True Blue – Jennifer Gallagher


Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have some gorgeous tags from Jennifer Gallagher that show just how well stencils work with embossing powder. Jennifer is using my new Van Vorst and Broadway stencils and my Small Circle Jumble rubber stamp set. This month’s theme is: True Blue – Blue is the color of honesty and serenity. It’s calming and has even been shown to promote healing. It reminds us of the water and the sky. Let’s slow things down this month and bask in the tranquility of the color blue.

Blue is one of my favorite colors so I was very excited to see that the creative squad would be focusing our creations on it this month. The color blue makes me think of cold weather, snowy mountain scenes and holiday time with family. These quick and easy tags would be perfect for holiday gift tags.

Begin by brushing on a thin layer of light blue paint and white paint onto your tag with a dry brush. We want to get a distressed look so try not to apply too much paint. Leaving areas unpainted will also add to the interest and texture of the tag.

Next, place your Van Vorst stencil down onto your tag and press the perfect medium through the stencil.

Sprinkle the navy embossing powder over the perfect medium. Use a small soft bristled brush to knock off any areas you do not want the embossing powder or to clean up any mistakes. Apply heat from your heat tool to melt the powder and set it. Let it cool.

Lay the 4×4 inch Broadway stencil on the tag and repeat the same process with gold tinsel embossing powder. Then stamp the coordinating small Broadway stamp from Nat’s Small Circle Jumble stamp set with perfect medium in the top corner of your tag. Emboss it in gold tinsel as well.

Lastly, take your cobalt stamping pad and edge around your tag, smearing a bit of ink from the edge onto the tag. This will add additional interest and texture.

I created a second tag switching up the colors a bit. I painted the tag with real navy, embossed Van Vorst with bridal tinsel embossing powder, and embossed Broadway with rose gold embossing powder.

I hope you find these tips useful for creating your own beautiful holiday tags. You can also change up your background color and embossing powders to create non-holiday versions. Have fun and be sure to share your projects with us.

Thank you Jennifer – I just love how that gold embossed pattern looks! You can find all my stencils and stamps in my Online Shop. Here are some of the other supplies that 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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Book Review: Paint , Play, Explore by Rae Missigman

My friend Rae Missigman sent me her new book Paint, Play, Explore – Expressive Mark-Making Techniques in Mixed Media and I couldn’t wait to dig into it.

I wasn’t disappointed – Rae’s love for mark making and finding all kinds of tools and ways to inspire you to make your own mark in your artwork is contagious.

I was inspired by her idea of creating marks on fabric and I couldn’t wait to get into my studio to do this myself.

I cute a piece of this beautiful fabric which I had hoarded for ever and used a brayer to add some color on top of it to reveal the pattern and texture of the fabric even more

Using a rigger brush I added some marks as lines playing

I used the same colors to paint a grungy background into my art journal.

Then I grabbed my Embroidery Stamp Set as well as a purple ink pad

and added some stamped marks to the art journal but also on top of the fabric

Then I grabbed some embroidery thread and a needle

and added some cross stitches and french knots as marks to the fabric

I cut out circles out of the fabric and added a blanket stitch around the big one and then glued them down onto the art journal

I love how they tie in with the design of the background but still create their own little focal point

I added journaling and some hand drawn marks with a pencil and white woody

And there it is the finished Art Journal page inspired by Rae’s book – full of marks

Paint, Play, Explore oozes of gorgeous colorful and energizing photos and Rae shows in four chapters her favorite mark making tools, what kind of marks, artwork and projects.It is a wonderful inspiring book – Rae definitely left a mark with her wonderful book – Paint, Play, Explore.

Go and get it to leave your mark in your artwork as well!

Comments (1)

  • Rae Missigman


    Oh Nat I’m so thrilled that you enjoyed the book. Thank you so much for the kind words. It makes my heart happy. Your work is always so inspiring and your spin on this technique is awesome. Thank you so much for sharing with all of us! Can’t wait to see what you create next. Xx Rae


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Tacheles – Mixed Media Painting

Tacheles” is a painting that is also in my book “Artful Adventures in Mixed Media”  . I used acrylic paint, acrylic ink, spray paint, and marker on canvas. It was inspired by Kunsthaus Tacheles in Berlin, a former department store built in 1907, owned by different groups and parties during WWII and East Germany, and finally from 1990 to 2012, rescued from being demolished by artists and turned into a gallery. The artists were forced to move out and the building remains empty at this time, but the histories and stories of this old building live on. My painting asks many questions: Who lived here? What happened in those building? What stories do they tell us?

It is now available for sale here.

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ArtStroll: Kunsthalle Hamburg Part 1

A couple weeks ago I was in Germany to teach workshops and I was lucky enough to spend a couple days in Hamburg, my old home.

I made an effort to spend a day at the Kunsthalle, which I used to visit regularly when I lived there.

Sigmar Polke – Häuserfront (Front of the Housing Block), 1967

I love Sigmar Polke’s early Raster dot works. He always questioned what he saw- in newspapers etc. and after vastly enlarging the image with a projector, exposing the individual halftone dots of the reproduction, the artist transferred each dot onto his paper by dipping the eraser of a pencil into paint. This always makes the image seem to move- things are in flux – are changing.

Neo Rauch, Die Fuge (The Gap) , 2007 – oil on canvas – two parts

Gerhard Richter – Juist – 2001 – oil on canvas

I love Gerhard Richters oil paintings that look like blurry photographs

Gerhard Richter – Abstraktes Bild

Such a treat to look at those paintings by some of my favorite Artists.

Gerhard Richter, Abstract Painting

Gerhard Richter, Grey

Gerhard Richter, Oswald 1964 – oil on canvas

you can still see the raster on the canvas that Richter used to transfer the photo as a painting

Gerhard Richter, Familie Schmidt, 1964 Oil on canvas

Georg Baselitz – Thing with Arm, 1993

Sigmar Polke, This is all that remains of the original Statue, 1974

Sigmar Polke art always makes me stand in awe and I cannot stop looking at all the details and materials he used.

sigmar Polke, Zweite niederländische Reise (Second Dutch Journey), 1985 – Dispersion, paint, mixed technique on decorative fabric

Look at this- It makes me itch and wanna run to my studio right away and play with collage, fabric and stencils

I also loved those little straw sculptures by Haegue Yang

Beautiful shapes and way to work with straw.

Vajiko Chachkhiani, The Missing Landscape , 2014 – Burned Tree Trunks

this made me sad

Georg Baselitz, Bilddreißg (Paintingthirty), 1994 oil on canvas

It was a great Art Stroll and I actually spend many more hours in the Museum but I will share more in a different blogpost :)

Hope you enjoyed this little stroll and found some inspiration

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Ungrounded – Art Journal

Just another day floating around, felling ungrounded ….


Using my new Grove Street Stencil and a RubberMoon Inkpad – sometimes just using the middle of the circle to create the background.

I think playing on this spread grounded me a bit that day ;)

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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True Blue – Josefine Fouarge


Hello my friends! Today is Tuesday so that means one of my Creative Squad posts! Here we have Josefine Fouarge sharing with us an art journal page that is a wonderful combination of colors and stamped and stenciled elements. Josefine uses my new Flower Maze and Valley Road stencils, and my Brownstone and My Home is My Castle stamps in this lovely composition. This month’s theme is: True Blue – Blue is the color of honesty and serenity. It’s calming and has even been shown to promote healing. It reminds us of the water and the sky. Let’s slow things down this month and bask in the tranquility of the color blue.

I could use some calmness this month. Life is catching up and finding those quiet moments is becoming a challenge. So, I’m looking forward to those healing effects from using the color blue (it’s probably more the process of creating itself that will do that for me ;) ).

I started by adding different pieces of tape to my journal page to create some texture for the background. I was hoping for more blue from the watercolor powders, but it turned out that there were a lot of green and purple pigments in there as well.

But that just made it more interesting, so I added powders and water in different layers, till I had the look that I liked. What I didn’t like was the tape that I used for the background, so I removed those, at least the majority of it.

To decorate those now white areas, I grabbed the new Flower Maze stencil and blended a mix of Mermaid Lagoon Distress Ink and Blueprint Sketch Distress Oxide through them.

I made sure to blend the ink only in those white areas.

I already knew that I wanted to add the sentiment “My Home is my Castle” and I wanted it to pop a little against the background. A lighter blue blended through the Valley Road stencil helped me with that.

My home really is my castle and the place where I regenerate and calm down. In order to see the Brownstone stamp house in the background, I decided to stamp it onto a piece of tissue paper that had some clean up spots from a different project on it. Thankfully, they are mainly blue.

Just a few finishing touches everywhere and I was done with my grungy, blue art journal page.

I really like the look of the Flower Maze stencil in the white areas.

Here is the close up of the Brownstone. A few of the neighbors were home.

Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to come back every Tuesday for more inspiration from the Creative Squad.

Thank you Josefine – I also love how that Flower Maze stencil pops! You can find all my stencils and stamps in my Online Shop. Here are some of the other supplies that Josefine 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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Just A Quick Note – Card

Never hurts to have a little stack of cards ready to go .

I created this quick note using my new Central Avenue Stencil and Stabilo Wood Pencils.

I simply placed the stencil onto a blank card and rubbed lightly some different colors against the stencil. The pigments of the very soft woody pencils accumulated on the edges of the plastic of the stencil.

Using a slightly moist brush I brushed over the stencil grid, and blended the different colors together to get some nice color mixes as well.

The stencil needs to be wiped off with a rag or baby wipe so that any leftover pigments won’t be applied to a future project.

I dunked a black watercolor pencil into water and applied some scribbles and the sentiment to the card.

Love how dimensional the effect is doing this method.

Here are some of the supplies I used for this card:

Comments (2)

  • Jill Adamy


    I am totally in the same mindset as you with having a little stack of cards handy just in case you need to send something along. And I love making them, especially out of just found items in my studio. Love what you did here! Thanks for sharing!


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Thank you so much Jill! Love that you are also love making cards to have on hand :)


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Currently Digging – October 2018 AIT

Once in a while I thought I would share with you some nifty finds – like an Artist who’s work caught my eye…, some Inspiration or the what, when and where that caught my eye and got my creative juices flowing, and Tools & Techniques I am currently digging like a new way to use a material or an application that I’m taking away. Hope you enjoy this.

Recently I saw the work of Swedish artist Hilma af Klint at the Whitney Museum and took notice of her unique style. She was painting abstractly before almost anyone else was and I was actually shocked by the dates on her paintings.

“Group IV, No 7. The Ten Largest, Adulthood”, 1907

“Primordial Chaos, No. 16, Group I”, 1906-7

I am looking forward to her upcoming show soon at MoMA to learn more. She was a pioneer in the art world and someone that I am excited to know more about.

This month my inspiration is… Building Cornices! Yup, the kind on houses and buildings :) I am always checking out the old buildings in my hood and noticing the architecture. I love the details and once you start looking up, you will see all the ways they topped them off way back when.

In my neighborhood green seems to be a popular paint color.

I am joining everyone who is already a fan of Stabilo Woody Pencils :) Recently I made a card using my new Central Ave stencil.

I used a wet brush to blend the colors.

I like the built up texture that they left behind and how easy it was to get different hues with just a few colors.

Also I’m discovering that they’re fun to use with foam and rubber stamps too, or just to scribble! Sometimes a chunky tool is just the thing you need to loosen up.

What do you think of this month’s Currently Digging stuff?




Comments (2)

  • Denise Spillane


    Hi, you always inspire me and introduce me to new artists. I love your style and art


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Awe- thank you Denise! thank you for being such a support – I always love “seeing” you :)


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