Today is the Day – Michelle Rydell

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in Creative Squad


This Tuesday, Michelle Rydell from my Creative Squad is happy to share with you a gorgeous art journal spread using my new Versailles ArtFoamies and inspired by this month’s theme: “Today is the Day.”  I invite you to join me and my Creative Squad to stop procrastinating and to make today the day you finally tackle that artsy thing you’ve been meaning to get to for so long.  Start that new project you’ve been planning for months.  Try out that new product you bought ages ago.  Experiment with that new technique you read about last year.  Try it!  Today is the Day!


I have seen Art Foamies videos on youtube and always thought they looked like fun. I love their chunky look, and have been especially intrigued by the concept of the “stamp buddy” that comes with each foam stamp!  I was so excited to find out that Nat has a new line of gorgeous Art Foamies stamps! So finally, Today is the day I get to try them out!  I decided to use the Versailles set – I love how the intricate patterns of the two stamps fit together!  Here’s what I did to create my page…

I got out some warm colors of acrylic paint – yellow, pink and orange; and scraped them onto the stamp buddy, with the lightest color in the middle and the darker colors radiating outward. At first I used a credit card, but then decided it would be more fun to use my fingers – ha…



I pressed the stamp into the stamp buddy to distribute the paint, and stamped it onto my art journal spread. WOW it looked gorgeous!  I was so excited to see how the colors created an ombre effect!


I decided to cover the whole page with this stamp, and I did not have to re-ink the stamp buddy at all!  That thing really holds a lot of paint!!! When I was done it reminded me of a tiled wall.  I almost didn’t want to do anything else to it!


I decided to repeat the ombre effect with the second stamp in the set; only this time use all cool colors, and instead of having the lightest color in the middle, I put the darkest.


I stamped the second stamp onto my page and actually said EEK out loud – it looked so pretty!  I LOVE how the images fit so easily together.  This is truly a new experience in stamping!



I wanted to cover up the blank edges of the page, so I decided to paint a black, cloud-like frame to make the colors pop even more.  At that point I just stared at the pattern for a minute, to see what I could see… and out came a flower!  I used part of the pattern for a colorful center, and drew and colored the petals and stem with paint pens. After that I realized that I needed to differentiate the flower from the background a little more, so I added a magenta glaze to the background.  You can just see the beginnings of that behind the bottom left few petals in this photo…


And here is my finished page.  I finished glazing the background, did some doodling in the black frame area, and added a quote with a white paint pen…


I love the super juicy background that Michelle created by using both the positive and negative Versailles stamps together!  And the whole thing really pops with that cute black and white frame around it.  Here are the supplies Michelle used – note that some of the links are affiliation 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


    This is GORGEOUS! LOVING how you created that background!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Art Stroll: MFA Boston Permanent Collection

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in Art Stroll


At the end of August I visited my friend Julie Fei-Fan Balzer in Boston and of course we took some Art Strolls.


I wanted to share with you some inspiring pieces from the permanent collection …


besides this amazing view up


Endlessly Repeating Twentieth Century Modernism by Josiah McElheny


It is a fascinating mirrored installation and McElheny hand-blew each glass vessel based on Italian, Austrian, Czech and Scandinavian designs from 1920-1990. I loved it so much and couldn’t stop looking at it. I wonder how I can incorporate the idea of endless elegance into a piece of my own art.


La Japonaise (Camille Monet in Japanese Costume), Claude Monet, 1876
The colors and details in this picture- from the Costume to the carpet are just mind blowing.  I did not like the frame around this painting- it is sooo pompous and takes away so much from the painting – I am sure it is not the original frame and one of those Museum’s early “let’s make sure all artwork gets the same frame” craziness, as I wrote about in my Art Strolls here.


Rouen Cathedral Facade, 1894 and Rouen Cathedral Facade and Tour d’Albane (Morning Effect), 1894 by Claude Monet – Oil on Canvas


I love those paintings. They glow, atmosphere and the texture and impasto is just unreal. It makes me want to touch it.


Paysage de Banlieue, 1905 by Maurice de Vlaminck. Students of my Art Rules class might remember that we talked about a couple of his paintings in the Fauvism part of the class. I always love how my students are as intrigued as I am by the marks and colors . It is truly inspiring to discover this style in your own art journal.


Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?, 1897–98 by Paul Gauguin. “In 1891, Gauguin left France for Tahiti where he created paintings that express a highly personal mythology. He considered this work to be his masterpiece and the summation of his ideas. Gauguin’s letters suggest that the fresco-like painting should be read from right to left, beginning with the sleeping infant. He describes the various figures as pondering the questions of human existence given in the title; the blue idol represents “the Beyond.” The old woman at the far left, “close to death,” accepts her fate with resignation. ” (from MFA Website). It is a massive painting and keeps you with it’s Narrative and Symbolism.


Lullaby: Madame Augustine Roulin Rocking a Cradle (La  Berceuse), 1889 by Vincent Van Gogh. I love the vividly colored patterned background! The texture of her hair – and the colors are just glowing.


The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit, 1882 by John Singer Sargent.


Mrs. Charles E. Inches (Louise Pomeroy), 1887 by John Singer Sargent.


Rehearsal of the Pasdeloup Orchestra at the Cirque d’Hiver, about 1879–80 by John Singer Sargent. This last painting was actually my favorite of his paintings. I love the monochromatic color palette and that you can almost hear the music. Apparently John Singer Sargent was influenced by artwork by Edgar Degas he had seen in 1877 (check out my Art Stroll through the Degas Exhibition at MoMA recently) – and that makes total sense to me. Love how he took the inspiration and made his own piece.

Hope you enjoyed the Art Stroll through the Permanent Collection of the MFA in Boston. If I could I would go every week to a museum for a little art inspiration.



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  • Jean Goza


    What an amazing collection you shared this morning. I am hard pressed to pick a favorite. Thanks for the “stroll”.


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Yes to all or … In my Art Journal today

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in Art Journal


Make something, be creative, be fun, wild, original, imaginative….etc ….YES to all

So much fun to play a bit in my art journal using the new ArtFoamies Batik Stamps 1, 2, 3 and 4


I painted the background and then rolled out two different color next to each other with a brayer- so half the brayer was covered in cobalt turquoise and the other half in unbleached titanium and applied the brayer to the stamps


and just went with it. Loved the two colored patterns and the texture this created.


It tied the background and collaged paper snippets together. The text on the kraft paper is actually from a paper bag.


I overpainted a magazine image with the same colors using a small brush and then went over with a soft pencil.


It was a quick and fun art journal page – a much needed creative time after a bit of a long stretch working on a computer.

Here are some of the supplies I used for this spread – note that some links are affiliate links


Hope you have a wonderful day full of happy YES 🙂



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Comments (2)

  • Kathy P


    Awesome journal pages, Nat—& I love those bold new stamps!


  • Sherri Scott


    Dear Nathhalie
    I wanted to tell you I had the best weekend ever when you where at the Ink Pad. Thank you


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