Wednesday, August 15, 2018

StencilGirl + Emerald Creek = Magic

What do you get when you take 14 helpings of StencilGirl and mix that with 14 helpings of Emerald Creek? Well the answer is magic of course. And one major blog hop and giveaway.

Emerald Creek and StencilGirl are truly a match made in heaven. Both are small, family-owned and run companies. Each has taken a traditional craft product (embossing powder/stencils) and applied their own very special spin. 

So come celebrate this pairing by seeing the amazing artwork created by 14 talented artists.  Oh...and did I mention there is a giveaway (scroll down for info)?


My contribution to the hop was created using one of my all-time favorite stencils, Creative Halo designed by Pam Carriker. She has 4 stencils in her Halo series and by total synchronicity, my mini circle stencils fit inside the halos, given you many more creative options.

Working on a painted sheet of watercolor paper, I used a sponge to press adhesive from an embossing pad through both the halo portion of Pam's stencil and my Crossed stencil. 

My stencil was then embossed with Rocky Road Baked Texture and the squares in the halo were embossed with Deep Sea Baked Texture, Patina Oxide Baked Texture, Rocky Road Baked Texture and Hammered Metal Embossing Powder.

Collage and much mark making were then added to the surface. The word Possibility, from my new Impression Obsession Journal Jargon 5 stamp set was the finishing touch.


One lucky winner will receive $50 in Gift Certificates to Emerald Creek and StencilGirl Products!
Enter to win by leaving a comment below.
Then be sure to visit the other blogs in the hope and comment to win.
The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN!
One winner will be chosen at random from all blog comments!
(One comment per blog please.)

You have until Tuesday, August 21st at 11:59pm Central Time to leave your comments. 
Winner will be announced on
StencilGirl Products Facebook page and Emerald Creek's Facebook page on Wednesday, August 22.

Blog Hop Order:

August 15
Seth Apter (you are here)

August 16

August 17

Monday, August 13, 2018

In This Century

An artist book...

available here

Sunday, August 12, 2018


Remember 8-tracks? Cassettes? The Walkman? Floppy Disks? Beepers and Pagers? All so exciting in their time. All pretty much extinct. And now...the DVD.

I created my first workshop with North Light in 2012 and the format was DVD. Since then, I have recorded a total of 8 workshops and over that time, the most popular format first became downloading followed now by streaming. Hmmm....sounds a lot like the music industry. My hunch is that at some point, future workshop releases on actual DVDs will simply not happen.

Most of my DVDs have run through their printing and will not be re-released on DVD. I only have a few copies left of 3 of my recent DVDs. So for those of you say don't fix what ain't broke, now is the time. 

(now sold out. thank you)

(2 copies remain)

(2 copies remain)

I also have 1 copy left of Top 10 Doodle, Drawing & Mark Making Techniques - a compilation DVD in which I have one segment.
(now sold out. thank you)

All of my workshops are available as downloads or streaming video here.

Friday, August 10, 2018

What Goes Around...

My newest stencil from StencilGirl Products. Cause you can never have enough circles.

Journal pages from my talented class at the StencilGirl and Friends retreat at Ephemera Paducah.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Apter's Chapters: Save the Independents

Just over a year ago I put up a post called Shop Mom and Pop. I was lamenting the closure of several independent art shops in NYC and encouraging creatives to shop at their local brick and mortar store for their supplies. It definitely struck a nerve as it is now my second most read blog post from 2017.

Today I make the same plea after just receiving news of the closing of The Stamp Addict, an independent craft shop in San Diego, CA - one that I was scheduled to teach with in 2018 for the first time. Sadly, this is occurring more and more often - both in the United States and Internationally. And I guarantee that as I write this, there is a group of owners who are now considering closing shop. Perhaps they have been on the fence for sometime but 2018 might just be the year that they have no choice but to close.

The reasons are of course familiar (e.g., the convenience of the Internet, lower prices online, the tempting 40% off coupons,, etc.). But every time a mom and pop shop closes...

--we miss out on a very personal shopping experience.
--we lose a community.
--we no longer have the opportunity to ask product questions from knowledgeable staff.
--we have one less place to take workshops and see demos.
--we lose the opportunity to see (and often try) a product in person.

...not to mention that there are fewer places for teaching artists to find work and that the shop owners lose their livelihood.

More than once I have heard from former owners that former customers share words of sadness and disappointment when the closing announcement was made -- but many of those same customers hadn't shopped regularly at their store for years. I say it is time to show support while the doors are still open. There is no easy way to to turn the tide, but we as a community can make a difference.

Amex already sponsors Small Business Saturday, which this year will be on November 24. But why wait? And why only make this effort once a year?

I say we all make it a point to head to the our local (or semi-local) independent craft or art shop this month and buy something. Or buy many things. Say hello and thank the owner. And buy something. Or many things. And then go back again any other day and buy more. 

And if you are a shopper (and who are we kidding - if you are reading this, of course you are), leave a comment and share the name and/or link to your favorite shop(s). Let's get this party started!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Baked Texture Skins

There are so many techniques that can be applied to my Baked Texture embossing powders from Emerald Creek and I am learning more and more everyday. Sometimes I find new approaches online, shared by another artist using the powders. Sometimes it is through my own experimentation.

Today, while attempting an idea that was an epic fail, I ended up creating Baked Texture skins. So simple and so cool. Just follow the recipe below.

Start with a non-stick, teflon craft mat. Pretty sure that 99% of you peeps have one (or more). My mat is taped to a moveable glass board. 

Swipe an embossing pad across a section of the pad in the size that you want your skin. If you are using this technique for layering, it works best with a translucent embossing powder. I chose Vintage Beeswax

Pour the powder over the sticky section and tap off the excess. Because my mat is taped to the glass board, it is easy for me to tip the whole contraption. Of course you are going to pour the excess back into the jar for next time. Melt the powder with a heat tool and resist the urge to touch the hot, molten skin.

In order to get the skin fully made, repeat these steps two more times. So once cool, swipe the skin again with your embossing pad. Add more Vintage Beeswax and tap off the excess. Heat it and watch the magic happen. Doing this three times gives you a sturdy skin.

Peel off and voila. Notice that there are several holes and a bit of a feathering at the end. I think this makes the skin more natural but you can always add extra powder and melt again if you prefer a smoother surface.

I chose to print out a photo of a book page I recently made and sized it to match the dimensions of the skin.

Laying the skin over the piece adds dimension, texture, shadowing, depth and a bespoke, vintage touch.

I attached the skin to the paper using brads - and sandwiched thin beads in between for added interest. I also stamped the word Ethereal, from my new Impression Obsession Journal Jargon 5 stamp set, and slipped it under the skin for an extra detail. I adhered this to a slice of watercolor paper that was painted and embossed with my Patina Oxide Baked Texture.

(sold. thank you)

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Small Talk: 2

It's a small world after all. My comfort zone in art is small. Really small. There is something about creating an entire world in a small space that I find intriguing.

Didn't officially measure this book, recently made in Australia using scraps laying on my work table. But I know it is less than 2 x 2 inches.

(sold. thank you)