Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

My brain is rapidly slowing down as SPRING BREAK approaches and I fear I will fall over as I teach Kinders the wonders of Still Lifes in the few days left before sweet freedom(!) and road trips(!!) arrive. Is that how you are feeling too, my fellow creatives? It is during these times where I need a simple project to rock my world and give my creativity a boost towards ACTUALLY MAKING THINGS. I explain all this to you to set the scene for a recent discovery of mine.

In my quest to use stencils in ways different from my usual, I stumbled upon an awesome texture technique that I am convinced someone has already discovered. Since I don't see it taking the crafty blogiverse by storm I must deduce that that someone lacked the proper publicity skillz to get this out into the world where it can grow and marry and make beautiful texture babies. 


So I will step forth and do what needs to be done. Listen carefully....

Grab your art journal, a brayer, some Dina Wakley acrylics, a paint palette, Golden Acrylic glazing liquid and some rad stencils. The ones I used here are Artistcellar's Sacred Geometry 2 and the Old World Maps Series.

Squeeze a little bit of paint and glazing liquid onto the palette and use your brayer to mix it up and smooth it out. When your brayer is evenly inked grab a stencil and carefully roll the brayer over it once or twice. Now, lay aside your stencil and roll your brayer onto a blank page in your art journal. 


With some of the ink transferring onto the stencil and off of the brayer it is like monoprinting where the brayer is your plate. HAVE I BLOWN YOUR MIND YET? 

And using a dark color onto a pre-painted surface is just divine. Check out this teal background with texture applied with Dina's Night acrylic paint rolled on with a brayer. YUM!

The results are random and depends on how many times you roll your brayer onto the stencil. Want a clear pattern? Only roll your brayer one revolution over your stencil. Want more "layers"? Roll a few times onto your stencil in two different places.

I am not sure if my excitement over this little texture tidbit is a result of my tired educator mind or the thrill of Spring in the air but I can assure you that it is fun and gives mad texture with very little effort. So, go ahead and try it out and let me know what you think. 

Go forth and create, my friends!

Hello Everyone! Apparently there is a meta theme going on within the Artistcellar Design Team. I am noticing that the Pocket Stencil “TRUST” keeps making an appearance in our work.

Is there a word that keeps asking for your attention lately? Feel free to share it within the comments below.

Initially, my intention for this post was to express my deep love for the “Arrow” stencil, which is part of the Traditional Japanese Series.

Instead of stopping after creating a pattern, I decided to go even further and made an entire art journal spread to share with you. I used the Elegant Writer from the Artistcellar shop for my writing and drawing.

First, let’s make an overall pattern using the “Arrow” stencil.

1. Paint the background of the right side of your spread "Ripe Tomato."

2. Next, paint the background on the left side of your page spread in "Tiger Lily."

3. Use "Tiger Lily" with a cosmetic wedge and the Arrow stencil over "Ripe Tomato."

4. Next, use "Ripe Tomato" with a cosmetic wedge and the Arrow stencil over "Tiger Lily."

 5. Check out your amazing spread!

 6. Optional: Clean your stencil with a baby wipe on a miscellaneous sheet of paper or journal page.

Now it’s time to do some art journaling! In case you are like most people, you might feel afraid of messing up this page spread featuring this lovely pattern. Here’s what you can say to your inner critic. “Inner critic, thank you for your concern, but this is just a journal page. It’s paper. It’s my place to be free, try things out, and have fun! It’s even a safe place to make mistakes! So, you may go away now. Good-bye!”

I like to start by writing the date. I also made a simple pattern with lines and dashes.

I don’t often draw in my journals, but I was curious about the nature of the Elegant Writer. Knowing that it bleeds when wet with water, I decide to try to sketch my son. He is pushing an empty stroller, because he’s three, and that’s what he wanted to do!

Allowing him to go for a walk with me, while pushing this empty stroller reminded me to TRUST the process of parenting.

I finished off the page by doing some journaling and coloring in a few spots with oil pastels.


The “Arrow” stencil is really fun and easy to use for making an overall pattern in your art journal, or on a card, etc.

The “TRUST” pocket stencil is powerful.

The Elegant Writer is great for writing and sketching; it bleeds when wet with water.

Have fun playing with stencils and your art!



PS Feel free to share the word that keeps asking for you attention in the comments below!


Hello! It’s me again! Today I wanted to share with you how awesome it is to use the Speedball Elegant Writer with the Koi watercolors Pocket Field sketch box.

I live in Phoenix now but I am from the Midwest so the desert plants here are still a bit of a novelty to me, they amaze me how they can last through the brutal summers here. My favorite is the Agave plant.

When I went on my road trip with my sister up to the Grand Canyon and Sedona I took this picture because I knew I wanted to try to somehow create it in my journal. I love the spikey leaves and the contrast of the shadows near the heart of the plant.

Using this picture as a reference I rough sketched out the plant in my art journal made with hot press watercolor paper.

I then used the Elegant Writer to place the darkest areas of the plant.

The fun begins when water is added to the Elegant Writer ink, the water activates the ink and you can move color around, with the black marker, different colors can appear, purples, greens, blues and pinks depending on the amount of water used and the age of the marker.

I then went in with my watercolors adding color, once the ink in the Elegant writer has been activated then dried the ink is water resistant so the color from the marker will not move when layered with watercolors. I also grabbed my marker a time or 2 more to add more deep shadows.

If you would like to see the full process here is the video!

Big Hugs and Mushies!

Shana Banana

Twelve years ago I was diagnosed and treated for Stage IV breast cancer. For many years before the diagnosis my heart was frozen in hurt and anger and I believe my illness was a manifestation of those emotions. While I received aggressive treatment for the cancer, I also sought a spiritual path for healing and healing my heart as well as my body was essential to survival. When I saw the Sacred Geometry series stencils I could hardly wait to use them in my work!                         

I created a three dimensional heart as a focal point for meditation to visualize love and compassion for all beings including myself. It serves as a reminder to believe that anything is possible as long as I believe in Love.

Apply a coat of gesso onto the entire surface of the papier mache heart to seal the surface for painting. Apply a coat of Ruby acrylic paint to all surface areas of the heart and let dry.

Lay the small Heart Chakra stencil onto the heart and apply violet paint using a small stencil brush. Center the Sacred Heart stencil over the Heart Chakra image and apply paint. Keep the stencil brush as dry as possible to avoid seepage under the stencil.

Fill in details of the heart by using an assortment of acrylic paints. I used green as the main color for the heart and highlighted with white and detailed with black and blue. The rays were created blending red, orange and yellow. I love how the colors pop in this! For the back of the heart I applied violet paint to the Believe stencil.

I used the Permawriter Pen to detail, write text and sign the piece. The Permawriter is great for writing on painted surfaces as it won’t smear or fade. Once everything is dry, varnish it entirely with a satin water based sealer.

I hope this project will warm your heart as much as it did mine.



Paper Mache Heart Ornament (I found mine at a local craft store but you can find them online)

ACS090c Heart Chakra Stencil

ACS078 Sacred Heart Series

ACS035b Believe stencil

Dina Wakley Heavy Body Acrylic Paint in assorted colors


Yasutomo Permawriter pen .07 (for detailing)

I saw my first crocus a few days ago.  The thin green striped shoots pushing through the earth was a joyful sight. Although we had a relatively benign winter, seeing the crocus renewed my trust in the natural energy of the seasons. It is wonderful to just simply be.

Inspired by the Artistcellar Pocket Stencils I chose to work with the Crown stencil from the Chakras series. The Crown Chakra is the center of consciousness and spiritual awakening. It is the place where we connect not only with our deepest self, but with our higher power and are able to appreciate the bigger picture of life. When our Crown Chakra is open we are filled with trust, faith and devotion. Inspiration has a place to ripen. We are mindful.

Like most collage artists, I have an envelope of bits and pieces…torn paper, postcards, tissue paper and the like. Working intuitively, I pulled out whatever came to hand and started gluing the papers to my illustration board substrate using matte medium. I worked quickly and allowed the shape and color of the papers to find their own space on the board.

Once dried, I sponged on a selection of metallic acrylic paints. I chose several shades of violet acrylic for the Crown stencil, the color related to this chakra.

I love the Pocket Stencils series. The size is perfect and I always find just what I need to enhance my work. Creating this collage was no exception. And there it was, the word “trust”. It is the embodiment of the chakra. Using Lapis Blue Dina Wakely Acrylics, I sponged the word on a piece of gold tissue paper. As with all Artistcellar products, clean-up is quick leaving the stencil in pristine condition, allowing me to focus on creating new work.

Faith and trust frees our spirit. We move in harmony with the wisdom of the universe.  Once we find our mindful, quiet space inspiration is unrestricted.  And we can simply be.


Materials Used:

Assorted papers: newsprint, Russian passport, Tissue, Magazine paper, Wax infused paper, Citra Solv paper, postcard, tea stained wax infused paper, coffee stained paper, library card

Artistcellar Stencils: Pocket Stencils – CHAKRAS – Crown; TRUST  & SEEK stencil

Hand cut Stencils

Liquitex: Matte Medium

Deco Art Metallic Acrylics: Splendid Gold, Berry

Plaid Metallic Acrylics: Amethyst, Plumb, Blue Topaz, Champagne, Aquamarine

Dina Wakely Acrylics: Lapis Blue

Daler Rowney Pearlescent Liquid Acrylic: Moon Violet, Waterfall Green, Galactic Blue, Velvet Violet

All week I have been enjoying the opportunity to be inspired by the Sacred Geometry 2 stencils! I have been incorporating them into my artwork at every chance. Sometimes I have been using them as the focal point of the piece and sometimes I tuck them into the background for added interest and texture.  For this journal spread, I wanted the stencil to have the feel of the moon!

To start the background, I used some Eucalyptus and Java walnut ink and I let it drip down the page haphazardly. Starting a journal page with drippy goodness seems to relieve the pressure that everything *must be perfect*. It doesn't have to be perfect! The worst thing that could happen? You have to tear the page out or cover it up with collage or gesso. Everything can be changed!

"Have no fear of perfection, you'll never reach it." - Salvador Dali

While letting the walnut ink dry, I grabbed another piece of paper and used a palette knife with some modeling paste on the "Seed of Life" stencil from the Sacred Geometry 2 stencil series. Once dry, I added color with gelatos and stickles glue. For the gelatos, I just blended them with my hands. 

I also grabbed another piece of paper, and used a Distress Ink stamp pad with the Creative Words Pocket Stencil set.

I attached both pieces - the Seed of Life stencil page, as well as "Trust" to the art journal  with glossy accents and then finished with some sketching,  Dylusions ink sprays, and Dye-Na-Flow in "Midnight Blue". 

Despite being rather simple, this is one of my favorite pages in my art journal because I allowed myself to work intuitively and just have creative fun with the pages. Give it a go, see how much fun you can have!

I have been in a bookmaking mood lately so when I saw the Sacred Geometry 2 Stencils I knew I must use them in some way. To add a bit of a challenge I told myself I could not use them with paper. Like most people, I think, I tend to use my stencils mostly with paper and ink so I wanted to shake things up a bit. I decided to use polymer clay as my cover material for my book.

Now, I am not a clay expert. I took a little class a few years ago and have read a lot of websites on the subject just to get a general idea for my simple structure. It was enough to get me started.
After conditioning the clay in my pasta roller on thickness 7 I used a template made from a cereal box to cut out four rectangles from the clay. I sandwiched a piece of hardware mesh in between two pieces of clay to help reinforce the covers. To add the first layer of texture I grabbed an old bumpy piece of concrete rock and pressed onto the clay all over the surface, front, back and edges. It created a lovely organic, weathered texture. Yay! Now I am left with two covers ready for for stencil action!
I placed the stencil gently on the clay where I wanted it and using my trusty ol' awl I started tracing the stencil, etching into the clay. Ooooo, fun! When finished I removed the stencil and with the awl I added dots to all the corners. Oooo, more texture! Now it is time to bake!
After being baked and cooled I gave the edges a light sanding and started thinking about paint color.
Wanting to add more depth I started with a raw umber acrylic paint and rubbed it into all the lines, nooks and crannies. I wiped the surface with a baby wipe leaving the dark color in all the lines. Yep! Just the direction I was envisioning!
I gathered acrylic paints in green gold, Indian yellow hue and Phthalo turquoise and using a combination of washes and dry brushing I started building layers of color. The trick to layering color is making sure you let a layer dry before you add another one. 
When I had the layers just right I wanted one more element of surprise. I needed something to make the front cover different from the back. I looked on my art table and there the answer sparkled at me. A small bottle of magic, silver Stickles. Yesssssss. I went all crazy, ignored that precision tip and just applied those magic sparkles with my finger. Whoa! I just applied them on the part of the cover with the stencil. Weeeeee! Unexpected and awesome.
Ta-da! I have a beautiful cover ready to become a beautiful book. 
I hope to finish this in between teaching elementary students the wonders of Kandinsky and wrangling my own crazy daughters. The finished book will be found on my blog in the near future. Have a creative day!​

Hello Everyone! This is Briana from with a playful post using the NEW Sacred Geometry 2 Series Stencil Set from Artistcellar!

Have ya’ll explored the wonders of Gelli Plates? Stencils and Gelli Plates go together like bread and jam. You can have one without the other, but they sure make a great combination!

Here are the basic supplies you’ll need to play along:

I am going to apologize in advance. Once one gets started Gelli printing, it’s really hard to stop! You’ll see what I mean, if you decide to play along.

I grouped my experiments into photo collages to save space in this post. I labeled most of the photos to help you see which step the picture represents.

I used the Sacred Geometry 2 Stencils in a few main ways in the first four experiments:

  1. I placed the stencil on the Gelli plate and printed over it
  2. I made a print of the wet (paint is still wet) stencil after removing it from the plate
  3. I cleaned the stencil with a wipe on a separate sheet of paper
  4. I made a print of the Gelli Plate once the stencil was removed (the stencil impression is still visible)

Experiment #1

Here we go with Experiment #1!

As you can see, I used a little too much paint initially, which is why the first print is a little “mushy” (top right in above photo collage).

I guess I was enjoying the color combination (Blick Matte Acrylic-Gold Metallic and Blick Matte Acrylic-Pink Medium) a bit too much! Wait, what? That made orange? Okay, you got me! Orange is my weakness!

The print of the wet stencil is my favorite in this set of experiments (bottom left in above photo collage).

Experiment #2

In Experiment #2, I used Craft Smart-Neon Yellow and Blick Matte Acrylic-Yellow Deep.

After the “normal” print on paper, I decided to grab a sheet of deli paper to clean the stencil onto. Then I ended up flipping the deli paper over to take that final print from the Gelli plate, once the stencil was removed (bottom right in above photo collage).

Experiment #3

In Experiment #3, I used two colors of blue craft acrylic. I also incorporated one of the Gelli Arts Square Edge Tools. I think that edging added a lot to the print (see bottom left in photo collage).

One of my favorite techniques when using the Gelli Plate is to spritz left over paint with water. The print turns out, well kind of watery and mystical. (See bottom right in above photo collage).

Experiment #4

Ah, orange makes me really, really happy! It’s okay if you don’t agree. For me, orange represents creativity and the second chakra. That’s what I think of when I see, wear, or create with the color orange! (Note: The Chakra Series Stencils by Artistcellar are fabulous!)

Again, my favorite in this set of experiments is the print of the wet stencil (bottom right in photo collage-right edge).

Experiment #5

Let’s mix things up a bit by creating a bubble wrap texture on the Gelli Plate before working with a stencil.

I made a print of the textured plate, then dabbed paint through a stencil on top of that print.

This is by far my favorite experiment. To me, this helps to remind me that even artists need a warm-up time, just like athletes, musicians, performers, etc.

That’s not even everything I did, but in the interest of your time, I will sign off and say thank you!

Keep up the good work of playing and having fun with Artistcellar stencils, and maybe some Gelli Plates, too!

See you next time!





Many times I create journal spreads directly out of my imagination but this time I wanted to record a moment in time, my sister came to visit me with her 3 children in tow, a long journey considering they drove from Wisconsin to Arizona. What I wanted to record in my journal was her determination and the pride I felt that she accomplished this adventure; she had never gone more than a 5 hour drive from home since she was a toddler. Her courage to do this so she and her children could see more of our beautiful country is amazing to me and my pride that she is my sister is limitless.

I created this journal spread in the wee hours of the morning before she and my beautiful niece and nephews woke up, that is why there isn’t a video for this one. It only took me about an hour to get the wonderfully detailed dreamcatcher and girl in my journal, something that would have taken me much longer without the Sacred Geometry 2 Stencil.

I started by just laying down a mix of random blue acrylic paints for the background, then using my chosen stencil from the set sprayed through using the DecoArt Media spray in Primary Cyan.


While the spray was still wet I used a dampened brush to make the overspray into a circle around the geometric pattern.I then used my white fine tip Posca Paint pen to create the web, feathers and beads and used my Dina Wakley Heavy Body Paint in Tangerine to add contrast.

On the opposite page to create some uniformity I added smudges of the Tangerine paint as a background for my girl, I then added the quote and additional feathers with my Posca pen and used the Media spray with a brush to add some detail.

I love the full spread I created and how the stencil made it easy for me to create so much detail with so little effort, I also love that my sisters courage to take on her dreams is forever recorded in my journal.

Big Hugs and Mushy stuff!!

XO Shana

Materials Used:

Sacred Geometry 2 Stencil

Dina Wakley Media Heavy Body Paint: in Tangerine and Turquoise

Americana Multi-Surface Satin : in Deep turquoise, Sky blue, Cocoa bean and Buff Beige

DecoArt Media Spray in Primary Cyan

Uni Posca Fine tip paint pen in white

We came whirling
out of nothingness
scattering stars like dust.
The stars made a circle
and in the middle
we dance.

A fragment of a Rumi poem came to mind when the Artistcellar Sacred Geometry 2 stencils arrived in the mail. I couldn’t wait to open the packet and spread them out on my work table.

The concept of Sacred Geometry is intriguing. Its principles unite patterns and proportion in the spiritual and natural world. Although I am just a novice, for me every day is a new discovery of how the sacred symbols bring order to our world. The unite us. They help us to see what we have in common…the feelings and hopes we all share. They help us to understand the world around us and within us.

Every stencil in the new collection is lovely but my eye kept coming back to “The Seed of Life”. The Seed of Life is about the magic and mystery of creativity. The seven circles, who some feel represent the seven days of creation, interlace. It is this pattern that forms the Flower of Life, one that decorates religious buildings and art throughout history.

Could it be this time of year, just on the cusp of Spring with daylight stating to push back the night? Could it be the fact that the new stencil series is beginning to help artists expand their creativity? Could it be the fact that I have always been inspired by circular designs? For all of these reasons, and more, I followed my Muse and began to work.

Sunflowers always remind me of the Rumi poem…scattering stars...or seeds…in a circle. The majestic flowers follow the sun by turning their heads throughout the day. The way in which they seek the nourishment they need and their beautiful golden yellow petals, never fail to inspire me with hope and belief in the future.

With my materials at hand, I started the work. Heavy watercolour paper is the substrate for my collage. I sponged the background with a variety of metallic acrylic paints and sprayed it with Glimmer Mist. The stencil was added next using gold metallic acrylics. I added torn handmade paper and fragments from a Math book. Using an Artistcellar Pocket Stencil, I sponged on the word “SEEK” in Lapis blue.  Next followed the sunflower and dried hydrangea petals. The collage was completed with additional stenciling.

So in the end, we are all seekers. By whatever method we arrive at our own spiritual truth, one thing is certain. We all aspire to dance in joy. And may you find your own circle of stars.

Materials Used:

Artistcellar Stencils: Sacred Geometry 2 and Pocket Stencils

Tattered Angels: Dragonfly Glimmer Mist

Deco Art Acrylics: Splendid Gold, Berry

Plaid Acrylics: Amethyst, Plumb, Champagne, Aquamarine

Dina Wakely Acrylics: Lapis Blue

Dye-Na-Flow Dye: Turquoise

Stickles: Black Diamond

Arches 140 lb Watercolour paper

Shelby Pizzarro
Sisterhood of the Muse

Collage, Artist Trading Cards, Mixed Media Work & the Stories Behind Them


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