Blog: Neato Foam Stamp

Neato – Something’s Fishy Around Here

When I designed my Neato foam stamp, it was part of a suite of designs all based on some mid century modern stamp rollers I found in a vintage shop. I named all the patterns after slang words from the 1950’s and for the most part they were pretty abstract designs… except Neato just always reminds me of a fish LOL!

It’s kinda funny when you make a bunch of patterns and they really are just non-representational forms… but the more you work with them and get to know them they start to represent something. This is definitely what happened here and I am not alone either – a lot of you out there have seen the resemblance Neato has to a fish and I love that! We are on some similar mixed media wavelengths here :)

One of the first projects I made with Neato were these fish-themed Valentines. I hope you like puns too because I came up with a surprising amount of them… and I bet there are even more out there!

My Creative Squad got in on it too – in this art journal page Maura Hibbitts created an underwater scene using Neato and even an element from my Batik stencil to emphasize that sleek fishy body.

Marsha Valk created a series of cards and collage papers featuring Neato as a fish too, and she admitted it was hard to not add an eye to the stamped design haha.

But ok, maybe Neato doesn’t have to be a fish if that’s not what you are looking for… in fact I really like using it as a border in an art journal spread!

Neato can be just another abstract design that you can use as a tool for mark making in your artwork. In the above I combined it with my Far Out and the back of my Space Oddity foam stamps to create a more complex pattern.

And finally here is my friend Kim from one of our playdates where we used Neato and other foam stamps to make shrink film earrings – pretty Neato accessories if I do say so myself.

So whether you see a fish or just a cool looking design, I will of course never get tired of seeing just how you use my Neato foam stamp! Tag me and share your projects with me, fishy or not :)

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April ArtFoamies Challenge – Day 27 & 28

We’re in the home stretch of Nat and Sarah’s April ArtFoamies Challenge and today I’m recapping April 27 and 28.

Day 27 – Tile – Blue tiles …they make me think of Lisboa and make me long for a nice long vacation there. I do miss traveling but until that works for me again… I will just live through my visual cues provided by my foam stamps that were often inspired by my travels. Here I used my Van Vorst pos neg set.


Here is a look:


April 28 – Abstract – I used the hexagon shape as a solid stamp and then added some Wabi Sabi on top with Neato and Far Out. I am a bit sad that this challenge is coming to an end – I haven’t really gotten to the end of making patterns… Oh well, I still have another million pages in my ledger to go and I’m working on some new designs so I think they will move in here with some patterns as well ;)


And a look at that page:


Follow along with the challenge on instagram  and post your artwork too with the hashtag #artcollabChallengeAccepted

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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Boldly Going – Marsha Valk

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have Marsha Valk and a series of wonderfully colorful mixed media pieces using my Neato and Far Out foam stamps. This month’s theme is: Boldly Going – Go BOLD with color or pattern this month and really make something that is packed with visual POP! This is no time to be subdued or subtle. Go Bold!!!


As I tend to go bold with colour and pattern all the time, I thought about how I could go even more courageous.

I envisioned an abstract work incorporating acrylic inks as a watercolour because that’s something I have wanted to try for some time now.

For my colour palette, I decided to use all the colours of the rainbow + pink, black and white.

I started with applying the acrylic inks by brushing clean water onto my paper and then adding in acrylic ink a few drops at a time. I used another brush to spread and push the ink around.

As could be expected, this technique has a learning curve, and the result wasn’t what I was hoping for. I ended up creating six or seven backgrounds on different types of paper that then all had to dry completely.

The next step was to try and make a visually popping abstract work out of at least one of these backgrounds.

I decided to work on all of them at the same time. Adding some paint here, then some ink there, some stamping on this page and some marks on that page. Making sure I use ROYGBIV on all of the pages.

Somewhere along the way, it became apparent that I’m obsessed with making inky circles and I had to admit that my attempt at making abstracts had turned into making graffiti.

I also let go of the idea of not having anything recognizable on the pieces, because nearly all of the images I stamped with the Neato Foam Stamp practically begged me for an eye.

I ended up with four sheets successfully packed with visual pop. I kept two A4size, and I cut two of them into smaller cards.

All of the leftover pieces will go onto my basket of printed and painted papers for use in future projects.

Thank you Marsha! Love how this experiment in materials and methods lead to some gorgeous results! You can find all of my Foam Stamps in my online shop. Here are some of the other supplies Marsha 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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Feel the Rhythm – Maura Hibbitts

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a post from Maura Hibbitts with a gorgeously layered art journal page using my New Orleans, Crackle, Art Deco, and Batik stencils and my Neato foam stamp. This month’s theme is Feel the Rhythm – We’re thinking about patterns this month and using stamps to create a rhythm of marks. Show us your sense of rhythm!

When you stop and look around in the natural world, there’s a lot of rhythm and flow going on, from the rhythm of the seasons, to the flow of the water and air. When I first saw Nathalie’s Neato Art Foamie stamp, I saw a fish, and knew I wanted to create a water scene. A school of fish is just perfect for a repeating pattern, I think.

I pulled out one of my big journals with a landscape format, so my fish school could swim across the page. First step was to scrape on some chalky gesso with a key card and let it dry. 

To create a dark underwater background, I painted on a mixture of Dioxazine Purple and Ultramarine Blue. Before the paint dried, I “scratched’ into it with my brush strokes. 

Time to begin the stenciling. First up is the Crackle stencil, sponged in with Cerulean Blue. This layer is very understated. 

I used the New Orleans stencil with Cobalt Teal Hue and worked across the page, sponging in the design. 

The Art Deco Wallpaper stencil with the Green Gold and Yellow Green Light paints is used in the next layer to give a hint of plants in the water. 

Now that my page is covered in a variety of blue, purple and green paints and designs, I decided to fade out the central area. I started by brushing on the Translucent White, then wiping that back with a baby wipe. I repeated this step with the Green Gold, and ended with the Cobalt Teal Hue. 

I couldn’t resist adding some bubbles into this area with some bubble wrap and Quinacridone Violet. Some of the old paint came off too which just added some fun spots. 

Now comes the fun part – creating the school of fish! Certain shapes in the Batik stencil just seemed to work really well as fish bodies, so I stenciled a school of them across the page with the Cadmium Yellow Hue. 

I finished up my fish by stamping the Neato Art Foamie design in Cadmium Orange over the yellow bodies. I just used my cosmetic sponge to apply the paint to the stamp.  

Then, because I wanted one fish to be unique and stand out, I stenciled the body in orange and stamped the Neato design in yellow onto watercolor paper. Once it was dry, I cut it out and edged it with a black sharpie, then glued it onto my page. My final step was to doodle around the Neato design with my carbon ink pen, and hand letter my thoughts across the top of the page with the Sharpie – “ Follow your own unique path in life”. 

So many fun layers of color and design on my art journal page. 

Feel the rhythm as the school of fish moves and flows through the water. It truly is fascinating to watch as a school of individual fish move and act as one body. I guess it could be a bit dangerous to be that fish that stands out in the crowd, but in my own life, I have always liked being unique. So, follow your own unique path in life! 

Thank you Maura! I love the feeling of underwater that you created with all those layers! You can find my Stencils and my Foam Stamps in my Online Shop. Here are some of the supplies that Maura 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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