Thankful – Art Journal Page

Happy Thanksgiving my friends here in the United States, this is Carmen visiting with you today.  I hope you are spending it with those that you love and hold dearly.  I am spending it with my 2 kids, my parents and my brother’s family.  It makes for a wonderful get together full of food, laughter and reminiscing.

Thankful art journal page created by Carmen Whitehead Designs

I started by spraying some Dylusions sprays on the page.

Thankful art journal page created by Carmen Whitehead Designs

I then layered my favorite vintage sewing pattern tissue.  I love the lines and texture this paper gives the page.  To be able to add this tissue without the smearing the spray inks, I sprayed the page first with some sealer from DecoArt.  Tip: spray it outside or in a well ventilated area.  

Thankful art journal page created by Carmen Whitehead Designs

Here are the stencils I used and all from ArtistCellar, Weekly Circles and Cursive Alphabet from Balzer Designs, Butterfly Wings, and Infra dots.  As you can see I’m not the best at keeping my stencils clean.  But I do make sure and rinse them with running water if I use any kind of gesso, modeling paste or texture paste.

Thankful art journal page created by Carmen Whitehead Designs

I’m really loving my StazOn Midi ink pads!  I also used some stamps I had from Unity stamps called Strength and Dignity.  I really love the girl stamp with the heart symbol.

Thankful art journal page created by Carmen Whitehead Designs

I used some fluid acrylic paint and texture sand paste to the Butterfly wings stencil to create my teal butterfly.  I’m thankful for continued 3 years remission of my Ovarian Cancer.

Thankful art journal page created by Carmen Whitehead Designs

Thankful art journal page created by Carmen Whitehead Designs

 The Weekly Circles stencil represents days, weeks, months and years of life that I’m thankful for.  The 2 flowers represent my growing kids (Josh, 20 and Kristin 16) that I’m so very thankful for.

Thankful art journal page created by Carmen Whitehead Designs


Thankful art journal page created by Carmen Whitehead Designs

I’m also thankful for you, our visitors, guests, and supporters and especially for my ArtistCellar team mates!

Thank you for sharing some of your day with us every time you visit.

What are some things you’re thankful for?  Share them with us below.

Have a wonderful day!


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Believe in Angels


What did you have growing up on the Christmas tree? An angel or Star? I recall having both but through the years things have changed many times for me and many trees altered angel, star, owl, sun.. Feeling in the Holiday spirit I created a playful piece on cardboard. The Angel on a tree represents angel Gabriel from the Nativity of Jesus and the star topper is the Star of Bethlehem . When I was very young i wasn’t aware of the meanings.

I have been packing some goodies for the holiday’s to mail to family and I thought I could use this piece of cardboard in a artsy way.



Gesso your cardboard first, dry well. Paint with acrylic paint and choose some Artistcellar stencil that are your faves and some stamps. I sprayed the stars with irresistible texture spray in gold. I did some outlines of the stencil words with the white uniball signo .


Stamped my boarders and outlined some stars and drew a caroling angel.

Happy Creating

Melanie Statnick 


Quick Stenciled Cards

I have an article coming out in the December issue of Take Ten magazine showing post cards that have backgrounds of just stenciling in random colors.  If you have lots of stencils, as I do, this is a great way to use your stencils and create projects that look different every time you make something similar.  This is the post card I’m sharing today and if you read further you can see how I did this and the simplicity of it.

I began the project by laying stencils from the Water Series on top of water color paper and spritzing Dylusions onto the paper.  I used Calypso Teal and Dirty Martini inks and the stencils called Ripples and Sea Foam.  After I sprayed the inks through the stencils I lifted the stencils and applied the inky side to a clean piece of paper so none of the ink went to waste.  This way I have enough stenciled paper to make 4 post cards and scraps to use in other ways later.

After the ink was dry I sprayed Dandelion irRESISTible Texture Spray through Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s Silhouette Script stencil, gently lifting and washing off the stencil when I had finished.  When this was dry I simply cut the paper into pieces that measure 4″ by 6″, post card size.

I stamped Dina Wakley’s Lonely Girl image with black StazOn ink onto the card, when this was dry I glued a head  onto the image .  I added more interest by using my TCW Numerals stencil and a smear of white gesso, the I put up a warning sign and added some bling to the lady.

You can do multiples of these panels at one time turning them into cards or tags, if you please.  They are fun and fast!  Take care, thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you here again next Tuesday for more stenciling techniques.  Hugs ~ Renee xx

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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