Stencil Girl Wish Flag Collaboration

Hi there! A few months ago, I participated in an awesome collaborative art journaling challenge led by Tina Walker, a designer at Stencil Girl Products, and had such a blast that when she suggested another collaboration, I said “YES!” immediately!

For this project, our assignment was to create a series of wish flags using Stencil Girl stencils and any other media or products of our choice.

Well, here are my flags! Since I work as a language & literature teacher at an International Baccalaureate middle school, I thought it’d be cool to create an IB-related piece of art that could be displayed in my classroom this fall. The flags are painted burlap with an underlayer of collage composed of travel-themed tissue papers and Washi tape; each of the 10 IB learner profile traits are featured on a painted wooden tag decorated with ribbon. I used designs from 3 Stencil Girl stencils on my flags, as well as stamped words and phrases.

Petricek IB Flag 1

Flag #1, featuring Gridded & Hexagon Set 1

Petricek IB Flag 2

Flag #2, featuring Hexagon Set 1

Petricek IB Flag 3

Flag #3, featuring 1×4 Rails Set 1

Petricek IB Flag 4

Flag #4, featuring 1×4 Rails Set 1


It was a lot of fun to make these flags, and I can’t wait to see them hanging in Rm. 203 in September!

Please stop by the Stencil Girl Talk blog right away to see a variety of beautiful and meaningful wish flags created by Tina Walker and several other artists!

Have a great day!

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I’m a Cover Girl!

Hello all!! Just wanted to share some happy news!

My “Family Foundations” art journal is featured in the July/Aug/Sept issue of Art Journaling magazine–and one of its pages appears on the cover!


This is the first time I’ve ever been a “cover girl”–and it’s pretty unbelievable and amazing! I have to pinch myself each time I walk by the newsstand and spot it there with all the other magazines!


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Thanks for stopping by–and be sure to check out this fabulous issue! It’s currently available for purchase at Barnes & Noble as well as at Stampington & Company.

Have a great weekend!

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Resketch COLOR Journal Collaboration!

Hi everyone! Today I’m super excited to share with you the results of a truly amazing art journal collaboration in which I’ve been privileged to participate in the last 9 months!

Tina Walker, a fabulous mixed-media artist and designer at StencilGirl Products  (and one of my role models!), invited me and a wonderful group of ladies to be a part of the challenge. Our assignment was to select a blank Resketch sketchbook, pick a color to work with, and create an art journal featuring our choice of stencils from the expansive Stencil Girl product line.

My journal, entitled “New Learning Curves,” is all about how I turned 40 in the last year, and the struggle to love and accept my physical self through the inevitable changes that tend to accompany a woman’s journey into middle age. For me, the transition has been a bit of a rocky one. In addition to the typical weight gain and nagging injuries that most of us deal with as we reach this age, I’ve been learning how to live with chronic illness. In 2018 I was diagnosed with a vestibular disturbance caused by damage to my inner ear, which affects my balance and causes occasional flare-ups of dizziness and vertigo. In January of this year, I also began treatment for IBS, a condition impacting the digestive tract. Sometimes it’s a challenge for me to love my body in what has become my “new normal,” and this journal documents my transition in a way that is affirming and inspiring.


Cover, featuring Soulful Scribbles Dots Dash stencil

As you can see, the color I selected for my journal was orange, and it was a lot of fun working with it along with all of the awesome StencilGirl stencils in my stash! I also used vintage and patterned papers, Washi tape, stamps, ink, stickers, rub-ons, paper flowers, Dresden, a Dymo label maker, altered magazine images, pens, die-cut borders, and my antique typewriter.


“So Now What?” featuring Gridded, Triangles Mini Printmaking Stencil Set 1, and 1 by 4 Rails Set 1


“Embrace Aging,” featuring Assorted Circles Set 1 and Polka Party


“Tell Me No Lies,” featuring Hexagon Set 1 and Polka Party


“Size Doesn’t Matter,” featuring Assorted Circles Set 1, Journal Texture #11, and Rounded Tiles.


“The Power of Exercise,” featuring 1 by 4 Rails Set 1, Rectangle Mini Printmaking Stencil, and Gridded.


“Accept Your Flaws & Limits,” featuring Crazy Quilts Crosses & Rounds, 1 by 4 Rails Set 1, and Hexagon Set 1.


“And I Am Enough,” featuring 1 by 4 Rails Set 1 and Crazy Quilts Crosses & Rounds


Rear Cover, featuring Soulful Scribbles Dots Dash

Those of us in the Resketch Collaboration can’t let you leave without saying THANK YOU for stopping by and sharing in our color journal story. And as a special thank-you, we also have a GIVEAWAY! We are giving away a random selection of Resketch journals AND a $25 StencilGirl gift certificate to ONE LUCKY PERSON! Make sure to comment below to let us know you’ve visited and let us know what color your journal would be. Visit each artist’s blog for more chances to win (comments are due no later than midnight EST on April 28, 2019!) We will pick ONE winner on April 29, so watch this space to see if you are a winner!

Be sure to visit the StencilGirl Talk blog to learn more about our collaboration, and click on the blog links below to see each member’s completed Resketch journal in full and learn about their inspiration!

a dogs life


Cynthia Silveri

I Make Messy Art

Happily We Go


Artful Stories

Stuff By Belle

Thanks again for stopping by, and best of luck!

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Art Journaling: Jul/Aug/Sept. 2018

Hello to all! Hope your summer is off to a great start!

The newest issue of Art Journaling magazine will be available on news stands July 1, and I’m thrilled to be one of the contributing artists! One of the issue’s themes explores the practice of self-care through art journaling, and my article, entitled, ‘My Little Book of Healing,’ describes how the process of creating enabled me to better cope with a series of medical challenges in the last 12 months. Thank you to Managing Editor Kelly Kirchner for putting together another beautiful issue, and for giving me the opportunity to be a part of it!


Unfortunately, the medical issues I’ve faced since last summer forced me to put this blog on the back-burner for several months, but I’m looking forward to making a comeback!

Have a wonderful day!


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Artists’ Café, Volume 11

Hello to all! I hope your December is off to a festive start! Mine begins with some good news to share! Back in 2010, when I began dabbling in mixed media, I became a huge fan of the Stampington and Company magazines–and instantly fell in love with Artists’ Cafe. This particular magazine is branded as “The Best of Somerset Mixed-Media,” and is a beautifully-curated compilation of the editorial staff’s favorite artwork from past issues of the full line of Stampington magazines. I remember drooling over the gorgeous pieces presented within its pages, dreaming that someday I could make art like that. Earlier this week, I opened my mailbox and my mouth dropped to the floor when I realized that Stampington had sent me a copy of Volume 11 of Artists’ Cafe, and that the article I’d written about my “Wrapped in Blue” art journal from 2015 had been selected to appear in it! For this awestruck artist, it definitely feels like a full-circle moment, and I can’t thank the staff enough for such an unbelievable honor!!



Artists’ Café is available on news stands, and can also be purchased from Stampington and Company.

Looking forward to seeing you soon! Wishing you and yours a happy holiday season!


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Teaching-Inspired Altered Book, Part III

Hello all! Happy November! Hope this month is off to a great start for you! Here is another page from my teaching-inspired altered book.


In direct contrast to my last page, which was dedicated to the teachers who’ve found romance with their colleagues in the classroom, this page is for all of the unmarried schoolmarms through history who have devoted their entire lives to the children they teach, eschewing marriage and family life by choice or by circumstance.

In the early days of public education in the United States, female teachers who wished to remain employed in their chosen profession were generally not permitted to get married; once a woman married, she was expected to relinquish her teaching license so that she could exit the workforce and become a ‘proper’ wife and mother, as all supposedly decent women of the era were expected to be (of course, it goes without saying that male teachers were not bound to the same restrictions). I imagine many career-minded individuals who found fulfillment in their work struggled a great deal with the heartbreaking decision of whether to marry. I’m sure there were also others who discovered that the heavy workload of teaching as well as the isolated, rural locations of many schools were inconducive to having an active social life; they likely struggled to find time and opportunities to connect with potential marriage partners. This page is a testament to the passion these women felt for their vocation and the pride they took in helping parents to ‘raise’ multiple generations of children, as well as the difficulties they may have faced in terms of their loneliness, their unrealized dreams, and the questions they undoubtedly had to answer repeatedly from well-meaning family members and friends who didn’t understand.

This page was created with a page from a vintage school textbook, a mathematics flash card, a slide, a graphic clipped from a vintage greeting card, a photograph, a German language flash card, an old punch-out coupon stamp, a Scrabble tile, and text trimmed from old books.

Thanks again for stopping by! Have a great weekend!





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Teaching-Inspired Altered Book, Part II

Hello all! Hope the first half of October has been off to a great start for you! Here are a couple more pages from the teaching-inspired altered book that I recently began creating at a workshop at Shake Rag Alley in Mineral Point, Wisconsin:


The small mini-page on the left, which was inserted into the binding with a strip of distressed muslin, was constructed from an antique greeting card featuring an illustration of summer greenery that has an appealing painterly quality and jumped out at me immediately when I spotted it in the instructor’s box of ephemera. An inkjet copy of a vintage photograph of two young women is adhered to an old piece of yellowed notebook paper, and layered with a distressed piece of lace and words cut from an old book, which read, “petty jealousies had led to bickering and quarrels.” The photo of the women and this phrase came together to embody the theme of this mini-page–the fierce ego wars and ruthless competition that often plays out between teachers in a school, year in and year out. I have experienced it firsthand myself in every school in which I’ve worked, and have found it to be a significant source of stress in my career life. In general, teachers are highly territorial creatures; they want to do things their way in their classrooms with their students–and they don’t want to be told what to do or how to do it by anyone else–even a well-meaning colleague or principal. In my fifteen-year career, I have witnessed and participated in many tense discussions and even the occasional shouting match over contentious issues–and have been aware of countless instances of backstabbing, bullying, exclusion, and terrible gossip. People may assume the business world has a monopoly on vicious workplace environments, but I beg to differ. While I wish I could say it wasn’t true, I hypothesize that much of the trouble is owed to the fact that for most of its history, teaching has been a female-dominated profession. I would estimate that 98% of the worst behaviors I’ve seen have been perpetrated by women against other women; this is the main reason why I’ve gravitated toward and formed alliances with my male colleagues throughout my time in the classroom.

The page on the right serves as an ironic counterpoint to the page on the left. Created with a scrap of vintage wallpaper, a page from an old Gregg’s Shorthand textbook, a distressed game card, a vintage photo of a man and woman standing outside of a school that I found in my grandmother’s scrapbook, a piece of a page torn from a vintage book containing the words “Lovers’ Meetings,” a weathered card from a school-themed board game, and a chipboard piece containing the image of a fountain pen, this page is devoted to the romance that frequently arises between teachers in schools. In every school in which I’ve worked, there have been teachers involved in secret and not-so-secret romances, teachers who have openly dated each other, and even those who have married each other. This particular theme relates to my own life, as I met the guy who would eventually become my husband at the first school where I taught; he happened to be the special education teacher who assisted me in my inclusion English classes. Two of my best friends from college also married men they met in the course of their teaching positions. So…why has romance been such a prevalent phenomenon between employees in schools? As much as teachers want to think they can work their magic independently in the isolated spheres of their classrooms, teaching has always been a team sport–and anytime people work closely together in intense, stressful environments, love connections are bound to develop.

Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to check out this post! Have a wonderful Sunday!



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