VOTE Cards

This is my first Presidential Election and so a ballot box really had to go into this stamp set. I thought it would be nice to use my new Ballot Box stamp in my #keepyouposted set to send out some cards to remind folks to get out and vote. Then I just had fun playing :)

I used my Ballot Box and also the Blank Postage Stamp and a colorful selection of Moonlight Duo ink pads…

I even added my Solid Square Small stamp for a pop of red (red, white, and blue!)

Then I played with my Star Tag, Solid Square Large, and stamps from the #keepyouposted set. Getting my pattern groove on!

And then some more stars…

So all my friends here in the US – get out there and vote!!! And tell your friends also… maybe with some new stamps lol

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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NEW Rubber Stamp Set – #KeepYouPosted

Happy to share this new set with you today as it was pretty important for me to design this one. I call it #KeepYouPosted and I think you can get the gist about it.

It includes 8 different cling rubber stamps, a mixture of text and graphic ones and some that are really appropriate right now…. but if you think about it, these messages are totally timeless. Check it out HERE. It might also get you into the big Mail Art craze that is going on right now because these guys are perfect for cards and envelopes!

Here is the set:

I made some small tags so you can see how they look and also how some of them work together:

The Blank Postage Stamp design can accommodate some of the other designs inside to make a faux postage stamp design. It’s also fun to put your own thing in that frame. And the Ballot Box is just such an important reminder now.

I love the USPS trucks here – such a unique vehicle – I had to capture that. And #savetheusps, well you know ;)

Sent with Love is such a classic. And I send out a LOT of Priority boxes so I thought a play off that would also be nice. Why not send a special note to your No. 1 Priority?

My LOVE stamp looks good on its own or in the frame.

Here is the whole bunch – tons of fun to mix these up. Anybody else want to spend the whole day making cards???

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Flower Flowers – Art Journal

“I believe in you”… Words that water flowers! – Michael Faudet 

I messed up the quote but oh well, happens to the best of us :) I didn’t see it until I looked at the photos for this blog post and then decided to leave it …Flower Flowers – you know what I mean ;) 

For my background I used Sunshine Yellow, Planetary Purple, Milky Way Magenta, and Mars Red moonlight duo ink pads and my Sunburst Triangle rubber stamp from the Triangle Love set. 

I sketched on deli paper using acrylic ink and acrylic paint, then added it to my page. I used some delicate black splatters to bring it all together.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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A New Day – Maura Hibbitts

Hello from our Creative Squad! Today we are kicking a new monthly theme off with a project from Maura Hibbitts. Maura is creating an uplifting celestial inspired art journal page using my Valley Road foam stamps and my Art Deco Wallpaper and Art Deco Empire stencils. And bonus: you get a little science lesson too :) Our theme is: A New Day – Let’s try something new today :) Although these are tumultuous times and we never know what each new day will bring, it also seems like the perfect time to throw caution to the wind and just jump into something new with both feet. Try a new material or technique or approach. Why not? Today is a new day… and tomorrow is too!


I find myself rather fascinated with the cycles of the sun and moon…must be my Earth Science background. So, when I thought about a new day, the setting of the sun and rising of the moon came to mind. We’ve had some glorious sunsets over the summer, so I wanted to pull in that gorgeous orange with my sun, and carry a bit of it into the moon.  Since the moon rises 50 minutes later every day, sometimes the moon is rising as the sun is setting, and other days the moon is visible during the day. Just like the sun and moon, we each have the opportunity to make changes with each new day.

I decided to use my large art journal for more impact. I mixed orange, yellow and red on the gel plate and stamped out the Valley Road Positive ArtFoamie on watercolor paper. I stamped several, and also pressed the paper onto the gel plate for a different image. Sometimes when I work, I have an idea of where I am headed, but it’s fluid.

I repeated the first step with a mix of blues and purple with the Valley Road Negative Art Foamie. I stamped several images onto the watercolor paper, and also over the image on the orange print.

I wanted to create sky and earth with the stencils. I began with the sky and the Art Deco Empire stencil. I sponged in a mix of the blues, purple and a touch of white, with fluid acrylics and a cosmetic sponge.

To create the earth, I used a mix of greens and a touch of brown in fluid acrylics. I used the Art Deco Wallpaper stencil to represent the earth portion. I curved the sky and earth because after all the Earth is round, no matter what those “flat earthers” want to tell you, lol.

Next, I cut out some of the images and free cut some sun rays to assemble the sun and moon. I started out with the moon as just a crescent, but once I tried it on top of the full image, I liked that better.

Final step is to do some pen work. I hand lettered “Rising and Setting” in black, then outlined the words with Posca paint pens. I also added some silver to the moon, and gold to the sun with pens.

To illustrate the idea of the sun setting below the horizon, I had the sun’s rays extending up into the “sky”, and added a half circle of the blue and orange image for the portion below the surface to show the sun sinking below the horizon.

My moon shows a waxing crescent, meaning it is on the path towards the full moon. The moon is always there, even though we only see a portion of it illuminated by the sun. I wanted to show that by placing the crescent over the circle.

Hmm, I guess you just got a bit of a science lesson today with the art. That is the way I often taught my classes, mixing in art and science, as well as a few other subjects. When you stop and think about it, you can see all the connections, like the sun and moon being connected to a new day. My wish for you is that each new day is a better one, filled with love, hope, health and joy. – Maura


Thank you Maura! Love this colorful page but also getting the science lesson too – we forget some of that stuff as time goes on!

Give it a try: you can find all my Foam Stamps and Stencils in my Online Shop and here are some of the other supplies Maura 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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  • Diane

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    Loved this post! Particularly loved the description of the thinking behind the process. Thank you.

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Day Trip Inspirations

As we are getting used to the idea that we won’t be really traveling for a while we started doing some day trips to fight the cabin fever that started to set in lately. I thought I’d share some pictures with you. One day we did an amazing bike tour on the Westside of Manhattan all the way up to the George Washington Bridge. on the picture above you see General Grants Tomb which is actually a National Monument.

The little red lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge. I love the story behind it and also the children’s book about it. I still need to get it.

Sisyphus Stones Sculpture– another amazing story to read – I like stories my friends, can’t you tell? It was a lovely bike ride- we clocked 28 Miles (45 km) and I would do it again – totally fun!

On another day we rented a car and had an outdoor visit with some friends who have a place in Asbury Park down the Jersey Shore.

It was super fun to stroll around and it felt almost a bit normal given that I hadn’t been in any stores since March that are not essential businesses.

I loved spending some time in an antique store …can you tell what this above is? It is a mold for fishing hooks- soooo cool!

If I’d had more space and more money I would have taken this beautiful Eastlake Victorian Easel with me ….but alas …still thinking of it though.

Then we took our new Covid Car …yet …we got one – you know some people get Covid Puppies, we got a Covid car and took it out for a ride to the Palisades Interstate Park

We did a really nice little walk and then ended up in Terrytown – a gorgeous town in New York State.

Isn’t this building amazing?

One of the favorite hikes we did recently was in Norvin State Forest, where we hiked to high point.

This made me smile …guess that was the intention LOL

Wonderful sandwich picnic at highpoint with a nice view of Manhattan wayyyyyy back there …can you see the tiny silhouette?

Loved being out and about and forget about the stuff in the world for a bit.

These pictures are from a bike tour in Long Valley on the Columbia Trail – super fun – the bike and hiking trail is very even and smooth, built on an old train track and you cross several little villages.

Historic places

and fantasy villages :)

It was a great bike ride until I had a flat when we were still about 13 Miles away from the car and of course we did not have a bike kit with us. Rookie mistake – oh well. 

It feels good to be reminded that in 1/2 and hour to 45 minutes you can be out and about in nature …it is a nice addition to city live right now and I actually enjoy some closer areas. Cannot wait to get out next weekend again- as long as the weather holds- we will try to do at least one day trip a week. 

Comments (3)

  • Monica Junge

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    I enjoyed the pictures along w/the writing as to where they were taken.

    Reply

  • Andrea R Huelsenbeck

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    Oh, Nathalie, thank you so much for sharing these pictures. I just love them.

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  • Sue Clarke

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    Mold for fishing hooks…interesting.
    Smile in the rocks…perfect.
    That easel…go back for it in your new car.
    Now off I go to read the story of the lighthouse.
    Thanks for the stories and photos Nat.

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Stroll Through the Hood – Jersey City Art and Studio Tour

Thank you to everyone who joined this evening at the Virtual Jersey City Art and Studio Tour. I loved taking you an a virtual stroll through the hood. 

As promised here is the pdf of the Map I shared with you during my segment – you can download it here:

KalbachJCASTMap

If you are interested in purchasing my original artwork please visit my shop

I am posting most of my new paintings as well as my Strolls Through the Hood, progress and behind the scenes pix and what inspires me on Instagram – Follow me :) 

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Till the Curtain Comes Down – New Painting

“Till the Curtain Comes Down” is another painting on canvas inspired by my Strolls through the Hood in Jersey City . I love this beautiful brick building from 1887.

I used spray paint, acrylic paint, gouache, collage, wax bars, and markers. The house was built by a descendant of one of the oldest Dutch familes of Jersey City, Wilhelm Brinkerhoff. He was a state senator who died in 1931. After his death, the building was a christian mission with a radio station on the roof.

It has a bit of a Rapunzel Tower feel for me as the building is a little bit overgrown by plants and even though someone lives here it seems to be mysterious. I picked up some piano player roll paper and the first thing that happened was I saw the wording “till the curtain comes down” and that my friends is how the title was born ….I mean …it was just meant to be .

Till the Curtain comes down is looking for a new home. You can find it here. The canvas measures 10×10″.

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  • Christine Kiehl

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    WOW! This is truly amazing work!!! LOVE IT!

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Time Capsules

If you are a newsletter subscriber of mine, you know that I start my monthly newsletters with some thoughts. Thoughts on creativity, making art, and being an artist – along with some other info about what is going on around here. Last month I shared the following. I hope you enjoy and you can sign up for my newsletter HERE for more of these :)

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Have you ever looked at some of your photos – maybe from a trip to a foreign place – and wondered who the other, random people in that photo might be? The people who passed by, maybe photobombed your image, walked behind your subject? 
 
In October 2013, right after I moved from Germany to the US, I took the Path to NYC and strolled around Washington Square Park and took this photo: 

Older woman in a park with a marionette of herself that feeds a squirrel. A women next to her taking a photo of the scene

It was just the most charming scene: an elderly woman, with a puppet that looked just like her, feeding a squirrel. 

I remember the woman on the left taking the photos and how we both were just so delighted in this moment. I posted the photo on my blog and the photo went viral. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen the photo on the internet in the 7 years that have passed. Then a year later I received a message from Ricky Syers. He is the maker of the marionette and he told me about Doris Diether, the woman he based it off who is seen in the photo holding it. Doris, he told me, is a community activist in the city and the longest serving community board member in Manhattan, with over 50 years of service. He asked me if it would be ok if he used the photo on his website. I took a lot of pleasure in knowing who the puppet maker and the elderly lady in the photo were and I loved following Ricky and seeing his renown grow. 

In and of itself this is a wonderful story to consider when you see this photo (which is still floating around the internet) but… don’t you wonder by now if there is another story? Yes, there is. 

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from a woman saying she happened to come across this photo online and it took her breath away: she recognized the woman on the left in the picture taking a photo. We had a very lovely email exchange and it turned out that this was her mother-in-law Hilla Becher – the well-known photographer from Germany who passed away in 2015. Hearing the name, I realized I knew the photos of Hilla Becher – her water tower series especially came to mind.

I shared the story of Doris and Ricky with her family. I told her how delighted Hilla was taking the photos that day. The daughter-in-law told me, “Sometimes people confuse the seriousness of her subject with her personally. In life she was incredibly curious and joyful.  … [I] had to smile when we saw your photo because it was so like her to go in like that.”

I love thinking that Hilla and I crossed paths and that we not only shared the enchantment in this scene but also a love for industrial buildings. Maybe her work has influenced my love for those scenes too, since I grew up in an area with many of those structures in and around the city of Düsseldorf. 

And that is how the stories of all the people in this photo came full circle. I cannot describe the joy this photo brings me – not only remembering a wonderful day exploring my new surroundings, stumbling upon this bewitching scene, but also how this tiny moment in time – this time capsule – created over the years has brought so much delight to all the people involved. It has been remarkable to have it all come together. I suppose the only way this could become even more full circle would be if the photo Hilla Becher had taken in that very same moment would surface :) 

Comments (6)

  • Deb Newman

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    What an amazing story. Such a delight to read this and share the experience vicariously with you. Thank you so much for sharing a story of joy and connections in these currently distressing times.

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  • Sharon Foulk

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    Remarkable story! A modern day true fairy tale. It filled me with joy to see the pictures and hear about the amazing connections! I would love to see Hilla Becher’s photo too. You or part of you, ie your feet, may even be in her picture. Thanks so much for sharing all this!

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  • Sue Clarke

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    I do remember when you first posted this photo and how cute it was. Now to hear more to the story it is even more special. I just love the way that people’s lives connect!

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  • Hélène Cambreleng

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    Wow ! What a wonderful story ! I remember when you first posted this picture and found it so delightful ! Hope you and your dear ones are in good health. We all keep hoping for better times for all. Take care

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  • Laura Weed

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    Wow, Nat! This story was so incredibly charming! What a blending of time/space/opportunity for all of you. I loved the video of Doris and Ricky, and the one about Hilla was also fantastic. What a great story and a memory for you to treasure and share! Thanks for sharing it again with us!

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  • Jeanine Robb

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    Thank you Nat, for posting this really lovely story. It put a lump in my throat and made me misty eyed thinking about the whole of the story and the people touched by it. With all of the turmoil, pandemic, uncertainty, and here in CA fires all around, this story touched my heart and hit home the importance of people and connection and savoring the little moments we share with each other. So again, thank you!
    Be well!

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