Spirit Animals Storybook

When I was invited to be a guest artist for this month’s release of Hero Arts’ “My Monthly Hero” Kit, I was ecstatic: geometric layered stencils are a dream to play with! My brain was bursting with ideas and, when I got the stencils in my hands, my first instinct was to take out my Gelli Arts® gel plate.

Before I go into the details of my process, let me tell you that this is a Giveaway post! Hero Arts will give away one $50 gift card, drawn from the comments left across the hop. Enter by Sunday, April 11th at 11:59pm Pacific, and the winner will be announced on the Hero Arts blog the following week.

I used Golden Fluid Acrylics, limiting myself to two shades of yellow, one orange and one teal color. Depending on which color I brayered on first, and which stencil I added when in the printing process, my prints were either bold and bright or deep and subdued.

When I spread my 6×6 prints out on the floor side-by-side, they looked like a beautiful quilted mosaic which gave me the idea to cut them up and turn them into a mini-book.

I used Grafix Arts black chipboard to create a cover and spine (which I then covered with a separate, more subdued gel plate print), and did some stitching with my sewing machine on some pages. It was then just a matter of putting everything together. I used the dies to cut out silhouette images on black cardstock and created outlines with a white pen, following the designs on the stamps. I like how the black images pop against the colorful, robust backgrounds giving them a storybook appearance. I also used my Sakura Micron and gel pens to doodle on the pages, using the elements of the designs to guide my drawings.

To bring all of this under one theme, I decided to create words that described the imagery — attributes, if you will, of these woodland animals. I simply typed them up on my computer and printed them out. This nature-themed book feels so calming, inviting and reassuring all at the same time.

I finished binding and added a little ribbon accent, inviting you to engage with the book. Three little buttons hold the ribbon together on each end. The funny thing is that even though I’m not good (far from it!) when it comes to book binding, this has been holding together! There are lots of hand-drawn icons, words, embellishments and “things to notice” in this book, so I’m also adding the stills. I really enjoyed playing with the stencils and I know I’ll be reaching for them again for other whimsical projects (including but not limited to framed art for my kiddo’s room, wrapping paper, bookmarks, scarves and gift tags!).

I hope you enjoyed this project and will take the time to see the amazing things other artists and crafters have made as part of this release. Here is a complete list for the blog hop:

Hero Arts
Channin Pelletier
Daniel West
Debi Adams
Emily Midgett
Ilina Crouse
Jessica Frost-Ballas
Libby Hickson
Lydia Fiedler
Maria Willis
Mindy Eggen
Pocono Pam
Seeka
Special Guests:
Jennifer Kotas
Jennifer McGuire
Mansi Bhatia * You are here
Nichol Spohr
Rachel Juanita Bellamy
Rebecca Keppel

For a list of my favorite supplies and tools, please visit my Amazon Store Front. When you shop using any of the affiliate links, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

Published by mansimakes

Hi there, I am Mansi, a self-taught artist based in Silicon Valley. I was a full-time communications professional for two decades, with a desk job and a six-figure salary until I decided to become a mom. Motherhood, as many will attest, can be extremely exhausting, especially in those first years. Art became my quiet place. It restored my sense of self. It gave me renewed energy. It helped me become a better mom. I was led down the path of creation by instinct and “discovered“ in early 2019 by a fellow kindred spirit at one of my art pop-ups who asked me to join her entrepreneurial venture. While I immersed myself full time in the role of CFO and co-founder of this women-led venture supporting local women makers, I missed experimenting with mixed-media. So, in 2021, I've decided to focus my energies full time in finessing my craft, producing more online tutorials and offering in-person art workshops for both adults and children. Thank you for joining me on this adventure as I experiment, learn and continue creating custom pieces of joy.

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[…] Mansi Bahtia […]

Melissa SunshineHoneyBee

The book is bee-utiful in detail, color & so much more. I made or should say I started to make a book today.
Melissa
“Sunshine HoneyBee”

Lori
Lori
5 months ago

I’ve always wanted to make a book like this. You’ve inspired me!

Avra
Avra
5 months ago

Awesome book!

Rebecca
Rebecca
5 months ago

Lovely!

Celeste Goff
5 months ago

Love this fun and amazing art journal!

Pam/Dieverdog
Pam/Dieverdog
5 months ago

What an exceptionally cool idea! I love the colors and the geometric vibe! It reminds me of the 60’s/early 70s – in a good way! I love the spirit animal idea – we can learn so much from animals!

BMB
BMB
5 months ago

After reading the HA email announcing the kit, I had to immediately email them in order to find the artist who created the book! You had me with the book, but brought it to another level with “spirit animals.” (You might enjoy animal medicine cards – there’s a book that goes with them too.) I would love to know how you bound the book – or what site you used to start learning. (BTW, you speak in such a lovely way, and the background music/beat was a little distracting – not for everyone, but some of us whose brains jump to music over words have to keep pulling back to listen to the important part – which is your creation.) Thank you.

Beth
Beth
5 months ago
Reply to  mansimakes

Thank you! Her class is on FB, and I’m not a member, but you’ve inspired me to find a simple binding class. I have a folded index card gel print book made in a class years ago at The Queen’s Ink in Savage, MD, and it’s still my favorite project, although I’m a card maker. It’s simply bound with linen tape and book board (?). So thank you for giving me an inspirational boost! And I’ll tell our direct, chatty cat who taps my leg when he wants something, that he’s supposed to be mysterious. 🐈

serve4life
serve4life
5 months ago

That is just amazing!!! Thanks so much for showing this to us!!

spilor
spilor
5 months ago

This book is mind-blowing! So gorgeous and so innovative! Love it! Thank you for sharing!!
Lori S in PA

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[…] Fiedler Maria Willis Mindy Eggen Pocono Pam Seeka Special Guests: Jennifer Kotas Jennifer McGuire Mansi Bhatia Nichol Spohr Rachel Juanita Bellamy Rebecca […]

Diana Johnson
Diana Johnson
5 months ago

Great kit!

Meghan Kennihan
5 months ago

JAW ON FLOOR! This is incredible!

Judy Inukai
Judy Inukai
5 months ago

AWESOME. The book you created is amazing

AmyG
AmyG
5 months ago

The mini book is wonderfully creative! Thanks for the inspiration.

Sandra Bonagura
Sandra Bonagura
5 months ago

wow, that was wonderful! thank you for all the inspiration

Pat Bethke
Pat Bethke
5 months ago

Very creative, thank you for sharing.

Amy Cooley
Amy Cooley
5 months ago
Reply to  Pat Bethke

Wow, this is such a beautiful storybook. You’ve used this new kit in such a creative way.

Jessica Yoder-Jones
Jessica Yoder-Jones
5 months ago

Wow!

Marisela Delgado
Marisela Delgado
5 months ago

Awesome!

Stacy Davis
Stacy Davis
5 months ago

So stunningly beautiful! Wow! Thank you for sharing your gorgeous art!

Sheila Conolly
Sheila Conolly
5 months ago

Absolutely stunning creation. You’ve used this set in a completely unique way – makes me want to try new things!

Ingrid Motzheim
Ingrid Motzheim
5 months ago

Love the geometric shapes with the cute, simple animal figures. It is nice to see the consistent color palette. And you inspired me to make a teal paint my self.

Brenda Newt
Brenda Newt
5 months ago

Beautiful album.

Beth Caruso
Beth Caruso
5 months ago

You are a master … beautiful

Linda R
Linda R
5 months ago

Are you kidding me!?!?! AWESOME!!!!!

Linda R
Linda R
5 months ago

Are you kidding me?!?!? AWESOME!!!!!

Wendy Cole
Wendy Cole
5 months ago
Reply to  Linda R

This is really nice. I haven’t seen your stuff until today and you’ve definitely got a new a follower. Thanks for the still shots too, it really helps to see all the details

Paula
Paula
5 months ago

How fabulous is all that color?! So vibrant! I love it! The first book I tried to make was quite the mess. And it took a long time to get everything cleaned up again. lol. I’ve never tried using a gelli plate, maybe I’ll give that a go. Thanks for the inspiration!

Carol Carrier
Carol Carrier
5 months ago

Love the creativity of the book.

Patty A Eifert
Patty A Eifert
5 months ago

Wow, wow, wow!! I am blown away by your creativity in this beautiful little book!! I love your process as you talked about how you came to make it!!

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[…] KotasJennifer McGuireMansi BhatiaNichol SpohrRachel Juanita BellamyRebecca […]

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
5 months ago

WOW!!! This is stunning!!! I have never seen anything done like this. Thank you for sharing!

stamprgrl
stamprgrl
5 months ago

Oh my goodness, fabulous!

— Dalis

Roxanne Tellini
Roxanne Tellini
5 months ago

You made a tiny book! This must sound silly but that is new to me. I imagine it was a fun project.

Jeanne Beam
Jeanne Beam
5 months ago

Such an awesome book! The colors are so vibrant. Love how you used the kit…
Thanks so much for sharing.

tabowman
tabowman
5 months ago

Your book is so cool!

Lindar C
Lindar C
5 months ago

Wow! That book is gorgeous!

dorothyayotte
dorothyayotte
5 months ago

So nice to meet you! I enjoyed your You Tube video and had to check out some of your other videos to learn more about your gel plate usage. Your mini book is so amazing and fun. I have a gel plate that so far hasn’t been use- sad I know. It’s time to try! Thanks for all you inspiration.

Carol Wortman
Carol Wortman
5 months ago

Breathtaking! I am amazed at the beauty in these books. Gel plate is such a free style and you are very talented. Fun Hero Arts kit!

Renee VanEpps
Renee VanEpps
5 months ago

Very nice book, love the texture 🙂

Nancy Knapp
Nancy Knapp
5 months ago

What a great little book! I love the single word attributes that you used. I can see doing a little alphabet book for kids using characteristics/attributes for each letter of the alphabet–something that kids could use to understand what each character trait really is. Thanks for sharing your crafting specialty! Really nice!

Beverly Sizemore
Beverly Sizemore
5 months ago

Wonderful project! So bold and “artsy! 🙂

lararead
5 months ago

This kit is so so funl! so many options. Your ideas for the use of the kit are just mind blowing! Thank you for sharing!

Sharon Gullikson
Sharon Gullikson
5 months ago

Oh, I like this. It reminds me of some things I have seen in Big Sur,CA. Nice

Jes
Jes
5 months ago

Wow! Thank you for sharing your creative way to create this amazing book.. great inspiration! 😊

Lauryne Cunningham
Lauryne Cunningham
5 months ago

I love this idea ! What a gorgeous project!

Theresa Watamaniuk
Theresa Watamaniuk
5 months ago

absolutely beautiful Mansi! love the idea of using stamps and die cuts for something other than just cards…I love making cards…but this takes it to a whole new level..love the geometric stencils on the gell plate…your book is stunning!!…now to roll up my sleeves…Thank you so much for the inspiration!!

Lauren Fraser
Lauren Fraser
5 months ago

WOW! LOVE your book! Those stencils are a must have!

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