Monthly Archives: February 2015

DIY Saint Patrick’s Day Paper Garland

I just received an order of paper, paper that claims it won’t fade. I ordered every color available. And when I saw these two greens, I knew they would be perfect for a St. Patrick’s Day paper garland.

While you probably don't think of hearts as being green, I love these colors for my St. Patrick's Day paper heart garland.

While you probably don’t think of hearts as being green, think these colors work well for my St. Patrick’s Day paper heart garland.

I love this elongated heart shape, so I decided, why not make my garland out of green hearts. I think the green hearts worked perfectly. I chose a dark green embroidery thread and put on a few green beads to give my garland a little weight at the bottom (see photo above).

Two hearts are folded together and strung with embroidery thread.

Two hearts are folded together and sewn together with embroidery thread.

I punched my hearts out of the two green papers. I think a combination of green and white papers would work nicely too. Then I folded the hearts and placed two of each color together. Next I punched 3 holes with a needle and sewed the two hearts together. To make the hearts less likely to slip on the thread, I used bees wax on the thread. Waxed linen thread would work well too.

Keep adding hearts to your garland.

Keep adding hearts to your garland.

Keep adding hearts until you reach the length you want or run out of thread. Then tie a loop on the top so you can hang your garland.

My finished garland is about 8 feet long.

My finished garland is about 8 feet long.

Please note that in keeping with trying to keep my paper collection (or stash) under control, I dutifully gave away an equal amount of paper. The paper I gave away was paper that fades rather quickly. I am so excited to have found colored paper that claims it won’t fade.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Accordion Books

This past week I realized I had sold completely out of my little hard covered accordion books with watercolor messages inside. I make these little books out of 80# Strathmore Aquarius watercolor paper. It’s a great weight paper for books, takes watercolor without buckling and folds beautifully.

One accordion book finished and four in the process of being made.

One accordion book finished and four in the process of being made.

These little books are about 3″ tall and 22″ in length. I make them with various messages inside. The covers are some of my paste papers which I paste over book board which is just a little denser than mat board.

This is a detail of the above photo so you can see what the watercolor looks like before I start my embellishment.

This is a detail of the above photo so you can see what the watercolor looks like before I start my embellishment.

Here are the accordion books finished.

Here are the accordion books finished.

Happy Birthday accordion book.

Happy Birthday accordion book.

Thank You accordion book.

Thank You accordion book.

Happy Birthday accordion book.

Happy Birthday accordion book.

I Love You accordion book.

I Love You accordion book.

Happy Birthday accordion book.

Happy Birthday accordion book.

These little books are a joy to make. Making them makes me feel happy.

Enjoy, Candy

 

Calligraphy Cut-Out Place Cards

I try to practice calligraphy every day (notice I say try). Writing the alphabet or alphabet sentences every day can become boring. So, I try to come up with different ways to practice. My latest was to make these calligraphy cut-out place cards.

I turned my practice calligraphy into calligraphy cut out place cards.

I turned my practice calligraphy into calligraphy cut-out place cards.

Please note that these are practice pieces and not final works. The ink bled on a number of the names. And this was also my first attempt at this type of paper cutting. I couldn’t find a small knife, so these were done with my box cutter. Even so, I think these have promise.

I thought I'd make a place card for my dad.

This place card will be for my dad, probably for Father’s Day.

While I did my place cards using calligraphy, they could just as easily be made using a font printed on a printer. For my paper, I used scans of my paste papers that I printed on my inkjet printer. Then I did calligraphy on that paper. I think the ink bled because I was printing on top of the inkjet paper. I would suggest not trying to calligraphy on top of inkjet paper.

Place card for Beverly.

Place card for Beverly.

To make a place card, first either calligraph or print a name on a piece of paper. I suggest either heavy text weight paper or a light card stock. Somewhere about half way up the letters I draw a pencil line across the paper, but not on the letters themselves. You can see the pencil line has become the fold line in the photograph below.

Close up showing the cut out of the letters.

Close up showing the cut out of the letters.

Once you have your pencil line, cut around the letters that protrude above the pencil line.

Place card for Jean.

Place card for Jean.

If there is an inside of a letter that’s above the line, cut that out too. If there is an inside of a letter that’s part above and part below the line, cut out just the part that’s above the line. Examples of this are in the “B” of Beverly and the “O” of Popa and the “D” of Candy.

This shows the cut-out for Jean.

This shows the cut-out for Jean.

I found that I liked cutting just outside of the calligraphy so that a little of the paper that the calligraphy is on shows. I tried cutting exactly on the outside of the calligraphy, but it felt a little dead. Leaving just a bit of the color of the paper around the calligraphy seems to add a little pizzaz.

I made 3 different place cards for Paul and the calligraphy bled in all three. This is the least worst of the bunch.

I made 3 different place cards for Paul and the calligraphy bled in all three. This is the least worst of the bunch.

After you have completed the cutting, fold on the pencil line. Fold only the paper that is not the letters. This is a little tricky the first time. Be patient with yourself. It gets easier with practice. Cut the paper to the size you desire and enjoy.

The ink ran on this one too, but I still like it.

The ink ran on this one too, but I still like it.

The next thing I plan to do is to draw on the calligraphy with metallic pens. I might even do some sort of a collage on the names too. This is just the beginning of my playing.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Chocolate Hershey Kisses Mice

A few weeks ago I showed how to make chocolate mice from Hershey’s Kisses. Since then, I made over 100 mice. I shared on Valentine’s Day to an entire dining room of people. Needless to say, the mice were a big hit.

The mice are gathering together, getting ready for Valentine's Day.

The mice are gathering together, getting ready for Valentine’s Day.

Since posting the DIY instructions, I found purple Hershey’s Kisses and couldn’t help but add them to my mice. The purple kisses are a dark chocolate, the pink and silver and red are milk chocolate and the gold are milk chocolate with almond.

The mice seemed to gravitate towards all things chocolate.

The mice seemed to gravitate towards all things chocolate.

The chocolate strawberries were delicious.

The chocolate strawberries were delicious.

This mouse is checking out the chocolate mouse. I must say it way ever so good!

This mouse is checking out the chocolate mousse. I must say it way ever so good!

For instructions to make your own mice, see my blog post: DIY – Chocolate Mice From Hershey’s Kisses.

Enjoy, Candy

P.S. My friends, Elizabeth and Kay tried making these and added a little something more to their mice. They added a pin for the nose and wire for whiskers. I was going to try this too, but I had some other friends tell me it would make the chocolate inedible, which they didn’t like at all.

DIY – Valentine Envelope Gift Certificate Booklet

Gift certificates are great Valentine’s Day gifts. Who wouldn’t enjoy a foot massage or dinner at their favorite restaurant or even just hugs and kisses. To make these gift certificates super special, I’ve made a booklet out of red envelopes. The envelope booklet makes a wonderful presentation for the gift certificates.

Valentine Gift Certificate Booklet open looks a bit like an accordion book.

Valentine Gift Certificate Booklet open looks a bit like an accordion book.

Firs,t I found some red envelopes at my local Staples store. Any color envelope will do, but I decided on red. Once I knew the size of my envelope, I designed my gift certificates to fit in that size envelope. You can make your own gift certificates using your computer or stickers or just write your gift certificate by hand on a white piece of paper.

I made 8 Valentine gift certificates.

I made 8 Valentine gift certificates.

I found these red envelopes that seem perfect to hold the gift certificates.

I found these red envelopes that seem perfect to hold the gift certificates.

Glue the inside flap of one of the envelopes. I used glue stick because it doesn’t cause the paper to curl as much as a wetter glue would do. Place another envelope on the inside flap you just glued (see photo below).

Glue the inside flap of the envelope and place another envelope on top. Continue until you have used all your envelopes.

Glue the inside flap of the envelope and place another envelope on top. Continue until you have used all your envelopes.

Insert your gift certificates inside the envelopes. It now looks something like an accordion book.

Here the gift certificates have been placed in the envelopes.

Here the gift certificates have been placed in the envelopes.

All that’s left is to wrap it up into a pretty package. I used one white and one red ribbon and tied the booklet together.

The presentation of these gift certificates makes the gift feel super special.

The presentation of these gift certificates makes the gift feel super special.

Originally I was going to use 8 envelopes, but I liked the look and feel of 6 envelopes. You can use as many envelopes as you want.

Enjoy and have a Happy Valentine’s Day, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Happy Valentine’s Day Cards

My studio time this week has been minimal as I have been working on cleaning and organizing my garage (lots of art supplies stored in there), and locating all my tax records. I have had time to package and put together a few Happy Valentine’s Day cards.

Happy Valentine's Day cards

Happy Valentine’s Day cards

As usual, my cards are 5″ by 7″ and fit into a standard 5″ by 7″ mat or frame.

Happy Valentine's Day cards

Happy Valentine’s Day cards

These cards are prints of an original gouache and ink piece I did on Arches cover, a printmaking paper.

Happy Valentine's Day card

Happy Valentine’s Day card

Enjoy, Candy

Long-Stemmed Heart Bouquets

Today I put my vase of Long-Stemmed Hearts on my dining table. I love these hearts. I know I’ve posted these photos before, but I just couldn’t help but share them again. They are perfect for Valentine’s Day and they are one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Long stemmed hearts in a variety of colors are perfect for Valentine's Day.

Long stemmed hearts in a variety of colors are perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Lately I have been playing around with paper hearts. My favorite I have dubbed the Long-Stemmed Hearts. I started out making the traditional red heart. Then I decided to make pinks and purples. Why stop there? I got a little carried away and have made the hearts in all sorts of colors. Then it was time to play with different color combinations for the bouquets.

Purple, blue and teal long stemmed hearts.

Purple, blue and teal Long Stemmed Hearts.

Warm colored long stemmed hearts.

Warm colored Long-Stemmed Hearts.

Purples and blues go together well. You don't always need to have red hearts.

Purples and blues go together well. You don’t always need to have red hearts.

Here I went with cool colored Long- Stemmed Hearts.

Here I went with cool colored Long- Stemmed Hearts.

Unlike roses, my Long-Stemmed Hearts won’t wilt after a week and never need watering. In fact, it’s highly advised that you don’t water them.

I hope this inspires you.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Paper Lotus Flowers For Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is less than 2 weeks away, so I’ve been busy in my studio this past week making paper lotus flowers in reds and pinks and purples. These paper lotus flowers make wonderful gifts. They don’t wilt and never need watering.

Paper Lotus Flowers for Valentine's Day.

Paper Lotus Flowers for Valentine’s Day.

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Lotus flowers are not easy to make. I still sometimes have trouble with them if I’m not in a very calm state of mind when I fold them. I don’t recommend you try making them unless you are quite skilled in origami or paper folding techniques. However, since so many people have asked for instructions, I have included them in my blog post: Steps To Making A Paper Lotus Flower.

Enjoy, Candy