Friday, February 3, 2012

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Is it legal in Blogland to post about something I did so many years ago?  It was 1990 when I first picked up a stenciling brush and attacked my living room walls.  By the end of the year, every room in my house had been stenciled.  When I ran out of walls, my obsession turned to stenciling furniture, lots of furniture.  I was a crazy woman with a brush as my weapon and realized I needed another outlet for my addiction.  I joined a stenciling club, participated in stenciling conventions, started making my own stencils, designed stencils that were sold in stencil shops, and finally decided to start my own custom stenciling business and charge for what I loved to do.

Meet Wally.  I designed Wally for a client who wanted a little something extra peeking through her indoor window box.  Wally was stenciled several times in different colors and sometimes with little kitty footprints up the wall.  

There's a simple explanation for why I took a trip back in time. It was all brought on by the new toy I received for Christmas and just took out of the box a couple of days ago.  It's been staring at me and driving me crazy because I haven't had any time to start playing with it.  I finally got some supplies ordered with the Silhouette gift card, but now I'm afraid I'll never be seen or heard from again once I start using it. 
My new Silhouette Cameo prompted me to dig out my old portfolio and revisit some of the stencils I used to make.  All the pictures from my portfolio were taken with a good old point and shoot film camera.  

This was my youngest son's room when he got his first big boy bed.  I think he was about two years old at the time; now he's twenty two.
What a labor of love this desk project was.  I remember buying the little school desk at a garage sale for $3.00; such a deal even though it was bright pink.  I have no idea why I went through all the trouble to strip it and then paint it red with oil based enamel paint. I'd just spray paint it if I had to do it all over again.  I removed the wood top and seat, painted them white and made a stencil to match the geometric designs on his bedspread.  

I was hired to stencil this train three or four times, but the stencil was always one of my best sellers at The Stencil House.  

Pay no attention to the lovely mauve bed linens.  Circa 1992.
Another outlet for my obsession was to teach stenciling classes.  In the early 90's I taught at House of Fabrics and used this picture in my advertisement.  In one of my classes, the ladies told me that they signed up because they wanted to learn how to stencil this flower arrangement.  They were real surprised when I told them that the flowers were real and the headboard was stenciled.  It's hard to see any of the detail in this old picture, but the white rails and posts were shadowed to make it look three-dimensional.  What a lot of work, but I sure had fun with this design.  This one was designed for a queen size bed....I never got around to adjusting it for a larger or smaller bed.  

I still have a roll of Mylar around here somewhere along with the full size samples from my portfolio.  I came across the electric stencil cutter a few months ago and decided to keep it just in case. The stencil cutter always reminded me of one of those wood burning tools most of us had as a child.  

Stencils have come a long, long way in the last few years.  I love all the designs that can be used over an entire wall for a wallpapered look, all the interesting motifs, and especially the fun use of letters and numbers.    I'm excited about getting to know my Silhouette but concerned that the obsession will repeat itself.  Everything in moderation, right?  
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