Mirror-rorriM playing with Shiva Paintstiks & Stencils

Here’s an update to the panel I started last week using Shiva Paintstiks & DesignMagic Stencils. This is what I did:

  • Stenciled the lime green center panel first using black Shiva Paintstiks.
  • Stenciled the two narrow panels of black fabric with an iridescent lime Paintstik
  • Stitched the narrow panels of black fabric to each side of the center panel.
  • Added a narrow black border all around.

This is a small (approx. 20″ x 20″), contemporary wall quilt (top only so far).


Notice how the design flips on the sides?

I don’t tend to feel comfortable (it’s not natural for me) to be working in contemporary design so this project has been an excellent exercise for me.  These colors are also not my usual choices, but I like the piece quite a lot so far.  Still need to determine the quilting design…any ideas anyone?  Wish I had more time to play right now–I had SO much fun using Paintstiks and DesignMagic Stencils.

Have you seen Shelly Stokes’ stunning Margo Bag?

Question: What do you get when Shelly Stokes combines Safari Design Magic Stencils, Paintstiks & the Lazy Girl Margo pattern?

Answer: This simply spectacular, stunning Margo Bag.

Shelly created the stunning fabric for this beautiful Margo while writing her new Design Magic book. The book arrived just prior to Spring Market this year (2010) and Shelly says:

“Once the book arrived and everything was packed, I decided to take a few hours to make something special for myself using the cover fabric from the book. I’ve already worn out the Primrose tote that started my Design Magic adventure, so I decided to make the new Margo bag from my good friend Joan Hawley at Lazy Girl Designs.”

Click here to read Shelly’s review of Margo and more about Design Magic book & Design Magic Safari stencils on the Cedar Canyon Textiles blog.

Playing with Paintstiks = DesignMagic

I’ve been yearning to break out my Shiva Paintstiks for a long time; even before Shelly Stoke’s book, Design Magic was released. But once I had a chance to read through the book I just couldn’t take it anymore and finally MADE the time this afternoon/evening.  Shelly’s instructions make the techniques very easy to achieve. And the book has a ton of tips, ideas and information.

BUT…it took me a while to decide on the colors I wanted to work with (both fabric and Paintstik). And more time to decide on the project (and which stencil) I wanted to make. I have a love/hate relationship with the selection process.  It feels like wasting time that I could be using to work on the project, but I haven’t been able to figure out a way to speed up the process.  I need to feel satisfied with the selections before my mind allows me to do the work.  Do you ever have that problem when working on projects?

It was like being a kid in candy store, I swear.  I have so much trouble deciding because I want one of everything!  In the end, I selected a project from the Design Magic book and decided on the Design Magic Scroll Stencil.  But, I never seem to be able to follow a project exactly, so I’m altering it to suit my own inner artist.

I am TOTALLY loving the Design Magic technique using stencils & brushes.

My must have tools while working with Paintstiks include:  Grip-n-Grip Mat, Palette Paper (or parchment paper), 404 Spray Fix or other fabric safe temporary spray adhesive OR painter’s tape to secure the stencil while working, and a roll of paper towels.

This is the first time I tried using the longer, softer 1/2′ brush and I have been extremely impressed with the results.  The paint seems to spread in a softer, smoother manner than when I’ve tried the short/harder bristled brushes in the past.  Of course, it could have been my lack of experience that produced the more ‘brush marked’ results.  The older I get, the more I discover there really is no short cut for practice and experience.  Reading tips and instructions help a great deal, but actually doing the work is what makes the difference over the long term.

I’ve found I work best in semi-planned chunks.  So, I’ve finished my project, materials, colors & stencil selection and the first/largest of 3 panels. I will work on the 2 remaining panels after I’ve finished writing the eNews this weekend.  Here’s a look at the process of what I’ve done so far:

Design Magic - Scroll Stencil Process #1
Beginning the panel--using the Scroll Stencil
Scroll Stencil 2
Lift the stencil away and watch the design appear...like magic!
Scroll Stencil #3
The first/main panel of my project is complete!

I *LOVE, LOVE, LOVE* the striking graphic look of this panel.  I wish I could stay working on this all night…  Alas, I have other (family & business) deadlines to meet before I may continue.

Stay tuned for my progress and more pictures this weekend and next week.

Snowflake Stencil Fun with Shiva Paintstiks

Cedar Canyon Textiles recently developed a new line of stencils.  I fell in love with the snowflake stencil as soon as I saw it.  Today I took just a few minutes to play.  I grabbed some scraps of my favorite Kaufman Kona Cotton Solids and cut them into blocks.  The larger blocks are 8″ square.  The small red blocks are 3″ square.  The small green blocks are 2 1/2″ square.

I decided that I wanted my snowflakes to be as opaque white as possible so I chose to use the Titanium White Shiva Paintstik and a short, dense 1/2″ bristle brush.

Here’s my workspace set up:

Snowflake Stencil Workspace
Snowflake Stencil Workspace

I placed a clear plastic protective layer on top of my work surface.  I put down my grip-n-grip mat to hold my blocks securely while I worked (note: some mats are brown/some are black – the color of the mat does not matter) .

If you look at the lower left side of the pic above you can see part of my brush and the “puddle” of white paintstik on a piece of parchment paper.  I then pressed and swirled my brush into the puddle of titanium white to load the brush.

Next I centered the stencil on my block.  I did that by folding the block in 1/2 and then in 1/2 again, finger pressing each time to form intersecting horizontal & vertical lines. You can see the finger pressed fold lines in the blocks in the pics above/below. Next, place the center of the stencil image in the center of the fabric block where the lines intersect and match up any radiating center lines.

Applying paint with the stencil brush

Holding the template firmly but gently with one hand, I began applying the paint using the “loaded” stencil brush.  I used firm, downward pressure in circles and each direction until I achieved the desired level of coverage.

The unveiling is the BEST part for me!
The unveiling is the BEST part for me!

Just a few more to go…

Now all sorts of ideas are swirling through my mind.  I could make a cute snowflake quilt or tree skirt.  I could make some snowflake placemats or napkins.  Hmmm…I could apply it to ready-wear also: perhaps a snowflake T-Shirt, Sweatshirt or Apron (one I’ve made or a purchased “blank” that I can usually find at Sams Club in a 3 pack).

Stenciling is easy and it’s great fun.  It’s a wonderful way to personalize a gift or create unique projects to decorate your home.

If you are intrigued but you’ve never used Paintstiks before, basic instructions can be found on this page:


If you’d like a little more guidance, the following are EXCELLENT resources (I consult both for refreshers almost every time I get out my Paintstiks):

I encourage you to your imagination and discover the joy of stencils and Paintstiks!

Jared & Jacob costumes 2009

This year the boys told me they wanted to be characters from Naruto (a Japanese cartoon series) I was a little flustered.  We looked for ‘commercial’ costumes and those we found were quite costly and unimpressive (according to the boys).

You know what that means.  Time for me to put on my costumer hat and get busy. Thankfully, I was able to google some images for Naruto and Sasuke.

Here is what I came up with:

Jared and Jacob costumes 2009
Jared and Jacob costumes 2009

Thankfully, the “look” of the characters made it easy — sweats as a base layer would work pretty well.  No problem there with Jared’s Sasuke costume in dark navy and gray — navy and gray sweats are readily available.  Jacob’s Naruto character was a little more tricky.  I couldn’t find orange sweats (or white ones in his size) anywhere so I did what my grandmother taught me to do: use what I have.

I purchased gray sweat top & bottom and turned them inside out. The inside is fuzzy white.  Then I got out my Tsukineko Ink (tangerine) and painted the inside orange using a sponge brush.  A couple bottles of ink later, we had orange sweats!

For the royal blue trim (on both costumes), we used colored duct tape (Duck brand).  The cream colored neck roll was constructed out of batting and secured with the duct tape. Duct tape sticks nicely to fabric and removes easily when you are finished.

For the headbands, I used leftover scraps of a tone-on-tone mottled dark blue fabric. Then I took scraps of Shape-Flex and painted them a metallic silver color using Shiva Paintstiks.  After heat-setting (simultaneously fusing the Shape-Flex pieces to the blue strips), I took out my black Fabrico marker and free-handed the emblem.

To finish it off, each boy received a quick spray of temporary hair color (black for Jared; gold for Jacob); and Jacob’s cheek stripes were applied (just a bit of eye-liner).

Both boys were thrilled with their finished costumes and totally got “into” their characters.  To keep them toasty, each wore a pair of long underwear under the costumes. They stayed comfy warm the entire time they were out hunting treats.

I had a blast putting it together for them.  It was a great feeling to be able to use some of my “stash” fabric/art supplies in a fun way for my guys.  The benefits were many:

  • I saved a LOT of money money compared to $40-$100+ per flimsy commercial costume,
    • Including the new sweat tops & bottoms, colored duct tape, and hair spray color I spent approximately $30.00.
    • My art supplies came from my stash, but *if* I would have had to buy new ones, they would have cost less than $25.00 retail, bringing the grand total to $55.00 for TWO great costumes.
  • We have GREAT memories AND we still have something of practical use — they both have a new pair of sweats to wear for play over the cold winter months
  • I got to be a hero at least for a day or two–they think I can work magic when it comes to making cool costumes.

I’ll let them believe that a little while longer.