have to do are 2 simple things:
1. Sign up for the StencilGirl newsletter, found toward the bottom of the StencilGirl home page. 
2. Leave me a comment below as to why you would love to join Life Book 2016 
I will announce the winner on October 1st.
Here is the list of the other amazing teachers who will be teaching on Life Book – they too will be giving away a spot on Life Book so go check them out and enter their give-aways! :)

Blog Hop Order

7 Sept 2015 Tamara Laporte

8 Sept 2015 Annie Hamman

9 Sept 2015 Kristin Dudish

10 Sept 2015 Effy Wild

11 Sept 2015 Faith Evans-Sills

12 Sept 2015 Gillian Lee Smith

13 Sept 2015 Ivy Newport

14 Sept 2015 Jane Davenport

15 Sept 2015 Jenny Grant

16 Sept 2015 Angela Kennedy (Pennystamper)

17 Sept 2015 Lisa Viger

18 Sept 2015 Martha Lever

19 Sept 2015 Mary Beth Shaw THAT'S ME!

20 Sept 2015 Melody Ross

21 Sept 2015 Pam Carriker

22 Sept 2015 Pauline Agnew

23 Sept 2015 Rae Missigman

24 Sept 2015 Renata Loree

25 Sept 2015 Roben-Marie Smith

26 Sept 2015 Roxanne Coble

27 Sept 2015 Shiloh Sophia McCloud

28 Sept 2015 Donna Downey

29 Sept 2015 Tracy Verdugo

30 Sept 2015 Wyanne Thompson