Art & Soul Designs





..... handmade greeting cards .....

My Cards:

All the cards you see on my site are handmade by me.  I specialize in using rubber stamps and various inking techniques to create either the central feature or the background pattern and occasionally both.  My design focus is using rubber stamped images so you will not find store bought toppers, die cut shapes, or stickers on my cards.  However, you will see lots of embellishments such as buttons, beads, flowers, ribbons, & fibers.  Sometimes, I dabble in other methods of design such as dry embossing, paper folding, or intricate cutting but that is not where my passion lies.        

My Passion & Process:

I am passionate about the need to create original works and to find new and unique ways to embrace paper and inks.  I get no satisfaction from copying designs that I’ve seen in books / magazines or making an assembly line of mass produced cards.  My process of creation begins with a journey exploring a world of colour combinations, discovering intermingling patterns, and emphasizing various textures.  My personal fulfillment and joy comes from the originality of the completed creation.    

My Lifelong Love:

My primary love is paper.  Since childhood, I have had an obsession with scissors, glue, and paper.  Although, I have no formal art training, (as art wasn’t considered a “real job”) crafting has always been in my blood.  After college, I began working as an elementary school teacher where I taught first grade for 5 years.  I entered the teaching profession where my creativity could serve a purpose in the classroom.  I am currently a full-time artist.  (with the total support of a loving husband)  I love to create anything from cards & scrapbooks to sewing projects.  I have also explored knitting, painting, jewelry making, as well as altered art projects. 

History of Art & Soul Designs:

The day that changed everything was the day my sister, Janet offered to buy the cards that I had planned to give her.  Without her encouragement, I never would have had the motivation to try to begin to sell my cards.  With her support and faith that my cards were good enough to sell, I took the first steps. 

I began to seriously consider the possibility in November 2008 as an unlikely dream.  All my life, I had only wanted to create things and crafting is where I found my joy.  The process of creating is where I find myself.  Art is what I do and do it with my whole heart and soul.  Art & Soul Designs was born. By June 2009, I had 3 local florists selling my cards. In January 2010, a friend suggested that I should have a website and by June 2010 I had achieved that next milestone. Who knows what is next for Art & Soul Designs, the journey has barely begun.

Thanks for stopping by. I do hope you enjoy exploring my website and that you like what you see.  Paper & ink inspirations from me to you.  

        Karen Sessions  :o)

Behind the Scenes:

Art & Soul Design's Studio ...coming soon!

Scrapbooking:

My other paper-crafting passion is scrapbooking.  Family photos are arranged in a creative layout using pretty papers, embellishments, journaling, and one’s artistic flair.  By recording one's past, one preserves family memories and makes a record of events and people important to you.  Story telling your life's journey is rewarding.

Three of my layouts were featured in ...

Scrapbook Magazine Issue 51 - December 2010

 

Charity Work:

I donate handmade cards to support the Open Gateway Craft Club.  They sell their handmade cards and crafts to raise money for Greenwich and Bexely Cottage Hospice, St. Mungos, and Blind Independence Greenwich.

 

Special Thanks:

I wanted to acknowledge some very influential people in my life and extend special thanks to those who have encouraged and inspired me.

  • To my loving husband Len who supports me in everything I do.  You appreciate my artistry and  remind me that making beauty is important.  Thank you for tolerating endless trips to craft stores and never complaining about the constant invasion of glitter.
  • To my sister Janet who gave me the encouragement to begin Art & Soul Designs.  We grew up crafting together over many summer vacations spent cutting, gluing, sewing, and painting.  You are my best crafting friend.
  • To my mother who had me crafting from the age of 2; colouring, sewing plastic canvas pictures, painting ceramics, & beading.  I’m so thankful you gave me the love of crafting.  You taught me sewing skills, the importance of following patterns, and the famous rule: “Measure twice; cut once.”
  • To my father who showed me the value of attention to detail through working on his collection of miniatures and Christmas village display.  I have learned about patience.
  • To my Grandma Frances who excelled in crochet.  I learned about dedication and commitment to quality of one’s work.  Her crochet table cloths and dollies were always finished to perfection.
  • To my life long friend & neighbour Zola who graciously buys my cards for her friends and family and encouraged me to sell my cards by putting me in contact with a local antique store.
  • To my special friend Susan who thought of me when her church's bookstore was expanding and included Art & Soul in their new area of handcrafted goods for sale.
  • To my special friend Enid who encouraged me to establish a website.  Your energy and enthusiasm are endless.
  • To my special friend Rachel who introduced me to the hobby of card making.  I am blessed by your creativity and talent as I continually learn new ideas of design and am challenged to see beyond my fears and “Go For It.”
Without your combined energies and love,
Art & Soul would be just a dream. 

I love you all dearly. 
Karen :o)

"Life isn't about finding yourself,

            it is about creating yourself."

                                                                 George Bernard Shaw