Valentine’s Day – Sometimes You Just Need Easy

Yikes, Valentine’s Day is almost here! How can it have gotten here so quickly this year? Truth be told, I lost the month of January after my brother had an unfortunate accident and passed away. So, I’m playing catch up with Valentine’s Day less than a week away.

I love how these spiral paper flowers turned out.

Spiral paper flowers, a quick easy solution for Valentine’s Day.

The bottom line is that life gets in the way of our plans. It happens to me time and time again. My answer when this happens is to look for simple and easy solutions. So, I went back through some of my older blog posts and realized these super easy flowers would be the perfect solution for Valentine decorations and little gifts to friends.

I couldn't stop trying different colors of these spiral paper flowers.

You could stick to the reds and pinks for Valentine’s Day or go for all the colors in the rainbow like I did.

These flowers start with a circle which you cut into a spiral. Because I wanted to make the best use of my paper, I made my circles 5 and 1/4 inches in diameter so that I could get 2 out of an 8.5″ by 11″ piece of paper. While I had success with these, I think next time I’ll start with a larger circle. Maybe I’ll make a number of different sized flowers.

I made my spiral paper flowers from 60# text weight paper.

I made my spiral paper flowers from 60# text weight paper.

I have seen instructions to make flowers like these from card stock to text weight paper to napkins. I made mine from 60# text weight paper and it worked well. All you need is paper, a pencil, scissors and a glue gun.

See instructions below to correspond with the steps in the above photo to make your spiral paper flowers.

See instructions below to correspond with the steps in the above photo to make your spiral paper flowers.

Instructions:

  1. Cut a circle out of paper
  2. If you wish, you can trace a spiral on your circle with a pencil.
  3. Cut your spiral. If you trace your spiral, then be sure to erase your pencil lines after you cut.
  4. Roll your spiral from the outside of the circle inward. I found a toothpick helped me to start rolling the paper.
  5. Once you’ve rolled to the center, gently release the spiral until it forms the shape you like.
  6. Glue the bottom and hold until glue dries. I used a hot glue gun because the glue dries quickly.

Warning: Be careful if you use a glue gun. Mine fell over (off its stand) and melted a bit of my cutting mat. And that glue’s pretty darn hot too. Be careful!

These spiral flowers are fun and easy to make, the perfect solution for last minute Valentine decorations and little gifts. I know my friends will appreciate them.

Enjoy, Candy

National Handwriting Day

Today, January 23, is National Handwriting Day here in the U.S. January 23 was chosen because it’s John Hancock’s birthday. He was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence.

My favorite fountain pen, Pilot Flex Extra Fine.

National Handwriting Day was established in 1977 by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association. Their aim was to promote sales of more pens, pencils and writing paper.

National Handwriting Day is the perfect time to drop a letter or two in the mail to friends or family.

While National Handwriting Day was established by businesses to sell more materials, I love the idea of writing more by hand and less by computer. And sending out handwritten letters in the mail is something I really love to both send and receive.

Italic Letters: Calligraphy & Handwriting by Inga Dubay and Barbara Getty is my number one recommendation for anyone wanting to learn italic calligraphy or improve their handwriting.

And don’t forget that April (only a little more than 2 months away) is National Letter Writing Month. Again this year, I’ll be sending out a letter a day in a hand lettered and decorated envelope.

Happy handwriting. Candy

 

2017 Has Been My Year Of Grieving

You may have noticed that I haven’t been writing a lot of blog posts this past year. I’ve still been doing art, though not as much as usual. Instead, I’ve been doing a lot of personal grieving from the loss of some very dear loved ones to problems with my near vision that three eye operations have yet to improve.

The leaf of the ginkgo tree symbolizes longevity. I used gold leaf on 4″ square board. I lettered “longevity” using a white gel pen.

When you add that to traveling a good part of the year in a 19.5′ van, you may understand why my blogs have been few and far between. Now, however, I feel rested and ready to put more time into my blogging again.

This was a small little practice piece I did while practicing my Romans. The red is simply red colored pencil.

The photos here are some of the art I’ve done in the past 6 months. I’ll post more detailed information about some of them in future blog posts.

Card and envelope with petroglyph inspired design from my travels.

Looking forward to an invigorating and art filled 2018, Candy

Art On The Go – Home

Yes, I know I’ve not been updating my blog as frequently as I would like. In addition to traveling, I’ve had a few computer problems which are hopefully finally fixed. What I have found is that I have crowded way too much into our little 19′ van. It’s hard to get to all my art supplies as I stuffed everything I could into every little nook I could find.

This has been our home for the past two and a half months. This is overlooking the Columbia River Gorge just outside of Portland, Oregon.

This is our little home (above). We’re loving the traveling and hope to work to reduce the amount of unnecessary items.

And FIY “home” was written with a brush in black on white paper, photographed and changed into white in Photoshop, then layered on top of the photo.

Enjoy, Candy

Visiting Stores With Wonderful Paper Creations

When I’m traveling, I’m always on the lookout for stores selling paper and paper creations. Who knows where my next inspiration will come from. On my latest trip, I found a number of shops with wonderful paper creations.

This window display of 3D paper stars drew me into Design Warehouse in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

While walking down the street in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I saw the above window display and just had to check out the store. While it was mostly a design studio, called Design Warehouse, there were a number of paper sculptures that I loved and got permission to take photos of for my blog.

If you look closely, you can see the delightful pop up paper cards.

I found the above paper pop up cards there too. Look closely and see a variety of cards on each shelf.

Paper boxes hanging in a window display at Design Warehouse in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

In addition to the star window display, there was another window with paper boxes hung on strings. There were multiple layers of paper and some were cut to show the paper below it.

Magic paper lamps at Design Warehouse in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The above “Magic Lamps” have light shining through paper cut outs. The cut outs were spinning. Absolute fun!

Wonderful paper art at Collage Annex. Check out the bird perched on the antlers.

When I visit Portland, Oregon, I try to always visit Collage, an art supply store on Alberta Street. This past visit I found they had opened Collage Annex next door where they have wonderful artful gifts, many of which were made out of paper.

Lots of cards, prints. posters and more at Collage Annex in Portland, Oregon.

Check out the map of Portland in the above photo. It’s one of the best sellers at Collage Annex.

Love the old style teal typewriter.

And for anyone longing for days of old, you can purchase a non-electric writing device. I love this teal typewriter!

Window display at Ped X Shoe Shangri-la.

Just down the street from Collage Annex, I found the above paper garlands in the window of Ped X Shoe Shangri-la, my favorite shoe store in Portland.

Window Display at Illustrated Playing Cards.

I found this delightful store, Illustrated Playing Cards in a little mall off Alberta Street in Portland, Oregon. Unfortunately the shop wasn’t open the day I was there. I’ll be checking it out the next time I’m in Portland. I can see myself spending hours in there. I like to purchase playing cards from places I visit, and I am sure I’ll find a few decks of cards in there that I won’t be able to resist.

Enjoy, Candy

Visiting Prickly Pear Paper

A lot has happened since my last blog post. I traveled from Oregon to California to Arizona to New Mexico to Oklahoma to Kansas to Colorado to Utah to Nevada and back to Oregon. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind of driving and visiting with very little time for art along the nearly 5,000 miles we traveled.

Prickly Pear Paper in Gilbert, Arizona.

I did find time, while in Arizona, to visit a wonderful little paper shop where they both make and sell paper products. It’s called Prickly Pear Paper and it’s a letterpress and design studio in addition to being a retail store. They’re part of Barone, a craftsman community in Gilbert, Arizona.

They have their letterpress in their shop.

Prickly Pear Paper started in 2016 by Lauren Elliott and Mark Johnston. They envisioned a business that combined their love of graphic design with fun, adventurous stationery that makes people smile. I think they accomplished their objective.

This Arizona map is one of the best sellers in their shop.

In addition to what they have in their shop, they also offer custom design and printing services for businesses, events, weddings, announcements and personal stationery.

Prickly Pear Paper in Gilbert, Arizona.

BTW, I purchased the adoption card that is sitting on the letterpress in the second photo. And if you can’t make it to Gilbert, Arizona, you can check out their website: Prickly Pear Paper.

Enjoy, Candy

Downsizing My Art & Art Supplies

The past three weeks have been jam packed with packing, reduction and letting go of ever so many things I never imagined I could give up. But, it’s for a good cause. I’ll be renting my house out for a few years and traveling. I have a place to stay for the winter months in Arizona. I’ll come back to Ashland for the summer. And in between, I plan to travel the U.S.

It was even hard to let go of this failed necklace made from circles punched from Sunday comics. It failed because the newsprint rubbed off on my skin.

I’ve sold most of my furniture. Letting go of it was hard, but not as hard as it’s been to let go of paper and art supplies. I gave many car loads of art supplies to my friend, Cynthia, who has promised to find good homes for all of it. My two drafting tables went to be sold at a shop whose profits go to our local Hospice.

I gave the framed original for these Happy Valentine’s Day cards to our clubhouse to be used for Valentine’s Day decoration.

On Friday I hope to head out for Arizona and Kansas for a month. I realize this is the wrong time of year for that, but Paul has a couple of family reunions in Kansas and I want to drop off some of my art supplies in Arizona where we will be spending some time this winter.

Paper flowers with some of my vintage buttons didn’t make the cut. I figured it would be easy to make more at a later date.

So, no art has been done lately. My home studio looks barren. My display shelves are empty. I still have my studio at the Ashland Art Center. I will be working there when I’m in Ashland and I’ve added a couple of other artists who will work there while I’m traveling.

I spent untold hours punching and stringing circles from the Sunday comics. My intent was to make a necklace. Now I’ve let them go, which I should have done long ago since the newsprint stains skin.

It will be interesting to see what paper art I do and what paper art I find on my travels.

Happy trails, Candy

Puffy Pentagon Boxes and Chocolate Make Perfect Travel Gifts

I always like to have a bunch of gifts on hand when I travel as I never know when I may want to give a little “thank you” to someone. It doesn’t seem to be a problem for me when I’m traveling by car or in my van. There’s always a little space to pack my gifts.

These puffy pentagon boxes pack flat for packing. They’re the perfect size to hold a Dagoba Chocolate taster square.

But it becomes a little more difficult when I travel by air. And our current trip was even more difficult because because we flew back to Arizona where we had left our van. Our suitcases were full of clothes and supplies for six weeks of traveling. There wasn’t much “extra” room. I solved the problem with two of my favorite things, my puffy pentagon boxes and Dagoba chocolate taster squares.

It takes just moments for the puffy pentagon box to go from flat into a delightful little box.

The puffy pentagon box stores flat, making it a perfect choice for taking with me when traveling. And the taster squares don’t take up much space either. The only hard part has been not eating all the chocolate before I give it as a gift.

The perfect paring for a gift, chocolate and a handmade little puffy pentagon box.

Here’s a link to my DIY blog post that details how to make the clover fold box and the template so you can make your own.

Blog post: DIY – Puffy Pentagon Box

Template: Puffy Pentagon Box

Enjoy, Candy

Paper Illuminated Online Class – Weeks 5 & 6

You may wonder why weeks 5 & 6 come before weeks 3 and 4. Well, there were a few equipment and materials glitches that happened due my traveling. They will show up later, but this is the foldable paper chochin lamp that I made this past week.

I collaged my collapsable the paper on my chochin lamp rather than using the template Helen provided.

Week 5 was building the armature (which can be used over again and again). Week 6 was making the lamp shade. I collaged mine rather than following the instructions exactly. I like the way it came out.

Collapsable paper cochin lamp.

The chochin lampshade can be made in different shapes and sizes. There are so many different possibilities with this type of lampshade. My mind is swimming with possibilities.

Enjoy, Candy

National Letter Writing Month 2017 – Week 2

I have been having a lot of fun with making envelopes and writing letters this past week. I have finally found something that works well with traveling. I still don’t quite have things as organized as I’d like, but at least I’m not losing my art supplies as I was on my last trip.

These are two of the letters and envelopes that I sent out this past week.

I love it when April rolls around each year. I seem to be way behind in my correspondence and National Card & Letter Writing Month gives me permission to drop everything else and concentrate on writing letters and making unique decorated envelopes.

I was delighted to find that there was no additional postage for the folded envelopes with the diagonal corners. Yea!

This year, I’ve been making a bunch of folded envelopes that have diagonal corners. I took some of them to the Post Office to ask just how much extra postage they would require. No extra postage. So, I’m making lots more of these envelopes. I’m including another little origami envelope in with my letter. See my blog post DIY Origami Envelope and a link to the instructions.

Two of the letters and envelopes I sent out this past week for National Card & Letter Writing Month.

I feel as though I might actually get caught up on my letter writing. Of course, with being away from home for a month and a half, I’m sure there’ll be a bunch more mail waiting for me.

Two more of the folded envelopes with diagonal corners.

I have lots of pen pals who enjoy folded paper, so I’m sending them the folded envelopes with diagonal corners. I made my envelopes from wrapping paper samples.

Two more letters and envelopes that went out this past week for National Card & Letter Writing Month.

Enjoy, Candy

National Letter Writing Month 2017 – Week 1

I’m just getting started on my letters for National Card & Letter Writing Month. As in past years, I’m sending out at least one letter (in a decorated envelope) for the entire month of April. This year, with all the traveling I’ve been doing, I’m way behind in my correspondence, so I’m going to try and get caught up this month. Wish me luck!

My first two letters and envelopes for this year’s National Card & Letter Writing Month.

My first letter went to Susan, a dear friend who could use a little pick-me-up. I decided to send her a flower envelopes I though it was cheery and she could enjoy it without having to water or care for it.

More envelopes sent out this week for National Card & Letter Writing Month.

As the month progresses, I’m hoping to get some inspiration for decorating envelopes from my “new” stash of old stamps that I acquired last fall from a stamp collector. I got to go through a bunch of his stamps and pick out ones that I liked. They’re so cool, I’m going to have trouble parting with them.

These are just a few of the stamps I purchased last fall from a stamp collector. Aren’t they wonderful?

Happy Mail Art, Candy

April Is National Letter Writing Month

I brought a bunch of my correspondence with me on this latest trip. With April being National Letter Writing month and me being behind on answering all the wonderful letters and little paper gifts I’ve received lately, I figured this would be a win-win.

Some of the wonderful mail art I’ve received lately.

There’s not much space for art supplies while I’m traveling, but I have enough space for envelopes, a few pens and brushes, and a little paper. As with the past few years, I will be sending out at least one letter a day for the entire month of April.

It’s so much fun to open my mail and have such great surprises inside the envelopes.

I have many more than just 30 letters to write, so I’m going to try and double or triple up on as many days as I can. It’s going to be a fun month, and I’ll be sharing a few envelope projects with you.

I have such creative friends. It’s a joy to open my mail.

Tomorrow I’ll be driving to Tucson. I remember from my last trip that they had wonderful artwork on the bridges along the trip. This time I will have time to stop and take photos, maybe even sketch some of the designs in my journal. I’m hoping they will make their way into some of my envelope designs this next month.

Some of the wonderful mail art I’ve received lately.

For those of you who have been following my blog, here’s an update on the Paper Illuminated online class that I’m taking from Helen Hiebert. We left the van in Arizona and flew back home and then back to Arizona. I hadn’t planed that when I signed up for Helen’s class. I thought I would be home for the entire 6 weeks of the class. I got my first two projects done (More Traveling Ahead & Paper Illuminated Online Class – Week 2) and brought the rest of the supplies with me to work on while traveling. However, I decided TSA wouldn’t take fondly to my taking a saw in my carry on luggage, so I left it at home and just purchased one here. So, my shoji screen, which was this week’s project will be a little late. I bought a little saw and mitre box yesterday and should be able to get started on it on Sunday. Biosphere2 and Tucson are tomorrow and Saturday.

It’s wonderful having such creative friends. Long live snail mail!

I am looking forward to writing lots of letters and decorating lots of envelopes this next month. I hope you are too!

Enjoy, Candy

Paper Illuminated Online Class – Week 2

I’m taking an online class from Helen Hiebert called Paper Illuminated. This past week I made a wraparound lampshade. I didn’t have a lamp the right size so the photo shows a bit of the bulb base. Still, I do like how the lamp looks when it’s lit.

Wrap around lampshade I made from paper.

When I signed up for the class, I thought I’d be home during the time of the class. I was for the first two weeks. Now, however, I’m traveling again. I packed the remainder of the supplies and have them with me. I am hoping I can make the rest of the projects while I’m gone.

Wrap around lampshade made from paper.

Enjoy, Candy

Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2017

I made this shamrock some time ago and shared the instructions last year. See the link below to make your own.

See the link below for the instructions to make your own paper shamrock.

DIY Paper Shamrock

Enjoy, Candy

More Traveling Ahead

After the two months of traveling I did recently, I’ve decided I want to travel more, a lot more. I’ve been home less than a month and I’m itching to get traveling again.

Paper lamp shade I made from Helen Hiebert’s Paper Illuminated online class.

The only real paper art I’ve done since I got back home is the paper lampshade from week 1 of Helen Hiebert’s online class, Paper Illuminated. (Filling out 1040 forms for my dad’s and my taxes don’t qualify as paper art.) This is a six week class, and I’ll keep you posted with the projects I make. Since I’ll be taking off soon for the southwest, I will be taking the supplies with me so I can keep working on the class projects as I travel.

I love how the light shows through the paper on this lamp shade.

I used the paper for this lamp shade that was included in Helen’s kit. It almost matches perfectly the switch plates I covered with paper a few years back. You can see my switch plate in the above two photos. Here’s the link to my blog post about covering them: Paper Covered Switch Plates.

Great instructions from Helen Hiebert for making this lamp shade in her online Paper Illuminated class.

I am sure this traveling is going to have an effect on my art. I just don’t know what it will be right now. I’m sorting through my art supplies and trying to figure out which ones I’ll want to travel with. I’ll keep you posted.

Enjoy, Candy