Creative Squad

Sing Your Song – Nicole Watson

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a gorgeous art journal spread from Nicole Watson that will have you singing your song too! In addition to my Early Bird rubber stamp, my Valley Road stencil, a seminal poem by Maya Angelou, and an array of ephemera, Nicole was inspired by this month’s theme: Sing Your Song – Everybody has their own voice, their own groove, their own one-of-a-kind personality. What is something unique about YOU that you are proud of? Don’t be shy, Sing YOUR Song!


Layers or ephemera grunge, handwriting/text, stabilo pencils and gesso often fill my journal pages. These are just some of the tools that I use to sing my song. When Nat introduced this month’s theme to us, I didn’t know what song I would sing with these tools. However, as the events of the world have unfolded in these past few weeks, I haven’t been able to get the words of Maya Angelou’s poem “Caged Bird” out of my head so, I used this poem as inspiration for my page.

Here is a video showing my process:

After gessoing my pages, I layered them with ephemera from music books and handwritten notebooks using matte medium. Then, I scrunched up some pattern tissue and added it to my pages as well. I really like how effortlessly pattern tissue adds texture to pages. To push back some of the strong black lines on the tissue and unite all the elements, I spread some watered-down gesso different placed on the ephemera.

Next, I grabbed a charcoal pencil to sketch in a bird cage. Using a charcoal pencil allows me to easily erase sketchy marks I don’t like (as you’ll see in the video!) and the charcoal also adds to the grunge on the page. When I was finished with the sketch, I grabbed my stabilo all to trace the lines and then activated it with water. I also used my graphite stabilo to add sketchy lines to the cage and the other page.

Then, I added some color using acrylic paint with my paintbrush and with Nat’s Valley Road stencil. 

Since I didn’t want the stenciled images to stand out as the top layer, I used paint, stabilo, and gesso to push them back a bit. I added a few more touches here and there with splatters and some additional blue paint to the bird cage.

I knew I wanted to add part of the poem to my page, so I typed an excerpt from it with my typewriter. 

I also wanted a large focal point word and thought about stickers, but wanted a more vintage look. I hunted around my studio and dug in boxes for a “sing” flashcard I just knew I had…which I couldn’t find! So, I dug through all my flashcards and found “fly” instead. If you don’t have old flashcards, you can use large letter stickers or type something on your computer in a larger font and use paint to grunge up. After adding some paint spatters to the flashcard, I layered the text on the flashcard and felt something needed to draw more attention to that area, so I sketched some circles down the page.

To add the bird, I stamped Nat’s Early Bird stamp on a loose sheet of watercolor paper and also an old notebook page sheet (the same one I typed on). I didn’t know which one would look better, so I painted them both. I decided I liked how the white watercolor paper helped the bird pop a bit more. After securing the bird to the page, I also added some flicks of the fuchsia and orange paint to the pages to carry the bird color across them.

Often my art journal pages capture memories and moments in time. Before I began this spread, I paged through my journal a bit reminiscing about where I was in life when I created some of the pages. They are how I sing my song not only with technique, but allow me to process and journal about life.


Thank you Nicole! Love your beautiful sombre palette and the powerful message here! 

Give it a try: you can find all my Stencils and Rubber Stamps in my Online Shop and in addition to various pieces of ephemera, 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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Sing Your Song – Jennifer Gallagher

Hello from my Creative Squad! We are kicking off a new theme this month with a fun secret and clever little art journal page from Jennifer Gallagher. She is using my Santiago stencil, my Early Bird stamp, and my Jugendstil stamp. The theme is: Sing Your Song – Everybody has their own voice, their own groove, their own one-of-a-kind personality. What is something unique about YOU that you are proud of? Don’t be shy, Sing YOUR Song!


This month the Creative Squad is singing a song about what makes each of us uniquely us! We all have our own voice and talents. Not many people know it, but I love to sing. I can’t work on an art project or even wash a load of dishes without singing along to my favorite playlists. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m not half bad. It’s our secret. So this month, I’m literally singing my song in this fun art journal page. Let’s get started.

I’m working in my small dylusions journal. I placed Nat’s Santiago stencil down and put Bright Aqua Green acrylic paint through the square designs in the stencil with a makeup sponge. Next, I painted Light Blue Violet acrylic paint through the rest of the stencil design. 

Using a cosmetic sponge I dab a little Ultramarine Blue fluid acrylic paint onto the small squares in the design.

I drew directly onto the page with Marabu Art Crayons in Flesh and Pomegranate and rubbed the color with my finger.

Using a Marabu Art Crayon in caramel, I highlighted the areas around the dark blue square and spread the color with my finger.

I edged my page with a little Payne’s Grey on a cosmetic sponge.

I cut a piece of Grafix Clear Craft Plastic and cut a sheet the same size as my journal page, eight inches by five inches.I attached it to the journal with Dina Wakley Media washi tape.

Using black archival ink, I stamped Nat’s Jugendstil stamp over the green squares. The stamp will slide easily on this material so stamp with care. Also, keep in mind it will take a few minutes for the ink to dry on the plastic so be sure not to smear it.

I wanted to stamp Nat’s Early Bird stamp on the page but the orientation was going the opposite direction that I wanted. So, I stamped the bird onto the “wrong” side of the craft plastic. This causes the image to face the direction that I wanted.

Next, I drew lines from the birds beak and around each dark blue square with a black fine-point acrylic paint marker. The finishing touch is a few stickers from Tim Holtz clippings sticker set.

Well that is it for this art journal page. Stamping with Nat’s stamps onto the craft plastic really gives the page some extra pizzazz. It is also a great way to change the orientation of some of your stamps. I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. Crack open that art journal and sing your song.


Thank you Jennifer – love the Grafix trick and loved learning your secret love of singing :) 

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