Mixed Media

Make a Mark Tag


I made this tag for fun and will use it either as a gift tag or put it into my art journal. I stamped with the Art Foamies Batik Pattern 1 and Batik Pattern 3 Foam Stamp and Acrylic Paint and then tried my new Varco Art Grafs out – I have to show you those soon- Oh man the colors are so yum! They are graphite blocks and are awesome for drawing, painting and writing.


Loving the mixture of the acrylic paint and the graphite. I guess time to film a Creative Icebreaker with those soon :)

Here are the supplies I used – some links are affiliate links:


Hope you make your mark today :)

Comments (4)

  • Jean Goza


    The tag is awesome! Great color and texture. Would love to know more about how you use the Artgrafs.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Hi Jean, thank you so much! I make sure to use them very soon in a video and tell more. Still exploring them a bit more- I love them already :)


  • stephanie


    Very cool! Did you do a wash of paint(s) for the background?


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Hi Stephanie, I stamped with the acrylic paints and the stamps directly onto the tag and then used the ArtGraf Varcos and did a wash – they are super pigmented and made the stamped areas really pop.


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N*Studio ArtFoamies Stamps Release


This is BIG NEWS!!!  I am so stoked that ArtFoamies and I teamed up together for a stamp release. I had so much fun working on these brand new foam stamps – all of them inspired by my travels around the world.  Here they are!

Batik Pattern 1


Batik Pattern 2


Batik Pattern 3


Batik Pattern 4


Buenos Aires Tiles


Chicago – comes with two stamps a positive and a negative pattern


Manhattan Boarder


Manhattan comes with two stamps a positive and a negative pattern


Santa Fe comes with two stamps a positive and a negative pattern


Toledo comes with two stamps a positive and a negative pattern


Versailles comes with two stamps a positive and a negative pattern


I cannot wait to show you loads of fun and creative projects with them! If you want to get your hands on these- you can PREORDER them in my store NOW – they will ship out at the latest the week of October 17th – but probably earlier though as I should get them next week!

Comments (6)

  • Bec Miller


    Wow!wow!wow! Congrats Nat!!
    I love foamies and all of these have to make it in my stash!!


  • Sue Clarke


    Batik Pattern 4, 1, and 2 are my favs.
    Congrats on the new line Nat!


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      thank you Sue – glad you like those – they are also a favorite for me!


  • Seth


    Congrats Nat. These are very cool. Kind of like taking a trip around the world!


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      thank you so much Seth :) Yes they have been inspired by many wonderful places around the world.


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Raw Canvas Staining Fun with Kim


A couple weeks ago my friend Kim and I met for a play date and did some fun stuff with Raw Canvas Staining and Painting.


We broke out my supplies including Flow Aid, which you need to be able to break the water tension of raw canvas and has also many amazing side effects that are cool to know so you can control things better, some inks, markers and stamps. Kim made this fun stocking first …it for sure will brighten up a very dark winter day.


I tested using the foam stamp of my Urban Scribble stamp with Flow Aid and Ink and then stamped on top with the Rubber stamp part or the set.


I loved the outcome and went on to do the same thing on an raw canvas apron.



I love that the colors are see through and how nicely defined it is. It is not the same as just stamping with paint onto your canvas- it is really just staining and it keeps the fabric soft and nice.


I also treated a little rectangle of raw canvas with some colors and used stamps and markers on top. I just love the look of color and the raw canvas texture – it makes it pop wonderfully. For myself I realized I like when there is a lot of raw canvas still showing.


After I frayed the edges I sewed the triangle with embroidery thread onto the top of the apron.


Meanwhile Kim continued playing and experimenting with the Batik Stencil, and markers




and played with the Bird stamp set on a little canvas string bag



Here is a stretched canvas which I did a while ago – I love how vibrant the colors stay and the depth and layering you can achieve.





And here is my sweet smiling friend Kim modeling my new apron.


It was loads of fun to play in the studio with a friend and really just for fun. I need to have a play date more often! If you are interested in Raw Canvas Staining check out my really extensive Raw Canvas Staining DVD or download the Video with heaps of techniques, tips and tricks – it is addicting .

Here are some links of what we used- some of them are affiliate links.


What fun thing did you do lately with a friend?

Comments (4)

  • Joi@RR


    WOW WOW WOW – love this apron! Why? Love NStudios and the CityScape is my fav!!! So you hit it over the home run fence – true eye candy!!! Not to mention the adorable smile on Kim’s face!!! Loved seeing all your raw canvas staining experiments. Such vivid colors and fun designs you both created. Thanks bunches for sharing your fun!! Xj.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Awe thank you Joi and agreed Kim is a sweet heart :)


  • Charlotte Kirk


    I loved that look using your stamps!


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Demos at The Ink Pad in NYC


Last month I had a fun afternoon demoing with my stamps at one of my favorite stores – The Ink Pad in New York.


I showed some easy and fun Gelli-Printing tricks with acrylic paints and foam stamps


having lot’s of fun with a round plate and using dye inks


playing with small round printing plates


having an Elephant in the room


doing some collage fun


and stenciling


and of course taking over the whole store and making a big mess :)

We did a FB Live Stream right from the store on my Facebook Page of some fun techniques – you can see the store, some wonderful people and the store in action if you want :) It was a lot of fun and thank you to all that came, the people who watched the video and joined and Anna and Jane from the InkPad!!!

Comments (4)

  • Julie B


    Looking forward to meeting you in Cali in a couple of months! Thank you for the video/tutorials.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Yeah- so looking forward meeting you in Cali too- it is going to be loads of fun!


  • Linda Faber


    Thanks, Natalie, for the great demos! Just what I needed, a refresher lesson on using my gelli plate. I will definitely have to visit that NY store!


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Glad you liked it Linda- and yes yes – The Ink Pad is worth a visit in NY :)


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Put a Bird on It – Embroidering with Stamps


I have been doing some embroidery stitching samplers the past couple months and when I was talking to my friend Judi, she told me about the Erasable Fabric InkPad by ColorBox and I was hooked and I bought it right away so I could try it out with my Foam and Rubber stamps. I took a light canvas tote bag and my Bird Foam Stamp and stamped on top of the bag. And yes …I should have ironed the bag – but honestly- I just don’t like ironing ;)


Next I stretched the fabric over an embroidery hoop -see – already less wrinkles- hehehe.


I wanted to treat the bird image like a stitching sampler – so I used all kinds of different embroidery stitches and color. The grey thread is a done with a chain stitch, the yellow are two rows of split stitches, the magenta is a satin stitch , the light blue a seed stitch and the light green is a fly stitch.


The dark purple is a blanket stitch, the dark blue and lighter blue over the eye is a laced running stitch, the grey and purple in the wing is  star stitch. Around the eye a backstitch and the yellow thread and the eye are french knots.


I had so much fun – I am easily bored when I do things that are too repetitive and so this was a great way to keep me excited and interested and I could not stop.


I used the stamped image sometimes to stitch right on top and sometimes just as a placement guideline for the stitches. It was super helpful and so easy.


Here is a close up once I was finished



And then I just washed the ink with cold water right off and all traces are gone .


I cannot wait to do something similar with my Urban Scribble Foam Stamp and the Elephant Foam Stamp!


Here are all the supplies I used – some of the links are affiliate links.


Do you embroider? What have you embroidered and have you mixed it up with other art forms?

Comments (5)

  • Jean Goza


    Love the bird. Inspires me to drag out my embroidery goodies and work on a new project. You are so inspirational. Thanks for sharing…


  • Joi @RR


    Heheheh – LOVE THIS Nat! I used to have so much fun embroidering. You have inspired me to play with it again. I still have a bag with thread and hoops!!! Your bird looks SPECTACULAR!!! What a great idea! SUPER FINE! Xj.


  • Karen D


    I love this idea of embroidering over the stamped image. I have used erasable marking pens before, but did not know about the erasable stamp pad. I used to do quite a lot of embroidery and have incorporated it with a painted background on some fabric. But lately I am working on an artwork and have embroidered over some of my daughter’s handwriting. Embroidery adds another dimension to your artwork and it can be very relaxing.


  • judi kauffman


    I knew you’d have fun with that ink, Nathalie, and I’m so glad you embroidered the bird. Is the bag big enough for a whole flock???


  • Sue Clarke


    It’s been a number of years since I’ve embroidered but this looks great and I never would have thought of using stamps as a guide this way. Thanks for sharing Nat.


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Urban Scribble Card AND The Shop is Open!


Isn’t this Card by Janelle Stollfus using my new Urban Scribble Stamp Set –  just super cool! I love the gorgeous vibrant colors. Janelle used watercolors, and pencils and acrylic markers to create the background and color in the rubber stamp image included in the set! Thank you so much Janelle for sharing !

And – I have news – as so many people asked, where to get my stamps and other products – well hopefully your local craft and art store carries them…but if you do not have one close by or if they do not carry them…I just opened my own web store for you too and you can get my new stamp sets and some other items there :)


If you live in the United States, you can order directly and immediately from this site. If you order several items the shipping rate is calculated automatically per item. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to set it up differently in the store. But if I can ship your total order for a cheaper price than the automatically calculated price (which is most of the time the case with several items), I will refund you the difference.

If you require international shipping, please email me in advance of your order at orders@nathaliesstudio to discuss shipping options as international shipping can be variable and expensive. I can look into the best option as soon as I know what you would like to order and give you a quote.

I hope you visit my new n*Store and if you use any of my stamps or stencils- please share with me – I love to see what you create with them!

Have a beautiful day!!!!

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke


    Let’s hear it for your own store online!!! Woot.


  • Maura


    Love it!


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Winding Down the Year: My Top Ten Creative Results 2015

It has become a tradition of mine and other blogger friends to wind down the year with some  Top “insert number”- Lists of work , posts and photos, before the year ends. It makes me go back and look at what I have done and accomplished and it also makes me dwell in memories. Too often we forget about the things we did and accomplished throughout the year- often just bashing ourselves for not fulfilling all the wonderful new year’s resolutions from last year.  Maybe this makes you wanna do it too – if so – share :)

In no particular order here my personal faves of my art journal pages and paintings:

1. High Line – Mixed Media Painting

I fell in Love with the background a soon as I had it laid down, causing quite some struggle to let go and go ahead- but that is why I like it the more :) Not my usual color scheme, but one that I am glad I plaid with.

2. Good Bye – Art Journal Spread

I love the grungy yet romantic feeling of this page and I had a good time getting some journaling out in an obscured way.

3. Stay Out of The Drama – Art Journal Spread

I loved playing with different media and my Stampendous Stamps and Stencils and the drama of the red dress…the only drama which you might wanna get into ;)

4. Reality – Art Journaling Spread

Speaking of Red …This one is also one of my favorites, I did a lot of collaging in the background and I just love how this one came together.

5. The Real Weird Magical Person – Art Journaling Spread

I made my own building stencil and layered it and did positive and negative imagery with it – I love the bold black and the almost translucent magical person ;)

6. Girlfriends – Art Journal Spread

This is another page that I really like- I like the journaling in the middle of the spine – and the difference yet similarity of the pages. Also some white space…which I know, is unusual for me.

7. On My Way Home – Art Journal Spread

HA- I guess I really liked my building stencil…which btw is based on the Jersey City Powerhouse. I do love the background and how the building really is prominent in here.

8. Finally Be You – Art Journal Spread

It is kinda scary but kinda cool – and I love the texture and layers.

9. State of Mind – Art Journal Spread

hahaha- I know I am a weirdo, but this one just makes me laugh every time I see it. I guess…the title is fitting ;)

10. 2 Tallest – Mixed Media Painting

This is a bigger painting, so it doesn’t translate well as a photo on a blog. I like the colors and I achieved what I had in mind when I was going for only a small city skyline. I had a good time creating it.

What I learned:

I definitely took more of the things that I explored in my art journal onto a canvas. I also did more hidden or obscured journaling which I find a great exercise in the morning to start the day and also do something creative. I also learned that starting off with playing in the art journal before continuing painting on canvas, freed me up and made me ready to start. A good habit to keep.

My goal for 2016:

My goal for 2015 was working in general on way bigger surfaces- but that didn’t work out too well. I really want to make an effort to do that in 2016 …a bit hard in a small studio space, but I will figure it out. I also just want to paint more …when I looked at my work in 2015 I realized that I did pay less when I actually thought I had, not a big surprise given that I was traveling madly for workshops this year and an art journal is bit more handy to lug around ;) Cross fingers 2016 will be the year of bigger paintings

Hope you had fun joining me in winding down the year. If you did it too- share with me- I would love to see your best of list!

I hope I see you at Creative Jumpstart– starting tomorrow and wish you all a

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016!!!!!


Comments (3)

  • Sue


    Nathalie…do I see Stencil Girl in your future? As you designing stencils…buildings, in particular? I would love to have asset of these….very awesome work!


  • Jenny Petricek


    Beautiful, gorgeous pages–each and every one is so inspiring! I think it’s amazing to look at the pages of art journals, and to see the ways in which artists try new techniques, color palettes, and styles. Thanks for posting all of them!


  • Joi@RR



    Oh how I loved seeing all of these. Each one is special in a different way. My very favorite is the first one – the high line. You are so right – that background is spectacular. And the buildings – they just put me in a state of awe… I love everything about those buildings. But you know how much I love your buildings.. Your building stencil is sooo great – I so enjoy when you use it. And the large painting is stunning – WOW.

    So after we leave the buildings…. it gets harder but… I believe my next favorite – you won’t believe it…. is “state of mind”. It reminds me of me!!! I used to be so concerned about being “right” and “proper” when in reality – I never was… I am just so “weird”! BUT, I finally realized – that’s ok. It’s me and I can’t change it!! So – this journal creation really speaks to me. And… that’s one thing I love about you Nat – you are just YOU – and I like YOU too!!!

    And then….next fav – “stay out of the drama”. Sheer perfection there – the background – the gal – the sentiment – it’s just says it all in such a fabulous way.

    Each one of these is just wonderful in it’s own way… such a GREAT way to start my New Year – seeing your FANTASTIC creations. Thanks bunches. Wishing you a BLESSED, HAPPY, PROSPEROUS and BRIGHT 2016 with LUSCIOUS SURPRISES along the way!! Hugs. j.


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designed by n*Studio features: Stampendous Design Team

One of the things that make me really giddy is when I spy someone using my stamps by Stampendous or also my stencils with StencilGirl Products :) So I thought once in a while I would feature the work of those wonderful talented people with a series called: designed by n*Studio features:…..

And today I feature: The Stampendous Design Team – and since it is a bigger design team …here a  couple :)

Janelle Stollfus

Janelle is part of the Design Team since 2011 and I spied this wonderful notebook she created, using my Fiesta Stamp Set for the flower .

Love how she stamped the flower on painted canvas and then cut it out and layered it for a dimensional book mark – so clever and beautiful!

Check out her blog post including a tutorial on how to create the notebook on her blog here.

Lea Fritts

Lea is part of the Stampendous DT since 2012 and I found this fun Garden Canvas she created using my Fiesta, Kaffee Klatsch, Mish Mash, Wired and Grunge Stampset.

I love how Lea used all the different stamps and created this whimsical garden – I also love the texture and the happy colors. Here is what she used and how she did it.

Wendy Price

Wendy is part of the Design Team since 2009. I love her darling scrapbooking layout using my Kaffee Klatsch Stamp Set on an acrylic sheet.

I love how the stamps look really lacy on the sheet- beautiful. You can see what she used and how she did it, here.

Pam Hornschu

Pam is part of the Design Team since 2002 – WOW! Given my obsessions with houses and cityscapes – I was delighted to spy this piece by Pam using my Mark Maker Stampset.

I love how she used some of the stamps in the set to mimic roads and how she used some others with embossing powder for the background. You can read what she used and how she created these happy houses here.

I love how all four of them incorporated the stamps in their own styles and so differently. Thank you to the Stampendous Design Team for using them and  doing such wonderful work- you girls rock!

Here are the stamp sets that they used:



Comments (4)

  • Joi@RR


    What a great idea Nat – so fun to see how others have used your stamps and stencils. Love the first two – sooo great. But my fav is the house one because it really does remind me of you and your type of art. The way she used your stamps so uniquely is wonderful. Thanks bunches for sharing these really awesome pieces of art with us. Your products look WONDERFUL in all of these. X j


  • Wendy


    Thanks for the mention, Nat! I love using your stamp sets on layouts! They make the perfect background!


  • Lea Fritts


    Thank you, Nat, for sharing my art on your blog today! It’s such a thrill to see it here. By the way, I named my flower garden, “Nathalie’s Garden.” Don’t know if you saw that on my post or not but, I thought it was only fitting to name it after you! Thanks again, my friend!


  • Janelle Stollfus


    Oh thank you Nathalie for the mention. I so enjoyed creating that notebook with the Fiesta Stamp Set!


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Must-Have Mixed Media Supplies – Gesso


Last month I talked about my absolute favorite and ultimate must-have mixed media supply: Acrylic Paint, but there is more :) Another must-have for me is Gesso. In fact my students know me referring to Gesso as Dumbledore because it is a versatile helper that can put magic spells on your art work, or under…or in between … In any event it is an mixed media ally you want to have in your stash!


So now there are a couple different Gessoes on the market but before I get into that let’s talk about

What I love about Gesso:

  • It can be applied to many surfaces like canvas, fabric, wood etc. and creates a prepared surface that can be painted on
  • It gives  tooth. So you can paint also surfaces where usually paint would not grab on- for example metal. Or you can prepare it for Charcoal and Pastels
  • There is thicker Gesso and thinner Gesso. You can find white, black and clear Gesso – there are even other colored Gessoes but I would say these are the most used ones
  • You can add color to it
  • It seals absorbent surfaces so that paint does not bleed – most of the pre-stretched canvases you buy in store are already primed with Gesso. You can also use it to turn a thin book paper book into an art journal
  • It is an amazing medium to add texture with tools and household items, embedding supplies or by using it with stencils etc.
  • It is the cure whenever something went totally wrong…just paint over with gesso ….I told you…it’s Dumbledore :)
  • White Gesso is the cheapest white paint and is matte – sometimes I don’t want this super shiny bright white and so I use the matte chalky looking white gesso
  • It is amazing to tone down or change colors of your backgrounds for example in collage with a so called white wash
  • there is a huge amount of techniques including resist techniques with gesso that you can do -ahhh- happy mixed media land

Here are some examples using Gesso:

Canvas: White Gesso over a textured  and collaged background painted over with Acrylic Paints and Oil Bars


Art Journal Spread: Super Heavy Gesso through the Stencil included in my Stampendous Kaffee Klatsch Stamp Set


Canvas: nice texture through stencil on canvas with Super Heavy Gesso


Art Journal – black gesso background with Derwent Art Bars (watersoluble wax bars) and my Stampendous Fiesta Stampset and Stencil


Canvas: Gesso on canvas partly taken off then scratched into and painted partly over with acrylic ink


Art Journal Spread- toning down areas in art journal with Gesso spread with hotel key card

Art Journal Spread: Texture created with Gesso and then painted over with Acrylic Paint

I could go on and on because I really use Gesso all the time and there are so many ways to incorporate it into your art work!

Now… Which Gesso do I use?

First off – Disclaimer: I am a Brand Ambassador for Liquitex so naturally I tend to recommend Liquitex products. But my love for Liquitex Brand acrylics began long before I began working with the company and it is a genuine love for their products. In fact I was playing with their paints and acrylic media back then in Germany and I was just having the best of times and I shared this with the world. And that is how the relationship with Liquitex many years ago began


As always in this series- the answer to this question is based on my preferences, my style and my experiences – what is right for me, might not be right for you

  • I do use mostly white gesso
  • If I want to create a colored Gesso I add Acrylic Paint or Ink to clear Gesso as it does not tint my color
  • I use black Gesso if I want to make colors that I use on top pop especially when I use Pan Pastel or Derwent Art Bars (water-soluble wax bars) on top
  • I use Liquitex Professional Gessoes  because I love the consistency and coverage.
  • I use either the thin liquid Gesso or I go the total opposite and use the Super Heavy Gesso especially when I use it with Stencils or for sculptural texture
  • I used to buy big buckets of white Gesso – which makes sense if you use them up in a workshop right away with lot’s of students, but now I use the 946 ml/32 oz ones at home and when I travel I use the 118 ml/4oz bottle. I just refill the small bottle now from the big one.
  • When you start out and you just want to get a feel for Gesso – the Liquitex Basics Gesso is a good start, but the consistency is a bit more gritty and that might not what you like – if you don’t, I would rather recommend the Professional one.

How about a fun tutorial video where I use Gesso to create texture?

Playing with Gesso and Acrylic Ink

You can find the supply list for the video here .

Some useful tips when working with Gesso: 

  • Any tool from brushes to texture tools or else you use with Gesso, needs to be rinsed with water right away in case you want to reuse it. If you cannot do that, store the tools in a water container until you can clean it as dried gesso will ruin your tool.
  • The same applies for stencils also because the gesso will actually clog the bridges of your stencils – so here is an exception to my rule that I do not clean my stencils.
  • Don’t pour thick gesso water down the sink drain – it can clog your sink …maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow- but maybe Thanksgiving or any other holiday- been there….done that – trust me ;)
  • Clean your tools you used with gesso first into a rag or paper towel so that most will end up in your garbage. Better yet – clean them on not yet filled art journal pages and let the magic happen later.
  • You can water down gesso but you should not use more than 25% water– if you need to thin it more, use an equal amount of water and Liquitex Fluid Matte Medium. That way the gesso won’t be broken down by the water which can affect the gesso’s ability to stick to your surface.
  • If you use Clear Gesso for the first time…do not freak out :) It comes out of the jar milky white- but it dries clear

Here is a list of the supplies that I mentioned throughout this Must-Have Mixed Media Supplies – Gesso Post


I hope you enjoyed the second installation of my Must-Have Mixed Media Supplies. See you next month for the third part!
Happy Creating

Comments (5)

  • ari


    very interesting and useful, thank you!


  • Sue Clarke


    Nice summary. I found out about gesso either from you or Julie and it is a must have supply for me now. The variety packs are a nice way to try the different kinds without a huge investment.


  • JoAnn Campisi


    Thanks for the info – didn’t know about Professional Liquitex Gesso – I have always used the regular. Will definitely try it out.


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