Gwen's Gems - Winter Art Journaling

Hi all! Just popping in to let you know that I have a new project available over on StencilGirl Talk... this month I'm sharing a tutorial showing how I made this page in my art journal featuring my new Christmas Cardinal and Holly stencil.

Winter-Cardinal-Art-Journal-Page-angle--Gwen-Lafleur

Be sure to check out the full post for lots more photos and that tutorial I mentioned :)

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At the Improv with Mary Beth Shaw and Seth Apter

Last weekend I was lucky enough to go to Mary Beth Shaw's studio in St. Louis and join eleven other women for a fabulous 2-day workshop with Mary Beth and Seth Apter. It was called "At the Improv," and it was literally kind of an improv'd class! They demonstrated different techniques and processes that they typically use in their work, playing off of each other and sometimes even working on the same canvas. We were then able to take those ideas and inspiration and apply them in our own work. Mary Beth was super generous - she had a huge stash of canvases, collage papers, paints, and other supplies that we were free to use. 

One of the most enjoyable parts for me was meeting people I've only talked to online - like Mary Nasser! She and I have worked together with StencilGirl for several years now, but this is the first time we got to meet in person! We sat at the same table and it was so much fun to hang out in person!

Mary Nasser and Gwen Lafleur

We worked on making parts and pieces that we'd be able to incorporate into our work throughout the weekend - I grabbed lots of different papers, paints, stamps, stencils, and just had a blast! (Photo courtesy of Seth, since I forgot to take any!)

Live at the Improve Parts and Pieces - Gwen Lafleur

We also got to experiment with several supplies that I don't use too often, like fiber paste! Here Seth was showing us some of the ways he likes to use it in his own work:

Seth and Mary Beth - At the Improv Day 1

At the end of day one, I'd made a good start on two different canvases, I had a fabulous pile of art parts, and I had some fiber paste experiments drying in the kitchen.

At the Improv - My WIP end of day 1 - Gwen Lafleur

Day 2, we were back bright and early and dove right in! We went straight to work with more fabulous demos throughout the day, like this one where Mary Beth showed us how she does line work in her abstract art.

Mary Beth Demo - At the Improv Day 2

The day went by way too quickly! It was amazing to go around the room and see what everyone else did during the weekend - there was some awesome work! Here's the whole class - a pretty good looking group, if I do say so myself!

At the Improv with Seth and Mary Beth - Class Photo - November 2017

I also got a photo of the StencilGirl crew - me, Mary Beth, Mary Nasser, and Seth.

StencilGirl Tribe at the Improv - Nov 12 2017

Of course, I can't forget about the artwork! Here's where I ended up at the end of class on day one... one completed 8x8 canvas, one mostly complete 9x12 canvas, and the start of an art journal page (right-hand side.)

At the Improv - My Work End of Day 2 - Gwen Lafleur

I also had my fiber paste background - it's not done, but I like where it's going!

Fiber-Paste-Play---Gwen-Lafleur

After class that night, I was still feeling the itch to create, so I pulled my journal back out and worked more on the page I'd started in class. I happened to have these stained-glass-esque figures that had been pulled off of something else and tucked into the journal, so I took one of those and added it onto the page. Here's where it ended up:

Improv-Art-Journaling---Gwen-Lafleur

A closeup that shows the texture from the background elements I'd added in class:

Improv-Art-Journaling-Closeup---Gwen-Lafleur

Now that I'm back home, I've been able to get into the studio quite a bit this week and finished up my canvases. Here's the first one - this was pretty much done in class and I really like it - it was so much fun to build up all those layers!

Abstract Mixed Media Collage - Gwen Lafleur

Here are a few closeups so you can see some of said texture a bit better...

Abstract-Mixed-Media-Collage---Side-View---Gwen-Lafleur
Abstract-Mixed-Media-Collage---Side-View---Gwen-Lafleur

Finally, the second canvas... I just put on a few finishing touches with paint and glaze after getting home, and I really like this one too! The coloring is similar - you can tell I was working on both of them at the same time so I used pretty much the same paint palette on both of them.

Fish Food - Mixed Media Canvas - Gwen Lafleur

Of course, a few close-ups of this one as well... I used some textured elements and some fiber paste skins and I love the dimension that it adds!

Fish-Food-Mixed-Media-Canvas---Closeup-1---Gwen-Lafleur

Fish-Food-Mixed-Media-Canvas---Closeup-2---Gwen-Lafleur

Whew! That's a lot for just one weekend, don't you think! I'm so glad that I got to go - I had a great time reconnecting with friends and meeting some wonderful new people, and happily, I'm also feeling re-energized and ready to get back to spending more time in the studio!

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Tiny House Swap

For a bit over a year now, I've been participating in bi-monthly swaps for an ATC group based in Connecticut - most of whom are friends from when I lived there a few years ago. Every now and then we do something different instead of making cards to swap, and this month was one of those occasions. Our project this time was to use the Tim Holtz Tiny House Sizzix die to make at least five different decorated houses to trade. We also got a kit with Christmas and winter themed collage images and supplies.

Nov2017-Swap---Tim-Holtz-Tiny-Houses---Gwen-Lafleur

I knew this wasn't going to be something I could knock out in a few hours, and since I ship mine I have to work a bit ahead of schedule. I'm not going to lie... I struggled to get going on this project. My first attempts were kind of blah, and I had the thought - more than once! that maybe I should sit this month out. But I pushed through and in the end I'm pretty happy with them! They made it safely and on time, and last night they were traded with the group.

Here are some individual photos so you can see how each house turned out, starting with the first two:

Nov2017-Swap---Tim-Holtz-Tiny-Houses-1-2---Gwen-Lafleur

Close-ups of both the front and the back:

Nov2017-Swap---Tim-Holtz-Tiny-House-no-2---Gwen-Lafleur Nov2017-Swap---Tim-Holtz-Tiny-House-no-1---Gwen-LafleurHere are the third and fourth houses and their close-ups:

Nov2017-Swap---Tim-Holtz-Tiny-Houses-3-4---Gwen-Lafleur

Nov2017-Swap---Tim-Holtz-Tiny-House-no-4---Gwen-Lafleur

Nov2017-Swap---Tim-Holtz-Tiny-House-no-4---Gwen-Lafleur

Finally, the fifth house (which was actually the first one I made.) You can see on most all of these that I was also able to do a little stash-busting with old holiday paper-crafting supplies in addition to the fun kit for the swap.

Nov2017-Swap---Tim-Holtz-Tiny-House-no-4---Gwen-Lafleur
I'm glad that I was able to finish these - I got to try something new and I had a lot of fun in the process! Now I'm excited to see which five houses I get in return... that's always nearly as much fun as making them to begin with :)


From the Artist Tribe - Handmade Jewelry Using Embellished Trims!

The Artist Tribe continues to make beautiful and inspiring projects, and today is no exception! Lynda Shoup has a super creative idea to share using embellished trims, stencils, and other goodies to make some fabulous handmade jewelry!

Lynda-and-her-Handmade-Jewelry-with-Trims---Lynda-Shoup

I can't get over how amazing this turned out! (Plus, how cute is Lynda? Seriously!) Here's a little close-up so you can see the bottom part of the necklace:

Handmade-Necklace-with-Embellished-Trims---Lynda-Shoup

Talk about out of the box... I would never have thought about that, but now my head is dizzy with all of the new possibilities! Make sure to stop by Lynda's blog to see more photos and get all of the details on her awesome new statement jewelry :D

P.S... if you're loving the trims Lynda used, throughout November all of the beaded and embellished trims in my shop (actually, all ribbons and trims except for sari yarn!) are on sale for 10% off  with the coupon code FancyTrims10.

November-2017-Product-Focus-Banner

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From the Artist Tribe - Upcycled Shoe Box with Embellished Trims

Today Linda Edkins Wyatt is sharing a stunning upcycled shoe box using some of the embellished trims from the shop!

Decorative Box with Embellished Trim - Top View - Linda Edkins Wyatt

Linda has been painting, collaging, stamping, stenciling, and decorating shoe boxes for years, and she happened to have an empty box on her design table was just the right size for this project. She used some yellow embroidered floral trim and patchwork sari silk trim along with an embroidered sheer sari silk remnant from her stash. (Watch the shop updates for similar fabric remnants that are coming soon!)

Decorative Box with Embellished Trim - Front Closeup - Linda Edkins Wyatt

On the front, you can also see a beautiful piece of vintage Turkmen jewelry that came in a selection of random jewelry parts (these are sold by weight - each ounce comes with a special piece like this, randomly chosen from the mix I get from the Middle East.)

I'm absolutely in love with this idea... I have a stack of empty shoe boxes in my closet just waiting to be transformed and I'm feeling inspired! Make sure to stop by Linda's blog to see lots more detail and background on her beautiful project!

FYI, if you're loving the trims Linda used, throughout the entire month all of the beaded and embellished trims in my shop (actually, all ribbons and trims except for sari yarn!) are on sale for 10% off  with the coupon code FancyTrims10.

November-2017-Product-Focus-Banner

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From the Artist Tribe - Stenciled Mixed Media Wall Hanging

The Artist Tribe is back again today! This time, Jackie Neal is sharing a beautiful patchwork mixed media wall hanging that she created as a housewarming gift.

Stenciled-Mixed-Media-Wall-Hanging---Jackie-Neal
Jackie used my Art Deco Flower Medallion stencil along with my Ornamental Peacock Feathers stencil as well as papers from the Marbled Paper sampler pack, sari yarn, and Czech glass flower and elephant beads. There's also a bit of Emerald Creek embossing powder to add beautiful highlights throughout!

Stenciled-Mixed-Media-Wall-Hanging-Close-up---Jackie-Neal

Make sure to check out her blog post for lots more photos and details about her gorgeous project!

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From the Artist Tribe - Mixed Media with Underwater Inspiration!

Today Artist Tribe member Sandee Setliff is sharing a gorgeous mixed media project called "Be Yourself." She started with what she called a "failed" acrylic pour, then worked on top of it for what's now one of her favorite pieces!

Be Yourself Mixed Media Panel by Sandee Setliff

Sandee used some of my handmade Boho collaged fish along with one of her own, and I love the way she used the beaded Kuchi trim to represent underwater plants!

Make sure you stop by Sandee's blog for lots more photos and details about her project!

P.S. If you love that beaded trim in Sandee's project, that and all of the beaded and embellished trims in my shop (actually, all ribbons and trims except for sari yarn!) are on sale for 10% off all month with the coupon code FancyTrims10.

November-2017-Product-Focus-Banner

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From the Artist Tribe - A Secret Journey Journal from Lynda Shoup

Today Lynda Shoup from The Artist Tribe is sharing a gorgeous handmade art journal and box!

Handmade-Journal-with-Marble-Paper---Lynda-Shoup

I love the Coptic binding, and she's used some marble paper from the Irresistible India Mixed Media Happy Pack along with Dresden trim on the cover. The inside pages also use my Ornamental Compass Screen stencil.

Lynda has also made this gorgeous accompanying box that's wrapped with some Irresistible India Mirrored Gold Embellished Trim, along with some sari scraps (look for similar fabrics to be available soon in my upcoming textile packs!)

Journal-Case---Lynda-Shoup

Make sure you head over to Lynda's blog to get lots more photos and details for her gorgeous project.

P.S. Are you just loving that trim she used on the box? This month's product focus in the shop is embellished and beaded trims! You can save 10% on trims and ribbons all month (with the exception of sari yarn and samplers,) with the coupon FancyTrims10.

November-2017-Product-Focus-Banner
The Artist Tribe will be posting more projects with embellished trims throughout the month, so make sure to check back here, on my Facebook page, or through my newsletter (you can sign up below if you'd like to get it.)

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From the Artist Tribe - Art Journaling with Jill Part 2!

Today Artist Tribe member Jill McDowell is back with Part 2 of last week's art journaling post. She's sharing more about the photo transfer technique she used!

Art Journaling View 2 - November 2017 - Jill McDowell

In addition to the transfer technique, Jill is also using my Decorative Medallion stencil to embellish the page:

Art Journaling - November 2017 Stenciled Closeup - Jill McDowell

Make sure you stop by her blog to see more photos as well as details on how this art journal page came together!

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Birthday & Halloween Sale in the Shop!

I'm in the mood to celebrate, so in honor of my birthday and Halloween, I'm putting my entire shop on sale for two days only! Today and tomorrow (10/30 through 10/31.)

Birthday-Sale-Banner

You can save 15% off of all mixed media supplies and kits, as well as original artwork and also my new handmade beaded jewelry! Just enter the code Birthday15 at checkout (it's case-sensitive.) Hope to see you there!

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