Creative Squad

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle with Michelle Rydell

  

Happy Tuesday everyone and welcome to a project from Creative Squad member Michelle Rydell! Michelle brought together a bunch of different items from her stash to create a beautiful little book with a message that is just perfect. She used my Mini Batik Pattern 2 stamp and my Batik, Lily Wallpaper, and What’s the Point stencils to help her with this month’s theme: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Let’s do Mother Earth a favor this month and use what we already have.  Maybe we’ll dip into our stash of leftovers from other creative projects or maybe we’ll repurpose something unexpected.  This month we’re thinking about how artmaking can impact the environment and we’re trying to make our footprint just a little bit smaller.


About five years ago, I found a bunch of old S&H Green Stamp books at an antique store, and I thought they were so cute I just had to buy them.  Remember green stamps?  Well, they have been just waiting for the right project, and this month’s Reduce, Reuse, Recycle fit the bill perfectly!

I decided to make one into a mini-journal.  Here’s how I did it…

I combed thru my stash of vintage ephemera and picked out a pile of things that I thought had possibilities – mostly because they matched the color scheme of the green stamps…

I decided on a theme for the book, and then combed thru my stamps and stencils designed by Nat, and picked out some that I thought would work great for the project.  The ones I ended up using were: Mini Batik Pattern 2 Foam Stamp, and three stencils: Batik, Lily Wallpaper and What’s the Point?

The toad I wanted to put on the first page needed a background to rest on, so I pulled out the foam stamp and added a couple of swirls to start things off.

Then a little paint and a bit of patterned paper…

To create some consistency, I flipped to the back page and did something similar with the background.

From there I was off and running, adding stamps and stencils, paint and bits of paper to each page.  I also took out the rusty old staples and changed the binding to bakers twine. The dots here are made with the What’s The Point stencil. At the end I added a favorite quote to pull it all together.  Here’s how it turned out…


Thank you Michelle for this inspiring little book! In addition to various vintage papers, Michelle used the following:



Play along with us too: 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 next  “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

Comments (6)

  • Dana

    |

    Amazing album! I just love everything about it. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply

  • Deb

    |

    What a FUN idea!!!
    I too remember the green stamps and going with my Mom to the redemption store!

    Reply

    • Michelle Rydell

      |

      Thanks so much Deb! I’m glad it brought back memories for you!

      Reply

  • Julie Tucker

    |

    I do remember those green stamp books!!! I loveeeeeeeeeeeee this!! FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

    • Michelle Rydell

      |

      Thank you so much Julie! I appreciate your kind words!!!

      Reply

Leave a comment

NEW ArtFoamies Stamps – City Streets

 

They’re here! My latest foam stamp designs with ArtFoamies are in stock and ready to ship.

Get the City Streets stamps here.  These stamps are all based on manhole covers and grates that I’ve photographed over the years on my Stroll Through the Hood excursions. Many of them are sets of positive and negative designs so you can layer them up in cool ways. All of them are really nifty versatile patterns that could be focal points, backgrounds, you name it. The Midtown Mini Set is 4 stamps that you can arrange any way you like to create a cityscape of your design. Most of the names come from places and streets right around my own Hood.

And… I’ll be introducing the stamps and showing them on my Kaffeeklatsch Facebook Live event this Wednesday, September 20th at 4pm EST. Join me for a chat – it’s been a while!

I’ll also be talking about my inspiring road trip that I took recently in the American Southwest, my upcoming Workshop at Nat’s (Yes, I’m hosting a workshop at my place!), and a couple other things. Drop in, say hello, I’d love to see you there :)

Wednesday, September 20th at 4pm EST.

Comments (4)

Leave a comment

Wanderlust 2018! Join the Online Workshop

I am excited to announce that I will be teaching again with Wanderlust!

What is Wanderlust?

Wanderlust is a whole year long journey – an online event offering you videos from 24 guest teachers and 2 resident teachers on a weekly basis (each one is full length, high quality and downloadable), access to the Wanderlust Community with a supportive and friendly atmosphere, where all of the classes are gathered. You will also find there various activities that will stimulate your creativity and motivate you to simply enjoy the process of making art. Together with the class you will also get an exclusive whole year discount to leading art and craft retailers. The Wanderlust class is the perfect alternative to in-person classes!

You can sign up here!

Buy Wanderlust 2018 before December 31st, 2017 and save 20%! Early Bird Price – £79! (regular price £99). And yes, it’s available no matter what your currency is :)

Leave a comment

Workshop at Nat’s Place- Stroll Through The Hood Wall Hanging Oct. 28

Come to my place!

I’m super excited to announce that I will be teaching an extra special workshop right here in my home in Jersey City, NJ on October 28th, 2017! I invite you to my home, and my hood ;) for the Stroll Through the Hood – Mixed Media Wall Hanging workshop.

We will be creating 3 charming little scenic wall hangings using Ampersand Clayboards, stamps, stencils, various acrylic media, and a whole lotta creative camaraderie. It’ll be a relaxed afternoon of artmaking and a peek inside my world in Jersey City. I’ll share with you some new techniques and you’ll come away with 3 unique wall hangings for your home, office, or maybe even gifting.

Sign up here – Space is limited!

Leave a comment

What to Read this Summer: Art & Artist Fiction

In my book Artful Adventures in Mixed Media is a chapter called “Letting Books and Movies Speak to You” and while I def. recommend my book as a summer read ;) , I thought I would list some others. I love to read – besides painting, reading is my all time favorite thing to do. Sometimes I pick up fiction books about artists or with an art theme and they do often inspire me whether by the story itself and/or by digging deeper into the art and the time period of a certain artist. A lot of the research inspires me later in my artwork in one way or the other. Here are five books I enjoyed in the past couple months (in no particular order):

The Forest Lover by Susan Vreeland

This book was recommended to my by one of my students and it is a novel about the life of painter Emily Carr. Emily Carr was a Canadian painter who lived from 1871-1945. Emily Carr became known for her paintings and sketches about totemic carvings of the First Nations people of British Columbia and the rain forests of Vancouver Island. She took many trips with her canoe to reach remote aboriginal villages, very unusual for a woman in that time. The book gives a great insight of her life – the struggles of being a female modern artist, the landscape of her trips and the history of how Natives were forbidden to live their culture, beliefs, and speak their language. It is thought provoking and a great read!

The Muralist by B.A. Shapiro

Taking place in New York City in the 1940s and in the 2010s this book tells the story of Alizee Benoit, a fictional artist character, who was employed through the WPA Artist Program as a Muralist. The program (which is real) was created as a relief measure to employ artists and artisans to create murals, easel paintings, sculpture, graphic art, posters, photography, theatre scenic design, and arts and crafts. Many later famous artists were part of this program and one could argue that they wouldn’t have been famous if it wasn’t for this program that let them do art and earn their living while they developed. Alizee vanishes one day and “no one knows what happened to her. Not her Jewish family living in German-occupied France. Not her artistic patron and political compatriot, Eleanor Roosevelt. Not her close-knit group of friends, including Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Lee Krasner.” I enjoyed the fictional story of how being around those artists could have been, but it also made me research into the history of how the U.S. dealt with jewish refugees during WWII and the WPA program.

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith

This story is again about a fictional artist called Sara de Vos who lives in Amsterdam and becomes the first woman to be admitted as a master painter to the city’s Guild of St. Luke in 1631. The story also plays in the 50s in NYC and in the 2000s in Sydney. I liked how this book took my to a different time period and of course I was curios to find out if there were indeed women in the painters guild in 1631. This lead me to discover painter Judith Leyster who lived from 1609-1660 – some of you might have seen one of her paintings in my book. If you like historic fiction, this is a great book including an art theme.

A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline

Christina is the subject of Andrew Wyeth‘s famous painting “Christina’s World” and the novel tells her story. Her sickness, where she lived and how Wyeth become part of her and her brother’s live and painted her. It actually made me see the painting in a different way and I feel it touches me now more even though the feelings and thoughts of Christina in the book are pure fiction.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Not a book about an artist but about a painting  The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius which indeed exists. The story about what happens to the painting is fiction but it is more the story of Theodore Decker who, at the age of 13, survives a terrorist bombing at an art museum in which his beloved mother dies. Staggering out of the museum he takes The Goldfinch with him and the story encompasses the story of Theodore’s live. I have to admit that I bought the book two years ago, started it and somehow totally hated it (yes- hated it) I put it down after 50 pages and thought “nope” – which rarely happens. But I gave it another chance this year and I do not know what rubbed me the wrong way back then but this time I loved it. The story is amazing and it is a great summer read about gangsters, teenagers, the art black market and more. If you are a late bloomer on this one like I am…read it ;)


I hope you enjoyed reading list. Do you have a fiction book about art / artists you would recommend for me to read?

Comments (2)

  • Deb

    |

    Natalie,
    What a fun idea for a blog post! Love to get new book ideas.
    I love reading your daily blog. It is inspiring and something I look forward to. I like the variety. I have really enjoyed your gallery and museum posts. It’s also been fun to see you having so much fun with the paints you made in your class at Kremer pigment.
    The new Finnabair impasto paints are fun too.
    Keep up the great life of Art itself as adventure.
    Glad you are now part of my life!
    Deb

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

      |

      deb, so happy you enjoy the blog- thank you for coming by! I am so happy to have you! have a wonderful weekend, Nat

      Reply

Leave a comment

Free For All – Michelle Rydell

  

Hello from the Creative Squad! Today we have a cool art journal spread from Michelle Rydell that uses my Buenos Aires stencil and this month’s theme: Free for All! It’s time for summer vacation and relaxing so around here the Creative Squad is taking a break from themes this month. They’re just going with the flow and making a project of their choosing. It’s a Free for All!


One of my favorite stencils of Nat’s is the Buenos Aires. I love how the shapes connect in so many different ways – creating different patterns, depending on how you look at it. I’m taking a class that focuses on black and white journaling, so I thought it might be fun to play with the positive and negative shapes…

I started by placing the Stencil down on a spread in my journal that has black paper on one side and white on the other; and tracing all the shapes with a pencil.

Then, I started drawing over the pencil lines with black and white gel pens. Because the gel pens take a minute to dry, I started on the outside shapes and worked inwards, so as to not get my hand in the wet ink.

Here’s how it looked when phase one was done. Do you see where I missed a few shapes?

It was easy to put the stencil back over the drawing and trace in the shapes I missed. Here’s the completed initial phase…

From here, I just started doodling. Whatever I did on the white side of the page, I repeated on the black side. This was so much fun and very meditative. When I felt like the doodling was complete, I added a quote around the border and called it done. Here’s the finished page…

Since it doesn’t require many supplies, or deep thought, this is a great technique to do on the couch, watching your favorite tv program! I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial, and will consider giving the technique a try sometime!


Thanks Michelle! I love how the simple color palette shows off the gorgeous pattern. In addition to white drawing paper, Michelle used the following supplies (some are affiliate links):



Play along with us too: 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 (4)

  • Julie Tucker

    |

    These pages are FABULOUS! I love them!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  • Melody Willoughby

    |

    Michelle, this is such a perfect page for our black and white journals! I love that stencils!!!

    Reply

    • Michelle Rydell

      |

      thank you so much Melody! I’m glad that you like it!

      Reply

Leave a comment

Call for NEW Creative Squad Members!

 

Creative Squad Call!

Are you a Mixed Media Artist, Scrapbooker or Card Maker with a unique style and a passion for creativity?
Do you love to use stamps and stencils in your work and love to try new techniques and media?
Do you love to share your projects on social media and engage with other artists?

If the answer is yes, yes, yes, we are looking to fill some spots on our n*Studio Creative Squad and would love to hear from you! Here is what we need from you:

1. Full name, email address, links to social media sites/blog/website where we can see your work
2. A couple sentence bio or description of your work
3. 4-5 low res images of your work that best represent your style

Email your submission to nat(at)nathaliesstudio.com with “Creative Squad Submission” as the subject.
Enter by August 11, 2017  :)

As a Creative Squad member for Nathalie’s Studio you will serve a 6-month term beginning 10/1/2017. As part of the Creative Squad, you will receive a variety of Nathalie’s Studio products. You will create one project per month, using specified products or groups of products and inspired by a monthly theme. You will be featured once a month on the nStudio blog, Facebook page, and Instagram, and you will be part of an amazing team of artists with a legacy of awesomeness!

Apply today!

Comments (3)

  • Karen Bearse

    |

    So tempting! I love your stamps and stencils… would love to be on your team just a bit overwhelmed right now. Hummm what to do…

    Reply

  • Irma

    |

    Really? Just 1 entry a month? Is a video or photo tutorial required? – Irma

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

      |

      Irma, yes a, photos to go along with your post would be required- doesn’t have to be super long. If you look at the Creative Squad posts so far, you get a good grip for what is asked for :)

      Reply

Leave a comment

Christmas in July Sale!

The Sale is on! It is officially Christmas in July in the n*Store where you can get 20% off Stamps, Stencils, Mugs, Cards, and DVDs now through Sunday 7/16/2017. Just use the coupon code JULY20 when you check out to save. Start shopping here :)

Leave a comment