Creative Squad

Out and About – Marsha Valk

  

Hello my friends!  This month the Creative Squad is playing along with my Stroll Challenge and today Marsha Valk is sharing some super cool cards. She’s using my Stroll Through the Hood #1 & #2Cardboard, and Embroidery stamp sets, and working with the prompt word Pattern and the theme Out and About – Sometimes it’s hard to see all the cool and inspiring stuff that’s right under our noses. This month we hope you will join us in our 30 day Stroll Challenge and get Out and About where you live, and find some local inspiration.


Merriam-Webster has 11(!) definitions for the word ‘Pattern’. One of these is:
3: an artistic, musical, literary, or mechanical design or form, the geometrical pattern of the carpet, the strict pattern of rhythm and rhyme for a sonnet — Gigi Marino

…and it’s super fitting for the pattern I saw whilst Out and About.

I see patterns everywhere and all the time: tiles, bricks, grids, shadows, on flora and fauna… and I have quite a library of photos of patterns found right here where I live in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. But… there is a different pattern plastered all over my city right now and this particular pattern ties my place of residence to New York. And as my assignment was to combine today’s Stroll Challenge prompt with the Stroll #2 stamps, going with this pattern made sense to me.

2017 has been declared the national year of De Stijl, because the art group was founded a hundred years ago, in 1917. Amersfoort is taking this opportunity to celebrate one of its most famous former residents: Piet Mondriaan (or: Mondrian).

Mondriaan was born in Amersfoort in 1872 and he died in Manhattan in 1944. He lived in Amersfoort until 1880, when his family moved to another part of the Netherlands.

His birth house in now a museum where you can see some of his early (still naturalist) works and learn about his life.

Now onto the project!

I started out playing in the journal I keep for the Stroll Challenge prompts and then moved on to square and rectangle pieces of cardstock. I didn’t have to think about colours. I searched my stash for suitable stamping inks in the De Stijl colour palette: red, yellow, blue, black, grey and white. I covered each base with gesso first because I felt the plain white paper was too flat and stark.

And then I just stamped my compositions on top, starting with the grids and then filling in the spaces with colour and pattern, using post-it tape and scraps of paper to mask off and protect parts of the design whilst stamping. I’m not sure why, but I didn’t feel that the compositions with straight lines looked right. So I tried some more on a diagonal square piece of cardstock, which I liked much better.

But then it occurred to me that having the paper diagonal wasn’t very practical for, for instance, making cards. So I continued to play with diagonal lines and blocks of colour and left the paper straight.

Once the ink was dry, I adhered the cards I liked best onto black folded notecards.


Conclusion: creating pleasing compositions with just blocks of colour and lines is much harder than you might think. I hope you try it too. It’s an interesting and fun exercise!


Thank you Marsha – these rock! And so cool that your ‘hood is celebrating such an important artist! Marsha used the following supplies (some are affiliate links):



Play along with us this month and join the 30 day Artful Adventures Stroll Challenge! 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)

  • Julie

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    thank you for the inspiration today! Love the transition from the physical idea to paper. I will have to try this.

    Reply

  • Michelle

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    This is so much fun. I’m from The Hague (also in the Netherlands) and my city is also covered in Mondriaan prints. The “gemeentemuseum” has a year long Mondriaan exhibit.

    I love your interpretation of all this and how you translated it into your own art, Marsha!

    Xx Michelle

    Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – May 2017

Time for a Stroll Through the Hood . Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and to get new ideas to create something. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks. BTW, I hope you have joined me so far in the Artful Adventures: Stroll Through the Hood Challenge and Free Class – it is so much fun! Come and celebrate my new book Artful Adventures in Mixed Media with me!

I am sneaking in the photo above- this is from a Federal building in Newark ….kind of my hood ….you can see Jersey City and Manhattan – isn’t that a cool view?

Now …what have I been doing in this building?

well…along with 57 other people from 20 different countries I became an American :)

My friends and I also spent a day together in Branch Brook Park close to Newark which has apparently the largest collection of Cherry Trees in the United States …4300 …unfortunately not all on one spot- LOL – so we were quite on a hunt on this trip to find the best spots – but it was worth it and soooo beautiful.

I love cherry trees – too bad it is almost over with the blossoms.

This is part of a ship on the dry dock at Liberty State Park  – I love the colors and the texture- yummie!

Little picnic waving over to Manhattan

enjoying the flowers

thinking about this sign and taking it as a message to Earth …because seriously this looks like we do not love earth at all on this particular spot

and loving once more the many different man holes in Jersey City. Love the star with the pattern around it.

Now these photos are not part of the Stroll Through The Hood Challenge– but I told you – I do this regularly :) You can find all my former strolls here if you wanna see more about where I live.

 

Comments (10)

  • ARHuelsenbeck

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    Congratulations on your citizenship, Nathalie!
    I used to live in New Jersey. Your photos made me nostalgic.

    Reply

  • Leap Year Baby

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    Just want to join all the others in congratulating you on becoming an American citizen.
    Love your strolls through the hood and the cherry blossoms are awesome!
    Can’t wait to get your book very happy for you!

    Reply

  • Sherry

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    Congrats on becoming an American citizen. Enjoyed your stroll … especially the Cherry Blossoms.

    Reply

  • scrapinsue

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    The texture on that ship is awesome. I would love to have it be the background for patterned paper.
    Congratulations on becoming a citizen of the U.S. It’s a great country with some interesting politics going on at the moment (as I’m sure that you noticed).

    Reply

  • Gloria

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    CONGRATULATIONS on becoming an American Citizen.

    Reply

  • Susan

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    congratulations!!! becoming an american is a lot of hard work. thanks for sharing your stroll, too. it is always fun to have a staycation … i really enjoy all that you post!

    Reply

  • CJ Henderson

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    Yay you!! Congrats and such a beautiful stroll through “the hood”💖

    Reply

  • Frieda

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    The views in your hood are spectacular from both close-up and afar! Specially in that glorious weather. Love strolling with you.

    Reply

  • DK in AZ

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    CONGRATULATIONS on becoming an American citizen! And on your new book too!

    Reply

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Out and About – Tina Walker

  

Hello from the Creative Squad!  This month the Creative Squad will be playing along with my Stroll Challenge and today Tina Walker is starting us off with a really cool mixed media project using my Stroll Through the Hood #2 stamp set, and working with the theme Out and About – Sometimes it’s hard to see all the cool and inspiring stuff that’s right under our noses. This month we hope you will join us in our 30 day Stroll Challenge and get Out and About where you live, and find some local inspiration.


Hi! Tina Walker here today with my take on this month’s theme, ‘Out and About’. During the month of May, as part of n*Studio’s 30 day Stroll Challenge and getting out in my neighborhood, I thought it would be fun to take one of the photographs from the challenge and use it as inspiration for my project. We hope you will join us this month and get out and about and say hello to your neighbors and enjoy the spring weather.

To kick off the STROLL, I used this photograph as inspiration this month. I was ‘strolling’ to my mailbox and captured this shot of my walk, mid stride.

Because my stroll was taking me to the mailbox, I immediately spied the fabulous Mailbox stamp include in the ‘Stroll Through the Hood #2’ stamp set. It was serendipitous!

I haven’t created a trio of ATC cards for a while, so I thought I’d pull out some blanks and get creating.

To create the background of each ATC, I covered each blank with a sheet of dictionary paper. I then heat embossed the Warehouse, Main Station, and E-Train stamps also included in the set.

I added lots of distressing with Distress Oxide inks, reacting the inks with water.

The mailbox embellishments were created by stamping into oven back clay. Once hardened and cooled, I distressed each piece with acrylic paint.

To finish each ATC scene, I added people die-cuts, stamped fabric sentiments, and a hand-cut and colored Flag stamp (also included in the set).

Each ATC was machine stitched to a scrap piece of leather and cotton batting, incorporating a fabric ‘hanger’.

I love how my patriotic ATCs turned out. Each vignette made me think about the generations of people, strolling to their neighborhood mailboxes, sending well wishes, happy thoughts, and joyous news. It seems all so simple and uncomplicated, in our new world of electronic media, and impersonal communication.

I hope you enjoyed my project today and join us this month. Have a great day!


Thank you Tina for taking us back in time and inspiring us to get Out and About wherever we live! In addition to scrap fabric and a sewing machine, Tina used these supplies – some links are affiliate links:



Play along with us this month and join the 30 day Artful Adventures Stroll Challenge! 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 (5)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Love those “romantic” ATC’s Tina. My favorite is the optimist one.
    Perfect for Memorial Day and 4th of July coming up!

    Reply

  • julie b

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    oooh! What a great post….I love that mailbox stamp and it was cool to see the embossed buildings in the background. Just might have to try this technique with the fire hydrant as my walks to the mailbox always include walking the pug (who likes to mark the neighborhood gnome as every other dog has done so too). Shhh, she also has a favorite mailbox she likes to mark (the only one out of 60+ in the neighborhood).

    Reply

  • Gerrie!

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    These are really awesome Tina!! Love how you incorporated the stamps into the background, and people!

    Funny thing….I live in a different area…southwest Florida – where I live we don’t have sidewalks, few houses…we have no mailboxes except for the ones in front of peoples homes, and a blue box in front of the post office. If I go for a stroll, I see some houses, and lots of vacant lots! We have no factories or industry……….our oldest house was built in the late 1950’s! I will really have to put my thinking cap on to play along.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      You can take a pic of your mailbox, from an angle, upside down – it can be also your postoffice or anything- think in the widest sense, make up your own rules ;)

      Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – April 2017

Time for a Stroll Through the Hood . Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and to get new ideas to create something.

Still loving this mural by Pixel Pancho.

I never realized this old sign – probably some historic building marker. Love the patina and the form of it.

On the side of our supermarket-  I rarely walk down this way- so I am not sure if I missed it so far or if it is new.

Tape art by Norman Kirby – love it!

Never showed it finished- the Shepard Fairey Mural at Grove in Jersey City. It feels as if it has a different meaning nowadays.

I love spring and the opportunity to get out of the house more and explore and stroll the hood :) Cannot wait to venture further in the coming weeks .

Comments (4)

  • Lil

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    OMG!!! That sign!! The rust, the peeling paint. Mouthwatering!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      :) I love it too – it is really cool – glad you liked it. have a wonderful week, nat

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Love strolls through your neighborhood Nat!
    Happy Easter and Happy Spring…

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Happy Easter and Spring to you you too Sue!!! hugs, Nat

      Reply

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Say It Like You Mean It – Michelle Rydell

  

It’s Tuesday and time for a post from my Creative Squad! Today we have a fun and uplifting art journal spread from Michelle Rydell. She used my Stroll Through the Hood #1 stamp set for her take on this month’s theme Say it like you Mean it – Let your unique voice be heard and tell us what’s on your mind. Be bold. Be yourself. We all have something to say and sometimes we need to shout it!


One thing I have always been passionate about is music. I grew up with a lot of music in our house – my mom played the piano, and my dad loved to sing. I was fortunate enough to take dance and piano lessons too. Now, as an adult, music inspires a lot of my art. In fact, I am currently working on a mini-journal dedicated to song lyrics.

Today, I want to share a quick and easy way to make a journal page, using Nat’s Stroll Through the Hood set #1 stamp set! I’m creating this spread in my 4” x 5” mini journal. The song I am using as inspiration is “Hope” by Idini Menzel. I want to reflect the soft and gentle spirit of the song, so I start with some pink, orange and yellow paint, swirled with white to create a soft background

Next, I added a small strip of sheet music for texture, and pounced some coral paint thru Nat’s “What’s the Point” stencil to create movement in the sky. The “Brownstone” stamp creates the scene, and the lyric starts with the word hope, which is emphasized by using the “Hope Tag” stamp.

I wrote in the rest of the lyric with a journaling pen, added some stamped “Star Tags” to the sky, drew in a little bird, used a poster paint pen to color in the stars, and added highlights to the building. I finished the page by adding a border with an oil pastel, smeared with my fingers to create a softened effect. Here’s the final page…

Now that I’ve done a page with the Hope Tag stamp, I can’t wait to try one with the Art Tag and Love Tag stamps too!


Thank you Michelle for this gorgeous little masterpiece! In addition to some sheet music, Michelle 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“.

Comments (2)

  • Julie Tucker

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    Wowwwwwww! This is gorgeous! LOVING that quote, the music paper and the buildings!!!!!!!!!!

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Say It Like You Mean It – Marsha Valk

  

Welcome to another post from my Creative Squad! Today we have a beautiful piece from Marsha Valk who used my Stroll Through the Hood #1 and #2 cling stamp sets to give her personal take on this month’s theme Say it like you Mean it – Let your unique voice be heard and tell us what’s on your mind. Be bold. Be yourself. We all have something to say and sometimes we need to shout it!


There are a lot of things on my mind: work and business, national politics, environmental and sustainability issues and even something as mundane as interior design. At this moment, as I’m typing this, current affairs in the US just aren’t in the forefront of my mind. But the Stroll Through the Hood #1 set is about a stroll through urban America. Not urban the Netherlands… So what was I going to do? I didn’t want to make another ‘I don’t want to’ spread. So I decided to turn off my mind and let the theme and the stamps do the talking.

Each time I read the theme ‘Say it like you Mean it’, I have a bad case of ear worm: the song ‘Sewn’ by The Feeling instantly starts playing in my head. But… I wasn’t sure what to do with it and I started thinking about songs that fitted the New York City feel of the stamps. And because I’m not currently in an empire state of mind, I thought of ‘I can’t see New York’ by Tori Amos. Also not sure about that song, I decided to go with both songs. They certainly were on my mind now!

I stamped some of the images in a notebook whilst I was working out what to do and that’s where the idea for the stars hanging from the sky came from. Then I stamped an urban scene at the bottom of the page.

Whilst I watercoloured the sky, I thought: you can’t see the city if there is no light. So that’s when I coloured the stars black. But the brief was to use one of the tag stamps and I chose ‘Hope’, so I felt that at least one star should shine its light.

In the end I needed to decide whether I wanted to colour the urban scene. I didn’t want to make it a black cityscape and colouring it would make it too visible, so I only added light grey lines and kept the rest bare.

The penciled and smudged words are the lyrics of ‘Sewn’ and the title in india ink refers to the Tori Amos song.


Thank you Marsha! We can always count on you to take the theme and really pull it apart to see what it means to you :) And the results are a gorgeously composed scene with beautiful colors and a couple surprises – like that cute suspended Star Tag lighting up the night sky. 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“.

Comments (1)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Nice take on the guidelines Marsha. I can’t help but hear the Billy Joel song I’m in a New York State of Mind while reading your words. Now I’ve dated myself for sure. The stars are a nice addition.

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Stroll Through The Hood – March 2017

Time for a Stroll Through the Hood . Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and to get new ideas to create something.

I loved the pattern and texture the melting snow created on our deck …I do not care for the snow so much though …I am glad when it is really spring weather again :)

I love the row of brown stones on our street – the beautiful stairways and all those windows and differently colored stones – and soon the trees will be green too – wohoo

This made me laugh – I am not a big fan of those blow up figures – especially around the winter holidays (sorry!) and I was glad it was over…but nope- should have know there is one for St. Patrick’s Day too – LOL.

Loving this mural by Alice Pasquini – the colors but especially also the lettering!

 

And this one on a construction fence made me laugh !

Cannot wait for warmer weather and more strolling around -it always help me get unstuck and get new ideas or process ideas :)

Have a beautiful day

Comments (6)

  • Sandi

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    Hi, Nat, love strolling with you. This month was wonderful. See ya next month on the hood

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thanks for joining me Sandi :) See you next month in the hood ;)

      Reply

  • Joi@RR

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    I always love your walks almost BEST of all Nat. The brownstones are WONDERFUL. I see things like that sometimes on TV but seeing your photos just makes them really real. They are soooooo pretty. Love the black on the stairs. And the street art is just so amazing to me. You don’t see much of that around here at all… if ever. Loved this post – thank you! Xj.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Awe- so glad you like the strolls Joi! Thank you for taking a walk with me :)

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    I just love brownstones and take pics of them when we go into Boston.
    That snow pattern is pretty cool as well.
    I always enjoy your strolls.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thanks for strolling with me Sue! My big dream is to live in a Brownstone some day- but I guess I keep on dreaming for now ;)

      Reply

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Say It Like You Mean It – Cheiron Brandon

  

Happy Tuesday! This week Cheiron Brandon from my Creative Squad is sharing 3 gorgeous cards that use my Stroll Through the Hood #1 cling stamp set, and my Beacon and Kassel stencils. Cheiron took a more subtle, but also uplifting, approach to this month’s theme Say it like you Mean it – Let your unique voice be heard and tell us what’s on your mind. Be bold. Be yourself. We all have something to say and sometimes we need to shout it!


Hi there! Cheiron here with my post for the March theme… Say it Like You Mean it. I know it is great to be big and bold and say what you mean, which is what I do almost all of the time. Today I thought I’d go a bit smaller with some subtle messages that can be sent in the mail. I love Nat’s new stamps, especially the graffiti words from Stroll Through the Hood #1 and I have incorporated them all into a set of gelli printed cards for you today.

I gelli printed a few panels using the Beacon and Kassel stencils to serve as my background:

Then I stamped the Powerhouse, Lady Liberty, and Brownstone stamps onto each:

I painted some printed paper with a brayer then stamped it with the different tag stamps: Art, Hope, and Love, and added some handwritten words and outlining to make little quotes for my cards.

I then mounted each gelli printed panel onto a black card base, then adhered the quote to each. Such a simple way to send a thoughtful message.


Thank you Cheiron for sharing such lovely designs with us – those colors are absolutely gorgeous. And I couldn’t agree more with your quotes. In addition to various papers, adhesive, and a black pen, Cheiron 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“.

Comments (1)

  • Michelle Rydell

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    These are beautiful Cheiron! and so do-able! Thank you!

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Say It Like You Mean It – Tina Walker

 

Hello from the Creative Squad! This week Tina Walker is kicking off a new theme for us with a beautiful and very meaningful book that I am so happy to share with you today. Along with my new Stroll Through the Hood #1 cling stamp set, Tina created something very powerful using the new monthly theme Say it like you Mean it – Let your unique voice be heard and tell us what’s on your mind. Be bold. Be yourself. We all have something to say and sometimes we need to shout it!


Hi! Tina Walker here today with my take on this month’s theme, ‘Say it like you mean it’. The U.S. is in a pivotal period of transition and the theme this month is a perfect way to support and vocalize my feelings and thoughts. I am saddened by what is occurring in the current administration and I am standing up and fighting for my rights and the rights of others. I am incredibly proud of my project and it is one of the favorite things I’ve made in many years. It really does prove that when you are passionate and inspired, creating reflects a piece of your heart.

The pages for MY VOICE mini, are scraps of black leather. I cut them into various rectangle shaped pieces, both small and large.

Using stamps from the Stroll Through the Hood #1 collection, heat emboss each page with the various stamps from the set. I really love the white embossing against the black leather.

For just a bit of color, dry brush several sections of each stamped image. The idea is not color the image, but add highlights.

I am a person of few words. Instead of filling my mini with paragraphs and paragraphs of many words, I choose several that say exactly how I feel. My words of support and protest are stamped on scrap pieces of fabric. Machine stitch the journal strips to the leather pages.

Using small scraps of leather, heat emboss the graffiti words from the stamp collection and stitch to the pages with a decorative zig zag stitch.

The binding for my mini are large eyelets. It was a challenge to get the large eyelet holes through the leather, but in the end, it was worth it.

Do you create and put your thoughts and feelings to paper or fabric? Do you find personal liberation when writing or creating with your feelings? I’d love to hear how you voice your mind.


Wow. Thank you Tina for a such an honest and meaningful project. You are right – when passion and creativity come together in art, something truly special comes out of it. In addition to scrap fabric, a sewing machine, and various embellishments and jewelry, Tina 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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