Artist Quote of the Week – Shepard Fairey

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in Artist Quotes / Artist Inspiration

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From Small Beginnings – Michelle Rydell

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in Creative Squad

CS September Theme 2

Happy Tuesday!  It’s time for my Creative Squad to share a project with you with this month’s theme: “From Small Beginnings”. Throughout the month of September, the team has been using my n*Studio Stamps to interpret the theme. The change in seasons and the childhood ritual of Back to School in September has me thinking about starting new things – new projects, learning new things, and meeting new people, and all the excitement and challenges that come with all of these “new”s. For this theme, From Small Beginnings, my Squad has thought about the process of starting something new and the very first steps they took. I asked them, how did you experience a Beginning?

So this week we have a very fun Fauxbonichi book cover from Michelle Rydell that definitely brings back those childhood memories!


Michelle September Headshot

Oh my gosh I had so much fun with this month’s project!  September and “Small Beginnings” made me think of going back to school as a kid, and that made me think of one of my fave things about that – making covers for my textbooks out of paper bags!  Did you do that too?

I decided to make a cover for my Fauxbonichi – and use the “Marks” stamp set to decorate it…

I gathered together the basic materials for the project…


I cut the grocery bag open so it would lay flat…


I placed my notebook on the grocery bag and figured out how wide I would need it to be, to cover the width of the book and folded flaps on the front and back covers, and then cut off the extra…


At this point, I had to do a youtube search, so I could remember how to fold it. (it’s been awhile – ha!).  Once I got the folding done I took a white pastel pencil and lightly marked where the spine was and which part was the Front cover.  Then I took the cover off the book, and got ready for the fun part – decorating!


Using a roll of masking tape as a template, I cut a peace sign out of the extra paper, and lightly taped it on the front cover to use as a mask.  Then I started stamping horizontal stripes with the various stamps in the “Marks” set…


When I got to the peace sign, I stamped right over the top of it…


When the stamping was done, I removed the peace sign, and this is what it looked like…


The last step was to put on some finishing touches with a fine point paint marker.  I’m so happy with how it turned out!





I love Michelle’s book cover – it’s such a cool idea that I haven’t thought about in a very long time and what a great place to use the stamps to make a field of pattern.

In addition to a brown grocery bag and her Fauxbonichi, Michelle used the supplies listed below (some are affiliate links):


Please note: Some links on this blog are affiliate links for which I receive a small percentage of any sales generated by the link.

Maybe you will even play along with us -I would love to see how you interpret our monthly themes. Email me how you used my stencils and stamps with the theme and email me an image – I would love to share your projects in my next “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

See you next Tuesday for another project from the Creative Squad!



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  • Julie Tucker


    Ohhhhhhhhhh this is just FABULOUS! LOVING that peace symbol!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • Marit


    Oooh, I remember covering my schoolbooks (I also enjoyed it, years later, to help my son with this…!) It was the second-best thing at the beginning of the school year. (The best was ‘buying and initiating my new school-planner!)


  • Meg


    This is so fun, Michelle! I completely forgot about covering books in school. I wonder if I have any pictures of the covers I made back in the day. Love your project.


  • Sue Clarke


    LOVE this cover Michelle and like Marit I used to cover my textbooks as well (so this post brought back some cool memories too)!


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Stroll Through the Hood – September 2016

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in Stroll Through The Hood


Time for a Stroll Through the Hood . Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and to get new ideas to create something.


The area around the Holland Tunnel in Jersey City is not really the most beautiful area- in fact …it is really really ugly and unfortunately often all that people see when they drive to or from New Jersey. So I love that there is some street art popping up here and there on the walls of ugly concrete. The above has some cool drippings and I love the monochromatic color scheme.


Love the stencil work in this one with all the different layering.


And this one just makes me happy because of the colors.


this one made me laugh – I think there was a time where we had cards that you could exchange with those- kind of like trading cards? Anyone remember – maybe only in Germany – I guess I am getting old I only have a vague idea of this.


Oh my- nature is the best painter …or maybe air pollution but let’s not think about this right now *Wink .


This time is truly amazing regarding sunsets viewed from our deck.


This one are the remains of a boardwalk at Liberty State Park – I assume it got destroyed in Hurricane Sandy. I love the texture and the pattern with the different materials- wouldn’t that be cool as a textured stamp?


Here is a view of Manhattan from Liberty State Park – the historic landing pier here in the front of the picture was also heavily damaged in Sandy and has not been restored yet.


The beautiful historic Liberty State Park train station, where the immigrants that came through Ellis Island headed out to all over America to start a new live. I love the building. It is talking to me *Wink. I need to make a painting of it some time.


Last week some of our friends hung out at my wonderful friend’s from Beekman Lane – who had a booth with their awesome vintage and antique stuff at the Historic All About Downtown Market. As you can see we are amazing helpers and made sure people came in and bought things 😉

I had to get this hilarious Valentines Card- probably from the 40s – it made me laugh.


and you see …we helped placing things at the right places too …the policemen on this Valentine’s Card actually has no pants on ….so …we needed to make sure he was covered – LOL . but joking aside the graphics of the box and the cards, and the red lunch box you see peeking underneath are just beautiful.


And last but not least …another sunset picture. I wish I could make such a nice color swirl into one of my paintings. Maybe by using Pouring Medium.

I hope you had fun with this stroll through my hood – take a walk next time you feel stuck when you are creating something or need a spark – it always helps me to get new ideas!



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Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke


    Love the swirl of the clouds in that last sunset photo.
    I always enjoy strolls through your various hoods Nat!


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