No Window Die? Grab a Stencil!

Hi Karenliz here.

Have you ever started a project and realized you didn’t have the right tool to complete it? It can be very frustrating.  It happened to me when I wanted to make a card with a window but didn’t have the die to put through my die cutting machine. Look at your stencils! I wanted a round window and using these two stencils I created my card.


Using the Moroccan Tiles stencil I took a piece of cardstock, traced my tile and cut it out.  I added acrylic and crackle paint to my new window to make it look aged.


If you look closely you can see all the cracks. I didn’t use heavy paper so it warped a little but if you put it under something heavy it will flatten.  My next step I created the background with the Harlequin stencil, black acrylic paint, matte gel medium and then painted over it with a wash of gray paint.  With archival and distress inks I created the window scene and attached the window.  My last touch was a big fat furry spider.


Remember there are amazing windows, doors, and portals in stencils. You just have to look a little closer and you will see them.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Knock, Knock, Who’s There?

Hi everyone it’s Karenliz.

My favorite holiday is Halloween. I think its just because my daughter was born on Halloween, 9 weeks early, and it was a scary time. Today I have my first Halloween creation.

First I took a shadow box wood frame and used Liquitex acrylic ink and a stain on it. Then I used a stencil, Peacock Pattern TCW379, with modeling paste mixed with acrylic ink on the front.

2013 08 18_3653HWAnd also added the pattern on all four sides.

HWSidesOnce the frame was dry, I gathered all my Halloween goodies to fill the shadow box; little wooden trees, a wooden raven, Halloween papers, my favorite tree stamp to create the scene, and paper punched bats.

2013 08 18_3659HW

To complete my shadow box I adhered all the pieces in and added more black and brown acrylic paints to darken it up a bit. Here is my finished creation.

2013 08 18_3678HW

This shadow box frame is perfect for a little spooky scene and the stencil pattern around the frame is perfect.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Donna’s “faux encaustic” Tiny Circles!!










Have you seen Donna Downey’s Inspiration Wednesday video? Do you see those wonderful Tiny Circles by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer?? TCW361!!













Gorgeous, right? I love the way that lemon yellow sits on top of the surface like that. You can watch Donna’s video here or below. But make sure to stop over at her blog to read the whole shebang!

Kelly Grace’s gorgeous pants!

IMG_1548First, let me say that I’m not usually photographing women’s legs/thighs. But this was just so incredible that I needed to share! This is our sales rep, Kelly Grace.  She lives in Canada and has so much energy and creativity that it oozes out of her.  Here are her black pants that had a minor stain on them.  So sad.  So what did she do? She grabbed her TCW382 Garden Gate 12×12 stencil and went to work.  She used her Lumière Graphite paint with a little black mixed in.  Slowly and carefully dabbing onto the stencil, onto the pants. I think she said she used some wax paper inside the pant so that it didn’t bleed through. Then she used Viva paint pen for the final “texture” beads on top. Awesome!!

Basic CMYK


May Flaum’s 5-way stencil review

3825We are so lucky that May Flaum loves our stencils.  So lucky!! And we are equally lucky that Shimelle adores May too!! Shimelle actually asked May to write a guest blog post. She introduced May as her “dear friend and crafty wonderment”. Love that!  So without further introduction, here is a tidbit of May’s post listing 5 ways she recommends using stencils.  You can read the whole thing here.

1. As a Background
Perhaps the most obvious way to use a stencil is as a background. You can repeat the pattern, just make splotches of pattern, or even layer more than one stencil. It allows you to This works best on cardstock or a subtly patterned paper. In this layout I used Heidi Swapp color shine mist on my stencil for a subtle design to compliment my photos. 3819

2.Outline and Color

This is the most time consuming, and one I don’t do often. First I outline the stencil with a thin black pen, and then I go back and color with markers, watercolor pencils, or anything else that works for the design. In this layout featuring Amy Tangerine papers my title is stenciled, colored, and coated with glossy accents to really help it pop.

3821 38203.Partial Stencils to Finish or Accent a Page
This is fast becoming my favorite! I’ve always loved using flourish stamps to finish off my layouts, and now I can use stencils in this way too. In this layout (featuring Elle’s Studio papers and tags) I used two different stencils with ink (applied with a foam blending tool) to add little accents to my neutral background. I love all of the detail it adds – and with no bulk!

38224. Stencil onto a Die Cut
Whether it is a die cut, punched shape, alphabet sticker, or piece of chipboard don’t forget you can stencil onto more than just your layout directly. For this layout I knew I wanted to use my Webster’s Pages background paper but I didn’t really have much that went with it. I pulled out my flower stencil and colored a number of hearts and a butterfly punch that I then added to the page.


5. The Shaped Stencil
In the layout above you saw how I used a single heart (in a stencil that had many) on my layout by utilizing a good amount of tape. Another approach to doing something like this is to create a second stencil as I did in the video. For this card I did just that! I placed a heart shaped (homemade) stencil on top of a patterned stencil and colored a heart onto a blank card. The effect is stunning – and at first glance it looks a lot more complicated than it really is which always makes me smile.


Whether you go bold and finish layouts with a spritz of mist over your stencil or keep things more in control with a bit of ink on a stencil for a particular project element, know that there are a lot of ways that you can use those stencils. With intense techniques or simple applications, my stencils help me customize my projects and allow me the creative play that I always crave. I hope I’ve inspired you to try out a stencil on your next project. Oh, and one last note – if you have a punch, die cut, or electronic die cutting machine you can make stencils of your own! Oh yes, the possibilities are endless!