“Fill Your Heart…” Mixed Media Art Journal Page

Hello Creatives!

Design Team Member,  Keri Sallee , here and today i wanted to share with you a recent art journal page I did while I was traveling.

I was running a little late while packing for this trip, so I just grabbed a few supplies (because you can’t go without them, right!?) I brought a few sketching pencils, my NeoColors, watercolor paper and of course a handful of TCW Stencils. I didn’t look through them…I simply grabbed a big stack of 6×6 stencils and shoved them in a backpack with my other supplies.

When it came time to create, it was kind of fun challenging myself by saying “OK…here’s all you have…what can you make?” I will admit…I forgot gesso, so I did go to Hobby Lobby a pick up some. ūüėČ

Here’s what I came up with with my meager supplies:


For this project, I used 4 stencils (all 6×6):

IMG_2108TCW584S Peace and Love

TCW587S Mini Receipt

TCW542S-Mini Rug

TCW546S Pods on Sticks

Here is a few steps!


(1) Start with a pre-gessoed page. Using an old gift card, scrape gesso through your Mini Receipt stencil in a few place. This will become background texture so don’t stress about perfection.

(2) Choose 4-5 bright colors of Neocolors or watercolors if you don’t have Neocolors. In addition to these 4, I also added a tangerine color.

(3) Have fun! HINT: to keep your colors from getting blended into a big brown blob, do one color, allow it to almost dry, and then add the next color. This will allow your colors to slightly blend where they meet, but not blend so much that you can’t tell the individual colors.

(4) Keep going until you have covered the entire page. Allow to dry before moving on.


(5) to add more texture, I used my gesso again, but this time through the Mini Rug Stencil. In the end, most of this became covered up, but it adds some great texture and keeps the overall piece from feeling flat.

(6) Using a Scribe-All (or Stabilo) water soluable pencil, grab your Pods on Sticks stencil and begin to trace your shapes.

(7) to allow the “stems” to look connected and the shapes consistent, move your stencil down and align the stems and continue tracing.

(8) to add interest and depth, trace some shapes to that they appear to be “hiding” behind each other.


Color them in however you wish! I went with medium hues since my background is very light.

Here’s where you can personalize it!! You could add words or other shapes or some other drawing. I chose to draw a face.


I wanted it to appear like she was behind my pods, so I drew most her right obscured my the pods.


As you can see in the finished project, I went back into my pods and added white gesso to one side to give them more depth.


I also used my Mini Receipt stencil again and used a light gray acrylic (my sister happened to have some acrylic paints so I just mixed a little black with my gesso) to add some interest to my background. Here you can also see the Mini Receipt stencil we laid down in our background adding a lot of texture to the face.


The quote is from the 6×6 Love and Peace stencil. To get the shadow effect, I used the same gray paint I used earlier to stencil the words. After allowing them to dry, I realigned my stencil back over the words and then shifted them slightly over and down before using my white gesso to stencil them again. This is called the “bump” technique.

So there you go! I hope you will challenge yourself to try this…grab only 4-5 supplies and see what you can come up with. You will be surprised at how far your creativity will take you.

Until next time,



TCW Design Team and Certified Educator

Abstract Art Journal Page with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer

Hey there! ¬†Julie Fei-Fan Balzer here. ¬†Today I’m sharing a video of an abstract art journal page coming together. ¬†I hope you enjoy it!

And here’s the page from the video:

from the Balzer Designs Blog: Art Journal Every Day (video in the post) #artjournal
from the Balzer Designs Blog: Art Journal Every Day (video in the post) #artjournal
from the Balzer Designs Blog: Art Journal Every Day (video in the post) #artjournal
from the Balzer Designs Blog: Art Journal Every Day (video in the post) #artjournal
from the Balzer Designs Blog: Art Journal Every Day (video in the post) #artjournal
from the Balzer Designs Blog: Art Journal Every Day (video in the post) #artjournal
from the Balzer Designs Blog: Art Journal Every Day (video in the post) #artjournal
from the Balzer Designs Blog: Art Journal Every Day (video in the post) #artjournal
from the Balzer Designs Blog: Art Journal Every Day (video in the post) #artjournal
from the Balzer Designs Blog: Art Journal Every Day (video in the post) #artjournal
from the Balzer Designs Blog: Art Journal Every Day (video in the post) #artjournal

The white pen I used is the white Sharpie. ¬†The two stencils are brand new Balzer Designs stencils called “Triangle Sunburst” and “Square Scrolls.”

Thanks for stopping by!  Come by my blog and visit any time!

Altered Suitcase

Hello Creative Friends!

Design Team member, Keri Sallee, here and today I have a unique project to share with you.

If you follow me here, on social media or know me in the “real world” you know my heart for an organization named¬†Saving Grace¬†that offers hope to girls who have aged out of foster care or are homeless.

The founder, Becky Shaffer, always comes up with these AMAZING and unique ways to help others. This year, for her birthday, she asked people…in leu of presents for herself…to buy a suitcase and a super fluffy blanket for a child in foster care. So many children who are placed in foster care after being removed from parental homes have nothing and what little they do have is usually placed in a trash bag. This was an opportunity to give these kids a little dignity during a very traumatic time in their lives.

And of course…being me…I couldn’t just give a “plain” suitcase. I had to AMP it up and I also wanted to brings words of encouragement to whomever received it.

Here is what I came up with:

IMG_1115 IMG_1116 IMG_1117 IMG_1118


For this project I used:


To achieve this look, I used Puffy Paint from I LOVE TO CREATE dabbed through my stencils with makeup wedges.


The creases and bumps on the suitcase surface made it a little difficult to keep the stencil flat, but the makeup sponge allows you to still get a crisp image.

You can also see in a few places, I flipped my stencil over and used the residual paint as a “stamp” just to add some lighter clouds.IMG_1123

I layered a dark and a light blue Puffy Paint on top of my clouds, again with a makeup wedge.

IMG_0895 IMG_0896

I continued this process with my “Word Association” stencil and black Puffy Paint for my words.


Later, I went back and added purple Puffy Paint accents and a little gesso on my black letters and clouds to add a little more POP. (you can see these accents in the first pictures.)

I hope you enjoyed today’s project and it inspires you to thing outside the box…or even outside the suitcase.


Keri Sallee

Design Team Member and Certified TCW Educator

New Stencils Are Coming!

Hey! ¬†Julie Fei-Fan Balzer here and I’m super duper excited about the new Balzer Designs stencils! ¬†I thought I’d share a peek at one of my faves:


This one is called “Hex Flowers.” ¬†It’s super lacy and delicate. ¬†Here’s a photo of the 6×6 version of the stencil with my hand for scale:


And here’s a peek at an art journal page made with this stencil (in both 6×6 and 12×12):

AJHexFlowers-wm AJHexFlowersDetail1-wm AJHexFlowersDetail2-wm

I can’t wait to share the rest of the release with you! ¬†So excited!!!

Talk to you next month!

Gelli Printed Scrapbook Page Backgrounds

Hello and happy Tuesday! ¬†I’ve got a simple¬†stencil technique coming your way today. ¬†I made this scrapbook page…


…using my Snow Branch stencil and a Gelli Plate and I wanted to show you how very easy it is to do!

Let’s take a peek at the page details first:


The “You Are Here” tag was created with my US Map stencil. ¬†It has the compass and the words “You Are Here” along with the map.


Are you ready for the easy-peasey background technique?


Here are some of the papers from the video:


Stenciling doesn’t always have to be bold and dominating. ¬†I really like the softer look of the second technique. ¬†Here’s a scrapbook page I put together with the second background I made in the video:



Talk to you next month!

xxoo, Julie