Sunday, August 29, 2010

Julie from Down Under

Julie Makela lives just south of Brisbane, Queensland in Australia. She is an absolute marvel when it comes to using Dreamweaver Stencils. In the past few years she finished her degree in Art and her love for mixed media shows in everything she does. I am always fascinated with her ability to layer and cut things. Here I am showing cards she has done using some of this mixed media pizzazz. Behind the penguins she sculpted white emboss paste to create the mountains. The penguins (LL560) were paste embossed with black embossing paste onto an acetate film and once they were dry she turned the piece over. Using just a bit of the white embossing paste on a brush...she painted their bellies and other white parts on the back of the acetate. Then when that was dry she cut the acetate close to their heads and mounted them on the mountains, hiding the mounting tape on the reverse side of the penguins.
The lizards (LM2004) were done in a similar manner, pasted onto acetate, however this time she sprinkled glitter onto the wet embossing paste. When this was dry she turned the acetate over and colored the back of the acetate using acrylic on a brush, then when this dried she cut out the lizards and mounted them with foam mounting tape onto a white cardstock. This white paper was dry embossed with the petal background stencil (LJ899) and just a bit of ink was loaded onto either a large foam dauber or large stencil brush and then brushed across the dry embossed petals to leave a hint of color.
Julie is the one responsible for teaching me the "JAC" paper technique...remember the cardinal that Louise Healy did early on...I mentioned how Julie does this unique effect in one of my first blog postings. I hope to see Julie Makela at CHA in 2011 and I know she will be sharing some new techniques at one of the booths there. Stay in touch to hear more as we get closer to the New Year. By the way Julie, when you get a chance to read this...if one of the above steps is not quite right just let us know in the comment section.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tips on Embellishing Paste with Micro Beads

Marj is another Dreamweaver Stencil teacher and calls the Pacific Northwest area home. Wish I lived close enough to join her classes at the store, Art n' Soul in Lacey Washington. She has many innovative ideas and the cards you see here are samples of a wonderful technique of using micro beads on top of the Dreamweaver Embossing Pastes. Her recommendations for sprinkling on the beads is to leave the stencil in place. The reason for this is that if you take the stencil off after doing the pasting and then try to sprinkle the beads on the wet paste...then those little round devils just slide down into the detail of the design and in this case the creation just becomes a turtle shape rather than a sea turtle (LM179) with a "dude" personality. Next you have to deal with beads stuck all over your pasted stencil when you go to scrub it in your pan of water. So Marj suggests that you go ahead and wash the stencil in a pan of water and then place a strong paper towel into a strainer and pour your dirty paste water through this paper towel to catch all the excess beads. Great idea Marj, I have done this in a couple of classes and people love the idea of being able to capture them and reuse them once they are dried. I also love the free form pasting Marj did on the background piece of the turtle card. And I am also posting a dragon (LL588) done with the same technique. The background is bamboo (LL533) stenciled with a metallic ink.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Metallic F/X Finesse

People have had quite a few questions lately about how to use the Metallic F/X powders. I like using them on the Black Embossing Pastes, but you can use them on any color. Both the Matte and the Glossy pastes will give you some startling results. I love contrast and the Peacock (LG731) you see here was pasted with the Dreamweaver Glossy Black Embossing Paste onto a metallic white card stock. To dry my pasted pieces more quickly I have a very large old electric skillet that I put on the warm (lowest) setting and then place my pasted pieces into it. To dry it this way takes less than 25 min. for the glossy pastes to dry and less than 15 min. for the matte pastes, this is less than half the usual time. I then repositioned the stencil onto the dried design and tapped the Stamp & Stick Gluepad all over the stencil using a jumbo foam dauber. I used the color "kiwi" for the leafy swirls and when I load my gold handled Dreamweaver stencil brush I just dip it 1/8" into the powder and then tap tap tap the excess into the lid of the powder to remove the excess and push the powder up into the bristles. When I work on top of the "glossy" paste, which is any of them that have a slick shiny look to them when they are dry, I use a stippling technique for application or a tap tap tapping motion. I used the colors- sapphire, purple satin, glacier lake, goldfinch and gold dust to stencil the bird. If you want to shade with a second color, base coat the area you are working on with the stippling application and then daub on more of the Palette Stamp & Stick Glue to this same area, because you have covered up the glue with your first coat of Metallic F/X. Now you will stencil this same area again by adding your next color for a shaded effect. This time you can use a stroking motion or circular rouging technique to achieve a smooth airbrushed look. Since I like contrast I often leave some of the black glossy paste showing through rather than filling it entirely with color. I believe this contrast will really makes your stenciling pop! When you take the stencil off of the design you may notice a bit of a haloing of the Metallic F/X, sort of like dust, on your background paper. The Swiffer dusting refill cloths can be used to pick up this excess powder. Just do it gently so that your work does not smear. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Stenciling in Upstate New York

Theresa Winters is another talented stenciling teacher. She owns a small rubber stamp store in Rome, NY called Sweethearts Rubber Stamps. She also travels the New England area and teaches stenciling classes as a Dreamweaver Stencils independent sales rep. A while back she was working in her classroom and had pasted the horses (LL559) you see here with the metallic copper embossing paste and set them aside and started working on a project using the Metallic F/X powders. When she turned back to pick up the horse card she realized that the pasted piece had a fine sprinkling of metallic mica powders all over it. Evidently there was a fan blowing across the room and it had carried a fine mist of the mica powders that she had been working with onto her horses that were in the process of drying. Just another opportunity to develop a new technique. She also suggested that if you have a stencil design that is delicate that you don't leave the stencil on while you are sprinkling the image with powders, because if you leave the stencil on too long when you try to take it off the paste will have dried into the stencil and the paper may rip. I know the complaint is that the powder then gets all over the cardstock. She recommends that once it is dry take a Swiffer dust cloth and pick up the powder on the background areas. These Swiffer cloths are great for cleaning up glitter and small particles of metallic leafing as well. Theresa has many other techniques up her sleeve and if you are ever in the Rome, NY area you must drop in to see her store. She will soon be teaching in the Boston area at "Ink About It", Westford, Mass. Her classes fill quickly so call sooner than later.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Rubout Technique

I am a bit biased about this next paper artist, mostly because we happen to be genetically connected. My daughter Elizabeth has the surprising ability to create without any restraints. Which is only one of the reasons why she is often discovering new techniques. As a card designer for Dreamweaver during her teenage years, Elizabeth was often given a task to create something specific and in her easy laid back approach to the projects at hand she would often discover some fun twist that would take her down a creative back alley searching for her muse. Anyway that's what it seemed like to me...this is interpreted as her taking the project in a different direction with a minor "slip up" and in the process of trying to get back on track creating a totally new technique. How often do each of us "mess up" and in the journey to salvage our creations do we come up with something totally inspired? The saying "Necessity is the mother of invention" is Elizabeth's mantra. The card pictured here is one of her innovative approaches to working with the Memories Mists, both the regular and Vivid lines. The Vivids are a highly pigmented type of spray, and the colors are fairly electric, almost florescent. First she blended these two types of sprays onto glossy cardstock to create a background, by spraying two or three layers of color on top of each other. While these sprays were still wet... she moved the color like a faux finish artist, by wadding up either a soft rag or a dry paper towel she would blend the colors together before they dried completely. After waiting a few minutes to let the piece cure a bit she would then place the stencil where she wanted it. Next she used a soft cloth to rub the ink out of the stencil openings. This process rubs down one color and leaves the first layer of color that was sprayed onto the glossy paper showing through. She discovered that if she waited too long and the background dried too much she would need to dampen her cloth with "Windex" or rubbing alcohol. Just damp though, because too much wetness would cause the paper to deteriorate and she would lose the layered color effects. Recently I decided to teach her technique and when I asked her what she would like to recommend to people trying these techniques for the first time, she said that the hardest thing for her was learning to keep the tools clean. The next time she went to use the sprays the atomizers had plugged up, the Vivid sprays are great because they are highly pigmented, but that also means you have to clean them afterwards with really hot water so you can use them again successfully. I have to admit that keeping my tools and work area clean is a bit of a struggle for me as well, I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree after all. lol! Although stenciling happens to be my passion and not hers, I am inspired by her creative endeavors time after time.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Salt Lake City Teachers

Last year about this time I got an email from a stencil enthusiast and cardmaker, Willi Haslam, from the Salt Lake City area. She had been to a scrapbooking expo there and discovered our embossing paste. She then wanted to know where she could get more of our products in here area the next time she needed something. My heart sank because I had to write back to say that at this time not even one retailer carried our line of stencils in all of Utah. But as we correspondended, I asked if she knew of anyone in the area that might be interested in teaching and representing our line to stores. She eventually wrote back and said that she and a couple of friends loved paper crafting and might be interested in sharing the products with stores. After that I traveled to Utah and met with Willi and two other friends, Jana Larsen and Cheryl Wilcox. This was the beginning of a good friendship and I am fortunate they are such enthusiastic paper artisans. They are not only card makers, but scrapbookers as well. (And Willi loves to quilt and sew too). You can take their classes at Heartfelt Creations in Sandy, UT and Wholesale Clearance Outlet in Bountiful, UT. I just met with them again last week and decided that the three of them have way too much fun stenciling and paper crafting. LOL! Too bad for me huh? The card you see here is done by Willi and represents what you can do with some beautiful preprinted papers, glossy blue embossing paste was used on the happy birthday stencil (LM248). She positioned the corner flourish stencil and daubed on just a bit of the Palette brand stamp and stick glue pad using a large foam dauber. As an innovative tool she used the tip of her finger and rubbed the Moonstone Metallic F/X powder into the the stencil (LJ896). If you happen to be in the Salt Lake City area be sure to check out their upcoming classes in the aforementioned stores.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sludge Paste Technique

Dolly Brennan is also from the Chicago area and teaches and demonstrates for two or three stores there and also makes it up into Wisconsin too. Dolly used to own her own small stencil store and I feel fortunate that she is willing to travel and teach using the Dreamweaver Stencil line these days. I loved how she used the elongated punch to give this whale a watery feel. Sludge pasting is a technique where you can take two or three or even more colors of paste and pull them across a stencil for this beautiful mixed effect. The trick (it seems like there always is one, huh?) is to not overwork it. I like to place two or three colors of the paste down at one end of the stencil and then pull them across in one sweep if I can manage it. Dolly will be teaching this Fall at Stamp, Scrap N' More in Mundelein, IL (website and she also teaches at Creative Cuts & Crafts, Villa Park, IL (

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Joyce Kurtz from Peddler's Pack in Oregon

While the Dream Team is working on new Christmas designs I am showcasing some of the teachers and sales reps that have designed and shared cards made with Dreamweaver Stencils over the years. I have to say that I have had this card around for a bit. The owner of Peddler's Pack Stampworks, Joyce Kurtz, sent me this one-step cloisonné card, which I just love. Joyce owns her own rubber stamp company and loves cardmaking and her customers love her. She is one of the most enthusiastic, upbeat store owners in the business today. To make this card she paste embossed the sunflower (LL429) with the regular embossing paste, when doing either one-step or two-step cloisonné I always base-coat with the regular or matte yellow embossing pastes. When it was completely dry she stenciled it with bright colored pigment inks and then sprinkled it with Suze Weinberg's Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel and heated it gently with a heat gun. The small rubber stamped greeting is one of her own rubber stamp designs. What a cheerful card... just like it's maker. If you get the chance, stop and take a class from Joyce in Beaverton, OR. You can visit her site for directions and info:

Monday, August 16, 2010

Meet Theorem Painter (Stenciler), Shirley Day

I met Shirley Day for the first time when I went to a Stencil Artisan's League Convention in Parsippany, New Jersey in the early 90s. At that time I had just released our first brass stencil designs and she still had her Studio in Connecticut. She was selling her theorem stencil line called "Nutmeg Stencilers", at a booth across from me in the retail portion of the SALI show. This was the beginning of a great friendship. Later when I exhibited our stencils at a sewing show in Springfield, MA, Shirley invited me to spend time with her at her home a few miles away in CT and we discovered that we are kindred spirits in so many ways, we both love nature themes...animals and birds and florals and beautiful "stuff"..., I also loved learning many theorem painting techniques from Shirley. (Theorem Painting is an advanced method of stenciling with several overlays of stencils to create an image without stencil bridges showing and it was mostly stenciled on creamy velveteen fabric...this craft was taught to young women who went to "finishing schools" eons ago at the turn of the 19th century...a true early American folk craft.) This year Shirley turns 80 and I hope to see her soon, she just sent me this beautiful card using our iris stencil (LL516) and corner design (LG698) which she dry embossed by hand and notice she did the delicate detail work on the bearded iris with a fine tipped sable detail brush, hard to see because of the limits of computer imaging, but she also sprinkled just a smidgeon of fine glitter on top. Shirley still teaches in her home based studio now in Reading, MA, right next door to the home she grew up in, and her father was born in... and died in at the age of 103, her family's history surrounds her. Her mother was a famous oil paint artist who owned her own New England based greeting card company called Red Farm Studio, it is still in existence and based in Pawtucket, RI. Shirley's students can still learn theorem painting today, as well as bronzing, tole painting and sometimes they even do card making with metal stencils. Wish I lived nearby so we could stencil together more often. I have learned so much from this stenciling friend. One of the things that I hope to pass on to my students, other stencil enthusiasts and card makers is that you don't have to create something in two minutes time, take your time and enjoy the process, for me cardmaking with stencils is a wonderful crafting experience and a time to come together and enjoy with fellow crafters. Although I love the speed at which dry embossing goes through the machines, it doesn't take long maybe just 5 minutes to dry emboss something by hand occasionally. Also taking time to learn to manipulate the stencil brush gives you such an "ah ha" experience, and the feeling once you've learned to shade from light to dark is priceless. It may take a bit of practice, but it is so rewarding too. Thank you Shirley for sharing with us your love of the art of stenciling!

Shirley Day's Theorem Stenciling

Pictured here is one of Shirley's pieces of theorem work that she gifted me with recently and for those of you who want to know more about Theorem Painting:

Rosemary Carsello purchased Shirley's business "Nutmeg Stencilers" and has an online store called "Crafter's Corner". She also sells several other lines of theorem stencils. If you want to learn more here is her

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Elaine's Layering Work

While the Design Team is working on new card designs, I would like to introduce you to some of the teachers and sales reps across the country who have inspired me over the years. Elaine Benedict has been stenciling and teaching for Dreamweaver Stencils from our beginnings in the early 90's. She is from the Chicago area and teaches and reps our products in Wisconsin, Illinois and Eastern Iowa. For this piece she sprayed the background with the Memories Mists...using both the regular mists and the Vivids. The Vivid Mists are highly pigmented and are a bit tricky to use because they are pigment based and can clog the atomizers, but cleaning the atomizer with hot water after usage and shaking them well before usage keeps them spraying and as you can tell they give strong color contrasts for a spray. She then paste embossed the pussy willow (LL3007) to the left of the card using the Dreamweaver Glossy Black Paste. The large vase (LG615) was first dry embossed (by hand using a large tipped stylus and light table) ...since this is a simple design doing it by hand goes very quickly, but you could also put it through your embossing machine with the layering process I mentioned a couple of days ago. When the embossing was finished she left the stencil in place and very lightly shaded around the edge of the vase with a 1/2" stencil brush. Next the mosaic swirl background stencil (LJ901) was placed under the vase stencil and she stenciled a variety of soft green inks using 1/2" stencil brushes. Using these large brushes makes the job go more quickly and leaves a soft mix of the three shades of green pigment ink. Next she stenciled using a jumbo dauber with the Versamark inkpad on top of the green inks. She then removed both stencils and sprinkled on Suze Weinberg's Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel, which she then heated with a heat gun. For a sharp crisp look she mounted the vase onto glossy black cardstock and cut it out leaving just a 1/16" border. If you are interested in taking a class with Elaine try one of the rubber stamp or scrapbook stores in these midwest states it will be worth it! She has quite a following of students that enjoy her classes and work.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

"Daisies Are Such Friendly Flowers"

That quote from the movie
"You've Got Mail" has been
coming to my mind whenever
one of the Dream Team sends
me a sample using the new
black-eyed Susan stencil
(LJ902). Liz Martin, from
San Carlos, CA dry embossed
this design, then stenciled it
with inks. Then she put glue
in the centers of the flowers
and sprinkled them with the
"Flower Soft" product. She
then mounted it onto a dark
brown cardstock and
embellished it with a soft
green ribbon. Makes me
want to run out and buy
some Flower Soft, I bet they
have it available at the store
where she teaches in San
Carlos, CA. Scrapbook Depot!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Embossing Machines

You've probably been wondering what I have been up to on this "variation" on Pam's card. But I told you when I started the blogsite that if you have questions about a particular technique I would try to help you solve it here on the blog. Recently I was asked about putting the stencils through the embossing machines and what is the process. On one of Pam's recent cards she embossed the LJ819 snowflake background stencil through the machine and someone asked how that was done. When I saw her recent heart card (the one we just posted today) I realized that she had paste embossed every stencil on the card with the glossy black embossing paste... so how would this same beautiful design look if we dry embossed every element of the design on an embossing machine. If you dry embossed every dot and swirl and letter by hand using a stylus and light would take a mega amount of work time. So here it is, done totally on the embossing machine. Now I know several of you have tried to do your stencils through the machines and the result has been a bent or "curled" stencil. The way a couple of the machines are designed there is a roller positioned at the top of the machine and this is the issue...if you place the stencil toward the top of the stack without the protection of a hard plate close to that roller you will have a ruined stencil, so use the following layering process:

1. The thickest plate that comes with the machine should be on the bottom, this is usually a white platen about 1/2" thick.
2. Next place the stencil face down on this thick plate.
3. Spray the back of the paper with alcohol or "Paper Glide".
4. Place this paper face down against the stencil
5. "Stamping Details" rubber mat, this is a slightly thicker mat that you have to purchase separately (we sell it and you can purchase it at your local paper arts stores).
6. Last layer of the stack are two thinner acrylic plates that come with the machine and then roll this all through the machine. You shouldn't have to shove or force it through while cranking the machine. (Forcing could cause a machine breakdown.)

You may need to adjust the layering of the last two plates if you are finding that it is needing to be forced through the machine. You want the pressure to be firm, but not forced. You may need to add "shims" ...these could be one or more pieces of cardboard or chipboard and I would put these on top of the rubber mat and then your clear plates. Some machines have two different thicknesses of the clear plates and you just have to try a variation to see what makes the layers go through your machines the easiest. But... to keep your stencils from curling you definitely want these clear plates to be closest to the roller that moves the layers through the machine. These hard clear plates protect the stencil layer.

Thank you Pam, for this lovely design that can be done so many different ways, you know my favorite saying, "No idea is immaculately conceived." Go take Pam's beautiful card design and give it your own twist. Have a good weekend!

Study in Black Glossy Embossing Paste

This is one of my favorite cards
from designer Pam Hornschu.
Everything was done with a
palette knife or glue. She paste
embossed (using the Glossy Black
Embossing Paste) the dot
background stencil (LJ804)
on the bright pink cardstock,
then she also pasted a pink
cardstock with a lighter
pink dot background using
the heart stencil (LL567)
and once that was dry she
applied the four bright pink
crystals in the center. To finish
the look she added the You & Me
stencil (LS1004), also in the
glossy black embossing paste.
Putting it all together with the
black bow underneath she
layered her creation. The
contrast really makes this
card striking! Check back
later for a variation on this card.


HEY! PAM...just noticed that you posted this card on your blogsite yesterday...
great minds and all that...however my mind is about 24 hours behind yours.
By the way I must like "mushy", because this is one of my faves of yours.
Check my blogs here later today, because I hope to do a variation
on this one...hopefully if time permits. And CONGRATS on being awarded
Blog of the Week by!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

HOPE is the thing with feathers...

Whenever I see this little bird stencil (LS94) 
it reminds me of the Emily Dickinson 
poem called ...


Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul, 
And sings the tune--without the words, 
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard; 
And sore must be the storm 
That could abash the little bird 
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land, 
And on the strangest sea; 
Yet, never, in extremity, 
It asked a crumb of me.

Thank you Lee, for this beautifully stenciled tag!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

dream Alternatives

This new stencil (LJ902) can be stenciled as a daisy, black-eyed-susan, cone flower etc. The list goes on and on as to how the new design team has interpreted this flower. Pam Hornschu has done it many different ways, you should go to her blog site to see a couple more ways she has done this stencil design. But here she exhibits a unique approach to using a complex stencil. She reminds us that you can take just one element from a stencil and use it. Don't be afraid to take a stencil design apart and utilize a single element in your card design work. She dry embossed several of the flowers on the background cardstock using an embossing machine. She then paste embossed a single flower on the dark purple cardstock and stenciled it with inks.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Do a Daisy

From designer Laura Drahozel comes this beautiful variation on the summer floral. The greenery on this card is actually a pearlescent embossing powder on top of the regular embossing paste. The daisies (stencil LJ902) have been stenciled with a yellow pigment ink and then embossing powder on top of the inks. The summer stencil (LM294) was pasted with glossy white embossing paste on yellow cardstock and when dry was cut out, then mounted with foam mounting tape.

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