In recent weeks, the average temperature here in St. Louis has plummeted from the low 100s (°F) to the mid-80s, and I'm losing no time in declaring that fall is on its way! Admittedly, I may be jumping the gun with this pronouncement (I've never been a summer person), but I'm also a firm believer that it's never too early to get ahead on your cookie planning.
That being said, this month's Prettier PlaquesTM stencil release has some great Halloween, autumn, and Veteran's Day sets that I hope you'll appreciate seeing (and getting!) before you're in a pinch and can't wait for them!
I love all of my stencil sets this month, but, if pushed, I'd have to say "Hello Fall" (aka "Pumpkin Patch") is my favorite, and so I've dubbed it this month's Stencil of the Month. If you're not already familiar with my Stencil of the Month Club, please read the footnote* at the bottom of this post. But, briefly, the key thing to know is that my Club brings its members HUGE savings - about 20% off my usual stencil set price for the Stencil of the Month, PLUS 15% off any other item on my partner Stencil Ease's site!
"Pumpkin Patch", like "Thank You" (last month's Stencil of the Month), benefits from "conscious color commingling", meaning don't be afraid to let colors mix with others in the same area of a stencil. Organic designs, such as "Pumpkin Patch" and "Thank You", look more realistic and beautiful when you purposely let color-mixing occur. Here, I've used AmeriMist Electric Green, AmeriMist Leaf Green, and Chefmaster Harvest Brown for the leaves, and Chefmaster Sunset Orange and Harvest Brown for the pumpkins.
For more details about how I created this fully layered look using this five-piece stencil set, check out this quick how-to video:
As for this month's Halloween selection, it's "Boo!" (aka "Hallows' Eve"), and although I don't have a professional-quality photo of it, I think it would look striking if done mostly as a silhouette, with the fence and tree in black, the clouds in grey or black, and the moon in an eye-popping orange-yellow shade. A pale gray background with wisps of purple would contrast the silhouette nicely.
For "Remember" (aka "In Remembrance"), intended for Veteran's Day and other memorials, I've got a field of red poppies (for remembrance) done rather simply with four colors: AmeriMist Leaf Green for the leaves; AmeriMist Holiday Red for the petals; AmeriMist Super Black for the flower centers; and spurts of AmeriMist Electric Green to fill in some of the white space. (I also used ChefMaster Super Red, a darker red, on the left cookie.)
Again, for more details about how this layered look was created, take a look at the following video:
As Veteran's Day comes but once a year, I wanted to point out that you can get a lot more mileage out of this set (and all of my others, for that matter) simply by changing out color schemes or mixing and matching messages from other sets:
And, in case you were wondering, "Give Thanks" is a throwback to last year - a previously released set inserted here simply to remind you of my existing fall inventory!
As always, all of my August sets and more can be found on my partner Stencil Ease's site at www.stencilease.com/juliausher.htm. If you have any questions about ordering, please direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Design or technique questions can be directed to me at email@example.com at any time. 'Til next month, live sweetly!
* As a reminder, my Stencil of the Month is part of my Stencil of the Month Club (naturally! ), which works like so . . . Once you subscribe, each month you'll automatically receive a surprise five-piece stencil set (the Stencil of the Month) valued at $18.99 for just $14.99 plus shipping and handling. Members also get an exclusive members-only 15% discount on all stencils and accessories on the Stencil Ease site. After you sign up, Stencil Ease will send you a personalized letter from me that explains when you can expect your stencils each month, how to redeem your 15% members-only discount, and a few other things. If you have any questions about these logistics, please check out the Stencil of the Month Club webpage, or send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Note: The Stencil of the Month is also available to non-Club members, but only at full retail price.)