Where My Heart Lives by Guest Artist Kristen Robinson

April 9th, 2012

We are excited to welcome Kristen Robinson to Somerset Place as she shares a charming way to alter a trio of wooden houses.

Witnessing the first sign of spring is an absolute thrill when one lives in an area where the four seasons are regular visitors. Earth’s yearly rebirth is amazing, inspiring, and filled with delight and wonder. This easy project shows you how to layer paint, paper tape, and tiny fabric swatches onto these sweet wooden houses and sprinkle with heartwarming sentiments.

Materials:
Wood House Shapes
Eco Green Crafts Acrylic Paint – White and Orchid
Cavallini & Co. Decorative Paper Tape – Flora and Fauna
Scraps of felt, lace, and linen
Embroidery Floss
Found flowers or vintage trinkets
Printed phrase
Sewing machine (or needle and thread)
Colored pencils
Fabric glue
Paint brush

Instructions

1. Paint all houses with a coat of white acrylic paint and set aside to dry.

2. Once the paint is dry, add a strip of tape along the bottom of the large house.

3. Add strips of coordinating tape onto the top of the two smaller houses as well.

4. Dip the end of a paintbrush into the orchid paint and create polka dots around the edge of the large house’s roof.

5. Lightly edge the houses with orchid paint and let dry.

6. Create three stacks of linen and lace.

7. Using either a sewing machine or a needle and thread, stitch a box in the center of each fabric stack, making sure to catch all of the layers.

8. Cut a heart out of the felt and glue it to the top of the large house’s fabric stack.

9. Glue your phrase onto the top of the fabric stacks; glue stacks to the center of the houses.

10. Embellish the houses by adding shading, hatch marks, and found flowers!

Thank you for sharing this wonderful project, Kristen! Kristen has been featured in multiple Stampington publications including Belle Armoire Jewelry, Jewelry Affaire, Somerset Life, and Somerset Workshop. She has also created multiple projects for us that you can find in The Studio, including Glassine Goodie Bags and Boxes of Delight.

To view more of Kristen’s altered projects, please visit her blog at kristenrobinson.typepad.com.

Project and photos by Kristen Robinson
Opening photo by Vanessa Spencer

 



Sarah How-To Project Tutorials ,,,,,

We are excited to welcome Kristen Robinson to Somerset Place as she shares a charming way to alter a trio of wooden houses. Witnessing the first sign of spring is an absolute thrill when one lives in an area where the four seasons are regular visitors. Earth’s yearly rebirth is amazing, inspiring, and filled with […]

A Glimpse Inside: April Magazines Are Here!

April 5th, 2012

Our gorgeous crop of April issues will have you rifling through your fabric collection, heading to the nearest flea market, and taking the plunge into the colorful world of art journaling! We are excited to bring you the inside scoop on these ever-inspiring issues and offer an exclusive FREE SHIPPING promotion just for our blog readers.

Use Promo Code: BLOG0412*

The artists featured in the Spring 2012 issue of Art Journaling know that there’s nothing wrong with getting your hands a little messy in splatter paint, metallic inks, and stenciled drawings. Fill your uniquely created handwritten, upcycled, and digitally altered journals with memories, wishes, and thoughts. Challenge yourself and learn how to create textured pages from pretty floral napkins, use paint chips as a monochromatic background, and document memorable events with an “anything goes” style!

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These pages of Jewelry Affaire will be your key to unlocking a whole new world of jewelry making. Have you tried knotting silk or refashioning silverware to create elegant bangles that make a striking statement? Learn how to add crocheted elements to elegant necklaces, drill holes in metal findings, and mix cogs and wire to create a timeless work of wearable art. Be sure to check out the feminine flower necklaces from Erin Bolluck, whose wispy layering technique will make you twirl with delight!

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Bring your memories to life with stenciled letters, chipboard albums, and doodled backgrounds in this bright and sunny installment of Somerset Memories. These inspiring reader submissions will be your guide as you experiment with new layering, painting, and photo-enhancing techniques. Sew right onto your scrapbook layouts, add digital elements to your projects, and dabble with chicken wire to create textured backgrounds! Each issue comes with eight specially designed artist papers for you to enjoy using in your mixed-media creations.

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The art of stamping reaches new heights in our new quarterly issue of The Stampers’ Sampler! Raise a glass to an innovative use for coffee coasters, take thread to paper and create bright canvas art, and put a vintage spin on manila tags. Take in that “whiff” of creativity and submit your best project to us using our brand-new template! Enjoy the inspiration that is packed into “A Closer Look,” a brand-new section that showcases detailed photographs of artists’ techniques.

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The mini pies, strawberry tutus, glittering glass jars and pink frosted cakes take center stage in the inspirational celebrations featured in our second installation of Mingle! From a handmade ocean wedding to a vintage-inspired craft party, these personalized do-it-yourself events make exquisite desserts and jewel-toned décor the stars of the show. With meticulously curated gatherings that combine readers’ passions for photography, decorating, and event planning, this issue is sure to delight and inspire!

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The Spring 2012 issue of Somerset Life shares the joy of infusing mixed-media artwork into all aspects of your life. With a bit of ink and a swatch of ribbon, create personalized packaging solutions and adorn a collage keepsake portfolio! Embrace your inner bookworm with a fabric bookmark project and craft a wearable booklet necklace to keep your favorite quotations close to your heart. Looking for Mother’s Day gift-giving ideas? From packaging essentials to handmade card templates, we’ve got you covered with endless project ideas!

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Flirty ruffles and darling rosettes adorn the cover of the Spring 2012 issue of Haute Handbags. Fabric in plum and mustard hues and lovely lace linens are sewn together to create cottage clutches and luxurious totes. Packing a picnic in Paris, feeling a little “knotty,” or just want to sew the perfect book bag for your newest read? Each article includes detailed instructions, sewing tips, and beautiful color photos to help you create the perfect handbag to tote your belongings in style.

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*Free shipping offer applies to U.S. purchases of the following April 2012 issues only: Art Journaling, Haute Handbags, Jewelry Affaire, Mingle, Somerset Life, Somerset Memories, and The Stampers’ Sampler. Discount code cannot be combined with any other offer and expires 4/30/12.

 



Sarah Glimpse Inside And Sneak Peeks ,,,,,,,,,

Our gorgeous crop of April issues will have you rifling through your fabric collection, heading to the nearest flea market, and taking the plunge into the colorful world of art journaling! We are excited to bring you the inside scoop on these ever-inspiring issues and offer an exclusive FREE SHIPPING promotion just for our blog […]

New Pinterest Upcycled Challenge & Chartreuse Winner Announcement!

April 1st, 2012

Stampington GreenCraft

Walking through the hallways of the Stampington offices, you’ll find a multitude of projects that were created from recycled objects for little to no cost. A distressed picture frame displaying bitty bags and ephemera accents the craft studio’s wall, upcycled egg cartons-turned-spring favors perch on a shelf, and a softie doll dress collection crafted from fabric scraps dangle from wire hangers. When we stumble across discarded items at flea markets and thrift stores, I’m convinced that the other customers can hear the ideas bouncing around in our heads.

In observance of the green-conscious holidays this month (hello Earth Day and Arbor Day!), we invite you to enter our Pinterest Upcycled Challenge. Create a pinboard that celebrates recycled art projects and features DIYs fashioned from items that would have otherwise been discarded. Do you see potential in an unwanted wooden shutter or clothing you’ve outgrown? Want to show us how you gave an old nightstand a new coat of paint – and a new purpose? We encourage you to post images of projects that you made yourself, as well as innovative ideas that you want to try.

The pinner with the most creative green-conscious board will be awarded a $25 gift certificate to The Shoppe, and three runner-ups will receive a GreenCraft issue of their choice! Take a look at our sample pin board and head to your local thrift store or start a spring cleaning spree to uncover items you can reuse to reduce waste and promote art!

Want a little inspiration to get you going? Check out the current issue of GreenCraft for resourceful project ideas.

Please compose a short paragraph in the description of your board telling us how you plan to craft “green” this month.  Comment below with the link to your board.

 

I would like to thank everyone who entered our Cruise in Chartreuse Pinterest Color Challenge. I am excited to announce that Irene Grubb is our winner! Her stunning board of Chartreuse-hued dresses, vintage finds, and interior décor really WOWed us. Congratulations, Irene! You have won a copy of the new March/April ’12 issue of Somerset Studio! We will be in contact with you about the details of your prize.

 

Images, left to right: GreenCraft Autumn 2010, GreenCraft Autumn 2010, GreenCraft Autumn 2011, GreenCraft Spring 2012

 

This contest is open to residents of the U.S. and expires at midnight on April 30, 2012.

 

Update 5/16/12: We have our winners! Congratulations to Grand Prize winner Danielle Hunter, and runner-ups Deb Moon and Alina Gridley. We will be in contact with you shortly in regard to your prizes.



Sarah Contests and GiveawaysHow-To Project Tutorials ,

Walking through the hallways of the Stampington offices, you’ll find a multitude of projects that were created from recycled objects for little to no cost. A distressed picture frame displaying bitty bags and ephemera accents the craft studio’s wall, upcycled egg cartons-turned-spring favors perch on a shelf, and a softie doll dress collection crafted from […]

Paper, Ink, and the Words of Hafiz by Guest Artist Christine Mason Miller

March 29th, 2012

The Somerset Place Guest Artist series continues as Christine Mason Miller shares her inspiring experience infusing poetry with art on the beach of Big Sur.

I am often asked what inspires me.  Where do I look for inspiration, how do I find it? While my usual response is an explanation of how I am always receptive to things that might inspire me – whether it’s a rusty gate or a program on NPR, and therefore rarely “go looking” for inspiration – I do have a few especially inspiring treasures that I turn to again and again. One of those is Big Sur and another is the poetry of Hafiz. In February of 2011, the two came together in a most magical way, and has since become a tradition of sorts.

The idea is very simple. A close friend and I headed up to Big Sur for a weekend of rest, retreat and, yes, inspiration. I brought a large roll of plain white paper, big watercolor brushes, a bottle of ink and The Gift, which is book of poetry by the 13th century Persian poet Hafiz. We went to Pfeiffer State Beach, and with the waves crashing behind us, my friend and I each used the ink and brushes to write one of Hafiz’s poems in large, unruly script. We did this again just a few weeks ago while a group of dolphins played in the water just beyond the breaking waves.

This is an incredibly simple creative project that can be done anywhere – the beach, in a park, even on a sidewalk in your neighborhood. What is so fun about doing this in a public place is seeing the way onlookers react not only to the sight of creatives at work, but also to the poetry itself. In 2011, there was a small group of surfers not far from us on the beach who eventually wandered over to us, read the poems, bowed their heads and said, “thank you.” This year we had the pleasure of talking to a gentleman who, moved by the words of Hafiz, shared the work of another poet he loved, as well as his stories of seeing Bob Dylan in concert more than fifty times. The very quiet act of handwriting a poem on a large piece of paper with a brush and ink is enough to invite interesting conversations and also give anyone who happens to walk by a tiny gift of inspiration. It is a beautiful exchange created with the most mundane of materials – paper, ink, and a poem you love.

 

This Sky

This

Sky

Where we live

Is no place to lose your wings

So love, love,

Love.

~ Hafiz

 

Materials List:  Roll of plain white or Kraft paper, ink, watercolor brushes, rag, cup for water to clean brushes, poetry

Instructions:  Choose a poem that inspires you; using your brush and ink, write it in on the paper in a public place; see the magic unfold!

 

Thank you for sharing, Christine! Christine Mason Miller is a Santa Monica-based writer and mixed-media artist. Her latest book – Desire to Inspire: Using Creative Passion to Transform the World – is available at Amazon.com and at bookstores everywhere. Visit her at www.christinemasonmiller.com.

 



Sarah Uncategorized ,,,

The Somerset Place Guest Artist series continues as Christine Mason Miller shares her inspiring experience infusing poetry with art on the beach of Big Sur. I am often asked what inspires me.  Where do I look for inspiration, how do I find it? While my usual response is an explanation of how I am always […]

Distress a Crate with a Vintage Whitewashing Technique!

March 26th, 2012

Our Shoppe Manager and crafting queen extraordinaire Vanessa Spencer joins us on the blog to share a story about her latest DIY creation.

While working at Stampington, my co-worker Johanna Love and I have become very good friends. With my family living in Australia, I feel lucky to have someone here that is like another sister. Working together, we have connected not only as fellow creatives, but also as mothers of little ones. I think we just simply “get” each other!

Last holiday season, Johanna and I got together to celebrate an early Christmas, and much to my surprise, Johanna had a special gift for me. Johanna knows how much I love all things vintage, especially vintage soda crates, so when she saw this beauty at Goodwill for only $6 (crazy right?) she knew I would be head-over-heels excited. And I was!

Immediately, I hung it up on the wall at home to store knick knacks. I loved the rustic brown color, but decided to paint it white to match my recent home décor renovations. No big deal – or at least, I didn’t think it was. But when I mentioned to Johanna that the crate was now white, she said, “The auctioneer in me is cringing right now!” Oh goodness, what have I done? I thought. I knew that she wasn’t really upset with me, but it certainly made me wonder…had the value of the crate been destroyed?

When I brought the crate into work, each cubby filled with crafty goodness, I was anxious to see Johanna’s reaction. She was relieved that I had decided to whitewash it and not actually paint it. In this case, whitewashing simply worked because the original “character” and marks and writing on the sides still show through. Very cool!

To whitewash the crate I simply mixed gesso with water and lightly painted the box. I filled all the little compartments with some of my favorite supplies: fabric tapes, cute clothespins, and ribbon on spools. If you are in the market for a vintage crate, scope out the local antique markets in your area.

I’ve seen lots of creative crate planter ideas lately – such a cute project to make for a garden. I think I know what my next project will be!

Vanessa Spencer is the Shoppe Manager and Artist in Residence for Stampington & Company. Head over to The Studio to view more of her inspirational how-to projects!

If you have a similar crate (or plan to get your hands on one), share your innovative upcycling ideas in the comments below or send photos to blog@stampington.com.

Project by Vanessa Spencer
Photo by Johanna Love



Sarah How-To Project Tutorials

Our Shoppe Manager and crafting queen extraordinaire Vanessa Spencer joins us on the blog to share a story about her latest DIY creation. While working at Stampington, my co-worker Johanna Love and I have become very good friends. With my family living in Australia, I feel lucky to have someone here that is like another […]