Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Summer of Love Envelopes and Paper Doll

The sweet little motifs in the March 2019 StencilClub designs by Ann Butler evoked images of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and propelled me back to my younger years. I remembered the special dresses and hats my mother made for me to wear on Easter, and the outfits that, later on, I made for myself to wear to school, dances, proms, and even my graduation. The stencils also reminded me that my first calling, as an artist, was fabric design. Back in the 1980s I worked as a print stylist for a fabric manufacturer in NYC's famous Garment Center. Ann's stencils reminded me of some of our patterns, which were fondly called "dumb florals" or "bread and butter" designs because they were so popular and saleable.

I happily  mixed up some '70s-inspired pastels with my acrylics and got busy making some textiley designs.
Painted and stenciled deli paper
First, I painted sheets of deli paper with the pastel colors. Once dry, I started stenciling randomly with the new set.

I had a big supply of clear mailing sleeves leftover from a recent mail art exchange, so decided to use the painted deli paper to make envelopes, and sized them to fit.
Templates for the envelope and card
The gold circles are washi tape. I miscalculated the shape of one of the flaps, and, with washi tape, added extra paper to my template so it would overlap properly.
First, with a piece of heavy watercolor paper, I made a card template slightly smaller than the sleeve. Next, I folded, measured, and cut some paper to make an envelope template. I traced around the envelope template to create the shape of the envelope on each of the five painted and stamped sheets of deli paper.

Painted and stenciled deli paper, cut and ready to fold

Pale blue embossing powder was sprinkled over the floral image, which was made by stamping VersaMark through a stencil, and on to the painted envelope
The painted and stenciled unglued envelope, ready to assemble.
On the front bottom and on the back flap, decorative edging was applied with VersaMark and gold embossing powder.

I added some magic with more stenciling, but this time, instead of paint, I used a VersaMark stamp pad and embossing powder. In addition to the March 2019 club set, I used the April 2013 Stitchery set, designed by Stencil Girl founder Mary Beth Shaw. The Stitchery set fit perfectly with my Summer of Love theme.

Five finished handmade deli paper envelopes.
I was really happy with the set of envelopes, but I had quite a few scraps left. Rather than stuffing them in my scrap box for later use, I decided to make one of my favorite "go to" things: a paper doll.

Scraps of painted deli paper were glued to heavy watercolor paper, then cut to create the doll.
Using a template, intentionally mismatched doll parts were cut for the body and limbs.
A dark edge was added by running a mini dauber and sepia Archival Ink along the edges.
Wanting to keep the same Summer of Love theme going, I searched for just the right face to evoke the era. I found a face in an ad that reminded me of Julie from The Mod Squad, a show that was the epitome of cool in its day. I carefully glued the face to some heavy watercolor paper, cut it out, and ran the sepia mini dauber around the edges.
I fashioned a Woodstock-worthy floral crown from a little piece of pink scalloped edging and added some tiny satin rosettes. Some "granny boots" from The Graphics Fairy completed her hippie look. Still, something was missing...wings!
Using a butterfly stencil from Gwen Lafluer, I applied VersaMark onto black paper, then sprinkled gold embossing powder, and zapped it with my heat gun. The final touch was adding pink circles at the edges of the wings, which I punched out from the deli paper leftover scraps.
The finished Summer of Love doll, atop a pile of matching envelopes.
Doesn't this just make you want to go home, pull out the old Simplicity patterns, play the Mamas and Papas, and watch reruns of The Mod Squad? Or at least attend the next Coachella festival?