From the Editor’s Desk: Christen Olivarez on Somerset Studio

November 8th, 2012

Artwork by Paula Bogdan

We are joined today by our wonderful editor-in-chief and director of publishing, Christen Olivarez. She’s here to give you a sneak peek at this month’s issue of Somerset Studio, our flagship publication that is well into its 15th year of production. Somerset Studio features mixed-media artwork from extraordinary, talented artists from around the world. A go-to source for paper crafting instructions for new crafters and professional artists alike, this publication always includes a stellar repertoire of projects, business tips, and creative inspiration.

We’re celebrating this milestone with a peek into the current November/December issue. Take a look at Christen’s favorite features, and help yourself to a good dose of creative therapy below.

It goes without saying that I enjoy putting together each issue of Somerset Studio. Sure, it’s a lot of work to organize art selections, contact all of the contributing artists, have photography handoffs, and proofread, proofread, proofread, but gosh, it’s fun. The November/December 2012 issue, though, was special. It’s very hard to put it in words, so I’ll resort to my go-to method of explaining things: a list.

Artwork by Stephanie Hilvitz
  • Seth Apter’s 5 x 5 Project: I truly feel like this article is like no other we’ve ever published. Perhaps it’s because it was based on a book, “The Pulse of Mixed-Media,” that is like no other. When Seth first contacted me with the idea for the article, I was quick to say “Yes!” to it. I knew Somerset Studio readers would really enjoy having insight into the creative processes of some of their favorite artists.

Artwork by DJ Pettit
  • Artist Portfolio on DJ Pettit: I’ve been a fan of DJ’s work since I began working at Stampington & Company more than five years ago. There is something captivating about her use of color and photography in her work. When I realized we hadn’t profiled her in the magazine yet, I asked Ricë Freeman-Zachery to get in touch with her right away. You’ll be fascinated by her story.

Artwork by Sue Pelletier
  • Playing With Plaster: Have you had the pleasure of chatting with Sue Pelletier? She is as funny as she is kind and talented. The way she incorporates plaster into her work is so imaginative. Her work has such a whimsical feel to it that I can’t help but smile when I see it.
Artwork by Michelle Ward
  • Holiday Projects: I’m just crazy about the holidays. In fact, as I type this, I’m also wondering how soon is too soon to put up my Christmas decorations? In this issue, we share a new take on the traditional advent calendar that will have you saving all of your mini mint tins. When I placed the piece out for art selection, just about everyone in the company walked past it while exclaiming how clever it was. There are also some awesome ideas for ornaments and other décor items inside.

I could go on and on about why I love this particular issue of Somerset Studio, but I think you get the picture. I think it’s one of our most artistically diverse issues, and I’m sure you’ll agree.

Thanks for the recap, Christen! If you’re curious to see more and can’t wait to get your hands on this issue of Somerset Studio, explore more articles and order your copy here.   



Jordan Mixed-Media Art

Artwork by Paula Bogdan We are joined today by our wonderful editor-in-chief and director of publishing, Christen Olivarez. She’s here to give you a sneak peek at this month’s issue of Somerset Studio, our flagship publication that is well into its 15th year of production. Somerset Studio features mixed-media artwork from extraordinary, talented artists from […]

Pearls of Wisdom Caption Contest

November 5th, 2012

We were so happy with your responses to our caption challenges that we’ve got another one in store for you! Take a look at this lovely image by Beth Conklin, photographer and digital artist. What does this stunning artwork bring to mind? Comment below, and we’ll choose a winner at random to receive a copy of the newest issue of Artful Blogging!

Photograph by Beth Conklin

 [This giveaway has ended.]
*Contest open to residents of the U.S. only. Entries accepted until 11/15/12 at 11:59pm. Winner announced 11/16/12.Update: the winner is Deena C! We will be in contact with you in regards to your prize. Congratulations!

 



Jordan Contests and Giveaways

We were so happy with your responses to our caption challenges that we’ve got another one in store for you! Take a look at this lovely image by Beth Conklin, photographer and digital artist. What does this stunning artwork bring to mind? Comment below, and we’ll choose a winner at random to receive a copy […]

Glimpse Inside New November Issues + A Giveaway!

November 1st, 2012

The winter wind might have snuffed out the last porch pumpkin, but have no fear – there are more reasons to be festive this month inside this new batch of November issues. This selection will allow you to explore a new craft (aren’t those dolls adorable?) or sharpen your existing skills (sew a whole new outfit!). After previewing this month’s selection, take advantage of our FREE SHIPPING discount that we are offering exclusively to our blog readers.

Use Promo Code: BLOG1112*

Step inside the world of renowned painters, crafters, and illustrators in this mesmerizing issue of Where Women Create. Hanging lanterns and strings of light bulbs radiate the colorful space of “possibilitarian” artist Kelly Rae Roberts, who gives us tips on being fearless when it comes to experimenting with art. Polly Leonard, U.K. artist and founder of Selvedge magazine, shares her artful journey and the importance of persevering and working as a team. Explore the unique spaces of Sibella Court of The Society Inc, Anahata Katkin of PAPAYA! Inc., and many other creative ladies in this exquisite issue.

Yee-haw! Pull up your cowboy boots because this issue of Altered Couture will spur you towards creative activity. Royal Peasantry’s leather pouch boots are a vintage DIY that stems from the concept of self-defense. Stand your ground with another shoe-inspired project from Melony Miller Bradley that incorporates stamps and paints. Is the dreary weather keeping you inside? Make sure you’re lounging around in style with a satin creation that is definitely runway-worthy. Whether it’s frills and sequins or zippers and studs that catch your attention, you’ll be making heads turn with the wearable garments featured in this fantastic new issue.

Celebrate inspiring stories and captivating photographs with the winter edition of Artful Blogging. Illustrator Dinara Mirtalipova shares her tips for using social media to enhance your blog presence, and Meredith Crawford tells us how reading a book prompted her to start a knitting business and open her first Etsy shop. Susan Najarian encourages artists who are hesitant to make the blogging leap to just jump in and enjoy experimenting with all artistic aspects of the cathartic blogging process. With gorgeous full-color images and invaluable advice from bloggers including Wit & Whistle’s Amanda Wright and Victoria Hudgins from A Subtle Revelry, this issue is a must-have for every blogger’s collection.

Cards, paper crafts, scrapbooking, journaling, jewelry, and wearable art, all in just one issue? Yes, this is true! In this edition of HandCrafted, we are bringing you the best of Stampington’s favorite crafting ideas. Enjoy a spotlight on stamp artist Wendy Vecchi’s stamping artwork and Renee Zarate’s cards with character. Delicious finds come in the form of simply scrumptious scarves, adorable seat covers covered in pockets and bows, vintage Barbie t-shirts, and ethereal bangles. For the crafter who would like to make a hobby out of a bit of skill and a lot of imagination, this is one publication you won’t want to miss.

‘Tis the season for delightful holiday dolls! Enjoy a parade of characters in this issue of Art Doll Quarterly with masquerade figures from Doreen Kassel and magical Santas that will fill your house with holiday cheer. Check out Pippi Longstocking, Anne of Green Gables, Elizabeth Bennet and more life-like dolls that we received for our Book Doll Character Challenge. Artist Adele Sciortino shares the benefits of joining a professional doll organization, and Jack Johnston is back with a tutorial for making pint-sized shoes and boots. With these talented creators leading the way, you’ll be in great hands as you continue your doll-making journey.

This issue of Somerset Studio is nothing short of an absolute stunner. See how our Somerset artists create unique projects with Dina Wakely’s iconic Script Star stamp, and get valuable business advice from Quinn McDonald. Glimpse into the artful world of Anna Dabrowska-Pekocka and find out how she artfully shares the stories she creates in her mind. Find out the scoop on Seth Apter’s 5×5 Pulse Project — and you can check out his new book too! Every issue of Somerset Studio includes free artists’ papers and clip art pages for your crafting pleasure, so don’t waste time, get crafting today.

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.

*Free shipping offer applies to U.S. purchases of the following November 2012 issues only: Somerset Studio, Artful Blogging, Altered Couture, Art Doll Quarterly, Where Women Create, and Handcrafted. Discount code does not apply to items purchased from The Shoppe at Somerset and expires 11/30/12. Contest is open to U.S. residents and ends 11/15/12 at 11:59pm. Update: Our winner is Sandie Luck! We will be in contact with you in regards to your prize. Congratulations!

 



Jordan Glimpse Inside And Sneak Peeks

The winter wind might have snuffed out the last porch pumpkin, but have no fear – there are more reasons to be festive this month inside this new batch of November issues. This selection will allow you to explore a new craft (aren’t those dolls adorable?) or sharpen your existing skills (sew a whole new […]

Shabby Chic Organizational Solutions to Brighten Your Office

October 18th, 2012

Take a memo. Gone are the days of plain plastic trays for sorting tape, labels, and your eleven favorite highlighters. Sure, you can stash those coveted Pilot G-2 Gel Rolling Ball Extra Fine Point Black Ink pens in your collegiate coffee mug that sits proudly on your desk, but wouldn’t you rather use that mug to get your daily dose(s) of coffee? Some may argue that their rolls of tape are comfortable swimming in a sea of mismatched adhesive: masking tape, washi tape, scotch tape, duct tape, and…a cassette tape?

Collectors, hoarders, and otherwise disorganized crafters, fret no more. Our talented Shoppe Manager shows us how to use a fun paper mache painting technique and spruce up your work space. We’ll just plant this idea here and see where you take it. Email your potted organizational solutions to blog@stampington.com.

Materials

Paper Mache Pots

Eco-Green Acrylic Paint – Coral

Distress Crackle Paint by Tim Holtz – Picket Fence

London Market Paper Collection

Instructions

  1. Apply acrylic paint to paper mache pots. This paint color will be seen through the top layer of crackle paint. Let dry.
  2. Apply crackle paint to pots. Let dry.
  3. Cut long strips of paper to fit the width of pot rims. Adhere to rim.
  4. Fill with office supplies and crafting goodies. Bonus points if supplies coordinate with pots.
  5. Make a set for your co-workers or family members for the holidays. Doesn’t it feel great to be organized and on top of things?

For more easy ideas to help you revamp your office space or craft room, visit The Studio or flip through the newest issue of Somerset Life (and get free shipping with this blog promo).

Project and photo by Vanessa Spencer

 

 



Jordan How-To Project Tutorials

Take a memo. Gone are the days of plain plastic trays for sorting tape, labels, and your eleven favorite highlighters. Sure, you can stash those coveted Pilot G-2 Gel Rolling Ball Extra Fine Point Black Ink pens in your collegiate coffee mug that sits proudly on your desk, but wouldn’t you rather use that mug […]

Free Mingle Article Download + Tips for an Artistic Gathering

October 14th, 2012
 Photography by Deb Hodge

We asked our readers to share their favorite party planning ideas for a successful artistic celebration. Jot down some notes that spark your interest and download this free article from the newest issue of Mingle to get a head-start on party planning. After all, ’tis the season!

Blue Moon Party: Host a party when a blue moon is scheduled to appear in the night sky. Ask your friends to bring over their favorite comfort food ― the food you like to eat when you’re feeling a bit “blue.” You can decorate the room with a blue, white, and silver color palette. Serve blue chips and dips, pears with blue cheese, and finish the evening with a blueberry dessert. – party idea by Ella

Blast from the Past Tea Party: Have guests dress in an outfit from their favorite decade. Ask friends to bring their teapots to the party and brew a variety of teas. Artfully arrange a candy spread, including treats from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, etc., to celebrate each decade. Create your own little table topic cards to take a trip down memory lane and have a blast from the past! – party idea by Jackie

Colorful Crafty Gal Pals’ Night Out: To celebrate a spectrum of hues, this soiree encourages everyone to dress in their favorite color, bring a sweet or savory snack in that color, and prepare one make-and-take project that features that same color. The hostess can provide mineral water and club soda, garnished with sliced fruits and colorful syrups. With this rainbow of crafting ideas, everyone will be inspired. – party idea by Brenda

Swap Party: Each attendee brings a fun, tiny crafting item to swap with the other guests. You can pick up vintage teapots at the flea market, adorn them with ribbon and paper flowers, and pass them out to attendees. Have your guests fill the teapots with their swapped items. It is a great memento for them to take home after the get-together, and can also be a great way to spark creativity after the party has concluded. – party idea by Jennifer

The following Mingle tips caught my eye. Try these out at your next celebration!

Photography by navyblur.co.uk

“The online world is a fantastic source of inspiration and support, but there is nothing quite like meeting face-to-face with people who get you. People who understand how creating makes your heart sing. People who want to stay up for hours talking about the journey of life. People who truly want to see your dreams come true, and will do whatever they can to help make that happen.” – musings by Beth Nicolls (Mingle Autumn ’11)

Photography by Rubyellen Bratcher

“For centerpieces, I used a burlap runner down the middle, and I filled mason jars with big bunches of baby’s breath … And I filled two plates full of candles and lit those up; it gave the party a bit of romance.” – décor tip by Rubyellen Bratcher (Mingle Spring ’12)

“Swoon enables groups of friends to gather and create their projects together, making it a monthly gathering … Gathering Kits are also available, including custom linen bags, party crowns, glistening glass glitter, and personal name tags.” – planning tip by Deb Hodge (see opening photo) (Mingle Autumn ’12)

Photography by Maggie Russo

“As the guests left, they grabbed a bag of “Take a Hike” trail mix for the road. After a night of s’mores, s’mores, and more s’mores, it was the perfect salty snack!” – party tip by Sara De St. Jean (Mingle Autumn ’12)

Photography by Martha Schuster

For more styling ideas for your next handmade celebration and one-of-a-kind reasons to get together with friends, family, and other creative minds, download this free article from the Autumn ’12 issue of Mingle.

 



Jordan Free Downloads ,

 Photography by Deb Hodge We asked our readers to share their favorite party planning ideas for a successful artistic celebration. Jot down some notes that spark your interest and download this free article from the newest issue of Mingle to get a head-start on party planning. After all, ’tis the season! Blue Moon Party: Host […]