Scrappy Happy Heart Tags


5 TAGSDo you have little snippets of fabric that are too pretty to throw away, but too small to use? A few inches of embroidery thread, yarn, felt or lace? Here’s a way to recycle those fiber pieces into something fun—make scrappy fabric.


Take some water soluble stabilizer (sold in packages or by the yard at most fabric stores) and lay your scraps on top in a thick, even layer. Your piece can be any dimension, but somewhere around 5” x 7” is a manageable size. Lay another piece of stabilizer on top to make a “sandwich” and pin the edges shut. Now, stitch it like crazy, covering the whole piece with assorted stitch styles and colors. There should be no area bigger than ½” without a stitch through it. Be sure to remove all pins after stitching. Next, wash out the stabilizer in cold water, and let dry. The finished “scrappy” fabric can be used for all kinds of crafts—journal covers, business card holders, even cuff bracelets. Here are a few old blog posts that show scrappy artwork: scrappy happy, scrappy and tyvek bracelets, and don’t throw away the scraps.


I used the scraps from my scrappy projects to make these tags. With matte medium, I glued the scraps of scrappy to commercial tags.


After it dried, I stitched the pieces together and zig-zagged the edges. I snipped a hole in the top, added a grommet and threaded some fabulous parrot fiber mix through the grommet.


It still looked a little naked, so using white glue, I added rusted hearts from my stash. I layered the tags with waxed paper to prevent sticking, then left a weight on them (a big cast iron pot works well) for a few hours. Doesn’t the fiber go beautifully with the scrappy tag?


Gratitude Gift Tags

Hello dear friends! This is Carmen, it’s Thursday and time for me to share with you what I’ve been creating.  Thanksgiving is a time for family, visits and gatherings, but what will you be taking to these gatherings? Today I will show you 4 wonderful tags to attach to a hostess gift basket or a bottle of wine.  They can make the gift even more special.

Fall tags with ArtistCellar Stencils by Carmen Whitehead Designs

This tag I used Dylusions ink sprays and StazOn ink. Using different inks with the stencils add a lot of dimension to the tag.

Thanksgiving tags with ArtistCellar stencils by Carmen Whitehead Designs

The next tag I thought was going to be a fail because I combined many different spray inks on the tag first and they kind of ran together creating a dark background.  But, then I decided to mix some bright orange with modeling paste and use the Balzer Designs Echoes stencil to the entire tag.  I’m loving how it ended up.

A few spritz of Dylusions ink spray in Tangerine Dream were added to this tag.  I also used modeling paste mixed with Magenta acrylic paint and applied with the Swirly Garden stencil from The Crafter’s Workshop.

Fall tags with ArtistCellar Stencils by Carmen Whitehead Designs

The last tags I used Tim Holtz Distress ink to start, a spritz of Imagine Crafts Irresistable spray in Cottage Ivy and then pressed Versamark embossing ink pad over the stencil.  I added the embossing powder and heat set it.  For this technique you need a stencil that has some bigger openings and not so detailed.  I tried another stencil before and it left a bit of a smudge as you can see in between the Harlequin shapes.

Fall tags with ArtistCellar Stencils by Carmen Whitehead Designs

The final touch to each tag was stamped words and some lace trims.

Fall tags with ArtistCellar stencils by Carmen Whitehead Designs

As you can see there are numerous ways you can apply stencils to your tags or other substrate.  Each of them gives you different and unique effects.

I hope you enjoyed visiting with me today


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New York Graffiti


I have had my eye on this stencil for a long while. I was excited to use it in so many different ways. This is Urban Landscape and I thought about the amazing graffiti art that shows up in the large cities and was inspired to create my mini graffiti art. I used Dylusion Spray, and Stazon ink to complete the look.


Lay your ATC cards in a line and tape them together. Flip them to the front so they appear as one long strip. Place your stencil down across the ATCs and mask areas you don’t want sprayed with scrap paper. Repeat with different colors and or stencils. After drying well, take tape off the back side and edge with ink pad.

Happy Creating

Melanie Statnick

A Mini Book To Showcase Your Stencils

Most of us feel a sense of delight when we hear the word Kaleidoscope.  If you’re like me it takes you back to childhood with those tacky little paper/plastic kaleidoscopes that you could purchase at the 5 & Dime store.  The newest release from Artistcellar called Kaleidoscope is a series designed by mixed media artist Cecilia Swatton.  There are four stencils in the series:  Trillium, Sunflower, Black Orchid and Lily.  All of us on the design team and other artists have been showing different ways to use these powerful stencils but how to keep track of them all is always an issue for me.

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I am constantly challenged when it comes to keeping track of all my stencils so I make small books with either the stencils in the book (stashed in clever pockets) or at least samples of what they look like.  I chose to do a “sample” book project so I can have a quick visual of these tiny gems for future projects.

Samples from Kaleidoscope Stencils

Here is my process if you’d like to see it.  First I start by cutting up my Art Cards from a large piece of water color paper.  Each one measures 4″ by 4″.

After I have these cut I decided just to spray Dylusions Spray inks using a different stencil and colors for each card.

These could be highly decorated, just like an ATC, but I decided to keep them simple.  I only inked the edges with coordinating colors and glued them into my prepared, simply folded book.

I had intended to leave the book simply white to mimic a wall in an art gallery but then I couldn’t resist adding a few stamped images from Dina Wakley’s newest collection.

To finish off my practical sample book I added the names of the stencils just written with a Fude Ball pen on or around the stenciled images.  My folded book has room for many more Art Cards with stencil samples on them.  I’ll keep sharing it with you as I go along filling it up.  When it is full then I will do the front and back covers.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  I’ll be back next Tuesday with some more ideas on how to use your stencil stash.  Hugs ~ Renee

KIDS…. Are My Tribe!


I have had the privilege of working with Kids and teenagers for over 25 years in a variety of ways.  From Drama Teams, to Camp Director, I’ve had my hands involved with kids and their parents.  In the past couple of years, I have been blessed to teach Art to Homeschool groups and provide private classes to individuals.  Well,… one thing leads to another, and now, as the Fine Arts Instructor,  I teach “Birthday Party” Art classes at Michaels.  This is a piece we did this month.  The Birthday girl wanted a project that had something to do with Animal prints.  And So… this is what I came up with.  It was a blast!!!!!  Each piece turned out so well, and so unique.  I was able to accomplish this project with 13 kids in 2 hours.  Hopefully this will give you some ideas as the winter months approach and you are staring at some kids of your own with bored faces because it’s too cold or snowy to go outside and play.  I have included both projects here.  While some of the instructions are different, the project as a whole is the same.

Artistcellar Supplies:  Permanent Black Markers, “Pitt Pens“, Koi Watercolors, Dylusions Inks, Inktense Blocks, Ranger Multi-Medium Matt or Gloss,  Stewart Gill Paints, Silks.

Additional Supplies:  Canvas, White Tissue Paper, Glitter, Paint Brushes. Soft lead pencil, Prismacolor Gloss Fixative,

I wasn’t sure what supplies I was actually going to use, but I found that ALL of the paints & materials I had from Artistcellar Worked very well!  After Finishing the kids project, I started a more, adult theme with the same products.  In additional pictures you can see the different between applied acrylic paints to Watercolors and Inks.  They all WORK beautifully.  So, while the kids may want to use less expensive paints for color, an adult version of this project would require the use of Koi watercolors, Ranger Inks, Silks, Inktense block and my favorite… Dylusions Inks.


Step 1:  I found this adorable Zebra with Wings on line and made a copy of it to be transferred to the Canvas.  I also found this beautiful zebra face you can see in the background.  I transferred the printer copy of zebra onto a sheet of thin white tissue paper. Note*  You must be very careful not to tear or overwork the tissue paper as it will tear very, very easily. (Out of 13 kids, I only had 2 prints destroyed by a heavy hand.  Not a bad average)  After tracing zebra onto tissue, I set it aside.  If you wanted to eliminate the application of the tissue paper, look at 2nd photo down. IMG_4381


 INSERT of the FINAL STEP: The Photo above is the copy paper. I turned it over after applying pencil to the back and placed it on the canvas. I then retraced the Zebra with the same pencil onto the canvas. When you lift the copy paper up, a light drawing will remain on the canvas. I am just showing you both methods. With this method, all you have to do is take your permanent marker and fill in the drawing that you’ve placed on the canvas. I applied the Tissue paper drawing of the Zebra face onto the Inked canvas and carefully laid it down with the glossy medium. The whitish tint to the tissue paper disappears and all that is left to see… is the image you drew onto the tissue paper. Let canvas dry and fill in the image with your permanent marker. I inserted the last step instruction here so you could decide which method you want to try. So… These instructions are done as a last step. Hope this makes sense.IMG_4401

Step 2:  I set aside the prepped Tissue Paper, and began to lay down color on the canvas.  Since Zebra stripes go up and down, I thought I would apply the paint colors in the same manner.  So, for the kids project, I watered down some acrylics and placed a puddle at the top of my canvas.  Then I simply let them all run down. Then I turned it upside down and let the paints run again.  Back and forth until the canvas was mostly covered with paint.  The kids liked this part.  Some just painted stripes of color.  A little more uniform, but that’s what makes each one unique.



As you can see, this is the Dylusions Inks.  I love, love, love these colors.



This is the difference between Inks, watercolors and stains (Above) and craft paints (below)


Each renders a very nice display of colors.  Inktense Blocks would give MORE VIBRANT color. This is a great project to play with and compare the gorgeous assortment of paints and colors Artistcellar has to offer.  She has ALL my favorites. I’ve been working on getting a nice variety of Steward Gill Paints from Artistcellar.  I can’t find them in my area.  This piece would really sing…. Using those colors.


Step 3:  After allowing the canvases to dry, I sprayed them with a fixative, (Prismacolor Gloss Fixative for Pastel, Charcoal & pencil).  Any fixative will work.  This is all I had.  I sprayed them pretty good as I did not want these colors moving around when I applied the tissue and medium gel from Ranger.  Please read the INSERT of the FINAL STEP to complete the project.  To finish off the kids version, I applied blue tape to the canvas on the inside edges and painted it solid orange.  Then I painted in an additional animal print.  I carefully took off the blue tape and as you can see, it gave the edges crisp clean lines.


Just Add a little Glitter to those Wings…. And you are Done!!!




You can see that the piece is still wet and it actually tore a little on the edge, but I kinda liked it. When dry, fill in with marker


I just took the painting around to the sides, but you can see where the tissue paper ends on the edge.



The final Piece…. Both pieces are lots of fun to do.


Inspiration Box

In late September, there was an event called Quilters Take Manhattan, which was held at my alma mater, FIT. As a birthday treat to myself, I signed up for the main event on Saturday and a workshop with fiber artist Jamie Fingal on Sunday.

On Saturday, the keynote speaker was Amy Butler, who I must confess, I had never heard of before the event. Amy designs her own line of gorgeous fabrics, wall coverings and rugs. She was a heartfelt and compelling speaker, and reminded me that I have been so busy lately that I have moved away from the mind-body-spirit connection.

Inspired by Amy to pay more attention to my spiritual side, I used my Artistcellar pocket stencils to make an Inspiration Box. I plan to house some of my special art supplies in it, and every time I look at it I will be reminded to slow down, breathe, meditate, and aim to achieve more balance in my life.

box w first paint


I started with an old shoebox and painted the whole thing with black gesso. On my first try, I used a shiny box, but the black gesso didn’t stick well, so I went to a dull finished box. When the gesso was dry, I carefully pushed  molding paste through the stencils (using a spatula) on each side of the lid top.

paste on stencil


first wordThe molding paste dried a little grayish, so I went over it with a white gel pen The box looked too minimalistic, so I jazzed it up by gluing on some black & white harlequin ribbon from my stash with matte medium.

adding ribbon

Once it was completely dry, I covered almost the whole thing with a gloss medium, which gave it a nice shine. I left the top inch of the box un-glossed so that the lid wouldn’t stick to the box when I used it. The little ripples in the middle of the top are where the name of the shoe company was embossed…if I were doing another box (which I am sure I will because I always need storage boxes for my art supplies!) I would fill it in with molding paste before I painted it, but i the rippling adds a little quirkiness, and that’s the nature of up-cycling, isn’t it?

Inspiration Box


Fall Greeting Card

Hello friends!  This is Carmen and it’s my turn to share my project with you and hopefully inspire you to some creativity. Do you send Fall or Thanksgiving cards?  They’re not nearly as popular as Holiday cards, but sometimes they can have much more meaning.  Being thankful to someone who has done something above and beyond for you, or simply letting someone know you’re thinking of them.

Fall card with ArtistCellar stencils by Carmen Whitehead Designs

With this card I started with some Strathmore watercolor card, added Tim Holtz Distress stain and then distress ink around the edges.

Fall Card with ArtistCellar Stencils by Carmen Whitehead Designs

I’m really loving these new StazOn midi pads!  They are great for regular stamping or using them with stencils like I did here with this Chevron stencil.

Fall Card with ArtistCellar Stencils by Carmen Whitehead Designs

I added some more background with the Harlequin stencil and Distress ink.  I wanted a muted background so I can add a pop of color with modeling paste, acrylic paint and Balzer Designs Peacock Feathers.  That stencil isn’t the traditional maple leaf you would find on a seasonal card, but the color makes it work.

Fall Card with ArtistCellar Stencils by Carmen Whitehead Designs

Here is the finished card.  Even though it has modeling paste on it, it’s not heavy for mailing.  The paper held up very well.

Fall card with ArtistCellar stencils by Carmen Whitehead Designs

Fall card with ArtistCellar stencils by Carmen Whitehead Designs

Fall card with ArtistCellar stencils by Carmen Whitehead Designs

Fall card with ArtistCellar stencils by Carmen Whitehead Designs

Thanks again my friends for visiting with me and always being supportive.

I appreciate you very much!


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Let it Snow..?


Some of you might already have snow and are not impressed.  This project is similar to the one I did last week and you’d be right, with the exception of the burlap.


Start with craft store bought burlap. I bought this particular sheet in with the scrapbook papers. This method can be done with heavier burlap also. Use the outer circle of the embroidery hoop and mark your burlap with a white chalk pencil.


Apply the gesso in the circle and I would place something like cardboard underneath because the gesso with leak through the holes in the burlap. Burlap is hot right now in craft and arts and also gives some great texture with a unique look.


Dry well with heat gun and choose your stencil. I used crafters workshop Aspen Trees with the Dylusions spray in London Blue


I then used acrylic paint in gold,black and sky blue and sponged in the word snow and the snow flakes using Dylusions Let it Snow stencil.


Push the inner circle of your embroidery hoop in the back and cut three slits into the extra burlap and cut in around. I added some stickles and more sparkles.  Be sure to spray with a matt finish to keep the ink spray from running or fading.

Happy Creating


Kaleidoscope Stencils Meet Zentangle

These new stencils called the “Kaleidoscope Series” are fast becoming my favorite stencils!  I use stencils often to break up heavily colored areas with some broken white patches.  These white areas give the eye a place to rest especially if there are a lot of details in the mix.  Which brings me to this “ZIA” (Zentangled Inspired Artwork)  cat.  I drew a rough outline of a cat on a piece of canvas board that measures 16″ by 12″ with a Stabilo pencil.  After doing some Zentangle patterns on him I used the stencils to hide him in the flower garden.

 Just to briefly show you the process here are a few photos.  I like to draw but not be too focused when I’m watching TV with my husband or talking on the phone.  I feel that if my hands are busy I’m “working”.  So after I drew my cat outline I divided it into sections.  Each section is covered with Zentangle patterns inspired over the years by Rick and Maria who began the Zentangle movement.

After drawing the patterns with a Micron pen I did some additional shading with my Stabilo pencil.  I painted the background a Lapis blue and used Copic ink to color the eyes.

I used a few stamps by Dina Wakley along the way and also colored them in with “irRESISTibles”.  Now the cat had splashes of color and texture.  When I did as much tangling as I felt like on the cat then I decided to hide him in his own little garden patch of flowers.  The flowers are actually the Kaleidoscope stencils and heavy white gesso.  I added additional interest with another stencil called Blazonry and Interference Blue Golden Acrylic.

Summer may be over but I still have my imaginary garden with my imaginary cat.  I will see you here next Tuesday with more stenciling ideas, until then, take care. ~ Hugs, Renee

Have ART… Will Travel….


This week I had to travel to my Brother’s home as they are having a wonderful time in Australia.  I am staying here for the week watching Grandma.  I’ll be traveling for a couple weeks with hubby as well.  So…. I thought……  I’ll be staying with family and friends along the way, why not create a nice ‘thank you” book mark or card for all my hosts.  So… I packed up some of my art supplies.  And my first stop is Ventura California.  All we have is palm trees, so I thought Fall leaves would be a nice piece.  I’ll make a brand new one for each home I stay in.  This is Number 1.  I hope you like it.  An unexpected, playful piece of art to leave on the bed stand for your Hosts.  I think I will keep this idea for future travels.  I hope to improve and embellish each new creation.  This is the first Book Mark.

 Artistcellar Supplies:  Derwent Inktense Blocks and Pencils. Sakura Koi Watercolor brush, Sakura White Gelly Roll pen, Faber-Castell Black Pitt pen.

Additional Supplies:  Canson Watercolor Paper, Tim Holtz distress ink pads, scissors,  Pencil and eraser, Alphabet stamps, Stays-0n Ink pad (Black).

Step 1:  I lightly sketched a couple of leaves onto my watercolor paper.  Then I drew the boundaries of the piece with a pitt pen. (Small)

20141109_165537Step 2:  With Inktense Blocks and Pencil, I sketched in the leaves.  I love the edges on the Blocks because you can get the coolest thin lines.  My favorite medium is… everything, and then my next favorite is colored pencil.  The Inktense colors are so strong, so vivid and  applies just like a colored pencil. Watercolors can be so unpredictable.  A characteristic that I love, but sometimes you want a little more control. Inktense is the medium to use.

20141109_173149Step 3:  After filling in all the colors I wanted, I began working the Inks together with the Koi Waterbrush.  While the colors are very controlled, you still get the watercolor effects. These Inks dry fast so it’s easy to apply additional layers without too much waiting time. But, once they are dry, it is difficult if not impossible to move the color around.  As long as the application you are working on stays wet, you will be able to manipulate the colors.

20141109_182329_2(At the bottom you will notice a little school of fish I painted earlier with Inktense.  This product is really a lot of fun to use.

20141109_203922Step 4:  After building up different layers of colors.  I used my black pen to define the veins in the leaves.  It begins to look more surreal than natural, but I love to use pens with these Inks.  The outlines just make the piece pop.

20141109_222701Step 5: I really liked the bottom of the leaves, so I cut them out as opposed to making the book mark rectangular.  I finished it with small alphabet stamps and Stays-0n Ink pad.  I touched all of the edges with a different color distress ink pad color. and blended the edges into the art.  I signed my name with a White Sukaru Gelly roll pen and called it….. Done.  I already have idea’s to improve the next one & make it more elaborate.  Wish me luck… or at least a streak of Creativity the next few weeks.