Do you love a good chuckle? How about strange and unusual old paintings? Every Wednesday on Nat’s Creative Hood we make classical art memes with sometimes weird, sometimes unexpected, sometimes just plain goofy paintings from the depths of art history. We post the picture, you post the caption in the comments, and EVERYBODY gets a good laugh out of it. It is definitely a highlight of my week reading those – you always get me laughing!
“Try wearing your palette around your neck. It is always right at your finger tips that way!” – Pat
“Dude, this is EXACTLY how I see you!” – Nat
“This may not be what they meant by “biting his head off” when he complained about the cooking.” – Sue
“Who? No, we haven’t seen him.” – Anne
We have so much fun with this and even if you don’t want to add a caption, just reading what everyone has come up with is a pretty great way to get through the mid-week doldrums :) Here is how to join Nat’s Creative Hood.
My dear friend Tania Ahmed has a new podcast out there called The Craftermath and I was honored to be a guest on Episode 2 the other day. Along with Marsha Valk, Birgit Koopsen, Riikka Kovasin, I joined Tania Ahmed to discuss the topic “Inspiration vs Imitation.” Check it out HERE.
Here is what Tania’s wonderful podcast series is all about:
“Are you a crafter and artist that loves to hear what makes other creatives tick? Do you want to learn ways to boost your creativity? Like to learn insider tips on taking your creative practice to the next level? Then this is the podcast for you!
My name is Tania Ahmed and welcome to The Craftermath, a podcast about creativity, art and craft – which is basically my excuse to talk about the things I love with the people I admire!
…This is the podcast that I wish was around 10 years ago when I was starting out and didn’t have a clue on where to start in the art and craft industry. I had so many questions and this podcast is my way of sharing my insights, and experiences with you!”
I hope you tune in – I loved chatting with them on a topic so near and dear to all of us and I can’t wait to listen to what Tania has cooked up for the next episodes :)
Hop into Spring with us: Free shipping for customers in the US ends TODAY, April 19th at 11:59pm EDT: If your cart totals more than $25 of physical products in my online shop HERE, you can get free shipping in the US.
Just enter the coupon code APRIL25SHIP when you are checking out and all those goodies will get shipped to you for free!
Let’s Hop into Spring with a Free Shipping Weekend for customers in the US: If your cart totals more than $25 of physical products now through Monday (11:59pm EDT on April 19th, 2021) in my online shop HERE, you can get free shipping in the US. Just enter the coupon code APRIL25SHIP when you are checking out and all those goodies will get shipped to you for free! Who doesn’t like a little free every now and again?
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.
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.
Super happy to announce this very special workshop that I am releasing today – Beyond the Paper. I’m teaching along with my amazing friends Birgit Koopsen and Marsha Valk in this 3 week online workshop that goes on sale today and begins on April 4th.
Let’s go Beyond the Paper: Join Nat Kalbach, Birgit Koopsen, and Marsha Valk for an online workshop that goes Beyond the Paper! We’ll be exploring exciting and original substrates to create on, that will invigorate your idea of art journaling and mixed media in general. Cardboard, Dura-Lar, Fabric, and more will be the foundation of our creations and we’ll discuss how to make the most out of these unique surfaces with techniques including foam stamping, printmaking, collage, stitching, and image transfers to name a few. To wrap things up, each teacher will bring some pages to completion and then show you a binding technique for pulling it all together. Learn more and register here.
The goal of Beyond the Paper is to inspire interesting, new ways to think about mixed media and to learn from the perspective and artistry of three different teachers. Also a special NEW foam stamp set, Triple Play will be used in the lessons and is newly released TODAY – for more on that, keep reading :)
Sign up TODAY for Early Bird pricing: Today, March 19th – April 5th, 11.59pm EDT this course is just $89 USD. After that, the course will be its regular price of $139 USD. Sign up now and get a fantastic deal.
Check out the promo video below:
Beyond the Paper includes 21 downloadable video lessons: 7 lessons by each of our teachers. The workshop will begin on April 4 and run for three weeks. Students will have access to a virtual classroom where they can comment on the lessons, ask questions, and share examples of their own work. A live webinar with the teachers will take place at the end of the workshop and students are encouraged to attend to learn more about the teachers, ask questions, and participate in some light-hearted activities.
I’m also excited to announce the new Triple Play foam stamp set!!! Birgit, Marsha, and I designed this 7 piece ArtFoamies set to be used alongside the Beyond the Paper workshop, but of course this versatile set is perfect for any of your mixed media activities :)
Each of us designed two of the triangle stamps that fit nicely inside the hex border. Can you guess who designed what? I’m sure some of you may recognize our signature style.
For a while I have been obsessed with creating patterns with stamps (remember April Patterns?) and this set really allows you to explore that like crazy. You can use just one triangle to make all kinds of designs within the hex…
Or try combining two of the triangles for a cool field of pattern…
And how about layering it up a bit?
And then just look what happens when you really pull out all the stops?
I hope you join us for Beyond the Paper, with your Triple Play foam stamps in hand! I always love teaching with Birgit and Marsha and this time we all bring so many different ideas to the table that I know everyone will be inspired to think waaaaaay Beyond the Paper!
I don’t know if you know this, but I’ve been writing some thoughts in my monthly newsletters – thoughts on creativity, making art, and being an artist – along with some other info about what is going on around here. In February I shared the following – a topic that I then hosted a webinar about along with some other artist friends who also weren’t always full time artists. You can check that Spill your heART webinar out here and then be sure to sign up for my newsletter HERE for more of these :)
10 Years of Being a Full Time Artist
As the 10th Creative JumpStart comes to an end, I realized that I actually quit my career as a paralegal in January 10 years ago.
I remember how I asked my boss for a meeting and how my heart was pounding when I sat down to tell him that despite loving my job in this pro-bono/legal aid office, I wanted to be a full time artist and quit my career of 17 years. I remember how relieved I was when I spoke those words, and how wonderful it was when my boss said that he was sad to see me leave but that I would have his full support. Just a couple months before, they let me have an art exhibit in the law office and throw an opening party. I was very fortunate to have worked there. It was a good place and while I might not miss the stress of being a paralegal, I do miss the office and the people.
I gave myself 3 years to work it out and to see if I could sustain myself as a full time artist. I had 3 years to build up my little n*Studio, teach, consult, write and above all make art. I decided on 3 years because I figured that if I failed, I might still be able to deal with the changes in law to fall back into my paralegal career. My father died when I was a baby, and my Mom was a hard working single mother, so while I had a lot of support from my husband and friends about this decision, having a Plan B was necessary to calm the nerves of my family as well as my own honestly.
Now 10 years later I am still at it and I love love love my work: I love making art, I love teaching, and I love writing and organizing events like Creative JumpStart. Has it been hard at times? Very, but I have also learned a lot, not only about art making but also about me and about life. And above all, I have met so many new wonderful people, students and other artists. What a blessing this has been. My heART is full!
And so I thought, what better topic than “I wasn’t always a Full-Time Artist” for the first episode in my Spill your heART webinar series. I invited three other artists to chat with me about past careers, our paths toward our dreams and tips we have for anyone who might think about becoming a Full-Time Artist. You can watch a recording of this webinar and learn about upcoming webinars here on my website.
I also hope you will join me every last Friday of the month, when I talk to different guests on “Spill your heART”. If you have a topic you would love to have an episode about, let me know!
We’ve updated our Wabi Sabi foam stamps and wanted to share the news with you :) You may recall that before the foam surround was just rectangular – well now it’s cut to mirror the design. I find them easier to identify when I’m going through my stamp stash and also – the backsides are now funky abstract shapes that are worthy of stamping too!
Here are some of the stamps in action:
I love to use them for mark making and to add some random line elements to give a background extra interest.
They look great as bold marks too if that is your style…
…or as something more subtle. However you roll today!
Check out all my foam stamps in my online shop – lots have been restocked.