A Look Back

A Look Back – Starting with Yellow – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 28

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at Starting with Yellow – or specifically, yellow backgrounds in my art journal. I think yellow can mean a lot of things and evoke a lot of different emotions and the following art journal spreads all have predominantly yellow backgrounds and range from happy to hopeful to brave. Read on and enjoy!

A Look Back is a blog series to show you some projects and posts that you may have missed – sometimes going WAY back in the archive. I think it will be fun to revisit a few ideas that we haven’t seen for a while. I’m excited to see how a little look back might inspire something new in the future :)


In this first spread I started with that yellow background and then kept the color palette pretty simple. Check out the full post here to read how I created my image and added my Groovy foam stamp.

 

I brought a few other colors together with yellow in this art journal spread as a base for a quick pencil sketch and some of my Fan-Fare stamps. With the boldness of this background, the rest of the spread came together with ease.

 

Yellow was the base of this all over pattern here in my art journal. I added my Kyoto stencil and some eraser dots here and there too.

 

In this art journal page, I anchor my building in a field of yellow. My background is definitely yellow, but given interest with areas of blank page here and there and some of my Wabi Sabi stamps too.

 

The boldness of this art journal page emphasizes the call to action, “Be the change!” Yellow feels like the right hue for that energy and hope.

I hope you enjoyed this look back on some projects that started with yellow. Here are some of the supplies I used:

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A Look Back – Embrace the Empty Space – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 26

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at art journal pages that Embrace the Empty Space! Did you ever consider the empty page as part of your composition? Sometimes I like to, and it can be a pretty cool tool when you get it right (and when you can manage to actually keep it clean LOL). It’s something to think about – Read on and enjoy!

A Look Back is a blog series to show you some projects and posts that you may have missed – sometimes going WAY back in the archive. I think it will be fun to revisit a few ideas that we haven’t seen for a while. I’m excited to see how a little look back might inspire something new in the future :)


First stop is this post from 2018 where I kept the top and bottom of the page clear to highlight my cityscape scene stretching from side to side. I used a bunch of my rubber stamps from my Stroll Through the Hood and Stroll Around the Block sets and the sketch of the figure became my Actually I Can stamp! All were on top of washi tape and paper.

 

In this post from 2018 I used another stamp from my Actually I Can set along with some Hex foam stamps to create a very atmospheric environment. I like the shape of the white space that is created in between the hexes.

 

A stencil (my Flower Maze here) and spray paint allows for a subtle transition between blank space and pattern like here in this post from that same year. If you’re feeling a little hesitant about all that open real estate, try adding some splatters.

 

An all over, continuous pattern is another way to embrace the blank page without having to deal with large open areas that may be calling to you. In this page from 2019 I added a rubber stamp from my Floral Tile Small set and my Gnarly foam stamp. Simple but still a cool way to Embrace the Empty Space :)

 

Not every page needs to be about an all over composition. I love playing with stamps to see how they fit together and this page from earlier this year shows a really impactful design that I didn’t think needed anything else. I combined my Love Story and Mini Motifs foam stamps into something that reminds me of a crest or seal.

I hope this makes you think differently about how you can use the blank page to your advantage. Have fun with it! Here are some of the supplies I used:

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A Look Back – Creative Squad Alumni – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 27

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at projects from past Creative Squad members – each Tuesday we post something from our Creative Squad and wow there have been so many inspiring and unbelievably cool ones. I decided to look back at 5 Creative Squad Alums and share a project from each of them. And remember, you can find an archive of every posted project HERE on the website. Read on and enjoy!

A Look Back is a blog series to show you some projects and posts that you may have missed – sometimes going WAY back in the archive. I think it will be fun to revisit a few ideas that we haven’t seen for a while. I’m excited to see how a little look back might inspire something new in the future :)


First up is from Creative Squad Alum Tina Walker from back in 2017 with our theme Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. She repurposed two old projects and brought them together in this stunning mini book. She incorporated my Lily Wallpaper stencil and Batik Pattern 3 foam stamp too. Here you can read the original post and see the two things that she transformed.

 

Back in 2016 our Creative Squad Alum Gwen Lafleur used our theme Say Yes to New Adventures to art journal about her love of travel. Her gorgeously layered spread uses my What’s the Point stencil and again, my Lily Wallpaper stencil and Gwen’s journaling. To see her process for this page, visit the original post here.

 

Next we head to Cheiron Brandon’s 2017 post for our Free for All theme and these beautifully colored tags using my Love Tag and Embroidery rubber stamps. Read the original post here for her method of using Distress Oxide inks for a washy watercolor effect.

 

Looking for a fun tablescape project? I love this one from Marsha Valk back in 2016 for our Return to the Light theme. She used battery powered tea lights, vellum, and my Santiago, Buenos Aires, and Toledo stencils to create colorful and fresh votives. See the process in her original post here.

 

Finally we have a lovely card from alum Tania Ahmed in 2019 for our theme Today We Smile. She used my Maiko stamp and my Running stamp to layer up for this card reminding us to… smile :) Watch her video in the original post here.

I hope you enjoyed this look back on some projects by our forever talented Creative Squad. Here are some of the supplies they used:

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A Look Back – Spring DIY Ideas – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 25

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at some Spring DIY Ideas that are great ways to get creative and make a few lovely things for this time of year. A stenciled umbrella to help you chase away those springtime showers in style? Yes. A vertical garden using your favorite rubber stamps? You betcha. A paper wreath project that the whole family can make? Read on and enjoy!

A Look Back is a blog series to show you some projects and posts that you may have missed – sometimes going WAY back in the archive. I think it will be fun to revisit a few ideas that we haven’t seen for a while. I’m excited to see how a little look back might inspire something new in the future :)


Spring showers got you down? No problem – grab a boring old umbrella and give it a little style with stencils and spray paint. I loved decorating a simple white umbrella in colors and patterns that made me happy no matter what the weather. And bonus – this little compact white umbrella was great in the summer to keep the sun off on particularly hot days in the city. Check out the full tutorial here.

 

Every year the weather warms up and I long to be outside and to see flowers! And while those little plants are growing bigger, I love to have colorful pots adding pops here and there in the garden. I painted and used rubber stamps to make some simple terra cotta pots a lot more fun. Read the DIY steps here.

 

I’m a pattern junky as you know, so this DIY was a no-brainer. Tote bags get a ton of use so why shouldn’t they be just as cool as the rest of your stuff? I used rubber stamps and fabric ink to stamp my shopping bags with bold patterns. See my inspiration and step-by-step instructions here. And then take your lovely new bags and go support a small business in your hood!

 

What do you get when you combine plain fabric scarves with stencils and fabric markers? Beautiful watercolor-like patterns and a one-of-a-kind wardrobe staple. This is an easy project with just a few supplies. See the instructions here.

 

Here is a spring project that the whole family can do together. I used colorful paper and rubber stamps to make the “leaves” and then glued them to a cardboard ring that I cut from an old box. Read all about it here.

I hope this list of Spring DIY Ideas inspires you to try some new things and get creative. Here are some of the supplies I used:

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A Look Back – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 24 – Challenges

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at different Challenges I’ve created. On April 1st I started Nat and Sarah’s April ArtFoamies Challenge so I hope you check that out on Instagram and here on the blog too throughout April, but that’s not the only challenge I’ve ever dreamed up. Read on for more!

A Look Back is a blog series to show you some projects and posts that you may have missed – sometimes going WAY back in the archive. I think it will be fun to revisit a few ideas that we haven’t seen for a while. I’m excited to see how a little look back might inspire something new in the future :)


Deck of Cards Challenge – In November 2019 I created a challenge to explore 30 different card making ideas. I focused on different themes: Holiday, Thank You, Just Because etc. and also different design motifs like patterns, lines, shapes and others. I made enough to have a Deck of Cards, ready to go to whenever I needed to reach out to someone with a little note. You can see the posts here on the blog.

 

Stencilbop Challenge – In August 2019 I came up with a challenge to really push the way I thought about using my stencils. Different paint and markers and pens of course but I also went in some new directions like woodburning and even an ice cream cake! You can check that out here on the website.

 

Foam Stamplifier Challenge – In March 2019 it was all about foam stamps and 31 ways to use those. I’m really passionate about my ArtFoamies stamp designs and as they are a relatively new type of product, I thought it would be fun to figure out different ways to use them in my artmaking and art journaling. See what I came up with here on the website.

 

Nat’s April Patterns – In April 2019 I created a book full of patterns using my rubber stamps. I didn’t use prompts, but each day I created a new pattern for the book and then in the end I posted a flip through video too. Check out all those April Patterns here.

Challenges are the perfect fix if you need some inspiration or new ideas. I hope this Look Back inspired you and I hope you join us for Nat and Sarah’s April ArtFoamies Challenge #artcollabchallengeaccepted

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A Look Back – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 23 – Batik Stencil

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at some things I’ve done with my Batik Stencil over the years. Art journaling, mixed media on canvas, and a throwback to a Creative Squad alum too just to categorize a few! Read on and I hope you try some of these project ideas :)

A Look Back is a blog series to show you some projects and posts that you may have missed – sometimes going WAY back in the archive. I think it will be fun to revisit a few ideas that we haven’t seen for a while. I’m excited to see how a little look back might inspire something new in the future :)


Going back to one of my 2014 art journals and I was layering up a couple stencils for my background – including my Batik (of course) and my What’s the Point. I’m still digging the colors in this spread – check out the original post here.

 

Kinda keeping with that palette, here’s a painting I did in 2016 called State of the Union, a scene from the old train station in Liberty State Park and a rather outdated Jersey City skyline lol – lots more buildings back there these days. I used the Batik stencil for a pretty unexpected design element in the sky. Read more here.

 

From Creative Squad Alum Marsha Valk in 2017, some faux batik papers using my Batik stencil, Batik Foam Stamps, and embossing powder. Check out her video of the technique here.

 

In 2019 I joined Tina Walker for her Stencilfied Journal and here was a page that I created using my Batik stencil, Far Out foam stamp, and Mid Century Squared foam stamp, along with some song lyrics. Read more here.

 

Finally, I just love sharing this fun way to use a stencil – lay it under your art journal page and take a rubbing! Check out my post here from the Stencilbop Challenge in 2019.


I hope you enjoyed this look back and are inspired to try a few of these ideas using your mixed media supplies.

Here are some of the supplies we used:

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A Look Back – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 22 – Paper Clay

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at some things I’ve done with clay over the years. Sometimes I’ve used paper clay to make 3D elements for mixed media work and assemblage pieces. Other times I’ve created small clay bowls and plates using rubber stamps and foam stamps for texture and pattern. Read on and I hope you try some of these project ideas!

A Look Back is a blog series to show you some projects and posts that you may have missed – sometimes going WAY back in the archive. I think it will be fun to revisit a few ideas that we haven’t seen for a while. I’m excited to see how a little look back might inspire something new in the future :)


Back in 2012 I participated in a little Altered Brush challenge and created a clay heart as part of my finished piece. Check out the original post here. Paper clay takes all kinds of acrylic media well, so you can paint it and adhere things to it quite easily. And you can make any sort of collage element that you need – your imagination is the limit.

 

Also in 2012 I experimented with creating small circular clay collage elements that I used in this mixed media canvas. Need real dimensional elements for your work? Paper clay is easy to work with and lightweight.

 

Then in 2013 I used a leftover clay piece in this assemblage for the Whatevers group. The Whatevers would create mixed media pieces inspired by old photos and part of the fun was making up a little story about the people in the photos. Check out the original post here to see the full piece including the vintage photo part :)

 

One of my favorite ways to use a product like paper clay is to make small bowls and plates. They aren’t foodsafe, but for trinkets, rings, or keys they make a beautiful decorative object. I like to roll out my clay and then stamp patterns into it with my rubber stamps. Then once it is dried you can highlight those designs with acrylic paint. Check out this 2015 post here.

 

An equally cool way to adorn paper clay bowls is with my foam stamps and moonlight duo ink pads. I showed this method on Day 27 of my 2019 Foam Stamplifier Challenge. I loved using my Far Out, Groovy, and Jazzed foam stamps for this one because the simple marks work so well with the simple form of the objects.


I hope you enjoyed this look back and are inspired to try a few of these ideas using your mixed media supplies and tools along with paper clay.

Here are some of the supplies we used:

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A Look Back – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 21 – Fall Play Dates

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at some fun fall play dates that Kim and I had back when we could get together in person and play with my stamps and stencils. Some of these are very seasonal (pumpkins) and others are just nice ideas for when you need an indoor activity to do. Read on and I hope you try some of these project ideas too!

A Look Back is a blog series to show you some projects and posts that you may have missed – sometimes going WAY back in the archive. I think it will be fun to revisit a few ideas that we haven’t seen for a while. I’m excited to see how a little look back might inspire something new in the future :)


This project was a great way to decorate pumpkins without getting out the carving knife and spreading gourd guts all over your kitchen LOL. We used my stencils and acrylic paint and came away with some very cool decor. Check it out here.

 

Here is a project that you can pull together with all those collage papers and deli papers you have in your stash. We gussied some of ours up with my foam stamps and acrylic paint and then cut out simple leaf shapes for a wall hanging. This is an easy fall project for all ages and abilities. Check it out here.

 

Has colder weather and shorter days got you thinking about indoor activities, curled up in front of a fireplace? Embroidery is an ideal activity if you just want to relax and chill. We used my Stroll Around the Block and Stroll Through the Hood 1 and 2 rubber stamps as a guide for our colorful stitched projects seen here in this post.

 

Thinking about sprucing up your decor while spending more time at home? We used my foam stamps and fabric ink to create modern pillow covers for our living rooms here in this play date post.

 

Your Thanksgiving table may be a little smaller this year but it doesn’t have to be any less Instagram worthy – check out these napkin rings we created using my stencils and pan pastels for a one-of-a-kind holiday tablescape.


I hope you enjoyed this look back and are inspired to try a few of these craft ideas.

Here are some of the supplies we used:

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A Look Back – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 20 – Fluorescent Colors

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at a color family that maybe has a bit of a bad reputation… but that can be so fun to use and definitely has the power to POP: Fluorescents! Love em or hate em, you can’t deny their ability to grab your attention. Below are some old posts and projects that use fluorescent colors in small amounts and large, creating different moods and effects.

A Look Back is a blog series to show you some projects and posts that you may have missed – sometimes going WAY back in the archive. I think it will be fun to revisit a few ideas that we haven’t seen for a while. I’m excited to see how a little look back might inspire something new in the future :)


First up is an art journal page from this post way back in 2014. I used an array of super hot reds for this one, including Liquitex Fluorescent Red soft body paint to create an intense backdrop for my Elephant Parade stencil.

 

Next up is a super fun project I did back in 2015 with this nifty cardboard water tower I found from a maker in Brooklyn. I just love the form of these old water towers that you see all over the place in NYC. They make me very happy lol. I used fluorescent orange spray paint along with my Elephant March and What’s the Point stencils to give this charming little object even more personality.

 

Sometimes you just need a touch of fluorescent as I’ve done here in this 2016 art journal spread. I used a Liquitex Fluorescent Red marker to draw on some marks and symbols. Just some energy coming through a busy background.

 

How bold can you go? I went super bold in this art journal page back in 2016 when I used fluorescent spray paints and my Art Deco Wallpaper and Circuit stencils for my background. Sometimes you have to go all in with fluorescents and just see what happens.

 

A hint of pink may be the answer… Fluorescent Pink of course! In this Creative Ice Breaker video from 2016 I use just a little Golden Fluorescent Pink paint with my Amsterdam stencil for a very active page. You can almost feel the elephants running around in this spread.


I hope you enjoyed this look back at… fluorescent colors and are maybe inspired to try adding some to your artwork.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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