Creative Squad

Rise & Shine – Emilie Murphy

Hi from my Creative Squad! This time we have a really cool art journal page from Emilie Murphy that layers up my Triangle Love and Wabi Sabi rubber stamps. This months theme is: 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!


Hi there! Hope you are doing well. The theme for this month really inspired me and I had fun playing with Nathalie’s new stamp sets.

The first idea that came to my mind about the “Rise and Shine” theme was having a star in my project. So here is it!

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

I started with applying some Distress ink on a white cardstock with a piece of packaging. I then used some white cardstock because I wanted a smooth surface for this project.  By applying the distress ink on a piece of packaging, it allowed me to get a random watercolor effect.

I limited my color palette to 3 colors for not having too many different colors. That is what I got.

The next step was to add texture by stamping with some stamps from the Wabi Sabi stamps set and some triangle stamps from the Triangle Love stamps set. I used the same colors as before.

Then I repeated stamping with a darker color to add some contrast.

As I love texture, I kept stamping with acrylic paint with the same color tone “light pink” and kind of “light beige” than the distress inks. I like doing this with my gelli plate but I could have simply spread some paint out of my craft /glass mat.

Then I added some splatters.

At that stage, I was satisfied with the texture of my background. It was time to take care of the focal image in my journal page. I embossed a star with Nathalie’s “Hamilton Negative Floral Tile (Large)” stamp and the “Sunburst” triangle stamp with white embossing powder on vellum paper. The secret to emboss without making your vellum wrinkle too much is to wait for your heat gun to be very hot.

I cut my star and used it to make a mask and stencil template.

I put down my star mask where I wanted it and applied with a sponge some acrylic paint all around. Very important step here! I chose a translucent acrylic paint because I wanted my background to be see-through.

Here is a tip: you can make an opaque acrylic paint translucent by simply adding some matte gel medium or glazing medium.

Here is the final result.

In the next step, I used the star stencil to add more stamping (just a matter of taste).

Personally, I don’t think that my journal page would have been completed if I had let the page like that, and had glued down my embossed star.

When I was playing with the Wabi Sabi stamps, I found out that I could make some other star shapes. Isn’t that awesome! These stamps are so versatile . . .

So I stamped some star shapes with Moonlight Duo Ink pad, which were slightly darker than my blue-teal color background, and some with white embossing powder. And voila, I just loved it!

Then, to finish it up, I added some splatters (metallic gold acrylic paint), drew the contours of my stars with a black pen, and added circles with a recycled cap.

Finally, I attached my star with a brat and glued down some “chit chat” stickers from Tim Holtz.

Here is another tip: I usually fix my vellum with double side tape instead of liquid glue because the vellum wrinkles badly and personally I don’t like the look of that.

My very last touch was to stitch all around my page.

Hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. It was all about layers.

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


Thank you Emilie – loved seeing your layering process and how you made your stars using the stamps!

Give it a try: you can find all my Rubber Stamps in my Online Shop and here are some of the other supplies Emilie 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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Rise & Shine – Nicole Watson

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a colorful suite of cards and a video from Nicole Watson. Check out her process below using my new Mini Motifs and Triangle Love stamp sets and 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!


If you’re like me, you’ve probably spent some extra time during these stay at home days browsing Instagram and admiring all the creativity that is flowing from so many artists. Maybe, much like me, that creativity just isn’t flowing for you. It’s ok! You’re not alone!

Honestly, I struggled a bit with the theme this month. Sometimes it’s hard to shine and encourage others when you are feeling a bit blah yourself. Last month I shared that I’ve been focusing my time outside and in our garden planting flowers. This has brought me so much joy! The simplicity of planting flowers, caring for them, and watching them flourish has helped me cope with staying home (except for my trips to explore local nurseries and for groceries!).

I’ve noticed I’m not alone in the need to DO something creative and with one’s hands! While some are creating art, others are baking or gardening and yet others are returning to pen pals and sending snail mail. I wanted to send some mail to brighten some days this last week and realized my blank card stash was getting low… and that’s when this project came together!

Watch my video:

Here’s how:

Grab some hot press watercolor paper and stamp on it with Nat’s Mini Motifs and Triangle Love stamps using black archival ink. Have fun! 

I enjoyed this process of creative stamping, all wonky, not perfect. Archival ink is important as it will not bleed or run with the watercolor in the next step. 

And, hot press paper is smoother for stamping. You can use cold press, but your stamped images will not turn out as clear (Note: I pre-cut my watercolor paper into card fronts (4.25×5.5) and will trim them down again to mount on the cards.)

Let the ink thoroughly dry and then watercolor. Again, have fun! The only thing to keep in mind while you are water coloring is how colors blend. I stayed with palettes of warm colors or cool colors and then also a couple full rainbow palettes. Add some splatters and lots of puddles of color around the stamped images. 

Let your fronts dry completely. Once they are dry, if there are areas that didn’t turn out dark enough or exactly how you’d like, go ahead and add some more color and splatters. And, of course, let dry.

The next step is personal preference. I like to spray my watercolor cards with a clear matte varnish to protect them in case they become wet or damp in the mail. Be sure you follow the instructions on your spray.

Once they are dry (again!), trim your cardstock bases and liners for your cards. Then, if you want a border around your artwork, trim your art a bit (to 4×5.25). Even though I knew I’d be trimming them when I started, I like to allow this option so I can trim off a funny area or help center the design if I didn’t stamp it quite right.  Then, fold your cards and stick the liners inside and your art on the front.

Final step? Mail them! These bright, cheery cards are perfect to shine, encourage someone, and do something good.

I did not want to stop painting these card fronts. Had I not run out of watercolor paper, I would have made many more. (Note to self, order more watercolor paper!) I cannot wait to send these in the mail, and I’d love to send out a couple to YOU as well. Find me on Instagram, and look for the post about this tutorial to see how to receive one in the mail. I can’t wait to see what you create with Nat’s stamps and watercolor.


Thank you Nicole! Love the brilliant colors here and super appealing color combinations. What a treat to see.

Give it a try: you can find all my Rubber Stamps in my Online Shop and here are some of the other supplies Nicole 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 (1)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Nicole, those are gorgeous cards! I especially like the crisp, clear stamp image that you got on the paper, and the cheery colors you chose.

    Reply

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Rise & Shine – Jennifer Gallagher

Hello from my wonderful Creative Squad! Today we have an art journal spread from Jennifer Gallagher to lift you up and inspire you. Jennifer is using my Triangle Love rubber stamps and 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!


Living in a pandemic, many people are experiencing difficult times. We are quarantined and separated from our neighbors, family, and friends. Now, more than ever, we need some positive vibes and things to take our minds off of it. The Creative Squad is looking ahead this month to a happier time. We shall rise and SHINE! With that in mind, I have created an art journal spread that makes me very happy and has a hidden message inside. One of my greatest artistic joys is a geometric shape or a repeating pattern. So I’ve combined my favorite things into this spread. Let’s get started.

I pulled out a mixed media journal in a field size. I pulled out my three inch triangular gel plate and brayered primary yellow onto it. I pressed the gel plate onto the field journal in a few places.

I added a few more gel press triangles in bright aqua green and cobalt teal hue.

I added more gel press triangles in Pyrrole Red and Phthalo Blue.

I added two last triangles in Quinacridone Magenta in spots where they would overlap several colors. Notice I left one small white triangular area.

In the open white triangular area, I stamped Nat’s solid large triangle from the Triangle Love set in black archival ink.

I added additional black solid large triangles throughout the page.

I additional additional black solid small triangles throughout the page.

With a black gelly roll pen, I went through and outlined all of the triangle shapes.

Next, with a white gelly roll pen, I went through and added some white outlines as well.

I cut a scrap piece of Dina Wakley Media cotton rag paper into the same size as my journal pages. Using Dina Wakley Media media tape, I attached the sheet to the right hand page by applying tape to both sides.

Next, I stamped in black archival ink with nat’s sunburst triangle from Triangle Love.

I cut a piece off of the cotton rag to mimic the triangular shape. Then, on the inside of the cotton rag paper, I stamped a few solid triangles and wrote a message in black ink.

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. If you try out one of our creative squad ideas, please share with us. Take care!


Thank you Jennifer for giving us some hope in these difficult times.

Give it a try: you can find all my Rubber Stamps in my Online Shop and here are some of the other supplies Jennifer 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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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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Walking Through Fire – Art Journal

“What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.” Hoping to see everyone on the other side when all this has passed.

I created some star shaped patterns using my new Triangle Love rubber stamp set, along with my Floral Tile Large and Small sets. I love finding new ways that all of these stamps work together. Pattern building is definitely a good zen activity.

I also used a pencil eraser for the pink dots here and there – the little details tie everything together.

Here are some of the supplies I used:


Also some workshop news: The year long course Wanderlust is back on sale again and my lesson is coming up on May 1st. You can still sign up for the class HERE – it has 27 teachers and 50 lessons to get you going on your artistic journey.


And join me tomorrow, Friday April 24th at 12noon EST for a Kaffeeklatsch chat on Facebook Live – I’ll be telling you about my newest online workshop and also hearing from you – what are you up to these days at home? Drop in and say hello!

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Controlling Thoughts – Art Journal

“You don’t have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.” Thinking about thinking today :)

I created this primary color background using my new Triangle Love stamp set and the Stained Glass Triangle and Solid Triangle Large and Small stamps from that set.

Sometimes there is something so refreshing about using just the basics.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

I hope you can join me for a Facebook Live chat tomorrow, April 10 at 12noon EST. I’ll be catching up with all of you and of course talking about some of my latest Artful Adventures… from home :) Join us!

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Chasing Glitter – Art Journal

“Don’t lose a diamond while chasing glitter” 

For my background I am using my new Triangle Love set – the Sunburst Triangle and the Solid Triangle Small – with a gray versafine ink pad and acrylic paints. 

I created a kind of all over wallpaper style background pattern.

And then added my quote with a Posca marker.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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