Monday, August 31, 2009

Reasons to Stamp in September

If you need some creative prompts during September, or need a reason to send a card, here are some ideas for you. And as an extra bonus, we have 20+ gorgeous samples created by our new Design Team.

1- Partridge Day
Celebrate this colorful bird in the Fall rather than in December, when he's often found in a pear tree.
2 - National Apple Month
Bake someone a delicious apple pie and include a handmade card with the recipe.

3 - Uncle Sam's Birthday
Send the patriot in your family a card celebrating this American icon.

4 - Newspaper Carriers Day
Show your appreciation for your paper boy and do your part to keep the newspaper alive.

5 - National Hummingbird Day
Include the image of this beautiful bird in your creation and you'll bring a smile to anyone's face.

6- Read a Book Day
Encourage the young and old to pick up a book by making them a fabulous bookmark.

7 - Labor Day
Kick back and enjoy the last day of summer!

8 - Star Trek's Birthday
Be sure to send your favorite Trekkie a card to commemorate this important day.

9 - Teddy Bear Day
Today would be a perfect day to invite a friend to a teddy bears' picnic.

10 - Sewing Machine Day
Do you have a friend or family member who loves to sew? Celebrate their passion with a card or something to adorn their sewing room.

11 - Patriot Day
A sad day designated in memory of those who died in the September 11, 2001 attacks.

12 - Fall Hat Month
This is the day that you toss out your garden hats and start wearing warm Fall hats made from felt and fabric. If hats aren't your thing, warm up by including some Fall textures in a project instead.

13 - Grandparents Day
On this day, take time to honor a grandparent and their wonderful influence on yours or your children's lives.

14 - National Pet Memorial Day
Making a scrapbook page or mini album about a dearly departed friend will bring joy and happy memories to its recipient.

15 - National Thank You Day
Thank someone that isn't often appreciated on National Thank You Day. It will warm their heart and yours.

16 - Mayflower Day
On this day in 1620 the early settlers set sail from Plymouth, England to America in search of new lives. Honor the Pilgrims' spirit and make a card or journal for someone who is embarking on a journey or fresh beginning.

17 - National Honey Month
You don't need to be an apiarist (beekeeper) to celebrate National Honey Month. Check out these recipes and make a sweet treat for your 'honey'.

18 - Wife Appreciation Day
Mark it on your calendar with a big red star and get ready to be appreciated.

19 - Talk Like a Pirate Day
To celebrate this zany holiday, open your treasure chest of supplies and make a card for an aspiring Jack Sparrow.

20 - 1946 - First Cannes Film Festival
Send the film buff in your life a card full of glitz and glam to celebrate this legendary film festival.

21 - International Day of Peace
Tolstoy wrote: "Let us forgive each other - only then will we live in peace". Let this be the day that you reach out with a card or note of reconciliation to someone in your life.

22 - First Day of Autumn
This is a favorite season for many people. Celebrate the rich colors of Autumn in your creations today.

23 - National Flower Week
This should be an easy one to celebrate! Bring a smile to a flower-lover's face with a beautiful floral creation this week.

24 - Punctuation Day
How the ?!#& do you celebrate this day?

25 - Native American Day
Find a way to honor the art and culture of the Native Americans today.

26 - Johnny Appleseed's Birthday
This would be a fun day to spend making apple crafts with the kids. How about stamping with apples? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

27 - Ancester Appreciation Day
Dig out those old family photographs or use some of the fabulous vintage stamps on the market and create a piece art about your ancestors (real or imaginary!)

28 - Ask a stupid question day
Is there such a thing as a stupid question?

29 - Women of Achievement Month
Send a card to a woman who has had an extraordinary influence on your life. You do not need to be an Amelia Earhart or Mother Teresa to be a woman of achievement.

30 - 1791 - Mozart's Magic Flute Premieres
Listen to this lively opera today and you're sure to create your own masterpiece.

If you are still stumped for ideas during September, why not be inspired by the flowers of the month, the Aster and the Morning Glory or September's birthstone, the Sapphire.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Gingersnap Creations Goes Hollywood...

with a brand-new all-star cast!

Introducing the world premiere of the new Gingersnap Creations Design Team!

The inside scoop on our all-star cast in alphabetical order:

We went on location with Jean Franks Beck who shared: "I am a relocated "Yankee" living in central North Carolina with my husband and two children. After 15 years in the pharmaceutical industry, I "retired" to stay at home with the kids. I've been scrapbooking for about 8 years and stamping for about 2 years. My style is mostly vintage, but I like to try lots of different trends and styles."

In addition to her role at Gingersnap Creations, Jean will also be appearing as a Design Team Member at Cornish Heritage Farms where she recently won the Summer Stamp Star Design Challenge.

Debby Boltman comments on her newest production: "I’m Debby and extremely delighted to be part of the Gingersnap Creations design team. I live in Bothell, WA and I am married with 1 daughter and 3 doggies. I own a cleaning business which keeps me very challenged at times. I enjoy playing with all sorts of mediums and materials. And I do mean play. I like to get messy. My craft area is my release from the daily grind and I can get lost there for hours. I feel very blessed to have made some fabulous friends via blogging and crafting. I’m looking forward to playing and sharing with the Gingersnap Creations design team!"

Debby is starring in the following Design Teams: Hearts In Touch, Squigglefly and Paper Temptress. She is a Guest Designer for Artistic Outpost and has the distinction of being the first-ever official member of the Gingersnap Creations Yahoo Group!

Jo Capper-Sandon, a mixed media and recycled artwork specialist, confessed: "I find myself looking at everything and anything to see how it could be altered or transformed with stamps. I trained as a textile designer and so love texture, colour and layers. I'm 45 and live on the south coast of the UK in a beautiful tranquil village with my husband and two sons (6 and 18). I belong to various Design Teams and also write on a regular basis for Craft Stamper magazine."

Those other design teams Jo mentioned are: Paperbag Studios and Crafty Individuals. Jo is also regularly seen on Paper Artsy, Art Journey, Stampotique Originals, The Stamp Attic and, in print, in Craft Stamper Magazine.

Straight from sunny Greece, we got this report from Elina Koutsouradi: "I first came across scrapbooking 5 years ago when I bought a crafts magazine in a trip to England and it got me hooked!! I had been doing baby scrap steps since then and major steps the last two years! I get inspiration and techniques from magazines, the internet and scrap-trips, and would love to see some day Greece scrapping some more (it is not yet very popular here!). I would describe my style as ever evolving!!! I love experimenting with all sorts of styles from shabby vintage style to really abstract and modern, I like challenging myself to adjust to the products I have in my hands and get a look that suits my esthetics."

Elina debuted on the Scrapbooking in Greece Challenge blog which she founded and works with The Studio as design team member. She also is a contributing artist for The Everyday Scrapper. In print, you can Elina's work in Scrapbook News & Review and coming up in Scrapbook Inspirations UK and Scrapbook Trends.

We got the low-down on Laura Liddell in her own words: "Devoted to loving and happiness. Love to make things. Hate housework. Good cook. Wonderful family even if the two girls are now teenagers. Great partner. Mad handsome springer spaniel."

Doing her debut Design Team performance with Gingersnap Creations, Laura is sure to be a be a rising star.

Hels Sheridan confesses all: "My name is Hels, I am married to Graham - but he is know as Grim (LOL), we have a mad cat called Alfie who is our fur baby. I have been crafting in one form or another all my life, from making cards with my Gran when I was little to needlecraft, cross stitching etc until nearly 7 years ago when I decided to make my own save money....yes, everyone says that but it is true! That was what I thought, until I got completely hooked on all things inky and messy. I am an avid stamper and love nothing more than getting my fingers inky. I also have a bit of a "cute" side and admit that I love making those cute cards too! Altered art and inks will always be my true love though."

You can also see Hels in her other starring roles as the Design Co-ordinator for the Artistic Stamper and the imaginative designer of the Stitchels range of stamps.

We got up-close and personal with Canadian artist, Erika Taylor: "My name is Erika and I live in rural Saskatchewan with my stellar husband and our two zany children. I started paper crafting in late 2008 and absolutely have become smitten with it. I love trying different techniques and stepping outside the box because I believe that makes me a stronger artist. You can find me any day, sitting in my craft space with a cup of coffee loaded with Italian cream and a stamp in hand trying to decide what I should try next. Distress ink? Fabric Paint? Misting Sprays?...Oh the choices."

Erika's current productions include Design Team Member for About Art Accents, Hearts In Touch, and Scrapbook Star. You can also see Erika in online at Scrapbook News and Reviews and in the June 2009 edition of the e-zine.

Our roving reporter was able to pick up these juicy tidbits on Joanne Wardle: "Joanne Wardle lives in Leeds in the UK with her husband and two boys. She has been cardmaking and stamping for about 6 years.

She loves to make things that are a bit different, like jar fairies. She also likes to work with small fiddly projects and is terrified of 12x12 scrapbook pages! But most of all she can never resist a challenge, any challenge, and so is completely addicted to all of the challenge blogs!"

You can see more of Joanne's great performances as a Design Team Member for Paper Artsy, The Stampsmith and the Forever Friends Challenge Blog. Her work has been in published in Craft Stamper, Stampington's Take Ten, Stamper's Sampler and Simply Stamping.

Paula Whittaker reveals all: "I live in the UK, I'm married and I have one cat. I love gardening and photography but my main love (I was going to say don't tell my husband but I realise he already knows this) is papercrafting. The affair started in 2005 and I'm still all consumed by it!"

Paula's other roles have included Guest Designer for Daring Cardmakers and Guest Designer for the Spring 2007 issue of Take Ten. Paula has also appeared in Handcrafted, Card Beautiful, Craft Stamper and Stamper's Sampler.

Watch for cameos by our Contributing Artist, Lynn Stevens.

We caught up to Lynn between takes and she shared: "I have worked in the art field in some way or another as long as I can remember. I love to do collage, stamping, altered jewelry, altered books for fun! My real job is painting murals and faux finishes as well as commercial artwork for the State of Idaho where I reside with my dear husband of 29 years."

Lynn also stars as a Design Team Member for I Brake For Stamps and as a Guest Designer for Artistic Outpost and has had her work published several times in such magazines as Stampington's Take Ten, Stamper's Sampler, Vamp Stamp News and Altered Arts.

We, at Gingersnap Creations, are excited about all the upcoming features releasing regularly over the next 6 months with this wonderful ensemble cast of artists!

In the coming weeks, look for lots of Hollywood glamour as Gingersnap Creations celebrates celebrities and gets glitzy!

We anticipate that audiences worldwide will be delighted with their fabulous performances!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Alison Manning: Rainbow Notebook

For this month's Rainbow Color Challenge I made this notebook and I thought I'd show you how quickly it came together.

Stamps by Invoke Arts, Gaffer Tape by 7Gypsies and patterned paper by Hot Off The Press.

Remember, there is still time to enter for a chance to win our Happiness Blog Candy.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Redhead Review: Collage Journeys

I purchased Jane Davies' Collage Journeys last year and it has never made it onto my book shelf. It follows me from room to room and I dip into it all the time. It's the kind of book that you discover something new in every time you read it.

What sets Davies' book apart from the many others on my shelves, is that she teaches practical collage techniques while at the same time guides you on your own journey of discovery. She does not want you to create collages in her style, gorgeous as it is, but encourages you to find your own voice.

In the first two chapters, Davies addresses the gathering of materials and generating of ideas for collage, as well as giving a brief discussion of digital alterations. Davies also highlights different working styles, gives ideas for overcoming creative block and moving outside your comfort zone.

The ensuing chapters get to the nuts and bolts of collage by exploring the use of color, layers, text and images in your work. Chapter 6 digs a little deeper into the use of metaphor, symbols and personal iconography.

Scattered throughout the book are 17 hands-on exercises and projects that encourage the reader to flex their own creative muscles. I do have some bits and pieces to share from my own journal, but bear with me because it's just play and not 'finished' work.

I tried an exercise from Chapter 4 called 'Tissue Paper and Paint Layering'. This page started as pieces of random tissue paper, but ended as a great, complex background for some tags I'd been experimenting with.

Using 'Text as a Visual Element' from Chapter 5 was the exercise I followed to create this rather creepy looking guy. This 4" x 6" sheet of watercolor paper started off covered with scraps from my desk and became this rather grotesque looking piece. [I like him, but my family is totally creeped out by him.]

Davies ends the book with some different journaling options from altered books to handmade journals and gives ideas for several journaling projects.

I highly recommend this book if you're interested in exploring the world of collage. The subtitle of the books sums up her intention "A Practical Guide to Creating Personal Artwork" and she definitely succeeds in her mission.

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