Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Too Much Fun!

Have you ever wondered, “How did they do that?” Or, spent countless hours trying to find directions for a particular project? I know I have! The new Somerset Workshop Volume 5 from Stampington & Company will answer a lot of your questions and save you time trying to find directions for a particular technique or project.

The Somerset Workshop is a 144 page soft bound book that is packed with over 85 samples and finished projects! The book is broken up into four separate “workshops” (or chapters) and concludes with a section entitled “Meet the Artists”, followed by an article about the Publisher. You will also notice that each Workshop is also color coded making it easy to locate a project or artist in the book.

The Workshops in this book are as follows:

  • Woodworks by Audry Hernandez
  • Altered Books & Boxes by Linda Trenholm
  • Tin Metal Artistry by Marsha Williams
  • Altered Images; Story by Jana Holstein; Artwork by Shona Cole, Jill Marie Shulse, & Tena Sprenger

After reading the book from cover to cover I had to make a decision, “Where would I start?” The directions for these workshops were very clear and easy to understand and the step-by-step and finished product photography was really great! These two things made me feel like I could accomplish any of the projects with ease. Of course, the decision of which workshop I would create my first project from was still looming over me and so I finally decided to start with Workshop 4, Watercolor Sketchbook by Tena Sprenger. /P>

As I read through Tena’s story and directions for this watercolor technique, I was completely intrigued. I had seen something similar to this years ago and thought the finished product was beautiful. Since I am not much on sketchbooks, and I wanted to share my artwork, I decided to skip the bookmaking portion and dive right into the watercolor portion of this workshop. I found this vintage Christmas image on the internet and as Tena suggested, I used my Adobe Photoshop Elements to turn the image into a watermark. Tena left her image in color but I opted to change my to black and white which worked better for me. Once I had the image the way that I wanted it, I printed it out onto Watercolor paper. I would have preferred to use the 90lb smooth finish watercolor paper that was suggested but all I had at the moment was some Prima Paintable cardstock (a watercolor paper) which I used the reverse side for in this project.

Card-original Card-sketch   

Once I had the image printed onto my watercolor paper, I began to color in the areas of the image using watercolor pencils. Having this “watermark guide” image to follow helped me with proper shading and placement of color. Once my image was completely colored I went over it with a damp waterbrush to blend the colors. This technique made me look like a watercolor artist yet it was so quick and simple!

Title: The Bells are Ringing card
Products used: Cardstock (Prism Prismatics)
Watercolor Paper (Prima)
Image (
Watercolor Pencils (Stampin' Up)
Gold Pen (Krylon)
Stamp (TAC)
Ink (Whispers)
Scallop Template (
Gold Ribbon (Hobby Lobby)
Adhesive (Adhesive Tech, Permanent Bond Glue Runner)

My second project comes from Workshop 2 by Linda Trenholm. Linda’s workshop is all about altered books and boxes - and boxes I have - lots of them! I keep just about every tin or box that comes my way thinking that one day I might use that on a project. When I saw the Dance project, I knew it was time to dust off a canvas and a saved tin from days past. As I followed Linda’s instruction on getting the crackle effect on the canvas, I had a completely different idea in mind for my canvas than what I ended up with. Somehow when I get out paints and various mediums my projects take unexpected twists and turns. The canvas was originally going to have a John Deere theme, but then as I began to work, I could see a different kind of farm theme appearing. The larger Altoids tin was replaced with the smaller Maya Road tin and instead of hanging embellishments from the tin as Linda did in her Dance canvas, I chose to use stickers to create a background for my canvas. I adhered the painted tin to my canvas as the last step.

Title: Fresh Eggs Canvas
Products used: Cardstock (Prism Prismatics)
Acrylic Paint (Golden & Liquitex)
White Gesso (Liquitex)
One Step Crackle (DecoArt)
Antiquing Medium (Plaid)
Instant Age Varnish (Delta Cermacoat)
Copper Ink (Tseuniko)
Embossing Powder (PK Glitz)
Stickers (Tumblebeasts)
Tin (Maya Road)

The last section of the book is devoted to the artists themselves. A short one page interview/bio, with picture, provides an in depth look at who these people are that create such treasured pieces of art. While each of these artist may not represent my “style”, they have provided a platform to create art that I can springboard from.

It would be difficult to find classes in my area that were offered from each of these talented ladies. Stampington & Company has brought them all into my home through the pages of this book – Somerset Workshop Volume 5. Pick up a copy and join me in class – you won’t be sorry!

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