≡ Menu

What can you do when you have the blahs and just feel, well, blah?  Make a mess.  Just get the art supplies out and do anything.  Even making something ugly can help shake off a blah mood.

In this video, you’ll see how I made a hot mess of ugly and that it doesn’t matter if it’s ugly.   What matters is the play.   You’ll see a flash flood of Art Spray, how a baby wipe couldn’t save an art journal page, and lots and lots of OOPSies.

Watch Shake Off a Blah Mood with Your Art Supplies on YouTube.

I knew going in to this, that it was going to be ugly because I was feeling so blah. Not bad, just blah. So I grabbed a piece that I didn’t love and covered it over with an overly generous amount of gesso.

If you’re in the free Facebook Group, Rediscovering Your Creativity, you know from our Thursday prompts that feelings end up embedded in the play.

What I did next was so ugly, I didn’t even bother to take a photo.  Yes, it’s really that ugly and very freeing at the same time.  You’ll have to watch the video to see the flood of Art Spray on wet gesso with a stencil. That could be called an O.O.P.S.

But all that avert-your-eyes mess I made led to the clean up art journal page. I loved how the Speckles and Spots stencil looked here.  Yes, there really was an Outstanding Opportunity Presenting Suddenly in the fun-to-make ugly from the step before.

Hind sight is 20/20 and this is where I would not have regretted stepping away.  Of course, I can always do this again. After all, there is plenty of Art Spray left in the bottles.

The moment I added this color, I knew it was not a good choice. O.O.P.S. again. What did I do then? Added more of it. In for a penny, in for a pound.  The very versatile baby wipe, couldn’t even save this. O.O.P.S. But there was an opportunity in it.

There was no hope for this page, there was no way it was going to “get back” to the good place from before, so I let loose on it.  Totally scribbling.  To those who have seen my scribble journaling where I loosely write words, this isn’t it.  This was full on kindergarten scribbling.  Full throttle joy at this point.

And then I loved it again.

What about the sopping wet gesso’d piece?  It was still a hot mess but Art Crayons react to water, so they actually worked well on all that wet.  More scribbling.  Lots more scribbling. And lots more joy.

Bet you’re waiting for me to tell you how it was ugly and then I loved it, like the last one. Not going to happen here.  This one is still ugly to me. But the blah mood is gone, all thanks to playing with art supplies.

If you ever happen to be feeling blah, grab whatever supplies you have and let yourself make a hot mess.  You just might shake off that mood along the way.

If you’d like more creative encouragement sent to you inbox each week, get signed up for my newsletter.

Here are the supplies used. Some of these links are affiliate links which means I get a small percentage. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and it helps keep the free tutorials coming!


Stampaway In Person Workshops

Join me for a couple of hours of fun, filled with color and play with plenty of laughter, in person at Stampaway. What’s an in person class with me like? Students often say that I am just like on my YouTube videos. Which makes sense, because that is exactly who I am.

After a workshop, you’ll be comfortable with the tools and supplies so you can create what brings you joy because I’ll break it all down step by step and share my short cuts too.

But wait, there’s more!  I bring most of the supplies so this a is great chance to try out new tools and supplies like a Gel Press gel plate or PanPastels. And yes, there’s always a great big stash of StencilGirl stencils there too!

What will I be teaching?  4 workshops this year on Wed. and Thursday, August 8 and 9th, in Cincinnati. I’m not the only instuctor, there are lots more including Dyan Reaveley, Nancy Curry, and Joe Rotella.

Then there’s the shopping. There are a plethora of exhibitors including StencilGirl Products and Mary Beth Shaw will demoing in person too!

I’m looking forward to seeing you in August at Stampaway!

Knowing which color to use can transform your creative works from ho-hum to wow. What if you knew exactly what color will pop and why? What if you knew which colors would blend subtly together? What if you knew with confidence what color to use every time? You will after you learn this practical, hands-on approach to color.

Bring: All supplies provided, including an easy-to-use color wheel when you are home.

Get ready to make amazing prints with a gel plate, even if you’ve never used one before. You’ll be using multiple colors at once on the plate, capturing detailed textures in the paint as you learn not only the techniques but the “why” behind them, giving you an in-depth understanding of how the gel plates make their magic. The instructor is providing the Gel Press gel plates, brayers, and paper, so this is a great opportunity to see what all the fun is about with gel printing!

Bring: apron and 5-6 colors of acrylic paint plus white.

You’ll be blending and building layers of color using the unique properties of PanPastels to create fun and playful cards. The techniques covered in this class will enable you to easily add color gradients to build depth and interest to stamped and stenciled images. You’ll know both bold and subtle color tricks by the end of the workshop. You’ll also be sealing them the easy way using tools you will take home in your class kit so you can continue at home!

Bring: 8-10 wedge-shaped cosmetic sponges, a pencil with an eraser, permanent black ink pad, Post-It Notes, and 4-5 rubber stamps (or use the instructor’s stamps).

Gel Printing Coordinating Papers

What if you always had matching papers for making cards, scrapbooking, art journaling or collaging? You can when you create your own coordinating sets of artful papers with a gel plate. This workshop combines Gel Press gel printing techniques with StencilGirl stencils to create endless patterns. Not a drop of paint will be wasted as you build your custom papers color by color, plus you’ll know how to avoid mud when playing with the rainbow. No experience needed to create custom papers that make you say wow!

Bring: apron and 5-6 colors of acrylic paint plus white.

{ 1 comment }

Quotes make great wall art, especially when you use a quote that is meaningful to you. What if you could stencil it without having to worry about lining up the letters or keeping the rows straight.

That is why I designed this masking stencil, so that it was easy to create any words or phrases, and even full quotes. This is for those like me who are not fans of using rulers, but sometimes want things lined up straight.

I don’t want to leave you in suspense. Will I misspell a word? Yup. It was an easy fix plus I’ve got tips and tricks for crisp stenciling too in the video.

Watch The Easy Way to Stencil a Custom Quote on YouTube.

The quote is by Jack Canfield, “Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.”

Start by creating a colorful background. It can be precise or loose. I went for loose.  Holding an oversized art supply, like the jumbo Senniler oil pastel, brought my inner kid right out to play.

The Hip to Be Square alphabet stencil is a masking stencil which means that what is on the background layer will actually become the letter.  Use a contrasting color to stencil if you want the letters to pop.

As you add each letter, to get the lined up precise look, all you need to do is line up the edges of the box around the letter touch the box before it an above it.  Even that doesn’t have to be precise, because the edges can be touched up at the end.

What happens if you put the wrong letter down and make an artful typo?  Use a baby wipe and blot off the paint promptly. This also works if you get paint under the stencil, as it did for me a couple of times because I was using too much paint when I forgot to blot it off well enough.

There are few ways to prevent paint from going under a stencil if you want a crisp look.

  • Use very little pressure and pounce the cosmetic sponge in an up and down motion.  I get in a hurry at times and push harder than needed.
  • Use a thicker paint. The thicker the paint, the less likely it will run under the stencil.
  • Use the least amount of paint possible.  Globs of paint will go under the stencil.  This is why you blot off the sponge before stenciling.

The quote didn’t fill the entire surface, so I simply started with the quote again to be sure the entire area was filled top to bottom. But the bottom wasn’t.

Notice that little bit under the L and D below?  That line was painted right over using the ever fancy Post It note as a mask.

How did I know that all the letters would fit? I didn’t.  I took a leap and expected letters to be cut off at the end of each row.  The plan was to just stencil half the letter on that row, and then the other half of it on the next row.

I was looking forward to doing that, so OOPS that plan didn’t go as planned.  Turns out 11 x 14 size wood panels or canvases fit the letters just right.  Guess I will have to try this again on another size to get the letters to not fit. Twist my arm and make me play again.

Here are the supplies used. Some of these links are affiliate links which means I get a small percentage. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and it helps keep the free tutorials coming!