Announcing... The Artist Tribe at Gwen Lafleur Studios!

I am so incredibly excited to announce The Artist Tribe! The first creative team for Gwen Lafleur Studios! I'd thought about whether or not to do this for months, and finally decided to go for it. I started with one member, then opened up a call to grow the team, and I was seriously blown away by the response! I wasn't expecting to get very many applications, so I was shocked at how many came in and how much talent I had to choose from! In the end, I had to make some difficult decisions... I really wish I could have found a way to make the team bigger, but I ended up choosing a few people who felt like the best fit for my stencil designs and shop products.

That said, without further ado... I present the Artist Tribe!

The-Artist-Tribe-at-Gwen-Lafleur-Studios---August-2017

Let's get to know these talented ladies, shall we?

I'll start with my friend Jill McDowell - she just had to be a member of the team...

Jill-McDowell

I've said more than once that she uses my stencils better than I do, and her artwork is diverse and totally incredible! Here are just a few samples of her work...

First, a beautiful textile collage that she did as a member of StencilClub Voices (you can see my Ornamental Petals Screen stencil peeking through the background!)

Textile-collage-voices-stencilclub-aug-2017-post-card

Second, Jill makes these super cool Infinity Books - art journals where the pages flip to reveal different spreads. I haven't wrapped my brain around making these, but I love to look at them!

Infinity Flip Art Journal by Jill McDowell

Next, I'd like to introduce Linda Edkins Wyatt!

LindaEdkinsWyatt-headshot

Linda is a trained surface and textile designer (she even has a Tommy Award under her belt!) and has immersed herself in art quilting and mixed media since discovering them about eleven years ago. Her work has appeared in multiple publications, including a fabulous book I just got - Mixed Media Self Portraits by Cate Coulacos Prato.

Check out her beautiful art journal spread about her inner warrior princess:

Warrior priestess by Linda Edkins Wyatt

And this... sigh... I'm absolutely enamored of the textile work that she does! This is from an art quilt called "The Eye of Panic."

Art quilt art journal - Linda Edkins Wyatt

Next, a big welcome to Lynda Shoup!

Lynda-Shoup

Lynda spent some time studying art in college before earning a degree in Communications and eventually a Masters in Library Science, and she also lived in Japan for ten years where she worked as a copy editor for Japan Publications Trading Company in the Japanese traditional crafts division. She translated three books The Joy of Flower Arranging, Rice Bowl Recipes and  The Joy of Antique Beading.  How cool is that?

I love the way Lynda uses monoprints in her work - check out this creative project where she used a few of them to make origami boxes!

Monoprint Origami Boxes by Lynda Shoup

I also love her writing style, her art journaling, and check out these amazing hand-bound "mood books" that Lynda made from upcycled magazines!

Handmade Mood Books by Lynda Shoup

Next, I'm pleased to share that Sandee Setliff is joining the Tribe!

Sandee-Setliff

I know Sandee from the StencilGirl creative team and I was thrilled that she was interested in joining the Artist Tribe as well! Sandee is quite a talented artist... she draws beautifully, and I love her sense of exploration and the diversity of techniques and mediums that she uses in her art.

Don't just take my word for it on her drawing skills, check out this beautiful watercolor sketch she did!

Watercolor by Sandee Setliff

And with this one, see what I mean about variety? This is one of Sandee's most recent pieces - a gorgeous mixed media canvas!

Divine Messenger Mixed Media Panel - Sandee Setliff

Last but definitely not least, I'm excited to introduce Jackie Neal!

Jackie-Neal

Versatility in techniques and mediums seems to be the theme for the Artist Tribe, and Jackie is no exception to the rule! She combines color, layers, and textures to create beautifully detailed artwork - everything from mixed media panels to art journaling to ATCs to assemblage.

Here you can see lots of gorgeous layers of texture - the more you look, the more you can see how many details went into making this stunning piece, and of course we all know that I'm a sucker for any kind of heat embossing in mixed media!

Mixed Media Panel by Jackie Neal

Of course, my jaw literally dropped when I saw this masterpiece! A gorgeous Marie Antoinette shrine!

Marie Antoinette Shrine by Jackie Neal

Whew... are you as excited as I am? I absolutely cannot wait to see what these talented ladies do with my stencils and the products from my shop, and I hope you're excited too! I know that whatever it is, it's going to be totally fabulous!

Make sure you're following my Facebook page and signed up for my newsletter to keep up with all of the happenings with the shop and The Artist Tribe! Of course, you'll also want to be sure to follow all of the new members of the Artist Tribe - you can get all of their blog links above (click their names in the introductions,) and blogs and all social media links are also on my website.

 
 

April in my ARTifacts Art Journal

Whew, I'm very behind in sharing my ARTifacts updates on my blog... I've managed to keep up with the project itself, but my posting has been abysmal!  I'm trying to get caught up before I get any further behind, so without further ado, here's April!

First spread... it started out really dark - I tried to bring some Spring back into it by adding a butterfly, but I think the color palette doomed me from the start! LOL. Between that and the huge wave on the left (cut from origami paper,) I think my subconscious was trying to share how overwhelmed it was feeling!

ARTifacts April 2017 - Spread 1a - Gwen Lafleur

My Art Deco stencil collection was released in April, so of course I had to use the Art Deco Alphabet stencil as the title for this page!  On the right, the tag pulls out to show my StencilGirl projects for the month:

ARTifacts April 2017 - Spread 1 Closeup 2 - Gwen Lafleur

The second spread is all about the new stencils, including some interactive pages to showcase all the projects I'd made for the launch:

ARTifacts April 2017 - Spread 2 - Gwen Lafleur

On the left, you can see lots of stamping and paint, some old Theresa Collins diecuts that I painted, and I used the Myrtle Branch Dresden trim to frame the stencil collage.

The right side flaps were made with two oversized ATCs that'd I'd made as samples for the release - why not include them as part of the journal to document the event?

ARTifacts April 2017 - Spread 2a - Gwen Lafleur

The ATCs use the new Art Deco stencils, obviously, along with some Dresden Medallions and some gold foiled leaf washi tape from MT.

Flipping through the flaps:

ARTifacts April 2017 - Spread 2b - Gwen Lafleur
ARTifacts April 2017 - Spread 2b - Gwen Lafleur

Then the final page - I used my Art Deco Bookplates stencil on the left, then covered along the spine area with some Wide Peach Chinese Calligraphy washi tape.
ARTifacts April 2017 - Spread 2b - Gwen Lafleur

Obviously, that finished off the little hand-made journal I'd been working in... all of those dimensional pages really add up! Look how thick this volume turned out!

ARTifacts 2017 - Volume 1 January through April - Gwen Lafleur

It's lots of fun to flip through this first little book and revisit the first four months of my artistic year... on to the next volume!

As always, you can see my ARTifacts journal pages in their entirety on my website.

 

 
 

Gwen Lafleur Studios Creative Team Call!

Hello friends! For a few months now I've been thinking about starting a creative team for my stencils and shop and have finally decided to go ahead with it!

CT-Call-Banner

I currently have a team of two (me and one fabulously talented lady soon to be announced,) and I would like to expand that just a bit... (Limiting it to US and Canada for now, just because of shipping!)

So... I've just posted a call for a few new team members! The details are on my website, but the short version is that I'm looking for 2 projects a month using my stencils and shop products. Those will be posted to your blog and social media, and then I'll share them as well. In return, I'll send you some awesome free goodies monthly, plus you'll get a shop discount for the duration of the term. Depending on what I add as we go, there may be some other benefits as well!

Make sure to read through the details - I'm looking for a few different styles to showcase my stencils and the funky global-eclectic supplies in my shop - that could be YOU!

Hope to hear from you soon! Deadline is August 12th.

 


July Shop Update - Lots of Goodies!

Whew... I looked at the dates and it's been two months since my last update! For most of that time, new goodies were piling up in my spare room, which made me feel guilty for not working on getting it all online every time I looked at it. So after travel, classes, more travel, and getting through some deadlines, I set aside time (a LOT of time... lol,) over the last few weeks getting it all photographed, packaged, edited, and posted. So now I'm mostly caught up and ready to share!

Here's a little visual overview for you:

What's-New-in-the-Store---July-27-2017---Gwen-Lafleur-Studios

Ready for some details?

First up, I'm excited to share a new theme, with lots of gorgeous products to go with it! Fabulous Florals has hit the shop and it includes a collage and embellishment packeleven embroidered and embellished trims from India, two styles of washi tape, beautiful flower appliques, and two styles of English scrap, direct from the manufacturer in England.

Fabulous-Florals-Collage-and-Embellishment-Pack---Horizontal---Gwen-Lafleur-Studios

Next, it's been on my list for a long time to do some type of mini kit, and I'm pleased to share the first four - my Mixed Media Happy Packs! These are available in four themes: Exotic Orient, Irresistible India, Enchanting Elephants (with two colorways to choose from,) and Going Global. Each one comes with a fun matching pouch that can store supplies, be used for gifts, help organize a purse, etc...

Going-Global-Happy-Pack---Horizontal---Gwen-Lafleur-Studios

I've also added a bunch of beautiful Japanese Chiyogami (Yuzen) papers - available in sheets, as well as some sampler packs that I've made up, and some samplers from the manufacturer.

Japanese-Chiyogami---Yuzen-Paper-by-the-Sheet---Gwen-Lafleur-Studios

There are also seven new Florentine papers available by the sheet, as well as some new sample packs that I've put together so you can get a variety of patterns in smaller sizes.

Florentine-Paper-Sample-Packs---Gwen-Lafleur-Studios

I've added ten new travel washi tapes, great for traveler's notebooks and travel journals... this includes USA, the UK, the Czech Republic, Italy, France, Greece, Egypt, and a few more in addition to the ones already on the site (make sure you look in Exotic Orient Scenery & Buildings washi tape as well as the Irresistible India washi tape for more travel designs.)

Travel-Washi-Tape---Italy-Sites-and-Scenery---Gwen-Lafleur-Studios

I also added some fabulous new Turkmen and Kuchi products... tribal textiles and beaded trim, gorgeous repousse fish pendants, coin pendants, and I have a new stock of jewelry parts that are perfect for mixed media and assemblage.

Vintage Turkmen Jewelry Parts - Bulk - Gwen Lafleur Studios

There's so much that I can't fit it all in one post! I also added:

Plus, I've restocked the sold out Stupendous Sea Life and Irresistible India Deluxe Collage and Embellishment Packs. I also restocked my collaged Boho Fish!

Whew! That's a lot, and it took me a while to get it all done, but I'm excited to have it all available and I hope you love it as much as I do! Now that I can walk past my spare room without feeling guilt from piles of unlisted products, I can get back to making art :D

 


A Dimensional Mixed Media Panel with StencilGirl & Imagine Crafts

Hi all! Welcome to my stop on this week's fabulous blog hop with StencilGirl and Imagine Crafts! I'm sure it's fairly obvious at this point that I'm a stencil addict, but I'm also a big fan of Imagine Crafts' products - I have a ton of them in my studio that I work with regularly, so it was fun to feature a few of my favorites along with my trusty StencilGirl stencils!

SG Imagine Blog Hop banner

For this project, I had an idea for a technique I wanted to try and dove right in - I was pretty pleased that my little experiment actually turned out a lot like I'd envisioned! I used stencils, cardboard, and some of the irRESISTible products, along with a few others that I'll mention below to make a dimensional mixed media panel: 

StencilGirl-Imagine Crafts Mixed Media Panel - Gwen Lafleur

It's hard to really capture in photos how this project looks in real life, but it's actually pretty cool looking! You can get a better sense for the details in the tutorial photos.

Ready to see how I made this piece?

My idea was to do something that would create depth, so that I could have pools of color that were reminiscent of enamel or stained glass. I had a few different ideas on how to do that, but decided to go with cardboard to create the dimension. I started by tracing the Ripples Small stencil by Michelle Ward onto the surface. Since I had decided I was going to layer this on a 6x8 panel, I then flipped the stencil and lined it up so I could continue the pattern and make it taller.

Dimensional Mixed Media Panel - Step 1 - Gwen Lafleur

Then I used an x-acto knife to cut it out. (The lines on the stencil were where I wanted to have "channels" on my piece, otherwise I could have just used molding paste. This gives me a reverse of what I would have gotten by just stenciling.) You can also see that I added a few bridges to the design so that my circles would still be attached after they were cut out.

Dimensional Mixed Media Panel - Steps 2-3 - Gwen Lafleur

Again, there were several methods I could use to adhere the cardboard to my panel and then cover the raw edges, but I decided to use masking tape because it's cleaner, a bit faster, and has the bonus benefit of no drying time! You can see above how I took small pieces and laid them over the cardboard, adhering to the wood panel on either side. 

Dimensional Mixed Media Panel - Steps 3a-4 - Gwen Lafleur

Above, you can see how I used the tip of a bone folder to trace along the edges of the cardboard and make sure the tape got worked into the corners and was flush with the wood along the lines of the cardboard. This gave me much cleaner channels for the next steps.

Next, I wanted to create a metallic surface across the whole panel. I painted the entire thing with white gesso, and then while it was still wet I coated the entire piece with gold embossing powder from Imagine Crafts. Without waiting for the gesso to dry, I used my heat gun to melt and bubble the embossing powder. (The bubbling happens because of the wet acrylic medium under the embossing powder. I love to do this! You can also use gel medium, matte medium, paint, etc...) I should note that because of how long it took to heat something this large, I covered my nose and mouth to help minimize any unhealthy fumes that might come from this process.

Dimensional Mixed Media Panel - Step 5 - Gwen Lafleur

This gives you such cool texture! I continued heating and bubbling until the whole thing was done, then I started adding color. I took my irRESISTible sprays (I took the sprayer off and poured as you see below,) and my irRESISTible Pico Embellishers and started flooding some of the channels with color. (I used Paris Dusk, Copper, and Morocco.) I love these products because they look so much like stained glass when they're dry.

Dimensional Mixed Media Panel - Step 6 - Gwen Lafleur

In the last photo above, you can see where I also used some of the StazOn Studio Glazes to add color to some of the smaller areas (I used Ganache and Gothic Purple.) Once all of the color was in place, I set the panel aside to dry overnight.

With all of the color in place (and looking pretty cool, I think!) I wanted to add some last accents. I started by taking one of my medium sized Kuchi Patches (which was also the inspiration for my color palette,) and putting it in the center of the top set of circles.  Then I added one of the Imagine Crafts Ancient Dynasty Coins on top of that.

Dimensional Mixed Media Panel - Steps 7-8 - Gwen Lafleur

I decided that the sides of my panel needed a little something extra, so I pulled out my Art Deco Borders stencil and used some Royal Purple StazOn ink to add the pattern on all four sides.

It felt like the front of the panel was still missing something, so I dug through my stash and pulled out one of my Beautiful Butterflies tassels from India and hooked the loop around my coin and adhered that in place, letting the tassel itself hang free. Then I used my purple StazOn Studio Glaze and my finger to add a little color along the edges, as you can see below.    

Dimensional Mixed Media Panel - Step 9 - Gwen Lafleur

Finally, I took my StazOn Studio Glazes out again and used them to add some dots throughout the design.

Voila! A finished dimensional mixed media panel with some fun new techniques, and some unique accents!

Dimensional Mixed Media Panel - Side View 1 - Gwen Lafleur

Here are a few close-ups of the project so that you can see some of the details:

Dimensional Mixed Media Panel - Closeup 5 - Gwen Lafleur
Dimensional Mixed Media Panel - Closeup 5 - Gwen Lafleur

I hope you enjoyed today's project and tutorial as much as I enjoyed making it!

Of course, the part everyone is waiting for...

GIVEAWAY!
One lucky winner will receive both a $25 Gift Certificate to StencilGirl Products AND a $25 Gift Certificate to Imagine Crafts!

SG Imagine GIVEAWAY image

Visit the fabulous designers from both teams and comment on their posts for your chance to win! The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN! (One comment per person per blog please.)


You have until Sunday, July 23rd at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments. Winner will be announced on StencilGirl's Facebook page and Imagine Crafts’s Facebook page on Monday, July 24th.

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Making a Decorative Clay Flower with Stencils

Hi all! I'm up on StencilGirl Talk today with the July edition of Gwen's Gems. This month I used Aves Apoxie Clay and stencils to make a fun, decorative flower that you can use on an art journal cover, in mixed media projects, or add to home decor. You can even make a smaller version to create your own statement pendants to use in jewelry making!

Here's my flower:

Stenciled Clay Flower - Gwen Lafleur

Head on over to StencilGirl Talk for lots more photos and a full project tutorial. Enjoy!


Boho Mermaid Art Journaling

Hi all, it's Mermaid Madness today at StencilGirl! The creative team is having a blog hop showcasing the fun mermaid stencils that were released last month.

Jpg  memaid madness stencilgirl creative team hop

When I was working on my project for this hop, I'd just finished teaching my Boho Art Journaling class in Connecticut and I thought to myself, why not a boho mermaid? So that's what I did! I made a boho mermaid and then put her on an art journal page with some other mermaids silhouetted in the background (each with her own crown, of course!)

Mermaid-Art-Journal-Spread-with-Stencils---Gwen-Lafleur

For my page I used the Mermaidia and  Crown and Scepters stencils by June Pfaff Daley.

Mermaid-Art-Journal-Spread-with-Stencils-Closeup-1---Gwen-Lafleur

Make sure you head over to StencilGirl Talk to see more projects, plus all of the links for the blog hop. Get ready to be inspired!

 


Gwen's Gems - Textured and Layered Art Journal Cover

Hi all! I'm over on StencilGirl Talk today with the June edition of Gwen's Gems. This month I'm using lots of stencils and even more molding paste to make a layered and textured cover for a new 9"x9" handmade art journal.

Textured Stenciled Book Cover Angle 1 - Gwen Lafleur
Textured Stenciled Book Cover Angle 1 - Gwen Lafleur

Head on over to the blog for more photos and a tutorial on how I made the cover! Enjoy!


June Classes at Papercraft Clubhouse in Connecticut

Hi all! I've mentioned the classes I have coming up at Papercraft Clubhouse in Westbrook, CT, (in less than two weeks now!) but I thought I'd give a little more detail about each class and also share some videos I've put together that may help decide some of you who are on the fence about coming. Hopefully they'll also help those of you already signed up so that you have a better idea of what to expect, what I'll be providing, and what you'll want to bring to work on your projects.

Here we go!

First up, Friday morning (June 16th) I'm teaching my Mini Mixed Media Medallions class from 10am to 1pm. This class is $60, but it also includes 1/4 lb of Aves Apoxie Clay (normally $10) as well as a few other goodies I'll be supplying for you. (You can also click through to the class page where there are lots more pictures of the class samples, plus a full description and supply list. You can watch the video there as well.) The samples are very much in my style, but you can bring elements, colors, themes, etc... that are totally different and really make these medallions your own!

Mini Mixed Media Medallion Samples - Gwen Lafleur

We'll use clay, beads, metal findings, and more to create 1-2 medallions during this fun and fast-paced class. For those who have taken my Mixed Media Shadow Boxes class, there are some similarities in how the projects start, but then we diverge quite a bit from that approach with how our foundation evolves into a medallion that can be used on a book cover, in a shadow box or assemblage piece, or as a piece of statement jewelry.

Here's a 9 minute video that shows you more about the samples and talks about class supplies and some of what you can expect from this workshop.

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Also on Friday 6/16/17, I'm teaching Boho Art Journaling from 2-5pm... this class is $55.

Boho-Art-Journaling---Class-Preview---Gwen-LafleurIn this workshop, we'll learn a background technique to start our pages (or canvas - you can bring your own canvas or panel if you'd prefer that to working in a journal,) and then we'll use stamps, stencils, and some fun techniques to make boho style animals to go on our pages.

Here's a 7-ish minute video going over more about the class and what to bring with you.

Again, you can hop over to the class page for lots more photos of the class samples with the full description and supply list.

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Finally, on Saturday June 17th I'm teaching a full day class called Of Angels and Icons that runs from 10am-5pm with a one hour break for lunch. This class is $105 and includes the canvas, plus other supplies that I'll be bringing to share.

Of Angels and Icons Class Samples - Gwen Lafleur

We'll create an 11x14 mixed media canvas inspired by Russian Icons and Mexican Folk Art (with my own spin, of course!) You can go in whatever direction you want - lots of opportunities to really customize this for your style. We'll build the background for our canvas (different techniques from Friday,) as well as working on wings and halos and creating the paper doll itself, then we'll pull it all together.

I've got a video for this one as well - also about 9 minutes, that will talk much more about the samples and supplies.

As always, you can check the class page on my website for lots more details as well as many more photos of the class samples.

___________

Spots are filling quickly for these classes (especially Saturday's class which only has a few openings left!) so if you're interested, give them a call at the Clubhouse to sign up! (860-399-4443 - note that they're closed on Mondays.)

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or message me on my Facebook page. Hope to see you there!

 

 


Mixed Media Shadow Box - Seascape

Things have been so busy lately that I haven't had time to work on much art, especially art that's just for me, so I'm pretty excited that I managed to finish the demo piece that I started in my Mixed Media Shadow Boxes class back on May 3rd at Papercraft Clubhouse in Westbrook, Connecticut.

Here you go - it's a seascape featuring a (mostly) handmade fishy!

Mixed Media Shadow Box - Ocean Scene - Gwen Lafleur

The box itself is decorated with stencils, paint, cool sequined and metallic trims from India, sari yarn, and of course, the old drawer handle on top!

Mixed Media Shadow Box - Ocean Scene Side 2 - Gwen Lafleur
Mixed Media Shadow Box - Ocean Scene Side 2 - Gwen Lafleur

Mixed Media Shadow Box - Ocean Scene Top - Gwen Lafleur

Here's the back, using my new Art Deco Borders stencil.

Mixed Media Shadow Box - Ocean Scene Back - Gwen Lafleur

On this piece, I accessorized the front of the box with some sea themed goodies - I took store-bought jewelry components and beads and completely revamped them to use here.

Mixed Media Shadow Box - Ocean Scene Front Angle 2 - Gwen Lafleur

And of course, a close-up of my fishy! He was based on a wood cut-out, but I modified that as well :) I cut parts of the wood, and then I used Aves Apoxie Clay as the basis for constructing the rest of it (as well as for most of the rest of the assemblage that I did on this piece.)

Mixed Media Shadow Box - Ocean Scene Closeup - Gwen Lafleur

I'm super happy with how he came out! It was really fun to make, and it's one of my favorite pieces in quite a while :)

Finally, If you haven't already heard, I'm excited to be going back to the Clubhouse in June for three more classes (June 16-17.) You can see the events on my Facebook page, or check out the class pages on my website.

Friday:

Mini Mixed Media Medallions  10am-1pm

(if you like my shadow box, or wanted to take that class but missed it, you'll love this class! It also uses the Aves Apoxie clay as a base for creating super fabulous embellishments - or even statement pendants!)

Mini Mixed Media Medallions - Gwen Lafleur

Boho Art Journaling 2pm-5pm

Boho Art Journaling - Class Preview - Gwen Lafleur

Saturday:

Of Angels and Icons 10am-5pm

Mixed-Media-Angel---Gwen-Lafleur

Space in the classes is filling quickly, so make sure to call soon if you're interested in joining us! Also, if you have questions about the classes feel free to message me, leave comments, etc...