I have had a long and very happy relationship with The Crafter's Workshop. I was a customer and fan first, then a demonstrator for them, and eventually a signature designer! I'm so grateful for their support through the years. I have learned a ton in the seven or so years of working with them -- about marketing, about designing (both aesthetically and technically), about teaching, about branding...the list just goes on and on.
The story goes something like this:
Somebody introduced me to Jaime, the founder and owner of The Crafter's Workshop (You can hear our podcast with her from 2013 HERE.) at the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) show. I told her what a huge fan I was of her stencils. I made an off hand suggestion of a super simple stencil that I wished existed. And so she made it for the next release. This is it:
During that same release, she invited me to do some demos in The Crafter's Workshop booth. We got to talking and she asked if I had more ideas. Before I knew it, there was a press release and I was designing packaging and a logo! It was pretty darn exciting! I shared the news back in 2011 on my blog HERE.
My early years of work with The Crafter's Workshop were focused on educating people about how to stencil. That sounds weird doesn't it? Nowadays it seems like every company has stencils and everybody knows how to use stencils. However, you have to remember that this was in the early days of the stencil thing. While Jaime was a stencil expert and had been making stencils for many years, the rest of the craft industry hadn't caught up. Yet. People weren't really sure what to do with stencils. Mists and paints were not an integral part of the scrapbook industry at this point and people were still spraying their mists in a box, super afraid to get dirty. We were the weirdos out in left field. This unfamiliarity with stencils is the reason I started my free Stencil 101 class. I simply wanted people to understand:
- what stencils could be used for
- how to get the results they wanted (dab on/dab off)
- how to store stencils
- the fact that you do not need to clean your stencils!
It was after that first stencil release that I came up with the whole "Dirty Girl" thing: "I'm a Dirty Girl. I don't clean my stencils!"
As you can see, I have worn my Dirty Girl Apron proudly through the years, declaring I don't clean my stencils!
Let's take a peek at the stencil releases through the years (where stencils are still available, I've provided links to purchase them from Amazon under each set of images). I think the changes in the designs over time is quite interesting:
Available Stencils: Leaf Grid, Wood Parquet, Mix & Match Hearts, Pointy Circles, Lotus Blossom, Burst, Pomegranate, Poppies, Circle Explosion, Peek-a-Boo, Peacock Feathers, Flower Garden, Layered Stars, Funky Tags, Mixed Up Alphabet
Available Stencils: Entrelac, Aztec, Celtic Circle, Bubble Doily, Fleur de Lis Doily, Flying Bird Doily, Echoes, Flower Quarter, Pattern Leaves, Scallop Flowers, Life Months, Weekly Circles, Tiny Circles, Circle Regiment, Swatter, Cityscape
That's a whole lot of stencils, don't you think?! And you know what?
There are more stencils coming!!!!!
That's right, there will be a new release of gorgeous new Balzer Designs Stencils for The Crafter's Workshop in just a few weeks. I'm not allowed to share the images of the stencils yet, but here's a sneak peek of three of the new designs:
How could it possibly get better than new stencils?
Let me tell you: The Crafter's Workshop is giving away AN ENTIRE SET OF THE NEW BALZER DESIGNS STENCILS IN 12x12. (I'm sorry that I'm yelling, but I'm just so super duper excited!) The winner of this giveaway will receive all of the new Balzer Designs Stencils in the 12x12 size. That's a pretty stellar giveaway, you guys!
To win: Leave an answer to the following question in the comments section of this blog (it must be posted on the blog itself, not on Facebook and not in an email reply):
Describe your favorite stenciling technique?
This contest will remain open until Tuesday, January 10 at 11:59 EST.
In the meantime, I'm going to leave you with one stenciling tutorial blog post from every year I've been posting them:
- 2009: Valentine's Day Tutorial
- 2010: 5 Step Tag
- 2011: Clouds (video: Stamping into a Stencil)
- 2012: Make Your Own Washi Tape
- 2013: Summer 2013 Stencils: 4 Feathers
- 2014: Pan Pastels + Stencils + Stamps
- 2015: Creating a Seamless Repeating Patterns with Your Stencils
- 2016: Gelatin Bumping
I hope that over the years I've passed on my love of stencils to you! Thanks for stopping by!