1960s Tie Dye Power

Miriam for net

While experimenting with watercolors, Derwent blocks and Dylusion spray inks one afternoon, I used some white paper towels underneath my artwork to soak up excess color. When I saw the color stained paper towels afterward, I immediately thought they looked like 1960s tie-dye.

So, once it dried, I flattened out the “trash” and, using matte medium, glued it to a blank white page in my journal. I wasn’t quite sure where to go from there, so it sat in my journal, just looking pretty for a week or so.


While I was rummaging through my art supplies (looking for something else entirely), I spotted the Jane Davenport “coy” stencil and thought I’d give it a try on the tie-dye background. I used a black Sharpie marker since I thought I might add more color later, and I didn’t want the outline to run or smear.


The black face outline looked pretty good, but the head was just floating, which was kind of disconcerting, so I sketched in hair, ears and a neck with a pencil, then outlined it with the black marker. I gave her big hair—subconsciously thinking about the flower children and the 1960s big afro hairstyles popular at the time.


Flower power and tie-dye got me thinking about protests and social movements, and using the voting process to affect change. With that in mind, I added newsprint to the neck, cheekbone and hair. To me, newsprint represents information and knowledge.


To get the newsprint to fit just right on her neck, I traced the neck shape with tissue paper, and then cut both the tissue and newsprint at the same time to get a good fit. The newsprint section was randomly chosen, mostly for its spacing—the message in it was not intended to make any particular point. I adhered the newsprint to the neck with matte medium. I also added a few strips of newsprint to indicate a cheekbone and streaks in her hair.

mariam final large

The final touches were a tiny hint of soft pink chalk ink color on the lips, and the addition of some inspirational words in the hair and on the neck, which were printed on Avery peel and stick clear mailing labels.


The stencil is the one I used on my November 7, 2014 for my post called Lemonhead ArtIsn’t it amazing how the same stencil has such a completely different effect when used with different materials and colors?


Christmas Card with Stencils

Christmas is only a week away and the last minute preparations are getting done.  But, there is always time to make a Christmas card for someone special.  Here is a quick way to use your stencils and make it one of a kind.

Christmas card with ArtistCellar Stencils by Carmen Whitehead Designs

This card is for my parents this Christmas.  I wanted to use this Kraft card as something different from the white that I normally use.  I also cut a piece of Canvas Corps Brand’s Black and Ivory French Script scrapbook paper and then distressed it with Tim Holtz Distress Stain in Bundled Sage.  The paper can curl a bit with the moisture, but simply use a heat gun to dry and re-shape it.

Christmas card with ArtistCellar Stencils by Carmen Whitehead DesignsI wanted to give the edges of the card a frame appearance, I used the Quasi stencil to give a leaf effect with Americana paint in Antique Teal.

Christmas card with ArtistCellar Stencils by Carmen Whitehead Designs

I wanted to add some larger script to this piece, so I used one of my favorite stencils from Balzer Designs, Cursive Alphabet with Americana Heritage Brick.

Christmas card with ArtistCellar Stencils by Carmen Whitehead Designs

I decided to add more of a distressed look to it, so I tore the edges off and applied Distress Ink in Vintage Photo.

Christmas card with ArtistCellar Stencils by Carmen Whitehead Designs

 To make it a complete set, I used the Quasi stencil on the edge of the envelope and then stamped Mom & Dad to finish it off.

Christmas card with ArtistCellar Stencils by Carmen Whitehead DesignsI added some Christmas tags from Canvas Corp Brands and stamped a Be Merry message.

Christmas card with ArtistCellar Stencils by Carmen Whitehead Designs


Christmas card with ArtistCellar Stencils by Carmen Whitehead Designs

Christmas card with ArtistCellar Stencils by Carmen Whitehead DesignsIt only took me a few minutes to create this card and I love how it came out.  I think my parents will like it too.

Hope you enjoyed your visit with me today, and please come back often, there is always creativity happening here!


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Design a Canvas Bag


Design your own canvas bag using ink spray , Poppies Stencil , No Sew and lace.

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Lay your stencil down flat and spray. I like mine a bit grungy looking and I allowed the ink to drip off the stencil in areas to give it a splattered look.  You can makes the bag as simple and clean or unique as you like. I’m making this for a gift , and she would like this  simple but artsy.


Flip the bag to the backside or front side, and spray again with the same or different stencils.  I added Tam’s Gratitude stencil to one side.


When the sides were dry I added some colorful lace using No Sew fabric glue to create a border around the front side then added some to the back later. Make sure your bag is washed and no fabric softener is used before designing your bag. You can use a fabric finish spray if you want to keep the ink from blotching during use.

Happy Creating!

Melanie Statnick

How to make a quick, stenciled card

We all have those “uh, oh” moments when you just need a simple, organic, very quickly made card.  That was the inspiration behind this stenciled card today.

You could use any stencils you have on hand and make the cards any color you choose.  I happen to love this stencil from Artistcellar called “Bodacious Pods“.  It is one of Chris Cozen’s Playful Pods Series stencils.  I just pulled a blank, white card from my stash and taped the stencil over the front of the card, lightly tracing the stencil with a permanent black pen.

It isn’t necessary to trace all of the stencil images onto the card, just as many parts of it as you would like.  Next I placed the stencil again on top of the card, taped it down to my craft sheet, but this time it was a little off from the original pen work.  Then I scribbled some purple Gelatos on my craft sheet, sprayed the Gelatos with water to activate it and sponged the light purple color on to the first pattern of pods.

I like the water color effect made by the Gelatos when used this way.  When this had dried it was time to stencil a sentiment onto the card.

I chose to use Tamara Laporte’s stencil in the Articellar collection called Tam’s Inspiration.  I sponged StazOn Jet Black ink through the stencil.  When the card was dry I added some touches of gold and some doodles to finish it.

As I mentioned before you could use any stencils or colors that you prefer.  Try pulling your stencils out and making a quick card the next time you need one and don’t have much time to make it.

Thanks for stopping by today, I always appreciate your visits and support.  Take care ~ Hugs,  Renee xx

Stencils and Watercolors… Who Knew?

IMG_4854I have always loved watercolors, mainly because they are so unpredictable, and when you mix them… the colors that appear can never be repeated!  Because this medium runs all over the page, I had questions about this technique.  But, sure enough!  IT WORKS!  I have used pre-made and cut my own stencils for years in my art and murals.  And the main problem is when the paint runs underneath the stencil, which ruins the sharp and realistic look to the mural.  Imagine my surprise when I learned that you could use watercolors with stencils and avoid the runny aspect you get with acrylics.  So…. This is how I did it.  I was amazed that it worked.  Of course, it’s not perfect, but that’s what watercolor is all about.  Those imperfect surprises that happen when you least expect it.

ARTISTCELLAR SUPPLIES:  Koi Watercolor kit, any and all stencils sold by Artistcellar.

Additional supplies:  Watercolor paper, scissors, spray bottle with water.

STEP 1:  First, I spray water on top of the KOI watercolor Kit.


STEP 2:  I picked out several stencils to test.  It seems that all the stencils I tried, worked nicely.  Even the finest of details.  I found that the Swapp stencils are very slick and slippery.  And that didn’t seem to hinder the technique.

I placed the stencils down on the watercolor paper, pressing the stencil as tightly as I could with my finger tips.  Then, I took a water brush and loaded it with watercolors.  I found that the flat paintbrush works the best.


You can see how wet the paper is and yet, very little run off from underneath the stencil.  I just picked up different colors and just laid them in.  I have no idea why… this worked, but I guess I don’t have to know!  I’m just glad it does!!!  You can also re-apply the stencil to the same area or use the stencil to overlap designs.  Just let it dry in between!

Here are a few additional stencils I tested.  Some of them were really cute, so I cut them out and I will use them in my Art Journal.


Well, Lo and behold, it works!


Then I just played around with my pen and doodled on these imprints.


This is a small detailed stencil, but it looked like it would be a really cool piece if it worked.  After applying all the different Koi Watercolors, I let it dry.  Then I laid the second stencil layer on top of the first layer and used black acrylics.


And here is how it turned out.  I Like!


I love all the colors and I LOVE the SHARP, CRISP lines of the acrylic paint I dabbed on with a face sponge triangle.  The first word runs a little, but you can still read it and I love all the imperfections.

Then I found a couple stencils I forgot I had.  I think these turned out really nice and I plan to use them in my Art Journal book.


I actually liked the heart how it bled just a little.  I painted some butterflies and decided to cut them out so I could use them as ephemera in my Art Journal.  I hope you like them and that you will try this.  It really does work.  WHO KNEW!!!










I JUST LOVE COLOR!!!  Hope you get a chance to try this out.  Oh, and Merry Christmas! See ya all next week.   ;D  Donna

Making a New Art Journal

8-book openThis summer, I learned how to make a fabulous folding journal when I took a class at the Ink Pad with Kelly Kilmer. That beloved journal is almost full, so I decided to pull out Kelly’s instructions and make myself a new one. This time, I decided to use recycled cardboard. I had been saving cereal, pizza and cracker boxes with an idea of up-cycling them into a journal.


After some deliberation, I settled on using some of my original fabric on the exterior. Here is the design I started with, which I uploaded to the Spoonflower website and translated onto 100% cotton fabric. I painted the design with watercolors and watercolor pencils.

ny floralpink roses web

I measured the pieces carefully, and then glued it to my cover fabric with matte medium. On the corners  I added some Aileen’s extra thick glue. The fabric was a little bulky, so it was tricky to get the corners to be precise. (My first journal had a rice paper cover, which was much easier to manipulate, yet strong and durable.)

3-book cover open standing

I discovered that the cereal boxes were pretty flimsy, so I cut another front, back and spine and glued it to the first set, which doubled the thickness. I glued the printed areas together so that the cereal and pizza designs didn’t show through my fabric.

After the exterior was dry, I added an inside page, also made from my own design. Here is the original mandala that I made as a lunchtime relaxation exercise, and the textile design that I created from it and printed on paper.

My mandala series was done by tracing around a CD, then drawing inside the circle randomly with pencil. I filled in color with brush tipped markers and colored pencils. The mandala was scanned, reduced, then stepped and repeated in my QuarkXPress design and Photoshop programs to create the paper.

orange.leaf.mandala small web

orange mandala floral web

6-book inside w signatures

I only had blue cardstock on hand for the pages, but since I usually collage over the page anyway, the color didn’t matter much. I folded them into “signatures,” put in holes with an awl and sewed them into the book with waxed linen thread.

5-tying signatures

I couldn’t just leave a blank journal lying around…so I filled the first page with a printout of one of my self-portraits, and added newsprint, an Artistcellar pocket stencil word (of course I chose the very appropriate word CREATE!), a star from the Jill K. Berry Sunny Compass Rose stencil and added some dots with a white signo pen, black marker and pink paint marker.

pg 1 finished

This journal is not as precise as the first one I made, one side is about 1/8” bigger than the others, the corners are not quite square, I measured wrong so that the inside pages were too long and had to be trimmed, but I am pretty happy with it anyway. With my original fabric on the cover, and original paper on the inside cover, and a few new journal pages completed, it really says “me.” I made sure I used it right away; I have a couple beautiful journals on my shelf that are just too gorgeous to use, and I wanted to make sure that this wasn’t turned into an art object, but something I would use and love every day.

7-book final

Canvas Christmas Ornaments

Happy Holidays friends!  This is Carmen and Christmas time and decorating is in full swing at my house and it can get a bit chaotic at times.  But, one thing I do make time for is making some new ornaments to put on the tree.  This year I made some more canvas ornaments.  These are small canvases that are decorated and a piece of lace or twine is attached for hanging.

Canvas Christmas Ornaments created by Carmen Whitehead Designs

I ended up making 3 ornaments, each one using a different look and stencil from Artistcellar.   I started with 3″ x 3″ canvases, this is a great size to fit lots of color and pieces on, but not too big that it looks awkward on the tree.

The first one has a Damask pattern theme and primary colors are red and black.  I layered it with tissues, scrapbook paper and tags from Canvas Corp.

Canvas Christmas Ornaments created by Carmen Whitehead Designs

I distressed the tags with Tim Holtz Distress Ink in vintage photo.

Canvas Christmas Ornaments created by Carmen Whitehead Designs

The Crafter’s Workshop Mini Damask stencil was a perfect match for this ornament.  On the back piece I sponged on Distress Ink in black soot, and on the front I used it with black modeling paste.

Canvas Christmas Ornaments created by Carmen Whitehead Designs

The Harlequin stencil is another one of my favorites. I used 2 Americana paints here to add some dimension, and then mixed the Raw Sienna with the modeling paste and spread it on the sides.  The scripted tissue was a great match here.

Canvas Christmas Ornaments created by Carmen Whitehead Designs

I love this stencil from Dyan Revealy, Dylusions Ho Ho Ho! I used it here with a marker on the word Believe.  I connected the “b” and left an opening on the “e’s”, using a marker, you have that control.

Canvas Christmas Ornaments created by Carmen Whitehead Designs

The tag on the back makes it easy to hang with a twine and you can write the recipients name on the tag if you’re gifting them.

Canvas Christmas Ornaments created by Carmen Whitehead Designs

On this canvas I layered scripted tissue paper from 7gypsies, Americana acrylic paint, DecoArt Media Line modeling paste and here I used Crafter’s Workshop stencil Chicken Wire and Mini Tile Texture.  I adhered the paper with Media Line’s matte medium to the canvas.

Canvas Christmas Ornaments created by Carmen Whitehead Designs

For the back I glued on a 7gypsies tag and twine for hanging.  I finished it off by stenciling on the word Merry from the Dylusions stencil.

Canvas Christmas Ornaments created by Carmen Whitehead Designs

I love how unique they each came out, even though I used many of the same techniques.

Canvas Christmas Ornaments created by Carmen Whitehead Designs

They are so easy to make and I hope you are inspired to make your own for your Christmas tree this year.


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Break it down..



I love to draw and doodle in my sketchbook and I use stencils here and there to create something quick. Here I’ll show you how to create a holiday sketch in your journal using assorted stencils.

I started out with Dylusions and Crafter’s Workshop stencils and added a border.


Built the Christmas tree up and added some gifts, tangles and stars on the top. I traced in the stencil pieces with pencil first then added the micron pen over top, later adding watercolor.


I also created a little Christmas in the city sketch with both freehand and stencil accents. So many way to break down the Artistcellar stencils to create one or more drawings in your sketchbook.


Happy Creating

Melanie Statnick

Using Stencils on Art Journal Pages

Hello, Renee here!  It is Tuesday and today I’m using my stencils in my art journal.

I always have my journal turned to two blank pages when I’m doing a lot of stenciling on other projects, this way I don’t waste any of my inks.  These two pages were evidently test pages to see what color of Turquoise I had in the bottle and then a blast of Bubblegum Pink found its way there too.  I wiped a Balzer Silhouette Script stencil with Angel Pink irRESISTibles off on it at a later date.  At this point it doesn’t look like much of anything to most people but when I look at it I see ball gowns.

After choosing my background in my journal  I went back to my Master Board stash and found a piece of paper that I worked on a couple of weeks ago.  I cut three tags out of this, smeared a glob of gesso in the center of each tag, stamped some of Dina Wakley’s faces on it and a corset stamp that I got for free in the new Craft Stampers magazine and Voila! I was ready to play.

The lady tags were glued to the art journal pages and then I drew their dresses on with a black pen.

After their ball gowns were drawn on I added another lady tag to the mix.  I began just writing a little story randomly around the ladies, put crowns on them and gave one some flowers.  It didn’t seem bold enough for my taste so I pulled out some more stencils, these are by Tamara Laporte and are called Tam’s Inspiration. In this series of word stencils you’ll find inspirational words written in Tam’s lettering style.  I used Black StazOn ink with a sponge dauber to stencil these words onto my pages:  believe, stardust and you matter.

 Once the ink was dry I had my two pages done.  It is always fun to play in my art journal it gives me ideas to try on cards and mixed media canvases later.

My message on Tuesdays is always the same, get your stencils out and play with them in all sorts of different ways.  You’ll be glad you did, I know I always am.  Take care, see you next week!  Hugs, Renee xx

Urban Christmas Greeting Card



I wasn’t sure how this was going to turn out.  But, I think it will be easy to see the technique.  I love the message and it shows how this technique can be used with fine line stencils and small cutouts on the stencils.  Let me explain….

ARTISTCELLAR SUPPLIES:  Artistcellar Pocket Stencils, “Virtues Words”, Tamara Laporte’s, Whimsey Town stencil.

Additional Supplies:  White paint, black and red ink pad, Black and red card stock, Glue, Star Stencil, Stampers Anonymous, Tim Holtz collection, “Papillon CMS 106″ and “Mini Blueprints 3 CMS 150, Black markers, paint brush.


Step 1:  First I stenciled the Whimsey Town onto black card stock with white paint.


Step 2:  With Black ink pad, I stamped over the white paint with the Papillon stamp that had a lot of writing on it.  I even added a small stamp of Musical notes on the bottom right.IMG_4771I think this technique has a lot to offer.  You must remember that if you apply your stamp directly to the paper while the stencil is in place, you must press hard so that the stamp will press in on the paper.  Although the stencil is very thin, you will need to press harder than usual for the stamp to leave an impression.  This is what I did with the Virtues Stencils.  As you can see, I cut out the little town from the black paper, leaving a very small edge.IMG_4779

I’m working on another painting with this stencil because I just love it!!!!  Hopefully I will finish it soon so I can show you.

Step 3:  I glued the Whimsey town to red card stock.  Then I stenciled the Virtues Words above the town with white paint.  And then added stars in the same manner.  I had a globe from the Mini Blueprints stamp.   As you can see, I stamped onto the actual stencil here, which I quickly washed off with a baby wipe.  I think it gives the words a grunge effect.  I spattered white paint with a brush and trimmed the edges with black ink pad.IMG_4787

I did like the way it turned out.  I hope that the stamp onto stencil and the stamp onto white paint from the stencil makes sense and gives you a few ideas for future stencil art.  I finished it off with a black marker around the words to make them pop!  O.K.  That’s it. And just a little reminder…  There are only 17 more shopping days left till Christmas……  ;)) Merry Christmas!  See ya next week!!!