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Polite Ladies Use Their Napkins

“Polite ladies use their napkins,” said my mother when I was a little girl.  I listened.  I remembered.  So when this perfect patterned napkin came into my hands I knew I had to use it.  The colors in the napkin inspired this page.


A background made with gesso and spray ink and paint a while back.








A happy napkin glued down with matte medium.  Couldn’t believe I grabbed orange.  That is my least favorite color in the past but I thought it worked perfectly with my napkin.








A poppy stencil by Julie Balzer and Crafters Workshop.  Since I didn’t use my napkin like a proper lady, I didn’t stencil properly either.  I just grabbed heavy bodied acrylic paint and my finger.  There were bits of leakage that created the imperfect look I wanted.








The outline layer is also on the poppy stencil- and that messy finger based stenciling made it randomly imperfect.








Scrapped in the pink around the scallops because just having paint there didn’t sit right with me.








Another quote from Donna Downey’s stamps.








A couple of butterfly rub-ons and it told me it was finished!








Hope you have a weekend full of color and fun!  Linking up with Paint Party Friday & Art Journal Every Day & Creative Everyday.

{ 43 comments… add one }

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  • denise July 12, 2012, 10:29 am

    Great journal page! I love the poppy stamp and all of the colors.

  • Bleubeard and Elizabeth July 12, 2012, 11:14 am

    A perfect use for the napkin. What a great way to use a page you had ready to create on. I always love your original ideas. They, and your compositions, are always a fun way to start my day. Note to self: I think I need better stencils.

  • Cynthia July 12, 2012, 1:44 pm

    I love that you went with the orange–I think it’s perfect for this gorgeous page! Love those poppies too!

  • alice July 12, 2012, 2:45 pm

    carolyn – i like this page a lot! and i’m thankful for the step-by-step. my mom lives in an assisted living residence. she doesn’t get away from there – except when i go see her and take her out for lunch or for a ride. she always wants to give me something, but she doesn’t have the opportunity to get out to the stores. the chef there sets the tables with pretty placemats and napkins for each meal. mom started collecting those a year or so ago for me. they were something that she could give me. i never knew what to do with them, and frankly probably wasn’t understanding enough about it, but now i know that i can use them to make some pretty pages that i can attach photos of the children to and put them in a book for her for christmas, or her birthday. knowing her – she will recognize every placemat or napkin i put in there. thanks for the wonderful idea!

    • Carolyn July 12, 2012, 2:56 pm

      It made me feel so happy inside when I read where you get your napkins and place mats from- and that they will be used in such a loving gift!

    • Kathy July 13, 2012, 7:35 am

      What a sweet idea!! Your mom will surely love it.

      • Ginny July 13, 2012, 9:07 am

        This brought tears to my eyes. How wonderful that Carolyn’s ideas can bring so much happiness to so many

  • Valerie-Jael July 12, 2012, 2:54 pm

    Gorgeous, colourful page – love it! And you have behaved like a lady, well done! Valerie

  • Rita McGregor July 12, 2012, 3:53 pm

    Sweet! 🙂 🙂

  • Marja July 12, 2012, 4:41 pm

    Great the orange color with it Corilyn and beautiful with the napkins.
    Love this page.
    Lovely greet

  • julie July 12, 2012, 5:15 pm


  • Lorinda @ Everyday Endeavours July 13, 2012, 12:46 am

    Wonderful! I’m not an orange girl either but you’re right, it works!!

  • patsy July 13, 2012, 6:50 am

    You may not like orange but it’s vibrancy worked well here! Patsy from HeARTworks

  • Sigga Dís July 13, 2012, 7:23 am

    Beautiful painting, nice to see the progress.

  • Nancy July 13, 2012, 7:26 am

    Just darling! Poppies are my fav flower.

  • Carol July 13, 2012, 7:57 am

    Wild and colorful creation ~ just wonderful! ~~ thanks ^_^ (A Creative Harbor)

  • NatashaMay July 13, 2012, 8:31 am

    Gorgeous colors and I love the in progress photos. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • Jessica July 13, 2012, 8:50 am

    beautiful creation. I love the colors and also how you listened when it told you it was done. I need to do more of that! Hoping to see you at CREATE. My class schedule is Wed. July 18, 9-4: Find Your Beautiful Self Portrait
    Thurs. July 19: 9 – 4: Mini Masterpiece Canvas Journal
    Thurs. July 19 – 6 – 9PM: Scribble Paint
    Friday: July 20: 9 – 4PM: Carving Stamps for patterning
    Haven’t made a room reservation yet. Must do that today!

    • Carolyn July 13, 2012, 2:56 pm

      How awesome to be able to meet you in person! Is anyone else heading to CREATE in New Jersey?

  • Ginny July 13, 2012, 9:07 am

    I love all of your work Carolyn but this one is my favorite. The colors are awesome. Have a great weekend.

  • Jan L. July 13, 2012, 9:47 am

    Woo Hoo, my favorite color combo! I love orange, but don’t use pink often but the two together, now that’s HOT! Nice page.

  • Faye July 13, 2012, 10:07 am

    Wonderfully cheery, Carolyn. The bright colors are gorgeous.
    Faye (not back into painting yet)

  • lynn cohen July 13, 2012, 12:13 pm

    Sweet, I love imperfections…love how it all came to gether so beautifully.

  • Debbie July 13, 2012, 12:44 pm

    What a fun post, and page! I love your colors.

  • miriam July 13, 2012, 12:53 pm

    I love orange now-it was my least favorite too since I look terrible in it-love poppies!!

  • Alicia July 13, 2012, 2:34 pm

    napkin art! how wonderful! isnt it a bit brittle & fragile though?

    • Carolyn July 13, 2012, 2:52 pm

      I didn’t find it brittle at all but that is because I use ample glue. When I use too little glue then it rips and tears with every brush stroke. I also only pulled 1 ply of the 3 ply paper off. Napkins often have several layers of white behind the patterned paper. I only pulled 1 away and that left it a bit stronger too. Hope this helps!

  • Kat July 13, 2012, 4:28 pm

    Oh yes this is a favorite, the colors, the vision, it’s a poetic and beautiful piece Carolyn, I love it!

  • Tracey Fletcher King July 13, 2012, 5:38 pm

    I love your sense of colour…. and yes I know that I have said that before, but it just makes me happy coming to visit…. and the comments are always fun to read as well… people really connect with you… which I totally understand xx

  • Leovi July 13, 2012, 6:25 pm

    Yes, delicious paint, I like the strength and vividness of the colors. Greetings.

  • Molly July 13, 2012, 7:41 pm

    your title really tickled me. love the happy colors… the orange works perfectly here. and using the napkin as inspiration is a great idea.

  • Tracey Clem July 13, 2012, 8:18 pm

    Love the use of the napkin! And that orange – how it’s so intense at the bottom, and a bit softer st the top. Really makes those poppies…well, pop!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Carol Samsel July 14, 2012, 12:09 am

    Love the colors!! I MUST get me some stamps…everyone is having so much fun with them :0)

  • Debbie July 14, 2012, 6:47 am

    i love the colors you used, and the way you used your napkin! You’ve really inspired me to play with mine again.

  • giggles July 14, 2012, 7:25 am

    Just beautiful! Funny how our color tastes change! I have never been a blue person, but the last year or so I have surrounded myself in it!! Go figure after 55 years of not liking it, I find it so appealing now!! I just so happen to love orange so I love your piece!!

    Hugs Giggles

  • Mary C. Nasser July 14, 2012, 3:26 pm

    It’s always so great seeing your process!
    Love how those blue flowers pop against the orange background!
    Happy PPF!!
    Mixed-Media Map Art

  • Jenny Lee Wentworth July 14, 2012, 5:07 pm

    Beautiful colors, it looks so cheerful! Always love seeing the progression.

    Happy Weekend!
    Jenny 🙂

  • Mari July 14, 2012, 5:17 pm

    So cute colorfull, I like it. Saludos

  • gloria July 14, 2012, 10:24 pm

    Love the steps. You chose some really pop out colors. Nice going. Happy PPF!

  • Linda K July 15, 2012, 6:09 pm

    what a lovely page-and now you have reminded me of all the napkins I’ve hoarded for arting 🙂 I have Julie’s poppy stencil – love how you made them blue over your bright and vibrant background!

  • Kate @ {K}Mericks July 16, 2012, 11:40 am

    Wow, what a great use of a napkin! The composition and colors are lovely.

    xo Kate

    P.S. I have a giveaway and I’d love for you or anyone else to join. This is my first give-away, if you have any tips how to make this better I’d appreciate it!

  • JKW July 16, 2012, 11:30 pm

    The poppy stamp is a great addition to this page. I have seen this phrase so often this week, YIKES, someone trying to tell me something. Thanks so much for your wonderful explanation/direction. I have not worked with napkins, although I’ve been bringing some of them home for a few years thinking, I do what to do something with this. Blessings, Janet PPF

  • Linda Breshears July 17, 2012, 9:23 pm

    Your page turned out really well. Thanks for sharing the process too.