Editor Spotlight: Card Therapy + Unearthing the Artist Within by Devon Warren

September 18th, 2014

devon_ edit

It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is just around the corner. The days already starting to get shorter and my daily drive to work has been taken over by the sight of bright orange pumpkins, which are just starting to peek out from under the pumpkin patches that have been growing for the past month and a half. Soon it’s going to be time for corn mazes, pumpkin carving, and glorious turkey dinners with mashed potatoes and peach cobbler. However, more important than all that (yes, even delicious leftover turkey sandwiches) is the fact that soon it’s going to be time to start sending out greeting cards. Although sentiments of appreciation, birthday wishes, and just-because cards should be sent year round, there’s something wonderful and magical about holiday themed cards. Whether you live right down the street or clear across the country from friends and family, this is the perfect time of the year to send those very special people warm reminders of your love and friendship. Besides, who doesn’t love getting a card in the mail?

Today we’re very fortunate to have the new managing editor of Take Ten, Devon Warren, visiting us here at Somerset Place. As a new editor, Devon has some very interesting insights into the world of publishing as well as a newfound love for the art of card making. If you’ve ever only bought ready-made greeting cards during the holiday seasons, let Devon inspire you into trying something new. All you need are a few stamps, some cardstock, some bits and pieces of ephemera, and a willingness to unleash your imagination.

~*~

Take Ten - September 2014Artwork by: Diana Pisanelli and Kris Lancaster

Stampington & Company offers so many wonderful, varied publications that it’s virtually impossible to pick a favorite.  But as one of the newer editors, I was thrust into the colorful world of cards and rubber stamping. The Stampers’ Sampler is our original and oldest publication (a tradition I’m more than pleased to uphold, as I love tradition!), and it has been such an honor to work on this magazine.

As children, many of us enjoy the art form of stamping. Just go ahead and give a child a stamp and some paint — you will probably regret to tell the tale, but you might also be amazed by what happens. My very first inkpad was the ColorBox Tropical Pigment Stamp Pad by Clearsnap (I still remember!), which was mostly used harmoniously with my collection of Ed Emberley drawing books. A curious and enthusiastic toddler, I claimed Grandma’s dusty organ as my arts and crafts station, and proceeded to stamp all over a mini Merriam-Webster dictionary with a rubber butterfly stamp. This action prompted Grandma to sternly ask, “What are you doing to my book? Do you think that’s nice?” No, it wasn’t nice. But these days I think it’s strangely ironic that I became the editor of a publication all about stamping: a bit of foreshadowing there. Also, I feel that it shows our intuition sometimes can be trusted. I always dreamed that one day I would have a job that I loved and now it’s a reality!

 

Take Ten - September 2014Artwork by: Barb Pladziewicz and Kris Lancaster

Like many people, I lost touch with my creative side and not until very recently did I begin to explore that side of myself again. Often when I edit articles or read emails, I realize that I am not alone when it comes to suppressing one’s creative side. Ella Wilson, for instance, a very talented artist who has been published in both Take Ten and The Stampers’ Sampler many times, shares that she has trouble focusing her energy at times. My sister, a talented artist by her own right, once shared research with me that stated around the time we enter primary school, we stop playing with finger paints, drawing, and coloring because either we realize we’re not good or someone (perhaps a teacher, parent, or “frenemy”) tells us we shouldn’t keep pursuing art since nothing will come of it. Obviously, that simply isn’t true. Taking that creative path is not an easy route: It opens us up to doubt and rejection, but it’s also a path of endless potential. Even bad art can be better than no art at all because it means that the artist is still expressing their passion.

 

Take Ten - September 2014Artwork by: Laurie Davis and Mary Walden

Take Ten was the first publication I worked on from day one when I walked through Stampington’s doors to the day when I inherited it from Andrea Rangno, the former editor. All it takes is 10 minutes a day to find your inner artist, starting with making a homemade birthday or thank you card. Of all the publications we offer, I still feel that Take Ten is one of the most accessible and provides an easy introduction to beginners, whether they’re budding fine artists or those who know they can create but don’t know how to start expressing their passion.

Shortly afterward, I became quite friendly with The Stampers’ Sampler, which in the beginning had my head spinning with its intricate and inspiring techniques. It was a phantasmagoria of stamping splendor! One of the most rewarding parts was the realization that something as simple as greeting cards could indeed be artwork. I always marvel at the way card artists blend inks, layer ephemera, and use the same stamp in completely different ways.

 

Take Ten - September 2014Artwork by: Barb Pladziewicz

As clichéd as it may sound, the only way to truly find your potential as an artist is to put yourself out there — to be open to criticism and put time aside to create art. I’m a major advocate of daily projects and monthly challenges because they motivate you to set aside a small amount of time to be you. And why not spread that inspiration to someone else? That’s the beauty of greeting cards; you don’t need to wait for a special occasion to write a note — you can create a card and send them just because! In fact, the majority of cards published in Take Ten and The Stampers’ Sampler are sent purely for that reason. Or better yet, why not create a beautiful card and write a special note to yourself? You deserve it!

~*~

It’s been an absolute pleasure getting to know the managing editor of Take Ten, Devon Warren, a little better. Being such a fan of Take Ten, The Stampers’ Sampler, GreenCraft Magazine, and Somerset Home, it’s wonderful to have some insight into the editor’s thought process. Please join me in giving Devon heartfelt thanks for stopping by Somerset Place.

 

Use code BLOG0914 to get $5 off Take Ten

Take Ten - September 2014In addition to our typical array of quick, easy, under-ten-minute stamping projects and colorful card ideas, this issue of Take Ten features a designated holiday section — including Halloween, Thanksgiving, Season’s Greetings, and more — that offer tips to make cards that take less time than grabbing your car keys and driving to the bargain mart.

For a limited time you can get $5 off this inspiring publication by using the coupon code BLOG0914 when prompted at checkout. But be sure to hurry because the promotion ends on September 3oth!

 

 

The Bella Grace Blog Hop

The Bella Grace Blog HopOur latest unlocked link comes from Olga Sledlecka, who shares how she gathers her creativity from the forest floor. Join her as takes a walk under the harvest moon, and discover all the treasures she finds. Leave her a comment for a chance to win a copy of Bella Grace.

 

Click here to follow the Bella Grace Blog Hop

 

 





Sarah Uncategorized

It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is just around the corner. The days already starting to get shorter and my daily drive to work has been taken over by the sight of bright orange pumpkins, which are just starting to peek out from under the pumpkin patches that have been growing for the […]

Discover Artisan Avenue

September 15th, 2014

Artisan Avenue

Video Credits: Wendy Vecchi and Debbie Tlach
Art Credits: Fabric Scrap Jars by Vanessa Spencer and Mini Art Quote Quilts by Jennifer Swift

As most crafters will tell you, there’s nothing quite as fun, exhilarating, and challenging, as going to an art fair. It’s fun because you’re surrounded by inspiration and you might even get the opportunity to meet and interact with top artists. It’s exhilarating because once you get that tiny bit of inspiration you sought, your imagination takes flight. However, it’s also challenging because first you have to find one, make the trip, and —  once you finally arrive —  you have to avoid buying everything in sight. Trust me, it’s harder than it sounds.

Artisan Avenue, our monthly newsletter, is like a virtual art fair that gets delivered right to your inbox. This bright and colorful newsletter is filled with deals on art supplies, creative project ideas, free downloads, information on artistic retreats, and top-quality DIY videos. If you’re looking for a good balance of freebie perks and fantastic retail finds, then you’re going to love Artisan Avenue.

 

What’s in Artisan Avenue?

E-Crafting - Artisan Avenue

Art Credits: Wonderland-Inspired Cards by Wendy McGowen and Junk Mail Journal by Nelda Ream

Free Digital Downloads:

They say that the best things in life are free. We couldn’t agree more! You’ll find stunning free ephemera downloads, plus a featured creative article from one of our publications in every Artisan Avenue newsletter.

 

The Shoppe - Artisan Avenue

Art and Crafting Products:

With products from top artists like Dina Wakley, Tim Holtz, and Dyan Reaveley, we’re certain that everyone will find something to complement their creativity. We strive to showcase and bring you only the best crafting products available. That’s why we feature crafting essentials from a wide variety of vendors like Bumbershoot Designs and Supplies, Spellbinders, Ranger, Calligraphy Corner, and many others.

 

Artful Gatherings and Retreats:

While having a digital art fair delivered to your mailbox is very handy, it doesn’t quite replace the feeling of actually gathering with other artists and exploring new products, projects, and ideas together. Artisan Avenue will help you stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the craft world. From special themed retreats to artful gatherings with your favorite artists, and even digital workshops, you’ll be the first to know with Artisan Avenue.

 

The Studio - Artisan Avenue

Project Tutorials:

Sometimes your creativity needs a little push. Let us inspire you with creative projects. We feature detailed step-by-step tutorials for things like artful packages, colorful mixed-media cards, artful home décor projects, and much more.

 

We Want to Hear from You!

paper-packDoes Artisan Avenue sound like something you would like or are you already a subscriber? Tell us what you think! What would you change? What would you leave the same? Leave us a comment for a chance to win a 25-Sheet Artist Paper Pack.

[This giveaway has ended.]

 

 

 

 

The Bella Grace Blog Hop:

“A grateful heart is not only the secret to captivating beauty, it creates a deep sense of joy, and unlocks and releases our creativity!”

Today’s unlocked link comes from Becky Stewart. Join Becky as she explores the idea that creativity comes from a place of gratitude, plus leave her a comment for a chance to win a copy of Bella Grace.

Click here to follow the Bella Grace Blog Hop



Sarah Contests and GiveawaysFree DownloadsHow-To Project TutorialsMixed-Media Art ,,,,,

Video Credits: Wendy Vecchi and Debbie Tlach Art Credits: Fabric Scrap Jars by Vanessa Spencer and Mini Art Quote Quilts by Jennifer Swift As most crafters will tell you, there’s nothing quite as fun, exhilarating, and challenging, as going to an art fair. It’s fun because you’re surrounded by inspiration and you might even get […]

Mini Junk Journal Project with Guest Artist Lindsay Ostrom

September 11th, 2014

Lindsay Ostrom Junk Journal



“When I think about why I journal now, it’s more of, why wouldn’t I? I journal on my lunch break, in the car while waiting for an appointment, and every night when I come home. Ideas pop into my head during my day-to-day routine and it seems that I cannot sleep until I get them out onto the paper.”

~Lindsay Ostrom from the pages of Art Journaling Summer 2014

Today we have a very special treat for our wonderful blog followers! The incredibly talented Lindsay Ostrom, who has been featured in a number of Stampington publications such as Somerset Studio, Art Quilting Studio, and Somerset Apprentice, has agreed to share an exclusive project with us. If you happened to have read Lindsay’s article in Art Journaling, then like me, you probably fell head-over-heels in love with her colorful and clever Junk Journal. After gushing in an email about how much I enjoyed her article and artwork, Lindsay agreed to create a mini junk journal just for us. So get your crafting supplies ready, and please join me in giving Lindsay a warm Somerset Place welcome.

~*~

Today I want to walk you through the process of creating one of my Junk Journals, like the one featured in the 2014 Art Journaling magazine. I usually start by coming up with an idea in my head and sometimes a theme. For this project, my theme was fortune cookie messages. You know when you go to a Chinese place and you get a really good fortune in your cookie, and then you pray that it comes true? Kind of like that.

Mini Junk Journal Material List:

Paper Ephemera

Pieces of Fabric

Ribbons

Envelopes

Paper Cutting Tools

Paper Binding Rings

Adhesive

Black Journaling Pen

White Journaling Pen

Acrylic Paint Markers

Mini Junk Journal Project Tutorial:

Ostrom_1

Step 1 – First collect bits and pieces of “junk” to use in your journal. I love to combine paper and fabrics so for this one I chose a lot of old papers, ledger pads, book paper, manila folders, envelopes, receipt books, etc. I like to pull everything out to see what strikes my fancy at the moment. Everything else gets put away and I only use what I have selected.

Ostrom_3

Step 2 – Next, start assembling your pages. I never really know where I am going with my own pages until I lay them out. I just start pulling bits and pieces together. I hardly ever cut and rarely use a paper cutter. I love to fold and tear, and to create pockets with lots of nooks and crannies.

Ostrom_5

I rarely ever decide on a certain number of pages when I begin a book. I just make them until I feel satisfied. I knew for this project I wanted a shorter/smaller book and the pages just started appearing.

Ostrom_6

Step 3 – I save cardboard boxes for my covers, but you can use whatever sturdy material you want. Personally, I love cardboard because you can tear back a bit of the outer paper to expose the rippled corrugated inners. You can easily cut it with scissors or a craft knife. The only tricky part is sewing bits and pieces onto it.

Ostrom_7

Step 4 – I have about 5 layers of fabric, lace, and doily here. It was a bit tough, but with a slow and steady foot, it will all sew together nicely. Like I said, I love to use fabrics with paper, and sewing is a must. Adhesives just never seem to do what I want, and I know that if I use a sewing machine, things tend to be more securely attached.

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Step 5 – When I start working in a journal, I usually haven’t completed the front and back covers yet. With this journal however, I embellished the cover at the same time as the pages in order to give you all a better idea of what a completed book will look like.

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Step 6 – Once you have your pages just right and you’ve sewn everything into place, you can start to assemble them into a journal. I usually sort the pages in the order of how I want them to appear in the journal, but I never seem to stick to it. Silly, I know.

Step 7 – Next, using a large punch (I used a Cropadile), start punching holes in the pages. Once the cover is done, you can use it as a template for the other pages. Don’t be afraid to punch some pages so that they sit higher and lower than the others. It will make your book look more interesting.

Ostrom_14

Step 8 – You can use any type of binding you like. Sometimes I take mine to the local printer and have them spiral bound. If you own your own binding machine, you can do it yourself. For this journal, I chose to use just a simple “O” ring.

Ostrom_9

Step 9 – Lay the book out in front of you, and then slide the rings through the front and back cover, leaving them open in the middle. This is the easiest way to add pages. You can add one to the front and one to the back until you get to the center. That way the hinge on the rings is in the back. You can also tie bits of fabric, lace, and fibers onto the rings to disguise them. Step 10 – Next, close the rings and take a look at your completed book. So pretty, right? I love just flipping through the pages and seeing what I created out of “junk.”

Ostrom_10

Here is the cover in all its glory!

I usually make a pouch out of junk for each book. That way I can carry them around with me and they don’t get dirty. I can also toss in bits and pieces that I want to use in the book later on when I am journaling. In this pouch, for example, I am saving some fortune cookie messages. I used scraps of fabric as well as upholstery swatches from furniture stores to make this pouch, but that’s a project for another day!

 

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Step 10 –
Embellishing the pages of your junk journal is the next step. I usually do this over a period of time, but I will do two pages for this project. Being an ex-scrapbooker, I like to do a two page spread that is somehow tied together. In this case it’s circles.

Ostrom_15
Step 11 –
For this book I decided to use fabric instead of paper on the pages, and to adhere it, I used Mod Podge instead of sewing thread. You can use any adhesive you like. I broke one of my cardinal rules because I felt there was enough sewing on the page already, and the Mod Podge dries quick and clear.

Step 12 – Pick a fabric that has a circle pattern on it, and then cut into the edge of the circle and cut out a ring. You can use both the ring and the left-over circle. When you glue or sew the ring into your book you won’t even see the cutout line.

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Step 13 – I incorporated fortune cookie messages with my own special take on them. I added some journaling, drawing, and coloring around messages that hold a particularly important meaning to me.  You can use the envelopes and pockets to hide some of the more personal messages.

Want to see more? I hope so! This mini-journal isn’t finished yet. I have just begun. I hope to finish it in time for the next installment of Art Journaling. Hopefully this project has inspired you to create your own Junk Journal. You can even make it a party. Invite your friends over and have everyone bring their own bits of junk and swap. Until next time!

~*~

Thanks Lindsay for sharing such a wonderful project. With the holiday season fast approaching, this is the perfect time to start making art journals. Keep track of special moments, write down how your feeling, and strive to be creative as often as you can inside the pages of your very own junk journal.

 

More about Lindsey Ostrom:

Lindsay Ostrom BlogTo learn more about Lindsey, the self-titled Creator of Cuteness, and see more of her amazing work visit her blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 



Sarah Art JournalingHow-To Project Tutorials ,,,,,,

“When I think about why I journal now, it’s more of, why wouldn’t I? I journal on my lunch break, in the car while waiting for an appointment, and every night when I come home. Ideas pop into my head during my day-to-day routine and it seems that I cannot sleep until I get them […]

Free Article Download: Box Ladies by Renee Zarate

September 8th, 2014

Box Ladies by Renee Zarate

Are you up for an artistic challenge? Sometimes stretching your creative muscle is as easy as using similar things in different ways. Take for example the three boxes featured in this free article download. Renee Zarate, a regular contributing artist for Stampington, used Dina Wakley’s cling mount stamps to make a set of creative and edgy party favor boxes. Although the party favors share the same box template and a similar stamp design, each is distinctly different.

1SAM-1203_83

Delight your artistic friends with these mini-masterpieces. Each box showcases different materials such as raffia ribbon, patterned tissue paper, and even some carefully stamped dryer sheets. These different design elements make the boxes unique and interesting, plus they’re a great place to hide little treats or tiny crafting treasures.

Want to learn how to make these crafty party favor boxes for your next artistic gathering?

Click here to download the free article, “Box Ladies,” by Renee Zarate that originally appeared in the Spring 2012 issue of The Stampers’ Sampler.

To learn more about this amazing mixed-media artist visit her blog, Bolton House.

 

The Back Issue Sale

The Stampers' Sampler Spring 2012Currently this magazine, along with many others, is available at a deeply discounted price thanks to our Back Issue Sale. Pick up a copy of this publication for only $1.99!

 

Click here to see more of the Back Issue Sale.
*Sale pricing ends September 30, 2014.

 

 

 

The Bella Grace Blog Hop

The Bella Grace Blog HopSometimes, when inspiration comes calling we simply cannot resist the urge to answer. Junelle Jacobsen, the latest unlocked link in the Bella Grace Blog Hop, writes about her romance with sunlight and how bright, light-filled days can easily steal her away from projects and work. Join her on her blog for a chance to win a copy of Bella Grace.

 

Click here to follow the Bella Grace Blog Hop

 

 



Sarah How-To Project TutorialsStamping ,,,,

Are you up for an artistic challenge? Sometimes stretching your creative muscle is as easy as using similar things in different ways. Take for example the three boxes featured in this free article download. Renee Zarate, a regular contributing artist for Stampington, used Dina Wakley’s cling mount stamps to make a set of creative and […]

Natural History Inspired Storage Project

September 4th, 2014

Natural History Inspired Storage Project



Who doesn’t love beautiful and functional storage ideas? Personally, I love jewelry boxes — I love the teeny-tiny drawers, little doorknobs, and the unique colored surfaces of different containers like polished wood, painted porcelain, and oxidized metal. This nature-themed found object multi-box container is made out of paper mache and can be painted any color, so it’s very easy to personalize. It’s an elegant and feminine way to store jewelry, small crafting essentials, and unique found items. Things like shells, rocks, crystals, and even pieces of sea-glass can be artfully stored in these little boxes. This charming set of six boxes will make a lovely décor piece for your dressing room, bathroom, living room, or anywhere else you want to put them.

 

Natural History Inspired Storage Project

Natural History Inspired Storage Project Materials:

White Paint
Green Paint
Paint Brushes
Paper Mache Mini Box Set
7gypsies Rubbing Stickers

 

Natural History Inspired Storage Project Instructions

Step 1 – Start by painting the outside of the box’s frame with a light coat of white acrylic paint. Paint sparingly; you want some of the warm kraft color to be visible. It will give the box a distressed look.

Step 2 – Repeat the same process on the small boxes and lids, but this time use green acrylic paint. To achieve the green hue that is featured in this project, mix a little bit of white paint into the green paint. Set all the pieces aside and let them dry thoroughly.

 

Natural History Inspired Storage Project

Step 3 – We used a variety of 7gypsies rubbings to add words and images directly onto the front of our boxes. However, feel free to use stamps and ink if you want a more personalized message.

Step 4 – Finally fill the boxes with natural-colored excelsior and add your favorite found objects.

 

Natural History Inspired Storage Project

Not only is this a great project to make for yourself, especially if you’re a fan of delicate miniature storage containers, but this also makes a great gift for a friend or family member. Paint the boxes and frame with their favorite colors, add personalized messages, and fill them with thoughtful findings.

What would you store in these darling boxes? We want to know!

 

The Bella Grace Blog Hop

The Bella Grace Blog HopThis week’s unlocked link comes from the talented Mindy Lacefield, who shares with us her thoughts on Bella Grace, a heartfelt poem, and a stunning mixed-media painting. Visit her blog post for a dose of inspiration and a chance to win this beautiful new publication.

Click here to follow the Bella Grace Blog Hop

 

 



Sarah How-To Project Tutorials ,,,,

Who doesn’t love beautiful and functional storage ideas? Personally, I love jewelry boxes — I love the teeny-tiny drawers, little doorknobs, and the unique colored surfaces of different containers like polished wood, painted porcelain, and oxidized metal. This nature-themed found object multi-box container is made out of paper mache and can be painted any color, […]