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 […]

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 […]