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Guest Post: Stenciled Project Life with Karen

Hello!  I'm about to head out on an October whirlwind of trips!  Take a class with me in New Hampshire (October 10&11) or Toronto (October 17, 18 & 19 -- I think the 18th and 19th are close to sold out) or come and see me in the ScanNCut booth at Quilt Festival (open to the public) in Houston (October 29 - November 2).  It will be my first time back in Texas in a long time and I'm a bit nervous, so I could use some friendly faces!

But enough about me, let's get to the good stuff.  Karen is here with some tips on using stencils in your Project Life album!

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Project Life with Stencils

First off I am super thrilled that Julie selected me to be a guest blogger. I am a stencil addict and love using Julie’s fun eclectic images. All the stencils I used on this page are Julie’s & should still be available. Check her image on the right side of her blog to find your favorites.

I chose to do Project Life as I too am a non-traditional lifer. I love using ink, sprays & paints on my cards and tend to scrapbook my pages. Let me show you.

In my quest to freeze time I have wanted to do a “what are we listening to page” for every member of the family. We made a list of favorite music over dinner one night. The amazing thing is our teenage boys like the music we listened to when we were in our 20’s! Very fabulous when on a long trip driving in the car.

For this page I did my current favs. I used the same couple of techniques on all my cards. I liked the color theme of the first card so I stuck with it for the layout. This was a bit of a departure as usually all my cards are different but I like the finished result.

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Start by spraying a white project life card or a card you make. If you don’t like the cards to be warped use a heavier mix media paper or water color paper. I used Dylusions sprays which are great for vibrant colors. Start with a light color, it allows you to build your card easily. I taped my card (rolling tape underneath the card) to my craft mat. Spray your card & dry. Place your stencil on top of your card & tape to your craft mat to keep it in place. Spray 6-8” above the stencil, moving the spray bottle to add an even light, coat. If your image is blurred (this can be fun too) there is too much spray which pours under your stencil. After spraying I lay another card on top of the stencil to pick up the extra spray. This creates a bonus card which can be added to my stash. Remove stencil & dry your card. A heat gun will melt your stencil so move it away.

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Time for paint! The key to painting with a stencil is a little paint goes a long way. Use a make-up sponge to pounce paint on. Dina Wakley acrylic looks almost like chalk and Pebeo studio acrylics, their paint is amazingly shimmery & iridescent.

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As you can see I used different colors layering one color over the last to create an overlap of color. You can also see where I used too much turquoise at the tip of the lower flower petals. This made my image blurry but created some cool texture. Remember we are not going for perfect! A trick I use when this happens is to outline the image with either pen & doodles or smudge oil pastel to make it grungy.

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For one of the cards I stenciled Julie’s arrow word using black acrylic paint.

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The other card I used the 12x12 arrow stencil and a journal pen to write the word today. I finished the word off by scribbling it in. Pretty cool. The edges of the cards are distressed with the same paints I used on the cards. Now my cards are ready to go & just need journaling. If you want to flatten your cards you can lightly iron them. Be sure to put another piece of paper or fabric on top to protect your iron. I don’t mind mine wonky so no iron needed.

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Voila here is my finished Project Life page. I like to add stickers, metal paperclips etc. Thanks so much to Julie for letting me play with you today!

*The glare on Philip Philips is part of the album cover. Although Raging Fire is actually on his new album “Behind the Light” I love his songs on his 1st album too & took creative license…

**Image of albums are used under the Fair Use Act & are copyright to Philip Philips (Interscope/19 Recordings), The Wanted (Island Records), Plain White T’s (FearlessRecords).

Supplies Used:


Kbearse pic7I have always been crafty, cross stitch, knitting, and quilting. Got into scrap booking about 14 years ago and then moved into the inky side of things. I haven’t looked back and it became the addiction that stuck. Art journal followed in 2009 where I became a technique lover, can never learn enough! Stamps, stencils, paint, and sprays are my favorites. Just to name a few. I often find the cool technique while making mistakes-hum…. My first teaching gig was in summer of 2010. I love to teach & inspire, especially when I hear the words “I can’t believe I made this”. I currently teach everything from mini-albums to art journal & altered art. I love taking photos especially with all the fun photo apps available. Currently struggling with slowing down time, embracing the chaos and taking time to breath. Focusing on saving stress for only really important things, finding the joy not the negative, being healthy. My most important job is mother to 3 goofy, active and fun loving kids. I am paid in hugs, laughter, stress and love.

You can find me at