Editor Spotlight: The Beauty of Imperfection by Danielle Mohler

November 20th, 2014

Danielle Mohler - Editor of Artful Blogging

The world of artful blogging is simply amazing. From wildly popular authentic living spaces to digital studios that offer artists a place to showcase their work, there are many different types of creative blogs on the internet. More importantly, in my opinion, there’s a strong sense of community, which helps to nurture and strengthen artists from all walks of life. Today we’re shinning the spotlight on a very special person, Danielle Mohler, the editor of Artful Blogging.

Grab your notes, your camera, and get ready for a little inspiration — please join me in giving Danielle a warm Somerset Place welcome.

~*~

Artful Blogging Winter 2015~Photograph by Kim Klassen

Like many people, my day-to-day life follows a routine that rarely changes. On weekdays, I wake up and stumble to the kitchen to turn on the coffee pot before spending a few moments with my kitty, Holly Golightly, who sure likes to talk in the morning; that is, until her food bowl is replenished. Over the next hour, I get dressed, make lunch, and head off to work. Even at the office, I have a routine: I warm up whatever is left of my coffee and make breakfast while my computer turns on. I am not a morning person, but I sure do love those first few moments at work sipping coffee and catching up with my favorite bloggers. It sets the tone for my day and surrounds me with creative inspiration. In my line of work, this inspiration is crucial.

 

Artful Blogging Winter 2015~Photograph by  Anetta Bosakova and Stephanie Dahlsrud

I have been an editor at Stampington & Company for about two years now, having the opportunity to manage a few of our titles. Each publication is a thrill to work on, but the newest one I manage also warms my heart. My first issue of Artful Blogging hit newsstands at the beginning of this month. As I put together the issue, I was amazed at the bloggers, the stories they shared, and their outstanding photography. Many of them told stories about their blogging journey, their longing for perfection, and their misconstrued concepts about photography.

 

Artful Blogging Winter 2015~Photograph by Jesi Haack

One thing I love about blogging is its vulnerability. My favorite blogs are the ones showcasing the flops, mistakes, and errors along with the successes. They show me the importance of laughing off blunders, instead of getting bent out of shape. After following blogs for a while, I feel as if I know the bloggers. I look forward to new posts and sympathize with them during hard times. It’s a magical experience where you travel with them through their highs and lows all from your own computer. Sometimes this means saying goodbye, when a blogger decides it’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate priorities. It can feel like losing a friend.

 

Artful Blogging Winter 2015~Photograph by Krisha Hinkle

The desire to be flawless spills over into every aspect of life, including blogging. Often, bloggers strive for the best stories and photographs in each blog post to attract more and more followers. This issue of Artful Blogging features inspiring bloggers who have risen above this idea of perfection. I think Krisha Hinkle sums it up just right (p. 80): “These days, I measure the success of my blog by how little time I spend perfecting it.”

 

Artful Blogging Winter 2015~Photograph by Beth McWilliams

So many things in life can’t be controlled no matter how hard we try. Perfection is merely an idea that can never actually be attained because, at the end of the day, we are all human. When I truly consider it, I believe life would be quite boring if everyone was perfect. The quirky details and hairy back stories make for interesting people. Even though I majored in English in college, I still misspell a word every now and then, and that’s OK. Instead of aiming for perfection, I have learned to enjoy imperfections. Nowadays, my goal is to take each day at face value. I can’t wait to see where this new mindset takes me.

~*~

Artful Blogging Winter 2015~Photograph by Courtney Kennedy

Who hasn’t dreamed of starting their very own blog and reaching across time and space to touch the lives of complete strangers? If you’ve considered it, maybe it’s time to start! Thank you to Danielle Mohler for sharing a bit of your insight into the world of authentic and artful blogging.

 

Use Code BLOG1114 to get $5 off Artful Blogging

Artful Blogging Winter 2015Immerse yourself in the breathtaking photos and captivating stories of some of the world’s most creative bloggers in this issue of Artful Blogging — and because we love our blog readers, you can get $5 off the winter issue.

 
 
 




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Gabriela Artful BloggingEditor Spotlight ,,

The world of artful blogging is simply amazing. From wildly popular authentic living spaces to digital studios that offer artists a place to showcase their work, there are many different types of creative blogs on the internet. More importantly, in my opinion, there’s a strong sense of community, which helps to nurture and strengthen artists […]

Stuffed Canvas Dolls by Guest Artist Connie Fong

November 17th, 2014

Stuffed Canvas Dolls by Guest Artist Connie Fong - Display



Art dolls are such a unique way to express creativity, but they can be a little intimidating — especially when you don’t even know what a ball-joint is. That’s what attracted me so much to Connie Fong’s little stuffed dolls. Their assemblage is straight forward and simple enough, while their actual presentation leaves space for trying out and showing off artistic technique. After finding these charming dolls on Connie’s blog, I was very excited to invite her to become a guest artist for Somerset Place. You can only imagine how overjoyed I was when she agreed!


Now, without further ado, please help me welcome the extraordinarily talented Connie Fong to our creative corner of the internet.

~*~

I’ve dabbled in most creative areas including jewelry, art journaling, paper dolls, sewing, scrapbooking, and card making; however, I recently just started making dolls. I always thought painting faces was going to be a challenge, so I never pursued this area until I took a wonderful class with mixed-media artist, Danita. After taking her class, I made several dolls and gained the confidence I needed to pursue further doll making; that’s when I signed up for Mindy Lacefield’s class on Primitive Portraits. I love Mindy’s style and her online classes are great — she takes you step-by-step, gives helpful tips, and she shares what supplies she likes to use. I took her style and added my own touch and turned my drawings into these stuffed dolls.

 

Stuffed Canvas Dolls Material List:

Canvas Fabric or White Duck Cloth Fabric
White Gesso
Multi-Media Paper
Canvas Photo Paper (This paper can be purchased at most office supply stores)
Ink Jet Printer
Watercolors
Paint Brushes
Acrylic Paint
Soft Lead Pencil (9B)
Stabilo Pencil
Blending Stump
Tissue Paper (I used Metro Tissue Paper)
Adhesive (I used Mod Podge)
Sewing Machine
Black Thread
Polyfil
Small Embellishments

 

Stuffed Canvas Dolls Project Tutorial by Connie Fong:

There are two methods I use to create these stuffed dolls. One method is to draw and paint the doll directly onto the canvas fabric and the other is to draw and paint onto some mixed-media paper and then transfer the image onto canvas photo paper using a printer. Personally, I prefer the second method because then you can reuse your original doll image over and over again for different purposes, such as making other stuffed dolls or taking the image and using it on a greeting card or art journal. I’ll take you through the steps for each method.

 

Method One – Drawing/Painting Stuffed Canvas Dolls Directly onto Duck Cloth Fabric or Canvas Fabric

Stuffed Canvas Dolls by Guest Artist Connie Fong - White Gesso

Step 1 – Cut a rectangular piece of duck cloth fabric about 8 inches tall and 5-1/2 inches wide (you can also use Canvas Fabric).

Step 2 – Paint some white gesso over the center portion of the fabric where you will be drawing the doll, and let dry before continuing.

Stuffed Canvas Dolls by Guest Artist Connie Fong - Drawing Doll

Step 3 - Once dry, use a soft lead pencil to draw an oval for the face. Pencil in the eyes, nose and mouth, then draw the neck and body.

Step 4 - Next, watercolor the face. Try to blend the colors and add some shading and depth by making the edges of the face darker and lightening the color towards the center.

Stuffed Canvas Dolls by Guest Artist Connie Fong  - Painting Dress

Step 5 - Use black acrylic paint to fill in the eyes, eye lids, and brows.  Use a very tiny brush and some magenta acrylic paint and color in the lips. Use watercolor to fill in the neck and arms. Don’t forget to create some shading under the neck and on the sides of the arms. Also, paint over the entire dress area, creating shading on the top and sides of the dress. Finally, outline the lower half of the face, neck and arms with the Stabilo pencil to create a darker line. If the line is too bold, you can soften it with a blending stump.

Stuffed Canvas Dolls by Guest Artist Connie Fong - Painting

Step 6 – To paint the hair, use a small bristle paint brush — the stiffer the better. Paint the doll’s hair with acrylic paint using light strokes around the head.

Step 7 - When the paint is dry, cut out a square piece of Metro tissue paper that’s slightly larger than the dress area. Lay the tissue paper on top of the dress area and trace the shape of the dress with a pencil. Cut the tissue paper accordingly and adhere the tissue onto the fabric with Mod Podge or glue ( you can see an example of this in method two).

 

Method Two – Drawing/Painting Stuffed Canvas Doll onto Multi-Media Paper

Stuffed Canvas Dolls by Guest Artist Connie Fong - Painting

Step 1 - Follow the same steps as method one to draw and paint the doll, except this time paint directly onto multi-media paper. Don’t worry, multi-media paper is sturdy enough to hold watercolor and acrylic paint.

Stuffed Canvas Dolls by Guest Artist Connie Fong - Dress

Step 2 - Once you’re done drawing and painting your doll and adding the Metro tissue paper for the dress, you’re ready to copy the image onto canvas photo paper. Insert the canvas photo paper into your inkjet printer as if it was regular paper, following manufacturer’s directions.

Step 3 - Photocopy your original image onto the canvas photo paper.

 

Finishing your Stuffed Canvas Dolls:

Stuffed Canvas Dolls by Guest Artist Connie Fong - Dolls

Step 1 - Once you have your image painted onto fabric, using the method of your choosing, you’re ready to create the stuffed doll.

Stuffed Canvas Dolls by Guest Artist Connie Fong - Sewing

Step 2 - Lay some blank canvas fabric underneath your doll image and sew around the image, creating a pocket and leaving the bottom portion open. I personally like sewing around the image twice using black thread, it adds dimension and a decorative touch.

Stuffed Canvas Dolls by Guest Artist Connie Fong - Stuffing

Step 3 - Trim the excess fabric, leaving approximately a quarter of an inch edge. Stuff the doll with polyfil, and once fully stuffed, sew the bottom of the doll closed.

Step 4 – Finish your doll with embellishments such as buttons, ribbons, flowers, or anything else you want.

Stuffed Canvas Dolls by Guest Artist Connie Fong



I hope you try your hand at making one of these dolls; you’ll be surprised by how easy it is! Also, thank you, Mindy, for providing me inspiration with those primitive portraits.

~*~

Thank you so much, Connie Fong, for the great tutorial. These little stuffed dolls would make great stocking stuffers or even Christmas tree ornaments. You could make one in the likeness of each member of your family, or gift them to creative friends. I think they would be darling on a baby mobile!

We’d love to know how you would use them — let us know in the comment section below.

Don’t forget to visit Connie Fong on her blog: ArtfulPlay

 

See More of Connie Fong’s Work in Somerset Studio Gallery

Somerset Studio Gallery Winter 2015Somerset Studio Gallery is filled with hundreds of samples of extraordinary artwork presented up close and in detail. Whether your passion is rubber stamping, calligraphy, or paper crafting, this latest issue of Gallery features everything you love about Somerset Studio including more of Connie Fong’s unique artwork.
 
 


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Gabriela DIYGuest ArtistHow-To ,,,,,,,,,

Art dolls are such a unique way to express creativity, but they can be a little intimidating — especially when you don’t even know what a ball-joint is. That’s what attracted me so much to Connie Fong’s little stuffed dolls. Their assemblage is straight forward and simple enough, while their actual presentation leaves space for […]

DIY and Ready-Made: 8 Creative Stocking Stuffers

November 13th, 2014

BlogGrid_111114



Who doesn’t love getting a small but thoughtful gift in their Christmas stocking? From creative art supplies to ready-made products that delight and inspire the inner muse, stocking stuffers offer us a unique opportunity to share our creativity, while also giving functional and beautiful gifts to those we love and appreciate. Inspired by the upcoming holiday seasons and the spirit of giving, we’ve put together our top 8 ideas for creative stocking stuffers.  

Creative Stocking Stuffers

  Affirmation Bracelet Project

 

1. Affirmation Bracelet Project

There’s nothing quite as wonderful as finding that little tell-tale box inside your stocking. You just know it’s jewelry! But a piece of hand-crafted jewelry with an uplifting affirmation written across its surface would make anyone feel special. This creative bracelet project uses Tim Holtz’s metal word bands and some basic jewelry making techniques.

Click here to see even more jewelry making projects.

 

Patterened Tapes Collection for Stocking Stuffers



2. Patterned Tape

From vintage and airmail to stripes, polka dots, and chevron designs, we have the perfect assortment of patterned tapes to give anyone from budding new artists or advanced mixed-media crafters. Give a roll or two as part of an art set or set someone up with a full collection!

Click here to see our full assortment of patterned tapes.  

Mini Art Pops Moleskine Journals Project for Stocking Stuffers

3. Mini Art Pops Moleskine Journals

Who doesn’t love a brand-new journal? Better yet a fresh new Moleskine journal, with a personalized cover by their all-time favorite artist — you! With three in every set, you can personalize a journal for all your friends and family.

Click here to see even more mini book & journal projects.

 

Smart Device Skins - Creative Stocking Stuffers



4. Smart Device Skins

Give the gift of inspiration with Kelly Rae Robert’s smart skins. These bright and beautiful finds are compatible with the iPad mini and the iPad 3, iPhone 4, 5, and 5s, and Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4. They’re easy to install and provide on-the-go creativity as well as protective functionality for smart phones and tablets.

Click here to see our full collection of Kelly Rae Robert products and explore even more skin and case designs.  
 

Homemade Lip Balm Project

5. Coconut Lemon Lip Balm Project

Not only is making your own lip balm fun and easy, it’s also incredibly addictive and it makes for a unique stocking stuffer gift! These little balms are the perfect project because you can make them in bulk and gift them to all your friends. Plus, these darling little metal tins can be altered and personalized and who wouldn’t appreciate a chemical-free, homemade lip balm?

Click here to see more homemade bath and body projects.

 

Artistic Magnets for Stocking Stuffers



6. Inspiring Magnet Art

Make a midnight-snack a touch more inspiring by helping your friends and family dress up their refrigerators with a colorful assortment of magnets. These artsy magnets are inspired by Kelly Rae Robert’s unique mixed-media collage style and are available as functional clips, ornamental pendants, and flat inspiring phrases and images. They’re the perfect size to stuff into a stocking, and they work great on any metal surface.

Click here to see our full collection of Kelly Rae Robert products and explore even stocking stuffer ideas.  
 
Three Ways to Use Essential Oils for Stocking Stuffers

7. Three Ways to Use Essential Oils

This three-in-one project was created by our wonderful editor-in-chief, Christen Hammons, and provides fun and easy ways to incorporate essential oils into some of our favorite bath and body products. First up is a formula for a fresh-scented linen spray; next is a simple to recreate room freshening spray; and last, but not least, is a super simple bath salt recipe. Christen also provides detailed instructions for artfully packaging these homemade creations. Drop one, two, or all three of these unique gifts into a stocking — you can’t go wrong!

Click here to see more homemade bath and body projects.

 

Cavallini & Co. Rubber Stamp Sets for Stocking Stuffers



8. Cavallini & Co. Rubber Stamp Sets

Cavallini’s classic designs of wood-mounted stamps are captured in assortments of gift-worthy tin sets. Each darling set contains a creative array of high quality stamps based on authentic, vintage designs. They’re perfect for card making, mixed-media projects, collaging, and more. This is a great stocking stuffer for beginning or advanced stampers, and if you want to go a step further, you can even pair it up with our latest issue of The Stampers Sampler.

Click here to browse our collection of Cavallini & Co. products.

~*~

Whether you’re shopping for friends and family, or looking for a little gift for yourself, our extensive collection of artful products is a great place to find unique and thoughtful stocking stuffers. You don’t have to break the bank to share inspiration — we offer ready-made finds and creative project ideas to help you find that perfect something that shows your appreciation for someone else.

 

Make Your Holidays Memorable with our Handmade Collection

Handmande Holiday Collection - Stocking StuffersIf you’re searching for some more handcrafted inspiration for the holidays, look no further than our new Handmade Holidays Collection! We’ve assembled a crafty assortment of unique packaging and easy-to-follow gift projects, seasonal issues, and products that are well suited for crafting homemade gifts. Show your loved ones that they are worth your artistic energy and mean more than a trip to the store.

Click here to explore our Handmade Holidays Collection

 
 


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Gabriela DIYHolidaysHow-ToShoppe ,,,,,,

Who doesn’t love getting a small but thoughtful gift in their Christmas stocking? From creative art supplies to ready-made products that delight and inspire the inner muse, stocking stuffers offer us a unique opportunity to share our creativity, while also giving functional and beautiful gifts to those we love and appreciate. Inspired by the upcoming […]

A Caption Contest with a Creative Twist!

November 10th, 2014
Caption Contest with a twist - Artful Blogging Summer 2014~Photograph by Tara Morris from the pages of Artful Blogging Summer 2014


 

Caption Contest with a Twist - Artful Blogging Spring 2014~Photograph by Diana Elizabeth from the pages of Artful Blogging Summer 2014


 

Caption Contest with a Twist - Artful Blogging Autumn 2013~Photograph by Tracia Whitmer from the pages of Artful Blogging Winter 2014


Inspiration comes in many shapes and forms — sometimes it’s a found object, sometimes it comes from our animal companions, and sometimes it’s simply the beauty of nature. Whatever the case may be, inspiration has a funny way of rousing different parts of our mind. The right image at the right time can conjure colors, words, sounds, and feelings, all of which can lead to the creation of new art or the appreciation of old masterpieces.

For example, while flipping through the pages of the autumn 2013 issue of Artful Blogging, I saw Tracia Whitmer’s photograph of a lonesome road bathed in sunlight. I immediately thought of “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost:

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere age and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

What quote, poem, song, or narrative does this photograph remind you of?

 

Quote the Image Caption Contest Giveaway

This caption contest with a twist is a great creative exercise. The three featured images on this post by Tracia Whitmer, Tara Morris, and Diana Elizabeth are extraordinary! They capture nature’s majesty, a child’s curiosity, and the spirit of a true adventurer.

Select one of the three featured images, and find a quote, snippet of a song, a line from a poem, or even a portion of a beloved narrative that somehow resonates with it and then share it in the comment section below.

 

How to enter:

  1. Click the “Pin-it” button for your favorite photograph and share it on Pinterest with your friends.
  2. Leave us a comment on the blog with the most fitting caption that you can think of.

The person with the most “fitting” caption will receive a magazine of their choice (a value of $14.99 or less)!

Contest ends on November 30th, 2014.
 


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Gabriela Artful BloggingCaptionsContestGiveaway ,,,

~Photograph by Tara Morris from the pages of Artful Blogging Summer 2014   ~Photograph by Diana Elizabeth from the pages of Artful Blogging Summer 2014   ~Photograph by Tracia Whitmer from the pages of Artful Blogging Winter 2014 Inspiration comes in many shapes and forms — sometimes it’s a found object, sometimes it comes from […]

A Charming and Functional Recipe Journal Project

November 6th, 2014

Family Recipe Journal Cover



There’s nothing quite as charming as an old family recipe book that gets passed down from generation to generation. It’s especially nice to pull that book out now that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. But if you’ve ever had a recipe book, then you know that the pages within this precious family heirloom have a tendency to be dynamic. Recipes change over the years, and each generation adds a little something extra or adjusts things more to their own personal liking. The pages of a recipe book are alive with creativity, love, and delicious secrets!

This project is about starting your own family recipe journal, which is a bit more functional than a book. By using a ring binder you can add or remove pages, use page pockets, and even insert envelopes — pretty much anything that can be hole-punched is fair game. This particular project is beautiful, practical, and perfect for the holidays.

Materials for the Family Recipe Journal Project:

- Ringed Binder
- Ephemera
- 7gypsie Printed Postcards
- Tag Envelopes
- Tim Holtz’s Idea-ology Page Pockets
- Ecology Natural Filler Kraft Paper
- Grubby Tags
- Rub-On Stickers
- Pen

Family Recipe Journal Clipping



Family Recipe Journal Project Tutorial

Step 1 – First and foremost, you’ll want to pick a ringed binder — for this project we used one of Tim Holtz Idea-ology designs.

Step 2 – Write your recipes directly onto various pieces of ephemera. We wrote some of our recipes on 7gypsie printed postcards and envelopes. The envelopes are especially handy because you can stuff them with recipes written on tags, cut-outs from magazines, or recipes printed from online sources.

Family Recipe Journal Ephemera



Step 3 – You can also use Tim Holtz’s Idea-ology Page Pockets. The pockets are great for adding handwritten recipe sheets, or those recipes that you find on the back of food packaging like flour, oatmeal boxes, and other similar items. We even wrote some recipes on the Ecology Natural Filler Kraft Paper and Grubby Tags, which added a sweet rustic and worn look to our journal.

Family Recipe Journal Tag

Step 4 – Next, punch holes into all of the ephemera pieces, envelopes, and journal pages that you’re using and bind them together in your binder.

Step 5 – Add some decorative rub-ons to the cover of the album for an elegant, finishing touch.

This is a fun and functional project with a lot of creative potential. It’s a great way to start collecting treasured family recipes as well as a lovely way to commemorate the recipes used during a special occasion like Christmas or Thanksgiving. Make one for yourself and watch the pages multiply with tasty new concoctions, or get one started with a few of your favorite recipes and gift it to a friend or family member.

Want Even More Inspiring Holiday Projects?

Holiday and Special Occasion CollectionThe holiday season is upon us, but there’s still plenty of time to craft some homemade party favors, décor accents, seasonal cards, treat bags, and much more! Explore our entire collection of holiday-themed projects and find over 160 creative ideas to help make this time of year a little extra festive.

 

Click here to visit our Holiday and Special Occasion Collection.

 
 


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Gabriela DIYHow-To ,,,

There’s nothing quite as charming as an old family recipe book that gets passed down from generation to generation. It’s especially nice to pull that book out now that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. But if you’ve ever had a recipe book, then you know that the pages within this precious family heirloom have […]

Glimpse Inside Creative New November Issues + Win Your Fav!

November 4th, 2014

Celebrate a bountiful and creative harvest with brand new Stampington publications. This November we’re hoping to rouse your sleepy muse with the inspiring images in Artful Blogging and the inventive and resourceful upcycled projects in GreenCraft. You definitely won’t want to miss the enchanting creatures in Art Doll Quarterly, or the new homemade, chemical-free bath and body products from the second issue of Willow and Sage. Find the perfect inspiration for unique, handmade gifts or give yourself a well-deserved break with creative project ideas.

Discount

 

We love our blog followers, and that’s why we want to offer you an exclusive promotion. Use the coupon code BLOG1114 at checkout to get $5 off any of our new November issues

 

 

 

somSomerset Studio - November Issues



In this exciting winter issue, Shirley Vauvelle, our Artist Profile, artfully mixes clay and paper, and Linda Trenholm shows off a breathtaking altered board book inspired by the South of France. You’ll also find a creative take on business cards for artists, quirky and clever television-inspired assemblages, and edgy wrapping ideas for all of your holiday gifts. Along with the latest information and innovations in paper crafting and mixed-media, you won’t want to miss a captivating feature on artistic treasures that fit in the palm of your hand.

 

Altered Couture - November IssuesAltered Couture - November Issues



Altered Couture is a 160-page publication dedicated to altered and embellished clothing and accessories. This issue shares more clothing upcycles from household names like Diane Aguilar, Kimberly Elowe, Shelly West, Nancy Romans, and Lorri Scott; plus tons of upcoming designers new to the pages of Altered Couture. Find the results from our Make It Military challenge, creative, refashioned items that are perfect for winter, and a fabulous steampunk pair of pumps, hand-painted by Miranda Storer. You also will not want to miss stylish and flattering tunic jackets, sweaters, skirts, and dresses, a unique tutorial on how to upcycle your old clothes into yoga bags, or fun accessories to pair with your altered away items.

 

Art Doll Quarterly - November IssuesArt Doll Quarterly - November Issues



Art Doll Quarterly’s winter issue is packed with wonderful seasonal delights, magical inspiration, and great techniques. We reveal the best of the best in our Medieval Doll Challenge with some fabulous dolls including Lady Shallot, Merlin, Henry VIII, Jehanne d’Arc, and King Théoden. Artist Trent Manning is the subject of our Doll Artist Profile, and his work of turning materials that are recycled, salvaged, and repurposed into spectacular art will astound you. Renowned doll artist Terese Cato shares a tutorial on using watercolor pencils on fabric, Adele Sciortino discusses part two of her article on how to photograph your artwork, and award-winning artist Norma Prickett shares a collaborative gourd doll project that is sure to inspire. ’Tis the season — and we’re happy to showcase delightfully charming Santa’s, elves, holiday pixies, snowmen, a biker Santa, and so much more.

 

Artful Blogging - November IssuesArtful Blogging - November Issues



Immerse yourself in the breathtaking photos and captivating stories of some of the world’s most creative bloggers in this issue of Artful Blogging. Discover Stephanie Dahlsrud and Annetta Bosakova’s journey to journal every day of 2014 – to photograph and blog about each day on ayeartoinspire.blogspot.ca. We’ll also introduce you to Courtney Kennedy, of alwaysrooney.com, a lover of fashion and handmade and also a DIY genius, and Suzanne Walcher, of privetandholly.blogspot.com, who finds joy in words and in small details. You’ll also delight in entering into Linda Dresselhaus’ creative blog full of vintage finds and upcycyled projects on itsy-bits-and-pieces.blogspot.com.

 

GreenCraft - November IssuesGreenCraft - November Issues



This holiday season, give the gift that keeps on giving by turning the recycling bin into Santa’s magic sack! The Winter 2014 issue of GreenCraft Magazine is overflowing with inspired, environmentally-safe craft projects that also happen to double as one-of-a-kind gift ideas. Try your hand at making a sweet, repurposed denim market bag that could be stuffed with all kinds of holiday goodies. Find out how to transform broken watches into nautical bracelets to take to the beach with you anywhere. You’ll also learn how to create a unique mouse pad from upcycled materials, ornaments from vintage chandelier crystals, and so much more!

 

Where Women Create - November Issues
Where Women Create - November Issues



Whether it’s art, food, music, written works, or choreographed dances, extraordinary women know that the process of creating is every bit as important as what ultimately gets created. Come indulge in a number of featured artists, articles, and beautiful spaces within the winter issue of Where Women Create.

What’s Inside:

  • The colorful studio of Debi Beard
  • The unique creative spaces of Anna Maria Horner and Maya Donenfeld of Creative Bug
  • Anita Davis of the Esse Purse Museum and the artistic quarters of quilters Judy Murrah and Bari J. Ackerman
  • Features on Amanda Herring, Wendy Addison, and Linda Gardner
  • The Men Who Make It column spotlights Emmy-winning costume designer from NYC, David Zyla

Willow and Sage - November IssuesWillow and Sage - November Issues



Willow and Sage is filled with more than 70 unique recipes, uses, and beautiful packaging ideas for homemade bath and body products, paired alongside stunning, Somerset-style photography. Learn how to ease back pain with just a few ingredients, discover 10 easy hair treatments you can find in your kitchen, and throw a spa day for you and your girlfriends. Make pin-worthy bath and body gifts this holiday, including quick and easy lip balm that is perfect to use as a stocking stuffer. This issue also reveals the best essential oils for women along with easy to make gifts for the man in your life.

 

Your Chance to Win One of Our November Issues!

We’re giving away brand-new November issues to THREE lucky winners! Simply follow these steps to enter for your chance to win:

1) Click on your favorite spread above.

2) Pin or “Like” that particular issue.

3) If you pinned to Pinterest, share the link in the comments section below. If you “liked” on Facebook, tag us so we can see.

4) If you don’t have Facebook or Pinterest, please comment below and tell us which issue you find most appealing and why.

*Winners are selected at random and will be contacted via email. *$5 off discount applies to purchases of any of the following 2014 November issues only: Somerset Studio, Altered Couture, Art Doll Quarterly, Artful Blogging, GreenCraft Magazine, Where Women Create, and Willow and Sage. Discount code can be used only one time per customer, and expires 11/30/14. Contest is open to U.S. residents and ends 11/30/14 at 11:59pm.

 

Congratulations to Our Glimpse Inside Winners for the Month of October:

Susie Donovan, Pat Hauge, and Felicia Aaron

 

Congratulations to our Bella Grace Blog Hop Winners:

Tracy Snyder, Peggy Lee, Connie Pedersen, Charlene James, and Nadine Jordan
 

 
 


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Gabriela Altered CoutureArt Doll QuarterlyArtful BloggingGiveawayGlimpse InsideGreenCraft MagazineSomerset StudioUncategorizedWhere Women CreateWillow and Sage ,,,,,,,,,

Celebrate a bountiful and creative harvest with brand new Stampington publications. This November we’re hoping to rouse your sleepy muse with the inspiring images in Artful Blogging and the inventive and resourceful upcycled projects in GreenCraft. You definitely won’t want to miss the enchanting creatures in Art Doll Quarterly, or the new homemade, chemical-free bath […]

Get Published: November Calls and Challenges

October 31st, 2014

It’s not easy to become a published artist. It takes hard work, commitment, and at times, a thick skin. But in the end, it’s all worth it because there’s nothing like the feeling you get from seeing your work featured, front-and-center, in a magazine.

Being published in one of our magazines is a great way for up-and-coming artists to get recognition for their artwork, blogs, or current product lines. It’s also a wonderful way to inspire creativity amongst an audience of your peers.

Look through our calls and challenges and submit your work today!

 

Upcoming Calls and Challenges

 

Bella Grace
104_GRA1214_finalDesigned Quotes
Throughout each issue of Bella Grace are beautifully designed quotes. Photographers, graphic designers, illustrators, and artists of all types are invited to submit their own designed quotes. They can include photography, typography, hand-lettering, and more.

 

~Quote Maya Angelou and artwork by Jovana Rikalo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bella Grace

 

Photography
Picture submissions should capture the spirit of Bella Grace. They should depict simple moments, bits of romance, feelings of happiness, etc. Photography can be submitted on its own and will be considered for use with narratives or as the background for some of the quotes featured throughout the book.

 

~Photography by Annetta Bosakova

 

 

 

 

 

Narratives
We are currently looking for original narratives and poetry that focus on the idea that “life is a beautiful adventure.” Submitted work can be about simple pleasures, life lessons learned, slowing down, embracing your authentic self, and more. Written submissions can include accompanying photography, but we will also pair writers up with photographers if necessary.

 

Email images of your submissions to the editor at bellagrace@stampington.com. Please use Bella Grace Submission for the subject line.

Deadline: November 5th

If selected, we may ask you to send in your artwork or to provide us with hi-res versions of your photographs.

Altered Couture

Altered Couture - Calls and Challenges Modern Marilyn
For this challenge, we want you to create a garment, accessory, or ensemble channeling your favorite famous icon from the past or present. Make something for everyday wear or a special occasion, make it modern, and make sure it’s altered! Who inspired or still inspires you today — Marilyn Monroe, Gwen Stefani, Lorde, Madonna, Grace Jones, Audrey Hepburn, Twiggy, Diana Ross? Let us know, and show us what you can do!

 

~Dress by Paula Sloan

 

Deadline: December 15, 2014.

Mail in your submissions to the following address:

Stampington & Company
ATTN: Altered Couture
22992 Mill Creek Drive, Suite B
Laguna Hills, CA 92653

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art Doll Quarterly
Art Doll Quarterly - Calls and Challenges Black & White
Black and white is a long-time favorite color scheme for artists. We love the simplicity of black and white — the yin and yang, the opposite or contrary forces that are interconnected. Black can represent power, elegance, style, sadness, even evil. White can represent purity, peace, air, cleanliness, or emptiness and fear. For this challenge, we offer you no specific parameters other than to create a doll with the theme of “Black & White.” We’re sure our talented readers will reward us with wonderful submissions! Results will be published in our Summer 2015 issue.

 

~Artwork by Kevin Hill

 

 

 

 

 

Email images of your submissions to the editor at artdollquarterly@stampington.com. Please use Art Doll Quarterly Submission for the subject line.

Deadline: December 15, 2014.

If selected, we may ask you to send in your artwork or to provide us with hi-res versions of your photographs.

Art Journaling
Art Journaling - Calls and ChallengesIn every quarterly issue of Art Journaling, artists open their journals and share creative techniques for capturing their emotions. From stamping and collage art to painting and sketching, each journal is filled with innovative techniques and inspirational stories. If you have an art journal that you would like to share with our readers, we would love to hear from you.

 

~Artwork by Renee Zarate

 

Email images of your submissions to the editor at artjournaling@stampington.com. Please use Art Journaling Submission for the subject line.

Deadline: November  15, 2014.

If selected, we may ask you to send in your artwork or to provide us with hi-res versions of your photographs.

 

GreenCraft Magazine
GreenCraft Magazine - Calls and Challenges Feature Articles
Finding creative and cost-effective uses for old items is nothing new to artists, but the spirit of preserving the planet is more important than ever before. That’s why GreenCraft Magazine is here — to honor and inspire those who find artistic applications for normally discarded resources. GreenCraft features articles about repurposing trash to treasure and showcases projects where waste is upcycled into ecologically chic creations. Have you found a use for cardboard rolls left over from paper towels? Have you cut up an old T-shirt and knitted it into a purse? Have you taken a burned-out light bulb and made it into a beautiful flower vase? Have you transformed old board games into notebooks? Then we want to hear from you! Submit your recycled, reused and repurposed items to GreenCraft Magazine today!

Deadline: December 15th.

 

~Artwork by Meghan Horan

 

 

 

GreenCraft Magazine Repurposing Vintage
Thrift-store shoppers and junkers everywhere: We challenge you to reuse vintage in a fresh, upcycled manner. Adding paint or embellishments are just a couple examples of ways you can breathe new life into vintage items. Why not stop into your local thrift store or secondhand shop for inspiration?

Deadline: Ongoing.

 

~Artwork by Melinda Barnett

 

 

Email images of your submissions to the editor at greencraft@stampington.com. Please use GreenCraft Magazine Submission for the subject line.

If selected, we may ask you to send in your artwork or to provide us with hi-res versions of your photographs.

 

 

 

Haute Handbags
Haute Handbags - Calls and Challenges How do you carry it? That’s the question Somerset Studio would like to help answer through our new and exciting special publication titled Haute Handbags. Whether we use purses, clutches, totes, portfolios, sacks, bags, or attachés, there are many styles made with an astounding array of materials emerging from all corners of the creative world – all vying to be carried and used with style. You are welcome to construct a bag from scratch, or to purchase one that you embellish and alter with paints, beads, rubber stamps, ribbons, buttons, transparencies, and more. No medium or material is ruled out so use your imagination to make bags of leather, wool, fabric, paper, plastic, wood, glass, or any other materials that you love.

 

~Artwork by Lilla Le Vine

 

 

 

Email images of your submissions to the editor at hautehandbags@stampington.com. Please use Haute Handbags Submission for the subject line.

Deadline: November 15th.

If selected, we may ask you to send in your artwork or to provide us with hi-res versions of your photographs.

 

Still Have Questions About How to Submit?

If you have any general questions regarding submissions, please feel free to contact Art Management at submissions@stampington.com. If you want to see a full list of our current submission requests, please visit our Calls and Challenges page.

We hope to hear from you soon! Good luck, and keep creating.

 




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Gabriela About StampingtonAltered CoutureArt Doll QuarterlyArt JournalingBella GraceGreenCraft MagazineHaute Handbags ,,,,

It’s not easy to become a published artist. It takes hard work, commitment, and at times, a thick skin. But in the end, it’s all worth it because there’s nothing like the feeling you get from seeing your work featured, front-and-center, in a magazine. Being published in one of our magazines is a great way […]

Mini Pallet Organization Board Project

October 27th, 2014

Organization Board Project



Functionality and beauty come together in this lovely organization board. Forget thumb-tacks and neon-colored push-pins, instead you can use some naturally colored clothespins and a few kraft-colored notecards to keep yourself artistically organized through the holiday season.  Best of all, this Mini Pallet Organization Board Project is easy to personalize with different decorative wraps and clothespins, so you can customize it to fit the décor of your kitchen, office, bedroom, or studio. You just need a few items for this project, but the results can be amazing. Make one for yourself, or make a dozen and gift them to all of your favorite disorganized friends.

 

Mini Pallet Organization Board Project Materials:

Collage Pauge Medium Matte
Judikins Diamond Glaze
Decorative Wrap (We used Cavallini & Co. Decorative Wrap – Flora & Fauna Birds 2)
Foam Brushes
Ecology Natural Kraft Index Cards
Wooden Pallet (we used the 14 x 24 inch pallet)
Clothespins
Dark Wood Stain or Brown Acrylic Paint

Organization Board Project

Mini Pallet Organization Board Project Tutorial:

Step 1 – Start by staining your wood pallet with a dark brown wood stain, or alternatively, use brown acrylic paint. Allow to dry overnight.

Step 2 – Carefully cut your decorative wrap into strips that are slightly smaller than the width of the panels on your pallet. The idea is to connect them like a puzzle.

Step 3 – Using collage pauge and a foam brush, generously apply the adhesive to the panels. Do one at a time, starting from the left edge. Once the collage pauge is on the pallet, slowly and firmly press down the strips of paper. Continue this step on each pallet, making sure to match up the designs as you go.

Step 4 – After each strip has been glued down smoothly, paint a thin layer of the collage pauge over each panel.

Step 5 – Paint approximately 8 to 10 clothespins (just on one side) with Tattered Rose Distress paint (or any other color you want) and allow the pins to dry for a few hours.

Step 6 – Once the clothespins have dried, attach them to the pallet using a strong liquid adhesive like Diamond Glaze.

Organization Board Project

That’s it! You’re all done. Use this organization pallet with some coordinating colored paper or Ecology index cards. You can write lists, reminders, or affirmations on the cards and pin them up as reminders or for inspiration. You can also include photographs, cut out images, and just about anything else that can be held by the clothespins.

 

Need More Artful Ways to Get Organized?

Organization Projects Make your hours of creating more enjoyable, and discover innovative storage solutions in this collection of free organizational projects. Browse inventive ideas and easy tutorials that utilize jars, bottles, boxes, and more to functionally hold your favorite artistic tools, all while staying true to your style by displaying odds’n ends artfully.

Click here to browse over 150 free projects.

 
 


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Gabriela DIYFreebies ,,,,,,,,,

Functionality and beauty come together in this lovely organization board. Forget thumb-tacks and neon-colored push-pins, instead you can use some naturally colored clothespins and a few kraft-colored notecards to keep yourself artistically organized through the holiday season.  Best of all, this Mini Pallet Organization Board Project is easy to personalize with different decorative wraps and […]

Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice: 8 Artful Autumn Projects

October 23rd, 2014

blog_10-2014-sugar-spice



There’s a lot to love about autumn — the relief from hot summer days, the change of scenery from green to golden-brown, and all the fun activities. This season encompasses my two favorite holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving. There’s nothing quite as fun as giving candy to little witches and cowboys, or whatever other imaginative creature manages to make its way to my door, and the spirit of Thanksgiving is something that I’ve learned to appreciate a lot more as the years have passed. But by far, one of the best things about this season is all the wonderful projects and home décor ideas.

Autumn doesn’t have to be as over-the-top as winter or as understated as summer. Warm, neutral colors like browns, oranges, and beiges are great for décor, while personalizing the style is as easy as adding a bit of blue, green, or gold. Pumpkins, a staple of the fall season, come in all shapes, sizes, and even colors, plus you can use them in many projects and recipes. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! There are so many unique and interesting themes that go well with this season; if you need inspiration, just take a look on Pinterest.

In case you haven’t noticed yet, this is my favorite season so I am very happy to offer some ideas for a more authentic and artful autumn. You don’t need much to make the most of this time of year — just a few simple touches can bring in all the warmth of autumn right into your home.

 

Eight Artful Autumn Projects

Artful Autumn Hutch - Somerset Home Volume 9



1. Seasonal Hutch
“As the summer months begin to fade and the cool breezes of fall approach, I often turn to more neutral tones reminiscent of the harvest. Incorporating seasonal pumpkins — in this case, white babyboos— is an easy way to once again change the look of your display.”

~By Lucy Akins from the pages of Somerset Home.

One of my favorite things to decorate with seasonally-themed items is my living room hutch. It’s an often overlooked and underappreciated place, but with just a few special touches, it can bring a whole room together.

Artful Autumn - Artful Blogging Spring 2014



2. Jars of Spice
Spice racks make a wonderful display piece for any kitchen — but if you want to take a more rustic approach, ditch the organizers and display your tasty seasonings in darling little mason jars. You can take this a step further and add a bit of twine and a beautiful Cosmo Cricket Show Topper. Pick rich, vibrantly colored spices and put them out on your counter, or next to your stove. They’ll add warmth and functionality to your kitchen.

~Photograph by Staci Austin-Ducharme from the pages of Artful Blogging.

Artful Autumn Findings - Artful Blogging Spring 2014



3. Find Inspiration Everywhere
“The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely.”

~Louisa May Alcott

Whether you travel cross country to walk along the beach for the first time, or simply take a stroll out to your mailbox — look at the world with a hopeful heart and see the possibility that exists in everything. From broken seashells to the smallest dried leaf, nature has an abundance of beauty, and it’s there available to us all. This is a lot more apparent — in my opinion — during the fall. Collect any bits and pieces that interest you such as leaves, pinecones, stones, or anything else that catches your fancy, and then use them in your projects or display them out on a plate.

~Photograph by Jeanette Neels from the pages of Artful Blogging.

Artful Autumn - Somerset Life Autumn 2014



4. Cinnamon Pumpkin Candles
“What do you do when you can’t control the impulse to buy cute little pumpkins every time you visit the grocery store? … You might be thinking, “Duh, bake a pie!” Nope. Here’s what you do: You make pumpkin candles!”

~Stephanie Gerber

After seeing how easy it is to recreate these little candles, I absolutely agree with Stephanie. Making candles is a great and unexpected way to use your pumpkins, all you need for this is some wax pellets, a double broiler, a handful of wicks, some cinnamon sticks, and a few other materials. You can find the step-by-step instructions in the 2014 autumn issue of Somerset Life.

Artful Autumn - Placemats Project



5. Thankful Harvest Affaire Laminate Placemats Project
This project is simple but incredibly thoughtful. Cut out some kraft paper to use as placemats and then write “I’m Thankful For…” on the top right hand corner. You can embellish these placemats with stamps, stickers, leaf die cuts, or anything else you want. Use these during your Thanksgiving dinner and have your guests write down things that they are grateful for and then share once everyone is done. If you use permanent marker, you can even let your guests take them home as a lovely party favor.

Artful Autumn - Somerset Life Autumn 2014



6. Stovetop Potpourri
Throw a few slices of apples, some fresh orange peel, a couple of cinnamon sticks, and a handful of cloves into a pot of water and then set it to simmer on your stovetop. That’s all you need to create a wonderfully aromatic experience for your friends and family. The smell will fill your home with the sweet-smells and warmth attributed to autumn get-togethers. Just be sure to watch your pot carefully — you don’t want the water to completely evaporate and burn your pot.

~Photograph and project by Haeley Giambalvo from the pages of Somerset Life.

Artful Autumn - Wrapped Pumpkin Muffins Project



7. Harvest Affaire Wrapped Pumpkin Muffins
There’s already something very comforting about freshly baked muffins, but you can go a step further and add a little rustic charm by wrapping each one in some wax paper and a piece of natural hemp cord. This beautifully presented treat is the perfect snack to arrange in a basket and give to a friend along with artfully packaged jams, or you can take them along on a mid afternoon walk.

Artful Autumn - Somerset Life Summer 2014



8. Telling a Story with Timeworn Pieces
Vintage décor items are already quite beautiful and they always exhibit a unique charm, but I think they really come to life during the fall. Maybe it’s because autumn already feels so antique and timeworn, so it works to compliment vintage objects. Twigs, berries, and other autumn foliage are all great options for sprucing up an old vase, while setting a uniquely colored pumpkin next to it can pull it all together. A display like the one featured above doesn’t have to be expensive, but the results can be rather stunning.

~Photograph by Maria Marcusse from the pages of Somerset Life.

 

These eight projects are easy to replicate and will make your autumn feel more artful and definitely more enchanting. Let us know if you’ll be trying out any of these projects or if you have something else in the works!

 

Need More Artful Living Ideas?

The Home Decore Collection Craft your living space to suit your tastes with the unique home décor accents inside this artful collection. From antique wares and display pieces to vintage finds and feminine wearables, you can also find memorable gifts that will surprise and impress on occasion.

Click here to visit our Home Décor Collection.

 
 
 
 


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Gabriela Artful BloggingDIYHolidaysHow-ToSomerset Life ,,,,,,

There’s a lot to love about autumn — the relief from hot summer days, the change of scenery from green to golden-brown, and all the fun activities. This season encompasses my two favorite holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving. There’s nothing quite as fun as giving candy to little witches and cowboys, or whatever other imaginative creature […]

Crème de la Crème of Free Ephemera Downloads

October 20th, 2014

 Free Ephemera



 

Ephemera downloads are as fun to collect as they are to use. That’s why we try to offer them as often as we can here at Somerset Place, but did you know that you can also get them in our Post Script Newsletter? Apart from bringing you great content, exclusive discounts on Stampington publications and products, and free projects, Post Script also offers free ephemera downloads and updates on new additions to our ephemera library on e-Crafting.com.

What better way to encourage your creativity than with stunning vintage images that harken back to older days, or that showcase curious scenarios?

For this grouping of free ephemera, we pulled some of our favorite images out of past Post Script collections, from elaborate designs to the most fashionable members of high society. Download these nine images to your computer and use them whole as the centerpiece for a collage or cut them up for your mixed-media projects — the possibilities are endless.

Click here to view these images at full size and to download yours today. To incorporate even more vintage ephemera and digitally altered pieces into your artwork, visit e-Crafting.com.

Don’t miss anymore free ephemera downloads — click here to sign up for Post Script today!
 

 


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Gabriela EphemeraFreebies ,,,,,

    Ephemera downloads are as fun to collect as they are to use. That’s why we try to offer them as often as we can here at Somerset Place, but did you know that you can also get them in our Post Script Newsletter? Apart from bringing you great content, exclusive discounts on Stampington […]