Sunday, July 5, 2015

Studio Sunday and Circle Master Template on Fabric

First up, let me apologize for the very choppy video :)  I will get better every time I shoot these, I promise.  This is my first demonstration using the Circle Master Template to create watercolor circles on fabric using Dyna-flo and Lumiere Exciter Packs by Jacquard. 

The results from this technique can vary a lot based on how much Dyna-flow is being applied and how damp the fabric is.  To create a more solid circle with less white space, flood the fabric with the paint through many of the wholes in the template to ensure you cover more area.  Check out the video here:

I love the painterly effects that you can achieve from this technique and the more diluted Dyna-flo you use, the more all over watercolor effect you get.  Intensify areas with Dyna-flo at full strength direct from the bottle, spray with water and add swashes of Lumiere for highlights!

I want to give a shout-out to Robin Broitman who was one of the winners from the Free Giveaway!  Robin had sent me a beautiful email to thank me for her win and she mentioned that she had just opened her Society 6 shop to feature her designs on products and said she had learned some of her techniques from my Interweave/FWMedia videos.  So, of course I had to learn more from her because it's not often you hear about the impact that you have had on other people/artists who actually purchase the products and learn from them!  Robin happily agreed to answer a few questions about herself and her art and let me share them with you.

1)     Robin, tell me about you as an artist. What inspires you and the types of art you are passionate about.
I’ve dabbled in local community art classes for many years and two years ago I discovered the world of online art journaling.  This opened up a whole new arena of inspiration and learning. In the real world, I find inspiration all around me from nature, shape, color and texture.  Online, I find inspiration from other artists and love learning new techniques and gaining insights from the online mixed media art community.   I’ve learned to use and love a wide range of mediums but my favorites are printmaking, gelliprinting, patternmaking, watercolor, acrylic, inks and pan pastels.   
I also spent most of professional career in digital media (web content development and marketing) so I felt a natural affinity for digital artistic expression.  It took me awhile to figure out how to integrate digital techniques with my art and your online workshops/videos helped me tremendously in this regard.  Today I’m most passionate about blending my handmade art with digital exploration.  I enjoy the freedom that Photoshop and other digital programs give me to experiment without fear of “messing up” my art. 
2)     Which videos from Interweave did you enjoy and how did they help you in further developing your techniques?
 One of the most fabulous online resources I discovered was the Interweave store and their downloadable video workshops.   One of the first and most inspirational courses I took was your video course - Paint, Print, Layer, Collage.  Being a self-taught artist, I didn’t have strong drawing or illustration skills but I still wanted to create my own personal imagery.  This course opened up a window for me regarding how I could create my own personal imagery with unique masks and stamps even without strong drawing skills.   It also gave me a peek at how I could take images made from my masks and stamps, scan them and further integrate them into my art.   Your teaching style was so clear, supportive and inspirational, it gave me the confidence and skills I needed to start experimenting. I’ve definitely gone back and watched that video several times!
I also purchased your Interweave workshop: Digital Design for Screen Printing: Creating Mini Canvas Screens for Surface DesignMost valuable was learning how to create Photoshop brushes from my handmade imagery.   This opened up a whole new world for me.  From one handmade object, I could create a Photoshop brush and experiment with its size, positioning and color digitally. 
I also downloaded recordings of your two Interweave Web seminars: Exploring Unique Textile Design: Creating Seamless Repeat Patterns in Photoshop Elements and How To Repurpose Your Art to Make Digital Quilt Designs using Photoshop CS6These two seminars gave me exactly the skills I needed to make repeat digital patterns from my handmade art.  I’ve discovered that this sort of pattern making is something I really love doing.  In fact, I’m sure you know, it’s quite addictive.  I now look at the art I make by hand with a very different eye and am often surprised by how a simple handmade element can come to life in Photoshop using some of the techniques taught in these webinars.
3)     As an artist, I feel like I'm always testing different types of media and changing up directions.  Do you feel that way?  What directions do you hope to branch off into in the future?
Yes, I am often overwhelmed by how much there is to learn and try in the worlds of mixed media and digital art -- but in a good way.  One month, I’m knee deep in one medium or technique.    The next month, I’m focused on something entirely different.  
For the past few months, I’ve been focused primarily on making patterns digitally with my handmade art. Recently, I took the first step of setting up a Society 6 store and putting some of my patterns out there – a bit of a scary step.   I hope to continue filling out my store by adding more patterns and abstract art to it.   My husband also bought me a new DSL camera earlier in the year and I am learning to use this and hope to integrate more of my own photography into my art and my Society 6 store.   
Finally, I’d like to get away from the computer a bit more and spend more time in my garage art studio, experimenting and playing with all of my favorite mediums (acrylic, watercolor, pan pastels, etc.) creating new and different handmade elements.  I will definitely look at my creations with new perspective now that I have a fuller range of digital techniques in my toolkit!
Thank you, Robin!!!!
For those of you who might not be familiar with Society 6, it's a great way to easily get your artwork out into the public eye on a wide selection of products offered for sale using any of your uploaded artwork.  Robin has inspired me to get my shop going. Check out Robin's shop on Society 6 to see some of her beautiful designs.  I've got a mug already on order :)

Come by next Sunday for a new video featuring Margaret Applin Designs Stencil Design Tools!
Have a wonderful weekend and stay creative!


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Margaret Applin Designs - Stencil Design Tools FREE GIVEAWAY WINNERS!

Woohoo!!!!  It's time, it's time!  First, I want to say thank you to everyone who joined my new stencils giveaway!!! 

Video Recap:

After the video I realized I had included a non-qualifying submission so I picked one more name for the last Zoe Collection which was Kottage Kreations!  So the winners are:

Circle Master Template - Robin Broitman
Circle Master Template - Deb B.
Anastasia Collection - Leslie McNeil
Anastasia Collection - Deb B.
Becca Collection - Jennifer Scantlebury Vienneau
Becca Collection - Leslie McNeil
Jess Collection - Terri Stegmiller
Jess Collection - Deb B.
Zoe Collection - Ellen Pukalo
Zoe Collection - Kottage Kreations

Please e-mail me at with your mailing addresses so I can get these out to you right away!  I would love to see any projects that you have created with these stencils so send me links!!!!

Happy 4th of July to everyone!!!  Stay safe!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Margaret Applin Designs - Stencil Design Tools LAUNCH

I can't tell you how excited I am.  My stencils are now for sale on!  Click on the image below and you will go directly to the page where you can see all 4 collections!

And check out Barbara's video showing how she uses the stencils in art journaling here.

And my video here.

There will be many more videos to follow!!!!

Sunday, June 28, 2015


Are you ready to meet the GIRLS????





 It has been a long time coming and I can't tell you how excited I am!!!  There is one more stencil which I am saving to show on July 1st when all the collections go on sale at  Look for my video!!!!  Both Barbara and I will be doing videos for her Wednesday newsletter on July 1st so if you have never checked out the videos, venture over HERE!
The FREE GIVEAWAY deadline is Wednesday, July 1st at midnight EST.  Enter NOW!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Margaret Applin Designs Stencil Explosion and FREE GIVEAWAY

I am holding, in my hot little hands, MY NEW STENCILS!!!!  I can't believe it!! 

Margaret Applin Designs Premier Stencil Collections 2015
On my June 28th (next Sunday) blog post here, I will reveal and introduce you to all the collections!
Now for the...
Right here!  Right now!!!
I am giving away 2 full collections of each of Anastasia, Becca, Jess and Zoe.  That's 8 sets of collections!  Each collection contains three (3) 9" x 12" stencils valued at $30.00, except for the Zoe collection which consists of two (2) stencils instead of 3.
Here is how to enter:
Right-click on the image above and save it down to your computer.  Share this image on your blog, Facebook page, or Pin the image directly from my blog post here.  Leave a comment here on this blog post with a link to where you shared the image and you will be entered to win!!!  All entries must be posted no later than July 1, 2015.
You are encouraged to share the image on your blog, Facebook page, Pinterest, website or others as you want to and for every place you share it, leave another comment with the link and you will be entered again!  For instance, if you share it on Facebook and Pin it, you will be entered twice!  There is no limit to shares and entries.  Encourage your friends who love fiber arts, art quilting, textile designs, and surface pattern design to enter the giveaway too!
You must include a link back to my blog ( and include these hash tags:
#margaretapplindesigns, #stencils, #stencilexplosion, #Anastasia, #Becca, #Jess, #Zoe
The WINNERS will be announced here
on my blog on JULY 2nd.
On my June 28th (next Sunday) blog post here, I will reveal and introduce you to all the collections!
Mark your calendars and share away!!!!  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Margaret Applin Designs for Stencilease - Introducing the Bloom Collection

Tonight I introduce to you my BLOOM Collection for Stencilease!

Spring erupts in lush gardens full of buds and blooms in a rainbow of colors and endless shades of green.  Leafy vines grow rampant on brick fa├žades and tall garden trellis.  Bulbous flower heads with seemingly infinite layers of the softest petals spring from the earth to touch the sky and a stone path leads to a shady grove rich with moss and delicate shoots. 

My Bloom collection is a graphic representation of my favorite season through fun designs.  Add an organic touch to soften industrial lines with an accent wall that reaches to the sky.  Create your bathroom oasis with periwinkle wildflower walls or give Roman shades a fresh twist and a burst of color on your kitchen windows.  Bloom is a fresh and fun collection of designs that look sweet in the softest pastels or feminine and sophisticated in black and white.  What will you create?

That completes my two large-format stencil collections for Stencilease.  For pricing information and to purchase these stencils, click here.

Thanks again for stopping by and stay tuned for hand-made projects using these designs!



Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Margaret Applin Designs for Stencilease - Introducing Ancient Marks Collection

Well you know I have been bubbling over with excitement about my 2 large-format stencil collections licensed by Stencilease so the time is finally here to reveal the first of my collections!



Take a step back to the beginning of time through my Ancient Marks collection.  Explore the ruins of magical places.  Feel the texture of hand-cut tiles and decorative carvings having aged thousands of years.  Bring a touch of simple sophistication to your walls, floors, textiles and more with a set of coordinated stencils that speak the language of primitive decorative ornamentation.
Whether you choose to apply color subtly in earthen tones or saturated with vibrant hues, you will enjoy the patterns you can create with this collection.  Step outside your comfort zone and mix two together for a different look.  Repurpose a flea market find or carve the design in a decorative wood panel and don’t forget to make a couple of accent pillows, too.  The applications are endless!

Later this week I will share projects that I have completed using my Ancient Marks stencils.  These stencils are sold individually and range in size from 19.5" x 19.5" to 6" x 18" depending on the design.  For pricing information and to purchase any of these stencils, click here.
Next up...the introduction of my Bloom Collection.
Thanks for sharing my excitement! 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Studio Sunday Closing In on Margaret Applin Designs Stencil Explosion

I'm working away here in the studio (which looks like a disaster) on everything stencils!  I am expecting the release of the Stencilease collections tomorrow, however, I am waiting on confirmation and haven't yet connected with them.  If they launch tomorrow as expected, I will announce in a post tomorrow with lots of promotional pics!

Stencil Design Tools

Great news on the upcoming release of my personal line of stencils!  They have been cut!  They are shipping to Joggles' warehouse!  They will be available for SALE before the end of the month!!!!  I'm sooo totally excited!  A big shout out to Barbara at Joggles for making all this possible! 

Like I mentioned earlier, I am stenciling away here and constructing "stuff" to show!  I'm building lots of colorful promotional pics to help you see my vision for these great designs.  It will be impossible to show all of my ideas right away being a one-woman-shop but instructional videos will soon follow to share with you everything I am working on. 

Let me introduce you to the "girls"!  I decided on a naming convention of girls' names for my collections and here they are!

Becca is sweet and floral based with lots of curvy lines and shapes.

Jess is a little wild and southwest with Aztec influences.

Anastasia is renaissance in a soft, abstract kind of way.
Zoe is just fun, playful and easy going.

There is one more single stencil template that packs a punch of fun ways to apply and I will explaining all of that later.  Next weekend I will share more and announce a FREE GIVEAWAY!!!  Stay tuned and have a wonderful weekend!!!