Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Hello my Lovely Lovelies!!! I am so excited to share today's arty fun with you! I actually created this piece on March 16, which is my Birthday! Yay me! Lol! I also am getting to share how I used the new Artistcellar Quilt series stencils

As soon as I saw these beautiful stencils I knew immediately that I wanted to create something that incorporated my family history. I have an AMAZING family and these stencils reminded me of a speech my Auntie made about how quilts helped aid runaway slaves to safety and freedom. My family is of (MUCH) mixed ancestry and are known as the Cheyenne Valley settlers. They were one of a few integrated communities that lived peacefully without prejudice with integrated schools, churches, and helped each other in times of need. Also one of my Ancestors was know for the round barns that can be found all around the area. My family history on my paternal side is fascinating! If you would like to read more you can search for Cheyenne Valley Settlers Wisconsin. 

I love that I created this piece about my history on my birthday, it grounds me, and once again makes me realize how lucky I am to have been raised within a family that didn't judge based on skin color. I still have a hard time comprehending how people can do that. 

To create this piece I used both the Mini Quilt Pocket stencils and the 6 x 6 Quilt series stencils, I painted the a brick round barn with some simplified Wisconsin scenery in the background using my Koi Watercolor field kit on Strathmore Coldpress watercolor paper. I decided to use the 6x6's to create some fun quilt shapes in the sky. I then used the pocket stencils to put quilts hanging out on the line to dry. For the last step I used my White Gel pen to add some bright white contrast throughout the piece!

I am so happy with how this turned out! I would have liked it without the use of the new stencils, but the stencils made the whole piece feel more homie and they add just that little bit of detail the bumps it up from like to love!

Big Hugs and Mushies to you!

Shana Banana

P.S. I do not have the video completed yet (its my birthday! I'm gonna go play some bingo!) but hope to get it completed soon!


“Beds, three tiers high, were still not sufficient to accommodate the 5,000 immigrants who arrived daily. Many, like this young woman, were forced to sleep on benches, chairs, or on the floor.” – Lewis W. Hine

When traveling, have you ever felt bone-weary…so tired you feared the next step? Have you ever been stranded in an airport, with nothing but what seemed like unending hours until the next flight? I have. And if you are like me, I am sure all you could think of was getting somewhere, anywhere, to sleep. To lessen the discomfort of my situation, I like to visualize of my cozy bed at home, covered with a warm, colorful quilt.

My inspiration for this collage was a photograph from the Hine Collection. As an educator, Lewis W. Hine encouraged his students to use photography as a tool for social change. He often held his sociology classes at Ellis Island. In five years, 1904 to 1909, he produced 200 photographs of the immigrants passing through the Island. The young woman trying her best to get some sleep is one I thought fit perfectly with the new Artistcellar Quilt Stencils.

The new series features four quilt designs: The Bear Claw, The Star Flower, and the two I chose to use, The Ohio Star and the Amish Star. Living close to Lancaster, PA it’s nice to see the Amish star included in the series.

Going back to my Strathmore Journal, I sponged on layers of acrylic paint, letting each dry between applications. Having the stencils in both the 6” x 6” and Pocket size is really useful. In my work, I used both. Again, the quality of the stencils didn’t let me down. Even though the paint was dry between multiple layers, clean up was a snap, with each stencil back to immaculate condition. I built the background quilt layer by tiling the image as on a true cloth covering.

Completing the collage, I drew upon my collection of ephemera. I surrounded the Slavic lady with what I imagine surrounded her: mountains of paperwork as she made her way through the Ellis Island process. 

And was she like you and me, tired and sleepy, dreaming of a familiar place to rest? Did her dreams include quilts and thoughts of home?


Hello beautiful souls,

Today's challenge was quilt squares with the new pocket quilt squares and 6x6 quilt square stencils. These new stencils remind me of the quilt my mom made for me in the early 90's. Hmmm so what to do with these style stencils to think outside the box? I decided to use a design style that I had discovered early on in my mixed-media journey where I did some cut out butterflies with some stenciling and gold outlines. I called the original piece "Becoming Real" because as I designed the butterflies on the packing paper desk cover I realized how pretty the "mess" was and decided to use it as the background. The outlined butterflies seemed to come to life out of the paper and it was a great metaphor for the transition in my life as well.

I pulled out my watercolors and go to work creating a background with some nice warm colors.

Next I began layering the quilt square stencils in both sizes to the paper with some different colored distress inks, shimmer spray, and white ink.

Next I got to work cutting out the butterflies. I first outlined them in gold and then folded up their wings to give them some more life.

Next I decided to use a canvas I had covered with tissue paper for another project and began adding paint through the stencils in blues.

I wanted to make the design pop more so I outlined the images in gold.

Here is the finished piece.

I was pretty pleased to have worked the quilt square theme into a design that didn't fit the typical style.

I also had my studio mate, Christian working with me at the art table again. It's always nice to create together. 

We were creating some pieces for Free Art Friday again. Christian created this mini canvas with the sacral chakra pocket stencil 

and I did a one of my "Metatron's Full Moon Galaxy" pieces on a 4x6 watercolor using the flower of life and Metatron's cube stencils. 

 How do you use your quilt square stencils?

 Love, light, and art,