Creative Squad

Creative Squad: The Great Outdoors – Robin Seiz

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a post from Robin Seiz who is sharing a very thoughtful and poignant journal page with us. She’s using my Cross Circle and Grannies rubber stamps and our theme: Great Outdoors – The experts agree that getting outside for activity each day is a super healthy thing you can do for your mind and body. Let’s get outside and seek artistic inspiration out there. Find something that catches your eye and then when it’s time to come back in, use that inspo to create.

Hello friends, I hope you are enjoying the weather wherever you are. It’s spring here in Pennsylvania; one of my favorite times of the year. This months theme is about getting inspiration from nature; that’s an easy one for me. I LOVE being outside. The colors of spring are so enticing, green golds, dark greens, yellows, pinks, purples and so on. 

At my house we are in the middle of a sizable renovation.  I am so fortunate to be expanding my studio and even adding a sink!  The new studio space has 7 windows and, when complete, I’m quite sure I will never want to leave it. In the meantime, I am set up at a tiny little table in our open hearth room and most of my supplies are packed up in the basement. All that to say, this experience has made me realize that we don’t have to have the perfect place to create; sometimes just keeping it simple is good. Not every project we create has to be our best piece of art or gallery worthy.  Sometimes, it’s just enough to sit down, wherever you can, and put a few things on paper. 

This journal page speaks to how I have felt this month. All the gun violence has really upset me. I feel so sad about it all and a bit helpless about what to do about it. 

I began with a children’s book I often use which has fabulous illustrations in it. I frequently keep some part of the illustration and incorporate it into my page. As I sat down to create, I looked out the front window to our meadow; a peaceful pleasant place for me. While I wasn’t trying to create the exact picture, I did want to capture the different shades of green and place some “flowers” in the meadow. 

I started the page using Gesso to cover the bottom portion of the image, leaving the bird on the pole, a few trees on the side, and  the blue sky.  

I wanted to add blue paint over the sky so it would feel consistent as I was going to place paint on the rest of the picture. I  loved the purple hue around the bird, so I knew I wanted to leave some of that color.  

What I know about myself is that I’m not a painter. When I try to “paint” on a page, I’m typically unhappy with the result. Gel plates are how I adhere paint to a surface. I used my 5 x 7 Gel Plate and carefully planned where I wanted the colors to go on the page. I mixed up Golden Teal and White Gesso to get a color that was close to the sky in the picture. I used Golden green gold, Benzimidazolone Yellow Medium, and Golden Chromium Oxide Green, to show the colors of the meadow. I used both a paint brush and roller to adhere paint to the plate making sure I wasn’t going to cover the bird or most of the pole. I turned over the plate and laid it down on the page. Repeating this method until I got the intended texture and coverage I wanted. 

Once I had all the colors on the page, I used Nathalie’s Cross Circle rubber stamp and inked it up with a brown Derwent Intense Block to give the illusion of birds flying. This stamp, while part of the embroidery set, has always reminded me of birds. I added some yellow paint highlights to the birds to give them more depth.

Next, I used a Red Violet Derwent intense block and really saturated the Grannies stamp. In my mind these were to represent flowers in the meadow. Once down, I used a  small brush to fill in each flower, but decided they were too bold. The wonderful thing about mixed media is that mistakes can always be fixed. I used a baby wipe and carefully wiped off all the pink. I had to go back with a little extra of the greens and yellows, but it all worked out fine. 

When the pink was off the page, I re-stamped  the  Grannies in a more subtle pattern because I wanted it to look like the flowers were fading into the meadow. Next I touched up the pole the bird was sitting on, as I wasn’t that careful with the gesso.

The final step was finding and writing the poem that so perfectly captured my feelings this month. 

I don’t often journal, but when I do, it’s to try a new technique or to get my feelings out on a page. This one felt right. So much emotion inside; lots of good and lots of sadness and anger! 
You can find and follow me on Instagram and Facebook. -Robin

Thank you Robin. We love when creating artwork steps in to help process and sort through complicated emotions and your page is such a beautiful example of that. Thank you for sharing!

Give it a try: you can find all my Rubber Stamps in my Online Shop and in addition to a page from an old children’s book, here are some of the supplies Robin used:

Looking for more projects? Follow the Creative Squad on Instagram.

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Making Memories – Art Journal

“We didn’t know we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun.”

This is using another page from the sold out Artist Almanac Calendar (the original painting is still available here though). It was fun getting inspired by this older artwork of mine, depicting the Sydney Opera. It made me not only revisit the way I created the background, but also the visit to Sydney itself.

In fact I was there twice and I remember how much I loved strolling through the Botanical Garden right there as well as seeing Herbie Hancock in the Opera. Pretty cool btw, sitting in the nose bleed seat wayyyyyy up high, last row with my back to the wall, and Herbie so tiny down on stage. And yet it didn’t matter – the sound being so phenomenal in this building. I digress though LOL!

I used some heavy bodied and soft bodied acrylic paints right out of the tube on the page, and then blended the colors with a brayer. It is one of my favorite ways to create texture on canvas, but since this is in my ledger, I took a piece of paper and carefully dabbed it on the background to flatten the peaks of paint out a little bit.

I used some acrylic markers to add marks and also my Embroidery stamp set for added mark making. I love the mixture of a repetitive stamp as well as a hand made mark.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke


    Nat, I just love that background! I find it funny when people say we’re making memories as they are doing an activity…of course you will look back on them…but it IS just fun! Much later one will realize just how much the activity was enjoyed=wonderful memories. I don’t know if I made any sense, but I agree with your sentiment.


    • nathalie-kalbach


      I totally get it! we do not set out with that premise from the beginning, it just turns out that way.


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Creative Squad: Wish You Were Here – Robin Seiz

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have some gorgeous cards from Robin Seiz who is using my Embroidery stamp set and our theme: Wish You Were Here – This time let’s think about those old travel postcards, or someone you are missing or haven’t seen in a while, or maybe a place that you are missing. The message is loud and clear: Wish you were here!

Our theme for the month, “Wish you were here” really struck a chord with me. There are people who I love and still haven’t seen because of COVID and my own comfort with traveling, especially to areas with higher transmission rates. (Which is where some of these “peeps” live.) I miss them and really wish they were here or I was there! 

For my project I pulled out some Strathmore Mixed Media Postcards which I had in my stash. Don’t you love it when you can use what you have! If you don’t have these postcards, any mixed media paper, or really any paper cut to size, would work. The ones I used were 4X6; the standard postcard size. I also wanted a muted pallet; perhaps it was the gloomy day when I was creating or the feeling of longing to see my friends, I’m not sure, but I like the subtleness of the color pallet I chose. 

You all know I LOVE my Gelliplate; I pulled out  my 5 x 7 plate and lathered it with Liquitex Basic Acrylic Unbleached Titanium. It’s highly opaque and has both a creamy color and consistency to it. It’s great to use as a base on a piece of paper; I use it a lot! When I say I lathered it on, I mean that I used a thick coat of paint. I do this when I want a lot of texture on a piece.  Because this paint is so thick to start with, it performs really well to make texture. Picture #3 shows you the paint on the paper once I pulled the print. 

I decided to use Nat’s Embroidery Set for this month and I wanted to challenge myself to use every rubber stamp in this collection — and I did! It’s such a versatile set. If you like mark making, it’s the perfect set for you! I’m loving gold right now, it seems to bring a little “pop” to any piece. I stamped the card with the “Running” stamp and a gold pigment ink. (It takes forever to dry, but has a great feel to it when it does.) 

Next, I took the postcard to my typewriter and typed, “Miss You” continuously on the entire card. If you don’t have a typewriter, you can certainly use a stamp or hand write the sentiment which would also be lovely.

Next, I stamped with the “Grannies” and the “Star Fish.” It turned out a little busy, but I like how the stamps muted the typewritten message. It can still be read, but the print moves to the background.  It’s just as easy as that! 

This is a great afternoon project if you just want to send something out to say, “I miss you” or “I wish you were here.”  As a matter of fact, I couldn’t stop making these little postcards. I made two more using the rest of the stamps as I committed to do!  (Cross Circle, Chain Link, Satin Doll, and Love Knots.)

I hope you will give this a try. The possibilities are infinite! And it’s always great to have a few postcards on hand for when you need them!  Peace, Robin

Thank you Robin – we love your color palette too and how you layered the juicy paint with the stamp designs.

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

Looking for more inspiration from the Creative Squad? Follow them on Instagram here.

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Ultimately – Art Journal

“Ultimately all the puzzle pieces fell together… they always do!”

I used the stamp kissing technique with this art journal spread – inking up my Solid Hex Small stamp, then pressing a patterned stamp (here my Grannies, Star Fish, and Blocks stamps) into it to remove ink, and then stamping the hex onto my paper. It’s a great way to use solid and patterned or textured stamps together.

Oh look who showed up to give his kitty inspection? Pretzel always likes to get involved in the studio lol

I tiled up a pattern using plain Solid Hex Small stamps with teal ink and then went back into some with the stamp kissing in black ink.

I love that the stamp kissing gives a bit of grungy effect – almost looks like static on an old black and white tv or an old pixelated photocopy.

To finish it off I did my journaling with Winsor Newton fine liners.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

And I hope you join me on Wednesday October 16th at 3pm EST for a Kaffeeklatsch chat on Facebook! I’ll be broadcasting live from my new studio and catching up with you on everything that’s been going on around here :) Stop by and say Hello!!!

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This Must Be the Place – Marsha Valk


Welcome to the Creative Squad! This week Marsha Valk is sharing with us her awesome technique for creating a project based on our new theme: This Must Be the Place –We’re all on a journey to somewhere or something. Sometimes we’re just making preparations for simple things like dinner or weekend plans. Other times we’re aiming for bigger goals, bigger places. Whether it’s a location or a state of mind, you’ll know when you get there. Where are you headed? Marsha is using stamps from my My Home Is My Castle set, Embroidery set, and Cardboard set. I just love watching her in action in the video below!

I don’t know where I’m heading, but I do know how I want to feel when I get there. It could easily take a lifetime to arrive because goals and places always shift. You may think that this will be the place but it might turn out it isn’t what you thought it would be once you’re there. Or you’ve grown and evolved in the meantime, and the next place is already on the horizon.

So for this month, I decided to use supplies I want to keep in my suitcase while moving forward. Because where ever I’m headed right now I’m sure I’m going to need mono printing materials, stamps, an ink pad, a pair of scissors, glue and a black fineliner.

Watch me create this page!

Thank you Marsha! Absolutely loved watching your process and seeing all those stamps being used for all kinds of visual texture! Here are some of the supplies that Marsha used:

Play along with us too: 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“.

Follow our new Creative Squad page on Instagram @NatsCreativeSquad and see even more projects from our awesome team of artists!



Comments (2)

  • maura


    Delightful scene, Marsha! Love the bright happy colors! Maura


    • marshavalk


      Thank you Maura! It was super fun to create!


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She wished she could go back ….

“She wished she could go back to her younger self and tell her “It’s ok, to be weird, you’ll be fine” ”

This was a demo page from a class and I blocked in some color here and there and stamped with my new Exchange Place ArtFoamies Stamp. I added some stenciling with translucent acrylic paints using my Versailles Stencils – love how this turned out. I added some stamping with my Embroidery stamps to add some more even mark making using different colors of Archival Ink Pads- love those.

I painted the lady with acrylic paints neopastels and used some of the neopastels also here and there on the spread and scratched some writing into it.

I like how the lines of the Exchange Place Stamp and the floral Versailles Stencil work together.

Here are the supplies I used:

Hope you enjoy this page- have a wonderful day!

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Colors Are My Friends – Marsha Valk


Hello from the latest edition of the Creative Squad! Today we have a post from veteran member Marsha Valk, who makes excellent use of my new Broadway Positive Negative foam stamp to dress up an apron. We hope you’ll join us in creating with this month’s theme: Colors Are My Friends – Let’s kick off the new Creative Squad with a celebration of color! What are your favorite, go-to signature hues? Let’s go bold and bright this month and  use color to ring in a new season of inspiring projects!

Colours really are my friends. I love them all dearly, and I could never, ever pick just one favourite! But as much as I love the entire rainbow, it doesn’t mean all my friends have to come out to play every single time. It’s OK to pick just one for a heart to heart now and then.

I invited a couple of my fabric paint colours for a playdate. I couldn’t find a light, neutral coloured apron to print on, so I got a black one instead. During a short test run on paper, Yellow saw that the black background would shine through and cancelled on me.

I mixed Teal with a bit of White fabric paint and applied it to a StampBuddy. It acts as a stamp pad: gently dab the foam stamp into the foam of the StampBuddy to get an even distribution of paint on the stamp.

Then I started stamping a pattern with Nat’s Broadway foam stamp onto my pre-washed black 100% cotton apron. I liked what I saw!

Pink was waiting to have a go too, but once we saw the denim-like look of the Teal/White prints, we agreed not to interfere.

I covered the pocket with deli paper to prevent the paint from seeping through while I stamped around it. The plan was to make it look like the pattern continued behind the pocket. It didn’t prevent me from making the stamped design go a bit askew here.

I decided to leave it as it was and once the whole apron was stamped, I filled some of the open spaces with another pattern with the Running stamp from Nat’s Embroidery Cling Rubber Stamp Set.

Most fabric paints have to be fixated to make it (machine) washable. The paint I used had to dry for 30 minutes before I could fixate it by ironing the fabric with an iron on medium heat.

OMG Marsha this is the coolest apron EVER! I want one :) In addition to a StampBuddy, Marsha used the following supplies (some are affiliate links):

Play along with us too: 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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Chosen Friends -Art Journaling Spread

“Friends are the family we choose for ourselves” – I love this! I was just talking to a friend how amazing it is nowadays that distance is not the biggest obstacle in friendships anymore as there are so many ways to stay connected. I love when I get a text message out of nowhere from one of my friends in Germany with just a picture because something they saw made them think of me.

For this journal spread I used the acrylic paints I made in my workshop at Kremer Pigment- I am still so much in love with them especially the copper and the yellow. I used some blue paint with my Mini Toledo Foam Stamp – I love that stamp.

I stamped with the Embroidery Stamp Set  and a white pigment ink pad as well as with a darker archival ink pad -love how the textures pops off the page.

Hug a friend today – even if just virtually – will you? It will make their day – promised ;)

Here are some of the supplies I used for this spread

Comments (2)

  • Jackie P Neal


    Happy National Girlfriends Day Nat!!
    What a perfect post for this day!!
    Gorgeous color play -stunning brights!
    hugs,Jackie “)


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