Blog: A Look Back

A Look Back – Playing with Lettering – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 30

A Look Back – Today I’m focusing on how you can play with lettering in your art journal or mixed media projects. Even if you don’t love your handwriting, there are still tricks you can use to create unique lettering – or handmade fonts if you will – in your work. I’ve pulled together some posts from the past that demonstrate 5 ways you can Play with Lettering.

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 :)


Add Some Dots – One way to create a new font that has some unity and style to it is simply add some dots to a few of the letters. The key is staying consistent and always adding dots to those letters when you use them in the spread, as I’ve done here in this art journal page. It also helps to have a pen or marker that you feel comfortable using. I’m using a Fude pen here – one that just feels good to write with.

Think About Line – In this art journal page I’ve simply added an extra line to the cross in all the H’s and I’ve extended the length of the tail in the R’s. Simple but consistent alterations like that add a distinctive personality to your lettering style and set it apart from other pages in your journal. It honestly doesn’t take much – if you just look at all the fonts on your computer and you can see how subtle changes can make a big difference. For this one I chose a fine point Posca marker.

Go With the Flow – Maybe the point is not to have your lettering be so legible… that’s a strategy too! In this journal page I just quickly wrote my thoughts and let them flow with the composition created by the stencil (Flower Maze) and my quick sketch. Here it was all about going with the layout, mood of the page, and staying consistent with the style of my sketch – going with the flow.

More is More – I love this page from Creative Squad alum Michelle Rydell because she really plays with a lot of different styles of lettering and the effect is super fun! It goes with the theme of the page and even emphasizes that she likes to do her own thing. Try mixing styles up: bold and slender, colored and striped, fancy and blocky, etc. Michelle used black and white Sharpies and colored Molotow paint markers.

No Stress – If hand lettering isn’t your thing, don’t stress! There are plenty of products out there to help you – stencils, stickers, rub-ons, and even canvas letters as I used here in this post. Use them as they are or dress them up with your own paint splatters and markers. It’s quick and easy and will help you speak your mind without worrying about penmanship.

I hope you enjoyed this look back on some lettering ideas. Here are some of the supplies we used:

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A Look Back – Rainbow of Colors – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 29

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at a Rainbow of Colors. Sometimes we need to pull out the full color wheel spectrum and create! I’ve gathered together a group of projects from my archives and the Creative Squad to celebrate a colorful life. Read on and enjoy!

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 :)


I’m starting things off with this post from waaaaaaay back in 2007 when I did an ATC swap with a bunch of other artists so that collectively we could create a rainbow :)

 

Next up is a series of mixed media pieces by Creative Squad alum Marsha Valk, that use almost every color of the rainbow along with my Neato and Far Out foam stamps. Check out all the pieces here in the original blog post – you can see how she unifies the group with similar marks and colors across all of them.

 

Another Creative Squad alum Linda Edkins Wyatt used a rainbow of colors along with my Versailles, Manhattan, and New Orleans stencils to create the hair in this expressive portrait. See her process here in the post.

 

All you need is a rainbow of watercolors and my Mini Motifs stamps to make some gorgeous cards like these by Creative Squad alum Nicole Watson. See her process here to get bold colors and beautiful results.

 

Finally a card from current Creative Squad member Robin Seiz, rocking a sweet rainbow along with rubber stamps from my #keepyouposted set including my LOVE stamp. This just puts a smile on my face!!! You can see Robin’s process right here.

I hope you enjoyed this look back on some projects that feature a rainbow of colors. Here are some of the supplies we used:

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A Look Back – Starting with Yellow – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 28

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at Starting with Yellow – or specifically, yellow backgrounds in my art journal. I think yellow can mean a lot of things and evoke a lot of different emotions and the following art journal spreads all have predominantly yellow backgrounds and range from happy to hopeful to brave. Read on and enjoy!

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 :)


In this first spread I started with that yellow background and then kept the color palette pretty simple. Check out the full post here to read how I created my image and added my Groovy foam stamp.

 

I brought a few other colors together with yellow in this art journal spread as a base for a quick pencil sketch and some of my Fan-Fare stamps. With the boldness of this background, the rest of the spread came together with ease.

 

Yellow was the base of this all over pattern here in my art journal. I added my Kyoto stencil and some eraser dots here and there too.

 

In this art journal page, I anchor my building in a field of yellow. My background is definitely yellow, but given interest with areas of blank page here and there and some of my Wabi Sabi stamps too.

 

The boldness of this art journal page emphasizes the call to action, “Be the change!” Yellow feels like the right hue for that energy and hope.

I hope you enjoyed this look back on some projects that started with yellow. Here are some of the supplies I used:

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A Look Back – Embrace the Empty Space – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 26

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at art journal pages that Embrace the Empty Space! Did you ever consider the empty page as part of your composition? Sometimes I like to, and it can be a pretty cool tool when you get it right (and when you can manage to actually keep it clean LOL). It’s something to think about – Read on and enjoy!

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 stop is this post from 2018 where I kept the top and bottom of the page clear to highlight my cityscape scene stretching from side to side. I used a bunch of my rubber stamps from my Stroll Through the Hood and Stroll Around the Block sets and the sketch of the figure became my Actually I Can stamp! All were on top of washi tape and paper.

 

In this post from 2018 I used another stamp from my Actually I Can set along with some Hex foam stamps to create a very atmospheric environment. I like the shape of the white space that is created in between the hexes.

 

A stencil (my Flower Maze here) and spray paint allows for a subtle transition between blank space and pattern like here in this post from that same year. If you’re feeling a little hesitant about all that open real estate, try adding some splatters.

 

An all over, continuous pattern is another way to embrace the blank page without having to deal with large open areas that may be calling to you. In this page from 2019 I added a rubber stamp from my Floral Tile Small set and my Gnarly foam stamp. Simple but still a cool way to Embrace the Empty Space :)

 

Not every page needs to be about an all over composition. I love playing with stamps to see how they fit together and this page from earlier this year shows a really impactful design that I didn’t think needed anything else. I combined my Love Story and Mini Motifs foam stamps into something that reminds me of a crest or seal.

I hope this makes you think differently about how you can use the blank page to your advantage. Have fun with it! Here are some of the supplies I used:

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A Look Back – Creative Squad Alumni – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 27

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at projects from past Creative Squad members – each Tuesday we post something from our Creative Squad and wow there have been so many inspiring and unbelievably cool ones. I decided to look back at 5 Creative Squad Alums and share a project from each of them. And remember, you can find an archive of every posted project HERE on the website. Read on and enjoy!

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 from Creative Squad Alum Tina Walker from back in 2017 with our theme Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. She repurposed two old projects and brought them together in this stunning mini book. She incorporated my Lily Wallpaper stencil and Batik Pattern 3 foam stamp too. Here you can read the original post and see the two things that she transformed.

 

Back in 2016 our Creative Squad Alum Gwen Lafleur used our theme Say Yes to New Adventures to art journal about her love of travel. Her gorgeously layered spread uses my What’s the Point stencil and again, my Lily Wallpaper stencil and Gwen’s journaling. To see her process for this page, visit the original post here.

 

Next we head to Cheiron Brandon’s 2017 post for our Free for All theme and these beautifully colored tags using my Love Tag and Embroidery rubber stamps. Read the original post here for her method of using Distress Oxide inks for a washy watercolor effect.

 

Looking for a fun tablescape project? I love this one from Marsha Valk back in 2016 for our Return to the Light theme. She used battery powered tea lights, vellum, and my Santiago, Buenos Aires, and Toledo stencils to create colorful and fresh votives. See the process in her original post here.

 

Finally we have a lovely card from alum Tania Ahmed in 2019 for our theme Today We Smile. She used my Maiko stamp and my Running stamp to layer up for this card reminding us to… smile :) Watch her video in the original post here.

I hope you enjoyed this look back on some projects by our forever talented Creative Squad. Here are some of the supplies they used:

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A Look Back – Spring DIY Ideas – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 25

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at some Spring DIY Ideas that are great ways to get creative and make a few lovely things for this time of year. A stenciled umbrella to help you chase away those springtime showers in style? Yes. A vertical garden using your favorite rubber stamps? You betcha. A paper wreath project that the whole family can make? Read on and enjoy!

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 :)


Spring showers got you down? No problem – grab a boring old umbrella and give it a little style with stencils and spray paint. I loved decorating a simple white umbrella in colors and patterns that made me happy no matter what the weather. And bonus – this little compact white umbrella was great in the summer to keep the sun off on particularly hot days in the city. Check out the full tutorial here.

 

Every year the weather warms up and I long to be outside and to see flowers! And while those little plants are growing bigger, I love to have colorful pots adding pops here and there in the garden. I painted and used rubber stamps to make some simple terra cotta pots a lot more fun. Read the DIY steps here.

 

I’m a pattern junky as you know, so this DIY was a no-brainer. Tote bags get a ton of use so why shouldn’t they be just as cool as the rest of your stuff? I used rubber stamps and fabric ink to stamp my shopping bags with bold patterns. See my inspiration and step-by-step instructions here. And then take your lovely new bags and go support a small business in your hood!

 

What do you get when you combine plain fabric scarves with stencils and fabric markers? Beautiful watercolor-like patterns and a one-of-a-kind wardrobe staple. This is an easy project with just a few supplies. See the instructions here.

 

Here is a spring project that the whole family can do together. I used colorful paper and rubber stamps to make the “leaves” and then glued them to a cardboard ring that I cut from an old box. Read all about it here.

I hope this list of Spring DIY Ideas inspires you to try some new things and get creative. Here are some of the supplies I used:

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A Look Back – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 24 – Challenges

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at different Challenges I’ve created. On April 1st I started Nat and Sarah’s April ArtFoamies Challenge so I hope you check that out on Instagram and here on the blog too throughout April, but that’s not the only challenge I’ve ever dreamed up. Read on for more!

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 :)


Deck of Cards Challenge – In November 2019 I created a challenge to explore 30 different card making ideas. I focused on different themes: Holiday, Thank You, Just Because etc. and also different design motifs like patterns, lines, shapes and others. I made enough to have a Deck of Cards, ready to go to whenever I needed to reach out to someone with a little note. You can see the posts here on the blog.

 

Stencilbop Challenge – In August 2019 I came up with a challenge to really push the way I thought about using my stencils. Different paint and markers and pens of course but I also went in some new directions like woodburning and even an ice cream cake! You can check that out here on the website.

 

Foam Stamplifier Challenge – In March 2019 it was all about foam stamps and 31 ways to use those. I’m really passionate about my ArtFoamies stamp designs and as they are a relatively new type of product, I thought it would be fun to figure out different ways to use them in my artmaking and art journaling. See what I came up with here on the website.

 

Nat’s April Patterns – In April 2019 I created a book full of patterns using my rubber stamps. I didn’t use prompts, but each day I created a new pattern for the book and then in the end I posted a flip through video too. Check out all those April Patterns here.

Challenges are the perfect fix if you need some inspiration or new ideas. I hope this Look Back inspired you and I hope you join us for Nat and Sarah’s April ArtFoamies Challenge #artcollabchallengeaccepted

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A Look Back – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 23 – Batik Stencil

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at some things I’ve done with my Batik Stencil over the years. Art journaling, mixed media on canvas, and a throwback to a Creative Squad alum too just to categorize a few! Read on and I hope you try some of these project ideas :)

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 :)


Going back to one of my 2014 art journals and I was layering up a couple stencils for my background – including my Batik (of course) and my What’s the Point. I’m still digging the colors in this spread – check out the original post here.

 

Kinda keeping with that palette, here’s a painting I did in 2016 called State of the Union, a scene from the old train station in Liberty State Park and a rather outdated Jersey City skyline lol – lots more buildings back there these days. I used the Batik stencil for a pretty unexpected design element in the sky. Read more here.

 

From Creative Squad Alum Marsha Valk in 2017, some faux batik papers using my Batik stencil, Batik Foam Stamps, and embossing powder. Check out her video of the technique here.

 

In 2019 I joined Tina Walker for her Stencilfied Journal and here was a page that I created using my Batik stencil, Far Out foam stamp, and Mid Century Squared foam stamp, along with some song lyrics. Read more here.

 

Finally, I just love sharing this fun way to use a stencil – lay it under your art journal page and take a rubbing! Check out my post here from the Stencilbop Challenge in 2019.


I hope you enjoyed this look back and are inspired to try a few of these ideas using your mixed media supplies.

Here are some of the supplies we used:

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A Look Back – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 22 – Paper Clay

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at some things I’ve done with clay over the years. Sometimes I’ve used paper clay to make 3D elements for mixed media work and assemblage pieces. Other times I’ve created small clay bowls and plates using rubber stamps and foam stamps for texture and pattern. Read on and I hope you try some of these project ideas!

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 :)


Back in 2012 I participated in a little Altered Brush challenge and created a clay heart as part of my finished piece. Check out the original post here. Paper clay takes all kinds of acrylic media well, so you can paint it and adhere things to it quite easily. And you can make any sort of collage element that you need – your imagination is the limit.

 

Also in 2012 I experimented with creating small circular clay collage elements that I used in this mixed media canvas. Need real dimensional elements for your work? Paper clay is easy to work with and lightweight.

 

Then in 2013 I used a leftover clay piece in this assemblage for the Whatevers group. The Whatevers would create mixed media pieces inspired by old photos and part of the fun was making up a little story about the people in the photos. Check out the original post here to see the full piece including the vintage photo part :)

 

One of my favorite ways to use a product like paper clay is to make small bowls and plates. They aren’t foodsafe, but for trinkets, rings, or keys they make a beautiful decorative object. I like to roll out my clay and then stamp patterns into it with my rubber stamps. Then once it is dried you can highlight those designs with acrylic paint. Check out this 2015 post here.

 

An equally cool way to adorn paper clay bowls is with my foam stamps and moonlight duo ink pads. I showed this method on Day 27 of my 2019 Foam Stamplifier Challenge. I loved using my Far Out, Groovy, and Jazzed foam stamps for this one because the simple marks work so well with the simple form of the objects.


I hope you enjoyed this look back and are inspired to try a few of these ideas using your mixed media supplies and tools along with paper clay.

Here are some of the supplies we used:

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