Wabi Sabi Foam Stamp Re-Release

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.

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Creative Squad: Jumping with Robin Seiz CJS21

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have Robin Seiz sharing a mini book project with us that tells her Love Story about gardening. Robin is using my Love Story foam stamp as well as my Signals, Downtown, and Manhattan stencils and my Running rubber stamp. Our theme is: Storyteller – This month we’re playing along with Creative JumpStart 2021 and the theme Storyteller. We’re using our artwork, our color and material choices, and our personal style to tell a Love Story.


Happy New Year Friends!

I hope you are having as much fun as I am playing along with Creative Jump Start 2021. I must admit, I often come into my studio without a purpose. I choose materials that move me in the moment and I create. I have to be honest that I don’t often think about the story that I am telling. It’s something that I have struggled with through the years and wanted to learn how to do. This themed project — Tell Your Love Story — gave me the breakthrough that I was looking for and a way to tell a story through my art. I thought for weeks about what story I wanted to tell and as I looked at the beautiful Love Story artfoamie that Nathalie created, I saw two women looking out a window and I immediately knew the Love Story I wanted to tell. It’s about my love for gardening and how it came to be.

I have created this video which tells my story and includes a flip through of my final mini-book project.

Below, I’ll take you through the tutorial so you can create your own mini-book.

I began with scouring my pictures for just the right ones. I printed them on regular copy paper and cut them to 4” x 4”; the size of Nat’s Love Story foam stamp.

My Gelli plate is by far the tool I love the most in my studio. Whenever I can, I include it as part of my work. I printed a bunch of papers using a bold base layer and then a contrasting layer using 3 of Nathalie’s stencils, (Signals, Downtown, and Manhattan) which all looked to me like the layout of a garden with rows. 

I stamped the Love Story artfoamie on each Gelli print with a black permanent ink.

I trimmed the paper to the same 4”4” size of the artfoamie.

Since I wanted you to be able to peek inside my garden, I had to plan what I wanted you to see. In order to do that, I stamped the Love Story artfoamie onto a piece of tracing paper and cut it to 4”x4”. 

I lined up the tracing paper over each picture and  planned what area should be cut out, remembering this would be a like looking through a window.

Next I used an Exacto knife to make the cuts through the Gelli prints. Let me just say, the Exacto Knife is a bit intimidating to me, so I went slowly making sure my fingers were out of the way and I was moving the paper around the curves as much as I could. I used a cutting mat for this step. This step was the most time consuming; or at least it felt that way.  In the picture below, I have the tracing paper lined up over the gelli print with the picture underneath, but I had to remove both the tracing paper and the picture and ONLY cut on the Gelli print. If truth be told, I did forget this once or twice and had to reprint a few pictures. :o)

This left me with exactly what I was hoping for — a peek into the garden through the window.

Next I glued the cut Gelli Print to the corresponding picture so the window would come to life.

Once all the pages were complete, I wanted the backsides to have some kind of interesting design, but nothing that would compete with the Gelli prints. I used the Running stamp from Nathalie’s Embroidery set. This stamp reminded me of rows in a garden.

Now it was time to put it all together. Bindings can be a challenge and this mini-book wasn’t created on sturdy paper. I wanted a simple way to put it together that wasn’t going to be too bulky. I cut 4”x1” strips from black construction paper and folded them in half. They were glued to each page to make a signature. These signatures where then glued together. To keep all the signatures together, keep it strong, and finish it off, I cut a piece of black duct tape and adhered it to the front, around the signatures and to the back of the book. To finish it off, I tied some pretty ribbon around the outside to keep it closed and bring the garden to life.

I hope you enjoy this project as much as I enjoyed doing it. I loved telling you my Love Story.


Thank you Robin – what a beautiful way to represent one of your passions and I love the element of discovery that the book has with those interactive windows.

Give it a try: you can find all my Foam Stamps, Stencils and Rubber Stamps in my Online Shop and 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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Corner Store – New Painting

Corner Store is a new small painting inspired by my Strolls Through the Hood.

Corner Stores and Bodegas are often a lifeline in our communities- there are many people that depend on them. Whether it be to get some small grocery items, the newspaper, a cup of coffee, have packages delivered there or a listening owner to the worries of someone who lives in the neighborhood they are essential to every city neighborhood.

This particular corner store used to be a bakery selling bread and rolls , what is it about corner businesses that offer the most essential items?

Corner Store measures 8×8 inches on canvas board and would love to find a new home !

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke

    |

    Love it!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

      |

      Thank you so much Sue – it feels good to finally be back a bit more to painting

      Reply

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Connection – Art Journal

Connection is why we’re here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.

I used black acrylic paint with a brayer to ink up my Love Story and Mini Motifs foam stamps. Then I colored them in with watersoluble wax crayons.

I like the stained glass effect when you use black for the stamps and then fill in with colors. I added some highlights with a Pitt pen in white. 

I used a fude pen for my journaling.

 What kinds of connections are you making these days? It’s definitely more challenging but so rewarding.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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Stability – Art Journal

“Stability is sometimes just the bodega in your neighborhood” . I played around in my art journal for a painting of this building on canvas. 

I built up my background with my Manhattan stencil and acrylic spray paint. I also used my Gnarly and Far Out foam stamps along with ink and acrylic paint.

I also used various acrylic markers for my sketch and journaling.

Does your hood have a bodega or corner store that has all those little things you need?

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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Stroll Through the Hood – January 2021

Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me get unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and get new ideas to create something. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

Puzzling – was it a window and then covered up? And then there are elements missing …I like it :)

I love the sign – the font and the butterfly – for this flower store.

I am always intrigued by bright colors on brick ad I love those big eyes.

Def. a sign from a while ago.

This green little house intrigued me. Is it Santa’s Shop?

A hidden treasure of Art Deco – I walked past this building a million times, never realized the name on the building nor the top of the entrance.

I loooovee Cornices- – I have a little bit of a obsession for them – but this one is the coolest- look at the corner !

Love those bears peaking out from the closed windows and I love the brick work underneath some o f the windows.

This house makes me scream. Sometime in the 40s or 50s some guy must have walked around in Jersey City and told the citizens “hey guys, your house would look sooooo much better if you would just put some aluminum siding onto it” and 80 percent of the people did. I hate it – you know there is some beauty underneath those sidings!

Lot’s of signs down this week- probably from the storm .

Lovely Cardinal .

Interesting beautification of this lion LOL

Loved those hands in their rusty cans.

Great mural by Mr. Mustart and I like the blue painted brick building. I especially like that the trim is painted in a light color. I dislike the fashion fad right now where everyone seem to paint the old brick buildings in dark colors but without any distinction of the trim or roof and all those buildings look like shapeless blobs.

Not only was the house itself amazing- but this door was fun. We are actually getting a new door soon – maybe meanwhile I can have a go at the old one LOL.

Lovely view of Manhattan from Riverview Park.

Fairy house – actually the only house you could possibly afford on this street ;)

RIP John Lewis!!!

What a beautiful house – it is in bad shape but it looks as if there is some restoration starting soon.

Thanks for joining me on this stroll – I hope to see you next month again.

Comments (3)

  • Andrea R Huelsenbeck

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    I always love strolling with you, Nathalie. Love that beautiful Victorian. I hope you’re right and someone shows it some love.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

      |

      Awe- glad you enjoyed the stroll Andrea- maybe some time later I can show the progress on the victorian house :)

      Reply

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Creative Squad: Jumping with Emilie Murphy CJS21

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


“Love with all your heart”

Hi there! And Happy New Year everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And voila!

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Comments (1)

  • Robin

    |

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

    Reply

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Make People Love Again – Art Journal

Make people LOVE again!  Let’s start right now :)

I created big brush strokes and used a palette knife with white gesso, black gesso and pink acrylic paint. Then I stamped my Love Story foam stamp on some left over collage paper and cut it out and pasted it.

I added my Love Stamp

…and my Love Tag rubber stamp for the journaling.

I colored in the stamping a bit, and added drops with teal to pull that color a bit further across.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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Inspiration from my Creative Squad

Our friend and Creative Squad member Judi Kauffman shared some inspiring extras with us this month: an upcycled calendar collage and some beautiful envelopes.

Last year Judi created a calendar for the year ahead that we shared with you here in this post.

She used my Grove Street, Groovy and Gnarly foam stamps to create this page.

And then Judi totally surprised us this month with a reimagining of the calendar. She saved her stenciled calendar pages from 2020 and for most of the months she turned them into bookmarks and card fronts. But for this one she decided to cut the whole piece into 1” squares and reassemble it into a mosaic. She said it’s her way of giving visual form to this horrible year when everything felt like it had crumbled into tiny pieces by making it into something interesting and cohesive. It’s going to become the first calendar page for 2021! Turning over a new page, as it were.

Judi also created a fantastic wall hanging from another calendar page redo.

She writes, “I made mosaics out of another of the stenciled calendar pages, adding some dimensional bird, tree, and mini buttons for embellishments.”

What a fantastic idea for those old calendars.

Judi also shared with us some envelopes she created using my Mini Motifs rubber stamp set. She writes, “The method: My go-to “Stamp & Drag” where there’s the look of motion.” Love the look and the softer lines.

Envelopes definitely deserve just as much love as the cards that go inside them and we think these are beautiful! 

Are you sending snail mail these days? Follow Judi’s lead and try stamping some of your envelopes too.

Here are some of the supplies Judi used:

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