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 […]

15 Art Journaling Prompts from Guest Artist Traci Bautista!

March 19th, 2012

doodles unleashed by traci bautista

We are thrilled to have Traci Bautista stopping by Somerset Place on her blog tour for her new book, Doodles Unleashed! Read on to learn about her passion for incorporating a variety of media and handwritten techniques into her art journaling process.

I was able to share my story, inspirations, and recent artwork in an artist profile in the current March/April 2012 issue of Somerset Studio. The artist profile includes a few pieces of artwork that you’ll also find in my new book, Doodles Unleashed. I thought it would be a good exercise to explore how to use artwork you see in magazines and books as inspiration, and discuss ways that you can put a new spin on it. It’s great to be inspired by other artists and learn their techniques, but I advise you to experiment and play with different methods to develop your own unique style. The projects in my book include step-by-step instructions that you can follow, but I encourage you to look with “different eyes” and find new ways you can use the images on the page to jumpstart your artistic approach!

Here are twelve art journaling prompts derived from the images of my artwork featured in my Somerset Studio Artist Profile.

  • Collage a background of painted papers and black & white photocopies
  • Stitch a feather shape onto an art journaling card and glue it onto a page
  • Paint a background with blue and green acrylic paint
  • Use a white fluid correction pen to add circles and dots to the page
  • Doodle floral shapes with a brush and black India ink on craft paper
  • Hand carve a stamp or draw an image of a feather on craft foam to create a printing plate (find this technique in Doodles Unleashed!)
  • Scribble art journaling blocks with colored pencils
  • Draw a border with circles
  • Write a personal mantra onto a page with permanent paint pens
  • Place letter stencils on a page and spray through stencil with paint
  • Stamp red circles on the edge of a journal page
  • Write and draw with a pipette filled with India ink or acrylic ink

In Doodles Unleashed, I share the idea of creating a doodle jumpstart jar. Be inspired to write your own prompts by flipping through your favorite books or magazines (or just print out the prompts in this post) and add them to your jumpstart jar. Whenever you are in need of an idea, grab a prompt from the jar and start making marks on the page!

A few more ideas on how to be inspired by artwork:

  • Choose two colors from the color scheme of a piece of art and use them to paint a background page.
  • Turn artwork upside down. Choose a line or shape and draw your own doodle on the page.
  • Use the theme of a painting to inspire your journaling (i.e. if the painting depicts flowers, brainstorm a list of adjectives related to flowers. Write, paint, or doodle an artful response to the words).

Leave a comment to share your creative prompts and ideas to jumpstart your own artistic process!

Happy art journaling and doodling!

Traci

A giant “Thank you!” to Traci for sharing her artistic insights today. Her book, Doodles Unleashed, is now available at The Shoppe. Order yours at 10% off the retail price until March 30th at 12pm.

 

Traci Bautista is a mixed media artist, designer, teacher, and author of the bestselling book, Collage Unleashed, and her recent release, Doodles Unleashed. Her art has been featured in over 15 art and mixed-media books and 40 craft magazines, including Somerset Studio, Altered Couture, Where Women Create, Art Journaling, Art Quilting Studio, Belle Armoire, and Somerset Digital Studio. She designs licensed product lines, Collage Pauge adhesive, and {kolLAJ} paper crafts. Her passion for sharing art has led her on a worldwide tour teaching mixed-media workshops. To learn about her new REFINE the Doodle online workshop series, visit: http://kollaj.typepad.com/doodles_unleashed/.

To follow Traci’s creative adventures, online workshops & digital boutique visit her website http://www.treicdesigns.com or blog http://kollaj.typepad.com.



Sarah Uncategorized ,

We are thrilled to have Traci Bautista stopping by Somerset Place on her blog tour for her new book, Doodles Unleashed! Read on to learn about her passion for incorporating a variety of media and handwritten techniques into her art journaling process. I was able to share my story, inspirations, and recent artwork in an […]

Baggy Book DIY to Store Ephemera Treasures!

March 15th, 2012

Are you guilty of stashing away theatre tickets, tour passes, and other miscellaneous souvenirs with the intention of eventually doing something with them, only to find these long lost tokens at the bottom of your purse a year later?

Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. This album project includes plenty of extra pockets to artfully display and store your treasured ephemera. Add photographs, letters, ticket stubs, and much more to the vertical pockets, and stash your smaller mementos in the inside bag pockets.

Materials:

Large White Paper Bags
Polka Dot Bigger Bitty Bags Red
Notebook Middy Bitty Bags
Spring Jubilee Petite Paper Pack 6 x6″
Spring Jubilee Clear Stamp Set
Spring Jubilee Collage Cards
Screen Print Washi Tapes – Birds & Floral
Screen Print Washi Tapes – Wood & Floral
Screen Print Washi Tapes – Doily & Hearts
Binderie Punch with Starter Kit
Small Binding Rings Multipack Angelo

Instructions

  1. Choose the number of bags that work for your purpose. Our Shoppe Manager used four large bags for this project.
  2. Begin by folding each large paper bag into quarters, and fold the smaller bitty bags in half.
  3. Assemble the album by stacking each folded bag on top of the other.
  4. Add the smaller bitty bags and vintage collage cards in between the pages as desired.
  5. Use the binding machine to punch holes in the book and bind together with red rings.
  6. Embellish the pages using the colorful Spring Jubilee papers.
  7. Add decorative strips of Hambly Screen Prints Washi Tapes to accent each page.
  8. Stamp the butterfly design from the Spring Jubilee stamp set onto the front cover.
  9. Punch words or phrases with a manual label maker for an added bit of vintage flair.
  10. Print out your favorite black and white photographs, and start archiving your adventures and souvenirs!

Click here for additional detailed photos.

 

Loving this unique way to craft with bags? Check out these similar projects from The Studio:

Layered Paper Bag Cards

PB & J Sandwich Bags

Girls’ Night In Gift Bags

Project and photo by Vanessa Spencer

 

Have you used bags in an interesting and creative way? Tell us in the comments below or send your ideas and photos to blog@stampington.com!



Sarah How-To Project Tutorials

Are you guilty of stashing away theatre tickets, tour passes, and other miscellaneous souvenirs with the intention of eventually doing something with them, only to find these long lost tokens at the bottom of your purse a year later? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. This album project includes plenty of extra pockets to artfully […]

Celebrate Youth Art Month with a Free Article Download!

March 12th, 2012

March is National Youth Art Month! Founded in 1961, Youth Art Month encourages art advocates and organizations to raise awareness about the important role that art education has in enriching and strengthening the minds of students.

In observance of this national celebration, we would like to offer you a bit of insight into inspiring the children in your life. Please enjoy this free article download from the premiere issue of Create With Me. We hope that it encourages you to share the gift of creativity by introducing similar projects into their daily routine.

Spread the word about National Youth Art Month! Here are some ideas:

  • Volunteer to teach a curriculum-based art project to your child’s class
  • Reach out to your blogging network and organize a blog hop advocating Youth Art Month
  • Donate a basket of art supplies to an underprivileged school district
  • Institute the Reflections program through the PTA at your child’s school
  • Organize a school-wide bookmark decorating contest. Display them around the school so the kids can see their masterpieces!

Click here to download the article!

How can you raise awareness about the arts in your community? Tell us in the comments below!

 

Artwork from Create With Me Summer ’11 by Danika, Zoey, and Bethany Kartchner

 



Sarah Free Downloads ,,

March is National Youth Art Month! Founded in 1961, Youth Art Month encourages art advocates and organizations to raise awareness about the important role that art education has in enriching and strengthening the minds of students. In observance of this national celebration, we would like to offer you a bit of insight into inspiring the […]