Creative Squad

Creative Squad: Gratitude is my Attitude – Robin Seiz

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:

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

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Creative Squad: Wish You Were Here – Jordan Hill

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a post from Jordan Hill who is sharing with us a bit of mail art using my Triangle Love and Birds stamp sets, “The World’s Pinkest Pink” powdered paint, 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!

Hello everyone! I’m very excited to be back with my project for September; I thought a fun way to interpret this month’s theme of “Wish You Were Here” would be to create a postcard! I love working in a smaller size, so the 4″x6″ base was perfect for me. I hope you enjoy following along with this process!

A friend recently sent me a powder pigment that is marketed as “The World’s Pinkest Pink”, and I really wanted to experiment with it. I mixed some of the pigment up with water, then painted it over my background in a very haphazard kind of way. The brightness of this particular pigment is so intense that I cannot show it accurately in photos, but just know that it is very bright!

Once the pink background was dry, I used Nathalie’s “Empire Triangle” rubber stamp with some Black Archival Ink to create a repeating pattern over my background. These small motif stamps are perfect for creating patterns!

Next, I started to create a figure with a piece of collage. This particular piece started out as a full illustration, but I cut the body and hair away from the face of this particular scanned image, then glued it down. Sometimes partial images can be a great way to give yourself a jumping off point without committing to anything too intensely. 

I then followed my typical illustration process to give the face a body and hair. Once that had been completed, I then used another of Nathalie’s stamps, this time the “Nightingale” stamp, to stamp onto white tissue paper. I then glued that image to my postcard using Mod Podge and a paintbrush, to make it look like my figure had a bird on their shoulder!

To finish up this postcard, I used a dip pen and some Speedball Calligraphy Ink in Super Black to add a border around the edges of my postcard, as well as to write the words “missing you” in the upper right hand corner of the card. I thought that particular sentiment matched the theme for this month, and it was a nice final addition to the postcard!

Though this month’s project is more on the simple side (for me), I quite like the way this card turned out, and I’m excited to get it in the mail! I hope you enjoyed following the process of creating this postcard and that you try creating one of your own!

Thank you Jordan – love how you used the Bird on her shoulder!

Give it a try: you can find all my Rubber Stamps in my Online Shop and in addition to her collage bits, here are some of the supplies Jordan used:

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

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Sing Your Song – Judi Kauffman

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a project from Judi Kauffman. She’s sharing a fabulous way to personalize notebooks and folders using my Art Deco Summit stencil and my Nightingale, Arts and Craft Motif, and Solid Triangle rubber stamps. This month’s theme is: Sing Your Song – Everybody has their own voice, their own groove, their own one-of-a-kind personality. What is something unique about YOU that you are proud of? Don’t be shy, Sing YOUR Song!

SHE WHO CLIMBS A TREE by Judi Kauffman

I wasn’t sure how to approach this month’s theme because I was taught that ‘kvelling’ (the Yiddish word for publicly celebrating someone’s achievements) was left to others and not the person who had won a prize, graduated from college, or had just purchased their first home. That would have been bragging.

And yet, I was also given a mantra that – in a toned-down form (no hollering!) – served me well during the years that I worked freelance as a graphic artist, copywriter, illustrator, and then in the craft and needlework industry. It goes like this:

She who whispers down a well
About the things she has to sell
Will not make as many dollars
As she who climbs a tree and hollers.

I learned to market myself, to cold-call potential clients and visit with existing ones to drum up more design work, and later to reach editors of publications I wanted to work with and manufacturers whose products I wanted to incorporate into my assignments.

The ‘tear sheets’ with my projects from magazines are proof that I once climbed that tree! (Not literally, of course, I can barely scale a kitchen step ladder…)

My Creative Squad project is a stenciled 3-ring binder with stenciled pocket folders to hold a small number of my favorite tear sheets (what I would like to think my nephew will someday keep as a remembrance).

I up-cycled an old denim-covered notebook and gave some damaged pocket folders a facelift for this project.



1. Paint a denim- or canvas-covered 3-ring binder (inside and out) with white gesso, allowing some of the original color to remain visible.

2. Stencil the Art Deco Summit pattern randomly onto the front, spine and back of the outside of the notebook using acrylic paint a single color as shown. Repeat on the inside. (Alternatively, use two or more colors.)

3. Using permanent ink in a dark contrasting color, stamp the Nightingale bird stamp once on the outside of the front and back cover, and once on the inside of the front and back cover. (The bird is proudly standing alone!) Stamp Solid Triangle stamps along the spine in another dark color to accent that part of the notebook.

4. Use a label maker to spell out SHE WHO CLIMBS A TREE (or whatever words suit you!). Cut the words apart and arrange near the bird on the front cover.


1. Use black gesso and/or a mix of permanent inks to color the edges of the pocket folders. Set aside.

2. Using permanent inks, stencil an 8.5×11 sheet of heavyweight, glossy laser printer paper for each folder using the same Art Deco Summit stencil. Vary the colors as well as the amount of ink (light- or heavy-handed) and placement of the pattern.

3. Using permanent inks, stamp the Nightingale, Arts & Crafts Motif, and Solid Triangle as shown or as you prefer. Vary colors and placement. 

4. Cut stenciled/stamped sheets to fit the curve of the pocket folder. Sponge on a bit of ink to darken the edges of the sheets. Using double-sided tape or adhesive of choice, adhere to folder as shown.


The light color triangles stamped on each bird’s face echo the shape of the beak. I had thought of turning them in the opposite direction so they would look like megaphones, in keeping with the theme of singing my own song, but decided against it. 

This project was created during a time when those who are seniors or have health issues are still quarantined at home due to the coronavirus pandemic and by the time it is published that may still be the case. Therefore, I thought having the bird look like she’s wearing a protective mask made more sense. 

Though you have to listen more closely than usual, you can still hear a person’s voice when she’s wearing a mask; you can see her smile in her eyes. I’d like to think that no mask could ever mute a bird’s song.

Thank you Judi – love the way this turned out but also your thoughts that you share :)

Give it a try: you can find all my Stencils and Rubber Stamps in my Online Shop and here are some of the other supplies Judi 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“.

Comments (3)

  • Jean Marmo


    Oh Judi _ that quote is just amazing! And so is your binder and folders! I love the colors and the wonderful stencils!!


  • Kimberly O.


    WOW! This binder is super cool!! What a great way to keep copies of your articles too!!


  • Sue Clarke


    Theses are terrific Judi!
    The color pallet is neutral and nice to cover a book/notebook.


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Rise & Shine – Maura Hibbitts

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have an art journal page from Maura Hibbitts to lift you up a bit. Maura is using my new Mini Motifs, Nightingale, and Wabi Sabi rubber stamps with this month’s theme: Rise & Shine – Sometimes it is inspiring to think of each new day as an opportunity to do something good – to shine. Create something that will encourage others to do the same and let’s all bring a little more light into this world!

“Rise and Shine” bring back strong childhood memories of my mother using these exact words to get me out of bed in the morning and off to school. Some days I can remember grumbling to myself, “what is there to shine about today?” Those were the days I was so cozy and snug, I just did not want to get up. Today, I am thinking about these words a little differently. Right now, we need things to look forward to in our daily lives, things that shine brighter. Perhaps it is a beautiful sunny day, or the flowers starting to bloom (at least here in upstate NY) that bring some joy to us, so we want to rise and start our day. I am also hopeful that there are brighter days ahead for all of us!

I started off in one of my large art journals with fluid acrylics and a brayer. I began at the top with a good squirt of Hansa Yellow Medium, and rolled the brayer in several directions, to create an area for my sun. Next, I added some drops of Ultramarine blue and Cobalt Teal Hue for my sky area, and rolled the brayer vertically to blend a bit. I also went in and added a bit of Translucent White. I repeated the same vertical strokes with the brayer and Yellow Green Light and Green Gold at the bottom of the page for the grass area. Any extra paint, I just rolled onto the page next to this one, no use wasting any of it.

Once the paint was completely dry, I began to stamp the sun. I did this with the Arts and Crafts Motif stamp in a repeating pattern, and used the Moonlight Duo Nebula Rust ink.

I stamped three Nightingale images in the grassy area with black ink. One great tip I have learned over the years, is to use an uneven number of objects. One bird didn’t feel like enough. Remember that saying, the early bird gets the worm? (another rise and shine moment) Well, my trio of birds is out early looking for them!

Next, I stamped a variety of “flower stems” with the Wabi Sabi stamps – Jazzed, Groovy and Gnarly and black ink.

I turned the Arts and Craft Motif stamp into flowers, and stamped them with bright inks, using pinks and oranges, on the end of the stems. I don’t know about you, but colorful flowers always make me smile.

Next, I took several colors of Posca paint pens to add in a bit of detail on the sun and flowers. I also drew in a few leaves for the stems, and added some dots into the grass.

Final step was to hand letter “Brighter days are coming!” with a Posca pen.

I try to live my life in a positive and optimistic way, and even when times are really difficult like now, I have to believe bright days will be here again. Creating a cheerful art journal page helps uplift my mood.

What helps you to Rise and Shine each day? Children, grandchildren, spouse, friend, pet? A sunny day, your garden, art, birds singing outside your window? Look for the special joys in your life to help lift your spirits. I wish you the best! – Maura

Thank you Maura! We are definitely ready for some brighter days ahead :)

Want to give Maura’s project a try? You can find all my Rubber Stamps in my Online Shop. Here are some of the other supplies 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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Rubber Stamp Inspiration from my Creative Squad

Today I have some lovely cards, envelopes and a tag to share with you from Creative Squad member Judi Kauffman. When Judi received her rubber stamps in the mail, her super creative mind went right to work and I just love the results!

What a treat to get Nathalie’s new stamps in the mail – her signature style in a petite and very versatile size! I reached for a stack of envelopes, my go-to with all new stamps, got out some colorful inks, and when I looked at the finished batch I was shocked to see how my worry about covid-19 had taken over. The triangles I’d stamped on and around the Nightingale looked like masks and on most of the envelopes the birds looked like they were practicing social distancing.

I stamped three business cards for the tag, this time using white ink to paint tight-fitting masks on the birds. It really is scary how our subconscious takes over. I set out to make something spring-like and happy! But the cosmos had other ideas.

I love ‘Far Out’! In fact, I love all of them. It’s a new thing to have the petite size and I think that’s a feature worthy of attention.

Thank you Judi! It is funny how what is pressing in our minds can come through in our artwork. Regardless, these are a wonderful abstract use of the stamps and in any other time would just be really awesome compositions!

Here are some of the supplies Judi used:

Comments (3)

  • Marilyn


    Love the designs. I am one of the lucky friends of Judi to receive her “bird” envelop. She always amazes me with her creativity and now more so using her subconscious thoughts. I am a firm believer that our actions are a result of our inner thoughts.
    Kudos to Judi!


  • Kimberly O.


    I love the combination of the stamps you used! The bird stamps are awesome!!


  • Denise M. Krueger


    Love these!! So much vibrant color and the birds are awesome stamps.


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