Blogiversary Story & Giveaway: TCW Stencils + Me
January 04, 2017
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: Punchinella, Rain, Chevron, Leaf Frame, Clouds
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: Life Strips, Deco Doily, Aboriginal, Curl Frame, Hexagons, Mayan Calendar, Swirly Garden, Stripes, Pattern Strips, Filmstrip, Chevron Arrows, Bug Doily, Chunky Chevron
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
Available Stencils: Peacock Doily, Profile, Stacked Triangles, Silhouette Script, Dash Circle Dash, Circles in Lines, Three-Quarter, Shattered Circles, 4 Feathers, US Map, Fifties Clock
Available Stencils: Crossed, Stick Flowers, Indian Leaves, Art Deco Leaves, Word Arrows, Stripes Explosion, Mod Checkerboard, Stones Divided, Web Doily, Onion Skin, Petals, 4 Faces, Palms
Available Balzer Bits: Celtic Heart, Tiny Rings, Butterfly, Snail Trail, All My Heart, Light Bulb, Rose, Arrow Wheel, Tree, Numbers in Arrow, Here Arrow, Burlap
Available Stencils: Repeating Pods, Rug, Patterns, Believe Script, Tiled Flower, Snow Branch, Many Faces, Pods on Sticks, Tribal Triangles, Geo Explosion, Striped Flower Circle
Available Balzer Bits: Circled Face, Flower Frame, Atomic Circle, Star Circle, House, Ice Flake, Scribbled Rose, Leafy Branch, Accented Star, Painted Cat, Eye, Layered Flower, Family
Available Stencils: Lace, Art Deco Alphabet, Triangle Sunburst, Twig & Berry, Art Deco Numbers & More, Hex Flowers, Shattered Triangles, Square Scrolls
Available Balzer Bits: Sequin Waste Bit, Messy Script Bit, Berry Branch Bit
Available Stencils: Christmas Words, Tribal Fish, Doodled Pattern, On The Road, Pebbles Tied, Spikey Wheels, Overlapping Stripes, Orange Slices, Jax, Mumsy, Christmas Lights
Available Balzer Bits: Beauty Profile, Profile with Dots, Star Circle, Endless Stars, Triangle Panic, Zia Sun, Two Layer Flower
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:
AND....WAIT! It gets even better.
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!