NEW Online Workshop: Artful Adventures with Vincent Van Gogh

Today my newest online workshop Artful Adventures with Vincent Van Gogh goes on sale on my website!

Get ready to go on an Artful Adventure with us. Color, line, texture, and MORE! From the get go, we’ll learn about van Gogh’s artwork and his brief but dramatic life, and then we’ll dive right in to 4 technique lessons with creative ways to translate his signature style into your own unique art journaling and artwork.

Sign up NOW to enjoy great pricing: Early Bird is just $39 – now through Wednesday, June 1st when the technique lessons begin.

Check out the promo video to get a sneak peek at some of the projects and techniques:

In addition to exploring Vincent van Gogh’s expressive style, we’ll also learn about creating texture, working with inspiration from your own surroundings, playing with color theory to help you achieve new dimension and drama in your artmaking, and much much more. Let the Artful Adventures begin!

Learn more about the workshop HERE.

But wait, there’s more ;)

Looking for more Artful Adventures? We’re having a sale right now on all of them – just $39 each! Check them out here. Bundle together a few and enjoy discovering how Gustav Klimt, Joan Miró, Paul Klee, or Andy Warhol can provide you with new artistic inspiration and techniques to get you thinking and creating with new passion in your art journal and beyond.

Check out all the Artful Adventures in my Online Shop. And enjoy them for just $39 each (instead of the regular $49) – now through June 1st, 2022 at 11:59pm EDT.

See you soon in the online classrooms!

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Stroll Through the Hood – May 2022

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.

It is a late spring here but we are enjoying some time on our stoop with the newly restored banister. I love sitting on the stoop- you meet all kinds of wonderful neighbors including Alvin how walks up and down the block every day to collect trash because as he says “You gotta stay human and we have to be good to ourselves.” Thank you Alvin- you are a treasure!

Loving this Queen Anne house and the magnolia tree – icing on the cake. The soft colors of blue, yellow and pink …yum!

Meanwhile in the studio – someone is really helpful …

Those two Queen Anne Houses on our street are also amazing – I love the right one for all its amazing wood shingle applications – the wavy pattern in the triangle is my fave. The Blue house on the left has an open Turret – so fun!

Such a great building and brick work and my favorite thing about it of course is the old shop sign and the font.

Hello texture and hello gorgeous! The color combo is also intriguing …the different shades of grey and white and the muted red – very inspiring.

How cool is this iron work and also …it is the most beautiful and smart protection guard i have seen so far! Safety but not for the price of making it look like a prison.

I feel watched!

The Liberty Park Nature Center finally reopened after it was basically destroyed in Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Loved seeing those Kindness Stones all around it in the park.

Low tide – always gives the illusion you could just walk over to Manhattan

We took a little bike tour through the park and explored the old Bay View cemetery as well. It was established in 1848 and holds the graves of many mayors and important historic family members of the city and it also holds a Jewish Burial ground. It is in really rough shape which is pretty sad.

Some people might find it weird but I have always found cemeteries very peaceful and beautiful places …

Finishing the stroll through the hood with this magic picture …I love spring :)

Hope you enjoyed the little stroll – see you next time!!

Comments (2)

  • Barbara

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    Great photos and observations. The last is the best, but I loved them all. Cemeteries are my thing as well. New city? Check out the cemetery. And doors, I love doors. Thank you once more.

    Reply

  • Andrea R Huelsenbeck

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    I love to stroll through the hood with you, Nathalie. (Almost as good as walking it together in person.) I love the things you pick out to photograph.

    Reply

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Stenciled Garden Plant Tags – DIY Play Date

After a long hiatus, Kim and I are finally getting back together for some regular Play Dates at my new place. We really missed this time together to gab and create and it was so nice to come together for a spring themed project: Stenciled Plant Tags. If you have a garden or grow things inside, these are a sweet way to personalize bamboo plant tags and keep track of what is what.

The supplies for this were very simple and can be found at the end of the post too, but basically you’ll need: bamboo plant tags, small pattern stencils like my ATC Mixup, acrylic paint, brushes, makeup sponges, and an acrylic marker or Sharpie.

Paint your tags with acrylic paint. A flat brush makes this a breeze and you could even start with gesso if you want to minimize the woodgrain more. We liked the natural wood peeking through so just went straight for the paint.

Bright and pastel colors are a great choice, but go with what makes you happy and just keep in mind what color marker you will use at the end to label with.

Stencils with small patterns will fit on these petite tags. My ATC Mixup has 9 different patterns and we used almost all of them!

Auditioning the patterns :)

A makeup wedge sponge works perfectly for this of course.

A subtle color palette looks pretty cool and won’t compete too much with the labeling, but high contrast is good too. There are sooo many ways to go with this. Our set of labels came with 20+ to play around with.

If one of the colors didn’t look quite right, we redid the stenciling on some of them to oomph things up or even get a subtle shadowing effect.

A gelli plate is always a nice surface to blend some colors and then print with that later ;)

Plant tags looking good!!!

If you’re planting veggie seeds, you might need a bunch of these!

When everything is dry, it’s time to label. An acrylic marker or even a Sharpie will do for this.

You can go fancy with the type!

But leave some blank – you never know what you might plant later.

They look great with those small stenciled patterns and happy paint colors.

What are you planting this year? Flowers? Herbs? Vegetables?

There’s no question what these little sprouts are.

And these can go into the garden when the time is right.

Hope this inspired you to get your stencils and think about the garden and how you can get creative there too. Although my garden is a work in progress this year, I will get a few potted herbs to tag soon so that we can have a bit of fresh greenery to enjoy. Happy stenciling and happy gardening!

Here are some of the supplies we used:

Comments (1)

  • jean marmo

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    These are so much fuN!

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Common Sense – Art Journal

“I don’t profess to be profound; but I do lay claim to common sense.” — Emily Dickinson

For this one I used the same colors and the negative print of the Art Deco Wallpaper stencil from the Hope art journal page – I just didn’t mix the colors for the background when I brayered them on.

Then I stamped on top with some of my Cardboard rubber stamps and Ranger Archival Sepia ink.

Using a bamboo sketching pen I wrote the Emily Dickinson quote with copper Liquitex acrylic ink – the metallic inks have a lot of particles in them which makes the journaling slightly raised.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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Hope – Art Journal

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

-Emily Dickinson

I painted the background with acrylic paint and a big flat brush. Then I layered the Art Deco Wallpaper stencil on top and sprayed with MTN Acrylic spray paints – using lime green, brown and white colors.

I added some marks with a thin brush and sepia acrylic ink and then used one of my Fan-fare stamps and brown Versafine ink to add some more marks. I layered the stamp up without going for a full image each time and I really like how it looks. I’m definitely using this stamp again for mark making.

It was simple to put together but I like it – simple is ok – not every page has to take ages 🙂

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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Creative Squad: A Tale of Two Colors – Riikka Kovasin

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a post and video from Riikka Kovasin who is sharing her project for our new monthly theme: A Tale of Two Colors – Think about two different colors, one you love using and one you find more of a challenge to work with. Use them together in a project and see what happens. Riikka is using my Grove Street foam stamps in her project today.


Those, Who Imagine 

Hello there! It’s Riikka here today with my take on the month’s theme about colours. My current favourite was an easy task, but the other colour took me by surprise!

My “go-to” colour scheme is and has probably always been blues, teals, and turquoises. Those warmer blue tones, like summer sea. When I’m taking a class, I usually tend to use those colours as they are my safe zone. I used to dislike pink a lot but since my two girls were born, it started appearing to my projects and has stayed since then. Well, I did dress them in pale blue or other colours as babies, but when they were old enough to make their own choices, the colour started to please my eyes, too. Teals and turquoises are my usual “go-to”, like I said earlier, but lately I’ve been using more and more of a sapphire blue colour. Partly because of that, and partly to give myself a bit more challenge, I picked that as my current favourite. 

When I was thinking about what colour I don’t use, I would have normally said bright red or yellow, but this year has been a bit strange as I’ve done projects using both! So, to see what colour I haven’t been using lately, I took to Instagram. By skimming through my profile, I realized that at least a yellow green, a lime colour was missing. So, I picked that for the other colour and like that I had my combo chosen!

I’m not actually totally sure how the idea of the pair of cards was born. Probably I was pondering what to do with the colour combo and Nat’s Grove Street foam stamps. But I actually draw a little sketch of the card for myself at some point. At that stage I was thinking of using an old button as the focal point, picked from my inherited stash, but when I then pulled the other materials to the work table, I realized I could make my own buttons!

This project was so much fun as I’d never have picked this colour combo otherwise! I did use quite a lot of white to make the end project airy as the colour combo is quite intense. I also wanted to use the stamps on different surfaces, to bring extra interest to the project with just two colours, so that’s why I picked not only paper for this project but also white cotton. For the buttons I used the shrink plastic as I could then use the Grove Street foam stamp in two sizes in a way. If you want to see how I made the cards, please see the video below.

I had more materials made but ended up doing just two cards – kind of mirror images of each other. The “left-overs” I then put in my stash and can use those later for a journal or another card project. So, don’t be surprised if you see a button like this in another project or a piece of that green and blue patterned piece I created as the first step! I often make more collage material than I use in the project I created it for. That makes creating another project then faster as I have the mixed media papers and embellishments already done! 

As you could see from the video, I finished the cards with lines from an old book. This does bring a new color to the mix, but I thought it to be so neutral and such a small detail, that it’s ok. And it goes nicely to the warm green. I often do my projects in English, but I’ve been using more of my mother tongue lately. The other card reads “What’s the reason for this cause” or “Why such a goal” and the other “Those, who imagine”. I picked the latter also for the title of the video, because we all need to imagine to create. 

Thank you for stopping by today! Wishing you a sweet May!  Xoxo Riikka


Thank you Riikka – such a sophisticated combination of colors and I love how you repeated the Grove Street stamps in different ways.

Give it a try: you can find all my Foam Stamps in my Online Shop and in addition to old book pages, here are some of the supplies Riikka used:

Looking for more projects? Follow the Creative Squad on Instagram

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Order in the Chaos – Art Journal

“We adore chaos because we love to produce order.” – M.C.Escher

This is another spread using a piece of artwork that was part of the sold out Artist Almanac calendar (the 2023 version is in the works so sign up for my newsletter here for first news about that when the time comes). And although the 2022 calendar is long gone, the original painting from the page I used in this art journal spread (inspired by a trip to Buenos Aires) is still available HERE.

I picked the colors that I used in the original painting – well similar colors – and blocked in the background.

Then using my brush to make blocky marks, I began mixing colors and started discovering some pretty nice color variations and marks. It is a crazy vibrant page!

Just like in the painting, I used some charcoal to make marks and then brushed matte medium on top to seal the charcoal. Otherwise charcoal would be a bit of a problem to use in an art journal that will be closed.

The quote seemed kind of fitting for me as I was thinking about that particular neighborhood in Buenos Aires – La Boca – it seems chaotic but there is order in the chaos.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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Mix Tape – Art Journal

I found this old photo of my view out of my old studio in Hamburg Germany and I was reminiscing about the different views I’ve had from my studio windows… often on the top floor, just like now again, but always different. All this while I was listening to a spotify play list …the modern version of a mix tape that a friend of mine just made for me with music he discovered during the pandemic and thought I would like. J. has always been my music guy since we both share a lot of the same taste, so I am excited! It also made me very happy and grateful for the wonderful friendship where someone takes the time needed and puts a tape together for you. Remember those olden times?

Anyway… LOL The background was stamped with Versafine ink with the wonderful Triple Play foam stamps Birgit Koopsen, Marsha Valk and I created for our workshop Beyond the Paper – check it out. I added some sun printed fabric which I show how to create in the workshop using the same stamp.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

Comments (1)

  • Sue Clarke

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    I love that sentiment…a friend really likes you when they make a mix tape/CD for you!
    Fun LO Nat.

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Circle Jumble – Put a Circle on It!

Put a Circle on It! I don’t know why circles are such a pleasing design element but I definitely gravitate towards them. Maybe it’s just something in our makeup as humans that we like these focused, round shapes that remind us of the Sun and our moon, many things in nature, and are without harsh pointy corners. Who knows. But what I do know is they make excellent focal points in an art journal or on a canvas and they have a ton of innate appeal. That’s one reason I designed my Circle Jumble rubber stamp set – I wanted some nice circle options to go to again and again :)

I used the stamps with chunky embossing powder in this spread. Don’t you just want to touch them? It’s like the embossing emphasizes the roundness and that is even better!

Circles are so harmonious… and they play so well with other shapes and are an excellent building block to patterns. In this art journal page I used those Large Circle Jumble stamps with triangles and squares and it all just fits and makes me happy.

When in doubt… start with a circle! Here I used them as the center of a mandala. All the Circle Jumble stamps have a central focal point that everything can radiate out from.

You can also keep it simple with circles. Just a few on a card and you have a pleasing design scheme. This stamp set has a positive/negative pair in it too – looks great playing off one another.

Put a Circle on It! Get your hands dirty (maybe with some paper clay even!) and bask in the harmony of the circle – the Circle Jumble ;)

Here are some of the supplies I used:

Comments (1)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Nice! I am also drawn to circles.

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