It used to be, back when I was growing up, that moms memorialized their love of their kids in painstakingly traced and cut black silhouettes. Today (sadly), the immediacy of cell phone pics seems to have replaced that wonderful ritual of portrait-posing and the art itself. I'm not sure what happened to my own silhouettes, but when my mother-in-law passed away a few years ago, I inherited three she had done of her kids - my husband and his two sisters. I kept them in their cheesy 70s-era gold frames and grouped them into a larger collection, which now looks rather regal (if I do say so myself ) on the wall in my downstairs powder room.
These silhouettes are a daily reminder to me of my mother-in-law's devotion to family and the exceptional job she did of raising three of my most favorite people! They are emblems of a mother's love, crafted with the utmost care and attention to detail, and, as such, they should always be held close to the heart. Never, ever should we let them be relegated to the category of "lost art".
So, with this month's release, I salute the silhouette with stencils that memorialize our love of our moms! Because the central part of the stencil design is a series of silhouettes, these sets inherently look great with a minimum of colors, making them not only striking, but easy enough for kids to use. Don't believe me when I say kids can do a great job with layered stencil sets?! Read on for this post's postscript where I prove I'm right! But, first, here's this month's release in a nutshell:
- A Mother's Love Dynamic DuosTM Background Set (upper left),
- A Mother's Love Dynamic DuosTM Message and Frame Set (combined with the DuosTM background set; upper right),
- My partner Confection Couture's Mother's Day Love Accent Stencil (lower right), and
- Vintage Tea Dynamic DuosTM Set (last year's Mother's Day-themed release).
If you're a Stencil of the Month Club member, this month you'll get both my A Mother's Love Dynamic DuosTM Background Set and Confection Couture's Mother's Day Love Accent Stencil. This specially curated bundle is worth $22.99, but Club members get it for only $14.99! Plus, as long as you stay a member, you also get 15% off anything else on the Confection Couture site! At a glance, this is what Club members will get:
As always, let's first address the background set, which contains the following six elements . . .
I chose a saturated palette of pink and green that would stand up to the boldness of black or brown, which I envisioned for the silhouettes. (I ultimately chose Chefmaster Harvest Brown, one of my fave go-to airbrush colors; even a touch of it on a cookie really helps to "ground" almost any color palette.) The trees and mossy rocks were airbrushed with a combo of AmeriMist Deep Pink (lightened with Spectrum Flow Matte White), a custom green (three parts AmeriMist Electric Green to one part AmeriMist Avocado), and that Chefmaster brown. Then one of three silhouettes was superimposed on top in brown. A relatively simple airbrushing sequence for me! Of course, you could always get more elaborate with the colors, but I didn't want to go too far afield of my original silhouette inspiration.
Here are some of my results . . .
Note how changing the background icing from white to a pale color (like pale yellow, depicted below) can soften the overall look and add subtle, but interesting color variation to a set . . .
I know, the following photo is nearly identical to the last one, but I wanted to zoom way in on it in order to make another important airbrushing/stenciling point. It's always tricky to airbrush relatively large, open spaces (like the silhouettes) with a dark color, as they're prone to underspray (a fuzzy halo around the image). BUT, underspray can definitely be avoided if you take extra precautions! In the case of the cookie below, I was careful to press down the stencil with a trussing needle whenever my airbrush came close to the edge of the opening. As you can see (hopefully), the underspray around mother and child is minimal to nonexistent.
Conversely, I was more lax when airbrushing the mother on the cookie below, and so there's a little more brown haze around her midriff and shoulders!
With that tip aside, it's time to layer in the complementary message and frame set. Here are the seven pieces it contains . . .
I have many, many YouTube videos (here) that show how I superimpose elements, like these messages and frames, on backgrounds, so I'm not going to address that process again here. Instead, let's cut to the chase with some finished photos . . .
As I hope you can see, there are tons of design options . . . you can layer silhouettes together with messages and frames, use just the messages on the background tree scene, swap out background icing shades, and/or embellish further (or not), among other things!
Being the more-is-more person that I am, I, of course, embellished further with these super simple wafer paper flowers . . .
They were made using two shades of pink wafer paper and a flower craft punch. I painted some of the wafer paper with random strokes of pink airbrush coloring, and then punched away. Each flower is comprised of anywhere from three to five punched layers, each stuck to the next with a teeny dab of water. The royal icing transfer in the center was sprayed with PME Pearl Lustre Spray, and then attached with a bit of thick white royal icing.
Aside: I couldn't decide on an opening image this time (Me: "Jazzy or simple? One cookie or several? Hmmm . . . so many choices!"). So, before I get to my usual recap and that postscript I mentioned, here's "simple". (You saw "jazzy" at the top of this post!) I think it goes to show that sometimes a single cookie can make a big statement. Just wrap up this baby in one of BRP Box Shop's wonderful window boxes, and you've got a lovely personalized gift for mom!
Now, here's my usual recap of key links:
- To purchase my Dynamic DuosTM sets, click here.
- To join my Stencil of the Month Club, click here.
- To see my entire stencil line, including my Prettier PlaquesTM sets, click here.
- To view my videos that show how to create layered looks with my stencil sets, click here.
If you have any technical questions about these stencils, please don't hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to leave a comment below. Please, however, direct all ordering and Club questions to my stencil partner, Confection Couture Stencils, at email@example.com.
And, last but not least, that postscript . . .
P.S. If you thought kids couldn't master an airbrush and layered stencil sets, boy oh boy, were you mistaken! I recently hosted an "interactive airbrushing experience" as part of a much larger bat mitzvah celebration, and the kids did amazing work with the custom bakery-themed set I designed for the event. Here's a small sampling of their cookies . . . (For privacy reasons, I had to crop out the kids' faces, but, trust me, they were beaming with pride, as was I. )
Okay, so not all of the kids stayed on the airbrushing task . . .
. . . but we all had a blast!
P.P.S. I will be releasing a modified version of this bakery-themed set in May, so stay tuned, and happy airbrushing and stenciling in the meantime!