Friday, May 27, 2016


In an earlier post, here, I posted step-by-step photos of a technique I call "stencil-scraping."  It's the traditional dry-rubbings technique, except that sometimes I use wet media (acrylic paint) instead of the traditional dry media (soft pencil or art crayon.) 

In the second part of that post, I showed the traditional dry-rubbings method, using art crayons on thin paper atop my 9"x12" stencil Tangled Pods.

Finally, I've used the thin papers I had printed this way -- as backgrounds in 2-par collages on greeting cards:

These two top embellishment-strips were cut free-hand, but, anyone can create something very similar to the top (blue) strip, just by tracing one of the vine-shapes in my 9"x12" stencil Boxed Vines.

When line-tracing inside the openings of a stencil -- as shown in another post, here -- it's easy to make a two-for-one. 

Part one is the cut-out itself -- here I show an example.  You can think of this as the "positive."

Part two of the two-for-one is the "negative" -- that's the leftover paper from which the "positive" shape has been cut.  In the two examples above, the strip embellishments are both "negatives."

When making the cut-out, it often happens that the "leftover" paper falls into two or more pieces.  No worries.  The beauty of collage is that you can re-assemble these pieces to end up with a perfect shape, as shown above.  I like the results -- being able to see thru these negative shapes adds depth to collages.

Thanks for visiting!


Wednesday, May 25, 2016


My 9"x12" Branching Blossoms Silhouette Stencil is often called "The Tree" because ... well, it looks like one!  I've even started to call it "The Pseudo Tree" myself ...

Below, I'm posting the first in a series of close-up photos that show a work-in-progress on canvas.  (Note:  in the background and on the upper right are underlying prints made with the 9'x12" stencil Letter Mania, designed by Suzi Dennis.)

Next phase ... adding green:

Next phase:  added a whole lot of green!--

Next phase ... Here is the entire canvas, showing that I've now toned down the green and used part of another 9"x12" stencil, Vintage Script: 

By the time I had gone this far in the process, I was wishing I had left the left side in its original condition (as shown in the top photo close-up) but there was no going back.  All I could do was move forward and hope to make the best of things.  (Can anyone else relate to this??)

Much later, I finished the canvas with the prints shown in the close-ups below:

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, May 23, 2016

STEAMPUNK Stencil (9"x12")

You can click on the image below to enlarge and better see it...

This is a collage that's going into the Canterbury Art Show (Rumson, NJ) on Labor Day weekend.  Its background was created with a Gelli Plate print on Yupo, using my stencil Steampunk, which measures 9"x12".  The stencil itself looks like this:

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

TANGLED PODS in the Hands of Artist Jennifer Armstrong

Artist Jennifer Armstrong  has used stencils in creating this panoramic study in her moleskin art journal; her foreground was established with one of the many facial stencils designed by artist Pam Carriker.

Jennifer's foundation layer was laid down using my 9"x12" stencil Tangled Pods.  She did a beautiful job of incorporating this background with her foreground.  In the close-up below, which highlights the right half of this artwork, the stencil's imprint can be more clearly seen:   

What excites me most about this work of Jennifer's is that here she illustrates one of the main reasons I got into stencil-designing -- stencils are an easy way to create unique backgrounds that add interest, character and unity to art.  Artist Jan Sitts uses this technique, to name only one.

The stencil Tangled Pods itself looks like this:

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Lin Brandyberry!

It delights me when I see one of my stencils used -- this time, the star of the show is Lin Brandyberry, a gal who loves making greeting cards as much as I do!

These delightful cards were made with the help of my 6"x6" stencil Pressed Leaves ... and I couldn't be happier at the results Lin achieved.  Many thanks, Lin, for letting me showcase your artwork here!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

BUDS Stencil ... in Reverse!

"Reverse-stenciling" is one name used for the technique used to make the print in today's post.  I also like to think of it as using the stencil as a stamp.

I started with my 9"x12" Buds Stencil and light modeling paste.  Using an artist's spatula -- altho an old credit card would have worked -- I spread the paste thru the stencil onto the substrate.

I was unhappy with the results of that print, so it's history.

But, while the paste was still wet, I flipped the stencil over and pressed it to a sheet of sturdy cardstock (the same way you would make a print by pressing a moistened rubber stamp to a substrate.)  Then I lifted the stencil and cleaned it.

After this reverse-print had dried, I went over it with several layers of acrylic paint.  I also used watercolor crayons, applying them dry and following this with a wash of clean water.  Between each of these applications, I rubbed the surface with a terry cloth rag.  This repeated rubbing left traces of color in some areas and removed them in others.  This worked because the reverse-stencil print had lots of ridges and valleys as result of my having used modeling paste, which is three-dimensional and, when dried, capable of taking some rough handling.

You can see these peaks and dips on the surface by clicking on the top image below to enlarge it...

The top image above is the reverse print created with my 9"x12" Buds Stencil ... and the lower image is what the stencil itself looks like.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


My 6"x6" stencil Quilted Flower Garden Stencil, shown below, has been chosen by an artist friend who wants to make her own adult coloring book.  Can't wait to see the results! 


Sunday, May 15, 2016


Last November-December, in a Jane Davies online workshop, I created a number of Gelli Plate prints which were then used in mixed-media collages.  Below are some of the results from that wonderful experience; most of these in today's post are not yet finished.

Above:  This collage is not yet finished.  In making the wide horizontal band that runs across the lower third of the piece, I used my 9"x12" stencil Facets

Above:  In compiling this mixed-media collage, I used my Mimosa 6 stencil -- in its 6"x6" version.  I use the 9"x12" version more often, but these artworks on printmaking paper measure only 7.5"x10".
Above:  This mixed-media collage is not yet finished.  Its vertical orange background band was created with my Borders # 1 stencil, which measures 9"x12" and contains 3 borders in all.  The stencil imprint on this vertical orange band is faint but can be seen better if you click on this image to enlarge it. 
Above:  This is one of my prints in its very early stages.  Borders # 2 was used on the far right.  Less easy to see, the left two-thirds are printed with my 6"x6" stencil Trivet B.
Stencils used in today's post include:
Mimosa 6
Borders # 2
Borders #1
Trivet B
To learn techniques we covered back in November-December, take Jane Davies' next online workshop that focuses on Gelli Plate printing.

Friday, May 13, 2016

A New Approach to Collage with QUEEN ANNE'S LACE Stencil

My April 6 post suggested cutting a stencil-print into strips that form some kind of design, then collaging the strips onto a background with space between each strip.  I've done again here, using a different cut-pattern:

This time, I chose a print I'd made with my 9"x12" stencil Queen Anne's Lace:

Try this way of creating collage -- it's a lot of fun!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Today at StencilGirlTalk you can catch my write-up on making your own masks using stencils, then applying the masks with the stencils in a technique that I call "Seeing Double."

Here on my own blog, I'm bringing out more greeting cards that I've made in much the same way as described today in my companion write-up in today's StencilGirlTalk.

Above: I've used masking tape to secure my 6"x6" Heron and 6"x6" Cats stencils to sturdy cardstock. 

Above:  I used a white pencil to trace around the shapes that I wanted to cut out to be used as masks. 
Above:  I've used fine-detail scissors to cut out the three shapes I chose. 

Above:  I've placed the heron mask atop the greeting card blank.  On the left you can see the masking tape I used for covering the back of this card with scratch paper to protect it from the color spray.  I used two spray colors (purple and orange), allowing the paint to dry between the two applications.

Above:  On the left, you can see the mask that I have lifted off. On the right is the card cover with its silhouette of the heron. 
Above:  Here I have placed the stencil atop the masked-off silhouette.  In placing it, I made sure it was off-register with the image below.  In other words, the white silhouette underneath the stencil is somewhat to the left of the stencil's opening.  After using masking tape to secure the stencil, I sponged on a layer of magenta acrylic paint blended with gel medium.  The reason I blended these two media was that I wanted a translucent paint that would allow the original image to remain visible.

Above:  Here, in the finished 6"x6" greeting card cover, you can see that both images are clearly visible.

Above:  Here's another 6"x6" greeting card, created with my Cats stencil and corresponding masks.  Again I used the masks first, followed by the stencil.  (I chose to mask off the stencil's upper left corner so that 4 cat shapes would appear; the stencil itself has 5 cat shapes.)  After the misty-look paints had dried, I used a marker to outline the two white shapes I had made with my two masks.

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Trotting Out my 6"x6" Stencil KALEID ...

Ages ago, I created this artwork on canvas board, using my 6"x6" stencil Kaleid

I then placed it in "temporary" storage ... whereupon it became a case of out of sight, out of mind. 
In its creation, I remember that the first few steps included using oddly-torn scraps of masking tape to tape off small elongated areas during multiple applications of acrylic paints that ranged from orange to light-to-dark pink. 
After laying that foundation, I placed my Kaleid stencil over the focal point and stipple-brushed across it with aqua acrylic paint.  My last step was to add a smear of Zinc ("mixing") White paint across the bottom of the stencil-print.  You can click on the above image to enlarge it.

On the 11th, I will have a post on StencilGirlTalk and a corresponding post here.  It will be a gap-filler idea/project for times when StencilGuts are temporarily out-of-stock at StencilGirlProducts.    

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Don't Crimp my Style!

Today I pulled out my Marvy Corru-Gator Crimpers --

and two old prints, both on cardstock -- one made with an inverted Distress ink --

Above:  stencil used:  6"x6" Quilted Flower Garden.

-- and another print, this one made with my round 8"x8" Gelli Plate --

Above:  stencil used:  9"x12" Facets.

Following directions printed on the crimper, I inserted the first print --

--and started turning the knob, which starts the sheet of cardstock moving thru the crimper --

Above:  Click on the photo to enlarge it and better see the low-relief pattern that is being imprinted on the cardstock.

--and when the cardstock emerged it was fully corrugated, as shown below.

Again, click the image to better see the corrugation.

My next step was to go over the surface with copper metallic paint using the dry-brush technique -- a technique that I'm too impatient to master well, so anyone unfamiliar with this method can click on the link above to see a demo.  In this demo, the artist (who, unlike me, is good at this) is applying paint to a frame that's 3-dimensional, the same as corrugated cardstock.

I didn't like the results I achieved with this first print, where the paint had been applied much too heavily in areas --

-- so I scrapped that piece and started fresh with my other print.  Choosing a different corrugated pattern this time, I came up with better results.  Below is the cardstock after the dry-brushing has been done:

Next, I pulled out a packet of blank greeting cards from --

These greeting card blanks measure 6"x6", when folded in half.  I cut two pieces from my printed cardstock and added them to the front of two greeting cards --

Click on the photo above, and on the photo below, to better see the details.

This last photo shows the two greeting cards with their final embellishments added.

In place of the dry-brush paint application, many dry media can be used on these corrugated papers -- Pan Pastels, etc.  Adding highlights to the 3-dimensional ridges adds pizzazz!

There is a surcharge of 22 cents for mailing a 6"x6" card, so the total for sending a card this size is 71 cents.  I just use two "Forever" stamps.