A Look Back

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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A Look Back – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 19 – Deck of Me

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at a project I did back in 2007 called Deck of Me. It was a challenge organized by Emily Falconbridge where we used a deck of playing cards as our artistic substrate and each day had a prompt to help guide us in creating a personalized deck. I was still in my scrapbooking phase back then but the transition to mixed media was definitely happening. There was a full deck in the end and you can go through them all in these posts but I thought sharing some of my favorites would be interesting. Also I thought how fun it was to transform something we probably all have in our homes, and is such a small manageable size to create on daily. Hmmm maybe worth a round two…

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 :)


The first card was in early January and the prompt was “Something I’m Proud of” – kinda like a New Year’s resolution I suppose. You can read the post here to get a feel for what the Deck of Me challenge was all about and also to see the other side of the card. Each day I worked on both sides of the card – one side featuring the prompt and one side my take on it. So definitely check out the old blog posts to see both sides.

 

As the goal of the challenge was to get personal, I jumped right in on Day 2 and shared what gave me strength – my past! Yup, you know they say what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. You can read that post and see the flip side here.

 

Day 5 was about using some collected ephemera from the week and I had just visited a museum show in Hamburg at the time. Here is the post and my take on the prompt too.

 

On Day 13 I did something that I would use again and again as a technique in my art journal for many years – using magazine images and working them in with paint and other media. I wouldn’t say this is the first time I ever did this, but it is an early example of mine. You can read “What’s on my mind” in the post here.

 

Jumping way ahead to Day 46 here with a nice example of some collage. The prompt was “rejuvenation” and you can see in the post here how I interpreted that on the other side of the card.


Maybe you have an old deck of cards at home that you are not using that could be your next little daily project. I sometimes need a challenge like this just to get working consistently every day on something artistic. This was also an interesting look inward when I was considering some of the very personal prompts.

I hope you enjoyed this look back and maybe it inspired you to give something new a try :)

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A Look Back – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 18 – Inspired By Love

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at drawing inspiration from that universal emotion – Love. I like to use quotes for my art journaling because hey, sometimes a powerful quote exactly captures what I am feeling. Love is something that inspires me again and again and if you happen to look for quotes, you will see that there are plenty to choose from. I thought sharing some of my art journal pages through the years would be fun here.

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 :)


“I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.” – Sarah Williams

In 2014 I created this page using my Crackle stencil and spray paint.

“Live, Laugh, Love”

In 2016 I played with my Versailles foam stamps, acrylic paint, and a big tag in this art journal spread.

“Courage, like love, circles back around and finds us again. Love, like courage, only blooms when there exists so many reasons to be afraid.” – Tyler Knott Gregson

In 2017 I created a big cityscape using my Stroll Through the Hood #1 and #2 rubber stamp sets, along with watercolors in this spread.

“Be in love with your life. Every minute of it.”

In this bold spread from Valentine’s Day in 2018 I used some transfers of a photo of my great-aunt Margot and my great-uncle Hans, along with my Love Tag, Tread, and Grannies rubber stamps.

“Love is love is love.”

In 2019 I created this rainbow flag in my art journal using a whole bunch of my rubber stamps (see supplies below) and Moonlight Duo ink pads.


I hope you enjoyed this look back and maybe it inspired you to give something new a try :)

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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A Look Back – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 16 – Visual Texture

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at creating Visual Texture. This is one of my favorite tricks – creating the illusion of texture on a page using various tools and media. I love how you can fool the eye into thinking that an image or pattern has dimension to it, just by how it’s created. Below are 5 ways to experiment with it in this Look Back.

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 a trick to do with some ArtFoamies foam stamps from this post in my Foam Stamplifier series – just stamp the foam stamp (here I’m using my Mini Hex set) with Distress Oxide inks and then spritz with water. When you lift away the water droplets with a paper towel you will reveal some beautiful visual texture.

 

Next is just using the right stamps – like my Cardboard rubber stamps that I’m using here in this art journal page. These stamps totally capture all the cool cardboard textures out there.

 

If you have stencils and a graphite stick or crayon around, you can try creating visual texture with frottage – rubbing! I used this technique along with my Batik stencil for this page in my Stencilbop Challenge. Check it out!

 

Another way to achieve the look of big texture with stencils is to use a few different colors of spray paint like I have here in this art journal page. I’m using my Hamilton stencil and just by moving it slightly and using spray paint I can create the illusion of a third dimension.

 

Finally, the visual texture that you can create using a hand carved stamp is really quite effective. I carved a large street scene for the stamp I used in this art journal page and just love the rough woodcut aesthetic of it.


I hope you enjoyed this look back and maybe it inspired you to give something new a try :)

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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A Look Back – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 15

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at Art Journal Flip Through videos! I’ve been art journaling for years and have filled up quite a few. It’s kinda neat looking back through the old ones and seeing how my style has evolved. CLick on the links to visit the original posts and watch the videos.

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 a Flip Through from way back in 2014. You can watch the video HERE and see what I was working on back then. There were definitely some grungy backgrounds that I still love to this day :)

 

The next one is a journal that began in late 2014 and wasn’t filled until 2017 – I was working in 4-5 journals at one time so they could take a while to fill. Check out the video HERE to see my style change over the years.

 

This one I began in 2015 and finished up in 2017 – I remember working on so many of these pages. You can watch the flip through HERE.

 

Now moving through time, this one I began in 2017 and finished in 2018. It spans the time when I traveled to Japan and I think you can see that influence in some of the pages. Watch the flip through HERE.

 

Finally I had this art journal from 2018 to 2019, so the stuff in here is still very fresh in my mind. Check out the video HERE


I hope you go back with me and watch some of these videos to see what I worked on through the years. And I hope it inspires you to look through your old art journals too. I think we can learn quite a bit by seeing where we’ve come from.


Please join me today, Friday April 17th at 12noon EST for one of my Facebook Live Kaffeeklatsch Get Together chats! I’ll be sharing a new painting and talking about some other things. Most importantly I love “seeing” all of you there and it gives me a sense of our wonderful creative community. Please come by and say Hi and let me know what you are up to :)

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