Creative Squad

Creative Squad: Another Door Opens – Riikka Kovasin

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have the debut of new Squad member Riikka Kovasin – a video showing how she creates some super cool whimsical characters created using my new Triple Play foam stamps and our theme: Another Door Opens – There is this saying, “when one door closes, another door opens” that basically is an optimistic way of looking at change in your life. Create an art journal page with this in mind, however you’d like to express it, however the idea inspires you to create!


Hi there! It’s Riikka here today with my very first Creative Squad post! The theme of the month was “Another Door Opens” and I was feeling outwordly as my first idea was to turn the patterns of the great “Triple Play” foam stamp set into whimsical characters.

I interpret the theme like children’s peek-a-book – what might be behind the door? At first, I was thinking of doing the cards or an art journal page as a peek-a-book, first showing just the door and then you could open it to reveal the character. In the end I then chose to add the character on top of the door so that it had already come through it. I saw the heart-styled shape as a face immediately but when I used a peachy tone to stamp it, I realized it was ET! So, even if I had been thinking about whimsical character all along, now I would have a more precise theme. I paired the characters with greetings (hopefully) fitting to the stargazing theme.

As you see from the video a bit further below, I started by making patterned papers using acrylic paints and a gelatin printing plate. I made two sheets using similar color scheme and then one with a contrasting one. The first two I then cut to make the door (actual door and panels on it) and the third one became the robes of the character. The contrast between the two elements ensures that the character just pops out of the background.

Like I said earlier, I also used the patterns of the “Triple Play” foam stamp set to make the face and a headdress of sorts for the characters. I hope this inspires you to see the stamps from another angel. You don’t always have to use the whole stamped piece or build a bigger pattern. Collaging different little elements might just be the thing the doctor ordered!

Now, if you want to see how I made the cards, please see the video below. It shows me making the ET one, but I made the other one with similar steps. The only thing that differs is the stamps I used and I changed the color scheme a little, too. But the steps are the same!

Thank you for stopping by today! I hope you were inspired by the characters to see the stamps in another way! 


Thank you Riikka – these are such intriguing characters and I just love how you used all those Triple Play patterns in there!

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

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Creative Squad: Another Door Opens – Maura Hibbitts

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have an art journal page from Maura Hibbitts that presents a really cool way to look at life’s challenges and changing circumstances. She’s using my new Triple Play foam stamp set and this month’s theme: Another Door Opens – There is this saying, “when one door closes, another door opens” that basically is an optimistic way of looking at change in your life. Create an art journal page with this in mind, however you’d like to express it, however the idea inspires you to create!


I have always been a firm believer in the adage “When one door closes, another door opens.” Maybe it is a part of my optimism, and maybe I have been lucky in this life, but even in the times I have struggled the most, whether physically, emotionally, or financially, new opportunities arose that led me forward. During my teaching career, I worked at opening doors for my students, so they could follow the path they chose. It has always been a joy to hear how they are doing, and which doors they have opened. Keep yourself open to the possibility of doors!

I started in my large art journal, layering paints. I started with my darkest green and blue, Prussian Blue Hue and Phthalo Green Yellow, and scraped the paint across in broad swathes with a silicon brush. I painted only on the right page, then closed the pages to spread to the other side. I repeated this step with Green Gold and Primary Cyan, then another layer with Turquoise Hue and Quinacridone Magenta. Final layer was more Magenta along with Titanium White and Gold.

After I heat set the painted layers, it was time to stamp with the oh, so awesome, Triple Play Art Foamies stamp set. I like to use my gel plate and a brayer when I am using foam stamps, it acts like a giant ink pad, and gives a nice layer of paint on the stamps. On the right side, I repeated the stamped pattern several times.

On the left side, I stamped the hexagon and the triangles on the outside this time. I first did it in black paint, but it didn’t show up well, so I went over it with white paint. Again, I added paint to the gel plate and smoothed it out with the brayer, then stamped into it, to transfer a nice image to the paper.

To create more of a focal point on the left side, I added some water to the white paint left on the gel plate, mixed it to create a whitewash, and brushed it around the design. Now it stands out more.

I also whitewashed around the design on the right, dried it completely, then added doodles and details with Posca paint pens. I also doodled a door, and added the words around the image on the right – “When one door closes, another door opens.” I also smudged Prussian Blue with fingers and a baby wipe around the edges of both pages to tie them together. I thought I was done.

I slept on it, and decided to make a different door for the left page, so I pulled out some leftover paper from last month’s project, and stamped the entire Triple Play with Moonlight Duo ink. I cut it out, cut it in half, drew on a door handle, and inked the edges with black ink. My original idea was to have the door open, but with the hexagon shape and the orientation I had, I decided against it and adhered it with adhesive tape.

All of those background colors pop through the designs, even in the whitewashed areas. I think sometimes toning down areas makes the rest of the page pop.

I realized at the end what I had been working toward on my pages…pulling out memories of beautiful and colorful doors I had seen in India. I remember ones with colorful columns of tiles, like the right page, and others with intricate mosaic-like designs, like the left page. Isn’t it interesting when you are creating that your muse knows where to take you, even when your brain does not? This year, I also feel that we think very differently about doors opening…waiting for the reopening of our special places once again. Be safe, stay healthy and open the doors!

– Maura


Thank you Maura – loved learning your process and how you came back to the page to add that amazing door. Beautiful spread and beautiful ideas to keep in mind :)

Give it a try: you can find all my Foam Stamps in my Online Shop and 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.

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Nat’s Creative Squad – Introducing Riikka Kovasin

Hello my friends – today we have some exciting news: we have a new Creative Squad member! Riikka Kovasin is joining our team of talented artists and we are so happy to welcome her to the group.

You may know Riikka from her lesson on Creative JumpStart this year (and in past years), and also her recent Guest Posts here on the blog like her Henrietta Maria Art Journal Page and her Shrink Film Earrings

 

Also her lovely Sunny Home Card post too:

Well now we are honored to call her a member of the Creative Squad and see some more of her creativity in action.

Here is a little bit about Riikka: “Heippa! My name is Riikka Kovasin and I am a mixed media crafter from Finland. I live in Helsinki with my darling husband and our two sweet daughters. Creating is my passion and a way of self-care. Besides family and crafts, my weeks are filled with a full-time job.

I have been doing all sorts of crafts my whole life. I really got into papercrafts after I found scrapbooking when my older daughter was about 6 months old – that’s over 10 years ago. Since then my style has evolved to more and more mixed media direction and nowadays, I tend to go dimensional and do more altered and mixed media pieces than regular layouts.

I absolutely adore getting my hands into paints and mediums! To me the process of creating is equally important than the finished project.”

Nat’s Creative Squad

Learn about all our Creative Squad members (current and past) on the Creative Squad page here. You can read their bios, check out their links, and see every project they have created so far as squad members. Here is the current squad:

 

Also be sure to follow the Creative Squad on Instagram. We post a few times a week: current projects, technique tips, and inspiring peeks at the squad members’ methods and style. It’s a lot of fun to see what this talented group is up to!

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Creative Squad: Life in Bloom – Judi Kauffman

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have some gorgeous tote bags from Judi Kauffman using my Amsterdam and Hamilton stencils and this month’s theme: Life in Bloom – It’s been a long winter where we are and I’m dreaming of flowers and gardens and spring. Indulge us all in a project that focuses on one of Mother Nature’s most exuberant symbols of life: flowers flowers flowers!


I completed my “Life In Bloom” theme projects in late February, a week after getting my first covid vaccine shot. I will have been home for a full year as of March 18, but by the time you read these words I will have had my second shot and will be able to double-mask and head back out into the world – just in time to greet the new season. Spring!

I can’t wait… I can’t wait to see the iris, peonies, begonias, and other hearty perennials peeking up, ready to put in an appearance. And I can’t wait to go to Costco to buy some annuals to fill in the empty spaces. And a rotisserie chicken for dinner…I can almost smell the aroma of that aisle. Gee, I think I missed those trips to Costco more than almost anything else during my time at home.

Meanwhile, like many of you I have spent many hours cleaning closets and going through supplies. I found a trio of simple denim totes, two with flawed spots, and thought they’d be a great surface for a stencils-only project. Here’s how they looked when I started:

My concept was to create a flower pot/vase on one of the totes for a literal interpretation of the theme but stenciling the other two with more wonky shapes for a more abstract approach.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Using torn strips of newsprint, mask around the areas earmarked for painting and stenciling.

Using gold metallic or other light color acrylic paint and a wide brush fill the area to be stenciled. Optional: Mix paint with fabric medium.

Using a mix of stencils (I used Nat’s Amsterdam and Hamilton stencils) and two darker paints (shown: red and metallic teal) add pattern to the gold areas. Overlap stencils here and there. Allow paint to dry for distinct patterns, work wet-on-wet for less distinct designs (smudge paint at edges to add dimension – note right side of flower pot).

Embellish stenciled totes with knitted, crocheted, and/or frayed fabric flowers. Pleated hem tape makes an interesting stem for a single blossom. Sew in place or use fabric glue to adhere.  

NOTE: Embellishments shown are positioned for photography and are being ‘auditioned’ – nothing finalized yet! I plan on adding beads, embroidery, charms and more.


Thank you Judi – absolutely love the idea of bringing these totes to the farmer’s market or garden center!

Give it a try: you can find all my Stencils in my Online Shop and in addition to various beads and embellishments, here are some of the supplies Judi 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.

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Creative Squad: Life in Bloom – Jordan Hill

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a post from Jordan Hill, who is sharing an art journal page that is uplifting and so appropriate. Jordan is using my Art Deco Empire stencil and this month’s theme: Life in Bloom – It’s been a long winter where we are and I’m dreaming of flowers and gardens and spring. Indulge us all in a project that focuses on one of Mother Nature’s most exuberant symbols of life: flowers flowers flowers!


Hello everyone, I hope you’re all doing well! For this month’s theme of Life in Bloom, I knew I wanted to try incorporating it in several different ways. In the end, I’m quite happy with the way it turned out and I hope you enjoy following the process!

The first step in creating this month’s page was gluing down a piece of collage. I then blended it into the background with a light blue acrylic paint by slightly overlapping the paper with the paint. I chose a piece of paper that I felt fit in with this month’s theme of Life in Bloom; this particular paper is a scan of an eco dyed paper I did a while back.

Next it was time to add some pattern! I used Nathalie’s Art Deco Empire Stencil, some black acrylic paint and a makeup sponge to fill the background with interest. For this particular spread, I knew that I wanted the stencil to stand out. Since my background was such a light blue, black seemed like the natural choice!

This is where I decided it was time to add a face. Using some acrylic paint in a vague face shape as a base, I started sketching over the top with my trusty Prismacolor colored pencil in the color Black Cherry. This is one of my favorites for sketching, as it isn’t as basic as a black or gray, but is still dark enough for the lines to be clearly defined.

Next, I chose a supporting color of acrylic paint (I decided to go with primary blue for this spread) and started blocking in the shapes of the hair and shirt. I find that using the same color for these two elements is a good way to make your page (and character) feel cohesive. After I had blocked in the color, I then went back in with my colored pencil and reinforced the lines that I had lost when I added the paint. At this point, I also added a few extra lines in the hair to represent flowing strands.

Around this time, I was starting to feel as though the Life in Bloom theme wasn’t strong enough. In order to resolve this, I decided to use a piece of collage (another scan of some previous artwork of mine) to add various blooms around this character’s shoulders. I wanted the buds to look like they were growing from behind her, so I cut up the collage piece (which used to be one large stem) and added them in a way that was more fitting.

During this step I also used Nathalie’s Art Deco Empire Stencil again, this time with a cream colored paint, in order to add some patterning to this character’s shirt.

Then it was time to detail! This is one of my favorite parts of creating journal pages; it’s where everything seems to come together and starts looking a bit more finished. For the details on this particular spread, there were a few things I did. First of all, I added some shadows to the figure’s face using a slightly darker tone of paint, then I added some black line work to the facial features using an ink pen.

I also used the same color of blue I had used for the background to paint around my floral elements, further cementing them into the spread. Additionally, I added a quote in the upper left hand corner that I felt related to the theme of Life in Bloom.

Finally, for the last step, I reached for the Art Deco Empire Stencil one more time in order to add to the stenciling in the background. After adding the figure I felt as though I had lost a lot of the patterning, so I simply lined it up and filled in the rest of the background.

In the end, I think this spread fits the theme of Life in Bloom in the way that I hoped that it would, and I had a lot of fun playing around with the stencil in particular. I hope you enjoyed following the process!


Thank you Jordan – I love that quote and how you pulled your page together. Your character’s style – blue hair and how you used the Art Deco Empire stencil for her top is so cool!

Give it a try: you can find all my Stencils in my Online Shop and in addition to some collage pieces, here are some of the supplies Jordan 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.

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  • Sue Clarke

    |

    I love this page Jordan! Thanks for sharing your process.

    Reply

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Creative Squad: Life in Bloom – Robin Seiz

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a super unique project from Robin Seiz – a birthday book to help her keep on top of those special days for friends and family. She’s using 12 different stencils, one for each month of the year: Art Nouveau Wallpaper, Ornament Wallpaper, Flower Maze, Art Deco Fairview, Santiago, Star Struck, Art Deco Summit, Signals, Hamilton, Mesa Verde, Manhattan, and Downtown stencils and our theme: Life in Bloom – It’s been a long winter where we are and I’m dreaming of flowers and gardens and spring. Indulge us all in a project that focuses on one of Mother Nature’s most exuberant symbols of life: flowers flowers flowers!


Hello friends, This month’s theme is flowers. We are still under a few inches of snow here in New Hope, PA, so this project was exactly what I needed to get me thinking about more mild temperatures and flowers popping up.

I decided to combine the theme of flowers with a project that I have been longing to do. I love sending happy mail, cards of all types, especially birthday cards. My list of people and their birthdays is housed on sticky notes in my studio.

Birthdays are also in my phone of course, but I like to have an “at-a-glance” look at all the birthdays for the month. When the spirit moves me, I make cards in advance. I have wanted a place to keep a list of the birthdays by month and a corresponding pocket for the cards I make in advance. So basically, I wanted to create a Birthday Book! Old fashion you might say, but it will work really well for me.

Last month, for my blog submission, I made a piece of layered paper. When it was finished, I wasn’t sure how I would use it, but I knew the right project would speak to me.

This months theme created the perfect opportunity. I found a book on my shelf that was made in the foothills of the Himalayas of Nepal by local craftsmen. It’s a gorgeous book with beautiful textured paper and the cover was lovely in it’s own right, but I decided the layered paper from last month would make the perfect cover.

As I looked at all of Nathalie’s beautiful stencils, I chose to use them as a background for my flowers, but I wanted the right balance of letting the stencils shine and highlighting the flowers. I found the best way to do this was to make the flowers simple, mid-century modern designs, and only include a few on each page. And some pages, just spoke for themselves without the flowers.

To go with the theme, I chose an old garden book, removed pages, and applied a small amount of gesso with an old brush just to give the page a little more strength. Once they were dry, I sprayed Distress Ink Stain in Old Paper, Mustard Yellow, and Festive Berries. Next I drew the mid-century modern flower designs on these pages using Black and White Posca Pens and embellished as needed. I cut out the flowers; some were the whole flower, some were just the heads since I knew I was going to attach them to the page with my sewing machine.

I created a template for each month of the year, printed it on card stock, and attached it with Matt Medium to the left-side of the spread.

Now it was time to use Nat’s stencils. I tried a variety of different mediums, but in the end, I chose Pan Pastels because the effect matched the organic feel of the pages. The only thing about Pan Pastels is they smudge easily and bleed onto the adjacent pages. It would have been difficult to apply a fixative to these pages because of their weight and textural nature. This messiness doesn’t bother me; as you all know by now, I’m not about perfection! If I were giving this as a gift, I would need to figure something out to eliminate this issue. (I would love to hear your ideas for this.)

I used a makeup sponge to apply the Pan Pastels to Nathalie’s stencils on the right side of the spread. (1 stencil for each month of the year) Throughout the book, I used the colors from the cover to make sure the book had a consistent look and feel. Here are Nat’s Art Deco Summit and Hamilton stencils used.

Next, I sewed on the flowers with the sewing machine. (which honestly, wasn’t all that easy since I was working in a bound book) I like to leave the long strings attached — I just love that look, but of course you can cut them if you like. If you don’t have access to a sewing machine, you could use the Matt Medium to attach the flowers and draw the stems with Posca Pens or whatever mark making tool you have in your stash.

After each spread, I skipped two pages (1 full spread) so that I could attach pockets to keep the cards that I make in advance. I love to recycle and reuse. I receive several Stampington Magazines every quarter. I love going through the pages; the pictures are beautiful, the weight of the pages is perfect, and of course there are lots of good ideas. The issues are hard to part with, but I pulled out some pages with pictures that spoke to me and attached them with packing tape to the pages where I was going to keep the cards. So basically, I created a pocket for the cards.

Just a note about the packing tape: I sometimes use packing tape to pull paint off my gel plate. I often get wonderful bits of grunge and I save the grungy packing tape. (who wouldn’t!) It has all kinds of uses. Again, I wanted an organic, textural feel to this book and so this grungy packing tape was just perfect, not only to keep the pockets in place, but to enhance the organic feel of the book.

I now have a place to keep track of all my birthdays and the corresponding cards as I make them. This makes me so happy!

Thanks so much for reading this blog and for walking with me on my mixed media journey. If you aren’t already following me on instagram and facebook, please consider doing so. I love keeping in touch with each of you.


Thank you Robin – what a fabulous way to organize everyone’s birthdays!

Give it a try: you can find all my Stencils in my Online Shop and in addition to a journal, magazine pages, a sewing machine and a printer, here are some of the supplies Robin 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.

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Creative Squad: Life in Bloom – Emilie Murphy

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a beautiful final post from Emilie Murphy who will be moving on from the Squad at the end of March. We have loved having her on and sharing her gorgeous style and talent for illustration with you. This month Emilie is using my Art Deco Summit, Art Deco Wallpaper and New Orleans stencils and our theme: Life in Bloom – It’s been a long winter where we are and I’m dreaming of flowers and gardens and spring. Indulge us all in a project that focuses on one of Mother Nature’s most exuberant symbols of life: flowers flowers flowers!


Hi there!

Can’t believe that we are already in March. Time flies, for sure, despite the long and pretty cold winter we had this year. I can’t wait to see the first flowers blooming. Let me show you, today, how I made my art journal page to illustrate the “Life in bloom” theme of this month.

To start my project, I used my Gelli plate with my favorite warm colors using a sheet of 8.5×11 white cardstock. I first applied the paints by mixing them a little bit with each other, I then laid down the Art Deco Summit stencil and pulled the print. I mixed acrylic paint and ink to get a kind of washy look.

Next, I started to build my background by applying white paint through the Art Deco Summit stencil again.

Then I did the same thing with the New Orleans and Art Deco Wallpaper stencils.

I kept adding layers with my warm colors, alternating between the pattern stencils.

I added some dots with the rubber tip of my pencil.

Once I was happy with the look of my background, I doodled some flowers and foliage.

I covered all my background except the floral pattern with a cool color to make it pop out. I absolutely love this technique. It allows seeing through the different layers of the background, making it more interesting.

I once again used the Art Deco Wallpaper stencil and applied some white paint through it in order to add some texture to this plain background. I just love this pattern.

I toned down a little the white paint to embed the pattern to the background.

I added some splatters with yellow, black, and white paints. It’s not really visible on the picture but I also traced my quote with a pencil.

I outlined my quote with a permanent black pen and I finished coloring the checkerboard pattern with white gel pen. I reinforced the whites with a white posca pen when the white was not opaque enough.

I added some depth and shadow to my floral pattern and to the letters of my quote with a PITT pen marker.  I also added some extra pink splatters.

I could have stopped there but I found my art journal page too flat, so I decided to use some Glossy accent to give some dimension to my floral design. I didn’t put it everywhere. I just applied some on the center and inside petals of one of my flowers and on the leaves. I let the glossy accent dry completely.

I finally finished my art journal page by bending and folding the paper in different directions, where I applied the glossy accent in order to create some cracks. Isn’t it cool? I think it gives an interesting look. Be sure to apply a generous layer of glossy accent to get some nice cracks.

Hope you enjoyed this project, which ends my collaboration as a Creative Squad member. I just can’t thank Nathalie enough for giving me this opportunity to be a part of her team. It has been such a wonderful and pleasant experience in my creative journey. I really enjoyed working on every project I made using Nathalie’s wonderful products. The possibilities playing with them are endless. Of course, I will still be around on social media for the next coming of team member’s projects. Hope you will do, too!

Have a good rest of the week!


Thank you Emilie for this beautiful reminder to be a bit more patient! And, thank you for all your posts over the past year. We have loved seeing you style and learning more about you as an artist :)

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

Follow Nat’s Creative Squad on Instagram too: Each week we post projects, ideas, and inspiration for mixed media art.

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  • Robin

    |

    Emilie. Another gorgeous spread! I love all the layers you used in this project. We are sorry to see you go, but we’ll stay connected through social media for sure.

    Reply

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Creative Squad: Life in Bloom – Maura Hibbitts

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a lovely and uplifting art journal page from Maura Hibbitts that just might get you thinking about spring :)  Maura is using my Amsterdam, Art Nouveau Wallpaper, Art Deco Fairview, Versailles, Batik, and Tokyo stencils and our new theme: Life in Bloom – It’s been a long winter where we are and I’m dreaming of flowers and gardens and spring. Indulge us all in a project that focuses on one of Mother Nature’s most exuberant symbols of life: flowers flowers flowers!


This is the time of year my son and I start pulling out the seed and gardening catalogs and making our lists and getting our orders out. Luckily this year, we have quite a few seeds left from last year’s gardening. During the pandemic, we along with many other people, added to our gardens to grow more of our own food, and it was well worth it. I did not neglect the flowers though, because I so enjoy their beautiful shapes, colors and aromas. We filled the deck with plants and are looking forward to doing that this year. As I worked on my project and looked out, the snow kept falling all day long, so it was fun to make wonky flowers and dream of Spring!

I started my Life in Bloom project by creating papers to use with paints and stencils. First step was to brush the lightest layer of each color onto watercolor paper – Radiant Yellow, Jadeite Glass, Peach Punch, and a blend of yellow and pink.

Green paper first – I stenciled the background green with the Tokyo stencil and darkest shade of green (apple green), and dried it with the heat tool. Then I added another stencil layer with the Batik stencil and Matcha Green. Tip:  My favorite tool for stenciling with paint is a cosmetic sponge, you can buy them in bulk and they are not expensive. I make them go even further by cutting off the end and reusing them multiple times until they become too small. Just remember when stenciling, to dab most of the paint off of the sponge before applying, otherwise you can lose the design.

Yellow paper next – I started with the Versailles stencil and Sunny Day ( I meant to use the darker color first, but reached for the wrong one, so the stencil designs don’t stand apart as much here.) Next layer once dry, is using the Amsterdam stencil and Canary.

I added a blended paper with both yellow and pink, and stenciled this one with the Amsterdam stencil (yellow) and the Versailles stencil with pink.

Now, it’s time for the pinks. My first stencil layer is with the Art Nouveau wallpaper and Pink Tropic. Once dry, I added the Art Deco Fairview stencil with Cactus Flower.

Now that I have my paper variety, I can create my flowers. I just cut out wonky shapes for the flowers and layered them, and cut out stems and flowers from the green paper.

I like edging my pieces with black pen, it brings more drama to them, and my favorite pen for this is a Carbon Ink pen. Of course, any black archival pen will work. I draw two lines around each piece and don’t worry about being precise. Next, I assemble the pieces of each flower and glue them into my journal with tacky glue. I chose the black background, so the bright colors would pop.

I printed out the quote “All the flowers of the tomorrows are in the seeds of today” (an old proverb), using my label maker. Hand lettering it would work beautifully too. Then, my final step to pull it all together was to add faux white stitching around the pages. One of the flowers from my deck last summer inspired me to use the pinks. We saved seeds from this beautiful plant to grow more this year.

It’s fun to think that life is in bloom in other parts of the world, even when mine is covered in snow. I can tell you, I am really looking forward to spring and this year, that includes being able to get together with family and friends outdoors, a few at a time. The seeds are saved and ready for planting new flowers and gardens come spring. Let’s look forward to a new season together, Maura


Thanks Maura – so fun that this spread came together during a snowstorm!

Give it a try: you can find all my Stencils in my Online Shop and 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

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    Maura, I too, can’t wait to garden and see the flowers again. I love the idea of making the florets from Nats stamps. Fun! Such a bright and lovely page!

    Reply

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Creative Squad: My Creative Playlist – Jordan Hill

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have Jordan Hill sharing with us a guilt free art journal spread using her favorite supplies, my Mini Motifs foam stamps, my Art Deco Empire stencil, and our theme: My Creative Playlist – Your favorite mixed media supplies are like your favorite songs: they lift you up, inspire you and just feel good to groove to. What are your favorite supplies? Use them in a project – YOUR Creative Playlist that always gets you going.


Hey everyone! I’m excited to be back with a new post for this month’s theme of “My Creative Playlist”. I tend to reach for a lot of the same supplies in most of my art journal spreads anyways, so this was a great excuse to not feel guilty about it! With that being said, let’s get into it!

I started off today’s page by scribbling randomly with a white crayon. I then reached for some of my handmade watercolors and did a wash over the entire spread. I used to be more of an acrylic paint person, but recently watercolors have really been speaking to me. Thus, for the theme of “My Creative Playlist”, I thought I would take the time to really combine the two types of paint! Collage is also something that I really love using in my work, so I glued a piece down.

Next up, I wanted to play with Nathalie’s Mini Motifs foam stamp set to continue building the background I had already begun. I decided to use another of my handmade watercolors in order to add these stamps to my spread. I was looking for a bit of a softer effect than what I often get from using acrylics, so using a slightly darker color of watercolor did the trick! In order to do this, I used a large, wide brush, loaded it up with paint, and painted directly onto the surface of the foam stamps.

Using the same watercolor on a makeup sponge, I then used Nathalie’s Art Deco Empire stencil to fill in the rest of the background space!

Next, I started blocking in the face I knew I wanted to add the page. For this particular page, I wanted to draw a new one from scratch, so I started by sketching in a basic face shape. Then I used some matte acrylic paints (another favorite supply of mine!) to block in the base skin tone.

Following the theme of My Creative Playlist, I decided to use a Prismacolor colored pencil in the color Indigo to sketch in the details of my face. This is one of my very favorite colored pencils for sketching faces, and I’m at the point where I’ve used it so much that I’m going to need a new one very soon! I also added another piece of collage in the lower left hand corner to match the one in the upper right.

Using a dark teal acrylic that I mixed from Aqua and Black CraftSmart craft paint, I then blocked in the general shape of the hair. At this point, I also sketched in the general shape I wanted to use for the shirt. Things were still lacking a bit of cohesiveness at this point, but I love how the white crayon I used in my first layer acted as a resist through all the layers and helped tie things together.

For this particular portrait, I knew that I wanted to spend a bit more time developing the details of the face, so using my trusty acrylic paints, I added some shadows, highlights, and general depth to the portrait. Once those details had been added in acrylic, I went back to my Prismacolor pencil in Indigo to reintroduce any lines that may have been lost by painting over top of them.

Finally, I added some finishing touches to the page. I decided that the Mini Motifs stamp in the background wasn’t nearly pronounced enough, so I used the same teal paint I had mixed for this girl’s hair to stamp the design in the upper and lower right of my spread. I also added a scrap of masking tape with a bit of paint on it, and added some additional details in pen to the hair, shirt, and in the form of a short phrase. With that, I was ready to call things done!

I had a lot of fun putting together the spread for this month’s theme and I hope you enjoyed following me along for this process!


Thank you Jordan – absolutely love to see how you create your figures through different favorite media!

Give it a try: you can find all my Foam Stamps and Stencils in my Online Shop and in addition to her handmade watercolors and some collage pieces, here are some of the supplies Jordan 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

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    Jordon thanks for sharing how you created this spread. I love the combination of paints and your drawings are always so expressive!!! Thanks!

    Reply

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