Today I am delighted to share the affirmation deck I created for the most recent StencilGirl® collaboration hosted by Tina Walker. I realize it has been a while since I've shared here on the blog; I can't imagine a better project with which to renew my feed. For this collaboration, Tina asked that we "create an Affirmation Deck or Tarot Card Deck in any size, with any mediums, but should highlight StencilGirl® stencils."
As is generally the case when Tina hosts a collaboration, the concept itself sparked my creativity and I began with a swirling of ideas about how my project could come to life. I knew from the start that I wanted to use the Sacred Hearts ATC Mixup stencils by Laurie Mika. The sacred heart being a symbol of love and devotion to all humanity despite the suffering that is endured.
My faith is an underlying constant in my life regardless of what is going on around me; I wanted my affirmation deck to highlight this. Too often, it is easy to get caught up in the moment and our focus shifts, my hope was that this deck would provide positive insights to push through the most difficult days.
I began with 4" by 4" mixed media art tiles. One side of each card was layered with PaperArtsy fresco finish paints and collaged with torn pieces of hymn sheet music. More layers of paint and stamping created a base for the sacred heart stencil images.
Using gold gesso, I sponged a small amount through the stencil onto the background and then set it aside to dry. (Note: be sure to wash the gesso off the stencil before it dries.) The Sacred Heart ATC Mixup stencil contains nine different designs. Using a masking technique, I modified three of the designs to arrive with a set of twelve different cards.
While the gesso was drying, I inked pages of old French text with fired brick and candied apple Distress Ink. Once dry, the pages were spritzed with water to give more depth and a distressed look. I used the stencils as a guide and drew hearts onto the inked pages. The hearts were cut out and incorporated into each design. By using the stencil as a guide, the hearts fit seamlessly into the design. After the hearts were adhered, some of the stencils were placed back onto the image and more gesso was used to replace any portions of the design that may have been covered with the text paper.
Using gold leaf paint, I traced many of the details on each sacred heart design. I filled some areas solid and in others, used the paint to add highlights.
Next I began work on the opposite sides of my cards. The inked, French text papers were used as a base layer for the back side of each card. A fleur-de-lis was stamped randomly onto the backgrounds. I searched through my stash of religious images and selected twelve different versions of the blessed virgin with child. These images were then cut out and collaged onto the base layer. I used a gold paint pen to add highlights and marks. Using a sea sponge, I added sticky embossing and gold leaf to each background.
Random areas of gold leaf were also added to each card front. In a non-traditional manner, I used a sea sponge to apply embossing ink randomly. I then sprinkled with sticky embossing powder; when the embossing powder was heat set, the leaf was adhered. The extra leaf was rubbed off once the embossing had cooled.
I compiled a list of positive quotes from various Saints onto a word document and printed it onto gold vellum. Each quote was cut out and attached to the card with a red wax seal. I used the gold paint pen to highlight the raised design within the seal.
Using the remaining scraps of inked French text, I die cut small tattered roses and used them to embellish a few of the sacred heart designs.
With my affirmation deck complete, I wanted to create a place for safekeeping when the cards were not in use. I had an old fabric bag that held jewelry at some point. I dry brushed the bag with the same paints that were used for the cards. I then selected one of the designs from the Four Sacred Hearts Stencil by Laurie Mika to adorn the bag. Using a fine tip Micron pen, I carefully traced the stencil design onto the fabric. (Note: before beginning any alterations to the fabric bag, cut a piece of cardboard and place it inside to provide a hard surface to work on' the will also prevent any of the paint from seeping through to the back side of the bag.) Using fired brick Distress Paint, I filled in the heart portion of the design and traced the lines of the floral flames extending from the cross. I then used the gold paint pen to color the remaining positions of the design. The paint pen was also used along the drawstring pocket to give a finished edge.
I look forward to using this affirmation deck to help me in finding peace and positivity among the chaos of these times.
Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today, I really appreciate you taking the time.
If you are interested in seeing any of the other decks from the collaboration, stop over by the StencilGirl® Talk blog today and check out Tina's post. It has links to each of the artists projects and there are some truly incredible decks (tarot as well as affirmation) to see! It's always so interesting to see the different pieces that all begin from the same instructions. This collaboration is definitely worth taking a minute or two of your time to see. Click here to go to the post.
I hope that my deck has inspired you to create something to bring positivity to your days, or perhaps one of the quotes speaks to you and brings you hope.
"All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle." - St Francis of Assisi
StencilGirl® stencils used: