July 7th, 2009

Trend Alert-Florals

House Beautiful is one of my favorite home magazines (esp. now that it’s one of the few left!), and I always tune in to their “Trend Alerts”.


Hmmm. Florals, you say? Well, it just so happens that we are releasing our latest stencil patterns this week and there are LOTS of florals in the bunch. I just love staying ahead of the trends…..


Blossoming Allover Stencil


Flower Patch Stencil


Kimono Allover Stencil


Berry Romantic Stencil


Butterfly and Peony Stencil

I’m having so much fun creating new finishes with these to debut at the IDAL convention in 2 weeks! You may have noticed I haven’t been posting much-SORRY! All these and more now available through Royal Design Studio here.

I’ve also been playing with our new Facebook Fan Page, posting lots of photos and “insider” info. Become a “fan” of Royal Design Studio and Modello Designs here http://bit.ly/MQoWI

BTW, if you’re “in the trade”, meaning a professional decorative painter or interior designer, we are now offering a Trade Discount on stencils of 20%. Email sales(at)royaldesignstudio.com for details!

June 23rd, 2009

New Stencil Sneak Peek

Well, it’s that time of year again! Time when all my thoughts turn to the completely ridiculous and unrealistic amount of things I want to accomplish for the annual IDAL Convention. (formerly The Stencil Artisans League-now the International Decorative Artisans League). Funny how last minute stress gets all the creative juices flowing! We will have a booth there for the 15th year in a row (surely a record worthy of some sort of prize….) and of course all my best intentions to be “ahead of the game” at this point for creating new designs and inspiring educational materials vanished in the weeks that seem to just fly by. WhatEVER! What gets done, gets done. I know for sure that we will have about 30 new stencils to show. I haven’t worked these stencil designs up into decorative finishes just yet (after all I have a good two weeks to go) but can share some digital images of some that will be coming on line VERY shortly….


….at Royal Design Studio. Shown left to right, top to bottom: Tailfeathers Allover, Ribbon Damask, Morse Code, Curly Q, Hip to be Square, Akita Allover, Kimono Damask, Circling, and Berry Romantic Damask. Will keep you posted….

May 27th, 2009

Foilin Around

Metallic Foils are smokin’ hot! They’ve been around the decorative painting world for years, but I’ve just started playing around with them a year or so ago. Sometimes, I’m a little slow to get to the table….but now I’m a certified foil addict and it seems like every new surface finish I start involves the thought, “hmmmm, how can I get some foil into this…”



SO, when it came time to create some new finishes to teach to our artist group in Italy, out came the foils. I wanted to do something cool (and quick) so hit on the idea of using stencils to create a multi-layer foil finish in JUST ONE LAYER. 



On some of them, I expanded by going back and highlighting the pattern with some additional color and on some used the reverse image I was able to get with the foil after applying in through the stencil.


It’s WAY cool!


So, I taught two of these new finishes at our class in Italy, and everyone’s samples turned out awesome-and we discovered even MORE options.


One of our group, Pattie Nickel, loved these techniques SO much she did this fabulous accent wall almost immediately after unpacking her bags.


Isn’t this just “WOW”?! She used one of our most popular stencil patterns, the Foliate Damask Allover stencil. I’m working on some instructional material and “recipes” for these techniques to include a mini-book and DVD that I hope to have in time for the IDAL Convention in July, so I’ll be foilin’ around in my studio quite a bit in the next few weeks…..

May 1st, 2009

Robins Nest


On my last painting trip to Marrakech I was fortunate to be accompanied by a special group of amazing and talented women. Shown above are just three of them: Robin Johnston, Cynthia Davis, and Heather Bruno Sears. This was on one of our fun nights out to Le Comptoir, where we treated to beautiful belly dancers on our table. It was too much fun and our best night out I think! Check out the link if you want to feel exotic….


Robin recently updated her website, Faux Couture, and I’d like to share some of her lovely work with you.



Robin’s finishes have a quality that makes me think of “comfort”.



The soft, subtly layered colors, the pretty details, the vintage quality all combine to create a feeling of something cherished and faded that you might have inherited from a loved one.


Of course I may be little partial because she incorporates a lot of stencils from Royal Design Studio, but I would seriously be happy to have any of these looks on my walls, some furniture or even art canvases. Robin lives and works in the Detroit, Michigan area. You can find more on her Faux Couture website!

April 24th, 2009

Lovely Lanterns

I have a fun and colorful project to share that we’ve just completed here in Lauren’s office. Lauren is my creative asistant and is responsible for all the lovely graphics on our websites and in our print material. She loves bright colors and she helped to create the lantern images shown below. I’ve been focusing on ways of combining our Modello Designs one-time-use vinyl masking patterns with the reusable mylar stencils from Royal Design Studio. There are different benefits to using both and this type of application combines the best of both worlds!lanterns-colors

I started with a colorful pallette of paints from Benjamin Moore mixed in their Aura paint base. I LOVE this paint! It covers so well and dries very quickly, making it great for a project like this.


First, I put of the Modello Silhouette Japanese Lantern patterns and filled them in solidly with the different colors of paint.


Then, with the masking patterns still in place, I added colorful design with a variety of stencils from our Kimono Collection at Royal Design Studio.


For the lantern strings, I used black ribbon and finished it off with some really cute little felt flowers at top and bottom that I found in the scrapbooking aisle at Michaels.


The ceiling has been done for some time, but the addition of the lanterns totally brightens up the room and pulls it all together. More detailed instructions can be found here. Our complete new Silhouettes and Stencils range at Modello Designs is here. I hope you enjoy these, they were so much fun to do!

March 26th, 2009

New Moroccan Stencils

I’ve been scooped! The lovely Emily over at wideopenspaces ran a blog post about our new Moroccan stencils before I did! Not that I mind….I’m thrilled. See the post here and another great one featuring more Moroccan design here. I LOVE this photo she found showing large Moroccan arches on a wall.


You could totally do something grand and bold like that with a large Modello pattern and paint! Below is a sneak peek at some of our new Moroccan stencil patterns that we have on the Royal Design Studio stencil website.


These new stencils come from the recent painting project that we did for Maryam’s Peacock Pavilions.


They are available NOW at special pricing of 10% off. We also have a FREE SHIPPING special going until April 15th on orders of $100 and above. Just enter FREESHIP in the promo code box on checkout.

I’m obsessed with repetitive pattern. I am particularly fond of tile patterns. I have a MAJOR THING for order and symmetry. I am particularly captivated by the Zellij tile patterns that are literally everywhere in Morocco, with their underlying meaning of infinity and the omnipresent center. They just draw me in….

Zellij Tile Stencils

So when Maryam proposed painting another set of stair risers for our upcoming painting project at Peacock Pavilions and sent me this inspiration….

Madeline Weinrib

I began pour through my pattern books and photos for appropriate Zellij tile patterns that I thought would be PERFECT for this series.

Zellij Tile Stencils

I found some….

Zellij Tile Stencils

and some more….

Zellij Tile Stencils

and yet more….maybe I’m taking this “infinity” thing a little too much to heart?

Zellij Tile Stencils

But are these not AMAZING?! Many thanks to Michelle here, who worked with me turn these classic and universally appealing patterns into stencils (available next month on the Royal Design Studio website) in record time.

This website has some fabulous information on the history, use, and significance of Zellij patterns in Moroccan decoration. It’s a must read!

Want more photos?? There is a fantastic Zellij Tile set here on Flickr.

BTW Maryam’s My Marrakech blog is a finalist in the 2008 Weblog Awards in the Best Middle East or Africa Blog category and she needs YOUR vote! You can vote here through Tuesday, January 13th.

August 6th, 2008

KM Stitchery Stencils

I spend probably WAY too much time engaged in random googling and assorted web surfing….BUT, it’s all good. Recently, while searching the term “stencils” on Etsy I can across this intriguing shop KMStitchery She specializes in “eco-friendly feminist fashion”, designing and cutting her own stencils (cool!) of prominent feminist icons and painting them on recycled clothing. I had to feature this because a) it’s stenciling, and b) I love this women’s attitude!

Km Stitchery on Etsy
Km Stitchery on Etsy

She has a blog here. Good point about American Apparel. Their ads are seriously creepy! Bleeech!

March 8th, 2008

Carved in Stone?

OOOPs! Well I thought I had posts all set to appear while I was on my Spain/Morocco trip, but in my haste to get everything done the night before I neglected to select “publish” and produced a lot of dead air time. SO-while I recover from jet lag, do laundry, catch up on bills, edit my photos for Flickr and try to ease back into my “real” world, I’ll let a couple of these fly…… 

I love the look of the carved Jali sandstone in these pages fromAlberto Pinto Orientalism (fab book BTW!).

Alberto Pinto  

I can’t tell if they are real or painted carvings….


but this look is easily achieved with a single-overlay stenciling and some careful attention to shading with a stencil brush.

Royal Design Studio Stencils

I featured in my book, Painted Illusions, and it’s also detailed out in this DVD on Advanced Shading and Shadowing and this one on Furniture and Floor techniques. If you do it on a textured sureface or apply decorative finishing techniques to create the look of stone before adding the stenciling it makes the illusion seem even more real. It works great on wood too! The designs shown above are the Italianate Border, Italian Medallion and Reverse Scroll and can be found here!

February 11th, 2008

Oh Suzani

Do you know of Suzanis? Even if you don’t, there is a very good chance that you have been seeing images of them in home fashion magazines and on the design blogs for the past year or so. I wrote this little post myself on the Art of Living last July. With the trend toward brighter colors and ethnic influences you will probably be noticing them even more. Suzanis are very colorful, elaborately embroidered silk wall hangings or bed coverings that originated in central Asia, primarily in what is now Uzbekistan. The name Suzani is actually derived from the Persian word for needle. There is a very informative article online here. Maryam collects antique Suzanis and plans to use them extensively throughout Peacock Pavillions and as I said they will also be used as the inspiration for the stencil art we will be applying there. I thought you might like to see some of the range of patterns we have been looking at for inspiration.












One of my favorite inspiration sites that I have written about here before is Marla Mallet’s. The link takes you directly to the page on Central Asian embroideries, but there is much, much more to see if antique rugs, fabrics and embroideries make you weak in the knees. Be prepared! There are both new and antique Suzanis for sale on this site, but Maryam advises that they are now using child labor to meet the demand for the newer ones, so she only invests in the antiques.

It makes for quite a hard decision when each pattern and colorway seems prettier than the last! With so many beautiful options, which will it be?? Oh, wait and see….

PS The middle design is not a Suzani, it is antique printed linen, but of a similar look and motif.