Top 10 Holiday Gift Ideas for Creative Minds + Giveaway

December 6th, 2012

Top 10 Holiday Gift IdeasIt took some time and quite a bit of debate amongst a few of us to decide which of our crafty items were our most sought after gifts this holiday season. After a few games of “Go Fish” and a couple dozen rounds of “Rock, Paper, Scissors” we finally agreed on our favorite gift ideas for 2012.

Drum roll please …

Somerset Life RSVP Package1)      Somerset Life Gift Subscription

  • Subscribe a friend or loved one to this great quarterly magazines and receive a FREE gift at the same time! You’ll also get a gift announcement card, artfully packaged in a hand-stitched mesh bag, that you can personalize sand send to the recipient.

Book of Organization2)      Where Women Create: Book of Organization

  • Once you see how amazing this book is, you might just want to gift one for yourself. With hundreds of photos of “organizational secrets” from some of today’s most notable artists, this backstage pass is hard to pass up!

Faber Castell Gelatos3)      Faber Castell Gelatos – 34 Pack

  • This all-in-one set includes all 28 Gelato colors, water brush, two smudge sticks, and two foam blending tools in a slide-out gift box that doubles as a storage container for use in the studio or for easy on-the-go.

Papaya Art Luxe Totes4)      Dream Luxe Tote Bag

  • Luxe Totes are just right for transporting all of your necessities and adding a little “pretty” to the daily grind. Made of highly durable oil cloth material with sturdy hardware details and hidden magnetic snap closure, structured bottom panel, and colorful interior linings that are wipeable and water resistant, Luxe Totes also have a cell phone compartment that’s big enough to fit an iPhone, a zipper pouch and two additional slip pockets. This is no ordinary shopping bag.

2013 Planners and Calendars5)      2013 Weekly Planners & Calendars

Interior elements to this gorgeous Papaya weekly planner include a six pocket accordion storage folder, slide-out spiral planner, elastic band closure, and extra pages for personal notes. Just the perfect place to stay organized the whole year through!

Graffiti Glam Cling Mount Stamps by Traci Bautista6)      Traci Bautista Stamps: Creative Soul

  • Having to pick a favorite design from Traci Baustista’s new stamp collection was probably the hardest part of this process, but here is our winner! Her textured backgrounds and hand-drawn doodles fit perfectly on a variety of our easy-to-grip acrylic stamp mounts, which you can also be used with any of our Clearly Impressed stamps.

Cavallini & Co. Rubber Stamp Sets7)      Cavallini Rubber Stamp Sets: Paris

  • Packaged in an adorable Parisian tin, this stamp set is ready-to-wrap! Giftable tin includes eleven different French-themed stamps and a black ink pad.

Metal Stacking Tins8)      Metal Stacking Tins: Birds and Flowers

  •  These adorable and reusable stacking tins are great for giving as gifts or using to wrap gifts in. Compact and stackable, there really is no way to go wrong with these!

Insulated Lunch Totes9)      Botanical Study Lunch Bag

  • Papaya Art lunch bags are the perfect gift for your eco-conscious friends at the office or family members at home. Made of sturdy polywoven fabric that can be wiped off easily, a thin insulated material keeps snacks & lunches fresh.

Vintage Reproduction Boxes10)   Vintage Divided Box

  • Ready-to-wrap or use as unique wrapping, these faux vintage boxes add character to any project, whether you’re storing images, your own treasures, or artfully packaging treats to give away as a gift.

 

Did we miss one of your favorites?  Comment below with the gift that’s #1 on your wish list from The Shoppe at Somerset for your chance to win it!

 

 



Sarah Artful LivingHolidaysUncategorized ,,

It took some time and quite a bit of debate amongst a few of us to decide which of our crafty items were our most sought after gifts this holiday season. After a few games of “Go Fish” and a couple dozen rounds of “Rock, Paper, Scissors” we finally agreed on our favorite gift ideas […]

Glimpse Inside Dreamy December Issues + Win Your Favorite Giveaway!

December 3rd, 2012

While the weather outside is frightful, the inspiration and one-of-a-kind how-to projects bursting from the pages of our brand-new December reads are delightful!

We’re sharing a special discount as usual just for our blog readers. (Have you subscribed yet? Click here to have our blog promos and projects sent directly to your email). After browsing the following selection of perfect for cozying up by the fire reads, take advantage of our FREE SHIPPING discount that’s exclusively offered to our blog readers.

Use Promo Code: BLOG1212*

See what's inside the newest issue!

The Winter 2013 issue of Take Ten is packed with nearly 300 quick and easy stamping ideas that will have you creating gorgeous cards in a flash. Guest artist Shannon Aydukovic shows off a clean and simple style, and you’ll also find a lovely technique for stamping on sea glass, ways to add bits of leftover fabric to your cards, and a collection of eye-catching cards featuring a black, white, and red color palette. Look to our general card section to find plenty of inspiration in every color of the rainbow, and don’t miss our Different Point of View department to see the many creative ways to use one stamp.

~

Where Women Cook Winter '13

Feast your eyes on over 100 pages of mouthwatering food and beautiful spaces in the Winter 2013 issue of Where Women Cook. Within this issue you will find the heartwarming stories, inspiring passions, and delicious recipes of Seattle-based chef and author Lisa Dupar; chef, food stylist, and photographer Aran Goyoaga; winery owner Kelly Fleming; and many more. Celebrate the holidays and make your winter a memorable one with family and friends, great food, and Where Women Cook.

~

Belle Jewelry Winter '13Build on your jewelry-making skills with this issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry that will introduce you to new artists and beautiful techniques. Go behind the scenes and see Michael Thee’s very intricate metalwork collection, Annie May’s porcupine quill necklaces, and Kristen Dorsey’s handmade pitch pieces. We are excited to introduce several new artists who are new to the pages of Belle Armoire Jewelry! Enjoy creating masterpieces of wearable art with this issue that is sure to dazzle jewelry makers of all skill levels.

~

Somerset Gallery Winter '13The Winter 2013 issue of Somerset Studio Gallery is filled with hundreds of samples of extraordinary art pieces presented up close and in detail. Whether your passion is rubber stamping, mixed media, or paper crafting, the newest issue features everything you love about Somerset Studio in 200 lush pages. Don’t miss whimsical bird collages by Colette Copeland, mixed-media art dolls by Danita, a collection of metal assemblages by Beth Dayton, along with many more beautifully photographed handmade creations.

~

Sew Somerset Winter '13The Winter 2013 issue of Sew Somerset features cutting-edge paper, fabric, and mixed-media projects transformed by stitches of all shapes and sizes. Be on the lookout for, colorful mixed-media tags by Dina Wakley, a collection of freehand embroidered placemats by Lindsay Ostrom, lavender sachet bags by Glenda Bailey, along with much more. Sewers, paper crafters, and collage artists alike will be in awe of the stunning stitched projects highlighted in our latest edition.

~

Artists' Cafe Volume 6Reconnect with admired artists, and celebrate the best moments from more than a decade in print with Artists’ Café. Our winter edition revisits exceptional articles from past issues of Somerset Studio, so you can brush up on favorite lettering, paper crafting, and mixed-media techniques, as we recapture popular must-see projects by top artists Misty Mawn, Becky Shander, Colette Copeland, Linda Trenholm, Bridgette Guerzon Mills, and many more.

~

Art Quilting Studio Winter '13Turn chilly winter nights into cozy warm evenings with this upcoming issue of Art Quilting Studio. Celebrate the joy of quilting with Sally Manke’s Confetti Quilts, and learn about the art of Jenny Hearn, our Artist Showcase. This issue features Sandra Meech’s fascinating ice series, as well as art from Ellen Linder, Connie Rose, Katherine Sands, and Mary Hettmansperger. You’ll also find Colette Copeland’s Burlap Assemblages and Ruth Rae’s quilted jewelry in this round-up of innovative takes on the much-adored art of quilting.

~

Want to win one of these issues? Click on your favorite spread, check out that issue’s table of contents, and let us know which artist you’d like to learn from most in the blog comments below! One lucky person will be selected at random to receive their choice of one of these brand-new December issues.

*Free shipping offer applies to U.S. purchases of the following December (Winter ’13) issues only: Art Quilting Studio, Artists’ Café, Belle Jewelry, Sew Somerset, Somerset Gallery, Take Ten, and Where Women Cook. Discount code cannot be combined with any other offer and expires 12/31/12.



Sarah Uncategorized ,,,,,,,,,

While the weather outside is frightful, the inspiration and one-of-a-kind how-to projects bursting from the pages of our brand-new December reads are delightful! We’re sharing a special discount as usual just for our blog readers. (Have you subscribed yet? Click here to have our blog promos and projects sent directly to your email). After browsing […]

Festive Favor DIY for Every Occasion!

November 29th, 2012

Whether you are entertaining this holiday season or in need of treat ideas for friends, family or co-workers, these festive treats are the perfect solution. Bake or purchase your favorite cookies to fill these 4”x4” glassine envelopes. Before you insert the cookies add a decorative holiday label to the envelope and stamp designs or sentiments fit for the celebration. Be sure to use StazOn Ink on the glassine envelopes because the ink will stick better to the slick surface of the envelope. Place the cookies in and tie the package up with Cherry Divine Twine.

For more ways to artfully package favors, visit The Studio.

Project and photo by Vanessa Spencer

 



Sarah How-To Project Tutorials ,

Whether you are entertaining this holiday season or in need of treat ideas for friends, family or co-workers, these festive treats are the perfect solution. Bake or purchase your favorite cookies to fill these 4”x4” glassine envelopes. Before you insert the cookies add a decorative holiday label to the envelope and stamp designs or sentiments […]

National Tie One On Day: Q&A with EllynAnne Geisel

November 26th, 2012

Artwork by Linda Bloom

We are thrilled to have EllynAnne Geisel here with us today to share a bit about the origin of National Tie One on Day, a day dedicated to giving thanks and lending a hand to people who are in need of seasonal cheer.

Hi EllynAnne! Please introduce yourself and share a bit of background about your fascination with aprons.

In 1999, my youngest child went off to college and his leaving was the signal that my 24 year career as a full-time homemaker and mother was over. For my next-stage career, I decided to become a writer. I selected the apron as the subject of that first piece because it was the symbol of what I’d done with a chunk of my life. I had no idea where my quirky apron-interest would go, only that the journey brought into my life unexpected joy. Had my apron journey been a film, it would qualify as a documentary, wherein I followed the subject matter, uncertain where it was headed nor when the journey would end. Twelve years since I began, and I’ve never tired of aprons, their stories, nor the storytellers, because each is precious and unique.

It must feel so rewarding to celebrate a holiday that is “win/win.”

Here’s the story behind creating NTOOD: Over the years, I’d noticed Thanksgiving talked about in terms more commonly associated with stress than joy. Remembering my mother’s absolute love of Thanksgiving as a day more than anything else of sharing and gratefulness, I embarked on a personal campaign to put the “give” back into Thanksgiving.

So seven years ago on the day before Thanksgiving, I wrapped a pie within an apron and wrote a sympathy note; then I tied on a pretty apron and with bundle in hand, walked out the door to a neighbor’s home where a deep sadness dwelled.

Awaiting an answer to the doorbell, I was slightly uncomfortable for the tardiness of my recognition of her circumstances and considered leaving my offering on the porch and bolting. I’m forever happy that I didn’t drop and run because the expression on my neighbor’s face was not one of recrimination; rather, she looked totally stunned.

Here, I said, gesturing she should take the apron-wrapped pie, I just want you to know that we’ve been thinking of you and your family. And with that, I stepped back and off the porch. Unable to resist, I turned and there she was, still in the doorway, holding the pie and smiling. And then she waved. My heart leapt.

I was unprepared for the joyfulness I felt from sharing a piece of our Thanksgiving bounty with someone in need of sustenance – physical, spiritual or emotional – a kind word or just the recognition of not being invisible. That such a small gesture provided such a win-win to me and my neighbor seemed extraordinarily simplistic, yet the sentiment of Thanksgiving is exactly that. Such a notion, I decided, begged to be shared.

Artwork by Sandy Sup

What inspired you to delve further into apron history?

As my collection of aprons grew, so did my curiosity into the apron’s history. I had no background as a textile scholar, so my quest for information took many paths, including asking the apron storytellers about the history of their aprons.  This tact was priceless as well as thoroughly enjoyable. Living history, so to speak.

What is one piece of apron history that is significant to you?

During the four years that I toted a laundry basket of aprons with me wherever I went, what I learned is that everyone – EVERYONE – knows what an apron is and has a story to share.  Until my apron journey, I hadn’t known that the apron is this consistent, historical linkage that ties us one generation to the other.

Were you pleasantly surprised by something that you learned? 

Yes! A woman who’d “had it” would tuck a corner of her apron’s hemline into the pocket or waistband – a child or husband who ignored the sign, and stepped on her “last nerve,” never violated that signal again.

Monday was the designated wash day, and after loading the laundry into the basket, hauling it to the backyard and tying on a clothespin apron, the homemaker hung towels and sheets on the outside clotheslines and on the inner lines, personal items …thus shielding the neighbors from viewing her family’s underwear, her brassieres, slips, pajamas, etc.  These outer lines were called Modesty Lines and shielded a family’s “dirty laundry” from snooping eyes. Our fences were low, so whatever we did in our backyards was not private.

How exactly does one go about creating a national holiday such as this?

Creating a day of recognition is a process through Chase’s Calendar of Events, an annual publication by McGraw Hill. An application is completed, submitted and reviewed. For all the wacky days of recognition in Chase’s, it’s still a serious endeavor. The calendar is utilized by media, so there’s a standard that needs to be upheld, and the event cannot benefit a private individual. NTOOD is in its seventh year as a Chase’s nationally recognized event.

Artwork by Ingrid Pomeroy

What are some unique ways that you’ve seen this holiday celebrated?

I’ve used NTOOD as a means of gathering women together who do not know one another, and within a social background, we meet, eat and package offerings…much as Stampington did last year!

I hear from many families that NTOOD is a new Thanksgiving tradition – in lieu of doing around the table and saying what they’re thankful for, they show gratefulness for their bounty by participating in NTOOD.

How do you celebrate this holiday?

I have a stable of recipients – all senior citizenry – and for them I package homemade soup and a sweet and for the women, a petite soap or hand lotion…just something extra and prettily wrapped. For all, I know that it’s a visit with me that’s most precious, so I schedule a date with each throughout November.  Yes, the planning and time commitment is significant, but should I live to be their ages and alone, I can only hope there’s a kind soul out there who will drop in with a surprise and conversation.

Is this a one-woman operation or do you have a team working with you?

I am committed to National Tie One on Day and every year, I work at introducing it to a larger audience. Engaging sponsors is integral to the publicity of NTOOD, as providers of giveaways and assisting in the promotion. I do not personally profit from sponsorships, nor do sponsors pay to be a part of NTOOD. Putting the “give” back into Thanksgiving is an expression of the heart and, therefore, priceless.

Do you have a go-to baked good recipe for NTOOD? 

Chocolate Tipped Shortbread Cookies

  1. cup butter or margarine, soft
  2. ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  3. 1  teaspoon vanilla or almond flavoring
  4. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  5. 1  cup chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar broken into pieces
  6. 2  teaspoons shortening

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Mix in flour until blended. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough ¼” – ½” thick.   Cut dough into rounds or shapes with biscuit/cookie cutters. Place half-inch or so apart on parchment lined cookie sheets.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes / until cookies are lightly browned. Cool completely.

Melt chocolate and shortening in double boiler or in microwave. Stir to dissolve/smooth consistency.

Dip each cookie into melted chocolate until half-covered and place on a wire rack – waxed paper beneath racks will catch drips and make clean up easy.  Optional: After dipping in chocolate, sprinkle with toasted, chopped almonds.

Thank you so much for sharing your story, EllynAnne! Aprons are one of our favorite things here at Stampington as well, and it’s so nice seeing them used in unique ways. Apronology is a semiannual publication that showcases gorgeous handmade aprons that are embellished with gingham ribbon, refashioned from a denim dress, and inspired by family traditions. Preview spreads from the current issue of Apronology and indulge in these timeless pieces of handmade art.

 



Sarah Uncategorized

Artwork by Linda Bloom We are thrilled to have EllynAnne Geisel here with us today to share a bit about the origin of National Tie One on Day, a day dedicated to giving thanks and lending a hand to people who are in need of seasonal cheer. Hi EllynAnne! Please introduce yourself and share a […]

Free Holiday Ephemera and Happy Friday!

November 23rd, 2012

We hope you had a Happy Day of Giving Thanks with your loved ones yesterday. To spread a bit more of (early) holiday cheer, we’ve got a special download for you to enjoy and share.

holiday ephemera

Download this image to use in your holiday cards, scrapbook layouts, or canvas projects. ‘Tis the season!



Sarah Free Downloads ,

We hope you had a Happy Day of Giving Thanks with your loved ones yesterday. To spread a bit more of (early) holiday cheer, we’ve got a special download for you to enjoy and share. Download this image to use in your holiday cards, scrapbook layouts, or canvas projects. ‘Tis the season!