Monthly Archives: July 2013

Personalized Thank You Cards

This was quickly done on a 3" square of watercolor paper with a black pigma pen and watercolor pencils. I left it in Sharon's guest book.

This was done quickly on a 3″ square of watercolor paper using a black pigma pen and watercolor pencils. I left it in Sharon’s guest book.

I have recently returned from two-plus weeks of vacation, which included a week-long calligraphy and bookbinding retreat. While on vacation, I made personalized thank you notes for my friends who helped me out during my travels. Unfortunately, I didn’t remember to take photos of all the thank you notes I made on this trip, something I will certainly do for future travels. But here are the ones I did take photos of.

I created this thank you in the form of an apron (because Susan loves aprons) using a collage technique that Susan demonstrated. The patterned paper collaged on to the apron is a piece of scrap pattern paper that Susan had covered with sumi and acrylic inks. The apron strings are dental floss (I used what I had available).

I created this thank you in the form of an apron (because Susan loves aprons) using a collage technique that Susan demonstrated. The patterned paper collaged on to the apron is a piece of scrap pattern paper that Susan had covered with sumi and acrylic inks. The apron strings are dental floss (I used what I had available).

Elizabeth demonstrated a book design that required a template that she gave me. I made a tiny version and included the tiny template inside this thank you cars.

Elizabeth demonstrated a book design that required a template in order to make the book. I made a tiny version of the book and included the tiny template I made to make the book inside this thank you card I gave to her.

This is not actually a "Thank You", it's more like a keepsake I made for myself.

This is not actually a “Thank You”, it’s more like a keepsake I made for myself.

My vacation is over. I am rested and inspired. My next project will be making paste papers, which I make every summer when it is hot and the paste papers can dry fairly quickly. I will be trying out my new (to me) garage for doing my paste papers. Lots more space than I’m used to. I can hardly wait! I’ll be posting my progress here on my blog. Stay tuned.

Enjoy, Candy

Paper Covered Switch Plates

Switch plates covered in paper. They were so much fun to make!

Switch plates covered in paper. They were so much fun to make!

My new (to me) house is wonderful, but the walls were completely the wrong color for me. I like to have colorful art on the walls, and I like the walls to harmonize, not be a focal point themselves. I own a lot of wood furniture, oak of various shades, birch, maple, walnut, bamboo and myrtle wood. So I was looking for a paint that would harmonize with my various shades of wood (mostly light), and be calming and peaceful. After getting some samples and painting some swatches, I decided on a color called Sweet Cream. I’m almost done, but I still have the garage and kitchen to finish painting. Whew.

After I painted the first room and was putting the switch plates back, I thought they could use some updating, too. White switch plates on a Sweet Cream wall felt a bit boring, even for a ‘calm and peaceful’ look. So, I decided I would try covering switch plates with various papers in the hope that I would like it enough to put on my walls.

After doing a web search for ideas and seeing what other people were doing with switch plates and paper, I began forming my own ideas.

Most people I found used wallpaper or made collages their switch plates. Most were sealed with a shiny varnish of some sort.

I didn’t want shiny, I wanted something more subdued, a matte finish. I wanted simple, not the complex arrangement of a collage. And I wanted to use thin, plyable paper. I thought it would bend around the corners of the switch plates without causing a lot of bulk there.

For the adhesive and sealing, I used acrylic matte medium. I cut the paper a little more than an inch longer and wider than the switch plate, then covered both the switch plate and the back of the paper with acrylic matte medium. I then smoothed the paper carefully on the switch plate. I had to be careful not to rip the paper, but still pull the paper tight enough to eliminate any bubbles or wrinkles. While still wet, I used a needle to poke holes in the paper where the screws go. Once dry, I sliced an “x” in the center of the paper (where the switch goes), folded the resulting flaps around the back of the switch plate, and glued them down. Finally, I painted the paper-covered switch plates with two or three applications of acrylic matte medium to seal the paper.

This is the paper I liked best to go with my "Sweet Cream" walls, my furniture and my art.
This is the paper for the switch plates that I  liked best to go with my “Sweet Cream” walls, my furniture and my art.

I picked my favorite paper from the test batch and with it I made enough switch plates for my living room, dining room and studio. I think they add a casual elegance to my home. I love it!

I hope this inspires you to try something with switch plates for yourself.

Enjoy, Candy

Paper Fade Test

I cut 6 different black strips of paper (1" x 6") and taped them to a piece of paper. I cut the paper in half. The left half will sit in a south window while the right half will be put in an envelope in a dark drawer.

I cut 6 different black strips of paper (1″ x 6″) and taped them to a piece of paper which I then cut in half. The left half will sit in a south-facing window, while the right half will be put in an envelope in a dark drawer.

I have in mind a project that will use black paper, but the paper needs to fold easily and not fade if left in sunlight. To find a paper with both of those qualities isn’t as easy as it sounds. I did have one black paper that was labeled as fadeproof… but it cracked online pharmacy when it was folded, and that just won’t do. So now I have to figure out whether any of my black papers that do fold well are also fadeproof. That means it’s time for a fade test.

A fade test is a test designed to see whether the color of something will fade over time. I was first introduced to fade tests many years ago when I was taking classes in calligraphy and was shown how to test inks for fading. I always want to be sure the ink and any other materials I use to make a finished work of art will last.

For ink fade tests I write with a variety of inks on a piece of paper, then cut the paper in half. I put one half in a south facing window (lots of sunlight) and the other half in an envelope in a drawer, hidden from sunlight. After about 6 months, I compare the two halves. Some inks fade, some have color shifts and I once had an ink completely disappear in just 6 months of being in the sun.

I have also used fade tests to check printer ink and watercolors. Now I get to check black paper.

I’ll report back  later and post the results. In about 6 months. 😉

Enjoy, Candy

 

Calligraphy Piece Published

Buddha's Law Eternal by Candy Wooding 16" x 20". Gouache and ink on paper.

Buddha’s Law Eternal by Candy Wooding 16″ x 20″. Gouache and ink on paper.

I am thrilled that a piece of calligraphy I donated to the “Out of the Silence” exhibit has been published in Bound & Lettered, a quarterly journal devoted to artists’ books, bookbinding, papercraft and calligraphy.

Bound & Lettered, published quarterly, features artists' books, bookbinding, papercraft and calligraphy.

Bound & Lettered, published quarterly, features artists’ books, bookbinding, papercraft and calligraphy.

“Out of the Silence” is a calligraphic exhibit intended to promote a dialogue about the issues of bullying and the increasing rate of teen suicide as a result. It was developed by Sally Penley, an artist, calligrapher and friend from Olympia, WA.

Last year, I and thirty-eight other calligraphers  from across North America donated pieces to the exhibit. We combined impactful messages and quotes with our calligraphy to create 58 pieces of powerful art. Some of the messages address the issues, and others promote love, self-worth and hope—hope for a better future that celebrates diversity and equal rights for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. You can read more here.

Here is the article, pages 22 to 27, Out of the Silence: and exhibit celebrating diversity, love and understanding.

Here is the article, pages 22 to 27, Out of the Silence: an exhibit celebrating diversity, love and understanding.

Hugs to all,

Candy

 

2-Toned Boxes

These boxes are the boxes I will be demonstrating how to make during the First Friday Art Walk on July 5.

I will be demonstrating how to make boxes like these during the First Friday Art Walk on July 5.

These easy 2-toned boxes have been fun to play around with. I wanted something fun and easy to demonstrate in my studio during July’s First Friday Art Walk. So far, I’ve made these little boxes with my paste papers, papers I’ve printed patterns on (my 4th of July box), card stock, watercolor paper and scrapbooking paper.

With the 4th of July coming on Thursday, I made striped and star papers using Adobe Illustrator and made them into this little box.

With the 4th of July coming on Thursday, I made striped and star papers using Adobe Illustrator and made them into this little box.

You can draw, paint, stamp, collage or stencil images on paper, then use that paper to make these boxes. This is a fun project for children, teens and adults. It’s easy to decorate the paper for any holiday or event. They’d be great as favors for a birthday, shower or wedding. Or just because.

This shows the top and bottom of a box and the flaps that go inside. The red tool is a corner rounder. Notice that some of the corners have been rounded and some have not.

This shows the top and bottom of a box and the flaps that go inside. The red tool is a corner rounder. Notice that some of the corners have been rounded and some have not.

I used a corner rounder (shown above) to make rounded corners on my boxes. Another option would be to cut the corners diagonally.

The bottom and top can be made exactly the same. The longer sides fit into the shorter sides of the corresponding top or bottom. If you want a more “traditional” box with a smaller top and larger bottom, you can adjust the height of the boxes. I chose to make my boxes with the bottom of the box taller than the top of the box. The flaps that fit inside I made 1” longer than the side of the box.

Click Here for a downloadable pdf template of the box, top and bottom. I encourage you to play around and maybe even adjust the measurements once you’re comfortable with it. This is a very versatile box with lots of possible variations.

Enjoy, Candy