Free Article Download from Somerset Studio + a Giveaway!

July 9th, 2012

Pam Carriker is a multi-media artist in every sense of the term. With hobbies that range from stamping and printmaking to sketching and art journaling, she is a true artistic superwoman. In between teaching workshops and creating video tutorials, Pam wrote her first book, Art at the Speed of Life, and has been featured in many Stampington & Company publications. Originally featured in Somerset Studio May/June ’12, you can find her new stamp line, Poetic Portraits, now available at The Shoppe at Somerset. For even more inspiration, read her Artist Portfolio feature in Art Journaling Spring ’12.
Pam experiments with a bright summer hue in this free article download, “Playing with Poppy: Creating Faux Collages” from Somerset Studio January/February ’11. She provides a materials list and detailed instructions on how to achieve a collage effect with scrapbook papers, charcoal, and acrylic paint. Download the article here.

Preview the spreads from Pam’s book, Art at the Speed of Life, or check out the images from her Poetic Portraits stamp line to infuse her distinct mixed-media style into your greeting cards, canvas art, or journaling projects.

Stamps pictured (left to right): Beatrice, Heart on a String, Meet the Man.

Check out the full Poetic Portraits collection and comment below with the name of your favorite stamp image. One lucky reader will be chosen at random to receive their choice of stamp!*

 

*Contest is open to U.S. residents only and applicable only to the Poetic Portraits stamp line. Winner will be chosen at random and announced on 7/17/12. Deadline for entries is 7/16/12 at 11:59 p.m.

Update: Congratulations to our winner, Kari McKnight Holbrook! We will be in touch with you regarding the details of your prize.



Sarah Contests and GiveawaysMixed-Media Art ,

Pam Carriker is a multi-media artist in every sense of the term. With hobbies that range from stamping and printmaking to sketching and art journaling, she is a true artistic superwoman. In between teaching workshops and creating video tutorials, Pam wrote her first book, Art at the Speed of Life, and has been featured in […]

Today is a Gift: Digital Photo Blends Tutorial by Guest Artist Michelle Shefveland

July 5th, 2012

As a writer, designer, and photographer, Michelle Shefveland has a passion to inspire and teach others the exciting possibilities of creating art with the aid of digital tools. We are thrilled to have her join us at Somerset Place to share a beautiful digital technique you can create with your photographs.

Blending. It’s a go-to technique in digital art, allowing texture, color, and luminosity of layers to magically mix together using layer blend modes. So fun. So addicting. But it can be a bit tricky to master at first. The key is to experiment and know that with digital you can’t make mistakes (the Undo key is your best friend)!

Let’s start simply by creating a basic 12×12 photo blend collage using Adobe Photoshop Elements and some digital art graphics that assist in learning this amazing technique.

Materials

Adobe Photoshop Elements (or image editor that supports layer blend modes like Adobe Photoshop and Corel Paint Shop Pro) – free 30-day trial download for PSE 10 here
Digital Photo in .jpg format
Digital Graphics: photo blends, word art, and embellishments (Painter’s Canvas Photo Art Blends 5, Say it Again 2 Scrap.Words, Botanical Banners, Butterfly Danglies by Michelle Shefveland)

Instructions

1.    Open Adobe Photoshop Elements
2.    Open a Painted Photo Art Blend from Painter’s Canvas Photo Art Blends 5 (File > Open > Browse system for 03_Paint_PhotoBlend 5.jpg from the 12×12 folder > Open). Note: if you want to create an 8.5×11 collage, open the same Photo Blend from the 8.5×11 folder. This size would be printable on any standard ink jet printer


3.    Open photo (choose File > Open > Browse system for photo > Open).


4.    The most common (and easiest) method for using this set of Photo Blends is to place the photo layer above the painted photo art blend. To do this, with the Move Tool on the Tool Bar selected, drag the photo on top of blend (using Photoshop Elements click on the photo and drag it downward on top of the PhotoBlend in the Photo bin; release mouse).

5.    Adjust the size and position of the photo, if necessary, using the Move Tool in the Tool bar at left of screen. Try to cover the entire painted portion of the blend so no black is showing.


6.    Now for the magic! Change blend mode of photo layer from Normal to Screen at the top drop down in the Layers Panel (right side of screen). You can always sample all of the other blend modes; the black paint strokes just lend themselves so well to Screen.

7.    Your end result is a painterly image on a white background. You could stop here, add some word art and be done. However, let’s add one of the texture papers included for more color and dimension.


8.    Open the 12×12 Script Texture paper and drag onto collage layout. These textures come in grayscale.


9.    You can easily add color to the texture paper (Press Ctrl-U to open Change Hue/Saturation Dialog Box; Cmd-U on a Mac). To achieve the sea foam color, I set the Hue to 174 and Saturation to 46, making sure to check the Colorize box at bottom right.


10.    Set the blend mode of the paper layer to Multiply. Multiply disregards all white and intensifies color and texture in the layers beneath it. Sample all of the blend modes and opacity, as there are so many variations, and each photo reacts differently to textures.

11.    This brings up an important point. Especially when dealing with portraits, you may need to erase some of the texture over the skin areas. Select the Eraser tool from the Tool bar. Using a soft round eraser brush from the Default Brushes set to a low opacity (20-30%), I erased the texture paper over my kids’ skin.

The piece was finished by adding decorative word art and digital art accents.


Here are the layers used to make up the final collage with the Blend Modes labeled.


12.    Save as a layered .psd to retain layers and remain editable. Save as a high quality .jpg (9 or higher) for uploading to print vendor (Costco and Shutterfly print 12×12 images).

13.    Add to your scrapbook album or frame for a beautiful wall art display.

There really is no end to the fun once you understand how blending works using the different blend modes within Adobe Photoshop Elements. For altered artists, add texture and rich dimension to your imagery before printing your hybrid art projects!

Keep learning and creating!

Enjoy a discount exclusive to Somerset Place readers: Please enter somerset22 at checkout for 22% off any order at CottageArts.net (including sales items). Valid thru July 31, 2012. Happy creating!


A big “Thank you!” to Michelle for sharing this fantastic digital tutorial with us. Michelle Shefveland is the owner of CottageArts.net and ClickArtistry.com, digital scrapbooking/photography sites. She is also the author of Scrapbooking the Digital Way (Corel).

Michelle and her husband, Kris, reside in Sauk Rapids, MN, with their three kids and four-legged pal. Visit her team’s blog, Cottage Arts, for more tutorials and inspiration. See Michelle’s Digital Workshop column in each issue of Somerset Memories in addition to her upcoming article in Somerset Memories Autumn ’12 (available October 1st), which features digital art quilting techniques. You can also catch her fantastic designs in Somerset Digital Studio.

 



Sarah How-To Project Tutorials ,,

As a writer, designer, and photographer, Michelle Shefveland has a passion to inspire and teach others the exciting possibilities of creating art with the aid of digital tools. We are thrilled to have her join us at Somerset Place to share a beautiful digital technique you can create with your photographs. Blending. It’s a go-to […]

Glimpse Inside + Win Your Fave July Issue!

July 2nd, 2012

Wave that pennant banner in celebration of crafty summer fun! Whether you’re jetting off to paradise with your craft room in a carryon or enjoying a staycation in the comfort of your home studio, you can look forward to a month of unique décor projects, glittering wearable creations, adorable softie dolls, and more within the pages of these fantastic publications. If these issues light your creative spark, take advantage of our FREE SHIPPING discount that we are offering exclusively to our blog readers.

Use Promo Code: BLOG0712*

The autumn issue of Somerset Life captures the magic of the pretty details that tie our life together. Our Blogs with a View department features Vanessa Valencia’s whimsical blog, A Fanciful Twist, and Susannah Conway shares her thoughts on embracing the unknown in her article, “Being Brave in Love and in Life.” Leslie Shewring is back with a delicious peach, raspberry, and mint green color scheme peppered with color-coordinating buttons, lace doilies, grosgrain ribbon and tiny fabric swatches. Artist Rae Missigman shares how to take a cue from your natural surroundings and complement your sunny décor with a brilliant shade of white. These and more creative living ideas are in store for you in this bountiful issue.

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Enjoy the Summer ’12 issue of Jewelry Affaire, a title adored for its glamorous, whimsical, and innovative jewelry pieces. Dive into a reef of jewelry wares with a striking necklace and earrings set, and add a touch of decadence with clusters of crystal and glass. Upcycle a golden chain of paper clips into a necklace, and get a handle on some vintage flair with authentic key and lock charms as well. From sea-inspired sparklers to more than a hundred scrumptious summer designs, this issue shines with handmade jewelry gems–and so will you!

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The darling Scottie plushie and his fashionable owner on this cover of Stuffed will tickle your cute bone and hopefully your creative bone as well. Maneuver through traffic and wave to the Hollywood sign as you visit the hometown of Jenny Smith’s L.A. Animal collection. Pop by the small coastal village of Olive and Ethan, two brothers who spend time exploring the island together. We welcome back Junker Jane and her dreadfully sweet dolls and are excited to meet Anne-Claire Regan’s cast of characters that perform under the Big Top. Step right up to this issue that is sure to entertain and inspire you to create with needle, thread, and felt.

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Fill your summer with this issue of Somerset Studio that will keep you crafting long after sunset. Join a group of artists who ban together to create a collaborative mixed-media quilt called The ART Harvest, and see how Michelle Montgomery transforms milk carton material into art. Go retro with our With One Stamp department, which showcases the innovative stamping projects created by various artists with a library card-inspired stamp. Creativity Coach Quinn McDonald walks you through the process of categorizing and capturing your many ideas to keep you from becoming overwhelmed with inspiration –if that’s even possible!

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This issue of Art Journaling proves to be another show-stopping hit, featuring articles and projects that combine emotion and words, creativity and paint. Amber Walker shares how returning to college as an adult inspired the use of spray paint in her journaling. Discover how Caiti Santa Maria rekindles her love of art with an online art journaling workshop with Elsie Larson and Rachel Denbow of Red Velvet. Stephanie Schutze presents her first art journal that expanded her scope of mixed media, a “world full of possibilities, endless inspiration, techniques, and styles.” These artists take their insightful, brave, and inspiring thoughts and translate them onto the page, bringing them to life with patterned paper, paint brushes, and hand lettering techniques that they cultivate along the way.

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Belle Armoire will delight the seasoned DIY artist and push the creative limits of new seamstresses. Retro-inspired hats, bohemian camisoles, and funky tie necklaces are all fun variations on classic clothing pieces. Artist Holly Lake inspires you to create without imitations and embrace a style that has been influenced by previous generations. Join Ruth Rae as she shows you how to combine free-motion sewing with marking techniques to form new lines, patterns, and textures in any work of art. Allow yourself to be whisked away to a prairie tea party, an enchanted forest, and a bohemian village with a variety of culturally-inspired wearable designs.

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Do you remember the very first art project you made in school? Chances are that it was with a similar watercolor crayon resist technique that this issue of The Stampers’ Sampler revisits with an ink-resistant adhesive called Teykol. Cards can come in all shapes and sizes, as Donna Bowman exemplifies with her petite 3-inch squares adorned with details like patterned tissue tapes, miniature filmstrips, and vintage buttons. Check out the submissions that were the cream of the creative crop in our Coin Purse Tempting Template challenge, and find out how our readers “put a cork” in their unique mixed-media artwork — all packed into this issue that will appeal to stampers of all ages and skill levels.

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Want to win one of these issues? Comment below with the title you’re most looking forward to reading! One person will be selected at random to receive their choice of magazine. Winner will be chosen and announced July 12th.

 

*Free shipping offer applies to U.S. purchases of the following July 2012 issues only: Art Journaling, Belle Armoire, Jewelry Affaire, Somerset Life, Somerset Studio, Stuffed, and The Stampers’ Sampler. Discount code does not apply to items purchased from The Shoppe at Somerset and expires 7/31/12. Contest is open to U.S. residents and ends 7/11/12 at 11:59pm.

Update: Congratulations Kate Blue, you are our winner! We will be in contact with you regarding the details of your prize. Thanks to everyone who participated! Want another chance to win? “Like” us on Facebook and follow our updates tomorrow morning for a surprise giveaway!



Sarah Art Dolls and SoftiesArt JournalingArtful LivingGlimpse Inside And Sneak PeeksMixed-Media ArtStampingTextile Arts ,

Wave that pennant banner in celebration of crafty summer fun! Whether you’re jetting off to paradise with your craft room in a carryon or enjoying a staycation in the comfort of your home studio, you can look forward to a month of unique décor projects, glittering wearable creations, adorable softie dolls, and more within the […]

10 Ways with Washi Tape!

June 28th, 2012

Woo-hoo! A new shipment of paper tape from Cosmo Cricut has arrived at the Stampington office. The Hello and Ruler collections are the newest paper tape designs to adorn the shelves of The Shoppe. If the wide array of options is a bit overwhelming, allow me to direct your attention to our washi tape swatch book that showcases four of our favorite paper tape collections. With an assortment of colors, patterns, and styles, these tapes will fit every crafting style–and budget! Check out our entire collection of decorative paper tape here.

one: Mint & Charchuse Solid two: Black Dots SMASH tape three: Teal and Blue Striped four: Birds & Floral five: Like This six: seven: Hello eight: Black & White Matte nine: Teal and Blue Dot

one: Alphabet Gold two: Christmas Wrap three: Polka Dot Jane four: Holiday five: Christmas Wrap six: Gypsy Market Naked seven: Christmas Wrap eight: Holiday

one: Lille Patterned two: Off the Wall three: Ruler four: Alphabet five: Global six: Alphabet seven: Off the Wall eight: Hello

one: Lace Tape Lime two: Pure three: Red Solid four: Lace Tape Beige (15mm) five: Pure six: Pastel Solids seven: Writer’s Tape Bare eight: Lace Tape Dark Pink

Vanessa Spencer, our Shoppe Manager and creative mastermind, used washi tape to decorate glass bottles. Create these festive vases by applying the paper tape to the bottles vertically or horizontally. Stamp your sentiment onto cardstock, and use a punch or scissors to cut it out. Adhere punch to a scalloped circle, and adhere to bottle. Finish off this simple project by tying twine around the bottle and into a bow. Simple and chic! This project can be found in Take Ten Winter ’12.

Our talented Director of Photography, Johanna Love, created this innovative Washi Wall Journaling project that marks her children’s height achievements! Keep an eye out for more details about this project in the next issue of Somerset Home, available August 1st.

A pincushion project that fits in the palm of your hand? Yes! Check out this DIY in our Washi Tape Project Collection along with seven more easy-to-create tape projects from The Studio. Perfect for all crafting levels, we’re sure one will stick!

Have you created a project using decorative paper tape that you want to share? Email us photos of your best creations at blog@stampington.com or Tweet us @stampington.

Swatch Book: Photo and project by Vanessa Spencer
Tape Vases: Photo by Dianne Sapra and project by Vanessa Spencer
Washi Wall Journaling: Photo and project by Johanna Love
Pint-Sized Pincushions: Photo by Lauren Eatherly and project by Vanessa Spencer

 



Sarah How-To Project Tutorials ,,,

Woo-hoo! A new shipment of paper tape from Cosmo Cricut has arrived at the Stampington office. The Hello and Ruler collections are the newest paper tape designs to adorn the shelves of The Shoppe. If the wide array of options is a bit overwhelming, allow me to direct your attention to our washi tape swatch […]

A Page from Sew Somerset

June 25th, 2012

Sewing is a joy and a skill that can be discovered, practiced, and honed at any age. I had the chance to catch up with Sunny Carvalho and Danielle Daniel, two of our artists featured in the current Summer ’12 issue of Sew Somerset.

In Sunny’s article, “Carrying Your Art” (p. 81), she describes the process of fashioning fabric panels from her paintings, and then assembling the panels into a piece of wearable handbag art. She began her sewing journey by watching her mother create her horse riding competition outfits from scratch, not without her share of swearing along the way (which Sunny found quite entertaining), and she recounts that her costumes were comprised of satin, fringe, pearl snaps, and appliqués. “You couldn’t exactly go out to Wal-Mart (which we didn’t even have at that time in my hometown) and buy these costumes!” she said.

She put her sewing expertise into effect when she began making porcelain dolls as a way to stay creative while bringing up her four children. “I have called myself an artist since childhood,” Sunny said, “but had no specific focus. When I became interested in porcelain, a whole new world opened up for me. I could now make these amazing creations that came from liquid. But guess what? They needed clothing!”

Sunny decided to buy an inexpensive sewing machine and dive head-on into the art. “I had to teach myself,” she said, “but I did learn, mostly by trial and error. Today I feel very confident in my abilities. I still find humor in my mother’s sewing experience and, strangely, I just told this story to my teenage daughters only a few days ago!”

Sunny, like other artists, admires the kind of art that one can create with needle and thread. “I never realized that sewing could be an art form before I became familiar with the magazine,” she said. “I am constantly amazed at the inventiveness of the contributing artists and their bravery and talent. I feel so blessed to have become a small part of this publication.”

Danielle Daniel is our cover artist for this issue, and recounts how she discovered her family lineage through her art in her article, “Little Stitched Truths” (p. 76). “Each painted and stitched face has become a way for me to ask questions, go deeper, and sit in a space of stillness where the truth can be heard,” she writes.

Danielle turned to Hollywood as her muse at an early age. “I’m not ashamed to admit that Molly Ringwald piqued my interest in sewing when I was but a teen,” she said. “Sixteen Candles made me want to sew my own clothes. But since then, my mémère has inspired my journey to create with thread. My grandmother never learned to read, but she consistently sewed three jackets for every one of her nine children; one for school, one for church, and one for playing outside. I remember hearing her sewing machine zipping through the night when I slept there as a girl. She mended aprons, night gowns, and tablecloths as I listened until sleep found me.”

Patience is not one of Danielle’s strong suits when it comes to sewing. “I’m one of those people who usually try to build it before even looking at the accompanied handout,” she said. “I’m not one to read instructions. This has everything to do with being impatient and it has always been my M.O., despite my husband’s pleas to first read, then build. This is the same way I approach sewing—no patterns, no rules. I go with the flow like many self-taught artists. I often make mistakes and use my seam ripper more than the average Joe. However, I have come to accept this about myself. It also allows for happy mistakes, which is when the creative magic happens.”

Danielle’s other love is painting, although she is glad that sewing gives her a welcome break from the brush. “[Sewing] allows me a creative freedom without harsh expectations,” she said. “It has become an important part of my artistic journey. Sew Somerset is a stunning magazine. It’s a welcomed addition to the sewing magazine world, because it is without fussy patterns and rules that make me feel like I’m in my eighth grade Home-Ec class, where perfection is the desired outcome. This magazine is filled with artistic projects that encourage you to create outside the box, to take chances, to mix medias, to paint with thread, to sing while you sew, and not fear the art form that so many of our grandmothers relied on to dress their children. I am beyond excited for my work to be on the cover of the summer publication!”

Her words of wisdom to aspiring sewing entrepreneurs: “Forget what your Home-Ec teacher told you, except ‘Don’t run with scissors’–that was good advice.”

For more insights into the creative world of these crafty ladies, please visit Sunny at sunnycarvalho.com and Danielle at danielledaniel.com.

Hop over here to get a glimpse of what you’ll find in this issue of Sew Somerset. Tell us your favorite spread in the comments below for a chance to win your own copy!*

Photo credits – Top: Danielle Daniel Middle: Sunny Carvalho Bottom: Danielle Daniel

 

*Contest is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be chosen at random. Deadline for entries is July 2, 2012.

Update: The winner of this contest is Elizabeth! Congratulations, Elizabeth. We will be in contact with you regarding the details of your prize. Thank you all for participating!



Sarah Textile Arts ,

Sewing is a joy and a skill that can be discovered, practiced, and honed at any age. I had the chance to catch up with Sunny Carvalho and Danielle Daniel, two of our artists featured in the current Summer ’12 issue of Sew Somerset. In Sunny’s article, “Carrying Your Art” (p. 81), she describes the […]