Creative Squad

Creative Squad: Jumping with Emilie Murphy CJS21

Hello from my Creative Squad! We have a fantastic mixed media painting from Emilie Murphy who is using my CJS21 limited edition foam stamp Love Story, my Star Struck stencil, and our theme: Storyteller – This month we’re playing along with Creative JumpStart 2021 and the theme Storyteller. We’re using our artwork, our color and material choices, and our personal style to tell a Love Story.

“Love with all your heart”

Hi there! And Happy New Year everyone!

Let’s start the year off by playing along with Creative JumpStart 2021 using the limited edition “Love Story” foam stamp. I decided to paint a simple illustration with watercolors. So let’s jump!

I worked on an 8×8 piece of Hot Press watercolor paper, because I wanted to have a smooth surface but it will also work great on cold press watercolor paper as well.

The first thing I did was to apply VersaMark ink on my Love Story foam stamp to emboss it with white embossing powder. That’s a great technique of “resist” when using watercolors.

Next, I painted the interior of the stamp with bright watercolors. Don’t hesitate to apply enough watercolor pigment because the watercolors get lighter when it dries. I sprinkled some salt on the pink triangle shape to add some texture. I did the same thing on the heart but it didn’t show up when it dried. Probably because my surface was too wet and/or I didn’t put enough salt on it. Just so you know.

Salt is a nice way to add texture, which adds a little bit of interest when using with watercolors.

I let dry, then, I applied some indigo watercolor to the exterior. I left some white space on purpose and added more watercolor pigment along the exterior edges of the stamp.

What I recommend is to work in layers.  First, apply a layer of watercolor, let it dry slightly, then add some more and so on.

To add some interest to the background, I laid down the “Star Struck” stencil and applied some “Faded Jeans” Oxide ink with a foam applicator, only over the layer of watercolor. I slightly went over the top right corner and bottom just to give an irregular look while still leaving white space.

I really love the result. The distress or oxide inks work beautifully with watercolors.

At that point, my painting needed a title. I simply wrote down by hand the sentiment on a piece of white cardstock. I chose the uppercase style by preference.

I slightly inked the edges of my sentiment with some oxide ink. Before gluing it down, I applied some splatters with indigo watercolor hiding my stamp image.

Finally I used some watercolor pencils to add some depth to the image and get a dimensional effect. I first applied a similar color inside each shape to get more depth. Then, I used a brown color to enhance the left and top edges of each shape to get the dimensional effect.

And voila!

I decided to frame this painting and put it in my son’s bedroom. This painting can make a great gift for someone you love.

It would make a nice greeting card or art journal page as well or whatever you’d like to try and make.

Hope it gets you inspired. What about starting the year of 2021 with some fun and creativity!

Have a good rest of the week and see you next month!

Thank you Emilie – absolutely love this piece and that it now has a place in your son’s room – lovely!

Give it a try: you can find all my Foam Stamps and Stencils in my Online Shop and here are some of the supplies Emilie used:

Don’t forget to check out Nat’s Creative Squad on Instagram too: Each week we post projects, ideas, and inspiration for mixed media art.

Comments (1)

  • Robin


    Emilie. As always, your piece is beautiful! I love the colors and how you used the stencil in the background. It’s so fun that it’s framed and in your sons room!!!


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Creative Squad: Jumping with Maura Hibbits CJS21

Hello from my Creative Squad! We are kicking off January 2021 with a gorgeous “Color Story” piece from Maura Hibbitts, who is using my CJS21 limited edition foam stamp Love Story, my New Orleans stencil, and our theme: Storyteller – This month we’re playing along with Creative JumpStart 2021 and the theme Storyteller. We’re using our artwork, our color and material choices, and our personal style to tell a Love Story.

Wishing you a new year of health and joy (and yes, the little joys count)! I am so glad to see the door closed on 2020, and am hopeful this year will bring better changes to us all. One of those changes is Creative Jumpstart which I look forward to each year in January to get my creative mojo revved up. This year, the 10th anniversary of CJS, promises to be amazing! Nathalie, you have outdone yourself organizing a wonderful 45 days of creativity with an awesome array of artists. I’m having fun so far, thank you!

The theme of CJS21 is Storyteller. I love being able to tell a story with my art, and my story today is all about my love of color. I am “fatally” attracted to color…I seek it out around me, I have to wear it, I am compelled to buy it…one bottle of green paint is not enough, I have to have ten shades of it! I love observing the myriads of color in the natural world around me. I love playing with color, dressing myself in bold colors and patterns, photographing it, seeking it out in my travels, and even dreaming in color.

So, with my love of color in mind, I looked at the beautiful Love Story Art Foamie stamp Nathalie designed for CJS21, and envisioned it in all its colorful glory. I began by stamping the image onto watercolor paper with my gel plate and black paint for a bold frame.

I pulled out an array of watercolor papers I’d made with my watercolor paints, gouache, and salt for another project. (You could easily substitute colored card stock.) I stamped different areas of the Art Foamie image onto each color.

I wanted to add more texture to my pieces, so added another layer with the New Orleans stencil and a variety of paints. I really like using a cosmetic sponge to apply my paint through the stencil. Let dry. (Be sure to tap off excess paint from the sponge first, so you will get a nice crisp image).

Next up, cut out the colorful pieces, and fit them into place on the original stamped image. I used a tacky glue to hold them in place, since they are heavier papers.

I purposefully left some spaces white, so I could also add in some watercolor…after all, I hadn’t yet used every color!

I headed to my square black journal, and created a frame with the New Orleans stencil, pink and a bit of green paint.

I trimmed my Color Story piece, adhered it to the center of the page in the journal, and my final step was to journal around it with a white pen.

When I step back and look at my image, it reminds me of stained glass, with its bright array of colors. If you look closely, you can see the stenciled texture, as it is very subtle on some pieces. I like how it stands out on the black background in my journal.

“Color Story…I love color in all its shades and tints of glory…I look for it everywhere in my life” I hope this year is a colorful year for you, filled with stories. Maura

Thank you Maura – we love the bold stained glass effect you created with your Color Story!

Give it a try: you can find all my Foam Stamps and Stencils in my Online Shop and in addition to watercolor papers from her stash, here are some of the supplies Maura used:

Don’t forget to check out Nat’s Creative Squad on Instagram too: Each week we post projects, ideas, and inspiration for mixed media art.

Comments (1)

  • Robin seiz


    Maura, I love how you used this stamp! The texture in this project is sooo yummy! The color on black… and the variety of colors…. it all just fits together so beautifully! What a great start to our squad posts! Bravo!


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Last Day for Early Bird Creative JumpStart

Are you registered for Creative JumpStart 2021 yet? Our special Early Bird sale ends tomorrow, December 31st at 11:59pm EST. Now is the time to sign up and save! 

CJS21 is our 10th anniversary year and the workshop is bigger than ever with 45 different mixed media artists sharing their take on our theme: Storyteller. Jump with us!

We’re super excited about the program this year and the diversity of talent. In addition to downloadable video lessons and supply lists, we have exclusive giveaways from our sponsors, live webinars featuring our artists, opportunities for students to share their artwork and connect with a global art community, and 45 days of inspiration to help you get 2021 off to a creative start.

Learn more here and register TODAY.  CJS21 is just $69 through December 31st, 2020 at 11:59pm EST. 

Also, don’t forget to get our limited edition CJS21 foam stamp Love Story. This design is only available through December 2021 and there is even a bonus lesson in Creative JumpStart 2021 to show you 3 different ways to use it. 

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New Love Story Foam Stamp

Exciting news! I’ve designed a Limited Edition Foam Stamp for Creative JumpStart 2021 Storyteller edition called Love Story. It represents my love for art and my love for all of you: my artsy community!

This stamp will only be available for purchase through December 2021 so grab yours HERE, and if you haven’t signed up for CJS21 yet, do that HERE so you can access a quick tutorial up in the CJS21 classroom. It shows you three new techniques to use this stamp.

In the tutorial, I show you how to create the world’s easiest accordion fold book (using just some extra envelopes I had laying around) and three stamping techniques to help you use your imagination and tell YOUR Love Story.

Love Story is only available for a limited run so hurry into the shop.

And if you haven’t signed up for Creative JumpStart 2021 yet, there is still time to do that too – check it out here, and get access to the Love Story tutorial.

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One BADASS Art Journal – Online Workshop

Registration is open for One BADASS Art Journal – an online workshop I am teaching in! This is hosted by Tiare Smith and includes 16 teachers and 17 lessons to help you unlock your inner artistic badass.

The workshop begins February 1st, 2021 and goes for 4 months through May 31, 2021.  Afterwards it is completely self-paced and you have lifetime access to videos and lessons to help you get a bit more confident with your artmaking. Find out more and register HERE.

Here’s what you can expect: Step-by-Step Mixed Media Tutorials, Video Tutorials, Downloadable PDFs, Wonderful for beginners or anyone who wants to embrace their inner BADASS.

Creative JumpStart 2021 is also on SALE now – just $59 with Cyber Week pricing through December 4th at 11:59pm EST. This is our BIGGEST Creative JumpStart ever with 45 different artists and 45 mixed media lessons designed to JumpStart YOUR Creativity.

Sign up now and get ready for a new lesson each day from New Year’s Day through Valentine’s Day. Our theme this year is Storyteller and our artists are sharing their stories through artistic techniques and projects designed to inspire you in 2021 and beyond.

Unlock the power of storytelling in your artwork! Sign up HERE today.

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Announcing Creative JumpStart 2021: On sale today!

Are you ready for the BIGGEST Creative JumpStart EVER? We’re celebrating our 10th Anniversary this year in a big way and I’m excited today to announce Creative JumpStart (CJS) 2021 is on sale!

Sign up TODAY and SAVE BIG: you can get CJS21 for just $49USD today. Our Cyber Monday Sale ends tonight, November 30th at 11:59pmEST.

What is Creative JumpStart? It’s a one-of-a-kind online mixed media workshop, designed to kick your creativity into high gear from January 1st through February 14th 2021 and BEYOND. Learn techniques, discover new materials, and connect with other artists and crafters. 

Check out the Promo Video to get a taste:

What does Creative JumpStart 2021 include? As this is our 10th Anniversary Year, we are bigger than ever with 45 leading mixed media artists sharing 45 downloadable video lessons with you. We’ve also got tons of added goodies: downloadable PDF supply lists and artist guides to assist you with the lessons, the chance to interact with students and teachers in the classroom, the opportunity to share your CJS21 inspired artwork with an incredible community of creative souls, exclusive giveaways from our sponsors, and LIVE webinars to enrich your artistic journey in 2021 and BEYOND.

Who are the wonderful teachers of Creative JumpStart 2021? We have a powerhouse of talent in the line up this year. I am thrilled to present to you many seasoned veterans of CJS but also some new faces that add to the excitement that is Creative JumpStart:

The theme this year is Storyteller and we asked our artists to create lessons inspired by the story that they wanted to tell. Art is such a powerful tool for telling our own stories, through subject matter, tools, materials, colors, style, and more. Our artists will share with you how they use creativity to tell a story and will teach and inspire you to translate these techniques into your own way of creating.

Sign up HERE for Creative JumpStart 2021.

You get 45 videos – over 8 hours worth of video content –  for just $49 (USD) if you sign up by November 30th, 11:59 pm EST. Afterwards it will be $59USD until December 4th 11:59pmEST, and $69USD until December 31 11:59pmEST, before it goes to its normal sale price of $89USD on January 1st, 2021.

So what are you waiting for? SIGN UP HERE

Also: Our Seasonal Spectacular Sale is ending TODAY. So be sure to head to my online shop and add some rubber stamps, foam stamps, stencils, artwork, mugs and more (any physical product – woohoo) to your shopping cart. Then just use the coupon code SEASONAL25 to save 25% off. Hurry in – items are going fast and this is my BIGGEST sale of the year :) Here is the shop.

Comments (1)

  • jamcam2022


    Happy 10th Anniversary – just joined CJS2021. Love the feeling of excitement that I get anticipating January 1. And how smart of you to continue it through February 14! Thank you Nat for being you?


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Best of Creative JumpStart Vol. 5 – Online Workshop Bundle

I’m releasing another Best of CJS bundle today!!! 

Best of Creative JumpStart Vol. 5 is now on sale! This is the fifth bundle of mixed media lessons by some of our super talented CJS artist teachers, this bundle includes videos from Creative JumpStart 2019. The CJS 2019 theme was: My Home is My Castle and our artist teachers were asked to create a lesson inspired by what home means to them.

For only $9.99 you will receive access to download links for 12 inspiring Creative JumpStart lessons from 2019. Here are the amazing teachers and lessons in this bundle:

  • Marsha Valk 2019 : Building Blocks of Home
  • Gwen Lafleur 2019 : Home Gratitude Journal
  • Aaron and Jenny Holiday 2019 : The Family Flag
  • Andrea Gomoll 2019 : Home is a State of Mind
  • Birgit Koopsen 2019: King of the Castle
  • Julie Fei-Fan Balzer 2019 : Home Sweet Home
  • Andrea Chebeleu 2019: A Home for Your ATCs
  • Sandra Evertson 2019: Wood Burning for the Home
  • Jen Crossley 2019 : Tiny House Jewelry
  • Mary Beth Shaw 2019 : Stenciled Home Decor
  • Mystele Kirkeeng 2019 : Assemblage Home
  • Nat Kalbach 2019 : My Home is My Stamp

You can learn more and sign up HERE. Take a peek at the lessons below:

If you’re looking for more videos, be sure to check out some of my other CJS workshop bundles: Best of CJS Vol.1 from 2014/2015, Best of CJS Vol. 2 from 2016, Best of CJS Vol. 3 from 2017, and Best of CJS Vol. 4 from 2018. Each year had a different theme, a unique variety of artists, and an inspiring mix of lessons. Jump with us!

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Best of Creative JumpStart Vol. 4 – Online Workshop Bundle

Today I’m happy to announce that Best of Creative JumpStart Vol. 4 is now on sale! This is the fourth bundle of mixed media lessons by some of our amazing CJS artist teachers, this bundle includes videos from Creative JumpStart 2018. The CJS2018 theme was: Now We’re Cooking: Mixed Media Art Recipes and our artist teachers were asked to create a lesson inspired by their recipe for creative success.

For only $9.99 you will receive access to download links for 12 inspiring Creative JumpStart lessons from 2018. Here are the awesome teachers and lessons in this bundle:

  • Nat Kalbach 2018: The Secret Ingredient
  • Mystele Kirkeeng 2018: A Recipe for Play
  • Catherine Scanlon 2018: Traced Flower Painting
  • Marsha Valk 2018: Sole Picasso
  • Diana Trout 2018: Spice of Life
  • Sandra Evertson 2018: Hot Glue Cooking
  • Pam Carriker 2018: Mixed Media Angels
  • Birgit Koopsen 2018: A Delicious Little Hors D’oeuvres
  • Rae Missigman 2018: A Recipe for Color and Resist
  • Michelle Ward 2018: Let’s Have Take Out!
  • Gwen Lafleur 2018: Collage Papers
  • Jen Crossley 2018: Metal Etched Book

You can sign up HERE for this nice bundle of CJS18 videos.

And if you haven’t yet, you can still sign up for Best of CJS Vol.1 with videos from 2014 and 2015, Best of CJS Vol. 2 with videos from 2016, and Best of CJS Vol. 3 with videos from 2017. Stay tuned for more  and enjoy Jumping with us again :)

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Last Chance for Creative JumpStart 2020

Did you register for Creative JumpStart 2020 last January? If not, now is your LAST CHANCE to sign up for the CJS20 Super Power edition. The online workshop includes 31 downloadable video lessons by 31 different mixed media artists who are sharing their unique artistic super powers with you through project and technique lessons. The 10 minute video format is designed to fit into any busy schedule to encourage daily artistic practice and to help JumpStart YOUR Creativity!

Sign up HERE today – the workshop will no longer be available for purchase after September 20th, 2020. 

Check out the promo video to see all the artists who are teachers for CJS20:


If you’re looking for a workshop to inspire you through an exciting variety of artistic styles, different mediums, and mixed media techniques, Creative JumpStart delivers. Learn more HERE.

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