Balzer Designs Blog Hop

Today is a very special day on my blog, as I’m participating in the phenomenally talented Julie Fei Fan-Balzer blog hop using her great new Crafter’s Workshop stencils.

I was pretty stoked when Julie emailed me and asked if I’d make a piece of art for the hop. Since I have a love for figurative work, I was thrilled when the Crafter’s Workshop folks sent me 3 Faces stencils and some cool patterned ones to play with. I was particularly drawn to Ava (the one I used in this project) because the bangs in her eyes reminds me of my daughter, who’s 2 and does not like her hair cut.

I knew what I wanted to make before I even saw the stencils. Since I justified all the ways in which I absolutely needed a new iPad as a work expense, I wanted to make an artsy cover for it. The only kink in the idea is that I can’t sew, not even one straight stitch on a machine. I pleaded my dear friend Tamara Morkin, a restaurateur and amazing quilter who lives in my little country town to make the case for me.

Poor thing, I had her work with thick white canvas and a plain black elastic strap. I needed a totally blank canvas to paint. She did such a wonderful job!

I then spent a lovely morning in my studio playing with my favorite new paint medium — Faber-Castell’s Gelato watercolor sticks. These have a luscious texture about them, like applying lipstick to your canvas. Some lines of color here and more color in a harmonious hue there, a wash of water on a paintbrush and I was able to lay down a lovely background in a few minutes.

I then put Julie’s fantastic face stencil down and traced it out with a pencil. Pulled the stencil off and added in the face color, lips, eyes and cheeks with various shades of Gelatos.  I knew I wanted only 1/2 of the face to show on the iPad cover when its closed. Visually, I think it adds mystery and dimension to the work. I then began working with the back cover and the very funky Love Beads Crafter’s Workshop stencil to create more texture and pattern.

Of course, it wouldn’t be my work without words incorporated into the design. I grabbed one of my old French paperbacks and began tearing and collaging away. I liked the way the small bit of torn paper looks like a collaged headband.

My next to final step was to place the Ava stencil back over the background and draw in the thick black lines with Faber-Castell’s PITT artist big brush pen in black. A little water on a tiny paintbrush softened the hard lines. I also added some black details with the brush around the bubbles and hearts.

Finally, my favorite part of the entire project. After I let the iPad cover completely dry, I covered the entire thing in ICE Resin®, which is a non-toxic jeweler’s grade resin that stays crystal clear forever. ICE made the colors pop so beautifully on the canvas, as well as sealing and protecting my artwork forever.

All in all, I’m pretty pleased with my one-of-a-kind iPad artwork. I can’t wait to pull it out at art retreats and teaching gigs for people to see. I also want to thank Julie for giving me the perfect opportunity to do the hop and use her AMAZING stencil designs. Her easy-to-use Ava face made for a well executed figurative project. (If you like Ava, be sure to check out Edith and Maude and Summer too).

Be sure hop throughout the other talented participant’s blogs today. There is sure to be some great eye candy.

•    Jill Sprott:
•    Karen Grunberg:
•    Paula Gilarde:
•    Julie Fei-Fan Balzer:

Also, as a thank you to all of you for stopping by, I want to do a giveaway on my blog today. Leave a comment on my blog here and 2 lucky people will win a 1-oz size single syringe of ICE Resin. I will choose the winner by random number generator on Friday.

Here’s wishing all of you a truly Artful day!

45 thoughts on “Balzer Designs Blog Hop

  1. How clever to make an ipad cover for the blog hop! Those watercolor sticks sound like a lot of fun. I just might need to try them out.

    I’m off to check out the other participants. And by the way, I can’t sew either,much to my dismay.

  2. Jen, your ipad cover is wonderful! I love figurative work but my efforts at it are very hit and miss. The stencils are a wonderful idea and I’m going to check them out.

  3. I loved the idea of doing the stencil in pencil and then adding your own persona
    Ity. I love the ideas for using these stencils

  4. I’m totally unfamiliar with ICE RESIN so I was very interested in watching how you used it. Now I’m going to have to buy it and have some FUN. Thanks.

  5. I can’t sew either and always feel left out of fabric/canvass projects. Glad to see you found a way to make a fabric based project using Julie’s stencils.

  6. Very creative idea…I would never have thought of doing something like this. Great inspiration for many projects. I will have to give it a try.

  7. Beautiful work and colors. Your pages are inspiring. I would love to try Ice Resin.
    Keep the beautiful work coming.

  8. Love what you did with the stencil, very creative! I’m interested in finding out more about the resin.

  9. I love what you did and why you chose this stencil. My girls had these bangs too and I loved them. Such pretty textures and colors you picked. How fun those hearts are, it is like a headband. Great job on this. Thanks so much for sharing it and explaining how you did it.

  10. I am new to all this mixed media creations. I look forward to getting started on my art journal or maybe it should be called my art journey. Thank you for sharing your i-pad cover. My son has bought one for the “house” so this gives me a great idea for a gift for him for Christmas. Apple doesn’t manufacture cool covers like that!!!
    Thanks again and keep up the wonderful blog!!!!!

  11. This is such a cool project and way to use the stencil. Never heard of the Ice Resin, but wow what a great way to protect. Would love to win a sample to be able to try it. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Thanks for sharing how you created this piece. I had never heard of faber-castell’s (sp?) water color sticks. What a neat trick! I think your iPad case is wonderful. I love the reason that you picked this stencil!

  13. Thanks for sharing how you did this! I had never heard of those watercolor sticks. I think your cover for your iPad is wonderful. Your use of the stencil is first-class, and I love the reason you chose that one!

  14. I enjoyed your blog and love the idea of iced resin for cloth opens a lot of doors for other projects like pillows, dog jackets, and totes. Thanks, Mary Werner

  15. Great project Jen – love the “watercolorish/collage” feel (not sure watercolorish is a word, but it’s a great effect you achieved anyway :0)….

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