Editor Spotlight: The Art of Alteration by Cynthia Levens

May 8th, 2014

Altered Couture Summer 2014

~Photograph by Johanna Love

With summer just around the corner, this is a time when people often find themselves reflecting on the types of changes they want to make in their lives, both physical as well as mental. Managing Editor of Altered Couture, Cynthia Levens has an interesting perspective when it comes to making adjustments and she’s kind enough to share it with us here at Somerset Place.

 ~*~

Dear Friends,

While many things in our lives are beautiful as is, there are others that could use a few adjustments. And even though some are completely out of our control, there are a handful of things we have the power to change. It’s incredible what can be accomplished with a few quick fixes, an addition or removal, or some sort of modification.

This past year I’ve made several “alterations” to my habits that led to changes — changes I’ve always wanted but never really worked for. And by making these alterations and sticking to them, I’ve improved my health, relationships, mood and happiness, and appreciation for, well … everything! I still have a lot of things to work on, but, again, I’m going to continue to repair my snags to ultimately be the best possible version of myself. And I know that while fixing one snag something else may unravel, but that’s all part of the process! With the right set of tools and a positive attitude, I know I can overcome anything, and so can you.

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(Artist credits, from left to right and top to bottom: Shelly West, Shannon Dorsey, Diane Utley-Aguilar, Abby Potash, Jessica Rives, Elena Ulyanova — all articles can be found in Altered Couture Summer 2014)

This is why I love this magazine so much. I’m amazed by this concept and find it so rewarding to see both simple and drastic changes completely transform a garment or accessory. These pages clearly show the results of hard work and a commitment to improvement. Whether an alteration you would like to make takes place on your sewing table or elsewhere in life, and no matter if the change will be grand or small, you can do it if you stick with it. There can be so much beauty and bliss in alteration.

Cheers,

Cynthia Levens

Managing Editor

~*~

Thanks so much for allowing us a quick glimpse into your mind and heart, Cynthia. Alteration, in any form, can be just as difficult as it is rewarding. We want to know: Has there ever been an instance when you felt that a change was necessary — either in an artistic endeavor or in your personal life?

 

Use code BLOG0514 to get $5 off Altered Couture

1ALT-1403-Altered-Couture-Summer-2014-600x600Make sure you get all the beauty and bliss of alteration in this issue of Altered Couture.   If you’re a loyal blog subscribe take advantage of our special promotion code and get $5 off this or any other summer issue by using the code BLOG0514 when prompted at the checkout. (Discount code can be used only one time per customer).





Sarah Textile ArtsUncategorized ,,,,,

~Photograph by Johanna Love With summer just around the corner, this is a time when people often find themselves reflecting on the types of changes they want to make in their lives, both physical as well as mental. Managing Editor of Altered Couture, Cynthia Levens has an interesting perspective when it comes to making adjustments […]

Pearls on Knotted Silk Free Article Download

May 5th, 2014

Shabby Chic Pearl Necklace



“As I was creating this lovely, my mind wandered to another place and time. Who had worn this pearl necklace with the beautiful glass stones, what did she look like, was this one of her favorite pieces? I was so curious, I imagined the life she might have had – nights out, dinner, and dancing.”

~Colleen Pike

The shabby chic pearl necklaces, featured in this free article download, are just in time to help you create a carelessly elegant beach look. They’re the perfect accent pieces for all those fun summer get-togethers that last late into the night. Best of all, this article offers detailed instructions on how to recreate these stunning looks. Shabby Chic Pearl Necklace True to its name, you’ll be the Queen of Everything with Colleen Pike’s gorgeous necklace design. This extravagant shabby chic pearl necklace will dress up any pair of denim shorts and sandals, adding just the right touch of glamour and elegance. Made with a collection of bits and pieces, like bracelet rhinestones, a small decorative buckle, an assortment of chains, and of course a good amount of pearls, everything needed for this design could easily be found in a second-hand store or in a yard sale.

Wrap dress, corkscrew wedges and sunglasses – there’s only one thing missing from this summer ensemble, a shabby chic pearl necklace. Charlotte Self’s Pearl on Knotted Silk manages to be elegant and down-to-earth all at the same time. Made with upcycled silk and faux pearls, this is an inexpensive and interesting project for any jewelry artist.   Click here to download the free article, “Pearls on Knotted Silk,” by Colleen Pike and Charlotte Self that originally appeared in the spring 2012 issue of Jewelry Affaire.          

 

Get these Shabby Chic Pearl Necklace Designs and Many Others

Jewelry Affair Spring 2012The first publication of the magazine’s quarterly release – the spring 2012 issue of Jewelry Affaire features wearable pieces with an industrial edge as well as pieces with heavy fabric influence. This one is an oldie but definitely a goodie, so make sure you check it out to get even more amazing inspiration.  



Sarah Free DownloadsHow-To Project TutorialsJewelry MakingUncategorized ,,,,,,,,,

“As I was creating this lovely, my mind wandered to another place and time. Who had worn this pearl necklace with the beautiful glass stones, what did she look like, was this one of her favorite pieces? I was so curious, I imagined the life she might have had – nights out, dinner, and dancing.” […]

Glimpse Inside: Refreshing May Issues + Giveaway

May 1st, 2014

Start your summer right within the bright, colorful, and inspirational pages of our May issues! Get the newest fashion trends with Altered Couture and feed your imagination with the stunning character designs from Art Doll Quarterly and Prims. Also, make sure you freshen up with a wide collection of recipes for homemade bath and body products that come straight out of the pages of our newest publication – Willow and Sage.

 

Discount

We want to show our blog subscribers that we appreciate them! That’s why we’re offering a special promo code to receive $5 off any of our May issues. Just make sure you copy and paste the coupon code BLOG0514 when prompted at checkout.

 

 

Willow and Sage

May Issues - Willow and Sage

Willow and Sage magazine is filled with more than 70 unique recipes, uses, and beautiful packaging ideas for homemade bath and body products, paired alongside stunning, Somerset-style photography. In the premiere issue, you’ll get a creative look inside a military family’s farm, where goats’ milk is molded into artisan soap, and discover how to make homemade mascara and foundation that are free of chemicals. Learn how to create beeswax paper for packaging your handmade goods, make teabags to steep in the bathtub, and craft quick and easy spa gifts to give to all your friends.

Somerset Studio

May Issues - Somerset Studio

Push your creativity to the limits with an array of never-before-seen features inside the May installment of Somerset Studio. Lisa Bebi shows that coloring books aren’t just for kids, and we explore the wonderful, wire world of Tammy Smith. After soaking up an informative Artist Profile on Heather Murray, stick around to see how to use glassine envelopes to tuck away “sweet nothings,” and discover a new technique for creating faux encaustic artwork. Another eye-catcher you won’t want to miss: the texture-rich, “Sassy Girls” inspired by “The Great Gatsby.”

Altered Couture

May Issues - Altered Couture

Add a splash of color to your wardrobe: This issue of Altered Couture unveils a gorgeous tie-dye dress, along with other interesting dyeing techniques. You’ll also learn how to make hemp jewelry, as well as fashion hair bows and hair ties that are simple to recreate with clothing remnants. Last but not least, find an array of fun and flirty summer clothing – perfect for warmer weather – and unique dresses made from men’s ties.

Art Doll Quarterly

May Issues - Art Doll Quarterly

Swim with the mermaids, learn how to create dolls from tools, marvel over amazing mixed-media beadwork dolls, and immerse yourself in the inspiring creations within Art Doll Quarterly. Our Doll Artist Profile features the work of Elizabeth Frank, who creates finely crafted, carved wood dolls from fallen aspen branches and reclaimed materials. Talented artist Betsy Youngquist, in collaboration with sculptor R. Scott Long, creates dolls whose surfaces are encrusted with beads and found materials in a mosaic process, often incorporating fragments of old porcelain dolls. From crochet to cloth, clay to bead-covered, our talented readers pushed their limits and rewarded us with some spectacular dolls to inspire you.

Artful Blogging

May Issues - Artful Blogging

Dive into this summer issue of Artful Blogging! Each of our bloggers shares a wonderful story, a story that instantly captivates us and allows us to step into their world as we are mesmerized by the photos that fill each and every page. Some of the wonderful and talented bloggers in this issue include design connoisseurs Morgan Georgie and Carrie Kiefer of Ampersand Design Studio, whimsical mixed-media artist Micki Wilde of The Secret Hermit, and city girl Leney Breeden of A Girl Name Leney.

GreenCraft Magazine

May Issues - GreenCraft Magazine

Grab your recycling bin, and get ready for our latest installment of GreenCraft Magazine! This issue features some of our most creative ideas yet. Take a trip back to your earliest green crafting days with a dollhouse made entirely of recycled materials — you will surely be inspired to make one as a gift, or spend an afternoon collaborating with your smallest crafters for a project that is as fun as it is worthwhile. Also look forward to a gorgeous eggshell succulent garden made by the talented Megan Robinson, of Le Robin’s Nest. Other exciting projects to keep an eye out for include ideas for reusing old mailer envelopes, rubber stamps made from recycled materials, and a how-to for turning old alarm clocks into special works of art.

Prims

May Issues - Prims

Immerse yourself in a quieter and simpler kind of life by soaking up primitive creations from days gone by. In our summer issue, we share quirky butterflies with human features, stripes, and flowers by Noelle Falvo, along with a lanky cow from Laura Obiso’s “Barnyard Collection,” and a pair of pull toy elephants by Catherine Richards. You will not want to miss eight sunflowers with sticks for stems, or Karen Brady Hammontree’s adorably lifelike robin and bird friends.

Where Women Create

May Issues - Where Women Create

This summer, Where Women Create takes you up close and personal, inside the studios of Joey Hieberg, the creator of the Dolly Mamas, April Cornell, and The Sacred Sewing Room’s Terry Grahl. In this enriching issue, you’ll also get a snapshot of the artistic space of Karen Roberts from Karen Roberts Photography, and see how Karen Way of Sew Many Ways styles her very own creative space.

 

Your Chance to Win One of Our May Issues!

[This giveaway has ended.]

We’re giving away brand-new May 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 May Issues only: Willow and Sage, Art Doll Quarterly, Artful Blogging, GreenCraft Magazine, Prims, Where Women Create, Altered Couture, and Somerset Studio. Discount code can be used only one time per customer, and expires 05/31/14. Contest is open to U.S. residents and ends 05/31/14 at 11:59pm.

 





Sarah Art Dolls and SoftiesArt JournalingArtful LivingContests and GiveawaysGlimpse Inside And Sneak PeeksHomemade Bath and BodyMixed-Media ArtTextile ArtsUncategorized ,,,,,,,,,,,,

Start your summer right within the bright, colorful, and inspirational pages of our May issues! Get the newest fashion trends with Altered Couture and feed your imagination with the stunning character designs from Art Doll Quarterly and Prims. Also, make sure you freshen up with a wide collection of recipes for homemade bath and body […]

Posta Romana: Free Postage Ephemera Downloads

April 28th, 2014

Free Postage Ephemera

Whether your project is traveling across the globe or just a few short steps into the hands of a friend, these magnificent free postage ephemera images, will add a touch of culture to your work.

Free Postage Ephemera 60b

From the Posta Romana collection, these miniature masterpieces feature exquisite paintings by some of the masters, like Gonzales Coques, Frans Snyders, and Tintoretto.

Free Postage Ephemera L 1.75

With soft hues of color and a slight yellowing of age, these images are wonderfully detailed and full of inspiration.

Free Postage Ephemera 10b

Add all the beauty, grace, and craftsmanship of Renaissance era artists to your work, and breathe new life into these stunning images.

Free Postage Ephemera b35

Take an individual image, and make it the centerpiece of a project by building a story around it with stamps, embellishments, and even more ephemera, or take these images and cut them up, color them in, and paste them elsewhere to give your work a lovely element of age.

Click here to download these images (at full size), and save them to your computer. Just be sure to hurry because these free postage ephemera downloads will expire 30 days from today.

 

Like Our Free Postage Ephemera? Get Even More Free Downloads!

Did you know that we also give away free ephemera downloads in our e-newsletters? If you’d like to receive more downloadable inspiration, be sure to sign-up today!

 

Explore Our Ephemera Collection

To incorporate even more vintage ephemera and digitally altered pieces into your artwork, please visit e-Crafting.com.

 





Sarah Free DownloadsMixed-Media ArtUncategorized ,,,,,,,,

Whether your project is traveling across the globe or just a few short steps into the hands of a friend, these magnificent free postage ephemera images, will add a touch of culture to your work. From the Posta Romana collection, these miniature masterpieces feature exquisite paintings by some of the masters, like Gonzales Coques, Frans […]

All About Mom: Handmade Ideas, Inspiration, and $10 off the Perfect Gift!

April 25th, 2014

 

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Although Mother’s Day isn’t until next month — Sunday May 11th to be exact — special occasions always have a way of sneaking up on us. In fact, we’re pretty certain that even the best of us have probably forgotten this special day and have found ourselves scrambling just to make a quick last minute call. It happens easily enough, especially with how busy and hectic our lives can be, and while it’s better than nothing, it’s still far less than what these wonderful women deserve.

To help you prepare in advance this year, we’re here to help with some early inspiration for lovely and thoughtful Mother’s Day gift ideas. Personally, I know that my mother still has all the little macaroni necklaces and popsicle-stick ornaments I made her as a child, so I thought, why not keep those traditions going this year by giving your mother something that’s handcrafted with lots of love — and perhaps a little more skill!

And just to make sure that you’re in the right state of mind, we asked our Facebook friends to share how their mothers are extraordinary women who shaped them into the people they are today. We are sincerely grateful to everyone who contributed — the responses we got were thoughtful and touching.  We hope you enjoy reading these messages as much as we did!

Creative Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Pint Sized Pincushions Project for Mother's Day

Think of all the patches that your mother sewed onto your favorite jeans, or the shirts and coats that she salvaged by sewing on wayward buttons, and of course the countless stuffed animals that she rescued when you were a child. This Pint Sized Pincushion project will make a sweet reminder of all the wrongs that your mother has made right. You won’t need much for this project, just a mini bucket, some acrylic paint, decorative tape, and a square of fabric and a ball of poly for the pincushion.

 

“My mom was there for me during my surgeries and cancer treatment. She spent restless nights with me in the hospital, went to every chemo treatment, cooked for me and my kids when I couldn’t and simply was there to comfort me. I couldn’t have made it through that time without her. I love her and appreciate her so much!” 

~Carmen Whitehead, a friend from Facebook

Ooh La La Gift Box Project for Mother's DayLong hours, no benefits, and having to deal with very temperamental customers – motherhood is definitely one of the toughest jobs in the world! This year, help your mother pamper herself with a personalized Ooh La La Gift Box. This particular project is great because you can personalize the container to better reflect your mother’s interests and sense of style. All you’ll need is paint, ephemera, and some lovely bath and body products.

 

 

“I appreciate the time and energy my mom put into allowing me creative freedom even in my childhood. She says I didn’t get my artistic ability from her, but I know better.” 

~Rachel Whetzel, a friend from Facebook

3 Ways to Use Essential Oils Project for Mother's Day

Although you could buy some fancy and expensive bath and body products for your mother’s Ooh La la Gift Box, why not craft some chemical-free homemade goodies instead? This project features 3 ways to use essential oils, an easy DIY linen spray, a wonderful DIY scented room spray, and a super simple recipe for bath salts. You can personalize the scents and products based on your mother’s preferences and give her something unique and thoughtful.

 

 

“My mom taught me all the basics, how to sew and cook, and allowed me to explore my interests and creative adventures. The most important thing she instilled in me is work ethic – and the notion with hard work I could learn and accomplish anything. Because of this I have chased down and conquered my dreams.”

~Susan M. Brown, a friend from Facebook

Chai Rack Bathroom Caddy Project for Mother's Day

For all the times she made sure that you went to bed squeaky clean why not return the favor with an elegant and personalized bathroom caddy? This project features a rustic looking chai rack, which is transformed into a creative organization piece for toiletries or any other bathroom or shelf essentials. All you need for this project is some decorative paper, a strong adhesive, a creative tag, and whatever else you want to use to embellish the glasses and rack.

 

We hope these project ideas will help you come up with a unique and thoughtful gift to give your mother on her special day. However, if you feel like you’re short on time, we’ve got you covered with the perfect, last-minute gift.

 

WWC_Sub-Postcard-1

$10 off any RSVP Package for Mom!

This Mother’s Day, give her a creative gift full of inspiration, beautiful photographs, and stimulating stories that will last the whole year through. Gift subscriptions also come with an artful gift card (example pictured at left), so she will have something special to open before it arrives!

Enter coupon code*: LOVEMOM14 when prompted at checkout.

Order an RSVP Package for Mom, and Get This Deal!

*Coupon code applies to RSVP Packages for Altered Couture, Art Journaling, Artful Blogging, Belle Armoire Jewelry, GreenCraft, Jewelry Affaire, Mingle, Somerset Life, Take Ten, Where Women Cook, Where Women Create, and Where Women Create BUSINESS only. Discount expires 5/12/14.

 

 





Sarah HolidaysHow-To Project Tutorials ,,,,,,,,

  Although Mother’s Day isn’t until next month — Sunday May 11th to be exact — special occasions always have a way of sneaking up on us. In fact, we’re pretty certain that even the best of us have probably forgotten this special day and have found ourselves scrambling just to make a quick last […]