Things Light and Airy

Amiens detail The Artistcellar Cathedral stencil series makes me want to hop on a plane and run away to Europe. The Amiens stencil is especially lovely. I wanted to use it the minute I opened the package. It seemed so soft and lovely, so I chose a very pale, buttery yellow acrylic paint, and carefully sponged it on to a journal page to test it. Aimens1aimens2   aimens3The rest of the page cried out for stencils, so I selected the Balzar Flower Piecing stencil, and added it at the bottom in the same pale yellow. The page looked so light and refreshing, like lemonade on a summer’s day. But…of course I wanted to add more elements. Butterflies seemed perfect, so I chose some Graphics Fairy royalty free vintage images, carefully cut them, and applied them to the page with matte medium. aimens4 To accent the airy feel, I added some strips of my own paper, designed in Photoshop.  I scanned a design, made with hand-carved stamps that had green ink applied on yellow paper. When the green ink dried, I stamped white printmaking paint on top, using the same stamp design. The stamp on the top right was the one I used for this project since it had a lot of texture. JonquilGreenBkgrnd original printmaking scan handCarvedStamps Last, I added inspirational pocket stencil words with brown chalk ink, and a few small inspirational words scattered around the page. The small words were printed on Avery clear mailing labels, using an old typewriter-style font, then peeled off, cut to size, and applied to the page. aimens butterfly final crop tweak 2

My “Breaking” Heart Valentine Card

Hi Friends!  This is Carmen, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, are you ready?  I love getting cards or presents that are handmade and thoughtful.  I remember when my children were small and they would make Valentine’s cards at school.  They were more precious to me than any Hallmark card.  I’ve created for you this week a card that hopefully will have that handmade and thoughtful feel.

My breaking heart valentine card by Carmen Whitehead Designs

I planned on making a mixed media inspired card with lots of layers so I started with a 140lb watercolor paper card, applied a thin layer of gesso, and a base color of a soft grey acrylic paint.  Once that was all dry I used Balzer Designs Swirly Garden stencil with a couple of shades of Americana acrylic paints.  I used a little bit of glazing medium with the darker Prussion Blue to lighten it up a bit.

My breaking heart valentine card by Carmen Whitehead Designs

One of my favorite stencils is The Crafter’s Workshop Mini Tile Texture.  It’s great with modeling paste and acrylics.  Here it gives the card lots of dimension.

My breaking heart valentine card by Carmen Whitehead Designs

I mixed up some crackle paste and Magenta fluid acrylic paint to create my “breaking” hearts.  It really only takes a little bit of paste for this thin layer.  Let it dry naturally, I find that drying it with a heat tool, you don’t get the same effect.

My breaking heart valentine card by Carmen Whitehead Designs

 To emphasize the cracks more, I applied a thin layer of Media Line Antiquing Cream in Grey.  Again, a little bit goes a long way.  Once this layer is dry, I wiped it off with a baby wipe and the paint that was in the cracks stayed.  It gave the hearts an aged look and toned down the brightness of the paint.

My breaking heart valentine card by Carmen Whitehead Designs

See how the cracks are highlighted?  I love how they came out!

My breaking heart valentine card by Carmen Whitehead Designs

My breaking heart valentine card by Carmen Whitehead Designs

I’m not sure who the recipient of this card will be just yet, I may keep it for myself!  Thanks so much for visiting friends and I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!


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Feeling Zen



I wanted to play with lotus blossom stencil today and my Buddha stamp. I took a square canvas and painted it with black gesso and started layering the stencil in white and gold paint.



I then added the stamp in silver ink. I had the idea to outline some of the flowers with the pico embellisher in silver and neon coral.



Keeping it simplistic and repetitive in design. I adore working with the pico embellisher, you can add so much texture to wall art.

Happy Creating!

Melanie Statnick

Stencils and Silks Acrylic Glaze Play Well Together

I love the colors and texture of Silks Acrylic Glaze!  I was playing around with three colors on this project, Pink Azalea, Teal Zircon and Key Lime.  First I used the Blazonry stencil on a piece of Glossy Card Stock and with an applicator gingerly applied the paint from my craft mat through the stencil, mixing the colors a little here and there.  To add more interest I placed the Sea Foam stencil on top and pushed the new Creative Medium Chartreuse Iridescent paste through with a palette knife.  Now there is a gorgeous iridescent glow to the panel.

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I inked the edges with StazOn permanent ink in the Spiced Chai color.

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Next I stamped a butterfly on a piece of Vertigo and colored it with StazOn Studio Glaze and did the same with a piece that I stamped the word “Fly” on.  I adhered both of these pieces to the panel.

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There you have it, a mixed media card with lots of soft colors.  Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you enjoyed seeing another way to use your stencils.

Take care, we’re having to deal with a blizzard today here in New England.  It makes it nice to stay in and play in my studio.  See you next Tuesday!  Hugs ~ Renee xx


Butterfly Kisses and Dina Wakley Acrylic Paints.

IMG_5277I really have fallen in love with these yummy paints.  The colors are so bright and lovely. These paints remind me of cupcake frosting, but I didn’t want to just paint cupcakes.  I had painted a butterfly quite a while back and when I ran across it, I knew I had to paint it again.  Only this time….. with cupcake frosting… or should I say…. Dina Wakley Paints.  I hope you enjoy the painting.  I KNOW you will enjoy these yummy paints.

So… This is how a butterfly changes colors……

ARTISTCELLAR SUPPLIES:  Dina Wakley acrylic paints,  Koi water brush.

Additional supplies:  12X12 canvas, pencil


Step 1:  I sketched my butterfly on a pre-gessoed canvas.


Step 2:  I began laying in the black outline of the butterfly.


I also used a wide water brush. It makes a very fine line when used length wise.  I tried to move from one side of the wings to the other when drawing and painting the veins.  While they don’t exactly match, I think they look more natural.   I applied the acrylics very thin, like watercolor and built up the colors in layers.



I filled in the background with Lemon yellow.


To build up colors I side loaded my brush with the magenta and white as you can see in the photo.


Step 3:  I stamped a really cute design around the edges, and filled in the half circles with a little orange and white.  To finish it off, I filled in the background with black dots and drew circles around the dots with the orange and magenta paint.  I completed the edge with very small paint brush doodles.  These paints have such nice creamy colors.  They really took my old butterfly to a new level.




I hope you can enjoy these awesome paints as much as I do.  They truly are fun to play with.  Such a simple design, but oh so much fun to paint.  Hope you enjoyed the tutorial.  See ya next week.  I think…. I’ll go make some cupcakes…. With pink and blue frosting….. LOL

King Elvis Journal Page


A few weeks ago, there was a Sotheby’s advertising supplement in the New York Times that had some pictures of art to be auctioned. Included in the supplement were some iconic graphics of Elvis and James Dean along with some famous artwork. I saved the supplement, thinking it would be excellent journal collage material.


I started by gathering four or five assorted papers that would be the background, along with the picture of Elvis for the central focus. I collaged the papers to a blank journal page using matte medium.


Since Elvis is known as “the King” to many, what could be more perfect than a crown atop his head?  I chose a steampunk crown mini pocket stencil, arranged it on the page, and gave a spritz of turquoise ink.


Whoops…I made a big mess…not only did the color leak under the stencil, but I oversprayed and got turquoise spritz marks around the page. I tried to fix it by going over the dried ink with a white signo marker, but it really didn’t work. Fortunately the original ad had four little Elvis faces and one large one, so I cut out another face and glued it on top of the ruined one, and the mistake was fixed.

I decided to leave some of the blotchy crown images in the background as well as the spritz marks since they added some color and texture to the page.



I still wanted to give him a crown, so I tried the stencil again, but more carefully this time. Using a makeup sponge, I carefully applied viva décor inka gold through the stencil—success! The inka gold, which is thick and luscious, went on perfectly. I stenciled another gold crown on the bottom, and added some sheer gold ribbon for accent.


It was almost done, but the page called out for a little something more. So, I looked up Elvis’ hit songs, and, using the white signo pen and assorted markers, wrote some of the titles of his super hits around the page.

I must confess—I’m really not a huge Elvis fan—but when I look at the page, I start singing “Don’t Be Cruel” and thinking about downloading Elvis songs and making a King playlist for my iPod.


Let’s Get This Journal Started!

Hi friends!  This is Carmen and happy to be back and sharing my latest project with you.  This time of year it seems like there’s always something new to start; New diet or workouts, new goals, new semesters.  But, for me I’m starting a new art journal that I just altered from an old book.

First art journal page in new altered book by Carmen Whitehead Designs

First art journal page in new altered book by Carmen Whitehead Designs

 This is the book I altered and shared on my blog yesterday.   You can see that tutorial here.






The inside cover has a wonderful pattern that I wanted to some how still see under the layers of paint I planned to use.

First art journal page in new altered book by Carmen Whitehead Designs

I started off my adding layers of gesso and paint with my palette knife.  That’s really become my favorite method of applying medium.  I then used Artistcellar’s Balzer Designs stencil in Mixed Up Alphabet, Fibo from the Quasi Crystals set.

First art journal page in new altered book by Carmen Whitehead Designs

I added some flowers with Tamara LaPortes wonderful Whimsy Series stencil and Americana acrylic paints.

New art journal page in altered book by Carmen Whitehead Designs

Once dry, I added this wonderful little girl fairy and placed her sitting right on top of the flowers.  I detailed this page some more with my favorite Fude Ball pen and General’s charcoal pencil.

New art journal page in altered book by Carmen Whitehead Designs

On the opposite page I adhered a tag I had made last year and I thought it would be perfect here.

New art journal page in altered book by Carmen Whitehead Designs

New art journal page in altered book by Carmen Whitehead Designs

So there it is, my first page layout in this journal, what do you think?  You can still see the lines on the original page underneath, which is what I wanted.  I love the busyness of this fairy garden and all the patterns.

My next step for this journal is taking out excess pages and adhering the remaining ones so they will be more sturdy.

Thanks so much for visiting and come back soon!


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Pictures of you



Let’s play with layered canvas and mixed media board. I’m creating some tiny artwork for an exhibit coming up and I thought I’d create little camera pieces using watercolor, acrylics and pen.


Paint your small canvas with acrylic paints and dry.


Cut the canvas board into small squares and spray with a little water. Use different hues of watercolor and dab them with a brush to make a tie dye look, dry and trace the camera stencil.

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I drew them in with a thicker fine tipped marker, glued them to the middle of the canvas and doodled here and there.

Happy Creating!

Melanie Statnick

Steampunk Dream




This cold New England winter is making me think of spring.  Spring makes me think of Paris.  Sigh.  Oh well, a girl can dream.  That is what this canvas is all about…dreams.


Cut a 6” by 6” panel of water color paper, apply a thin layer of gesso.  Allow to dry.

Apply StazOn Studio Glaze in several colors, spritz panel with water and use a sponge or a baby wipe to move the color around.  Dry.  Add additional colors to antique the panel.  Stamp images on dry panel.

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Using a stencil and a Squeegee apply a thin layer of white Amplify! through the Divine heart stencil.  Heat the Amplify! with a heat tool,  it will puff up.  Allow to cool.

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Reposition the stencil over the puffy heart and apply a mixture of Radiant Neon Green, Delicata Celestial Copper and Golden Glitz with a dauber until desired effect is achieved.

Sponge Radiant Neon Yellow on to the fire.  Draw lines around the image with a permanent marker.  Apply Silver Pico Embellisher to the rays and around the heart.  Using Delicata Silvery Shimmer stamp gears around canvas.  Stamp word on a piece of scrap paper and attach to the center of the heart with adhesive.

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Continue adding colors and stamps, when satisfied with panel , distress the edges and attach it to a burlap canvas.


Artistcellar Stencils: Sacred Hearts Series stencil~”Divine”

IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko:  Amplify! White, StazOn Studio Glaze: Jet Black, Cactus Green, Orange Zest, Ganache, Claret, Spiced Chai, Cotton White, St. Valentine; StazOn: Jet Black, Claret, Ganache; Delicata:  Celestial Copper, Bronze Burst, Golden Glitz; Radiant Neon:  Electric Yellow, Orange and Green;  irRESISTible Pico Embellisher Silver, VersaMark, Silver Embossing Powder, InkBlushers, Sponge Dauber, Craft Mat, Fantastix, Multi-Purpose Squeegee

Stamps:  JudiKins: Gears Silhouette Cube,  IndigoBlu: Alice I Collection~Crackle stamp, Crafter’s Companion: French Travel stamps

Miscellaneous: burlap canvas 6” by 6”, watercolor paper 6” by 6”, gesso, water spray bottle, baby wipes, heat tool

Thanks for joining me today!  See you next Tuesday with more stenciling ideas.  Hugs ~ Renee xx

You know those business cards you’ve got laying around?


Well, I came up with a really fun way to use them.IMG_5211

So… I started taking an online class called LifeBook 2015.  It’s a coterie of artists, an exclusive group of professional artists that have come together to teach a variety of multi-medium classes.  The price is more than reasonable.  I was excited to learn from teachers around the world.  One of the extra off site projects required a photograph of a piece of my art work.  Well, I just didn’t have anything printed up.  So…. I kinda skipped passed that part.

It really bothered me that I had an incomplete piece of art and then… it HIT ME!  What about one of my Business Cards?  Viola!  Problem solved!  It’s not what the lesson was about, but it did birth a new idea for displaying business cards.  I wanted to make a tag to go along with the “Height Chart” I made for My sister-in-law.  And this is what became of one of my business cards.  Hope this will give you guys an idea or two of what creative ways you could present someone with one of your own business cards.  I think it would work with business cards you have made and just the standard, boring cards as well. Making a bookmark with a business card…. a work of art…. while you advertise your business.  I think it’s a great idea

ARTISTCELLAR SUPPLIES: Dina Wakley paints, (Sky, Tangerine, Magenta, Lime, Lemon, White),  Faber-Castell Pitt pen, Unibal Signo white pen, Sharpie poster pen, Inktense Blocks, Sakura Koi water brush, Ranger Archival Ink & pad, Ranger Multi-medium matte, Adirondack Stains.

Additional Supplies:  Ranger craft tag, business card, yarns and ribbons, Golden fluid neon paints.


Let me just stop and say… I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these incredible little bottles of acrylic paint.  Dina Wakley has come out with the most wonderful colors.  I feel like I am painting with cupcake frosting!!!  They are so yummy.  Mostly opaque, light and lovely.  You’ve just got to try these babies!  I used them with my finger tips to make round circles on the tag.  I love the way they spread and the dense color.


I started out by dipping my tag in distress stains.


I decided to cut my card up to give the tag more variety.  I ran the edges against my Ranger archival ink pad.  I drew circles and hearts and dots all over the tag with my Pitt pen, white Signo and my Sharpies.  I also used a couple DecoColor opaque paint markers.


Then I took some of Ranger Multi-Medium matte to glue down my business card and the two girls I cut out of a calendar I had.  This medium is just awesome. And to think,… I use to use Elmer’s glue.  The matte medium dries quickly and is much stronger than ordinary glue.  It also makes a great sealer.

To finish it off, I pulled a bunch of ribbon and bumpy yarn through the top hole.  I’m going to include it in my package to my sister-in-law.  She loves to read before going to bed.  I hope this will be a welcome addition to her bed-time mystery novels.  What a unique way to give away cards.  Hope this gives you a few new ideas.  See you next week!