Baroque Chain Paper Dolls with Guest Artist Sandra Evertson

May 10th, 2012

Today we welcome Sandra Evertson to Somerset Place as she shares with us a fun paper-cutting technique to create paper people that are all dolled up!

As spring approaches, I like to dress up my studio with lovely garlands of beautiful paper dolls dancing in doorways and window panes. A simple pleasure from a distant childhood memory–just fancied up a bit! No matter how many years have passed, however, it is still an exciting and satisfying moment when you unfurl a little piece of paper you have snipped here and there and unveil a delicate chain of paper people!

Materials
Standard copy paper 8 ½” x 11” (be sure to use heavier weight, bright white copy paper)
Pencil
Small sharp scissors
Exacto knife
Acrylic paints
Toothpick
Dressmaker’s pin
Cotton cloth

Instructions

  1. Fold a single sheet of copy paper in half, width-wise (that would be hamburger-style for you young’ns). Make crisp creases along the center and gently tear the sheet into two halves. Fold the new piece in half, and then in half again one last time.
  2. I used a metal finding shaped like an 18th century court dancer as the inspiration for my ladies. You can either create a pattern or freestyle your design with a pencil onto the folded edge of the paper. Remember to leave at least two spots on your design that will remain attached to create your chain.
  3. Use a pair of very sharp scissors or an exacto knife to cut out any interior spaces.
  4. Unfold to reveal your pretty ladies, all in a row!
  5. Embellish your paper dolls with a tiny wooden toothpick as a “paint brush” dipped in acrylic paints, creating a faux-dotted Swiss design.

Variations on a theme: Create pretty little pinholes by resting your paper dolls on a folded piece of cotton cloth, then pricking out each hole with a long dressmaker’s pin. Add a set of men to accompany your ladies! For an unusual twist, create these paper chain dolls using black paper for a whimsical silhouette effect. Have fun creating, and now let the ball begin!

A big “Thank you!” to Sandra for sharing this fun technique! More of Sandra Evertson’s artwork can be found in Artful Blogging, Handcrafted, Somerset Apprentice, Somerset Home, Somerset Life, and Somerset Studio. To view more of Sandra’s work, please visit her blog http://www.sandraevertson.blogspot.com

Consider yourself a wiz with a pair of sheers? Show us your spectacular paper chain creations by submitting them to blog@stampington.com.



Sarah How-To Project Tutorials ,,,

Today we welcome Sandra Evertson to Somerset Place as she shares with us a fun paper-cutting technique to create paper people that are all dolled up! As spring approaches, I like to dress up my studio with lovely garlands of beautiful paper dolls dancing in doorways and window panes. A simple pleasure from a distant […]

Free Article Download for National Scrapbooking Month!

May 7th, 2012

Grab your paintbrush, and take your scrappin’ to the next level! National Scrapbooking Month celebrates the art of transforming a blank canvas with beautiful papers, photos, embellishments, and thoughtful words. Displaying cherished photos in a scrapbook is a wonderful way to preserve your adventures, milestones, and memories for decades to come. You’ve got the basics down – now challenge yourself and incorporate mixed-media or even digital elements into your next scrapbooking layout.

This free article download has been borrowed from the March/April 2011 issue of Somerset Studio. Caroline Rondel shares how she experiments with watercolor crayons, gesso, tea, fabric, and rub-on designs to create a personal art journal that combines mixed-media materials with scrapbooking techniques. Click here to download this article and see her creative process.

Happy Scrapping! Follow Caroline’s lead and incorporate a variety of materials into your layouts. What’s a new medium that you want to try? Tell us in the comments below.



Sarah Free DownloadsMixed-Media Art ,,

Grab your paintbrush, and take your scrappin’ to the next level! National Scrapbooking Month celebrates the art of transforming a blank canvas with beautiful papers, photos, embellishments, and thoughtful words. Displaying cherished photos in a scrapbook is a wonderful way to preserve your adventures, milestones, and memories for decades to come. You’ve got the basics […]

A Glimpse Inside our New May Issues!

May 3rd, 2012

The arrival of the new May magazines sparked an excited chatter throughout the office, sprinkled with “oohs!” and “ahhs!” as we pored over the delectable candy-colored covers of our favorite issues. These magazines are works of art in themselves, featuring more alluring blogs, studios, and projects than ever before. Check out the sample spreads below to see what speaks to your ever-flowing creative visions. To sweeten the deal, we are offering a FREE SHIPPING discount exclusively to our blog readers.

Use Promo Code: BLOG0512*

This May/June ’12 issue marks Somerset Studio‘s 15th year showcasing artistic inspiration from mixed-media artists around the world. Learn how to carve detailed and elaborate designs into linoleum with Michelle Ward, and try your hand at free-form stitching techniques with Renee Rogers. Pam Carriker shares why her handmade block stamps hold a special place in her heart, and cover artist Seth Apter combines two of his passions, art and running, to create collaborative projects.

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Stampington Altered Couture

Braids are all the rage this season, and not just the French kind. Incorporate this fresh, sunny look into your wardrobe with detailed tips and stunning photographs in this issue of Altered Couture. Give an old pair of sneakers a bit of new-school glam and read about a red, white, and blue “re-do” that has the perfect dash of vintage Americana. Promote your sewing skills, learn how to fashion a pencil skirt from a button-down work blouse, and read about confessions of a shoe addict.

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Stampington Art Doll Quarterly

Art Doll Quarterly readers, we’ve got quite the issue in store for you. Plan a hot date with a darling fellow that rides his unicycle at lightning speed, or grab a beer with Lakeside Larry, a laid-back doll that might just resemble your husband – Birkenstocks and all. Learn the ins and outs of starting an art doll blog and go behind the curtain with a puppeteer and costume designer. A gorgeous doll comes to life as a mermaid with paperclay, beads, and an imaginary spirit that is absolutely contagious.

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Stampington Artful Blogging

The Summer issue of Artful Blogging is just the ticket for a relaxing afternoon indulging in stunning photography and captivating personal stories. Read about trips to exotic places that have molded bloggers into the creative people they are today. Rebecca Seal showcases juicy cranberry citrus sauce jars and Hanna Villarrubia shares her spread of chocolate soufflés and pinwheel cookies. Look no further than this issue to view photographs of delectable pastries, colorful lanterns, and whimsical Ferris wheels that will whisk you away to new destinations.

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Stampington Catch Up Issue

Take a ride on a hot air balloon and soar through Volume 16 of Catch Up Issue. Enjoy nearly 400 fresh ideas and techniques that will make your artistic imagination soar. From ribbon embellishments to paper windmills, you’ll find new ways to take your stamped art projects to new heights. This colorful issue only comes out once a year, so catch up on your favorite magazine for 365 days of paper crafting inspiration.

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Stampington Where Women Create

Whether you’re looking for an engaging article about the business of crafting or just want to get lost in photographs to kick-start a decorating project, look no further than this issue of Where Women Create. From sophisticated book nooks to a baby grand piano organizational display, the spaces that we have scoped out will leave you inspired to get your spring cleaning done (including the desk clutter!). Visit the creative studios of Kathy Cano-Murillo, Shelley Kennedy, Cindy Dockins, and many other women whose artistically decorated spaces reflect their creative business and life passions.

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Stampington Prims

Explore Americana dolls and sculptural figures with the Summer ’12 issue of Prims. See how artist Olivia Thomas uses fabric and paper to symbolize how she uses her hand as an art tool. Read about a parade of patriotic characters that wave the American flag with pride and participate in America’s favorite pastime – baseball! Sweet elephants and elegant giraffes round out this darling collection of primitive art dolls that are sure to win a special place in your heart.

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*Free shipping offer applies to U.S. purchases of the following May 2012 issues only: Altered Couture, Art Doll Quarterly, Artful Blogging, Catch Up Issue, Prims, Somerset Studio, and Where Women Create. Discount code cannot be combined with any other offer and expires 5/31/12.



Sarah Glimpse Inside And Sneak Peeks ,

The arrival of the new May magazines sparked an excited chatter throughout the office, sprinkled with “oohs!” and “ahhs!” as we pored over the delectable candy-colored covers of our favorite issues. These magazines are works of art in themselves, featuring more alluring blogs, studios, and projects than ever before. Check out the sample spreads below […]

The Artist Behind the Interviews: Ricë Freeman-Zachery

April 30th, 2012

Today we welcome mixed-media artist and Stampington columnist Ricë Freeman-Zachery to Somerset Place. She shares her creative process, what inspires her writing, and why buying handmade is so important.

Readers might recognize you from your columns published in Somerset Studio, Belle Armoire, and Art Journaling, just to name a few publications. What is the most memorable artist profile that you have written?
I’ve gotten to talk to a slew of fabulous people over the ten years I’ve been doing this, so there’s no way I could pick just one! I really enjoy the profiles in which I’ve gotten to visit the artist’s studio. These tours make the artist and their work really come alive for me, and my husband thoroughly enjoys photographing the artists’ spaces.

What do you enjoy best about interacting with the artists?
My passion is passion: what do people love? What grabs them? What wakes them up in the middle of the night? How do they make their ideas concrete? I’m way more interested in the artist and the process than I am the finished work. My current obsession is the intersection of creativity and curiosity, and I’m asking everyone about it. What are you curious about? How does that feed into your creative life?

What sparked your interest in writing? When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I think perhaps in another life my mother would have been a writer, and I think one of her dreams was for me to write novels. Her love of books and reading was surely an influence, and fortunately they were things I also loved. Both my parents were readers, and books were a constant from birth–I’m guessing they were probably reading to me before I was born. I love the way words work together and am fascinated by connotation, metaphor, and etymology. I was always something of an English geek and got two degrees in English, which of course is a guarantee of wealth and fame, right? Other people got degrees in things that lead to lucrative careers; I got degrees in a discipline I loved.

Tell us a bit about the books you have written. What do you hope readers and artists will take away from these artistic collaborations?
I’ve written five books: Stamp Artistry, (artists who show how they use rubber stamps to create a project), New Techniques for Wearable Art (the first altered artwear book, and a tough sell to the publishers who thought altered artwear wouldn’t ever be popular) and then three creativity books: Living the Creative Life, Creative Time and Space, and Destination Creativity. The last one, a collaboration with my husband (he took all the photos), was the most fun. We traveled 19,600 miles in 2010 attending art retreats, taking photographs (Earl), and asking nosey questions (me). We featured five complete workshops led by Jesse Reno and Carla Sonheim and included tips for holding smaller retreats closer to home.

When you’re not writing about other people’s work, what art do you create?
The short answer is that I stitch. The longer answer is that I alter garments into SoulWear–clothes that are expressions of a unique personality. In the past, I have made/shown/taught/sold art quilts and art dolls, handmade books and jewelry, assemblage and collage. But my true passion–ever since I was in high school–has been altering and embellishing my own wardrobe. Since I love finding already-worn clothes, consignment shops and thrift shops are treasure troves for me. I love Goodwill–not just for the selection and great prices but because they employ special needs workers in the community.

Tell us about your creative process. Do you work on a single project at a time, or have several in the works?
I like to work. I like to be productive. I’m incredibly lucky to have jobs that I love–writing profiles for Stampington, writing books, editing a website for my publishers at F&W Media (CreateMixedMedia.com). I like to have a lot of projects going at once, several of them with deadlines that help me create schedules as a framework for everything else. I love the days when I edit audio while doing handwork on a garment I’m embellishing. All the various projects influence each other, with ideas zipping around in my head, and I can move from one to another to another throughout the day.

What do you enjoy surrounding yourself with in your studio?
Color, color, color! Our house is a riot of bright color, just the way we love it. Three years ago for my birthday Earl helped me gut and re-do the office studio. We painted the walls and ceiling a sunny golden orange and stained the concrete floor a gold and reddish-rust hue. Just last week I had the sewing studio re-done, with triple windows and the same color paint as the office. Color + a lot of light = a happy me. Oh, and happy cats. You can’t work when the cats aren’t happy, so the sunny windows are also for them.

How can people support the handmade movement?
Avoid the mall. Seriously. Support Etsy–I love Etsy. I’m at the stage in my life where I’m focusing on getting rid of–rather than acquiring–things, and that’s also a way to support handmade. Use the things you have already to create “new” stuff rather than going out and buying something new.

What advice can you offer an aspiring artist/writer?
Write. Write every day. Learn to be an editor and go back and look at what you’ve written with a critical eye. Read. Read everything. Don’t settle on one genre, but read everything you can get your hands on. Learn the rules of writing. Know what a metaphor is, learn about parallel structure, know how to quote people so you don’t end up falsifying information. Writing is a craft and a skill and an art, and doing it well requires not only that you study the rules, but that you fall in love with words and what they will enable you to communicate with others.

Anything else you would like to share with our readers?
You can create your own life. There are a few rules you have to follow, things about paying taxes and flossing your teeth and Dressing Appropriately for The Day Job. Outside of those, however, you can do pretty much what you want with your house and your wardrobe, your hair and your routine, what you eat and how you spend your spare time. I always urge people to quit watching television, quit doing what everyone else is doing, and figure out what you want to make of your life. You only get one, so you might as well make it exactly how you want it.

Thank you for sharing your insight with us, Ricë! You can find Rice’s artist profiles in Art Doll Quarterly, Art Journaling, Art Quilting Studio, Belle Armoire, Belle Armoire Jewelry, and Somerset Studio. Her books, Living the Creative Life and Creative Time and Space are available at The Shoppe.

Follow Ricë’s creative endeavors on her blog, Notes from the Voodoo Café: http://voodoonotes.blogspot.com.



Sarah Mixed-Media Art ,

Today we welcome mixed-media artist and Stampington columnist Ricë Freeman-Zachery to Somerset Place. She shares her creative process, what inspires her writing, and why buying handmade is so important. Readers might recognize you from your columns published in Somerset Studio, Belle Armoire, and Art Journaling, just to name a few publications. What is the most […]

Bloom Where You’re Planted DIY

April 26th, 2012

Our mini library drawer has been given multiple facelifts and previously altered into a photo organizer and rewards drawer. Today we’re sharing how this drawer can go au naturel and give your green thumb a chance to shine. This hands-on gardening project is perfect for mother-daughter bonding time or as a quick and easy gift idea!

 

Materials

Mini Library Drawer

Collage Pauge

Small succulents in various styles

 

Instructions

You can find small succulents inexpensively at your local swap meet. Be on the lookout for different species to give your project unique dimension. As the drawer’s primary purpose is for paper crafting, the wood may wear over time. Before potting the succulents, treat the wood with a coat of Collage Pauge to waterproof it. While succulents don’t require excessive watering, it is a good idea to drill a couple of holes in the bottom of the drawer for drainage. Place your new planter in a window with plenty of sunlight and enjoy this bright and sophisticated piece of home décor. This low maintenance and cost-effective project is perfect to make for Mother’s Day and lasts longer than a bouquet of flowers!

Note: Succulents do best in a drier, rocky potting soil. Instructions on the bag will usually indicate if the soil is suitable for cacti and succulents.

For more tips and projects for the green-conscious crafter, see what’s inside the latest issue of GreenCraft.

 

Project and photos by Vanessa Spencer

 



Sarah How-To Project Tutorials ,,,

Our mini library drawer has been given multiple facelifts and previously altered into a photo organizer and rewards drawer. Today we’re sharing how this drawer can go au naturel and give your green thumb a chance to shine. This hands-on gardening project is perfect for mother-daughter bonding time or as a quick and easy gift […]