Studio Calico February 2012 Sneaks
Project Life: Keeping it Low Key

Balzer Designs & The Crafter's Workshop CHA-Winter 2012

TCW-BalzerDesignsHEADER
I'm trying to think if I can even explain what it feels like to open the box of brand new stencils when they arrive. 

When I sit down to design the stencils it's a lot of theoretical work.  I use a combination of hand drawn sketches, Photoshop, and Illustrator.  And it's a lot of guess work as to what will translate into an awesome physical stencil.  Will the line be fat enough?  Too fat?  Will the design work in 6x6 and 12x12?  Does it appeal to a mass market?  Lots of hard questions.

Then the stencils arrive.

And I find there's always a bit of a learning curve on how to use them.  Lots of times what worked in my head doesn't work in real life.  And giving up that ghost of an idea can be difficult.  But the experimenting is so much fun!  And once I get past my preconceptions I discover that the stencils are totally different than I thought they were.  And that's magical.

I'm releasing TWENTY-ONE new designs at CHA.  Here's a peek at a bit of the magic I've been discovering with just a few of those brand new stencils:

FLOWER GARDEN

FlowerGarden

FlowerGarden

FlowerGarden

I think of this stencil as a kind of coloring book stencil.  Spray or ink or trace those lines and then get to coloring!

Flowers

Flowers

I have big plans to make gorgeous patterned paper, wrapping paper, all sorts of things!  As I mentioned before, it's hard to know what the physical stencil is going to be like when you actually use it.  This one is just as I envisioned it!

CURSIVE ALPHABET

LOGO

Jaime (the owner of TCW) and I went back and forth on this stencil a number of times.  She wondered if we shouldn't include the inside loops of the letters.  I felt very strongly that we shouldn't.  I wanted this to feel like a shadow of letters. I used it on a pair of somewhat matching layouts: one about my brother and one about me.

Matthew-sm

Matthew-sm

Matthew-sm

Matthew-sm

Matthew-sm

Matthew-sm

(Do you see the little peacock feather buried under layers of gesso and spray ink?)

I LOVE the way the Cursive Alphabet Stencil looks!  It is definitely poised to become one of my all time faves and a "go to" for me.  I'm actually finding it tough to stay away from using it during all of this sample making!

PEACOCK FEATHERS

PeacockIMAGE

MIrrorHabit-sm

MIrrorHabit-sm

I always like to show people that you can use just a portion of a stencil.  You don't have to use the whole thing.  That stencil is not the boss of you.  You are the boss of the stencil.

This is another one that looks great with some coloring.

Peacockfeathers

And here it is in full technicolor on a layout:

Eileen&Penny-sm

Eileen&PennyDetail-sm

This was one of the first stencils I designed.  It came together rather magically and I'm so pleased with it.  I can see this graphic on t-shirts and tote bags (next on my "to-do" list) and so much more!

There are just three different stencils represented in these projects.  That means there are EIGHTEEN that you haven't even seen -- though I have been sneaking some peeks on my Twitter feed and my Facebook page, like these art journal pages:

Peeks

To see all of the stencils TCW is releasing, click here.  And I'd appreciate it if you'd leave me a comment and let me know which of the stencils I've designed looks exciting to you.  I'd love to know what appeals to you!

Thanks for stopping by!

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