Free Article Download: The Art of the Gratitude List

November 26th, 2014

The Art of Gratitude Free Article Download

“14. My hands — to hold my beloveds with — for hugging and touching and connecting — love makes me hold the world differently, always.”

~Madelyn Mulvaney from Bella Grace; Click here to read the full article.

Happy Thanksgiving, from all of us at Stampington & Company, to you and yours!

We never get tired of saying how much we love our blog subscribers. We’re thankful for each and every one of you who visit us here at Somerset Place. To show you our gratitude for sharing your time, opinions, and creativity with us, we want to give you all a very special gift.

Click here to download the free article, “The Art of the Gratitude List” by Madelyn Mulvaney that originally appeared in the premiere issue of Bella Grace. This interactive gratitude list will get you in the perfect mood for Thanksgiving. Simply download the article, print it out, and fill in the blank spaces with your own list of things you’re grateful for.

 



Sarah Artful LivingFree Downloads ,,,,,

“14. My hands — to hold my beloveds with — for hugging and touching and connecting — love makes me hold the world differently, always.” ~Madelyn Mulvaney from Bella Grace; Click here to read the full article. Happy Thanksgiving, from all of us at Stampington & Company, to you and yours! We never get tired […]

Recycled ATC Tags Project by Guest Artist Cat Kerr

November 24th, 2014

Cat Kerr Recycled ATC Tags



We’re happy to announce the return of a very talented guest artist. Cat Kerr, who shared with us a darling Shadowbox Project earlier this year, is back to teach us how to make her stunning recycled ATC gift tags. These creative and colorful tags are easy to make, and they’re here just in time for the holidays! Make your own with Cat’s step-by-step instructions, and add a special touch to any gift packaging. These tags are so unique that we’re sure your gift recipients will love them just as much as the present itself, and will keep them for inspiration all year round. Grab your paper scraps, paints, and stamps — and let’s get started.

~*~

Making trades (a small piece of art to giveaway during an art retreat) is a great way to meet new people and get your name out there at the same time.  I recently made some to hand out during the “Art Is You” Art Retreat. My trades were simple Artist Trading Cards (ATC). I had a lot of fun making them, plus they were a great way to network because I stamped my name and website information on the back of each one. When I came home, I had a wonderful assortment of art trades from other creative souls as well as some of my leftover ATC cards. While trying to figure out what to do with my leftover cards, I realized that I would soon be packaging up some holiday gifts, so I decided to turn my Artist Trading Cards into one-of-a-kind gift tags.  

Recycled ATC Tags Project Materials:

-Modge Podge (Adhesive) –Gesso -Pencil –Acrylic Paint Paint Brushes Stencil Brushes Burlap Stencil Stamps Ink Rub-On Words Hole Punch Palette Knife Pens Gift Box Ribbon & Trim  

Recycled ATC Tags Project by Cat Kerr:

 

Cat Kerr - ATC Creation

 

Step 1 – Using Modge Podge or another strong adhesive, glue some telephone text onto 2-1/2 x 3-1/2” stencil board, and then cover it in a thin layer of Deco Art Gesso.

Step 2 – Next, cover the card in a watery layer of acrylic paint (I use Deco Art Fluid Paint) and once dry, add some additional colors using a stencil brush and burlap stencil (you can use any stencil you like to add depth and contrast).

Step 3 – When the paint is dry, use a palette knife and some gesso to make lines, and a pencil eraser to add circles.

Step 4 – Wait until your gesso is dry, and then stamp an image onto your card. Add more circles, this time using a thin sharpie. You can also apply some rub-on words and a few small dots using the tip of a pencil for a little added interest.

Step 5 – Lastly, apply color to the edges of the card using a palette knife and some splattered black paint.

Cat Kerr - Gift Tags



Step 6 Using a 2” scalloped punch, cut out your gift tags. You can use any punch you have on hand, just make sure they’re a good size.

Cat Kerr - Hole Punching Gift Tags

Step 7 – Next, punch a 1/8” hole into the tags and add an eyelet. The eyelet will protect the tag from tearing.

Cat Kerr - Applying Resin to Gift Tags

Step 8 – Mix up two equal parts of clear resin with a Popsicle stick and according to the manufacturer’s instructions (I use Amazing Clear Cast). Once your resin is ready, add it to the center of the tag and spread it out to the sides, and then let it cure.

Cat Kerr - Gift Tag Project

 

Step 9 – Once cured, paint some liquid pearls onto the scalloped edges of the tag and add a new word rub-on. When the paint is dry, add another layer of resin.

Cat Kerr - Paperwhimsy Keys

Step 10 – Use matching colors to paint a few Paper Whimsy wooden keys. Finish the keys off with some Inka Gold.

Cat Kerr - Finished Project



Step 11 – Cover a simple brown box with trim, sari ribbon, and your new handmade tags. These sweet treats are ready to give away to that special someone!

 ~*~

Thank you so much, Cat Kerr, for giving us such a wonderful project tutorial. Who wouldn’t love receiving such a beautifully packaged gift? We hope this post has inspired you all to go out and create your very own gift tags.

Want more creative ideas? Don’t forget to visit Cat Kerr’s blog: In the Light of the Moon

 

See More of Cat Kerr’s Work in Somerset Memories

Somerset Memories Autumn 2014 - Cat KerrFeaturing amazing scrapbook pages, stunning journals, mixed-media memory art created from family heirlooms, plus eight free sheets of scrapbook paper, you’ll find plenty of inspiration for preserving your own memories in Somerset Memories. Plus this autumn issue features darling memory art pins created by Cat Kerr.



Sarah Uncategorized ,,,,,,,

We’re happy to announce the return of a very talented guest artist. Cat Kerr, who shared with us a darling Shadowbox Project earlier this year, is back to teach us how to make her stunning recycled ATC gift tags. These creative and colorful tags are easy to make, and they’re here just in time for […]

Editor Spotlight: The Beauty of Imperfection by Danielle Mohler

November 20th, 2014

Danielle Mohler - Editor of Artful Blogging

The world of artful blogging is simply amazing. From wildly popular authentic living spaces to digital studios that offer artists a place to showcase their work, there are many different types of creative blogs on the internet. More importantly, in my opinion, there’s a strong sense of community, which helps to nurture and strengthen artists from all walks of life. Today we’re shinning the spotlight on a very special person, Danielle Mohler, the editor of Artful Blogging.

Grab your notes, your camera, and get ready for a little inspiration — please join me in giving Danielle a warm Somerset Place welcome.

~*~

Artful Blogging Winter 2015~Photograph by Kim Klassen

Like many people, my day-to-day life follows a routine that rarely changes. On weekdays, I wake up and stumble to the kitchen to turn on the coffee pot before spending a few moments with my kitty, Holly Golightly, who sure likes to talk in the morning; that is, until her food bowl is replenished. Over the next hour, I get dressed, make lunch, and head off to work. Even at the office, I have a routine: I warm up whatever is left of my coffee and make breakfast while my computer turns on. I am not a morning person, but I sure do love those first few moments at work sipping coffee and catching up with my favorite bloggers. It sets the tone for my day and surrounds me with creative inspiration. In my line of work, this inspiration is crucial.

 

Artful Blogging Winter 2015~Photograph by  Anetta Bosakova and Stephanie Dahlsrud

I have been an editor at Stampington & Company for about two years now, having the opportunity to manage a few of our titles. Each publication is a thrill to work on, but the newest one I manage also warms my heart. My first issue of Artful Blogging hit newsstands at the beginning of this month. As I put together the issue, I was amazed at the bloggers, the stories they shared, and their outstanding photography. Many of them told stories about their blogging journey, their longing for perfection, and their misconstrued concepts about photography.

 

Artful Blogging Winter 2015~Photograph by Jesi Haack

One thing I love about blogging is its vulnerability. My favorite blogs are the ones showcasing the flops, mistakes, and errors along with the successes. They show me the importance of laughing off blunders, instead of getting bent out of shape. After following blogs for a while, I feel as if I know the bloggers. I look forward to new posts and sympathize with them during hard times. It’s a magical experience where you travel with them through their highs and lows all from your own computer. Sometimes this means saying goodbye, when a blogger decides it’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate priorities. It can feel like losing a friend.

 

Artful Blogging Winter 2015~Photograph by Krisha Hinkle

The desire to be flawless spills over into every aspect of life, including blogging. Often, bloggers strive for the best stories and photographs in each blog post to attract more and more followers. This issue of Artful Blogging features inspiring bloggers who have risen above this idea of perfection. I think Krisha Hinkle sums it up just right (p. 80): “These days, I measure the success of my blog by how little time I spend perfecting it.”

 

Artful Blogging Winter 2015~Photograph by Beth McWilliams

So many things in life can’t be controlled no matter how hard we try. Perfection is merely an idea that can never actually be attained because, at the end of the day, we are all human. When I truly consider it, I believe life would be quite boring if everyone was perfect. The quirky details and hairy back stories make for interesting people. Even though I majored in English in college, I still misspell a word every now and then, and that’s OK. Instead of aiming for perfection, I have learned to enjoy imperfections. Nowadays, my goal is to take each day at face value. I can’t wait to see where this new mindset takes me.

~*~

Artful Blogging Winter 2015~Photograph by Courtney Kennedy

Who hasn’t dreamed of starting their very own blog and reaching across time and space to touch the lives of complete strangers? If you’ve considered it, maybe it’s time to start! Thank you to Danielle Mohler for sharing a bit of your insight into the world of authentic and artful blogging.

 

Use Code BLOG1114 to get $5 off Artful Blogging

Artful Blogging Winter 2015Immerse yourself in the breathtaking photos and captivating stories of some of the world’s most creative bloggers in this issue of Artful Blogging — and because we love our blog readers, you can get $5 off the winter issue.





Sarah Artful Living ,,

The world of artful blogging is simply amazing. From wildly popular authentic living spaces to digital studios that offer artists a place to showcase their work, there are many different types of creative blogs on the internet. More importantly, in my opinion, there’s a strong sense of community, which helps to nurture and strengthen artists […]

Stuffed Canvas Dolls by Guest Artist Connie Fong

November 17th, 2014

Stuffed Canvas Dolls by Guest Artist Connie Fong - Display



Art dolls are such a unique way to express creativity, but they can be a little intimidating — especially when you don’t even know what a ball-joint is. That’s what attracted me so much to Connie Fong’s little stuffed dolls. Their assemblage is straight forward and simple enough, while their actual presentation leaves space for trying out and showing off artistic technique. After finding these charming dolls on Connie’s blog, I was very excited to invite her to become a guest artist for Somerset Place. You can only imagine how overjoyed I was when she agreed!


Now, without further ado, please help me welcome the extraordinarily talented Connie Fong to our creative corner of the internet.

~*~

I’ve dabbled in most creative areas including jewelry, art journaling, paper dolls, sewing, scrapbooking, and card making; however, I recently just started making dolls. I always thought painting faces was going to be a challenge, so I never pursued this area until I took a wonderful class with mixed-media artist, Danita. After taking her class, I made several dolls and gained the confidence I needed to pursue further doll making; that’s when I signed up for Mindy Lacefield’s class on Primitive Portraits. I love Mindy’s style and her online classes are great — she takes you step-by-step, gives helpful tips, and she shares what supplies she likes to use. I took her style and added my own touch and turned my drawings into these stuffed dolls.

 

Stuffed Canvas Dolls Material List:

Canvas Fabric or White Duck Cloth Fabric
White Gesso
Multi-Media Paper
Canvas Photo Paper (This paper can be purchased at most office supply stores)
Ink Jet Printer
Watercolors
Paint Brushes
Acrylic Paint
Soft Lead Pencil (9B)
Stabilo Pencil
Blending Stump
Tissue Paper (I used Metro Tissue Paper)
Adhesive (I used Mod Podge)
Sewing Machine
Black Thread
Polyfil
Small Embellishments

 

Stuffed Canvas Dolls Project Tutorial by Connie Fong:

There are two methods I use to create these stuffed dolls. One method is to draw and paint the doll directly onto the canvas fabric and the other is to draw and paint onto some mixed-media paper and then transfer the image onto canvas photo paper using a printer. Personally, I prefer the second method because then you can reuse your original doll image over and over again for different purposes, such as making other stuffed dolls or taking the image and using it on a greeting card or art journal. I’ll take you through the steps for each method.

 

Method One – Drawing/Painting Stuffed Canvas Dolls Directly onto Duck Cloth Fabric or Canvas Fabric

Stuffed Canvas Dolls by Guest Artist Connie Fong - White Gesso

Step 1 – Cut a rectangular piece of duck cloth fabric about 8 inches tall and 5-1/2 inches wide (you can also use Canvas Fabric).

Step 2 – Paint some white gesso over the center portion of the fabric where you will be drawing the doll, and let dry before continuing.

Stuffed Canvas Dolls by Guest Artist Connie Fong - Drawing Doll

Step 3 – Once dry, use a soft lead pencil to draw an oval for the face. Pencil in the eyes, nose and mouth, then draw the neck and body.

Step 4 – Next, watercolor the face. Try to blend the colors and add some shading and depth by making the edges of the face darker and lightening the color towards the center.

Stuffed Canvas Dolls by Guest Artist Connie Fong  - Painting Dress

Step 5 – Use black acrylic paint to fill in the eyes, eye lids, and brows.  Use a very tiny brush and some magenta acrylic paint and color in the lips. Use watercolor to fill in the neck and arms. Don’t forget to create some shading under the neck and on the sides of the arms. Also, paint over the entire dress area, creating shading on the top and sides of the dress. Finally, outline the lower half of the face, neck and arms with the Stabilo pencil to create a darker line. If the line is too bold, you can soften it with a blending stump.

Stuffed Canvas Dolls by Guest Artist Connie Fong - Painting

Step 6 – To paint the hair, use a small bristle paint brush — the stiffer the better. Paint the doll’s hair with acrylic paint using light strokes around the head.

Step 7 – When the paint is dry, cut out a square piece of Metro tissue paper that’s slightly larger than the dress area. Lay the tissue paper on top of the dress area and trace the shape of the dress with a pencil. Cut the tissue paper accordingly and adhere the tissue onto the fabric with Mod Podge or glue ( you can see an example of this in method two).

 

Method Two – Drawing/Painting Stuffed Canvas Doll onto Multi-Media Paper

Stuffed Canvas Dolls by Guest Artist Connie Fong - Painting

Step 1 – Follow the same steps as method one to draw and paint the doll, except this time paint directly onto multi-media paper. Don’t worry, multi-media paper is sturdy enough to hold watercolor and acrylic paint.

Stuffed Canvas Dolls by Guest Artist Connie Fong - Dress

Step 2 – Once you’re done drawing and painting your doll and adding the Metro tissue paper for the dress, you’re ready to copy the image onto canvas photo paper. Insert the canvas photo paper into your inkjet printer as if it was regular paper, following manufacturer’s directions.

Step 3 – Photocopy your original image onto the canvas photo paper.

 

Finishing your Stuffed Canvas Dolls:

Stuffed Canvas Dolls by Guest Artist Connie Fong - Dolls

Step 1 – Once you have your image painted onto fabric, using the method of your choosing, you’re ready to create the stuffed doll.

Stuffed Canvas Dolls by Guest Artist Connie Fong - Sewing

Step 2 – Lay some blank canvas fabric underneath your doll image and sew around the image, creating a pocket and leaving the bottom portion open. I personally like sewing around the image twice using black thread, it adds dimension and a decorative touch.

Stuffed Canvas Dolls by Guest Artist Connie Fong - Stuffing

Step 3 – Trim the excess fabric, leaving approximately a quarter of an inch edge. Stuff the doll with polyfil, and once fully stuffed, sew the bottom of the doll closed.

Step 4 – Finish your doll with embellishments such as buttons, ribbons, flowers, or anything else you want.

Stuffed Canvas Dolls by Guest Artist Connie Fong



I hope you try your hand at making one of these dolls; you’ll be surprised by how easy it is! Also, thank you, Mindy, for providing me inspiration with those primitive portraits.

~*~

Thank you so much, Connie Fong, for the great tutorial. These little stuffed dolls would make great stocking stuffers or even Christmas tree ornaments. You could make one in the likeness of each member of your family, or gift them to creative friends. I think they would be darling on a baby mobile!

We’d love to know how you would use them — let us know in the comment section below.

Don’t forget to visit Connie Fong on her blog: ArtfulPlay

 

See More of Connie Fong’s Work in Somerset Studio Gallery

Somerset Studio Gallery Winter 2015Somerset Studio Gallery is filled with hundreds of samples of extraordinary artwork presented up close and in detail. Whether your passion is rubber stamping, calligraphy, or paper crafting, this latest issue of Gallery features everything you love about Somerset Studio including more of Connie Fong’s unique artwork.



Sarah How-To Project Tutorials ,,,,,,,,,

Art dolls are such a unique way to express creativity, but they can be a little intimidating — especially when you don’t even know what a ball-joint is. That’s what attracted me so much to Connie Fong’s little stuffed dolls. Their assemblage is straight forward and simple enough, while their actual presentation leaves space for […]

DIY and Ready-Made: 8 Creative Stocking Stuffers

November 13th, 2014

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Who doesn’t love getting a small but thoughtful gift in their Christmas stocking? From creative art supplies to ready-made products that delight and inspire the inner muse, stocking stuffers offer us a unique opportunity to share our creativity, while also giving functional and beautiful gifts to those we love and appreciate. Inspired by the upcoming holiday seasons and the spirit of giving, we’ve put together our top 8 ideas for creative stocking stuffers.  

Creative Stocking Stuffers

  Affirmation Bracelet Project

 

1. Affirmation Bracelet Project

There’s nothing quite as wonderful as finding that little tell-tale box inside your stocking. You just know it’s jewelry! But a piece of hand-crafted jewelry with an uplifting affirmation written across its surface would make anyone feel special. This creative bracelet project uses Tim Holtz’s metal word bands and some basic jewelry making techniques.

Click here to see even more jewelry making projects.

 

Patterened Tapes Collection for Stocking Stuffers



2. Patterned Tape

From vintage and airmail to stripes, polka dots, and chevron designs, we have the perfect assortment of patterned tapes to give anyone from budding new artists or advanced mixed-media crafters. Give a roll or two as part of an art set or set someone up with a full collection!

Click here to see our full assortment of patterned tapes.  

Mini Art Pops Moleskine Journals Project for Stocking Stuffers

3. Mini Art Pops Moleskine Journals

Who doesn’t love a brand-new journal? Better yet a fresh new Moleskine journal, with a personalized cover by their all-time favorite artist — you! With three in every set, you can personalize a journal for all your friends and family.

Click here to see even more mini book & journal projects.

 

Smart Device Skins - Creative Stocking Stuffers



4. Smart Device Skins

Give the gift of inspiration with Kelly Rae Robert’s smart skins. These bright and beautiful finds are compatible with the iPad mini and the iPad 3, iPhone 4, 5, and 5s, and Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4. They’re easy to install and provide on-the-go creativity as well as protective functionality for smart phones and tablets.

Click here to see our full collection of Kelly Rae Robert products and explore even more skin and case designs.  
 

Homemade Lip Balm Project

5. Coconut Lemon Lip Balm Project

Not only is making your own lip balm fun and easy, it’s also incredibly addictive and it makes for a unique stocking stuffer gift! These little balms are the perfect project because you can make them in bulk and gift them to all your friends. Plus, these darling little metal tins can be altered and personalized and who wouldn’t appreciate a chemical-free, homemade lip balm?

Click here to see more homemade bath and body projects.

 

Artistic Magnets for Stocking Stuffers



6. Inspiring Magnet Art

Make a midnight-snack a touch more inspiring by helping your friends and family dress up their refrigerators with a colorful assortment of magnets. These artsy magnets are inspired by Kelly Rae Robert’s unique mixed-media collage style and are available as functional clips, ornamental pendants, and flat inspiring phrases and images. They’re the perfect size to stuff into a stocking, and they work great on any metal surface.

Click here to see our full collection of Kelly Rae Robert products and explore even stocking stuffer ideas.  
 
Three Ways to Use Essential Oils for Stocking Stuffers

7. Three Ways to Use Essential Oils

This three-in-one project was created by our wonderful editor-in-chief, Christen Hammons, and provides fun and easy ways to incorporate essential oils into some of our favorite bath and body products. First up is a formula for a fresh-scented linen spray; next is a simple to recreate room freshening spray; and last, but not least, is a super simple bath salt recipe. Christen also provides detailed instructions for artfully packaging these homemade creations. Drop one, two, or all three of these unique gifts into a stocking — you can’t go wrong!

Click here to see more homemade bath and body projects.

 

Cavallini & Co. Rubber Stamp Sets for Stocking Stuffers



8. Cavallini & Co. Rubber Stamp Sets

Cavallini’s classic designs of wood-mounted stamps are captured in assortments of gift-worthy tin sets. Each darling set contains a creative array of high quality stamps based on authentic, vintage designs. They’re perfect for card making, mixed-media projects, collaging, and more. This is a great stocking stuffer for beginning or advanced stampers, and if you want to go a step further, you can even pair it up with our latest issue of The Stampers Sampler.

Click here to browse our collection of Cavallini & Co. products.

~*~

Whether you’re shopping for friends and family, or looking for a little gift for yourself, our extensive collection of artful products is a great place to find unique and thoughtful stocking stuffers. You don’t have to break the bank to share inspiration — we offer ready-made finds and creative project ideas to help you find that perfect something that shows your appreciation for someone else.

 

Make Your Holidays Memorable with our Handmade Collection

Handmande Holiday Collection - Stocking StuffersIf you’re searching for some more handcrafted inspiration for the holidays, look no further than our new Handmade Holidays Collection! We’ve assembled a crafty assortment of unique packaging and easy-to-follow gift projects, seasonal issues, and products that are well suited for crafting homemade gifts. Show your loved ones that they are worth your artistic energy and mean more than a trip to the store.

Click here to explore our Handmade Holidays Collection



Sarah HolidaysHow-To Project Tutorials ,,,,,,

Who doesn’t love getting a small but thoughtful gift in their Christmas stocking? From creative art supplies to ready-made products that delight and inspire the inner muse, stocking stuffers offer us a unique opportunity to share our creativity, while also giving functional and beautiful gifts to those we love and appreciate. Inspired by the upcoming […]