Blog: Fantastic

Be My Neighbor – Art Journal

“I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you, I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.” – Fred Rogers. We didn’t have this program in Germany when I was a kid but I’ve come to know of it now that I live here in the US. Definitely gives you warm fuzzy feelings :)

My background is Daniel Smith gold gesso – love this stuff. And then I stamped with Moonlight Duo inks and my Fan-tastic Small stamps and Fan-fare stamps.

The hood scene was sketched with acrylic markers and painted with gouache. I like the matte gouache contrasting with the high shine of the gold gesso.

Here are some of the supplies I used: 

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Whistling – Art Journal

“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush!” It hasn’t been much of a winter yet here but I am always more excited for warm Spring weather than the cold :)

For my background I used gouache paint and a cosmetic sponge with my Art Deco Summit stencil. 

I went back and forth with the two colors. I like this stencil because it combines some fine detail with larger areas of color.

My Fan-tastic rubber stamps fit in there quite nicely. Here I used one of the small Fairview stamps.

For my quote I used a Derwent watersoluable pencil and then went in with a wet brush to oomph up the lettering.

I added some dots with the back of my pencil.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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Sharing Space – Art Journal

“You don’t have to be the same to share a space.”

I stamped out a background pattern with my Fantastic Small, Small Circle Jumble, and Fanfare stamps. I used a pencil eraser for some dots in between.

I sketched the figure right on the page with ink and pencil and then filled in with gouache and watercolor.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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Deck of Cards Challenge – Prompts 10 & 11

Today I am recapping Day 10 and 11 of my Deck of Cards Challenge that is running all month long on Instagram. Join us for some fun and relaxing card making!

Here is an overview of Prompts10 and 11:

Day 10 – Candles

Here we are making a card for the Deck of Cards Challenge that is all about bringing light to the holidays. I used Derwent inktense blocks and rubbed those on my Mixed Media Chips and then with a wet brush diluted them. I rubbed some on the top later – undesolved it has more texture.

For my Toledo foam stamp I also used the blocks and just rubbed them on the area I wanted to stamp for the “flame” – then I used a wet brush to activate and stamped. I also loaded up some inktense on a wet brush and flicked some droplets around on the card. Hope you give some of these inktense block techniques a try too!

Day 11 – Fireplace Hearth

Today we are gathering around the hearth – something my family loves to do as soon as it gets cold outside.

I used some monoprinted collage paper I had in my stash for the fireplace and added some elements on top to create the warm and cozy scene.

For the wallpaper-esque background I stamped my Jewett Fantastic rubber stamp and the Solid Fan stamp. The old letter piece at the bottom is inked up with some green Oxide distress ink. Where do you gather when it is time to wish Seasons Greetings?

Tune in for more card making fun and I hope you share what you are working on using #docchallenge

Here are some of the supplies that I used in these prompts:

Play along with us by following the prompt list:

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Turn the Page – Art Journal

“Turn the Page!” – Sometimes it is time to move on to the next adventure in life :)

For this art journal spread I built up a patterned background using some of my rubber stamps and a happy selection of ink pad colors. I started with my Fantastic Small and Solid Square Small stamps…

I alternated the direction of the fans as I went and filled the page.

Next I added one of the Hamilton stamps from the Floral Tile Small set…

And the finishing touch on the pattern was one of the Fanfare stamps – these are perfect for giving a pattern those little elements that bring it together.

Look at that lovely pattern! Well….

Oops. Can you spot the mistake? That’s what happens when you set your stamping block down the wrong way on your nice art journal background and it leaves a little ghost square. Oh well, it happens.

Time to focus on the positive :)


…Knowing we can always “Turn the page” in the end and start anew.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke


    I love the pattern and the colors you used Nat. I never get stamps on the paper the way I want to. It is better when I stamp on a mouse pad or something like that but I’m just never satisfied with the final product. Yes, I see your creative “mistake”. ;-)


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Ha I know what you mean :) The key trick is to not strive for perfection LOL.


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Be Bad – Art Journal

“Be bad enough to be bad at something new.” – This quote totally makes me wanna just go for it when trying something new. Who cares?!

This one is all about yummy layers. I started with a thin layer of Holbein gouache, and stamped with my Fanfare and Fantastic Small and Large rubber stamps.

Then I dry brushed the copper paint (I made the paint in this class) over parts of it after stamping, added some markmaking and journaling with markers.

I love the play back and forth with all the layers.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke


    Wonderful variety of colors and layers and I just love the words Nat!


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Stay Soft – Art Journal

“Be Wild but Stay Soft”

For this spread I stamped out my new fan foam stamps with acrylic paint onto some white paper, cut them out, and collaged them into my art journal. Here is my Fairview Fan Positive Negative stamps.

And here is one of the stamps from the Jewett Fan Positive Negative pair. I went back into these elements with a bit of dots and marks using the new Winsor Newton fineliner pens – which I am super impressed with btw and links are below for them if you are also a fan of good fineliners :)

And here is the Broadway Fan Positive Negative stamps and the Van Vorst Fan Positive Negative stamps. Then I went in and played around with my lettering, bringing in the dots to tie everything together.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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That’s Why – Art Journal

They told me I couldn’t… that’s why I did it.

In this case, you shouldn’t really show stuff on social media you are not happy about and so that’s why I do it hahahaha. Because it is all part of the process …the good , the ugly and the in between.

I used my FANtastic Mixed Media Chip as a stencil and monoprinted directly into my art journal.

I added paint and stamped with my FANtastic Large rubber stamp set and my Fanfare stamp set.

At the end I took matte medium and adhered part of the mixed media chip right into it all, framing the stamped fans and giving a bit of texture to the page.

There are elements of the page that I really like – like the monoprinted area and the chipboard as well as the muted stamping but then there are others that I DO NOT LIKE. Basically the colors are totally out of my comfort zone and the very rigid pattern of the chipboard and the stamps was competing with the messiness of other areas. Sometimes that works but here for me it didn’t . It was fun to play though …and sometimes just showing up and doing something creative is ok too …

Here are some of the supplies that I used:

Comments (2)

  • Susan Archibald Debourguignon


    at first i thought this was a guest post because these are not your colors, Nathalie. great job going waaay out of your comfort zone. i like bold, jewel-toned colors … mostly blues and violets and i can stretch to add reds and greens. you inspire me to go create with pastels and all shades of yellow and orange, thank you!


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Ha- I know LOL- WAY out of my comfort zone- I am personally torn between liking it and not liking it …still contemplating :)


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Food for Thought – Judi Kauffman

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a post from Judi Kauffman. You can learn more about Judi from our Nice to Meet You blog post featuring her creative story and artwork. This time Judi is sharing some upcycled folders and some new bookmarks that she creates using my Downtown Stencil and my FANtastic Large and Solid Fan rubber stamps. This month’s theme is: Food for Thought – Let’s take a lighthearted look at food! While the culinary world has become an art and a science in terms of preparation and presentation, sometimes it is the simplest foods that bring us the most joy. Simple fare or elaborate family traditions, we all have our favorite foods. What is yours?


Food for Thought is such a great theme. I asked a neighbor, age 8, what it meant to her and she said it was about reading because reading is food for your brain! Out of the mouths of babes, right? 

I’d been considering recipe cards and a mixed media spoon doll, but her comment took me in a different direction: Bookmarks and a folder for storing newspaper articles, drawings cartoons, clippings from magazines! Of course the bookmarks could be tucked into recipe books, making it easy to find favorites, and the folder could be used for recipes, but I think if I went that route I’d use lighter, brighter (more ‘appetizing’) colors.

Instructions for Folder:

1. Using black acrylic paint, randomly add portions of the 9×12 Downtown stencil to the front and inside flaps of the folder.

2. Using copper metallic acrylic paint and black permanent ink, stamp Solid Fan and Broadway Fan onto the cover and inside flaps of the folder. 

3. Using a stiff brush, add copper paint to the left side and all edges of the folder, and randomly on top of the stamped and stenciled areas. 

4. Using a craft sponge, add teal ink here and there, masking some of the fans to add color around the shapes.

Instructions for Bookmarks:

1. Using a light butterscotch ink, randomly stencil portions of the 9×12 Downtown stencil onto a batch of bookmarks. 

2. Using ginger and black inks, randomly stamp Solid Fan and Broadway Fan onto the bookmarks.

3. Using teal ink followed by copper metallic acrylic paint, stamp Broadway fan on top of inks from step 2. Allow to dry.

4. Stamp a fan, cut it out to use for a mask, and use teal ink to smudge around some of the fans for contrast and to create a mottled background.

5. Add copper paint around the edges of each bookmark. Allow to dry.

6. Add fibers to the hole at the top of each bookmark.

Thank you Judi! I love this take on our monthly theme! You can find all of my Rubber Stamps and my Stencils in my online shop. Here are some of the supplies Judi used:

If you are working on something yourself that you’d like to share, please do! I would love to share your projects in my next  “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

And TODAY is the last day to buy Creative JumpStart 2019 (the one that was released back in January of this year) so if you haven’t yet you can sign up here. It is an amazing lineup of artists, full of inspiring and fun content, and you have until November 15th to download all the videos.

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