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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Step 5: Purple ink spray using the Fibo stencil, the angular one.
Step 6: Blue ink spray using the Infra stencil, the dotted one.

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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.

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

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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.

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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 http://www.artistcellar.com/wp
April 13 – Chris Cozen  http://chriscozenartist.typepad.com/my-blog/
April 14 – Lynn Krawczyk  http://smudgedtextilesstudio.com/blog/
April 15 – Effy Wild www.effywild.com
April 16 – Jill K Berry https://www.facebook.com/jill.k.berry?ref=tn_tnmn  (Jill’s site is down, enter on her facebook page)
April 17 – Carmen Whitehead  www.serendipitystudiobycw.blogspot.com
April 18 – Lea Cioci www.leacioci.blogspot.com
April 19 – Guadalupe Brizuela Cabal http://guadasartplace.blogspot.com.ar





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.

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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.

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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:

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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



NEW: Quasicrystals!

quasiWe’re excited to release four new stencil designs based upon quasicrystal patterns, the discovery of which Daniel Shechtman was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2011. Upon first seeing quasicrystals in 1982, Schectman exclaimed “There can be no such creature.” Unlike crystal structures which repeat in consistent geometric patterns in all directions, qualsicrystals are unique in that they repeat seemingly at random in two or three dimensions. This makes their geometric description in three dimensional space difficult and their patterns as unique as that of an artists work.


Since their discovery, hundreds of quasicrystal structures have now been confirmed to exist. The four designs of the Quasicrystal series represent four interpretations of these structures:

The famous five-fold geometric rhombus pattern named for the work of mathematician and physicist Roger Penrose.

The Fibonacci sequence applied to quasicrystal structure producing a geometric pattern in motion.

A seemingly random pattern of dots actually represents a quasicrystaline pattern of points as viewed through an electron microscope. This produces the pattern seen in the “Quasi” stencil design. Both stencil designs align and can be overlapped.

The seemingly random pattern of a five-fold geometric quasicrystal pattern made from the pattern seen in the “Infra” design. Both stencil designs align and can be overlapped.


Precision laser cut from tough 10mil polyester material and proudly made in the USA, all Artistcellar stencils are designed to not just inspire with their beauty, but also include a resilience that is rivaled only by the desire to create.

For more information about Artistcellar stencils visit www.artistcellar.com. Art is not optional. You have to create. We understand.

Wholesale inquiries welcome.

Sacred Heart Part Two – Gesso Resist Layers


Sa-cred:  adjective, regarded with reverence
Sometimes, inspiration comes from a word.  Sometimes, we have an image to relate to the word.  Sometimes, that image may be in the form of an outline or stencil that ignites  creativity.  Here’s my story for today’s piece:
I challenged myself to use supplies on hand.  Explore your treasure trove…hoard…box….shelf….I’m sure you, like me, have several candidates.  This is a 4 x 4 canvas from a project I started somewhere in time.
Next layer on my painted substrate:  gesso – pounce stencil with a makeup sponge and gesso.  Let dry.
Don’t neglect the sides, especially if you’re working with a deep canvas.
Collage element:  hand painted tissue paper as a base for my stencil.  I “pounced” gesso through the stencil. Remove stencil and allow gesso to dry.
I tore the image from the tissue paper and adhered to the canvas with matte medium.  Brush matte medium under the image as well as on top of the image.  When brushing on top, begin strokes at the center brushing outward.  I’m not concerned with wrinkles personally.  I actually encourage them by crunching up tissue paper prior to application to a substrate.  I appreciate the texture and dimension.  Also, as you can see, I chose to use a partial imprint of the stencil.
For the final layers:  I stamped partial images of text, glazed the substrate with Luminarte silks in pink azalea and pink grapefruit, added some lines around the heart and rays with a liquitex acrylic marker and called it a day.  Note to self:  Bravo for knowing when to quit:)
Would love to see your version of this technique!
Happy Thursday to all!
Theresa Plas

Art Journaling Inspired by Agape and the Sacred Stencil

Greetings, Earthlings, and welcome to Wednesday!

Firstly, I am excited to announce the winners of Lisa’s Sunday Giveaway!  WOO!
The main prize consisting of the magazine, paintbrushes and foam texture stamps goes to MOIRA!

AND… There are FIVE more lucky winners of a set of foam texture stamps:

Julia Vazquez
Darlene Campbell
Tamiko McCurry
Tommy McDonell

Ladies, send your contact info/snail mail address to Lisa@artistcellar.com so that she can send out your goodies!  Congratulations to all of you! *confetti*

Back in January I started art journaling.  Because I am a weirdo who can never do what everyone else is doing, I created my own system that combines art, writing, photography, destashing, and even some scrapbooking.  Every week I post a list of prompts, and one of the prompts this week was to draw a word, which is what inspired today’s project:

agape_finalSince I’m still buying flowers for the Sacred Hearts Stencils, taking them to fancy restaurants, and introducing them to my mom, I wanted a word that would go with the awesomeness that is the Sacred Hearts.  I chose AGAPE (ah-GAH-pay), meaning spiritual and unconditional love, which is different from agape (ə-gāp), standing there with your mouth wide open.

Last week when I was pulling prints for my Luminaries, I used deli paper to pull the second and third prints.   I glued a piece of that deli paper face down on my journal and covered it with a layer of gesso to mellow the colors a bit:

agape_1While that was drying, I drew a face and body on a piece of canvas paper.  You could use any type of paper for this – I planned on using acrylic paints, and canvas paper is great for acrylics.  It has great texture.

agape_2If you’re not confident in your drawing abilities, this would be a great time to use Jane Davenport’s faces!

I painted the girl with a variety of acrylic paints and Neocolor II water-soluble pastels.
agape_3Whenever I do a piece where I’m gluing a person onto a page, I find the piece blends better if you don’t do the hair until after it’s glued down.  Plus it reminds me of all those years I shaved my head. ;)

While THAT was drying, I went back to my background.  I used Tarnished Brass Distress Paint and Ripe Persimmon Distress Stain to get that warm fade.  They blend together really well, and the dauber tops are brilliant.

agape_4I cut my girl out and glued her to the page.  I used the dress color to give her arms, gave her some hands so that she can open doors and stuff, and used white to extend her neck fluff and start to blend her with the page.


My favorite way to add hair is the Willy Nilly Method.  This is hugely scientific and involves slopping some India or acrylic ink down, swirling it around, tipping the page and letting it drip, and then letting it dry.

agape_6Using THE BEST WHITE GEL PEN IN THE WORLD, the Uni-Ball Signo, I add some highlights and doodles to the hair.

agape_7I used the Sacred stencil with the Distress Paint dauber, being sure to only get the heart and not the crown.  I added some paint to a few of the rays as well, but I wanted them to look a little rough and grungy, so I strived for imperfection.

agape_8Then, using white paint and a makeup sponge, I went back over the stencil to pick out the details of the thorns and to give it some color variation.

agape_9As a final touch, I used the crown portion of the stencil and put it on her head using the same technique.  I added a few details in gel pen to finish it off:


I stamped agape at the bottom, highlighted it with the Signo pen, wrote the definition using a dip pen and ink, and called it done.

agape_textIf you’d like more information about my crazy Chronicles project or, even better, you’d like to participate, come check it out at wonderstrange!

Aristcellar Sacred Hearts Stencil Series

Hi there!  Renee here, which means it’s Tuesday and I will be sharing a project created with Artistcellar Sacred Hearts stencils.  I thought it would be fun to do a wall hanging with a flying heart, something with a Steampunk flavor to it.  Here is the finished project and I will follow that with a short tutorial if you are interested in seeing the process behind it.

I started with a 6″ by 6″ piece of 140# watercolor paper.  Then I taped the stencil down on top of the paper on my craft sheet.  The outline was done with a magic pencil, an Aquarellable Stabilo pencil that can be activated with water.  After I laid down the dark lines I applied Pan Pastels to the heart and around the edges of the paper.  Leaving the stencil in place I stamped the new LUV heart from Stampendous, through the stencil onto the traced heart.

I used StazOn Jet Black permanent ink to stamp a “stitched” border around the edges using an old Stampers Anonymous stamp that I picked up for $1 somewhere.  That didn’t seem like enough stitching so I used my sewing machine to stitch around the borders and around the heart, too.  Some of the threads were left hanging to give it a grunge feel.  I gave it a little pop of color with Smooch inks using the Berry Punch color.

I dipped the edges of the watercolor paper in water to make them more pliable, then I inked them with Vintage Photo Distress Ink and blended the ink to distress it.  I rolled and folded the edges of the paper to make it more interesting.  At this point I glued the canvas to the burlap covered 6″ by 6″ canvas that I got on sale at Michael’s last week.  Red line tape works the best for this, I tried other glues but the tape really holds it in place.  I have a drawer full of knobs that I have purchased over the years so I attached a brushed bronze one to the top with a screw, that way I have something to attach ribbons to.

To bring in the Steampunk look I decided to glue on some Idea-ology metal cogs.  I had some lovely wings in my stash that my daughter made for me with clay.  She was going to throw them out because she burned them a little but I told her I liked the burn marks.  It saves me time so I don’t have to ink them to simulate burned wings.  The red line tape holds the wings perfectly in place on either side of the heart.

I tied some ribbons on the top and it is done.  I can use this as a wall hanging or set it on a stack of books on my bookshelf.  Either way it was fun to make, wouldn’t it be a cute idea to do a  series of hearts using all four heart stencils?  There were four burlap covered canvases in that pack…….we’ll see.  Thanks so much for stopping by today, I hope you’ll try some new ideas out using the Sacred Heart Series of stencils!  Here is a link to my blog http://renee-boltonhouse.blogspot.com where you can check out more projects using stencils.  I’ll see you next Tuesday.