Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Hello Everyone,

I hope this post finds you well. I have been getting back into visual journaling again. Although I have been playing in my journals for years, I don’t always write about my life. It’s time for me to bring that back. I still will be creating fun backgrounds before I do the writing/journaling part because backgrounds are my favorite!

Today’s post is a quick tutorial for making a fun background page in your visual journal that you can then add a photo from your life (i.e. photo + washi tape), or some writing about your day, etc.


Supplies Used

Step 1:

Use 2-3 matte acrylic paint colors and scrape them across your pages with an old plastic card.

Step 2:

Choose one of your favorite Artistcellar stencils; I am using the “Arrow” stencil from the Traditional Japanese Series.

Step 3:

Using a stamp pad like Staz On, rub some color over the stencil and into the openings. TIP-Do this gently as to not chew up your stamp pad.

Step 4:

Use a baby wipe to spread that ink into the spaces of the stencil. Remove the stencil and have a look.


Step 5:

Find an interesting stamp and a black stamp pad.

Step 6:

Create a border on the top and bottom of your page.

Now your page is all set for you to add a personal photo, or to do some journaling about your life!

Way to go!

I hope you have tons of fun in your visual journal!

Sending Blessings,


P.S. I am teaching Getting Started with Visual Journaling at Wet Paint in St. Paul, Minnesota. The next available class will take place on Saturday, June 22, 2019. See the Events section on the Wet Paint site for more information and to register.

Love is in the air, and I don’t mean only for those who are in a relationship, married, or partnered. There are all kinds of ways to love and be loved. In fact, self-love is huge in my book. It’s the foundation for which we make room (in our lives, in our hearts) to allow in love from other people.

I am one who believes in the power of love. I believe in the power of giving and receiving kindness. I most certainly believe in the healing power of art.

So, let’s make some hand-painted and stenciled paper to use as the foundation for handmade valentines. Create them for yourself, for your friends, your neighbors, your family, etc. The world can always use a little more vibrant color, light, and love from you. Let’s begin.

Step 1:

Dribble paints on your watercolor paper. (I used a variety of pinks, reds, and white).

Step 2:

Spread paint with a wide brush. (Enjoy the wonderful colors that appear before your eyes!)

Step 3:

Place a stencil or two on the wet paint. Use a baby wipe or damp paper towel to remove the paint through the stencil.

Step 4:

Continue using a variety of stencils, removing paint through the stencil.

TIP: If the paint is getting too dry, you can spritz plain water through the stencil, and then wipe away the paint.

Step 5:

Get out those spray inks and stencils!

TIP: For a crisper image, hold the spray ink further away from your paper.

(The closer you are, the wetter and more blurred the end result appears.

The image below shows too much spray ink, sprayed too close to the paper. It’s a learning process, and I am still learning. It’s okay if you are, too.)

TIP: After you’ve sprayed the ink over the stencil, use a paper towel roll to soak up the extra ink. (I learned this from Dina Wakley or Julie Fei-Fan Balzer.)

I had an absolute love affair with this Dylusions “Cherry Pie” Ink Spray. The color is just sooooooooooo delicious.

Step 6:

Add the Heart Chakra stencil in bright green.

Step 7:

Once your background paper has dried, use a heart template or paper punch to cut out your valentines.

Hand them out, mail them as a surprise, put them in your art journal, etc., etc. The possibilities go on and on! Be sure to save at least one for yourself.

I had a blast making this background paper. I am so grateful for artistcellar and other makers of quality art supplies. We need to play, enjoy color, and express ourselves. We need to give and receive love. If Valentine’s Day is hard for you, please be kind to yourself.

You are worthy. You are loveable, and you are loved.

May it be so.

Blessings to you,

Briana of

Hello Everyone! Apparently there is a meta theme going on within the Artistcellar Design Team. I am noticing that the Pocket Stencil “TRUST” keeps making an appearance in our work.

Is there a word that keeps asking for your attention lately? Feel free to share it within the comments below.

Initially, my intention for this post was to express my deep love for the “Arrow” stencil, which is part of the Traditional Japanese Series.

Instead of stopping after creating a pattern, I decided to go even further and made an entire art journal spread to share with you. I used the Elegant Writer from the Artistcellar shop for my writing and drawing.

First, let’s make an overall pattern using the “Arrow” stencil.

1. Paint the background of the right side of your spread "Ripe Tomato."

2. Next, paint the background on the left side of your page spread in "Tiger Lily."

3. Use "Tiger Lily" with a cosmetic wedge and the Arrow stencil over "Ripe Tomato."

4. Next, use "Ripe Tomato" with a cosmetic wedge and the Arrow stencil over "Tiger Lily."

 5. Check out your amazing spread!

 6. Optional: Clean your stencil with a baby wipe on a miscellaneous sheet of paper or journal page.

Now it’s time to do some art journaling! In case you are like most people, you might feel afraid of messing up this page spread featuring this lovely pattern. Here’s what you can say to your inner critic. “Inner critic, thank you for your concern, but this is just a journal page. It’s paper. It’s my place to be free, try things out, and have fun! It’s even a safe place to make mistakes! So, you may go away now. Good-bye!”

I like to start by writing the date. I also made a simple pattern with lines and dashes.

I don’t often draw in my journals, but I was curious about the nature of the Elegant Writer. Knowing that it bleeds when wet with water, I decide to try to sketch my son. He is pushing an empty stroller, because he’s three, and that’s what he wanted to do!

Allowing him to go for a walk with me, while pushing this empty stroller reminded me to TRUST the process of parenting.

I finished off the page by doing some journaling and coloring in a few spots with oil pastels.


The “Arrow” stencil is really fun and easy to use for making an overall pattern in your art journal, or on a card, etc.

The “TRUST” pocket stencil is powerful.

The Elegant Writer is great for writing and sketching; it bleeds when wet with water.

Have fun playing with stencils and your art!



PS Feel free to share the word that keeps asking for you attention in the comments below!