All of us at The Stencil Library wish you a very happy and festive holiday season. Thank you for your continued custom and support. We hope that you like this unusual festive photo. It was forwarded to us some time ago and I cannot remember from where it came so I apologise for not being able to credit it.
It is a very exciting (and busy) time at The Stencil Library. Helen has mentioned the new book we are working on in previous posts. Well, we are in full swing creating and stencilling rooms and projects for it over the next few weeks so we need to apologise that we might be a little light on the blog posts in the meantime.
As Christmas falls over the weekend, we have national holidays on Monday and Tuesday in the UK. We reopen as usual on Wednesday, December 29th.
I love working with a customer on a project and recently had the pleasure of helping Chris from Berkshire with her vision. She was kind enough to send me photos of the stencilling as she went and some information on the project itself for me to share with you. The stencil used is Hokusai Wave which has 3 layers.
This is what Chris wrote:
"After 23 years of accumulation our study at home became in dire need of a sort out, not to mention redecoration. It was furnished in dark colours, with tartan chairs - very fashionable once! Over the years it housed our expanding collection of books, magazines and travel souvenirs and not a room we spent any time in. We increasingly had the need for a home office and this seemed the perfect space - it was time for a change and with the onset of winter I decided a beach hut theme would help me through the cold dark months and I could make believe I was somewhere warm!
I decided on a light acqua colour for the walls (resembling the Indian Ocean - my favourite), white for the ceiling; curtains made of deckchair type fabric; and a textured carpet to resemble sand. The new furniture is light oak and I ended up with a large empty wall space opposite the door ... which 'needed something'. Continuing to think of my beach theme I awoke one morning with the idea of stencilling a huge wave which would be visible from the doorway.
I set about an internet search and the perfect image appeared on the homepage of The Stencil Library, but it was not available in the 2m height I needed, and was a section of a smaller, wider stencil of waves. I enquired if it would be possible to enlarge this image to my required size and there commenced a very interesting dialogue - it was technically possible but the actual stencil would be very 'floppy' with large cut-outs adding to its unmanageability. In the end the perfect solution emerged with the image being divided into 4 and having three layers to reduce the amount of cut-out in each sheet. We were in business!
To my total amazement, the completed stencil arrived within 48 hours of my placing the order - unbelievable! I started immediately (of course) and unpacked everything. A 'map' was enclosed to assist me in putting my 12-piece, giant image together and each section was clearly labelled - it was incredibly easy. The very large areas of cut-out had been taped back in to the stencil which really helped with stability when attaching it to the wall. I used repositionable spray mount to hold everything flat and added masking tape to the top to support the weight. It worked perfectly and I was then able to peel away the large cut-out areas to paint them.
Layer 1 of the stencil
Due to the size I chose to use sponges to apply the paint which gave added texture to the wave and a controlled, uneven, finish (if that makes sense!) so the coverage varies a little and adds to the look of water and foam. Once started I could not stop!
The project took 3 days to complete which included extrapolating the stencil into the corner of the wall and the skirting board - there is a margin around all the edges of course, so a bit of 'free style' was required. I also had to circumnavigate a power point and radiator. I cheated a tad here by cutting out some of the foam and bubbles from the stencil and reapplying them within these areas to fill the gaps - fingers crossed no one will notice!
Just to remind you.
I am totally thrilled with the result. I could never have created this freehand, but stencilling can make an artist out of anybody - it is so easy and very rewarding. I shall be eternally grateful to The Stencil Library for taking on my challenge and delivering exactly what I needed to realise my creation. We now have a unique piece of art which makes me smile every time I catch sight of it - all I need now is a surf board to stand in the corner!"
Helen is working on a project with the usual size of the wave stencil....inspired by Chris from Berkshire. Helen's is a very different and much smaller treatment of this design and she hopes to share the results with you soon.
Once upon a time a stencil artist and her mother walked across blue snow. The snow was alive with light refleected from disco balls suspended in the trees. White pattern scurried and danced beneath their sensibly shod feet.....for it was the coldest December for forty years and they were in the Enchanted Park. They noticed a tree hung with a moss formed from silver gyrating spirals. They sheltered there because it was a truly fab place to be.
Further along their path they observed copper figures escaping a rock creek. A galleon bobbed in the water and three spinning angels circled in the air above them. A waterwheel was fed by a large bronze fish and that....they thought... is how it should be.
click on any image to see detail.
Their journey was long but the path through the trees was beautifully lit
and they were not bothered by the cold.
White fairies danced above day glo magic mushrooms. The stencil artist and her mother were getting hungry but they knew not to eat the exhibits
Instead they listened to women who wove flax into talismans and words into stories for the delight of little travellers.
Then they went looking for hot chocolate and marshmallows.
The first building that they saw was the bowling pavilion. On this enchanted evening it appeared to have become an aquarium. The artist and her mother watched as glittering fish darted beween the columns of the building which then became engulfed in flame. So, no chance of reshreshments there.
Further along the path they heard a tree talking to them, it was telling the tale of Cinderella. Along the tree branches were hundreds of glass jars and each jar held clues to another story.
The artist and her mother tried to read the labels that fluttered under the glass but as neither had brought their reading glasses it was a useless task. 'No matter' they said as they dunked marshmallow into hot chocolate. "It is a totally beautiful and entertaining tree, we don't care if we don't understand it". Maybe again...that is how it should be.
Their path became purple
Steam rolled and swirled around the valley.
Then the snow crackled and lines of tiny lights appeared and went. All was quiet and dark.
The duo wondered whether they had eaten hallucinogenic marshmallow.
Within minutes of leaving the hollow they saw arial dancers dressed in pyjamas dance on wires in the trees above them. There was a bed and a sofa suspended amongst the branches. Coloured hot water bottles turned slowly in the breeze and the artist and her mother pondered upon the subject of the dream they may be visiting. The artist was distraught because her camera had run out of power and now she had to use imagination, memory and story telling to share her tale of an evening in the enchanted park....but that is maybe how it should be.
The enchanted parks event was held at Saltwell Park, Gateshead. Hopefully they will do another a part of their Winter Festival programme next year. If you live close enough I reccommend you get your ticket early...but not until Mum and I have got ours.
Wow there has been a lot of snow here this week. We postponed last nights festive themed tour of our stencilled home. I am confident that the Saturday morning one will not present a problem. I should have been setting off to Yorkshire for my first murder mystery party after the tour...but that has been postponed too. Ever been to one? Here are some pictures from around the house on last years tour, it was snowing then
and here's a bit of natural decoration from last year, funny it looks just the same this year!
This year much of the house has been decorated by students Laura, Ashley, Melanie and Asleigh from Newcastle College. I'll show you what they created after the event is over.
I shall be putting the final touches to the house alone as my intrepid team were thwarted by freezing conditions this morning and did'nt get here.
There are still a few tickets left for the tour this Friday night . More information on tours of our stencilled home can be found on the left hand side of this page. Now, where are my snow shoes.