Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Hello Artistcellar lovers!

I’m Marrian and I have the great pleasure of popping into the Artistcellar blog to bring you some new ideas for using their awesome stencils.  I’ve been a paper crafter for 18 years and have had the opportunity to write two books on card making. I currently run a website offering card making courses, but more on that later.

Here are some supplies you’ll need:

  • Artistcellar Tiles stencil from the Blocks Series 
  • Distress Oxide Inks
  • Sponge dauber or make-up sponge
  • Tape
  • Piercing tool or ballhead pin
  • Craft foam pad or a mouse pad
  • Neenah Classic Crest cardstock either 80 or 100 lb, (you can also use a flat heavier white cardstock you may have on hand
  • Colored cardstock to use as layers for the finished card
  • Base Card blank
  • Metallic thread or really any kind you have
  • Foam tape as an option
  • Embellishment (I used a laser cut dandelion)
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Paper Cutter

    Okay, let’s get started!

    Begin by cutting a piece of the Neenah cardstock, to measure 5 1/4 x 4".  I like to make the paper larger than what I'll need so that I can choose the best area to highlight when putting the card together.

    I find that when I'm working with inks, it's handy to work on a surface you can easily clean and use again and again.  I choose to work on a glass cutting board, which I found at a local thrift store; however, you can also use scrap paper.  Tape the piece of paper to the glass using the least possible amount of tape so as not to show too much white areas on the sides of the paper.

    Next place the stencil over the paper, aligning it and taping its edges down to the glass as well so it doesn't move around when you're applying the ink.

    If you're using an alternate stencil, try to pick one that has a similar simple geometric design as they're the easiest to start with.

    Now it's time to ink it up!  In the above picture you can see I used Distress Oxide ink, Faded Jeans, as the first color to add.  You can also see the foam circle on an applicator that is usually for alcohol inks, but I like to use what I have, so I improvised.

    Ink up your foam piece and apply the ink in a circular pattern without adding too much pressure.  The great thing about these inks is that you can always add more color and moving in a circle allows the colors to softly blend.

    When using your own stencils, add color in a similar way, placing each color on different areas of the card stock.

    Next, I used another Distress Oxide ink, Salty Ocean.  Apply this ink in the white spaces that were left after you added the previous ink.  Again, use circular motions to blend these two colors together.

    Lastly, I added the Iced Spruce Distress Oxide ink in just a few areas using a small sponge piece.   Once you have these three inks on the paper, you can go back and use the sponge applicator with the Faded Jeans ink and gently go around the card stock to smooth in a bit more color where needed. This ensures that the colors are softly blending into each other without making the whole card one hue.

    Remove the stencil from your paper and voila - you have an awesome background design! 

    Using a blowdryer or heat gun, heat set the ink onto the cardstock so that it doesn't smudge when you work with it.

    Next, cut the cardstock piece so that it measures 4 3/4" x 3 1/2".  When you're cutting, make sure to cut off the places where the tape was on the card, which are white once removed.

    Now you'll need to add piercings to the stencilled piece of cardstock in order to be able to complete the stitching.  You don't need to stitch the entire stencil pattern, but rather, highlight just a portion of it.

    Place the cardstock piece onto a foam pad. Using your ruler, place it along one of the squares edges and make piercings at the corners of the squares, keeping the ruler in place.

    Continue to use your ruler to add more piercings around each square you want to highlight.

    Next, you can begin to add stitches around each square.  Make sure to choose a thread that is easily seen on the card and tape it to the back of the cardstock piece before you begin.  Taping the thread down when you're starting and ending stitching allows the card to lay flat when you're finished.

    I used a thicker metallic thread to do the stitching, as I like how much it adds to the texture and dimension of the card.

    Here you can see the completed stitching I added to the stencilled card.

    Gather some cardstock papers that you'll use as layered accents on the finished card.  You'll need the following sizes; two pieces of gold cardstock, one measuring 3 3/4" x 5" to place behind the stencilled piece.  The other should be cut to measure 4 3/4" x 6 1/4".  Also cut a piece of blue cardstock measuring 4 1/2" x 6".  I used a premade card base that measured 6 1/2" x 5" when folded in half.

    Glue the larger gold and blue cardstock pieces onto the card base and set aside.

    Glue the stencilled/stitched cardstock piece onto the smaller gold cardstock paper.  Next, you will attach and center this piece onto the base card. You can add foam tape or foam squares to the back that will lift this piece off of the base card to add further dimension, but only if you choose to.

    You can choose which embellishment if any you want to add to the card front.  If you're a stamper you can add a message like “Happy Birthday” to a cardstock strip and attach it to the front.  You could also add a paper flower, decorative tag or really any item you want, so don't feel limited by this list.

    I added a laser cut dandelion flower to the card, as I like the way it still has some geometric lines and yet also offers the basic design of a circle, which offsets the squares nicely.

    I hope you enjoyed making this card project!  If you’re interested in learning more card making skills, hop on over to my website, startcardmaking.com, and sign up to receive free, weekly card making projects.

    You can also check out the free mini courses and card making courses on using stencils, stamping, stitching and paper folding.

    Hello all!

    Today, I have a video for you. This weekend I explored a local antique shop and found some serious treasures. A really old photo album -- and a cool vintage postcard. Today I'm going to use both to create a texture-rich art journal page using Artistcellar block stencils!

    Now, for the video:

    Oh hello! Today, I filmed a little video of my art journaling. Right now I'm going through a time of healing. One of the ways that I heal is through baring my soul in an art journal. Today I was inspired by a bit of poetry by Nayyirah Waheed. (You can find her @nayyirah.waheed on Instagram)

    "The idea of a second heart."

    Supply list: 

    https://youtu.be/2dMWCVydwoA

    Hello Everyone,

    Right now, I need both a creative outlet, and a way to bring a sense of calm to my nervous system. I unconsciously created a journal page with a color palette that is not my norm. I’d like to share it with you in this post, to hopefully inspire and encourage you to trust your intuition as you create.

    Supplies Used:

     

    To apply the Distress Stain, I used a paper plate palette and dabbed the color onto it.

    I then used a cosmetic wedge to grab the color of the stain to work through the stencil.

    This worked well for me. In the past, when I’ve tried to use the Distress Stain directly through the stencil, it was too wet, and it seeped under the stencil.

    I liked how light and airy these pods were, so I decided to give them some space to breathe.

    Choosing the blue acrylic paint for the background was sort of a surprise to me. Once I used it, it felt like water, which made me relax.

    Next, I decided to add more pattern over that blue. So, I grabbed the Block Series stencils.

    What I loved about the “Cross T” stencil was that I could easily line it up where I left off, to continue the pattern.

    And again here:

    I decided this all looked like a plate on a tablecloth, so I added a yellow napkin, too.

    Since I was thinking of nature and the ocean, a thought came to me with a title for this journal page. So, I wrote, “I am calling this ‘Respite with Yellow Napkin.’ Beach, sea, water, land, color, calm the self.”

    I created another page more quickly by cleaning my stencil with a baby wipe, and using up some the extra paint on my palette.

    Sometimes these are my favorite pages, as they are free, loose, and expressive!

    Thank you for being here and reading this post.

    I am sending creative vibes out to you, so may also experience a sense of calm and inner peace while you play with your art supplies!

    Blessings to you,

    Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com

    Oh hello again!

    This week I have been really busy filming - I'm a teacher in this year's Ever After with Willowing Arts! My theme is Alice in Wonderland, which you know I'm very excited about.

    To keep with the Alice in Wonderland theme, I decided I wanted to paint intuitively  on a huge piece of watercolor paper. 

    I had so much fun creating that "poster" last time, I decided to give it yet another go. I started with some 12 x 12 Artistcellar Stencils. I love these Sacred Geometry stencils, and they pair nicely with the Diamond Series stencils as well!  

    From here, I'm just building up layers with the same DecoArt Media Mister in "Carbon Black" except now I'm also adding in 6 x 6 stencils and pocket stencils! 

    Quasicrystals, Blocks, Chakra Series Pocket Stencils, and Labyrinth Series stencils play a big role in the mood here!

    Now, for the really adventurous part... I mixed up some fluid and high flow acrylics with DecoArt Pouring Medium and poured paint directly on the poster. 

    If I had planned ahead for this part I would have worked on a big canvas and not watercolor paper, but hey! We are painting intuitively here, after all. 

    This is probably one of the messiest yet most satisfying things ever! The hard part is waiting for it to dry, which takes 24 hours or more.

    But, with a little patience I was able to return to it and add small details with Posca Paint Pens. Here, I'm adding some leaves and the quote, "Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."

    That's it! 

    This was so hard to photograph because the pouring medium leaves things a bit glossy which looks incredible in person! (If you would like to sign up for Ever After 2018, visit: https://www.willowing.org/product/ever-after-2018/?affiliates=120 )

     

    “I am a great admirer of mystery and magic. Look at this life. All mystery and magic.” - Houdini

    Do you believe in magic? Are you intrigued as I am by stage magicians? Even if I know the secret to the trick, I still relish the performance. Mystery and magic. I can’t get enough of it.

    For my next Artistcellar project I wanted to experiment with a supply I haven’t used in a long time. I have always liked adding embossing powders to my art. There is something about the transformation from powder to a liquid metal effect that I find sublime. I recently purchased a set of Seth Apter’s Baked Texture Embossing powders. With names like Chunky Rust, and Vintage Beeswax I couldn’t wait to create with them.

    My other recent obsession is image transfers. I have been attaching images to an array of papers. The results widely vary. But when they work, it’s like holding a bit of magic in your hand. Most of my transfers have been produced from photocopies of engravings. The lines hold well to the substrate. I wanted to try a halftone photo. I decided to try my luck with a photo of a woman in a top hat I saw in a book. Because I wanted a transparent finish I transferred the photo to a tea bag. After a bit of soaking and rubbing, I was pleased with the results.

    Using an old library book cover for the substrate I began the collage. I glued a piece of joss paper to the cover and layered the image transfer on top. While it was drying, I covered a selection of papers with embossing ink using my Open Work stencil from the Blocks series. I especially liked the colour and texture I got from the Ancient Amber powder on the tea bag. I also tried the powders on a piece of parchment paper. As the powder set, they lifted from the paper and I glued them to the design as free standing jewels. I liked the old carnival poster effect of the piece. I completed the work with tissue paper from my last project, a bit of French newspaper I covered with Vintage Beeswax powder, and papers infused with real beeswax.

     

    Every time I create I dive into all that is magical and mysterious. The magic has been the discovery of a new way to use a supply. The mystery often times is just the process of creation. My hope is that you follow your inspired heart. It can guide you to places and people who will forever enchant your life.

    MATERIALS USED:

    • ARTISTCELLAR STENCILS: HALFTONE DOTS, BLOCK SERIES (Open Work)
    • HANDCUT DIAMOND STENCIL
    • PLAID ACRYLICS: Sunflower, Inca Gold
    • DECOART: Sunny Day, Blue Harbor, Sea Glass, Desert Turquoise
    • DYLUSIONS PAINT: Vibrant Turquoise, Cut Grass, Fresh Lime, London Blue, Crushed Grape, Squeezed Orange, Bubblegum Pink, Postbox Red
    • DINA WAKLEY ACRYLICS: Blushing
    • REEVES: Bronze, Gold
    • SETH APTER - EMERALD CREEK EMBOSSING POWDER (Ancient Amber, Chunky Rust, Vintage Beeswax, Patina Oxide)
    • STAMPENDOUS CLEAR EMBOSSING INK
    • LIQUITEX MATTE MEDIUM
    • NATURAL SPONGE
    • PAINTER’S TAPE
    • HEAT GUN
    • TISSUE PAPER
    • JOSS PAPER
    • WAX INFUSED PAPER
    • VINTAGE FRENCH NEWSPAPER
    • LASER PHOTOCOPY  
    • HARDBACK BOOK COVER

    Hello all!

    For this week's project I started working on a couple portrait of my friends, Arlo and Ruby.

    This isn't just any portrait though, I wanted to create them in my own little character style, so I started with some rough sketches using some of their qualities. They are both unique, so it was pretty easy to pick out some great qualities to highlight.

    From there, I used watercolors to add the first wash of colors.

    Then, I picked three Artistcellar stencils - Cathedral Plans: Reims Plan, Blocks: Tiles, and Labyrinth: Crete. I used modeling paste and a palette knife to create incredible texture with the stencils. In fact, this has to be my absolute favorite way to use Artistcellar stencils - as background and texture elements to my paintings.

    Once dry, I added even more watercolor - and watching it travel between the raised modeling paste really makes my soul sing.

    To incorporate even more color I started incorporating acrylic paint into the portraits and the flowers.

    From here, another one of my favorite techniques is to put down some watercolor on top of dried acrylic (you can see this in the flowers) then I spritz it with water and let it run and melt on the page. To me, this is relinquishing control... and I think that is an important and fun practice to integrate into my art.

    So, to finish it all off I added some white highlights with a uniball signo UM-153.

    I can't wait to send it to them. I hope they love it!

    Hello everyone!

    Currently, a year long journaling/tarot class called Pull Pen Paint is well underway! I'm excited to be one of the guest teachers - but also excited to be a student as well.

    I wanted to create a fun insert in my journal. This particular journal is a little strange -  I made it myself and added in elastic so I could have a "travelers journal" feel to go along with it. 

    Today, I'm making a fabric insert using ink sprays and Artistcellar stencils!

    Artistcellar Stencils used:
    I started with a piece of canvas and laid the stencils down in the design I wanted. Then, I used ink sprays through the stencil.
    Next, I used some wax linen thread on one of the outer edges, just for a little extra ooomph. To finish, I cut it down to size, and slipped it into my journal!
    From here, I can put a little gesso on the inside of the fabric insert, and I can paint on it later - if I want to! I kinda like the inky, grungy design there already. I really LOVE the extra texture of fabric in my journal, and since it's only added through the elastic, I can switch it out as my mood sees fit. 
    Want to join us in Pull Pen Paint? Go here -> http://bit.ly/PanArtPPP18
    "Life is a minestrone
    Served up with Parmesan cheese
    Death is a cold Lasagna
    Suspended in deep freeze. -10cc – Eric Stewart, Lol Creme

    Who doesn’t like soup? Warm, comforting, encouraging you to release your creativity with each new recipe, it is just the thing to lift my spirits. And as we trudge through more cold and snowy winter weather the smiling woman in the vintage ad carrying home her paper bag of Campbell’s soup and an article in a local magazine inspired me.

    I have participated in a charity postcard exchange for the last several years. I knew my mind was set on the image I wanted to use for my next design. If you are like me, you know when an art supply is “just right”. The incredible range of Artistcellar stencils always help me find precisely what I am looking for in minutes. Spreading out my stencils, my eye was drawn to the Quasicrystals and Blocks Series. Yes…they were “just right”.

    The card came together fairly quickly. I lightly coated a postcard size piece of cover stock with gesso. Using my sponge with the most texture, I applied several shades of Dylusion Paint. Working wet on wet I sponged the wonderful Dylusion Ink Spray to build the background. I wanted to create a sensation of warmth and happiness. Using the Dylusion products never disappoint. The colours are as rich and vibrant dry as they are wet. Again…they were “just right”.

    Cutting out the image of the woman from the ad, I glued it to the card.

    A local monthly magazine runs the most amazing food column. The recipes are carefully thought out which makes them easy to successfully replicate. This month paid homage to a rich and robust Minestrone, one of my all-time favourites. Reading through the ingredients, an old song came to mind…"Life is a Minestrone". I cut out sections of the recipe to surround our shopper.

    I completed the postcard with a spray of colour in the shape of Quasicrystals Infra. Adding balance to the design, I stenciled Open Work Blocks in metallic gold.

    Returning to my inspiration, I believe our lives always revolve around choosing a little bit of this, maybe a tad of that. We make the best of what we have on hand. But I am convinced that with a dollop of creativity and a dash of invention our lives can be as truly nourishing as a simmering Minestrone.

    MATERIALS USED:

    • ARTISTCELLAR STENCILS: QUASICRYSTALS (Infra), BLOCKS (Open Work)
    • LIQUITEX WHITE ACRYLIC GESSO
    • LIQUITEX MATTE MEDIUM
    • SCOTCH SCRAPBOOKERS GLUE
    • DYLUSION PAINT: Squeezed Orange, Bubble Gum, Vibrant Turquoise, Fresh Lime
    • DYLUSION INK SPRAY: Bubble Gum
    • DINA WAKLEY MEDIA: Blushing
    • PLAID: Sunflower
    • DECO ART: Blue Harbor
    • REEVES: Gold                                                                        
    • PRO ART BRUSH: 1” Bristle
    • NATURAL SPONGE
    • 130 LB COVER STOCK
    • VINTAGE ADVERTISEMENT IMAGE
    • RECIPE FROM A MAGAZINE

    Hello friends!

    After spending my morning creating amazing little pieces with plaster and molds (some homemade, some store bought) I was feeling really inspired to create. I grabbed a small canvas and set to work without really a plan of what the final result should be.

    First, I used an Artistceller Blocks Series Stencil (Tiles) with DecoArt Media Mister in Carbon Black. Since the canvas is so thick, I thought it would be fun to add some of that stencil design on the sides, too.

    Next, I used an Artistcellar Labyrinth Series Stencil (Crete) with Golden Coarse Molding Paste. 

    From there, I glued my plaster pieces on, and started building color with Tattered Angels Glimmer Mists in - Partridge in a Pear Tree, True Blood, Lava, and Iron.

    I also used a palette knife and some of Finnabair's Rust paste for extra texture.

    Then, to finish the whole thing off, I poured Liquitex Pouring Medium on top and let it dry. This creates a super glossy, almost resin-like effect except it's way less sticky, messy and smelly. (Hooray!)

    I like to make weird art. Art that makes me think. Art that makes people uncomfortable. 

    I call this one D - I - S - C - O - N - N - E - C - T, and I'm still deciphering it's message myself. 

     

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