“Make Peace,” Art Journal Page by creative team member Nicole Austin

“Make Peace,” Art Journal Page

By Nicole Austin

I like to start some of my art journal pages on pages that already have something on them already.  I always create with several journals or surfaces handy to wipe off extra paint, or to try out or clean off stencils while I’m working on my “main” surface.

 Today’s Creative Team video, I’ll show you how I start from one of those “test” pages and turn it into a finished page and how the scribbles and doodles that get lost under subsequent layers often show up in the final design.  In this case, I used stencils and doodled some flowers that ended up being the main idea of the final page.

Enjoy the video


 Products Used:

Stencils: “Doodle Letter and Number,” “Doodle Flowers,” and “Birds, Birds, Birds”

Golden acrylic paint (Titanium White)

Golden fluid acrylics (Teal, Prussian Blue Hue)

Brea Reese paint writers

Spray ink (Mr Huey’s or any permanent spray ink like Marabu would work, too)

Liquitex 15 mm paint pens

Stabilo 3-in-1 Woody Pencils

Make-up sponge

Glue stick

Washi tape

Tissue paper

Vintage ledger paper and music sheets

Palette knife

Be inspired, create and know that you are loved!

Willingness to let go to create a masterpiece Sunday Inspiration

Freedom and change happen when we let go of the old and start building the new. Walk through that door, take the first step. Freedom is waiting for you,

My mentors in art have always said that you have to been willing to let go of the background to get to the masterpiece. It’s so true, while the background it vital to the whole and tells the story of the piece, we don’t stop creating when the background is complete, we keep working and changing elements. In the process, there is always an ugly phase of a painting and then it happens, everything comes together, the vision is there for where our creativeness will take us.

This also applies to life, we have to be willing to let go of the past, to build a better future. Change can feel scary and ugly, but if we keep working the path will become clear, it might take some time but it will happen. Our background is part of our story, it’s our history but it does not define our future. Be willing to let go.

Enjoy the video

Supplies Used: 12×12 mdf board (old creation) vintage papers, (link to original video), a variety of acrylic paints, (studio 71 medium body, deco art fluid acrylics) photo of old door, charcoal pencil,

Just a reminder that all the originals are on sale until tomorrow!…, some discounted up to 70% off. There are still some really great pieces left.

Have a great week, be inspired, create and know that you are loved!

Living and learning strength crash the stash

This week I have been reflecting on my journey and the lessons I’ve learned along the way. The strength that I gained from every step and learning to enjoy the beauty along the way.

I love layering and being able to see each layer on top of the other. It tells the story and asks the viewer to come along.

Enjoy the video


Supplies Used: Canson 9xx12 mixed media journal, Deco art media matte medium, gesso and fluid acrylics ( quinicridone magenta, Cobalt blue, yellow oxide, vermillion, raw umber) Americana glazing medium, charcoal pencil, palette knife, vintage papers and scraps from the stash

Stencils Used: stacked stone, doodle leaves, background words, old classroom text

Be ispired, create and know that  you are loved!


Love grows in the Garden by creative team Mary Szymanski

Love Grows in the Garden mixed media
with Creative Team Member Mary Szymanski
My main inspiration for this piece was Shawn’s awesome nature inspired stencils. This post comes out on Valentines Day, so I knew I had to have hearts, and when I saw the Geometric Leaves and Garden 2 stencils, an idea was born. I decided to use gelatin prints I had in my stash for the hearts/ petals.  In the end, I love the simplicity and colorfulness of it all. 

My Supply List:
Market Decor Newsprint Canvas
DecoArt Premium Cobalt Teal, Green Gold and Quinacridone Gold Hue
Shawn Petite stencils- Geometric Leaves, Borders and Garden 2
LIQUITEX acrylics in Hooker’s Green, Phthalocyanine Green, Muted Turquoise, Titanium White, Raw Umber and Parchment
White cardstock, Gelatin printed and cut into heart shapes
Glossy Accents
Uniball Signo White Pen
Martha Stewart Crafts Elegant Filigree Ornate Shapes
Recollections “Love” Cutting Template
Blick Matte Acrylic- Pearl White
You can see more from Mary here;
Be Inspired, create and know that you are loved.

discounts and I have nature and art and poetry… Grateful Sunday Inspiration

“…and then, I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?” 
― Vincent van Gogh

Oh I have so much to be grateful for, but some days it seem that it’s so hard to find. When I came across this quote by Vincent Van Gogh…. It brought me back from my grumpy nature and reminded me that …. I need to be present and choose to find the things that are a delight, the everyday things that are such a blessing. For be some seasons I really have to “practice” being grateful and other seasons is just seems to flow. What ever season you are in… look around today to find what you are grateful for.

Enjoy your Sunday Inspiration video


Supplies Used:

12×12 mdf board,

vintage papers from collage pak: 2-19-17, 4-23-17, 6-11-17, 10-16-16

stencils Used: vines, let it fly 2, birds birds birds, doodle lines, doodle flowers

Deco Art Matte medium, deco art crackle paste, deco art fluid acrylics (Hansa yellow medium, vermillion, viridian, sap green, titanium white, cobalt blue hue, quinicridone magenta and violet, raw umber)

Americana acrylic paint ( neon fiery red, seabreeze, avocado) glazing medium

Just a reminder that the discount on the workshops

expire tomorrow.

use coupon code welcome 1 see all the workshops HERE

It’s time to do some cleaning out of my originals!

everything is marked down some at 60% and 70% off! No coupon needed, they are already marked down in the SHOP

I hope you can get some great deals!

Below is just a few of what’s in the shop.. lots of new ones!

Be inspired, create and know that you are loved.

Love journal page Crash the stash with creative team member Nicole Austin

Love journal page with Nicole Austin

I was feeling a bit in a “Valentine”-y mood, so I decided to go with a palette of red, purple, pink and ended up with a little more blue & aqua in the end!  It’s ok to try new colors but it’s also OK to stick with the colors that you absolutely love.  I hope you enjoy the techniques in the video.  I like to use a lot of layers in my art journal because it is a place where I can experiment and use up my stash!

 I printed a page of butterflies from the Vintage butterfly collage pak (sunday inspiration 12-3-17) onto a light blue, patterned piece of scrapbook paper that I had cut down to fit my printer (8.5” x 11”). It’s a fun way add color and pattern to vintage collage images!  Washi tape can also be a great collage element.  Experiment by putting down washi tape over different layers and pull up the tape every once in a while to reveal a contrasting, “old” layer underneath!  It can add a kind of unexpected splash of color and pattern to your page.

Enjoy the video


List Products Used:

Stencils:  “Scribble Flowers 2”, “Scribble Circles”, “Words of Love”, and “Words, words, words”

Collage Sheet: Vintage butterfly collage pak (sunday inspiration 12-3-17)

Paint: Golden fluid acrylic (teal, payne’s grey, quinacridone violet), High Flow acrylic (fluorescent pink), Acrylic paint (fluorescent pink, titan buff)

Paint pens: Sharpie extra-fine point (white), Liquitex 15mm (red, gold, white)

Other items: Kwik Stix, Stabilo 3-in-1 Woody Pencils

Make-up sponge

Sponge roller


Glue stick

Washi tape

Heart-shape confetti

Tissue paper

Palette knife

You can see more from Nicole here:

Be inspired, create and know that you are loved!


Courage painting on canvas by creative team member Beth Uhe

By Beth Uhe
This project came about as I was reflecting back on the past year.  I had decided at the beginning of the year that I would start sharing my art online.  It was a scary prospect because I wasn’t at all certain that people would like what I created.  I put my brave girl pants on and shared anyway, and the results were amazing.  Not only did people like my work, they embraced it.  I made a lot of new friends, was given some amazing opportunities, and had a year in which many of my dreams came true.
I share my story in the hope that you will find the courage to reach out of your comfort zone and share your art more.  You alone have a gift that the world needs to see.

Products used
Shawn Petite stencils:
Acrylic paint:
Golden Fluid – Anthroquinone Blue and Titan Buff
Golden Heavy Body – Titanium White, Quinacridone Magenta, Light Magenta
Liquitex Heavy Body – Sap Green Permanent, Green Gold
Stabilo All pencil
Charcoal pencil

Black oil pastel

You can see more from Beth on her website: http://bethuhefineart.com/
and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/bethuhe/
Be inspired, create and know that you are loved!

Flourish to grow luxuriantly Sunday Inspiration

Flourish: To grow luxuriantly; to grow and thrive; to prosper.

I was needing a break from reality this week. It just was one of those weeks where everything seemed hard. Business stuff, family stuff it just was unsettling in my soul and I could feel the anxiety rolling around in my belly.

I painted this because this is where I needed to go to calm, sooth and heal the uncontrollable bits of life. The word flourish came, just as so many other words have come for art…. by the divine.

I was searching in my box of scrap papers for the background and randomly on one of the papers was the word flourish. It was like suave for my soul. It made me breath deep and say… just flourish Shawn … what else can you do. Then I looked up the definition and I was even more pleased with my word that was given to me.

Flourish: To grow luxuriantly; to grow and thrive; to prosper.

Oh how I want to grow luxuriantly!

Even in the midst of what life throws at us.. we can choose to flourish, to grow and prosper.

Enjoy the video


Supplies Used:

Top background paper from collage pak: sunday inspiration 5-14-17

middle paper cracked, from collage pak: 1-29-17

bottom text paper from collage pak 4-9-17

Fluid, craft and medium body paints: Deco Art media fluids, Americana craft and Studio 71 medium body

Matte medium to put everything down

glazing medium for the umber wash

palette knife for paint skimming

charcoal pencil and black soft pastel stick

Stencils Used:

Wildflower3, Flower gang 5, geometric flower, damask duo, Tiles, Window 1

Be inspired, create and know that you are loved!

Hot mess, complete failure to acceptable Crash the stash

This one was a doozy…. Not every page can be a masterpiece. This one took me on a ride that I wasn’t expecting. Nothing… I mean nothing came out the way I planned and gesso was my friend on this one because I used over and over to try to make some sense of this page. I at least got it to a place that was acceptable, not my favorite but o.k.

I thought that I would share this because on camera it looks as though it’s easy for me. Somedays it is and someday’s it’s a struggle. The most important lesson is the lessons in the mess. Each and every journal page is a journey and sacred. So even if you are struggling with your creativity, keep creating! Be persistent and enjoy the wisdom gained from the messes!

Enjoy the video


Supplies Used: Gloss medium, collage papers, Canson 9×12 journal, matte medium, Fluid acrylic paint. gesso

Be inspired, create and know that you are loved!


Like dust I rise! Donna Downey curator piece

This piece is so dimensional… the texture and layers are just so yummy! This 18×18 was so much fun and has lots meaning. The quote is from Maya Angelou, she is one of my favorite authors/poets. It reads “You may write me down in history with your bitter twisted lies, you may trod me in the very dirt but still like dust I’ll rise, I rise, I rise”

So often we can come against adversity and others that try to discourage our dreams.. And this work is served as an reminder to keep going… never ever, ever give up!

Also….. The winner of the “Poetry of the Earth” giveaway is Jana Boettcher! Congratulation Jana… and thank you all for liking and sharing!!!

Enjoy the video


I love using modeling paste, crackle paste and the pumice gel, I try to not think about where I’m putting it so that I can have unexpected texture in some surprising spots. Also watering down some of your paint works well when working with all this texture, it allows the paint to settle in the cracks and and around the paste.

Supplies Used: 18×18 wood panel, scraps of vintage paper, Large #17 palette knife smaller palette knife # 5, charcoal pencil, cardboard scraps

Golden Mediums: gesso, crackle paste, modeling paste, coarse pumice gel, matte medium, glazing medium

Golden heavy body paints: Titanium white, teal, quinacridone blue violet, alizarin crimson hue, Yellow ochre, quinacridone crimson, neutral gray, carbon black

Golden Fluid acrylics: pyrrole red, cobalt turquois, yellow oxide, raw umber, quinacridone magenta, Phthalo green, permanent violet dark, paynes gray, Phthalo Blue

Donna Downey Stencils: keyhole splatter, star, scribble script, 

My stencils: mandala, scribbles, scribble squares, scribble circles, cracked

Be Inspired, create and know that you are loved

“Home” finding joy in just one day Sunday Inspiration

This original is available HERE

Prints of the original available HERE

Fully feeling the January blues.. I needed to find some joy… while I was running errands, I said a little prayer and then decided to take a drive to search out beauty, joy and gratitude… and I found it!…. right around the corner. I was driving down my favorite street and there was this barn in a field. There was a light dusting of snow. It made me smile and I love that spot in every season. I drove by that spot a couple of time to take in all the joy it gave me.

I thanked God for the moment and continued on to find more beauty….. When I got home, I knew I had to paint it…

Enjoy the video


Supplies Used: 11x 17 mdf board, vintage book pages from collage paks in the shop, fluid acrylic and medium body paints,( neutral grey, prussion blue hue, cobalt turquoise hue, titanium white, titan buff, raw umber, yellow ochre, carbon black) Palette knives various sizes, charcoal pencil

Stencils used: scribble flowers, scribbles, scribble squares

Be inspired, create and know that you are loved!


Life is the greatest adventure Crash the stash

When I pulled the green paper with fluer de lis… I though what am I going to do with this… but it was a great starting point for this… and the purple and the green go really well together. Then the interference paint really makes it shine… (literally)

January has been a hard month for alot of people. There are many things that contribute to that… and I myself am struggling to stay motivated… This quote has been popping into my head… when I’ve had to face some difficult stuff… I just keep telling myself “this is the great adventure” … it’s all part of the journey.

Enjoy the video


Supplies Used:

Canson Mixed media journal, papers from the stash. letter stamps and ink pad, southern ridge trading co. embellishment

Deco Art Media Products: Gesso, Matte medium, Antiquing cream (black, umber, patina green ), Interference paint (blue and turquoise) Fluid acrylic (green gold, quinacridone violet, cobalt teal hue Carbon black)

Stencils Used: Scribble flower 1, Geometric flower

Be inspired, create and know that you are loved!




“Home” mixed media art by creative team member Nicole Austin

“Home,” a mixed media journey by Nicole Austin

I love how this canvas came together, and thought I would share with you the entire process from start to finish.  In the video tutorial, I talk about why I make each choice and show you how I start a canvas by playing with color and ideas and how it builds to the end result.  You may notice that  A LOT of the early layers are almost completely (if not entirely!) covered up by the end.  I always think of each painting as a process or journey.  In the first layers I just like to play with and “audition” colors.  I may even add stencil images and paint pen marks as well as collage pieces.  As I get closer to what feels like the “end” of the painting, I start to bring back some of the earlier ideas, colors, or marks that got lost in the layers.  I hope you enjoy the journey and are inspired to create something unique of your own!

Enjoy the video!

 Products Used:

Stencils: Garden 2, Patterns 1, Numbers 1

Paint: Dylusions (black), Golden heavy body acrylic (titanium white, cadmium red), Golden high flow acrylic (indigo), Golden fluid acrylic (anthraquinone blue), Distress Stain (evergreen bough, salty ocean)

Spray ink: Mr Hueys (navy)

Paint pens: Liquitex 15mm bold tip (bright aqua green, red, black, fluorescent pink), Sharpie fine-tip paint pen (white), Dylusions paint pen (black)

6” x 6” gallery wrapped canvas

Palette knife

Stabilo marks-all pencil (black)

Baby wipes

Makeup sponge

Fluid Matte Medium

Medium & fine-tip paint brushes

You can see more from Nicole Here:

Poetry of the earth Part 4 Finale

Can you believe that this is the last video for this series? I’m hoping that you are enjoy the videos.

Today, we put the finishing touches on all 4 pieces and talk about the last little bits and how contrast makes all the difference. I also share my struggle with one of the pieces. I also share the steps I take in sealing my pieces.

Your last reminder, I will be giving one of these away…. any one you choose…… This is the last week to enter, …To win…… Like and share on Instagram and Facebook for each post for this series, for the next 4 weeks (links below), …and each time you do… you will be entered to win. Thanks and good luck to all how have participated!

So you could have an opportunity to enter 4 times each week!! I will also have intructions on instagram and facebook when I post for the curators post.

Instagram – Donna Downey Studios @donnadowneystudios …. Shawn’s @artgirl38

Facebook – Donna – https://www.facebook.com/donnadowneySTUDIOS/ …. Shawn – https://www.facebook.com/shawnpetiteinc/

The winner will be notified by January 29th – and announced here on the blog

All right lets get creating and enjoy today’s video

Supplies Used:

8×8 wood panel

Vintage papers, scrap paper

Daler and Rowney acrylic Ink ( magenta, sepia, lemon yellow, cyan, scarlet)

Golden matte medium and gel medium 

Golden Gloss medium

Golden Fluid Acrylic ( vermillion, quinacridone magenta, cobalt teal, prussion blue hue,

paynes grey, permanent violet dark, pyrole red, titanium white)

Golden glazing medium

Golden Fiber paste

Fineline applicator (with airbrush medium and carbon black paint)

Charcoal pencil

Mark making tools (bubble wrap, drywall tape, latch hook rug, needle point canvas)

Stencils Used:

Donna’s stencils: Tangled Pattern

DD Mini Numbers,

Blooming Floral,


Shawn’s stencils: Flower Drawing,



Have a great day….

Be inspired, create and know that you are loved~


Find your passion Sunday Inspiration

This original is available HERE and prints on wood available HERE

Finding our passion is almost as hard as living it everyday. There are seasons in our lives that our passions are strong and other seasons where we seem to be drifting. That’s ok… Life requires, at different times all of our attention and we have to set aside somethings to focus on something else… but never let that kernel of hope and passion die. Protect it so that when the weather is better and the season is right you passions can bloom fully.  Then live boldly, loudly and courageously  in your passion and never give up!

If your searching for direction…. listen to your story, your childhood, what excited you back then will most likely delight you today… It might be slightly different but I guarantee that if you follow the trail from childhood back to adulthood… you will find some answers.

Enjoy the video

Supplies Used: 11×17 mdf board, gesso, dictionary pages, vintage butterflies, scrap papers

Golden high flow acrylic (Permanent violet dark, Qunacridone magenta) Deco Art Media fluid acrylics (cobalt teal hue, yellow oxide, bluegreen light, qunacridone red, vermillion, burnt umber) Americana glazing medium, and craft paint indian turquoise

Stencil Used: European Lines

I just restocked the new stencils… so if you tried to get one… now’s your chance!

get them HERE

new video and print in the resource library you can get it HERE

(if you’ve forgotten the password it’s in your weekly email)

if your not a subscriber you can subscribe HERE

Be inspired, create and know that you are loved!