Karen Gaunt Stencil Girl Throw Back Thursday


As part of being on the Stencilgirl Design team we get to make some cool projects for their “Throwback Thursday” project. Stencilgirl have some amazing stencils in their arsenal, seriously I could spend a fortune every time I go on their site. With such a huge inventory sometimes some of the older stencils get lost as they’re making new ones all the time. Hence throw back Thursday to highlight some of these amazing designs.

The Stencils

The stencils I’m using for my project today are by Terri Stegmiller and I love her stencil designs anyway and have used them in several projects already in my art journal projects.








These are the two stencils I’ve used in the project, Sign Posts and Striped Circles. You can click on the images to view the stencils in the site.

My Art Journal Page

I started by using the stripped circles in various shades of blue and green in the background. I made sure to vary the direction of the circles to create a more random and layered look to the background.

I then stamped the sing posts stencil in white because I knew I wanted to stamp my message in the posts. I had planned out what I was going to write ahead of time so I knew how many posts I needed.

This is what I love so much about stencils, you can use the same one many times but by isolating elements and changing directions they can look totally different each time.

I’ve been on a bit of a vintage lady kick this past few weeks so I could not resist using this amazing image in my page. I just love her, she’s so beautiful and goes perfectly with my page and message.

Here is another page I made in my altered book using the same Striped Circles stencil. Same stencil, totally different look.


Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope you picked up some inspiration to use for your own art projects. I’d really love to hear from you if you did and to see your work, it’s such a kick.

Journal your own goals and dreams

You can read more about my Stencilgirl journey here and you can get your own free downloadable journal and art prompts below to make your own dreams and goals page. Who knows what will happen when you start writing those down! Some amazing things have happened to me for sure!

the art of

How to Start with Art Pin

How to start with art

Wow, how to start with art huh? Gosh that’s such a big question isn’t it? Too big for me to answer so I’m going to post a cute photo of a cat and move on okay?

Oh sorry, you actually want me to try and answer this do you? Haha just kidding, I’m totally going to (attempt) to answer this question because it’s one I hear a lot from people all.the.time.

How do I start? Where do I begin….to tell the story of how great a love can be… oh no wait sorry that’s another blog post altogether. Ok so let’s get back on track and try to give you some advice about how to get started in this kick ass world of making Art shall we?

Decide to start

Funny huh? Yeah, you kind of need to really decide that you really want to start. Like for real. Not pinning all the things onto your pintrest board but actually starting for real. No more excuses, you’re actually going to get your hands on some supplies and you’re going to begin. You’re going to have a finished product. And most importantly you’re going to have fun.

Adopt the mantra “What’s the worst that could happen?”

Tthis might sound funny but seriously, what’s the worst that’s going to happen if you put paint onto paper. Will you start the next world war? Will you suddenly become patient zero in a worldwide zombie plague? No. These things will not happen. It’s paper ok? Worst case scenario? You hate it and screw it up and never look at it again. But you know what? You’ve started and you’ll learn something from it and if you keep going, you might just surprise yourself.

How to start with Art - A handy guide and free printable

You don’t have to share your work

No matter what you decide to do you don’t have share your work with the world, your family or even your cat. It can be for you and you alone to see. Elizabeth Gilbert talks about this a lot in her book “Big Magic”. There’s the work you make just for yourself and there is the work that you share. And it’s ok to never share. Like ever.

Art is for everyone

Seriously, I’m not joking. You don’t have to have ever studied art at school or taken a class. Now clearly I am SUPER biased towards art journaling. It’s my life and I adore it but any medium or method you want to try is A-OK with me. The most important thing is that you show up and get your fingers messy. You’re not going to be Van Gogh (who would want to be? That guy had issues!) but who cares? Remember what’s the worst that could happen?”

Start Small

Pick one medium and start with that. I personally adore acrylic paint and I think that it is a perfect medium for people who are beginning. You can buy some super cheap craft paint in a whole range of gorgeous colors and just get started. It goes well onto pretty much any paper out there and you don’t need fancy brushes or cleaners to get going.

It’s so versatile because you can use it as it is or water it down and get an almost watercolor effect too. You can stencil with it, use it on your walls, use it on wood. It’s such a forgiving medium and so accessible.

How to start with Art - A handy guide and free printable

Buy yourself a journal

Get yourself a journal and you can get started in that. You can paint an apple. You can throw some paint on it in splatters. You can stamp in it using a potato. These are all things that you can do right now.

Just do me a favor ok? Don’t buy a super cheap journal. Life is too short for crappy paper ok? You’ll get poor results and you’ll be unhappy with them. Try and get your hands on something half way decent. Not the most expensive one, not the cheapest one. Somewhere in the middle. Any journal which is labeled “mixed media” will be perfect or any art sketchbook that has fairly thick paper in it.

How to start with Art - A handy guide and free printable

Just Start

Now please go away and get started in any way that you can! Oh and then come back because I have some really cool stuff coming up that you’re going to want to read.

So as a special thank you for sticking with me through this blog post I’ve made up a little freebie printable for you to download and put somewhere on your creative space. I’ve kept it really simple and I think it would look beautiful printed on some watercolor paper. You can download the printable by clicking below, awesome things are in the planning so be sure to keep up to date with happenings here as casa de Karen.

So get your printable and stop making excuses. You got this, you can do this. Now what are you waiting for?

How to start with art - free printable and blog post

Flower Mark Making Hidden PinFloral Mark Making PintrestFloral Mark Making Pintrest

An Art Journal page using florals and making fun marks with pens and Stencilgirl Stencils

A really fun and simple Art Journal page for you today. Sometimes it’s really nice to use just paint and some markers in your journal pages and make them quick and easy. It doesn’t all need to be deep and meaningful and hour long processes.

Flower Mark Making 03


Making it Old Skool

I used some flowers that I cut out from an old piece of scrapbooking paper I’ve had forever. It’s from Basic Grey, back in the day when I collected more scrapbooking paper than I ever planned on using. Please tell me that wasn’t just me?? Anyway, now I have plenty of material for future art journal pages right??

Floral Mark Making Art Journal Page

Mark Making Background

I don’t know about you but I really love mark making. I wouldn’t be in the I love doodling camp but I think some mark making is a happy medium. I love using the stencils in the background to add the textures using different paints. I also broke out some of my favourite tools when I’m art journaling, my uni chalk markers in fluorescent of course. It’s always a good idea to add fluorescent.

The Video

Without further ado here is the art journal video I made. Make sure you subscribe to my you tube channel to make sure that you get notified whenever I post up a new video.

Thank you so much for watching my video, each one I make teaches me a new lesson in patience, it’s really a labor of love. They take way to long to upload to you tube, you really have no idea!

I’m now up on snap chat so you can also connect with me there, my user is karen-gaunt. I’m mostly posting behind the scenes and mess from my desk so I really look forward to seeing you there!

You can also get yourself over to Stencilgirl to drool over  look at their great stencil selections. I would also highly recommend subscribing to their monthly stencil kit, it’s really great value for money.


We’re back with the color chaos travelling art journal today and this is the turn of Gold, belonging to Vanessa.

I was a little freaked out by gold, I can’t say it’s a color I have much of or use a lot in my journal but when I actually got into it I really enjoyed it quite a lot!


I knew that there was a reason for hoarding all those scrapbooking supplies in my stash! A lot of these pages are singles so it will be nice to have someone else’s work opposite to mine when this makes it’s way back to Vanessa.


I really couldn’t work on Vanessa’s journal and not put some kind of skull in it and I thought this one went very well next to Patricia’s zombie bride!


I’m slightly concerned at the subliminal method in which Pink Floyd is creeping into my art journals. I’m all for musically lyrics but this…. (I blame my husband, he is a fan)

You can check out all the other journals I’ve made here with blue, red, purple. We only have two more to do until we get our journals back, I can’t wait!

Be sure to check out everyone’s pages in the other journals; Vanessa, Katie, Sharon, Julia, Lauren and Patricia


Wild and Free - An Art Journal Tutorial with Youtube video

Video tutorial time again today! I have a love/hate relationship with the videos I’ve made so far. I love to make the art journal video tutorials and I really wish I had the time to make more of them. I love to teach and I love to inspire and I think this gives me a great way to do both.

Sadly the time taken up by editing, captions and graphics and just uploading the thing onto the youtube site prevents me at the moment from doing as many as I like. I’m not sure if I’m doing something wrong or if the videos are just too large by goodness me they take forever to load up. Like a DAY. An ACTUAL DAY. I need to do more research there must be a simpler way!

The Art Journal Page

I’ve admired Suzi Dennis’s stencils for quite some time and I was very inspired using her circular stencils from the Stencilgirl monthly kit club.

When I saw her Spring Flower Vase stencil I knew I immediately had to have it and I was not disappointed to get it in person. I love the bold lines and the abstract design of the flowers I think it’s just beautiful.

Wild and Free - An Art Journal Page with youtube video tutorial

I went with a mix of blue, teal and green for the background on this page. No big surprises there for me! I seem unable to get away from this color combination but I’m not really sure that I want to!

I mixed all of the yellows and oranges I had in my paint arsenal to get some variation on the flower petals. You can see in the video that I really just mix the paint on the page with my cosmetic sponge. For small areas this works fine for me rather than changing out the sponge the whole time.

Wild and Free - An Art Journal Page with youtube video tutorial

I just don’t seem to be able to make an art journal page without some kind of musical inspiration in it. I love using lyrics in my pages and I love this song, it’s so happy and cheerful.

I had already decorate the background of my page with the Web stencil designed by Marybeth Shaw herself. I just randomly stamped it in sections on the page. I didn’t want it to outshine the flowers.

I’d already stamped up the lyric words using Stazon ink and run the ink pad around the edges of the words to give it a grungy look. I totally had to put all the words in a separate container to make sure I didn’t loose them.

Anyone else have this problem? I cut out something and put it down and when I go to stick it down, POOF! Gone, vanished. I’ll find it an hour later stuck to my pant leg or something but at this stage I’ve already cut out a new one. Ok maybe it’s just me….

Wild and Free Art Journal Page 02

Ok so I decided to paint in the stencil outlines because I really liked the look of the flowers and without the lines they looked a little bare. I used a shade called “Night Blue” and it’s just a cheap craft paint, nothing fancy. I think I’m a little in love with the new shade though.

Outline took WAY longer than I had anticipated and I think the segment on the video tutorial was nearly twenty minutes. No one needs to watch me paint lines for twenty minutes so I cut that part out. Especially as at least ten of those minutes was me fussing over the little white spots I missed!

The Video Tutorial

So without further ado here is the video tutorial in all it’s glory. Look out for my paint stained yoga pants. I’m super classy and didn’t realise how wide an angle the camera was at. If you could see the lengths I have to go to so I can squeeze in my camera next to my work table you would laugh so hard.

I really hope you enjoyed the video. You can leave a comment or give it a thumbs up, I’d really apreshiate it. If you subscribe to my youtube channel you can get notifications whenever a new video goes up live.

the art of

I was lucky enough to be asked by the awesome Zine Squad to collaborate with them on their latest Zine. Julia and I collaborated a while ago on a Romeo and Juliet and Amelie Zine we swapped between ourselves and we decided this would be a great theme to make a zine around. Luckily all the other zine quad members agreed and we picked Emily as the recipient to get “zined” this time. You can see the original post here to see our work the first time around.

fair verona (3)Here my page is on the right and I think Katie’s page is on the left. I made the zine to begin with so I did not get to see anyone’s pages in real life until now!

fair verona (4)

Here is my page on the right, I wanted to use some nice collage elements in the zine and I used an old book I had bought for altering as the base for it.

fair verona (9)

My page is on the left here and I think the right hand page is Vanessa’s handiwork. I love how the two fit together so well!

fair verona (11)

Here was my double page spread for the zine. I really find it so hard to work on single pages! It just feels so unnatural to me I’m so used ti working across both pages!

You can check out everyone else’s amazing work on this zine Julia, Katie, Vanessa . I know it went to a very worthy home with Emily.


Click through to read about how I am a total convert on the woowoo power of writing down and art journalling your dreams and goal

I wanted to tell you all the story of how I managed to find myself on the creative team for Stencilgirl. Not only did I get on the team, they ASKED me to be on the team. For realz. I nearly fell off my chair I was so excited. But I’m getting ahead of myself so I’ll start from the beginning.

Life book

So this all began when I was taking the life book lesson from MaryBeth Shaw. MaryBeth is the owner and amazing artist behind Stencilgirl and she is just one of some amazing instructors this year in life book. I used my blue sky art journal of this one, it was a special page.

Click through to read about how I am not a total convert on the woowoo power of writing down your goals and dreams to make them come true

Here is the page that I made after watching her class. It was all about making a page with intention and thinking about the subject you are journaling about whilst you make the page. I decided to dedicate my art journal page to my day dreams so whilst I was painting, sticking and making marks I was thinking about all of the things that I would love to have in my life and all of the goals and wishes I have.

I also threw just about every Stencilgirl stencil I had in my arsenal at the page like the Circles stencil from Carolyn Dube and the lovely puddles from Rae Missigman. At this stage I was thinking it was nice and all but it was a little bit woowoo for me.

Art Journal goals and dreams

Ok, so here is where I believe the magic happened.

I am now a convert to the woowoo magic of writing down your dreams and goals. Click through to read why


See the scribbles? These are my dreams and wishes and goals all written down. Ok, maybe not ALL of them but the ones that were right in the front of my mind when I was writing them down. They aren’t meant to be read but I know that they are there and I know what they say. And in there my friends, is “I want to be on the Stencilgirl creative team” I kid you not. Of course when I wrote this I had no idea where it would lead and I merrily posted it on instagram.

Here comes the magic

So stencilgirl were kind enough to re post my image and I got some lovely comments about it. My instagram tribe were very kind about the page too but it soon got buried in my feed and in my art journal and I can’t say that I gave it a great deal of thought after that.

Then I got an email to say MaryBeth was trying to get in touch with me on Facebook. Then I got in touch with her and read her message around a million times. She liked my art and wanted to invite me to be part of the new Stencilgirl creative team. Of course I said yes (duh!) and I’m now looking a a wonderful pile of goodies to make some amazing art with and not just in my art journal.

So what can I say inconclusion? Freaking write those dreams down people! Write then down somewhere, make them tangible. You never know what magical events will be set into motion if you do. I’m not someone who normally goes for this kind of stuff but without a doubt I’m a total convert now.

Click through to read my story about how I joined the stencilgirl creative team and for more photos of my day dream art journal page

Click through to read my story about how I joined the stencilgirl creative team and for more photos of my day dream art journal page

I’d love to help you to journal down some of your hopes and dreams too and who knows, maybe some of them will come true? If you click below you can sign up to download an Art and journaling prompt PDF I made just for you to help you do this! If you do use it I’d love to see it so be sure to tag or email when if you share it online!

the art of

Anatomical Heart Collage Tutorial

Anatomical Heart Collage Tutorial using paper embroidery and fabric Layers


Collage is something I’ve been trying to do a lot more of recently. As well as working outside of my Art Journal. I have real soft spot for anatomical hearts. I know some people really don’t like them but I have to say I adore them and love to try and think of new ways to use them.

I wanted to make a special piece for a special young lady who’s gone through some rough times medically and was super brave about the whole experience. Thankfully now she’s totally free from all problems and I wanted to give her something to symbolise her journey.


Anatomical Heart Collage Tutorial

Anatomical Heart Collage Tutorial using paper embroidery and fabric Layers

I gather a few supplies to use on my collage. I knew I wanted to incorporate this new Italian dictionary I recently picked up in my second hand book hunting. I am becoming more than a little enamoured with dictionaries. I love using the definitions in my work.

Making the Collage

Anatomical Heart Collage Tutorial

Anatomical Heart Collage Tutorial using paper embroidery and fabric Layers

I used a printed tissue paper first to cover up the gesso board first and then painted various shades of red paint onto the board to get some variation in colour going for the background.

Anatomical Heart Collage Tutorial

Anatomical Heart Collage Tutorial using paper embroidery and fabric Layers

I knew butterflies were going to feature on this piece so I stamped some on the background to tie the piece together.

I used some linen I’ve had on hand since forever and stitched the heart into the paper first before attaching it onto the board. I then frayed the edges of the linen to add some more texture and interest.

Anatomical Heart Collage Tutorial using paper embroidery and fabric Layers

Anatomical Heart Collage Tutorial using paper embroidery and fabric Layers

Here is a close up of the centre of my piece with the extra butterfly center piece added to the collage. I also attached the definition for heart in Italian. Funny story, I’d actually changed my mind and wanted to use the English version but it turned out I must have used it already for something else. As it is I’m very happy with the Italian one so must be fate I guess!

Anatomical Heart Collage Tutorial

Anatomical Heart Collage Tutorial using paper embroidery and fabric Layers


I love how the collage piece turned out and I know the recipient was delighted with it. You really don’t need to add piles to a piece to make an interesting finished product. I love the added stitches and the contrast of the material with the printed images.

Why don’t you try adding in some materials that you don’t normally use in your work today? Break into your fabric stash or add in some stitches. It’s a lot of fun to try new things.

The Color Chaos travelling art journal is back with the purple edition

We’re back with the Purple edition of the travelling art journal color chaos project.

The journals are now getting fuller and this one is getting wonderfully full with all the amazing artwork from everyone that has come before me.

The Color Chaos travelling art journal is back with the purple edition

I loved being able to work opposite another completed page and trying to compliment it. I think this is Julia’s page, she is the queen of magazines. I kept this page quite simple and used the white paint marker to compliment Julia’s white outline on her lady.

The Color Chaos travelling art journal is back with the purple edition

As this journal is Lauren’s I knew I needed to use my skull stencils somewhere in there. Don’t worry Vanessa, I’ll make sure your one has it too! I used a bunch of different paints on this one and added in the paint chip with the purple dictionary definition on top.

The Color Chaos travelling art journal is back with the purple edition

I added in the doodles on the left hand page and the overlay on the right to complete these two pages. There was so much goodness to add to in this journal!

The Color Chaos travelling art journal is back with the purple edition

I seriously cannot stop using this stencilgirl stencil from the march stencil cub. I love it so much!

Be sure to check out the blue, red and black journal posts and check out all the other amazing posts by the others in the group.

Vanessa, Katie, Sharon, Julia, Lauren and Patricia


Get Messy Art Journal Art Collective


I love to art journal as you know. I’m also a member of the Get Messy Art Journal program. One of the things I love most about Get Messy is the opportunities to collaborate with other amazing members of the community.

Anika is a member of the creative team with me over at Get Messy. She has a great art journal style and she loves to combine stamping and sewing which I really love. She’s put together a collaborative project where many of the creative team were challenged to create art using the same template that she sent onto us.

It will be really interesting to see how all of the styles of artwork and art journal will come out with the creative team. We’re all so very different and have such unique art styles.

I went with a fairly simple black and white theme. I like the feel box the best, I stitched the crosses so there is a texture there to “feel”.

The triangles in the “make” box are a stamp that I carved out myself and I love the imperfect print it’s made on the paper.


Get Messy is an art journal program here to inspire you, teach you new art techniques and help you build community around this art form. The membership site shares prompts, tutorials and inspiration each week. We use different platforms, such as link ups, collaborative projects, spotlights and more to help push our members to consistently create and to showcase their amazing work. Get Messy is for both beginners and art journaling extraordinaires!