Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Hello! My name is Cristin Stevenson, also known as ‘PanArt’. I am both excited and honored to be a part of the Artistcellar Design Team!

I am a mixed media artist, art journaler, jewelry creator, guitarist and coffee enthusiast.    I was initially shown a love for creating from my great grandmother... whenever I would go visit she always had a project planned for us and we always kept busy.  Many years later, I decided to take the leap and pursue art as a full-time venture. Since then, I have had many artist features locally and an opportunity to expand through online teaching. 

I find inspiration from music, nature, and color of all kinds. My favorite mediums include acrylics, watercolors, texture and crackle pastes. I also love to utilize stencils in my work for added interest, texture and magic!

In this project, I was instantly inspired by the Artistcellar Sacred Hearts Series Stencils!

I started by applying a wash of acrylic paint on vintage sheet music. Then, I used bubble wrap with carbon black acrylic paint and stamped the bottom left and top right corners as well as a border of carbon black around the entire page.

On a separate piece of paper (I used watercolor paper that had been prepped with black gesso) use modeling paste and a palette knife with the Artistcellar Sacred Heart series stencil. Simply scrape the modeling paste on the page through the stencil with the knife, then immediately rinse the stencil in warm water.

Once the modeling paste is dry, glue the stenciled image to the sheet music. Then, just add some stitches of thread around the corners, bottom of the painting. I liked the extra texture it added. I think it just makes it interesting!

Lastly, paint the stenciled image with a wash of acrylic paint and apply a thick layer of DecoArt Media Crackle Glaze. The thicker layer you add, the more “intense” the crackle effect will be. Finish  up with some white highlights.

Art is how I express myself, capture life’s moments, and release. My aim is to never be content, to never stop learning and never stop creating. I love having the opportunity to inspire others through art… because art truly is not an option.

You can find me, here:



My name is Kirsten (pronounce it "Curse 10") Varga and I am doing a happy dance over here about being part of Artistcellar's Design Team. I have been creating for as long as I can remember. I earned a Bachelors in Fine Art from the University of Arizona many moons ago and I worked as a graphic designer after graduation. I also worked for a local scrapbook store (LSS, if you will) and I enjoyed smelling all the gorgeous papers and teaching design classes to lovely ladies. It was one of the best jobs.  I have also worked in custom invitations and that was super fun and challenging too. When my sweet children started appearing I stayed home with them and tried to keep the creativity alive by puttering around in my creative cave (as my husband calls it). 



Now that my daughters are 10, 8, 6 and 4 I am dipping my toe back into the workforce. Currently I am working part-time as the art teacher at an elementary charter school and I am enjoying it so so much. Just the other day I blew some Kindergardener's minds by mixing yellow and blue together. Pure magic people. If I was paid by hugs from my students I would be a millionaire.



Messing around with art supplies is super fun and I look forward to sharing my shenanigans with you. Paper is my very favorite medium followed by acrylics and pen & ink. I like making books and working on canvas or wood panels. Mixing mediums is my jam and texture makes my heart sing.



 I made some notebooks awhile back for a different project and had some leftovers from when I trimmed them down. The scraps were the perfect size for pocket size jotter type notebook. Despite knowing what I wanted them to become they sat on my desk waiting to inspiration to strike. How would I decorate them? When I saw Artistcellar's pocket stencils I knew I had to use them on my mini jotters! The inspirational words are the best size for little masterpieces.



I started by adding Dina Wakley's acrylic paint with a brayer onto the cover. After that dried I used white paint for the word stencil and applied it with my finger. Weeeee! After that dried I grabbed the Sacred Heart series and used them to add "sunshine" type lines radiating from the words. I needed to reapply the white paint onto the words so it would pop more. Finally I grabbed some colorful embroidery floss and did a simple three hole pamphlet stitch to hold the book together.


Woohoo! Beautiful notebooks I would be proud to give as gifts (or keep for myself, hee hee!).



I look forward to sharing more of my artsy adventures with Artistcellar stencils with you.



If you are interested you can find me here:





“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” –Maya Angelou

Hello, hello, everyone! My name is Briana Goetzen. I am thrilled to be a part of the Artistcellar Design Team. I am a multi media artist and Expressive Arts Coach who believes in the power of creative expression. I seek to inspire you to get in touch with your own inner strengths, wisdom, and creativity, so that you may be more whole, more connected, and more true to YOU!

Art supplies (and books) have been my true love since I was a child. As an adult, the world of mixed media has also made my heart go pitter pat. Stencils in particular get me “crazy excited”! Do you know the feeling?

I adore the stencils here at Artistcellar. The quality is superior, and the designs speak to my heart and soul.

Typically, the art I create and teach is with a “process over product” philosophy. This means that I believe getting present and enjoying the process of “playing” is more important than a specific end result. (My goal is less stress, MORE JOY!)

Below is an example of how I work. Imagine me in my messy art studio with a fresh pack of QUASICRYSTALS SERIES stencils. My time is limited, so I quickly grab some paint bottles in colors that please me. I’ve got my paint, stencils, and cosmetic wedges ready.

My process looked like this:

With the “Penrose” stencil from the QUASICRYSTALS set, I used craft acrylic paint and a cosmetic wedge. I started from the outside with the bright red-orange, then transitioned to pink. With a clean cosmetic wedge, I switched to dabbing yellow in the center of the stencil. Finally, I added a little lime green on the outside edges of the yellow center.

Excited to try more from the QUASICRYSTALS series, I grabbed a random piece of paper in my art studio. The multi-colored metallic circle (or Ënso) I previously painted, would look great with the “Quasi” pattern inside. Black acrylic paint would create a nice contrast. You can also see I tried a few dots from the “Infra” stencil, over on the right side of the paper. Loving the “Infra” dots led me to experiment with an overall pattern on some deli paper! Again, I am still using black acrylic paint and a cosmetic wedge with the stencil.

Pictured below is the deli paper on top of the two previous stencil pieces.

I am an avid art journaler, so I am always trying out new ways to add layers and interesting elements to my pages. Can’t you just see an “Infra” stenciled deli paper flap, attached with some washi tape, over one of QUASICRYSTALS stencils, on a journal page? Yum, yum, yum!

Yes, my process is a little random, but I’d rather be making art than just thinking about making art! Agreed?

Plus, artful play is good for your health! (Remember, less stress, MORE JOY!)

Lastly, I must mention that my other favorite set of Artistcellar stencils is the Signature Series MARKED by Lynn Krawczyk. Below is a picture of the “Tracks” stencil, where I was playing with modeling paste, spray inks, and graphite scribbles.

Thank you for reading this post! I can’t wait to share more Artistcellar goodness with you in the coming months!

I’d like to invite you to subscribe, follow, or peek around my Orange Spiral Arts blog and social media links below. Creative expression can help heal your hurts and transform your life for the better. Express yourself! Be freeeeeeee!

Blessings and Peace,


PS If you are local to the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, I offer art workshops for adults on a regular basis around town! If you are states or oceans away, I have some online offerings as well.

Briana’s Links:






Instagram: @brianacreates








EEEeeek! I am so psyched! I am excited to be a part of the Artistcellar  Design team! I have been nosing around the social media of the other gals and I can’t believe the talent that Lisa has found and I doubly can’t believe I am part of this talented group!

Ok enough gushing! I am Shana Conroy, aka Shana Banana aka Shana Bird aka Wisccheeto. I have gained many nicknames in my life but those are the ones that stuck!

I am a lifelong artist, I was previously a Documentation Engineer but gave it up to pursue art full time. The artistic talents in my family are huge and music and art have always been a part of our upbringing.

I am also so lucky to be a part of the Admin team for the Artful Journeys Facebook art journal group and Artful Chicks blog. I am the slacker in the group, but fortunately they love me and I never fail to be inspired by the other Admins.

I have done a lot of different types of art, there are actually people out there with my artwork on them permanently, I am NOT a tattoo artist but have designed many tattoos and still am in shock when someone wants my art on their body forever.

I have done multiple wall murals; I have also been a big part of a few weddings, I have been a photographer, florist, make-up artist, decoration specialist and hair stylist, anything creative I can do, and hey pay me for it!! I love when a customer wants a painting and they just give me a few words to base it on, this one the words were “Autumn” and “Owl”, I had so much fun creating it!

But my true love is mixed media.

I love to art journal, and try new products, styles and processes. I love to work without a plan and see what wants to come out

getting my hands and clothes full of paint only seems to feed my creative muse, SHE MUST BE FED! Haha!

One of my favorite ways to share art is through videos! I love to record my process as well as use it for review of ways to grow my talents, I am lucky enough to have my talented husband Tim Conroy and my cousin who goes by Pretahunter make the original music used in my videos. Here is a video I did so you can see my favorite way to share!

I hope that you enjoy my work and I can inspire you to create and get your hands dirty!

Big hugs and mushy stuff!!

Shana banana!

Look me up anywhere by searching for ‘wisccheeto’! I am on most social platforms!

And Prints and products of my artwork can be found on Zazzle and Society6 just look me up by my name.

"Synchronicity is an ever present reality for those who have eyes to see." – Jung  

Hi, I'm Shelby Pizzarro. As a firm believer in Synchronicity, I am intrigued with the idea that it can lead to the most profound "Aha" moments we can experience in life and in Art. I am delighted to be part of the Artistcellar Design Team. It is wonderful to have my work viewed alongside the contributions from the other brilliant artists.

I am a graduate of the York Academy of Arts, York, PA and received further education at The Harrogate School of Arts at Harrogate College, England.  

My Fine Art and Illustration work incorporates both digital and conventional techniques. With training in the Graphic Arts, and a career as a commercial screen printer, I now utilize a combination of practices in combination with my collage and mixed-media art. 


Although I enjoy working digitally and use ephemera and found materials in my art, I still find that conventional collage is where my Muse thrives.  For me, it’s all about the story expressed through found objects. An old photo or letter usually leads me on an unexpected journey when I am open to allowing it to speak and guide me. I am also passionate about sharing our unique family histories and enjoy employing a paper weaving process within my collage work.  I find, just as the stories interlace to create something new, so does this technique.  

Stenciling gives a piece of art the exuberance I love to see. I find using acrylics, especially metallic colours, gives the finish I am looking for when completing a collage. I enjoy creating Artists Trading Cards and small works. The Artistcellar Pocket Stencils are the perfect size. The variety of designs and their durability make them a “go to” on my work table. 

I hope you will accompany me on my Artistcellar voyage.  My desire is to share what inspires me, entertain those who choose to view my work, and perhaps spark the sense of wonder and creativity that dwells in us all.

You can find more of my work here:




TWITTER: @SisterhoodMuse


My name is Karen Elaine and I am excited to be part of the Artistcellar design team! I have been an artist, designer, instructor and author in the creative industry for over twenty years and am fortunate to have a full time job developing products from concept to market for my employer, Yasutomo Inc.

As an artist, I enjoy working in all water based mediums wet or dry. I love vibrant colors and subjects and I have a passion for paper and origami as well.

I have always loved working with stencils and rubber stamps because they have helped me overcome the fear of the “blank canvas” and to get the creative juices flowing. I discovered Artistcellar Stencils last year while teaching at Art Unraveled and fell in love with the images and the quality of the stencils. The Sacred Heart Series were the first stencils I tried and not only were the designs amazing, they held up to vigorous scrubbing without falling apart. I like to apply color with a variety of tools and need my stencils to be  extra durable.

In this project I applied a mixture of Yellow and Magenta Splash Ink over 6” square Mineral Paper with a damp sponge going over the stencil in a drubbing motion. I placed the stencil underneath the image and while the color was still wet I went over it with a graphite pencil.

Once the image was dry I added some Blue Splash Ink and permanent pen for details then stamped the cranes using a permanent ink pad.

I cut a 12” x 6” piece of white bristol board and folded it in half to make the card and when it’s time to send it I will fold a custom envelope. There is a video on my Youtube channel on how to fold custom size envelopes for odd sized cards.

I am looking forward to using Artistcellar stencils in my designs and can’t wait to share them all with you!

Come  subscribe, visit, like or follow me at one or all of my internet homes. From the looks of the list below, I get around! :-)




Facebook Page:





We are pleased to announce that the new Artistcellar Design Team has been chosen! 

They will be starting next Monday, February 15th! We are blown away by this group... they are raring to go and you will love the projects they come up with. There were a lot of qualified candidates and we wanted to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who applied. It was a difficult decision - NOT a favorite part of the job!

Each Team Member will be posting on the same day every two weeks. We will have posts three days a week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. That means we have SIX new DT members!

The next two weeks, you will "meet" each of them as they introduce themselves in their first posts. The Lineup is: 

  • First Monday: Karen Elaine
  • First Wednesday: Shelby Pizzarro
  • First Friday: Shana Conroy
  • Second Monday: Briana Goetzen
  • Second Wednesday: Kirsten Varga
  • Second Friday: Cristen Stevenson

We hope you will love these artists as much as we do. We are really excited to see all the beautiful art coming from them the next 6 months! Stay tuned to this blog; we will also announce when the posts are published on our Facebook page so make sure you LIKE the page and are set for notifications.

I have a little primer on how to use clear gesso. Haha. See what I did there?

I used to have a love/hate relationship with clear gesso. I first heard about it when I took classes with Suzi Blu a few years back. Great for layering colored pencils and such. But whenever I used it (and I can't remember the brand) it would EAT UP my markers and pencils. I don't know how many marker tips I ruined trying to write over it.

Fast forward a few years and let me introduce you to... Dina Wakley's Media line of Gessoes. Artistcellar has the black and white versions, I just added the Clear Gesso to the shelves because.... LOVE! A lot of gessoes have a very rough gritty feel to them. This one is much smoother to the touch and still does the job! It still has some grit, but it's more like a chalkboard than sandpaper.

I went ahead and did a comparison between the Media Clear Gesso and a matte Gel medium (which has many merits of it's own!) in my art journal.

I grabbed as many art journaling tools that I could think of: watercolor, Neo2 watercolor crayon, water soluble graphite pencil, watercolor pencil, inktense, sharpie, india ink, permopaque marker, prismacolor marker, fude ball pen, pitt pen, pastel chalk...

Just looking over the pages as a whole, I can see that the gessoed page, on the right, has more intense colors. It was especially apparent in the area of the watercolor and the water soluble writing tools.

I glued book pages down in the journal to give some idea of how translucent the colors are. The picture below shows the page with the matte gel medium background. It's respectable and perfectly doable. It has a nice, subtle watercolorey look to it. From top to bottom is Neocolor2 crayons in purple, Water soluble graphite in gray, watercolor pencil in red, and inktense in green.

Now compare the clear gessoed page with the same colors below. MUCH more intense and vibrant. That gesso just grabbed onto the color.

I also tested a bunch of different pens and markers. India ink looked the same over both surfaces, but the others worked a lot better on the gessoed surface than the gel medium. Below is the mark test with gel medium:

It's okay. It gets a little smudgy. Below is the page with the gesso base.

Definitely has more intensity to it. And it wasn't so gritty as to chew up the tips of my markers. The sharpie marker really stood out, as well as the Fude Ball pen. The pan pastel chalk (blue in the corner) really did a LOT better over the gesso, chalk needs something to cling to.

One thing to remember is that ALL water soluble mediums (pens, paints, dyes) will smear if you put gel medium OR clear gesso over the top. Anything wet will smudge them. I had a page in my art journal that I had sprayed with Dylusions Black Marble ink spray and did a little stenciling to give it some depth and texture. I wanted to use the background for a Journal52 prompt "a tribute to David Bowie" but I knew that if I tried to write with white paint pens over Dylusions Ink spray I would get a muddy gray mess, because the ink spray would migrate into the white paint pen on top. This is a perfect example of how to use the clear gesso. I simple brushed a layer of clear gesso over the ink spray to seal it without changing the background much. Because my background was abstract more or less, I didn't mind that it smudged with the brush strokes. If you don't want it to smudge, use a makeup sponge and DAB the clear gesso on top without rubbing it. Let it dry thoroughly before adding anything on top.

I got nice and clear, WHITE lettering with a paint pen, no bleed through. (The white you see behind is a stabilo pencil I first wrote lightly with, to grunge up the piece a little.)

Something else to note, is that if you use a clear gesso over a page, then write on top with a water soluble medium like a neo2 crayon, it WILL continue to be water soluble, until you seal it again. Both gel medium and gesso are water proof and will hold that medium on TOP of the surface. Simply seal with another (dabbed) layer of clear gesso, or a spray sealant. Or don't seal it at all, consider it a top final layer and you're done!

Thanks for reading, see you next time!



Design Team Call

January 08, 2016


Blog   Design Team  

AC Design Team

We're looking for a couple artists to round out our next Design Team! One requirement besides being an awesome artist: that you have a blog where we can see your artwork AND your writing style.

If interested, send an email to Lisa at

Explain why you want to be on the AC Design Team and include links to your blog/artwork (points for good grammar and spelling Artistcellar right!). Please be sure to put "Design Team" in the subject line so we don't miss your submission!

If accepted:

  • AC Design Team is a 6 month commitment.
  • Two posts a month on the AC blog.
  • Lots of Artistcellar freebies provided!

As promised, today's post will feature an ornament that is a little more difficult to make, but oh so much fun. Because you know you NEED another hobby, another medium and more tools and stuff to buy! Well, I already had all this stuff laying around, I just happened to unpack it recently, as I haven't soldered since I moved into my new studio.

What you will need:

  • A soldering iron
  • lead free solder
  • flux
  • copper tape
  • glass microscope slides
  • a gelli print or image to go between the glass
  • some clips to hold the piece while soldering
  • jump rings

Since this is a quick lesson showing you what I did, I will not go into detail regarding the types materials you need. There are some great books and youtube videos that can teach you the basics of how to solder and all the stuff you need to begin.

The first thing you want to do is "audition" parts of your prints. I cut a window out of a piece of paper the exact size of the glass slides. I decided to make some designs symmetrical, some abstract, and created little collages on the flip sides of some.

Cut out the design and put it between the two pieces of microscope glass.

Now, without getting too many fingerprints/oils on the edge of the glass, carefully center it on the copper tape so it will wrap around to both of the sides. It will look like this.

With the back of a spoon or bone folder, burnish the copper tape down all around, trying to miter the corners so it all lays nice and flat and adheres to the glass.

Here are all the designs I made, wrapped in copper tape and ready to solder.

Heat up the soldering iron and clip your glass so you don't have to hold it with your hand. Trust me you DO NOT want hot solder to drop on your skin. Unless you like third degree burns and scarring. (No, not even funny.) You MUST brush flux on the copper tape or the solder won't stick to the copper. Put the tip of the iron on the end of the solder wire and after a second it will melt on the tip and you can drip it on the edge of the piece. Slowly pull the iron along the edge and the solder will follow. (ooh. Look at the piece in the background. You can see my butterfly wing between some glass, being made into a pendant!)

Continue around the front and back edge the same way, picking up more solder as needed.

When you have half the piece done, let it cool a few minutes, flip it over and re-clip it, add flux to the parts you need to do next, and repeat the process until you have the entire piece done on all sides, front and back. If you have rough areas or peaks, you can rest the tip of the iron and re-melt it and smooth it out, but remember, perfection is overrated and it looks best lumpy and bumpy and rustic :-)

Adding a jump ring is best shown by someone else, I forgot to take pictures, lol. Basically you put a blob of solder where you want the ring, hold the ring with hemostats or a contraption called a "third hand" and melt the solder around the ring, the ring will sink into the melted solder and it hardens almost immediately and viola! like magic the ring is stuck to the top. (yeah, not really THAT easy! Practice!)

This one has the similar images front and back. It uses an abstract part of one of the Diamonds Series stencils gelli printed. The rest of the images show the fronts and backs of the ornaments. The FAITH one and the abstract one below were made using glass that was a little bigger than microscope slides.

I hope you enjoyed seeing the process. Soldering really is fun, but can be a bit expensive to start up. My dad gave me a lot of my supplies, as he used to make stained glass windows. Yes, I come from a family of artists :-)

I also want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!