Paper+Mixed Media

My crafty inspiration board on pinterest is an eclectic mix … lately I have been interesting in collection stamping and printing ideas …


Barry Friedland is the owner of Thumbtack Press, a curated, open edition art print store with top lowbrow, illustrator, and character artists from around the world. Read the TTP blog and the Tumblr.


It’s possible that, thanks to technological advances in printing, we’re living in an age with as much change and new potential for culture as the generation of the printing press, or the steam engine. Aside from online stores that allow artists to reach and sell directly to fans and collectors without middlepersons taking a cut, digital printing has reached a level so advanced that the whole notion of art editions has exploded.

Limited editions, at one point, meant that an artist created some kind of print or carving or cut or type, etc., and used a press to literally press different editions of the work onto another piece of paper. These presses could only churn out a handful of prints because eventually the cut and the ink would wear away. Hence limited editions, with the first prints in a limited edition valued higher because they were closer both physically (with fresher ink) and in reproduction to the original piece.

Enter digital printing. With digital printing, high quality cameras can scan any work of art, no matter its materials, and high quality printers use high quality inks to create a print. These digital reproductions are still called prints because that’s what they are, and they create an entirely new set of possibilities.

Kill Me If You Can CHRIS LYLES

Now, there are three levels at which you can buy art:

Level 1: The original. The original work of art can run in the tens of thousands in the genre we’re concerned with, which is a pretty penny for most of us. There’s also just one original! So, you know, good on you if you manage to own only originals, but it’s simply not feasible for most of us.

Level 2: Limited editions. Limited editions are replications of originals, produced in limited numbers. So whereas there is only one original, there may be some 25, 50, or 200 limited edition prints. These are often sold with their number in the print written somewhere in the margins (a habit picked up from the days when the lower numbered prints were closer to the original than later prints). When limited edition prints are printed digitally instead of on a press, they are usually less expensive than physically printed prints (and the original), but can still often price in the hundreds of dollars.

Level 3: Open, or unlimited, editions. Open editions are literally unlimited. Because of the digital printing technology that prints the 5,000th print with the same quality of reproduction as it prints the first or second print, artists can sell an infinite number of open edition prints. Because there are so many of them, their price is decidedly the most affordable of the three. Thumbtack Press sells open editions.

Cycles #2 by Colin Johnson

Because you can print infinite prints, and because they are so much more affordable than limited edition prints, it suddenly became obvious to me that artists could reach a much bigger base of collectors if they sold open edition prints. And what’s more – think of all the young people who, with limited budgets through their university years, for example, can now afford a high quality print of great art that was previously unattainable for them.

That’s what Thumbtack Press is now. It’s a curated community of artists and art lovers, people who love a particular aesthetic, yes, but also people who appreciate having access to art at affordable prices. Our various paper, canvas, and framing options are just a bonus. The key tenet is a shared passion, amplified by the technology of our age.



It’s book month at

Sew Wild: Creating With Stitch and Mixed Media By Alissa Burke, Published by Interweave Press; Pap/DVD edition (September 27, 2011).

Alissa Burke has done an outstanding job with this book. I am in love! Sewing, printing, painting, glueing – to create different effects and gorgeous accessories. The main part of the book is the techniques – detailed instructions on various surface design techniques, along with using and understanding colour and pattern make this book very different from your usual project based books. Along with the techniques are examples – yes! fabulous gorgeous samples of colour, pattern, materials and design.

There are projects too – simple and fun – and made to put your new found skills to work – love the obi belt and graffiti pencil case – pictured above.

Plus a bonus project - make a fish mobile – super cute!

Giveaway now closed

Now because I know you want one of these books – Interweave is generously giving TWO whipup readers a chance to win a book – you also will get an eBook to go along with the print addition. So leave a comment here – letting us know your fave mixed media format – you have 48 hours to enter and winners will be chosen at random and contacted via email. Thanks so much! Winners have been chosen via random number generator – they are: #84 Gravy, and #18 Jinty – you have been contacted via email.


November: Month of books at

At Home with Handmade Books: 28 Extraordinary Bookbinding Projects Made from Ordinary and Repurposed Materials (Make Good: Crafts + Life) By Erin Zamrzla, Published by Roost Books (April 12, 2011). Browse inside.

Erin Zamrzla is a bookbinder and paper artist – her love for her craft is obvious – and her skills and style are showcased in her first book – published through Shambhala in their Roost range of books under the Make Good series – which is ful to the brim of fabulous books – not a dud amongst them: This whole series is simply designed and stylishly photographed – with very easy to follow instructions.

From flutter books and idea files to various methods of Japanese binding and using lots of interesting and unusual materials along the way – including sponges, socks, fabric as well as old books, papers and cards. I love the sweetly themed books – like the secret journal which has a lavender sachet cover so you can keep your journal tucked away with your linens. I love the peek-a-book made for a child and filled with small doors revealing cut out images. A recipe book features an easy wipe cover, and a cleaning book cleverly uses a sponge as the cover. With images at the front and instructions as the back – this book serves as part inspiration and part practical manual.

The Repurposed Library: 33 Craft Projects That Give Old Books New Life By Lisa Occhipinti, Published by STC Craft/A Melanie Falick Book (May 1, 2011).

A very clever book by artist Lisa Occhipinti, beautifully photographed and presented by Melanie Falick Books – they always have stunning photography – this book could easily double as a coffee table / conversation book.

The three images above are some of my favourite projects from the book – but all the projects are clever – with a neat play on words and very creative uses for old books – both the covers and the pages are recycled in various and interesting ways. A sewing book cover is turned into a sewing box, a book with a title “five minute biographies” becomes a mirror, “and tell of time” becomes a clock. Books are turned into book shelves and birdhouses and ornaments. While the pages from old books are folded and collaged in different ways – they become a wreath, a “Novel firescreen”, and a “Literary Lampshade”. The “Pagework quilt” (pictured above) might be my favourite project from the book – I love the faded colours, the use of imagery – and they are actually sewn together. Lots to discover and delight within the pages of this book.

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Hello Whipup Readers! I’m Elizabeth of Nuno Magazine and my sister Rachel and I just completed our 5th issue, Star Gazing. The projects in Star Gazing were inspired by a walk in the woods on an autumn evening. I very happy to be here today, sharing one of those projects with you. This little hooty owl was created using a cereal box, a grocery bag and a little acrylic craft paint.

Paper Bag Owl How-to:

#1: Use the templates [Download the owl templates from here] to cut the owl body and wings from cereal box card. Paint the plain brown paper side of the pieces with black acrylic (or tempera) paint.

#2: Slit a large paper grocery bag up the side and cut off the bottom.

#3: Flatten the resulting rectangular piece. You may need to use a medium heated iron to smooth out folds.

#4: Paint an approximately 6 x 6 inch/15 cm section of the bag with yellow paint. Paint the remainder of the bag with black paint. Let paint dry.

#5: Cut eyes and beak from yellow painted portion of bag. There is no template for the beak.

#6: Cut black portion of bag into 1.5 inch/4 cm strips. Use scissors to fringe each strip. Leave 4 strips unfringed.

#7: Beginning at the base of the owl and the tips of the wings, use stick glue to attach an unfringed strip to each piece (on the printed side). Continue adding fringed strips until you have reached the tips of the ears and the tops of the wings.

#8: Use white liquid glue to attach eyes, beak and wings to the owl’s body.

#9: Use a paint brush with a small amount of yellow paint on it to lightly brush the tops of the wings and tips of the ears to define those areas.


For more kids craft, creative ideas and activities go to the Action Pack website