Digital Designs Showcase + a Somerset Digital Studio Giveaway

September 13th, 2012

Artwork by Beth Santos-Gugol

Give those pens and pencils a rest and have your computer mouse and tablet at the ready. To continue our adventure into the world of digital designs, I would like to direct your attention to a wonderful showcase of digital masterpieces that combine our love of textures, rub-ons, and paints with the altering potential of computer graphics programs.

Somerset Digital Studio is a treat for digital artists and conventional scrapbookers alike. Jana Holstein, editor of the publication, attributes the title’s success from its origin in our scrapbooking magazine. “Somerset Digital Studio was conceived because our submission collection for the Virtual Gallery department in Somerset Memories was growing by leaps and bounds,” she said. “Traditional scrapbookers were jumping on the bandwagon of digi-scrapping and loving it.”

Featured artists like Traci Bautista and Susan Tuttle take you through their creative process, from capturing the initial snapshot to applying layers, masks, and filters to the photo until their altered vision is achieved.

Artwork by Melanie Ritchie

Digital photo editing allows designers to play with the lighting and levels of photos and introduces you to a world of add-on options. Ephemera embellishments can be found (and purchased) online, allowing you to download images straight to your computer.

If the thought of incorporating digital enhancements into your layouts intruigues you, I encourage you to browse around e-Crafting, Stampington’s own digital ephemera shop. You’ll find downloadable collage sheets, inchie collections, and vintage labels (we love our new Apothecary Set) to add an authentic artistic flair to your mixed-media projects.

Artwork by Anna Aspnes

Jana carefully chooses submissions that will appeal to artists of all digital levels. The features in each issue include detailed instructions, Photoshop screenshots, and corresponding lists of digital materials. “If you’re considering becoming a digital scrapbooker, I encourage you to go for it!” Jana said. “Don’t be intimidated, just give it a try and you’ll quickly fall in love with the ease of artfully creating your memories without the mess of paper and glue.”

No mess? That’s a technique we’re happy to get on board with. Comment below with YOUR favorite digital technique, or a technique you want to try. One randomly selected reader will win the newest hot-off-the-press issue of Somerset Digital Studio Autumn ’12.

View the rest of these star layouts here, and challenge yourself to experiment with new digital techniques. The deadline to submit artwork for the Spring ’13 issue is October 15th.

Update: Our Somerset Digital Studio winner is Comment #9, Amber! We will be in contact with you regarding the details of your prize.

*Contest is open to residents of the U.S. Entries will be accepted until 9/27/12.

 



Sarah Digital Art ,,

Artwork by Beth Santos-Gugol Give those pens and pencils a rest and have your computer mouse and tablet at the ready. To continue our adventure into the world of digital designs, I would like to direct your attention to a wonderful showcase of digital masterpieces that combine our love of textures, rub-ons, and paints with […]

Bonjour! Message in a Bottle DIY + a Giveaway!

September 10th, 2012

When you were still knee-high, did you ever wonder how on earth a message could make its way across the oceans and around the world, nested in a fragile glass bottle and secured only with a piece of cork? Our Shoppe Manager, Vanessa, shows us how we can revisit the imagination of our childhood by creating this vintage bottle project to send to a friend far away or right next door.

Materials
Message in a Bottle Kit
7gypsies Camden Paper Collection
Matte Medium
Hand Dyed Ribbon – Topaz, Smokey Quartz
Cavallini & Co. Paris Stamp Set
Ticket
Excelsior (found at most craft stores)

Instructions

  1. Begin by decorating the box from the Message in a Bottle Kit with patterned paper from the 7gypsies Camden Collection.
  2. Adhere paper to the box with the matte medium. Seal and protect the paper by painting over it with the medium as well.
  3. Remove the bubble wrap from inside the box and stuff with excelsior.
  4. Roll up your letter and tie it with a small piece of Topaz ribbon.
  5. Carefully drop your letter into the bottle.
  6. Stamp the “bonjour” greeting from Cavallini & Co.’s Paris Stamp Set onto a ticket.
  7. Punch a hole in the ticket, and attach it to the neck of the bottle with another piece of ribbon.
  8. Place the bottle inside of the box and close the lid. Wrap a couple layers of the Smokey Quartz ribbon around the outside, and tie it off with a bow.

For more projects that will inspire you to create handmade sentiments for yourself or a loved one, visit The Studio.

To whom would you send a special message in a bottle? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll send one lucky winner a Message in a Bottle Kit to make it happen!

Project and photo by Vanessa Spencer

Update: The winner of the Message in a Bottle giveaway is Comment #21, Isabelle! We will be in contact with you about the details of your prize. Thank you to ALL who reached out to us and shared your stories. Your bravery and support for your loved ones is admirable, and we wish you the very best.

*Entries are accepted until 11:59 PM on 9/27/12. Winner will be chosen via random number generator. Contest is open to residents of the U.S.

 

 



Sarah How-To Project Tutorials ,

When you were still knee-high, did you ever wonder how on earth a message could make its way across the oceans and around the world, nested in a fragile glass bottle and secured only with a piece of cork? Our Shoppe Manager, Vanessa, shows us how we can revisit the imagination of our childhood by […]

Glimpse Inside New September Issues (+ a Giveaway!)

September 2nd, 2012

Rise to the head of the class with this new set of September issues that will soon be on your required reading list!  From digital alterations to glittery snowfall effects, the techniques featured in this round of magazines garner top marks from our staff. If these preview spreads have you scribbling down ideas in every margin of your spiral notebook, take advantage of our FREE SHIPPING discount that we are offering exclusively to our blog readers.

Use Promo Code: BLOG0912*

Somerset Apprentice is your ultimate resource for detailed instructions for creating mixed-media projects like the pros. Tag along with featured artists Anna Dabrowska, Monica Sabolla Gruppo, Kristen Robinson, Bethany Kartchner, and many others, as they give you a glimpse inside of their crafty minds. Filled with innovative tips and advice from what media is best to use on different surfaces, to use to how to approach challenging artistic obstacles, the pages of this issue will answer all of your burning artistic questions. Once you master the basics, you will be embellishing and enhancing your own projects in no time!

Discover the art of primitive dolls with furry creatures and wooly Santas that will make you smile from ear to ear. Artist Diana Card shares the story behind her lovely farm paintings that are comprised of rolling hills in blue and green hues. Peek inside the fantastical world of Dixie Redmond’s storybook dolls, and hang out with Alice in Wonderland, Dorothy, Miss Muffet, the White Rabbit, and more of your favorite childhood characters. Go on a pumpkin ride with jolly Pete, build a family of Victorian Whimsies, and deck your tree with primitive snowmen ornaments topped off with a pinstripe nightcap.  This issue of Prims is bursting with handcrafted projects that will be lovely additions to your home and warm your heart.

The cover of this spectacular issue of Somerset Studio is a tell-tale sign that the artwork featured inside is going to be just as hauntingly beautiful. Our readers rose to the challenge when asked to submit artwork that pays homage to Edgar Allan Poe. You will find their altered books and canvases embellished with raven stamps and ghostly typewriter text. Complete with bonus free artist papers and clip art for you to tear out and use in your next mixed-media project, this magazine is your one-stop source to help get the paint off your brush and onto the page. View subscription options (with free gifts!) here.

We’re bringing you the hottest heat embossing and die-cutting techniques in the autumn issue of Take Ten. Packed with over 295 stamped ideas for all crafting levels, this publication is a fantastic guide for artists looking to improve their stamping skills and learn new techniques along the way. Use handwritten script to add unique flair to your projects, or layer washi tape and labels to create a set of retro airmail notecards. Try your hand at monoprinting, and stamp quick and easy gift bags to use as favors for your next girls’ night out party. Each magazine comes with a complimentary artist paper to get you started on the right crafting path.

The magic of digital editing comes to life in the autumn issue of Somerset Digital Studio. Turn a photograph into a painting with flowing filters, create moods with different textures, and alter backgrounds with illustrated step-by-step tutorials. Embrace the eccentric aspects of creating art with Stephanie Voss’s article, “Wackiness & Wisdom in Digital Art,” and see how Laura Ciranna incorporates images of realistic elements to create fantastical scenes.  Take your digital designs to the next level and incorporate textures, words, and images to turn your photographs into masterpieces to share with friends and family.

Get ready for the oncoming wave of beautiful assemblages in this issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry. Have a knack for wire beading? Create beautiful works of charm bracelets, complete with gems and pearls. Discover the untapped potential of pewter, the original metal clay, in a variety of necklaces. Learn a new technique called broom-casting from Lisa Weber, and check out an expansive set of tribal shield ear wear by Janet Loomis. Don’t miss Staci Florer’s beautiful hinged earrings that will have your admirers “all ears.”

Warm up your home this autumn with freshly baked blueberry muffins, fluffy croissants, and artisan breads, all packed into this serving of Where Women Cook. Craft a four-layer cake with pastel-colored frosting and try your hand at the sweet pumpkin dip. Glimpse inside the bustling kitchens of Tasi Rigsby, a professional ballet dancer-turned-restaurant owner and Charlotte Neuville, the woman behind trend forecasting for major brands in the fashion world, who is now taking on the culinary world. Food styling and presentation is just as important as the food itself, and the full-color photographs of these recipes will leave you tempted to try them all.

It’s here, it’s here! Glittery snowfall on miniature rooftops and handmade ornaments on a tall pine tree mean only one thing: Somerset Holidays & Celebrations is out with a new batch of amazing projects to make for the winter holidays and year-round celebrations. Discover an alternative use for cookie cutters when you turn them into gismos and gadgets that glitter and shine with every twist and turn. Painted canvas trees, spooky art quilts, whimsical spring folk art, and coffee filter garlands await you as well. Indulge in the handmade romance that comes with the season of love with delicate projects made from delicately torn muslin. Join artists Ruth Rae, Jennifer Swift, Danita, and many others as they give you a reason to celebrate the joy of creativity throughout the year.

Want to win one of these issues? Click on any spread, check out the table of contents, and let us know which feature you’re looking forward to reading! One person will be selected at random to receive their choice of magazine. Winner will be chosen and announced September 18th. Update: The winner is Bridgette Jessen! We will be in contact with you in regards to the details of your prize.

*Free shipping offer applies to U.S. purchases of the following September 2012 issues only: Somerset Studio, Take Ten, Belle Armoire Jewelry, Holidays & Celebrations, Somerset Digital Studio, Somerset Apprentice, Where Women Cook, and Prims. Discount code does not apply to items purchased from The Shoppe at Somerset and expires 9/30/12. Contest is open to U.S. residents and ends 9/18/12 at 11:59pm.

 



Sarah Glimpse Inside And Sneak Peeks

Rise to the head of the class with this new set of September issues that will soon be on your required reading list!  From digital alterations to glittery snowfall effects, the techniques featured in this round of magazines garner top marks from our staff. If these preview spreads have you scribbling down ideas in every […]

10 Shoppe Favorites Under $10 + a Giveaway!

August 30th, 2012

My favorite part of fall was always the annual back-to-school shopping spree. Brightly colored binders and coordinating spiral notebooks were just waiting to be snatched up and decorated with tabbed dividers, a fresh ream of lined paper, and photos of my best friends. While you may not be returning to classrooms lined with desks, you can still celebrate learning in your own creative classroom.  We rounded up a bunch of our favorite crafting supplies from The Shoppe, all under $10! You might just have some spending money left over to wax some nostalgia on a new pencil pouch or day planner.

Multi-Colored Dots Washi Tape (2-pack) | $9.49
As colorful as confetti and just as fun to use, this decorative tape set will become your favorite crafting supply for every celebration. Add a cheerful sprinkle of color to your greeting cards, stamped projects, and handwritten letters with this polka dotted tape set. See a related project here.

Paper Mache Storage Containers | $8.95
This versatile stackable storage solution comes ready-to-alter and ready to help get you organized. Stash your buttons, jewelry findings, and other trinkets in these compartments. Label each box and have all your tiny supplies at your fingertips. See project here.

Basic Liquitex Acrylic Paint Set | $6.99
This set is the perfect paint starter kit for an aspiring artist who dabbles in canvas paintings, art journaling, and other mixed-media creations. These paints are permanent, water resistant, and flexible when dry. Set comes with a paintbrush. Add imagination and enjoy! See project here.

Decoupage & Decorative Wrap Sheets | $4.50
These gorgeous paper posters from Cavallini and Co. will wrap up all sorts of projects. Use as backgrounds on a mixed-media canvas, cut out images to decoupage onto a wooden form, or simply use to wrap a boxed present. See project here.

Punchinella Ribbon (Teal) | $3.99
Also known as “sequin waste,” Punchinella is the most versatile and beautifully textured altered art supply on the market today. Use this discarded medium as a stencil, creating a grungy polka dot patterned background or as a three-dimensional embellishment on canvases and wooden forms. See project here.

Somerset Studio | $8.99
Stampington’s flagship magazine, first published in 1998, is your comprehensive guide to mixed-media creations, presented in stunning beautiful full-color photographs. With featured artists Patti Robertz-Pizzuto, Lynne Perrella, and Michelle Ward, as well as the results from our Edgar Allan Poe challenge, this issue is sure to provide new artistic inspiration to crafters of all skill levels. Each issue comes with free artist papers and clip art pages that you can tear out of the magazine and use on your next mixed-media project. Find sample spreads here. Also see Art Doll Quarterly and Take Ten for more great reads under $10.

 

Beatrice | $9.95
Make your mark with Beatrice, one of the many charismatic characters in Pam Carriker’s Poetic Portraits stamp collection. Transform her distinctive portrait in your next paper crafting, art journaling, and mixed-media creations with a dab of paint or hand lettering. See project here.

Art Ribbon (Carousel) | $8.99
Tie a present up with a floppy vintage bow or bind a photo album together with shabby-chic pieces tied onto the spiral binding. Add dimension to your gorgeous projects with a little bit of textured flair. Includes 2 yards each of 3 delicious colors. See project here.

Vintage Softie Dress and Apron Kit | $9.95
This comprehensive kit contains all the materials you need to create a unique softie project. Included in this kit are mini clothespins, pre-stamped fabric, a mini black hanger, buttons, a swatch of ticking fabric, and a full-color instruction sheet to guide you through this simply adorable project. Perfect for beginning softie doll makers and plush lovers alike! See project here.

Flora Bowley Notebooks | $9.99
These imaginative notebooks measure 7 x 9″ and contain 106 colorful pages to doodle your thoughts and jot down to-do lists. First item on my list: get myself a set! See project here.

Tell us what we missed! If another product caught your eye in The Shoppe (and it’s under $10), leave a comment below for your chance to win it! One lucky person will be chosen at random to receive their selected item.

*Entries are accepted until 11:59 PM on 9/6/12. Contest is open to residents of the U.S.

Photo by Vanessa Spencer

Update: Christine Eastwood, you are our winner! We will be in contact with you regarding the details of your prize.



Sarah Contests and Giveaways

My favorite part of fall was always the annual back-to-school shopping spree. Brightly colored binders and coordinating spiral notebooks were just waiting to be snatched up and decorated with tabbed dividers, a fresh ream of lined paper, and photos of my best friends. While you may not be returning to classrooms lined with desks, you […]

Altered Recipe Card Challenge + Where Women Cook Giveaway!

August 27th, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Crumble Crisp is my go-to recipe whenever I hear the magic word: “Potluck!” My mom gave this recipe to me and my sister, and it has become extremely well-traveled. That little quarter page has been scanned and copied a hundred times over, lost in piles of discarded apple peels, hidden in cookbooks while serving as a floury placeholder.

Everyone – seasoned chef or amateur baker – has their favorite fool-proof recipe, the aroma and texture of the ingredients so familiar that you could whip up your dish with your eyes closed. The recipe may be propped up on a stand, but only to act as a spectator, the once-shiny photograph covered in flour and yolk and almost indecipherable measurement modifications.

Where Women Cook is a publication that celebrates the joy, passion, and love that women put into
cooking, baking, preparing, and presenting delicious dishes for all occasions. We were overjoyed to hear that Where Women Cook was chosen by Mr. Magazine as one of the hottest magazine launches of 2011. The pages of this publication are filled with enticing biographies of accomplished chefs and bakers and include decadent recipes for dishes like Sweet Pumpkin Dip, Parisian Gnocchi, and Chocolate Semifreddo with Salted Caramel. Catch a glimpse of what to expect in this issue here. Now, ready to add in a contest?

To celebrate this publication that whisks you away to the kitchens of talented and accomplished women, we’re mixing things up with an Altered Recipe Card Challenge. Simply cut your desired card medium (cardstock, wood, foam core – anything goes!) to 4 x 6″ and decorate to your heart’s content. Card may be decorated front and back, if you wish. Embellish to taste with decorative tape, alphabet stamps, journaling rub-ons, glitter, and so on. Don’t forget to include the recipe for your favorite dish somewhere on the card! The reader with the most creative and innovative recipe card will receive the newest hot-off-the-press issue of Where Women Cook. We can’t wait to see what designs you whip up!

Please send your altered recipe card to:
Attn: Blog Submissions
Stampington & Company
22992 Mill Creek Drive
Laguna Hills, California 92653

View sample articles, and order the Autumn ’12 issue of Where Women Cook here.

Drooling over the adorable recipe card projects pictured here? Pick up Somerset Life Spring ’11 for a closer look.

Top photo: Project by Lisa Super
Bottom photo: Project by Diane Rose Geer
Photography by Johanna Love

Entries must be received by 9/19/12. This contest is open to residents of the U.S.

 



Sarah Artwork SubmissionsContests and Giveaways

Apple Cinnamon Crumble Crisp is my go-to recipe whenever I hear the magic word: “Potluck!” My mom gave this recipe to me and my sister, and it has become extremely well-traveled. That little quarter page has been scanned and copied a hundred times over, lost in piles of discarded apple peels, hidden in cookbooks while […]