Shop Unique Items with our App!

Thank you to all who have joined us for our Third Thursday Live sales, held live on Facebook! These live selling events are an ideal opportunity to share with you special Creative Finds for Creative Minds one of a kind products, or those with limited quantities. Judy also enjoys putting together special curated bundles and treasure boxes specifically for our Live Sale.

We have been using CommentSold to help us administer these sales over the last several months and are very happy the ease of use and functionality. User registration is easy, and once you have a CommentSold account, you can also shop any remaining items from our previous sales!

Note that in many cases our live sales feature products and special deals that are not available on our secure shopping website, so we encourage you to explore this new avenue for finding unique fiber and mixed media supplies as well as special coupons and deals we make available there!

A new enhancement is the recent launch of our dedicated mobile app for our CommentSold Store! Our app is a free download for phones, tablets, and laptops — and no Facebook account is required if using the app! Search Artistic Artifacts in your app store, or use these links:

Our Third Thursday and other live sales stream directly to your phone or device! The app makes it fun and easy to watch — whether in real time live or watching the replay at your convenience. You have the option to watch the full replay, or you can shop for find items of interest and see the portion of the video where they were featured!

We love our new app, but if you prefer to watch and interact via Facebook or Instagram only, you are welcome to create your CommentSold account in that manner. You will be prompted to log in with your Facebook link. Click Connect Messenger (this allows you to get notifications when something you claim in the live sale is added to your cart). A new tab will open up with Facebook Messenger, then click the Get Started button. Watch this quick video illustrating how to create your CommentSold account.

We announce our live sales in advance via our social media sites and in our Wednesday newsletter — subscribe now if you are not already receiving it!

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!

Fragment Doll Raffle Benefitting India

TAP Fragment Dolls created by Artistic Artifacts that are being raffled off to benefit India

As previously shared here, the Fragment Dolls project in The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley inspired us to create these fun fabric dolls with Transfer Artist Paper (TAP) faces. You can now purchase your chance to win your choice, with 100% of our proceeds going to support our artisans in India struggling to survive the severe Covid-19 pandemic impacts.

Plea from India to support artisans who carve wooden printing blocks

The more chances you buy, the greater your chance to win! Please share this opportunity to own an art doll while contributing to a great cause. Our six winners will be randomly selected from entrants for each Fragment doll, and winners will be announced during our Facebook Live presentation on Saturday morning, July 10.

As I shared in our video reintroducing you to our finished dolls, and showing our new kits so you can make your own, the entire country of India is really suffering right now. The products we import help support many artisans whose livelihood has been severely impacted due to the pandemic and current crisis in their country. We are in contact with our distributors there, and our orders are helping them purchase food and necessities — even oxygen cylinders to save Covid-stricken family and community members! In addition to our raffle tickets, your orders of hand carved wooden printing blocks, handmade block printed fabrics, and handmade paper boxes and 100% cotton rag sheets create the demand that allows us to order restocking shipments from India, in turn employing these talented artisans.

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

Pictured above, Sheba was my first doll — purchase your chance to win her!

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

Jane was in progress when we last posted here, and I enjoyed completing her. Purchase your chance to win Jane!

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

Above, Chris Vinh of StitchesnQuilts created Wanita (which is Indonesian for woman). Purchase your chance to win Wanita!

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

Painter’s Muse is Chris’ second doll. Purchase your chance to win Painter’s Muse!

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

Sharon McDonagh created a mermaid inspired doll. Purchase your chance to win Ocean Goddess!

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

Sharon’s Soleil was her second doll. Purchase your chance to win Soleil!

Our new Fragment Doll Kits let you join in the fun and create your own! Each color-themed kit includes a sheet of Transfer Artist Paper (preprinted with faces), muslin, a variety of handpainted and/or hand dyed fabrics pieces, embellishing fabric such as hand dyed linens and trims, leaf vine ribbon, a scattering of beads and vintage buttons… and more!

Visit our YouTube channel for my video as I introduced these kits and reintroduced you to our dolls, sharing how desperate the need is in India and how grateful they are for the support from us.hank you for purchasing your chances and helping us support our global partners in India! You can also to learn more about TAP, Lesley’s book and how we created these Fragment Dolls in our previous Fragment Doll video.

Block printed fabrics available from Artistic Artifacts and photos of the intensive hand process by artisans in India.

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.)

Our Urban Princesses!

I’ve asked Artistic Artifacts staffer Nancy McCarthy to share her experiences with the adorable Urban Princess pattern by Olive Ann Designs that we’ve just added to our website. Nancy was a home economics teacher with a specialty in clothing and textiles, so her expertise is invaluable.

Nancy McCarthy's granddaughters in their Urban Princess dresses

On Saturday, September 19 Nancy was featured for our regularly scheduled 9:30 am ET Facebook Live Videos! Watch our archived video as Nancy shared construction tips and techniques she applied to this pattern that can be translated to other garment construction that both beginning and experienced sewists will enjoy! (Plus there was a surprise sneak peek of some just arrived fabric that will soon be available on our website!

    Guest post by Nancy McCarthy

This super cute dress was a hit with my three- and four-year old granddaughters, pictured above! This pattern offers lots of design possibilities in terms of fabric choices and comes in children’s sizes 2-8. Urban Princess also includes a pattern for an 18 in. doll dress to match.

The Urban Princess pattern by Olive Ann Designs with the Tilda and Tula Pink fabric that Nancy McCarthy selected

My fabric choices for their dresses coordinate closely with their personalities, as you might imagine from the photos!

Nancy McCarthy's granddaughters in their Urban Princess dresses, showing the ruffled back

I lined the bodices and the gathered shoulder straps per the pattern, using fabric left from cutting the garment pieces. By the way, I didn’t realize when I chose the main dress fabrics that both are directional! Fortunately, the pattern layout in the pattern guide is for a directional layout.

This dress doesn’t use much fabric, especially the ruffles, so you certainly might be able to stitch your own with stash fabric left over from other projects.

The Urban Princess pattern by Olive Ann Designs

I want to share a couple of notes on the back of the dress — watch video

  1. The back bodice neckline and button opening are bias edges that I decided needed some interfacing for stability.
  2. The center back ruffle panel is created on a long, narrow base triangle (bias edges!) that fits into the two back pieces of the dress (more stretchy bias seams!) and the angle of the cutting line for the back pieces means that those pieces take a lot more fabric than might be expected. The end result is a cute swingy skirt that’s definitely worth it!

Editor’s Note: The Olive Ann Designs’ blog offers an update the Urban Princess pattern, an optional change to the top ruffle in the back that makes it less full and easier to sew.