Creative Squad

Creative Squad: On Repeat – Riikka Kovasin

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a post and video from Riikka Kovasin who is sharing an art journal page with a clever way of toning things down while still letting them peek through. She is using my Triple Play foam stamps and our theme: On Repeat – Let’s play with patterns! Repeat a design motif or shape to create a pattern-inspired project of your choosing.


Fiery Love Triangle

Hi there! It’s Riikka here today sharing my take on the “On Repeat” theme. I chose a triangle as my shape and repeated it in my background as well as topic and focal points. 

I was leaning towards circle, but I have used the “Grove Street” set so much that I wanted to do something else instead. So, I took a look at my foam stamps and the other shape that was present was the triangle in the form of the “Triple Play” stamp set. It was a perfect choice as that gave me a bunch of different patterns to play with, too!

I admire the gorgeous geometrical patterns that Nathalie does to her journals. So, my original idea was to mimic one by using different colors and patterns and layer the stamps. I started a pattern, but it didn’t look pleasing to my eye. And it also didn’t look “me”. So, I started over. Instead of building the background by stamping on a piece of white cardstock, I started instead with some collaging. Even though the book pages I added to the sheet first can’t really be seen in the finished piece, I felt it was “my” way to go. Those old book page hues also played a role on the color palette of the page!

If you want to see how the page came into being, please see the video below. I have to apologize, though, because the video is a bit fuzzy in the beginning. It does get sharper, promise!

As you could see from the video, the bold pattern in the background freaked me out! I guess it’s partly the red color as well, as I seldom use that. But luckily there was a way to make it more subtle. It’s now like fire burning inside, hidden from the prying eyes – the strong reds and pinks underneath a beige surface.

While I could have chosen pyramids or juice boxes or even pizza slices as my topic with the triangle, the first thing that popped into my head was a love triangle. I blame Poirot for that! Or rather, Pamela Lyall as we had just watched (for the thousand time) “Triangle at Rhodes”. It’s an adaptation of the story by the same name, starring David Suchet, and is a part of the “Poirot” series. My husband and I grew up watching Poirot from TV, and nowadays we have the series in DVDs so we are watching them with our kids. In the episode in question Pamela Lyall states that human beings tend to reproduce certain stereotype patterns and draws a triangle in the sand. By the way, if you haven’t seen or read the story, I recommend it. It has a surprising twist, even when triangles are concerned.

Thank you for stopping by today! Wishing you a lovely day! Xoxo Riikka


Thank you Riikka! What a cool solution to work with a bright background – repeating the triangle with little cutout ledges to perch your figures on!

Give it a try: you can find all my Foam Stamps in my Online Shop and in addition to old book pages, here are some of the supplies Riikka used:

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

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Creative Squad: A Tale of Two Colors – Judi Kauffman

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a post from Judi Kauffman who is sharing a fun flip card using my Triple Play foam stamp set and our theme: A Tale of Two Colors – Think about two different colors, one you love using and one you find more of a challenge to work with. Use them together in a project and see what happens.


When I heard this month’s theme I knew right away that I’d be using brown as the more challenging color and teal as the favorite. Even though I love chocolate (brown) and trees (brown trunks) and my brown suede boots (UGGS) it’s just not a color I turn to in the studio. If it weren’t for the fact that brown is usually included in assortments I probably wouldn’t have more than one or two sheets.

The project: A flip card that began as brown on one side and teal on the other. As it happens, those two colors are fabulous together – something that is revealed right away with a flip card. And I soon decided that I’d use some of each on BOTH sides! To finish things off I added some collage, found poetry made with words and phrases cut from a damaged book.

Instructions:

Using double-sided adhesive sheet or a glue stick, adhere 2 sheets of cardstock back to back. Hand- or die-cut a flip card base.

Using the ink that is in the same color family as the cardstock, stamp both sides of the card base with triangle shapes from Nathalie’s Triple Play ArtFoamies set. Using a craft sponge, smudge on a bit of ink on each side. 

Stamp leftover strips of cardstock, mixing the colors and smudging with additional ink in both colors. Tip: Don’t wash the sponge for this step. Let the colors blend!

Cut the stamped leftover strips into pieces (rectangles and triangles) and adhere to both sides of the card base.

Complete the project by adding found poetry as shown, other kinds of collage elements, more stamping, or whatever you want!


Thank you Judi! We agree – the teal and brown work beautifully together, especially with the coordinating ink colors!

Give it a try: you can find all my Foam Stamps in my Online Shop and in addition to pages from an old book, here are some of the supplies Judi used:

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Mix Tape – Art Journal

I found this old photo of my view out of my old studio in Hamburg Germany and I was reminiscing about the different views I’ve had from my studio windows… often on the top floor, just like now again, but always different. All this while I was listening to a spotify play list …the modern version of a mix tape that a friend of mine just made for me with music he discovered during the pandemic and thought I would like. J. has always been my music guy since we both share a lot of the same taste, so I am excited! It also made me very happy and grateful for the wonderful friendship where someone takes the time needed and puts a tape together for you. Remember those olden times?

Anyway… LOL The background was stamped with Versafine ink with the wonderful Triple Play foam stamps Birgit Koopsen, Marsha Valk and I created for our workshop Beyond the Paper – check it out. I added some sun printed fabric which I show how to create in the workshop using the same stamp.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

Comments (1)

  • Sue Clarke

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    I love that sentiment…a friend really likes you when they make a mix tape/CD for you!
    Fun LO Nat.

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Together – Art Journal

“We were together. I forget the rest.” – Walt Whitman

The collage elements in this page tell quite the story. The green paper strip in the background is from a scrapbooking paper line I did for a French company back in the day …it was called Emoticon and I thought I should use it up as I still have some sheets.

The Fairview stamped paper is from a technique and online class that I produced with Birgit Koopsen and Marsha Valk called Time Traveler. We each chose a stylistic era to draw artistic inspiration from in the course. In addition to showing a bunch of gelli printing and other mixed media techniques, we also each bound all our pages together in the end using a different bookmaking method. You can check it out here, sign up, and enjoy the class at your own pace :)

I forgot where I got the sheer adhesive backed strip from that I used to attach everything – they are strips that I think someone gave to me a while ago… They are great for journaling and stamping on (I stamped one of my Fan-fare stamps on this page) to make your own washi tape. Maybe someone knows what they are and can tell us in the comments below!

I was using my Triple Play foam stamps with stazon ink on Grafix Duralar for this element. It was part of a technique that I showed in another class with Birgit and Marsha called Beyond the Paper. As you can probably guess, the class looks at a bunch of different substrate alternatives to paper and still gets me thinking. You can check it out here and again, it’s available anytime ;)

In my move I found a lot of odds and ends and am excited about finally using them – stamp and stencil samples, tests, misc products, and collage papers from my online classes.

Here are some of the supplies I used in this page:

Comments (1)

  • Sue Clarke

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    That paper line was awesome and quite different for its time. I have a piece or two kicking around.
    Nice words and design. Have a great day Nat!

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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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