Gel Printed and Stenciled Topiary

Check out my new blog post that’s up over on The Crafter’s Workshop Blog today!

In this blog post, I details the step-by-step instructions of how to create this lovely topiary scene using existing gel printed papers, stencils, and black gesso.

Short on time? Watch my 50 second fly-by process video on my YouTube Channel!


Frisket & stencils background

Check out my new blog post today over on The Crafters Workshop Blog! What is frisket, and how do I use it? How did I use it with stencils to create this amazing multi-layered background? Click the link to read step-by-step instructions. Let me know if you have any questions or comments via my Contact Me page on this website (Instagram messaging). Happy creating!

Frisket and Stencils Background
Watch my fly-by process video! (51 seconds)
Tutorial Uncategorized

Stencil Butters

Close up image of the background that this post is going to teach you how to make.
Close up image showing the completed stenciled butters background.

Hello! Recently, I created this fabulous background using our stencil butters. For fun, I made up a bunch of postcards and mailed them to art friends to see if any of them could guess how I’d created the background. While there were a few elements guessed correctly and some pretty close guesses, no-one actually guessed the correct combination of products or techniques. Today, this post reveals the process and products I used that kept them guessing!

The Crafter’s Workshop provided me with some product to create this project. The opinions I share are solely my own.

I decided to use some dark blue textured drawing paper, TCW926 Bubble Rebound stencil, and delicate surface tape (which is less sticky than painter’s tape and less likely to tear the paper when removing). Now, the real trick with this background technique is to choose an analogous color scheme (colors next to one another on the color wheel) that matches the color of the paper that you are using. Since I chose royal blue paper, I decided to choose three cool colors to match, and white to provide contrast against the darker blue paper. I chose shades that were lighter than the paper in order to have the paper texture show up and be more visible in the end design.

Image showing Fabriano Color Drawing Paper 160 gsm, 98 lbs
Textured Paper
Image show TCW926 Bubble Rebound Stencil
TCW926 Bubble Rebound Stencil
Image showing the paper taped down over the stencil using 3M Delicate Surface tape.
3M Delicate Surface Tape
Image showing the NeoColour II water soluble wax pastely crayons (aquarelles).
Caran D’Ache NeoColor II Aquarelles (Water soluble wax pastel crayons)

For this technique, you’re going to work with the stencil under the paper. Tape the paper in place over the stencil. For the first step, I chose to work with NeoColor II water soluble, wax pastel crayons. I wanted a water soluble product so that it would react later in the process, as you’ll see. Laying the crayon almost horizontally on the paper, color random patches of each color over the entire paper. Don’t press too hard, or you’ll lose the paper texture, yet press gently enough so that you can see the edges of the stencil’s outlines on the paper, as shown in the image, below. (You might want to try a couple of practice pieces first to get the amount of pressure just right).

Close up image showing the stencil beneath the paper. A white NeoColour II crayon is laying on top of the textured paper which has had the crayons applied to it.
Close up image showing the stencil taped under the paper, and the NeoColor II crayons applied to the top of the paper.

Next it was time to apply the stencil butters. Again, I stuck within the same analogous color palette, so I chose to use the TCW9064 Turquoise stencil butter and the TCW9066 Orchid stencil butter. Using a fairly wide palette knife, I applied the orchid stencil butter randomly over the page first, immediately followed with the turquoise stencil butter randomly in other places (yet overlapping here and there so they blend a little). The trick with this technique is not to load the palette knife with too much stencil butter, don’t press hard with the palette knife, and just lightly scrape the palette knife at a 45 degree angle across the top of the paper. The stencil butter will get caught by the stencil cut out areas, showing the shapes and outlines of the stencil. It’s important that you don’t cover the paper completely, you still want to be able to see some of the Neocolor areas through and under the stencil butters in places. This is what gives the background depth and dimension. Do not wait for the stencil butters to dry!

Use a wide palette knife to apply the stencil butterrs
Use a wide palette knife to apply the stencil butters
Turquoise and Orchid stencil butters
Stencil butters – metallic, pretty, creaminess. Goes on just like buttah!
Orchid stencil butter on palette knife
Orchid Stencil butter – just look at that sheen!
The paper showing the applied stencil butters
Stencil butters applied to the paper

The next step is to use a spritz bottle to add water drops to the top of the entire paper. You want random drops in different sizes scattered across the page, not a shower or a soaking. Think of the drops as adding a new layer of design to the background. Let the water drops sit on top of the butters and paper for 2 minutes. Note: The water will activate the NeoColor II crayons, blending them where the drops have landed.

Lay a dry piece of kitchen paper towel, with the embossed design down, over the stencil butters, and the entire paper. Using your hands horizontally across the paper, very gently pat the paper towel to remove the water drops and impress the paper towel texture into the stencil butters. This creates two levels of texture, one from the water drops (where the stencil butter will lift off the paper when you remove the paper towel), and one from the paper towel embossing impression pressed into the stencil butter.

spritz bottle waiting to be applied to the page
Love this adjustable spritz bottle!
Water droplets sitting on page
Close up image showing water droplets on the page
Water droplets rested for 2 mins, about to be removed from page using paper kitchen towel
Page resting for 2 mins with water drops. Paper towel at the ready!

Your background is now complete. It is also able to be reactivated by any moisture or wet product, so keep that in mind if you want to be able to work over the top of it. You will want to apply a coat of matte or gloss gel medium to seal it. I would use either an old credit card or a silicon catalyst blade/mini scraper to apply the medium, but you’ll have to work fast and light so as not to smear or reactivate the background design! Pro Tip: Get your medium set up on the tool first, and start it on a scrap piece of paper to adjust it before applying it to the actual piece.

The finished background
Close up image showing the completed background.

If you’d like to watch a super quick fly-by video (56 seconds) of this process with captions, please hop on over to my YouTube Channel @TealHareCreations.


How to create a faux batik effect


Hero shot showing title "How to create faux batik on rice paper". Close up image in background of finished paper
Close up image showing the completed faux batik effect.

Hello! My art friends like to call me the Queen of Texture (AKA The Texture Queen). That’s because I’m always trying to create the most texture possible in my art works. To help develop my skills, I try to devote at least one evening a week to experiment with our products, to see what effects I can create (which also happen to be known as the occasional happy accidents, ha ha!).

The Crafter’s Workshop provided me with some product to create this project. The opinions I share are solely my own.

Recently, I gifted myself some absolutely gorgeous hand made rice papers from Japan. These papers are so amazing to work with as most of them are created using mostly natural fibers which gives them some incredible texture, including some that have leaves, petals, grasses, and more embedded within them. Just take a look at this beauty in the following image; since I’m such a nature and texture lover, these hand made rice papers with embedded textures are just perfect for me!

Close up image of a piece of Japanese rice paper, hand torn, showing leaf fragments and fibers embedded within the hand made paper.
Close up image of Japanese rice paper containing leaf fragments and fibers.

These rice papers also happen to be super absorbent due to the natural materials such as the rice, cotton, and grasses that they are made from. With these embedded textures, this can create some amazing and sometimes unpredictable effects when working with water based products, because each of the elements absorbs the colors and water in differing intensities.

For this project, I had a piece of paper with small grasses and flower fragments embedded into it which I had been dying to try. In my experimentation nights, I like to play the “what if” game; what if I tried this, or that. What would happen if I… and so on. On other nights, I find a photo or a reference image of a texture and I attempt to replicate it as close as possible with the materials I have on hand. This practice pushes me out of my comfort zone, and puts me in the position of taking a lot of risks and creating a lot of failures, however every once in a while I hit the texture jackpot, where something works out better than I could have imagined. This is one of them!

I also like to try ‘new to me’ supplies on these nights, which means I try to release all expectation on myself to ‘get it right or perfect’ and just ‘let it go, let it flow’ to see what happens. The pale purple tape I used here is a new to me product, it’s called “delicate surface tape”, which is less adhesive than the blue painter’s tape I traditionally use. This is important for this project because rice paper can be somewhat delicate due to the natural fibers, and even more so when wet. I loved using this tape, and will likely switch to using it full time as it’s so easy to remove and doesn’t tear the paper.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 20210220_133857-576x1024.jpg
TCW2301 Harlequin Slimline stencil with delicate surface tape on Japanese rice paper.

I’ll be honest, I’m really not a card maker, but I have these slimline card stencils that I really wanted to try. In my “what if” game, I decided to test if our TCW9006 Gel Medium Gloss finish would act as a water resist on the rice paper when it was dry. I decided to conduct the experiment using a simple, repetitive pattern stencil and so I chose to use our TCW2301 Harlequin Slimline stencil. I used my catalyst blade to apply the gloss gel medium to the rice paper in a thin, even layer, then I removed the stencil and dried the gloss gel medium using my heat gun.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 20210220_133945-edited-scaled.jpg
I used my Catalyst Blade to apply the gloss gel medium through the stencil.

I then spritzed the rice paper with some water, and dropped some diluted ColorSparx powders onto it to see what would happen. It failed the resist experiment fabulously, but it sure did look pretty, so I saved it for collage paper to use later. I then wondered what would happen if I applied the gloss gel medium to both the front and the back of the paper using the stencil (which I had to line up exactly)? Again, I applied the gloss gel medium, removed the stencil, then dried it with my heat gun, I repeated this process on the back side. Then I spritzed it with water and dropped the color in. This time it worked fabulously!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 20210220_205132-1024x576.jpg
Yes! It worked when I used the gloss gel medium on both sides. Still wet, here…

But the best part? When it was dry, I held it up to the light, and it GLOWS just like stained glass or a lamp shade with a light on behind it. (See the top photo!) Just think of the possibilities! Now, it’s YOUR turn to try something new to you! Until next time, happy experimenting and happy day.

If you’d like to watch a quick fly-by video (45 seconds), which includes a variation on the theme, please hop on over to my YouTube Channel: Teal Hare Creations.


Ocean Series Commission


Did you see the ocean series I created for a dear friend and her husband recently?

To learn more, you can read my blog post all about it over on the
TCW Blog.

And if a brief video is more your speed, check out this quick fly-by in a
1:25 min video over on my YouTube Channel!

Lastly, here’s some photo highlights of the entire series of the five completed artworks. Thanks for reading!


Dandelion Dreams

Image showing the completed Dandelion Dreams 8" square box canvas with mixed media assemblage.
“Dandelion Dreams” 8″ square box canvas assemblage

When was the last time you picked a wish filled dandelion, and blew on it to send your wishes in the wind? Did your wishes come true? I sure hope they did! I think of wishes and dreams as similar. They are each hopes we send out, with the expectation of receiving them back. So today, my wish for you is that you will learn something from this post, and maybe try it too.

The Crafter’s Workshop provided me with some product to create this project. The opinions I share are solely my own.

Recently, I took a class with Shay Michelle during our Wanderlust 2021 year long online art journaling class. Shay’s class inspired me to step out of my journal onto a canvas, to create this dandelion dreams work.

I began the project by using our new TCW929 Felicia Daisy stencil with a variety of our cool colored ColorSparx watercolor powders. I laid the stencil directly on top of the 8″ square box canvas, sprinkled the ColorSparx powders randomly and lightly over the stencil, then lightly sprayed it with water using our Spritz bottle on a fine mist.

Here’s a fun technique to try: Did you know that putting dry salt on wet watercolor will make the salt absorb the water and color, which will leave a really cool textural effect in the watercolor?

I sprinkled kosher salt over the entire stencil and Colorsparx powders while they were wet. I left the salt to sit on the watercolor and stencil overnight to ensure everything was completely dry. The next day, I lifted the stencil off, and brushed the kosher salt grains off the canvas using a dry stiff paintbrush.
Note: It’s best to rinse a stencil after using it with our Colorsparx powders, to prevent those color powders from potentially straying into your next project!

Close up image showing kosher salt sprinkled randomly over the wet TCW929 Felicia Daisy stencil and the ColorSparx watercolor powders activated with water.
Kosher salt was sprinkled over the wet TCW929 Felicia Daisy stencil and ColorSparx watercolor powders.
This close up image shows the grains of kosher salt absorbing the water and the ColorSparx colors.
Notice how the kosher salt grains are attracting the wet ColorSparx watercolor powders to them?

Next, with the TCW929 Felicia Daisy stencil dried, and lined up again on the canvas, I used my white uni-posca paint pen to outline the stencil. I then cut and glued yarn/twine (ivory with metallic silver thread) from 49 and Market to some of the stencil outlines to form the shaft of each dandelion seed.

I used our TCW9025 plastic palette knife to apply a thin layer of our new TCW9062 Lime Green Stencil Butter to form the inner circle of the dandelion head. Around the outside of the dandelion head and randomly in the middle, (and also to help hold the yarn in place), I applied granite chunky embossing powder for the seed bases to be attached to the dandelion head.

Next, a tore a cotton ball (from the medicine cabinet) into little pieces and glued them randomly around the dandelion to form the fluffy seed heads. I attached these with TCW9011 Matte Gel Medium to the canvas.

Close up image showing the torn cotton ball pieces applied randomly around the dandelion seed shafts to form the fluffy dandelion seed heads.
A cotton ball was torn up and applied to the canvas using TCW9011 Matte Gel Medium.

To add a little extra contrast, I outlined the TCW929 Felicia Daisy stencil using a black uni-posca paint pen, and I stenciled the word DREAM on a piece of rice paper using the TCW585 Inspired Words stencil. I attached the rice paper sentiment using TCW9011 Matte Gel Medium.

The DREAM rice paper sentiment was applied to the canvas using TCW9011 Matte Gel Medium.

To add a little extra bling to the dandelion head, I used TCW9011 Matte Gel Medium to apply some aurora borealis finish, clear glass seed beads in a ring around the dandelion’s center. I also added a little black stabilo all aquarelle pencil to give depth and dimension.

Aurora Borealis finish clear glass seed beads were applied to the canvas using TCW9011 Matte Gel Medium.

And there you have it. The TCW9011 Matte Gel Medium isn’t quite dry yet, but I couldn’t resist taking pictures to show you right now!

"Dandelion Dreams" 8" square box canvas assemblage
“Dandelion Dreams” 8″ square box canvas assemblage

Want to see more? Hop on over and watch my 31 second quick fly-by video on my YouTube Channel.

If you decide to try the salt technique, I’d love to hear how it goes! Leave me a comment.



Together is the best place to be. Don’t you agree?

Together is the best place to be, don't you think? My wish is for this global pandemic to end. Happy Valentine's Day!
“Together” 8″ square cradled wood panel


I’m looking forward with hope to the end of this global pandemic, aren’t you? In anticipation of a less than usual Valentine’s Day, I’ll be hoping that all our wishes upon stars make our dreams come true. Go ahead and make some wishes with me, while we walk through this project, together.

With the upcoming Valentine’s Day, I wanted to celebrate something that we all could do together, safely. Just think, all of us can star and moon gaze, safely, together. That’s what inspired me to make this piece, in the hopes that we can all soon be together again, safely.

The Crafter’s Workshop provided me with some product to create this project. The opinions I share are solely my own.

I’ve had these heart cuts outs that I’ve just been waiting to use on the right project. Here is my chance! I glued the hearts directly onto the 8″ square cradled wood panel and waited for the glue to dry. I then painted our TCW9002 Black Gesso over the entire front and sides and waited for it to dry.

Close up image showing the wood panel with heart embellishments, painted with black gesso.
TCW9002 Black Gesso was painted over the wood panel and heart embellishments as a base.

I then added some patterned tissue paper that I love (also related to my theme) over part of the front of the design. I used TCW9011 Matte Gel Medium to apply the tissue paper.

Solar tissue paper by Finnabair is being applied to part of the wood panel front using TCW9011 Matte Gel Medium.
Tissue paper being applied with TCW9011 Matte Gel Medium.

Next, I used colorful water based mica spray inks to add pink, blue, lilac, and teal to the embellished wood panel. The tissue paper really soaks up the ink and holds the colors in place quite well. Once dry, I then used our TCW9001 White gesso and using a very stiff bristled brush, I dry brushed the heart embellishments very lightly to bring out the details and make them appear to pop off the panel.

The wood panel embellished with hearts and tissue paper is sprayed with colorful mica inks, then dry brushed with white gesso to make the details stand out.
Heart embellishments were dry brushed with TCW9001 White Gesso to make them stand out

The tissue dried far more colorfully than I intended, so I sprayed black water based ink over the bright colors to tone them down. When the ink dried, I used the same stiff bristled brush to lightly dab our TCW9006 Gloss Gel Medium over the embellishments to make them appear to shine against the matte background of the black gesso. I also applied some silver finishing wax to help the shine and make it a little brighter.

Gloss gel medium jar is shown next to the wood panel. The gel has been applied to the embellishments.
TCW9006 Gloss Gel Medium was dabbed onto the embellishments for additional shine

Have you met our TCW9012 Shimmery Goodness yet? Have you tried it? This stuff is moon dust and magic in a jar, I swear. I’m in love with this product! Which probably explains why I have created multiple moon pieces of late. Shimmery goodness is a paint consistency product with the most glorious pearlized metallic sheen to it, which suits moons and stars perfectly! Here’s a close up of the moon’s face which I painted with Shimmery Goodness and then hand colored with uni posca pens, signo uni ball pens, and colored pencils.

Close up of the moon face which has been painted with TCW9012 Shimmery Goodness for shine.
TCW9012 Shimmery Goodness was painted on the moon’s face for shine

I also glued on, then painted the metal star embellishments and their halos with the glorious shimmery goodness.

Close up showing the metal star embellishments that were hand painted with the shimmery goodness.
The metal star embellishments were hand painted with Shimmery Goodness for shine

Want to see more? Hop on over and watch my quick fly-by video on my YouTube Channel.


Let it Snow Sign

Image showing the completed Let It Snow artwork.
Let it Snow Sign Mixed Media Sign Board 6″ x 16″

Happy New Year!

Well we didn’t get a white Christmas this year, but we did wake up to a winter wonderland on the first day of the year! What a way to start out. It’s so pretty and peaceful (and let’s be honest, even better to be on vacation so I didn’t have to venture out into it very far!).

I also received my box of new design team goodies from TCW. Boy are we spoiled! The most exciting part for me was the new stencil butters and the new stamps and stencils, not to mention more matte medium gel which I have used more of this past year than ever!

To celebrate the new supplies, of course I had to dive right in. The irony is that several of us chose the same stencil using our new stencil butters, so I realized I had to do something different.

The Crafter’s Workshop provided me with some product to create this project. The opinions I share are solely my own.

I always have gloves, but I don’t have any mittens. However, when I saw the new TCW2193 Snowy Mittens Sign Stencil, I just knew I had to use it. In addition to the adorable mittens, I knew I wanted more snowflakes in the background, so I also used our TCW720 Snowflakes stencil.

To start, I used clear embossing fluid with a dauber bottle for the snowflakes stencil. I applied white embossing powder and heat set it using my heat gun. This formed a resist of snowflakes in white on the white mixed media board.

Next, I sprinked Colorsparx powders in Cerulean blue, turquoise, and orchid randomly all over the board, then spritzed it with my Ken Oliver Spritz bottle. Just look at all these beautiful, deeply pigmented powders all mingling together in the water spritz. Yummo! Again, I dried it with my heat gun.

Close up image showing embossed snowflakes with multiple colors of ColorSparx powders sprayed with water.
ColorSparx powders activated with water spritzer over embossed snowflakes

Here’s a close up image of the dried ColorSparx powders over the white embossed snowflake background. I really love the effect it gave to both the snowflakes and the background, definitely a technique I will be using again!

Close up image showing the white embossed snowflakes on the mixed media board, with the ColorSparx powders dried by the heat gun.
Close up image showing the dried ColorSparx powders over the embossed snowflake background.

In order to be able to apply the mitten stencil over the ColorSparx powders, I knew I had to seal them somehow. The snow we had was a very wet and heavy snow, which made me think of replicating a ‘wet look’ somehow. TCW9006 Gloss Gel Medium was the perfect solution.
Recently, I learned that you can apply mediums to a gel plate, then lay it face down with the medium onto the substrate. This enables you to apply the medium without smudging or reactivating and moving the water soluble product below. In the following photo, it shows my catalyst spreader being used to apply the gloss gel medium to my Gel Press six inch square Gel Plate.

Close up image showing the mixed media board in the background, with the gloss gel medium, catalyst spreader, and 6 inch gel plate ready to be placed onto the board.
A 4mm catalyst spreader was used to apply gloss gel medium to the gel plate.

I repeated the gel plate process until the entire mixed media board was covered with the gloss gel. I dried the gloss gel medium with my heat gun to set it, then let it cool a while before I continued.

Now, it was time to add my adorable knitted mittens to the sign. Using a cosmetic sponge, I pounced vertically up and down to lightly apply the TCW9001 White Gesso through the TCW2193 Snowy Mittens Sign Stencil. I used my heat gun to dry the gesso, being careful not to overheat the gloss gel medium so that it did not bubble up.

Close up image showing the snowy mittens stencil applied with white gesso and a cosmetic sponge to the mixed media board.
TCW9001 White Gesso was pounced through the stencil using a cosmetic sponge.

And now for the gloriously creamy, incredibly smooth, easy to use stencil butter. You guys have to try these, they are so easy to use and the vibrant colors are just amazing! I decided to use the Fuschia Stencil Butter with a palette knife held at a 45 degree angle. Working slowly and smoothly, I applied the Fuschia stencil butter to the mixed media board over the stenciled mittens and snowflakes. Just look at that gorgeous deep pink color, isn’t it fabulous?

Close up image showing the Fuschia Stencil Butter applied to the stencil using a palette knife.
I attached permanent botanical foliage to the grapevine wreath around the wired stag’s head.

My friends call me the “Texture Queen”, because I love to manipulate mediums to see what I can get them to do. One of the techniques I love to get into my works is 3D dimension. If you use a heat gun to dry modeling paste, you can experiment with how close you hold the heat gun to the modeling paste. Holding my heat gun about 2″ from the modeling paste allows me to get it to dry, then bubble and puff up, giving a raised, bumpy effect, kind of like puffy paint.

I often use this technique to introduce a 3D aspect into many of my works. So of course I wanted to try it with the new stencil butter, to see how it would perform. As you can see in the following image, it performed absolutely perfectly, giving me a bubbly look, as though someone had thrown wet snow onto the letters.

Close up image show 'it' and 'S' dried and puffy.
Some of the leaves on the wreath were also dry brushed with TCW9001 White Gesso.

As a last step, I really wanted more contrast around the letters to make them stand out more on the sign. Using black water-based ink and a paintbrush, I washed the ink over and around the letters. The ink sinks down into the valleys of the letters and around the edges, helping the letters really pop out against the background. If you accidentally apply too much ink, you can remove it very lightly with a damp paintbrush. The mountains of bubbles in the modeling paste are very fragile as they are hollow. If you touch them too hard, they will collapse down, and it is almost impossible to get them to rise again because the modeling paste has already been dried.

The finished "Let it Snow" sign board displayed so that the whole completed sign is visible.
The completed “Let it Snow” sign.

Want to see a quick video? Hop on over and watch my quick fly-by video on my YouTube Channel.

Until next time, happy experimenting and happy day!

Michaela Butterworth
The Crafter’s Workshop Design Team Member

Please do hop on over and follow me on my blog and social media accounts.
Thank you!
My Website and Blog Teal Hare Creations
My YouTube Channel
My Instagram
My Pinterest


Stenciling over alcohol inks

Multiple mixed media artworks featuring alcohol inks and stenciling with a variety of mediums and stencils.


Can you believe we are almost halfway through November already? Where does the time go sometimes?

A couple of weeks ago, I took a fabulous class in our Wanderlust 2020 course with Jennifer Pipe from Self Esteem Through Art. It was my first time trying alcohol inks and I had an absolute blast. If you are fascinated by watching things take on a life of their own, then I definitely recommend giving alcohol inks a try. It’s such fascinating fun to watch the inks flow and morph together, sometimes producing colours that you didn’t even use! It’s so cool! All my examples shown used a medium weight yupo paper.

To begin, I played with Ranger alcohol inks on the yupo paper. Then I let them dry fully for a day before I began my stenciling experiments. I took lots of photos as I went, and have included quite a few here for you to see the outcomes. If you have any questions, please feel free to pop them in the comments below, and I’ll do my best to reply to you.

For this page, I used stencil TCW899 Striped Mandala with TCW9012 Shimmery Goodness which dries iridescent. It gave this piece a translucent effect to the point that my friends were asking me how I got the alcohol inks into the mandala design (I didn’t, I just stenciled it over the top of the alcohol inks with a palette knife!). Doesn’t it look fantastic? This is definitely one of my favourite combinations.

Yupo paper with blue, turquoise, and purple alcohol inks that has been stencilied over using shimmery goodness applied with a palette knife through the striped mandala stencil.
TCW899 Striped Mandala stencil with TCW9012 Shimmery Goodness applied with a palette knife.

My next experiment had me using the TCW924 Lush Petals stencil with the TCW9033 Marcasite Silver Modeling Paste applied with a palette knife. Once the modeling paste was dry (the next day), I applied some mica sprays and finishing wax in silver to really make the design pop! I love the richness, dimension, and depth of the finished piece.

I also decided to try the TCW9033 Marcasite Silver Modeling Paste through the TCW500 Nautilus stencil over some ocean coloured alcohol inks.

Marcasite silver modeling paste applied with a palette knife through the TCW500 Nautilus stencil on top of blue and green alcohol inks on yupo paper.
TCW9033 Marcasite Silver Modeling Paste applied with a palette knife through the TCW500 Nautilus stencil.

I’ve wanted to try the TCW865 Asian floral stencil for ages, but I’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity. This was it! I applied TCW9009 Black Modeling Paste with a palette knife.

Black modeling paste applied with a palette knife through the Asian Floral stencil on top of yellow, gold, orange, and red alcohol inks on medium weight yupo paper.
TCW865 Asian floral stencil stenciled with TCW9009 Black Modeling Paste using a palette knife.

Next, I decided to use the TCW912 Wheat Stalks stencil with the TCW9037 Grecian Gold Modeling paste applied using a palette knife. To add a tiny bit of dimension, but not darkness to the wheat grains, I lightly applied some black stabilo all pencil to the edges of the stenciling. This helped the wheat stalks stand out from the background a little more. This is the perfect Thanksgiving combination and will make a beautiful greeting card.

For the last several pieces, rather than using a three dimensional modeling paste, I wanted to try tracing through stencils using Signo uni-ball pens. The names of the stencils are included in the captions below each photo.

Yupo paper with bleu, purple, and turquoise alcohol inks beneath the Celestial sun and Star shower stencils traced with black, white, and gold Signo uni-ball pens.
TCW923 Celestial Sun stencil and TCW5004 Star Shower stencil with white, black, and gold Signo uni-ball pens, and white paint.
Yupo paper with purple, green, and yellow alcohol inks beneath stenciled fern fronds with black and white Signo uni-ball pens.
TCW243 Ferns stencil with yellow acrylic paint over alcohol ink on yupo paper. Outlined in black and white Signo uni-ball pens.
Red, orange, and yellow alcohol inks on yupo paper with the striped mandala stencil outlined in black, gold, white, and silver Signo uni-ball pens. Black stabilio all pencil has been shaded around the outside of the stencil to give a shadow effect.
TCW899 Striped Mandala outlined in white, black, gold, and silver Signo uni-ball pens. Black Stabilo all pencil shadow.
TCW912 Wheat Stalks stencil with Raw Umber acrylic paint dabbed through with a cosmetic sponge.

Bloom where you are planted

Image showing the "Bloom where you are planted" mixed media artwork on 9" x 12" water color paper.
“Bloom where you are planted”. Mixed media artwork on water color paper. 9″ x 12″.



Thanks for taking the time to read my blog post today, I really appreciate it. Recently, I took an online class with Renee Mueller. Her class was inspired by an afternoon in the garden with her family, the sense of connection she felt with them, and the beauty of her surroundings and the sky, as they laid on a blanket and watched the clouds go scudding by.

My interpretation of this class is shown in the image, above. I created a deep purple clematis vine, which reminds me of my maternal grandfather’s garden. He grew passionfruit along the back fence, and I always remember with fascination the flowers and their color. Watching Renee work and asking us to select a vine to paint, brought this deep purple clematis to mind which also brought the passionfruit flower memories flooding back.

Before I began, I wanted to give the background some interest before the class work started, so I did some gelli printing using my 8″ x 10″ Gel Press Gelli Plate to begin and to help the page lose it’s initial white starkness. I find it’s always easier to create on a non-blank page, don’t you?

The Crafter’s Workshop provided me with some product to create this project. The opinions I share are solely my own.

For this page, I started with stencil TCW874 12″ Poppy Grid by Rebekah Meier, using Unbleached Titanium acrylic paint. I brayered over the stencil with the paint, then did the print. Next, I used stencil TCW454 12″ Specimens by Rebekah Meier, with Light Naples Yellow acrylic paint. I used only the geometrical shapes from this stencil as background accents in a few places on the page.

Next, I wanted to try gelli printing a sky with clouds over the previous stenciling. I wanted to keep the paint light and airy to simulate the sky with clouds, but also to reveal some of the stenciling underneath for interest and depth. I lightly rolled Permanent Blue Light acrylic paint with the brayer first, then I added Titanium white, brayered randomly and lightly as clouds, and pulled the print. The finished sky is shown in the bottom right corner of the image, below.

Image showing the gelli-plate printing process with brayer, acrylic paints, stenciling, and outcome.
Stencils TCW874 Poppy Grid and TCW454 Specimens gelli-printed for background depth and interest.

To protect the gelli-printed sky background, I covered it with a thin layer of TCW9007 Matte Clear Gesso. Now, I was ready to begin the class. Renee had us begin the project by doing a wash of acrylic paint for the sky, clouds, and surrounding greenery. I used Payne’s Gray, Sap Green, and Titanium white as my wash colors. Once I had achieved my desired effects, I then used TCW9001 White Gesso with my fingers to blend it in as clouds and light. I must admit, I was so tempted to stop here because I absolutely adore how this background turned out and I didn’t want to cover any of it up! I will definitely be using these techniques again.
I added some watered down splatters of sap green acrylic paint and dried the project fully. I then added another layer of clear gesso to seal and protect these middle ground layers, as shown in the image, below. Aren’t they gorgeous?

Image showing close up images of the middle ground with acrylic paint washes, paint splatters, and white gesso clouds and light.
TCW9001 White Gesso blended with fingers to add light and clouds to the background.

Now, it was time to create the foreground and focal points. I created the clematis vines and leaves using the Sap green acrylic paint. I then added the clematis flower blooms and buds using the TCW9055 Orchid ColorSparx powder as a watercolor paint mixed with water. I just adore the vibrancy and intensity of the ColorSparx powders, and this color might just be my new favorite!

Image showing close up of clematis vine with deep purple flowers and green leaves and stems.
TCW9055 ColorSparx Orchid powder was used as watercolor for the flowers.

Next, I completed the focal point images with a hand-painted bud, torn paper collage, and hand embroidery on ribbon to represent the connections stitching us all together. I applied these focal point elements to my page using TCW9011 Matte Gel Medium as both glue and sealer.

Image showing close ups of collage and hand embroidery focal point elements.
TCW9011 Matte Gel Medium was used as glue and sealer for the focal point elements.

To finish the project, I added a hand lettered sentiment that fit with the theme. I chose ‘Bloom where you are planted’ because I have moved multiple times in my life around the world (not recently), and I realize it is up to me to thrive wherever I plant myself!

To see more of this project up close and in progress, please check out my quick video overview on my YouTube Channel.

Image of artwork page: Bloom where you are planted by Michaela Butterworth.
“Bloom where you are planted”. 9″ x 12″ Mixed media on watercolor paper.

Thanks again for stopping by today, it really means a lot to me. I hope this post inspired you and gave you the courage to try some new techniques and maybe even some new supplies too.
Until next time, happy playing, and happy day!