Shopping Cart

Your cart is currently empty.

Artistic Artifacts Gift Guide

Wooden printing blocks with Artistic Artifacts textile paint

Ideas for the Creative Minds on Your List!

We have put together this list of Creative Finds to help you with your gift buying or to use for your Holiday Wish List to share with those who say “I never know what to get you.”
Fiber and mixed media books at Artistic Artifacts

We’ve included some specific items as well as some suggested collections for the creative person on your list. Hope this helps and we encourage you to shop and ship early this year to avoid the delays and disappointments we all experienced last year.

A good start for almost anyone on your list is a fiber or mixed media book filled with inspiration and/or new ideas and techniques. We recently received a number of beautiful titles that would make wonderful gifts. A few suggestions include: Creativity Through Nature by Anne Blockley, Embroidering the Everyday by Cas Holmes or Textile Travels by Anne Kelly.

Another beautiful book is Quarantine Quilts: Creativity in the Midst of Chaos by Sandra Sider. These visual and personal stories of concerns, despair, and ideas give us a fascinating perspective and can help connect our own experiences with pandemic to the larger world of creativity.

Gift suggestions for hand-stitchers

WonderFil Specialty Threads themed thread packs

Do you have someone on your list who enjoys the process of slow stitching – whether it be embroidery, Sashiko, visible mending, or stitch meditations? Here are a few ideas, pictured above, you might want to check out for them (again, books are always a good idea, and we have a number of titles specifically about Sashiko and visible mending). We have curated ‘Treasure Boxes’ that would be a fun surprise, full of bits of fabrics, threads and ephemera. These can be found in our Fabric & Textile Packages section, which also contains curated fabrics pieces themed by type, boro and stitch meditation scrap packs and more. Always wonderful additions to a fabric stash are our Inspiration Packs, hand dyed found textiles (napkins, damask, trims, doilies, etc.) and fibers bundled with overdyed woven cotton prints and solids. Each is unique!

Handpainted Painter's Threads products, imported from Germany.

And of course, you can’t stitch without thread! We have a large selection of Eleganza thread in three different weights. This gorgeous hand-stitching thread from WonderFil Specialty Threads is also available in color-themed packs that recipients would love!

Artistic Artifacts has long been known as a source for the hand-painted and space-dyed Painter’s Threads products, imported from Germany. Formerly known as Tentakulum, these threads, trims and more are created from silk, cotton, wool, rayon and metallic materials in amazing colorways. A dream to stitch with!

Sashiko Stitching cloth example with Sashiko thread and needles

For someone just starting in hand stitching, we would suggest a bundle of items for them that you might want to put into our Indian Handmade Paper Boxes in large and small sizes: just put a bow on it and your gift is ready! You might add a Sashiko patterned cloth and a Sashiko Handy Pocket Guide; Sashiko Threads and needles by hidimari — or take a look at the huge selection of Tulip Needles for hand-stitching artists — and Karen Kay Buckley’s Perfect Scissors or the Tula Pink 5 in. Curved EZ Snip.

Products for art journaling at Artistic Artifacts

An art journal in progress by Artistic Artifacts owner Judy Gula

Maybe your friend or family member has found Creative Journaling… if so, we have lots of ideas for them, as pictured above! With a New Year ahead, a blank journal is a good starting place. We have a selection of sizes in our Indian Handmade Paper Journals as well as a variety of other journals for art journalists. We have a large selection of Ink, Pens and Markers to journal with; creamy Gelatos by Faber-Castell give you vivid color and blend with water or can be used to tint acrylic mediums. Decorate the pages with collages created from our Found Papers & Collage Packs. Stencils and rubber stamps are always favorites — and don’t forget ink pads!

Products and tools to create mixed media art, all available at Artistic Artifacts.

How about for someone exploring Mixed Media Art? You’ve come to the right place! Seen above, we have curated Mixed Media Treasure Boxes all ready for you: boxed in a vintage cigar box and ready to give! For those who’d like to create their own bundle, fun products would include: a Gel Press Printing Plate, some Artistic Artifacts Paints, Wooden Printing Blocks (our themed multi-block sets are great gifts) with the foam pad that ensures great prints. Mixed media artists love our selection of Stamperia Rice Paper, while a perfect way to add sparkle and shine to cards, mixed media art — even fabric — are gorgeous Foil Transfer Sheets.

Artistic Artifacts has lots to inspire sewing and quilting enthusiasts!
Handy Pocket Guides are available on a variety of topics, sized to take along when shopping for supplies

And let’s not forget our Sewing and Quilting enthusiasts! The possibilities are endless but we’ll try to give you some ideas. Again, our Book & Magazine Section has a great selection of options for anyone who sews and/or quilts. Our Handy Pocket Guides are available on a variety of topics and make great stocking stuffers; perfectly sized to take along when shopping for supplies or attending a quilting class or retreat. Our Sewing, Quilting Tools & Accessories section listed in our Notions category is a great resource for useful products and tools. Another great combo gift – a hand-drawn artisan batik panel with a copy of Colorful Batik Panel Quilts. You could also choose a complete batik panel quilt kit which includes a panel, complementary fabric and the book

If you are still stumped after all these suggestions, you can always give an Artistic Artifacts Gift Certificate and let your favorite creative mind pick out their choice of our creative finds!

We hope this Creative Gift Guide has made your gift giving a bit easier and who knows, you made even be inspired to try a few of these items for yourself! Again, we encourage you to shop and ship early this year!

Making Handmade Cards

Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts demonstrating how to add foil accents to handmade cards

This summer at the shop we’ve been sharing ideas for handmade gifts and décor for the holidays. Manufacturers ship their seasonal fabrics in the early summer, and we have some beautiful ones available for you! Their arrival was the catalyst for our “don’t get your tinsel in a tangle” attitude — beginning holiday projects during the summer and knowing your homemade gift list is taken care of already really reduces end of the year stress! Visit the Artistic Artifacts YouTube channel for these archived videos of our Saturday morning Facebook Live presentations, including my demonstration (pictured here) of using foil products and my Holiday Paper vintage paper collage pack and more to make mixed media cards.

A foiled card example and supplies from Artistic Artifacts

Along with new cards created this year, I’m sharing from past blog postings as we celebrate our Summer Start = Holiday Peace concept.

Mixed media greeting card created by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

I often use gel printing plates to create layered backgrounds (see my post A Peek at Gel Plate Printing for more on monoprinting). The above includes stamped fabric strips layered atop block printed found paper.

Mixed media greeting cards using ephemera and more created by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts
Detail of a mixed media greeting card created by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Our Found Paper Collage Packs are full of themed paper ephemera for you — all original pages (not photocopied). I also make scans of many vintage items in my collections such as cabinet cards and other photographs, postcards and more, enabling me to use them more than once or resize them for projects. Greeting cards or Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) are the perfect place to use up treasured scraps and bits. I used a scrap of a vintage handkerchief as the base/background for my elegant woman photograph and contrasted it with a trimmed piece from one of my fabric postcards. You can see the dimension added by the batting and machine quilting in this detail photo. Visit this blog post for my tutorial on making fabric postcards.

Mixed media greeting card created by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

New to our Found Paper Collage Packs is a vintage photo pack. Another favorite ephemera are antique ledger pages. I love combining fabric and paper scraps for these collages.

Mixed media greeting card created by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Above, I revisited the ephemera that inspired my Blue Fish Quilt.

Block printed cards created using wooden printing blocks and textile paints sold by Artistic Artifacts, accented with paper ephemera

Above, our wide variety of wooden printing blocks includes a variety holiday designs, including some really fun sets! Block prints combined with book text, sheet music and other found paper are collaged to make holiday cards.

Block printed cards with sketching created by Celia Middleton

Several years ago my niece Celia Middleton embellished her block prints with fun sketching details using her favorite pens and markers, then turned her artwork into handmade cards and tags!

Greeting cards by Judy Gula using woven fabric strips and Artist Trading Cards

Many of you know I got my start as a weaver and I often weave both fabric and paper strips into small compositions I adhere to cards. The cards above are from my December 2018 post Using ATCs on Greeting Cards.

Woven paper and ephemera greeting cards created by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Above, these cards are examples from my Greeting Cards with Woven Paper post in December 2015. Both fabric and paper strips are satisfying to weave together. Or mix them! It’s so easy to accumulate remnants resulting from straightening ragged edge fabrics, trimming from wonky/improv piecing, strips left behind after using your paper cutter, etc.

The result from weaving together fabric strips

My fabric weaving instructions were originally shared in 2014 — that card post also included these are little mixed media collages, 4 in. x 6 in.

Mixed media greeting card created by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

I was testing a set of blank Strathmore mixed media cards, using spray inks and stencils. I created backgrounds on the cards and after they dried, stamped over the inks with paints in a different color. Then I found my collection of retro sewing patterns and began cutting out and pasting figures and text from the cover packages.

Mixed media greeting card created by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Mixed media greeting card created by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

I hope this post and the tutorial links give you some inspiration for your own handmade cards and collages!

TAP Fragment Dolls

Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts films a video sharing the Fragment Doll project from The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley
The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley

We were happy to be a part of The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley Instagram book tour for — our ‘stop’ was Thursday, April 22! Visit our Instagram page for our video post of how this new guide inspired our latest Transfer Artist Paper projects! Commenters there were eligible to win a free ebook version of this Ultimate Guide, specific to the new TAP formulation with many new techniques and project ideas: our randomly selected winner was Gerri Congdon — congratulations Gerri!

There was a new prize drawing for each stop. The Transfer Artist Paper Instagram Book Tour participating artists were:

We were inspired by Lesley’s ‘Fragment Dolls’, one of the projects in the book. It was coincidental timing since our Judy’s Altered Minds (JAMs) group (meeting via Zoom during the pandemic) had issued a Spirit Doll challenge — we’ll be sharing those results soon!

Judy Gula Fragment Doll, a project from The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley

Above, my first doll. I used TAP to transfer the vintage photograph and lots of scraps, stitching and embellishments to complete her. Of course I dug out my beads and our leaf vine ribbon was perfect for her. I really enjoyed spending time with this project! I have another one in progress:

Judy Gula in progress Fragment Doll, a project from The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley

In our video I explain the vintage jewelry piece you see — I’ve glued it to a small piece of Ultra Suede, which will give me a surface I can stitch so I can add the brooch later by trimming and stitching. This is one of my favorite tricks to incorporate jewelry or found objects.

Chris Vinh Fragment Doll, a project from The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley

Above, Chris Vinh of StitchesnQuilts shared her beautiful doll during our April 18 JAMs Zoom call. I was delighted to see that she had reduced a photograph of one of her batik panels by Mahyar to use as her face! Chris shows us that Eyelash Silk, one of the products by Painter’s Threads (formerly known as Tentakulum) makes perfect hair for an art doll! She also used the handpainted pearl cotton from Painter’s Threads for stitching and French knots on her Fragment doll.

Chris Vinh Fragment Doll, a project from The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley

Chris also enjoyed this project and created another gorgeous doll using hand dyed silk fabrics accented with her hand stitching — this time using Eleganza variegated perle cotton by WonderFil Specialty Threads. You can see a bit of a line in the face — she transferred her TAP onto silk, and the silk had a slub thread. Lesley makes the point in her book that the TAP is very sensitive and any bit of unevenness in your surface can show. I love it for the vintage feel it gives. In her IG book tour post, Liz Kettle even mentions trying to intentionally distress a TAP transfer to get that worn feel.

Sharon McDonagh Fragment Doll, a project from The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley

Sharon McDonagh of our shop was eager to explore TAP’s ability to take a variety of art media to add color, whether paint, inks, etc. She printed her TAP transfers out (remember, inkjet printers only) in just black and white, and then added color using her favorite product, Gelatos by Faber-Castell and loved the results! She also ‘dyed’ her mermaid’s cheesecloth wrap with Gelatos — visit our YouTube channel for her method and more in Using Gelatos. (Note Sharon’s doll was stitched but not turned due to its design; she painted the visible white edges with blue acrylic paint.)

Sharon McDonagh Fragment Doll, a project from The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley

For her Sun doll, she transferred onto yellow cloth, and so just added a touch of orange Gelatos to the checks and the rays, with a blend of red. She loves uses small pieces of our Web Weave Ribbon for texture in fabric collage and mixed media.

Some of the supplies available at Artistic Artifacts used to create our Fragment Dolls

Our Fragment Dolls are all fabric, but TAP can be used on many substrates — Lesley’s new book includes instructions on transferring onto canvas, metal, mica and more. In addition to the book and TAP itself, we have so many wonderful supplies for fiber and mixed media art: our Inspiration packs full of hand-dyed fabrics, linens and trims, sari ribbon & yarn, specialty ribbons, WonderFil Specialty Threads Sue Spargo products for hand stitching (an Eleganza thread pack is pictured), buttons and more — our Fabric & Fiber Packages are a wonderful way to build your stash with a variety of textiles.

(Our video is also available on our YouTube channel.)

More Fabric Postcards!

I want to share more of the beautiful fabric postcards (here’s how I make mine) that I’ve received this summer. Where does the time go? I apologize for being overdue on posting!

Fabric postcard by Joyce for Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

My offer is an ongoing one: send me a handmade fabric postcard and you’ll receive one in return: watch my Creative Clip for my challenge for those interested in trading! But remember, you must include your full name and especially your address so I can send you mine in return! I’m sad to report that I have had several instances where I can’t reciprocate for that reason. (Email me if you forgot to include your address!)

Fabric postcards by Joyce for Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Joyce said she had some fun with this challenge — and it shows, as she treated me with three! Her cute Collie Flower opened this post and above are her wonderful patchwork postcards.

Fabric postcard by Lee for Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Lee used beautiful batik fabrics and added lovely free motion quilting to embellish — the blues and greens are so refreshing to look at during this summer heat.

Fabric postcard by Sally for Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Another wonderful cool color combination of fabrics that were pieced and quilted by Sally.

Fabric postcard by Karen for Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Karen shares my love of fabric selvages! Don’t they make the best stripes? (Karen, if you’re reading, I need your last name and mailing address!)

Fabric postcard by Paula for Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Paula thanked me for “this inspiring challenge. I have made eight cards so far to share!” Happy to hear that Paula, and I bet your recipients are happy to find your postcards brightening their mailboxes!

Fabric postcard by Laura Jane for Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Laura Jane wrote that this “was a blast to create, even with my self-taught skills. During this crazy pandemic season, it was a creative path that offered a respite… thank you for your store and passion!”

First time fabric postcards by Susan, the top left was sent to Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Susan posted this photo on her Instagram page with the comment “I just finished my first free motion, quilted post cards thanks to coaching by Judy Gula at #ArtisticArtifacts. As with everything, I learned much that I’ll do differently next time. It was SO much fun. Instructions are online at AA’s blog.”
         One of these beauties made their way to me with this sweet message from her, “I will always be grateful to you for your support, your laughter and your willingness to encourage me to do things I think I can’t.” I love how her cyanotype fabrics look combined with rusted fabric and commercial cottons.

Fabric postcards by Betsy True

Ready for more inspiration? Betsy True used our #ShareonSat hashtag, posting to the Artistic Artifacts Creative Minds Facebook Group, that she had been “playing with fabric postcards using some of my Asian theme fabrics collected over the years; cutting elements out and collaging them onto more interesting backgrounds.”

Fabric postcards by Betsy True

This is such a great idea for large scale fabrics or fabric panels!

Paper collaged postcard by Linda for Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

And of course, you don’t have to use fabric. Linda created this embellished collaged postcard with paper and cardstock, but she’s also a talented fiber artist. “Thank you for keeping me supplied with fabric and thread,” Linda wrote, “and keeping me entertained online during the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020. I sure miss seeing you all!”

We miss seeing many of our customers and friends too, Linda. Fortunately social media allows us all to touch base with one another to check in and to share. If you aren’t already subscribed to our newsletter you may do so here. Please join our Creative Minds Facebook Group as well as visiting our store Facebook page, Instagram, and Pinterest boards. Plus our YouTube channel features video tutorials and more!

Additional fiber art received by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Summer Heat, Winter Ephemera!

As we celebrated Christmas in July and BERNINA Swissmas in July, I showed off some of my seasonal art quilts and ‘how to’ ideas for making gifts and décor, gift suggestions, technique demos and more during our Facebook Live videos. For those who missed them, or would like a rewatch, these videos are now archived on our Artistic Artifacts YouTube channel

Vintage ephemera shared by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

I’ve often shared vintage ephemera scans from my personal collection in the past, and am gathering these into one place for you. I hope they find their way into your own holiday projects! Above, Christmas Signpost/Luck — Download the high-resolution image »

In my latest Artistic Artifacts Creative Clip, I share some of the direct print and transfer products I use for the vintage photographs and imagery that make their way into my fiber and mixed media art! I hope you’ll find it a useful introduction to what these products can do, including Transfer Artist Paper (TAP) sold per 5 sheet and 18 sheet packs. Important note: Any ephemera that includes words must be printed as a reverse image so the words will read correctly once it is transferred. (And remember that earlier this year I shared a Creative Clip dedicated to TAP.)

Vintage ephemera shared by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Above, Birds Happy New Year — Download the high-resolution image »

Vintage ephemera shared by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

These winter scenes were originally handed out by Washington, DC merchants as collectible trade advertising. Fine Dry Goods — Download the high-resolution image »

Vintage ephemera shared by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

P.Grogan birds — Download the high-resolution image »

Vintage flocked Santa card image

The scan of this flocked Santa card gives you a hint of that texture — Download high resolution image »

Vintage postcard of sledding children image

I love the stitching that was added to the boys’ snowsuits — Download high resolution image »

Vintage postcard celebrating New Year's Eve image

The subtle metallic gold in this vintage postcard scans as flat color; add shine with glitter or pearl powders — Download high resolution image »

Vintage postcard celebrating  the New Year image

Sweet skaters wishing you a Happy New Year—Download high resolution image »

Vintage ephemera download offered by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Not specifically Christmas, but the red and green fit the color scheme: I’ve used these as the focal points of small art quilts. Red Leaf Lady — Download the high-resolution image »

Vintage ephemera download offered by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Green Leaf Lady — Download the high-resolution image »

Vintage image shared by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Vintage winter-themed illustrated poem — Download the high-resolution image »

Copyright © 2021 artisticartifacts.com.