A Book of Quotes: Art Journal Inspiration with Editor Amber Demien

June 30th, 2014

Image of Amber Demien

I am pretty new to the world of art journaling, although I’ve been doing it all my life.  As a child, I remember watching my mother write in her journal; mostly she jotted down passages from a poem or her favorite lyrics of a song. It seemed to me that her journal was a place of pretty words, even if they weren’t really hers. You see, some people collect buttons and some people collect stamps, but my mother collected meaningful and inspiring words. So imagine my delight when Amber Demien, the Managing Editor of Art Journaling, told me about her idea to create a journal where she planned to gather all of her favorite quotes.

Clearly, there’s no “one true way” to write, paint, or draw in an art journal. A journal is a safe place for self-expression, no matter what form that expression takes. Flipping through the pages of our July issue of Art Journaling, I am simply amazed at each and every creation I see. There are so many unique ideas and all of them are thoughtful and beautiful in their own way. We’re very fortunate to have Amber join us here at Somerset Place because her particular idea for this art journal is something that anyone can do.

~*~

Believe In the Truth Mixed Media Journal Project



Considering my line of work, it probably comes as no surprise that I love quotes. I love flipping leisurely through books of quotes and perusing quotes websites (two of my favorite websites are quotegarden.com and goodreads.com). I keep a folder on the desktop of my computer at work so when I unexpectedly come across a quote online, I can save it to inspire me again on another day. This is also a great mental exercise while at work, when I need to take a short break from whatever I am working on: I pop on over to a quotes website, and soak up some words of wisdom.

During my most introspective moods, I tend to bury myself in a good book; but if that isn’t possible, swimming through a sea of quotes is the next best thing. I turn to quotes to be cheered up, to be inspired, and sometimes I even exacerbate a bad mood by reading quotes on melancholy topics … which I don’t recommend. Quotes can also serve as advice. Recently, I fell out of touch with a close friend who had moved away. My efforts to stay connected weren’t returned, and I was left feeling hurt and rather bitter about friendship in general. Wondering whether my expectations were too high, I searched for quotes online for some advice about friendship. I must say that I found many quotes that offered me perspective and comfort, some that encouraged me to be hopeful and optimistic, and even some that justified my bitter mood. Here is one of my favorites: “Growing apart doesn’t change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I’m glad for that” ~Ally Condie.

 

072_LFE1013v2~Photo by Vivienne McMaster from our Autumn 2013 issue of Somerset Life


I’ve spoken with many artists who feel similarly about quotes. Sometimes a world of inspiration can be found in the words of others — words can be a key that opens up a door inside of you. I’ve been working on a small collage journal lately, but haven’t added one word to it — not because I haven’t wanted to, but because I felt that this particular journal was meant for something different. It dawned on me recently that this journal would be the perfect place to collect my favorite quotes — much more meaningful and permanent than a folder in my computer. Since my epiphany, I have daydreamed about my son picking up this journal in the future, reading through the many wise, inspiring words, and experiencing the same profound impact that they had upon me. I can’t wait to get started.

~*~

Thanks so much for sharing this unique idea with us Amber Demien. I am sure most of us have our very own collection of quotes, either stashed away in a drawer somewhere or saved on a Pinterest board. This is a good way to incorporate all those important words into a creative space where they’ll always be within reach.

 

Want More Creative Ideas for Your Art Journal?

Art Journaling Summer 2014For more creative project ideas, as well as tips and techniques from well-known artists, check out our July issue of Art Journaling.



Sarah Art Journaling ,,,,

I am pretty new to the world of art journaling, although I’ve been doing it all my life.  As a child, I remember watching my mother write in her journal; mostly she jotted down passages from a poem or her favorite lyrics of a song. It seemed to me that her journal was a place […]

Red Stitched Card Project by Guest Artist Ella Wilson

June 26th, 2014

Summer 2014 Sew Somerset



Today we are very fortunate to have the wonderful Ella Wilson with us. Ella has been featured in the pages of our Summer 2014 issue of Sew Somerset, Spring 2014 issue of Somerset Memories, and the Winter 2014 issue of Art Journaling. She has kindly agreed to create an exclusive tutorial for our blog readers, which showcases her unique blend of black-and-white photography and vibrant red thread. Ella captures a nearly palpable raw feeling of human connection in her artwork; it was that strong sense of emotion that made me seek her out as a guest artist after seeing and falling in love with her Simply Red Journal.

After spending some time getting to know Ella and learning more about her creative process, her family, and the significance of the red thread, I knew I just had to share what I discovered. Now that Ella has happily shared her techniques, I am curious to see how some of you would apply her bold stitching and image manipulation to your own art journal projects.

Summer 2014 Sew Somerset



“An invisible red thread connects those destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstances. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break.”  – Chinese Proverb

This quote, to me, is about love n’ kindness, and how we connect to one another.  Being a military spouse, I have lived in many locations and have been exposed to many cultures.  Moving around so much was difficult sometimes; I didn’t understand the language or the customs of my new neighbors. However, with respect, kindness, and a smile I found my way. I believe the red thread speaks of our humanity, our connection to others, and how we react and cope.

The photos I selected for my project share a sentiment of what makes us human— the joy of riding a bike, the celebration of a wedding, the homecoming of a loved one, the adventure of sightseeing through fresh eyes, or the simple delight of hugging a good friend. Have you ever met someone you instantly felt a connection with? I have, and I always feel as if fate played a hand in it.

If we just remain true to ourselves and follow our passions, then we’ll end up living the life we’re suppose to live. My father died while I was in college and I didn’t follow the career path I had wanted.  Somehow — through all of life’s difficulties, like losing my first child and becoming a Type 1 diabetic — I learned that I had to walk through dark clouds to become the person I was meant to be.

The love we feel for each other and humanity as a whole should never be severed. If it is, we won’t be human anymore. That’s what the red thread symbolizes to me, an unbreakable bond. Sometimes we need to be reminded to find joy, search for the people who understand us and love us no matter what.  It takes time, but as you walk through life’s tangled path, you will learn that it was all worth it.  All the people you meet along the way will help you discover who you are; in turn you will help them, too.  I make my journals and cards to remind others to look for passion, which lives in those precious colorful moments.  Sometimes artists get lost in their world of creating, but we have to live to create and we have to create to live.

REDTHREADARTSUPPLIES-064

Materials for Ella Wilson’s Red Stitched Cards:

Blank Cards and Envelopes
Red Thread or Twine
-Embroidery Needles
-Scissors
Adhesive
-Toothpicks
-Fabric
Embellishments
Ink
-ColorBox Archival Dye-Wicked Black
Red Wood Bingo Tiles
Black and White Photographs
-Cardstock
Red Fine Point Marker

Rubber Stamps:

Pressed Profile Wood Mounted Stamp by Christine Adolph
Tim Holtz: Slight Alterations Collection CMS
Cavallini & Co. Mini Rubber Stamp Set – Mini Lowercase Alphabet

B11002

Ella Wilson’s Red Stitched Card Tutorial:

Step 1 – Take a blank card and stamp the background.  I started with black and when dry — I used red ink.  I made several cards at once.

Step 2 – Now, make copies of the photos on cardstock.  Cut out your images and attach the image to the card, with glue.  Dot the glue onto the corner of the image, smearing some towards middle-with a toothpick, in this case less is definitely better.

Step 3 – Now, stamp floral image between the girls using red ink.   I like the idea of growth as a symbol of their friendship.

Step 4 – While the glue dries, cut out fabric and select embellishments.

Step 5 – Gather wet n’ dry paper towels for the alphabet stamps. You’ll be stamping words onto your patches of fabric. I used words the word Kindred because it also has the word “red” in it. Kindred has two ds and because you’ll be using black and red ink, you’ll want to make sure you clean your stamp between uses.

Step 6 – Set stamped word aside, it’s time to sew!  I poked holes into the designated areas before stitching; it makes things a lot easier.

Step 7 – Use a medium embroidery needle, with 6 strands of thread, knot at both ends.  I connected the taller girl’s third eye to her friend’s hand. Leave a few inches of thread for later.

KINDREDkid017

Step 8 – Move your thread to the side and glue your piece of fabric onto your card.  Tie a charm onto the portion of the red thread that’s left hanging and make several knots at the end of it. I used a small golden key.

Step 9 – Stitch a little collar design onto one of the images.

Step 10 – Glue on the remaining embellishments, like your Red Wooden Bingo Tiles and let dry.

Step 11 – Use a red maker to highlight the ends of the key E.

There, you’re all done — we are all connected by our humanity.

 

Read About Ella Wilson in the Summer 2014 Issue of Sew Somerset

1SOM-SEW1402-Sew-Somerset-Summer-2014-175x175Thank you so much Ella for providing us with such a wonderful tutorial. To read more about Ella Wilson’s crafting style and mixed-media techniques be sure to pick up a copy of the Summer 2014 issue of Sew Somerset

 

To see more of Ella’s artwork and read more of her inspirational writing, visit her blog at: ellasedge.blogspot.com


Sarah How-To Project Tutorials ,,,,

Today we are very fortunate to have the wonderful Ella Wilson with us. Ella has been featured in the pages of our Summer 2014 issue of Sew Somerset, Spring 2014 issue of Somerset Memories, and the Winter 2014 issue of Art Journaling. She has kindly agreed to create an exclusive tutorial for our blog readers, which […]

Get Artfully Organized with this Divided Drawer Deal!

June 23rd, 2014

 Vintage Divided Drawer With Crafting Essentials



Creative, Inspiring, and Available at a Great Price

Beauty and function come together in this vintage-inspired divided drawer. Best of all, for a limited time save $12 because as a blog reader, you get a special 20% off discount!

Perfect for storing all of your small, but vital crafting essentials, this drawer can be used in a variety of creative ways. Use it as an actual drawer and organize all yours lovely bits and pieces of treasure or set it upright on your workstation for better access to the things you’re always reaching for. With 18 individual compartments, you can also use this drawer as an artful display for creative tags, mini sculptures, tiny mixed-media creations, and so much more.

 

Vintage Divided Drawer Details:

Vintage Divided Drawer

-Drawer Measures 20 x 18 x 3″

-Each Compartment is 4-1/4 x 4  x 2-3/4″

-Includes Two Hooks on the Back for Convenient, Wall Mounting

 

What Does Our Resident Crafter Have to Say?

I’m always looking for ways to organize my craft space without sacrificing style, and this divided drawer is a perfect example of just that. I also like to have my supplies in plain view, because when I store things in drawers I tend to forget what I have. Lastly, the compartments on this drawer force me to edit — what fits? If I have enough washi tape to fill this drawer five times over, maybe it’s time for me to trim down my supply  or better yet, relocate them to a larger jar!

This drawer can be hung on the wall, or it can be propped on a cabinet or table. I like it propped because then I can move it around as needed. I use it to store my washi tapes, stamps, twine, ink pads … basically every colorful craft supply you can think of! It has a lot of compartments and is pretty big, so you get a lot of bang for your buck. All in all, this vintage drawer is a unique and chic addition to any craft room and will certainly have your friends asking “Where did you get that….?”

 

Visit Us at The Shoppe For More Organization and Display Items

Home Decor CollectionWant even more ideas for artful displays and creative organization items? Visit us at The Shoppe and explore our wide selection of home décor offerings. Whatever your style is, we’re sure you’ll find something useful and beautiful.

 

If you fell in love with our Vintage Divided Drawer, you can purchase it at a deeply discounted price for a limited time. We’re offering 20% off until the end of June, so be sure to order yours as soon as possible.

 



Sarah Uncategorized ,,,,

  Creative, Inspiring, and Available at a Great Price Beauty and function come together in this vintage-inspired divided drawer. Best of all, for a limited time save $12 because as a blog reader, you get a special 20% off discount! Perfect for storing all of your small, but vital crafting essentials, this drawer can be […]

Washi Tape Inspiration: Pin For A Chance To Win

June 19th, 2014

Washi Tape Collection

If you’re a seasoned crafter, then chances are you’ve worked with washi tape before. If you’ve just started your creative journey, then believe me, it’s only a matter of time before you’re hooked on these small, sticky crafting essentials. Due to its popularity, functionality, and aesthetic appeal, we decided to investigate and learn more about what makes this particular type of tape so appealing. Plus, we want to offer our beloved readers a chance to win their very own bundle of beautifully patterned washi tapes. Just pin your favorite washi tape design, share the link with us, and you could win! Details to enter the contest will be at the bottom of the post.

 

A Quick Washi Tape Lesson

Available in a wide range of patterns, colors, and designs, washi tape is easy to apply to most projects. Placing a few pieces of bright tape will make a mixed-media project instantly pop, while utilizing tape with a more dramatic design can add a whole new layer of depth to a collage. Best of all, this tape is surprisingly resilient. Washi tape is pretty strong (it’s very similar to masking tape) and depending on its use, it can be very long-lasting.

Washi tape originated in Japan, but because it has become so popular, it is now made all over the world. Washi comes from two Japanese words: wa, which means Japanese, and shi, which means paper — so the literal translation is “Japanese Paper.” It was originally made from the bark of native Japanese trees, such as the gampi tree, the mulberry tree, and the mitsumata shrub, but now is more commonly made from natural fibers like hemp, bamboo, wheat, or rice. As a biodegradable material, it’s a great, eco-friendly alternative to plastic tapes.

 

Colorful and Creative Washi Tape Project Ideas

Washi Tape Art Journal Books Project

The beauty of washi tapes is how easy to use they are. You can add layers and depth to nearly any project with just a strip of washi tape, and with so many colors and pattern options, it’s very easy to personalize something based on your own unique tastes. For those interested in art journaling, you know that the cover is a very important aspect of the project. In this Art Journal Books Project, a few well-placed strips of graffiti washi tape create a textured, color-blocking effect in a matter of seconds. Paired with a layers of white acrylic paint, various shaped pieces of chipboard, and a few stamps, the end result is a creative journal cover that’s sure to keep you inspired.

 

Vintage Washi Tape Box Project

Another inventive way to use washi tape is with this Vintage Washi Tape Box Project. Perfect for holding small treasures, tiny treats, or little crafting essentials, these altered paper mache boxes can be just about anything you want them to be. Depending on the occasion or event, you can select the washi tape of your choice and create stunning party favors that everyone will love.

 Create Your Own Business Cards with Washi Tape

Do you own a business? Are you a freelance crafter — a party planner, a writer, a part-time florist? The business world doesn’t always have to be black and white! Especially if you’re using patterned washi tape. This fun little DIY Business Cards Project will show you how to make beautiful personalized cards that will keep you fresh in the minds of all your current and potential clients. All you need is some card-stock, a few kraft-colored index cards, and a few strips of artfully placed washi tape.

 

Mixed-Media Love Canvases Project

Washi tape is a great accent for a home décor piece; it can be the small element that ties a whole room together. This Mixed-Media Love Canvases Project will give you a step-by-step tutorial on how to create unique and personalized wall art using a bright colors, stamps, and a few strips of patterned washi tape. The best part about this project is that it can easily be altered. Rather than using small canvases you could go with something larger or 3-dimensional and you could create your own color palette to better complement any space in your home, office, or workshop.

 

Pin Your Favorite Washi Tape:

The results are in, these are the Top-Ten most popular washi tapes that we carry. Now we want to know which tape will reign supreme!

We’re giving away a three washi tape bundle to one random winner! For your chance to win simply follow the instructions:

  1. From the images featured below “Pin” your favorite.
  2. Share a link to your newly created pin on the blog comment section below (get your link by opening your pin and copying the URL).
  3. Tell us why that particular washi tape is your favorite.

*Contest is open to US residents only, and expires June 30th, 2014.

Watch Face Washi Tape



  Washi Tape Pearl Rose Pattern

 

Pink Star Washi Tape



  Scrabble Washi Tape

 

Make and Bake Washi Tape



  Foreign Newspaper Washi Tape

 

Bird on a Wire Washi Tape



  Red and White Gingham Washi Tape

 

White and Gold Stripe Washi Tape



  Vintage Alphabet Washi Tape

 

Want to See Even More Washi Tape Options?

Washi Tape CollectionWe hope you’re brimming with new project ideas after reading our post! If you want to jump-start all your creative endeavors, visit us at The Shoppe. We have over 200 beautiful, colorful, and absolutely stunning patterned washi tapes — some available at deeply discounted prices. Explore our collection and find everything you could ever need and want to supplement your mixed-media projects, art journals, and whatever else your imagination can come up with.

 

Click here to visit our washi tape collection.

Congratulations to Our Washi Tape Winner!

C. C. McQuain

 



Sarah Contests and GiveawaysHow-To Project Tutorials ,,,,,,,

If you’re a seasoned crafter, then chances are you’ve worked with washi tape before. If you’ve just started your creative journey, then believe me, it’s only a matter of time before you’re hooked on these small, sticky crafting essentials. Due to its popularity, functionality, and aesthetic appeal, we decided to investigate and learn more about […]

You Are a Miracle Art Journal Project Tutorial

June 16th, 2014

You Are a Miracle Art Journal Project



Ever since I was a child, I’ve kept a journal. They were one of my first creative spaces, totally private and devoid of criticism. Although I wrote down all my hopes and dreams, I also added stickers, drawings, and stamps. When I found a flower I liked, I’d press it between the pages of my journal. I saved movie tickets, flight itineraries, and every other little thing that held special meaning to me. Now I have boxes and boxes of old journals, and I can’t bring myself to let them go because each one shows not only my thoughts, but also my creative ability.

Imagine my delight, years later, when I discovered the world of art journals. It’s made me revisit my old journals and start planning future projects as well. Now that I’ve seen how layering, lettering, and sewing can be incorporated into the pages of journals, there is so much I want to try.

One project that showcases some of these interesting techniques is the You Are a Miracle Art Journal project. The methods used to create this project are easy to replicate and they will add depth and interest to any journal. One particularly interesting aspect of this project is the repurposing of old calendars, which is a great way to upcycle something that would otherwise be thrown out! We used an old Papaya Art Calendar, but if you don’t have one you can get something similar, along with other crafting essentials, at a great discounted price in our warehouse sale. With bright colors, stunning pieces of ephemera, and handwritten affirmations, this project is one you’re going to want to replicate many times over.

 

You Are a Miracle Art Journal Project Close up

Materials for the You Are a Miracle Art Journal Project:

PanPastels

Papaya Art Calendar Pages

Journal

-Sponge

Patterned Paper

Kraft Tissue Paper

Adhesive

Washi Tape

Gel Pen

 

Instructions for the You Are a Miracle Art Journal Project:

Step 1 — Start by using various colors from the panpastels set and rubbing them onto the pages of a Moleskine journal using a large sponge. For this project, we used the red and blue panpastels from the Donna Downey No.1 Set.

 

Step 2 — Dig up some old calendar pages (we used a 2012 Papaya Art Calendar) and tear out some of your favorite images. To give your journal a distinct look, tear some of the edges off the images.

You Are a Miracle Art Journal Project Full Page Right

Step 3 — Find some coordinating patterned paper and kraft tissue paper and glue down layers onto the pages of the journal. If you’re using a liquid adhesive, allow ample time for the glue to dry before moving on.

 

Step 4 — Add random strips of various washi tapes as accents. They’ll also add depth to your art journal.

 

Step 5 — Write various words or quotes using a black gel pen, or a gel pen of your choice. To keep with the “miracle” theme, we pasted a cut-out of the word in the journal.

 

You Are a Miracle Art Journal Project Full Page

 

Want to Recreate the You Are a Miracle Art Journal Project?

inventorysale-200x200Many of the items we used to make this wonderful art journal project can be found in our warehouse sale. We add new items monthly so be sure to come back often to get some of your favorite crafting essentials at greatly reduced prices!

 

 

 

 

 



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

Ever since I was a child, I’ve kept a journal. They were one of my first creative spaces, totally private and devoid of criticism. Although I wrote down all my hopes and dreams, I also added stickers, drawings, and stamps. When I found a flower I liked, I’d press it between the pages of my […]