Friday, March 28, 2014

Artistcellar Design Team Announcement!

I am so excited to finally be able to share my news that I am a member of the current design team at Artistcellar!  I use stencils in so many ways in my work and have been a long time lover of Artistcellar products so for me this is a dream come true.  Starting next week I will be sharing their new stencil releases on my blog.  Every Tuesday I will be showing a new project that I've created using their stencils.  There will also be blog hops along the way that all of you can check out for inspiration and a chance to win prizes.

Here are the other four members of the design team, I invite you all to stop by their blogs and check them out.  While you're at it you might want to mosey on over to Artistcellar's blog for more info on some upcoming fun!  Without further ado here is the official announcement.  Talk to you soon ~ Renee

Meet Our New Design Team!

When Lisa made the Design Team Call just a few short weeks ago, we were expecting some great submissions. But we were overwhelmed by just how many great submissions from a huge variety of artists we received. We’re truly honored that so many artists view Artistcellar as a company they want to work (and play) with. Thanks so much to all those who submitted. As Lisa said, it’s hard picking only five from such a wonderful list. But without further ado, we would like to welcome and introduce our third Artistcellar Design Team:
gabreilleGabrielle Javier-Cerulli is an artist, art journaler, and archetype consultant (are you the goddess? the rebel? or the storyteller?) She’s the author of No Ordinary Woman: Tips for Conscious, Creative, and Healthy Living. She is also the creator of the iPad/iPhone app Archetypes4U. Her favorite colors these days are fuchsia and vermillion orange. Her new best friends are ink sprays, however, her long time companions are acrylics.  It’s all about texture, color, and abstract flow in her mixed media work.  She also holds a M.A. in expressive arts therapy.
jackieNealMy name is Jackie P. Neal from Upstate, N.Y. Since I retired last year, I have renewed my love and passion with Art. There are so many new and cool things in this wonderful artsy world, that I am attempting to try each and every technique and product! What I have discovered, is that my favorites at this point are stenciling, doodling, BRIGHT colors, and collaging with papers and elements. I like to get up around 5 am grab my tankard of coffee and head for the studio- usually not reappearing until 2 or 3:00pm-earlier if a tasty snack is announced! I look forward to creating with you and hopefully inspiring your muse to dance with your creativeness! and remember- Art Is Not Optional.
reneeRenee Zarate: I am a mixed media artist living in New England.  I have been married to my very supportive husband, Joe, for the past 20 years.   My favorite art medium changes often but right now I am working a lot with spray inks and acrylic paints using stencils to achieve unusual backgrounds for card making, art journals and other projects.  I love a challenge so I have been submitting my art work to different magazines for many years now and have been published in 5 different Stampington publications.  I also teach classes sharing different techniques.
sarahTSarah Trumpp is a mixed media artist known as ‘that weird girl with the tattoos’ in a teenytiny town in rural New York where she lives with her husband, three kids, six fish, and a tiny goofy Chihuahua.  She has an almost frightening stencil addiction and enough art supplies to open her own store, but she is especially drawn to water-soluble media, spray paint, and acrylics.  She loves circus sideshows, zombies, old mythology, toasters, and glitter nail polish.  She blogs regularly with her BFF at and less regularly at  She thinks you’re awesome.
Wonderstrange Arts
theresaTheresa Plas is a long time resident of south Florida who works in a variety of media.  Her art is inspired by the brilliant hues and textures of nature. Theresa’s artwork ranges from representational to abstract.  She has developed several series related to the human form.  Recently, printmaking has been added to her body of work.  Theresa’s exhibits include the Arts Arena Gallery in Delray Beach as well as the Boca Museum of Art School in Boca Raton.  She has been selected to be published in the May/June 2014 issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors.
We’re excited to see what cool artwork this team will make. You can see their work beginning Monday March 31st – as they take our new Sacred Hearts series stencils for a spin in their studios.
Welcome to our newest design team members!

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Craft Stamper "Take It, Make It Challenge"

Just a quick reminder that you still have time to enter a piece of your art over at the Craft Stamper "Take It, Make It Challenge"!  The theme for this challenge is mono printing using an acrylic block.  Personally I can't stop making sheets of art using this technique, then I cut them up and use the sheets for projects, cards, etc.  Here is a small wall hanging I made today using one of my mono printed sheets.


I used the mono printed paper as the background.  I cut a piece that measures 6" by 6" and used that as a background for the stenciled houses.  The house stencil is from and is called "Whimsy Town".  I stenciled it on the paper using a black micron pen.  Then I added a little bit of Scattered Straw Distress Stickles in the windows to mimic light. The dauber top on Ranger's Distress Paint made perfect Wild Honey colored circles.  The stamping is done with StazOn Jet Black ink using a Dyan Reaveley circle text stamp.  A touch of shiny red paint on the doors and hearts is the only thing needed to complete the scene.  I had some black canvases in my stash measuring 6" by 6" so I glued the paper onto that and put an antique crystal knob on the top with ribbons to finish it off.  This could hang on the wall or sit on a stack of books.  It makes a cute house warming gift!

So please take advantage of the time left to participate in the challenge.  Thanks so much for stopping by today, leave a comment if you have time, you know I love to hear from you.  Take care ~ Renee

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Published in The Stampers' Sampler!

WooHoo!  I just received my latest issue of The Stampers' Sampler and saw that I had three cards published.

 I've been submitting my work to different Stampington magazines since 2005 and it is still always a big thrill to see my work in a magazine.  Not too long ago I was communicating with an online friend who was just devastated that she had submitted quite a few things for a challenge and was disappointed that only one thing had appeared in print.  I have been asked often what my "secret" is to getting published.  The only advice that I can give to others who want to be published is to see what type of material and color schemes the magazine uses, they vary all the time.  Also submit to challenges, give them many samples of your work and submit often.  Just as an example let me show you how many projects I submitted to this one challenge.....the 20th Anniversary of The Stampers' Sampler magazine.

Those plus a few others were submitted and I count myself fortunate that I had one published.  Here it is:

There she is in the center.  My point is that if you want to be published in magazines and I know that for many that is a dream, you need to submit often and give the editors a lot of choices.  Try not to be too disappointed if your favorites don't make the final cut,  you can always pay the return postage and have your work returned to you.  But if that is your dream go for it!  Don't give up.

Thanks for stopping by today!  I would love to read any comments or input that you have on this subject.  In the meantime, have a great week.  Take care~Renee

Friday, March 14, 2014

Craft Stamper~Take It, Make It Challenge~Halfway Reminder

The tag created for today is for the Craft Stamper blog challenge.  The theme of the challenge is Monoprints created with acrylic blocks.  We are at the halfway point of the challenge so there's a little reminder on the blog.  For more details about the March challenge and to enter one of your amazing creations just pop over to the Craft Stamper blog.

I started this large, Ranger 5 1/8" by 10 1/2" manila tag, by creating the background.  I wanted a steampunk style tag using the colors of aqua green, deep yellow and light magenta.  Artist's Loft acrylic paints were perfect for this and I used a large acrylic block along with a few stencils to get the different patterns with the paints.  I will share a few photos showing the process.

A stencil and some scraps of paper cut to make more patterns are laid on the acrylic block before applying the paint.

Carefully lift off the stencils
Press the tag firmly into the paint on the acrylic block, you can get several pulls off of this large block.

This is the initial first layer of colors

I added more color and texture to the tag using the same acrylic block

After each color of paint was applied I allowed some drying time.  I wanted the colors to maintain their integrity and not blend all together.  It is messy but really fun!  When the paint dries it is time to add the details like outline the figure with a Fude Ball 1.5 black pen, some stamping with StazOn Jet Black ink and Tim Holtz's Remnant Rubs, metal gears and tickets.

For the ribbons at the top of the tag I used Dylusions spray inks to get colors that coordinated with the tag.  A little white gesso pushed through a stencil to tone it all down a notch and pull the colors together.  The edges were distressed with Ranger's Vintage Photo ink as a finishing touch.

Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope that you feel inspired to try this technique and link your creation for all of us to see at the Craft Stamper's blog.  Have a great day, talk to you soon ~ Renee

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Butterfly Girl ~ Monoprinting an Art Journal Page

Happy Thursday.  It has been snowing lightly all day until now....the sun just came out!  I'm still playing around with the acrylic block printing idea.  I have another tutorial on this to show tomorrow but for today I thought I'd share a journaling page that I did using the same technique.  I did this on watercolor paper and cut off the edge to make the butterflies with Tim Holtz's Butterfly Frenzy Sizzlit die.  Then I covered the butterflies with Distress Stickles to make them sparkle.

The main quote is a poem by M.F. Moonzajer taken from his book A Moment with God.  It says "Butterflies better understand than you, the meaning of love and sacrifices one must make for their beloved."

I hope you're having a wonderful day.  If you have a chance stop by tomorrow and check out my mono printed steam punk style tag.  Take care, talk to you soon ~ Renee

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Little Book of Secrets Class with Nancy Lefko

I had the joy and privilege of taking my first class with Nancy Lefko last week at Ink About It and it was a delight!

 The class is called "Little Book of Secrets".  It is an all day class in which we learned how to make tiny 3" by 3" books using a canvas on either ends to make a collage style book.  Here is what we had to look at for samples:

Closed book with Elmer Glue technique
Open book with Vaseline technique
Interior of Nancy's book when it is fully extended, just one side

Here are a few shots of the classroom and what some of the students had created.  It was wonderful!

This is one of my two little books, neither are completely finished to my satisfaction but you can see part of the process.

If you ever have the chance to take one of Nancy's classes I would highly recommend it!  I know if I ever have the chance to take another with her I'm definitely in.  I didn't feel at all rushed and felt free to express my art by using my personal favorite colors, etc.  It was great.

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by today.  If you have time please leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.  Take care ~ Renee

Friday, March 7, 2014

March "Take It, Make It Challenge" ~ Mono Printing with Acrylic Blocks

Hello to all and welcome to any who are visiting my blog for the first time.  This is my first posting as a member of the Craft Stamper's Take It, Make it Challenge  design team.     The monthly challenge for March is Mono printing with Acrylic Blocks.  First I will show you my finished project, a small art journal filled with tags to write personal thoughts on.  If you are interested in seeing how the technique is done, read further as I have included a mini tutorial.  I hope you enjoy it!

I began with several sizes of acrylic blocks that I normally use for cling stamps and a large sheet of 140# watercolor paper.  You can use whatever type of paper you prefer for this technique.

I am using TCW stencils and acrylic paints to make the background paper.

I place the stencil on top of the acrylic block and apply the paint to the stencil.  I used a foam brush to move the paint around on the stencil onto the acrylic block. 

Then the stencil is carefully removed from the block and the block is placed paint side down onto the paper.

I used other stencils the same way to add some yellow highlights to the paper; then allowed it to dry.

When the paint was dry I folded the 11" by 15" piece of paper in half lengthwise, folded it again to make the four sections of my book.  I cut the center section and pushed the sections together to make the book.

I wanted to close off some off the open edges and decided to use sticky back canvas that had been colored with ink and stamped.

That canvas sealed off the edges very nicely.  The book seemed to need a little feminine touch so I glued Tim Holtz's rose ribbon to the front and back edges.

When you open the book it is full of stamped phrases and ATCs.  I added a few of TH's idea-ology Remnant Rubs here and there.  Wendy Vecchi's stamps by Stampers Anonymous seemed to fit the theme perfectly.

This is a photo of the front and back of the book when opened up.

The openings at the bottom edges were closed off with the canvas tape but the openings at the top were left open to add tags.  These tags were cut with a Sizzix die and colored to match with the same acrylic block technique.  Personal journaling could be done in the book or on the backs of the small tags.

This is the small finished art journal, just one of the many projects that could be made with the paper from today's challenge. 

  What kind of idea can you come up with using acrylic blocks for mono printing?  Please play with this idea and share it with us at the Craft Stamper site.  The challenge is open for the entire month of March.  Play along with us and post your creation on their site.  We'd love to see what you do!

Thanks for stopping by, if you have a moment please leave a comment, you know I love to hear from you!  Take care, I'll talk to you soon ~ Renee