Thursday, December 17, 2015

Cool Classes

I am honored to be part of two upcoming online experiences, Creative JumpStart and Life Book. Both events include awesome artists, many who are friends of mine, others who I have admired from afar. The events are distinctly different (hint, life is short, you might want to do both). 
Here are the details.
One of my abstract paintings, you get to watch me painting an abstract in CJS!
Creative JumpStart takes place in January 2016. I have participated before and found it quite inspiring, I like that you get all the videos during January to 'jump start' your year. Wowzers is it a lot of good stuff.
For only $50 (on sale right now for $45) you’ll get:
  • A series of 25 technique based videos from 24 artists from around the world.
  • Downloadable videos – download before November 2016 to keep them forever.
  • Information about new creative and innovative products and techniques you might not have used before.
  • Inspiration to jumpstart your own artwork.
Click over HERE to watch a video preview and sign up now. Treat yourself, I think you deserve it!
“Life Book, a celebration and honouring of YOU” is a year-long mixed media art class organized by Tamara Laporte from Willowing Arts. This is my first time and I will have to say I am very rocked to be involved and plan to play along and do the assignments each week. I am absolutely smitten with the concept and have already filmed my segment; it is chock full of techniques and ideas. 
Tam is joined by 23 incredible art teachers who are all gearing up to share their mixed media techniques, tips and tricks with YOU! Themed around self-development and healing, you’ll be creating several loose mixed media art journal pages per month which by the end of the year you will bind into a glorious journal (a Life Book)! You will have a wonderful keepsake that you can treasure for the rest of your life!

So if you want to start the year with a fabulous creative BANG and spend 2016 with a wonderful creative community of like-minded souls, learning more about art and how to be kinder and more loving towards yourself, be sure to CLICK HERE so you can sign up. 
Truly, I think this is exactly what I need. I have felt a bit scattered in the past months, and the idea of grounding myself on a weekly basis totally appeals to me.

Hope to see you at one or both of these terrific events. 

Friday, December 04, 2015

Creative JumpStart 2016

I'm excited to announce that I will once again be participating as an artist in Creative JumpStart (CJS) 2016, run for the 5th time by Nathalie Kalbach. If you're not familiar with CJS, it's an online event to kick your creativity into high gear in January 2016. I love this event, there are videos nearly every day and they are so innovative and inspiring. I will be playing with some new products which is quite exciting for me and the theme this year totally rocks ( I can't tell you yet, but trust me, it is good) !! 
I love starting the year with fun techniques, discovering new materials, and connecting with artists and crafters. 
So here's the deal......throughout January participants get 25 downloadable videos from 24 featured artists, called “JumpStarters.” See for yourself:

Creative JumpStart 2016 Teaser from Nathalie Kalbach on Vimeo.

Head on over to Nat's website where you can find out more details and also sign up. You get 25 videos for just $45 (USD). And......for a limited time, as my valued reader, you’ll get $5 extra of. Just use this coupon code during checkout:
*This is a limited offer valid from 10:00 am Dec 4, 2015 to 11:59 pm EST on Dec 11, 2015.
So what are you waiting for? Sign up here, do it quick so you can get the discount. And don't forget to apply the coupon code during the check out process. 
I think this is going to be great fun!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Papercraft Clubhouse!

About a month ago, John and I snuck away for a li'l vacation before selling stencils at the Art is You retreat in Stamford, CT. We had an unbelievable relaxing time on the coast of CT where we could see Rhode Island from our house, right across the river. The towns were quaint, the food was good (can you say Lobster!) and we melted into bliss. 
Of course I bought toys. 
Seth Apter stencils, canvas bookmarks and slap bracelets to decorate, Tropical Gelatos, Dina Wakley bag!
On the way to Art is You, we stopped at a terrific store, Papercraft Clubhouse, in Westbrook, CT. They sell our stencils and we wanted to stop in and say hi! Imagine Tracie Larson's shock (she is the owner) when she saw me, hehehe, I love to surprise people. We had met at CHA earlier in the year plus I have heard lots about Tracie from our lovely Gwen Lafleur. So I feel like I know her. 
Tracie has the cutest darn store, here's their FB page
I so wish we had a store like that here in the St. Louis area, we just don't have access to so many of these mixed media supplies, ooh la la, I saw things I had heard about but didn't know where to get! And I saw stuff I had never even seen before. Yeah, I bought some stuff, more than what is shown above. 
Check it out!!
Panorama of StencilWall at Papercraft Clubhouse
Oh my goodness, I have never seen anything like that before. Wow, just wow. You can tell by the number of tables what a large room this is, I mean there are LOTS of stencils. I am happy to report that StencilGirl Products holds its own. I felt really proud.
Here is a picture of me and Tracie in front of the wall. I am standing on a platform because Tracie is really tall and I am not. 
Tracie Larson, Mary Beth Shaw
In my opinion, this is a destination shop. If you are anywhere nearby, you gotta make time to visit. I hope to get back there myself some day soon. Thanks, Tracie and staff for doing such a great job!!

And also, a reminder.......I am teaching At Life Book this year, click on that link (right hand column) to find out more and sign up. One of the best deals on the Internet, I kid you not. I'm working on my video and will have to say this is going to be good. Very very good. I am super excited!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Golden is Rocking my World

All my adult life I have wanted to go to Art Basel in Miami, FL. This is the year and it is all because of Golden. You know I am a certified artist educator for them, right? Well, they are having a meeting of all us educators and working artists. It just happens to be in FL. During Art Basel, oh be still my heart. 
Yesyesyes, I am going. I am so flipping lucky. 
I am still pinching myself. 
And......yep, there is more......Mark Golden, the head dude of Golden, is friends with an artist, Frank Hyder, who has has so generously invited all of us to submit a piece that will be on display. 
Here's the one I have submitted. The show is called Square Foot Art Basel Miami. The concept is one foot square pieces, like getting a foot in the door. Wildly exciting to say the least. 

Monday, October 05, 2015

Musing about life and today Life Book is open!

I recently took a class from Laurie Doctor. She is one of my all time favorite teachers; I met her back in the day (2001?) right when I was getting started.
She never fails to inspire me with her contemplative style of poetry meets calligraphy meets bookmaking = spirit. Her workshops are hard to explain, but suffice to say the classes help me with personal restoration and I think they are rather sacred, at least to me. 
I made this book. The process was simple yet looks more complicated, yay for that! 

The workshop was held at Madeline Island School of the Arts which is a pristine campus located way way way up north in Wisconsin, a remote location on Lake Superior found via plane, then car, then ferry. No trains, but you get the idea. There are only 200 permanent residents on this island, it is that kind of place. 
The synchronicity of this recent class, with my preparation for Life Book has not been lost on me. (for more information about Life Book, you can click here). Imagine a year where you experience artistic self development activities each and every week. That is Life Book and I am so very honored to be one of the 23 teachers. My class will be a reflection (of sorts) about my recent experience and how I work to maintain harmony and balance in my life. Here is my class description to give you an idea of what to expect: 

With Praise for the Present

Using collage, acrylic paint and stencils, Mary Beth will guide a mixed media journey of celebration that honors the one and only you. We will create glorious collaged words that memorialize the idea of being present and the present that is life.

I think that Life Book is going to be life-changing and I want to share it with as many people as possible. You may sign up starting today. I hope to see you there. 

And in other news......
Over at StencilGirl Talk, we are bringing back the Mary Beth's Musings feature. 
Yep, they are letting me talk about whatever I want, hehehe. 
You would think I own the company or something.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Feeling Groovy with the Groove Tool and StencilGirl Stencils

Welcome to Day 1 of our Blog Hop with Art-C and The Groove Tool. I want you to read this entire post while humming 'Feeling Groovy." Because that's what I did while working on this post. Could.Not.Get.It.Out.Of.My.Head.
I'm going to confess that I didn't expect to like this tool. I'm not a tool junkie in general, I am kind of old fashion and tend to do things the way I always have. When Art-C sent me one I didn't know what to make of it. First of all, I had just purchased a Clarisonic (for my face) and the Groove Tool looked suspiciously similar, ha! Note to self, keep it in the studio.
Here is a picture of the little guy, isn't he cute! There are four heads the come with the tool, moving from the left, we have a sponge, brush, coarse sander and fine sander. Being a stencil maniac, I knew I wanted to try the sponge tool for sure. And if you are a regular reader of my blog, you surely know how picky I am about my stencil sponges. Ahem.....
But I digress. 
As I was trying to figure out what to make, I opened my journal to find two pages totally stuck together, I hate it when that happens. Being up for an experiment, I snapped on the coarse sander and went to work: 
breaks my heart when this happens, argghhh......

I sanded the damage and then painted over it.
First I used the brush tool to cover up the damage with a similar color. Then I snapped on the sponge tool and stenciled a pattern.
Newly stenciled areas.
Wow. Honestly I was so impressed with this darn sponge, I went ahead and added pattern in a couple more areas. It requires hardly any paint! Seriously, I used just a few drops and it made such a nice clean result, check out this close-up. It is a real fooler - I could barely tell I was depositing any paint and when I lifted the tool it was such a crisp pattern I was super pleased. 
Closeup up of stencil parts. 
Next I wanted to distress something because I like doing that but my hands are arthritic and using sandpaper is not their favorite thing.  
Journal page thick with paint.
This journal page had some thick paint and I feared it was going to be a sticky mess, so I used the coarse sanding attachment and went over the white circle area. No pressure whatsoever. The tool does all the work. And amazing, I got this cool distressed look. 

Distressed with sanding attachment.
To sum up:
  • Groove Tool sponge rocks with stencils - use very little paint, you get a terrific result
  • Groove Tool sandpaper will knock the sticky edges off your journal pages easy peasy
  • Groove Tool sandpaper will distress a painted surface with ease
  • I think that Groove Tool is going to seriously help my arthritic hands.

The Groove is available now at EVERY Hobby Lobby store.  Most Michaels and Joann Fabric and Craft stores have it now, as well. At Hobby Lobby and Michaels, it is in the stamping isle.  At Joann, it is in the paint and stencil aisle, near the unfinished wood.  Of course, it may be ordered directly from Art-C by calling Customer Service at 800-448-6656.
Thank you Art-C. I love this Groove Tool!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Life Book 2016 Blog Hop & Give Away!

Congratulations to Jennifer Van Pelt, the winner of Life Book 2016. 
Thank you so much for all the heart felt entries. I hope to see you all in Life Book 2016.

I am so thrilled to be teaching on Life Book 2016. The lineup of teachers is 'pinch me' amazing and I have a sense this year's instruction is going to be transformational.
I am ready, are you?
Well..........drumroll please..........I get to give away one (1) space to this amazing year long course. I mean how cool would that be to win a spot!?!?
Keep reading if you want to find out more about Life Book 2016 and if you want to find out how you can win a spot! :) 
First let me tell you a bit more about Life Book in case you haven't heard about it yet! 
MB Shaw Journal Spread
“Life Book, a celebration and honouring of YOU” is a year-long mixed media art class organised by Tamara Laporte from Willowing Arts. Tam is joined by 23 incredible art teachers (including moi) who are all gearing up to share their mixed media techniques, tips and tricks with YOU! Themed around self-development and healing, you’ll be creating several loose mixed media art journal pages per month which by the end of the year you will bind into a glorious journal (a Life Book)! You will have a wonderful keepsake that you can treasure for the rest of your life!
Truly, I am so rocked by this concept that I am going to work along because I mean who wouldn't want to be part of this??
You can find out why this course has been so popular (joined by over 8700 people in the past!) by clicking HERE.
I am pretty excited about the class I am developing and will share tons of my journal and painting techniques such as those seen here.
Close up drips MB Shaw
Registration opens on October 5th 2015 and the class begins on January 1st 2016. 
So if you want to start the year with a fabulous creative BANG and spend 2016 with a wonderful creative community of like-minded souls, learning more about art and how to be kinder and more loving towards yourself, be sure to join once registration opens! :) Keep this page bookmarked so that you can sign up the moment it goes on sale!
Closeup neon MB Shaw

Now then, onto the give-away and blog hop! 
I can give away 1 space in Life Book 2016. And if you follow the blog hop (see below for links and dates) you can increase your chances of winning a space by entering all the other give-aways also.
To enter my Give Away, all you have to do are 2 simple things:
1. Sign up for the StencilGirl newsletter, found toward the bottom of the StencilGirl home page. 
2. Leave me a comment below as to why you would love to join Life Book 2016 
I will announce the winner on October 1st.
Here is the list of the other amazing teachers who will be teaching on Life Book – they too will be giving away a spot on Life Book so go check them out and enter their give-aways! :)

Blog Hop Order

7 Sept 2015 Tamara Laporte

8 Sept 2015 Annie Hamman

9 Sept 2015 Kristin Dudish

10 Sept 2015 Effy Wild

11 Sept 2015 Faith Evans-Sills

12 Sept 2015 Gillian Lee Smith

13 Sept 2015 Ivy Newport

14 Sept 2015 Jane Davenport

15 Sept 2015 Jenny Grant

16 Sept 2015 Angela Kennedy (Pennystamper)

17 Sept 2015 Lisa Viger

18 Sept 2015 Martha Lever

19 Sept 2015 Mary Beth Shaw THAT'S ME!

20 Sept 2015 Melody Ross

21 Sept 2015 Pam Carriker

22 Sept 2015 Pauline Agnew

23 Sept 2015 Rae Missigman

24 Sept 2015 Renata Loree

25 Sept 2015 Roben-Marie Smith

26 Sept 2015 Roxanne Coble

27 Sept 2015 Shiloh Sophia McCloud

28 Sept 2015 Donna Downey

29 Sept 2015 Tracy Verdugo

30 Sept 2015 Wyanne Thompson

Thursday, September 10, 2015

I am part of Life Book 2016

I am so honored to be part of Life Book 2016. 
And I know if is going to rock, my oh my the teachers! 
Tamara LaPorte has posted some details over on her blog, you can find out more by visiting 
HERE where you will find info on GiveAways and Scholarships.
I will post more detail on this blog shortly.
In the meantime, here is where you register, starting October 5th.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Resist Technique with Flora Bowley stencils

I promised this video awhile back and am sorry to be delayed......sometimes life gets in the way. At any rate, here are some ways to use those 2 part stencils we are selling over on StencilGirl Products.
We have lots of these, but specifically, our new releases by Flora Bowley are perfecto for these techniques.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Hello VerDay, meet StencilGirl

Welcome to Day 1 of our blog hop. 
I can't remember when I first heard about VerDay paints, but I couldn't wait to get my hands on them. Needless to say I was thrilled when TENseconds Studio sent our StencilGirl team paints to play with.
These paints come in four finishes - copper, bronze, iron & brass. There are actual metallic flakes in the paint and when used with the VerDay Patina they will turn anything (yes, anything!) into a metallic finish. I swooned over the results I saw in the videos on the TENseconds Studio site. 

Oh my oh my.
Kit with four metallics & Patina

As someone who picks up rusted parts off the street, you can imagine the idea of creating rust in my journals rocked my world. 
I followed the instructions that came with the product and am happy to say, it's easy peasy to use.

Original journal page
  1. Apply metallic paint and allow to dry (the instructions say an hour, but it didn't take that long for me)
  2. Using a stencil (ok, the instructions didn't mention a stencil, but what do you expect from moi?), apply a second layer of the metallic paint
  3. While the second layer is still wet, spritz with the Patina and wait for the magic to begin.
Beginning journal page

I found that you need to be fairly liberal with your paint application to get a 'pop' of rust. The first go-round, I hadn't used enough paint on step #2 and nothing much happened. I was adhering to my typical 'keep it dry' stencil approach and that really isn't the best way to achieve this fabulous result; think 'make it gloppy'. And good grief, I was very much wowed by the effect - can't wait to use it in some of my abstract painting.
Check out this closeup below, be still my rust loving heart.

Wonderful rusted accents.

Closeup of rust, ooh la la!!!
And for my second trick I used Copper.
MBShaw Journal Spread

Journal spread with VerDay Copper accents

I seriously love this product  - thank you TENsecond Studio!!!
And........don't ya know, we are having a contest. 
4-piece VerDay Kit of Reactive Metal Paint & Patina
and a $25 StencilGirl Gift Certificate to one lucky winner!

All comments left on the hop list participants’ posts will be entered. 
One comment per blog. 
Comments close on August 21st @ 11:59PM Central.
(be sure and leave your email so we can contact you)

(In addition, Cheryl will be giving away a set of paints and leather coasters.)
TENseconds Studio homepage:
TENseconds Studio Facebook Page:
VerDay Paint and Patina Video and Supplies for Purchase:
In case you are wondering, I used the two stencils below, both by Carolyn Dube. They are available on StencilGirl Products, right here. 

Sunday, August 09, 2015

All right, I gotta beg forgiveness here, I messed up the Resist Video. I'll have it up in a couple of days. Stay tuned.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Resist Video

Monday, August 03, 2015

How to Store Your Stencils

We recently did a survey over at StencilGirl and this was our number one question. Thought I would share the video with all of you here as well. It took me awhile to find a system that worked for me and now I hang all sorts of things where I can see them.
There are links to the products mentioned on StencilGirl Talk. 
Hope you enjoy!
Be sure and share your ideas too, I love to hear other ideas.

Monday, July 20, 2015

StencilGirl and Seth Apter Blog Hop

You know what I like about Seth Apter's stencils?
Lots of things really.....
but mainly the itty bitty parts,
the words,
the shapes, and
the versatility.
Those little parts - weird shapes, circles, squares, grids. Those parts are what I call "integrators". That probably isn't even a word, but I'm talking about design elements that can help pull your art together, be it a journal spread, a greeting card or a canvas. Tiny detail can work wonders to link up sections of the art and to help the piece flow.
And the Words, these are words for thinking people. The type of words that have a lot to say. Double meanings and prefixes and suffixes with lots of variety.
Here's a journal spread I recently completed using Seth's and also one of my new stencils.
Mary Beth Shaw journal spread with StencilGirl Products stencils.
 See Seth's new stencils on the StencilGirl Products WEBSITE:
We are having a give away too. But you probably knew that, didn't you? Just leave me a comment along with your email address. 
$25 StencilGirl Gift Certificate to one lucky winner!
All comments left on the hop list participants posts will be entered. 
One comment per blog. 
Comments close on July 24th @ 11:59PM Central.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Seth has Rubber Stamps!!

Stamps by Seth Apter for Impression Obsession
Psssst, guess what? My friend Seth Apter has rubber stamps, woo hoo!!! I was lucky enough to receive a set from him, these beautiful constellation based deeply cut rubber stamps. You know I'm a stencil girl at heart but I always love a good stamp and I will have to say Seth's designs are so.....well.....Seth! Which means they are terrific and versatile. They work perfectly with his stencils too!
Using the stamp on vintage paper. 
Before using a rubber stamp on my work, I like to try stamping it on plain paper to see how it looks. In this case, I happened to have some vintage medical papers in my stash and I grabbed one. I LOVE how well these intricate stamps work. Sometimes I am kind of a doofus with a stamp, I think it is because I use stencils so much, but I was excited that these stamps looked perfect the very first time I used them.  
Collage part
So off and running I went........gluing the collage part into my journal.
Paint and Collage on journal page
I developed a ton of layers, paint, collage, repeat. The stamps added a lovely circular effect and you know how I love my circles. I felt like they created a nice sense of movement. And naturally I used some of Seth's stencils too.
To check out more about Seth, go to his blog, he is one of my favorite bloggers and provides regular content that I find quite interesting;
It you are interested in Seth's stamps, you can find them here, at Impression Obsession Rubber Stamps:
Final journal spread
Here is a list of the others participating on this blog hop, I can't wait to see what everyone made! 
You can find Seth's stencils at StencilGirl Products, but you knew that, right?

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Expressive Collage Webinar

Hey, did you know that I have a Webinar coming up?
Art Journal spread by Mary Beth Shaw
I am very excited to be talking with Crystal Neubauer's about her new book, The Art of Expressive Collage. It is a gorgeous book and Crystal and I go way back so you can be sure our discussion will be entertaining and hopefully informative. 
I want to clarify one thing - you do NOT need to be present to listen to the Webinar or see the Video. You can watch/listen any time as you will be furnished with the link. You could even listen over and over if you want. Just sayin'....
I absolutely love the art that I was inspired to make after reading Crystal's book - watch me make it on the video! Good stuff, great fun, you won't want to miss this!

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

New Stencils for my Birthday!!

I got to design some new stencils, woo hoo!! 
You might think I would design them all the time, owning the company and all, but my other obligations tend to get in the way.
The stencils I design are the ones that I want to use. I especially enjoy stencils that I call "the great integrators". These are ones I use when I have a background that maybe isn't hanging together exactly how I imagined. 
These are stencils that cure all woes. HAHAHA. That's a lot to ask from a stencil, eh?
Juxtapose stencil 6x6

Little Eddy stencil 4x4

MB Makes Marks stencil 6x6

Random Marks 4x4

And guess what? We are having a sale too. Cause it's my birthday. Here are the details:

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Organization; it's a beautiful thing

As I prepare for "the move" I am organizing and have to say it makes me very happy.

Seeing all my paints in this container makes me want to paint. This bin will be the top layer of my rolling cart that will be right next to my studio table. I think it will be way more convenient than my current setup.

I have plans for these doors and this adorable little chest. Don't you love the colors?
Stay tuned as my journey continues.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Growing Pains

I am in the midst of moving my studio. It's all good. StencilGirl has grown so much the company needs my space at home.
So cleaning and organizing I go.

Canvasses anyone? I prefer to work on rigid substrates nowadays and my friend Mary Nasser is going to love these!
Oh Lordy, the things I am finding though!
Anybody remember way back when I was using crazy things for texture?

Israeli couscous.

Wild rice.
You can't make this stuff up.