Creative Squad

Creative Squad: In the City – Robin Seiz

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a charming little project from Robin Seiz using the mini mailbox model, my #keepyouposted stamps, my Flower Maze stencil and our theme: In the City – Although we aren’t traveling much these days, let’s reminisce about a time we traveled to another town or city. Think about the flavor of the place and let that guide your color and design choices.


This month’s theme is In The City, and although we haven’t been traveling much, I have been sending a lot of “happy mail”. This little miniature model mailbox was perfect for me. Before I started this project, I did a little research about the history of the mailbox. Did you know that mailboxes first appeared in the United States in the 1850’s. They were originally attached to buildings and lampposts. In the 1890’s, larger, free-standing “package boxes” were introduced nationwide; known today as Collection Boxes.

At first this project was a little intimidating for me; I only had one model so I had to do more planning than is typically in my process. I’m a “get in there and see what emerges” kind of artist! Even with the planning, I still ran into a challenge with the images, but that’s the wonderful thing about mixed media, you just keep trying, editing, or adding layers until it all works out.

The mailbox model comes as a heavy weight cardboard miniature. Because I knew I wanted the mailbox to have an old metal look, I decided to cover it with white gesso so the paint would adhere well. (I’m honestly not sure this was necessary, but it’s what I chose to do).

I pictured my mailbox like the one at my post office; a dull looking blue mailbox. I wanted it to have a textured look, but rather than apply texture directly to the model, I tested it on another piece of cardboard first. I also wanted to try out a few different colors and see the result before I applied it to the model. I used Golden Crackle Paste to apply the texture. It takes a while to dry so I used the heat gun from a distance. Waiting for things to dry naturally is not in my vocabulary! Next I sprayed Distress Spray Stain in chipped sapphire and blueprint sketch. I liked the darker color, chipped sapphire, the best.

Once those decisions were made, I applied the paste and the spray stain to the model.

I knew Nat’s stamp collection #keepyouposted would be perfect for this project!

This part of the project was the most difficult. It turns out that it’s not so easy to stamp over the stained Crackle Paste. I tried, everything, colored inks, acrylic paint, a clear label, packing tape, you name it and I tried it. Thank goodness all of this trial and error was on my sample stained cardboard. The only medium that I could get to adhere and be legible, was black ink. I used my stamp platform so I could stamp the image several times.

Once I had the images in place, I folded the model, as per the directions. It’s so easy to assemble!!!

The mailbox needed a little pizzaz, and since happy mail is where this project initiated, I attached some ephemera flowers that I had in my stash. (I made mine sometime ago, but I know you can buy them as well.)

I also used Nat’s Flower Maze stencil on the gel plate, in the same bright colors as the flowers, to display the mailbox.

One last note about this project, the Distressed Stains, are true to their name — I highly recommend gloves, which I didn’t use, as shown here by my hand!

I hope you enjoyed this project. While I chose a similar color palette of the collection boxes we see today, the opportunities to embellish are endless. I hope you give it a try! 


Thank you Robin! Loved hearing about your tests to get the texture and color right – and the end result is so darling!

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

Don’t forget to check out Nat’s Creative Squad on Instagram too: Each week we post projects, ideas, and inspiration for mixed media art.

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Sent with Love – Mailbox

Since I was a child I have always been obsessed with anything miniature and so I had to have this mailbox and some other stuff you can see here. These adorable model kits are super fun to build and then personalize with some mixed media supplies.

I painted the kit with acrylic paint – it arrives flat and includes glue dots for easy assembly.

I added some lighter blue and brown with a babywipe to make it more weathered looking.

Then I pulled the form together and secured with the glue dots. Looking pretty awesome already – just like the real USPS mailboxes you see on street corners in towns and cities all over the US!

Next I spiffed it up with my Love Tag, Star Tag, Numerals, and some of my other rubber stamps and different inks – more layers to give it that real feel with graffiti and just general grunge. In my hand you can get a feel for the size – I can’t get over how cute this little Mailbox is :)

You could of course go with whatever color or stamp and stencil decoration that suits you.

Do you like this mini version of a mail box? I could build a hole city if you let me ;)  LOL. 

Here are some of the supples I used:

Comments (6)

  • Sue Clarke

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    I just love this mailbox!
    I would also like to see the whole city that you could build Nat.
    Happy Valentine’s Day to you and the creative team.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Happy Valentine’s Day to you too Sue!!!Hehehe- maybe one day I start building- I need more space I guess ;)

      Reply

  • Jeanne Gorton

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    When I was a kid a million years ago there were mailboxes scattered throughout residential neighborhoods. We had one around the block from us & I would get great joy walking my Mom’s cards to be mailed there. She mailed cards to everyone for any occasion & I have to admit I do the same.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      I love that memory Jeanne ! I still to this day feel a lot of joy when I see the cards or letters slide into the mailbox

      Reply

  • Robin

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    Oh my gosh!!!! This is adorable. I love the way you decorated it too! Mindy is obsessed with little things! This is a must have foe me! I’m ordering a few today!

    Reply

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Inspiration from Around the Globe – August 2018

Ready for some inspiration? Today we have some projects from around the globe. It’s always fun to see how you’re using my stamps and stencils and I am so happy to share some examples today. So let me know if you’re doing something cool with my products, and you might see yours on the next Inspiration from Around the Globe!


First up is a beautiful wall hanging from one of our former Creative Squad members Gwen Lafleur, from the US. She is using my Manhattan stencil for the blue background pattern on this funky design!

Next is Barbaree King also from the US with a cool mixed media postcard using my Grove Street foam stamp on the left in pink.

From the UK we have a pop of color from Colleen Melody, using some stamps from my Marks stamp set in red here.

From the US we have a neat mixed media index card from Cathy B who has created a nifty wedding scene using my Mailbox, US Flag, and Main Station stamps, all from the fun Stroll Through the Hood 2 set :)

And finally we have some pages from Jade Sutton in the US who is using my Manhattan foam stamps to create a bold background to unify her spread.


If you’re working on something fun with my stamps or stencils, be sure to tag me and share! I’d love to see! Here are some of the supplies used in this post:



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Out and About – Tina Walker

  

Hello from the Creative Squad!  This month the Creative Squad will be playing along with my Stroll Challenge and today Tina Walker is starting us off with a really cool mixed media project using my Stroll Through the Hood #2 stamp set, and working with the theme Out and About – Sometimes it’s hard to see all the cool and inspiring stuff that’s right under our noses. This month we hope you will join us in our 30 day Stroll Challenge and get Out and About where you live, and find some local inspiration.


Hi! Tina Walker here today with my take on this month’s theme, ‘Out and About’. During the month of May, as part of n*Studio’s 30 day Stroll Challenge and getting out in my neighborhood, I thought it would be fun to take one of the photographs from the challenge and use it as inspiration for my project. We hope you will join us this month and get out and about and say hello to your neighbors and enjoy the spring weather.

To kick off the STROLL, I used this photograph as inspiration this month. I was ‘strolling’ to my mailbox and captured this shot of my walk, mid stride.

Because my stroll was taking me to the mailbox, I immediately spied the fabulous Mailbox stamp include in the ‘Stroll Through the Hood #2’ stamp set. It was serendipitous!

I haven’t created a trio of ATC cards for a while, so I thought I’d pull out some blanks and get creating.

To create the background of each ATC, I covered each blank with a sheet of dictionary paper. I then heat embossed the Warehouse, Main Station, and E-Train stamps also included in the set.

I added lots of distressing with Distress Oxide inks, reacting the inks with water.

The mailbox embellishments were created by stamping into oven back clay. Once hardened and cooled, I distressed each piece with acrylic paint.

To finish each ATC scene, I added people die-cuts, stamped fabric sentiments, and a hand-cut and colored Flag stamp (also included in the set).

Each ATC was machine stitched to a scrap piece of leather and cotton batting, incorporating a fabric ‘hanger’.

I love how my patriotic ATCs turned out. Each vignette made me think about the generations of people, strolling to their neighborhood mailboxes, sending well wishes, happy thoughts, and joyous news. It seems all so simple and uncomplicated, in our new world of electronic media, and impersonal communication.

I hope you enjoyed my project today and join us this month. Have a great day!


Thank you Tina for taking us back in time and inspiring us to get Out and About wherever we live! In addition to scrap fabric and a sewing machine, Tina used these supplies – some links are affiliate links:



Play along with us this month and join the 30 day Artful Adventures Stroll Challenge! 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 “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

Comments (5)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Love those “romantic” ATC’s Tina. My favorite is the optimist one.
    Perfect for Memorial Day and 4th of July coming up!

    Reply

  • julie b

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    oooh! What a great post….I love that mailbox stamp and it was cool to see the embossed buildings in the background. Just might have to try this technique with the fire hydrant as my walks to the mailbox always include walking the pug (who likes to mark the neighborhood gnome as every other dog has done so too). Shhh, she also has a favorite mailbox she likes to mark (the only one out of 60+ in the neighborhood).

    Reply

  • Gerrie!

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    These are really awesome Tina!! Love how you incorporated the stamps into the background, and people!

    Funny thing….I live in a different area…southwest Florida – where I live we don’t have sidewalks, few houses…we have no mailboxes except for the ones in front of peoples homes, and a blue box in front of the post office. If I go for a stroll, I see some houses, and lots of vacant lots! We have no factories or industry……….our oldest house was built in the late 1950’s! I will really have to put my thinking cap on to play along.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      You can take a pic of your mailbox, from an angle, upside down – it can be also your postoffice or anything- think in the widest sense, make up your own rules ;)

      Reply

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