Par-Tea On: A Stampington Soiree!

July 30th, 2012

Our advertising and editorial teams laughed, planned, and toasted to creativity over cups of spiced tea and trays of decadent treats. Laura Burns, our fantastic advertising sales manager, gives us the inside scoop on the preparation that went into planning this gathering of artistic minds.

Working at Stampington & Company, it is so easy to be inspired by the creativity that surrounds us. When we marked our calendar for a meeting with the talented editorial team, we knew we wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to show them our artistic side. Elizabeth Komatsu (Advertising Assistant Manager), Melissa Mercer (Advertising Account Executive), Ashleigh Fleury (Advertising and Marketing Assistant) and I challenged ourselves to surprise the editors with some crafty projects of our own and plan a tea party they would never forget!

No artistic party would be complete without a color scheme, so we decided upon turquoise and coral. We browsed Pinterest for décor ideas, creating a mood board in our office. We shopped in local Goodwill and thrift stores and found vintage tea cups, vases, and plates. Next, we raided the Stampington prop room with the blessing of our director of photography, Johanna, and found lovely linens and antique silver teapots to adorn our table. You’d be amazed to see the unique items we have on hand on a daily basis.

We planned a craft night that Friday to create decorations for the party. First, we hit Michaels for supplies: paper, tissue paper, doilies, ribbon, and decorative adhesive tape. We used a Silhouette machine to cut the lettering, teapot, and tea cups out of paper, which we strung on aqua baker’s twine. A Fiskars punch was used to create elegant borders on our banner and placemats, which were adorned with vintage silverware and teapot designs printed from templates found on The Pretty Blog. We made the pompoms using just tissue paper and ribbon. To create a fun display for the selection of teas, we cut out teapot ephemera, framed it with decorative adhesive tape, and attached it to the inside of a vintage wooden box that we borrowed from the prop room. We constructed cardboard separators to fit between the rows of teas and cut out images from each tea box to display the different flavors.

We returned to the office the following week and set up our handmade décor and homemade goodies. Our selection of savory bite-sized tea sandwiches included delicious ingredients: ham and cheese; roasted red pepper, dill, and cream cheese; and cucumber, dill and cream cheese. To appease everyone’s sweet tooth, we baked mini cinnamon buns and mini vanilla cupcakes, topped with cream cheese frosting and rainbow sprinkles. We constructed tasty fruit skewers of pineapple, melon, grapes and strawberries to incorporate a burst of juicy produce. We arranged the spread of delicious treats on plates and platters covered in colored doilies. Add a vase of bright Gerber daisies, cue the elegant music, and we were ready to start the par-tea!

The editors were surprised and delighted to see that a fancy tea party had replaced our ordinary meeting. Collaborating with coworkers and enjoying tasty treats was a wonderful way to start the morning and get our creative juices flowing.

Thanks for sharing, Laura! Pick up a copy of Mingle Spring ’12 for more inspiring party projects, stories, and tips on how to throw your own creative soiree (spoiler alert: look out for more pictures from this tea party in an upcoming issue). Way to go, Ad Team. Par-tea on!

Comment below with your best creative party idea for a chance to win the premiere issue. The editor of Mingle will pick the most innovative one. Best of luck!

Photographs by Johanna Love

 

*Contest is open to U.S. residents only. Deadline for entries is 8/12/12 at 11:59 p.m.

 

Update from Christen Olivarez, Editor-in-Chief and Director of Publishing: My choice is HawaiianLibrarian’s Colorful Crafty Gal Pals’ Night Out! I love the idea of focusing so much on one color. I can only imagine how bright and colorful it could be!

 

Congratulations, HawaiianLibrarian! We will be in contact with you regarding your prize.

 

 



Sarah Uncategorized

Our advertising and editorial teams laughed, planned, and toasted to creativity over cups of spiced tea and trays of decadent treats. Laura Burns, our fantastic advertising sales manager, gives us the inside scoop on the preparation that went into planning this gathering of artistic minds. Working at Stampington & Company, it is so easy to […]

An iPhoneography Tutorial with Guest Artist Susan Tuttle

July 26th, 2012

We are thrilled to welcome guest artist Susan Tuttle to Somerset Place today, where she shares a tutorial on editing a portrait taken with her iPhone®. She uses five of her favorite iPhone photography apps to achieve the final result, which is worn, grungy, painterly, and dreamy in style.

Materials (These iPhone apps can be purchased and downloaded at various costs from the Apple iTunes Store):
Camera+
Art of Blur* or BlurFX
Scratch Cam
Noir Photo
Pic Grunger

Instructions (Note: These instructions do not get overly technical in terms of how the tools and functions of each of these photo apps work. Each photography app for the iPhone comes with detailed instructions for use, which are generally very user-friendly.)

1. Camera+: I use the camera available in the app Camera+ to take my iPhone photographs (I especially love the timer feature for taking self-portraits). After you take the photo, it goes into your Camera+ Lightbox (essentially a camera roll), and it is also saved to your device’s built-in camera roll (Photo Library) if you adjust the settings to do so.

  • For this project, I selected my untouched photograph from my Lightbox and went into Editing mode, where I cropped the photo into a square. I like to upload completed works to Instagram (a social network for sharing iPhonegraphy) and they only accept a square format.
  • After cropping, I choose a filter. In this case I chose the black and white filter “Ansel,” which has Ansel Adams-like toning and is a definite go-to filter of mine. Save work to your Photo Library.

2. Art of Blur (Art of Blur is no longer available at the iTunes app store, but BlurFX may be used instead): Open saved altered photo in this app and do the following:

  • Apply a blur to it. You can manipulate blur settings to achieve a subtle or strong motion blur (see figure A of above screenshot).
  • If there are any areas of your photo that you do not wish to have blurred, you can bring them back into focus or adjust the sharpness by selecting the Sharpen mode and brushing over these areas. You can adjust the transparency and size of the brush – I like to reduce the transparency so that there is always a soft, blended edge between the blurred part of the image and the sharp part (see figures B and C of screenshot). Tip: the Zoom Tool is very helpful for achieving accuracy and doing fine detail work. Save work.

3. Scratch Cam: This very cool app allows you to alter the color of your photo and apply scratches, textures, and borders.

  • I decided not to alter the color of the photo, so I turned the color layer off (see figure A of above screenshot).
  • Choose a “Textures and Borders” layer. You can reduce the Opacity of this layer if you wish (see figure B).
  • Apply a “Scratches” layer. Again, you can reduce the Opacity of this layer if you wish (see figure C). Save work.

4. Noir Photo: This app allows you to create a dramatic vignette effect, where you can highlight your subject and either darken or lighten the surrounding area to create the vignette.

  • I chose to highlight the figure of the woman and lighten the surrounding area, thus taking away the surrounding details to draw the observer’s eye into the subject. You can achieve a variety of results by rolling the various dials. Don’t forget to save.

5. Pic Grunger: I often like to use this app to apply a final touch of grunge to my piece, giving it a more dreamy quality. Open work in this app and do the following:

  • Choose an “Effects” filter. I chose “Creased,” as it adds a nice layer of grunge, but did not cover up essential details of the subject (see figure A of screenshot).
  •  Select a texture. I picked “Newsprint” (see figure B). You can adjust the strength of these layers, as I did in this project (see figure C). Save and you’re all done!

A big “Thank you!” to Susan for sharing this fun iPhoneography tutorial with us. Susan is a photographer and digital artist from Maine. She is author of the books Digital Expressions: Creating Digital Art with Adobe Photoshop Elements (North Light Books, April 2010) and Exhibition 36: Mixed-Media Demonstrations and Explorations (North Light Books, November, 2008). Susan teaches online digital art and photo manipulation classes with Photoshop and is excited to announce that her third book, Photo Craft: Creative Mixed Media and Digital Approaches to Transforming Your Photographs (North Light Books), co-authored with Chrysti Hydeck, will be released this fall.

Susan recently wrote an article on iPhoneography that is featured in Somerset Digital Studio Spring ’12, where she talks about enjoying the challenge of continually stretching the range of her artistic voice. You can view more of Susan’s work at www.susantuttlephotography.com.

Preview the gorgeous spreads from the upcoming Autumn ’12 issue of Somerset Digital Studio.

iPhone® is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. Camera + is copyright © by tap tap tap LLC. ScratchCam is copyright © 2011 by Steven Arnold. Noir Photo is copyright © Red Giant Software LLC. Pic Grunger is copyright © by Stephen Spring. *Art of Blur is no longer available at the iTunes app store.

 



Sarah Digital ArtHow-To Project Tutorials ,

We are thrilled to welcome guest artist Susan Tuttle to Somerset Place today, where she shares a tutorial on editing a portrait taken with her iPhone®. She uses five of her favorite iPhone photography apps to achieve the final result, which is worn, grungy, painterly, and dreamy in style. Materials (These iPhone apps can be […]

A Tempting Contest for Stamping Fans

July 23rd, 2012

We’ve got a tempting contest for you, and we hope you are up for the challenge. Do you have a template design bouncing around in your head that you’re just itching to get on paper? Take your napkin doodles and turn them into published templates!

Over the 15 years that The Stampers’ Sampler has been in publication, we’ve seen templates shaped like pinwheels, dresses, hot air balloons, bird houses, cupcakes, mason jars, and more. Our artistic readers send us the original artwork they create using these templates, and we publish the cream of the crop in our Tempting Template section in each issue of The Stampers’ Sampler.

Now, we would like to see YOUR template ideas! Send your original template drawings to us via snail mail or email your sketch to Editor Andrea Rangno at arangno@stampington.com. If we pick your design, you will receive a free issue of The Stampers’ Sampler! Please submit designs by 7/31/12 for consideration.

Check out our past templates here for inspiration to spark some new ideas. Templates above: Mason Jar, Perfume Bottle, Dress



Sarah Artwork SubmissionsContests and GiveawaysStamping ,,

We’ve got a tempting contest for you, and we hope you are up for the challenge. Do you have a template design bouncing around in your head that you’re just itching to get on paper? Take your napkin doodles and turn them into published templates! Over the 15 years that The Stampers’ Sampler has been […]

Layers of Colour by Guest Artist Kate Crane

July 16th, 2012

We are thrilled to welcome guest artist Kate Crane to Somerset Place today as she shares a painting technique for creating vibrant layered backgrounds.

Two things I love about mixed-media art are colour and layers; I can’t get enough of either! When working in my art journal I often build up busy backgrounds adding layer after layer, and I find that if I stick to one colour family, I can keep adding more layers so that the canvas looks busy but not cluttered. Ink sprays are one of my favourite mediums to work with; they are bright, colourful, and give you super-fast coverage.

Materials

Dylusions Ink Sprays in Vibrant Turquoise, Fresh Lime, London Blue, Lemon Zest
Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads in Peacock Feathers, Mowed Lawn, Salty Ocean
Number Jumble Dylusions Stencils by Ranger and The Crafter’s Workshop
Basic Background stamp by Ranger Dylusions
Journey Collage stamp by Stampotique Originals
Flourish stamp by Tuscan Rose
Wing stamp by Tim Holtz/Stampers’ Anonymous
Liquid Pearls

Instructions

On my first page, I used Dylusions Ink Sprays by Ranger, and an assortment of ink pads in a similar range of colours. When working in my vintage ledger journal, the inks stay really bright on the page and also react very well with water (this varies on the paper/card you are working on), so my first step was to spray shades of blue, turquoise, and green until they began to pool.

After blotting, I splashed some water onto the project, blotted again, then sprayed the same colour inks in random places through a number stencil.

This was just the beginning of the background! I added more patterns and textures to the background by stamping randomly all over the page with a variety of ink pads, using the Journey Collage stamp by Stampotique Originals, and the Basic Backgrounds stamp by Dylusions.

Gesso is an amazing medium to work with. Originally intended to be used as a base layer, mixed-media artists have embraced its possibilities. Here I used it as a top layer by scraping through a stencil and adding a few extra details with a fine line pen and an oil pastel.

Stamping a bold feature stamp in black really makes the other colours pop.

I created some elements for my page using the complementary colour so that they would really stand out.

A few touches of liquid pearls…

…and your background is complete!

A big “Thank you!” to Kate for this lovely tutorial. Kate is a mixed-media artist living in the north of England, with her husband and two children. Her work has been featured in several Stampington publications and is currently decorating the pages of the Summer ’12 issue of Art Journaling. To see more of her work, visit thekathrynwheel.blogspot.com.

 

 



Sarah Art JournalingHow-To Project Tutorials ,,

We are thrilled to welcome guest artist Kate Crane to Somerset Place today as she shares a painting technique for creating vibrant layered backgrounds. Two things I love about mixed-media art are colour and layers; I can’t get enough of either! When working in my art journal I often build up busy backgrounds adding layer […]

Sew a Vintage Softie Dress with Aprons

July 12th, 2012

Who says you’re too old to play with dolls? Softie lovers, makers, and collectors of all ages will delight in this adorable primitive softie project created by our Shoppe Manager.

Materials
Spring Jubilee Spring Stamp Set
StazOn Ink (Timber Brown)
3″ Black Mini Hangers
Muslin
Brown thread
Polyfil or fabric scraps
Dress and apron templates (download here)

You can also purchase our Vintage Softie Doll Kit.

Instructions

  1. Start by cutting out the templates and trace them onto your fabric; cut out pattern. Use muslin for the dress and blue ticking fabric for the apron.
  2. Stamp the script design from the Spring Jubilee stamp line on the upper left sleeve of the dress with StazOn ink.
  3. Stitch around the dress twice using brown thread, leaving the bottom edge open so that it can be filled.
  4. Stuff the dress with polyfill or fabric scraps, and sew the bottom shut.
  5. Stitch around the outside of the blue ticking fabric (the apron) twice with brown thread.
  6. Sew small strips of muslin onto either side to create apron ties.
  7. Add some simple, small buttons to the dress.
  8. Finish off your softie doll by attaching it to a small black hanger with mini clothespins. Sew adorable!

To create an alternative ruffle-style apron, take a longer strip of the blue ticking fabric and gather it slightly as you sew across the top edge. Sew a long, thin piece of muslin over the top edge, leaving enough fabric on both sides to use as the apron ties. Experiment with different styles and patterns to give your doll a new look every day!

Enjoy this softie doll apron creation? Check out a similar primitive doll dress project inspired by mixed-media artist Ruth Rae.  If you are interested in submitting a handmade doll creation for publication consideration in Prims, Art Doll Quarterly, or Stuffed, please visit our Calls & Challenges page.

 

Project and photos by Vanessa Spencer

 



Sarah Art Dolls and SoftiesHow-To Project Tutorials ,,,,

Who says you’re too old to play with dolls? Softie lovers, makers, and collectors of all ages will delight in this adorable primitive softie project created by our Shoppe Manager. Materials Spring Jubilee Spring Stamp Set StazOn Ink (Timber Brown) 3″ Black Mini Hangers Muslin Brown thread Polyfil or fabric scraps Dress and apron templates […]