Monday, January 15, 2018

Make it Your Own: 24

For the last several years, I have begun to collaborate with a number of companies to develop a collection of products to be used by artists and crafters. It has been important to me to create products that work together, even when they are coming from different companies. That way, when you add to your collection with one of my new releases, you can actually use these new items seamlessly with the old. I recently came across two different works of art, both by Debi Adams, which illustrate this concept perfectly.

Debi's first piece, featured in this post on her blog, is pure mixed media magic and beautifully illustrates how my collections from different companies work together.

Debi included my stencils from StencilGirl Products, my dies from Spellbinders, my stamps from Impression Obsession, and my paint from PaperArtsy.

Truly in love with the color palette and all that grungy surface texture...

And all the little details and marks that are part of Debi's signature style. 


The second piece was just published in the current January/February issue of Cloth Paper Scissors.

In this mixed media masterpiece, Debi uses my dies from Spellbinders, my stamps from Impression Obsession, my stencils from StencilGirl Products and my paints from PaperArtsy.

I swear this frame looks like distressed metal rather than painted paper.

And these paper die cuts look just like metal with the perfect patina.

One of the coolest aspects of this artwork is that it is an interactive pop-up. Debi shares step-by-step how she made this in Cloth Paper Scissors and you can easily use her instructions to make your own unique mixed media pop-up.

BTW, a big congrats to Debi who has her studio featured in the Studio Spotlight section of the same issue of Cloth Paper Scissors.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Heat Embossed Stenciling Video Tutorial

Rocky Road, one of my seven new embossing powders for artists from Emerald Creek, is a textured blend of blacks, taupes, grays, and clear powders. 

When melted, it creates a rough and textured surface with a sheen. The best of both worlds.

This artwork is an example of combining heat embossing with stenciling, using Rocky Road Baked Texture and my Techno Circle stencil from StencilGirl Products.

It is a simple technique that provides a non-traditional way to use both your EPs and your stencils. The look you get is completely different when you use a stencil as a focal image versus when you use it as a background element. Click on the video below to see just how easy the process is. You can get more details on the whole line of Baked Texture here.


Thursday, January 11, 2018

NEW Impression Obsession Stamp Sets

Today I am thrilled to bring you three new stamp sets from Impression Obsession to go along with the two new sets I recently released in December.

All five sets will be featured at Creativation, the annual trade show for AFCI (the Association for Creative Industries) later this month in Phoenix.

My first two sets of new releases are also my first dedicated to the planner trend that is hot, hot, hot. After working last year on my ARTifact project, where I documented every day of my life in art, I decided to design stamps that I would want to use if I were to ever do that again.

Both of these sets were designed with planners/journals/traveler's notebooks in mind. But they would work well in mixed media art, mail art, and scrapbooking too


I am also happy to be releasing my third set of Journal Jargon words. Don't tell sets one and two, but I think this is my favorite.

This set of 18 words, created in a vintage-typewritten font, are perfect for art journaling, mixed media, card making, scrapbooking and more. They are deeply-etched, cling-backed red rubber and all the words are pre-cut so you can open the package and stamp immediately. Here are sets one and two.


And from December, here are Sticks & Stones - my first set of mini border stamps - and Post Office - the start of my collection of mail art stamps.

All of my new sets will be available soon at many online outlets and art/craft shops but are shipping now from my online shop and will soon be uploaded to the Impression Obsession website.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Books Undone

I am honored to be part of the juried exhibition Books Undone: the art of altered books

This show, being held at The Gallery at Penn Collage in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, opens on January 11 and runs through February 28. 58 book works from 27 artists will be on exhibit. There is an opening reception on Thursday, January 18 from 4:30-6:30. I would love for you to stop by at some point during the exhibition but if you are unable to, you can see the full exhibition catalog here.

My artist statement for the show:

For me, books are the most intimate of artwork. As a book is held and pages are turned, the reader and the book become one. There is a symbiosis occurring each and every time. There are secrets that lie waiting inside every pair of closed covers, and a book must be touched - no, demands to be touched - in order for its mystery and story to be revealed. My books reveal fragments of a life. Bits and pieces of meaningful, and some not so meaningful, elements that tell my story. They beckon you inside, waiting for you to turn the pages, open the flaps, find hidden treasures inside pockets, and life the veil obscuring the flotsam and jetsam of my world.

I am thrilled to have three books on exhibit and that the gallery allows visitors to touch and look through the books (with gloves provided).




Also excited (and a bit anxious) to be offering two of these books (Descriptio and Dispatch) for sale. This is an unusual opportunity, as this is the first time since an exhibition in 2011 that I have placed any of my books on sale. Email me at shap97@gmail if you are interested in details.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Chunky Rust

I am a sucker for rust. Yeah...I know in the real world, rust isn't always embraced. But in my mixed world, a rusty surface makes my heart skip a beat.

While there is nothing like the real thing, I have worked hard on methods to create faux rust, artful rust, textured rust.

And now I think I have hit on the perfect recipe.

Add one part Chunky Rust Baked Texture, one of seven of my new flavors of embossing powders from Emerald Creek...

and one part of my Rust and Patina Kit of Chalk Fresco Acrylic paints from PaperArtsy.

Together they make a rough, textured rust-like surface. Without the corrosion.

Stay tuned for video tutorials on how to create this effect, as well as on how to use all 7 Baked Texture flavors to add a new direction to your artwork.


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Apter's Chapters: Social Media

Social media has become such an integral part of my daily life, I can barely remember not having it. Or what I actually did to fill up the hours in each day that I now spend online. And I do admit, I am online hours every single day. I truly believe that without the Internet, first in the form of this blog & email and now via all my social media platforms, I would never have gotten to where I am today in terms of my art. I am certain I would be creating. But none of you would know me.

For many, social media is a love-hate relationship. Not so for me. I embrace it and think of it as part of my creative process. Yes, I would prefer to be making art. But I never try not to grumble when I have to answer (most) emails and am always usually excited when I look for just the right image to post.

I embrace social media for many reasons but there are two that are primary for me. First, making art can be a lonely venture. When it is shared with all of you though, it becomes a social event. That might not be great for everybody but it works well for me. Second, I feel that my creative process is complete when the art that I make is viewed by others. It is the last step after the signature. Without the Internet, only a bit of my art would ever be seen. And certainly not instantly. I am a patient person but sometimes there is nothing wrong with some immediate gratification and validation. Thumbs up anybody?

2018 is the year of possibility and change for me. So a review and revision in regards to social media is in order. In the middle of last year, I dropped my Periscope account. What was once so now not. Do any of you still use it?

And after many months of deliberation, I deleted my Twitter account on New Year's Eve. Publicly announcing it here will help to ensure that I do not reactivate it in a weak moment. I have come to see Twitter as more of a news feed rather than a social or visual platform. Even with their recent increased word-count allowance, I do not feel that Twitter is a good fit for me. Also, Twitter as a platform has historically been very tolerant of abuse, harassment, and general nastiness. Even if that hasn't been directed toward me, it is not something that I want to support or see popping up in my feed.

So I continue with this blog, Facebook, and Instagram (which is now kind of like Facebook's little brother). I don't think my target audience is on Snapchat, so that is out. While I have avoided Pinterest for fear of never leaving the computer, I think the time may be right to set up my first Board.  And maybe there is the next big thing out there already, waiting to be discovered by me as soon as the kids think it is passé.

Thoughts about this my peeps? Favorite platforms? Hated platforms? What will be the next big thing?

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Faux Encaustic Video Tutorial

My new Vintage Beeswax Baked Texture, one of seven embossing powders for artists in my new collection from Emerald Creek, is a unique formulation of powders that allow you to add a vintage flair to your artwork.

And because of it's translucent properties, you can use it to create a faux encaustic look.

The technique to create this look is simple and does not require the equipment, ventilation or expense of actually encaustics.

Check out the full video tutorial below and get more details on the whole line of Baked Texture here.