Bookbinding with Tyvek and Quasicrystals

Greetings, my little Gorgonzolas!

I feel like I do a lot of “HMMMM I wonder if THAT would work?!!” pondering, especially when I should be folding laundry.  I have three kids (one being a girl who changes her clothes 50 times a day), so that is a LOT of folding-avoidance pondering time.  I also make a lot of art journals, and I am always trying to find new ways to bind them and make them fancy.

I made this Medusa heart a couple of months ago and decided I wanted to use her on a journal cover, so I had to find a creative way to bind the journal so that it would complement her without overpowering her.  I love the sewn-over-tapes binding (there are tutorials all over the intertubes!) but wanted something thin and indestructible to use as the “tapes.”  Remember last week when I was talking about the ideas that nag nag nag at me?  Yeah, this is another one of those.  I distracted it with something shiny and moved on.


A couple of weeks ago, I was pretending that there were not four baskets of laundry to fold and thinking about envelopes.  I obviously don’t like folding laundry if I was thinking about envelopes, right?  Well yeah, but that’s beside the point.  What I was thinking about were those plastic-esque papery envelopes that are IMPOSSIBLE to rip and how that would work great for a sewn over tape binding.  I then went on a hunt to figure out A) what that stuff was actually called (shockingly enough, “plastic-esque papery envelopes” didn’t result in much Google love), and B) where I could buy it without having to sneak envelopes out of the Post Office.

I discovered the magic stuff is called Tyvek and also discovered that you can buy it, print on it, and sew on it, so I assumed I could also print on it.  I picked some colors that matched Medusa, dragged out my Gelli plate and a few Crafter’s Workshop stencils, took a deep breath and got to printin’.

gelli print on tyvekHALLELUJAH!  It worked.  Thank goodness, because I didn’t have much of a backup plan.  That’s just how I roll. ;)

I cut my Tyvek into 2-inch strips lengthwise and sewed them together so that I had two super long strips that would wrap completely around my journal.

tyvek strips

I then began the laborious process of cutting paper, folding paper, punching holes, and sewing.  This is unglamorous and boring and usually causes me to either accidentally fling my scissors across the room or spill tea all over my computer.  Dangerous.

tyvek journal binding

Once it was all bound with the covers attached, I used heavy body gesso and the Penrose Quasicrystal stencil to give Medusa a place to land.  Heavy body gesso works like modeling/molding paste, but it dries a little faster and bright white.  It does seem to seep under the stencil a little easier, but, say it with me, WE ARE NOT ROBOTS.  Imperfection is awesome.

quasi crystal stencilFinally, I glued Medusa down and admired my handiwork!

medusa final

I love all of the different textures and colors and how the Penrose stencil brings it all together!  Here is the finished journal:

journal final

Another project evicted!  Woo!

If you’d like to meander through more of my madness, you can find me at wonderstrange and wonderstrumpet, my personal blog!  See you next week!

Map Art using Artistcellar Stencils

I decided to do a little map art today using Jane Davenport’s face stencils again.  I looked through my Job Lot 2008 one dollar map book and found that there is a town in Massachusetts called “Holland”.  That is my daughter’s name so the face looks a bit like her.  Here is the finished face followed by a short tutorial in the event that you’d like to try your hand at it.

First I chose the map I wanted to use.  Next I put the stencil down and then outlined the features with a pencil.  I drew the neck and shoulders after the face was sketched into place.

 I find that the eyes turn out better if I leave the stencil in place and start placing the eyes and pupils within the stencil.  You can always adjust the features later.

After that I started putting the hair around the face using pencils, Pan Pastels and colored pens.  She looked like she needed bangs so I cut some twigs out using a Sizzix die using the same map paper.

I continued to adjust the colors on the face and hair using Pan Pastels and white gesso.

Instead of just bangs I added another layer of paper twigs going the opposite direction to form a crown like she is the Queen of Spring!

Then I cut a flower out of some additional map paper using Tim Holtz’s Tattered Florals die.  I glued that to her head to mimic a crown with a spring flower popped into it.  I used another stencil called Bodacious Pods, also made by Artistcellar,  to make it look like she is wearing a white lace dress.  I used my palette knife to spread a small amount of white gesso through the stencil randomly all over her upper body.

I love doing map art, next time I am going to do a similar face but turn it into a personal life experience map.  Doesn’t that sound like fun?  Thanks so much for stopping by today, please leave a comment if you have time.  In the meantime, take care, see you next Tuesday. ~ Hugs~ Renee

Celebrating Mother Earth, Earth Day, and Spring

She Who Offers

Gabrielle Javier-Cerulli

With the flowers starting to bloom, birds nesting, and plans for a raised-bed veggie garden, I was moved to honor all that the Earth gives us.  AND it just happens to be the same time as Earth Day (April 22 in the USA).

She Who Offers has many layers to it and this art-making process deepened my feelings about Earth Day.  Mother Earth is giving and offering to us her bounty and beauty.  Then it dawned on me that She Who Offers can also represent the many women who share and give to their own families and friends. She (probably You) offers food, nourishment, love, beauty, care, and the list is endless of how much we do offer.  So in a roundabout way as this artwork celebrates Mother Earth, it actually celebrates all women!

Supplies used:

-Sri Yantra Stencil by Artistcellar which is in the Sacred Geometry series
-Spray Inks.  Yellow from Dylusions called Lemon Zest
-Water-based markers
-Watercolor pencils Artistcellar sells Faber-Castell, mine are by Prismacolor
-Divinata Season Stamp
-Black Ink Pad  Artistcellar sells Ranger, mine is by StazOn
-Black fine point Sharpie

Gabrielle Javier-Cerulli
Preparation: As you can see I cut pieces of plastic to put around the stencil to avoid the sharp lines of the stencil’s edge.

Step 1 – Use the Sharpie to outline just the petals of the stencil (not the center triangles).
Step 2 – Spray with yellow ink.
Step 3 – Use a brush to collect the ink off the stencil and paint inside the stencil.  I did this because I wanted the yellow to be solid not misty.

Gabrielle Javier-Cerulli
Step 4 – Notice where the circled #1 is on the stencil because it’s a guide to follow as the stencil rotates to the left.

Gabrielle Javier-Cerulli
Step 5 – Rotate the stencil to the left just one notch to go between the last black outline you made.  Then using the Sharpie, outline the petals again.
Step 6 – Sprayed with strawberry shortcake spray ink.

Gabrielle Javier-Cerulli
Step 7 – Rotated one notch again to the left. See the circled #1 for the progression.  I then used blue ink spray.  No outlining with the Sharpie in this step.

Gabrielle Javier-Cerulli
Step 8 – Stamped on the Divinata Season stamp.  But it didn’t stamp dark enough, so I had to go over it with the Sharpie.  I’m not sure if it’s me or the stamp material but this stamp never goes on dark.

Gabrielle Javier-Cerulli
Step 9 – Coloring the Stamp.
Colored hair blue and lavender.  Colored flowers red.  Then colored skin brown and leaves green. The last two are with watercolor pencils, so after I applied a bit of the pencil, I had to activate with a wet brush.

Gabrielle Javier-Cerulli
Step 10 – Added words with these little stamp letters.

Gabrielle Javier-Cerulli
Step 11 – She’s all done!  But I couldn’t leave her in the art journal!  So I cut her out and attached her to a bamboo skewer and made a little garden for her complete with sand, flowers, beads, and flag.

Gabrielle Javier-Cerulli

“Found” featuring – Fibo & Infra

Here it is Friday once again! And can you believe it? A new set of stencils to play with- Artistcellar’s~The Quasi Crystal Series!

For the piece I created, titled “Found” , featured are Fibo & Infra; two out of the four new Quasi stencils.

To begin with, I used a round box which I covered in black gesso. When the gesso was dry, I added an all over coat of StewartGill Byzantia~Agean. Once that was dry it was time for the first stencil layer- I used the Fibo first- I love this one- it reminds me of that computer game called Wiggles-have you ever played it?  Sorry about that, a bit off track there…for Fibo, I pounced StewartGill MetaMica~Meadowgrass around the box and lid as well as on top of the lid.

step 1

Next I scuffed up the top, using a small wirebrush. Then I made a very thin glaze using LuminarteSilk~Plumeria  which I glazed over the top of the lid only.

roughing upAnd then, it was on to Infra! What a fun stencil! I could stencil these popdots all over! Which I did, all over the lid of the box that is. For this I again used LuminarteSilk~Plumeria . I also applied the Infra stencil around the sides of the box (not full coverage). Then to age/distress it all a bit, I took my handy-dandy baby wipe and swiped here and there and wa-la! A touch of Viva Inka Gold around the edge.

next quasiThe last thing to do was add my embellishments and final touches… For this I used metal flowers that I had previously rusted. As well as some found treasures from nature- acorn cap,shells,and lichen;collected and sent from my sis Julie and Tim from down south.<3now what? DSCN9012 DSCN9011I do hope you enjoyed viewing my short tut on my “Found” treasure box….

and if that wasn’t enough fun…wait…there is a Blog -Hop in progress that you might be lucky enough to win a set of these Fab  Artistcellar Quasi Crystal Stencils!

Here’s the line-up- hop along  and good luck!!!!

Quasi-Crystals Series: Don your lab coat


1834, coined from L. scientia (see science) by the Rev. William Whewell (17941866), Eng. polymath, byanalogy with artist.



Let’s Experiment with these Unique, Nobel Prize Winning chemistry designs…thank you very much Daniel Shechtman….





Step 1:  Nix the white card stock and go out on a limb and choose a background for your stencil experiment that is UNIQUE (Daniel S. would appreciate it for sure).  I was gifted with a lovely NY train schedule…why people toss these is beYOnd me.




Step 2:  Select two paint colors to be used on the matrix of your choice.  Here, I’m using a gelli plate – there are options such as a plexiglass sheet.  It’s best to start out with your darkest color choices on the first layer.





Step 3:  After brayering color combo, place quasi crystal stencils on your matrix as desired…I’ve also added some thread and string beneath the stencils for experimental purposes.





Step 4:  Place your chosen background paper on top of the matrix and use a clean brayer…or palm…to roll or press over the matrix.





Step 5:  Lift background paper from matrix…raise one brow and prepare for the next layer.





Step 6:  Roll on a combination of lighter hues, reposition quasi-crystal stencils.  If desired draw random lines into your matrix…place your paper on top – refer to steps 4 & 5.


Step 7 – 15:  Repeat as you wish confidently conducting your experiment.





Step 16:  Place quasi-crystal stencil of your choice onto top of stenciled paper.  Time is of essence – this experiment will work best on wet paint only – Grab a baby wipe and proceed to “buff”.  This will reveal layers below.





Step 17:  Sometimes us scientists get a bit heavy handed with buffing and paper is removed when lifting the stencil.  This scientist sees it as a new discovery!  I like to grab a matte and plot out sweet spots to use on a future project.





Step 18 (optional):  Utilize your photo software to transform your pieces as you like for use in future projects.  Print…glue…splice…text up…stamp…outline….examine…experiment as desired!

Good Fortune to you upon entering this chance to win quasi stencils:


Happy results,

Theresa Plas


Studio 48 Tango, LLC





How the Quasi-Crystals Stencils Saved My Sanity

Gather ’round, InterChildren, and let me tell you a tale of how the Quasi stencil solved the Peacock Problem.

Have you ever gotten one of those ideas that just won’t go away?  Even worse, one of those ideas that you don’t necessarily think you can pull off because it’s too big or too complicated or too… SOMETHING, and it eats away at your attention and focus until that’s all you can think about?  I have so many of them lurking around in my brain, waiting for the key that will unlock it, and they drive me a little crazy with their annoying little voices nagging at me all the time.

This particular problem, the Peacock Problem, has been nagging at me for at least a year.  A YEAR.  A year of plotting and planning and trying to figure out how to make peacock feathers that don’t necessarily look like peacock feathers but are beaded and sparkly and still manage to lend some class to my weird little Creeper art dolls.  I had given up completely until the Quasi-Crystal stencils came along.

peacock finishedThe other night I was staring at the stencils in fascination, trying to think of a project that would highlight their awesomeness.  I was particularly fascinated by the Quasi stencil and its seemingly random patterns until my eyes suddenly focused, and I saw it.  The key.  I jumped to my feet and said, “THE PEACOCK PROBLEM IS SOLVED!!!!”  Then I marked out the pattern so that I could find it in the morning and went to sleep.  Yeah, pretty anticlimactic, I know, but still, check it out:

stencil1There are some crazy cool patterns in that stencil!  Using this particular pattern helped me get symmetry on my “feathers” without giving them the typical peacock markings, which is exactly what I was searching for.  I cut some teardrop/feather shapes out of felt and centered the design on them.

stencil2Using a mixture of Phthalo Turquoise, Metallic Peridot, and Metallic White paints (the first by Golden, the others by FolkArt), I stenciled the designs on my felt.  They are shimmery and fancy and perfectly suited to my purposes.

stencil3I used the lines of the design to help decide where to add beads and sequins:stencil4So simple and pretty!  I cut more feather/teardrop shapes to sew onto the back – before I sewed them together I added a few sequins and beads to the back just so he looks good from behind.

stencil5See how uneven that is without the stencil?  I am so not a robot.  Boo.

I sewed the fronts to the backs and added a piece of copper wire to each feather so that they are bendy.  I like bendy!  Then I carefully sewed them all together:

stencil6Fancy fancy fancy.  I then needle felted a Creeper and fancified his backside.  Here he is, ready for his closeup:

peacock sideand the other side where you can see how perfect the design works:

peacock feathersI love it when a plan comes together.  Now to address the rest of those little annoying projects crawling their way through my synapses!

If you want the Quasi-Crystal stencils to save YOUR sanity, YOU CAN WIN SOME!  We’re in the middle of an awesome blog hop, and the bloggers are making some awesome awesome stuff.  They all have a set of stencils to give away, so go!  Enter!  Win!  Make your brain nicer to you!

If you haven’t gotten enough of me already, you can find more of my nonsense at my blog, wonderstrange, and Etsy.

Have an awesome week and go HOP!



Artistcellar Quasi-Crystals Series Stencils

Hello, Renee here, it’s Tuesday so I will be doing a mini tutorial showing the new Artistcellar stencil series called Quasi-Crystals.

I’ve been playing with these for days and I’m amazed at what a beautiful background can be made by using not just one but two of these stencils.  Here is what I made for today, it’s a card but it could have been a  tag.  I’ll show you the finished project and if you’re interested in the tutorial just read on.


I started with this stencil called Quasi and some Pan Pastels in greens,  yellow ochre and blues.  I taped the stencil down on a piece of watercolor paper using some washi tape and applied the pastels.


When I liked the look I had achieved, I set the pastels with a spray on fixative.  Next I tore the top and bottom edges and applied more of the darker green pastel.  The next stencil from the series of four that I used was this one called Penrose:

I applied white gesso on top of the Pan Pastels so that the piece I was gluing on top would stand out.

I decided to add some pop dots to the paper to simulate bubbles and then applied blue and green glitter to them.  I also stamped some circles from Dina Wakley’s new stamps and some lines from a Hampton Art stamp.  I am using a lot of items from my stash lately and this was no exception.  I pulled my “Mermaid in a Bottle” tag out of a box of old projects and glued a message in a tiny bottle onto her long, slender Stampotique hands.

I added another stamped message that says “just a note” on top of the “sunshine & seashells” message and did a few rub-ons from Tim Holtz’s collection warning that it was Fragile Glass.  This was a great way not only to play with my new stencils but also to re-purpose old discarded projects.

I was inspired by the Artistcellar new stencils but also by the altered Bottle art work on display at the Craft Stampers Take It, Make It Challenge.  I hope you will check out the Artistcellar blog and see the other fabulous creations made by the rest of the members of the design team.  There is also an Artistcellar blog hop taking place that you can participate in.  Who knows maybe you’ll win a fabulous prize!  In the meantime, thanks for stopping by, take care ~ Renee

Quasi-Crystals Gal – all 4 stencils

AC April 11 top

OHHHHH…I love these stencils!  I love them so much I wanted to use all 4 on one journal page.  Quasi-Crystal Gal is layered with all kinds of goodness.

AC April 11 B
Here they are!

AC April 11 collage
Step 1: Cut out a model from a fashion magazine to use as a mask.  I started out with the model in the pant suit. But when I turned her over to see what the mask would look like, there wasn’t enough detail.  So I ended up using the model in the dress because of the details of her arms.

AC April 11 F
Step 2: I knew I was going to be throwing a lot at this watercolor paper so I applied gesso and added texture by pressing on it and lifting up.

AC April 11
Step 3: Yellow paint applied with a palette knife to scrape away paint and also for texturizing.  I purposely left most of the left side of the paper untouched so there was a lot of white space for a dramatic effect.

AC April 11 collage2
Step 4:  Orange ink spray using the Quasi stencil. Then I flipped the stencil and “stamped” the page.  In the left photo, I tore paper towels and placed around the stencil edge to give it an organic edge instead of a hard straight edge from the stencil.

AC April 11 collage C
Step 5: Purple ink spray using the Fibo stencil, the angular one.
Step 6: Blue ink spray using the Infra stencil, the dotted one.

AC April 11 collage F
Step 7: Masking time.  I placed the cutout model over the areas I wanted to preserve and shield from the black ink spray.  Then I used a paint brush to dab around the edges of the model.

AC April 11 G
Step 8: I added more details using paint to dab through the Fibo stencil.

2014 April 10 067
Step 9: Added more texture with molding paste and the Penrose stencil over her arm and into the dress to integrate the piece and make it cohesive.  The contrasting white color pops.

AC April 11 H
Step 10: Final details with fine tip Sharpie pens =  Black to outline body and white to write around the body in the shadow areas. Again, a nice contrast and also a nice journaling touch.

And there she is! In all her layered glory :-)

❤ Gabrielle ❤

To celebrate the release of the stencils, check out the folks on the blog hop!

April 12 – Lisa Cousineau
April 13 – Chris Cozen
April 14 – Lynn Krawczyk
April 15 – Effy Wild
April 16 – Jill K Berry  (Jill’s site is down, enter on her facebook page)
April 17 – Carmen Whitehead
April 18 – Lea Cioci
April 19 – Guadalupe Brizuela Cabal





Quasi-Hopping Along!

Hey, it’s me again! How crazy is this? Another release so soon after Sacred Hearts :-) I’m sure by now you’ve seen the Newsletter announcement and our official Blog announcement yesterday. If you didn’t, you can sign up for our newsletter here. Today I’m going to show you some of the artwork that was made that we used for the banners and pictures.

It’s no secret that I love my gelli arts plate. Last weekend I stayed up until midnight pulling prints because it was so addicting. I kept telling myself that I’ll go to bed as soon as this stack of paper was done. Then I’d love a color scheme I was working with and grab another stack… and so on. I think I printed half a ream of paper.  Don’t worry, they make fabulous collage fodder. And OMG some of the them are so yummy! Here are some samples of prints using the Quasi Stencil:

photo 2(4) photo 1(6) photo 1(5) photo 1(4)

I don’t know why, but I really gravitated towards earthy colors. Hmm.

The Fibo stencil was interesting to work with. I wasn’t sure what kind of prints it would make. They turned out pretty cool!

photo 2(6) photo 3(5) photo 4(2) photo 4(3)

It’s also no secret that I love dots and circles in all shapes, sizes and colors. Almost everything I make has some type of round mark. So this Infra stencil was right up my alley. How cool is this whole page? I laid paint down on the gelli plate, pressed the stencil into it four times to cover the whole plate, and they pulled a print with paper that already had a neutral background print on it.

photo 3(6)

photo 1(8)photo 2(8)photo 4(4)

Then I brought out the big guns… molding paste! In my tester journal I just started playing with all the stencils, but I pushed molding paste through the Infra stencil. Yum! Looks like candy.

photo 1(7)

Loving the molding paste, I brought out the stretched canvas and the Penrose stencil. I painted the background randomly and pushed coarse molding paste (Golden Brand) through the stencil. This is just the white paste over the colored background:

photo 1(3)

I tried staining the paste using fluid acrylics, high flow acrylics, paint… hated the way it looked because the paint didn’t get absorbed and wiped right off. I’m going to have to figure this one out. I finally broke out the Inka Gold. I just started smearing the raised parts using all my colors with my fingers.

photo 2(7)photo 3(3)

photo 4(1)

It has the most awesome metallic sheen to it. I’m not sure how I’m going to finish the canvas yet, but I am in love with the stenciled part.

Well, this is just the beginning of a week of great art using these stencils. Hop along with us to see for yourself AND win yourself a set of stencils! We’ve added a few new faces to the lineup too! The schedule:

I will leave comments open until NEXT Sunday night, at the end of the bloghop and weekend. Each artist will set their own giveaway times, so be sure to visit them and leave a comment for a chance to win.

Good luck! -Lisa


Sacred Hearts Prayer Flag


Happy Friday Everyone!

Do you remember last week when I was rambling on and on about practicing with the Sacred Heart Series Stencils?   Well, this is one of my practice pieces.

Here I used modeling paste which I added paint to first and applied with a palette knife, putting the color down where I wanted it.


Already having the above steps done, I cut apart the four hearts and fancy cut around each one. Next I used some manilla folder type paper and sprayed a background of gold and then I smooshed Teal around the edges of each square. After I was pleased with the effects, I cut the sheet and glued down each of the hearts into their own square.

DSCN8892 DSCN8893 DSCN8931

Then…it was layer upon layer of sprays and paint till I finally achieved the color scheme and look I was happy with.                                                                                                        Next was to apply a decoupage type medium that would hold up outdoors. Turning the pages over, I added torn up pieces of Mulberry paper with decoupaged medium as well. This gave added strength and a canvas feel.

lDSCN8939 DSCN8934

The next step was to separate the blocks and rough up the edges. And to the edges I added a blend of reds; as well as a very faint glaze of QuinacrodoneNickle Azo Gold over each piece.

DSCN8937 DSCN8942 DSCN8940

Now,  the only thing left was to punch holes at the bottoms and add Sari silks . Then  stitch Sari silk across the tops of the squares joining them together. Spacing is about  1.5 ” between. I have no photos of this, as I had such a time threading the needle on my machine that I lost track and finished up without them “(

And now hanging in my Zen garden in my yard is my Prayer Flag~

DSCN8944Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Thanks so much for joining me ~ come on back next week ~ visit me at