Creative Squad

Out and About – Marsha Valk

  

Hello my friends!  This month the Creative Squad is playing along with my Stroll Challenge and today Marsha Valk is sharing some super cool cards. She’s using my Stroll Through the Hood #1 & #2Cardboard, and Embroidery stamp sets, and working with the prompt word Pattern and the theme Out and About – Sometimes it’s hard to see all the cool and inspiring stuff that’s right under our noses. This month we hope you will join us in our 30 day Stroll Challenge and get Out and About where you live, and find some local inspiration.


Merriam-Webster has 11(!) definitions for the word ‘Pattern’. One of these is:
3: an artistic, musical, literary, or mechanical design or form, the geometrical pattern of the carpet, the strict pattern of rhythm and rhyme for a sonnet — Gigi Marino

…and it’s super fitting for the pattern I saw whilst Out and About.

I see patterns everywhere and all the time: tiles, bricks, grids, shadows, on flora and fauna… and I have quite a library of photos of patterns found right here where I live in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. But… there is a different pattern plastered all over my city right now and this particular pattern ties my place of residence to New York. And as my assignment was to combine today’s Stroll Challenge prompt with the Stroll #2 stamps, going with this pattern made sense to me.

2017 has been declared the national year of De Stijl, because the art group was founded a hundred years ago, in 1917. Amersfoort is taking this opportunity to celebrate one of its most famous former residents: Piet Mondriaan (or: Mondrian).

Mondriaan was born in Amersfoort in 1872 and he died in Manhattan in 1944. He lived in Amersfoort until 1880, when his family moved to another part of the Netherlands.

His birth house in now a museum where you can see some of his early (still naturalist) works and learn about his life.

Now onto the project!

I started out playing in the journal I keep for the Stroll Challenge prompts and then moved on to square and rectangle pieces of cardstock. I didn’t have to think about colours. I searched my stash for suitable stamping inks in the De Stijl colour palette: red, yellow, blue, black, grey and white. I covered each base with gesso first because I felt the plain white paper was too flat and stark.

And then I just stamped my compositions on top, starting with the grids and then filling in the spaces with colour and pattern, using post-it tape and scraps of paper to mask off and protect parts of the design whilst stamping. I’m not sure why, but I didn’t feel that the compositions with straight lines looked right. So I tried some more on a diagonal square piece of cardstock, which I liked much better.

But then it occurred to me that having the paper diagonal wasn’t very practical for, for instance, making cards. So I continued to play with diagonal lines and blocks of colour and left the paper straight.

Once the ink was dry, I adhered the cards I liked best onto black folded notecards.


Conclusion: creating pleasing compositions with just blocks of colour and lines is much harder than you might think. I hope you try it too. It’s an interesting and fun exercise!


Thank you Marsha – these rock! And so cool that your ‘hood is celebrating such an important artist! Marsha used the following supplies (some are affiliate links):



Play along with us this month and join the 30 day Artful Adventures Stroll Challenge! I 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 “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

Comments (2)

  • Julie

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    thank you for the inspiration today! Love the transition from the physical idea to paper. I will have to try this.

    Reply

  • Michelle

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    This is so much fun. I’m from The Hague (also in the Netherlands) and my city is also covered in Mondriaan prints. The “gemeentemuseum” has a year long Mondriaan exhibit.

    I love your interpretation of all this and how you translated it into your own art, Marsha!

    Xx Michelle

    Reply

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Out and About – Cheiron Brandon

  

Hello from the Creative Squad!  This month the Creative Squad will be playing along with my Stroll Challenge and today Cheiron Brandon is sharing a really cool canvas panel using my Stroll Through the Hood #2 and Embroidery stamp sets, and working with the prompt word Sky and the theme Out and About – Sometimes it’s hard to see all the cool and inspiring stuff that’s right under our noses. This month we hope you will join us in our 30 day Stroll Challenge and get Out and About where you live, and find some local inspiration.


Hi there! It’s Cheiron here and I hope you have been having fun with the Stroll through the Hood photo prompts this month. The word today is SKY and here is the picture I was inspired by. It is taken straight from my “hood” in New Jersey. Not the neighborhood I thought I would ever live in, but living here allows me to have a dedicated studio space. In my hood, I try to find adventure in the little things each day.

For my project this month, I decided to create a small canvas panel with some iridescent gelatos.

I started by scribbling some gelatos onto my panel.

Then I blended them into the canvas, added darker shades to highlight the edges.

To create my “sky”, I used a baby wipe through Nat’s Kassel stencil to remove some of the color from my canvas and reveal the white underneath.

I added more color and blended the edges even more.

Then I added Nat’s Star Fish stamp.

I then stamped the Grannies stamp and the Warehouse stamp from Stroll through the Hood 2 and added some crackle texture paste through Nat’s Beacon stencil to make the sky come alive even more.

I added Nat’s Running and Cross Circle stamps, and some word stickers to complete my canvas.


Thank you Cheiron for such a beautiful piece. Cheiron used the following supplies (some are affiliate links):



Play along with us this month and join the 30 day Artful Adventures Stroll Challenge! I 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 “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

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Out and About – Tina Walker

  

Hello from the Creative Squad!  This month the Creative Squad will be playing along with my Stroll Challenge and today Tina Walker is starting us off with a really cool mixed media project using my Stroll Through the Hood #2 stamp set, and working with the theme Out and About – Sometimes it’s hard to see all the cool and inspiring stuff that’s right under our noses. This month we hope you will join us in our 30 day Stroll Challenge and get Out and About where you live, and find some local inspiration.


Hi! Tina Walker here today with my take on this month’s theme, ‘Out and About’. During the month of May, as part of n*Studio’s 30 day Stroll Challenge and getting out in my neighborhood, I thought it would be fun to take one of the photographs from the challenge and use it as inspiration for my project. We hope you will join us this month and get out and about and say hello to your neighbors and enjoy the spring weather.

To kick off the STROLL, I used this photograph as inspiration this month. I was ‘strolling’ to my mailbox and captured this shot of my walk, mid stride.

Because my stroll was taking me to the mailbox, I immediately spied the fabulous Mailbox stamp include in the ‘Stroll Through the Hood #2’ stamp set. It was serendipitous!

I haven’t created a trio of ATC cards for a while, so I thought I’d pull out some blanks and get creating.

To create the background of each ATC, I covered each blank with a sheet of dictionary paper. I then heat embossed the Warehouse, Main Station, and E-Train stamps also included in the set.

I added lots of distressing with Distress Oxide inks, reacting the inks with water.

The mailbox embellishments were created by stamping into oven back clay. Once hardened and cooled, I distressed each piece with acrylic paint.

To finish each ATC scene, I added people die-cuts, stamped fabric sentiments, and a hand-cut and colored Flag stamp (also included in the set).

Each ATC was machine stitched to a scrap piece of leather and cotton batting, incorporating a fabric ‘hanger’.

I love how my patriotic ATCs turned out. Each vignette made me think about the generations of people, strolling to their neighborhood mailboxes, sending well wishes, happy thoughts, and joyous news. It seems all so simple and uncomplicated, in our new world of electronic media, and impersonal communication.

I hope you enjoyed my project today and join us this month. Have a great day!


Thank you Tina for taking us back in time and inspiring us to get Out and About wherever we live! In addition to scrap fabric and a sewing machine, Tina used these supplies – some links are affiliate links:



Play along with us this month and join the 30 day Artful Adventures Stroll Challenge! I 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 “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

Comments (5)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Love those “romantic” ATC’s Tina. My favorite is the optimist one.
    Perfect for Memorial Day and 4th of July coming up!

    Reply

  • julie b

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    oooh! What a great post….I love that mailbox stamp and it was cool to see the embossed buildings in the background. Just might have to try this technique with the fire hydrant as my walks to the mailbox always include walking the pug (who likes to mark the neighborhood gnome as every other dog has done so too). Shhh, she also has a favorite mailbox she likes to mark (the only one out of 60+ in the neighborhood).

    Reply

  • Gerrie!

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    These are really awesome Tina!! Love how you incorporated the stamps into the background, and people!

    Funny thing….I live in a different area…southwest Florida – where I live we don’t have sidewalks, few houses…we have no mailboxes except for the ones in front of peoples homes, and a blue box in front of the post office. If I go for a stroll, I see some houses, and lots of vacant lots! We have no factories or industry……….our oldest house was built in the late 1950’s! I will really have to put my thinking cap on to play along.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      You can take a pic of your mailbox, from an angle, upside down – it can be also your postoffice or anything- think in the widest sense, make up your own rules ;)

      Reply

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Live Like It’s Spring – Michelle Rydell

Hello from the Creative Squad! The monthly theme is Live Like it’s Spring – Springtime is when Mother Nature kicks it into high gear. It’s the time to wake up and approach life with renewed energy.  Let’s join Mother Nature in this reawakening and create some things in the Spirit of Spring! Today Michelle Rydell is playing with different parts of my stencils  to celebrate spring with a gorgeous mandala. Check out her nifty beautiful idea to use stencils!


When I heard that the theme for this month was about springtime, the first thing I thought of was flowers! Then I took out my Wanderlust stencils to see what I could see. I love looking deeply into Nat’s stencil patterns, because you can see so many patterns within patterns. This time, what I saw was a cute little tulip within the Santa Fe Stencil. Do you see it too?

That gave me the idea to create a springtime mandala with the little tulips as a starting point. I’m creating this spread on watercolor paper in a 9” x 12” journal. The guideline I’m setting for myself is to only use bits and pieces from the following Wanderlust stencils: Santa Fe, New Orleans, and Manhattan. Here’s the step-by-step…

I started with the basic diamond shape (from the Santa Fe) in the middle, tracing it with pencil in the middle of the page. Then I drew a line straight out from each point and side of the diamond. Then added a “tulip” at the end of each line…

From there I just started building outward with various shapes from the stencils; first tracing with pencil, then going over it with pen, once I knew I liked the way it looked.

When I reached this point, I started to see the center of a giant daisy emerging! I found a quote that felt perfect to tie the mandala in with springtime. I drew a circle around the mandala, leaving a little room to add the quote to the inside of the circle. In case it’s hard to read, here’s what it says…

“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” ~ Rachel Carson

Then I drew the petals, to complete the flower…

Colored it in with tombow markers…

And cut the shape of the flower out, so you can see the journal page before and after behind it.


Wow – I love how all those different parts of the stencils created something new and beautiful – stunning, Michelle! She used these supplies – some links are affiliate links:


Play along with us! I 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 “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke

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    It’s amazing how a crafty person can create such beauty while using different pieces of this stencil.
    Thanks for the ideas Michelle as I tend to create “in the box”.

    Reply

  • Julie Tucker

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    This is gorgeous! LOVING how you assembled that flower!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

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Live Like It’s Spring – Marsha Valk

  

Hello from the Creative Squad! Today Marsha Valk is officially ushering in spring with a collection of gorgeous collages using a whole bunch of my stencils and the monthly theme Live Like it’s Spring – Springtime is when Mother Nature kicks it into high gear. It’s the time to wake up and approach life with renewed energy.  Let’s join Mother Nature in this reawakening and create some things in the Spirit of Spring!


When it’s Spring again I’ll bring again… Tulips from Amsterdam! They’re actually from my craft room about 50 km east of Amsterdam… but that’s near enough I think ;-).

I started with mono printing a bunch of greenish, reddish and yellow/orangey prints on copy paper with my Gelli plate and Nathalie’s Buenos Aires, Manhattan, Mesa Verde, Santiago, and Toledo stencils. Once dry I cut them up into tulip leaves and stems.

I wanted to use Nat’s ‘Amsterdam’ stencil, with the tulip pattern, for the background. To achieve a softer ‘ghost’ print, I had to pull four prints: I applied paint onto the Gelli plate, layered the stencil on top and pulled two prints to remove most of the paint.

Then I removed the stencil and pulled another print to remove even more paint. And then for the final print I applied white paint onto the Gelli plate and pulled a last ghost print. And this last print is what I used for the background.

The last step was to collage the tulip parts onto the Gelli printed backgrounds.


Thank you Marsha! I love how you combined all those different stencil patterns with those gorgeous spring colors. In addition to some white copy paper, Marsha used these supplies – some links are affiliate links:




Play along with us! I 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 “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

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Live Like It’s Spring – Cheiron Brandon

  

Happy Tuesday (or should I say Hoppy?) and hello from the Creative Squad! Today Cheiron Brandon has a lovely and very apropos card for us that uses my Beacon stencil and the monthly theme Live Like it’s Spring – Springtime is when Mother Nature kicks it into high gear. It’s the time to wake up and approach life with renewed energy.  Let’s join Mother Nature in this reawakening and create some things in the Spirit of Spring!


Hi there! It’s Cheiron here with my monthly post. I am so excited for spring here on the east coast, but it seems like it’s never going to arrive. I always have best intentions of sending cards for the holidays to friends and family, but they never seem to come to life. I decided to “spring” into action in my studio with some stencils and spring colors and make this fun card that can be easily replicated to send out for Easter to family and friends.

To start, I used some Distress Mixed Media Heavy Stock and applied a thin coat of gesso. Once the gesso has dried, apply Distress Crayons in spring colors to the panel (I used spun sugar, squeezed lemonade, shaded lilac, cracked pistachio and broken china ) blending each color with your finger as you go along.

Keep blending until the entire panel is covered.

Once you are finished blending, put the Beacon stencil over the panel and rub through the stencil gently with a baby wipe to reveal the gesso underneath and create a pattern.

Remove the stencil, add a die cut and some word stickers to you card. It’s as easy at that! You could even use multiple stencils to create this effect. I hope you enjoyed this Easter card, and maybe it will inspire you to make some fun cards to send out to those you love.

See you next month!


Thanks Cheiron! This is so cute and happy! We just love your card designs. Cheiron used these supplies – some links are affiliate links:




Play along with us! I 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 “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

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Live Like It’s Spring – Tina Walker

  

Hello from the Creative Squad! This week Tina Walker is kicking off a new theme for us with a really cool mixed media project using my Granada stencil and the new monthly theme Live Like it’s Spring – Springtime is when Mother Nature kicks it into high gear. It’s the time to wake up and approach life with renewed energy.  Let’s join Mother Nature in this reawakening and create some things in the Spirit of Spring!


Hi! Tina Walker here today with my take on this month’s theme, ‘Live like it’s Spring’. To be honest it was tough getting inspired by this month’s theme, just coming off of a major east coast storm. I live in PA and we ended up with over 18 inches of snow in a 24 hour period. I thought we had gotten through the major winter snowstorms, but once again, Mother Nature had me fooled. Since the ground is covered in snow and the temperatures are still cold, I am dreaming of warmer days, and bright sunny skies. The sun was my major source of inspiration, using the bright, sunny yellow as the theme for my mono-chromatic Spring nymph.

To create the background of my nymph, I prepped several random PaperWhimsy Amazing Alterable pieces with gesso and a coat of yellow paint. Once dry, I applied crackle paste with one of Nat’s newest StencilGirl stencils, Granada.

After the crackling magic was complete, I aged each piece with a ‘spritz and remove’ swipe of Distress Spray. The spray eased itself into all of the cracks, revealing the crackle goodness.

I embellished several of the amazing alterable pieces with glitter and paint, using the same color palette.

I assembled all pieces together with my nymph’s arms, honoring the sun.

Here’s a close-up of the amazing texture you can create with just a stencil and some paint.

I painted an old metal drawer pull in the same color palette to use a hanger for my Spring nymph.

How are you inspired by Spring? Does the bright, pastel colors heighten your creative whims? Or does the idea of renewal motivate you to create? I’d love to hear how you are inspired by Spring.


Thank you Tina for a such a whimsical creature! I hope your Spring Nymph helps to usher in Spring sooner rather than later :) In addition to scrap lace and an old metal drawer pull, Tina used these supplies – some links are affiliate links:




Play along with us! I 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 “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

Comments (3)

  • Gerrie

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    This is just amazing!! So adorable and out of the box! You did GOOD! (despite the snow)

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    LOVE it…what a fun spring project!

    Reply

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Say It Like You Mean It – Michelle Rydell

  

It’s Tuesday and time for a post from my Creative Squad! Today we have a fun and uplifting art journal spread from Michelle Rydell. She used my Stroll Through the Hood #1 stamp set for her take on this month’s theme Say it like you Mean it – Let your unique voice be heard and tell us what’s on your mind. Be bold. Be yourself. We all have something to say and sometimes we need to shout it!


One thing I have always been passionate about is music. I grew up with a lot of music in our house – my mom played the piano, and my dad loved to sing. I was fortunate enough to take dance and piano lessons too. Now, as an adult, music inspires a lot of my art. In fact, I am currently working on a mini-journal dedicated to song lyrics.

Today, I want to share a quick and easy way to make a journal page, using Nat’s Stroll Through the Hood set #1 stamp set! I’m creating this spread in my 4” x 5” mini journal. The song I am using as inspiration is “Hope” by Idini Menzel. I want to reflect the soft and gentle spirit of the song, so I start with some pink, orange and yellow paint, swirled with white to create a soft background

Next, I added a small strip of sheet music for texture, and pounced some coral paint thru Nat’s “What’s the Point” stencil to create movement in the sky. The “Brownstone” stamp creates the scene, and the lyric starts with the word hope, which is emphasized by using the “Hope Tag” stamp.

I wrote in the rest of the lyric with a journaling pen, added some stamped “Star Tags” to the sky, drew in a little bird, used a poster paint pen to color in the stars, and added highlights to the building. I finished the page by adding a border with an oil pastel, smeared with my fingers to create a softened effect. Here’s the final page…

Now that I’ve done a page with the Hope Tag stamp, I can’t wait to try one with the Art Tag and Love Tag stamps too!


Thank you Michelle for this gorgeous little masterpiece! In addition to some sheet music, Michelle used these supplies – some links are affiliate links:




Play along with us! I 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 “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

Comments (2)

  • Julie Tucker

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    Wowwwwwww! This is gorgeous! LOVING that quote, the music paper and the buildings!!!!!!!!!!

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Say It Like You Mean It – Marsha Valk

  

Welcome to another post from my Creative Squad! Today we have a beautiful piece from Marsha Valk who used my Stroll Through the Hood #1 and #2 cling stamp sets to give her personal take on this month’s theme Say it like you Mean it – Let your unique voice be heard and tell us what’s on your mind. Be bold. Be yourself. We all have something to say and sometimes we need to shout it!


There are a lot of things on my mind: work and business, national politics, environmental and sustainability issues and even something as mundane as interior design. At this moment, as I’m typing this, current affairs in the US just aren’t in the forefront of my mind. But the Stroll Through the Hood #1 set is about a stroll through urban America. Not urban the Netherlands… So what was I going to do? I didn’t want to make another ‘I don’t want to’ spread. So I decided to turn off my mind and let the theme and the stamps do the talking.

Each time I read the theme ‘Say it like you Mean it’, I have a bad case of ear worm: the song ‘Sewn’ by The Feeling instantly starts playing in my head. But… I wasn’t sure what to do with it and I started thinking about songs that fitted the New York City feel of the stamps. And because I’m not currently in an empire state of mind, I thought of ‘I can’t see New York’ by Tori Amos. Also not sure about that song, I decided to go with both songs. They certainly were on my mind now!

I stamped some of the images in a notebook whilst I was working out what to do and that’s where the idea for the stars hanging from the sky came from. Then I stamped an urban scene at the bottom of the page.

Whilst I watercoloured the sky, I thought: you can’t see the city if there is no light. So that’s when I coloured the stars black. But the brief was to use one of the tag stamps and I chose ‘Hope’, so I felt that at least one star should shine its light.

In the end I needed to decide whether I wanted to colour the urban scene. I didn’t want to make it a black cityscape and colouring it would make it too visible, so I only added light grey lines and kept the rest bare.

The penciled and smudged words are the lyrics of ‘Sewn’ and the title in india ink refers to the Tori Amos song.


Thank you Marsha! We can always count on you to take the theme and really pull it apart to see what it means to you :) And the results are a gorgeously composed scene with beautiful colors and a couple surprises – like that cute suspended Star Tag lighting up the night sky. Marsha used these supplies – some links are affiliate links:



Play along with us! I 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 “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

Comments (1)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Nice take on the guidelines Marsha. I can’t help but hear the Billy Joel song I’m in a New York State of Mind while reading your words. Now I’ve dated myself for sure. The stars are a nice addition.

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