Monday, March 31, 2014

StencilGirl Blog Hop Featuring NEW Artist Andrea Matus deMeng

What a thrilling day for StencilGirl Products!
I have wanted Andrea to come on board for us for, well....for a long time. Every time we would see each other (at a teaching gig), she and I would talk again but fail to develop a plan. This has been going on for a stupid (slaps self in head) amount of time. But the thing is, Andrea is a mom, an artist, a teacher, a wife, I could go on and on.......not to mention my schedule.....we are both super busy girls and life just kinda snuck up on us.
So I am absolutely beyond delighted to introduce Andrea Matus deMeng as the newest StencilGirl artist.
Her stencils completely R-O-C-K, as I knew they would. I imagined she would design stencils with an edge - sort of tattoo meets sophisticated beauty. Somehow she knew exactly what I wanted even though I didn't verbalize it well. I can't wait to work with all her stencils, but for this Hop, I chose the Fowl Play stencil and the Free as a Bird stencil.
I am gaga for these birds. I love that they come in 2 sizes with slightly different looks and faces.
I should have taken a picture of the stencils before I got them dirty, eh? Hmmm, so what's new?
Working once again in my journal, I used a Sofft sponge to dab Pan Pastel over the stencil. My background pages were pretty busy from the start and the blue I chose didn't 'pop' as much as I had hoped so I decided to try something different.
Being as it was late at night and I was too lazy to get the paint out, I scraped a little 'pan pastel powder' onto my palette and then added gesso (plus a drop of water) to it. Using this 'paint' and a couple of Pitt Pens, I was able to paint this bird. We are talking 3 seconds max.
And it doesn't even look like I used a stencil so much, does it?
Now I am *really* gaga for these birds.

Enjoy the Hop! I can't wait to see what everyone has done.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

StencilGirl and Lost Coast Design Blog Hop

First 'truth be known' in this post.....I am not a big rubber stamp user. Back in the day, that is pretty much all I did and then I moved away from stamps. But I met Linda (owner of Lost Coast Designs) on the retreat circuit several years ago. She has some super cool stamps, the type that draw me in - ones you can use in the background of artwork and they will blend right in with the rest of the mixed media. Stamps that don't look so much like....well......stamps.

These are the two stamps that I picked; here comes the 2nd 'truth be known'.....I had this plan to make a real piece of art, using these stamps along with a Thermofax from one of my photographs. Homage to beach grass or some such thing. I was really excited about it, you know how that goes, right?
Life intervened, the deadline for this Blog Hop looming, my column for Somerset due, teaching gig on the horizon.....I ended up simply working in my journal.
And here comes the 3rd 'truth be known' statement.....that is about all the art I make these days. Journal pages.
But I digress.
Here is one half of the spread. It probably isn't finished, I tend to go back and back and back to these spreads. The grasses are a very nice edition to the page though and I even like that goofy eggplant color, which basically represents one of just a few stamp pads that I own (plus the Gold I also used).
I had to put grass on the other side too, I have a compulsion for symmetry, don't cha know!?!
This was good ole simple stamping - stamp plus inkpad, then a tad of blotting with my baby wipe. Easy peasy, nice quick result. You gotta love stamps, huh?
Hope you enjoy our Hop today.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Webinar - Supply Links

Stencils I Used:

Supplies that I used in Demos and/or discussed

Pan Pastel Starter Sets painting Colorfin Art Sponges mixed bar pack of 4 Magic Rub Eraser block each Fine Art Fixatif 11 oz. can Identipen Marker black Microperm Fine-Line Pen Set set of 3 Brush Tip Permanent Marker Sets assorted set of 12 Gelly Roll Glaze Pens black pack of 2
XL Mix Media Pads 9 in. x 12 in. pad of 60 sheets wire boundInk Applicators Ink Sweeper each

Pitt Big Brush Artist Pens dark chrome yellow 109

Pitt Big Brush Artist Pens orange glaze 113
Catalyst Silicone Tools mini blades no. 2 white
Catalyst Silicone Tools wedge No. 6 white

(please note I will continue to update this list with links of where you can buy some additional products that are not listed)

Monday, February 24, 2014

StencilGirl and Walnut Hollow Blog Hop

I love me some wood burning.
It is hard to find a savory art, one that smells good, like a crackling fire on a cold night. Needless to say, I was delighted when Walnut Hollow agreed to do a Blog Hop with StencilGirl. And when I met Chris and Sara at CHA I was even more delighted; they are just the kind of people I like to hang out with, so down to earth and easy to like. 
I have two tools from Walnut Hollow. In the interest of disclosure, both were gifts Walnut Hollow sent to me - the Hot Marks and the Creative Versa-Tool. I really like both of them. 
See that knife? That is the attachment I used to cut the foam core. 
The Hot Marks tool has a variety of attachments and may be used on nearly all surfaces including paper, wood and......wait for it.....foam! You know how I am about foam, I do all my doodling on Foam core and struggle with cutting it, I mean struggle, that being with a capitol STRUGGLE.
Well no more of that! '
This Hot Marks tool makes an easy job of slicing Foam core, it is like buttah, I kid you not. Where have you been all my life, Hot Marks?
Instead of boring you with pictures of me cutting up blocks of Foam core, I decided to play around a little bit by attempting to cut something more complex. 
Here is a confession. 
Although I LOVE our stencils, I also like that play on positive and negative that occurs when you have a stencil and a matching stamp. But alas, we are not a stamp company. So what to do??? Hmmm, Foam stamps anyone?
I selected the stencil Wonky Eyes, one of my new faves. First I stamped the design of the stencil onto the foam and then I started to cut. I am telling you - buttah! It is awesome. SO quick and easy that I kind of surprised myself. 

After cutting, I glued it onto another piece of foam using Gel Medium. I put a coat of Gel Medium over the top too so it would be sealed.

Wow, wow, wow!! I love the effect. See that more solid blue-ish piece in the back? That is what the actual stencil looks like. And now I have a stamp too. Gotta love it!!!
The Creative Versa-Tool is very snazzy! In addition to all the attachments, this tool has a temperature adjustment. It gets really hot and you can do master wood burning with it. Or I guess you could if you were a master wood burner. I am a baby wood burner. 
First you need wood (duh) and Walnut Hollow has got you covered. They have these sweet wood panels in a variety of sizes. The front size is smooth and perfect, the back side as a little cradle so you can pop that puppy right onto the wall once you are finished!  

I selected the small Tribal Hand stencil because I thought it might look like a Henna effect after it was burned. The first step is to sand the wood so it is very smooth. I will just admit from the start that I forgot this part because I was so excited about the burning part and it still worked. But I had really smooth wood to start with. After sanding, lay out the stencil and trace the design using a pencil. 
Once you have traced, you are pretty much good to go. When you look at the kit, you will see a bunch of different attachments and I can only tell you which ones I liked, you would really need to play around on your own. 

For the linear parts, and the outline, I liked the small chisel shaped too, I think it is really for calligraphy but it worked well for my purposes. I also used the Universal tip. When I was doing the curvy parts, I used the shading tool and there is a terrific tool for making circles, hence my edge treatment. I can't tell you how satisfying it is to hear the sizzle of the burning wood as you raise and lower the tool to make each circle.
And voila, here is the final product. 
To recap, I learned some things using both these tools that I want to share them with you. 
1. Read the instructions before you start. Seriously. There are useful tips as to how to work with different surfaces. 
2. If you are changing attachments, turn the tool off and allow it to cool down first. Make sure you really have it turned off(uh, just saying.....) and use pliers to handle to screw the attachments in and out. 
3. Let the tool do the work, you do not have to force anything with either of these tools, they have ample power and heat for any of the tasks indicated, you don't need to use force of any kind.
4. If you mess us, you can use a knife (or sandpaper) to scrape the burned part away, then you can re-burn.
5. Have fun! You can do lots of cool stuff.

Blog Hop Order
Mary Beth Shaw You are HERE
Kirsten Reed Go HERE next

Monday, February 17, 2014

Do you have Attitude?

I have Attitude, do you?
Craft Attitude, that is!
I have been curious about this product for over a year (!) and just recently had a chance to try it out. In case you are wondering exactly what Craft Attitude is.......well, it is a paper that has a fancy schmancy coating on it so you can run it through your ink jet printer. And then, it will bond to any surface - and I do mean B-O-N-D, as in molecularly, it is not a transfer or a sticker, it really becomes part of the surface.
There are tons of super cool applications for three dimensional products and I do think I want to try that some day, imagine one of my abstract paintings on a box or a purse or belt or ? 
But this time, I simply worked in my journal, to see how it would perform flat.
First thing I did was select several photos that I wanted in my journal. I laid them out in Photoshop so they would print on one page of Craft Attitude.
See that telephone pole picture and the electrical wires? That is one I had selected and I cut it out and put it in position on my page. I used a couple stencils, Segments, by Michelle Ward and Net , which is one of mine. The picture below shows how I removed the image and then layered the stencils before applying the paint.
I worked a bit more on other parts of the page and used two other photos I had also printed on the Craft Attitude. After I was satisfied with the look I created, I used a Glue Stick to adhere the images to my pages. And wow, it was done. 
How easy is that! I love that transparent look, where you can see the photos but also see the painted parts underneath. It is really nice to be able to move these journal pieces around and 'audition' them for different parts of the page. I also love how the Craft Attitude blends so seamlessly with the page.
This is a final picture of the 2 page spread, 3 pictures total, the b+w in the lower left, the xoxo and the pole. I definitely see myself using the Craft Attitude again. Specifically, I want to print out images of some of my other journal pages and art pieces so I can re-purpose them in my art. 
Cool stuff indeed.
Check out the Craft Attitude Facebook page HERE to see lots of other ideas.