Creative Squad

Creative Squad: Primary Colors – Judi Kauffman

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a clever post from Judi Kauffman using my Triple Play foam stamps, Broadway stencil, and a mini water tower model (including its envelope AND scrap pieces) and our theme: Primary Colors: Red, Blue, and Yellow it’s your time to shine. Let’s get back to the basics of color and light and play with primary colors. It’s elementary my friend! 


When I heard that this month’s theme is all about primary colors I knew I was going to want to head in a different direction. Instead of using all three, I’d focus on just one – RED, my favorite color, plus basic black and pure white.

Or perhaps it was because I was thinking of the old children’s riddle: What is black and white and red all over? A newspaper! (Red…Read…) Sorry! I couldn’t help myself.

I thought it would be fun to use not only the pieces from the Water Tower Model kit I received but the negative shapes AND the sturdy envelope in which they were packed. Double the fun.

***TIP: If you are going to decorate the envelope be sure to take a photo of the assembly instructions BEFORE starting to paint and stencil!

Randomly paint the model pieces, envelope, and negative shapes with white paint. It’s okay that some of the original board remains visible.

Randomly add red paint to the model pieces, envelope, and negative shapes.

Center the Broadway stencil on the roof piece and use black paint to stencil the pattern. Use black paint and your choice of triangle stamps from ArtFoamies Triple Play to randomly stamp all remaining pieces of the tower, the negative shapes, plus the envelope.

Assemble the tower per instructions. Add the negative shapes to the roof of the tower.

Option: Instead of securing the roof, don’t use the criss-cross piece of board that acts as a structure to hold it in place; just perch it on top so you can hide candies or jewelry inside the tower!


Thank you Judi – love the idea of using the packaging and leftovers too!!! And look at that great use of pattern and layering!

Give it a try: you can find all my favorite cardboard models, Foam Stamps, and Stencils in my Online Shop and here are some of the supplies Judi used:

For more from the Creative Squad check out Nat’s Creative Squad on Instagram too: Each week we post projects, ideas, and inspiration for mixed media art.

Comments (3)

  • Marilyn C. Lojek

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    Judi:
    Hard to believe you only used one of the primary colors! It’s really cool and a great way to give a gift to that someone special. Thanks for sharing your creativity and how to use every piece provided.
    Marilyn

    Reply

  • jean marmo

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    Wow – this is so cool! Love the details and using the extra pieces!!

    Reply

    • jean marmo

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      Judi – I was going to email you but couldn’t find your email address. Do you still have mine? Was hoping to catch up!

      Reply

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Good Energy – Art Journal

Give this world Good Energy!  It can always use more :)

The pattern is some papers that I made from stamping off my Triple Play foam stamps with different acrylic paints on a StampBuddy. Watch a little StampBuddy video here on how that works. I used those as collage elements for the background. Then I added a catalog imagine, painted over with Liquitex Markers for a focal point.

I used a Fude pen for my journaling.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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Creative Squad: Another Door Opens – Jordan Hill

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have an art journal page with a bonus mini page from Jordan Hill. She is using my Triple Play stamps and our theme: Another Door Opens – There is this saying, “when one door closes, another door opens” that basically is an optimistic way of looking at change in your life. Create an art journal page with this in mind, however you’d like to express it, however the idea inspires you to create!


Hello everyone! I’m super excited to be back with my project for April 2021; I had a lot of fun with this month’s products and theme, so I hope you all enjoy following the process as much as I enjoyed creating this page!

I decided to begin this month’s page with a piece of collage. When I create journal pages, I tend to end up with a lot of excess paint, either on my palette or my paintbrushes. In order to make sure none of this excess paint goes to waste, I use scraps of paper to clean it up.

In addition, I had been playing around with one of the stamps from the Triple Play Foam Stamp Set on another page in my journal. The excess from that page had ended up on this scrap of paper, so it seemed like the perfect start point! I tore off a chunk and glued it down. I also glued a coin envelope to the upper right hand corner of the page, as I felt that the idea of a pocket was in line with this month’s theme of “Another Door Opens”.

Next up, I used a second stamp from the Triple Play Foam Stamp Set along with some slightly watered down black acrylic paint to almost completely cover the lower right hand corner of my page. I made sure to overlap my background stamping with the collage piece in order to incorporate it into the page. I also used this same stamp in the upper left corner.

Since there was already some pink on my collage piece, I decided to push that a bit further and used a pink oil pastel to do a bit of mark-making in a few different places on my page.

I then incorporated a few more pieces of collage. A while back, I drew a bunch of windows with the intention of using them as collage material for my journals. I felt as though this tied into the April theme, so I glued one in. I also glued down a tiny found word clipping in the lower left hand corner of the page.

It was then time to start working on the focal point! As usual, I knew I wanted to incorporate a face, so I started things out by using some acrylic paint to block in the basic shapes. Then, using an indigo colored pencil, I started to sketch in the facial features.

When it comes to shading faces in my journals, I don’t always add shadows. Often it depends on the size of the face that I’m drawing. Because this particular face was on the larger side (and seemed a bit flat), I decided I did want to add shadows. I used a slightly darker color of paint than the base skin tone and started blocking in my shadows.

I don’t usually overthink it when it comes to adding shadows to my faces, but a good tip for knowing where to put them is to have an imaginary light source. For this particular face, my ‘light source’ was in the upper left, so I added shading to the right side of the face.

Next it was time to add the hair. Since the majority of the color that already existed in this page was pink, I decided to go with that as the hair color! I sketched out the basic shape of the hair with my colored pencil, before using acrylic paint to add the color.

I also used this same pink in the lips, cheeks and shoulders to warm up the skin tone and tie the face together with the hair.

It was then time for the finishing touches! I added a shirt, used some watered down black acrylic paint to flick some splatters across the page, and found a fortune from a fortune cookie laying on my desk that was perfectly in line with the theme!

As one last little bonus element for this page, I also slipped a card inside of the coin envelope I glued down in step one, and created a little mini page on top of it. To me, the idea of this hidden page is yet another nod to the theme of “Another Door Opens”.

I hope you enjoyed following this process and possibly try some of the ideas for yourself!


Thank you Jordan, I just love the intriguing backgound you created with the stamps and collage!

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

For more projects and ideas, check out Nat’s Creative Squad on Instagram too: Each week we post projects, ideas, and inspiration for mixed media art.

Comments (1)

  • Diane Tignor

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    Love the message of this art journal page. Striking w the imagery.

    Reply

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April ArtFoamies Challenge – Day 19, 20 & 21

Are you playing along with Nat and Sarah’s April ArtFoamies Challenge ? You can follow along on my Instagram feed daily with videos and photos, and I post updates here on the blog too from time to time throughout the month. Today I’m recapping 19, 20, and 21. Enjoy!

Day 19 – Circle – These Mini Motifs foam stamps are inspired by carvings in our fireplaces. Every one of the four mantles has different carvings. That Dude went all out with the chiseling. He must have known that 140 years later a weird lady from Germany would become obsessed with the patterns on the fireplaces …and there we come full circle.

Here is a look at April 19:

 

April 20 – Stellar – Started out with the Beacon Stamp from the Mini Tile Set as it makes excellent start patterns but then I thought it really needed more and added the Santiago stamp as an accent on top. Stellar decision if I dare to say so …patting myself on the back – LOL

Here is another look:

 

April 21 – Hip Hop – Mixing the very graphic Space Oddity hexagon stamp up with one of the triangle stamps from our Triple Play stamp set created by Marsha Valk, Birgit Koopsen and me. The design for this Triple Play triangle is actually by Marsha and I love how those two go together. Nice fusion.

And another look at April 21 Hip Hop-

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

Here are some of the supplies I used:

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Now I have some inspiration for making patterns with my art foamies.
    Love that ledger paper.

    Reply

  • Janet

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    Oh…swoon! I love the mini motifs on that gorgeous old ledger! I have my great-grandfather’s old ledger and have been wondering what to do with it. Now I know! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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Creative Squad: Another Door Opens – Robin Seiz

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a beautiful little journal from Robin Seiz, sharing with us her experiences over the past year, and using my Triple Play stamp set and our theme: Another Door Opens – There is this saying, “when one door closes, another door opens” that basically is an optimistic way of looking at change in your life. Create an art journal page with this in mind, however you’d like to express it, however the idea inspires you to create!


This month’s theme was about emerging. When one door closes, another one opens. I am a strong believer in this saying.

I haven’t journaled or written much about the pandemic, yet I feel like I have “processed it” in the daily moments as the days and months have unfolded. It’s been a year of ups and downs for me. It felt really scary in March, 2020; it was a dark time. I really missed seeing family and friends, especially my children and grandchildren. As the months went on, I got into a rhythm; a pandemic pace, if you will. I spent enormous amounts of time in my studio creating. One day rolled into another; I wasn’t sure how a week had flown by. We developed our pandemic pod and learned how to see a very few friends in a socially distanced way.

By June, I was feeling better. We had learned how to get what we needed, we had our systems down, we were zooming with friends and family with the warmer weather, we could get outside.

By the fall when we were moving indoors, it felt disheartening. I really couldn’t fathom the thought that our long standing Christmas traditions had to be put on hold. We managed to quarantine and test and could at least have my children and grandchildren in for a gathering. We did everything we could to mitigate the risks. My partner and I made our own new traditions, which we have decided we will keep. A silver lining!

By January, I was feeling like this pandemic would never end. I was still enjoying the studio and vowed to get out everyday for a walk, even in the cold. And then the spring came, vaccines were on the horizon and it seemed like there was a glimmer of hope.

If I think about the doors closing — for me that included an over-scheduled life; all wonderful things, but just too many of them. I have come to really appreciate the “pandemic pace” and it’s opened the doors for a different way to think about family gatherings, what I add to my plate, and how I spend my time post-pandemic in a way that brings me joy everyday.

I used Nathalie’s new Triple Play Foam Stamp to illustrate what I just verbalized.

I started with an 8 x 5 Strathmore watercolor journal. I spritz it with water and lightly added some Quor watercolors to the pages, just so I wouldn’t have a blank page. I used grays and blues. Then I splattered black paint on the left page to represent this dark time. Next, I put black water color on all but one side of the hexagon. I wanted the one side open so the triangles could emerge from the opening.

On the left page, I stamped the same triangle in black signifying those first few dark months. and how I felt. Then I used more grays and a different triangle to show how I settled into a routine of sorts. By Christmas, the triangles are emerging, but it’s a little scary.

On the right side, the page becomes more hopeful, but as January arrives, it’s sad again and it seems like it will be a long winter. As the months go on and spring arrives, the news of vaccines is better, my colors are more hopeful. The last stamp, the sun, ends with the day I received my first vaccine. We can do so much with color to select feelings. It can tell a story on its’ own. I was also selective about which triangles I used to tell my story. The tulips and other spring looking triangles were used at the end. And finally, the sun, always a symbol of a new beginning to me. 

The message for me in all of this is to hold on to the things that have given me joy during the pandemic, to cherish every moment of being with those we love, and to honor this time as a a moment when the world slowed down. 


Thank you Robin for sharing such a thoughtful page – there are so many familiar emotions and ideas here that I know will ring true for almost all of us. What a beautiful representation of them!

Give it a try: you can find all my Foam Stamps in my Online Shop and here are some of the supplies Robin 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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April ArtFoamies Challenge – Day 18

Are you playing along with Nat and Sarah’s April ArtFoamies Challenge ? You can follow along on my Instagram feed daily with videos and photos, and I post updates here on the blog too from time to time throughout the month. Today I’m recapping Day 18!

Day 18 – Pattern – Playing with my stamps and making up new patterns is one of my favorite things to do as a breather moment. I rarely plan it out – which is probably a huge difference to anyone who is a pattern maker but I just love the random grabbing of two or more stamps and giving it a go. And well, I really like this pattern with my Manhattan and one of the Triple Play stamps… I take it ;)

Here is a look at April 18:

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

Everyone approaches Challenges differently. This ArtFoamies Challenge that Sarah Matthews and I came up with has had me thinking about how I want to approach it. In the past my Foam Stamplifier Challenge #foamstamplifierchallenge I used all kinds of different media, so I didn’t want to repeat myself. I also thought about how Sarah usually uses ArtFoamies with ink pads, while I use acrylic paints and the first parameter became clear: I will only use ink pads for the challenge. The other challenge is that I purchased an old ledger journal and I want to turn it into a pattern book. I usually make my own pattern books by binding loose printed papers into a book. This method has the advantage that if a print doesn’t turn out too great it can be discarded. By printing directly into this 125 year old ledger I have no out. So using my foam stamp designs to create patterns into a ledger book with ink pads is my challenge for this month.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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April ArtFoamies Challenge – Day 13 & 14

We’re on Day 13 and Day 14 of Nat and Sarah’s April ArtFoamies Challenge today! You can follow along on my Instagram feed daily with videos and photos, and I will post updates here on the blog too from time to time throughout the month. 

Day 13 – Fun – I decided to go to town, well literally LOL, using my Midtown and Midtown Mini foam stamp sets and just layering those babies up. I miss going to the city – it is only a 15 min subway ride for me to Manhattan – and after over a year of not really going there I could use some fun in the city. Soon – I am hopeful – and meanwhile… I am having fun in my ledger.

 

Here is a look at Day 13:

 

And the April 14 – Wow – As in “wow” lady you cannot stamp straight LOL- but oh well – that is what you get when you do not want to stick your grey hair under the camera …On another note it really wows me how repetition in color and stamps works …all the time – I like this pattern and on the ledger a lot. I used my Triple Play set and Santa Fe foam stamps.

 

Here is a look at Day 14:

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

Everyone approaches Challenges differently. This ArtFoamies Challenge that Sarah Matthews and I came up with has had me thinking about how I want to approach it. In the past my Foam Stamplifier Challenge #foamstamplifierchallenge I used all kinds of different media, so I didn’t want to repeat myself. I also thought about how Sarah usually uses ArtFoamies with ink pads, while I use acrylic paints and the first parameter became clear: I will only use ink pads for the challenge. The other challenge is that I purchased an old ledger journal and I want to turn it into a pattern book. I usually make my own pattern books by binding loose printed papers into a book. This method has the advantage that if a print doesn’t turn out too great it can be discarded. By printing directly into this 125 year old ledger I have no out. So using my foam stamp designs to create patterns into a ledger book with ink pads is my challenge for this month.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

Play along with us and our daily prompts:

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Creative Squad: Another Door Opens – Riikka Kovasin

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have the debut of new Squad member Riikka Kovasin – a video showing how she creates some super cool whimsical characters created using my new Triple Play foam stamps and our theme: Another Door Opens – There is this saying, “when one door closes, another door opens” that basically is an optimistic way of looking at change in your life. Create an art journal page with this in mind, however you’d like to express it, however the idea inspires you to create!


Hi there! It’s Riikka here today with my very first Creative Squad post! The theme of the month was “Another Door Opens” and I was feeling outwordly as my first idea was to turn the patterns of the great “Triple Play” foam stamp set into whimsical characters.

I interpret the theme like children’s peek-a-book – what might be behind the door? At first, I was thinking of doing the cards or an art journal page as a peek-a-book, first showing just the door and then you could open it to reveal the character. In the end I then chose to add the character on top of the door so that it had already come through it. I saw the heart-styled shape as a face immediately but when I used a peachy tone to stamp it, I realized it was ET! So, even if I had been thinking about whimsical character all along, now I would have a more precise theme. I paired the characters with greetings (hopefully) fitting to the stargazing theme.

As you see from the video a bit further below, I started by making patterned papers using acrylic paints and a gelatin printing plate. I made two sheets using similar color scheme and then one with a contrasting one. The first two I then cut to make the door (actual door and panels on it) and the third one became the robes of the character. The contrast between the two elements ensures that the character just pops out of the background.

Like I said earlier, I also used the patterns of the “Triple Play” foam stamp set to make the face and a headdress of sorts for the characters. I hope this inspires you to see the stamps from another angel. You don’t always have to use the whole stamped piece or build a bigger pattern. Collaging different little elements might just be the thing the doctor ordered!

Now, if you want to see how I made the cards, please see the video below. It shows me making the ET one, but I made the other one with similar steps. The only thing that differs is the stamps I used and I changed the color scheme a little, too. But the steps are the same!

Thank you for stopping by today! I hope you were inspired by the characters to see the stamps in another way! 


Thank you Riikka – these are such intriguing characters and I just love how you used all those Triple Play patterns in there!

Give it a try: you can find all my Foam Stamps in my Online Shop and here are some of the supplies Riikka 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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Creative Squad: Another Door Opens – Maura Hibbitts

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have an art journal page from Maura Hibbitts that presents a really cool way to look at life’s challenges and changing circumstances. She’s using my new Triple Play foam stamp set and this month’s theme: Another Door Opens – There is this saying, “when one door closes, another door opens” that basically is an optimistic way of looking at change in your life. Create an art journal page with this in mind, however you’d like to express it, however the idea inspires you to create!


I have always been a firm believer in the adage “When one door closes, another door opens.” Maybe it is a part of my optimism, and maybe I have been lucky in this life, but even in the times I have struggled the most, whether physically, emotionally, or financially, new opportunities arose that led me forward. During my teaching career, I worked at opening doors for my students, so they could follow the path they chose. It has always been a joy to hear how they are doing, and which doors they have opened. Keep yourself open to the possibility of doors!

I started in my large art journal, layering paints. I started with my darkest green and blue, Prussian Blue Hue and Phthalo Green Yellow, and scraped the paint across in broad swathes with a silicon brush. I painted only on the right page, then closed the pages to spread to the other side. I repeated this step with Green Gold and Primary Cyan, then another layer with Turquoise Hue and Quinacridone Magenta. Final layer was more Magenta along with Titanium White and Gold.

After I heat set the painted layers, it was time to stamp with the oh, so awesome, Triple Play Art Foamies stamp set. I like to use my gel plate and a brayer when I am using foam stamps, it acts like a giant ink pad, and gives a nice layer of paint on the stamps. On the right side, I repeated the stamped pattern several times.

On the left side, I stamped the hexagon and the triangles on the outside this time. I first did it in black paint, but it didn’t show up well, so I went over it with white paint. Again, I added paint to the gel plate and smoothed it out with the brayer, then stamped into it, to transfer a nice image to the paper.

To create more of a focal point on the left side, I added some water to the white paint left on the gel plate, mixed it to create a whitewash, and brushed it around the design. Now it stands out more.

I also whitewashed around the design on the right, dried it completely, then added doodles and details with Posca paint pens. I also doodled a door, and added the words around the image on the right – “When one door closes, another door opens.” I also smudged Prussian Blue with fingers and a baby wipe around the edges of both pages to tie them together. I thought I was done.

I slept on it, and decided to make a different door for the left page, so I pulled out some leftover paper from last month’s project, and stamped the entire Triple Play with Moonlight Duo ink. I cut it out, cut it in half, drew on a door handle, and inked the edges with black ink. My original idea was to have the door open, but with the hexagon shape and the orientation I had, I decided against it and adhered it with adhesive tape.

All of those background colors pop through the designs, even in the whitewashed areas. I think sometimes toning down areas makes the rest of the page pop.

I realized at the end what I had been working toward on my pages…pulling out memories of beautiful and colorful doors I had seen in India. I remember ones with colorful columns of tiles, like the right page, and others with intricate mosaic-like designs, like the left page. Isn’t it interesting when you are creating that your muse knows where to take you, even when your brain does not? This year, I also feel that we think very differently about doors opening…waiting for the reopening of our special places once again. Be safe, stay healthy and open the doors!

– Maura


Thank you Maura – loved learning your process and how you came back to the page to add that amazing door. Beautiful spread and beautiful ideas to keep in mind :)

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