Colors Are My Friends – Jennifer Gallagher


Hello my friends and welcome to a post from my Creative Squad! Today we have a beautiful canvas from new member Jennifer Gallagher. The layering and colors she used are gorgeous and make this a really cool piece for her home. She is using my new ArtFoamies Grove Street stamps, the Kassel Stencil and the theme: Colors Are My Friends – Let’s kick off the new Creative Squad with a celebration of color! What are your favorite, go-to signature hues? Let’s go bold and bright this month and  use color to ring in a new season of inspiring projects!

Colors are my friends! No one loves color more than I do. Personally, I have a very difficult time choosing just one to call my favorite. However, I do tend to have a few must have colors that I cannot live without. Pink and Turquoise are two of those colors.

My husband and I have been doing a little work around the house and I now have several bare walls just screaming out for some bold new artwork. So, I started with a twelve inch by twelve inch canvas. I chose two colors of acrylic paint to blend into a lovely, subdued background. I chose Daler Rowney Pistachio Green and Daler Rowney Phthalo Turquoise.

After the background had thoroughly dried I used one of Nat’s stencils, Kassel, and some white acrylic paint from the Dylusions line to overlay a fun geometric print. I did this pretty lightly as I just wanted a hint of the design peeking through. Try using a Tim Holtz mini-blending tool to apply your Dylusions paint. It works great!

I pulled out my six inch square Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plate. Using the same stencil, I created a series of papers to use on my canvas. I continued using acrylics in Pistacio, Phthalo Turquoise, and also added Anita’s Craft paint in Island Green and Apple Barrel Acrylic in Wintergreen. After creating several papers using the Kassel stencil, I used my gelli plate as a palette to wet my ArtFoamies Grove Street Postive and Negative foam stamp in paint and applied the foam stamp design to the background papers using even pressure. At this point I introduced a new color of paint, Daler Rowney Acrylic in Permanent Rose. The fun thing about the positive and negative stamp sets is you can use them individually, line them up and stamp one over another, or do what I did and mix it up with multiple techniques.

I cut each of the circles out so they could be applied to my canvas. I had about fifteen different circles to choose from. One of my favorite things to do to my art is black line doodling. With a basic fine tip black sharpie, I went over the shapes of the Grove Street stamp to add interest to each circle.

I laid my circles out on the canvas until I was satisfied with the amount and the placement. I then fixed them to the canvas with Mod Podge (the version specifically for paper) in a matte finish. Glue both sides of the paper circles to ensure they stick well onto your canvas. Be sure to let this dry thoroughly before moving on.

Lastly, I used a Dina Wakley Media scribble stick in black to make outlines around each circle. If you don’t have scribble sticks a black paint marker would also work.

I am really happy with how this turned out. I hope you enjoyed this project as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you.

Thank you Jennifer for sharing this lovely canvas and your layering techniques with us! Jennifer used besides a 12×12 canvas 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 next  “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

Comments (3)

  • Josefine Fouarge


    Wow, your canvas is really pretty. I love all the colors :)


  • Steph


    Great article, Jennifer. And your canvas turned out beautiful!!


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The Sketchy History of Pencils

As some of you might know I live in the old Pencil #2 Factory in Jersey City. While there are no more pencils being made in my building, there is still the General Pencil Company which still operates here in Jersey City. I try to buy a lot of pencils (and also brush cleaner) from General Pencil Company because I love that they are right here and produce locally. No wonder I was totally happy to see this video by NPR’s Skunk Bear “A Sketchy History of Pencils” .

I love seeing how art supplies are being made. What art manufacturer would you like to visit to see how they make things?


Comments (1)

  • Sharyle


    Enjoyed this video! Fascinating to see how pencils are made. I’d love to visit the Golden paint factory and see how they make all those fabulous colors.


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Tour of the American Ancients Part #2

This part #2 of our road trip through mostly the South West of the U.S driving about 2,300 Miles which called Tour of the American Ancients because we visited many historical sites. It was awesome and so inspiring and I am sharing some highlights, spread out over the next couple weeks in three parts :) You can find Part #1 here.

After Hovenweep we drove up to Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado where we already stayed 7 years ago. We took again the ranger lead hiking tour to one of the cliff dwellings- the Cliff Palace and it was yet again awesome. Sometime during the late 1190s, after primarily living on the mesa top for 600 years, many Ancestral Pueblo people began living in pueblos they built beneath the overhanging cliffs .Cliff Palace contained 150 rooms and 23 kivas and had a population of approximately 100 people. By the late 1270s, the population began migrating south into present-day New Mexico and Arizona. By 1300, the Ancestral Puebloan occupation of Mesa Verde ended.

Our Ranger was a Native American and I loved hearing his perspective on archeology and view of history in North America. Even though it was our second time doing this little hike- it was a different experience and opened a different view point.

After two days in Mesa Verde we drove a bit- seeing the most fun Motel signs

and after leaving the Highway at some point we drove a 16 mile long dirt road to get to one of the most amazing park: Chaco Culture National Historic Park in New Mexico. This valley was the center of a thriving culture a thousand years ago. Chaco is central to the origins of several Navajo clans and ceremonies. Many Southwest Indian people look upon Chaco as an important stop along their clans’ sacred migration paths-a spiritual place to be honored and respected.

The remains of Pueblo Bonito are just stunning and breathtaking. Researchers found out that the huge city used to be white and was occupied by Ancestral Puebloans between AD 828 and 1126. It must have been an amazing view upon arrival and they found traded goods that came from far south of South America.

some of those structures soared to four or five stories.

They had an air conditioning system and evidence suggests that the Chacoans were expert skywatchers, with a clear knowledge of the cyclic and seasonal patterns of the sun, moon, and stars. This knowledge is reflected over and over again in the architecture of the great houses, and in various observational and ceremonial sites around the canyon.

It is a magic place and I am so glad we went. It is so worth the visit. I can see why this is a sacred place and I am kind of glad it is so out of the way – maybe that will keep it from being destroyed.

A huge Kiva

and of course we saw more petroglyphs while hiking.

and this little dude – smartly staying in the shadow…it was HOT. We drank so much water and basically it all just evaporated right away.

Our next stop was Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. Above a photo of the so called painted desert.

The one hundred year old Painted Desert Inn in the park hosts a museum and the skylights in the building were painted by the Civilian Conservation Corps around 1933. So cool!

Beautiful place and scattered all around are those petrified former tree logs- now stones.

Look how gorgeous some of those logs are up close!

Every corner revealed a new look and great area to hike- we liked it a lot.

I feel like some of the textures and colors will make their way into some future artwork. One more post from our trip to come – hope you enjoyed this little adventure so far.

Comments (1)

  • Denise Spillane


    Beautiful, makes mr want to be there


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Getting it off my chest

This spread was basically a good background to get some thoughts of my chest. Just things that were on my mind- I did not write very well on purpose …it was more about the act of writing and be done with it. And it really helped- LOL. Done- so much better.

I had a good time creating this. I used my brand new Valley Road Positive and Negative ArtFoamie stamps. I brayered unbleached titanium on top of the stamps and created a circle pattern alternating the positive and the negative design. I let the stamped images dry and then brushed some acrylic ink on top – the acrylic paint resisting the acrylic ink but slightly taking some of the ink which make the background more cohesive. I never get tired of this technique. Then I filled the spaces between the circles with some muted turquoise acrylic paint and added here and there some gold on top of the design in a thin layer.

I splatted some white ink – on top of my writing to obscure the writing even more and blotted it here and there with a rag. I love how this turned out – the color combination is not one what I usually use but this made me pretty happy  – I think I will use it again :)

Here are the supplies I used:

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Fall Fun: Stenciled Pumpkins

Kim and I had our playdate for October and of course…Pumpkins had to be the stars. I am so amazed by all the different shapes and sorts of pumpkins- I went a bit overboard and bought everything I could find- LOL. I think Kim laughed secretly about that.

We gathered some of my stamps, StencilGirl stencils, brushes and cosmetic sponges and off we went.

I decided I wanted to go with a gold and lime green theme and painted some of the pumpkins with gold.

Kim decided to go with a black and orange theme and she painted the acorn squash black before stenciling with a cosmetic sponge using orange paint on top. We held the stencil mostly in place by hand, since the pumpkins have a lot of uneven ridges.

We used a mixture of heavy body and soft body paints- for now real reason but using what we have.

on the squash above the paint didn’t stick very well- and it crackled a bit – a coat of gesso underneath would have prevented this …but at the end of the day…hey- let’s not go super crazy and I came to like the grungy look :)

We also had fantastic supervision by Niles – he just wanted to make sure we are doing it all right …I guess also if there was really no treat falling down the table …;)

That was an easy and fast and fun project and one that you can make as elaborate as you want- or as easy as we did.

Here are Kim’s geometric patterned pumpkins

and here is my gold and lime/teal green bunch.

Grab your stencils – decorate a pumpkin and get into the fall mood – I am ready for some pumpkin pie now…and I don’t even like pumpkin that much ;)

Hope you have a wonderful start into the fall so far!

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke


    Nice pumpkins and so wonderful of Niles to supervise.


  • Carole Morrison


    Well, aren’t these just the cutest things ever!!! A refreshing change from the usual “Jack-O-Lanterns”!!! Thanks, gals!! Super project!!!
    Carole from Chicago


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Workshops in the Netherlands in April 2018

I’m happy to announce that I will be coming to the Netherlands in the spring to teach 2 workshops at De Scrapheap. Come join me on April 21 and 22, 2018 with some workshops to help you take your Art Journal to new places :) I am so excited to see both old friends and new faces at these workshops!

April 21, 2018

My Master Art Express workshop is a journey through art history that will help you find new inspiration for your art journaling. We’ll look to the work of master artists from all over Europe and then we’ll play with new techniques to help you push your own personal art journaling style.

April 22, 2018

Artvergnugen is all about taking your art journal to the next level! We’ll play with different media and techniques, we’ll use stamps, stencils, and acrylic paints to create rich layers, and we’ll discuss composition and making tough choices. Artvergnugen is what makes your art journal a work of art, and this workshop will get you there!

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Colors Are My Friends – Josefine Fouarge


Hello my friends and welcome to a post from new Creative Squad member Josefine Fouarge! Josefine brings us a gorgeous art journal page that shows off how well complimentary colors play together. She also rocks my new Central Avenue Positive Negative foam stamp set and this month’s theme: Colors Are My Friends – Let’s kick off the new Creative Squad with a celebration of color! What are your favorite, go-to signature hues? Let’s go bold and bright this month and  use color to ring in a new season of inspiring projects!

Colors are my friends, definitely! My favorite one depends on my mood, but usually I tend to pick orange or green tones. Today I wanted to use my favorite color combination though, which is orange and blue. These are complimentary colors, which means they naturally work well together.

Since today I have something with flowers in my head, I wanted to use the new circle foam stamps to create a flower in my art journal. I started by spraying some color onto a few napkins and letting them dry for a few minutes.

While I was waiting for the napkins to dry, I worked on the background of my art journal page. I started with the focal point, so I stamped the outline of the Central Avenue stamp using Versamark ink and heat embossed it using bright orange embossing powder. Then I stamped the inside of the stamp also with Versamark ink and heat embossed it with a gold embossing powder.

This stamp is rather easy to align, even though it’s a round shape. You can see where the main line goes through the middle and you just need to ensure that the little squares of the negative stamp match the squares on the paper. If you look at the stamp from the side while trying to position it on the paper, you’ll know what I mean.

After heat setting the focal point, I chose a turquoise acrylic paint and mixed it with some white to make it even lighter. After adding the paint to the foam stamp using a brayer, I stamped the outline to the left and right of my focal point. Next, I stamped the inside in a row below and above the first row and switched again for the next row – and so on till the paper was full of circles.

Now I outlined the page with a black acrylic pen and scribbled following poem around it, as messy as I could:

To see the world in a grain of sand

and heaven in a wildflower,

hold infinity in the palm of your hand

and eternity in an hour.

-William Blake-

To finish up my flower, I cut several petals from my napkin and adhered them carefully around the focal point circle.

If you look closely, you’ll see that I adhered just one layer of the napkin to the page, so the embossing powder shimmers through the paper.

Here is the entire page. I just love the contrast of orange and blue and can’t get enough of it! Yummy!

Thank you Josefine for such a lovely page and for sharing the poem too! In addition to her art journal and some paper napkins and glue, Josefine 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 next  “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

Comments (1)

  • Sue Clarke


    Gorgeous color choice of light blue and peach/yellow!
    Thanks for sharing your art Josefine.


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Living in Color

“I prefer living in color” – me too David Hockney- me too. I do love Hockney’s use of colors and I was going for it in this art journal spread

I used my brand new Central Avenue Pos+Neg. ArtFoamies . It comes with two designs- are bold one and a more fine lined one.

I love using the paint on top of the stamp also only partly to get some areas more lightly as a hint of the stamps

This was fun and an easy creative boost in the morning.

Here are the supplies:

Wishing you a wonderful colorful day !

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