Gift-Worthy: Stenciled Mixed Media Advent Calendar


Hello! I had an advent adventure with stencils and stuff from my stash!

When you finish looking, comment on this post and you might win free stencils!

I keep my radar up starting at the end of summer for small Christmas gifts to make (using stencils) or give. I’ve found it makes my budget manageable because it doesn’t allow me to feel rushed at the last minute.

mixed media stenciled advent calendar stencilgirl carol baxter.jpg

It is simply perfect for…… well I can’t tell you WHO because SHE might read this post!

I am not a fan of wire coat hangers, but I sure think this is a fantastic use for one. I painted the cardboard red and wrapped the wire part with a green ribbon.


I hung the following 24 items with ribbon or string to the hanger:

  1. Cloth tea bag filled with sweet-smelling cloves and orange peel.
  2. Cup – This was a red wine tasting cup wired up and simply wrapped with a piece of white linen with the # stenciled on it.
  3. Stenciled ribbon embellished with red pen and glued to a brown bag. Good for a lottery ticket.
  4. Stenciled library card in a stenciled pocket. Nice for writing a sentiment.
  5. Stenciled vellum tag.
  6. Stenciled cork tag embellished with sewing pattern collage paper.
  7. Teabag with a word and a # stenciled on it. Stuffed with Constant Comment Tea.
  8. Little red painted box tied with ribbon and embellished with stickers from the SWAG exchanged at An Art Journal Affaire back in 2017!
  9. Another cup, wired up and stenciled with a little # tag on it. I recommend that you secure with washi tape whatever you put in the cups.
  10. Heart pin I might have made at an art products trade show is pinned to a tag.
  11. Narrow, stenciled elf bag.
  12. Double star (traced from a stencil) with a quarter gluing the 2 halves together.
  13. Stenciled, embellished library card with little people peeking out of the pocket.
  14. Stenciled green envelope.
  15. Pendant (Ice Resin & glass glitter) hanging from a tag that was made with Flitter. The tag is hanging from a cinnamon stick.
  16. Cloth v banner – Lindt truffle stapled to the back
  17. Different pendant.
  18. Stenciled ornament tag.
  19. Candy cane with a small number tag (Great idea huh? I faked it with a straw – no candy canes in stores near me, yet.)
  20. Stenciled star box made from cardstock and sealed with washi tape.
  21. Sparkly stenciled tag with Thermo-Wed Glitz Glitter Gel.
  22. Little brass and lace dress ornament.
  23. Organza baggie – the number is stenciled on a piece Citra-Solv paper Nancy Curry gave out at Art Journal Affaire
  24. Stenciled, sparkly hummingbird tag.


As to treats: candy, light-weight jewelry, gift card, money, chapstick, tiny scented candle, sweet little notes specific to the person the advent calendar is for. I figure the tags can either stand-alone or I’ll affix a wrapped chocolate truffle to the back.


Stencils used: Never Ending Calendar Mini by Carolyn Dube (perfect for numbers), ATC Mixup Stencils by Mary Beth Shaw (perfect for numbers too!), Andrew Borloz, June Pfaff Daley, Jennifer Evans, and Pam Carriker, Vintage Ornaments by Cathy Nichols, Art Deco Alphabet by Gwen Lafleur.


I handmade the star-shaped box with Mary C. Nasser’s First Star on the Right StencilClub set.

  • Trace the stars you want 2 times on cardstock or heavy scrapbook paper. (I kinda wish I had made bigger stars.)
  • Cut out the stars, one on the lines, the other ever-so-slightly larger than the lines.
  • Cut strips for each star to make the edges of the boxes. For instance, the edge of one of my stars was 1” so I cut one 5” by 1” strip and scored at the ¼” on the horizontal and 1” on the vertical. The second strip was based on the same principle but again, ever-so-slightly larger.
  • If you are planning to use a stencil to decorate the star box, now is the time.
  • Use glue inside or washi tape outside to affix sides to top and bottom.


Project timing tips:

  1. Gather all your stencils, boxes and bags, stashy stuff and tools in one pile. I had bits of ephemera, red wire, jingle bells, ribbons and cords, tags, washi tape, glue, wire cutters, etc.
  2. If you are going to make this in one sitting, allow yourself at least the whole morning. Better yet, invite a friend over and you can each make one as well as enjoying the day with a lovely break for lunch. Or put on your elf hat and work secretly by the light of the moon.


Transport tips:

Put a towel on a large cookie sheet and lay the Advent Calendar down. If it’s a new cookie sheet, add a new kitchen towel — after you stencil the towel of course!

If you are shipping it, lay it on the pan and bubble wrap it.


I first saw this Advent idea done (tan/white/gold/burlap) in a Stampington email. This hanging calendar is worth reimagining for Valentine’s Day, or Mother’s Day, don’t you agree?!

Wishing you a joyous rest of 2019!


p.s. Got cats? Dogs? Toddlers? Hang it high!

p.s. Don’t forget to check out all the other AMAZING gift-worthy projects from my fellow StencilGirl Creative Team Members! You might win free stencils! Good luck!

Sue Plumb’s Cookie Jar and Art Bag

Claudia Neubacher’s Tote Bag

Sunila & Aditi Mahajan’s Treasure Box

Peg Robinson’s Necklace

Shel C’s Journal Set

Jennifer Gallagher’s Paper Mache Gift Box

Linda Edkins Wyatt’s Beach Memories Painting

Jill McDowell’s Twisted Treasure Pouches


Contest closes 10-8-19 at 11:59 p.m. CST.  Winner notified by email 10-9-19.




Fun, games, nostalgia, and stencils

Hello Smiling Human!
Cynthia Silveri’s Fun & Games StencilClub Set for April 2019 is chock full of nostalgia for me.
fun and games stencilclub april 2019 cynthia silveri stencilgirl 1080 x 1080 .jpg
The 6×6 stencil depicts the gameboard. The real board was wooden and reversible, and the corner pockets were mesh. I never recall us using cue sticks, just flicking the red and green plastic discs into the pockets with our thumb and forefinger (nail beds bruised by the time the game was over).
I wish I could find a picture of us all playing “pool” because those were good times!
I did find this snapshot with the gameboard and a bunch of irrelevant stuff, but is it?
april sc voices carol with zantippy.jpg
Tip of the day: Don’t crop the background out of your old pictures because you think the foreground is all that is important:
1. Me and my brother’s dog Xanthippe. We got my dog, Socrates, a year later.
2. I am sure that is a calendar I made/colored on the wall.
3. Quilt frame and ironing board — a quilt must have been getting ready to go up although I think that is a (now classic) tablecloth behind me.
4. My Mom’s purse is hanging off the quilt frame too. Her purses were heavy (a true bag of infinite holding) and when we would travel overnight with Aunt Peggy and stay in a hotel, the pillows were too soft so Mom’d put her purse underneath as ballast. Or maybe she just thought no one could sneak into the room and steal it.
Thank’s for letting me share my story. Here are the present fun and games:
Ouch card (extra stencil used: Hands by Jessica Sporn)
It seemed only fitting that me, my “Bruncle” Bruce, brother Wayne, and my mom should be the discs headed for the pockets as they are the people I recall playing against. This time, instead of sore nail beds, I have paint on my thumbs and forefingers to tell the tale of my fun and games.
You need to be a member of StencilClub to get this stencil set. You can join here.
More card-making fun I had with the set:
Winner, Winner card (inside stencil used: Chicken Cat by Judy Wise)
Alternate sentiment: What the cluck. You thought you were gettin’ a cool Million bucks?!
It’s All Fun and Games Until…. card (inside sentiment: Parchesi me please. I’m sorry I was THAT person.)
Insurrection card
It’s possible the green dudes need more embellishment, eh?
May you enjoy your little insurrections and don’t cry over spilled paint,

No need to buy a paper doll (costume) DIY

Halloween is my fave holiday!

The only drama is convincing my hubby Ray he wants to make me happy by dressing up. Lucky for me he is a good sport. I found a stellar musical note shirt and an outrageous record player necklace for the 24k gold plated bling for his Bruno Mars costume. (You knew Bruno grew a mustache, right? LOL)


I went as a paper doll!


Suggested by the tune-track playing in my head. My Popa used to sing the first couple of lines to the Mills Brothers’ “Paper Doll” to my mom.

I’m gonna buy a paper doll that I can call my own
A doll that other fellows cannot steal

I don’t know that I had ever heard the full song from the 1930s until I started this costume and went looking for it. Paper Doll by the Mills Brothers. 

paper doll costume.JPG

I saw the cute costume above. Alas, not in my size. But a good idea I thought. It’s just a front so I will be free to move, especially if I build it in 2 pieces.

  1. Fabric-paper means I can sit and the paper will bend without too obnoxious a crease.
  2. I can always recycle the paper into my art journal.

Yeah, but I have a larger bust than the model. What to do? Then I saw this coffee filter dress.


Eek! I am so not doing that skirt, but I am grateful it gave me a solution for my bustier top. Coffee papers are flexible and shaped right. Saved!

I know, I know, you might have heard me swear off coffee filters after I made a couple hundred paper and coffee filter flowers for my wedding, so this should be relatively easy… oh, the little white lies we tell ourselves!


Materials for bustier:

  • Coffee filters
  • Washi tape
  • Color Sprays – Lindy’s seem to be the only ones that do not clog.
  • Acrylic paint – white to repair a sprayed area I did not like.
  • Retro Comets Stencil by Mary Beth Shaw
  • Double-sided tape and packing tape



  1. Fold your coffee filters in thirds for the tabs and waist. Fold a bunch over leaving about a 1″ ruffle, fold a few in half, and some I simply flattened.
  2. Your shape is not my shape. I suggest, you kinda build the costume as you try it on, taping as you go.
  3. I completed the V and waist part of the bustier with washi tape.

Front of bustier before paint (the back looks pretty similar but there’s a goodly amount of tape.



Because my top had become so ruffled, I decided to go with a pencil skirt.

Skirt Materials:

  • Trash bag(s) so you can peel up your fabric-paper.
  • Painter’s or another removable tape
  • A mixture of 2/3 Elmer’s Glue and 1/3 water or Modge Podge
  • Cloth a bit bigger than your pattern – I used what I had in my stash, a 25-cent pillowcase I picked up from the Pine Senior Center Thrift Store as the base for my fabric-paper. You could use muslin or cheesecloth.
  • A combo of papers from your stash – I used:
    • book paper – worked like a charm!
    • saved baby wipes – thicker so took longer to dry
    • paper wine labels – must have been backed with some kind of plastic as they did not want to play nice with the other papers
    • misc previously stenciled papers
    • a shopping list
    • a receipt – thermal paper loses its ink
    • printed tissue paper
  • Stencils used:
  • Acrylic paint – white mixed with water to “knock back” the colors and unify the collage. Then I stenciled with red, yellow, and blue because it would match my comic strip makeup.
  • Sponges for paint
  • Safety pins to attach costume to clothes later.



  1. Tape down your trash bags.
  2. Tape down your fabric.
  3. Paint layers of glue mixture on to fabric and papers. Tip: Generous glue over stingy!
  4. Let dry completely overnight and hit with a heat gun if necessary.
  5. Stencil over the top and let dry.
  6. I considered this, but why use one stencil when two will do?! Optional: Make a 6” slit in the skirt over one knee, and alternate coffee filters in slit and above it as a ruffle.


Step 3 above. Step 5 below.


I must admit, I am pretty dang stoked how my costume turned out!



There are as many amazing patterns for paper hair as there are for paper dresses. The Cardboard Collective has a good starter diy.

Serendipitously, the hat for my hubby’s costume came with a half head shaped insert. All I had to do was copy the pattern and viola! Full head wig structure.

In addition to the wig structure you will need:

  • Newspaper and scissors to cut individual locks of hair
  • Barrettes or bobby pins
  • Marker
  • Tape to hold the hair in place


  1. Mark where your barrettes are going to clip on to hold the wig in place. You do not want to glue hair over the top of these.
  2. I went for curls about 1” wide cut mostly the length of the newspaper but a few, the width. I learned newspaper cut in strips curls pretty much like curling ribbon. Pay attention and if there are pics with colors you want to show, curl them out.
  3. Starting at the bottom, I taped ringlets in place then affixed with single and double-sided tape.



A Jack-o-Lantern full of thanks to my buddy Joe for doing such a fantastic job applying my (water soluble) make-up!



I cried my paper doll came out almost exactly as I imagined. Happy dance!

The costume was as labor intensive as I thought it would be and somewhat more difficult, but I had a truly good time making it and I was absolutely ready to PARTY!



Popsicle Cards

This is my face when it is hot in Arizona and there are no cold popsicles in the freezer. Bawahaha!


I mean, you must roll that paint across your gel plate quickly or the dry heat will desiccate your printing plans.

I was speedy!

These are the StencilGirl® stencils I used….


… to create this pile of never-melting Popsicle fun!


You can get Popsicle “forever stamps” at the US Post Office for a limited time! They are even scented.  (I think they smell like Jolly Rancher Watermelon Candy.) When I saw them, I knew I had to make cards!

I made gelli printed papers – some stenciled, some not, hand cut the Popsicles and sticks, and then used Inktense pencils, Sharpie Pens, a white pen, Prima Watercolors, and washi tape to embellish.

I confess that I ordered washi tape especially to match the postage stamps; I am getting ahead of myself.

Making cards was FUN! FUN! FUN! I stopped counting at a dozen.

Are you old enough to remember sharing the other half of your orange creamsicle with a friend? I guess you can still buy “twin pops” but I do not think they are made by Popsicle.

I made my “Anything is Popsicle” card first. The “half for me and half for you” creamsicle actually pulls out.


Then I thought, who wants a creamsicle when you can have a margarita?


It is no secret that I love the Loose Women stencils.

I flipped the stencil so her hand was pointing up to hold the creamsicle.

Before painting with water:


Many people like to make their own cold fruit pops! Yum!


Those stamps are too much! Watermelon and strawberry and lime, oh my! Looks like one is even dipped in chocolate.

Did you call those red white and blue Popsicle “bullets” or “bombs”?


I was on a roll! I even cut drips on a few.


Of course, I had to get snarky.

The line about the stick I read somewhere. The response, well, I had to have the last word 🙂


As long as I made one ice cream cone, I went ahead and made more.


Sure bet…

Get it?

Hey, I work from home. I must amuse myself  🙂

A different line could be: Our friendship is a sure bet.

Wishing you a cool rest of the summer chillin’ with your friends!


P.S. The stencils I used:

4 Flowers, Loose Woman 1 & 2, Sea of Grapes, Twist Lattice, Night Sky  Night Sky is not pictured –  it fell into the black hole in my desk!

Stencil Club: June 2018, Nov, Aug, and Mar 2017, Nov and Apr 2016, and Dec 2013  – also sucked into the black hole, but both stencils will somehow appear in the middle of my desk in the next 24 hours…





Stenciled Bottle Cover & Card

Lindy's Gang Blog Hop Banner.jpg

Welcome to my spot on the hop between StencilGirl Products’ and Lindy’s Stamp Gang creative teams! I am happy you’ve taken the time to stop by.

The whole cover shimmers in natural light. The human eye sees it. My camera does not.

I chose an unusual substrate for this project. A neoprene bottle cover.  I bought the bottle with the cover a couple summers ago because it had a speaker in the neoprene cover & the batteries were included. Geek out! I put it in the cabinet and forgot all about it until…

My husband threw out the bottle and the cover. Oh no! Must rescue.

Me to hubby: “Did you even try the speaker?”

My hubby: “No. It was just a cheap gimmick. You’re not pulling it out of the trash, are you?”

Me: (Eye roll.) “I am. I wonder if I can stencil on it?”

Hubby: (Big sigh.) “It’s trash.”

Me, in my office a few minutes later, speaker hooked to my phone, David Bowie singing “Nature Boy”, talking to myself: “The sound is truly weak. But I CAN stencil on the case AND the bottle has nice lines plus a clear space. I can soak off the label and stencil a new one.”

Here’s my process:

What stencil shall I choose? Sacred Feminine by Carol Wiebe. The minute I saw this stencil I knew I had to have it – look at all the interesting elements!


I thought it would be easiest to stencil with the cover still on the bottle. I chose to use acrylic instead of fabric paint because it’s not ever going to be washed. The speaker is sewn in, so it must remain as is.

Step 1: Mask off bottle neck. Gesso the bottle around the speaker – oh my, was that white line ever convenient! Let dry. Apply another coat of gesso.


Step 2: I opted for a sprayed background created with Smokey Sapphire and Crow’s Nest Copper Moon Shadow Mists. These are walnut inks with mica in them.


I sprayed on top of an open art journal so I have pages started for later.


Step 3: Tape around goddess so she stays in place. I balanced the bottle on the inside of my roll of masking tape as I applied a coat of silver and then a combo of navy blue, silver and white. I had to do some awkward maneuvering for her gown because of the speaker and I was afraid it would not turn out on a curved surface, but it did!


Step 4: I used black paint and a thin paintbrush to paint in the line detail.


I also made a matching card using the Moon Mists and Organic Roots 1 Small Stencil, also by Carol Wiebe.


Tips: After you spray through the stencil, flip it onto a journal page and you’ll get interesting prints and drips. Then you can use us your extra paint too!


This was my first time using walnut-based ink sprays and I just couldn’t stop. (Sprays over over black.)



Wishing you a shimmery, magical, stencil filled day,


p.s. I hope you will take the time to check out all the other amazing projects in the hop and comment to enter the contest.

Lindy's Gang Blog Hop Giveaway.jpg

One lucky winner will receive both a $25 Gift Certificate to Lindy’s Gang
AND a $25 Gift Certificate to StencilGirl Products!

Enter to win by leaving a comment below.
Then be sure to visit the other blogs in the hop and comment to win.
The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN!
One winner will be chosen at random from all blog comments!
(One comment per blog please.)

You have until Tuesday, April 24th at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments.
Winner will be announced on
StencilGirl’s Facebook page and Lindy’s Gang’s Facebook page on Wednesday, April 25.

Blog Hop Order:

April 18
Mary Beth Shaw
Gwen Lafleur
Mary C. Nasser
Debi Adams
Tina Walker
Kate Palmer
Cindy Wille
Natalie May
Pascale Bernard
Anat Weksler
Bertheas Peggy aka Nirvana
Elena Martynova

April 19
Belen Sotelo
Cindy Gilstrap
Kiala Givehand
Torrie Gass
Janet Joehlin
Valerie Ouellet
Aga Baraniak
Sivan Amedi
Aleksandra Mihelič
Joanna Marquet
Phoebe Tonosaki
Caroline Parent

April 20
Carol Baxter
Sandee Setliff
Karen Gaunt
Louise Nelson
Sherry Canino
Kerry Fellowes
Yulianna Efremova
Kasia Bogatko-Skoczypiec
Olga Bielska
Olga Ravenskaya


Stenciled and Etched!

StencilGirl & etchall blog hop banner.jpg

Welcome to my stop on day 3 of StencilGirl’s 3 day blog hop with etchall.

I made a sweet candle holder with Cat Kerr’s Play Every Day Swing Stencil.



I etched a mirror with Gwen Lafleur’s Art Deco Sun Medallion Corner Stencil.


I love Gwen’s Art Decor Stencil Line because it reminds me of the walking into the Paramount Theatre in Hollywood for the first time in 1986 surrounded by the fabulous black, white, and glass decor.


Just imagine an entire wall of these tiles!


I had a lot of fun using etchall and the srpay to discover how much patience it takes to etch glass on a curved surface.


The stencil is held in place with etchall Repositioning Stencil Spray. I like that etchall is a reusable product. Follow manufacturer directions and put the excess back in the bottle.

Here is my etched, glass-painted, collaged mixed media paintbrush jar. (The paint brushes were a thrift shop score!)


(At the time of writing this post, I have yet to see what everyone has made , but I hear someone used slate in their project!) Go find our who and check out all the other cool projects in the hop and comment to enter the contest.

StencilGirl & etchall blog hop giveaway.jpg
One lucky winner will receive an etchall® Glass Etching Bee-ginner Kit,
reposition/reuse stencil spray
AND a $25 Gift Certificate to StencilGirl Products!

Enter to win by leaving a comment below.
Then be sure to visit the other blogs in the hop and comment to win.
The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN!
One winner will be chosen at random from all blog comments!
(One comment per blog please.)

You have until Tuesday, March 20th at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments.
Winner will be announced on
StencilGirl’s Facebook page and etchall’s Facebook page on Wednesday, March 21.

Blog Hop Order:

March 14
Mary Beth Shaw
Gwen Lafleur
Mary C. Nasser
Debi Adams
Tina Walker
Cindi McGee
Nadine Carlier
Joe Rotella

March 15
Belen Sotelo
Cindy Gilstrap
Kiala Givehand
Janet Joehlin
Anita Scroggins
Erin Reed
Candy Rosenberg
Susie Bentz

March 16
Carol Baxter  Thanks for being here!
Sandee Setliff
Louise Nelson
Terry Ricioli
Christie Troxell
Steph Ackerman
Julie McGuffee

Storming the Castle

I like flying pigs because they are full of whimsy and possibilities and permission to fly into something new.


Kristie Taylor gave me the idea for the inked background and awhile back I saw a Graphics Fairy post by Heather that looked interesting, but I wanted to try it brighter.

The flying pig caused me to use waaaaay more artsy crafty goodies than normal.


The crosshatch portion of the large stencil from Mary Beth Shaw’s Private Collection 16.2 for April 2016 StencilClub


Once Upon a Time Stencil by Carolyn Dube


Large Feelin’ Groovy Stencil from Jessica Sporn’s April 2015 StencilClub set.

Mixed Media Paper and Deli Sheets

Staz-On Inks – Claret, Gothic Purple, Blue Hawaii, Orange Zest, Emerald City, Midnight Blue, and Glaze-On

1 flying pig, 1 fairy in the moon, 1 bird wearing a bonnet fussy cut from my stash of scrapbook paper – Graphics 45

Acrylic Paints – black, grey, yellow, pink, Translucent Pearl – Paper Artsy

Distress Crayons -Salty Ocean, Lucky Clover, Wildflower Violet, Squeezed Lemonade

Baby Oil, Sponges and Sponge Brush, Paper Towels, Heat Tool, Scissors


  1. Ink the background landscape on mixed media paper.
  2. Stencil castle and flowers on individual sheets of deli paper. Let dry. Tip: It helps to line up the deli paper and stencil with the landscape on the bottom.
  3. Apply baby oil to all three sheets and the pig. I just did the front sides. Tip: hold the mixed media paper to a light source to make sure it is not blotchy. It is greasy and  looks like this: wierd-face-in-layer.jpg
  4. Use crayons to add a little more definition to landscaper and blend with finger. 20180219_192140.jpg
  5. Let papers dry a couple hours or overnight.
  6. Trim layers.
  7. Place a scrap sheet under the project and apply Glaze-On between the layers – it works as a glue. (I bet good ol’ Modge Podge would work too.) Let project sit under a couple of heavy books overnight.
  8. Pearlize the top layer, add pig, bird, and fairy. I bent the wings a little so they’d stand out)
  9. Hit project with a heat gun to dry. Trim project from scrapsheet.


Shall I frame it or glue it into my art journal?

I had fun with this project and while I am glad I tried it, it did feel a bit too messy for my tastes. I think I prefer the outcome of beeswax and (be still my heart) actual encaustics. Still, I would hate to waste the baby oil.

It was almost my castle on the lake.


Betcha Ed Sheeran never saw a flying pig watching the sunset over the castle on the hill!