Pretty in Polka Dots!

May 28th, 2012

There are oh so many things to delight in this summer season:

A bike ride to the beach on a warm day.
The jingle of the ice cream truck driving down the street.
Whipping up a fresh fruit smoothie to enjoy by the pool.

And perfectly pretty polka dot prints!

We are polka dot obsessed here at Stampington. This print is the perfect combination of youthful, carefree spirit and sophisticated charm. We’ve put together a collection of dotted products for you to use to dress up your handmade projects all summer long. Want some project ideas to get started? Check out the creative ideas from The Studio pictured below: Package the perfect gift, enjoy a girls’ night in, or whip up French-inspired favor bags.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are YOU loving right now? Tell us in the comments below!

 

Products pictured in opening photo: Claudine Hellmuth Clear Stamp – Dwelling; Christine Adolph Stamp – Polka Dot Heart; Washi Tape in Teal & Blue Dot, Grey & Pink Dot, White Black Striped Dot; Polka Dot Bigger Bitty Bags in Red and Black; Punchinella in White and Black.

 



Sarah How-To Project Tutorials ,,

There are oh so many things to delight in this summer season: A bike ride to the beach on a warm day. The jingle of the ice cream truck driving down the street. Whipping up a fresh fruit smoothie to enjoy by the pool. And perfectly pretty polka dot prints! We are polka dot obsessed […]

Sew Free Motion Stitched Brooches with Guest Artist Danita

May 24th, 2012

We are excited to welcome guest artist Danita to Somerset Place as she shares how to create these little fabric cuties!

Hi! I’m Danita and I have a passion for all things crafty.  My grandmother was the seamstress of the family, although sadly I didn’t have the luck to learn from her. Nonetheless, her creativity runs through me, as I love creating small sewn projects that I can embellish with free motion stitching – it’s like drawing with a sewing machine! This project encourages artists of all crafting backgrounds to dip their toes into the art of free motion stitching. The most important thing to remember is to have fun learning and experimenting with the process.

Materials:

Sewing machine
Darning foot
Scissors
Felt
Fabric
Thread
Interfacing
Image printed on Ink-Jet Fabric (or an image from fabric)
Brooch

Instructions:

1.    Begin by swapping out the foot on your machine for a darning foot. If you don’t have one, you can just remove the one you already have (just be careful).  Drop the feed dogs on your machine and you’re ready to start free motion stitching.

2.    Cut your image to desired size.

3.    Place a piece of interfacing between the fabric and the ink-jet printed image. With the printed image on top, take it to your machine and begin stitching around the image to secure all layers.  I used zigzag stitching in this step to secure it.

4.    Change your machine settings to a straight stitch and start forming scallops around the image, moving your fabric along the way. Remember that when the feed dogs are dropped, the machine doesn’t control the fabric – you do!

5.    After you’ve stitched all the way around the image, place it on the felt and take it to your machine again.

6.    Repeat the scallops around the fabric and onto the felt, stitching the two layers together.

7.    Trim excess fabric to frame the image and sew the brooch to the back. Be careful to sew it just onto the felt and not through the image on the front.

8.    Take a look at your new creation – sew cute!

Thank you for sharing, Danita! Danita and her artwork have been featured in Stampington publications including Art Doll Quarterly, Art Quilting Studio, Belle Armoire, Sew Somerset, Somerset Studio, and Stuffed. To view more of Danita’s artwork, visit her blog at  danitaart.blogspot.com.



Sarah How-To Project Tutorials ,

We are excited to welcome guest artist Danita to Somerset Place as she shares how to create these little fabric cuties! Hi! I’m Danita and I have a passion for all things crafty.  My grandmother was the seamstress of the family, although sadly I didn’t have the luck to learn from her. Nonetheless, her creativity […]

Q&A: Doodling in French with Guest Artist Anna Corba!

May 21st, 2012

Today we welcome Anna Corba, artist and author of Doodling in French: How to Draw with Joie de Vivre. She shares stories of her time spent in France and how her surroundings influenced the idea for a book all about doodling.

From drawing and doodling to stamping and scrapbooking, you do it all! When did you first discover your creative talent?
I always loved drawing from a young age, but my creative journey unfolded slowly through many years of school and experimentation.  My art and craft style has shown many sides depending on the circumstance, whether for personal pleasure, to make a living, or as a serendipitous incidence. This book was a combination of all three.

Congratulations on your book, Doodling in French. Everything about it is meticulously and beautifully assembled, from the table of contents to the blank doodling pages in the back. Did you know exactly what images to sketch at the start, or was it an ongoing process of discovery?
When I wrote the book proposal, I did spontaneous drawings based on objects I saw lying around my studio.  It was only when I sent the proposal off that I realized all of these items were French and the title Doodling in French was born.  As I proceeded with the bulk of the book, I created chapter outlines to give me some sense of where I might be headed, but I didn’t always obey my own suggestions!

You’ve noted that your time spent in France as a young girl and on summer trips made a lasting impression on your appreciation for art. Is there a particular trip that you remember fondly?
I remember being in the town of Carcassonne, wandering about its winding streets and staring up at the walls that surrounded this medieval town, being really hungry and begging my mom and dad to find a restaurant that served French fries!  And when we did, I remember that we left a coin on a little china tip plate that was so perfectly pretty. Even at eight years old, I felt that this was very civilized and distinctly unique.

Living on both coasts must have been a great opportunity for you to experiment with different colors, textures, and scenery. Can you tell us a bit about the different art styles of the east and west coasts?
When I lived in Michigan, my palette was much muddier than the palette I developed in California.  Back east, mustards, olives, and rusts come into play as the leaves change color and we begin to hunker down for the winter.  There was also a bit more of an industrial edge to my materials, and I started to use discarded metals and rusty nails.  After moving to the west coast, my artistic edges began to soften; ribbons and buttons started to appear and the sunlight brought brighter, prettier colors to the forefront.  Because not everything goes through a hibernation period and needs to be “shined up” come spring, I intuitively felt more drawn to make art that was “prettier” from the outset.

Is there one sketch that you find yourself doodling more frequently?
I sketch bowls a lot. I find this shape to be beautiful in its simplicity and the way its form informs its function, so the latte bowl comes to mind.  I purposely kept the drawings simple so that I could dissect them for the reader.

In the introduction of Doodling in French, you mention that doodling in French is all about a dream. Now that you’ve published this book, what is your next dream?
I love creating books. I believe in them as objects of beauty and inspiration, so I would love to work on another book project.  I also consider France to be a country of inimitable style and hope to continue combing the flea markets and teaching workshops there.

What advice do you have for young aspiring artists who doodle on restaurant napkins and in spiraled notebooks?
Anyone who loves to doodle is involved in creating their own little world. These worlds are valuable for their originality and can be cultivated in so many ways.  You may choose to keep your sketches private or you may choose to show them to the world. Never be afraid to create your own opportunity.

Thank you, Anna, for sharing your artistic adventures with us! If you would like to be inspired by all things French as well, you can pick up a copy of  Doodling in French at The Shoppe, available for 10% off the retail price for a limited time.

We have one copy of Doodling in French to give away to a lucky fan! For a chance to win, comment below and tell us what French items inspire you.*
Update: The winner of Doodling in French is Sherry Loomis! Congratulations, Sherry! Look out for an email from us and we’ll send you your copy.

*Contest open to U.S. residents. Deadline for entries is 5/27/12. A winner will be chosen randomly and notified on 5/28/12.

 



Sarah Contests and Giveaways

Today we welcome Anna Corba, artist and author of Doodling in French: How to Draw with Joie de Vivre. She shares stories of her time spent in France and how her surroundings influenced the idea for a book all about doodling. From drawing and doodling to stamping and scrapbooking, you do it all! When did […]

French Linen DIY

May 17th, 2012

Looking for a quick and inexpensive gift idea that has a homemade touch and a bit of French flair? Our Shoppe Manager shares how you can dress up some vintage jars and tins by using a little bit of ribbon and some readymade vintage canvas patches.

Materials
Small Storage Jars
Clear Top 12oz Tins
Canvas Patches
Jute Ribbon – 3/8″ and 1.5″
Scrapper’s Floss – Charcoal, Carnation, Pansy
Mini Glue Dots

Instructions

  1. Choose an assortment of canvas patches and adhere to the outside of the small plastic storage tins. The circle patches fit perfectly on the clear lids of the round tins, and the square and rectangular patches fit nicely on the square bottles.
  2. Wrap the wide jute ribbon around the base of the tins and adhere ribbon using a few glue dots.
  3. Add color-coordinated scrapper’s floss around the bases of the tins. Embellish some of the lids and the base of the bottles with thin jute ribbon.
  4. Tie scrapper’s floss around the bottles for a finishing touch.
  5. Fill the bottles with sweet-smelling bath salts, the tins with tiny trinkets, and voila! You’ve made a lovely set of French-inspired gifts that are easy, affordable, and effortlessly beautiful.

Project and photo by Vanessa Spencer

  

What is your go-to pampering routine? Treat yourself or a friend to homemade goodies like our Ooh-la-la Spa Day Box, DIY Lip Balm Kit, and more projects specially created for The Studio.

 



Sarah How-To Project Tutorials ,,

Looking for a quick and inexpensive gift idea that has a homemade touch and a bit of French flair? Our Shoppe Manager shares how you can dress up some vintage jars and tins by using a little bit of ribbon and some readymade vintage canvas patches. Materials Small Storage Jars Clear Top 12oz Tins Canvas […]

A Page from Artful Blogging

May 14th, 2012

Artful Blogging is a unique publication that features the most visually stunning blogs from across the internet through beautiful photographs and a patchwork of personal narratives.  Editor Jennifer Taylor strives to capture the essence of each blog and explores how each artist started on his or her blogging adventure. In the Winter ’11 issue, she describes the process of blogging, as “being able to keep track of your creative journey.”  Whether your blog’s focus is photography, writing, art, travel, or something entirely different, the process of documenting your experiences is one of inspiration and growth.


Editor-in-Chief Christen Olivarez reminisces about how her first experiments with art journaling formed her larger passion for blogging. “As a teenager, my best friend and I kept a notebook that we passed back and forth,” she says.  “One of us would write something in it and the other would respond to it, then write something of our own. I loved being able to share my thoughts, hopes, and fears with someone and reading their response. I think that’s why I blog. It’s the same idea, but on a bigger level.”

Sharing and connecting with others is a key part of the blogging process—even if you’re afraid of what others might say. Managing Editor Beth Livesay enjoys having an outlet where she can write daily, but admits it can be intimidating at times.  “Writing will always be my first love,” she says. “Having a blog where I can both write for myself and keep it open to others is a scary thought, but it’s a step in the right direction. Blogging is about sharing my gratitude for fellow artists and bloggers, but it also allows for self expression.  After all, it is my personal writing style that is pinned on the web pages.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A blog is a unique tool you can use to share your personal life in a very public space. If you’re ever feeling intimidated, think about why you started blogging in the first place, and just remember this: blog because you care about what you’re writing. Blog because it’s cathartic for you to mold thoughts into words.  Blog because it’s the people, events, pictures, and experiences you write about that make life challenging and beautiful. If you love what you’re writing, your readers will too.

Want to win a copy of Artful Blogging Summer ’12? Leave a comment telling us what aspect of blogging you love the most, whether it’s writing, photographing, designing, or reading the blogs of your favorite creatives.*

 

Photo credits: Top: Karin Andersson, Artful Blogging Spring ’12; Middle: Glory Albin, Artful Blogging Summer ’12; Bottom: Jennifer Rizzo, Artful Blogging Summer ’12

 

*Contest is open to U.S. residents. Winner will be chosen at random. Deadline for entries is May 31, 2012.

Update: The winner of Artful Blogging Summer ’12 is Lisa Fulmer! Congratulations Lisa, look out for an email from us with the details of your prize.



Sarah Artful LivingContests and Giveaways ,

Artful Blogging is a unique publication that features the most visually stunning blogs from across the internet through beautiful photographs and a patchwork of personal narratives.  Editor Jennifer Taylor strives to capture the essence of each blog and explores how each artist started on his or her blogging adventure. In the Winter ’11 issue, she […]