This is one calendar that can be created at any time of the year and could last a lifetime.
Not only can stencilling a calendar onto your wall make an attractive feature it makes a useful one too.
This wall calendar...or is it calendar wall appears in Stencil It. The 'number stencil' to create the project is included in the book.
Within the pages of Stencil It there are other ideas for using the same stencil. They include stenciled furniture and set of stencilled art canvas.
Invitations, tickets and notes can be stuck onto the relevant dates by using a reusable adhesive putty such as Blu-Tack. If magnetic paint is used to stencil the numbers (or the line below them) one could use magnets to display reminders.
This may be a great way to show off those souvenir fridge magnets!
The numbers and lines could be spaced closer together if more months were needed for the calendar.
The team at The Stencil Library were given a gift of Green and Blacks organic chocolate Conversations. The individual squares chocolate are wrapped inside printed questions. The questions are engineered to spark conversation as you and your loved ones munch their way through the chocolate contents.... They have to be loved ones before I would even contemplate sharing chocolate.
What a brilliant idea I thought. I am rubbish at starting conversations so I can learn from this.
I unwrapped a square then read the question aloud to myself, answered it and ate the chocolate. Ask me another? It was such a delicious chat that I had to hear more from me ...which meant unwrapping more questions, asking and answering the questions myself then eating more chocolate. What an excellent game, much more fun than sharing the goodies and I got to talk about me with no interruptions. Hurrah!
I have put the Conversations wrappers in my purse. Instead of lurking around the buffet at the next party I shall retrieve the questions, sashay up to an intriguing looking person and start a conversation using them.
"If you could live anywhere in the world where would that be?
What is your earliest memory?
If you could have something named after you what would it be?
What was the last film that you saw in a cinema and did you enjoy it?
If you could swap places with one person for a day who would it be?"
Actually, I will probably just pass them the questions on the paper wrappers. In case I can't chat, my mouth is bound to be full of chocolate. Anyone got any (printable) answers to those questions? We could start a conversation.
I received Google alerts for most of these otherwise I would not have known about them. There will be more so if you know of someone else who wrote (whether kindly or not) about Stencil It please let me know.
The link to the Stencil It video on YouTube has been fixed. Thank you to the reader that told me it had broken. The video shows me a demonstrating two projects from Stencil It and visits a few rooms in my home. Today, the wonderful and informative The Daily Basics site featured it as their favourite video of the day. Thank you DB team, I am honoured.
Stencil It by Helen Morris is published in the UK by Jacqui Small and in the USA by St Martin's Press. Available from Amazon and other booksellers.
My name is Dyane Brown, a second year student from Newcastle College.
I am currently on a work placement at The Stencil Library.
I attempted stencilling back in the 80's when it was the latest fad. I quickly went off it due to the rubbish stencils that were available at the time and not really knowing what I was doing.
I now have a new found love for stenciling having being taught the correct way to do it by the Lovely Helen Morris. The vast range of very clever intricate stencils produced by her husband the genius Mr Chips has given me a whole new way at looking at stencilling and the creative ways you can use them. We have recently been making samples of the new cross stitch rose stencil.
Although I have quite a good knowledge of colour pallets and mixing colours I was quite surprised at how different the colors look when used with stencils onto backgrounds of varying colours
A good tip that Helen shared is to paint a piece of lining paper with your chosen background colour and test your stencil onto it before you do it onto the wall. This way it gives you a better idea of how it will look when finished and you can change any colours that you're not sure about. This saves you from repainting your wall and having to start again if the colours are all wrong! So if like me you have been put off stencilling in the past, give it another go, you might end up loving it and become a stencil convert like me!
Louise is one of the design students that spent their work placement with me in 2011. Whilst here, Louise wrote a blog post about some plates that she had admired at RE a wonderful shop in Corbridge, Northumberland.
Because she was inspired by her visit to RE I taught her how to stencil porcelain and ceramic. We used china paints that can be fired in a domestic oven to achieve a dishwasher safe finish. We were about to host a Christmas open evening at The Stencil Library so Louise chose a reindeer stencil to decorate two plates that would carry the festive pastries.
Here she is creating her stencilled festive plates. We used paints from Pebeo and Liquitex. The paint was stencilled onto the plates using a dense foam sponge. Gather the sponge into a ball shape take a little of the paint onto the sponge then dab it onto paper or a spare plate.
The result is to get an even, moist application of colour through the stencil without the paint bleeding under the design.
If that should happen clean up by gently scraping the smudges away.
The plate must be scrupulously clean before stencilling it. Louise stencilled the reindeer onto both patterned and plain plates.
She used Pebeo paint onto one plate and Liquitex on the other. Both were red paints. I put them into my cooking range to fire over our lunch hour. Once they had cooled Louise put the reindeer stencil back into place and overlaid a Moroccan tile stencil over it.
She stencilled the overlay with gold paint and we put them back into the oven. Unfortunately I forgot about them. It was a couple of days before I opened the range door and discovered two very hot plates! The red Pebeo paint had gone a strange brown colour, both my mother and my husband tried to scrub the plate mistaking the reindeer design for a brown sauce stain. I apologise to both of them, also to Louise and Pebeo.
The other plate is looking fine though and it is a testament to the longevity of both paints that I can not remove either of the patterns.
The pattern on my kitchen work surface is the same pattern stencilled in gold over the reindeer.
In the San Antonio Express, Molly Glentzer writes about my new book Stencil It and the new one from Ed Roth. Molly is explaining how she decorated a plate using a stencil. I would not have used marker pens and would not have relied on spray adhesive to stop the paint running as Molly did but she made a good job of it and the result looks great.
Want to have a go? There is a project in the Stencil It book which explains with photographs how to stencil ceramic tiles using a sponge, oven fired china paints... and a free stencil of a fish.
Pearl Earring was painted by Michael Chippendale for Art Tour 2010.
She was one of four celebrity portraits that he created for the occasion. Many people admired her. Pearl was bought from us last week and I went to hang the painting in it's new home.
She now looks totally comfortable at the foot of a staircase at the end of a long gallery. I'm not sure who was happier with the result, the new owner or I.
The painting is my husband's interpretation of the famous Girl with a Pearl Earring by Vermeer. Vermeer's portrait inspired the book and more than one film of the same name. Chip's version is painted in uniformly sized dots that resolve themselves into the recognisable image as the distance from it increases. The new location allows Pearl Earring the space to be appreciated, she can be viewed close up and at distance. Her new residence is stunning, it is the home of an accomplished artist and features a lot of the artist's own work.
I think Pearl looks very much at home there. For a while she leaned against the wall in Chip's studio watching him paint. You probably would not guess from this picture that the face that he is working on is Muhammad Ali. The other two portraits in the collection were Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. Since then he has added George Washington, me and Queen Elizabeth to the collection. Some have been featured at the Chippendale and Morris site and I'll get the others on there soon.
I am clearing lots of stuff from my home and putting it in our shop. I need to downsize and have to admit that I am something of a hoarder. So, new year, new start.
This week I am featuring a pine farmhouse style table that was painted by Rachel and I with the help of artist Sabina Rose. Sabina used to work with us and over the years she contributed many of her painting and needlework skills to my home.
The table seats six people and the decoration of it was influenced by Charleston the Sussex home of artists Duncan and Vanessa Bell and their friends. Their home was the country meeting place for the artists, writers and intellectuals known as The Bloomsbury Group. Charleston House and garden is a decorative jewel. It is open to visitors between April and October.
My Charleston table is stencilled with images adapted from fabric that I was given many years ago. You can buy the fabric at the Charleston shop. Apart from the odd scuff marks the table is still in very good condition and is now for sale at The Stencil Library shop. It's price is £180. Sorry, the stencil is not for sale but we do have other designs that would look good in a Charleston inspired setting. Just ask us and we will help you find them.
I am undecorating the house this week and putting away the past year along with the baubles, gift wrap and Phil Spector's Christmas album. Well, Phil may stay around a little longer as I've not perfected harmonies for Frosty the Snowman yet.
These are a few pictures of the festive decorations around the house before I started demolishing and packing.
Yesterday I was asked to contribute to a list of new year resolutions submitted by members the International Decorative Artisans League. I hope that mine were suitably trivial. I am really rubbish at resolutions.
I found the blog Rummage this morning and enjoyed reading the resolutions of Nanette Louchart -Fletcher, its Australian based author. She has the same cereal bowl as me...so, kindred spirits already! She takes the kind of photos that I would like to. I am sure that there are many other entertaining resolvers out there. Do tell if you've found some.
This morning a visitor to our shop told me that he was there as a result of his decision to spend time creating 'lovely things'. An excellent resolution for a new year!