Sunday, April 15, 2012

Art Day at Stampin' On the Plateau with Fred B. Mullett!

"An Elegant Mess" and "The Rest of the Mess"

What an excellent day of fun and art we had yesterday at Stampin' On the Plateau in Fairfield Glade, Tennessee, a fantastic home-based stamp store and classroom owned by Brenda Preuss.  She is always a gracious host, and her classes are popular with the artistic stamper.

She was able to procure the amazing Fred B. Mullett for a series of classes this past week for two days.  I took the two classes offered on Saturday, and they were creative and inspirational.  I can't wait to get into the studio and play with the great stuff I learned.


I will not go into much detail, since you really need to take the class to learn all he offers, but I will give a general idea of how we did what we did.  By using Ranger's Color Wash Dyes in a series of dilutions, watercolor paper and thin Oriental paper, templates and other found items, we created both warm and cool layered backgrounds.  We added some bling with Twinkling H2O's or Pearl Ex paints.  After drying these, and using Fred's downloadable cropping tool, we found areas of our papers that were interesting, cut out those areas and mounted them to cards Fred designed just for displaying this miniature art.  Taking it a step further, we used templates to cut out various images, giving us both positive and negative images to mount onto our backgrounds or onto pages from an Asian magazine or blueprints he found in a dumpster.  He loves dumpster diving!  He said when he moved from Seattle, where everyone recycles and reuses, to Kansas City, where people throw away things that can be used, donated, or recycled, he found a treasure trove of items to use in his art. 

One of my favorites was a plastic piece that came from a gallon jar of pepperoncinis from Costco.  (I guess I will have to go buy a big jar of these and make up a batch of Italian beef to freeze for hoagies.)  You can see some of the shapes from found items above in the series of papers I created that day. 


Horizontal cards created from both classes.  Top two from "Elegant Mess" bottom cards from "The Rest of the Mess"

Top left and bottom right from "Elegant Mess"; Other two from "The Rest of the Mess"

The afternoon class used similar backgrounds, without the bling added until later, and the positive shapes (mask) from the stencils.  Using printing ink and pigment ink refills or tube watercolors to make an opaque layer, we stamped over small background pieces that had one of the shapes (mask) on it.  We then removed the positive shape (mask) and turned it over onto another background piece and pressed the ink onto the background to create another solid opaque shape.  Utilizing a black Sharpie, Prismacolor pencils, and bling spattered in small areas using techniques that add layers to the piece, we finished our little pieces of art. See the sample cards made in these two classes above.  To see the descriptions of all the classes Fred is teaching on his whirlwind teaching trip, and find links to the rest of his web pages, go here: 

I highly recommend these classes and his others, if you are in an area where he is coming to teach!  You will be thoroughly entertained by his dry wit, and you will learn a lot about principles of art and his wonderful techniques.  Thank you Fred and Brenda, for a wonderful day that took me away from reality for eight hours. 

I loved the shopping, too.  Brenda's store carries products that inspire the artsy side of the stamping world. I always see something new, and she loves to show you samples or actual demos using that new product.  If you are ever traveling through Tennessee, it is worth the little side trip to visit Stampin' On the Plateau.  Be sure to call so she can arrange a time for you to stop by and shop.  The shop is in her home, and if she is going to be there, she will open the store for you.  Be sure to ask her to show you the latest techniques she has learned.  I always learn something new from her each time I go!  You can check her store and its classes out here:  Stampin' On the Plateau


  1. Great art, Nancy!

  2. Looks like you came back with some mad skillz! Those projects look beautiful!

  3. Love the ones using the masks. Wonderful, Nancy. Looks like fun.


Add your comment here: