Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

“Digging through my roots to understand the way my branches grew.”― Saleem Haddad

Are you like me…a collector of stories? Do tales of our immigrant past captivate you as they do me? Currently on my bookstand is “Three Minutes in Poland”. The author, Glenn Kurtz, discovered a family home movie filmed in 1938. This began a search to uncover the lost history of the town and people of Nasielsk. I can’t put the book down, and it certainly has influenced my muse for the next project.

I decided to once again create a design inspired by the fabric flags I purchased, this time using just two.  After attaching the flags to my poster board I lightly sanded them. The flags have a canvas texture and the sanding enhanced the weave. I sponged acrylics starting at the bottom and working to the top creating a tranquil evening sky.

The rubber stamp has been in my collection for quite a while. I inked it up with black acrylic paint and repeated the image several times across the flags. I liked the grainy finish which added texture to the composition.

Taking inspiration from the stamp design I added colour by stenciling Artistcellar’s Infra and Highlight Halftone Dots.

The bottoms of the flags are covered with wax infused tissue paper. Reminiscent of the stories told to me, the words create a cadence all their own. I intend to frame the flags and attach beads and charms to the cords…a few that were even passed on to me.

There is so much to learn from recollections shared by family members. Bittersweet memories passed on to me by my grandmother of her youth in Poland are an integral part of my “root system”. And this foundation allowed my branches to search for their perfect evening sky.

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“Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind” - Jim Seals & Dash Crofts



It was nice to hear “Summer Breeze” on the radio the other day. It certainly takes me back to a time and place…one that now seems exceedingly serene.

Not long ago I purchased a set of Heidi Swapp fabric flags at Michaels. The pack has twelve 4” x 5.5” natural cotton pennants held together with white cord. They are perfect for painting and stenciling. The flags easily slide across the cord which allows you to choose how many you wish to use. I decided to create a triptych. With the melody of “Summer Breeze” blowing through my mind, I knew my next project needed to caress the spirit of summer the song so effortlessly portrays.

After spraying my poster board with adhesive I lined up the flag so I could create a read-across of continuous images. I like using natural sponge with acrylics. The textures they leave behind can lend a lot of interest to a design. Using a rough sponge, I covered the flags with warm yellow acrylic adding lemon highlights. Once the flags dried I started the stenciling.



The Bodacious Pods from the Artistcellar Playful Pods series were perfect. I altered the stencil with painter’s tape and used the pods to fit the space. The languid movement across the flags was just what I wanted…like a summer breeze. The Traditional Japanese Dragonfly stencil finished my design with another image that speaks summer magic to me. Diamonds and dots completed the project.

I can’t wait to hang the summer flags next to my Prayer Flags. How do you embrace the essence of your favourite season in your work? I hope the tranquil spirit of summer envelopes you and lasts well into the seasons to come.

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“Many people think that patience is a sign of weakness. I think this is a mistake. It is anger that is a sign of weakness, whereas patience is a sign of strength.” -  Dalai Lama

Life of late has taken a turn in a not so wonderful direction. I appreciate we are often challenged by circumstances beyond our control. I am also aware that with Life’s every twist and turn there is something to learn. I think the lesson for me, here and now, is Patience.

Last year I created a series of Prayer Flags. They still fly on the pergola. Seeing them inspires me to embrace serenity mindfully. And their comforting cues usually do the job. I wanted to add another chiffon flag. This time I wanted to feature the virtue of Patience.

Finding solace in Art, it was a relief to gather up my supplies gets started. The first step was to prep the cardboard base. Because of the weight of the chiffon, just a light coat of repositional adhesive was needed. I rolled the fabric on to the cardboard and smoothed out the few air bubbles I found. I started work with a new stencil series recently added to my collection: Artistcellar Steampunk! It was the perfect choice…a pattern of gears and dials reminded me of clocks and the need to allow life to unfold at its own pace. Not mine.

I placed the Apparatus stencil on an angle and when dried flipped it to continue the pattern across the flag. The Steampunk Lace stencil fell beautifully into place just above the border. If you are like me, you find that certain stencils quickly become favourites. They are the ones that allow your creativity to fly. The Steampunk Series certainly falls into this category for me. And even with the many cut outs, the stencils cleaned up in a flash, not requiring me to exercise patience.  I have found that Artistcellar stencils are sturdy enough to take frequent applications of paint and cleanings. This is so important to me. I gravitate to supplies that I don’t have to baby. They let me to focus on the creation of my work.

I have also been falling in love with the Ranger series of Dylusions Paints. If you haven’t tried them, you don’t know what you’re missing. The tubs have a wide mouth which makes it easy to dip in your brush, or as in my case, a natural sponge. But what I love the most is the way they hold the vibrant colour, even on something as sheer as chiffon. I can’t wait to see my flag flying next to the Prayer Flags. But that requires patience.

I threw caution to the wind for the rest of the design and added the colours and stencils as they came to hand. The final piece of the design was the word that inspired it all: Patience. It was now ready to sew on to the dowel and add a string.

I take refuge in the fact that all things pass…the great, the good, as well as the dreadful. And I hope my gentle reminder floating from the pergola brings comfort on the days when the strength of patience is truly what I need.

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