Month: November 2017

Creating Stamps for Backgrounds and Mixed Media

Creating Stamps for Backgrounds and Mixed Media

I have been looking through some old blog posts from my previous blog (Craft Therapy, in case you were wondering) and will be bringing those I still find it quite relevant here to That Crafty Girl. I hope you enjoy and find these useful. Today lets start creating stamps with fun foam for backgrounds and mixed media.

**(Disclosure: There are affiliate links below; that means if you click on and purchase any of these items, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you. Also, I will never suggest items I don’t use and love myself, pinky swear.)

I love creating stamps

I have been really needing (okay, wanting but still!) some more background stamps to use in my art journal and in the mixed media pieces I create. Well, not just background stamps but all kinds of stamps. I love stamps. They are so quick and easy to use and add interest to the pieces I’m working on. But it’s coming up on Christmas so finances do NOT allow for any unnecessary purchases right now. I mean, if it ain’t the electric bill, water bill, groceries or mortgage, it just isn’t in the budget.

So, I did what any self-respecting artist would do….I put on my thinking cap and got creative!

What do you get when you take some stray Jenga game blocks, throw in some adhesive backed craft foam you have laying around (that was supposed to be used for some other project you never got around to), a pair of scissors and/or an X-acto knife, and a heavy dose of your imagination?

Let’s get busy creating!

Well, with an hour or two on your hands and some ideas in your head you end up making your OWN stamps!  Don’t be intimidated in the least because creating stamps this way is easy-peasy.

First, draw your design on the paper backing of the adhesive backed foam. If you are creating words, by drawing out your design on the back, they will print out correctly.

Now, cut out your design ideas from the fun foam sheet with your scissors or X-acto, peel the paper backing and attach it to the wooden block. Voila`…you have 100 % original homemade stamps that you made with your own two hands!

YAY for imagination and ingenuity, right?

My stamp creations

handmade stamps 1Here’s the first set I made and I made some stamped impressions from them.  They turned out pretty cool, huh?  Oh yes, I am digging ’em big time. Now I just have to find some bigger blocks so I can make even bigger stamps for larger backgrounds!  Uh huh!

I started with very geometric shapes in the beginning but I got this idea in my head (you know how us artsy-fartsy folks are, always dreaming up something new) and thought I’d carry my stamp creating a step further.

Here’s my second set.

handmade stamps 2

My favorites

I am definitely loving on all of them but I really like the sunset (or sunrise, depending on your state of mind)…and the feather…oh, and the leaf. Yeah, they’re all my favorites…the stars (which will be getting plenty of good use), and how can you not dig the leafy branch, the leaf, the harlequinesque (yea, made that one up myself just now) diamonds…just all of them.

I really like them all. Can you tell?

And, I’m going to go ahead and admit it but don’t go telling anyone I was on here bragging on myself or anything, okay?….I am unbelievably in love with that feather!

Durability and Care

If you are worried about the durability of the foam, before I began this little venturesimple green into stamp creating I tested out a couple. I wanted to see if I would be able to use them more than once (cause if not, that would really piss me off!) and this is what I found….

You are not stuck using only acrylic paints; If you want to use inks or chalks, you can. To clean these babies you do need to be somewhat gentle. I would also suggest that you use Simple Green household cleaner to clean these as well as all your other stamps. Simple Green won’t deteriorate the foam (or rubber, either) and will clean them well and safely!

YEA…with some care, these babies will go the distance…trust me.

Now get out there and make ya some; the only limit is your imagination.

Carve December

Oh, wait!!

Just a little heads up. If you love stamps and want to carve some of your own, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer has a carve along called Carve December. We each carve at least one stamp per day during the month of December. Most of us post our creations on social media (Instagram, especially) with the hashtag #CarveDecember.

For more info, check out Julie’s post on it HERE. I do hope you will join in and Carve December with us because it is seriously a blast!

Until next time…Happy Creating!!!

Peace & Love,
aka That Crafty Chick

Step One in Learning to Art Journal

Step One in Learning to Art Journal

First things first…if you want to learn to art journal and haven’t started with Art Journaling Primer, please check out that preview and start from there.

Now, in order to Art Journal, you must first have a journal or, at least, some type of paper on which you can journal. If you are new to art journaling and you have looked around the internet or your local bookstore, you may be quite overwhelmed with your choices. Lets cover some of the more popular choices…

**(Disclosure: There are affiliate links below; that means if you click on and purchase any of these items, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you. Also, I will never suggest items I don’t use and love myself, pinky swear.)

Your Art Journaling Choices

moleskineMoleskine (or similar) bound journal– these come in different paper types…thin, writing type paper can be found in the ruled, squared, plain styles so if you plan to use wet media (paint, watercolors, inks, sprays, etc.), these wouldn’t be your best bet. If one of them is what you already have, go with it (we’ll cover how to thicken up those pages later on.) Moleskine also has the sketchbook and watercolor journals. Both are great choices for wet media with no real prep-work. (The Moleskine sketchbook is one of the first art journals I used.)

Handmade Journal– depending on the type of paper, these can be a great choice. (*See paper types under the Moleskine journals.) Also, the binding of your handmade journal is something to consider…copic bound and comb/spiral bound journals will lay flat while you work in them. Others bound in different ways may not be as easy to work in if they constantly pop-up or have to be held open.

Loose pages– Some of my favorite artists use loose pages and bind them later (check out Roben-Marie Smith.) This can be a great option, if you are sure you can keep them together. You can choose the paper type (watercolor paper, cardstock or even file folders which hold up great for journaling) which is a huge plus.

Composition notebooks– this is what my first art journal was. The paper in these is regular notebook paper so it’s thin and won’t hold any wet media on it’s own. You can gesso/glue 3-5 pages together. You will then need to gesso the thicker pages in order to get them to stand up to wet applications. Not a horrible choice but definitely one that will take more time and work.

Altering an old Book– this is probably one of the cheapest ways to art journal. It will to make your art journal a really individual journal of your art and your life. Hard back books are really cheap at thrift stores and your library book store. As with Composition notebooks, you can gesso/glue 3-5 pages together. Then you will need to gesso the now thicker pages to stand up to wet applications.

Etc.- Some of the less thought of art journal ideas are: index cards, rolodexes, calendars and datebooks, cereal boxes/food packaging that you’ve torn down. You may think of some place to journal that I haven’t covered and that’s awesome. Go with it! (I’d love it if you shared, too.)

Take Your Time

Choosing your art journaling canvas is a very personal thing and there is plenty of time to decide. I would suggest that you try out different things. Look at what type of art journaling you plan on trying out in/on your journal choice. You’ll need thicker paper if you want to use the wetter media but if you’re planning to only use pencil, charcoal, colored pencil, pastels, thinner paper will be just fine for you.

If you don’t know what you’ll be using because you’re just getting started, my suggestion is to use a thicker paper (watercolor paper or mixed media paper is awesome!)…that way you’re prepared, no matter what.

Art Journal Cost & Size

If cost is a limitation (as it is for so many of us these days), use what you already have (old file folders are an excellent choice.) You can make anything work, I promise. If you need help making what you have work, leave a comment and I will give you suggestions and ideas.

The size of your journal is also something to consider. Do you like the idea of large pages that you can fill with lots of stuff and lots of journaling?  Is a tiny place more your style? Do you not really have an idea of what you want? If you are a bit confused or unsure of what size journal you want, my suggestion is to go with a middle size, 5″x7″ . Those are not so big they’re overwhelming and not so small that you feel constrained.

Finally, do you have questions? Comments? Suggestions? Be sure to leave me a note. Your comments are the best feedback there is and they will let me know if I’m covering everything you want/need to know.


Now, go find your journal.

Next up we’re talking supplies!

Peace & Love,
aka That Crafty Chick

Art Journaling Primer – Start Here

Art Journaling Primer – Start Here

Good morning, y’all.

I’m on my 2nd cup of coffee and pumped to get this party rocking. Today just feels like the perfect time to jump right into Art Journaling here in this new space of mine because there is an abundance of info and ideas running around in this head of mine. So much that I am excited to share with you.

Learning to Art Journal

There are a bazillion art journal blogs, classes, videos, books, teachers, etc. out there. The best version of me art journal pageIt’s as though I have seen, watched, learned from and bought what about 90% of them have out there offer.

Currently I am a member of Teesha & Tracy Moore’s Artstronauts Club and I have taken classes from Julie Fei-Fan BalzerKelly KilmerRoben-Marie Smith, Sami Harding,  and more. I have poured over books about art journaling for more hours than I can count (I’ll share my favorites soon.)

It is my quest to constantly work at broadening my knowledge base and learn new techniques. You see, after a number of years of making art, I feel like Art Journaling is an art calling of mine and I want to be the best I can be.

I Love Art Journaling

Because of this deep love I have for Art Journaling, I want to share my love and passion for it. I  with everyone that has even a flicker of interest and wants to learn. I want to grow and help others grow, too.

Keep in mind, I am NOT an expert and don’t claim to be. I am not formally trained in art (I just love it.) I believe that art is subjective so what you find beautiful may not align with my ideas of artful beauty; That is perfectly alright. This is a place to share and learn and find some beauty in every day life.

Getting Started

I know it’s great to just dive in and get started when you begin something new. There are also some of you out there who are hesitant to even think about starting your first Art Journal. My suggestion for any of you that are new to Art Journaling is to relax.

See the Future art journal page


Trust me on this one; don’t go into this fascinating, entertaining, freeing and fun adventure all hyped-up and feeling anxious. Do you remember the No Fear stickers and t-shirts that were found everywhere some years ago? Take that idea to heart; make it your new motto. Have absolutely no fear at all. None.

One of the best things ever told to me about this favorite art form of mine is: It’s only paper. There is plenty more so just have fun!!! Whenever I find myself getting uptight over some stray paint blob or something doesn’t turn out the way I was wanting it to, I remind myself that it’s only paper. Just paper. How can a sheet of paper be the source of any kind of pressure or fear?

See what I mean?

The Why?

Before we do anything, ask yourself why you want to start an Art Journal? What do you want to get out of your Art Journal and/or the process? In the beginning your answer may be “I don’t know” or “Just because” and those are perfectly good answers.

For now.

Just keep that question in mind as you progress…it helps me to let go and get out of my own way as I work/play in my Art Journals.

Finding Your Style

The pages I’m sharing here are all blasts from the past. I thought I’d throwLife is what you make it art journal page some of these in so you can see some of my previous Art Journaling…somewhat of my style. We all have a style but it doesn’t develop over-night. Trust me when I say, you will find your style, too. Maybe you have already found it and, if so, YAY!, go you! but if you haven’t, don’t sweat it; you will find it.

I hope you’ll join me on this wonderful Art Journaling adventure. Do you know others that might be interested in joining this Art Journaling journey with us (or any that might be crafty chicks?) I will love you forever if you share my blog with them. Thanks in advance.

Coming up next time: Choosing your journal.

Peace & Love,
aka That Crafty Chick

Welcome to My World

Welcome to My World

Welcome y’all, I’m Barb…aka That Crafty Chick! 

You can’t imaging how glad I am that we could meet up like this today.  I have been so looking forward to having a cup of coffee and a little chat about all the wonderful things I have in store for you here in the coming months. 

Before we get too far, please know that I am not a web designer or a blogging guru by any stretch of the imagination so things may be a little messy as I get settled in and get things situated. I do hope you’ll overlook the mess. Actually, it’s a bit like coming over to my house for coffee…a little cluttered but don’t be afraid to put your feet up on the coffee table and make yourself comfy.

I am beyond ecstatic to finally be here!!
I used to blog a lifetime ago but I’ve spent the past couple of years soul searching what it is that I am passionate about, what truly makes my heart leap for joy.No matter where I search, I always come back around to creativity…my art journals, crafting, planning, sewing, painting, cooking and baking, DIY, gardening/plants and a plethora of other creative endeavors.
Now, I bet you are asking yourself what makes That Crafty Chick any different than a bazillion other blogs out there? Well, a few things:
  1. Me. My creativity and point of view are quite original;
  2. My intense need to keep things simple and honest;
  3. I am real and down to earth (just like you);
  4. I am unbelievably cheap.

How does any of that benefit you?

Do you want to create, craft, decorate, and entertain but don’t have a millionaire’s budget? Or even a thousandaire’s budget? I feel ya, I don’t either. What I do have are some great ways to to keep your creative juices flowing, perk up your abode, fill your tummy, and entertain your friends and family, all for little to no cash.Now we’re talking, just the way I like it, cheap!

So you’ll be making ugly cheap crap???

Oh, hell no!Like you, I’ve seen so many ideas floating around that are one or the other, cute OR cheap, but seldom does an idea seem to be both. Remember, I’m just like you, I want things that look like a million bucks but only cost me $1.98.

Trust me, you won’t find anything that looks like it belongs at the city dump or that it was made by the hands of a three year old around here. No way! We’re talking about the good stuff, the stuff that you will be proud to show off to friends or to give as gifts, I promise. Pinky swear, even.

So, you’re just going to be another craft blog?

Hell no, not at all. We are going to be doing lots of creative things but not just crafts.

I’ll be introducing many of you to art journaling; we’ll do some furniture refinishing and re-upholstery; we will head down the rabbit hole of PLANNER love and I’m even creating some super cute (but not hokey) FREE printables for all you planner chicks already out there; some great tutorials and techniques are in the future; genuine southern recipes for real people (and trust me, you won’t find kale in any of them!); and so much more.

I hope you will stick around and see what I have to share with you in the coming weeks and months. I will be dropping in a few times a week, bringing you ideas that are fresh, fun, and best of all, frugal!

Nothin’ like pinching some pennies while getting our craft on, am I right?

What you can look forward to coming up in this month:

  • Lots of Planner goodies;
  • Almost Free Thanksgiving Decorating;
  • A Frugal Family Feast;
  • Thrifty and Beautiful Holiday Wreaths;
  • Creative Jar Re-uses;
  • DIY Gift Ideas (that you still have time to make!);
  • Getting a jump on Holiday Baking;
  • and more, more, more!
Be sure to sign up for That Crafty Chick Newsletter before you leave so you don’t miss a thing. Also, giveaways and classes will be announced first to my newsletter subscribers so you know you don’t want to pass those up.
Also, If there are things you are really wanting to know more about, please leave a comment or check out the contact page and drop me a line. I really want this to be a place you enjoy and look forward to coming to and learning from regularly.
Peace & Love,
aka That Crafty Chick