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Stenciled Art Journal Pages

For the last couple years I have committed to creating a blog post at least once a week, so it is a regularly scheduled (and predictable) task. But still every week I struggle to get it done in a timely manner! There’s always something…this week I began cleaning off my work table on Sunday evening… continued all day Monday… and finally by Tuesday evening I had room to work on my project to document for the blog.

Part of my clean up/organizing session was to take all of my small 6" x 6" size stencils (on sale this week!) and place them in an old photo album — remember the kind with the ‘magnetic’ pages? We know now not to damage our photographs using these, but they can make great organizers for stencils!

Organizing stencils in an old photo album

I placed two stencils per page. It remains to be seen if they will be returned to their place in the album after use. Anyway, on to the meat and potatoes of this posting! I wanted to illustrate create a two-page spread in an art journal so that the backgrounds connect.

I have several pages already painted in my stash. Remember to pull out your art journal or loose pages as you finish up any painting project: use them to get the excess paint off your brushes or applicators, rather than washing all that color down the drain.

Stencil atop two aligned pages

Above, I have aligned two loose pages together, and then placed a large 12" x 12" stencil so that it the design will appear (asymmetrically) on both pages. Notice off to the side the Colorbox stylus (black handle) with a small foam tip on the top. This is the tool that I use to apply my paint through the stencil, using in soft rotating circular motions. (The Artistic Artifacts website sells the Colorbox stylus handles and reusable foam tips.)

I do spray my stencils using 404 Spray and Fix Repositionable Craft Adhesive, and I have an important tip for you: let the sprayed stencil air-dry before placing it on your journal page. If you don’t, it will stick! (Ask me how I know.)

Silver paint applied through stencil

Above, inset, I have applied a silver metallic through the stencil, and the result once the stencil is picked up.

Take paint off your stir stick -- no waste!

Above, I have placed a portion of a different stencil so that it is positioned off the page. This gives the design some movement and a natural look. This photo also shows another way I save paint: I used the wooden tongue depressor to stir my paint up, and am taking the paint left on depressor up with my stylus tool to apply it.

Using more than one stencil, and moving it around

Above, one page completed with several colors of paint, and after moving the stencil around several times.

Beginning the other page of the spread

Working on the second sheet of this spread, I positioned the entire TCW522 – Rock Crystals stencil down on the page. After painting (above), I thought it looked a little bare at the top, so I moved the stencil around again, resulting in the below. Better balanced, wouldn’t you agree?

Moved the stencil to fill in a blank area

Below, the background stenciling and painting of this spread is completed. There is cohesion between the two pages, and the pages are now ready for me to continue on, adding photos, drawings, ephemera and more.

stenciled/painted background spread completed

P.S. If you were wondering…when I have the time to work on pages for the round robin art journal that is currently goining on through JAMs, but don’t have a journal in my possession, I work on a spread of two loose pages. That way when time is at a premium, I only need to glue in the completed pages.

Spray Magic!!

606 Spray and Fix adheres paper permanently to fabric

The Spray & Fix family of products are great and should be in everyone’s tool box.

Odif 404 Repositionable Craft Adhesive is a permanently repositionable craft adhesive creates a bond between most smooth surfaces; will hold on ceramic, wood, painted walls, metal, leather, stone and glass. Reposition over and over again; bond should last indefinitely or until surfaces become dusty. As noted by Shelly Stokes of Cedar Canyon Textiles, this product is absolutely indispensable to achieve the best results with Shiva Paintstik rubbings.

Shelly uses it on her rubbing plates; I rely on 404 to hold fabric to my Indonesian tjaps so that I can achieve a clean, sharp rubbing of their intricate designs. No residue to spoil these batik tools!

Detail, Sharon McDonagh quilt

Odif 505 Temporary Adhesive for Fabric is a temporary, repositionable, fabric adhesive used to temporarily bond fabric (bond will release when washed). This doesn’t gum up your sewing needles and there’s no drag on the needle when hand or machine sewing. Use 505 for machine applique, quilting, and embroidery. It’s an excellent product to use with tear-away continuous machine quilting patterns, and holds the stabilizing interface in place for machine embroidery. You can even use it to baste quilt layers in preparation for quilting.

Odif 606 Iron On Adhesive is a no-sew fusible adhesive for fabric, appliqué, quilting and paper images. Use it to make any fabric, batting or stabilizer fusible. Adhere paper images to fabric permanently; use for all types and styles of fabric appliqué.

I confess, I didn’t quite “get” the use of 606. Sharon McDonagh had discovered this product when she was working on her Halloween themed Power Suit Quilt [detail here, full quilt shown below]. She had used book text to create free verse poetic descriptions of her trick or treaters and was puzzling over how to best adhere the small scraps of paper. After finding 606, she has continued to rave about how cool the product was; she used it extensively in her quilt for her local guild’s “whisper quilt” challenge (photo shown at bottom of post) and for Donna DeSota’s recent “Fiber Beatles” art quilt challenge (that one has to remain unseen for now!).

Finally I had to try it too! As readers of this blog know I’m a HUGE fan of Mistyfuse, so I feel up to speed with fabric fusibles. I wanted to explore the possibilities of 606 with paper. The manufacturer advertises that you can permanently adhere paper images from magazines or napkins to fabric, making your own iron on transfers. This product creates a permanent bond that is acid free, washable and dry cleanable.

First I gathered a few scraps of fabric, napkin, music and dictionary pages. When you spray it leaves a lite white adhesive on the paper. Use a shallow box or line your work surface in order to catch over spray.

(Speaking of which, you can use DK5 Cleaning Agent to clean up overspray of any Spray and Fix Adhesive Sprays. It cleans most non-fabric surfaces: needles, embroidery hoops, stencils, etc.)

I decided to spray larger pieces of the napkin, dictionary, and music paper, then cut and tear in smaller sizes to collage with, creating a small, postcard size collage.

Sprayed paper and fabric sandwiched between non-stick craft sheets

In the first photograph, you can tell it hasn’t been ironed by the whitish appearance on the paper.

Next I moved to the ironing board. I had created this assemblage atop one of my teflon/fiberglass non-stick ironing and craft sheets, and then I covered it all with another teflon sheet.

Sharon has successfully used baking parchment during this process too. You want to be sure you are protecting your iron from the fusible adhesive.

Fused and sealed fiber/paper collage after being ironed

After ironing (it only takes a few seconds on a medium heat) the whitish, ashy look is gone, leaving the image nice and clear.  I sealed the paper pieces and fused to the fabric base all in one step.

I confess I was amazed at the results: the finish is great! It is clear, sealed, and NOT at all sticky. Using the 606 spray was fast, and I did not have to wait for anything to dry, as you do with matte mediums.

free motion quilting the fiber/paper postcard assemblage

The next step was to test the results of sewing on the fused and sealed paper. 

I found it was very easy to sew on…absolutely no drag on the needle; it all fed through the machine nicely and behaved exactly as fabric would.

This little collage is by no means finished, but I couldn’t wait to show you the results.

Fabric and paper postcard, fused and sealed, after initial stitching

Now I get what Sharon was saying — 606 Spray and Fix IS cool. I will definitely be adding this aerosol can to my fiber art arsenal! Neither of us has yet tried laundering fabric that has had paper fused and sealed with 606 — maybe that will be our next experiment!


Power Suit Art Quilt Challenge by Sharon McDonag

“The Power of Halloween,” a Power Suit Art Quilt Challenge submission by Sharon McDonagh

Voici ma Mère (Here is my mother) by Sharon McDonagh, Arlington QU whisper quilt challenge

Voici ma Mère (Here is my mother) by Sharon McDonagh, Arlington QU whisper quilt challenge.

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