Build Your Mixed Media Stash

When I started doing art journaling and mixed media I had a few bottles of craft paint left over from my folkart painting days, a few brushes , 3-6 stencils .  I also had a love of playing with colors, textures and pattern.

Jump forward 3 + years and my art supplies have grown considerably. I have a multitude of color mediums, a couple scrapbook binders full of stencils and about 25 stamps.  But I have also accumulated what I refer to as my ” stash” .

By “stash” I don’t mean the purchased supplies- the stencils, stamps, color mediums; but rather the supplies we can create by ourselves so we can use them when we are doing an art journal page, ICAD, ATC or mixed media canvas.

In the recent Index Card a Day challenge I found myself reaching for these  “stash” materials time and time again. If you watched my videos creating these ICADs you will  have definitely heard me referring to my ” stash”.  Having them ready and handy made it easy to create the ICADs quickly and easily.

That is when the thought occurred to me that a video series showcasing ways beginners and those of us who have been creating for awhile can build up their “stash”.

These  “stash” builders are generally inexpensive ( win $$$$) but they also will be unique to your art ( win -win) . They also make  more use of the stamps, stencils and paints you already own.  Many of them use items that you already may have from other craft projects or from items that have been earmarked for the recycling bin.

The idea of the “stash” builder series is to encourage us to get some of the ground work done “outside” the creative process. When we do a ” stash” builder we get some of the time consuming or messy parts done ahead of time. Then we don’t have to stop in the middle of a page or canvas to do it. This allows us to stay in the creative flow. It allows us to be able to  complete a page or canvas when time is limited due to life , be it work ,children or housework.

I often do “stash” builders when I want to do some thing  in the studio, but don’t have an idea or I’m experiencing a creative slump.

The first “stash” builder video showed how to create wonderful collage sheets/colored papers using coffee filters. I love love love how these colored papers collage to create a quick easy yet wonderfully colored and patterned background, collage element or to be used to create a focal point.  Click this link to view this video.

The second ” stash” builder video showed how to prepare burlap so you can easily use it to create a background, focal point, texture element, sentiment border etc.  Click below to view this video.

If you are not a subscriber to my YouTube Channel, please hit the subscribe button and click the gear to select the option to get a notification when I upload a new video. That way you will see what video I put up and if it interests you can go and watch it and if it’s not for you….wait till the next video.

Thanks for joining me on my creative journey.

Karen Burchill

aka creativekady




Start With Collage- Conquer the “Fear of the Blank Page”

I have tons of gel prints and colored papers. One of my favorite things to do is to spend hours creating collage sheets, colored coffee filters and gel prints. I love love love playing with color and pattern.

See one of my “Build Your Stash” videos where I color coffee filters.  I think coffee filters are my most loved colored papers…the way they take color….the way they collage is A—Mazing.

After spending my first couple years doing mixed media and not really understanding “collage”  ( I mean, why would we glue papers down only to cover them all up ??????)

I have now embraced it. I absolutely love starting my projects by collaging colored papers with different patterns. Selecting gel prints/colored papers that have different weights  adds even more interest. The layering of these papers adds great texture.

Starting with collage -the colors and patterns you already have in your papers gets the creative juices flowing. They are like little signposts pointing you in the direction to create.  I highly recommend starting with collaged papers especially if you struggle with getting started and the dreaded ” fear of the blank page”.

So go now, get out your gel prints or colored papers and follow my tutorial  ” A Cup of Creativi-tea”


Want ideas for creating unique gel prints?  And ideas for how to use them. Check out my Gel Printing Playlist- Gel Prints- Create Them AND Use Them


Need a way to store your gel prints and colored papers. Here’s my tried and true system. It’s perfect for keeping even the smallest pieces all organized.


If you create anything inspired by something you saw here, please come share it in my Facebook Group – Mixed Media Creations.  I’d love for you to come join the “creationships”

Karen aka Creative Kady

Sand Dollar Mixed Media Mini Canvas

Almost 2 years ago, I retired after 30 years teaching and moved to Vancouver Island. I have always loved the ocean and now I get to live right next to it. I wake up in the morning and can smell the salt air. I am living the dream and still can’t quite believe that I live in this beautiful place.

Maybe that’s why I find myself so inspired by all things sea lately. Sea shells, starfish, mermaids have found their way into my art, not to mention those gorgeous teal, turquoise, blues of the ocean.

Using a TCW stencil entitled ” Snakeskin” and  another one called “Crazy Waves ” I created a gorgeous sea toned background . I used the technique that I have heard called “addition through subtraction” where you remove the color medium through the stencil with a baby wipe.  After that dried I then applied several more layers by stenciling in a more traditional way. I absolutely love the effect I got.

Watch this video and learn how I created these adorable sand dollars inspired by the sand dollars I saw at Rathtrevor Beach up island in Parksville, BC.


Find products used in this video as well as other recommendations at this amazon influencer link.
TCW Snake Skin
TCW Crazy Waves Stencil set-
TCW Crazy Waves Stencil small-
Grumbacher Prussian Blue
Inktense Pencils 72 –
Canvas Board 5×7
Canvas Board 4X4
Canvas Board 6X6
Magnetic Sheets
Magnetic Sheets 5X7

Happy Creating



Mixed Media Technique Tags- Techniques # 4-6

Hello everyone. What have you created today. Here  are the next 3 videos in my Mixed Media Technique Tag video series.

Don’t forget to show me your tags or the pages you create using one of the MMTT techniques but posting in my facebook group or in instagram #mixedmediatechniquetag2017

Instagram: Creativekady

Facebook Group: allthingsmixedmedia:creativekady…

MMTT#4 Bright Colors on Black Background

I just love the look of black with bright colors. When you work on a black background it can be difficult to get the brightness of the colors. Use this technique with various color mediums to preserve those bright colors and


MMTT#5 Removing Color Through a Stencil
This technique is similar to the “ghosting” technique used by Dyan Reaveley with her Dylusions sprays. But don’t think for one minute that the effect can only be achieved using her products. See how you can get a similar effect using a wide range of color mediums.

MMTT#6 Analogous Color Schemes=Great Backgrounds
Don’t be scared by the term analogous…all it means is colors that play together nicely and when combined do not make mud. If you know this tidbit of color theory you will be able to more easily put together background that are amazing.

Come back and check out more Mixed Media Technique Tag Tutorials.


Get Ready for More Mixed Media Technique Tags


In December of 2016 I launched the “Mixed Media Technique Tag” series on YouTube. In June I posted the 16th video in the series before taking a “break” to participate in the Index Card a Day Challenge 2017 that is created by Daisy Yellow. ( Yes, there are videos to accompany that journey)

In the MMTT  series I  demonstrate mixed media/art journaling techniques, tips, or tidbits.   I provide YouTube tutorial showing you the technique with several variations.  Not only will you learn mixed media techniques, but you will get inspired to try new things and to do your own experimentation. If you choose to make the tags, you will also have a complete Mixed Media Technique reference tool.

As I prepare to start up the Mixed Media Technique Tag series again I will link up the past Mixed Media Technique Tag videos so you can start , catch up or just refresh. Enjoy

Mixed Media Technique Tags ” Let’s Get Started” 

I organized the tags into 6 categories- Pattern, Texture, Color, Collage, Finishing and Other. Please go to this link to get more information about this series and get instructions on how to “get ready” for series.

MMTT#1 Designer Tissue Paper

Use your homemade or purchased stamps to create your own one of a kind tissue paper that you can use to add to any of your mixed media projects.

MMTT#2  Tags for Texture

Tags, tags, and more tags….clothing tags, shipping tags, punched tags, business cards. These little gems can be used to create amazing texture on your mixed media projects.

MMTT # 3  Paper Towel to Create Texture
Many of us use paper towel to mop up left over paint, but did you know it can be used to add amazing texture to your mixed media projects?


Come share your mixed media journey and join the “creationships”

Facebook Group: “All Things Mixed Media:CreativeKady…



CreativeKady/Karen Burchill



Do It Yourself Phrase Stickers- ” Just Sayings” A Craft Hack

I used my custom DIY phrase stickers  ” Just Sayings” on these ATCs.

You may ask ” Why make your own phrase stickers when you could just go out and buy the ones by Tim Holtz or 7 Dots Studio? ”

Well for one, my “art dollars” are precious to me and I want to get lots of bang for my buck. There are way more fun art supplies out there that I would rather have.  Secondly, I want to personalize my stickers, select my font, size and words/phrases. Third, it is so easy to do.

First, collect words, phrases, quotes that appeal to you and your style ( sentimental, inspirational, sarcastic or funny. Pinterest is a great place to not only source but store these. Create a board for  quotes or phrases and then simply do theme specific searches and pin the ones you like to the board.  You can also pin pages your like that have phrases you like. It could not be any easier.  Don’t do Pinterest, do it old school and write them down in a notebook.

Second step, type the words, phrases quotes using your word processor. Don’t worry about the font at this time, just get all of them down.

Thirdly, choose the font you want to use. Your Word program comes with many fonts but you can easily download free fonts. I get mine at  You can go to the website which allows you to see what all the fonts look like so you can more easily choose.

Check out this Mixed Media Technique Tag video  which shows both how to download and install new fonts and how to use .

So once you have selected the font or fonts you wish to use. ( You are not limited to one type of font) play in your Word program and adjust sizes until you get what you like.  I aim to get a full page. Print off a trial sheet just to be sure you got the sizes and look you want.

Now you need to buy  full sheet white labels. Avery makes them, but  I bought dollar store version and they work well. Also, check out the Amazon links below. Watch the prices as some times you can get a real great deal ( Box of 100 for $25) . Get together with your creative friends and buy a big box together to get the great price.  Check out my Happy Planner Meets Mixed Media series to see many other uses for these sticker sheets.

Simply put your label sheet in your printer and press print. Now all you have to do is cut out the phrase you want , peel off the backing and stick it down.

As a special treat for my subscribers I am going to provide you with my latest DIY phrase stickers . I call them ” Just Sayings”.

Download and save on your computer. Open in your Word program. Unfortunately , the font I chose was lost when I made it a google doc. ( will have to find a way around this) So,if you want it to look exactly like mine, you will need to get the font LW Simple from Silhouette I used size 30 . Similar free fonts from include cookies and milk, fishfingers, and internet friends.  If not, you can choose the font and size for your stickers from fonts you have in your word program.

If you want to print it out with black background, go to top of Word program to where is says background color and select black.

Don’t have a printer at home?  You can save this to flash drive and take it to office supply store and have them print it out for you. I believe you can also email it to them to print off but you will have to check .


Check out ” CreativeKady Approved” supplies at my Amazon Store .
I pre-selected and organize art supplies into categories to make it easier for you.

Avery Full Sheet Label- box of 25
Avery Full Sheet Label – box of 100

These stickers are perfect to use on ATCs, ICADS, Tags , smaller journal pages and in your Happy Planner.  Have fun.



5 Mixed Media Applications For Your Happy Planner


This year I bought myself a Happy Planner. I chose it because I like the disc system that will allow me to add pages. I  planned to add brainstorming pages to keep track of my ideas for this blog and my YouTube channel. I also planned on punching some of my art journal pages and putting it into my planner to inspire me and show off my art. Then I was simply going to use the Happy Planner as a functional planner.  I loved the stickers you could buy and the notion of decorating/creating a theme. But I was NOT going to spend my art budget on those. I had a whole room full of art supplies. Then over the Christmas holidays in some downtime I watched a couple planner spread videos and it happened. I had the thought. ” I can use this” ” I bet this would work” And I was off.

I decided that I would decorate my planner  , but I would challenge myself to use supplies already in my art journaling/mixed media stash . I would also try to use art journaling/mixed media techniques.

Well its been almost 2 months now and I am loving designing my weekly spreads and then using my planner. I’ve made videos of each weekly spread where I promise to include at least one new mixed media supply use or technique.

In this blog I will list 5 of these techniques/ use of materials and link you to the weekly spread video. I’ve put the link to the supplies I used in these 5 Planner Hack ideas .

1.Gelli prints or papers with left over paint cut into sizes of box or strips.

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Select your color scheme and either use double sided tape or glue stick to adhere to page.  I edged the boxes with my Stabilo All Pencil, but you can use Neo Color II or any watercolor pencil. Rub with finger to smudge or activate with a bit of water on a round paint brush.  You can leave these blank or you can print motivational quotes on them with Micron pen, White Uniball Signo or Posca Pens.  If the color on the gelli print is light enough you can plan on it, but if the color is dark or extremely busy it may just be used to add color to your spread.

2.Distress Ink  applied with Ranger Blending tool through a stencil .

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I created a template of the different size squares that I wanted to use by using exacto knife and a sheet of mylar. I punched the template with my Arc Paper Punch ( similar to Happy Planner punch) and keep it in the front of the planner for easy access. I place a stencil under the template and apply the ink. You can use one color or blend multiple colors.  You can easily write over the Distress Ink and if you want you can add doodles on the stencil during the week.

3. Use large stencils .

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I used a large stencil to fill a corner of my planner spread. I used my Dylusions Paints and applied them with the Ranger Blending Tools. I used multiple colors and blended them on the page. The paint does not effect the planner pages and when dry is easy to write on during the planning stage.

4. Stamp  sentiment or picture stamps directly onto the spaces.

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I used black StazOn. Now you can either color them while designing your page or color during the week. I colored mine using my Inktense Pencils. I activated the ink with a bit of water on a small round brush. A water brush would work well for this. The paper of the Happy Planner seems to handle a little bit of water well without buckling or warping. Be sure to test out your planner page with whatever marker or water brush you choose to ensure it doesn’t bleed through or warp.

5.Attach an ATC ( Artist Trading Card) onto each weekly spread.

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Alternatively I am using some pre-done backgrounds that were on ATCs and adding quotes. I have a binder full of inspirational quotes that I found on Pinterest. I typed them up and printed them in various sizes and fonts.

I hope you try some of these on your planner. Subscribe to my blog and you won’t miss upcoming Planner Hacks. 5 more coming next month.


VISIT MY AMAZON STORE- I’ve done the work for you and organized my store by categories.Everything I chose is CreativeKady approved- I either own it OR want to own it.

Items featured in doing these planner hacks

Dylusions Paints

Dylusions set 2

Distress Ink

Distress Ink

Distress Ink

Ranger Blending Tool-

Stabilo All Pencil Black-

Gelli plate –

Stampendous Peacock-




Peacock Feather TCW-

Kite Peacock Feather-

Sakura Gelly Roll Pens Metallic –