Creative Squad

Easter Inspiration from my Creative Squad

Today I have some very cute Easter cards to share with you today from Creative Squad member Judi Kauffman.  Judi is on a roll revamping her calendar pages into new projects. Remember back in December she created a monthly calendar, with the goal of reusing the pages once the month was passed? Well here we have the February page, turned into some sweet bunny cards, and a couple other items too.

From Judi:

“I used my inlay technique* to turn the February calendar page into seven Easter cards, one Traveler’s Notebook page, and used a remaining scrap for a bookmark. I considered simple egg shapes, but couldn’t resist the bunny. (Die from AccuCut)”

*Judi Kauffman’s Inlay Technique: Die cut a simple shape from two or more coordinating sheets of stenciled/stamped paper and purchased patterned paper. Make sure there will be good contrast. Inlay the positive image (shown: a bunny) so it fits into the opening on a contrasting background. Glue both pieces in place on a piece of board, a card front, into an art journal, or on mat and frame.

Thank you for sharing Judi!

Here are some of the supplies Judi used:


And I hope to see you tomorrow, March 27th at 2pm on Facebook for a Live chat. I would love to hear from you and learn about how you are doing these days. Please join me and say HI!

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Motivated in March – Linda Edkins Wyatt

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a post from Linda Edkins Wyatt, and it is extra special because this will be her final one with us and we thank her so much for her amazing creativity and contributions to our little group! She leaves us with some awesome earrings, using my Van Vorst Fan foam stamp set and this month’s theme: Motivated in March – What keeps you motivated to create? Is it a certain material? Your favorite colors that you can’t get enough of? Maybe you get motivated when you see artwork in a museum or out and about? Share with us your creative motivation and then create something inspired by it.


What keeps me motivated to create art? New products!

For March, Nat asked us to think about what motivates us. I’m motivated by sooooo much: a shadow on the sidewalk, a pretty leaf changing colors, buds beginning to grow, architectural details on my daily walk, and advertising I see on a billboard or in a magazine. But, one thing that really gets me percolating with ideas is discovering a new product. Often, it’s a new stencil or stamp. But my latest discovery is something I totally missed in my childhood: shrinky dinks! One of my artist friends included a few sheets in a recent package, and I have to say, I’m addicted. It is so magical to watch it suddenly start to shrivel and buckle and turn into a miniature piece of art in minutes.

When I got the shrinky dink film, I thought, “Let me test that beautiful fan-shaped Van Vorst art foamie and see what happens.” It printed beautifully on the film using black Archival ink. I also tested a few stamps and stencils with both ink and acrylic paint.

I punched holes in the top center of all the stamped, stenciled and painted pieces with the idea of using them in the future to make jewelry. I heated the oven, put in my shrinky dinks, and waited for the magic.

Once the stamped film had shrunk, flattened, and cooled I painted the back of the shrunken Van Vorst pieces with white acrylic. It looked fine without painting the back, but I wanted to make the design pop a little more.

I got out my jewelry-making components and tools and rummaged around in my containers to find some earring wires that would work with the stamped design. I also selected a small silver ring to connect the fan design to the earring wire.

Carefully, I opened the small, round ring and threaded it through the fan and the hole on the earring wire, then closed it with my jewelry pliers.

Take a look at the final earrings with the art foamies fan stamp for comparison. The design shrunk to about one quarter to one third of its original size, and also got much thicker. The details of the design were even more crisp and clear.

Here’s the “how-to” steps:

1-carefully stamp the chosen design onto the shrink film. Press carefully, being careful not to slide the stamp. Lift the stamp straight up to avoid smearing.

2-cut the shape out with scissors. I cut close to the design edge, but you can also leave a little border.

3-punch a ¼” round hole near the top of the earring so that you can attach the earring wire or a jump-ring loop. (It will look way too big but once it shrinks the hole will be just the perfect size.)

NOTE: Be very careful when you cut and punch so that the ink does not smear. Hold the stamped design by the edges only.

4-bake in the oven or a toaster oven according to the directions on the shrink film package until the design shrinks. It will cool quickly. If your piece looks curved or buckled, quickly flatten with a spatula. Once it is fully cooled you cannot reheat to take out any curve or buckle.

5-attach earring components to shrinky dink artwork and, viola! You’re done.

You can also use the shrink film to make necklaces or pins—the possibilities are endless!


Thank you Linda – always love working with shrink film and watching the designs transform to miniature wonders :)

Want to give Linda’s project a try? You can find all my Foam Stamps in my Online Shop and here are some of the other supplies she 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“.

Comments (1)

  • Deb

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    Such a creative fun idea. Thanks for the inspiration and clear instructions.
    Deb

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Motivated in March – Nicole Watson

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a stunning art journal page from Nicole Watson to help motivate you to create and maybe even in life :) Nicole is using my Broadway Fan Pos Neg set, my Solid Hex Large rubber stamp, and this month’s theme: Motivated in March – What keeps you motivated to create? Is it a certain material? Your favorite colors that you can’t get enough of? Maybe you get motivated when you see artwork in a museum or out and about? Share with us your creative motivation and then create something inspired by it.


There are several things that motivate me to create. This list includes color palettes, new supplies, a visit to the museum, a random photo or advertisement, an Instagram hashtag challenge such as the hundred-day project, or a design team prompt like this one. One of my favorite parts about majoring in art were the assignments or challenges to solve with my supplies and creativity. However, lately, one of my biggest motivations is YOU!  Comments on my tutorials or other social media posts mean the world to me. I absolutely love inspiring other people to create and sharing tips and tricks along the way.

Recently, I received a beautiful message from someone thanking me for my inspiration. Through a random search after purchasing an art journal, she found my tutorials during her cancer fight. She used her art journal as a way to cope and understand her story. This beautiful lady was not expected to make it through her fight, but she did. This page is for her, as she has also inspired me.

“Be strong, you never know who you are inspiring.”

When I ran across this quote on Pinterest, I knew I wanted to use it on a simple journal page to showcase the message and as a reminder to myself to be strong, even in my own weaknesses.

So, I grabbed some deli paper that I had previously stamped with Nat’s Broadway Fan Positive Negative ArtFoamies. I loved how it had turned out, and was waiting for the perfect occasion! I simply stamped the negative stamp first all over the deli paper in a mixture of warm colors plus a little umber to tone them down and then stamped the positive image with a mixture of navy and eggplant. I wanted a variation in the colors throughout the paper.

Here’s a quick video of how I stamped with the ArtFoamies on deli paper:

I thought this paper would look amazing on the kraft paper, so I spread clear gesso over the kraft paper spread in my art journal and then ripped the deli paper in half and adhered it to the page with matte medium. I left a gap between the two sides for my quote and also a large space on the right side.

Wanting to add more interest and another graphic element, I grabbed Nat’s Solid Hex Large stamp and stamped the right side with cobalt archival ink. My first thought was to then cut around those hexagons, but I experimented with stamping another line of hexagons with deep purple ink. Then I stamped the same navy hexagons over to the left side.

The pages seemed a little flat to me, so I grabbed my stabilo all pencil and created a puddle. (Scribble the stabilo on a piece of palette paper and activate it with water.) I used this as watercolor paint and spread it around the page on the stamped hexagons for shadowing and on the torn edges. Then, I stamped the ArtFoamie into the puddle and stamped some shadowed Broadway fans in the gap and over the hexagons.

Looking at my pages for several minutes, I decided to go back to my original idea and cut the purple hexagons off the page! I’m so glad I experimented first, because then I had this awesome line or purple hexagons to adhere to the left side! I stuck it down with one strip from a tape runner, because I liked the dimension created from not sticking it down all the way to the page.

Finally, it was time to add the quote. I grabbed a bunch of different black and white stickers to spell out the quote and then went over them with matte medium to make sure they would stick.  I felt the page needed one more element to tie in the black, so I grabbed my Bombay India ink for a few ink drops.

The perfect reminder in the middle of my art journal to motivate me. It is truly a gift and a huge motivation to inspire you. I’ve often heard it say that art heals, and I sincerely believe it’s one amazing tool we have to care for our body, mind, and spirit.


Thank you Nicole and what a touching story about the power that art can have in our lives!

Want to give Nicole’s project a try? You can find all my Foam Stamps and Rubber Stamps in my Online Shop and here are some of the other supplies Nicole 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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Motivated in March – Maura Hibbitts

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a post from Maura Hibbitts sharing with us a suite of cards inspired by St. Patrick’s Day and all those lovely shades of green. Maura is using my Fairview Fan and Clam Hex foam stamps and our theme: Motivated in March – What keeps you motivated to create? Is it a certain material? Your favorite colors that you can’t get enough of? Maybe you get motivated when you see artwork in a museum or out and about? Share with us your creative motivation and then create something inspired by it.


March is known for many things…the Ides of March, March Madness, St. Patrick’s Day, Spring Equinox, and so much more, that there is a lot to motivate us! I chose to use my favorite holiday, St. Patrick’s Day as my motivation, and to use those glorious greens that Ireland and this holiday are all about. When I was just a little girl, my mother and the lady next door always had a competition to see who would get their St. Patrick’s Day decorations up first and have the most. Then I learned that her husband was not Irish (he was German), so I told him he could be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. So, this month, I have filled my project with many shades of green, and a bit of pink like some of the shamrock plants. This month, it’s all about being motivated by color, inspired by a holiday!

I started by printing several sheets of card stock with a blend of greens. I mixed a bit of three greens on my gel plate and blended it with a brayer, then I pulled two prints to have some variety, and set these aside to dry.

I continued working with the green on my gel plate, adding in some more of the neon colors to get a very bright green. I stamped into this with the Clam Hex ArtFoamie and stamped off on watercolor paper several times.

More greens! This time, I used the blended greens on the gel plate with the Fairview Fan ArtFoamie, and stamped several images onto watercolor paper.

Now it’s time for a blend of pinks – once again, I squirted a small amount of each of three colors and lightly blended it on the plate with the brayer. I stamped into this with the Clam Hex and Fairview Fan stamps to pick up the paint, and stamped onto watercolor paper.

Meanwhile, now that the first set of papers is dry, I cut them into strips with a paper trimmer. I laid five strips down, and wove five strips into them. I pushed them close together, then turned it over and taped it in place with clear tape. Once that was done, I trimmed off the edges.

I cut out my stamped images and cut each in half, so that I could put a green and a pink image together.

Once I laid out each card with the woven layer and stamped images and adhered them in place with adhesive tape and pop dots, I doodled frames around them with my carbon ink pen.

I now have a set of five cards in very bright spring colors. Next, I need to get motivated to write a letter in them and mail them out! It was fun mixing in neon paint to get a very vibrant image. I also liked how I mirrored the images in both the pink and green, which got me to thinking about watermelon colors. Wouldn’t you know it, my husband just brought home a watermelon from the grocery store! LOL!

Motivated by bright and cheerful colors, my favorite holiday, and the plan to write some letters to friends, I’ve created my set of notecards. Happy March! – Maura


Thank you Maura – I love these happy spring colors this time of year :)

Want to give Maura’s project a try? You can find all my Foam 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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Motivated in March – Jennifer Gallagher

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we are kicking off a new monthly theme with Jennifer Gallagher in her art journal. She is using my Art Deco Summit stencil, my Jewett foam stamp set and my Floral Tile Large rubber stamps and our theme: Motivated in March – What keeps you motivated to create? Is it a certain material? Your favorite colors that you can’t get enough of? Maybe you get motivated when you see artwork in a museum or out and about? Share with us your creative motivation and then create something inspired by it.


This month we are discussing our creative motivations. It’s Motivation March! I get motivated by experimenting with new products and seeing what I can make them do. A fun product that is pretty new to me is acrylic paint sprays. I have had so much fun learning how to use them that I am motivated to continue to try new color combinations and techniques. This month I am sharing a vintage inspired art journal page using some of my newest n*Studio favorites. Let’s get started.

In my large dylusions journal, I prepped the surface by applying a thick coat of clear gesso. Then I sprayed Aquamarine and Reseda Marabu Art Sprays. 

Moving quickly, I sprayed some Marabu Art Spray in Sienna. Then I spritzed the page with a fine mist of water.

Using a baby wipe, I dabbed up the excess moisture and color.

Using Nat’s Art Deco Summit stencil, I applied vintage photo distress ink through the open sections of the shell designs.

Next, I overlaid the design portions of the stencil back over the previous shell layer. I applied black soot distress ink.

For a vintage design element, I loaded up vintage photo distress ink onto Nat’s Jewett foam stamp and pressed it onto the page. Adding design elements in odd numbers is pleasing to the eye.

To make the right hand page feel more harmonious with the left hand page, also a n*Studio project, I am mirroring the stamped design from that page onto this one. I applied a very thin amount of vintage photo distress ink onto the Versailles positive rubber stamp and pressed it into a few places on my page.

To add to the vintage look, I sprayed Distress Spray Stain in picket fence onto the page. Once dry, I doodled around the shapes with a white gel pen.(Later, I also doodle around them with a black gel pen.)

Using double sided tape, I added a paper doll cut out from Tim Holtz Idea-ology.  Then I finished it off with a sticker from Tim Holtz Small Talk sticker package.

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. I hope you have found it – motivational! 


Thank you Jennifer – I love the beautiful colors and blending for the spread!

Give it a try: you can find all my Stencils, Foam Stamps, and Rubber Stamps in my Online Shop and 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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Inspired by my Creative Squad

We have some very yummy creations from Creative Squad member Judi Kauffman to share with you today: cards, ATCs, and bookmarks! You know I love the brown and teal color combination – makes me happy. And there are so many other touches in these that catch my eye too: the handmade paper for texture and visual interest underneath the stenciling (so cool), the mesh she put in there (again- soo cool!), and the white mark making. 

Where did these projects originate? When Judi planned her 2020 calendar project her goal was to use each month’s page for other projects. What you see above was made with the January page!

So here we go from Judi: 2 bookmarks, 3 ATCs, and 4 cards for you today.

Bookmarks with stitching and some of my artfoamies stamps.

ATCs with postal stamps, my batik design, and lots of excellent markmaking.

More Batik pattern, mesh fabric, and postage stamps on a card…

Batik pattern, stitched elements, and handmade paper on this card…

A square card with lots of wonderful stitching…

And a card with some embellishments that makes me think of sunshine :)

Thank you so much for sharing Judi!!! 

Here are some of the supplies that Judi used:

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Whole Lotta Love – Linda Edkins Wyatt

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a unique project from Linda Edkins Wyatt – a triptych that holds 3 cards on display. Check out the video below to watch it come together. Linda uses my Floral Tile Large rubber stamps and this month’s theme: Whole Lotta Love – Who or what sets your heart aflutter this time of year? Let’s pay tribute this month to those warm fuzzy feelings of love and create something that celebrates that universal emotion.


In November 2019, I participated in Nat’s “Deck of Cards” challenge. By the end of the month, I had 30 pretty cool pieces of artwork that were just the right size for greeting cards. I felt a little too attached to some of them to actually use as cards and send off in the mail to friends and family, so I bundled them up and propped them up on my display shelf. Here’s a few of them:

But…I wanted a prettier way to display the cards, so I hit on the idea of creating a free-standing triptych to showcase them. I had too many to display all at once, so I decided to attach little pieces of Velcro to my favorites so the display could easily be changed.

Here’s my video of the process:

I started by mixing up my favorite shades of pink and yellow and painting some 140 lb. watercolor paper. In addition to the painted paper, I also used a piece of recycled brown paper bag. Next, I spread white acrylic onto my geli plate and picked up paint with Nat’s positive/negative Hamilton rubber stamps, then stamped all over the three surfaces. (Once the geli plate was full of marks, I also pulled prints off it with deli paper.)

Once I had plenty of printed paper, I auditioned different cards and lace to see what would work best for my triptych. I folded and cut a fresh piece of watercolor paper to the triptych shape.

Next, I glued the printed papers on and cut them to size. With a glue stick, I added some gorgeous thick lace.

The final step was attaching the Velcro dots to both the triptych and the cards.

The hardest part was finding a space in my small apartment to display my new creation!


Thank you Linda! This is such a cool way to display any number of small works on paper! Great idea :)

Want to give Linda’s project a try? You can find all my Rubber Stamps in my Online Shop and in addition to her cards and a brown paper bag, here are some of the other supplies Linda 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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Whole Lotta Love – Nicole Watson

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a lovely post and video from Nicole Watson, who brings us back to those early school days and the Valentine’s Day tradition of exchanging small paper cards. She is using my Hex Large rubber stamps and my Art Deco Fairview stencil and this month’s theme: Whole Lotta Love – Who or what sets your heart aflutter this time of year? Let’s pay tribute this month to those warm fuzzy feelings of love and create something that celebrates that universal emotion.


When I thought about this month’s theme along with Valentine’s day and love, I remembered back to elementary school and how much I loved (for lack of better word!) our classroom Valentine’s Day celebrations. I think most of my classmates liked that day for the candy, who wouldn’t?? However, my favorite part was opening all the envelopes in anticipation of the paper card that was inside. This must have been a hint of my future love for ephemera!

I wasn’t exactly sure where I wanted to go with that on my journal pages, until I ran across some old Valentines in a package of vintage cards I had in a drawer. With one of those in hand, I decided to pay homage to that memory on my pages.

Check out my video to see how it came together and read on below for a complete step out.

I played around with Nat’s Large Hex stamps hoping I could make a heart out of them. I stamped the hex shapes with versamark onto my journal page that I had already gessoed and layered with a page from a song book that just happened to be about a valentine! This process was a little tricky as I masked some of the stamps with tape to make some of the smaller areas of the heart. I also stamped some outside the heart on the page and also the canvas page to the left. I didn’t know if it would work on the canvas at the time. (spoiler: it did!)

To add color to the page, I grabbed my pan pastels and layered different reds and purples over the heard area. The versamark grabs the pastels and makes that area darker than the others, allowing the heart to pop off the page. I sponged the pan pastel all over both pages. At this point I realized I needed some more versamark lines and designs in the heart and could also use some outside of it, so I experimented by stamping additional versamark and going over it again with pan pastel. Thankfully, this worked!

When I was happy with the pastel and versamark, I sprayed my pages twice with fixative. I felt the pages need a little bit more, so I grabbed Nat’s Art Deco Fairview stencil and sponged some bronze pastel through it in several places. I also added some of the bronze around the edge of the heart. When I was finished, I sprayed another coat of fixative.

While it was drying, I played with the valentine ephemera and happened to see some pink embroidery floss on my desk, so I stitched the floss onto the canvas page for some more texture. After this, I added some spatters of fuchsia acrylic paint around the heart and on the canvas page along with some gesso and tinted gesso.

At this point, I felt like the heart still needed some definition, so I grabbed my hard-pastel sticks to trace around the heart along with my stabilo pencils. I used the stabilo to create some shadowing.

Finally, it was time to add my little valentine bundle to the canvas page and some word stickers. After these were added, I spattered some stabilo and paint on them so they would feel a little more cohesive to the rest of the pages.


Wow! Thank you Nicole – so many gorgeous layers and what a thoughtful reminder when it comes to love too :)

Want to give Nicole’s project a try? You can find all my Stencils and Rubber Stamps in my Online Shop and in addition to book page/ephemera, here are some of the other supplies Nicole 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“.

Comments (1)

  • Debbie Gaetz

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    Your journal art is totally inspiring!

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Whole Lotta Love – Maura Hibbitts

Hello from the Creative Squad. Today we have a super cool project from Maura Hibbitts – a Love Alphabet – Wow! Read on to see how Maura pulls it together with my Small Circle Jumble rubber stamps, my Batik 1 & 2 foam stamps, my Far Out foam stamp, my Batik stencil and my New Orleans stencil. This month’s theme is: Whole Lotta Love – Who or what sets your heart aflutter this time of year? Let’s pay tribute this month to those warm fuzzy feelings of love and create something that celebrates that universal emotion.


Happy February – the month for love of course, with Valentine’s Day smack dab in the middle! I pulled out lots of red, pink and white paint to play with, in traditional holiday colors. Originally when I started working, I was going to make cards, then that morphed into the idea of a mini album, and finally as I was putting the final touches on it, it became a Love Alphabet. Yes, you can find words from A to Z in it, all about Love and Valentines.

I started my first layer with Pyrrole Red and the Batik stencil on the gelli plate. I love stenciling in different ways – laying the stencil down and pressing the paper over it, pulling the painty stencil up and putting it down on paper, and pressing a piece of paper into the gel plate. This gives a wide variety of backgrounds to work with. I printed on both cardstock and copy paper, which later on turned out to work beautifully.

A little gold was needed as the second layer, so on some papers, I added it with the New Orleans stencil, and on others, I used the brayer.

Time for the pink layer! I added a mix of pinks over the printed papers with paint and a brayer.

I added a final translucent layer on top with the fluid acrylics. For this layer, I just smudged the paint in with my fingers, which are great tools for blending, even if you get a bit dirty, it all comes out eventually. (Or use gloves)

Now that the background is done, it’s time for some stamping. But first, I used matte medium to glue a piece of cardstock and a piece of copy paper together. Then, I used the Batik 2 and Far Out art foamies with white paint and repeated the pattern several times to cover the page. Once dry, I trimmed off the edges, and cut them approximately 3 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches to make my book.

Now, to make things pop, I’m stamping with black ink using X’s and O’s (remember those XXXOOO’s? – hugs and kisses). I only want the X portion of the Batik 1 stamp, so I’ve masked off the rest with sticky notes. I’m stamping these with black archival ink and then the Circle Drive rubber stamps from the Small Circle Jumble set.

I cut out images from a Gudrun Sjoden catalog (now, I love these because they aren’t glossy, plus they are interesting) but you can use any magazine. I also found pages with neutral backgrounds and cut hearts. Then, I looked at my junk paper I use to wipe off extra paint from the brayer, and used it to cut more hearts to glue in.

Final steps are to edge the pages with the black ink, add details with the Posca Paint pens, and write in my words. Then, I punched two holes in the center and tied it together with Sari ribbon. (I found it handy to mark the holes through all pages with an awl, then use the hole punch on each page.)

You too can make your own fun little alphabet book of love to give to that special someone. Or, it could be fun to fill it with snarky words instead!

Sometimes I think Valentines Day is in the perfect place…all that love, giving and pinks and reds certainly brighten up the long winter around here. Happy Valentine’s Day to you all! Maura


Thank you Maura! We just love this project from A-Z!

Want to give Maura’s project a try? You can find all my Stencils, Foam Stamps and Rubber Stamps in my Online Shop. In addition to magazine images, 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“.

Comments (2)

  • Catherine Lenoci

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    What a beautiful little book! I love the colors and the images!

    Reply

    • Maura Hibbitts

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      Thanks so much Catherine! It was fun to make.

      Reply

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