Monthly Archives: December 2014

Studio Snapshot – Lotus Flowers for the Rogue Gallery Gift Shop

The Rogue Gallery in Medford recently asked me if I would put some of my Lotus Flowers in their gift shop. I said “yes” and this week I have been making paper Lotus Flowers. I will deliver them early in January.

A dozen paper Lotus Flowers

A dozen paper Lotus Flowers

This paper Lotus Flower is made from butterfly wrapping paper. It's shiny, slippery and hard to work with, but sure worth the extra effort when its done.

This paper Lotus Flower is made from butterfly wrapping paper. It’s shiny, slippery and hard to work with, but sure worth the extra effort when its done.

This paper Lotus Flower is made from a heavy paper with some flocking on it. It reminds me that spring is just around the corner.

This paper Lotus Flower is made from a heavy paper with some flocking on it. It reminds me that spring is just around the corner.

This paper Lotus Flower is made from my last sheet of this printed purple paper.

This paper Lotus Flower is made from my last sheet of this printed purple paper.

This paper lotus flower is made with paper printed with gold and silver dandelions and lots of glitter.

This paper lotus flower is made from paper printed with gold and silver dandelions with lots of glitter.

Note to self: Don’t touch face after working with paper that has glitter on it.

This paper Lotus Flower is made from hand marbled paper.

This paper Lotus Flower is made from marbled paper.

This paper Lotus Flower is made from purple paper printed with silver dragonflies.

This paper Lotus Flower is made from purple paper printed with silver dragonflies.

If you are interested in seeing how these paper Lotus Flowers are made, you can check out my blog post: Steps To Making A Paper Lotus Flower.

Enjoy, Candy

DIY Hanging Paper Heart Ornaments

I decided it would be fun to make place cards for the four of us who went out to a noontime Christmas Eve dinner yesterday. I wanted the place cards to double keepsakes for the four of us, so I decided to make paper heart ornaments and attach our names to the hanging cord.

The heart ornaments double as place cards for our Christmas Eve dinner. I calligraphed our names on gold paper and slipped the hanging cord through a hole I punched in the paper.

The heart ornaments doubled as place cards for our Christmas Eve dinner. I calligraphed our names on gold paper and slipped the hanging cord through a hole I punched in the paper.

They were a big hit, not only to my dining companions, but to those at neighboring tables. I have decided that I will demonstrate how to make them during the First Friday Art Walk on January 2. In case you can’t make it to Ashland, Oregon on January 2, I’m including instructions below.

Here I have traced around my heart template on the back side of my chosen paper.

Here I have traced around my heart template on the back side of my chosen paper.

After finding a pleasing heart shape, cut the heart out of heavy paper and use it as a template. Trace around the heart template on the back side of the decorated paper you want to use for your heart ornament. I suggest either a heavy text weight paper or a light weight card stock paper.

Note: It is much easier to fold your heart in half if you are folding it with the grain of the paper. If you don’t know about paper grain direction, you can learn about it on my blog post: Understanding Paper Grain Direction.

Cut six hearts and then fold them in half.

Cut six hearts and then fold each of them in half.

Cut out six hearts, then fold them in half as shown in the photo above.

Glue the back sides of half of two of the hearts together using glue stick.

Glue the back sides of half of two of the hearts together using glue stick.

Glue the back half of one heart to the back half of another heart. I use glue stick for this.

Hint: I find that if I use glue stick on both pieces of paper, they will slide a little so it a lot easier to align them.

Always put the glue on the wrong side of the paper. It ends up looking like a heart book with all the wrong sides glued together.

Always put the glue on the wrong side of the paper. It ends up looking like a heart book with all the wrong sides glued together.

In the above photo, the first two hearts have been glued together, almost like a page in a book has been glued closed (the glued hearts are on the right, the one to be glued to them on the left). Now glue the back side of one of the “pages” to one folded back side of one of the remaining 4 hearts.

Three hearts have now been glued together.

Three hearts have now been glued together.

Continue gluing one more heart. The above photo shows three hearts glued into what almost looks like a book. Add one more heart by gluing just the wrong side of the paper.

Four hearts have been glued and two remain to be glued.

Four hearts have been glued and two remain to be glued.

Glue another heart.

Five hearts have been glue together and only one more heart remains.

Five hearts have been glue together and only one more heart remains.

Glue the last heart.

Glue the last heart.

Glue the last heart to the others.

Now you have what looks like a heart book.

Now you have what looks like a heart book.

Cut a piece of string or cord long enough to form a loop and the top of your ornament and hang below it too.

Cut a piece of string or cord long for your heart ornament.

Cut a piece of string or cord long enough to make a loop above your heart ornament and hang below too. You could use a ribbon, but a cord is easier to hide in the fold of the ornament.

Tie a knot and lay the cord in the spine of the ornament.

Tie a knot and lay the cord in the spine of the ornament.

Double the cord and tie a know about 4 or 5 inched down from the top of the cord as shown above. Lay the cord in the middle of what looks like a heart book. See photo above. Then glue the two remaining wrong sides of the paper together to finish your heart ornament.

Make know at bottom of ornament.

Make knot at bottom of ornament.

I think it finishes off the heart ornament to have a knot at the bottom too. Cut your hanging cord to whatever length you like.

Two of my heart ornaments. The name tag can slip through the top hanging cord.

Two of my heart ornaments. I made name tags on gold paper, put a hole in the tag and slipped the name tag on the top of the cord. These made wonderful place cards (see first photo on this blog post).

You now have a hanging heart ornament.

Two hanging heart ornaments.

Two hanging heart ornaments.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – December 22, 2014

I have been working on this Earth Spirit Vessel for months. You may have read my blog posts back in October and November. Well, it is finally done! I finished gluing on the last folded paper this morning.

This Earth Spirit Vessel contains 1419 pieces of hand folded paper.

This Earth Spirit Vessel contains 1419 pieces of hand folded paper.

Actually there’s one small thing left to do, glue the top of the burl wood base to the bottom of the burl wood base. I will do that this evening.

Looking down at the burl wood bottom of the Earth Spirit Vessel.

Looking down at the burl wood bottom of the Earth Spirit Vessel.

This Earth Spirit Vessel, now named Broken Wing, is the largest vessel I have attempted. It was a custom order which was designed for a specific location in a friend’s home. It contains 1,419 pieces of hand folded pieces of paper.

This is almost twice as large as any Earth Spirit Vessel I have previously made.

This is almost twice as large as any Earth Spirit Vessel I have previously made.

Within 25 of the papers are hand calligraphed quotes, inspirations and prayers relating to the Mother Earth and Nature. Once folded and made a part of the vessel, these are not meant to be seen or read, but to be embodied into the spirit of the vessel itself.

This Earth Spirit Vessel now has a name, Broken Wing.

This Earth Spirit Vessel now has a name, Broken Wing.

And this post shows how it started, with hundreds and hundreds of folded pieces of paper: Studio Snapshot – October 6, 2014.

Enjoy, Candy

DIY Snowflake Envelope

I love sending cards and envelopes through the old fashioned US Postal Service, aka Snail Mail. I know it’s faster and and cheaper to do email, but I do so enjoy receiving and holding physical cards and envelopes. So, with this in mind, I signed up to do a Holiday Envelope Exchange.

My first batch of envelopes went out on Monday. These went out today.

My first batch of envelopes went out on Monday. These went out today.

Since I have lots I am doing right now, I decided to make my envelopes for the Holiday Envelope Exchange the same design I’m using for my own Holiday Cards. My Holiday Cards are predominately blue with snowflakes. So, I decided to take a scanned paste paper of a similar blue color and put white embossed snowflakes on it. The actual color is “silver pearl.”

Here is a close up of one of the "silver pearl" embossed snowflakes. I love that it's so subtle. Depending on the light, it may take a second look to see it.

Here is a close up of one of the “silver pearl” embossed snowflakes. I love that it’s so subtle. Depending on the light, it may take a second look to see it.

My card was designed to fit a standard A-7 envelope. Since you may have a different size envelope you are working with, the simple answer is to take apart your chosen size envelope and trace its pattern on the decorated paper you want to use. I suggest using a text weight paper for your envelope. If you need to shop for paper, check your local art supply store or scrapbooking store for your decorated paper.

I steamed open the envelope on the left and used it as my pattern for the envelope on the left. I didn't bother with rounding any of the corners or having a deckled edge on the flap.

I steamed open the envelope on the right and used it as my pattern for the envelope on the left. I didn’t bother with rounding any of the corners or having a deckled edge on the flap.

Note to self: steaming open an envelope looks so easy on TV, but is a bit harder in real life. Or, maybe I just need more practice.

After cutting out my envelope (and before pasting the envelope together), I stamped a snowflake on the envelope in two places and sprinkled silver pearl embossing powder over the stamped area. I shook off the excess powder, then heated the embossing powder with a heat gun. Before I bought myself a heat gun, I used to use hold my paper over a toaster or light bulb. Be careful not to singe the paper if you do that.

The envelopes on the left are ready to go out. The ones on the right are works in progress.

The envelopes on the left are ready to go out. The ones on the right are still works in progress.

Next (again before pasting the envelope together), I wrote the recipient’s first name in calligraphy with blue ink on the envelope. Then I pasted up the sides of the envelopes, inserted my card in the envelopes, finished addressing the envelopes and put on the stamps.

It did take me longer to make the envelopes than I had remembered, but it really was fun.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Handmade Holiday Envelopes

This past week I have been making envelopes for the Holiday Cards I showed a couple of weeks ago. It’s taking quite a while to make them. I’ll give details on how to make them on Thursday’s blog post, so stay tuned.

These are going to be envelopes in which I am going to be sending out my Holiday Cards. It's hard to see, but each envelope has 2 embossed snowflakes on it.

These are going to be envelopes in which I am going to be sending out my Holiday Cards. It’s hard to see, but each of the envelopes has 2 embossed snowflakes, one in the upper left corner and one in the lower right corner.

Enjoy, Candy

Last Minute Holiday Gifts

I’m starting to feel the holiday gift crunch. I have made, purchased or figured out most of the gifts I’m giving this season. But with moving and a whole lot of shows this year, I have run a little short on time. I feel I’m scrambling more this year than usual. If you’re in the same place, then here are some ideas you might be interested in.

A 4 year old making flowers with Earth Paints.

A 4 year old making flowers with Earth Paints.

If you wish to buy art supplies for children on your holiday list, Leah Fanning Mebane has you covered. She is an artist who has been working for a number of years creating non-toxic and eco-friendly paints. She has a Children’s Earth Paint Kit, a Natural Face Paint Kit, a Natural Egg Dye Kit and lots more. She even has non-toxic oil paints, gesso and Eco-Solve. You can see her products on her website: Natural Earth Paint.

Helen Hiebert's book Playing With Pop-Ups.

Helen Hiebert’s book Playing With Pop-Ups.

I will be reviewing Helen Hiebert’s book Playing With Pop Ups in a later post, after I make a number of the projects in the book. Still, just from looking through the book, I think it would be a great gift for a child who enjoys making things. You can order them from Helen’s Website. Although you can order the book elsewhere, I like to order directly from the artist whenever possible.

This is a shadow lantern made from a kit by Helen Hiebert. It can also fold open to be a screen.

This is a shadow lantern made from a kit by Helen Hiebert. It can also fold open to be a screen.

Helen also sells playing with paper kits which include everything needed to make a project. She sells a window star kit, a shadow ornament kit, an interchangeable ring kit, a shadow lantern kit (the photo above is one of the options for that kit), a party light kit and an envelope folding screen kit. Perfect gift for a crafty adult or child. Her kits are on her website: Helen Hiebert Studio.

Five boxes, all perfect for holding a small piece of Dagoba chocolate.

Five boxes, all perfect for holding a small piece of Dagoba chocolate.

For the person who has everything, there’s always chocolate. What better way to give chocolate than in a beautiful little box. Check out my blog post: DIY Boxes For Chocolate. There are links to 5 different templates at the bottom of the post. Use a decorative paper and make a wonderful little box in which to present your chocolate.

This envelope was made using the instructions in Ed Emberley's Halloween Drawing Book.

This envelope was made using the instructions in Ed Emberley’s Halloween Drawing Book. It’s simple to follow the instructions.

I realize that Halloween is a long ways away, but I love the Halloween Drawing Book by Ed Emberley. It’s one of my favorite books. You can read my review of the book on my blog post: Halloween Envelopes and Ed Emberley’s Halloween Drawing Book Review. His books are available on Amazon. I’ve not tried his other books, but if they’re anywhere near as good as this one, you won’t be disappointed. Great gift for children and fun loving adults.

These wonderful geometric ornaments are available as a kit you can make yourself.

These wonderful geometric ornaments are available as a kit you can make yourself.

Here is another kit that is perfect for a crafter. The kit contains materials to make four ornaments. They’re made by Michelle Ebersohm and sold through her Etsy shop Chronus+Rhea.

Gifts of food are always welcome. Here are some ideas. 1. Put a stack of cookies in a mason jar, cover with decorated paper and attach your cookie recipe to it. 2. A gift certificate for a meal, either delivered or for a meal at your house at a later date. I gave my dad all the ingredients to make turkey sandwiches this past Thanksgiving (his favorite dark meat, his favorite cranberry sauce, bread and a small jar of mayonnaise). 3. Gather the favorite foods of your recipient and put them together a basket. Wrap in clear plastic or tissue paper. 4. Restaurant gift certificate. 5. A gift certificate at the recipient’s favorite grocery store of food co-op. I have given this to a student. I also received a gift certificate at our food co-op from an out-of-town relative. The ideas are endless and everyone eats food.

Happy Holidays, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Accordion Inspiration Books

This week in my studio I am making little accordion Inspiration Books. They are quite small little books, each with a quote inside. The covers have a word or two on the front related to the quote inside.

My Inspiration Books in progress of being made. Yes, I do cut out all those little squares to make the piano hinge that closes the book with a toothpick.

The above photo shows my Inspiration Books in progress of being made. Yes, I do cut out all those little squares to make the piano hinge that closes the book with a toothpick. And, yes, I twist lots of thread to make the cords for each book.

While I make each book by hand, the cover and the inside accordion text are printed from my computer. I made the original paste paper or watercolor or marbled paper for each cover, then scanned it into the computer. This way I get to print the covers out on my choice of paper and make multiples of each in order to keep the price down. I sell these in my studio at the Ashland Art Center.

Close up of my I Love You Inspiration Book.

Close up of my I Love You Inspiration Book.

I make the cords for the books from various colors of thread. I try to match the colors of each book with the various threads I use. The cords usually have gold, silver or other metallic threads included with the colors.

I Love You Inspiration Book open.

I Love You Inspiration Book open.

I have collected favorite sayings for years. I have included some of my favorite ones in my Inspiration Books.

These Inspiration Books are finished and ready to go to my studio.

These Inspiration Books are finished and ready to go to my studio.

Enjoy, Candy

 

 

DIY Paper Covered Composition Book

Here’s an easy, yet beautiful little gift or stocking stuffer. I have included step-by-step photos showing how you can make these yourself.

These are little composition books that are covered in decorative paste paper. They are actually fairly easy to make.

These are little composition books that are covered in decorative paste paper. They are actually fairly easy to make.

I found a bunch of these little composition books earlier this year. They’re small, 3.25″ by 4.5″  and have lined paper in them. They cost 99 cents at my local Bi Mart store. I found them in three colors plus black. Some were a single signature, but the only ones I can find now are perfect bound with a square back rather than a rounded one.

These little composition books are 3.25" by 4.5", a great size to slip into a pocket or purse.

These little composition books are 3.25″ by 4.5″, a great size to slip into a pocket or purse.

I decided to cover just the composition part of the book and leave the spines their original colors. There are lots of paper possibilities for the covers. I would suggest a colorful text weight paper. Art supply stores and stores with scrapbook papers would be perfect sources for paper. I used some of my paste papers, both original paste papers and ones I scanned and printed out on Strathmore charcoal paper.

Cut 4 pieces of decorated paper into sizes just a little larger than you'll need. 2 pieces for the front and back covers and 2 for the insides of the covers. You can trim them to size later.

Cut 4 pieces of decorated paper into sizes just a little larger than you’ll need. 2 pieces for the front and back covers and 2 for the insides of the covers. You can trim them to size later.

Apply double sided tape or glue along the leading edge of the paper for the cover of your book. Attach the paper to the cover, leaving as much of the solid color book cloth showing as you like.

Apply double sided tape or glue along the leading edge of the back of the paper for the cover of your book. Attach the paper to the cover, leaving as much of the solid color book cloth showing as you like.

Note: When covering this composition book, you want to use as little moisture as possible. The reason is that this book has already been made and if you use too much moisture (that means liquid glue), then the inside pages of the book could wrinkle.

Trim the paper around the book. For this small of a book, I think about 3/8" is about right.

Trim the paper around the book. For this small of a book, I think 3/8″ is about right.

With scissors or a craft knife make cuts around the two corners as shown above so the paper will turn easily around the rounded corner.

With scissors or a craft knife make cuts around the two corners as shown above so the paper will fold easily around the rounded corner.

Glue carefully the slits of paper around the two corners. Then glue the top and bottom (as shown above) and lastly the side. I used PVA glue, but any craft glue will do the job. Use just enough, but don't soak the paper.

Glue carefully the slits of paper around the two corners. Next glue the top and bottom as shown above. I used PVA glue, but any craft glue will do the job. Use just enough glue, but don’t soak the paper.

Lastly, glue the side down. I like to use a brush as it helps me get just enough glue, but not too much.

Lastly, glue the side down. I like to use a brush to apply the glue as it helps me get just enough glue, but not too much.

Trim the paper for the inside front cover to size. I used a corner rounder to make a nice rounded corner, but you could cut a rounded corner with scissors too.

Trim the paper for the inside front cover to size. I used a corner rounder to make a nice rounded corner, but you could cut a rounded corner with scissors too.

The paper is trimmed to size and I'm just punching the corner in the corner rounder.

The paper for the inside of the cover is trimmed to size and I’m just punching the corner in the corner rounder.

One more check to make sure the size is right.

One more check to make sure the size is right. Then paste about 1/2″ in on the under side of the paper and past it in place. Remember not to soak the paper with paste.

Here is how it looks with the inside cover pasted. Now follow the same steps to cover the back cover of the book.

Here is how it looks with the inside cover pasted. Now follow the same steps to cover the back cover of the book.

These are 5 of the composition books I've done so far. They're fun and go faster each time I make them.

These are 5 of the composition books I’ve done so far. They’re fun and go faster each time I make them.

These little paper covered composition books make perfect stocking stuffers.

These little paper covered composition books make perfect stocking stuffers.

They’re perfect for slipping in my purse so I always have a notepad with me.

Happy creating, Candy

Studio Snapshot – December 1, 2014

I can hardly believe it’s December already. Today I’m working on my annual Holiday Card. I used to make completely handmade cards for the holiday that took me weeks to make. I’ve changed now to sending cards with family photos. I design the cards on the computer and insert a family photo. Below is the one I’m working on for this year.

Once I put my family photo into the white place holder, this will be my Holiday Card for 2014.

Once I put my family photo into the white place holder, this will be my Holiday Card for 2014.

Enjoy, Candy