Wednesday, June 25, 2014

NEW NEW NEW... 9"X12" Stencil Branching Blossoms Silhouette

In my June 11-12 posts (cluster-labeled NEW NEW NEW), I showed this stencil while I used it in several hands-on art-making projects.  Today, I'm showing what's happened since I scanned one of the already-posted artworks into my PC and did color alterations in Photoshop.

Once the color has been altered to individual taste, it can be printed onto paper and used in making greeting cards, art journals, collages, etc.  Altho I haven't shown it here, the "magic"of Photoshop allows users to lighten images before printing them.  This creates stunning backgrounds for art journal pages.
The stencil used here is my 9"X12" Branching Blossoms Silhouette
This is one of 6 just-released stencils continuing my line of botanical designs.  The other stencils are individually featured -- with other art-making techniques -- here in my "NEW NEW NEW" cluster of posts.  To find the other posts in this cluster, click "Older Posts" at the bottom of this webpage.  Thanks! 

Friday, June 20, 2014

FREE Download! Need I say More?

Back when Henry Ford was tinkering with the idea of creating an automobile -- well, okay; maybe it was more recently than that -- I was published in Cloth Paper Scissors magazine.  My write-up included information on creating custom-made art-tools that serve as rubber stamps.  To my happy surprise, I've just received word from Cherie Haas that this article has been dusted off and re-shared with the world.  It's part of a FREE download.  Here is the link --

If unable to reach that webpage by clicking on the above link, you can just copy the entire link and paste it into your browser window.
Here is a collage that was pictured in my original write-up for Cloth Paper Scissors -- 
Click on the above image to enlarge it.
In this collage, the images that I created with homemade stamps include
Upper right corner: the apple, pear and 2 versions of cherries; 
In the center:  the sliced orange and the cherries as well as the red apple under them;
In the lower mid-section:  the sliced-open pear.
Enjoy your free download from Cloth Paper Scissors!  And thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

NEW NEW NEW cluster continues -- More Lemonade, Anyone?

In my May 25 post -- -- I showed step-by-step photos for using lemon juice with stencils, aged paper and a hot iron to make vintage-looking prints.

Today I'm showing more prints created in the same way, this time with my just-released 4"X4" stencil Fern Fronds Silhouette -- 

The above four prints were made on vintage papers.  No two prints are ever the same.

Above:  This is the BACK side of another lemon-juice print, on a different kind of paper.  The front side was pretty -- but so subtle that it doesn't scan well.  This side, however, has all the contrast it needs.  So, check the back sides of all your lemon-juice prints!  Surprises may await you.

Above:  I'm adding this final image just for fun.  It's not made with lemon juice.  I created it while playing around with leftover paints and my Gelli Arts printing plate.
To review the May 25 post that gave step-by-step directions for, and photos of, the stencils-with-lemon-juice process, click here -- .

Thursday, June 12, 2014

NEW NEW NEW STENCILS -- 2 Sizes are Better than One!

It was Mary Beth Shaw at who came up with the idea of making my stencil design Palm Fronds Silhouette in 2 sizes -- and this is how Palm Fronds Silhouette Small (6"X6") and Palm Fronds Silhouette Mini (4"X4") came to exist.

I didn't ever expect to use them together -- but once I did, I was delighted with the results, as the artwork moved thru its early stages of development.  It has yet to be completely finished, but I'm pausing to share the early steps that I took.

For my substrate, I chose a pre-stretched gallery-wrap canvas.  ("Gallery wrap" refers to edges without staples showing.  Instead of being stapled on the four sides, the canvas is wrapped around the four wooden supports and the staples are placed out of sight on the back.)

I first added some acrylic paint; when that dried, I used masking tape to secure these 2 stencils (and to mask off an area) --

Then I mixed modeling paste with acrylic paint and spread that mixture across the stencils with an artist's spatula.  A used credit card  or any other kind of spreading tool would have worked too.

Once that mix was applied, I removed the stencils and immediately cleaned them -- altho I no longer clean acrylic paint off my stencils, I still make sure to clean off dimensional media that include modeling paste.  If that were allowed to accumulate it would blur the lines that form the stencil designs.

After the first layer of colored modeling paste had dried, I repeated these steps many more times, switching from one color to another and continuing to allow dry-time between each application.

Below are close-ups showing areas of the canvas as it moved thru its early stages of progress.

In this last photo, I've circled the areas where the stencils have been used.  You can get a somewhat better view by clicking on the image to enlarge it.  In some of the above photos, you can see where the newer applications have been placed over older applications -- the resulting  criss-crosses happened as I turned the stencils in a variety of angles with each fresh application.

The ability to work in two sizes gave me a lot of creative freedom and I feel it enhanced the overall artwork.  Two sizes of the same design establish unity and rhythm -- but, in being differently sized, they also add variety.

This post is one of many I've written to show techniques using my 6 brand-new stencil releases at  All of these posts have NEW NEW NEW in their titles.  To read all of the posts in this cluster, scroll to the bottom of this webpage and click "Older Posts."  Thanks!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


My just-released Fern Fronds Silhouette is a mini of 4"X4" that packs a big wallop despite its petite size.

In all, I have 6 newly released stencils; each is being posted with projects/techniques under a cluster title-prefix "NEW NEW NEW."

Here are two just-finished Gelli Plate prints, created with two of the 6 new stencils.

Fern Fronds Silhouette (4"X4") was used here --

And here, in another Gelli Plate print, I've used both Fern Fronds Silhouette (on the left) and, on the right, Quilted Flower Garden.  Greater detail is shown when you click on this image to enlarge it--

Please check out all of my NEW NEW NEW posts, for detailed projects using my 6 brand-new stencils at -- to see all of them, you will need to click on "Older Posts" at the bottom of this web-page.  Thanks!

NEW NEW NEW Cluster -- I Wasn't Satisfied Until ...

... finally, as my last step in this project, I tried Craft-T's Metallic Rub-ons (available at, Walmart and other venues) ...

But before taking that final step, the two of us -- my just-released 6"X6" stencil Quilted Flower Garden and I -- had a hard time working together on this particular project. 

The bumpy journey started with inspiration from my subscription to Cloth Paper Scissors e-newsletter, which reminded me of the near-prehistoric technique of using colorless wax as a resist.

As my substrate, I chose a previously-painted sheet of newsprint.

Unable to find my clear wax crayon (last used when dinosaurs roamed), I settled for a dollar-store white wax candle.  I rubbed it liberally across Quilted Flower Garden, using one hand to hold the stencil in place on the painted newsprint.  I found this stencil ideal for this project because it has no loose-ended designs; all parts of the pattern are attached, enabling me to rub from all directions and to press down hard to get wax into every open area of the stencil -- as shown below, first in full-size and then in close-up detail --

This resulted in a nice build-up of patterned wax on the paper, when I lifted the stencil off.

This build-up is circled in green in the photo below --

The above photo also shows my next step, which was to add opaque yellow acrylic paint.  While the paint was still wet, I buffed off some with a paper towel.  (A soft terrycloth rag would have worked too.)  This is what resulted--

Unhappy with those results, I added a generous dose of dye-based liquid color.  (I used Adirondack Color Wash.)  While that was still wet, I sprayed it with rubbing alcohol.  This is shown in the two photos below; the second photo is a close-up.

I loved the results when they were still wet, as shown above, but after the liquid had dried, disappointment came sneaking in.

But new inspiration pulled me out of the gloom.  I reached for the metallic rub-ons mentioned at the top of this post.  That was when things started to click for me--

Above:  I've begun to rub on silver metallic with a plastic-gloved fingertip.

Above:  a close-up of the metallic silver section.

Above:  a close-up of the red metallic section.
This brand-new 6"X6" stencil Quilted Flower Garden is available at  Please check out all my posts clustered into the corral that I call NEW NEW NEW -- it's a lengthy cluster that features each of my 6 brand-new releases in my continuing botanical-themed series.  A variety of techniques/projects are covered. To see all posts, please click on "Older Posts" at the bottom of this web-page.  Thanks for stopping by!

NEW! NEW! NEW! How's Your Subraction?

You don't have to be a math whiz to do this kind of subtraction -- more specifically, the subtractive technique.  (Some artists call it the reductive technique.)  I do several variations of this method, but in this installment of my NEW NEW NEW Cluster to announce my 6 brand-new stencils at, I've chosen the variation using acrylic paint and acrylic ink.

Taking a page from Mary C. Nasser's book, I first covered an old nautical map with a layer of translucent, pale orange-yellow acrylic paint --

My next step -- after that first coat of paint had dried -- was to add a second layer, choosing the contrasting value of bright magenta.  Instead of acrylic paint for the second layer, I used Dr. Ph. Martin's Bombay India Ink.  The photo below shows the altered map while this layer is being brushed on. 

Once this ink was dry, I secured stencils to the surface with masking tape.  I used several of my newly-released stencils -- 6"X6" Silhouette of a Wildflower BouquetPalm Fronds Silhouette Small (6"X6), Palm Fronds Silhouette Mini (4"X4") and my less-recently-released 9"X12" Facets.

After taping the stencils to the altered map, I used a water-dampened paper towel to rub away the magenta ink that showed thru the openings on the stencils.  A soft terrycloth rag would work, too. 

When the rubbing was done to my satisfaction, I lifted off the stencils.  Below are the results after lifting off Facets (top) and Palm Fronds Silhouette Mini  4"X4" (bottom.)

On the left are two brand-new 6"X6" stencils -- Palm Fronds Silhouette Small (top) and Silhouette of a Wildflower Bouquet (bottom) after the rubbing has been finished, but before the stencils have been lifted.

NOTE:   Stencils used here are blue prototypes sent to designers at STENCILGIRL(TM)Products.  When you order any StencilGirl stencil, yours will be white. 

When finished using all my new stencils with the subtractive teshnique, I had several results that I liked so much, I scanned them into Photoshop on my PC.  There, I altered the colors to create several versions of each; the results are below.  The first three were made with Silhouette of a Wildflower Bouquet (6"X6").  The next three were made with my 6"X6" stencil Palm Fronds Silhouette Small.

The brand-new stencils are available now at  Please check out all of my posts under the NEW NEW NEW banner, each highlighting a project or two with my 6 new botanical-themed stencils.  Thanks!

NEW NEW NEW Cluster -- Double Exposure -- Love it or Cringe at It

This artwork may appeal to some, repel others, and make still others want to reach for those 2-color cardboard glasses handed out at 3D movies.  I fall into either category 1 or 2.  Not sure yet.

I used two stencils to create this image -- Warped Holes 9, by Lizzie Mayne, and my brand-new 9"X12" Branching Blossoms Silhouette, newly released at

And I used an idea that has been presented by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer.  I tweaked Julie's process, starting with the same basic steps she did, but then launching into another direction, after asking myself,  "What if ...?"

In going thru the process, I made the happy discovery that Branching Blossoms Silhouette is ideal for this technique because its design automatically divides the image-area into vertical halves.  I took advantage of this by making a shift in hues between the vertical left half and the vertical right half.

I started with a sheet of 140-lb. hot press (smooth) watercolor paper, securing it to my work surface with masking tape and using the same tape to align my Branching Blossoms Silhouette stencil in the center of the paper.

Starting with an Ink Sweeper and ending with a cosmetic sponge, I daubed acrylic paint thru the stencil openings and across the paper.

This was what I saw when I lifted the stencil --

Next, I taped Branching Blossoms Silhouette back onto the paper.  I could have aligned it perfectly with the original print, shown above, but instead, I decided to take a risk and line the stencil up just slightly off-register with the original print.

Above:  Placing the stencil off-register creates these uncovered white areas.
Above:  a close-up of the off-register placement of the stencil over the original print.
Then I taped Lizzie's stencil over mine...

Above:  Lizzie's stencil still bears the multiple colors of acrylic paints from the last project!

Below:  a close-up of Lizzie's stencil over mine.

...and starting applying color thru both stencils, still using the daubing technique with acrylic paints.

My last step was to remove both stencils for the grand unveiling.  And what I saw is the image at the top of this post.

My 9"X12" stencil Branching Blossoms Silhouette is now available at ... enjoy!  And please check out all of my posts under the umbrella-label NEW NEW NEW -- which gladly announce the release of 6 brand-new botanical-themed stencils.  Each post in this cluster covers 1-2 techniques/projects while introducing the new stencils.  To see all posts in the cluster, please click on "Older Posts" at the bottom of this webpage.  Thanks!