Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice: 8 Artful Autumn Projects

October 23rd, 2014

blog_10-2014-sugar-spice



There’s a lot to love about autumn — the relief from hot summer days, the change of scenery from green to golden-brown, and all the fun activities. This season encompasses my two favorite holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving. There’s nothing quite as fun as giving candy to little witches and cowboys, or whatever other imaginative creature manages to make its way to my door, and the spirit of Thanksgiving is something that I’ve learned to appreciate a lot more as the years have passed. But by far, one of the best things about this season is all the wonderful projects and home décor ideas.

Autumn doesn’t have to be as over-the-top as winter or as understated as summer. Warm, neutral colors like browns, oranges, and beiges are great for décor, while personalizing the style is as easy as adding a bit of blue, green, or gold. Pumpkins, a staple of the fall season, come in all shapes, sizes, and even colors, plus you can use them in many projects and recipes. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! There are so many unique and interesting themes that go well with this season; if you need inspiration, just take a look on Pinterest.

In case you haven’t noticed yet, this is my favorite season so I am very happy to offer some ideas for a more authentic and artful autumn. You don’t need much to make the most of this time of year — just a few simple touches can bring in all the warmth of autumn right into your home.

 

Eight Artful Autumn Projects

Artful Autumn Hutch - Somerset Home Volume 9



1. Seasonal Hutch
“As the summer months begin to fade and the cool breezes of fall approach, I often turn to more neutral tones reminiscent of the harvest. Incorporating seasonal pumpkins — in this case, white babyboos— is an easy way to once again change the look of your display.”

~By Lucy Akins from the pages of Somerset Home.

One of my favorite things to decorate with seasonally-themed items is my living room hutch. It’s an often overlooked and underappreciated place, but with just a few special touches, it can bring a whole room together.

Artful Autumn - Artful Blogging Spring 2014



2. Jars of Spice
Spice racks make a wonderful display piece for any kitchen — but if you want to take a more rustic approach, ditch the organizers and display your tasty seasonings in darling little mason jars. You can take this a step further and add a bit of twine and a beautiful Cosmo Cricket Show Topper. Pick rich, vibrantly colored spices and put them out on your counter, or next to your stove. They’ll add warmth and functionality to your kitchen.

~Photograph by Staci Austin-Ducharme from the pages of Artful Blogging.

Artful Autumn Findings - Artful Blogging Spring 2014



3. Find Inspiration Everywhere
“The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely.”

~Louisa May Alcott

Whether you travel cross country to walk along the beach for the first time, or simply take a stroll out to your mailbox — look at the world with a hopeful heart and see the possibility that exists in everything. From broken seashells to the smallest dried leaf, nature has an abundance of beauty, and it’s there available to us all. This is a lot more apparent — in my opinion — during the fall. Collect any bits and pieces that interest you such as leaves, pinecones, stones, or anything else that catches your fancy, and then use them in your projects or display them out on a plate.

~Photograph by Jeanette Neels from the pages of Artful Blogging.

Artful Autumn - Somerset Life Autumn 2014



4. Cinnamon Pumpkin Candles
“What do you do when you can’t control the impulse to buy cute little pumpkins every time you visit the grocery store? … You might be thinking, “Duh, bake a pie!” Nope. Here’s what you do: You make pumpkin candles!”

~Stephanie Gerber

After seeing how easy it is to recreate these little candles, I absolutely agree with Stephanie. Making candles is a great and unexpected way to use your pumpkins, all you need for this is some wax pellets, a double broiler, a handful of wicks, some cinnamon sticks, and a few other materials. You can find the step-by-step instructions in the 2014 autumn issue of Somerset Life.

Artful Autumn - Placemats Project



5. Thankful Harvest Affaire Laminate Placemats Project
This project is simple but incredibly thoughtful. Cut out some kraft paper to use as placemats and then write “I’m Thankful For…” on the top right hand corner. You can embellish these placemats with stamps, stickers, leaf die cuts, or anything else you want. Use these during your Thanksgiving dinner and have your guests write down things that they are grateful for and then share once everyone is done. If you use permanent marker, you can even let your guests take them home as a lovely party favor.

Artful Autumn - Somerset Life Autumn 2014



6. Stovetop Potpourri
Throw a few slices of apples, some fresh orange peel, a couple of cinnamon sticks, and a handful of cloves into a pot of water and then set it to simmer on your stovetop. That’s all you need to create a wonderfully aromatic experience for your friends and family. The smell will fill your home with the sweet-smells and warmth attributed to autumn get-togethers. Just be sure to watch your pot carefully — you don’t want the water to completely evaporate and burn your pot.

~Photograph and project by Haeley Giambalvo from the pages of Somerset Life.

Artful Autumn - Wrapped Pumpkin Muffins Project



7. Harvest Affaire Wrapped Pumpkin Muffins
There’s already something very comforting about freshly baked muffins, but you can go a step further and add a little rustic charm by wrapping each one in some wax paper and a piece of natural hemp cord. This beautifully presented treat is the perfect snack to arrange in a basket and give to a friend along with artfully packaged jams, or you can take them along on a mid afternoon walk.

Artful Autumn - Somerset Life Summer 2014



8. Telling a Story with Timeworn Pieces
Vintage décor items are already quite beautiful and they always exhibit a unique charm, but I think they really come to life during the fall. Maybe it’s because autumn already feels so antique and timeworn, so it works to compliment vintage objects. Twigs, berries, and other autumn foliage are all great options for sprucing up an old vase, while setting a uniquely colored pumpkin next to it can pull it all together. A display like the one featured above doesn’t have to be expensive, but the results can be rather stunning.

~Photograph by Maria Marcusse from the pages of Somerset Life.

 

These eight projects are easy to replicate and will make your autumn feel more artful and definitely more enchanting. Let us know if you’ll be trying out any of these projects or if you have something else in the works!

 

Need More Artful Living Ideas?

The Home Decore Collection Craft your living space to suit your tastes with the unique home décor accents inside this artful collection. From antique wares and display pieces to vintage finds and feminine wearables, you can also find memorable gifts that will surprise and impress on occasion.

Click here to visit our Home Décor Collection.



Sarah Artful LivingHolidaysHow-To Project Tutorials ,,,,,,

There’s a lot to love about autumn — the relief from hot summer days, the change of scenery from green to golden-brown, and all the fun activities. This season encompasses my two favorite holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving. There’s nothing quite as fun as giving candy to little witches and cowboys, or whatever other imaginative creature […]

Crème de la Crème of Free Ephemera Downloads

October 20th, 2014

 Free Ephemera



 

Ephemera downloads are as fun to collect as they are to use. That’s why we try to offer them as often as we can here at Somerset Place, but did you know that you can also get them in our Post Script Newsletter? Apart from bringing you great content, exclusive discounts on Stampington publications and products, and free projects, Post Script also offers free ephemera downloads and updates on new additions to our ephemera library on e-Crafting.com.

What better way to encourage your creativity than with stunning vintage images that harken back to older days, or that showcase curious scenarios?

For this grouping of free ephemera, we pulled some of our favorite images out of past Post Script collections, from elaborate designs to the most fashionable members of high society. Download these nine images to your computer and use them whole as the centerpiece for a collage or cut them up for your mixed-media projects — the possibilities are endless.

Click here to view these images at full size and to download yours today. To incorporate even more vintage ephemera and digitally altered pieces into your artwork, visit e-Crafting.com.

Don’t miss anymore free ephemera downloads — click here to sign up for Post Script today!
 



Sarah Free DownloadsMixed-Media Art ,,,,,

    Ephemera downloads are as fun to collect as they are to use. That’s why we try to offer them as often as we can here at Somerset Place, but did you know that you can also get them in our Post Script Newsletter? Apart from bringing you great content, exclusive discounts on Stampington […]

We Conclude the Bella Grace Blog Hop with Five Giveaways of Our Own

October 16th, 2014
The Bella Grace Blog Hop
Photographs by Jillian Lukiwski, Deb Taylor, Susan Tuttle
Becky Stewart, Sylvia Stefanova
Silvia Mulazzani, Deb Taylor, Susan Tuttle


When I started working on the Bella Grace Blog Hop back in July, I had an inkling that it would turn into something very special. From the moment I held Bella Grace and flipped through the articles, I just knew it was something we had to share, the way each individual poured themselves out onto every page. You see, Bella Grace is much more than a magazine — it’s a textural experience with grainy pages – it’s a spiritual awakening loaded with authentic experiences, uplifting stories, workbook prompts, and photographs. Oh, how I love to get lost in the photographs.

That’s a funny way to describe it, I know, but it’s the most accurate description I can come up with.

There are also many things Bella Grace is not: It is not glossy. It is not a sales-pitch that requires the purchase of “stuff” to make your life more fulfilling. It does not present unattainable standards of beauty, creativity, or happiness.

So yes, when I began working on the Bella Grace Blog Hop back in July, I knew it was going to turn into something special.

Thanks to the brilliance, creativity, and hard work of each co-host, the Bella Grace Blog Hop was better than I ever imagined. Our hosts took us on another special journey, much like the book, from gorgeous, bloom-filled meadows to the dark and sincere places in their hearts. We read personal stories and visited places of inspiration. I wish I could sit here and relay every single post — to talk about the wonderful sound of a happy tail thumping against warm bedcovers; and the adventures you’re bound to experience when you go wherever the wind wills; and the smell of sunshine; and the beauty of the harvest moon; but if you missed any of the inspiration, comfort, and magic that was shared, I’m sure you’ll take a moment to go back, and look through all of the beautiful, original posts that are now a part of our Bella Grace adventure.

I would like to offer a sincere thank you on behalf of Stampington & Company to all of our official and unofficial co-hosts. Thank you for sharing your words, your images, and a little bit of your souls with us.

It’s not the end, but the beginning of a beautiful new journey …

Bella Grace Volume 1, Issue 2

Photographs by Alisha Fridland


Bella Grace Volume 1, Issue 2

We are far from done! The humbling, overwhelmingly positive reaction of our readers to this new publication has made us realize that the world needs a bit more magic in the ordinary, and we are happy to oblige. Bella Grace will be released four times a year, beginning in March 2015.

Click here to peek inside Volume 1, Issue 2 – available December 1st.

 

Bella Grace Volume 1

Bella Grace Giveaway: Now it’s our Turn

In order to show our appreciation for our wonderful blog readers and enthusiasm over this amazing new publication, we are giving away 5 copies of Bella Grace.

[This giveaway has ended.]

How to Win

Leave us a comment below. Tell us what you thought about the Blog Hop, which post you enjoyed the most, or why you’re looking forward to the next issue of Bella Grace.

Congratulations to our Winners:

Tracy Snyder, Peggy Lee, Connie Pedersen, Charlene James, and Nadine Jordan



Sarah Artful LivingContests and Giveaways ,,,,

Photographs by Jillian Lukiwski, Deb Taylor, Susan Tuttle Becky Stewart, Sylvia Stefanova Silvia Mulazzani, Deb Taylor, Susan Tuttle When I started working on the Bella Grace Blog Hop back in July, I had an inkling that it would turn into something very special. From the moment I held Bella Grace and flipped through the articles, […]

The Mysterious Boo Sisters by Guest Artist theresa mARTin

October 13th, 2014

mARTinBooSIster2



Please join me in giving the incredibly talented theresa mARTin a very warm Somerset welcome! Theresa has been featured in Somerset Apprentice and our award winning Digital Inspiration. Her artwork, regardless of the medium, is always stunning and absolutely gorgeous.

Today she joins us with a very special Halloween-themed project that’s both enchanting and a teensy bit creepy. The Boo Sisters are a pair of lovely ladies who are ready to captivate your heart and imagination with their hauntingly beautiful expressions and fabulous outfits. Follow along as Theresa gives step-by-step instructions on how to recreate this frightful duo!

~*~

mARTinBooSIster4



The Halloween deadline is approaching.  Halloween makes me think about being a kid again, and it’s fun to dream about masquerade balls and mysterious happenings. As a member of the design team for Paperwhimsy, I am fortunate to be able be create art specifically for the holidays.  Halloween is a favorite of mine as it walks the edge of being dark yet still fun.

The Mysterious Boo Sisters are decked out in their fanciest ball gowns made from black velvet leaves and bits and pieces of collage paper. Each wears a cage, from which another secret sister peeks out. Familiar crows sit on their shoulders and their fine rhinestone crowns give them an elegant final touch. With their candy corn lace collars, bat wings, orange and black colors, and black velvet dresses, they are ready for any Halloween party.

They ask: “What will you wear to the Midnight Halloween Masquerade Ball?”

 

Boo Sister Project Material List:

Findings
Rhinestones
Patterned Paper
Collage Sheets
Fabric Findings
Paperwhimsy Alterable Dolls
Adhesive
Scissors

 

Boo Sister Project Tutorial by theresa mARTin:

Step 1 – I started by painting the alterable dolls all black. For this project, I used the  Santos Bird Cage Dolls. For this project, I used the Santos Birdcage Dolls. If you want to speed up the painting process, you can spray paint the figures.

mARTinBooSIsterprocess

Step 2 – The sister’s dresses were traced from collage sheets and patterned papers. Creating these elaborate gowns was simply a matter of cutting out the desired shapes and arranging them on the dolls.

Step 3 – Once you’re happy with your arrangement, glue the cut-out pieces of paper onto the fiberboard dolls. When all the pieces of your dress collage are in place and secured, place the bird-cage outline over the doll’s body. This helps create even more depth. Also, don’t forget to add the hidden sister within the folds of the gown, peeking out from behind the cage.

mARTinBooSIsterprocess3

Step 4 – As the Boo Sisters sat on my work table, I brought out a lot of the mixed-media items that I collect. I experimented with different options such as rhinestones, bits of ephemera, and fiberboard embellishments, all in an attempt to find what would fit the sisters the best.

Step 5 – The next step is to create the sister’s gorgeous black ball gowns. I made these gowns by repurposing some vintage millinery leaves, but you can trim nearly any fabric to recreate the look. You can also add ribbon, patches, and buttons.

mARTinBooSIster3

Step 6 – As a final touch, I added a few additional rhinestones and created belts and crowns.

These lovely ladies are straightforward and easy to make.

~*~

Halloween definitely doesn’t have to be scary — it can just as easily be dark, elegant, and mysterious. Paperwhimsy’s fiberboard dolls provide the perfect mixed-media canvas to create stunning characters, just like the ones created by theresa mARTin. Make your own set of Boo Sisters, or go in a different direction and try something new. There are so many fun and creative possibilities with this artistic project.

 

PaperWhimsy is Here!

PaperWhimsyWe’re very proud to announce our first collection of PaperWhimsy products. Currently, we’re carrying a wide range of ready-to-alter pieces. From delightful dolls to stunning frames, these unique finds are waiting to be created anew! Just add patterned paper, vibrant paints, and whatever other embellishments you can think of. We are so in love with these little alterable dolls that you can expect to see many more PaperWhimsy goodies in The Shoppe at Somerset in the upcoming months.

 

 

Want to See More of theresa mARTin’s Artwork?

1APP-1402-Somerset-Apprentice-Autumn-2014-300x300Our Autumn 2014 issue of Somerset Apprentice is bursting with wonderful works that are sure to inspire you, including a detailed Q&A with theresa mARTin. Read along as she offers advice and talks about her favorite artistic medium.

 

To learn more about this talented artist visit her blog, Theresa Martin: Mixed Media Art.

 

 



Sarah How-To Project TutorialsMixed-Media Art ,,,,,,

Please join me in giving the incredibly talented theresa mARTin a very warm Somerset welcome! Theresa has been featured in Somerset Apprentice and our award winning Digital Inspiration. Her artwork, regardless of the medium, is always stunning and absolutely gorgeous. Today she joins us with a very special Halloween-themed project that’s both enchanting and a […]

A Delightfully Grim Serendipity Kit

October 9th, 2014

Gray Roses Grim Serendipity Kit



If you haven’t had a chance to kick off your Halloween-themed crafting, don’t worry — there’s still time! We’ve assembled the perfect starter-kit to get you into a trick-or-treat mood. This delightfully grim Serendipity Kit is an oldie but goodie, filled with gloomy gray paper roses, test tubes for all your dangerous concoctions, curious vintage tickets, and so much more!

With this kit, you’ll be able to put an interesting twist on traditional Halloween favors or create unique mixed-media projects. Best of all, for a very limited time, we’re offering it at a 15% discount!

Gray Roses Grim Serendipity Kit



Gray Roses Grim Serendipity Kit

This kit contains the following items:

  • 2 gray paper roses
  • 8 vintage tickets
  • 1 grubby tag with vintage black lace
  • 2 black gift bags
  • 2 small newspaper print pinch bottom bags
  • 2 large newspaper print pinch bottom bags
  • 2 sheets of Halloween images  artists paper
  • 2 sheets of dark patterned artist paper
  • 2 sheets of kraft paper
  • 1 sheet of kraft glassine paper
  • 3 plastic test tubes (with corks)
  • 1 large natural muslin bag
  • 1/2 yard of black seam binding

Gray Roses Grim Serendipity Kit

What Does Our Resident Crafter Have to Say?

I love a good crafting challenge! Hand me a stack of random supplies, and I can make magic happen. With Halloween just around the corner, this Gray Roses Grim Serendipity Kit offers a ton of possibilities. Not only does the kit put a unique twist on traditional Halloween favors, I can also see myself coming up with some great mixed-media projects.

With this kit you can create handmade Halloween cards or party invitations using the assortment of patterned papers. You can also fill the glass tubes with candy or colored fluid and use them as a prop for a spooky Halloween party. The variety of paper bags would be great to use as party favors or to make very special trick-or-treating bags for your favorite munchkins. And even the muslin bag that we use to package the kit can make a great gift bag when you adorn it with black ribbon and a gray rose. This kit includes so many creative finds that there’s lots of room to make tradition projects as well as unique ones.

 

Looking for More Inspiring Bundles?

Serendipity Kit CollectionIf you need even more inspiration, be sure to explore our complete collection of Serendipity Kits. These colorful, all-in-one kits are the perfect muse to spark your next creative adventure.

Click here to explore our collection.



Sarah Uncategorized ,,,,,,

If you haven’t had a chance to kick off your Halloween-themed crafting, don’t worry — there’s still time! We’ve assembled the perfect starter-kit to get you into a trick-or-treat mood. This delightfully grim Serendipity Kit is an oldie but goodie, filled with gloomy gray paper roses, test tubes for all your dangerous concoctions, curious vintage […]