Creative Squad

Stenciled Papers from my Creative Squad

Last month our Creative Squad member Judi Kauffman shared some stenciled papers she made while going through her stack of ink pads. Here is what she did with my Batik and Amsterdam stencils and the beautiful patterned papers that resulted:

I had started out testing my old ink pads to see which ones were worth keeping. Some of the foam on ancient pigment pads had disintegrated, others were dry and discontinued so re-inkers weren’t possible. (The first photo with lots of sheets show where things started.)

The rest of the photos show sheets that I stenciled and dry-brushed. 

Not shown: I trimmed the sheets, cut them into randomly-sized rectangles, and put the prints onto white and ivory card bases in three sizes ranging from A2 to 5×7. Also kept one scrap for a bookmark and made one card with the tiny slivers that were leftovers from trimming. I left one sheet as-is and made Mark Rothko-style cards, another sheet is waiting for some stamping. And I did use a stencil from another company for one sheet as well. (Last week’s Big Project was organizing ALL of my stencils – egad!)

Thanks for sharing Judi! What a great way to get organized and to make something beautiful from the process. And I love that the sheets then went into other card projects and a bookmark etc.

You can find all of my stencils in my Online Store. Here are some of the supplies that Judi used:

Comments (1)

  • Yvonne Marchant


    Think I need to go through long forgotten ink pads hummm big and juicy ones spring to mind though they might be all mud lol


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Envelope Transformation from my Creative Squad

I’m sharing a gorgeous envelope transformation from Creative Squad member Judi Kauffman today. Instead of just recycling the shipping envelope her new stencils arrived in, Judi decided to give it new life and we love the results!

Judi received my new StencilClub mash-up stencils in the mail -the stencils are exclusive for StencilClub members, and you can learn more about that here and get the new 3 stencil set.

She shared her process with us:

“I cut the shipping envelope from the stencils along two sides and rounded one corner to turn it into a storage folder for the new release. I painted the edges and trimmed down a piece of gift wrap  to fit between the two raised strips at the sides (cut edges at left, right and bottom but left it torn across the top). Then more stenciling with the pattens (but no more elephants…). I had the words “to keep” among my found poetry snippets and that seemed like the right text to add at the top edge.”

“I always keep the StencilGirl shipping envelopes to use as storage folders for my stencils, just hadn’t decorated any of them till now. I like being able to see the contents without digging inside.”

Fantastic idea Judi! Thank you for sharing.

Here is a link to the StencilClub so you can get a hold of these exclusive July 2021 stencils and begin decorating your own StencilGirl envelopes too :) 

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Seaside Inspiration from my Creative Squad

Today we have a series of cards from Creative Squad member Judi Kauffman. Is anyone else out there dreaming of the sea???

Judi is mixing up a lovely palette of colors and using a gelli plate along with my new StencilClub mash-up stencils for these cards and I’m really digging the subtle layers of pattern and color that she’s created. The stencils are exclusive for StencilClub members, and you can learn more about that here and get the new 3 stencil set.

In the meantime, let’s look at some of these cards:

Judi used clear stickers for the words and phrases and it creates a seamless unity between the card’s sentiment and background.

She did her gelli prints on navy blue cardstock – giving them a nice depth of color.

One last look:

Here is a link to the StencilClub so you can find those exclusive July 2021 stencils. 

Comments (1)

  • Denise M. Krueger


    Judi, these cards are stunning and speak to me of a beach visit!! Love the color combos too!


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Stencil Inspiration from my Creative Squad

I’m sharing a suite of tags made by Creative Squad member Judi Kauffman today. With some stencils and just a few other supplies, Judi mixes big juicy texture, delicate layering, and bold pattern in these beauties.

She is using my StencilClub mash-up stencils that I designed with Mary Beth Shaw at StencilGirl Products. The 3 piece mash-up set is available exclusively to StencilClub members through this link.

Here are some of Judi’s tags using acrylic paint, a gelli plate, the stencils, and some word and phrase stickers:

I love how the patterns and colors blend and wash over each other. Here’s a closeup:

Judi is using black, vanilla, and bronze metallic paint.

Thank you Judi for sharing this grouping and for showing us how just a few stencils and colors of paint can yield so many lovely results.

Here is a link to the StencilClub so you can find those exclusive July 2021 stencils. 

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StencilClub Mash-Up with Mary Beth Shaw

This month I am doing a stencil mash-up with StencilGirl’s very own Mary Beth Shaw for their StencilClub! This is an exclusive 3 stencil set for July 2021 if you are part of their StencilClub (Info here). It’s a mash-up so it includes design motifs from each of us, combined in a new way and new scale. Here is a little video introduction to the stencils with Mary Beth and myself:

I love how our patterns work together in this set and oh my, that little elephant is pretty cute! We had fun testing these out and I wanted to share a little sneak peak with you:

Here are the details: You get all three exclusive member stencils when you join StencilClub.

  • The large 9×12 inch stencil is easy to use to create repeating patterns. It evolved from Mary Beth’s Leaf Diamond and my Hamilton stencils.

  • The small 6×6 inch pulls in elements perfect for layering to create stunning patterns.

  • A baby elephant completes the set as a mini 4×4 inch stencil, open, so you can paint one color and then slide another stencil underneath and paint with a contrasting color.


You also get a Project video and PDF that Mary Beth and I made especially for you that you can download and keep.

The set ships out to members on July 15th. Can’t wait to see them in action!

Here is the link for StencilClub to get yours

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Creating a Zine with Marsha Valk – StencilGirl Talk

After tuning into Marsha Valk’s 100 day vlog on her instagram, I was so stoked to see her take the project one step further with this awesome gelli printed zine she shared on StencilGirl Talk here this week. She creates a charming little book of prints that is like one of her daily vlog posts, but in print form with tons of stencils, gelli plate printing techniques, and of course her cool signature style. Check out the video:


The outcome is a nifty permanent record of daily life these days – something tangible as an archive. I loved seeing the different subjects that have become so familiar in Marsha’s vlog, finding a place in the prints: that cup of hot deliciousness, her feet out on a walk, her workspace and so on. And watching her build her backgrounds with different stencils – including some of my own like Signals and New Orleans – is a nice zen moment that I hope you enjoy too :)

Comments (1)

  • marsha.


    Oh wow! Thanks for sharing, Nat! I enjoyed making this zine so much! It was fun and simple to make and as you said I recorded a little moment in time!


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A Look Back – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 20 – Fluorescent Colors

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at a color family that maybe has a bit of a bad reputation… but that can be so fun to use and definitely has the power to POP: Fluorescents! Love em or hate em, you can’t deny their ability to grab your attention. Below are some old posts and projects that use fluorescent colors in small amounts and large, creating different moods and effects.

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 :)

First up is an art journal page from this post way back in 2014. I used an array of super hot reds for this one, including Liquitex Fluorescent Red soft body paint to create an intense backdrop for my Elephant Parade stencil.


Next up is a super fun project I did back in 2015 with this nifty cardboard water tower I found from a maker in Brooklyn. I just love the form of these old water towers that you see all over the place in NYC. They make me very happy lol. I used fluorescent orange spray paint along with my Elephant March and What’s the Point stencils to give this charming little object even more personality.


Sometimes you just need a touch of fluorescent as I’ve done here in this 2016 art journal spread. I used a Liquitex Fluorescent Red marker to draw on some marks and symbols. Just some energy coming through a busy background.


How bold can you go? I went super bold in this art journal page back in 2016 when I used fluorescent spray paints and my Art Deco Wallpaper and Circuit stencils for my background. Sometimes you have to go all in with fluorescents and just see what happens.


A hint of pink may be the answer… Fluorescent Pink of course! In this Creative Ice Breaker video from 2016 I use just a little Golden Fluorescent Pink paint with my Amsterdam stencil for a very active page. You can almost feel the elephants running around in this spread.

I hope you enjoyed this look back at… fluorescent colors and are maybe inspired to try adding some to your artwork.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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No Feeling Final – Art Journal

“Let everything happen to you. Beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.” – Rainer Maria Rilke. This quote really lifted me up the other day when I needed some lifting.

I used some collage paper in this one – deli paper and magazine paper which I layed over my Art Deco Summit and Art Deco Fairview stencils and then rubbed with sanding paper to reveal texture and pattern.

Along with acrylic paint, gesso, the collage paper, and gel medium, for my background I also stamped with my Triangle Love rubber stamps.

I added the quote in black and white to help give it some dimension.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

Join me today, May 1st, at 12noon EST for a Kaffeeklatsch LIVE chat from my studio. Tune in to my Facebook page for the broadcast and say Hello. I would love to hear what is going on with you these days :) See you soon!

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Weather Report – Emilie Murphy

Hello from my Creative Squad and a BIG welcome to our newest member Emilie Murphy! Today is her first project with us and we are very excited to share this art journal page with you. Emilie is using my Santiago, Space Age Modern, and Exchange Place stencils and this month’s theme: Weather Report – Let’s talk about the weather! Do you love thunderstorms? The crisp air of Autumn? A good snowstorm? Are you a fan of endless sunshine? Create something inspired by that go-to topic of small talk – the weather!

“To appreciate the Beauty of a snowflake, it is necessary to stand out in the cold.” – Aristotle

Hi everyone! This is my very first project for the Creative Squad this month. I’m so happy to be a part of Nathalie’s Design Team.

I have to say that Spring is probably my favorite season of the year, but as I didn’t get any snow this year, at least where I live in Maryland, I decided to make an art journal page about snowstorms to illustrate our “Weather Report” theme this month.

Let me guide you on how I made my journal page!

I started to spray some Dylusions ink on a 140lb. piece of watercolor paper until I was happy with the result.

Then, to add some texture, I sprayed over the “Space Age Modern” stencil with the same dylusions inks. Let it dry.

Then I sprayed again through the same stencil with some ocean glossy acrylic (new product of Dina Wakley) and let it dry.

One thing that I like to do, in almost all of my journal pages is to add some splatters.

Next, I laid down the “Santiago” stencil and applied a thin coat of acrylic gesso with a sponge through only the portion of the stencil that looks like a cross. I saw Nathalie using it that way for one card of her “Deck of Cards” challenge last November 2019. What an awesome idea! Love this coat of gesso that stays transparent and gives a dreamy look to my background. That’s exactly the effect I wanted.

I repeated the same thing adding some circles from the “Exchange Place” stencil.

At that point, as I was satisfied with the background, I added a thick layer of texture paste to create some snow covering the ground. After I let it dry, I noticed that the ink stained my texture paste too much, so I kept adding some of this paste (about 3 coats) until I was satisfied with the sort of slight bluish whiteness of my snow.

Again, I used the “Santiago” stencil to apply some white embossing powder. I used a VersaMarker watermark pen so that I got a more precise crossed shape from the stencil.

With a white Posca pen, I drew some details to complete the crossed shapes into some snowflakes. Adding some details is my favorite part.

At that stage my journal page was looking nice, but staring at it a little bit longer, I thought that something was missing. I expected you to see the movement of the snow falling on the ground with a feel of cold and/or chill.  Therefore, I applied some IZINK Diamond glitter paint with my finger through the circles of the “Exchange Place” stencil, which again, to give me that feel. Hope I succeeded and gave you the exact same feeling!

Also, I added a final coat of white gesso over my texture paste because even with the 3 coats I had applied, the ink was still tinting it too much and I didn’t like the look of it.

To finish my art journal page, I rubbed my finger with some white gesso around the edges of my paper, added more splatters with the white glossy acrylic, and then added this beautiful winter quote from Aristotle: “To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake, it is necessary to stand out in the cold”.

I hope you have enjoyed my process in making this journal page about snowstorms and perhaps you have been inspired to make your own.

Have a great day and see you next month! – Emilie

Thank you Emilie! What a magical representation of snow :)

Want to give Emilie’s project a try? You can find all my Stencils in my Online Shop. Here are some of the other supplies she used:

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