Share Your Instagram Pics!

July 19th, 2012

What we’ve been up to in the land of Instagram…

Top row (left – right): This vintage receipt holder tutorial puts a chic spin on organization; our marketing and web teams chatted about new projects over chrysanthemum tea; create a paper bag book to store home-sweet-home mementos

Middle row: Hand-carved stamps go neon with a spray painting tutorial; pretty packaging ideas that will make you sing with creativity; a pennant banner DIY, reminiscent of a Parisian flea market

Bottom row: Playing with Dina Wakley’s Garden Grunge stamp collection; our Shoppe Manager created this fun, girly project to store pictures, ribbons, and other knick-knacks; Darryl, our stamp production guru, is busy cranking out Pam Carriker’s new Poetic Portraits stamp line and Dina Wakley’s Garden Grunge collection.

Have you created a wallpaper collage of your favorite Stampington magazine covers? Do your kids use them to create origami art? Show us an innovative use for your Stampington magazines (after reading them, of course). Instagram and Tweet your original photo to @Stampington and we’ll re-Tweet our faves! The reader with the most creative idea will win a copy of the new hot-off-the-press Art Journaling Summer ’12 issue.*

 

*Contest is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be chosen and announced on 7/30/12. Deadline for entries is 7/29/12 at 11:59 p.m.

 



Sarah Uncategorized ,

What we’ve been up to in the land of Instagram… Top row (left – right): This vintage receipt holder tutorial puts a chic spin on organization; our marketing and web teams chatted about new projects over chrysanthemum tea; create a paper bag book to store home-sweet-home mementos Middle row: Hand-carved stamps go neon with a […]

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 […]

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 […]