Motivated in March – Linda Edkins Wyatt

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a post from Linda Edkins Wyatt, and it is extra special because this will be her final one with us and we thank her so much for her amazing creativity and contributions to our little group! She leaves us with some awesome earrings, using my Van Vorst Fan foam stamp set and this month’s theme: Motivated in March – What keeps you motivated to create? Is it a certain material? Your favorite colors that you can’t get enough of? Maybe you get motivated when you see artwork in a museum or out and about? Share with us your creative motivation and then create something inspired by it.

What keeps me motivated to create art? New products!

For March, Nat asked us to think about what motivates us. I’m motivated by sooooo much: a shadow on the sidewalk, a pretty leaf changing colors, buds beginning to grow, architectural details on my daily walk, and advertising I see on a billboard or in a magazine. But, one thing that really gets me percolating with ideas is discovering a new product. Often, it’s a new stencil or stamp. But my latest discovery is something I totally missed in my childhood: shrinky dinks! One of my artist friends included a few sheets in a recent package, and I have to say, I’m addicted. It is so magical to watch it suddenly start to shrivel and buckle and turn into a miniature piece of art in minutes.

When I got the shrinky dink film, I thought, “Let me test that beautiful fan-shaped Van Vorst art foamie and see what happens.” It printed beautifully on the film using black Archival ink. I also tested a few stamps and stencils with both ink and acrylic paint.

I punched holes in the top center of all the stamped, stenciled and painted pieces with the idea of using them in the future to make jewelry. I heated the oven, put in my shrinky dinks, and waited for the magic.

Once the stamped film had shrunk, flattened, and cooled I painted the back of the shrunken Van Vorst pieces with white acrylic. It looked fine without painting the back, but I wanted to make the design pop a little more.

I got out my jewelry-making components and tools and rummaged around in my containers to find some earring wires that would work with the stamped design. I also selected a small silver ring to connect the fan design to the earring wire.

Carefully, I opened the small, round ring and threaded it through the fan and the hole on the earring wire, then closed it with my jewelry pliers.

Take a look at the final earrings with the art foamies fan stamp for comparison. The design shrunk to about one quarter to one third of its original size, and also got much thicker. The details of the design were even more crisp and clear.

Here’s the “how-to” steps:

1-carefully stamp the chosen design onto the shrink film. Press carefully, being careful not to slide the stamp. Lift the stamp straight up to avoid smearing.

2-cut the shape out with scissors. I cut close to the design edge, but you can also leave a little border.

3-punch a ¼” round hole near the top of the earring so that you can attach the earring wire or a jump-ring loop. (It will look way too big but once it shrinks the hole will be just the perfect size.)

NOTE: Be very careful when you cut and punch so that the ink does not smear. Hold the stamped design by the edges only.

4-bake in the oven or a toaster oven according to the directions on the shrink film package until the design shrinks. It will cool quickly. If your piece looks curved or buckled, quickly flatten with a spatula. Once it is fully cooled you cannot reheat to take out any curve or buckle.

5-attach earring components to shrinky dink artwork and, viola! You’re done.

You can also use the shrink film to make necklaces or pins—the possibilities are endless!

Thank you Linda – always love working with shrink film and watching the designs transform to miniature wonders :)

Want to give Linda’s project a try? You can find all my Foam Stamps in my Online Shop and here are some of the other supplies she 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“.

Comments (1)

  • Deb


    Such a creative fun idea. Thanks for the inspiration and clear instructions.


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Artful Adventures from Home – Online Workshop Sale

Maybe you are spending a bit more time at home these days for one reason or another? Well, I’m running an Artful Adventures from Home Online Workshop Sale ALL week so we can keep busy :)

All of my online workshops (excluding Creative JumpStart) are 20% off from now through Sunday, March 29th. Just use the coupon code STAYINGHOME when you check out before 11:59pm EST on March 29th. Here is a link to my Online Workshops page.

We can still enjoy some artistic activities and get a little creative inspiration, AND it’s a great time to get to know some of the other students in the classroom and on social media. My workshops include places to comment, ask questions, interact, and share your artwork. I also use hashtags on social media so you can share there and see who else is taking the same Artful Adventures as you!

Here are some of the workshops that are included in the sale:

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.

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. 

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.

Artful Adventures with Joan Miró draws inspiration from the playful style of Miró. Build a library of symbols, create your own unique alphabet, and explore how color and shape can oomph up the visual impact of your artwork. Learn more about this workshop HERE.

Build Your Own Art Journal will walk you through the steps to create your own bound art journals – from scratch! Create the cover, bind the pages, and get some tips on filling those pages. You will never need to purchase the same old art journals again – BYO! Here is the workshop.

Acrylic Inks will help you discover some amazing techniques to try with acrylic inks. With just a few supplies you will be on your way to learning all about this popular mixed media supply. Here is the workshop.

Art Journaling Demystified is a great way to start learning about art journaling and mixed media. Just starting out or need some inspiration or direction? This is the workshop for you.

I hope that you will use your time at home to continue to create and practice your art making. This is also a great time to introduce yourself to the wonderful online community of mixed media artists that are out there. Join us for one of these online workshops and let’s all make art :)

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Neo Greek to Me Mini – Painting

This Mini Painting on canvas board called “Mini Greek to Me” already found a loving home – but I would still like to share :)

I love this row of 5 Neo Greek style brownstones in my neighborhood.

Every time I pass them I see some other detail that intrigues me and the more I research the different styles of Brownstones the more I can categorize them.

My new routine is to first sketch and work on the building in my art journal – and then I paint it on a small and bigger canvas at the same time and last I add it to a huge ledger from 1840 which I want to fill with all those buildings and I call it the Stroll Through the Hood Ledger. I will share some pix or a little video with you some time later this year.

I have a lot of fun with those paintings. As said this one found a home – basically the moment I said I finished it on Instagram- if you want to check out my other paintings- head on over to the store. I always love heading to the post office and send a painting out …also because I pass those Neo Greek houses on the way ;) 

Comments (1)

  • Sue Clarke


    Lovely! Mine is already hung up in the hallway!


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Happy Spring! And Free US Shipping!

Woohoo! Spring is here!!! Time to do a happy dance :)

And how about we celebrate with Free US Shipping this weekend? If you spend more than $25 on physical products through March 22nd in my online shop, you can get free shipping in the US. Just enter the coupon code SPRINGSHIP when you are checking out and all those goodies will get shipped to you for free! Who doesn’t like something for free?

It’s a great time to buy foam stamps like my Fairview Fan set…

Or how about a few of those rubber stamp sets like my Fan-tastic Small set:

And of course my stencils are part of the deal too…

…And ALL my Artwork too: original paintings, giclee prints, and other nifty pieces of artwork like my new Good Vibes Only painting…


Or my This Too Shall Pass giclee print…

Shop around and see what there is – all physical products are part of the deal and the offer ends at 11:59pmEST this Sunday, March 22nd.

And I hope you join me this afternoon at 2pm EST on Facebook for my new Kaffeeklatsch Get Together live chat. I’ll be sharing my Artful Adventures and also asking how you are doing and what you are up to. Let’s get together and share!

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A Look Back – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 14

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at Upcycled or Recycled Stuff – giving old things or maybe something you aren’t that keen on, a new life! I am a big fan or making use of things and not sending them to the landfill, and sometimes it can be a great creative exercise to give something a new look or purpose. Here are some projects that do just that :)

A Look Back is a blog series to show you some projects and posts that you may have missed – sometimes going WAY back in the archive. I think it will be fun to revisit a few ideas that we haven’t seen for a while. I’m excited to see how a little look back might inspire something new in the future :)

First up is this recycled embroidery loop that I dressed up in this 2015 blog post. I used some stencils and stamps and created something that was a bit more my style as a wall piece.

Next is a series of coasters that I upcycled in this 2016 blog post. They were originally a set of not so great looking coasters with a floral motif on them. Using some acrylic paint and my Santiago, Buenos Aires, and Toledo stencils I gave them new life and even gifted them to a family member who loves them.

Here is a fun and whimsical project that Kim and I did back in 2017 that made use of a bunch of collage papers that I had on hand, as well as some scrap embroidery thread and driftwood sticks that were lying around: leaf mobiles! These were relaxing to put together and would definitely be a good kid-friendly activity too.

Here is a sweet upcycled birdhouse from Creative Squad alum Tania Ahmed. She gussied up the wood piece that was languishing in her stash with my Clam Hex and Exchange Place foam stamps. 

Finally here is a memory game created using my foam stamps and just a cheap memory set bought on amazon. Pretty easy to transform a really cheesy set into something unique and personalized.

I hope you enjoyed A Look Back through my archive and maybe you are inspired to try some different things now too.

Here are some of the supplies I used in these posts:

Join me tomorrow, Friday March 20th on Facebook for a new little thing I’m calling Kaffeeklatsch Get Together! I’ll be doing a live broadcast at 2pm EST, sharing what I’ve been working on, saying hi to all of you, and just taking some time to have a little get together. Let’s chat about what artsy stuff we are working on and have some fun hanging out.

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Artist Quote of the Week – Ellen Gallagher

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke


    Nat, your package made my day yesterday.
    I’m stuck in the house (with the exception of walking the dog) and mail is the best!


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      YEAHHH – I am so glad it made you happy and you got it! Stay safe and healthy – big virtual hugs!!!


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Motivated in March – Nicole Watson

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a stunning art journal page from Nicole Watson to help motivate you to create and maybe even in life :) Nicole is using my Broadway Fan Pos Neg set, my Solid Hex Large rubber stamp, and this month’s theme: Motivated in March – What keeps you motivated to create? Is it a certain material? Your favorite colors that you can’t get enough of? Maybe you get motivated when you see artwork in a museum or out and about? Share with us your creative motivation and then create something inspired by it.

There are several things that motivate me to create. This list includes color palettes, new supplies, a visit to the museum, a random photo or advertisement, an Instagram hashtag challenge such as the hundred-day project, or a design team prompt like this one. One of my favorite parts about majoring in art were the assignments or challenges to solve with my supplies and creativity. However, lately, one of my biggest motivations is YOU!  Comments on my tutorials or other social media posts mean the world to me. I absolutely love inspiring other people to create and sharing tips and tricks along the way.

Recently, I received a beautiful message from someone thanking me for my inspiration. Through a random search after purchasing an art journal, she found my tutorials during her cancer fight. She used her art journal as a way to cope and understand her story. This beautiful lady was not expected to make it through her fight, but she did. This page is for her, as she has also inspired me.

“Be strong, you never know who you are inspiring.”

When I ran across this quote on Pinterest, I knew I wanted to use it on a simple journal page to showcase the message and as a reminder to myself to be strong, even in my own weaknesses.

So, I grabbed some deli paper that I had previously stamped with Nat’s Broadway Fan Positive Negative ArtFoamies. I loved how it had turned out, and was waiting for the perfect occasion! I simply stamped the negative stamp first all over the deli paper in a mixture of warm colors plus a little umber to tone them down and then stamped the positive image with a mixture of navy and eggplant. I wanted a variation in the colors throughout the paper.

Here’s a quick video of how I stamped with the ArtFoamies on deli paper:

I thought this paper would look amazing on the kraft paper, so I spread clear gesso over the kraft paper spread in my art journal and then ripped the deli paper in half and adhered it to the page with matte medium. I left a gap between the two sides for my quote and also a large space on the right side.

Wanting to add more interest and another graphic element, I grabbed Nat’s Solid Hex Large stamp and stamped the right side with cobalt archival ink. My first thought was to then cut around those hexagons, but I experimented with stamping another line of hexagons with deep purple ink. Then I stamped the same navy hexagons over to the left side.

The pages seemed a little flat to me, so I grabbed my stabilo all pencil and created a puddle. (Scribble the stabilo on a piece of palette paper and activate it with water.) I used this as watercolor paint and spread it around the page on the stamped hexagons for shadowing and on the torn edges. Then, I stamped the ArtFoamie into the puddle and stamped some shadowed Broadway fans in the gap and over the hexagons.

Looking at my pages for several minutes, I decided to go back to my original idea and cut the purple hexagons off the page! I’m so glad I experimented first, because then I had this awesome line or purple hexagons to adhere to the left side! I stuck it down with one strip from a tape runner, because I liked the dimension created from not sticking it down all the way to the page.

Finally, it was time to add the quote. I grabbed a bunch of different black and white stickers to spell out the quote and then went over them with matte medium to make sure they would stick.  I felt the page needed one more element to tie in the black, so I grabbed my Bombay India ink for a few ink drops.

The perfect reminder in the middle of my art journal to motivate me. It is truly a gift and a huge motivation to inspire you. I’ve often heard it say that art heals, and I sincerely believe it’s one amazing tool we have to care for our body, mind, and spirit.

Thank you Nicole and what a touching story about the power that art can have in our lives!

Want to give Nicole’s project a try? You can find all my Foam Stamps and Rubber Stamps in my Online Shop and here are some of the other supplies Nicole 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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Yas Queen Painting

Here is another painting of the beautiful Queen Anne Mansion I walk by almost every day.

I wonder what the original colors have been back in the days- a lot of those houses have been actually painted in very jarring colors – but at some point house owners toned everything a bit own I guess.

I had fun with this painting on a 8×8 canvas with Acrylic paints, gouache, spray paints and markers.

And you can give it a home if you want – it is available in my store – Check it out :)

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