Category Archives: Creative Business

Stamped Throw Pillow

Stamped Throw Pillow

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Truly, it is a manifestation of a creative idea that swirled around my head, far too long. A few months ago, after five years of marinating the idea, I decided to throw (no pun intended) caution to the wind and design and manufacture art stamps that can be mixed and matched to achieve the user’s personal design aesthetic.

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First, I experimented on paper, deciding what color and which stamps to use.

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Then, I move on to the surface of choice, in this case, pre-washed black linen fabric. For this pillow and the design below, I used stamps from Flower Power. I stamped twice rotating the stamp ever so slightly, to achieve a multi-layered design using a Versacraft White stamp pad.

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For this next design, I used two different size circles from Full Circle Moments on white linen.

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I used Versacraft Sand and Memento Expresso Truffle stamp pads to get a varying tone on tone pattern. It’s fun experimenting with all the different colors available at Art Stamps and More.

However, for now, I’m just gushing over my throw pillow using the art stamps of my dreams.

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What do you think? I would love to know your thoughts and that you stopped by.

Sharing this post with:

Between Naps on the Porch: Metamorphosis Monday

Funky Junk Interiors:Party Junk Interiors

Fun Experimenting!

Fun Experimenting!

I have spent the last couple of weeks experimenting with my very first line of art stamps. Wooo Hooo! I designed them to be used interchangeably and layered to create various design patterns and color ways. My inspiration, designer, John Robshaw. Many of his designs are block printed by hand and what I love most is the imperfection of it all. I too want to embrace and embody the beauty of perfectly, imperfect design.

With that said, I’m having fun exploring all the possibilities. Initially using only black, I used stamps from “Perfectly Paisley” and “Flower Power” with some free hand squiggles. Can you picture this border running along the side edge of a curtain or trailing along an arched door way in your choice of color? It could be subtle or bold, depending on your taste.

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Then the VersaCraft ink pads I ordered arrived, and let’s just say I regressed to a kid in a candy store.

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All that color encouraged me to step away from my usual blue and brown sensibility and venture out. I’ve been having so much fun experimenting with various color combinations.

The designs below, with the exception of the floral and paisley border, were created with the “Squared Away” and “Full Circle Moments” art stamp sheets.

For this one, I used Brick and Sand.

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Next, I used a Cerrulean, Ultramarine and an Autumn Leaf combination.

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Here, the top border was created with “Flower Power” using Cherry Pink and Tangerine and I added Celadon to the patterns underneath.

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This is a tone on tone look using Sky Mist and Midnight.

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Then I threw in a little Maize into the mix to create a blue/yellow colorway.

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And here we have Pine, Autumn Leaf and Cherry Pink combo.

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As I mentioned, I designed this collection with the intention of mixing, matching and layering to create an unlimited assortment of design possibilities. Changing the color or the combination of art stamps completely alters the look and the pattern of the design. I wanted to offer the opportunity to create without thoughts of perfection, limits or restrictions. It’s an opportunity to branch out, explore and be freeeeeeeee!

All colors and stamps are available in my Etsy store, Art Stamps and More. As I take baby steps through this creative entrepreneurial journey enterprise, I welcome your thoughts, ideas and suggestions.

Have you used art stamps to embellish and personalize your home decorating projects?

A Box and a Dream

A Box and a Dream

So the box arrived. Not just any box, THE BOX!

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I could hardly contain myself. Inside contains a dream, a vision and a creative journey that I started over 5 years ago. It’s contents are a symbol of the hard work and constant thought that I had put my on the back burner far too long. After second guessing and doubting myself all along the way, I decided to kick fear to the curb and go for it!

So let’s see what’s inside. Here’s your first clue. Hmmmh, what could this be?

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How about now? Can you guess?

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Okay, I know the suspense is just too much as it has been for me since I began my journey. Here it is!

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These beautiful red rubber sheets are my first set of art stamps that I designed from a DIY point of view. Art stamps are a wonderful creative tool that can be used on a variety of surfaces to give any creative project that personal touch of embellishment. And the great thing is, they are quick, easy and fun to use!

More to come. I’m heading over to Etsy to set up shop. Yeah!

In Over My Head!

In Over My Head!

I have been MIA yet again. Totally overwhelmed preparing for the upcoming craft fair this Saturday. Since this is a first for me, I had no idea about the amount of hours required to produce sufficient inventory. I have been up to the wee hours of the mornings over the last three weeks and still don’t have as much as I had anticipated. Oh my goodness, everything I do seems to take twice as long as anticipated. Here is a sneak peak at a few of the things I will be selling.

I love how the footstool turned out. In the spirit of the reuse and upcycle craft fair them, I used a flannel shirt to cover it and make the pillow.

I have a thing for flannel shirts. It’s one of my favorite things to wear during the winter. I got these from the thrift store and pleased with the results.

That’s all I have for now. I sure hope I get a chance to take pics of the rest. For now, it’s back to work for me. I will be sure and let you know how it went. In the meantime, if you have any tips for me, please let me know because I am in over my head!

I’m sharing this post with:

Miss Mustard Seed: Furniture Feature Friday
Funky Junk Interiors: Saturday Night Special

Taking the Craft Fair Plunge

Taking the Craft Fair Plunge

I always fantasized about becoming a craft vendor yet for some reason I never took the plunge to at least try it. When I came across an email in my inbox for a craft fair with a recycle theme, I knew that would be the perfect opportunity to test the waters. Build It Green! NYC is a salvage yard located in Astoria Queens is opening a new location in Brooklyn and they are having a craft fair kickoff. It will run for two consecutive weekends, December 10-11 and 17-18.

I have a month pull everything together. The last couple of days I have been brainstorming and planning what I want to make and sell. In the spirit of recycle theme, I am using what I have to create my inventory; I am even trying to use the paint left over from my past projects. I spent today sanding and priming and deciding on what color to paint everything; mostly frames, mirrors and wooden boxes and small home accessories. I keep changing my mind and second guessing myself, wondering if the colors I choose would be appealing to others. Here is what I had in mine.

Both images Better Homes and Garden

While I only had eyes for all shades of blue and brown, I really love how the pops of orange make these rooms sing!

The question is, do I go with what I like and hope others appreciate my design aesthetic? Or, do I try and figure out what the craft fair attendees like and design accordingly? I am in need of some serious craft show schooling, so if you have any tips or suggestions, please let me know.

Creative Dream Turned Reality

Creative Dream Turned Reality

A few months ago I shared a creative dream with Mr. DIY that had been swirling around my head for some time. He listened tentatively, affirmed my idea but I could tell he didn’t quite see my vision.

Picture an assortment of tiny homes like this one

Tiny House Blog

filled with makers selling there wares to customers that appreciate their handmade treasures. At holiday time, there would be strands of white lights strung from house to house so that at night it would look like a festive wonderland.


Tiny House Talk

Each house would have it’s own personality; an eclectic mix of these tiny homes nestled on an acre or two of land. It would be a community of makers setting up shop in repurposed structures that have outlived their usefulness.

So here’s when I found out my dream is already a reality. Last week, I was listening to Liz Hamburg who hosts Launchpad on the Joan Hamburg Show, my favorite talk radio show. She was doing a feature on the Dekalb Market, located downtown Brooklyn, New York. I couldn’t believe right in my back yard, there is a market with vendors who have styled their inventory in repurposed freight transport containers. I have to make time to visit this market to see if it indeeds parallels my creative vision.

Do you have a creative dream or unique shopping experience in your area?

Re-inspired

Re-inspired

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting author, illustrator and publisher Elizabeth Uhlig. She came to talk to the 3rd and 4th grade students at No. 2 Son’s school and she was phenomenal.

Ms. Uhlig shared her personal journey into the writing and publishing arenas as well as some of the stories behind the books her company, Marble House Editions, has published. As she showed some of her original artwork for the covers and illustrations, the children ooooh-ed and ahhhhh-ed in unison. Towards the end of her presentation, Ms Uhlig gave a step-by-step overview of the publishing process and entertained some of the children’s questions.

After the children left, I had the opportunity to speak with her. A while back, I took a children’s book writing class for fun and I have written some stories for fun. I self-published a craft resource directory to become familiar with the publishing process. I have this pestering ache to write. However, I am unsure as to what I want to write about and who I want to write to. Children’s book, novel, memoir, family story? Can’t decide. Whatever it is, it will be for my sons. Ms. Uhlig listened to my dilemma and offered me direction and thought her book, Memoir Writing and Illustrating for Children would be helpful. At the end of our conversation, she gave me An Italian American Story by Susan D’Angelo Mannino for additional inspiration. Many of the books she has published are unique personal, period and/or cultural stories. She has re-inspired me to revisit the stories I have already written and to work on the stories lingering within me.

Elizabeth Uhlig, through her visiting author program, shares her passion for writing, illustrating and publishing in such a genuine way; it’s more about giving back and opening a door to a world her audience might never have been exposed to rather then selling books. It is that kind of generosity that warms my heart beyond measure. What a treat!

Have you ever entertained the thought of becoming an author? Do you have a story within you?

Chloe Alberry

Chloe Alberry

Hope you had a beautiful long weekend. With the extra day off, I managed to work on a few unfinished projects and feel good about how they are progressing. I will share them with you as I complete them. Although it’s hard, I am refraining from starting anything new unitil the unfinsihed projects are completed.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Portobello Road Market, I visited Chloe Alberry, a must visit if you’re ever in London.

Happily surprised, when given permission by the shopkeeper to take pictures, I wanted to devote an entire post to some of the eye candy hardware you will find there.

Normally, I would apologize for all those reflections, but I think it’s a rather interesting photo in a strange sort of way.

Chloe Alberry has a huge assortment of…

stunning stone and gorgeous glass,

pretty porcelain,

charming ceramic,

shiny silver,

brillant brass,

beautiful black,

knobs, pulls, hooks, brackets….

tantalizing tins and so much more!

I was drawn to the ceramic knobs so I purchased a couple of them. No project in mind, just because. Because what? Because they were pretty. You just can’t walk out empty handed. Everything is just too irresistable. Chloe Alberry is a gem of a store that will have you saying out loud in that high squeaky voice, “oh, how preeeeetty,……. oh, how cuuute”, you know, like when you’re talking to a baby. Quickly looking around to see if anyone heard you thinking out loud, you will soon realize, everyone else is doing the exact same thing.

Have a “must visit” store you would like to share?

I am sharing this post with:

Between Naps on the Porch: Metamorphosis Monday

A Soft Place to Land: DIY Day

Shabby Chic Cottage: Transformation Thursday

Mustard Seed Creations: Furniture Feature Friday

Project Runway Has Nothing on YOU!

Project Runway Has Nothing on YOU!

Can’t wait to see Project Runway tomorrow! Why? The remaining designers will be designing their own fabric which is near and dear to my heart.

Think this is just a TV thing? Guess again! You too can be your own fabric designer at budget friendly prices. Interested? Then check out Spoonflower, Fabric On Demand and Karma Kraft for their digital fabric printing services. Spoon Flower offers a choice of natural fibers, there is no minimum order and allows you to order a swatch or yard prior to placing a complete order. There are no minimums with Fabric on Demand, as well, and they include a color blanket (similar to paint chips) option that allows you to see the colors on the fabric of your choice ensuring your color expectations are met. Karma Kraft processes orders in 5-7 business days, pricing starts at $20 per square yard (as opposed to liner yard) allowing you to order the exact amount you need for your project and offers various methods of color accuracy including the use of the Sherwin Williams Color Guide. Another plus, just in case you don’t sew, they offer sewing services and can produce a finished home or fashion accessory product.

After searching on and offline and not being able to find just the right fabric for my dining room chairs that remained unfinished, I just might give this a try.In the meantime, check out the “on air” creative process of fabric designing during tomorrows episode.

Who is your favorite designer from this season – Mila, Maya, Emilio, Seth Aaron, Jay, Anthony or Jonathan? Who do you think will win?

The Ink Pad on the Spot

The Ink Pad on the Spot

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Over the weekend, I was craving some creative inspiration. I decided to stop by The Ink Pad, one of my all time favorite spots. It has been a while since my last visit when I took a rubber stamping class there. As always, that warm and fuzzy feeling overcame me as soon as I crossed the threshold.

The Ink Pad is a unique one of a kind independent craft store located at 22 Eighth Avenue in the Greenwich section of Manhattan. This pint size rubber stamp specialty store is jam packed floor to ceiling with rubber stamps, stencils, ink pads and creative embellishments. Taking advantage of every square inch, their inventory is tucked into every nook and cranny, neatly arranged by category, making the selection process easy.

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Stamp pads and paper products galore.

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Be sure to look up, there is inventory everywhere. When I saw the ribbon hanging from the ceiling I immediately thought of the song “A Ribbon in the Sky” by Stevie Wonder.

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Be forewarned though, The Ink Pad cant’ help but give you that “kid in a candy store” feeling, so be prepared to make some tough purchasing decisions. However, no matter your level of restraint, you will most likely leave with much more than you had anticipated. I just had to purchase these to add to my collection.

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Art samples are displayed throughout the store.

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They offer “hands on” evening classes on a regular basis. They have an upcoming 3D pin class this Friday, February 19.

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I want to note that the customer service is impeccable. The staff is friendly, warm, helpful and, more importantly, knowledgeable about all the products they sell; they use them and are excited about them. And it is instantly clear, that the staff has a relationship with their customers that goes beyond “can I help you”. While I was there, I could tell many were repeat customers. While another customer just stopped in to say “hi” and share with the staff that her work was being featured in Rubber Stamp Madness; a definite tribute to The Ink Pad since she had taken classes there to develop her craft. How wonderful!

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Do you have any specialty independent craft, fabric, or trim stores etc. that you just love?