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Ok this one will be short and sweet.  A torn stencil can stress out anyone in the middle of a project.

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In continuation of our blog series on painting with allover stencils, this video explains exactly how to fix your stencil and keep going! Hope this helps.

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I had just brought my daughter to college and went through all the emotions of leaving my best friend and soulmate off for her new life, when I received a text from her that she’d be coming home.

Hurricane Irene was coming up the coast and threatening to slam into the coastal towns in Ct. The college was closed. I had mixed emotions about having her back and starting the whole difficult process over for both of us, but I knew 3 days of having her home was a gift.

So I am not bragging, but who wouldn’t want to see what this blossoming artist comes up with in a day in the studio.

First she asked me for some old magazines and an hour later had created these beautiful bowls to put her jewelry in at school.

Them empty tin cans were turned into small treasure to hold pens and pencils.

Scraps of cardboard were decoupaged and turned into storage boxes.

“Ya got any yarn, mom?”

This container was literally made out of yarn, cut up tin cans and fabric. My first thought was that it would make an awsome lampshade!  As I struggled to get my one assignment complete, she continued to wow me with her imaginative creations.

Next came hand made frames and cards from watercolors, acrylics and anything found on the table. I secretly hoped to receive one sent from her while at school.

After 2 days, creative overload hit and she took off to visit her brother in Boston. Before she left she made sure to remind me to save the messy craft paper she had used as a palette on the table. I don’t need to ask why. I am sure it will become someone’s birthday card….or maybe a letter to her at school.

Don’t throw away your old buttons, especially those shiny and translucent ones.  Although this finish is not quick or inexpensive, it is DROP DEAD GORGEOUS for a small backsplash or panel area. Start by creating a dragged texture on the surface using plaster and dragging it both horizontally and vertically with a wallpaper brush. Once dry, trowel plaster through Wallovers Ethnic Grid stencil. While the plaster is still wet adhere small shells to create the pattern. Shells can be ordered from US Shell Company on line.

Once the shells are thoroughly dried into the plaster, adhere flat, antique, mother of pearl buttons using a craft adhesive. Alternate the pearl color with the silver inside open areas. You can purchase just about any antique embellishments from Sandy Schor bead company.

Continue to fill in the empty spaces or use  just one color leaving  the plaster background as a contrast. Here I am filling in all the space.

Once the buttons are fully applied and dry, use a tile grout to fill in the gaps.

Grout the entire surface, let set and then wipe away the excess to reveal the sheen of the buttons.

I am definitely getting ready to do a bathroom backsplash in this one!!!!!!!! But remember when applying those buttons and shells……..Patience is a virtue!

There is nothing like a weekend with a warehouse full of artists to get the creative juices flowing. Rena Paris, my Wallovers’ partner and I, set out for Cincinnati to display our stencil line and promote the upcoming class at Gary Lord’s Prismatic Painting Studio this May 10,11.

Rena worked the stencil sales while I concentrated on presenting finishes and giving attention to

customers who wanted to know more about us. We were surrounded by artists doing the same.

From gorgeous cabinet finishes

To glass mosaic panels

We were all like kids in a candy shop around surrounded by colors and textures!

Naturally, it wouldn’t be a decorative artist event without someone fun and games. Samples of newdesigns became the latest runway attraction.