Creative Squad

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle with Marsha Valk

  

Hello again from the Creative Squad! Today we have a gorgeous gift wrapping project from Marsha Valk that is sure to send you running to your kitchen for some coffee filters :) Marsha used a whole slew of my stencils on this one (so be sure to check the materials list at the bottom) to rock the 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.


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – that’s a topic that has been on my mind a lot lately. I have a lot of different craft supplies. I like to donate any excess supplies I have, but I still have plenty left that I’m reluctant to get rid of because I don’t want to waste it and it may come in handy someday…

The upside to this is that I’m never short on stuff when it comes to gift wrapping!

Paper flowers make fun and easy gift toppers, so I for this month’s prompt I decided to make coffee filter flowers.

I’ve shared how to create similar flowers on the Gelli Arts® blog before:

Using brand new (bleached) coffee filters for a craft project probably isn’t the greenest choice you can make. If you are looking for an environmentally friendlier option, you can recycle used coffee filters.

Unfortunately I don’t have access to a coffee maker that uses filters like these, so I haven’t tested it for you, but I believe you can rinse and dry them. They will be stained, but that will actually add interest to the paper (and the flowers).

Step 1: Monoprint a couple of coffee filters with your Gelli Arts® printing plate using stencils and (white) acrylic paint. Here I’m using Nat’s Buenos Aires stencil.

Step 2: Stain the monoprinted coffee filters with spray inks.

Wet the coffee filter with a spray bottle of water before you spray on the spray ink. The water will help the spray ink spread across the coffee filter, this one has Nat’s Toledo stencil pattern on it.

You can stack the coffee filters you want to have the same colour while spraying. Each new filter will absorb the excess ink from the already sprayed ones!

Leave the coffee filters to dry completely.

Step 3: Cut two smaller circles out of each coffee filter. I folded each coffee filter in half and used a jar to trace a circle shape onto them to get a uniform size.

Step 4: Fold the circles into eighths (or more) and cut leaf shapes. Make sure to cut some larger and some smaller.

Step 5: Unfold the coffee filter flowers and stack two or three on top of each other. Secure them by sewing one or two buttons in the middle of each stacked flower.

Fluff the petals until you are happy with the result.

Step 6: Use a glue dot or double-sided tape to adhere the flowers to your gifts!


I love this Marsha – such a great way to dress up a gift! In addition to buttons and ribbon, Marsha 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“.

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle with Cheiron Brandon

  

Hello from the Creative Squad! Today we have a spooky card from Cheiron Brandon to get you thinking about Halloween :)  She uses my Buenos Aires stencil to help her pull together 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.


Hi there, it’s Cheiron here with my September post. This month we are using the theme Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and I thought it would be fun to challenge myself just to use all the leftover paper bits that were on my desk. The easiest way for me to do this was to make a card. 

I took a scrap of book paper and applied some Tangerine paint through the Buenos Aries stencil. I used some black slick paint to fill in the dots. I thought this color combo would be perfect for Halloween, as I have a ton of Halloween bits and pieces on my table right now.

Once the paper was dry, I collaged it to a blank note card. I love using painted and stenciled papers as backgrounds on my cards. I had some parts of paper dolls that I had cut out, so I used this fun witch and added a simple sentiment. I love the handmade, whimsical look of cards like this and its so easy to incorporate all those scraps that we tend to save!

Hope you enjoyed this fun and simple way to recycle your scraps into new creations :)


Thank you Cheiron for showing us a great way to incorporate some leftovers into seasonal cards! In addition to some leftover papers, Cheiron 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 (2)

  • Karen Bearse

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    Spooky!! Love the art journal look.

    Reply

  • Stephanie

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    So cool!

    Reply

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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

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

    Reply

  • Melody Willoughby

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

    Reply

    • Michelle Rydell

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

      Reply

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Free For All – Marsha Valk

  

Hello from the Creative Squad! Today we have a cool mixed media piece from Marsha Valk that smartly uses up some of those extra stenciled and stamped papers we all have in our stash. She combined my Buenos Aires Tile and Santa Fe ArtFoamies with a bunch of my rubber stamps 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!


I have piles and piles of prints sitting under the desk in my workspace, waiting for a fun project to use them on. So for this month’s theme, I dug out a couple of prints I made previously using Nathalie’s Buenos Aires and Santa Fe ArtFoamies! I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them, but whilst sorting through the pile of prints, I came across an illustration I did a couple of years ago. I decided to use it for my project.

 

I scanned the illustration, loaded the image into the Silhouette Studio software on my laptop and traced the image and made it into a cut file.

 

 

Then I mounted one of the stamped sheets of paper onto a Silhouette cutting mat, fed it into the machine and let the machine cut out all the little houses. I let the Silhouette cut the same houses from three different sheets of stamped paper. I added more stamped images from the Stroll Through the Hood 1 & 2 sets, the Embroidery set, and the Cardboard set with black ink to two of the sheets before cutting.

 

 

With all houses cut three times, I started arranging the little village onto a blank piece of paper, mixing parts from all of the different background papers.

 

 

Once I was happy with the arrangement I glued everything down.

 

 

I wanted to add black outlines to the cut-outs, but because some of them are super tiny, I was afraid my pen would slip. I didn’t want to mess up the original, so I scanned the collage and doodled on top of a print instead.

 


Thank you Marsha for such a unique project! In addition to a scanner, Marsha used the following supplies in her project (some are affiliate links):



Play along with us and share 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 (3)

  • Nathalie Kalbach

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    this is stunning Marsha- I love the idea and such a great design!!

    Reply

  • Jean Goza

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    Great project! Love the colors and energy of the piece.

    Reply

    • Marsha

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      Thank you Jean!

      Reply

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Nice to Meet You! with Mary Thoma

Hello and welcome to a blog feature I call Nice to Meet You! From time to time I learn about some amazing artists out there who are working with my stamps and stencils and are creating some pretty fun and exciting projects. It’s always inspiring to see what others do with my designs. Sometimes they even introduce me to a new way of seeing the pattern or a new technique to try on my own. Today I’d like to introduce to you Mary Thoma:


Please introduce yourself to our readers:

My name is Mary Thoma. I am a native Oklahoman, making art in my own home in the small rural and diverse community of Spencer, Oklahoma. I am a recreational activities director at an adult day center and I am called on daily to use my creative energy.  I consider myself an artist serving other artists living with dementia or other cognitive disorders.  Many times, the artists I serve just don’t know they are artists until they are engaged in creative opportunities.

How do you make time to be creative?

I am an early riser, before the phone, TV, food or even coffee some mornings. 4AM many days I can usually get 3 good hours of standalone art time even on work days. There are mornings I barely have time to get my hands washed up before it’s time to run out the door. I get lost in “artistic flow” and the time just rockets by. Recently a Facebook follower asked me to illustrate a children’s book she had written so I will be adding illustration to my creative time as well.

What are some of your favorite n*Studio stamps / stencils?

Urban Scribble Foam Stamp Set
Buenos Aires 4×4 Stencil
Ornament Stencil
Art Deco Stencil

 

 

 

 

 

How do you love to use them?

I usually stamp with acrylic paint, not ink so Nathalie’s foam stamp designs hold up well in that application. I love using the stencil designs with my abstract work and with texture paste for incorporation into collage work. The structure of n*Studio Designs are beautifully and perfectly repeated so I don’t have to reinvent or recreate these dynamic elements to add to my own work.

 

What is your favorite medium to work in?

Mixed Media, graphite, pastel pencils, markers, color pencils, acrylic paint, Marabu Art Sprays, Ink and spray inks, texture pastes, watercolors, and collage. My art combines representational work with abstraction and Nathalie’s designs add a structured accent to my compositions.

What inspires you to be creative?

I will say it’s hard to beat Creative Jump Start. I also start running through emails and social media, I listen to audio books about great artists, I watch You Tube documentary videos on art and artists, and also manufacturers’ and retailers’ demonstration videos. I am very blessed to have a job that calls on my creativity. I take art tools like stencils and stamps to work with me to help my Adult Day Center Participants create artwork.

Do you have a favorite artist?

Presently, I am studying the work of Francis Picabia. It’s likely I am just too fickle to name just one favorite artist. I find the mid-century modern artists awe inspiring and continue to be highly motivated to study them and their work.

How did you get into art-making?

I think it might be the same way I started breathing. I must make art, it is sustenance for my soul. My parents encouraged my talent. Around 1959, I watched an advertisement for a mail order art course and drew the subjects demonstrated from memory.  My father said, “You didn’t do this, you traced it” I reacted viscerally to his accusation. He finally concluded I did the work. He and my mother provided me with art supplies. My mother was quick to take me to art exhibits.  I saw Jackson Pollock’s work in person on a national tour in the 1960’s. Western art by Catlin, Remington and Russel were introduced via the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center right here in my home town. I was a smart kid, but, not a very good student.  My public-school arts education kept me engaged academically sufficient to get me to graduation and into college with a major in fine arts. Otherwise you would be interviewing a high school dropout. I do not suffer “artist’s block” everything blank looks like a canvas to me.  I am looking forward to working full time as an artist and teaching artist. I have my very understanding family to thank for my artistic encouragement, now that my parents are gone, I have my husband, siblings, children and friends to cheer me along on my artistic journey.

In three words, how does art-making make you feel?

Art-making, makes me feel like an “artistic living fountain” flowing deep and wide.


Thank you Mary for sharing your art and story with us! Stay tuned for more Nice to Meet You! posts to learn about other artists!

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Live Like It’s Spring – Marsha Valk

  

Hello from the Creative Squad! Today Marsha Valk is officially ushering in spring with a collection of gorgeous collages using a whole bunch of my stencils and the monthly theme Live Like it’s Spring – Springtime is when Mother Nature kicks it into high gear. It’s the time to wake up and approach life with renewed energy.  Let’s join Mother Nature in this reawakening and create some things in the Spirit of Spring!


When it’s Spring again I’ll bring again… Tulips from Amsterdam! They’re actually from my craft room about 50 km east of Amsterdam… but that’s near enough I think ;-).

I started with mono printing a bunch of greenish, reddish and yellow/orangey prints on copy paper with my Gelli plate and Nathalie’s Buenos Aires, Manhattan, Mesa Verde, Santiago, and Toledo stencils. Once dry I cut them up into tulip leaves and stems.

I wanted to use Nat’s ‘Amsterdam’ stencil, with the tulip pattern, for the background. To achieve a softer ‘ghost’ print, I had to pull four prints: I applied paint onto the Gelli plate, layered the stencil on top and pulled two prints to remove most of the paint.

Then I removed the stencil and pulled another print to remove even more paint. And then for the final print I applied white paint onto the Gelli plate and pulled a last ghost print. And this last print is what I used for the background.

The last step was to collage the tulip parts onto the Gelli printed backgrounds.


Thank you Marsha! I love how you combined all those different stencil patterns with those gorgeous spring colors. In addition to some white copy paper, Marsha used these supplies – some links are affiliate links:




Play along with us! 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“.

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Kind Heart – Fierce Mind – Brave Spirit

Pretty much how I want to feel right now with everything!

This spread started out as a demo page at my workshops in San Jose in January . I actually showed how to use spray paints with stencils and we used some Montana water based spray which I really fell in love with. They have a matte finish – and the look is so different from the look of the more shiny glossy finish of my Liquitex Spray paints. Plus…they come in those mini spray cans! I am still debating if I should buy those…because I do have…enough …spray paint…but ….you know ;)

I used the Versailles Stencil on the left and the Buenos Aires Stencil on the right. I added some of the background color and added it with my finger to the middle top, smoothing it out and bringing both sides together by journaling over that part.

This page makes me happy – happy memory from the process of making it and my awesome students , happy colors and good message :)

Here are some of the supplies I used for this spread – some links are affiliate links



Wishing you a wonderful day!

Comments (4)

  • Julie B

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    Thank you for the inspiration to integrate two very different pages into one whole piece (God only knows how many of those pages i have; now i just need to carve out some time). I love this page…it makes me very happy two and brings back fond memories of your visit. Thank you, thank you!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      So glad you like it Julie! Go get your time :) Even if it is only 10 minutes a day- I am always surprised how much you can actually do in just 10 minutes ….the downside is …many paint splatters on clothes that are not meant for painting “oh ….I am dressed for going out but hey…only 10 minutes and I should not get paint on my clothes” yeah – sure ;)

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    You can never have enough paint as it gets used up…just saying. Enjoy your day Nat.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Hehehe- I know ;) I bought it …ahem ;) Enjoy your day too Sue and have a wonderful weekend!

      Reply

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Return to the Light – Marsha Valk

cs-december-theme

Today, Marsha Valk from my Creative Squad is sharing a wonderful and illuminating project using my small Santiago, Toledo, and Buenos Aires stencils for this month’s theme: “Return to the Light.” As we pass through the Winter Solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere, the ever lengthening nights turn to ever lengthening days. This ancient marker in the calendar has always been a celebration of light and the promise of a new day. Let’s Return to the Light with some bright and luminous mixed media projects!


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I do not like the dark days of December. I mean: it’s OK when the sun comes out for a couple of hours, but here in the Netherlands December weather is mostly gloomy and grey… Candles and fairy lights are a must, because they make even the greyest days a bit brighter.

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These votives do not take long to make and chances are that you already have everything you need to make them. They look cute on a festive table, but they will also keep until after the holidays!

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Choose two colours of StazOn ink that when blended will make a third colour. In my sample I chose teal and pink and those two colours together make a purple shade. Darker shades will ensure that your stenciled pattern is still visible once a tealight is lighted inside the jar.

marshavalk_nstudio_light-step-2

Use a cosmetic sponge to apply StazOn ink through your stencil onto a sheet of vellum. I used Nathalie’s Buenos Aires, Santiago, and Toledo stencils.  Just dab the cosmetic sponge onto the ink pad and then lightly dab the ink onto the vellum.
Tip: Use rubbing alcohol to clean your stencils afterwards.

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Find three small jars and cut the vellum to size so you can wrap the vellum around the jars.

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Add a strip of double-sided adhesive to one side of the vellum, remove the backing and then place the vellum around the jar.

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Add LED tealights and enjoy the lights!

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Thank you Marsha for brightening these dark winter days!  I love this idea – it is simple and yet so beautiful.  It’s definitely something I’m going to make. In addition to some small jars, Marsha used these supplies – some links are affiliate links:

supplies


Play along with us! 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 (6)

  • Michelle Rydell

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    what a great project! The candles look beautiful Marsha!

    Reply

    • marsha.

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      Thank you Michelle!

      Reply

  • Joi@RR

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    Really fun and darling Marsha. j.

    Reply

    • Marsha

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      Thanks Joi!

      Reply

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Return to the Light – Cheiron Brandon

cs-december-theme

Today, Cheiron Brandon from my Creative Squad is sharing a beautiful art journal spread using my Buenos Aires stencil and this month’s theme: “Return to the Light.” As we pass through the Winter Solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere, the ever lengthening nights turn to ever lengthening days. This ancient marker in the calendar has always been a celebration of light and the promise of a new day. Let’s Return to the Light with some bright and luminous mixed media projects!


cheiron-dec-headshot

Hi there, Cheiron here with my December post on the Return to the Light theme. I am not a big fan of winter at all, and the only thing that gets me through is waiting for summer! I don’t look forward to the sky growing dark before I even leave work, and I look forward to any sunshine I get. I certainly don’t mind bundling up in some warn winter clothes and heading out for a walk in the snow just to get a little sun. My journal page this month reflects just that…a bundled up gal enjoying some sun while the ground is covered with snow.

 

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I started this page by creating texture and warmth with a lot of stamps and stencils in bright colors.

 

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I added a coat of snow to my page by adding white matte paint mixed with a bit of pearl and mica flakes to create a snowy scene.

 

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I hope this page gives you a bit of warm for the winter if it is cold where you are!

Thank you Cheiron for reminding us that winter is tolerable – as long as the sun is shining ;)  And I just love those bright colors all layered up using some of my stencils!  In addition to her art journal, a magazine cut out, and some alphabet stickers from her stash, Cheiron also used these supplies – some links are affiliate links:

supplies


Play along with us! 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 (2)

  • Michelle

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    I love how you used the stamps and stencils to create such beautiful color and texture! It makes me feel warmer just to look at it!

    Reply

  • Gerrie Johnnic

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    Ohhhh, luv this spread! Color, texture and such a great feeling! Thanks for posting!!

    Reply

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