Sunday, December 16, 2018

Shiva Oil Sticks + Stencils = Christmas Cards

Here's an idea that I've used in the past to make Christmas cards.

For this project, I recommend wearing disposable gloves and gathering just a few supplies:  iridescent Shiva Paintstik oil crayons; a stencil; thin, dark papers; and an  X-acto knife.  I used black and other dark mulberry papers because of their thinness.  The best iridescent Paintstik colors to use on dark papers are silver, white, and light gold.  For this projects, I chose gold and silver.

Just before use, a Shiva Paintstik needs to be "primed" because, when not in use, it naturally forms an outer "skin" which must be removed. This is easily done with an X-acto knife -- but it should be done by an adult, never a child; these knives are sharp.

The stencil I'm using here, in Project One, is my 4"X 4" stencil Fern Fronds Silhouette.

The stencil is held secure with one hand, while the other rubs across the top of the stencil with the Paintstik -- held flat on one side, as shown below --

The above photo shows that all spaces in the stencil design have been completely filled with a layer of metallic Paintstik crayon.  In the photo below, the stencil has been lifted off the paper and placed above the imprint.
Above:  The oil crayon-coated stencil is at the top; under it is the imprint.
Below is a close-up of an imprint made this way.

At this point, the stencil is heavily coated with leftover oil crayon.  To create another imprint of a different kind, without using more crayon, the stencil is placed on fresh paper and held in place with one hand, while the other uses a soft rag or a paper towel to rub across the stencil and the open areas of the stencil --

An imprint made this second way is shown close-up below.

More than one "ghost print" can be made in the way I just described, until most of the crayon has been removed from the stencil.  Then the stencil can be completely cleaned with an alcohol wipe.

Now comes Project Two, using the same materials. 

The first step is to slide the stencil under a fresh sheet of dark, really thin paper.

Above:  the stencil is being pushed under the paper.

The second and last step is to rub the sideways oil crayon across the paper, pressing into the outlines of the hidden stencil below.  Below is one rubbing created in this way:

One place to purchase these oil crayons is --

Another vendor is --

The second link, for Dharma Trading, takes you to a webpage where you can watch a video of these oil sticks being used to make rubbings on fabric.  I'm not into fabric arts, but I suspect that when these oil crayons are used on fabric, there are follow-up steps for setting the color permanently.  Dharma would have information on this. 

The stencil used in this post, Fern Fronds Silhouette, is available at

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To scroll thru the pages of my StencilGirl stencils, please start here.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Unique Christmas Cards -- Made with StencilGirl Stencils

Christmas preparations are, to me, every bit as fun as unwrapping gifts on Christmas Day.

Look at this fabulous double-image Christmas card by Martha Lucia Gomez!  She's one of the artists I greatly admire.  

In making this card, Martha used my 6" x 6" stencil Pressed Leaves.

I too made a Christmas card with this stencil, but mine comes in a distant second to Martha's!

My Christmas card above was made with modeling paste and glitter, on dark bronze cardstock from

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Monday, December 10, 2018

Gelli Plate + Stencils = Christmas Cards

I've used my round Gelli Plate for the first time in a long time!
The first thing I noticed – to my delight – was that the round shape of the printing plate greatly changes the “look” usually achieved from using a stencil.  This happy fact stood out for me when I used my 9”X 12” stencil Facets because I’m so conditioned to seeing it in its original 9”X 12” shape.
Here are 5 prints that show the dramatic change into a circular format:

The first print shown above  --

-- was to become the first of two Christmas cards, because this image reminds me of a stained-glass church window.

In making this print, I started with black-and-white patterned scrapbook paper, then layered red, orange and green acrylic paints over it with a brayer. 

Once that dried, I used my round Gelli Plate, a gesso-teal mix of acrylic paint, and my 9” X 12” stencil Facets to pull the print.

To make the first card, I covered a blank 5”X 7” greeting card with a background -- green mulberry paper embedded with gold threads of tinsel.
My next step was to add the half-circle I’d cut from my Gelli Plate print.  It was really easy to cut out the printed area, because this stencil’s geometric design is divided equally by its axis. 

On a scrap of the same green mulberry paper, I used a gold-paint pen to write “Christmas Blessings” – I did it on a scrap, not the card itself, because I wanted to make sure it would turn out the way I wanted.  Then I cut out the lettering and glued it to the card cover.  That card is below:

I used part of the leftover print to decorate a matching envelope -- it became a trim that runs along the bottom edge, right under the area where the name and address will be:

Another print I pulled, using the same teal-gesso mix, was on dark blue cardstock that has embedded glitter-like sparkles.  Here, again, is that print:

To make another Christmas card, I chose a 6"X6" card blank made from "pearlized" cardstock.  Because of the change in card size, I cut out a bigger part of the print than I had for the earlier card.  I glued the cut-out to my card and trimmed the edges.
I used a rubber stamp and green inkpad to make the greeting on white cardstock.  After cutting it out with Fiskars Paper Edger scissors, I ran the gold pen along its four edges and added it to the Christmas card.  Here's the card, finished -- except for a red border that I plan to add later:

Here's the matching envelope, again with its decoration along the bottom that leaves room above for the name and address:

The church-window-like Christmas card below was also made with my Facets Stencil but this time I didn't use the Gelli Plate ...  

For me, it was a natural segue from Christmas cards and envelopes to Christmas giftwrap.  Some of the prints shown at the top of this post were done on foreign newsprint  -- this gives me an interesting background and results in a pliable paper perfect for giftwrap and matching gift-tags.
Here again are those papers:

And here they are, used together, as giftwrap --

And finally, with a gift-tag:

In its entirety, Facets stencil looks like this --

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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Christmas and other Metallic-themed Art

Above:  another example of embossed self-adhesive foil -- this time, the embossed outlines were filled in with translucent green acrylic paint.  Dots of art glitter completed the look.  Stencil used:  6" x 6" Ferns 6 Stencil.

Above:  another example of embossed foil.  Stencil used:  9" x 12" Boxed Vines Stencil.

Above:  background made with 9" x 12" Facets stencil, on textured foil gift-wrap.  Foreground embellishment made with 6" x 6" Hot Air Balloon and Mask set.

Above:  made with 9" x 12" Mimosa stencil on gold gift-wrap tissue.

Above:  made with part of Blooming Where Planted stencil (9" x 12") on textured foil gift-wrap.

Above:  created with heavy-body gold metallic paint daubed thru my 6" x 6" stencil Quilted Flower Garden (which was then cut to size to resemble a pillar candle.)
Above:  I placed my Pair o' Parrots stencil (6" x 6") on a sheet of textured foil; I traced around each of the shapes; I used fine-detail scissors to cut out each shape; then I added both to a greeting card cover using a glue-stick.  The mini-hearts were punched from red paper using a Marvy hole-punch.
Above: one final example of paint used thru a stencil -- my 6" x 6" Mikki's Flowers stencil -- onto a background of textured foil.

 6" x 6" Ferns 6 Stencil
9" x 12" Facets stencil

Blooming Where Planted stencil (9" x 12")

6" x 6" stencil Quilted Flower Garden

9" x 12" Boxed Vines Stencil

Sincere thanks for visiting here today!  This completes my series on using metallics with stencils.

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Saturday, December 8, 2018

Christmas-themed Foil Embossing with StencilGirl Stencils

For today's post, I used a different source of self-adhesive aluminum --  Inkssentials self-adhesive foil from Ranger Industries.  It works the same as the aluminum foil tape but comes in a wider width.

Foil is very difficult to photograph, but I love working with this surface because embossing it is so easy and quick.  The results are subtle, not flashy. 

My first step was to measure the foil needed to cover the front of a blank greeting card--

Then, I placed my 4"x 4" stencil Fern Fronds Silhouette Stencil Mini atop the foil, holding it in place as I traced the openings with a stylus...

Note: this stencil is stained green as result of a previous project.  Click on the image to enlarge it and better see the embossed lines made with the stylus.)

My 4"x 4" Fern Fronds Silhouette Stencil Mini is what I chose to use this time, but the greeting card blank was large enough for me to've used  any 6"x 6" stencil.  I buy these sturdy, square greeting card blanks from

After I lifted the stencil, its embossed outlines were revealed, as shown below.

After this, I introduced Titanium White acrylic paint -- 

 -- which I brushed across the surface.  While the paint was still tacky, I removed most of it with a paper towel -- my goal being to leave a hit-and-miss look, with foil showing thru in most areas, but with most of the paint remaining in the embossed areas:

Click on the above image to better see the remaining white paint.

Next, I got out the glitter glue (also by Ranger Industries.)  Below are two photos showing the border I created this way:

Now I wanted to add some color, so I used red glitter glue to apply dots--

Above These dots are easier to see in the finished greeting card, shown at the start of this post.

Once the glitter dried, I peeled off the foil's white backing paper and applied the foil to the front of the Christmas card -- as shown in the top photo in this post.

Check with the Postal Service before mailing 6" x 6" greeting cards -- there is a non-machinable surcharge for sending mail of these dimensions.  I use two Forever stamps, for convenience.

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