Calling all Pattern Lovers! One of my favorite ways to experiment with creating patterns is to reach for my Hex Set Large rubber stamp set. Just like a tile floor, all the stamps work together to create a field of yummy pattern goodness. There are too many possibilities to count and let’s face it, math isn’t why we’re here. Trust me: Hex Set is gonna rock your world in terms of pattern making :)
Backgrounds are a breeze and also just really meditative to create. Grab a stamp (or 2 or 3) and a couple different colors of ink and begin building your page. When you have everything covered, go back in and fill with acrylic markers or your current fav media to oomph things up. Collage on top and journal in the nooks and crannies. This art journal page is pretty bold but you could also do something similar in muted or pastel colors for something that blends away a bit more and doesn’t take center stage.
I love playing with the rotation of some of these hex designs. That creates even more possibilities and can give your spread some movement too. In this art journal spread I flipped and rotated the orientation of the Positive and Negative Beacon stamps in the set.
Looking for an easy way to layer color under the stamps while maintaining the hex vibe? Try the Solid Hex Large stamp – it is designed to work with the set and layer. In the project above we used fabric ink and stamped on reusable shopping bags, first the solid in yellow and then one from the set in red.
Repeating patterns work really well anywhere where you might find fabric, like here in this Creative Squad project from Maura. She uses the Hex Set Large and Hex Set Small rubber stamps to personalize a pencil pouch. I love the hot colors in this and the simple variation in them. I also love that the triangle created between the hex shapes is the perfect size for that Hex Set Small Beacon stamp.
What else do you see in these stamp designs? How about flowers like Creative Squad alum Jennifer does in this post? I always get excited when someone takes one of my stamps and uses it in a new way and this is a great example. Sure it’s a hex, but it could be a flower or a wheel or the sun or whatever your imagination sees :)
Have fun with it!
Here are some of the supplies used in these projects:
Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a post from Robin Seiz who is sharing her artsy gratitude with us in one of her art journals, a repurposed children’s book. She is using my Hex Set Small rubber stamps, my Crackle stencil, and my Nightingale bird stamp along with our theme: Gratitude is my Attitude – This month we are playing along with the November ArtCollab: Showing Gratitude – and specifically giving thanks to those who have helped us along the way in our artistic journey. Who was crucial in helping you become the artist you are today? Let’s give these amazing souls a shout out!
Hello everyone. I love our prompt for this month — Gratitude is my Attitude. I must say that I have so many things to be grateful for in my life that it was hard to focus my energy in one area. I love keeping my options open, but sometimes it helps to break things down into smaller, more intentional, pieces.
While the word Gratitude doesn’t show up anywhere on my journal pages, these two pages represent my mixed media journey while honoring those artists who have taught me and supported me along the way. They are too numerous to mention by name. My pages honor them, the process, and the gratitude I have for having the time, resources, and excitement to pursue my passion. These pages also represent what I love most about mixed media – the fluid, grungy, imperfect aspects of this kind of art.
This project started with choosing a journal. I don’t do much art journaling, but when I went to pull a journal, the one that spoke to me was a journal I created for a Creative Squad blog post sometime ago. Inside the book is a beautifully illustrated story about an owl. The pictures are so lovely that I knew I wanted to incorporate some of them in my pages. I felt like this was the universe talking to me. I’m grateful for be a part of this design team and this seemed to bring it full circle.
These pages honoring my journey include some of the many materials that have become my favorites.
I started by covering the pages, minus the pictures and words that I wanted to use, with white gesso. I used a hotel key card to spread the gesso because I can get great coverage and create an appealing texture along the way. I also knew that I wanted some of the page color to peek through so I made some areas thin and others thick.
I have a love – hate relationship with water colors. I find them difficult to use; but honestly, I haven’t given them enough attention to really master their use. They are, however, an important part of my journey. Using this medium, was the first time I really did a study (for one month) using a mixed media product. I followed one of the artists who excels in this area and joined my first on-line community. This community has become a great sense of joy. They are incredibly supportive; I have learned a lot from them and have been given lots of opportunities beyond what I might have gotten just creating in my studio on my own. I am grateful for these artists.
In order to use water color, I applied QOR water color grounds to the top right corner of my page. This makes it easier for the watercolor to adhere to the page. I stamped Nathalie’s Hex Set Small rubber stamp in purple. I always use odd numbers when doing this kind of work, it’s a more pleasing composition.
Some of the words in the middle of the right page were still visible even after I applied gesso, so I moved to acrylic paint to cover the remainder of the words that I didn’t want to see and to break up the white on the page. This also made the words that I chose to leave come to the forefront. These words resonated with me because I feel like this is what I often do — listen and wait for inspiration to come. I used Nathalie’s Nightingale bird stamp on top. They just seemed like the right stamp given there was an owl on the left page. It’s almost like he is looking at the birds. Both of these steps used rubber stamps, another early product that I used on my journey. I’m grateful for the artists who create these wonderful stamps.
Next, I moved to a combination of Gel Printing scraps and sewing. When I first started mixed media, I was really interested in sewing on paper. Over the years, I have incorporated sewing into my projects; I think it adds such a wonderful dimension to a piece. I am grateful for all the artists who I follow who use this combination and who I have learned from. The sky is the limit. It can be frustrating sometimes; my free motion sewing still needs lots of work. After sewing the pieces together, I attached these three strips with gel medium. I could have just as easily stapled them. I love gel printing and am grateful for all the encouragement I have received along the way for my prints.
The left page really didn’t need much. The window, which represents how grateful I am for the rise and fall of each new day, gives such a warm glow to the page. I applied the same hex stamp to the bottom middle and top left (again in 3’s) because it was compositionally pleasing to me.
I also used Nathalies Crackle stencil (one of my favorites) a cosmetic sponge, and Tim Holtz Archival Black ink to fill in where just a little something was needed. This ink is good for use over acrylics and gesso. Again, I have such gratitude for those artists who regularly use stencils and have taught me how to have fun experimenting with them. They are one of the most versatile tools that I use.
The final touches were free motion machine sewing around the owl and the moon to create an interesting border. And because compositionally I wanted sewing in 3 places, I sewed a zig zag for emphasis under the words on the right page.
All and all, I had a loose idea of what I wanted to represent when I started and it just came together as I went. I am most grateful for the process of creating!
Thanks so much for joining me today on my gratitude journey in mixed media. I hope you create something that honors those things for which you are most grateful. Please post your pieces on Instagram and tag me. I would love to see them. Peace to you, Robin
Thank you Robin, love how you incorporated some of those original book illustrations and text into your page – very cool effect!
Give it a try: you can find all my Rubber Stamps and Stencils in my Online Shop and in addition to her repurposed children’s book, collage papers, and scrap fabric, here are some of the supplies Robin used:
Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a special roundup of Creative Squad Extracurricular Activities that I’d like to highlight for you. My Squad is awesome as you know – so much talent and creativity, and on top of all that they are just really, really good peeps :) And they often post extra stuff they are working on on their social media and It stops me in my tracks because it just shows how much they all love what they do. They can’t stop creating lovely things!
Let’s have a looksie at some of the projects that caught my eye.
What did you do with your leftover Halloween masks? Judi Kauffman connected her trio of Masquerade masks from last month’s project into this nifty hanging decoration that she can bring out for Mardi Gras too!
At the start of this year while Maura Hibbitts was playing along with Creative JumpStart 2021, she created this art journal page with her word for the year, Harmony. Love the botanical background she created using my Art Deco Wallpaper stencil and leaf motifs, a reminder to live in harmony with the Earth, others, and herself :)
Jordan Hill posted this art journal page featuring collage elements, one of her distinctive character drawings, my Space Oddity foam stamp, and a beautiful peachy color to tie everything together. The mix of floral with geometric is really interesting in this spread!
Let’s end with some love and this card from Robin Seiz. I think the muted colors and bit of grunge make this a pretty sophisticated design. She is using a gelli plate and my Love Knots rubber stamp to get her message across.
I hope you enjoyed this roundup of Creative Squad Extracurricular Activities! Please follow our team (their links are above) and also be sure to follow Nat’s Creative Squad on Instagram for weekly content from this stellar group of artists!
A Look Back – Today I’m looking at art journal spreads, projects, and even an old layout from 2009 where specific songs inspired me to create. I have always been a big fan of alternative and punk music but lots of times a song from an entirely different genre will inspire me. Poetic lyrics definitely catch my… ear lol
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 created this art journal spread in 2019 after watching a doc on John Lennon and Yoko Ono. I think this song (“Imagine”) in particular always resonates when we are going through a period of strife. I felt the need to copy down a lot of the lyrics (maybe all of them), filling in the empty space I created using my Hex Set Small and Hex Set Large stamps.
Also in 2019 I joined a challenge by my friend Tina Walker called The Stencilfied Journal and it was a series of about 25 song prompts to get inspired by. The above one was U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” – and as a U2 fan I had no trouble finding inspo in that. I created a background with my Lily Wallpaper stencil and my Fan-tastic Large and Fan-tastic Small stamp sets and then put in my contemplative figure who is wondering, “maybe I should quit looking?”
As you know, I always have my eyes open for architecture and one time in San Francisco I saw this great house, snapped a pic of it, and later put it in this art journal spread as a transfer. The Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young song “Our House” often comes to mind when I see a lovely home so it all came together in this spread in 2017. I added my Manhattan stencil, Love Knots rubber stamp, and my Tread rubber stamp too. Now where are those two cats…?
Time to go back in time to 2012 and this collage I created on an old record, inspired by the German song “Ein Freund, ein guter Freund” – a song that came to my mind when I was going through old photos of my Aunt Margo and her friends on a camping trip in 1949. She had shared some of the funny stories of that trip with me and I loved thinking about her and her good friends going on a rather madcap adventure when they were young :)
And now I take you alllll the way back to 2009 and this layout inspired by “Stand By Your Man” (as performed by the incomparable Blues Brothers) and featuring some ridiculous slippers that my husband had back then. I don’t know about those slippers but I still dig some of the collage elements I brought into this.
I hope you enjoyed this look back on some artwork inspired by songs. Here are some of the supplies I used:
Happy Monday! Time for another pattern in my big vintage ledger! Today I’m using my Solid Hex Small and one of the stamps from my Hex Set Small cling rubber stamp set. Sound familiar? This is the second pattern I did in a row using just these two stamps and two ink pads (check out last week’s Pattern Monday). It’s pretty cool the variety that is possible if you play around a bit :)
Here is another look at the finished pattern and those stamps and ink pads I used:
Now it’s your turn to give it a try! Here are the supplies I used:
Happy Monday and welcome to another pattern in my big vintage ledger! This time I’m using my Solid Hex Small rubber stamp and a stamp from my Hex Set Small rubber stamp set – the Space Oddity Small stamp. I am really digging the simplicity of this pattern and would actually love to have this as a tile floor at home – although maybe in another colorway lol. Enjoy the video:
Day 12 and our prompt is Brilliant – Sparkly sparkly- well one of the stamps from this Mini Hex Set is called Diamond Hex – can you guess which one? Again it was a bit of a toughy to use the inks on those totally acrylic paint caked up foam stamps. I can’t stress enough how important it is to clean your foam stamps. Mine are used for years in classes so they show you exactly why if you want to use them with other paint media as well, you should really clean them after use. I could have cheated and opened a new package… but I am a frugal person… and I am not that brilliant ;)
Here is a look at that page too:
Follow along with the challenge on instagram and post your artwork too with the hashtag #artcollabChallengeAccepted