Last Day for Early Bird Creative JumpStart

Are you registered for Creative JumpStart 2021 yet? Our special Early Bird sale ends tomorrow, December 31st at 11:59pm EST. Now is the time to sign up and save! 

CJS21 is our 10th anniversary year and the workshop is bigger than ever with 45 different mixed media artists sharing their take on our theme: Storyteller. Jump with us!

We’re super excited about the program this year and the diversity of talent. In addition to downloadable video lessons and supply lists, we have exclusive giveaways from our sponsors, live webinars featuring our artists, opportunities for students to share their artwork and connect with a global art community, and 45 days of inspiration to help you get 2021 off to a creative start.

Learn more here and register TODAY.  CJS21 is just $69 through December 31st, 2020 at 11:59pm EST. 

Also, don’t forget to get our limited edition CJS21 foam stamp Love Story. This design is only available through December 2021 and there is even a bonus lesson in Creative JumpStart 2021 to show you 3 different ways to use it. 

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The maximum upload file size: 3 MB.
You can upload: image.
Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Creative Squad: Light & Shadow – Judi Kauffman

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have some standard size composition books and 7×5″ flip cards from Judi Kauffman using my Hamilton, Amsterdam, and Crackle stencils and this month’s theme: Light & Shadow – In art and maybe also in life, the balance between light and shadow is an important consideration. Play with this equilibrium in your art and show us how the two sides work together.


Light Wins!

This was an awful year. My first thought when I heard this month’s theme, “Light & Shadow,” was to design something in black-on-black with just a tiny hint of white or yellow – a very direct interpretation of how awful the last ten months have seemed. Dark. Very, very dark. I have been home since March and have no idea when I’ll be able to go out into the world again.

And yet, when I think back through these challenging times and look toward the unknowns still in front of us, it turns out that light wins, not darkness or shadow. After all, we solid, upright human beings cast shadows only when there is light. So I switched direction and decided to give some composition books a new look with a mix of stencils on black and white mulberry paper using sparkling metallic paint – one to give and one to keep. And, of course, I made cards while I was at it – one to match the notebook.

For the books –

1. Adhere mulberry paper to the front and back of a composition book, using predominantly black for the covers of one of the books and predominantly ivory for the other. Tear papers and layer as shown or as you prefer. Trim at the edges and avoid the black tape binding of the books. Design strategy: Choose one stencil that has a bolder, simpler allover pattern and another that is intricate for contrast.

2. Stencil Hamilton in Gold and Amsterdam in Patina on the covers, alternating patterns in random vertical stripes and overlapping paints to blend.

3. Stencil Crackle in Black randomly at the edges of the covers. Edge the covers with a bit of black paint. Design Strategy: Crackle is symbolic of the fragility of life, and yet when the pattern is used at the edges of the rectangles it acts to unify.

For the card –

1. Adhere two sheets of ivory mulberry paper back to back with textured sides facing out. Adhere torn pieces of ivory and black paper. Mulberry paper is floppy, layering adds stability. For extra stability add a piece of cardstock between layers.

2. Hand- or die-cut a horizontal flip card from the sheet. (Shown: AccuCut A7 flip die)

3. Stencil both sides of the card with Hamilton and Amsterdam patterns (same Gold and Patina paints as on notebooks). Optional: Add a bit of Crackle pattern in Black. Edge with smudged-on Black.

4. Embellish with canceled stamps that pick up the colors of the paints.

Bonus cards –

1. Instead of mulberry paper, make cards from heavyweight cardstock. Use only one of the stencils or a combination of several.

2. Embellish with canceled stamps that pick up the colors of the cardstock and coordinate with the paints.


Thank you Judi! Just love the ideas behind these designs – something that we can all relate to this year.

Give it a try: you can find all my Stencils in my Online Shop and in addition to canceled stamps, here are some of the other 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.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The maximum upload file size: 3 MB.
You can upload: image.
Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Happy Holidays

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season. May your next days be filled with joy and happiness and some relaxation.

Thank you for all your support and love !Nat

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The maximum upload file size: 3 MB.
You can upload: image.
Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Creative Squad: Light & Shadow – Jordan Hill

Hello from the Creative Squad! Today we have Jordan Hill sharing with us a nice little book that she’s made using my Art Deco Empire stencil and this month’s theme: Light & Shadow – In art and maybe also in life, the balance between light and shadow is an important consideration. Play with this equilibrium in your art and show us how the two sides work together.


Hello, everyone! As a person who is quite fond of the concept of duality and contrasts, I really enjoyed creating this month’s project using the theme “Light and Shadow”! I decided to bind a little book this month, and the actual pages also play off of the prompt. Let’s get into it!

To start things off, I chose a 3″x5″ index card as my surface. I love working on index cards because they are extremely low pressure. This particular card was one I had leftover from an instance where I cleaned off one of my brushes that still had paint on it. It also ended up with a few specks of blue paint and a small section of machine stitching from where I was testing my sewing machine, which added some fun details!

Next up, I used a makeup sponge, white paint and Nathalie’s Art Deco Empire stencil to add some interest to the purple area of the card.

Using the same stencil and the purple paint I had used as a base, I then stenciled over the white areas of the card. This played into the idea of “light and shadow”. I then selected a small piece of ephemera to glue to the lower left hand corner of the card.

At this point, I was comfortable calling this background done enough to add a face! As is the case with most of the figures that I draw, I blocked in her face roughly in acrylic paint first, then sketched and drew on top of that base. To further emphasize the idea of “light and shadow”, I decided to make her hair two-toned; black and white!

Once I was happy with my painting, I cut down two pieces of chipboard to the size of the card and glued the completed index card to one of them. I then selected some paper to use as the pages. I decided to use Canson watercolor paper for the white pages and some basic black cardstock for the black pages. 

Before I actually bound the book, I decided to pull out the Art Deco Empire stencil again! Using the same stencil I did for the cover, I used white paint to stencil on a sheet of the black cardstock and white paint to stencil on a sheet of the watercolor paper. 

Using the stenciled pages as cover sheets, I then bound my book using a coptic stitch and black embroidery floss before calling it done! The fun thing about using both black and white pages is that throughout the book there is an interesting contrast effect that I think will be incredibly enjoyable to create on!

I hope you had fun creating this little book with me and I hope you are inspired to create something of your own!


Thank you Jordan – love the bold graphic quality of this little book’s cover!

Give it a try: you can find all my Stencils in my Online Shop and in addition to a small piece of ephemera, here are some of the other supplies Jordan 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.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The maximum upload file size: 3 MB.
You can upload: image.
Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

LAST DAY – Online Workshop Sale

My 20% off Online Workshop Sale (excluding CJS21) ends TODAY, December 21st at 11:59pm EST. 

Hurry in and take advantage of the Workshop Sale: Just use the code WORKSHOP2020 when you check out and save 20% off online workshops.

Take a look at the variety of workshops I offer here on my website: My Artful Adventure series looks at taking inspiration from master artists. My Time Traveler Workshop with Birgit Koopsen and Marsha Valk looks at different stylistic periods in history for inspiration. And my Best of CJS series offers small collections of videos from past years of CJS. Check them all out, and many more, HERE on my website.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The maximum upload file size: 3 MB.
You can upload: image.
Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Online Workshop Sale – Happy Holidays!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, so I’m running a Workshop Sale ALL weekend. From December 18th through 21st at 11:59pm EST you can save 20% off my online workshops. This sale excludes Creative JumpStart 2021 but wait, that is still on sale for $69 through the end of the month so you don’t have to miss out on that either.

How can you take advantage of the Workshop Sale? Just use the code WORKSHOP2020 when you check out and save 20% off online workshops. Take a look at the variety of workshops I offer here on my website.

There are many to choose from like…

Artful Adventures with Gustav Klimt will help you achieve Klimt-style glamour and beauty in your art journal and beyond. Learn the art of creating patterns and metallic elements, and discover ways to pull everything together in a successful artwork. Check out the workshop HERE.

Time Traveler that I co-teach with Birgit Koopsen and Marsha Valk will show you how to draw inspiration from different style eras in history. Learn how to translate the design motifs into your own artwork with a focus on Gelli printing and mini book making. Sign up HERE.

Artful Adventures with Andy Warhol will introduce you to the artistic tricks of Pop Artist Warhol. Visual repetition, finding beauty in the everyday, and working with pops of color are all covered in this adventure. Find the workshop HERE.

The Best of CJS workshops offer small 10-12 lesson snippits of Creative JumpStarts from the past. We were able to bring some of our favorite videos back from the archives for these little bundles. They are download only workshops but a great taste of previous CJS’s that you may have missed. You can find those HERE.

Trace, Transfer, Transform explores several different methods of bringing visual material into your artwork. Work with photos, print outs, and other sources to transform your art journal and artwork into something with strong focal elements and intriguing backgrounds. Learn more HERE.

There are so many options for learning and inspiration so I hope you join us in the classrooms :)

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The maximum upload file size: 3 MB.
You can upload: image.
Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

New Love Story Foam Stamp

Exciting news! I’ve designed a Limited Edition Foam Stamp for Creative JumpStart 2021 Storyteller edition called Love Story. It represents my love for art and my love for all of you: my artsy community!

This stamp will only be available for purchase through December 2021 so grab yours HERE, and if you haven’t signed up for CJS21 yet, do that HERE so you can access a quick tutorial up in the CJS21 classroom. It shows you three new techniques to use this stamp.

In the tutorial, I show you how to create the world’s easiest accordion fold book (using just some extra envelopes I had laying around) and three stamping techniques to help you use your imagination and tell YOUR Love Story.

Love Story is only available for a limited run so hurry into the shop.

And if you haven’t signed up for Creative JumpStart 2021 yet, there is still time to do that too – check it out here, and get access to the Love Story tutorial.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The maximum upload file size: 3 MB.
You can upload: image.
Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Creative Squad: Light & Shadow – Robin Seiz

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have Robin Seiz sharing with us a project inspired by a journey far away and resulting in the more familiar journey of making art. Robin is using my Elephant Parade and Ornament Wallpaper stencils and our theme: Light & Shadow – In art and maybe also in life, the balance between light and shadow is an important consideration. Play with this equilibrium in your art and show us how the two sides work together.


Light and Dark – Playing with Color

One of the things I remember most about my visit to India is the beautiful patterns and colors of the Saree; the traditional drape that women wear. I remember a friend taking me into a shop and there were hundreds of fabrics laid out.The contrast of light and dark was present in all of them. I just wanted to touch each and every one and drape them over me. It’s with these patterns and color in mind that I chose Nat’s Elephant Parade stencil and mask. It’s the perfect stencil to use for layering colors and pattern. I wanted to try the elephant both with a dark background and light pattern and a light background and a dark pattern to compare the images.

At the beginning of the pandemic I was making masks and I have quite a bit of “featherweight interfacing” left. I have been thinking it would be fun to try and print on this fabric. It has a great texture! So this seemed like the perfect project to combine the two and make a journal cover.

I cut a piece of interfacing 20 inches by 12 1/2 inches and applied White Gesso. I wasn’t worried about covering the entire piece. I just wanted some extra texture and “tooth” to the surface.

The journal cover was going to cover a used book that I had on my shelf, so I measured and  placed a piece of paper in the middle of the interfacing so I would know where the front stopped and the back began. I did the same for the top and the bottom of the journal. I’m not a perfectionist by any stretch of the imagination, so when I say, “I measured,” —  I mean I eyeballed it! 

I applied Liquitex Basic Gold acrylic paint with a makeup sponge to the background and then used Golden Quinacridone Magenta to apply the Elephant Parade stencil

Since I wanted to see the light on dark, I applied the gold paint with the patterned stencil over the dark elephant. I absolutely loved the result. 

The background definitely needed something, so I applied Nat’s Ornament Wallpaper stencil which also reminds me of an Indian print. I did this in the dark Golden Quinaacridone Magenta. The problem with using the same color, was the elephant faded into the background rather than appearing in the foreground as I had planned. 

In order for the elephant to stand out from the background I applied white gesso around the edges of the elephant and then added some gold back. This technique brought the elephant to the foreground.

It was time to move on to the back of the journal cover and to experiment with dark on light. Let’s just say this took a lot of work to get anywhere close to the same effect as the front of the journal. Sometimes, what I have in my head just doesn’t turn out the same way on paper (or fabric in this case!) The dark on light paint just didn’t have the same “pop” as the light on dark.

First I tried the same technique of applying the white gesso with a cosmetic sponge. I was in a hurry and didn’t wait long enough for the paint to dry before I applied the gesso and it turned the magenta to a light pink. ICK! The technique that worked on the front, really didn’t work the same for the back. Next, I outlined the elephant with a black marker thinking it would bring it forward; that didn’t work either! I tried adding the dark magenta color around the elephant and didn’t like that.

When all else fails, I usually go back to covering everything with gesso. (again!) This time I let it dry completely. This time I went over the white gesso with gold paint leaving a little edge of white. I also outlined the elephant in gold gel pen. I added the same background stencil. The elephant did come to the foreground, but I’m definitely not as happy with the back of the journal. I did learn an important lesson — the contrast of light on dark is much more striking and pleasing to my eye than dark on light.

This project is an example of why I love mixed media. When things don’t work out the way I have planned, I let go of what I thought would happen, keep adding layers and trying different techniques until I’m satisfied with the end result.


Thank you Robin – loved hearing how you worked through your process to achieve a rich, beautiful result!

Give it a try: you can find all my Stencils in my Online Shop and here are some of the other 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.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The maximum upload file size: 3 MB.
You can upload: image.
Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Free Shipping Days End TODAY!

Free shipping for customers in the US ends TODAY, December 14th at 11:59pm EST: 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 FREE25SHIP when you are checking out and all those goodies will get shipped to you for free! 

It’s a great time to buy Foam Stamps, Stencils, Rubber Stamps, and even Artwork. Enjoy!!!

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The maximum upload file size: 3 MB.
You can upload: image.
Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.