Creative Squad

Hex Marks the Spot – Jennifer Gallagher

Happy Tuesday folks! It’s time for a post from my Creative Squad and today we have Jennifer Gallagher sharing a beautiful art journal page representing her family. She is using the stamps from my Hex Set Large rubber stamp set and this month’s theme: Hex Marks the Spot –In the days of pirates and lost treasure, a map would lead you to gold and jewels. Today we treasure all sorts of things – our family, friends, experiences, meaningful objects, accomplishments, etc. Think about what you treasure and how you found your way there.


This month we are talking about our treasures. My treasure is my family. It just so happens this week is my wedding anniversary. I decided to create an art journal page that reflects my love of family and how they are my most valued treasures. I have represented my husband and two sons as flowers using Nat’s Maze Hex stamp. I hope you enjoy this quick and easy tutorial for a fun and vibrant art journal page.

Start by applying a layer of distress stain and spritzing it with water. Move the page around the let the water travel. Dab with a paper towel to create extra interest and texture.

Stamp Nat’s Maze Hex stamp with black archival ink. These shapes will become your flowers so place them as your focal points.

Fill in your flowers negative space with posca pen acrylic markers.

Paint the bottom half of your page with green acrylic paint and a mini blending tool. Once dry, stamp Nat’s Beacon Positive stamp in vivid chartreuse archival ink to add blades of grass.

Using a black gelly roll pen, draw in petals around each flower, stems, and leaves. Add as much doodling as you like. Use a distress marker in peeled paint to color in your leaves.

Write in a sentiment that describes what your treasure is. I chose, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

I hope this tutorial has shown you a creative way to use some of Nat’s Hex Set Large stamps. The Maze Hex stamp screams flower to me! What about you? What fun ways can you get more out of your n*Studio stamps? Be sure to play along and share your creations with us.


Thank you Jennifer – so cool to see the Maze Hex transformed into flowers! Great idea. You can find all of my rubber stamps in my online shop. In addition to green acrylic paint, here are some of the supplies Jennifer used:

Feel inspired? Working on something yourself that you’d like to share?  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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Hex Marks the Spot – Marsha Valk


Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a post from Marsha Valk and she takes us on a journey into the mind of an artist – to show us how a theme can prompt a thoughtful art journal page. She is using my Hex Large set, Fan-fare, and Hex Small rubber stamps and this month’s theme: Hex Marks the Spot –In the days of pirates and lost treasure, a map would lead you to gold and jewels. Today we treasure all sorts of things – our family, friends, experiences, meaningful objects, accomplishments, etc. Think about what you treasure and how you found your way there.


This month’s prompt made me intensely sad. Somehow to me, to treasure something is like trying to prevent sand from slipping through your fingers.

Change is constant. People disappear from your life, things break, or an event can make you see things in a completely different light. Even you change.

I truly realized this during my scrapbooking years: as soon as I scrapped about something precious, things changed, broke, got lost, went away or something happened that just changed everything. I’m not even kidding. I’m not saying I jinxed things by scrapbooking about them, but documenting everything did make me painfully aware of all of the changes and losses.

I’m not sure why the prompt made me steer down memory lane via the sad route. Maybe it’s because our neighbours are moving house, perhaps it’s because last week two huge trees that have dominated my view for twenty years were cut down or maybe it’s PMS… Things you treasure disappear all the time, and there is nothing you can do about that.

Good thing I know the perfect remedy for sad moods. It’s called ‘art journaling’. ;-)

For the background, I applied StazOn to my gel printing plate. Then I used Nat’s Hex Set Large stamp set to make marks in the ink. I pulled a print directly into my journal and used the leftover ink on the plate and a few stamped hexes to fill any of the remaining white spots.

Next, I browsed through my folder of scraps leftover from previous projects using Nat’s products and I pasted some of them to my page with Matte Medium.

Then I randomly applied magenta and white paint with a brush.

I stamped on top with the Diamond Hex Positive and white paint, and I also added a couple of diamond shapes from the Fan-fare set in gold paint, because what’s a treasure without gold!

I remembered that I had also had a cutout of a gold heart in my collage stash, so I pasted that to a painted scrap of paper that I cut to the shape of the heart.

I tucked some sewing thread under the heart before adhering it.

Then I wrote part of the lyrics to ‘Gold Dust’ by Tori Amos on the page, added black splatter and pulled the page spread together by stamping a couple of small Diamond Hex Positives in black ink.


Thank you Marsha! What a beautiful page and love that you used your art journaling to help work through all that. You can find all of my rubber stamps in my online shop. In addition to the gold heart collage element and the sewing thread, here are some of the other supplies Marsha used:

Feel inspired? Working on something yourself that you’d like to share?  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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Hex Marks the Spot – Tania Ahmed

Welcome to a post from my Creative Squad! This week we have an upcycling project from Tania Ahmed using my Hex Set Large rubber stamps. She dresses up a storage container, drawing inspiration from this month’s new theme: Hex Marks the Spot –In the days of pirates and lost treasure, a map would lead you to gold and jewels. Today we treasure all sorts of things – our family, friends, experiences, meaningful objects, accomplishments, etc. Think about what you treasure and how you found your way there.


My project for the day is a quick and easy project that I made to house my mini Distress Archival Inks which I love but keep losing! I stashed them in a cigar box that I had rescued from being thrown away which I have upcycled many times over the years. I decided it was time to revamp it to keep my inks in! 

I scraped off as much of the paint and paste that I could off the box first and covered the whole thing with black gesso to give it a matt black finish. 

On a piece of cards stock I stamped my Hex pattern with Distress Archival Inks, inspired by the Instagram hashtag #ihavethisthingwithtiles and added some shading with Walnut Stain Distress Oxide. 

I then added some additional details with my Gold Molotow Acrylic Marker and some sketchy lines with a fine sharpie marker. I glued the cardstock panel to my dried cigar case and added my Mini ink pads to the box! 

This was a quick project to put together and it gives me great joy knowing that my inks have somewhere to “live” :) 

Thank you so much for stopping by and have a great day!


Thank you Tania – love your box of treasure :) You can find all of my rubber stamps in my online shop. Here are some of the other supplies Tania used:


Feel inspired? Working on something yourself that you’d like to share?  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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Pastel Dreams – Maura Hibbitts

Hi from my Creative Squad! Today we have a colorful art journal page to usher us into summer from Maura Hibbitts. She is using my Floral Tile Large rubber stamp set and this month’s theme: Pastel Dreams – This month we are focusing on the softer, gentler side of things and going pastel with our color palettes. These dreamy pale colors are undeniably appealing and just as powerful as their bolder cousins on the color wheel.


Why not create some giant flowers that only exist in your imagination? That’s what I decided to do this month in one of my art journals. I’d kind of like to see these chunky flowers growing in my gardens now that spring is here! 

I started off by printing watercolor sheets with the Large Floral Tiles, the gel plate, and pastel acrylic paints. I began with the green sheet and blended a bit of white, Green Tree and Green Energy on the 6×6 gel plate with the brayer. Next, I pressed the Versailles Positive and Negative stamps into the paint, then laid the paper on top of the plate and made my first print. I did a second ghost print, as well as stamping the paint directly onto the paper. I wanted a variety of printed designs from the same stamps. 

Tip: When you use paint to stamp with, it’s important to clean them off right away before the paint dries into the detailed areas. Spritzing with water and scrubbing with an old toothbrush really helps get them clean. 

I repeated the stamping process with the Hamilton Positive and Negative stamps, white, Bubblegum pink and  Peach Punch blended on the gel plate. 

To create my blue backgrounds, I blended white and Indian Turquoise on the gel plate, spritzed it with water, and laid my art journal onto the plate. I made a second print on the facing page. I like the mixture of textures for the background.  I also stamped a bit of the blue into each corner with the Fanfare cube. 

While the pages were drying, I hand cut my flower pieces, leaves and stems just following what I imagined. 

I glued the pieces of the flower down into the journal, then embellished with sequins and beads, and doodled around the edges. 

I repeated the steps, but made this flower upright. 

I don’t usually reach for pastel colors, but it was fun to create with them this month. 

I felt that my pastel flowers would pop against a dark background which is why I chose my black art journal. Originally my idea was to create a scene of grass and sky and pink clouds, thinking back to the days of childhood, laying on the ground and seeing shapes in the clouds. I guess I bypassed all that and went right to what I was imagining with my funky flowers. 


Thank you Maura – I just love these fanciful blooms! You can find all of my rubber stamps in my online shop. Here are some of the other supplies Maura used:


Feel inspired? Working on something yourself that you’d like to share?  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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Pastel Dreams – Jennifer Gallagher

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have an art journal page from Jennifer Gallagher using my Floral Tile Large rubber stamps and my Van Vorst stencil, celebrating this month’s theme: Pastel Dreams – This month we are focusing on the softer, gentler side of things and going pastel with our color palettes. These dreamy pale colors are undeniably appealing and just as powerful as their bolder cousins on the color wheel.


When I think of pastels, I think of softness and they evoke a certain delicate nature. I decided to create a two-page art journal spread that perfectly displays my idea of what pastels are all about.
First, I began on the right page of a two page spread in my small dylusions journal. Using Nat’s Van Vorst stencil, I applied a light amount of black soot distress ink with the mini blending tool.

Next, I applied a little picked raspberry and shaded lilac distress ink around the edges of the same page. Then I placed some Dina Wakley Media washi tape in coordinating tones on both the right and left journal pages.


Using my stamp perfect platform, I stamped Nat’s Versailles positive stamp from the Large Floral Tile Set onto deli paper using Momento Luxe Tuxedo Black ink pad. This ink is perfect for stamping on deli paper! I stamped two images for each medallion I created for my page, stamping a total of six.

After cutting my stamped deli paper along the design, I cut out three coordinating squares from white copy paper. I glued one deli paper square onto each white square with a basic glue stick. I added a little color to each medallion with distress ink. Then I placed an extra deli paper square on top of that and attached it with a mini black brad. In all I made three of these two-piece medallions.

I attached two of the medallions on the center of the washi tape stripes I created earlier on the left page. The third medallion went on the opposite page. Each medallion was adhered with a basic craft glue stick. I also added a few tissue paper sentiments from Dina Wakley Media collage words.

These cute little medallions would also be a wonderful accent for your hand-crafted cards. Be sure to play along each month with the creative squad and share your creations. Happy creating!


Thank you Jennifer – what a beautiful page! You can find all of my rubber stamps and my stencils in my online shop. Here are some of the other supplies Jennifer used:


Feel inspired? Working on something yourself that you’d like to share?  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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Currently Digging – Creative Squad Edition with Tania Ahmed

It’s time for a special edition of Currently Digging – with my Creative Squad! Once in a while I like to share with you some nifty finds – like an Artist whose work caught my eye…, some Inspiration that got my creative juices flowing, and Tools & Techniques I am currently digging. Today I asked Tania Ahmed from my Creative Squad what SHE is Currently Digging :) Hope you enjoy this.


Vincent Van Gogh – I am practising drawing and sketching more these days, I have had a mental block for a very long time where a voice in my head said “I can’t draw” … now I am telling that voice, “But I can try!” :) So I have been making sketches, taking classes and filling many many notebooks with paintings and scribbles. At the moment I am practising abstract flowers and I particularly fascinated especially by Van Gogh’s sunflowers. I love sunflowers as they are unabashedly flamboyant and I can’t help but be cheered up by them. I now grow them every year in my garden because they are so easy to take care of!  

Netflix Documentary: The 100 Years Show
“You cannot talk about art. You have to art about art.”
On the other side of the spectrum I have been fascinated by the works of Carmen Herrera who is described to be a “minimalist visual artist.” A trained architect, her work is a vision of bright colours and bold geometric shapes who was finally recognised by the art world at the age of 89. As much as I love the chaos of sketching and drawing, there is a part of me that is drawn to stark geometry and order in art. The documentary is very short, only 30 minutes and well worth a watch. 

Artist Carmen Herrera in front of some of her paintings. Credit: Matthew Carasella

(image credit: https://www.ft.com/content/60dbd808-8499-11e6-8897-2359a58ac7a5)

Stabilo Woody Pencils – In my quest to sketch and draw more, I am exploring new mediums too! I have been eyeing the Woody Pencils over the years and always wondered if I really needed them considering I have a myriad of other amazing supplies at my disposal. Recently to treat myself, I got them and have not stopped using them! I now keep a few supplies as we travel a lot during weekends in my “entertainment bag” as my husband calls it, haha! These will definitely go traveling with me as they are watersoluble and the surprisingly quite pigmented. Perfect for quick sketches and art journal pages. 


Thank you Tania! Stay tuned for the next Currently Digging Creative Squad edition for more from our other members :)

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Pastel Dreams – Marsha Valk

Happy Tuesday from my Creative Squad! Today we have a fun art journal video post from Marsha Valk. She used my Floral Tile Large rubber stamp set and my Queen Anne stamp from the Stroll Around the Block stamp set. She was inspired by this month’s theme: Pastel Dreams – This month we are focusing on the softer, gentler side of things and going pastel with our color palettes. These dreamy pale colors are undeniably appealing and just as powerful as their bolder cousins on the color wheel.


This month’s theme reminded me of Pippi Longstocking. Looking at my art journal spread you may think that Villa Villekula and Nat’s Queen Anne Cling Rubber Stamp are what prompted that thought, but it actually was Mrs. Prysselius. Or, rather, Aunt Pastellia, as that is her name in the Dutch translation of the Astrid Lindgren books.

In my ‘Pastellia Dream’  she loves and approves of everything Pippi does ;-). Watch me create the art journal spread step-by-step in the video!

Happy pastel dreams!- Marsha.


Thank you Marsha! You can find all of my rubber stamps in my online shop. Here are some of the other supplies Marsha used:


Feel inspired? Working on something yourself that you’d like to share?  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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Pastel Dreams – Tania Ahmed

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a beautiful paper lantern from Tania Ahmed that is sure to set the mood. She used my Versailles stamp from the Floral Tile Large rubber stamp set and this month’s theme: Pastel Dreams – This month we are focusing on the softer, gentler side of things and going pastel with our color palettes. These dreamy pale colors are undeniably appealing and just as powerful as their bolder cousins on the color wheel.


We love subtle mood lighting around the house and I love making little pieces like this paper lantern to use around the house as purposeful décor! I love the ornate filigree style pattern of the Versailles stamp so I knew that it would make a striking pattern for my paper lantern.

Steps:

1 Stamp and heat emboss 4 times on Duralar with Versailles Positive 

2 Spray a 3” x 12.25” piece of sturdy cardstock with Distress Oxides Sprays. Mist liberally with water and lift ink with kitchen towel. Dry thoroughly

3 Stamp Versailles Negative with water to get ink to react. Lift with kitchen towel. 

4 Stamp Versailles Negative with Distress Oxide in Picked Raspberry. Dry thoroughly.

5 Score cardstock panel at 3” intervals. You will be left with a ¼” flap. Cut out 2.5” square from centre of each panel with craft knife.

6 Cute out heat embossed Duralar and attach to square panel aperture. Fold and securely glue flap to assemble lantern. 

7 Add battery operated tea light and enjoy!


Thank you Tania! You can find all of my rubber stamps in my online shop. Here are some of the other supplies Tania used:


Feel inspired? Working on something yourself that you’d like to share?  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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Feel the Rhythm – Judi Kauffman

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a post from Judi Kauffman. You can learn more about Judi from our Nice to Meet You blog post featuring her creative story and artwork. This time Judi is sharing some funky notebooks with us that use my Mid Century Squared ArtFoamie and discarded sheet music. She was inspired by this month’s theme: Feel the Rhythm – We’re thinking about patterns this month and using stamps to create a rhythm of marks. Show us your sense of rhythm!


Aretha Franklin Meets Mid-Century Squared

I have close to zero musical abilities. My singing voice can clear the room and my dancing isn’t exactly top notch, so when we were given Feel the Rhythm as this month’s theme I panicked and went into denial. Rhythm? Not so much.

Then two friends sent me some damaged sheet music – it seemed like a reasonable starting point. And I went to see Amazing Grace, the documentary about Aretha Franklin! I was so moved by her voice and way it mixed with the choir behind her and the congregation in front of her – a visual feast as well as magic to hear – and I knew just what I would do for my project:

Instead of lining up the stamp and going for a precise regular repeat pattern, my first impulse, I channeled my inner Aretha (helped along by a couple of CDs and a handful of M&Ms) and was off and running. I stamped, smudged and smeared onto the sheet music, did a bit of heat embossing with clear powder, dancing around the studio between colors and humming to the beat. I cut and tore and combined the pieces, layering onto chipboard. A quick visit to the coil binding punch, a bit of embellishment for the holiday keeper, and my notebooks were done!

Your turn:

1. Using 3 or more inks, including black, stamp Mid-Century Squared repeatedly on sheet music or pages from a damaged book. Optional: Align the design horizontally for most of the stamping, combine with vertical alignment down the sides. Smudge 

2. If heat embossing is desired, use pigment inks and clear embossing powder to add shine and texture.

3. Cut covers for journals and notebooks from chipboard. Glue cut and torn stamped papers to the covers; trim at the edges as needed. Smudge on more inks to enhance the collage.

4. Use a coil binding punch or other binding system to complete the projects.


Thank you Judi! I love all the variation in the rhythm of the patterns! Want to give Judi’s project a try? You can find my Foam Stamps in my Online Shop. Here are some of the supplies that Judi used:


Feel inspired? Working on something yourself that you’d like to share?  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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