Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Mary Beth Shaw and PRESSED LEAVES Stencil

Check out Mary Beth Shaw's  latest video here.  Great ideas for "popping" images ... and to my delight, she shows a two-page spread in her art journal that she has embellished (along the tops of the pages) with dark paint and my 6" x 6" stencil Pressed Leaves.  I really like the look when a stencil is used partially, while another part of the design "falls" off the edge of the paper.  

Cyber Monday is Extended -- But Act Fast!

Cyber Monday 2017 is extended!  But hurry!  To see an ad, click here.

To check out my full line of stencils, please go here.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Cyber Monday Sale at StencilGirl!

Cyber Monday is today!

Save 25% off all* stencils
Use code: cyber25
Monday, November 27, 2017
from midnight until 11:59 p.m. CST (Central Standard Time) USA
PLUS 10% discount when you buy 6 stencils of the same size!
NEW THIS YEAR! Choose 1 FREE large stencil for every $100 spent (after discounts are applied). You MUST specify your choice(s) by L### code in the comments section of the cart when you check out or it will be StencilGirl's choice. Sorry, no exceptions.

BONUS! Spend $500+ (after discounts are applied) and StencilGirl will send you an original work of art by Mary Beth Shaw.

The multiple web pages of my stencils start here


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Watch for a StencilGirl Cyber Monday Sale Coming Nov. 27!

 Stencil sale coming on Monday!

You can click on the image below to enlarge it ...

The multiple web pages of my stencils start here



Looking Ahead to Christmas Gift Making

Today's project -- making a gift-set of kitchen towels with silkscreen-printed appliques -- was made possible with a lot of help from Mary Ann Russo (who made these towels) and Cindy Powell (who supplied photos taken during the silkscreening process.)

Above is a close-up detail of Mary Ann Russo's silkscreen print used as an applique on a kitchen towel.

The above view shows Mary Ann's two towels in full.

Today's write-up is based on the works of many other artists who have shared their experiences and photos online, in books and in DVDs. These pioneers have broken the trail for fabric artists like Mary Ann Russo, whose lovely kitchen towels are pictured above, and Cindy Powell, whose photos will be used in the first section of this write-up.

One advantage of pairing a stencil with a silkscreen is that the same framed screen combo can be used over and over, to create repeat patterns on any fabric of choice.  This approach is quicker, less costly and less involved than the alternative of using multiple silkscreens, each created with its own single, permanent design. 

Another reason for using a silkscreen with a stencil is that the screen protects the stencil. The heavy pressure that is sometimes required for ink-application could damage stencils with intricate, delicate designs -- but, with this technique, the ink is never applied directly to the stencil. The framed silkscreen mesh is a porous yet protective barrier between the squeegee that spreads the ink and the cut-outs that form the design. Thus, the stencil remains totally intact, ready for use in any of the other multiple ways available to multi-media artists.

Supply list:

(1) T-pins and sturdy tape such as duct tape

(2)  scissors

(3) a large padded work surface, covered with protective plastic sheeting

(4) a second work surface, covered with newspaper

(5) a wide basin half-full of clean water

(6) a length of fabric --

100% cotton is a popular choice.  This cloth must first be washed in hot water to remove sizing, then machine-dried, using no drier sheets or any other form of fabric softener.  It must then be stretched taut across the padded surface, and secured there with T-pins (corsage pins) or sturdy tape.  

 (7) stencil

 In this technique, a stencil is what gives the artist the design to be printed. For this project, Cindy Powell is using the 9"X12" Mimosa stencil, made of sturdy plastic and available here:
 (8)  painter's tape 

     Painter's tape (a low-tack tape such as blue masking tape) is used to secure the stencil to the silkscreen frame.

(9)  fabric-printing ink and a plastic spoon or any similar tool 
     One popular ink is Speedball fabric screen printing ink.  One source:
(10)  squeegee 

      This tool has a sturdy handle and a soft-plastic edge.  One example:

(11)  silkscreen

     A silkscreen consists of a frame, often aluminum or wood, which encases a tautly-stretched piece of mesh (originally made from silk but currently made from synthetics like polyester/organza.)  It's important to use a silkscreen large enough to accommodate the 9"X12" stencil with enough leftover space along one edge for placing the streak of printing ink (which will be spread across the stencil.)  Below is a silkscreen viewed from the top (also called "the inside") --  it shows the white central area, which is sunken; this part is called "the well."

This photo is courtesy of Cynthia Powell .

For this technique (as shown above), the artist uses a screen containing no previously established design -- so this screen can be considered a "blank."

The other side of this silkscreen has no indentation/well; it has a flat surface that will be placed upon the fabric -- after that flat surface has had the stencil attached.

To attach the stencil to the silkscreen:  Lengths of painter's tape are firmly pressed all the way around all four edges of the stencil, creating a snug fit on the side of the silkscreen that will be placed onto the fabric to be printed. The painter's tape must cover the entire area between the outer edges of the stencil and the outer edges of the silkscreen, since the artist wants no ink to print in these outer areas. 

Having taped the stencil to the silkscreen, the artist places the un-inked screen on a flat sturdy surface covered with newspaper.

In this photo, viewed from the "well" side of the silkscreen, you can see the 9X 12" Mimosa stencil through the thin mesh fabric.  The stain is not going to print.  It is permanent, the result of a previous silkscreening project.

Now, the artist adds a stream of the thick ink into the sunken area, "the well," on top of the silkscreen -- the side opposite the flat side where the stencil has been added.

When placing this stream of ink onto the silkscreen, the artist is careful to place it along one taped edge, keeping the ink on the tape, to avoid getting ink onto the stencil which can be seen through the mesh.  Excess ink would make the ink pool, flooding the stencil to create a blob-print instead of a print with well-defined design.

The artist then uses the squeegee to make four or five passes across the silkscreen, to saturate the screen.
Next, the artist lifts the screen to see whether a good print has been made on the newspaper.

When the print has passed that test, the framed silkscreen-stencil-combo is then placed onto the fabric -- and it's time to make the final prints.

Mary Ann Russo, an experienced silkscreen user, makes her prints working alone.

Some other silkscreen users recommend that at this point, two people begin working together -- one holding the screen securely in place, while the other makes multiple passes with the squeegee across the screen. 

It can take at least four passes with firm pressure from top to bottom, and side to side, to get the ink to penetrate the fabric. 

(Still other silkscreen artists use the Provo Craft Yudo machine, which comes in several versions with corresponding price ranges; this machine makes it easier for one person to do the operation alone.   One source: 

Once the first print is completed, the artist lifts her screen and sets it aside on clean newspaper. 

Above is a close-up of a just-completed silkscreen print, done by Cynthia Powell, using the 9" X 12" Mimosa stencil.  Note the reflected light on the left side, indicating the ink is still wet.

If the artist wants to make more prints on the same piece of fabric, she must first use a hair drier to dry the just-printed section.

As soon as the printing is finished, the stencil is un-taped from the screen and both are placed in a basin of water until time allows gentle cleansing away of the ink. 

Some artists work outdoors so as to cleanse the screens and stencils with water from a hose.

The printed fabric is allowed to dry overnight.  Then the artist heat-sets the prints with an iron, following directions supplied by the ink manufacturer.

No further washing is needed; the fabric is now ready to be cut into shapes for use in appliqué-making.  To learn about appliqué-creating and application, many online tutorials are available. To list just a few of the possible choices of method:

To shop for a DVD giving detailed silkscreening instructions, here are just a few of the many choices out there:

Thanks for visiting my blog today!

I'm happy to say that I've designed 70 stencils for StencilGirl.  The multiple pages of my stencils start here.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Stencil Sale coming on Cyber Monday!

 Stencil sale coming on Monday!
The multiple web pages of my stencils start here


Friday, November 24, 2017

Cyber Monday Stencil Sale is Coming!

 Stencil sale coming on Monday!

 The multiple web pages of my stencils start here


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Blessed and Thankful!

Artist Lisa Dobry invites StencilGirl StencilClub Facebook members to create art according to monthly themes -- a great idea! -- and the theme for November is Blessed and Thankful.

So I gave this phrase the starring role in a piece of art --

For this piece on stretched canvas, I used these stencils:

It's a Jungle Out There (9"x 12")

Marbles 9 (9" x 12" but also comes in a6" x 6" size.)

Mimosa 6 (6" x 6" but also comes in a 9" x 12" size.)

The central area of the canvas -- its title and theme -- was the part I did first.  After sketching in the hollow letters with Inktense pencils, I painted them with water-thinned acrylic inks.  

Next, I created the border. The technique I used for that is shown and described in the Absentee Artist chapter of the book Creative Paper Art by Nancy Welch.  It's also demonstrated in Pat Dews' DVD Designing Great Starts with Texture and Form, available at Cheap Joe's Art Supplies. 

In my very last step, I re-outlined the centralized letters with watercolor pencils.

These stencils weren't used in their entirety.  Each of them had previously been to my chop-shop, where I'd customized them with scissors.

Thanks for visiting today!

I'm happy to say that I've designed 70 stencils for StencilGirl.  The multiple pages of my stencils start here.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Cyber Monday Stencil Sale -- Mark Your Calendar!

 Stencil sale coming on Monday!

The multiple web pages of my stencils start here


Friday, November 17, 2017

Rainbow Art Created with 9" x 12" Stencil CLUSTERED LEAVES

An artist who goes by "@jadanchik" has created artwork in vibrant bold stunning rainbow colors, using StencilGirl stencils.  I'm delighted that one of these glowing creations was made with my 9" x 12" stencil Clustered Leaves.

The stencil itself looks like this:

Clustered Leaves 9" x 12" stencil

To see all my stencils, please visit here.

Thanks for visiting my blog today!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Part 2 -- Stenciled Art Prints by Mary Ann Russo

Here are five more prints made by my friend Mary Ann Russo.  Enjoy!

Above:  This print was made on pre-printed paper with Swaying Grasses stencil, measuring 6" x 6".

The stunning red prints above and below were made with my 9" x 12" stencil Marbles.  This stencil also comes in a 6" x 6" version.

Above:  Mary Ann made this print with Trivet C stencil, which is 6" x 6".

Above:  This antiqued piece of collage paper was created with vintage papers that Mary Ann sandwiched between two sheets of art tissue, held together with matte medium.  After staining the paper tan, she used brown paint to made an imprint with my 9" x 12" stencil Vintage Script.
To see my full line of stencils, please visit here.

Many thanks for visiting my blog today!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Mary Ann Russo's Stenciled Art Prints, Part 1

My friend Mary Ann Russo has let me borrow more of her stenciled art prints so I can show them here, before she cuts and rips them into pieces for collage.  Many thanks, Mary Ann!

Above:  Made with 9" x 12" Clustered Leaves Stencil (which has been cut free of its original outer frame.)

Above:  Made with 9" x 12" Clustered Leaves Stencil (which has been cut free of its original outer frame.)

Above:  This art print was made with Marblesa 9" x 12" stencil that also comes in 6" x 6". 

Above:  This art print was made with Pavilion Shadows, a 6" x 6" stencil.

The art print above was made with the 6" x 6" stencil Ski Lift Works.

Thank you for visiting my blog!  My next post will show more art prints by Mary Ann Russo.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

LOOPY LADDERS, 9" x 12" Stencil at

Loopy Ladders, one of my favorite stencils, has found its way into the talented hands of my friend Mary Ann Russo.  The first two photos below showcase Mary Ann's cool-green prints made with this stencil --

Note:  Mary Ann made the above print on pre-printed paper.

Likewise, I've made new prints with this stencil...

Above:  (gray foreground)-- 9" x 12" Loopy Ladders Stencil ... (pink background) 9" x 12" Mimosa Stencil (on pre-printed paper)

The photo above, as well as the photo below, show Loopy Ladders used on stretched canvas. 

Below, Loopy Ladders was used in creating the background print (brown.)  Later, with orange acrylic paint, I added a foreground with Ornamental Iron Curls Stencil (6" x 6".)  The latter stencil has been cut free from its original frame.  

Above-- a green Loopy Ladders print on stretched canvas, overlaid with a white print made with Prayer Flags Stencil (both stencils are 9" x 12".) 

Above, today's final print was made with Loopy Ladders on pre-printed paper.

Thanks for visiting my blog!

To see my full line of stencils, just check here.

More prints by Mary Ann Russo will be appearing here ... please stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


Tangled Pods (9" x 12") remains one of my favorite stencils.  It's turned out to be more versatile than I had ever expected. 

Above is the collage-card I gave my husband for our last anniversary.  Because of his love for sailing, I used a nautical map as the background for the (vertical right-side) print made with blue acrylic paint and Tangled Pods (The other papers are pre-made collage papers, a gift from my sweet stepdaughter Christina.)  The heart embellishment is a crafter's wooden heart covered with a scrap of painted paper.

Below is another greeting card, this one printed with Tangled Pods on a round mini Gelli Plate.  After that print dried, I framed it with a few pieces cut from the stencil itself, which had become stained during earlier art projects.  For this kind of collage, I use Pioneer Embellisment Glue Stick.  

Today's next Tangled Pods piece brings back memories of last fall's colors.  I created it on stretched canvas using a technique from the Absentee Artist chapter in the book Creative Paper Art by Nancy Welch.  This technique is also demonstrated on Pat Dews' DVD Designing Great Starts with Texture and Form, available online at Cheap Joe's Art Supplies. 

Today's last artwork, below, is a matted portfolio piece.  Its background is a sheet of Yupo drenched in blue and magenta.  The foreground is a piece of a Tangled Pods stencil that had been heavily stained during earlier projects.

Tangled Pods in its entirety looks like this--

Tangled Pods has a mirror-image stencil, Dangled Pods.  It looks like this --

Thank you for coming to see my blog today!

To check out all my stencils, please visit here.