Sweet Shadowbox Project by Guest Artist Cat Kerr

July 17th, 2014

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Cat Kerr has a very special way of breathing artistic life into materials, whether it be fabric, metal, or wood. I fell in love with her little “Ladies-in-Waiting,” which were featured on the cover of our last issue of  Somerset Studio Gallery. Her eye for detail and the end product of her creative endeavors is what led me to ask her to join us on the blog as a guest artist. After reaching out, she kindly accepted our invitation to write a blog post and create a unique project with detailed step-by-step directions.

Now, without further ado, please join me in welcoming Cat Kerr to Somerset Place.

~*~

These charming little shadowbox assemblages were inspired by my current feature in Somerset Studio Gallery called “I See You”. The problem however, was that once I started making them…I couldn’t seem to stop. As in the article, these cardboard boxes can be filled with Paper Whimsy Token Alterables, but since then I’ve filled them with all sorts of goodies like family photos, and memorabilia. Today I’m filling them with beautiful vintage images and sweet sparkly wings.

Sweet Shadowbox Material List:

 

Cat Kerr’s Sweet Shadowbox Tutorial

Step 1 – Cut strips of telephone book paper.

Step 2 – Add some glue in desired locations of the cardboard box (or Chipboard Shrine), place your strip and add an additional layer of glue on top of the telephone strip paper and let dry.

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Step 3 – Add gesso to the outside and inside of the box. You want to be able to see the telephone text so when going over the strips of paper, apply a thin coat of gesso and let dry. Add a layer of Nickel Azo Gold. This is a very strong color so I like to water it down, therefore creating a wash. Next add a final color in assorted areas to the inside of the box ( I used a Tiffany blue). Lastly, use the Punchinella Stencil and a stencil brush to add the design in random areas.

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Step 4 – Add some contrast with black rub-on stickers. Also, splatter a watered-down black paint in random locations using an old toothbrush and let dry.

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Step 5 – Cut a piece of colored burlap, crochet trim, and a piece of ivory tulle fabric slightly larger than the box. Add some  glue to the base and stick them to the inside of the box.

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Step 6 –  Punch two small holes on top of the box. Cut an 8” piece of black steel wire. Using round pliers, create a loop on one end and feed it through the inside part of the box. The loop will keep the wire from coming out. Feed the other end of the wire through the other hole. Once through, create another loop on the end

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Step 7 – Cut out desired image and sticker words. I added a bit of Nickel Azo Gold to the stickers and then mounted them on to black cardstock.

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Step 8 – Add Modge Podge to the wings, and cover in glitter, and let dry. I used two layers of glitter.

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Step 9 – Decide on the placement of your image. Next, glue small wood blocks to the inside of the box. This helps to give your image dimension. I used old wood domino pieces.

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Step 10 – Glue the wings, image, and sticker words. Then add scraps of fabric to the bottom as well as assorted findings like book text, flowers, buttons and seed beads.

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Step 11 – Finish off with flat back crystal on her dress.

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More about Cat Kerr:

Cat Kerr's BlogCat Kerr is a Mixed Media Artist/Instructor that lives in Central Florida with her husband and two kids. Her work has been featured in numerous Stampington publications such as Belle Armoire Jewelry, Somerset Studio and Sew Somerset. She currently teaches online and at retreats around the country. To see more of her work, online shops, and teaching schedule, you can visit her at http://www.catkerr.com

Can’t Get Your Fill of Mixed-Media Inspiration?

1SOM-GAL1402-Somerset-Studio-Gallery-Summer-2014-600x600Celebrate a 15-year milestone with this fabulous issue of Somerset Studio Gallery. Brimming with inspiration in 200 lush pages, you’ll see Deborah Company’s mosaic house collages, Michelle E. Black’s beach-themed image transfers, and Cat Kerr’s unique “Ladies-in-Waiting” as featured on the cover.



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

Cat Kerr has a very special way of breathing artistic life into materials, whether it be fabric, metal, or wood. I fell in love with her little “Ladies-in-Waiting,” which were featured on the cover of our last issue of  Somerset Studio Gallery. Her eye for detail and the end product of her creative endeavors is […]

Free Article Download: Inspiring Mixed-Media Journal by Donna Downey

July 14th, 2014

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“The whole idea of the Inspiration Journal is that it is a safe place for me to play with new ideas, new media, new thoughts … without having to worry if I’m going to mess it up. I know you know the feeling!”

~ Donna Downey from Somerset Apprentice; Click here to read the full article.

 

We’ve all experienced that feeling — frozen by uncertainty, nervous to draw a line, to press the paint-soaked brush to a crisp, clean page. This sort of hesitation stifles artistic freedom, and it’s for this reason that we must fight against doubt, and silence the critical voice that lives inside us all. Downey’s Inspiration Journal is a lovely exercise that will help you practice stream-of-consciousness creation in a safe and private space.

The Time You Enjoy by Donna Downey
In this free article download, Donna does a wonderful job of breaking down the creative process of this stunning art journal page. Complete with a tools and materials list, this article provides a detailed step-by-step tutorial on recreating the striking muslin flowers that are featured, along with the delicate curled wire detail.

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Click here to download the free article, “The Time You Enjoy,” by Donna Downey that originally appeared in the Spring 2011 issue of Somerset Apprentice.

To learn more about this talented mixed-media artist and pick up some of her special tips and techniques, be sure to visit her blog, Simply Me.

 

Get Even More Mixed-Media Inspiration

1APP-1401-Somerset-Apprentice-Spring-2014-600x600Learn the fundamentals of creating Somerset-style art, one step at a time, with Somerset Apprentice. Successful artists share their favorite tips and techniques, including layered collage, mixed-media, and assemblage art, which are presented through detailed images and clear instructions.

 

 

 

 

We want to hear from you!

Do you have a safe place where you create? Is it on your kitchen table or perhaps in a special art journal? Let us know in the comment section below.

 



Sarah Free DownloadsHow-To Project TutorialsMixed-Media Art ,,,,,,,

  “The whole idea of the Inspiration Journal is that it is a safe place for me to play with new ideas, new media, new thoughts … without having to worry if I’m going to mess it up. I know you know the feeling!” ~ Donna Downey from Somerset Apprentice; Click here to read the […]

Stamping on Metal with the Steel Letter and Number Stamp Set

July 10th, 2014

Steel Letter and Number Stamp Set Project



Unleash a new world of creative possibilities with our Steel Letter and Number Stamp Set, and for a limited time, enjoy a special 15% off discount. Scroll down to learn how to make these metal-stamped Dog Tag necklaces.

Steel Letter and Number Stamp Set

Embellishing metal, leather, or wax has never been so much fun! This wonderful set of steel stamps will allow you to imprint names and numbers on your artwork by simply tapping the stamps with a hammer or other hard materials. Perfect for leaving lasting impressions on copper gardening tags or metal journals, this set of stamps opens the doors to a whole new level of creativity. Find your favorite crafting tin or metal surface, and stamp a touching phrase or encouraging word.

Steel Letter and Number Stamp Set

 

Steel Letter and Number Stamp Set Product Details:

– 26 Letter Stamps
– “&” Sign Stamp
– Number Stamps, 0 – 8 (turn “6” upside down and use as “9”)
– Special High-Carbon Stamps will Endure 9000 Markings Each
– Available in Two Sizes — 1/4 Inches High and 1/8 Inches High

Steel Letter and Number Stamp Set

What Does Our Resident Crafter Have to Say?

I really love the look of metal stamping, and when I recently took over as Shoppe Manager at The Shoppe at Somerset, I was surprised and pleased to learn that we carry two different sizes of metal stamp sets. Metal stamping is a practice-makes-perfect technique, but practicing can be so much fun! It’s important to use a steel block and steel hammer when metal stamping in order to get the best results.

Once you’ve got all of your supplies for metal stamping, the sky’s the limit. I like to use our steel stamps to write inspirational words on our dog tags, which are available in both brass and stainless steel, and come in packs of six. Also, you can add even more depth and interest to your dog tags by using Iced Enamel Powders by ICE Resin. You can quickly and easily whip up personalized gifts for friends and family, or add custom metal pieces to your mixed-media artwork. This is one purchase that you will definitely get plenty of mileage from.

Steel Letter and Number Stamp Set Project
Metal Stamped Dog Tag Project:

Step 1 – Adhere a dog tag of your choice to a stamping block with tape. (We used washi tape, since it doesn’t leave any residue).

Step 2 – Carefully position each stamp on the tag, and then firmly hit it with a steel hammer once. Do not hit the stamp more than one time because that will cause a shadow effect.

Step 3 – Repeat for all letters, then attach seam binding ribbon in your desired color.

 

Ready to Create More One-of-a-Kind Wearable Art?

Jewelry Making CollectionVisit our extensive Jewelry Making Collection and find everything you need to start crafting your own signature pieces from start to finish. We have all of the best tools of the trade, stunning findings and charms, and plenty of inspiration in the form of jewelry making books and free project tutorials to get you started.



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

Unleash a new world of creative possibilities with our Steel Letter and Number Stamp Set, and for a limited time, enjoy a special 15% off discount. Scroll down to learn how to make these metal-stamped Dog Tag necklaces. Steel Letter and Number Stamp Set Embellishing metal, leather, or wax has never been so much fun! […]

Summer Adventures Tote Bag Project

July 7th, 2014

Summer Adventures Tote Project



For most of us, summer is in full swing, which means trips to the beach, pool, and other fun out-door adventures. Our Large Craft Tote Bag is quite versatile and it can be used as an artful craft bag, a roomy beach tote, or to hold just about anything you can come up with. Best of all it’s made of durable canvas material that’s ready to be brought to life by your creative touch. This tote bag can be altered using fabric, color, embellishments, and so much more!

We want to encourage our readers to have an artistic and fulfilling summer, and what better way to support creative exploration than with this beautiful and functional Adventure Tote Bag Project? Take some cues from us and replicate this project to create a lively green bag or create something completely unique and personalized! This project has so many creative possibilities that I can’t wait to try my hand at making my own. For my tote, I am thinking of something beach themed.

What will you create?

 

Materials for the Summer Adventures Tote Bag Project:

Large Craft Tote Bag
Lattice Stencil – 12 x 12
-White Fabric Paint
-Green Rit Dye
Foam Brush
Scratch Alphabet Large Clearly Impressed Stamp Set by Julie van Oosten
Black StazOn Ink

 

Summer Adventures Tote Bag Project Instructions:

Step 1 – For this project we decided to rit dye the tote bag a nice green color. We used liquid rit dye and did it in the washing machine, which was super quick and easy. Make sure you do an extra rinse cycle (or two) after the actual color wash. This helps to rinse out any excess of color and prevent the color from staining the machine and anything you may wash in the future. However, you may want to do a couple of dark loads after doing a rit dye project, just to be on the safe side!

Step 2 – Rather than line dry, we ran the tote bag through the dryer and it worked out well. This will help you save a little extra time, especially if you can’t wait to start altering your bag. It also softens up the fabric a little bit so that it isn’t quite as stiff, which can be helpful when you start stamping and stenciling on the bag.

Summer Adventures Tote Project

Step 3 – Once the bag is completely dry, you can start stenciling! We used the 12 x 12 Lattice Stencil with white fabric paint and a foam brush (unfortunately, we no longer carry this particular stencil in The Shoppe but we do have many alternative options in our Stencil Collection). We intentionally left some portions blank and just dabbed the paint through the stencil to give the tote bag a more weather-worn appearance. Also, when working on a bag like this one, it can be a bit difficult to get it completely flat so trying to cover the entire thing with a neat stenciling technique would be very hard. Embrace the imperfections!

Step 4 – For a last bit of detail, we stamped a few half-circles to create a scallop edge designs along the top edge of the tote.

Step 5 – Finally, along the bottom of the bag we stamped the word “ADVENTURE” using black StanzOn Ink and Julie van Oosten’s Large Clearly Impressed Scratch Alphabet Stamp Set.

Summer Adventures Tote Project

 

Want Even More Tote Bag Inspiration?

Tote Bag Project Inspiration - Haute Handbag MagazineHow do you carry it? Peek inside the the pages of Haute Handbags and see how well-known artists create unique purses, clutches, totes, portfolios, sacks, bags, and much more.



Sarah How-To Project TutorialsTextile Arts ,,,,,,

For most of us, summer is in full swing, which means trips to the beach, pool, and other fun out-door adventures. Our Large Craft Tote Bag is quite versatile and it can be used as an artful craft bag, a roomy beach tote, or to hold just about anything you can come up with. Best […]

Glimpse Inside: Inspiring July Issues + Win Your Choice

July 3rd, 2014

Keep yourself creatively occupied this summer with a colorful assortment of inspiring magazines. Our July issues are jam-packed with artistic projects that will keep your imagination on its toes. Create a bright journal and record all of your summertime adventures with Art Journaling or plan the perfect outdoor get together with this month’s issue of Mingle. If you’re ready to take your creative endeavors to the next level and start your very own business, then you won’t want to miss all the valuable advice that’s offered in our Summer Issue of Where Women Create BUSINESS. We have something for everyone — so there’s no excuse to send your creativity on vacation!

 

Discount

 

We’re offering our blog followers an exclusive deal because we love and appreciate them. Use the promo code BLOG0714 and receive $5 off any of our enticing July issues. Just make sure you copy and paste the coupon code when prompted at checkout.

 

 

 

 Somerset Studio

Somerset Studio - 2014 July Issues

Welcome to a magical place of inspiration, where paper crafting, art stamping, and the lettering arts are elevated to an artistic level, in Somerset Studio. In this issue, we share an Artist Profile on Tracy Verdugo, stunning silhouettes made from rusty bits, and a mixed-media experiment held on a receipt paper roll. Get an inside look at Ranger’s Designer Challenge, peek into the whimsical world of Juliette Crane, and revel in breathtaking collages inspired by Jane Austen. Each issue also comes with four free designer artist papers and clip art that readers can use in their next handmade project.

 

 Mingle

Mingle - 2014 July Issues

Brighten your day with the visual feast of imaginative gatherings that unfold from the pages of Mingle, along with the uplifting stories behind uniquely creative get-togethers. This issue shares Gathering with Friends for a Cause: a party designed to celebrate and welcome the adoption of a baby boy from Uganda, and a Cherish the Classics event by Nicole Gould that celebrates friendship, classic literature, and the first day of kindergarten. Other themed gatherings include a Grumpy Old Men Day full of men’s thrift store outfits, donuts, golf, and shenanigans, and Patty Smith’s first birthday party styled after “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn,” complete with a ruffled denim tablecloth made from jeans.

 

Art Journaling

Art Journaling - 2014 July Issues

From stamping and collage art to painting and sketching, every quarterly issue of Art Journaling is filled with innovative techniques that you’ll want to try in your own art journal. In this issue, find out how Heather Kindt transforms magazine pages into art, and see how Lindsay Ostrom turns trash into treasure in her Junk Journal. Renee Stien draws inspiration from Mother Nature in her garden-themed journal, and Roc Nicholas stitches ephemera into a stunning journal that you will not want to miss.

 

Jewelry Affaire

Jewelry Affaire - 2014 July Issues

Summer is finally here, which means airing out your swimsuit, sipping an iced-cold drink by the pool, and of course, reading the latest issue of Jewelry Affaire! Want to know the latest trends for the season? Just peruse our pages, and see how Sandra Younger creates beautifully aesthetic wearable delights using her special hemp cord techniques. You’ll also learn how to upcycle belts, vintage watches, and a complete silverware collection into your very own jewelry line. Select your very own style of black tie affaire from jewelry artists Debbie Cole, Gretchen Nation, and Donna Miyasko-Blanco.

 

The Stampers’ Sampler

The Stampers Sampler - 2014 July Issues

Hold on to your brooms, and get ready for our 2014 Frightful & Delightful Challenge results! This annual Halloween-themed stamping challenge is a favorite for our readers, and the 20 pages of daring designs are sure to scare your socks off. In tribute to our favorite spooky season, we also present readers with the results from our special Witch Hat Template Challenge. Mixed-media techniques, hand-carved goodies, and tips on how to add texture to your stamped projects also await you in this jam-packed issue. Included, as always, is a free artist paper and brand-new set of challenges — so hurry and reserve your copy today!

 

Belle Armoire

Belle Armoire - 2014 July Issues

French for “beautiful wardrobe,” Belle Armoire® marries fabric arts with a variety of mediums – showcasing one-of-a-kind, handmade fashions. This issue shares gorgeous leaf-dyed clothing from Michelle Hoffee of Living and Dyeing and a Designer Collection from artist Dawn Younger-Smith, The Boudoir Queen. Gather inspiration from Michelle Newman, who writes a “Knitting Down Under” column in Australia, and find painted clothing, nuno-felting, dyeing, and other interesting techniques that will inspire you to infuse your own style into your next wearable-art project.

 

Somerset Life

Somerset Life - 2014 July Issues

Somerset Life provides an abundance of inspiring ideas to infuse your daily life with simple pleasures, art, romance, creativity and beauty. In this issue, you will delight in gift toppers made from wax-dipped leaves, a clever letter written on a spool, and a stunning muslin necklace. Learn how to artistically give a bouquet of flowers, and discover three unexpected ways to use a single caddy. The imaginative ideas and breathtaking photography that fill these pages will inspire you to make every day extraordinary.

 

Where Women Create BUSINESS

Where Women Create BUSINESS - 2014 July Issues

Where Women Create BUSINESS is an invaluable guide for every woman business owner – from those just starting out to experienced artisans. Through advice columns and in-depth feature articles, it offers a multitude of knowledge and inspiration to women with a passion for success. In this issue, we share insights from Clothing designer Nancy Traugott of Homefrocks, the mother and daughters behind Junk Gypsy, and Jennie Nigrosh, inventor of The Green Garmento garment bag. Don’t miss informative features on Sherry Horton, who creates soaps, lotions, and potpourri through E. Barrett & Co. and the owners of event location Pecan Springs Ranch, Judy and Paige Smith.

 

Your Chance to Win One of Our July Issues!

[This giveaway has ended.]

We’re giving away brand-new July Issues to THREE lucky winners! Simply follow these steps to enter for your chance to win:

1) Click on your favorite spread above.

2) Pin or “Like” that particular issue. 

3) If you pinned to Pinterest, share the link in the comments section below. If you “liked” on Facebook, tag us so we can see. 

4) If you don’t have Facebook or Pinterest, please comment below and tell us which issue you find most appealing and why.

 

*Winners are selected at random and will be contacted via email. *$5 off discount applies to purchases of any of the following 2014 July Issues only: Somerset Studio, Art Journaling, Belle Armoire, Jewelry Affaire, Mingle, Somerset Life, The Stampers’ Sampler, and Where Women Create BUSINESS. Discount code can be used only one time per customer, and expires 07/31/14. Contest is open to U.S. residents and ends 07/31/14 at 11:59pm.

Congratulations to Our Glimpse Inside Winners for the Month of June:

Stamping Sue, Barbara Moor, and Laura Quick





Sarah Art JournalingArtful LivingContests and GiveawaysJewelry MakingMixed-Media ArtStampingTextile Arts ,,,,

Keep yourself creatively occupied this summer with a colorful assortment of inspiring magazines. Our July issues are jam-packed with artistic projects that will keep your imagination on its toes. Create a bright journal and record all of your summertime adventures with Art Journaling or plan the perfect outdoor get together with this month’s issue of […]