Saturday, July 7, 2018

Stencil Club: A Tuscan Summer Day

Over the past few years, I've gotten hooked on stencils. At first, I thought stencils were something that had to be traced carefully and filled in with color. I thought they would give a stiff, boring look to my artwork. After taking some workshops and watching videos on how to use stencils, I discovered that they were pretty magical.

One of my friends told me about the Stencil Club, which has exclusive designs by some of the top artists of Stencil Girl. Each month, you get three different sized stencils by the same artist plus a video and membership in their closed Facebook group. The Stencil Club designs are not for sale to the public; they are available only to club members.

I decided to give the Stencil Club a try, and as luck would have it, this month's artist is one of my favorites: Gwen Lafluer. When the stencils arrived, I pulled out some of my favorite supplies and got to work.
The tile-inspired designs made me think of an old country home in Tuscany...not that I have ever been there, but I can dream, can't I? I pictured warm golden colors and sunlight and charmingly aged floors and walls. For the background of my journal page, I decided to use a base of turmeric teabags with the biggest stencil (9"x12") done in white.
Dried, empty turmeric teabags ready to be glued to a journal page.
I got to work spreading matte medium on the blank page with an old credit card, placing on the teabags, adding more matte medium on top, and scraping off the excess.
The first row of teabags was applied to the wet, matte medium covered page.
Eight turmeric teabags covered the page perfectly.
Little pieces that were snipped off the top of the teabag (so that it could be emptied) add interest to the background.
White acrylic was applied through the stencil with a makeup sponge.
Once the white paint had dried, I carefully applied VersaMark on top of the 6'x6"stencil, sprinkled on some of my Emerald Creek Baked Texture embossing powder in chunky rust, removed the stencil, tapped off the excess powder, then blasted it with my heat gun. The rust, white and turmeric colors  were perfect together. (I was having such a good time and so far into my "zone" that I forgot to take photos.)

It needed a little more oomph, so I searched through my boxes of ephemera to find just the right item that said 'Tuscan kitchen on a sunny, relaxed day' and auditioned a bunch of items. I finally settled on some birds that I cut from les Oiseaux, a beautiful Florentine paper available on Gwen's website. I carefully tore the birds out of the paper, added antique linen Distress Stain to age them, and edged them with a touch of brown chalk ink. Next, I used gel medium to adhere the birds to the page.
Birds were cut from the gorgeous les Oiseaux Florentine paper.
I was feeling like the page should hint at a window, so I added an edging, at the bottom, of one of Gwen's Art Deco Border designs to suggest the window ledge. Again I used the VersaMark, but this time I sprinkled champagne-gold embossing powder. As final touches, I added small white sections of the fluer de lis, a little gold on  the tips of the the rusty fluer de lis, and with my fingertip, a bit of yellow ochre paint to blend the birds into the background.

I am so glad I took the plunge and joined the Stencil Club! I want to spend the whole weekend playing with the new Stencil Club stencils, which I am sure are going to be among my favorites. I can't wait to see what interesting stencils arrive in the months to come!
"A Tuscan Summer Day" journal page


Gwen Lafleur said...

This is so pretty Linda! I always love seeing your process, and all of the elements and colors really remind me of Tuscany! Love it!

Jill McDowell said...

Welcome to the club Linda. You’re going to fit right in with the rest of us stencil nuts! I am so tickled by your turmeric tea bags. They are awesome with the Laflourish style.

Kate Yetter said...

You background is beautiful with all the collaged stencils. The tea bags made the perfect base especially with the color from the turmeric.

Jackie P Neal said...

Linda, I was wondering where you came up with your title for this post. Once I saw the full page and read your description about the Turmeric teabags, I instantly fell in love while saying- Ohhhh that's why! Brilliant page dear friend! I love the addition of the birds- perfect compliment!
hugs,Jackie xx

ps...where's that Follow by email link? hint hint