General Announcements

Artful Adventures in Mixed Media or Thoughts on being a Writer at last

Pinch me, guys! My childhood dream has come true. When I was a little girl and people asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up I didn’t answer “be an artist” – I said I wanted to become a writer.

I took a lot of detours, and even if it wasn’t in my original plan I became an artist AND a writer. My book, Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – Art and Techniques Inspired by Observation & Experience, is going to be released on June 8th, 2017, and is now on PRE-SALE.

I’d like to share the back-story…

My father passed away when I was a baby and my mother had to work a lot to take care of us. Neighbors who lived in the apartment below ours took a liking to me and I spent hours with them almost every day – they became my honorary Aunt Isabell and Uncle Günther. They had a living room with floor-to- ceiling bookshelves on all sides, they took me to the library and helped me get my first library card. I read to them and with them, everything I could get my hands on. And I wrote stories! In fourth grade my teacher sent one of my stories to a national school magazine, it was printed. I was sooooo proud. In my teens I got an old typewriter, heavy as lead, but I banged on it with gusto, starting – but never finishing – epic novels.

I was going to study journalism, I had big plans, but for some reason (perhaps a practical streak) I decided to study law. Well…at least I did a lot of writing as a paralegal, but legal arguments weren’t very interesting. I knew that writing a book would be awesome, but I wasn’t sure what story I would tell.

Things changed when I left the legal world, became a full-time artist, designer, blogger and teacher and then moved to the States. I wrote for my blog, so things were beginning to brew. And this time when I thought about a book I knew it would be about mixed media. A student in my Creative JumpStart 2016 class wrote that she’d like to ‘jumpstart me right back’ and suggested I should write a book about the things that I was already writing about on my blog. This email was so well-timed. It gave me the nudge I needed to write and send a book proposal. (Thank you, Denise G.)

A year later, here I am, an author. Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – Art and Techniques Inspired by Observation & Experience! It took me and the publisher a long time to decide on the title. (They considered calling it Uber Artful Adventures, but maybe they figured that could look like a manual for self-employed drivers so that one didn’t pass muster.)

So, what’s this book of mine about?

It’s an invitation to YOU to go on an Artful Adventure with me. I wrote it to reach everyone I can’t meet in person with my classes, to share the methods that make mixed media accessible to all, no matter their skill level. It’s about the process from inception to realization, how observations and experiences can be turned into works of art. I give practical guidelines and oodles of examples of how I find inspiration, how I gather and keep my ideas in sketchbooks, journals and photos, and what materials go on the journey with me in an Art-on- the-Go kit.

In each chapter there are techniques and step-by- step instructions for projects – stencils, layering, collage, textured painting, mono-printing, photo manipulation, and more, to ensure that the reader can go on their own Artful Adventures and create their own meaningful mixed media artwork!

I cannot wait to finally hold the book in my hands and I cannot wait for you to read it. I am scared and excited at the same time and sometimes just thinking about it makes me jump up and down …To everyone who has followed my blog, taken my classes, shared this journey – YOU made this book possible and for that I thank you!

Comments (18)

  • Julie B

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    Linda said it best. I,too have been blessed with attending one of your live classes and being able to say “yes, I can do this!”. Love, love, love your teaching style, wisdom, humor, laugh but what is this about an accent? Thank you for sharing your backstory. You worked hard to realize your dreams and could not be happier for you and anxiously awaiting my per-ordered copy (hope you will visit next year so I can get it autographed). Congratulations!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you so so much Linda- you are the best! I had such a good time with you- your enthusiasm is contagious. And I think I will be back ;) and I cannot wait to see you again! Loves!

      Reply

  • Sherry Canino

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    This is so beyond exciting!!! A huge congratulations to you!!! I can not wait to get a copy and thank you for sharing your story with all of us. It’s an honor to be here cheering you on and I so can’t wait to meet you in person it’s all I can think about lol ❤❤❤. Congrats again !!!👏👏👏👏

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      I cannot wait to meet you either! thank you so much for all your support- you are amazing. Have a wonderful week!

      Reply

  • Gill K

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    Congratulations on writing your book. It will be great to have, as I can’t get to any of your classes. I enjoy reading your blog & seeing your art. Thank you.

    Reply

  • Natalya Aikens

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    What a great story Nat! Can’t wait for my autographed copy!!!

    Reply

  • Maura

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    Nathalie, what a wonderful and inspiring story that led you to realizing your dream of becoming an author! Kudos!!!!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Awe- thank you so much Maura – you are the best! Looking forward seeing you in a couple weeks at Color Crush!

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    How WONDERFUL for you and your readers Nat!!!
    Your creativity rocks my world and now I can have it in a book to cherish, hold, read and use.
    Can’t wait to get my copy.
    And congratulations for achieving another dream.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Aweee- Sue!!! You are a big part of this! Thank you for all your support throughout all those years!!! <3 Big hugs and I wish you a wonderful weekend!

      Reply

  • Nancy G.

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    Congratulations on your book and pursuing your dream. Life doesn’t take us in straight lines, yet it gets us to where we need to be. Your story is inspiring.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you so much Nancy! You are wonderful and I agree – no straight lines in life :) Have a wonderful weekend!!!

      Reply

  • Linda Corbin Young

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    I am so very proud of you and so honored to have attended your classes, absorbed your wisdom, reveled in your humor (and your completely comprehensible accent, thank you!). You’ve given me inspiration, courage to try new techniques, and so many skills. Can’t wait to have you autograph my copy of this masterpiece!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Awe, Linda- thank you so much – you are amazing and always so supportive! I always love having you in my classes and I hope I will see you in OK again in June …right after the book is out :) Big hugs and have a wonderful weekend!

      Reply

  • stephanie

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    Thanks for sharing more about yourself and the inspiration behind the book. So excited for you!

    Reply

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Stay In Touch with n*Studio!

Are you craving mixed media inspiration every day? Do you love art journaling, learning new techniques, watching tutorial videos, and shopping for fun new products? Does my fun and easy-going take on the creative process make your day? Well my artsy friends, there are several super easy ways for you to get the most from n*Studio.

Sign up here to receive n*Studio blog posts in your email inbox! This is a great way to get a daily dose of inspiration, including fun videos to help you learn new techniques, tips on using and maintaining mixed media supplies, features from my own art journal, inspiring work from my Creative Squad, and tons of fun and sometimes goofy photos of my workshops and travels around the world.  You won’t miss a thing and you’ll get a daily boost of creative energy right in your email to help you when you begin a project.

It’ll look like this…

You can also sign up for my Monthly Newsletter – a quick and informative taste of what’s going on at n*Studio!

What do I love about the newsletter? It’s a fast way to get some artmaking motivation, it’s condensed and easy to digest in just a few minutes, and it includes some special things that you won’t find on the blog or anywhere else! First I always include a note to let you know what’s happening in my world…

Then I usually include a couple bits of n*spiration for the month, including a featured project by one of the many artists out there who are doing totally amazing things with my products (let me know if you are and I’d love to feature you next). And of course I remind you of the next few upcoming workshops

And finally I always include a special coupon code for my online store that is only available to newsletter subscribers. You never know what will be on sale and it will change every time…

So Stay in Touch with me! Learn more, play more, and get the most from n*Studio. And of course there are no strings attached here – you may unsubscribe from any of these lists any time you want :)

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What is an Angel Policy… or Can I Sell This?

Every so often I get an email from one of my readers asking about selling something they’ve created using my stamps or stencils. I appreciate that respectful question very much..

I love to see projects created by you – cards, artwork, wearables – I’m always surprised by the creative ways that you use them and it inspires me to try new things, too. The questions about “Selling” also bring up a super important topic in the world of stenciling, stamping, and art-making. I’m talking about copyright and the Angel Policy.

What is an Angel Policy?

It is the policy determined by each designer and manufacturer and it specifies how the products (stamps, stencils, etc.) may be used by the purchaser. If there is no Angel Policy it usually means a company does not permit any commercial use (if you need to know- email the company). The policy spells out rules that are an extension of the copyright owned by the designer and/or manufacturer. In other words, when you buy a product you have essentially agreed to respect the ‘intellectual property’ of the person who created it.

Please be aware that Angel Policies vary widely within the industry. Once you are familiar with a company’s policy it should be easy to keep track and stay within the parameters.

Here is my Angel Policy:

My products are licensed under agreements with several manufacturers and each product falls under the explicit Angel Policy of that company, rather than not permitting ANY commercial use. Each of these companies has a generous and fair policy and as a licensed designer I am in total agreement with the guidelines and restrictions they spell out.  Check out the web sites at Stampendous StencilGirl Products, ArtFoamies, and  RubberMoon for the specifics (the fine print).

In general a common theme of all of those companies (with exceptions and there you have to read their policies!) is this: Hand-stamped and hand-stenciled projects are always permitted for personal use. You can hand-stamp or stencil cards or make wall art and garments and accessories and home decor items and other stuff for your friends and family. You are also allowed to sell one of a kind and small editions of hand-stamped and hand-stenciled items/artwork. But under the Angel Policies the companies and I agreed to put out,  mechanical, electronic or digital reproduction is not permitted. No scanning, altering, resizing or changing the designs. No scanning for electronic cutting systems.

Again, let me say that not all companies’ and artists’ policies are the same. My main goal here is to clarify under which ones my designs fall in general.

Angel Policies and New Technologies:

Angel Policies have had to adapt to the changes in how artwork can be reproduced. With websites like Zazzle, CafePress, and Society6, it is even more important to know what you can do with the projects that you’ve created with someone else’s stamps or stencil designs.

I get emails where someone wants to use an electronic scanning and cutting system with my design and then change something or upload something made with my design to CafePress or a similar company and create rugs, fabric, or other items with my designs, etc.

Now that you know about the Angel Policies regarding my designs, I think you know that the answer is ‘No”

Thank You:

It’s complicated, and it may seem limiting, but these guidelines help to protect all the work that goes into designing and producing stamps and stencils. It is not easy to make a living as an artist, but guidelines like this allows artists to keep on creating, to keep bringing their designs to the marketplace, and it lets you to keep on creating, too.

I have thought long and hard about addressing this and I appreciate that you’ll respect that I have chosen to do so. I love saying ‘YES’ and I think Angel Policies give me a way to come up with a good way to say ‘YES’ a whole lot, way more than ‘NO’!

Please contact me if you still have more questions about the Angel Policies my designs fall under.

Comments (3)

  • Marjie Kemper

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    You’ve spelled it out so clearly. Great post!

    Reply

  • susan

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    Nathalie,
    Although i don’t sell anything i make, i appreciate the Angel Policies. Intellectual Copyright is a messy and scary thing. It is too easy for people to take your ideas and run. Artists have been taken advantage of since that first day mechanical reproduction was available to the masses.
    Thanks for your article and the links for each company you work with! I was able to read their policies quick as could be to be sure that i follow them!
    Art on!!!
    susan

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Susan, thank you so much! Yeah it really is not an issue if you do something for yourself or sell small quantities of handmade art.Thank you so much for reading it- Loves and hugs, Nat

      Reply

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n*Studio + StencilGirl present: Wanderlust Stencils

 

I am super excited about my new stencils coming out today with StencilGirl Products – and as they are all inspired by my travels – I called this collection Wanderlust – a german word meaning “a strong desire to travel” which pretty much sums my urge to discover new and foreign place up :) All Stencils are now available in my shop!

I will show loads of projects with them in the next couple weeks- but hey- check in today for my Facebook Live Event – Kaffeeklatsch with Nat at 3pm EST on my n*Studio Page . I will talk about what inspired them and show some art journal pages with them already and you can ask me questions and be live on board :)

Hope you like the stencil and I hope to see you later today!

Comments (2)

  • Jean marmo

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    Fantastic. Such fun designs.

    Reply

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Happy New Year Announcement – New n*Studio and RubberMoon Stamps

Happy New Year to all of you!!!

I am so excited to start this New Year with lots of fun things. Here is one of my biggest secret the last couple months

RubberMoon is a wonderful company in the USA owned by the amazing Kae Pea. RubberMoon creates hand crafted, red rubber stamps. I am so over the moon that we teamed up and here are the four sets of stamps I designed and RubberMoon made, which are available as cling stamp sets, single wood mounted stamps and single cling stamps:

The Stroll Through the Hood stamps are inspired by places and objects in my neighborhood of Jersey City, as well as by my blog series of the same name. I gather inspiration as I sketch and photograph on my strolls, and I am attracted to the historic architecture, forgotten landmarks, and the street art that I pass along the way. These original hand sketched stamp designs are reminiscent of things you might find in towns and cities across the US.

The stamps come in two sets – and as separate cling stamps as well.

here are some samples created with the Stroll Through the Hood stamps:

The Embroidery series of stamps are inspired by the art and design of the needle crafts.  I was always attracted to the combination of mixed media and fiber arts, and have recently begun some projects that focus heavily on embroidery and stitching as the end goal. In addition to adding faux elements of embroidery to projects, these stamps can also be used as pattern making tools and guides on which to stitch upon.

Here are some samples with the Embroidery Set

The Cardboard series of stamps are inspired by the interesting patterns and surfaces I observed while playing with cardboard packaging materials in my studio.  These stamps capture my love for found objects, repurposing materials, and that grungy edge I love to add in my work.

And a sample with the Cardboard set

All of the sets and all of the single stamps are available as red rubber cling stamps from my store as well as from RubberMoon direct. RubberMoon also sells all of the stamps as wood mounted stamps.

I hope you like these new stamps- I am so so excited about them and cannot stop playing with them.

If you wanna hear and see more about them watch the recording of my  Facebook Live Kaffeeklatsch with Nat from my  Facebook Page

Have a wonderful start into the new year today

Loves

Comments (18)

  • jean marmo

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    Congrats! These are fabulous!!!!

    Reply

  • Robyn

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    These stamps are really cool Nat, will they be available in Australia (Rachel Greigg, Darkroom Door)? Or do I purchase them from the US? Happy 2017 xox

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Robyn, I do n’t know yet- I might find out more in a couple weeks- I would hope that they will be ordered by a store in Australia :)

      Reply

      • Robyn

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        Okay thanks Nat

        Reply

  • Gwenyth

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    Oh how cool! These are awesome Nat… congrats!

    Reply

  • Dee Spillane

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    Love your new stamps. See you live in a few!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Awe- thank you so much Dee! Thank you so much for joining, it was fun to see you there :)

      Reply

  • Maura

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    Awesome news! I’ll be getting these in the store real soon I hope! Texture stamps are always great and cityscapes are always good too!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Wohooo! Let me know when you have them in store and I am happy to shout it out :)

      Reply

  • Louise DeRagon

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    Love the cardboard stamps. I am a member of the rubber moon stamp club. Looking forward to your products arrival.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      thank you so much Louise! I am so happy to be part of RubberMoon’s Artists now- their stamps are amazing!

      Reply

  • Jane Chang

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    Oooooh! These are so inspiring! I haven’t stamped in ages and have been thinking I need to make time to get back to it. These might be the nudge I need.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you Jane, so happy you like them! Happy New Year!

      Reply

  • Tina Walker

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    Congrats! These stamps are fabulous!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you Tina! Cannot wait to see you work you magic with those ;)

      Reply

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Hello 2017

 

Dear 2017,  

I have hopes for you – we will make you a good year! And so …I have been thinking of what I would like the word for you to be. You know…just in case that you, 2017, are also taking my word too literally. So my word for you is

I know some might think that is a cheesy word, maybe a bit too crazy but as John Lennon said

So I want to make peace, do peace, be peace and give away peace …and maybe…2017 .. you are in with me, I would really like you to!!! 

Loves, Nat

To all of my readers out there- thank you for all your support and love the last year – you made me happy and I am so grateful for your support. Have the happiest, healthiest, most successful, and creative year ever.

Comments (5)

  • Gloria J

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    A wonderful quote and great idea to start off the year 2017.

    Reply

  • Daniela Rogall

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    Dear Nat,
    I wish the same for you.
    Greetings from Germany
    Dani

    Reply

  • Gloria J Zucaro

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    PEACE! Just wanting some quiet peaceful, loving times!

    Reply

  • Linda. Faber

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    I wish the same for you Nathalie! Thank you for all your talent, inspiration and generosity through the year. And of course, now I’m hooked on Art Foamies!! Love the batik! Excited to Jumpstart with everyone in 2017! Peace, yes and love always.
    Linda

    Reply

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A Farewell to 2016

Hello 2016,

you have been such a strange year. I had high hopes for you! My word to live by with you was “Badassery”. I intended it to mean that I take more action, be more firm, stop procrastinating and seize the day, take opportunities also …just finally feel more at ease with myself. Well …partly I succeeded. Being the most wonderful one, that I accomplished a long time dream of mine and wrote a book …in English (yes, that was pretty Badassery for a Kraut, or so I think) and I cannot wait for it to be out in 2017. I took opportunities and worked a lot this year …maybe too much. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed working, but I felt as if for every step I moved forward …I moved three steps back. But the steps I leapt forward were some of the coolest ever and I am excited about those and I need to remind myself to think of those instead of the steps back. It is a dance after all.

But, unfortunately, 2016, you took “Badassery” to a whole new meaning,  you really kicked my behind …and many others. There is a German word that sums up my feelings for you in general, 2016 , it is called “Weltschmerz” – literally translated “World Pain” – it means – a feeling of melancholy and world-weariness – . So many terrible things happened around the world, some of them just recently -and you could feel the pain everywhere. …and so I am saying farewell to you Badassery aka 2016 – with some relief. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out! Be sure I choose my word for 2017 wisely …that I learned, 2016!

Yours truly, not so badassery

Comments (6)

  • susan debourguignon

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    yep, i am ready for 2017, too. enough of the pain to last. these last couple if years have seen such tragedy in our world … why can’t people just be kind? that’s my word for 2017 – kind. that’s what we need. but, for folks like us, badassery was a fine word, too. nathalie, i look forward to your new book!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      I love “kind” as a word too Susan- that is a wonderful word! Happy New Year to you!!!

      Reply

  • Lisa

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    Ah, Nat, I was just thinking about “Weltschmerz” the other day! Yes, let’s stuff that away when we shut the door on 2016. I love how how described life as a dance with steps forward and steps back. :) Wishing you a wunderbar 2017 full of creativity and disco, tango, salsa and swing!!

    Reply

  • Dee spillane

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    I couldn’t agree more! 2016 was badass in a bad way. You were in a great way. Loved the start with Jumpstart. I think that and several things kicked off my creativity and Jumpstart was key. I did more art. But it was such a hard year too. So long 2016, glad to see you go! Hello 2017 great start with Jump Start.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Awe Thank you Dee -seeing you again in Texas was a highlight for sure for me too! Let’s rock 2017 :)

      Reply

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HO HO HO Holiday Sale and …. It’s MUG Season

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Last Saturday I had a blast at the Jersey City Holiday Market where I introduced my new mugs printed with my artwork.

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They were a huge hit and sold out …but don’t worry, I restocked them already :)

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The mugs are oversized mugs with my artwork. 15oz , dishwasher safe and hey ….don’t you need one for this season? I mean…it is MUG- SEASON afterall ;)

Check them out in the shop where you can also find some new prints, cards, stamps, stencils and DVDs.

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I also added gift certificates  for that special person who might want to take an Online Workshop like Creative JumpStart 2017 with 27 artists including me or get some fun art supplies.

Use this 20% Off Coupon Code during checkout – HOLIDAY20  – Dec.8th to Dec. 15th (11.59pm EST)-physical products only!

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Have a wonderful holiday season! Hugs

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