Editor Spotlight: Card Therapy + Unearthing the Artist Within by Devon Warren

September 18th, 2014

devon_ edit

It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is just around the corner. The days already starting to get shorter and my daily drive to work has been taken over by the sight of bright orange pumpkins, which are just starting to peek out from under the pumpkin patches that have been growing for the past month and a half. Soon it’s going to be time for corn mazes, pumpkin carving, and glorious turkey dinners with mashed potatoes and peach cobbler. However, more important than all that (yes, even delicious leftover turkey sandwiches) is the fact that soon it’s going to be time to start sending out greeting cards. Although sentiments of appreciation, birthday wishes, and just-because cards should be sent year round, there’s something wonderful and magical about holiday themed cards. Whether you live right down the street or clear across the country from friends and family, this is the perfect time of the year to send those very special people warm reminders of your love and friendship. Besides, who doesn’t love getting a card in the mail?

Today we’re very fortunate to have the new managing editor of Take Ten, Devon Warren, visiting us here at Somerset Place. As a new editor, Devon has some very interesting insights into the world of publishing as well as a newfound love for the art of card making. If you’ve ever only bought ready-made greeting cards during the holiday seasons, let Devon inspire you into trying something new. All you need are a few stamps, some cardstock, some bits and pieces of ephemera, and a willingness to unleash your imagination.

~*~

Take Ten - September 2014Artwork by: Diana Pisanelli and Kris Lancaster

Stampington & Company offers so many wonderful, varied publications that it’s virtually impossible to pick a favorite.  But as one of the newer editors, I was thrust into the colorful world of cards and rubber stamping. The Stampers’ Sampler is our original and oldest publication (a tradition I’m more than pleased to uphold, as I love tradition!), and it has been such an honor to work on this magazine.

As children, many of us enjoy the art form of stamping. Just go ahead and give a child a stamp and some paint — you will probably regret to tell the tale, but you might also be amazed by what happens. My very first inkpad was the ColorBox Tropical Pigment Stamp Pad by Clearsnap (I still remember!), which was mostly used harmoniously with my collection of Ed Emberley drawing books. A curious and enthusiastic toddler, I claimed Grandma’s dusty organ as my arts and crafts station, and proceeded to stamp all over a mini Merriam-Webster dictionary with a rubber butterfly stamp. This action prompted Grandma to sternly ask, “What are you doing to my book? Do you think that’s nice?” No, it wasn’t nice. But these days I think it’s strangely ironic that I became the editor of a publication all about stamping: a bit of foreshadowing there. Also, I feel that it shows our intuition sometimes can be trusted. I always dreamed that one day I would have a job that I loved and now it’s a reality!

 

Take Ten - September 2014Artwork by: Barb Pladziewicz and Kris Lancaster

Like many people, I lost touch with my creative side and not until very recently did I begin to explore that side of myself again. Often when I edit articles or read emails, I realize that I am not alone when it comes to suppressing one’s creative side. Ella Wilson, for instance, a very talented artist who has been published in both Take Ten and The Stampers’ Sampler many times, shares that she has trouble focusing her energy at times. My sister, a talented artist by her own right, once shared research with me that stated around the time we enter primary school, we stop playing with finger paints, drawing, and coloring because either we realize we’re not good or someone (perhaps a teacher, parent, or “frenemy”) tells us we shouldn’t keep pursuing art since nothing will come of it. Obviously, that simply isn’t true. Taking that creative path is not an easy route: It opens us up to doubt and rejection, but it’s also a path of endless potential. Even bad art can be better than no art at all because it means that the artist is still expressing their passion.

 

Take Ten - September 2014Artwork by: Laurie Davis and Mary Walden

Take Ten was the first publication I worked on from day one when I walked through Stampington’s doors to the day when I inherited it from Andrea Rangno, the former editor. All it takes is 10 minutes a day to find your inner artist, starting with making a homemade birthday or thank you card. Of all the publications we offer, I still feel that Take Ten is one of the most accessible and provides an easy introduction to beginners, whether they’re budding fine artists or those who know they can create but don’t know how to start expressing their passion.

Shortly afterward, I became quite friendly with The Stampers’ Sampler, which in the beginning had my head spinning with its intricate and inspiring techniques. It was a phantasmagoria of stamping splendor! One of the most rewarding parts was the realization that something as simple as greeting cards could indeed be artwork. I always marvel at the way card artists blend inks, layer ephemera, and use the same stamp in completely different ways.

 

Take Ten - September 2014Artwork by: Barb Pladziewicz

As clichéd as it may sound, the only way to truly find your potential as an artist is to put yourself out there — to be open to criticism and put time aside to create art. I’m a major advocate of daily projects and monthly challenges because they motivate you to set aside a small amount of time to be you. And why not spread that inspiration to someone else? That’s the beauty of greeting cards; you don’t need to wait for a special occasion to write a note — you can create a card and send them just because! In fact, the majority of cards published in Take Ten and The Stampers’ Sampler are sent purely for that reason. Or better yet, why not create a beautiful card and write a special note to yourself? You deserve it!

~*~

It’s been an absolute pleasure getting to know the managing editor of Take Ten, Devon Warren, a little better. Being such a fan of Take Ten, The Stampers’ Sampler, GreenCraft Magazine, and Somerset Home, it’s wonderful to have some insight into the editor’s thought process. Please join me in giving Devon heartfelt thanks for stopping by Somerset Place.

 

Use code BLOG0914 to get $5 off Take Ten

Take Ten - September 2014In addition to our typical array of quick, easy, under-ten-minute stamping projects and colorful card ideas, this issue of Take Ten features a designated holiday section — including Halloween, Thanksgiving, Season’s Greetings, and more — that offer tips to make cards that take less time than grabbing your car keys and driving to the bargain mart.

For a limited time you can get $5 off this inspiring publication by using the coupon code BLOG0914 when prompted at checkout. But be sure to hurry because the promotion ends on September 3oth!

 

 

The Bella Grace Blog Hop

The Bella Grace Blog HopOur latest unlocked link comes from Olga Sledlecka, who shares how she gathers her creativity from the forest floor. Join her as takes a walk under the harvest moon, and discover all the treasures she finds. Leave her a comment for a chance to win a copy of Bella Grace.

 

Click here to follow the Bella Grace Blog Hop

 

 




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It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is just around the corner. The days already starting to get shorter and my daily drive to work has been taken over by the sight of bright orange pumpkins, which are just starting to peek out from under the pumpkin patches that have been growing for the […]

Discover Artisan Avenue

September 15th, 2014

Artisan Avenue

Video Credits: Wendy Vecchi and Debbie Tlach
Art Credits: Fabric Scrap Jars by Vanessa Spencer and Mini Art Quote Quilts by Jennifer Swift

As most crafters will tell you, there’s nothing quite as fun, exhilarating, and challenging, as going to an art fair. It’s fun because you’re surrounded by inspiration and you might even get the opportunity to meet and interact with top artists. It’s exhilarating because once you get that tiny bit of inspiration you sought, your imagination takes flight. However, it’s also challenging because first you have to find one, make the trip, and —  once you finally arrive —  you have to avoid buying everything in sight. Trust me, it’s harder than it sounds.

Artisan Avenue, our monthly newsletter, is like a virtual art fair that gets delivered right to your inbox. This bright and colorful newsletter is filled with deals on art supplies, creative project ideas, free downloads, information on artistic retreats, and top-quality DIY videos. If you’re looking for a good balance of freebie perks and fantastic retail finds, then you’re going to love Artisan Avenue.

 

What’s in Artisan Avenue?

E-Crafting - Artisan Avenue

Art Credits: Wonderland-Inspired Cards by Wendy McGowen and Junk Mail Journal by Nelda Ream

Free Digital Downloads:

They say that the best things in life are free. We couldn’t agree more! You’ll find stunning free ephemera downloads, plus a featured creative article from one of our publications in every Artisan Avenue newsletter.

 

The Shoppe - Artisan Avenue

Art and Crafting Products:

With products from top artists like Dina Wakley, Tim Holtz, and Dyan Reaveley, we’re certain that everyone will find something to complement their creativity. We strive to showcase and bring you only the best crafting products available. That’s why we feature crafting essentials from a wide variety of vendors like Bumbershoot Designs and Supplies, Spellbinders, Ranger, Calligraphy Corner, and many others.

 

Artful Gatherings and Retreats:

While having a digital art fair delivered to your mailbox is very handy, it doesn’t quite replace the feeling of actually gathering with other artists and exploring new products, projects, and ideas together. Artisan Avenue will help you stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the craft world. From special themed retreats to artful gatherings with your favorite artists, and even digital workshops, you’ll be the first to know with Artisan Avenue.

 

The Studio - Artisan Avenue

Project Tutorials:

Sometimes your creativity needs a little push. Let us inspire you with creative projects. We feature detailed step-by-step tutorials for things like artful packages, colorful mixed-media cards, artful home décor projects, and much more.

 

We Want to Hear from You!

paper-packDoes Artisan Avenue sound like something you would like or are you already a subscriber? Tell us what you think! What would you change? What would you leave the same? Leave us a comment for a chance to win a 25-Sheet Artist Paper Pack.

 

 

 

 

The Bella Grace Blog Hop:

“A grateful heart is not only the secret to captivating beauty, it creates a deep sense of joy, and unlocks and releases our creativity!”

Today’s unlocked link comes from Becky Stewart. Join Becky as she explores the idea that creativity comes from a place of gratitude, plus leave her a comment for a chance to win a copy of Bella Grace.

Click here to follow the Bella Grace Blog Hop
 

 


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Gabriela DIYEphemeraFreebiesGiveawayShoppe ,,,,,

Video Credits: Wendy Vecchi and Debbie Tlach Art Credits: Fabric Scrap Jars by Vanessa Spencer and Mini Art Quote Quilts by Jennifer Swift As most crafters will tell you, there’s nothing quite as fun, exhilarating, and challenging, as going to an art fair. It’s fun because you’re surrounded by inspiration and you might even get […]

Mini Junk Journal Project with Guest Artist Lindsay Ostrom

September 11th, 2014

Lindsay Ostrom Junk Journal



 “When I think about why I journal now, it’s more of, why wouldn’t I? I journal on my lunch break, in the car while waiting for an appointment, and every night when I come home. Ideas pop into my head during my day-to-day routine and it seems that I cannot sleep until I get them out onto the paper.”

~Lindsay Ostrom from the pages of Art Journaling Summer 2014

Today we have a very special treat for our wonderful blog followers! The incredibly talented Lindsay Ostrom, who has been featured in a number of Stampington publications such as Somerset Studio, Art Quilting Studio, and Somerset Apprentice, has agreed to share an exclusive project with us. If you happened to have read Lindsay’s article in Art Journaling, then like me, you probably fell head-over-heels in love with her colorful and clever Junk Journal. After gushing in an email about how much I enjoyed her article and artwork, Lindsay agreed to create a mini junk journal just for us. So get your crafting supplies ready, and please join me in giving Lindsay a warm Somerset Place welcome.

~*~

Today I want to walk you through the process of creating one of my Junk Journals, like the one featured in the 2014 Art Journaling magazine. I usually start by coming up with an idea in my head and sometimes a theme. For this project, my theme was fortune cookie messages. You know when you go to a Chinese place and you get a really good fortune in your cookie, and then you pray that it comes true? Kind of like that.  

Mini Junk Journal Material List:

-Paper Ephemera

-Pieces of Fabric

-Ribbons

-Envelopes

-Paper Cutting Tools

-Paper Binding Rings

-Adhesive

-Black Journaling Pen

-White Journaling Pen

-Acrylic Paint Markers  

Mini Junk Journal Project Tutorial:

Ostrom_1

Step 1 - First collect bits and pieces of “junk” to use in your journal. I love to combine paper and fabrics so for this one I chose a lot of old papers, ledger pads, book paper, manila folders, envelopes, receipt books, etc. I like to pull everything out to see what strikes my fancy at the moment. Everything else gets put away and I only use what I have selected.

Ostrom_3

Step 2 - Next, start assembling your pages. I never really know where I am going with my own pages until I lay them out. I just start pulling bits and pieces together. I hardly ever cut and rarely use a paper cutter. I love to fold and tear, and to create pockets with lots of nooks and crannies.

Ostrom_5

I rarely ever decide on a certain number of pages when I begin a book. I just make them until I feel satisfied. I knew for this project I wanted a shorter/smaller book and the pages just started appearing.

Ostrom_6

Step 3 - I save cardboard boxes for my covers, but you can use whatever sturdy material you want. Personally, I love cardboard because you can tear back a bit of the outer paper to expose the rippled corrugated inners. You can easily cut it with scissors or a craft knife. The only tricky part is sewing bits and pieces onto it.

Ostrom_7

Step 4 - I have about 5 layers of fabric, lace, and doily here. It was a bit tough, but with a slow and steady foot, it will all sew together nicely. Like I said, I love to use fabrics with paper, and sewing is a must. Adhesives just never seem to do what I want, and I know that if I use a sewing machine, things tend to be more securely attached.

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Step 5 - When I start working in a journal, I usually haven’t completed the front and back covers yet. With this journal however, I embellished the cover at the same time as the pages in order to give you all a better idea of what a completed book will look like.

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Step 6 - Once you have your pages just right and you’ve sewn everything into place, you can start to assemble them into a journal. I usually sort the pages in the order of how I want them to appear in the journal, but I never seem to stick to it. Silly, I know.

Step 7 - Next, using a large punch (I used a Cropadile), start punching holes in the pages. Once the cover is done, you can use it as a template for the other pages. Don’t be afraid to punch some pages so that they sit higher and lower than the others. It will make your book look more interesting.

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Step 8 - You can use any type of binding you like. Sometimes I take mine to the local printer and have them spiral bound. If you own your own binding machine, you can do it yourself. For this journal, I chose to use just a simple “O” ring.

Ostrom_9

Step 9 - Lay the book out in front of you, and then slide the rings through the front and back cover, leaving them open in the middle. This is the easiest way to add pages. You can add one to the front and one to the back until you get to the center. That way the hinge on the rings is in the back. You can also tie bits of fabric, lace, and fibers onto the rings to disguise them. Step 10 - Next, close the rings and take a look at your completed book. So pretty, right? I love just flipping through the pages and seeing what I created out of “junk.”

Ostrom_10

Here is the cover in all its glory!

I usually make a pouch out of junk for each book. That way I can carry them around with me and they don’t get dirty. I can also toss in bits and pieces that I want to use in the book later on when I am journaling. In this pouch, for example, I am saving some fortune cookie messages. I used scraps of fabric as well as upholstery swatches from furniture stores to make this pouch, but that’s a project for another day!

 

Ostrom_17
Step 10 -
Embellishing the pages of your junk journal is the next step. I usually do this over a period of time, but I will do two pages for this project. Being an ex-scrapbooker, I like to do a two page spread that is somehow tied together. In this case it’s circles.

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Step 11 -
For this book I decided to use fabric instead of paper on the pages, and to adhere it, I used Mod Podge instead of sewing thread. You can use any adhesive you like. I broke one of my cardinal rules because I felt there was enough sewing on the page already, and the Mod Podge dries quick and clear.

Step 12 - Pick a fabric that has a circle pattern on it, and then cut into the edge of the circle and cut out a ring. You can use both the ring and the left-over circle. When you glue or sew the ring into your book you won’t even see the cutout line.

Ostrom_16



Step 13 - I incorporated fortune cookie messages with my own special take on them. I added some journaling, drawing, and coloring around messages that hold a particularly important meaning to me.  You can use the envelopes and pockets to hide some of the more personal messages.

Want to see more? I hope so! This mini-journal isn’t finished yet. I have just begun. I hope to finish it in time for the next installment of Art Journaling. Hopefully this project has inspired you to create your own Junk Journal. You can even make it a party. Invite your friends over and have everyone bring their own bits of junk and swap. Until next time!

~*~

Thanks Lindsay for sharing such a wonderful project. With the holiday season fast approaching, this is the perfect time to start making art journals. Keep track of special moments, write down how your feeling, and strive to be creative as often as you can inside the pages of your very own junk journal.

 

More about Lindsey Ostrom:

Lindsay Ostrom BlogTo learn more about Lindsey, the self-titled Creator of Cuteness, and see more of her amazing work visit her blog.

 

 

 

 

 

The Bella Grace Blog Hop

Today’s unlocked link comes from Mou Saha. Join her on her blog as she explores the intricate beauty of shadows and light. Don’t forget to respond to her prompt in the comment section of her blog for a chance to win a free copy of Bella Grace.

 

Click here to follow the Bella Grace Blog Hop

 

 


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Gabriela Art JournalingDIYGuest ArtistHow-To ,,,,,,

 “When I think about why I journal now, it’s more of, why wouldn’t I? I journal on my lunch break, in the car while waiting for an appointment, and every night when I come home. Ideas pop into my head during my day-to-day routine and it seems that I cannot sleep until I get them […]

Free Article Download: Box Ladies by Renee Zarate

September 8th, 2014

Box Ladies by Renee Zarate

Are you up for an artistic challenge? Sometimes stretching your creative muscle is as easy as using similar things in different ways. Take for example the three boxes featured in this free article download. Renee Zarate, a regular contributing artist for Stampington, used Dina Wakley’s cling mount stamps to make a set of creative and edgy party favor boxes. Although the party favors share the same box template and a similar stamp design, each is distinctly different.

1SAM-1203_83

Delight your artistic friends with these mini-masterpieces. Each box showcases different materials such as raffia ribbon, patterned tissue paper, and even some carefully stamped dryer sheets. These different design elements make the boxes unique and interesting, plus they’re a great place to hide little treats or tiny crafting treasures.

Want to learn how to make these crafty party favor boxes for your next artistic gathering?

Click here to download the free article, “Box Ladies,” by Renee Zarate that originally appeared in the Spring 2012 issue of The Stampers’ Sampler.

To learn more about this amazing mixed-media artist visit her blog, Bolton House.

 

The Back Issue Sale

The Stampers' Sampler Spring 2012Currently this magazine, along with many others, is available at a deeply discounted price thanks to our Back Issue Sale. Pick up a copy of this publication for only $1.99!

 

Click here to see more of the Back Issue Sale.
*Sale pricing ends September 30, 2014.

 

 

 

The Bella Grace Blog Hop

The Bella Grace Blog HopSometimes, when inspiration comes calling we simply cannot resist the urge to answer. Junelle Jacobsen, the latest unlocked link in the Bella Grace Blog Hop, writes about her romance with sunlight and how bright, light-filled days can easily steal her away from projects and work. Join her on her blog for a chance to win a copy of Bella Grace.

 

Click here to follow the Bella Grace Blog Hop

 

 


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Gabriela DIYThe Stampers' Sampler ,,,,

Are you up for an artistic challenge? Sometimes stretching your creative muscle is as easy as using similar things in different ways. Take for example the three boxes featured in this free article download. Renee Zarate, a regular contributing artist for Stampington, used Dina Wakley’s cling mount stamps to make a set of creative and […]

Natural History Inspired Storage Project

September 4th, 2014

Natural History Inspired Storage Project



Who doesn’t love beautiful and functional storage ideas? Personally, I love jewelry boxes — I love the teeny-tiny drawers, little doorknobs, and the unique colored surfaces of different containers like polished wood, painted porcelain, and oxidized metal. This nature-themed found object multi-box container is made out of paper mache and can be painted any color, so it’s very easy to personalize. It’s an elegant and feminine way to store jewelry, small crafting essentials, and unique found items. Things like shells, rocks, crystals, and even pieces of sea-glass can be artfully stored in these little boxes. This charming set of six boxes will make a lovely décor piece for your dressing room, bathroom, living room, or anywhere else you want to put them.

 

Natural History Inspired Storage Project

Natural History Inspired Storage Project Materials:

White Paint
Green Paint
Paint Brushes
Paper Mache Mini Box Set
7gypsies Rubbing Stickers

 

Natural History Inspired Storage Project Instructions

Step 1 – Start by painting the outside of the box’s frame with a light coat of white acrylic paint. Paint sparingly; you want some of the warm kraft color to be visible. It will give the box a distressed look.

Step 2 – Repeat the same process on the small boxes and lids, but this time use green acrylic paint. To achieve the green hue that is featured in this project, mix a little bit of white paint into the green paint. Set all the pieces aside and let them dry thoroughly.

 

Natural History Inspired Storage Project

Step 3 – We used a variety of 7gypsies rubbings to add words and images directly onto the front of our boxes. However, feel free to use stamps and ink if you want a more personalized message.

Step 4 – Finally fill the boxes with natural-colored excelsior and add your favorite found objects.

 

Natural History Inspired Storage Project

Not only is this a great project to make for yourself, especially if you’re a fan of delicate miniature storage containers, but this also makes a great gift for a friend or family member. Paint the boxes and frame with their favorite colors, add personalized messages, and fill them with thoughtful findings.

What would you store in these darling boxes? We want to know!

 

The Bella Grace Blog Hop

The Bella Grace Blog HopThis week’s unlocked link comes from the talented Mindy Lacefield, who shares with us her thoughts on Bella Grace, a heartfelt poem, and a stunning mixed-media painting. Visit her blog post for a dose of inspiration and a chance to win this beautiful new publication.

Click here to follow the Bella Grace Blog Hop

 

 


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Gabriela DIYHow-To ,,,,

Who doesn’t love beautiful and functional storage ideas? Personally, I love jewelry boxes — I love the teeny-tiny drawers, little doorknobs, and the unique colored surfaces of different containers like polished wood, painted porcelain, and oxidized metal. This nature-themed found object multi-box container is made out of paper mache and can be painted any color, […]

Glimpse Inside September Issues: $5 Off + Chance to Win

September 2nd, 2014

Autumn, in all of its wonderful golden-orange glory, is upon us, and that means taking trips to the pumpkin patch, stocking up on candy for trick-or-treaters, and indulging in fun family gatherings. If you need homemade gift gift ideas or seasonal project inspiration, pick up Somerset Holidays and Celebrations,or discover countless must-try techniques in these new September issues.Find our newest issues at Stampington.com

 

We’re offering an exclusive deal to all of our wonderful blog followers. Use the promo code BLOG0914 and you’ll get $5 off any of our new September publications. Simply copy and paste the coupon code when prompted at checkout.

 

 

Somerset Studio Sept/Oct 2014

Somerset Studio Sep/Oct '14Paper crafting, art stamping, and the lettering arts are elevated to an artistic level in Somerset Studio! Join the celebration of these popular handcrafting styles in the industry’s most trusted and innovative mixed-media magazine, and learn about working with exotic papers, intriguing art stamps, fine calligraphy, and more from fellow artists. This issue shares an exciting Artist Profile on Andrea Matus deMeng, edgy packaging ideas by Kelli May Krenz, and the results of our Masquerade Challenge. Top artists will also reveal lessons in working in lots of layers, how to make the most out of a single color palette, and a fun paper towel batik technique.

 

Somerset Apprentice Autumn 2014

Somerset Apprentice Autumn 2014Our Autumn 2014 issue of Somerset Apprentice is bursting with wonderful works that are sure to inspire you. Featuring art by Laly Mille, Kristen Robinson, Becky Shander, Juliette Crane, and other talented artists, you’ll love being an apprentice to these gifted teachers as they walk you through their projects step-by-step. Learn how to create layered collages and assemblage art with detailed, close-up photographs and clear, concise instructions. Our From the Pros section includes tips and tricks from successful artists like Mary Beth Shaw, Jesse Reno, Kate Crane, Andrea deMeng, Teresa McFayden, and others. Don’t miss this jam-packed issue for a huge dose of creativity!

 

Belle Armoire Jewelry Autumn 2014

Belle Armoire Jewelry Autumn 2014Each 144-page issue is of Belle Armoire Jewelry is overflowing with exciting projects, such as necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and more. Autumn brings with it new fall styles and bold colors, including a gorgeous enameled bangle set, Cat Kerr’s Marie Oliver necklaces, and a stunning coral necklace. Our previous Designer Collection artist Kristin Oppold shares more of her knotted work, and Shari Replogle shares how to make decorative eye pins to inspire your future projects. You don’t want to miss Kathy Thompson’s crazy wire necklaces, or any of the new techniques and tips inside this inspiring autumn issue!

Somerset Digital Studio Autumn 2014

Somerset Digital Studio Autumn 2014Don’t miss this amazing issue showcasing some of your favorite digital artists, as well as new ones. We’re happy to feature the talented Louise Robinson and her Dreamluxe series; Rebecca McMeen, whose amazing work is always spectacular; iPhoneography superstars Nicki Fitz-Gerald, Bob Weil, and Edi Caves; and the awe-inspiring work of Jee Young Lee. This beautiful 144-page, full-color publication highlights the best digitally created artwork around. Each issue contains fascinating and informative feature articles, a breathtaking gallery of reader-submitted digital artwork, a digital dictionary, a photo-editing software comparison chart, and more.

 

Take Ten Autumn 2014

Take Ten Autumn 2014As the days get shorter, there is no better time to get inspired for the prime card-giving season. In addition to our typical array of quick-and-easy stamping projects and colorful card ideas, we will have a designated holiday section — including Halloween, Thanksgiving, Season’s Greetings, and more — that offer tips to make cards that take less time than grabbing your car keys and driving to the bargain mart. Find tips for stamping on kraft cardstock, creating alluring gift tags, applying an ethereal inking effect, and more! Original articles features card themes ranging from chic and sophisticated to quirky critters designed from leftover patterned paper. This year forget about costly gifts, and give a personal and beautiful, handcrafted sentiment straight from the heart.

 Where Women Cook Autumn 2014

Where Women Cook Autumn 2014A shared love of food – whether it’s cooking it, talking about it, or eating it – brings people together. Join us for a culinary adventure within the pages of Where Women Cook. In this issue, we share the beautiful Nashville home of Rose Falcon, wife of country music star Rodney Atkins, and go inside New York Times bestselling author Danielle Walker’s stunning kitchen space. In addition to the breathtaking photography you’ve come to expect from Where Women Create, you’ll also get to peek inside the eclectic home of Brandy Harper, and be inspired with recipes from Gina Weathersby, creator of the online magazine 513 {eats} and author of “The Yummy Supper,” Erin Scott.

 

Somerset Holidays and Celebrations 2014 Volume 8

Somerset Holidays and Celebrations 2014 Volume 8Somerset Holidays & Celebrations Volume 8 has an array of beautiful projects in store for those who like to celebrate by creating art. Lucy Langlois shares her ingenious and stunning technique for making Christmas trees from crown molding; Shirley Hudson appeals to our nostalgic side with vintage-inspired, hand-embroidered ornaments; and Catherine Matthews-Scanlon honors home and the holidays all at once with her Christmas-themed plush houses. If you’re looking to create something a bit spookier, you’ll love Jill McCall’s ephemera-filled Halloween ornaments and Tina Haller’s skeleton-topped bottles. For those who crave something sweet, Connie Fong’s lovely mini-paper-dress garland is perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Somerset Holidays and Celebrations 2014 Volume 8

 

 

Prims Autumn 2014

Prims Autumn 2014

Prims exclusively features art inspired by a bygone era. Inside this exciting issue, you can find Michelle Christman’s needle-felted penguins, each wearing a festive red, green, and white knitted scarf — delightful carolers singing enchanting songs during the holidays. Marie Morgan shares her pumpkins with quirky personalities, and Sharon Stevens shows you how to create a Halloween witch with a pumpkin head dressed in a pretty frock. Rounding out the season are Renee Tousignant’s primitive snowmen and snowwoman and Mandy Fischer’s captivating Halloween dolls.

 

Your Chance to Win One of Our September Issues!

We’re giving away brand-new September 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 September issues only: Somerset Studio, Somerset Apprentice, Somerset Digital Studio, Take Ten, Belle Armoire Jewelry, Somerset Holidays & Celebrations, Where Women Cook, and Prims. Discount code can be used only one time per customer, and expires 09/30/14. Contest is open to U.S. residents and ends 09/30/14 at 11:59pm.

 

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

Shannon Bundschuh, Debbie Hight, and Kim Gaynor

 

The Bella Grace Blog Hop

The Bella Grace Blog HopJoin Becky Shander as she undertakes a journey of personal exploration, which takes her to her biological mother’s homeland, the beautiful Thailand. Visit Becky’s blog for a chance to win a copy of Bella Grace plus a gorgeous collection of brightly-colored antique hand-stitched trim.

 

Click here to follow the Bella Grace Blog Hop

 

 

 




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Gabriela Belle Armoire JewerlyGlimpse InsideHolidaysPrimsSneak PeekSomerset ApprenticeSomerset Digital StudioSomerset Holidays & CelebrationsSomerset StudioTake Ten

Autumn, in all of its wonderful golden-orange glory, is upon us, and that means taking trips to the pumpkin patch, stocking up on candy for trick-or-treaters, and indulging in fun family gatherings. If you need homemade gift gift ideas or seasonal project inspiration, pick up Somerset Holidays and Celebrations,or discover countless must-try techniques in these […]

Get Published: September Calls and Challenges

August 29th, 2014

Becoming a published artist takes hard work, commitment, and at times, a thick skin. There is also nothing like the feeling you get from having your work featured, front-and-center, in a magazine, but only you can decide if it’s worth it.

Our website is updated regularly to reflect submission guidelines as well as any special themes or calls and challenges that are currently being held. With over 30 publications, we’re certain that we have something for every type of crafter! Read on to find all of our upcoming Calls & Challenge deadlines for September or departments that accept ongoing submissions.

Also, don’t forget that we are making submitting work easier than ever by offering the option to email us high quality images of your creations for consideration for many of our titles. Just take a picture of your artwork, email it to the appropriate editor (listed below each title), and if selected, we’ll send you further instructions.

If you’re an up-and-coming artist, you can get your start by being published in one of our publications get recognition for blog or current product lines that you’re linked to, and you’ll also be able to inspire creativity amongst an audience of your peers.

Submit your work today!

 

Altered Couture

110-18_ALT0814~Dress by Michelle Hoffee and shoes by Jen Cushman

A hand-me-down sweater … a raggedy old skirt from the thrift store … a plain T-shirt … using just a few tools coupled with your creativity, all of these items can be repurposed into new, fashionable finds. We invite you to submit your own altered and embellished clothing and accessories to be considered for this exciting publication. Published items include skirts, dresses, pants, tops, jackets, vests, shoes, and accessories. Please submit a “before” photo along with your altered creation to be considered for publication, if available.

 

049_ALT0214Little Black Dress
The staple, the classic, the needed, the envied, the fearless and stylish little black dress — we all either have one or desperately need one. Well here is your chance to either revamp your old one or fill the void in your closet. Create that dress perfect for a night out that suits your personal style. Just make sure that it’s upcycled, and send it our way before the September deadline.
Deadline: September 15, 2014.

 

~Dress by Bunny Henningsen

 

 

 

 

Mail in your submissions to the following address:

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

 

Art Doll Quarterly

098_ADQ0214This full-color, 128-page publication is dedicated to art dolls and sculptural figures made from cloth, polymer clay, Creative Paperclay®, wire armatures, mixed-media, and much more. In each issue, you will find original doll patterns, creative challenges, doll-artist profiles, convention listings and reviews, book & video reviews, and a 35-page gallery of art dolls made by our readers. Come join the fun! Art Doll Quarterly is open to doll artists of all abilities.

 

~Artwork by Taut K. of Bury Me Baubles

 

 

 

 

 

026_ADQ0814Mother & Daughter
Suggested by doll artist Cora Raiford, we hope you’ll join the adventure and try your hand at creating a doll for our Mother & Daughter doll challenge. From celebrity moms and daughters to Marie Curie and her daughter Irene Joliot – Curie to Wynonna and Naomi Judd, the possibilities are far reaching! Draw on mom and daughters from literature, art, or even your own family. We just know we’re going to get some interesting submissions. Make sure to include a few sentences about the inspiration behind your doll, as well as brief instructions. Results will be published in our Spring 2015 issue in plenty of time for Mother’s Day!
Deadline: September 15, 2014.

 

~Artwork by Artwork by Marguerite Surich Noschese

 

 

 

124_ADQ0814Paper Personas
Inspired by Judith Thibaut’s doll “George in Drag” (Spring 2010) and in the spirit of Lynne Perrella’s book Beyond Paper Dolls, we’ve created a new department in Art Doll Quarterly that will feature one fabulous, artistic and beautifully executed paper doll in each issue. We’re looking for expressive paper personas crafted with innovative techniques and art mediums — over-the-top imaginative interpretations of the human form. Send us your thought-provoking and innovative paper personas for publication consideration. Please note “Paper Personas” on your submission.
Deadline: Ongoing.

 

~Artwork by Edan Ruthan Miller

 

 

 

Mail in your submissions to the following address:

Stampington & Company
ATTN: Art Doll Quarterly
22992 Mill Creek, Suite B
Laguna Hills, CA 92653

 

Artful Blogging 007_BLG0814~Photograph by Keri-Anne Pink

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.

 

A-Year-To-Inspire-8-Stephanie-DahlsrudArtful Blogging is a Stampington & Company’s quarterly publication. 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: September 15, 2014.

 

~Artwork by Stephanie Dahlsrud

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to download our guide for submitting photographs. It will also show you how to convert images to the correct size and resolution for this publication.

 

GreenCraft Magazine

Finding creative uses for old items is nothing new to artists, but the spirit of preserving the planet is more important than ever before and GreenCraft Magazine is here to honor and inspire those who find artistic applications for normally discarded resources.

GreenCraft Magazine provides ideas for upcycling trash to treasures by showcasing projects where waste is repurposed into ecologically-chic creations. To support sustainable production, the entire publication is printed on 100% recycled paper.

 

144_GRN0514Green Living
This department is dedicated to showcasing projects that promote a green lifestyle. These items do not have to be made from recycled or repurposed materials, but they do have to be eco-friendly. Reusable fabric towels, homemade household cleaners, and reusable sandwich bags are some examples of what we’re looking for.
Deadline: Ongoing.

 

~Artwork by Esther Benedict

 

 

 

 

013_GRN0514Feature 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: September 15, 2014

 

~Artwork by Jennifer Bomgardner

 

Email images of your submissions to the editor at greencraft@stampington.com. Please use GreenCraft Magazine: Challenge or Department Name as the subject line.

 

Haute Handbag063_HTE1013~Artwork by Deb Shull-Andrews

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.
Deadline: November  15, 2014.

 

PROJ-0891What’s In Your Bag?
Welcome to this new department in Haute Handbags! We all know what we put in our bags: a wallet, a few pens, or maybe a journal or two. We’re asking you to share with us what you carry in your bag on a daily basis. Whether it’s your yarn and crochet hooks, a few pictures of your children, a sketchbook of your latest projects, or even your recent find at a thrift store, we want to see what treasures you hold in your bags. Place your bag and items on a neutral or white background. Take a picture of your arrangement; follow these guidelines for taking and submitting the picture. Please don’t use flash photography. Provide a list of all the items shown in the picture and a brief explanation of the items in your purse.
Deadline: Ongoing.

 

Mail in your submissions to the following address:

Stampington & Company
ATTN: Haute Handbag
22992 Mill Creek, Suite B
Laguna Hills, CA 92653

 

Somerset Apprentice 006__APP0313~Artwork by Pam Carriker

Somerset Apprentice is published semiannually and is currently open to submissions from all our readers who wish to share their art with our audience. Somerset Apprentice provides a basic and thorough understanding of techniques geared toward people who aspire to make Somerset-esque art, but need to learn the fundamentals through easy-to-understand instructions and close-up photos. Somerset Apprentice focuses on the basic how-to’s of amazing artwork.

 

111_APP0314Artful Building Blocks
In each issue of Somerset Apprentice we publish Artful Building Blocks — easy techniques that can be the starting point for a great work of art. If you have a technique that would make a good Artful Building Block we encourage you to submit it for publication consideration. Artful Building Blocks must be fairly simple and straightforward so that those new to mixed-media art can easily do it. ABB’s are shown as a 2-page spread. The first page shows the completed artwork and a brief introduction, and the second page shows the steps needed to create the technique.

 

~Artwork by Meghan Horan

To submit your idea(s) for an Artful Building Block, here are some guidelines:

-Your Artful Building Block technique must be presented in six easy-to-do steps — one of which is Step 1 – “Gather all your supplies” with an image of what is needed to create your project.

-The remaining five should show the other steps taken to complete the technique.

-Copy must be written that includes a brief introduction (2-3 sentences), a tools and materials list, the steps, and 2-4 tips.

-Send image of original artwork shot alone, and then photographs of the 6 steps. (Remember: Step 1 must be “Gather all your supplies”)

-Images need to be shot on a white background in natural light.

-Images must be sent at 300 dpi at 8″ x 10″. Please put them in a zip file or send large images through WeSendIt, DropBox, WeTransfer or similar file sharing program.

-Please include your name and complete mailing address, plus any website or blog information you’d like published.

Deadline for artwork to be received: October 15th 2014.

Click here to download our guide for submitting photographs. It will also show you how to convert images to the correct size and resolution for this publication.

Email images of your submissions to the editor at somersetapprentice@stampington.com. Please use Somerset Apprentice: Challenge or Department Name as the subject line.

 

Somerset Digital Studio
055-97_DIG0314~Artwork by Debbie West and Beth Conklin

Digital artwork is HOT right now, and we’re very excited about this great publication that features all digital designs. Somerset Digital Studio focuses on all things digital — scrapbook pages, ATCs, collages, heritage pieces, iPhoneography, photo manipulations, apps for digital designing — anything that is unique, distinctive, artistic and created digitally. In order to be considered for publication in Somerset Digital Studio, please send via email the following for each submission: a high-res image (300 dpi, at least 10 x 10 inches), a brief paragraph describing the artwork (who’s who in any photos or why you were inspired to create it), instructions on how you created your digital artwork including the specifics as to what tools, programs, etc. you used. To be considered for an article, please include a brief query along with at least 5 images to support your idea. Please include your name, email and mailing address with every submission. Somerset Digital Studio is published semiannually in March and September.
Deadline for artwork to be received: Every October 15th and April 15th.

A Submission Form must be attached to your artwork.  Click here to download this form.

Click here to download our guide for how to submit photographs. It will also show you how to convert images to the correct size and resolution for this publication.

Email images of your submissions to the editor at somersetdigitalstudio@stampington.com. Please use Somerset Digital Studio Submission as the subject line.

 

 

Take Ten

034__TEN0912If you create quick and creative cards in 10 minutes or less, then we definitely want to see your work. Take Ten offers rubber stamp enthusiasts of all levels great ideas for creating lovely cards. If published, your work will be printed in full-color spreads along with detailed instructions. Share your creativity and show us how you make handmade cards for any and all occasions.

 

~Artwork by Laurie Davis

 

 

 

 

 

 

124_TEN0612Stripe Hype
It’s no secret that stripes can drastically change the appearance of an object. Many of us have looked into a mirror in horror at that horizontally-striped T-shirt that makes us look wider or marveled at how tall and slender we look in vertically striped trousers. For this challenge, we at Take Ten ask you to create dimension with stripes. Paint stripes on your cards, add them with washi tape, draw them, use patterned paper, and, of course, stamp them! Remember to keep the card simple and easily recreated in 10 minutes or less, and don’t forget to include stamping. Send us your favorite results by October 15th for possible inclusion in the Take Ten Spring 2015 Issue.
Deadline: October 15, 2014.

 

~Artwork by Sheila Glynn Spears

 

Mail in your submissions to the following address:

Stampington & Company
ATTN: Take Ten
22992 Mill Creek, Suite B
Laguna Hills, CA 92653

 

Somerset Home006_HOM0814~Artwork by Michelle Girard Ferullo

You are cordially invited to submit artwork to be considered for this special publication showcasing handcrafted items to decorate the home. Somerset Home features items from every room in the home – from the bedroom, the kids’ room and the bathroom, to the kitchen and the living room. And don’t forget the backyard and the front porch! We are looking for a variety of items including but not limited to: embellished pillows, wall art, hooked rugs, altered lamp shades, quilts, table top items, aprons, embellished chandeliers, garlands for the mantle, decorations for the front door, slipcovers, and more! Pictures of artfully decorated or lived-in spaces are also most welcome in the highest resolution possible.
Deadline for artwork to be received: Semiannually every September 15th and March 15th.

 

128_HOM0813Furniture Transformations
This section features upholstered and redecorated furniture, inspiring you to look twice before tossing out an unwanted or worn item, or even to try your hand at creating the furniture you’ve always wanted to have.
Deadline for artwork to be received: Semiannually every September 15th and March 15th.

 

~Artwork by Pamela Finch

 

 

 

 

 

Email images of your submissions to the editor at somersethome@stampington.com. Please use Somerset Home Submission: Challenge or Department Name as the subject line.

 

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.

 

The Bella Grace Blog Hop

Need a dose of inspiration before you start submitting work? Don’t miss the latest posts on the Bella Grace Blog Hop! Bella Cirovic shares how she refills her creative well by going on nature walks and Susannah Conaway talks about the thrill that comes with seeing your work published. Also, don’t forget that every blog hop co-host is giving away a copy of Bella Grace, so make sure you visit their blogs, reader their guidelines, and participate.

 

Click here to follow the Bella Grace Blog Hop




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Gabriela Altered CoutureArt Doll QuarterlyArtful BloggingChallengesCommunityGreenCraft MagazineHaute HandbagsSomerset ApprenticeSomerset Digital StudioSomerset HomeTake Ten

Becoming a published artist takes hard work, commitment, and at times, a thick skin. There is also nothing like the feeling you get from having your work featured, front-and-center, in a magazine, but only you can decide if it’s worth it. Our website is updated regularly to reflect submission guidelines as well as any special […]

55 Things to Be Thankful For by Guest Blogger Madelyn Mulvaney

August 25th, 2014

Maddie Mulvaney - thankful photos



Please join me in welcoming our dear friend and contributing artist, Madelyn Mulvaney to our blog. Maddie has been featured in several installments of Somerset Life, Mingle, and has also been published in the premiere issue of Bella Grace. She is well-known for her enchanting, free-flowing narratives, photography, and unique art. Today she shares with us the things she’s thankful for, in hopes to inspire (or revive) gratitude in your own heart.

~*~

Madelyn Mulvaney’s 55 Things to Be Thankful for

It’s been far too long. Far too long since I made a list of the abundance overflowing in my life ~ and my exaltation, my gratitude for all things I cherish.

So. Here. Now. I. Celebrate.

1. the love  I share with my family and friends and the ways I am daily moved to make a difference in our exquisite world

2. my dogs ~ Roxy, Lucy and my daughter’s puppy Romeo

3.  the dancer’s pose in yoga

4.  dark chocolate joy bars

5.  spice, all spice especially Indian!

6.  fresh homemade pizza dough and the way he makes the toppings sing

7. green, violet, silver, gold

8.  conversations with my kindred friends ~ deepening, opening

#9 seashells and sea glass and driftwood and bones

Madelyn Mulvaney's seashells and sea glass - thankful

10.  love letters (I want to write more)

11.  my always present ~ Pete ~ who has a heart of gold and shows up every second every day for our family/children rain/ sunshine with unconditional love

12.  running water (my bath!)

#13 vegetables (and green juice drinks)

Madelyn Mulvaney's Green vegetables - thankful

14.  my hands ~ to hold my beloveds with ~ for hugging and touching and connecting ~ love makes me hold the world differently, always

15.  meditation (on the couch, on the beach, in the beam of sunlight beneath the Giant Sequoia tree)

16.  my sweater collection (thrifted!)

17.  the mountains and the sea of my beautiful sea to sky Vancouver

18.  wild raspberry bushes

19.  the old and wonderful violet tinted windows of my house

20.  my house (circa 1941)

21. that I am loved  (oh thank you thank you thank you!!!)

22.  that I love (times infinity)

23.  my past and my present ~ and the morning sun

24.  tea

#25 morning coffee

Madelyn Mulvaney's Morning Coffee - thankful

26.  Sunday mornings

27.  bonfires (on the beach! especially!)

28.  sailing with Michael

29.  wine ~ organic, red, full bodied, smooth

30.  autumn

31. elephants (luminous elephants too)

32.  colorful pens and my sketchbooks

33.  my studio

34. snail mail

#35 nests and eggs

Madelyn Mulvaney's Nest and Eggs - thankful

36.  books (reading ‘the power of now’ at present)

37.  my feet

38.  rose quartz

39. wild salmon

40.  this quote …”open the window in the centre of your chest and let the spirits fly in and out.” (Rumi ❤)

41.  teaching!  oh my glorious spirit!  I love teaching!

42.  all the gifts of teaching I have been blessed with ~  students who have taught me the power of an open heart, an open mind

43.  my lovely laugh lines

44.  my bicycle

45.  my voice

46.  my children’s laughter (oh oh oh!!!) ~ all laughter anywhere anytime

47.  all beautiful things that are wild and free

48.  creativity ~ my sweet muse (after a bit of creative block or perhaps the natural ebb vs flow of such things, the spirits are flying in and out and hatchlings murmur in their awakening)

49.  joy

50.  random acts of beauty and love

51.  twinkle lights

52. perfume

53.  my camera

54.  my Kate Spade notebooks in my satchel gifted to me by my daughter Tess

55.  this moment, now (and I love that we are all in this together)

 

Maddie Mulvaney - thankful

x&o

may your day be filled with light,

Maddie @ madelynmulvaney.com

 

 

Thank you Maddie, for sharing all the things you’re grateful for, which in turn, inspires me to find more thankfulness in every moment. If you enjoyed today’s post, look for even more of Maddie’s poetic musings in the premiere issue of Bella Grace.

 

What are you grateful for? What fills your soul with gladness? Comment below! Your answer has a chance to be featured in a future issue of Bella Grace.

 

The Bella Grace Blog Hop

 

Bella Grace Blog HopGet your daily dose of inspiration by joining the Bella Grace Blog Hop. Stop by and see our latest unlocked post by Emma Tree’s D. Smith Kaich Jones, who has written a piece about the beauty of sweet nothings. Also, if you’re in need of a dose of visual inspiration, be sure to visit Susan Tuttle and Sylvia Stefanova’s blogs, which are filled with stunning photographs. Don’t forget that every blog hop co-host is also giving away a copy of Bella Grace, so make sure you read their guidelines to participate.

 

Click here to follow the Bella Grace Blog Hop

 


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Gabriela Bella GraceCommunityGuest Artist ,,,,,,,,,,

Please join me in welcoming our dear friend and contributing artist, Madelyn Mulvaney to our blog. Maddie has been featured in several installments of Somerset Life, Mingle, and has also been published in the premiere issue of Bella Grace. She is well-known for her enchanting, free-flowing narratives, photography, and unique art. Today she shares with us the […]

Back to School Inspiration: 15 Projects for Success

August 21st, 2014

Back to School Inspiration



As we bid a fond farewell to the summer, thanking it for all the wonderful adventures, we start to gear up for school and work. While most of us will suffer from a little shell-shock as we return to classrooms and offices, we have just the solution to help you make the transition from summertime fun back to scholastic excellence. This collection of 15 projects is the perfect back to school inspiration for getting you and your little ones into the right mindset for success! Whether you’re trying to keep your bills organized or helping the kiddos not forget any of their homework assignments, we’re sure that one of these projects will tickle your fancy.

 

Back to School Inspiration

Back to School Inspiration - drawer organization



1. Cereal Box Drawer Dividers by Jennifer Jones from the Pages of GreenCraft Magazine

One of the messiest places for any student or crafter has got to be the dreaded junk drawer…that’s the place that starts off neat and pretty, but quickly descends into utter madness. Keep this space organized by using Jennifer’s brilliant upcycling idea. Fit cereal boxes into your drawer, you may need to rearrange them a few times, and then cut them down to size. Finally, cover them with some patterned washi paper and presto! Neat and tidy drawers.

 

Back to school Inspiration - Somerset Home



2. Project Life Organization Idea by Vanessa Spencer from the Pages of Somerset Home

Thread, check. Pattered tape, check. Stickers, check. Flash-cards, check. Keep all your crafting or studying essentials within reach with this unique Project Life organization idea. Simply take a library drawer, decorate it to fit your décor, and fill it with all your most needed tools and supplies.

 

Back to school inspiration - Somerset Life



3. An Experiment in Decoupage by Amber Kemp-Gerstel from the Pages of Somerset Life

“Historically, my attitude toward decoupage has been the same as my attitude toward leopard-print leggings. Everyone else seems to pull it off, but, for me, it just ends up looking like a big mess. Well, imagine my surprise and sense of accomplishment when I successfully tackled decoupage with this fresh, slightly contemporary with a dash of shabby chic, decoupaged lunch box.” ~Amber

Don’t limit yourself by assuming you can’t do something. Try new things, like decoupage, and the results may end up surprising you. This charming little lunchbox can double as the perfect file organizer, so you can take all your important paperwork with you wherever you go.

 

Back to school inspiration - GreenCraft Magazine



4. Recycled Ephemera Art Journal by Jennifer Bomgardner from the Pages of GreenCraft Magazine

This bright and colorful art journal by Jennifer Bomgardner can easily be repurposed as a day planner. By hole-punching your favorite pieces of ephemera, envelopes, and bits of cardstock, you can make a functional little journal that will be perfect for taking notes in class, keeping track of your plans, and of course as a canvas for doodling.

 

Back to school inspiration - Somerset Home



5. File Folder Wall Art by Christine Stephens from the Pages of Somerset Home

Gone are the days of big, bulky, and ugly file cabinets — well maybe not. But this creative organization idea really elevates the humble file folder into stunning and functional wall art. Keep all your most used papers within reach by putting them inside these mixed-media masterpieces and hanging them on your wall. All you need for this project are some kraft colored file folders, a little paint, and some decorative wire hangers.

 

Back to school inspiration - Somerset Life



6. Inspired Office Accessories: Printed Burlap by Melony Miller Bradley from the Pages of Somerset Life

Make a comfortable little home for all your pencils and pens with some canvas fabric, tiny squares of painted burlap, and a few carefully placed buttons. Your pencils will always be in one place, rather than rolling around lost at the bottom of a backpack or purse.

 

Back to school inspiration - GreenCraft Magazine Spring 2011



7. Rescued & Repurposed by Anne Rowe from the Pages of GreenCraft Magazine

I know, from personal experience, that most of us will get a brand new day planner around this time of the year and then promptly abandon it after a week or two. It happened EVERY YEAR when I was in school. This rescued and repurposed day planner is made from spare bits and pieces and sewn together with intricate patterns, giving it an added touch of personality. By making your own day planner, you’ll be a lot more inclined to write in it, while also saving a couple of bucks. You can use ephemera, fabric paper, and a whole range of embellishments to make your very own day planner masterpiece.

 

Back to school inspiration - Artful Blogging Autumn 2013



8. Office Space Photograph by Samantha Schwikkard from the Pages of Artful Blogging

This photograph by Samantha Schwikkard showcases the functionality of clipboards. Gone are the days of carrying them around to use just as a hard surface to write on! Now you can organize all of your current projects by hanging them on the wall. And with our new ready-to-alter clipboards, you can easily paint designs, stamp images, or add washi tape to create very unique home décor pieces as well as organization goodies.

 

Back to school inspiration - GreenCraft Magazine Winter 2010



9. An Unusual Canvas: File Folders by Lisa Guerin from the Pages of GreenCraft Magazine

Manila folders are a great tool to keep yourself organized, but by adding some stamping, stitches, and ephemera, you can create a truly unusual and exceptionally functional tri-fold canvas. This folded file is perfect for holding bills and pieces of scratch paper, or you can make your own set of lovely stationery.

 

Back to school inspiration - Somerset Life Winter 2014



10. Gorgeous Supply Storage by Vanessa Spencer from the Pages of Somerset Life

“As crafters, we want our creative spaces to be functional as well as beautiful. The perfect solution is to find simple, yet attractive containers for all of our supplies.” ~Vanessa

These green vintage number buckets are not only functional but they’ll look great sitting on your desk holding everything from art supplies to school supplies.

 

Back to School Inspiration - Art Journaling



11. Back to Basics by Ginn Magante Barber from the Pages of Art Journaling

While we may not doodle and watercolor the way that Ginn does, there’s definitely something to be said about allowing yourself to draw right on the pages of your day planner. Keep your creative juices flowing by giving yourself permission to doodle whenever the urge strikes you and add an artful twists to your notes. This is a great way to reduce stress during busy spells, while also reminding yourself that all work and no play — isn’t good for anyone.

 

Back to school inspiration - GreenCraft Magazine



12. Change It Up with Cahlkboard by Vanessa Spencer from the Pages of GreenCraft Magazine

Upcycle old picture frames and clipboards by giving them a new vibrant color and using some chalkboard paint. Write reminders and messages all throughout your house, or help your little ones remember where toys, books, and art supplies go by hanging them over strategic locations.

Back to School Inspiration - GreenCraft Magazine spring 2012



13. Tin Can Caddy by Cynthia Shaffer from the Pages of GreenCraft Magazine

If you have a lot of art supplies or you happen to be a teacher, then you’re going to love this project. Use old tin cans to create a sturdy caddy that can hold paint brushes, pencils, scissors, rulers, markers, and so much more. Set this little container of goodies in the middle of a table and watch inspiration take flight! Add artistic touches by wrapping your cans in patterned washi paper, colorful fabric or by painting them.

 

Back to School Inspiration - Home Library Creative Living Idea Project



14. Home Library Creative Living Idea Project

This rustic and chic metal chalkboard display can be used in a variety of creative ways. Hang it up in your kitchen, office, children’s bedrooms, or any bare spot to enliven home décor and to help with organization.

 

Back to School Inspiration GreenCraft Magazine Winter 2010



15. Judging a Book by its Beautiful Cover by Sarah Meehan and Jenny Doh from the Pages of GreenCraft Magazine

This is an oldie, but definitely a goodie! Recycle old paper grocery bags and use them as book covers, and then add a little artistic flair by adding a lovely torn-edge label with a handwritten title. This particular project is great one to do with kids. Just spread out some art supplies like ephemera, tags, and washi tape, and let them decorate their own books.

 

With so much back to school inspiration we’re sure you’ll kick-start the autumn with lots of creative projects. Let us know which project is your favorite or if you have any projects of your own that you’ll be implementing during this time of the year to help stay organized.

 

The Bella Grace Blog Hop

Bella Grace Blog Hop

Get your daily dose of inspiration by joining the Bella Grace Blog Hop. Stop by and see our latest unlocked posts by Christine Mason Miller who shares what her favorite sound is, Hannah Marcotti who penned a beautiful letter to Forgiveness, and Susan Tuttle who shows the beauty of everyday photography. All three bloggers are holding giveaways, so be sure to stop by each blog for more details on how to enter their contests.

Click here to follow the Bella Grace Blog Hop

 
 


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As we bid a fond farewell to the summer, thanking it for all the wonderful adventures, we start to gear up for school and work. While most of us will suffer from a little shell-shock as we return to classrooms and offices, we have just the solution to help you make the transition from summertime […]

Editor Spotlight: For the Love of Art Dolls & What I’ve Learned from My Readers by Jana Holstein

August 18th, 2014

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Art dolls are such a unique form of artwork. Every creation is full of detail and life, which is why it’s so easy to get wrapped up in each doll’s personality — that’s where Jana Holstein comes in and why her work is so important. Jana is the editor of Art Doll Quarterly, and it’s her expert eye that brings together this fantastic publication. She knows how to read and engage with the personalities of all the wonderful characters that are sent to our office, and more importantly, she knows how to place them within the pages of our magazine so that everyone is happy and comfortable. Today we’re featuring a very special Editor Spotlight on Jana that will give us some insight into her creative mind. This is also happens to be the perfect time to have Jana pay us a visit because our Halloween issue of Art Doll Quarterly — a favorite among doll artists is now officially on newsstands.  

Please join me in welcoming Jana to Somerset Place.

~*~

I’ve never been a real girly-girl. I don’t strut around in the latest fashion, I hate wearing high heels, and I call for a hair appointment when my gray starts showing. Somewhere along the line, I evolved into just being me; not too terribly worried about radiating femininity or being graceful — I’m actually quite a klutz. Don’t get me wrong, I do like an occasional day at the spa, I took ballet when I was young, and I played with dolls when I was a little girl. My first doll was a Chatty Cathy doll that came out in the late ’50s, early ’60s — yes, I am old. And that’s another thing: I don’t really care. I am proud to a baby boomer, pushing 60, and embracing life. I’ve never been one of those women who doesn’t want anyone to know her age.

 

Art Dolls by Marguerite Noschese~Artwork by Marguerite Noschese


But enough about me; let’s get back to the dolls. When I was first approached to take over the managing editor position of Art Doll Quarterly back in 2009, I’ll admit … I was nervous. Art Doll Quarterly was an internationally recognized and highly respected doll magazine. Would I be able to do it justice? I didn’t really know a lot about art dolls, doll making, sculpting, or sewing cloth dolls. But I was certainly willing to learn.

And learn I did. I learned about sculpting clay, how to paint cloth faces, what ball-jointed meant, the importance of costuming, and much more. And I learned it all from the wonderful artists whose work graces the pages of this magazine.

 

Art Dolls by Lorrie Rios~Artwork by Lorrie Rios


And here’s the thing: The longer I manage Art Doll Quarterly, and the more I get to know the amazing artists behind the spectacular dolls, the more I love it. I even tried to make a couple art dolls of my own one time. They more or less turned out to just be shoddily formed lumps of clay, but hey, at least I tried. And it gave me an enormous amount of appreciation for the talent that goes into sculpting.

Along this journey I’ve had the opportunity to personally meet elinor peace bailey, Barbara Willis, Patti Medaris Culea, Norma Prickett, Sheri DeBow, Jennie Bird, Betsy Youngquist, Edgar Shrum, and many others. It’s a thrill for me to meet in person the artists whose work we publish. But even if I haven’t had the chance to meet everyone face to face, I feel like I know so many artists well because of our email correspondence. There’s a special rapport that we share.

 

Art Dolls~Artwork by William Dezek and Colleen Moody


Our Autumn 2014 Issue is just out and I’ve made a whole slew of new friends — Kirsten Stingle, Tanya Marriott, Dixie Redmond, Marguerite Noschese, LeeAnn Kress, William Bezek, Andrei Zavialov and many more. This is our annual Halloween issue and it’s always such a delight to put together. This edition is always hugely popular and one peek between the pages and you’ll know why.

The world of art dolls is truly special. There’s an extraordinary camaraderie among these artists; a community of kinfolk who love and care about each other, enjoy sharing what they learn, and cheer each other on all along the way. I may not be an accomplished doll artist, but I feel like I’m a part of this enchanting group of people and among friends. I couldn’t be more delighted!

 

Art Dolls by LeeAnn Kress~Artwork by LeeAnn Kress


Join me in giving Jana a heartfelt thanks for giving us a little glimpse into her creative world. I think it’s safe to say that we’re all very happy that she’s learned so much about this unique art form, since we all get to benefit from the fruits of her labor in the pages of Art Doll Quarterly.

 

Use code BLOG0814 to get $5 off Art Doll Quarterly

1ART-1404-Art-Doll-Quarterly-Autumn-2014-600x600If you love all things Halloween, then you simply cannot miss the Autumn Issue of Art Doll Quarterly. In this issue, we’re featuring mini Day of the Dead dolls by Sylvia Smiser, a life-sized witch doll by Dustin Poché, and the oddest duos on the block — William Bezek’s Dead Couples.

For a limited time you can get $5 off this inspiring publication by using the coupon code BLOG0814 when prompted at checkout. But be sure to hurry because the promotion ends on August 31st!

 

 

Bella Grace Blog Hop

Bella Grace Blog HopThe Bella Grace Blog Hop is in full swing! Stop by for a dose of inspiration with Kelly Letky who shares a day in the life of an ordinary artist, and our latest contributor, Jillian Lukiwski, who wrote an insightful piece about becoming part of the wind. Both bloggers are also holding giveaways, so be sure to stop by each blog for more details on how to enter their contests.

Click here to follow the Bella Grace Blog Hop

 

 


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Gabriela Art Doll QuarterlyEditor Spotlight ,,

  Art dolls are such a unique form of artwork. Every creation is full of detail and life, which is why it’s so easy to get wrapped up in each doll’s personality — that’s where Jana Holstein comes in and why her work is so important. Jana is the editor of Art Doll Quarterly, and […]