We Asked the Artists: What Motivates You?

May 23rd, 2015

Motivation is a complicated thing. When we are trying to create, sometimes it feels like the muse is trying to break down the door to help us, but other times the muse might not appear at all. Before we throw in the towel and quit, let’s hear from our fellow artists about how they are motivated to work and what they struggle with. We asked the artists:

What motivates you? When you find yourself in an artistic rut, what inspires you to get going again?

Zarate We Asked the Artists Motivation

~Artwork by Renee Zarate

“I am generally motivated by something I see in print or online.  If I’m in a rut I will answer a challenge of some sort either online or in a magazine.  There are challenge calls that go out daily online; these can lead to all sorts of new ideas.”

Renee Zarate has been featured in Art Journaling, The Stampers’ Sampler, Somerset Studio, Take Ten, Somerset Studio Gallery, and HandCrafted.

Moncrieff We Asked the Artists Motivation

~Artwork by Lynne Moncrieff

 

“Working predominantly with rubber stamps, it is the stamps themselves which motivate me and inspire me. I am on a few DTs:- Oxford Impressions, Darkroom Door, Crafty Individuals, That’s Crafty and also working with PaperArtsy and Redlead Paperworks  so there is plenty to keep me motivated!For those times I find myself in a rut, I simply play, either making backgrounds or tea staining tags, lace, etc or prepping substrates, working with supplies without feeling any pressure to create. I also keep a journal where I note ideas and thumbnail sketches; this is a useful resource for me.  Of course, Stampington & co publications will always inspire and I always re-read back issues time and again.”

Lynne Moncrieff is an artist living in Perth, Scotland, and has been published in Somerset Studio, Somerset Studio Gallery, Take Ten, Haute Handbags, Somerset Life, Somerset Holidays & Celebrations, Sew Somerset, and The Stampers’ Sampler.

Anna Corba We Asked the Artists Motivation

~Artwork by Anna Corba

“I am material-driven.  Returning from a flea market with an aged spool of ribbon, water-stained ledger book, or cache of vintage postcards will elicit a need to transform them into something new, perhaps something prettier, or something with a fresh, layered meaning. I will be seduced into arranging them in a format that respects their individual characteristics yet takes them a step further than they ever knew they wanted to go!”

Anna Corba has been published in Mingle, Somerset Studio, and HandCrafted, as well as publishing her own book, Doodling in French: How to Draw with Joie de Vivre. Her book and stamp line are available at The Shoppe.

Seth Apter We Asked the Artists Motivation

~Artwork by Seth Apter

“I am one of the lucky ones in that I never feel as though I am in a creative rut. Part of that comes from working on multiple projects at a time. There is always something to do that is calling my name.”

Seth Apter is the author of The Pulse of Mixed Media and his work has appeared in Somerset Memories, Somerset Studio, and Somerset Apprentice.

Claudine Hellmuth We Asked the Artists Motivation

~Artwork by Claudine Hellmuth

“I try very hard to take the weekends off now. I didn’t used to and that quickly led to burn out. So for me, the weekends are relax and recharge time. I take lots of naps, hang out with friends, and read. My husband and I will go to a movie, etc. That’s a perfect weekend in my book — naps and a movie!”

Claudine Hellmuth is an artist and illustrator whose work has appeared in Where Women Create, Stuffed Magazine, Somerset Studio, and Artful Blogging. She has also produced a line of stamps available in The Shoppe.

Michelle E. Black We Asked the Artists Motivation

~Artwork by Michelle E. Black

“My life really.  I have always been rather reflective, determined to learn from my life as it presented itself to me.  I wrote in journals, took visual notes with my camera and planned adventures for me to experience the most out of this crazy adventure called life.  Then when I had children, they were my greatest adventure.  With them I celebrated the details of their lives much in the same way.  Art is infused in my everyday living and nature is my greatest reprieve and most inspirational canvas from which I draw the most inspiration from.”

Michelle E. Black is a photographer and artist that has been published in Somerset Studio Gallery, Somerset HomeSomerset Holidays & Celebrations, Somerset Apprentice, and Somerset Studio.

Sandra Evertson We Asked the Artists Motivation

~Artwork by Sandra Evertson

“That’s such an interesting question, and one that is really very hard to answer… Does anyone really know what that stimulating source is? What lamp their muse escaped from?! Truthfully I’m not quite sure exactly what that white-hot spark is but I know it’s there! It’s burning all the time. My muse is apparently a restless little thing. It doesn’t let me sleep; it whispers all sorts of ideas to me.  I am flooded with so many sometimes I can’t keep up with it. I haven’t ever wandered into a rut. I don’t think I could find one if I wanted to, my muse hides those ruts from me!”

Sandra Evertson’s work has appeared in Somerset Home, Somerset Studio Gallery, Somerset Studio, Artful Blogging, Somerset Workshop, and Altered Couture. She has also produced five, whimsical stamp collections that are exclusively available in  The Shoppe.

The next time you’re in an artistic rut, follow these artists’ advice and pull from a new material, a new project, or life in general. Find inspiration and get back to working on your masterpiece.

Have a creative idea for getting out of an artistic rut or finding inspiration? Leave a comment below.


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Sarah CommunityGuest ArtistWe Asked the Artists ,,,,

Motivation is a complicated thing. When we are trying to create, sometimes it feels like the muse is trying to break down the door to help us, but other times the muse might not appear at all. Before we throw in the towel and quit, let’s hear from our fellow artists about how they are […]

Seeing Flowers by Guest Artist Renee Stien: a Mixed-Media Canvas

May 19th, 2015

Today, we’d like to give a warm Somerset Place welcome to mixed-media artist Renee Stien, who has graciously stopped by to share this step-by-step tutorial on how to make your own bouquet of flowers on canvas. We especially like how customizable this project is and love Renee’s suggestion for artists to improvise!


Seeing Flowers Guest Artist Renee Stien

Henri Matisse said, “There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”

Maybe I’m reading way too much into these words, but to me this is a great reminder that a positive attitude is a choice available to each of us. It is not always the choice we make, but it is always an option.

In a more literal sense it is true; there are always flowers around us. Maybe the flowers are on the wallpaper, on a tissue box or on a package of cheese in your refrigerator; you may have to search a bit, but the flowers are there.

As a reminder to choose a positive attitude I made my own bouquet of flowers so I can see them whenever I need to.

If you would like to make your own bouquet but do not have exactly the same things, you can easily improvise with something you have on hand. These are the supplies that I used:

Instructions:

1.  Paint the canvas panel with black gesso and set aside to dry.

2. Tear the papers into assorted sized circles and use an ink pad to ink around the edges.

tear paper Seeing Flowers Guest Artist Renee Stien

3. Assemble flowers by layering different sized circles and securing them with a brad. Use a little bit of glue with a glue stick on the center of each circle to help make sure they stay in place. Bend the petals up around the edges to add a little dimension.

Seeing Flowers Guest Artist Renee Stien

4. Cut strips from one of the papers for stems and ink around the edges. Place the paper flowers, ribbon flowers and appliqué flowers on the dry canvas and play around with the positioning, leaving space to add two or more modeling paste flowers. When you are happy with the layout, glue down the paper flowers with Aleene’s tacky glue.

Seeing Flowers Guest Artist Renee Stien

5. Mix Modeling Paste with acrylic paint and apply to the canvas with a palette knife through a flower shaped stencil and set aside to dry.

Seeing Flowers Guest Artist Renee Stien

6.  Give the ribbon flowers a little extra touch with a bit of blue, orange and white acrylic paint. Dry brush the paint on a few areas of each flower and then touch up the edges with walnut ink. With the same blue acrylic paint use your finger or a brush to paint a loose circle where you plan to adhere the ribbon flowers, this will help the ribbon flowers stand out. When the painted areas are dry, glue the ribbon flowers and the appliqué flowers in place and add paper stems to the modeling paste flowers.

Seeing flowers Guest Artist Renee Stien

7. Finish the piece with the detail work. Use a white Sharpie paint pen to make dots along the stems and around the flowers, black and white gel pens to outline and draw stems to some of the flowers and a white charcoal pencil to fill in the blank areas with wispy stems and leaves. Finally dry brush blue paint to fill any bare spots.

Seeing Flowers Guest Artist Renee Stien

8. Your canvas bouquet is ready to display. I opted for one last added dimension with mine and I used sticky foam squares to mount the canvas on the outside glass of a frame.

Seeing Flowers Guest Artist Renee Stien

Here is another example of a flower canvas using the same basic idea. By using a different color scheme and changing up the steps a bit you can create a piece with a totally different feel.

Seeing Flowers Guest Artist Renee Stien

I hope you will make your own flowers on canvas; I would love to see them.

What a beautiful idea! Somerset Place would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Renee Stien for sharing this inspirational, creative tutorial with our followers.

You can see more of Renee Stien’s work in the May/June issue of Somerset Studio. She also welcomes visitors at her blog: thetingoat.blogspot.com

Renee’s artwork has also been published in a number of Stampington titles, including Somerset Apprentice, Artists’ Cafe, Somerset Studio Gallery, and Art Journaling.


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Sarah DIYGuest ArtistHow-ToSomerset StudioTechniques ,,,,,,,,,

Today, we’d like to give a warm Somerset Place welcome to mixed-media artist Renee Stien, who has graciously stopped by to share this step-by-step tutorial on how to make your own bouquet of flowers on canvas. We especially like how customizable this project is and love Renee’s suggestion for artists to improvise! Henri Matisse said, […]

Get Published: June Calls & Challenges

May 15th, 2015

If you’re an artist, Stampington wants to see your work. To better your chances of being published in one of our magazines, here is the list of June calls & challenges. This is what we are looking to publish in upcoming issues and our editors can’t wait to see what you have created.

Getting published in one of our magazines can be a great way to gain exposure for your artwork, your blog, and you as an artist. We encourage you to submit consistently and often, even if you aren’t accepted the first time. Continue to submit and you’ll better your chances of making it into the publication.

For a complete list of what our magazines are looking for, please visit our calls and challenges page. Visit our submission guidelines for details about formatting and labeling your artwork.

 

June Calls & Challenges:

 

 

Altered Couture banner

Altered Couture June Calls & Challenges

~Artwork by Marybeth Lewanski

We invite you to submit your own altered and embellished clothing items to be considered for publication in Altered Couture. Items published in the past include skirts, dresses, pants, tops, jackets, vests, shoes, and accessories.Please submit a “before” photo along with your altered creation, if available. Photos and illustrations showing your process are also strongly encouraged. We also encourage you to submit to our challenges below.
Deadline: June 15

Anything Athletic
That’s right — anything athletic! We want to see what you can upcycle with themes of fitness, health, sports, and fun in mind. You can upcycle old sports uniforms, alter everyday clothes into workout clothes, make everyday clothes with an athletic theme or as a tribute to your favorite athlete, or even make sporting accessories like bags or sweatbands. Get your sewing machines going and break a sweat!
Deadline: June 15

 

 

 

Art Doll Quarterly banner

Art Doll Quarterly June Calls & Challenges

~Artwork by Valerie Bunnell

The Dance
Everyone has a different interpretation of the word “dance,” and given the bevy of dance shows on TV we know that dancing is a popular subject. There are as many ways to construe dancing as there are salsa songs! With absolutely no shortage of ideas … Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers, the romantic Giselle, the classical Swan Lake, Patrick Swayze and Jenifer Grey, hip-hop, jazz, the tango … we know you’ll have fun with this challenge. So put on some music, dance a little jig and get moving! There are no hard and fast rules. Simply take a spin with your muse and show us how you can translate “The Dance” into an art doll.
Results will be published in our Winter 2015 issue.
Deadline: June 15

 

Artful Blogging Banner

Artful Blogging June Calls & Challenges

~Photo by Samantha Heather

Let Artful Blogging be your guide as you discover a world filled with visual delights from today’s most inspirational artists, writers, and photographers. In their own words, read how blogging fits into the creative lives of artists and creative souls like yourself. Filled with full-color photography, illustration, mixed-media and assemblage, fabric and vintage artwork — whether or not you have a blog of your own, you will find no richer landscape to spark your own creative fires. If you are the creator of a blog or know of one that you think other creative minds would like to know about, please send a letter of interest to the Managing Editor at artfulblogging@stampington.com.
Deadline: June 15

GreenCraft banner

GreenCraft Magazine June Calls & Challenges

~Artwork by Sharon Condrat

Feature Articles 
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? Then we want to hear from you! Submit your recycled, reused and repurposed items to GreenCraft Magazine today!
Deadline: June 15

Somerset Studio banner

Somerset Studio June Calls & Challenges

~Artwork by Mary Beth Shaw

Winter Magic
There is so much inspiration to be found once winter rolls around. The whites and silvers of a cold, snowy day can be the perfect color palette for your next mixed-media masterpiece. Holidays, such as Christmas and Hanukkah, can be the jumping-off point for a new collection of cards you’ve been yearning to make. For our November/December 2015 issue, we want you to grab your favorite supplies and cozy up next to the fire. Pour yourself a steaming cup of tea and get to work making artwork inspired by winter. Altered books, assemblages, collages … we want to see them all!
Absolute Deadline: June 15

Willow and Sage banner

Willow and Sage June Calls & Challenges

~Artwork by Kate Bello

Willow and Sage magazine 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.
Here’s what we’re looking for:
• bath salts and soaks • solid perfumes • natural scents • homemade soaps • chemical-free lotions and make-up • face masks • sugar scrubs • soy and wax candles • unique spa kits • gift bundles • handmade bath and body products in beautiful packaging • and more
Deadline: June 15

 

So remember, get your art submissions in  by June 15th to be considered for these publications. Good luck!

Be sure to read the submission guidelines before you submit.

If you have any additional questions about the submission process, please direct them to submissions@stampington.com.


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Sarah Altered CoutureArt Doll QuarterlyArtful BloggingChallengesGreenCraft MagazineSomerset StudioWillow and Sage ,,,,,,,,

If you’re an artist, Stampington wants to see your work. To better your chances of being published in one of our magazines, here is the list of June calls & challenges. This is what we are looking to publish in upcoming issues and our editors can’t wait to see what you have created. Getting published […]

Start a Summer Book Club with Artistic Flair

May 12th, 2015

summer book club projects
Thinking about starting a summer book club? Here are some ideas to bring artistic finesse to your book club and even a few suggestions for books to read.

Summer is a great time to catch up on your reading, crafting, and relaxing. This summer, I’m hoping to finally make it to the end of “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo.  I’m on page 374 of 798. It’s going to take perseverance, but I’m ready to have this book checked off my reading list. Unfortunately, I couldn’t convince anyone to take on the challenge of reading an almost 800 page book, so I am going it alone. Next time, I’d like a partner.

So for my next book, I was thinking that a book club would be a wonderful summer activity when the heat of the mid-afternoon sends us all indoors and we look for the solace of a good book.

Here are a few ideas to get your book club off the ground:

 

book club invitationsInvitations

Nothing will convince a person to spend hours of their life reading a book with you than a personalized invitation to make them feel special. This project from The Studio was originally meant to announce a book exchange, but it would be perfect to invite people to your book club as well. Wrap the first book they’ll be reading in kraft paper and attach a library card with their name on it and information about the group’s meetings.

These invitations are sure to thrill the recipients. Plus, they can put the library card on the inside of the book to remind them of the date and time of meetings or they can jot notes about which chapters they are reading next.

 

customized book coversSetting the Mood

Book clubs should be fun! It seems obvious, but I’ve seen one too many book discussions where things turned ugly or the entire group was unable to finish the monstrous number of pages that were assigned (I read 250 pages in a week for one of them). Even if you only discuss four pages that week, the priority should be on enjoying yourself.  Provide snacks, kick off the shoes, dress collectively in sweatpants — anything to add to the pleasure and enjoyment of reading a good book.

Another option for bringing the fun up a notch is to craft together. Make a group t-shirt or create these customized book covers. If the book gets too overwhelming, have a free week where you just hang out. In fact, you could even make it a game that anyone who says the word “book” has to do something crazy, like hop on one foot. Or, you could create a project that is inspired by the book you’re reading, like these Alice in Wonderland-themed bookmarks.

 

Picking a Book

Picking a book for a group of readers can be a daunting task. However, my advice would be to start with a classic that your members haven’t read in a while or that some members haven’t read at all. Classics seem to always be on everyone’s “to read list,” and assigning one for a book club could be the perfect motivation to finally tackle it. Picking a classic also means that there are more resources when something doesn’t make sense or needs explaining.

A bad book can spell disaster for a book club. If you pick something that was just released, make sure that the book you choose has some good reviews before committing.

bookmarks for the bookworm project summer book clubHere are some classic titles to start a book club with:

  • “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen
  • “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett
  • “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte
  • “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen
  • “The Paris Wife” by Paula McLain
  • “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain
  • “The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger
  • “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • “Mrs. Dalloway” by Virginia Woolf
  • “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
  • “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens
  • “The Other Boleyn Girl” by Philippa Gregory
  • “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck
  • “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley
  • “Madame Bovary” by Gustave Flaubert
  • “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie
  • “Gulliver’s Travels” by Jonathan Swift

I hope your book club is a huge success.  As C.S. Lewis once said, “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

 

Are you reading a great book right now? Have an idea for how to artistically motivate other readers? Leave a comment below to tell us!

 

 

 


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Sarah BooksDIYHow-To ,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Thinking about starting a summer book club? Here are some ideas to bring artistic finesse to your book club and even a few suggestions for books to read. Summer is a great time to catch up on your reading, crafting, and relaxing. This summer, I’m hoping to finally make it to the end of “Les […]

6 Sure-Fire Ways to Make Your Mother Feel Special on Mother’s Day

May 8th, 2015

Let’s face it — we owe our mothers everything. They gave us life, they gave us support and love, they gave us punishments (that we deserved).  How my mother survived raising me, I’ll never know.  I was the kind of kid that never had skin on her knees and had the bad habit of telling my mom about all my bad ideas after I’d already done them.  But my mother  lived to tell the tale and I give her all the credit for my success.

That being said, I’ve failed at Mother’s Day quite a few times. When I tried to make her a pancake breakfast as a child, I nearly burned the house down. A couple years ago, I made her a bracelet that she had an allergic reaction to and spent her Mother’s Day rubbing allergy medication onto her wrist. Last year, I went on with my normal routine and didn’t realize until I asked a friend out to lunch that it was Mother’s Day. She asked why I wasn’t spending the day with my mom, and I said “Why would I?” Needless to say, this year I aim to do better.

If you’re like me, or you need an extra push in the right direction, here are a few ways to make this year’s Mother’s Day extra special:

homemade Mother's Day gift ideas breakfast in bed decoupage plate

1. Breakfast in Bed

This is a classic. If it’s been your go-to for the past couple of years, then this might not be the most original way of showing that you care. However, if you’ve never done it, your mother deserves to eat in style at least once. Even my char-grilled pancakes brought a smile to my mother’s face — she even ate one.

Also, presentation is everything.  Put a flower or two in a jar to really put your tray over the top. These customized plates can also be a great addition that shows your mother that you thought of everything. For food inspiration, check out our Where Women Cook pinterest board.

2. Gift of Time

Time seems to be the one thing that there is never enough of. On Mother’s Day, make an effort to help her slow down. Let Mom take a breath and relax. Time could be gifted by spending time with her, doing things that would normally take up her time (dishes, laundry, errands, etc.), or by giving her time away from you. Yes, I did say time away from you. The ultimate gift could be packing up the family and heading to the park while Mom gets to have a day to herself.

Giving time could also be as simple as calling her. My grandmother always prefaces every phone conversation with “you’re not too busy?” On Mother’s Day, I’ll be calling her up and starting the conversation with “Let’s talk for as long as you like.”

3. Let Her Decide

Odds are your mother has an idea of what would really make her happy. If your mother is an artist, maybe she’d like to make something with you or have you show an interest in her hobbies.  Maybe she wants a day of peace. Maybe she’d rather go skydiving.

A fantastic way of showing you care is to ask her what she’d like. Most importantly, do whatever she asks with a smile on your face.  Our family did a Sound of Music Tour in Austria a couple years ago because that is what my mom was dying to do. Some of us did better than others with the smiling, but there’s only so many times you can listen to Do-Re-Mi before succumbing to a frown.

homemade Mother's Day gift ideas art journal page scrapbook

4. Surprise Her

This idea is not for the faint of heart. The opposite of letting her decide, this requires knowing what she’d enjoy and being able to execute that with the stealth and secrecy of a ninja or a super spy. Surprises take time and planning and bravery. Take her for a limo ride, plan a choreographed dance with the rest of the family, or treat her to her favorite restaurant. Just make sure that she doesn’t get tipped off to what’s going to happen!

Surprises can also be homemade.  You could put photos in a scrapbook or make an art journal that features your favorite moments. Or pamper mom with a recipe from our homemade bath and body projects.

5. Find a Little Extravagance

For those of us who can’t afford skywriting our mother’s name in the sky, we can achieve the same effect by thinking small. My mom really likes fancy office supplies. She is a teacher who goes through pounds of paper and buckets of paper clips. A monogrammed list pad with some decorated paper clips would mean a lot to her.

Gift ideas don’t always have to be ambitious, sometimes it really is the thought that counts. If your mom has a special nail polish or favorite candy, that’s enough. Have an extra scoop of ice cream together or watch her favorite movie together. This simple Mother’s Day bracelet takes a few minutes, but she can wear it all year round.Mothers Day gift ideas bracelet homemade

homemade Mother's Day gift ideas unique card banner

6. Give Her a Mother’s Day Card

This might seem obvious, but it’s easy to get swept away with grand gestures and forget to give her a traditional card. A card doesn’t have to be cliché, either. Add some excitement by hand-stamping it, or include photos and memories that make the card personal. A banner could also be a great alternative to a card. Accordion-fold the pieces, tie a ribbon around it, and your mom can open it like a card, then hang it on the wall as a decoration to celebrate the day.

 

 

We hope that these ideas have inspired you to spoil your mother on May 10th and make her feel extra special. These are quick and easy ideas that even I could accomplish. It’s the day to make mothers feel appreciated, so may her smiles be many and your disasters be few.  And from everyone at Stampington, Happy Mother’s Day.



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Sarah DIYHow-To ,,,,,,,,,,,

Let’s face it — we owe our mothers everything. They gave us life, they gave us support and love, they gave us punishments (that we deserved).  How my mother survived raising me, I’ll never know.  I was the kind of kid that never had skin on her knees and had the bad habit of telling […]

Free Article Download: Crafting with Chanel

May 5th, 2015

Crafting with Chanel Free Article Download perfume canvasesSome shapes are iconic. You would recognize them a mile away —The Red Cross,  Apple, Google, Coca Cola, Pixar. A simple extendable office lamp or bottles with red lettering are immediately identified because they are a part of our everyday lives.

The Chanel perfume bottle is one of those icons. It stands for elegance, simplicity, and grace.  In the 1920s, Chanel wanted the design to be simple and a sharp contrast to the elaborate bottles of other popular perfumes. The bottle has been the same since 1924.

It is this bottle that Becky Shander experimented with for her mixed-media canvases. The canvases finished appearance is shabby chic, soft, and understated. Becky Shander shares her secrets for creating these perfume bottles in this article from Somerset Studio Summer 2012. A template provided the basic shape of the bottles, and the texture was accomplished with watercolor paper, wax paper, and rows of stitches. Get the full tutorial by clicking on the page below for your free article download.

Free Article Download:

perfume bottle canvases Somerset Studio Crafting with Chanel free article download title page

For more inspiring projects like this one, read Somerset Studio, available bimonthly.

Share your ideas for using iconography for artwork in the comments below. 


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Sarah Free Article DownloadFreebiesHow-ToSomerset Studio ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Some shapes are iconic. You would recognize them a mile away —The Red Cross,  Apple, Google, Coca Cola, Pixar. A simple extendable office lamp or bottles with red lettering are immediately identified because they are a part of our everyday lives. The Chanel perfume bottle is one of those icons. It stands for elegance, simplicity, […]

Glimpse Inside May Issues and You Could Win a Free Magazine!

April 30th, 2015
glimpse inside May Issues discount code Receive $5 off select May titles ($14.99 and above). Copy and paste coupon code BLOG0515 when prompted at checkout. (Discount code can be used only once per customer).

Willow and Sage

Willow and Sage Glimpse Inside May
Come and celebrate a full year of Willow and Sage with us! With over 25 different recipes, gorgeous packaging ideas for handcrafted bath and body products, and beautiful Somerset-style photography, we’re certain that you’ll find all the inspiration you need to take up this unique craft. In this issue, we’re offering herbal tips on getting a good night’s sleep and lovely, aromatic concoctions for soaking your sore muscles, plus learn how to create a spa in a jar — just in time for Mother’s Day. We’re also showcasing creative ways to turn your tea stash into soap scrubs, sweet tub teas that even children can make, and even more innovative ways to use essential oils.

 

Prims

Prims Magazine Glimpse Inside May
Travel back to a bygone era with the nostalgic and folkloric dolls inside our summer issue of Prims. Dawn Tubbs’ Miss Liberty, Uncle Sam, and Dogs In the Boat, all come together to evoke sweet summer days, and the wonderful patriotic sentiments of Independence Day. You will also discover beautifully handcrafted creations, like the Ladies of Lickety-Split by Penny Baugh, Franklin Mouse by P.K. Gracia, and Penny Poppet by Rachael Kinnison. Don’t miss out on Donna Dobos’ Primitive Pineapple, Wendy Simon’s Scrappy Chickens, or Tammy Franck’s elegant birds. This issue is sure to be a page-turner!

 

GreenCraft Magazine

GreenCraft Magazine Glimpse Inside May
Summer is coming, and so is the latest issue of GreenCraft Magazine! In this new installment, you will find intriguing and inventive projects to take up your vacation time. Learn how to revamp an old T-shirt for maximum fun in the sun, create a notebook from recycled materials, and document all your summer adventures, and make a purse from scrappy leftovers, which is ideal for outdoor events. You’ll also discover how to use a burlap rice sack to make an apron and a set of shabby-chic bags, plus give old cylinder mailers a second life by turning them into delicate, feminine bottle holders. Don’t miss out on these and many other great summer projects.

 

Somerset Studio

Somerset Studio Glimpse Inside May
Push your creativity to the limit with an array of never-before-seen features inside the summer installment of Somerset Studio.  Find the results of Ranger’s annual design challenge, plus follow along as Renee Stien shares ideas for making mixed-media décor. We’re also excited to offer an inspiring Artist Profile on Jessie Chorley, who tells magnificent stories through collage and embroidery. Don’t miss out on Sarah Westwood’s whimsical wax creations, and pick up a few techniques on how to use paste papers in new and exciting ways. There’s tons of inspiration to be found in this summer issue, so be sure to pick up your copy.

 

Altered Couture

Altered Couture Glimpse Inside May
Get the hottest styles just in time for summer with the latest issue of Altered Couture. This May, we’re bringing back some very skilled designers, like Nancy Romans, Margot Silk Forrest, Diane Aguilar, Brenda Greenfield, Wendy Bryant, and more, and introducing new names who offer interesting ideas and upcycles. You’ll learn three ways to alter scarves into tops, and new ways to repurpose camera straps, American flag shorts, and a jean pinafore. Find seasonal clothing and DIY inspiration for stylish kimonos, boho vests and bags, friendly fox pumps, and the perfect tanks for summer. Plus, we’re proud to reveal the results of the Modern Marilyn Challenge, where we asked artists to channel their favorite icon and alter away. Don’t miss it!

 

Where Women Create

Where Women Create Glimpse Inside May
Does your crafting nook need a new look? Find the inspiration to rejuvenate your studio space in the summer issue of Where Women Create. This issue is filled with the workspaces of talented and creative women like Debra Andriulli of Homespun Living, and Bethany Kramer who makes gorgeous pottery and ceramic sculptures. Also, don’t miss out on the artistic quarters of Betz White — designer, artist, and best-selling author. We’ll also drop in on Jona Thomson of Little Hill Farm, Beckah Krahula, Anne Freund, Melody Nunez, and many others.

 

Artful Blogging

Artful Blogging Glimpse Inside May
Join us and explore a world full of creativity, heart-touching stories, and exceptional photography in the summer issue of Artful Blogging. Kayla Krajna’s shares the importance of having a creative outlet in a hectic existence, while Sara Charlesworth invites us to enjoy the romantic, dramatized moments of everyday life on her blog Chalk White Arrow. Learn how Julia Barger’s blogging journey began with the simple act of journaling, and discover Ashley Hallmark’s unique style and love for storytelling on her blog Ruby & Perry. We’ll introduce you to Anna Drozd’s unconventional blogging style on her blog Scrapowina, and immerse you in the ultra-chic world of Amy Schwager’s fashion-forward illustrations.

 

Art Doll Quarterly

Art Doll Quarterly Glimpse Inside May
Welcome summer with this issue of Art Doll Quarterly! Our Doll Artist Profile features Valerie Bunnell, who infuses her figures with identities that blur the line between the real and the make-believe. We’re also delighted to present an article by Lisa Lichtenfels, who discusses techniques for creating realistic sculptures with fabric. Follow up on part two of Lillian Alberti’s behind the scenes peek at ODACA, plus don’t miss out on Girl Scout dolls by Maureen Regalado, vintage circus clowns by Deborah Bowe, and spectacular, miniature sculptures by Kristiina Meiner. Also, we’re revealing the results of our Black & White Challenge — from a dashing pirate to an enchanting fairy, and themes of unrequited love to dolls inspired by Emily Dickinson, these creations are sure to inspire.

 

Enter our Glimpse Inside Giveaway for a Free Magazine!

We’re giving away a brand-new May issue to three lucky winners. Leave us a comment about which issue you can’t wait to get your hands on for your chance to win.

Winners will be randomly selected and contacted via email. Contest is open to U.S. residents only, and ends 5/31/15 at 11:59pm PST.

 

*$5 off coupon code applies to purchases of any of the following (Summer ’15) issues only:  Altered Couture, Artful Blogging, GreenCraft Magazine, Prims, Where Women Create, and Willow and Sage. Coupon code does not apply to Somerset Studio or Art Doll Quarterly. Discount code can be used only one time per customer and expires 5/31/15.

 


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Sarah Altered CoutureArt Doll QuarterlyArtful BloggingGlimpse InsideGreenCraft MagazinePrimsSomerset StudioWhere Women CreateWillow and Sage ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Receive $5 off select May titles ($14.99 and above). Copy and paste coupon code BLOG0515 when prompted at checkout. (Discount code can be used only once per customer). Willow and Sage Come and celebrate a full year of Willow and Sage with us! With over 25 different recipes, gorgeous packaging ideas for handcrafted bath and body products, and […]

75+ Mother’s Day Gift Ideas with Exclusive Savings Inside!

April 29th, 2015

Mother's Day Gift-Giving Guide

Remember when your mom helped you with a history project until three in the morning? Or when she let you ride your bike by yourself, but then followed in her car for two miles to make sure you didn’t get run over? Remember how many PB& J sandwiches she made you? She’s been there through it all. She’s taken care of you and raised you and made you feel special — now it’s your turn to return the favor.

Our Mother’s Day Gift-Giving Guide has everything you need to make your mother smile on her special day. From ready-made gifts to handmade projects, we have all the ideas you’ll need to treat her. Our Papaya Art products and designer wearables are perfect for any mom on-the-go. There are plenty of ideas to assist you in making the perfect gift for her, too. Pamper her with our homemade bath and body collection, or give her an IceMilk apron that comes beautifully packaged in its own jar with a twine bow. If your mother would love an infusion of creative energy this Mother’s Day, then we have books, magazines, and supplies to help her reach all of her artistic goals.

For a limited time, receive 15% of your entire purchase from Stampington.com. Look inside our Mother’s Day guide to scoop up our exclusive coupon code.

 

*Offer expires 5-15-2015. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Limit one use per customer.

 

For even more Mother’s Day inspiration, click here to view our Mother’s Day collection. The collection has even more ideas for treating mom to the perfect Mother’s Day. From artisan gifts to the crafting essentials, Stampington & Company has everything you need to put a smile on her face.

 

 


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Sarah Glimpse InsideHolidaysShoppeSneak Peek ,,,,,,,,,,

Remember when your mom helped you with a history project until three in the morning? Or when she let you ride your bike by yourself, but then followed in her car for two miles to make sure you didn’t get run over? Remember how many PB& J sandwiches she made you? She’s been there through […]

The Editors Reveal a Few of their Favorite Spring Issue Features

April 24th, 2015

by Cynthia Levens

Spring Finds Grid

What comes to mind when you think of spring? As editors at Stampington & Company, we think of all the new incoming artwork to publish in our magazines. Spring is often associated with liveliness, energy, and warmth, which is reflected in the quality of artwork we receive around this time of year. Excitement ensues as we open boxes and boxes of fun artisan items. We wanted to pick just a few of our favorite finds from our spring publications to spotlight and share with you. These works of art stood out and really resonated with us; read on to find out why.

Altered Couture Spring Favorites The delicate layers of lace on Diane Utley-Aguilar’s dreamy linen dress are mesmerizing; they perfectly cascade all around the bottom. This linen and lace romance is a match made in heaven, to be worn by a bride on her special day. Find more of Diane’s altered artwork in Altered Couture.
Belle Armoire Jewelry Spring Favorites Perhaps the most remarkable part of this necklace is the handmade focal piece. Lynne Suprock fell in love with a druzy pendant at an art show in Pennsylvania. Mounted in 18-karat gold, and vying for a spot in Lynne’s jewelry stash at home, the piece had a price that was too extravagant. Being the prolific jewelry designer that Lynne is, she re-created the must-have piece with casting resin in her home studio.  It is incomparably unique, and can be found in Belle Armoire Jewelry.
Art Journaling Spring Favorites Jenny Petricek shares the first journal she created after a long break from art due to illness and heartbreak. She shares, “While writing is still an integral part of my practice, I’m amazed at how the artistic acts of collaging and painting have provided me with an even more therapeutic method of dealing with the ups and downs of life.” Read more of Jenny Petricek’s inspiring story in Art Journaling.
GreenCraft Magazine Spring Favorites “These pieces are very simple to make — just a bit of decoupage medium and colored napkins — and you have a seashell that looks like a Ming vase!” says Devon Warren, managing editor of GreenCraft Magazine. Check out the spring issue to see more of Cheryl Miller’s stunning shell art.
Somerset Digital Studio Spring Favorites With the help of Photoshop CS5, Kinga Britschgi created traditional hot air balloons with a twist. Managing editor of Somerset Digital Studio, Jane Holstein, says “I love the fact that magical worlds come to life in digital art.” Venture into this magical digital world with Kinga in the spring issue.
Bella Grace Spring Favorites Kim Klassen’s still life photography is her meditation and daily practice. She uses lighting to her advantage to capture the gorgeous images featured in Bella Grace. As Editor-in-Chief and Director of Photography, Christen Hammons explains: “Good lighting is a crucial component of beautiful photography. With the arrival of spring comes longer days and abundant sunshine, making this season the perfect time to start a daily or weekly photography practice.”
Artful Blogging Spring Favorites Emilie Raffa’s food photography comes from the heart. She had a curiosity for food from a young age, but it only morphed into blogging after the birth of her son. Born with severe colic, for six weeks straight Jake cried. While soothing her son, and scribbling down recipes and ideas when time allowed, Emilie soothed herself by thinking about food. “Then one day he stopped,” Emilie says, “The floodgates opened. I was able to collect my scraps and translate my thoughts through the lens of storytelling.” Find more of her sweet story and savory images in Artful Blogging.
Haute Handbags Spring Favorites This spring, fringe is in! “This suede cross body bag features swingy fringe, a detail that I am loving for spring. The southwestern design elements also make this bag great for everyday wear,” says Natalie Way, managing editor of Haute Handbags. Find this stylish design by Lisa Zinza and how she made it in the spring issue.
Mingle Magazine Spring Favorites How fun is this? Michelle Neff made a blackboard word search game for her guests to play on a vintage artist’s easel. Read all the highlights of this creative gathering, and see even more of Michelle’s party ideas in Mingle.
Art Journaling Spring Favorites Kerry Dahlin decided to use file folders as page dividers to organize her modern art journal, which is clever and striking! As Managing Editor Amber Demien explains, “When making your own journal, you want pages that will stand up to wet media. Not only do file folders fit that criteria, but they can also function as a way to organize your journal.” You can find more of Kerry’s creative techniques in Art Journaling.
Stuffed Magazine Spring Favorites These softies by Carly Gledhill are too adorable. With tiny giggly smiles, stripes, sweet bows, soft stitches, and a spot-on color scheme, this pair made selecting Carly for the Artist Portfolio feature in Stuffed a sure bet. See more of her hip quirky softies in the spring issue.
The Stampers Sampler Spring Favorites Colorful, edgy, contemporary, and downright dynamic! With a card like this, you would have never guessed that Frances Peets was once intimidated by The Stampers’ Sampler. Even though her work was not selected at first, she continued to submit. And look at her now — after sending in a new collection, she earned the Guest Artist spotlight in the spring issue of The Stampers’ Sampler. Managing Editor Devon Warren now feels that Frances’ style is among the strongest published in our stamping magazines.

 

Cynthia Levens is the managing editor of Altered CoutureBelle Armoire JewelryWhere Women Create, and Belle Armoire

 

Leave a Comment for Your Chance to Win Your Favorite Spring Issue!

We’re giving away a spring issue of your choice! Spring Issues include: Altered Couture, Artful Blogging, Art Journaling, Bella Grace, Stuffed, The Stampers’ Sampler, Somerset Digital Studio, GreenCraft Magazine, Haute Handbags, Belle Armoire Jewelry, and Mingle. For your chance to win:

  1. “Pin” your favorite image from those featured above.
  2. Share a link to your newly created pin in the comments section below (get your link by opening your pin and copying the URL).
  3. Tell us why you loved that Spring Find in your comment.

*Contest open to U.S. residents only, and expires on May 7, 2015 at 11:59 p.m.

 

 


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Sarah Altered CoutureArt JournalingArtful BloggingBelle Armoire JewerlyGiveawayGlimpse InsideGreenCraft MagazineHaute HandbagsMinglePinterestSneak PeekSomerset Digital StudioStuffedThe Stampers' Sampler ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

by Cynthia Levens What comes to mind when you think of spring? As editors at Stampington & Company, we think of all the new incoming artwork to publish in our magazines. Spring is often associated with liveliness, energy, and warmth, which is reflected in the quality of artwork we receive around this time of year. […]

Protect Your Lips for Summer: DIY Lip Balm Recipes

April 21st, 2015

DIY lip balm grid

Do-It-Yourself describes me perfectly. If there’s a way to make it myself — I will. I’ve tried my hand at everything from shower scrubs to laundry detergent, crocheted my own dish scrubbies and even mixed my own dry shampoo. It may be faster to just go to the store, but I’m always in favor of the route that lets me control exactly what goes into my finished project – especially if it’s going to end up on my lips or skin. Making it at home allows you to customize anything to suit your tastes, and that means that your end product is chemical-free or contains your absolute favorite scent. For those people with allergies or sensitivities, they can adapt any recipe to to your specific needs. And don’t forget to take into account the cost.  When I discovered that I could make my own lip balm, instead of spending  $4+ per tube, I was totally on board.

In honor of Willow and Sage’s 1-year anniversary in May,  Somerset Place wanted to offer some ideas for homemade bath and body products to add to your collection.

DIY Lip Balm Recipe

This basic lip balm recipe is one of the easiest recipe I’ve seen.  It makes a great base for people looking to play with flavors, tints, and ingredients.

lip balm recipe Here’s the basic recipe:

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup beeswax
  • Melt and mix thoroughly in a saucepan on medium heat.

See how easy the recipe is? Originally, I added Vanilla essence and peppermint “syrup” flavor, but the creative possibilities are endless. Orange creamsicle flavor can be achieved with orange and vanilla flavoring. Mix almond oil, smooth peanut butter, and honey for peanut butter flavored lip balm!

If you’d like to try another interesting flavor combination, here’s a recipe that combines the best of citrus and coconut in a deliciously smooth balm.

Coconut Lemon Lip Balm

coconut lemon lip balm project Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Lemon essential oil – as needed for taste
  • 1 or 1-1/2 tablespoons of beeswax pellets (depending on how firm you want your balm to be)
  • Tins or tubes for the finished product

Combine all the ingredients in a Mason jar. Place the jar in boiling water over the stove for 10-15 minutes until everything melts. When melted, pour contents into your tins and let it harden overnight.

Personalizing or Altering Your Containers

decorating lip balm tube project Once you’ve perfected your recipe, the fun has only just begun.  Now, you have to decorate your creation! Tins are cute, but they can be a little plain until you add some accents and color. Washi tape is a wonderful option because it sticks well to tins, tubes, and any other storage containers you can think of.  Stickers can also add visual interest. Decorate your tins of lip balm with a circle punched out of Art Pops Sticker Tape, with some Chit Chat word stickers for some added flair.

Gift Packaging

lip balm packaging ideas project These little tins make perfect gifts and can be made in bulk so that you always have lip balm on hand. They could also be great as party favors, stocking stuffers, and more!If you plan on gifting your lip balm, tying it with a colored ribbon can add an extra level of creativity that the recipient is sure to admire.  Putting it inside a nice gift bag, with some patterned paper or a small doily stapled to the top, can also give it the finishing touches that let that person know you care.

packaging grid thumbnails

Willow and Sage MagazineThese balms are sure to keep the chapped lips away all summer. For even more homemade bath and body ideas, look inside the latest issue of Willow and Sage. This publication has 144 pages of specialty content to ensure that you are pampered with the latest ideas in natural bath salts and soaks, soaps, face masks, chemical-free make-up, lotions, sugar scrubs, essential oils, and more.

 

 

 

 

 


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Sarah DIYHomemade Bath and BodyHow-ToWillow and Sage ,,,,,,,,,,,

Do-It-Yourself describes me perfectly. If there’s a way to make it myself — I will. I’ve tried my hand at everything from shower scrubs to laundry detergent, crocheted my own dish scrubbies and even mixed my own dry shampoo. It may be faster to just go to the store, but I’m always in favor of […]