Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

“Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing.”-Georgia O’Keeffe

Do you journal? Or are you like me, jotting thoughts and sayings on random bits of paper? I have often purchased beautiful journals fulling intending to fill them. I just never do. I don’t know if it is the fear of the blank page, or what seems like the vast the number of pages that puts me off. But whatever the reason, there they sit, on my bookshelf, spotless as the day I purchased them.

Some time ago I bought a pack of inexpensive Ace playing cards. The flying biplane on the backs won me over! Who wouldn’t want to fly off to a new adventure in that wonderful plane? It was then I decided to use them as a journal. With a deck of 52, completing one card a week didn’t seem beyond the realm of possibilities. To kick off my venture I knew the best place to start was with the Artistcellar Pocket Stencil series Creative Words: Believe, Trust, Seek, and my favourite, Create.

Have you ever noticed the lovely sayings tucked away on the inserts of your Artistcellar Stencils? To me the stencils alone are creative cake…the inspirational quotes are the icing. Creative Words were just that…the catalyst I needed.

The playing cards have a plastic finish. To allow the media to attach, I sanded the cards and applied a quick layer of gesso. I didn’t want to totally cover the suits and numbers, so I removed some of it with a paper towel. On my work table, I assembled my stencils, acrylics and stamps. I wanted to have a bit of fun and see where my journey would take me. I revisited an old technique: applying rubber cement through the SEEK stencil.

I tried a new idea as well: dabbing Dye-Na-Flow colour through the TRUST stencil.

When dried I positioned the cards in a row and completed the backs. Though not identical, they have the same “feel”…a record of a time and place. In the end I was happy with the results. Best of all, the stencils stood up to everything I threw at them. Clean up was a snap and they were back to perfect condition.

The cards are now part of my new journal project, safely tucked away in a pocket page protector in a three ring binder.

Time seems to be racing by for me. Is it the same for you? Journaling is a wonderful way of capturing the essence of who we are. The perfect journal format is whatever suits you best. We owe it to ourselves to take the time to make our unknown known. Not only to ourselves, but sharing it those we hold dear. Right now. Right here.


Greetings Creative Ones! Let’s face it, stencils are a great way to overcome the fear of the “blank canvas” and faces are especially intimidating to create. I love the Jane Davenport faces I received in the mail the other day and thought it would be fun to play with them without a plan in mind and letting myself play. I enjoy creating this way, without expectations or a goal.

Today, I used the ASC061 "Coy" stencil and applied a light dusting of stamp pad ink over the stencil using a makeup sponge onto watercolor paper to bring out the subtle details of the stencil.

I used a pencil to finish the outline and painted with bold colors using transparent watercolors.

Opaque watercolors may come out muddy so choose your colors carefully. Make a handmade color chart of your watercolors to determine the color and transparency. Apply a band of black ink at the bottom area of the paper and brush the color over it. If you see color on the black after it dries, then it is not transparent. Some colors leave a sediment on the black and those are considered semi-transparent or semi opaque. I use those colors only when I need a pop of that color and I avoid mixing them with other colors.

Keep painting until you get the brilliance and detail you desire. For this painting, I wanted to keep the colors bold and juicy. I love watercolor because of the unpredictability of the results.

I used a Micron pen to draw the lines and doodles to bring out details of the face. This is where I can get really crazy with doodling and I may go back to this painting and doodle on it some more!

I filled in details with more watercolor and used a white opaque pen to create highlights. There are many white pens on the market but I have found the Posca Extra Fine white parker to be the most opaque and it dries permanent and waterproof which allows for over painting.


  • Artistcellar ACS061 stencil
  • Ranger Violet stamp pad
  • makeup sponge
  • Mission Gold watercolors
  • Micron pen
  • Uni Ball Posca opaque white paint pen .7mm

Wow! I would like to thank the Academy... no, I mean, I would like to thank YOU for coming along with us on this journey through Halftone Dots land! I LOVE what our Artistcellar Design Team did, all the beautiful projects, it's hard not to get intimidated. As you saw, you can do pretty much anything with these stencils!

Now is really the time to go back and have a look-see at the last SEVEN posts (starting with Artistcellar's Introduction on April 24th.) On each post we are giving away one free set of Halftone Dots stencils to a random lucky winner who leaves a comment. And if you already purchased a Halftone Dots Series, no worries! I understand Instant Gratification. If your name is picked, you can substitute any other Artistcellar Series for the win!

If you leave a comment on this post, it doesn't include an entry to the giveaway, but don't let it stop you, because if you leave a comment, at least I know you're reading this, LOL.

In conclusion, I would like to share another project that I did using the Halftone Dots series. But first I want to tell you why I love these so much. You know that little piece of punchinella that you keep losing? The one with only ONE size circles? The one that is so full of paint, it leaves flakes of color behind when you use it over and over (before you lose it!) Yeah, that right there. It's MUCH harder to lose a stencil! (Not saying it can't happen...) Plus, the series has four different sized circles to choose from, for your stenciling pleasure. AND they layer in the most perfectly imperfect way. Oh yes, just see what the Design Team did!

I love to use these on journal page backgrounds. For this one, I used Tim Holtz Distress Crayons (Set Three) in the neutral color palette. I scribbled and blended in a light color first, to get some color down. Then I took the different sized dot stencils and added darker colors back in with a wet wipe, that I rubbed some color on. This lets you get that slightly darker edge to the dots. I didn't wipe the color away, just applied it gently.

When I start doing something, I usually don't have a plan. I just let it flow and figure it out as I go. After I finished the background, I found a picture of this zebra. I love the contrast between the dots and the stripes and the monochrome feel of the page. A little lettering with a paint marker and a White Signo Pen and Viola! Done.

I hope you enjoyed our little faux-hop and got lots of inspiration from Artistcellar and its Awesome Design Team! Now don't forget to go back and leave a comment. I'm giving your four days to go back... until Tuesday May 10th at Midnight. I will pick winners on Wednesday May 11th and if you are the lucky one, I will contact you by email.

Good luck and make art!



Hello again!

I am really excited to be starting a new art journal today. I grabbed the small Dylusions journal and I've been wanting to decorate the inside cover.

When I saw the new Artistcellar Halftone Dot stencils, I knew I just had to use them in a fun and whimsical way! I started with a cosmetic sponge and  Dylusions paint in "London Blue" and I just covered the page. Then, I used the Halftone Dots: Shadow with Dylusions paint in "Vibrant Turquoise".

Once the paint was dry (it doesn't take long at ALL) I used a Halftone Dots: Midtone 2 with a palette knife and some black modeling paste. When the modeling paste dries, it stays raised up from the surface and provides the most amazing texture. 

I finished off with another Halftone Dots stencil, this time it was "Highlight"... with a cosmetic sponge and Dylusions paint in "Crushed Grape".

The cosmetic sponge really works beautifully with the stencil. 

Next, I tore out some illustrations from an old book, and used clear gesso to "glue" them to the journal. Once dry, I gave them a coat of Distress Stain in Walnut, and some gloss varnish. I really wanted it to be shiny, but if that isn't your thing, just go for a matte. 

I finished off with a black DecoArt Media Mister, some lace collage, ice stickles glitter glue and.... drippage! 

Overall, I love the fun and whimsical look of the dots not being perfectly round -- and I really loved how the stencils stacked and worked together. 

Now I really want to see what you can do with them. Wanna win a set? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think! We will pick a winner on May 11th and make contact through e-mail. Oh, and don't worry... if you already bought a set of Halftone Dots stencils you will get to pick another stencil series of your choice from Artistcellar.

Good luck!


Woot Woot! These NEW Halftone Dots Series stencils are soooooo great!

This is Briana from I am currently teaching a class called, “What Is Art Journaling?” through my local Adult Community Education program. Last week we were talking about using stencils in the art journal, and guess what? I brought the NEW Halftone Dots Series stencils along to let my students be the first to try them! The Halftone Dots Series stencils are now student tested and approved by beginning adult art journalers! Yay!

Going along with the art journal theme, I created a silly page spread to share with you today.

I have a question for ya’ll. Are there any pickle lovers reading this? What’s your favorite kind? Do you like sour dill? Kosher half-sour? Sweet pickles? Or maybe hot pickles are your preference?

No matter what kind of pickles you prefer, you just might want to save the label from the next empty pickle jar at your house. (Soak the glass jar in hot soapy water to help release the label’s glue.) You, too, can make some pickle pages in your beloved art journal with a few easy steps and art supplies!

First you’ll want to gather the following supplies:

Since I have already been kind of “chatty”, I am going to post the stepped out photos below.

Step 1: Spray Ink over Halftone Dots Series stencils

Step 2: Scrape acrylic paint over part of your spray inked and stenciled pages.

Step 3: Use Matte Medium to glue down your pickle label.

Step 4: Use a Giant Bamboo Brush Pen and Dye-na-flow to do some journaling about pickles.

I wrote, “I like pickles, yes, I do. I like pickles, how about you? Do you like ‘em sweet, or somewhere in between? I prefer them sour, but that’s just me!”

Step 5: Do some hand lettering about pickles with a Sharpie.

Step 6: Use yellow Dye-na-flow to fill in around some of the main shapes. Use a Uni Posca Paint Marker to color in and around some of your lettering.

I hope you enjoyed this “pickle pages” art journaling tutorial! Be sure to leave a comment below for your chance to WIN a set of Halftone Dots Series stencils! Writing your favorite kind of pickle with your comment is extra credit!

Have an amazing day!


YES!!! It's finally my turn to share! I was psyched when I saw these Halftone Dots stencils! They are so "perfectly imperfect"! As you can see I have been playing with them quite a bit and have already stained them from use.

But because of the pliability and strength of the Artistcellar stencils I am able to use a toothbrush to make sure the stenciled image stay clear, thank you for an awesome product!

The top 3 things I love about this stencil set?

  1. I love how the dots are not perfectly round,
  2. the way you can use them by 'stacking color' if you choose and
  3. the 4 different dot sizes are perfect!

Ok here is the fun! I wanted to try these a few different ways with different mediums and substrates.

The 1st thing I did of course is grab one of my Art Journals, this one is my Strathmore mixed media paper journal painted with my Dina Wakley Heavy body paints and a black DecoArt paint.

I used the stencils to create the background using random placement of the stencil.

I then went on to create my fairy face using the Dina Wakley paints layering thin layers of color so the background still ghosts through.

And some journaling to release a bit of stress.

The 2nd item I created, I used the Mineral paper that I love with watercolors to create a piece inspired by the Wizard of Oz.

I can totally see using these stencils again for a flowery field or even trees, it was so easy to use the watercolor bleed under technique (refer to my last blog post) to create such wonderful depth and color variation. I probably did 4-5 layers of stenciled color letting each layer dry before applying the next, and because I used the mineral paper, I was able to soften the lines easily with a damp brush.

I can't wait to play with these on the mineral paper some more, my brain gears are grinding!!!

The last item I decided to make is a small wall hanging for my bathroom wall, the substrate is pressed particle board from a  repurposed sign I had laying about. For paint I used DecoArt chalky finish paint, Matte Medium, watercolors and scrapbook paper.

I used the stencil this time in more of a pattern instead of being purposely random.

The finished piece is such a jumble of pattern and color it makes you read it, I love it!

So that is how I have played with this set so far, does it make you want them? if it does, go order some, or you could try to win a set by commenting below! That's right! Just give us a comment let us know what you think! Is your mind racing at how you could use them? Tell us!! The winner will be chosen on May 11th so cross your fingers!!

And don't forget to check out the other gals posts! 

P.S. there will be videos for the above projects so keep an eye out over at my YouTube channel!

Big Hugs and Mushy stuff!!!



I love using dots, circles, spots, round shapes in my artwork. Before stencils, my favorite go-to mark-makers were punchinella and bubble wrap, but I was always losing them. But now... Viola! Introducing Halftone Dots Stencils - never be without circles again!

What do I love most about these stencils? The versatility and the grunge factor. These are not perfect little smooth edged circles. Oh no, they have micro-wavy edges and are delightfully imperfectly round-ish. AND they layer in a fabulously wibbly-wobbly way. Yes, those are all grammatically correct technical terms.

Of course the above were all done with my gelli plate, which you all know I LOVE, because just LOOK at that texture and detail. But then I decided to make some art journal pages, because these stencils are GREAT for mixed media backgrounds. You can go subtle, like the greens in this page.

For this background, I used Tim Holtz Distress Crayons  (set one) sribbled all over a page in my Strathmore Hard Cover Journal, and smooshed them around with a water brush to lay a nice bright color down. For the record, the page was gessoed first. I then took the stencils (several of the different sizes) and laid them down and took a baby wipe, smeared a darker crayon color on the wet wipe, and wiped through the circles. I got a nice edge to the circles with the darker color. How fabulous is that?

The branches were done by using a brown ink and blowing carefully through a straw to make the ink run in different directions to mimic tree roots.

I did do some other projects, another journal page, and a set of coasters, but I'm going to use them in another blog post because I want to get to the exciting part! For the next two weeks, the Artistcellar Design Team is going to be featuring these stencils in our own little bloghop, except no hopping. All the posts will be on this blog so there are no stops to remember, AND they are EACH going to be giving away a set of stencils to a lucky random winner who leaves a comment. Tell us what you would do with them, what you like about them, how fabulous everyone's art work is! We will be picking winners on everyone's blog post on May 11th. So leave a comment (but just one!) on each person's post for your chance to win:

Monday 4/25 Karen Elaine
Wednesday 4/27 Shelby
Friday 4/29 Shana
Monday 5/2 Briana
Wednesday 5/4 Kirsten
Friday 5/6 Cristen

Of course leave a comment on THIS post, I'm going to give away a set too! And if you are really impatient and want to buy a set of Halftone Dots before finding out if you are a winner, go ahead and purchase them... if you win a set, you can exchange it for another set of stencils we have. It's a win-win all around! Hooray!

See you soon, XO Lisa





Hello again everyone! Today I'm taking inspiration from the Sacred Geometry 2 stencils and creating a double page journal spread full of texture and drippage and fun!

I've created a video for you!