7 Creative Map-Inspired Projects

July 28th, 2014

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Summer is the perfect time to travel, and with the rise of hand-dandy GPS devices and smart phone apps, it’s always easy to find where you are and decide where you’re going. Even so, there’s something very special about maps — be it the sweet nostalgia they bring of old family road trips, or more frustrating but humorous memories of having taken a wrong left turn because someone didn’t want to stop and ask for directions. Many maps have our notes scribbled on them, and they show the wear and tear of being messily folded up and stashed back into the glove compartment. They wear their age and carry with them all the charm and mystery of the unexplored. Simply put, maps hold extraordinary images and information which makes them a wonderful material for creative, upcycled projects.

This summer, if you’re taking off on a cross-country vacation or just setting out to explore your city, take a map with you, and jot down thoughts, notes, even affirmations. If you have older maps that are now outdated, don’t throw them out — they’re a beautiful alternative to patterned paper. This post is all about map-inspired projects. With everything from decoupage art and collaged compositions to jewelry making, we’re sure that this list of projects will inspire you to make something beautiful and unique with your maps.

 

A Creative Assortment of Map-Inspired Projects

 

Map-Inspired Projects from GreenCraft Autumn 2011



A Different Place and Time

“The more wear and tear and crease marks a map has, the more interesting it is to me. I consider it a challenge to try and preserve these little pieces of history.” ~Melanie Prior; as appeared in the Autumn 2011 issue of GreenCraft Magazine.

Melanie’s projects are functional and beautiful. From map-covered tin cans that function as whimsical travel-inspired pencil holders to actual map-encased pencils, Melanie picks the most interesting portions of a map to use in her work. Among her unique upcycling projects are her map coasters, which she makes by repurposing not only maps, but also materials like spare marble tiles, old CDs, and leftover pieces of wood.

 

Map-Inspired Projects from GreenCraft Magazine Spring 2013



Paper Squared

Paper crafter and basket weaver Nancy Procter created a stunning paper-weaving technique that allows her to create intricate patterns that are perfect for making boxes, lamp shades, and clutch purses. One of her preferred materials is maps because of the manageability of the paper as well as the intricate designs. You can see all the details of Nancy’s stunning paper weaving technique in the Spring 2013 issue of GreenCraft Magazine.
 

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CD Case Picture Frames

“When I put my eyes on one of the ‘Imagining Green’ calls for artwork in the Autumn 2012 issue of GreenCraft Magazine that challenged readers to find a stylish and functional use for jeweled CD cases, I happily answered the call.” ~Monica Sabolla Gruppo; as appeared in Spring 2013 issue of GreenCraft Magazine.

By taking two completely ordinary things, such as old discarded CD cases and outdated maps, Monica created an extraordinary eco-chic home décor item. These CD case picture frames stand alone and allow you to showcase both an image as well as a map that outlines where the picture was taken. It’s a unique take on memory art as well as a very eco-friendly project.

 

Creative Map-Inspired Projects from GreenCraft Magazine Spring 2012



Charming Travel Keepsake Earrings

This jewelry project by Lorrie Everitt is a creative and beautiful way to carry with you treasured memories of places you’ve visited. All you need are glass tiles, bits of your favorite maps, some Diamond Glaze, and earring hardware. Get the full tutorial in the Spring 2012 issue of GreenCraft Magazine.

 

Creative Map-Inspired Projects from GreenCraft Magazine Spring 2012



A Map for the Road

What better way to commemorate a road trip than by creating a traveling journal out of a road-map atlas? Kristina Roth wanted to journal her way cross country and came up with this imaginative idea in the Spring 2012 issue of GreenCraft Magazine.

 

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Ephemera Pots Projects

This project comes straight out of The Studio. It features three paper mache pots that are altered with paint and decoupaged pieces of torn maps and labels. The end result is a unique display for organizing photographs, recipes, ephemera, and just about anything else you can fit into these pots.

 

Map-Inspired Projects in GreenCraft Magazine Autumn 2010



Push The Envelope

“I also love using items in a different way than what their original purpose was. Thinking outside of the box is important. So using magazines, books, wallpaper, an atlas, maps, etc., to make envelopes or cards, or to use in scrapbooking, seemed a natural progression for me.” ~Dana Horadam; as appeared in the Autumn 2010 issue of GreenCraft Magazine.

Dana’s envelopes come in all shapes and sizes, and they’re made from all sorts of different materials. From book and magazine pages to, of course, our beloved maps. What better way to send greeting cards to people abroad or when traveling than with custom-made envelopes that showcase the places being visited?

 

How Do You Upcycle Maps?

Do you paint over them and bind them into books or do you put them in a frame, hang them up, and let their natural beauty stand out? Maps have very important uses, but they also stimulate the imagination and provide stunning patterned backgrounds for mixed-media projects. We’ve shared a few creative ideas that utilize maps at the heart of projects, but now we want to know how you would use them.

Share your ideas in the comment section below, or better yet send them in as submissions for a chance to be published in GreenCraft Magazine.

Click here to learn more about the submissions process.



Sarah Uncategorized ,,,,,,,

Summer is the perfect time to travel, and with the rise of hand-dandy GPS devices and smart phone apps, it’s always easy to find where you are and decide where you’re going. Even so, there’s something very special about maps — be it the sweet nostalgia they bring of old family road trips, or more […]

Dream Scrapbook Art Page Project by Anna Dabrowska

July 25th, 2014

Anna Dabrowska's Dream Scrapbook Art Page



Is there anything more dreamlike and surreal than a beautifully composed collage? Picking the right pieces of ephemera, the right images, and the right color scheme is a labor of love, that once completed, brings to life a tiny piece of a strange and beautiful world. Nowhere is that better seen than in this stunning scrapbook page created by the extraordinarily talented Anna Dabrowska.

 

Dream Scrapbook Art Page Materials List:

-Prima Marketing Washi and Fabric Tape – Sunrise Sunset by Finnabair
-Prima Marketing Sunrise Sunset by Finnabair – Paper Pad A4
-Prima Marketing Sunrise Sunset by Finnabair – Vintage Trinkets Flowers 6 pack
-Prima Marketing Sunrise Sunset by Finnabair – Vintage Trinkets Roman Numerals
-Ink Spray
-Lace Ribbon
-Also bits and pieces of your favorite ephemera

 

Anna Dabrowska’s Dream Scrapbook Art Page Tutorial:

Step 1 – Anna’s Dream Scrapbook Art Page is a creative layout with multiple layers and textures. She begins with color and adheres lace trimmings to the outer edges of her page. The outer edges of the page are also framed with machine-stitched black thread.

Step 2 – Once her canvas is ready, she overlaps the Sunrise Sunset papers with the Sunrise Sunset fabric tape.

Step 3 – Next she adds metal flowers and numerals, plus other various embellishments like soda can pull tabs, paper clips, and even the slider portion of a vintage zipper.

The beauty of this project is that it cannot be replicated completely, where as Anna’s style can be. This collage will be a reflection of your own imagination based on what objects and colors you decide to showcase.

When creating your own page, add some mixed-media interest just like Anna did with spray inks, stamping with found objects, stitching, and more.  To recreate Anna’s look, we suggest primarily using her Sunrise Sunset line of products by Prima Marketing.

 

About Anna Dabrowska:

Mixed-media artist, scrapbooker and art journaler Anna Dabrowska, also known as Finnabair, is also an experienced traveling teacher and designs products for Prima Marketing, such as the Sunrise Sunset products featured in this layout. You can view more of her work and travels on her blog: tworzysko.blogspot.com.

 

Want to See More of Anna Dabrowska’s Work?

 

Get tips and techniques from Anna herself in the Autumn 2012 issue of Somerset Apprentice.



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

Is there anything more dreamlike and surreal than a beautifully composed collage? Picking the right pieces of ephemera, the right images, and the right color scheme is a labor of love, that once completed, brings to life a tiny piece of a strange and beautiful world. Nowhere is that better seen than in this stunning […]

Learn How to Make Your Own Cling Mount Stamps + Bonus Project

July 21st, 2014

 

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My crafting education continues with a special tutorial on how to create cling mount stamps. Not only are cling mount stamps a more economic option, but they can also save you a lot of space and they’re an eco-friendly choice in regards to total materials used.  Cling mount stamps do not require individual wooden mounts — instead, they can be peeled on and off of a single acrylic block. While no one can deny the appeal of classical wood mounted stamps, being able to afford and store a larger collection of images is pretty darn enticing.

The first instance where I really noticed a clear mount stamp was in this Cottage Garden Journals Project, which also featured Angela Cartwright’s stunning transparencies, and my favorite kraft-colored Moleskine journal. I saw the intricate writing design on the journals and began to investigate where I could find the stamp responsible for the pattern.  The delicate writing ended up being the Da Vinci Text unmounted stamp, and after a quick tutorial I learned how to make and use cling mount stamps for myself.

 

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Products Needed for Creating Cling Mount Stamps:

EZ Mount Sheet 8-1/2 x 11”

Tonic Studios Tim Holtz Kushgrip Snip Scissors

The Notice Unmounted Stamp

Da Vinci Text Unmounted Stamp

Acrylic Blocks

Stamping Ink Pad

Also, don’t forget that you’ll need a canvas upon which to showcase all your lovely stamps. I recommend something from our Cards and Journals Collection, which offers a wide variety of blank canvases that range from stark white to warm kraft-colored surfaces. If you’re looking for a more colorful and dynamic background, you can try out our Artist Paper Packages, which features an assortment of papers with high-quality prints created by talented artists.

 

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How to Mount Your Own Stamps:

First, lay out an EZ Mount sheet on a flat surface. This special foam paper comes with a sticky side that will adhere to your rubber stamp and static cling side that will hold onto your acrylic block. Clean off the smooth side of your rubber stamp in order to prepare it for mounting (we’re using the Da Vinci Text unmounted stamp). Once your stamp is ready, peel back the printed liner of the EZMount Foam sheet and press your rubber stamp onto the exposed adhesive.

After securing a strong bond between your rubber stamp and the sticky side of the EZMount foam sheet, cut your stamp out as close to the image as possible, using Tim Holtz’s Kushgrip Snip Scissors.

 

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When you’re done cutting, peel the liner off the static cling side of the EZMount Foam. Press your completed stamp onto an acrylic block and you’re ready to stamp!

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*Here’s a tip — if the static cling side of your EZMount Foam becomes dusty or dirty, simply wipe it off with a soft, damp cloth, and presto! Your cling mount stamp is ready to be used again.

 

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Peek Into Our Collection Cling Mount and Unmounted Stamps

Cling Mount Stamps Grow your collection of rubber stamps with our economic collection of cling mount stamps. These stamps are rapidly growing in popularity because of all the versatility they offer! Visit us and brows through our impressive assortment of 200+ cling mount & unmounted stamps. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find exactly what you need for your mixed-media projects, paper crafting, and art journaling.

Click here to explore our collection.



Sarah How-To Project Tutorials ,,,,,

  My crafting education continues with a special tutorial on how to create cling mount stamps. Not only are cling mount stamps a more economic option, but they can also save you a lot of space and they’re an eco-friendly choice in regards to total materials used.  Cling mount stamps do not require individual wooden […]

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 […]