Creative Squad

Creative Squad: Jumping with Emilie Murphy CJS21

Hello from my Creative Squad! We have a fantastic mixed media painting from Emilie Murphy who is using my CJS21 limited edition foam stamp Love Story, my Star Struck stencil, and our theme: Storyteller – This month we’re playing along with Creative JumpStart 2021 and the theme Storyteller. We’re using our artwork, our color and material choices, and our personal style to tell a Love Story.


“Love with all your heart”

Hi there! And Happy New Year everyone!

Let’s start the year off by playing along with Creative JumpStart 2021 using the limited edition “Love Story” foam stamp. I decided to paint a simple illustration with watercolors. So let’s jump!

I worked on an 8×8 piece of Hot Press watercolor paper, because I wanted to have a smooth surface but it will also work great on cold press watercolor paper as well.

The first thing I did was to apply VersaMark ink on my Love Story foam stamp to emboss it with white embossing powder. That’s a great technique of “resist” when using watercolors.

Next, I painted the interior of the stamp with bright watercolors. Don’t hesitate to apply enough watercolor pigment because the watercolors get lighter when it dries. I sprinkled some salt on the pink triangle shape to add some texture. I did the same thing on the heart but it didn’t show up when it dried. Probably because my surface was too wet and/or I didn’t put enough salt on it. Just so you know.

Salt is a nice way to add texture, which adds a little bit of interest when using with watercolors.

I let dry, then, I applied some indigo watercolor to the exterior. I left some white space on purpose and added more watercolor pigment along the exterior edges of the stamp.

What I recommend is to work in layers.  First, apply a layer of watercolor, let it dry slightly, then add some more and so on.

To add some interest to the background, I laid down the “Star Struck” stencil and applied some “Faded Jeans” Oxide ink with a foam applicator, only over the layer of watercolor. I slightly went over the top right corner and bottom just to give an irregular look while still leaving white space.

I really love the result. The distress or oxide inks work beautifully with watercolors.

At that point, my painting needed a title. I simply wrote down by hand the sentiment on a piece of white cardstock. I chose the uppercase style by preference.

I slightly inked the edges of my sentiment with some oxide ink. Before gluing it down, I applied some splatters with indigo watercolor hiding my stamp image.

Finally I used some watercolor pencils to add some depth to the image and get a dimensional effect. I first applied a similar color inside each shape to get more depth. Then, I used a brown color to enhance the left and top edges of each shape to get the dimensional effect.

And voila!

I decided to frame this painting and put it in my son’s bedroom. This painting can make a great gift for someone you love.

It would make a nice greeting card or art journal page as well or whatever you’d like to try and make.

Hope it gets you inspired. What about starting the year of 2021 with some fun and creativity!

Have a good rest of the week and see you next month!


Thank you Emilie – absolutely love this piece and that it now has a place in your son’s room – lovely!

Give it a try: you can find all my Foam Stamps and Stencils in my Online Shop and here are some of the supplies Emilie 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.

Comments (1)

  • Robin

    |

    Emilie. As always, your piece is beautiful! I love the colors and how you used the stencil in the background. It’s so fun that it’s framed and in your sons room!!!

    Reply

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Creative Squad: Light & Shadow – Maura Hibbitts

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we are kicking off a new monthly theme with Maura Hibbitts. She is bringing us some lovely holiday cards in some perhaps untraditional colors, shaking things up to finish up 2020 with my Star Struck, Toledo, and Santiago 4×4 stencils, my Small Circle Jumble rubber stamps, and our theme: Light & Shadow – In art and maybe also in life, the balance between light and shadow is an important consideration. Play with this equilibrium in your art and show us how the two sides work together.


Light and Shadow, dark and light…as the days get shorter and the shadows longer I’m feeling the need for more light in my life. I watch the strip of sunlight on my deck railing in the morning outside of my work window (It was all lit in the summer), and then the shadows as they expand across the yard during the day. Each day will get shorter until the Winter Solstice on December 21. This year, more than ever, I am looking forward to our shift again to more daylight. These thoughts also prompted me to challenge myself to work with bright colors that I would not normally choose – yellow and pink. So, I’ve ended up making eight holiday cards in very non-traditional colors, check it out.

I started by going through my stash and pulling out paints in varying shades of pink and yellow, so I would have a blend from dark to light.

Nat’s Star Struck stencil seemed to call for the yellows, so I dabbed the colors in with a cosmetic sponge onto white cardstock, starting with the lightest in the top left, and working my way to the darkest in the lower right. Light and shadow, along with a bit of ombre.

Next up are the pinks. where I repeated the previous step, only this time I used Nat’s Toledo stencil.

I decided I wanted to create a focal point, so I mixed varying shades of peach and orange, by blending the yellows and pinks, and used Nat’s Santiago 4×4 stencil. My goal was to have a mix of light and dark (shadow) shades.

Now that everything is painted and stenciled, it’s time to start building the cards. I cut the large sheets of stenciled yellows and pinks into fourths to use as the card background. Next, I cut out the Santiago mini squares, and cut them diagonally in half. I laid the two parts together, decided I wanted more of the background to show, so cut out parts of the smaller stenciled papers.  I glued the papers onto the cards using a PVA glue.

I felt that I needed one more pop of color, so I stamped Nat’s Circle Drive Positive small stamp onto watercolor paper with blue ink. I cut these out and popped them up on the center.

Now for the final touches – a bit of sparkle with a gold pen, where I outlined the star shape, and hand lettered words “Shine Brightly!” I love to use a Platinum Carbon ink pen over dry paint, but any permanent black pen will work.

I aimed to use the colors to give a feel of light and shadow, so I worked both the background and focal piece from lightest on the top left, to darkest on the bottom right. What do you think, did it work?

And there you have it, a set of eight cards in a bright array of yellows and pinks. These might be very non-traditional Christmas cards, or maybe Solstice cards. Another thought is to save them, and randomly send them out in the dark days of winter to bring a ray of light to someone. I hope this inspires you to observe the light and shadow in your life and let it guide your creative endeavors. Wishing you health, joy, and light this holiday season! – Maura


Thank you Maura! We love how your colors make these patterns pop. And nontraditional holiday colors seem perfect for this crazy year :)

Give it a try: you can find all my Rubber Stamps and Stencils in my Online Shop and here are some of the other supplies Maura 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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Vitamin Sea – Art Journal

I need some vitamin Sea! How about you? I was inspired by our Creative Squad theme this month – Under the Sea. Are you longing for the ocean too?

I used acrylic paints for my background and posca markers with my Kyoto and Star Struck stencils. I also threw in my Wabi Sabi rubber stamps with archival ink so a little play with changing up scale with the same design elements.

I tried out a new set of Posca markers and really like the colors and pastel shades of them. You can find those in the links below.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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Deck of Cards Challenge – Prompts 8 & 9

Today I am recapping Day 8 and 9 of my Deck of Cards Challenge that is running this month on Instagram. This week we are making holiday cards with a focus on shapes.

Here is a recap of days 8 and 9:

Day 08 – Snowflake

For week 2 of the challenge we are making holiday cards so I thought I’d start off with a classic winter motif – the snowflake.

Using an ink blending tool and masking off a shape in my Santiago stencil… 

and then Star Struck stencil, I layered up a very nice snowflake. Because no two snowflakes are the same, I added a few more with my Fanfare stamps. This is one snow storm that will brighten anyone’s day :)

Day 09 – Ornaments

Today we are making a holiday card with Ornaments on it.

My Small and Large Circle Jumble stamp sets actually include an ornament topper stamp in them – so it couldn’t be easier. You could fill these in with lots of different colors – I’ve chosen to use Graphik Line Painter markers in some merry and bright colors.

Keep following us and I hope you share what you are working on using #docchallenge

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

Here is the prompt list so you can play along too! Follow the daily prompts on Instagram and tag your creations with #docchallenge

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Stencilbop Challenge Prompts 27 & 28

Here is your recap for Stencilbop prompts 27 and 28:

August 27 – Cut

It’s so much fun to use Stencils as a cutting template in your art journal. 

For this art journal spread I used my Star Struck  Stencil and traced it into my journal.

Then I cut the openings out of the paper with a craft knife…

…and mounted one of the Suminagashi papers that I printed a while ago behind it.

I really like the simple look of this. 

August 28 – Collage

Collage is such a classic artmaking technique. I wanted to combine it with the use of stencils.

For this art journal spread I used some spraypaint through my Santa Fe stencil and then traced some of the elements of the stencil onto an old letter that I had found in an antique store. 

I cut the pattern elements out and applied them- sometimes offset with a glue stick to the spraypainted pattern. 

Another fun and easy way to use stencils. 

Here are some of the supplies I used for these prompts:

Comments (1)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Love the fussy cutting with that stencil. Looks great and perfect for a unique page in an art journal or on a project.

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True Blue – Tania Ahmed

  

Happy Tuesday from my Creative Squad! Today we have a post from Tania Ahmed, sharing with us an awesome way to use my Star Struck stencil and Large Circle Jumble rubber stamps to decorate the cover of an art journal. Check out the video below to see Tania’s technique. This month’s theme is: True Blue – Blue is the color of honesty and serenity. It’s calming and has even been shown to promote healing. It reminds us of the water and the sky. Let’s slow things down this month and bask in the tranquility of the color blue.


Our theme this month was True Blue, and for us to use any of Nat’s new Stencil Girl designs which I had been looking forward to having a play with as soon as I saw the designs! Blue also happens to be one of my favourite colours and I use almost any excuse I can get to use it in my projects! :)

I had an art journal that I made last year in a workshop that I attended with Nat and her friend Birgit Koopsen which I still use to test new techniques. I still hadn’t made a cover for it, so I decided that it was about time that I decorated it.

I made a video showing how I decorated my art journal cover:

When I saw the Star Struck Stencil, I was immediately reminded of Japanese fabric and I knew that I wanted to create a print which looked like vintage cloth. I had an image of furoshiki wrapping (Japanese art of wrapping gifts and parcels with fabric) in mind and I set out to see how I could create a project as an homage to the technique.

I started by taping down a sheet of printer paper to the stencil and created a rubbing of the stencil using Faber Castell Gelatos. You can create rubbings using pencils, pastels, crayons, anything that you have in your stash! Experiment with different pressures and papers to see what effects you can get. I tried the technique on printer paper, cartridge paper and thick cardstock. The thinner the paper, the better impression you will get!

Printer paper

Cartridge paper

Heavy cardstock

Thank you so much for watching and reading and have a great day!


Thank you Tania! I loved watching how the stencil rubbing transformed – it really does remind me of the textiles I saw in Japan. You can find my Star Struck stencil and Valley Road stamp in my Online Shop. Here are some of the other products that Tania 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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Stenciled Umbrellas for a Rainy Day – DIY Play Date

Did you know you can stencil on an umbrella and turn it into a work of art? You can and it is a fun project. Kim and I got together on a sunny day to transform a couple umbrellas into something that will brighten any rainy day we encounter.

We chose white umbrellas as our “blank canvas” and some of Nat’s new stencil designs. We worked outside with acrylic spray paint (and proper protection – face mask) and each tried a different way to approach the project.

I began by painting my umbrella with heavy body paint to create a new background color.

I chose three different colors to alternate on the panels. This is a great way to make your umbrella any color you want.  BUT I learned the paint definitely stiffens the fabric and makes the umbrella hard to wrap up when you are all finished. I could almost not get the velcro tie around it in the end. Oops. It’s still doable, but tight.

Kim decided to spray paint directly on the fabric. She taped down the stencil and some paper as a mask. She began with my new Star Struck stencil and some blue paint.

The 9×12 stencils are a nice size to cover a large area with color and pattern.

She covered the top of 3 alternating panels with a couple colors of blue. The Star Struck stencil almost looks like umbrellas so it works nicely.

She then moved to the bottom to add more.

I chose my new Hamilton stencil – absolutely loving this pattern!!! I used a buff color on the blue panels.

I lined up the pattern and covered the whole panel with the design.

On some panels I used Hamilton and on others I used my new Van Vorst stencil – both are beautiful and delicate designs.

Here is my umbrella with the patterns. I might add more to the yellow panels – I chose a very subtle color for that one and it’s hard to see it once it dried.

Kim added green with my new Flower Maze stencil and just blended one pattern into the other.

Peekaboo :)

Looks great and all ready to brighten up a dreary day!

So you have lots of options when you start with a white umbrella. You could choose colors and coordinate it with your rain coat or rain boots or you could just aim to make something that makes you smile on a rainy day :)

You can find my new stencils in my shop here, as well as all my other products. Here are some of the supplies that we used:


 

Comments (4)

  • LindaLubovich

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    If you add textile medium to the acrylic paint you’ll avoid the stiffness you experienced when you base-coated your umbrella. Hi from San Jose.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Great tip Linda, thank you! In this case on of the main problems was that I used heavy body paint which just made a too thick of a coating so that the string to tie it together became to short. Kim didn’t have the same problems using just spray paint.

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Clever and colorful…did you put anything on to preserve the paint…so it doesn’t run in the rain?

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

      |

      thank you Sue. Since Acrylic paint is water proof I did nothing else to it- it should be stay as is :)

      Reply

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