Stroll Through The Hood – September 2015

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in Stroll Through The Hood

I did some nice bicycle strolls through the hood this month – although I have to admit – I am still a bit scared riding my bike in this city. The streets are insanely bad and are pot hole traps and the car drivers basically never watch out for bicyclists. But anyway …let’s go!


I loooooveee this- here it is still in progress. Mural by Hellbent close to Journal Square in Jersey City.


This was taken at the Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery. Prior to it’s creation in 1829 it was the site of multiple Revolutionary War skirmishes and an ammunition storage during the War in 1812. Now it is inhabited by goats and maybe ghosts? :) Apparently there is a Halloween Candle Light Crawl scheduled on Halloween – you won’t find me there- I would probably pee my pants- LOL


Dylon Egon ‘The Evolution of Modern American Man’ – love his work!


The last couple months we had dinner almost every evening on our deck enjoying the city view -I will miss this for sure as it is getting colder.


Have I mentioned before that EVERYTHING is bigger in America? Well …I am not the tallest person, I admit , but I took a photo of this sunflower looking up, it is like a huge shower head- LOL. FUN


Another bike tour through the Liberty State Park – sneaking up from behind on Lady Liberty :)


Fascinating lines and lights – the old Railway Station where immigrants coming from Ellis Island would head out to all other places but NYC in the States.


just loved this view Jersey City,The World Trade Center and Manhattan…and look at the heron …I am amazed that these places exist – little oases in buzzing cities ….


Another view of Manhattan … now…who has the best views of Manhattan? Yes ….we in Jersey City have 😉



And things like this make my  day :) Hope you have a beautiful day too! Thanks for strolling with me through my hood!




This post currently has 3 comments.

Comments (3)

  • Sue Clarke


    Wonderful stroll to see while eating my cereal this morning!
    Love that first colorful mural. And the view from your place is incredible.


  • Audrey


    I really enjoyed the cemetery. It would be sooooo cool to do the Halloween Candlelight Crawl.

    Thanks for sharing your adventures and your inspiration.


  • Barb J


    These are terrific pictures. You have a fabulous view of many fantastic places right outside your door. Thanks for sharing.


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designed by n*Studio features: Stampendous Design Team

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in designed by n*Studio

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:





This post currently has 4 comments.

Comments (4)

  • Janelle Stollfus


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


  • 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!


  • Wendy


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


  • 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


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Must-Have Mixed Media Supplies – Gesso

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in Gesso, Must-Have Mixed Media Supplies


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



This post currently has 5 comments.

Comments (5)

  • JoAnn Campisi


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


  • 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.


  • ari


    very interesting and useful, thank you!


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