Laura Turner - Artful Circus

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Congratulations to Laura Turner for her publication in The Stamper's Sampler, Spring 2013 issue!  Laura had a three page spread devoted to her gorgeous shaker cards and circus themed art.  Laura used both the Vintage Circus and Big Top Collections from Oxford Impressions to create her stunning circus masterpieces.

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Spring Altered Book

Altered Book

Altered Book

I belong to an Altered Book Group that meets once an month.  I love "book club night"! There are just over a dozen ladies who meet to share fun, food, and book art.  Each member starts a book at the beginning of the year, choosing a theme. We pass the books from member to member; each month working on another topic.

I am a life long book lover. Until a few years ago, I would have been appalled to cut into a book.  My outlook has changed over the years.  Books are a delivery system for the content.  As I grow older, I recognize that not all content is sacred. Some books are beautiful, but not all.  When I choose a book to alter, I am careful to select a book that is not valuable or rare.

The book I worked on this month had a very general Spring theme.  Spring means birds and nests to me and I started with that basic idea.  I have been hoarding some scrapbook paper with large, gorgeous birds.  I cut the paper to fit the pages as a start.   I dyed some ribbon to coordinate with the colors, attached it and then stepped back to think.  My first stamping to the page was a mistake.  The green I used for a large fern frond did not match my applied ribbon. To hide the stamping, I tore some vintage sheet music and glued it to the page.  I loved the look so much that I began patch-working with papers and fabrics.  In the end,  I used only a few stamps but I love the colors and textures of the finished project.  The rubber stamped bird, word and phrase are from "The Bird's Nest" by Oxford Impressions.

Welcome to the studio

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To feel vital, change is necessary.  I have a need to keep things interesting, to stay inspired.  I work from home and I love it, but it can be easy to fall into a rut.  My personal and work life blend together is such a way that every day is the same.  I spend a large portion of my time in either my art studio/office or my manufacturing shop. I am constantly bringing objects into these spaces to keep it visually interesting.  A trio of antique dress forms keep me company while I work. Doll heads compete for shelf space with glass jars of ribbon and buttons. Books are piled everywhere; overflowing the bookcases, stuck under a lamp, stacked on a shipping crate.  This creative chaos keeps the eye traveling, the brain engaged. I have long since exceeded the storage capacity of my space.  One of my goals this year is to let some of my quirky items find new homes. I am addicted to the hunt for the unusual and seem to be unable to stop picking things up and dragging things home. Visit the Austen Gallery commerce portion of this site to see how I am doing letting things go!

Suzanne