Kalidescope Stencils & Journaling Confessions

CompasJournalDetailI have a confession to make—until recently, I was afraid of stencils. Not that I had nightmares where they came to life and attacked me, or that I was trapped in a stencil box and couldn’t squeeze myself through the openings. I just didn’t know how to use them without making a mess. My paint would leak under the stencil and I ended up with a blobby mess. Sometimes it would come out light or uneven. And didn’t realize I could use a section…I didn’t have to use the entire stencil.

After taking a class last summer at the Ink Pad in New York City with Kelly Kilmer–where I not only made my own journal, but learned new journaling and stenciling techniques–I am fearless. I still make a mess sometimes (okay, often because I have what they call a “loose hand” and I tend to be a little impatient), but am having a blast playing with stencils.

When I got the new shipment of four Kalidescope AC stencils by Cecilia Swatton, I tried them out in my journal before I undertook any big projects. My process (as taught by Kelly)  is:
1-collect 5-6 assorted papers as a journal base; tear or cut them to the desired size; glue down using matte medium. Select a central figure or item and glue that down.
2-Add a stencil or stamp.
3-Add handwritten or stamped text

Sometimes I just want to stop after I make the collage base, but I make myself push through to the second and third step. My inner critic is afraid to mess it up, but I almost always have interesting results when I get over my fears and push on to the stencil and writing steps.

Here are my three experiements…on the left is the journal page just with the papers glued down with matte medium. On the right, the finished page.

For the first journal page, I used part of a Chinese newspaper, a restaurant ad, and part of one of Kelly’s photoshop® designs that had a giant flower and handwriting. I added a fashion figure, and then sunflower, one of the kalidescope stencils, at the top and middle. I traced the outline of the stencil with a fine black marker, then used a white signo pen and a white sharpie oil marker over the dark areas and light gray marker over the light areas. I stamped on inspirational words from Dina Wakely using a black ink pad.

CompasRose before and after For the second journal page, I added a different fashion figure and then used the black orchid stencil with the white pen and a yellow marker on top. I added decorative white and yellow dots. It reminded me of a 1960s flower child–especially because of the flower on her cheek, so I added the word LOVE in the corner.

Christine before and after copy

For the third journal page, I used a photo of some garden sculptures and a yet another fashion figure from a fall magazine. It reminded me of a young me…well, minus a few pounds and with quite a few extra inches of height! I added a royalty free butterfly from the Graphics Fairy that was in grayscale. It needed some oomph, so I added color with markers and watercolor and again used the white signo pen on sections of the sunflower and black orchid stencils. It looked kind of surreal, so I wrote the word DREAM around the page using the white pen, yellow marker and black marker.

Linilou before and after copyIn the weeks to come, please check my Artistcellar blogposts on Fridays to see what else I have made using Cecilia Swatton’s Kalidescope stencils and other AC products! And if you have a few extra minutes, please visit my blog…and don’t be shy, feel free to leave a comment, I love to hear from other artists. I recently added some pages to my blog, with tutorials, published work, and other interesting tidbits.

A Kaleidoscope of Color

Artistcellar has done it again!  They have released an inspiring new set of 4 stencils designed by Cecilia Swatton called the Kaleidoscope Series.  I couldn’t wait to start creating with these!  The four stencils are Trillium, Lily, Black Orchid and Sunflower.  I have a love and fascination with Sunflowers so that’s the one I selected for my art journal page.

ArtistCellar Kaleidoscope Stencils, Sunflower created by www.carmenwhitehead.blogspot.com

 If you remember looking through a Kaleidoscope as a kid, you’ll love these stencils.

ArtistCellar Kaleidoscope Stencils, Sunflower created by www.carmenwhitehead.blogspot.com

I started by layering a journal page with vintage dictionary pages using DecoArt’s DecouPage medium, once dry I spread on some Tim Holtz Distress Stain in Peeled Paint I then cut out a flower pot from a mono print I had previously created on my Gelli Plate, then added some more layers with other Artistcellar stencils; Infra and Quasi from the Quasi Crystals set, Star Coral from the Coral Series and cursive alphabet from Crafter’s Workshop.

ArtistCellar Kaleidoscope Stencils, Sunflower created by www.carmenwhitehead.blogspot.com

 I used the Sunflower stencil to create my flower using shades of yellow and orange to show depth and texture, just like in nature.  When I removed the stencil, I added some more color to the edges to eliminate the square shape of the stencil.  I added some more details to the center of the flower with the infra stencil in shades of brown and painted leaves around the edge of the flower.

ArtistCellar Kaleidoscope Stencils, Sunflower created by www.carmenwhitehead.blogspot.com

This was a perfect time to also try these new products from Imagine Crafts.  I placed the stencil back on the flower and sprayed the Fireworks shimmery spray in Dandelion.  That gave the petals a really nice glow and shimmer.  I then framed the flower pot with their Irresistible Pico Embellisher.  These are very precise and great for free hand writing or framing.

ArtistCellar Kaleidoscope Stencils, Sunflower created by www.carmenwhitehead.blogspot.com

Can you see the shimmer in the petals?   I finished off the details with my Fude Ball pen to outline the petals and leaves.  I added one more stencil, Mini Tile Texture with white modeling paste.

ArtistCellar Kaleidoscope Stencils, Sunflower created by www.carmenwhitehead.blogspot.com

I used some black modeling paste with the Cursive stencil.

ArtistCellar Kaleidoscope Stencils, Sunflower created by www.carmenwhitehead.blogspot.com

ArtistCellar Kaleidoscope Stencils, Sunflower created by www.carmenwhitehead.blogspot.com

I’m loving how it turned out!  Can’t wait to try the other stencils in the set.

Artistcellar is having a wonderful blog hop right now where you can win a set of these wonderful stencils.  It’s not too late for you to visit these blogs, get inspired to create and have a chance to win.

October 25th – Lisa Cousineau, Artistcellar www.artistcellar.com/wp

October 26th – Effy Wild – http://effywild.com/

October 27th – Lisa Chin – http://somethingcleveraboutnothing.blogspot.com/

October 28th – Cheryl Sleboda – http://www.blog.muppin.com

October 29th – Paula Phillips – http://www.journalartista.com/

October 30th – Cindy Powell – http://cynthiapowell.blogspot.com/

October 31st – Cecilia Swatton – http://ceciliaswatton.blogspot.com

Have fun and good luck!


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Zen Tricks


Halloween is just around the corner and I wanted to make something cute to mail off using the new Kaleidoscope Series  and some souffle pens.


Pick a stencil and lay it flat on your Kraft paper card and use a sponge to apply the acrylic paint. The pens work best on non porous surfaces. Fill inside the acrylic shapes when dry with pens. This will keep then ink from being soaked up by the paper. You have to apply the pens slowly, this can be a zen experience and you relax into the mandala shape of the stencils.



When the ink is dry the 3D effect is formed. Stamp, color and cut your images and place them on the front.

Happy Creating




A Dream Catcher using a new Kaleidoscope Stencil

The new Kaleidoscope Series by Cecelia Swatton is wonderful!  I am sure I’ll be using all of the stencils often in my work.  Today I chose to use just one, Sunflower, on my canvas called Dream Catcher.  My Grandmother was a member of the Wyandotte Native American tribe so I find the Indian culture fascinating.  It seems that many of the tribes have their own version of a dream catcher.  This is just my own imaginary version.  The definition in the dictionary explains the purpose of the dream catcher was to prevent the bad dreams from making their way to the dreamer, just the good dreams would filter down the threads into dreamland.

ArtistcellarDreamCatcher 019

To start I applied white gesso to a piece of water color paper measuring 11″ by 14″.  When the gesso was dry I drew a circle with my Stabilo Aquarellable All pencil.  I outlined the stencil with that same pencil in the center and then sprayed it with water and allowed it to run down the page.

ArtistcellarDreamCatcher 011


Now I stamped my words with Dyan Reaveley’s letter stamps and StazOn Jet Black ink.

ArtistcellarDreamCatcher 012

I felt my base was ready and I could start adding color and details.  I began with some Turquoise acrylic paint, when that was dry I used the stencil again with white gesso.  I started doing some Zentangle patterns to create the details of the hoop and the threads hanging down.  The tiny feathers are stamped onto the threads.

ArtistcellarDreamCatcher 001

Orange Zest StazOn ink provided the perfect contrasting color to the Turquoise paint.  I used the stencil again in the center of the hoop and all over the panel lightly.

ArtistcellarDreamCatcher 002

ArtistcellarDreamCatcher 003

Adding more detail I decided to stamp an IndigoBlu crackle pattern all over the canvas with StazOn permanent ink in the Cloudy Sky color and I inked the edges to distress them with Memento Pistachio and StazOn Claret colored inks.  It looks almost like old leather IRL.

ArtistcellarDreamCatcher 005

I wrote the dictionary definition across the top of the canvas with a Fude Ball pen, it can write over just about anything!  I stamped the two spiders that are generally found on a dream catcher with Jet Black StazOn ink onto the hoop center.  Because these are traditionally hung over the bed I created the hanging threads at the top out of a simple Zentangle pattern using the same Fude Ball pen.  I glued a metal cog in the center and filled it with clear irRESISTibles and painted the same product onto the feathers to seal in the color and make them shiny.  To finish the piece I die cut some feathers out of a lighter weight paper, colored them with the same Orange Zest ink and used pop dots to glue them to the hoop.

ArtistcellarDreamCatcher 019

Thanks so much for joining me today.  As I mentioned,  I love these stencils so you can expect to see them in a lot of my upcoming work.  See you next Tuesday for some more ways to used your AC Stencils.  Hugs ~ Renee xx


Cawabunga… It’s Art from the 60s!!!


Far Out!!!!  That was my first response when I saw these Awesome new stencils from Artistcellar, called “Kaleidoscope“!  After humming a few Beatles songs like,

 “Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly,

the girl with Kaleidoscope eyes….” ,

I realized… I had to do some sort of psychedelic  throwback to the 60’s.

I really wanted to do a tie dye T-shirt, But we did that back in the day… So I found these really cool wooden blocks at my local craft store, grabbed my pan pastels and and “Colored my World”…

Stencils are my favorite art tool.  You will never run out of idea and uses for these guys.  So here’s a list of my supplies.

Artistcellar Supplies:  Stencils:  Kaleidoscope Series,  Creative Words 4 stencil series

Additional Supplies:  Wooden Blocks, Black Stays On Ink Pad, Watermark Resist Ink Pad, Pan Pastels in several colors, spray fixative, White Gesso

Pan Pastel Resist

Pan Pastel Resist

Step 1  Cover your substrate with white gesso and let dry.

Step 2  Place your stencil in position  Hold it in place with one hand and use the other hand to apply the Watermark Resist Ink.  Make sure all the areas that are exposed in the stencil are well coated with the resist ink.


Choose the colors of pan pastels you want to use and with a sponge, apply the color in a circular or back & forth movement.  You will begin to see the stencil pattern begin to show up and before long…. you’ll be singing a Beatles song too.  The blendable Pan Pastels used with the Kaleidoscope series stencils creates some incredible designs.  Each Stencil is quite different & while I love them all…. I certainly do have my favorite one.


Step 3:  Be very careful when you handle your art piece as Pastels will rub off and or smear very easily.  Take a newspaper in a well ventilated area and coat each side of your substrate and wait for it to dry.  Once they are all dry, you can add more pastels and create new layers, being sure to seal each layer of applied pastels with  a spray fixative.  Let dry.  Lastly, take a stays-on ink pad and line the Block or Substrate with a black edge.  Black lining really draws attention to colors in your piece.  I used the Word series stencils from artistcellar and stenciled them on the blocks with acrylic paints.  These will look great on my fireplace mantel.


Can’t wait to try these new stencils on more surfaces.  Hope you enjoyed the resist blocks I made.  These will sit on my fireplace mantel.  I’ll never get tired of them because each side of the blocks have different colors and different positioning of the stencils to achieve and entirely unique design of it’s own.  Thanks everyone.  Have a great time this week.  See ya next Monday morning!  ;))




Using different areas of the stencil with different color combinations will give you huge amounts of unique designs.  These simple blocks are so pretty and fun to look at.  Have a great week!!!  Donna  ;D




Who doesn’t love a Kaleidoscope? I still have one that my dad made me years ago, lovingly carved out of wood. It’s on my bookshelf where I see it daily and am reminded how fragile life is, like the Kaleidoscope, one small turn and all the colors and patterns shift, never the same again. When Cecilia Swatton wanted to design a series of Kaleidoscope stencils for us, we jumped at the idea. How fun is this going to be?

Welcome to Kaleidoscope! I had a lot of fun with these stencils, I played with so many mediums and techniques, it was hard to decide which ones to show you. (Oh, and I have so many more planned!)

I knew, in addition to my go-to techniques with gelli printing and spraying and art journaling, I wanted to do something with fabric. I’ve seen some cool fabric-marking techniques lately and I wanted to try something… in my head it was awesome. A colorful shimmery burst of fireworks on a black fabric background. Hmm. Could it possible work? I ripped down a black fabric square to about 15″ x 15″ and got out my Shiva Paintsticks, stencils, and stencil brushes.



I started to randomly stencil, starting out with more subdued colors, starting in the center of the stencil, and gradually feathering out toward the edge (so I didn’t get that square stencil edge in there.)


I just continued with the different designs, filling in the spaces as needed. After a LOT of muscle work swirling those stencil brushes, I got this:


I have to say… I wasn’t sure my idea would work or what I actually got would match what was in my head, but my muse was kind to me and I LOVE the result! It’s shimmery, subtle and bold at the same time. Now I just have to let it “cure” for a few days before I heat set it and decide what to do with it! (That’s the hard part for me… any suggestions? To me, it’s a piece of art in it’s own right.) Here are some close-ups of the details:

fabric5 fabric6 fabric9

Project No. 2 involved a class with Jodi Ohl called Grunge Ink. One of the techniques involved a subtractive process, you roll down layers of ink, place the stencil over and wipe ink away. I LOVE how this turned out, very subtle and texturey, buried between layers of ink.




I have a million prints I made with the gelli plate, the best ones were used for our ads and banners. I also have journal pages, doodles, sprays… the good, the bad, the ugly. But I’ll save those for another time :-)  Now the good part… join us this coming week for a blog hop with some awesome artists! Everyone will be featuring Kaleidoscope and every stop will be giving away a FREE set of stencils to a lucky winner. Read each blog for the details, for this one, just leave a comment – you can tell me what they remind you of, how you would use them, what is your favorite technique you would use with them. I will close comments Nov. 1st here. Each stop will be announced on our FB page the next 7 days.

October 25th – Lisa Cousineau, Artistcellar www.artistcellar.com/wp  <Kickoff!
October 26th – Effy Wild – http://effywild.com/
October 28th – Cheryl Sleboda – http://www.blog.muppin.com
October 29th – Paula Phillips – http://www.journalartista.com/
October 30th – Cindy Powell – http://cynthiapowell.blogspot.com/
October 31st – Cecilia Swatton – http://ceciliaswatton.blogspot.com
I hope you enjoy the ride! Have fun and good luck!


NEW! Kaleidoscope Signature Series!

An artist’s signature is as unique as their work. That’s why at Artistcellar we are always so thrilled to offer stencils from new signature artists, our newest being Cecilia Swatton.

Cecilia Swatton is a digital and three-dimensional mixed-media artist. Cecilia’s work ranges from large wall hangings to small tabletop decorations. Her work has been published in Cloth Paper Scissors, Expression, Scrap ‘n Stamp, Altered Arts, Somerset Studio Galleria, The Spring Hill Review, Stampers Sampler and Inspirations.


That’s why we are so excited about Cecilia’s first Signature Series set: Kaleidoscope! Remember looking through your first kaleidoscope? Bring the same childhood wonder of color and geometric texture to your artwork with these kaleidoscope inspired designs.

Cecilia describes her series designs this way:

Kaleidoscopic images have fascinated me since early childhood. Now as a stencil designer, I find this imagery intrigues me as much as ever. Circles are a favorite design of mine, so in creating Trillium, I had the best of both worlds.


Orchids have always delighted me, and I have the photo collection to prove it. I really enjoy creating stylized, abstract images. The marriage of these two loves created Orchid.


Sunflower is the state flower of Kansas, where I was born. My stencil Sunflower ties my roots with my current passion for working with kaleidoscope imagery on my PC.


Lilies symbolize new life and so, to me, they express a theme of hope. My stencil Lily also reminds some artists of snowflakes, and I’m fine with that idea too. When snow covers the world outside my window, everything framed there is cloaked in beauty and mystery.


Precision laser cut from tough 10mil polyester material and proudly made in the USA, these stencils are designed to not just inspire with their beauty, but also include a resilience that is rivaled only by the desire to create.


For more information about Artistcellar stencils visit www.artistcellar.com. Art is not optional. You have to create. We understand.

And lastly, come join us for a blog hop to celebrate the release of Kaleidoscope! It starts here tomorrow and follows with a weeks worth of talented artists showcasing this newest release! Stay tuned…

Return of the Pink Pup


I was stressed and tired the other night after work, so I thought painting in my journal might be just what I needed to do to relax and unwind. There’s nothing quite like randomly applying pretty paint colors to clear the mind.


I started by making scribbly marks in pinks and harmonious colors with Derwent blocks on a blank white page. I added water with a Koi brush and smushed it all around, and added more color here and there until the page was filled and it said “pretty” to me.

A few days later, I got a bunch of new stencils, so I decided to test them by applying molding paste through them onto the painted pink journal page. First, I used the harlequin stencil on the bottom two-thirds. When that was dry, I applied more molding paste through a Jill Berry compass rose stencil on the top of the page.


The look was soft and pretty, and I could have quit there, but the page seemed to want to be a background for something—a photo, some poetry, or maybe inspirational words. After auditioning a few items, I settled on a printout from a Photoshop® ATC collage I made a few seasons ago, and using matte medium, adhered it to the page.


The mischievous Coco Wyatt, with a dashing bowler hat, is at a table sipping tea. His face is pink not from the tea, but because of some artwork he “helped” with back in 2008 when he was just a young lad. If you follow my blog, you may know the story. If not, here is a link to why Coco is all pink!


Stenciled Frame

Hello friends! Welcome to Thursday and it’s time for me to share some creativity with you. I’m sharing with you today a frame I made for my daughter.  This was so much fun to do and she really loved it too.

Stenciled frame, ArtistCellar, Carmen Whitehead Designs

I used a dollar frame from Michael’s and started with painting the back in a vibrant Periwinkle color.

Stenciled frame, ArtistCellar, Carmen Whitehead Designs

I had planned a whimsical look and painted a sky and grass scene.

stencil frame, ArtistCellar, Carmen Whitehead Designs

I started with a set of stencils that I love from ArtistCellar and Tamara LaPorte, called Tam’s Whimsy Series.  It has 4 lovely stencils, flower garden, whimsy town, hearts and stars, and butterfly wings.  Here I’m adding some whimsy houses to each side of the frame. I like using this small stipple brush with these stencils that have a lot detail and when I want to use multiple colors.

stencil frame, ArtistCellar, Carmen Whitehead Designs

 Added some flowers…

stencil frame, ArtistCellar, Carmen Whitehead Designs

And some dangling hearts.  I then used some pens to add some details to the houses and more flowers.

stencil frame, ArtistCellar, Carmen Whitehead Designs

I finished the frame with some clouds created with the Chicken Wire stencil and the “Be True To You” words from the Poppies stencil.

stencil frame, ArtistCellar, Carmen Whitehead Designs

I added one of my favorite pictures of us taken at our most favorite place, Disneyland, about 4 years ago.  I like the whimsical look of the houses.  They are not perfect in the look, paint or details and that’s exactly how I wanted them.

Thanks for visiting with me today and if you would like check out my blog too.


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Watercolor Bookmarks Wordplay





Being part of a book club is so much fun, sitting around with the ladies talking about the best seller. I have a collection of paperback and NOOK books.


I usually read more then one book at a time and I miss bookmarks, because I’m forever losing my place. I used to make them all the time and have recently been inspired by my watercolors and stencils to do it again.




Using  300 lbs cold press watercolor paper, I ripped strips to get the tattered look I wanted and picked four or five watercolor pencils in the same shade range and mixed them wet on wet. After drying I used my ink pads and chosen stencils to create some fun looks. I like the stardust one best.


Happy Creating!

Melanie Statnick