Monthly Archives: July 2015

Paper Ladybug Garlands

Once I made my Ladybug Card, I simply couldn’t stop making paper ladybugs. They’re simply so cute! I decided I wanted to make a “flock” of them and make them into a garland to hang around the house for good luck. They might also be called a mobile.

Paper Ladybug Garland

Paper Ladybug Garland

For my garland (or mobile), I made my ladybugs just a little larger than I did for my greeting card. Rather than using a 3″ square of red square of paper, I started with a 3.5″ square which resulted in a slightly larger ladybug. I also made the black dots on their wings a little larger too.

Paper Ladybug Garland closeup. You can see that I have attached ladybugs to both sides of the waxed linen thread.

Paper Ladybug Garland closeup. You can see that I have attached ladybugs to both sides of the waxed linen thread.

After making my “flock” of ladybugs, I attached them, back to back, to some black waxed linen thread. I used PVA glue, but any craft glue should work. I threaded some beads between each of the ladybugs.

Another Paper Lady Bug Garland close up.

Another Paper Lady Bug Garland close up.

Paper Ladybug Garland

Paper Ladybug Garland

I really enjoyed making these ladybugs. To see the instructions for making them, check out my blog post: DIY Ladybug Card.

Enjoy, Candy

 

Studio Snapshot – Organizing Beads In Paper Boxes

This past week I was looking for some beads for a project I was working on and realized that my bead “collection” was totally out of control. I had well over 100 little plastic baggies full of beads. Looking through all those baggies just wasn’t efficient.

My new bead organization in progress. I'm making little paper boxes and sorting my beads by color.

My new bead organization in progress. I’m making little paper boxes and sorting my beads by color.

Then I remembered how organized my friend Michelle’s beads were. So, off to Michaels for some clear plastic boxes that were designed to hold scrapbook paper. I bought a number of these boxes and made little paper boxes to hold all my beads. With little boxes, I can easily rearrange the beads if necessary.

Close up showing how I sorted my beads by color.

Close up showing how I sorted my beads by color.

It took me a couple of days to make the paper boxes and a couple more to sort through all my beads. I know I have some more red beads and some more paper beads, but I haven’t found them yet. When I find them, I’ll rearrange the boxes once more so I have like colors together.

Paper beads, green beads, earth tone beads and an empty box waiting to be filled.

Paper beads, green beads, earth tone beads and an empty box yet to be filled.

Once I got my beads sorted into my paper boxes, I realized that I really needed lids for the boxes so the beads wouldn’t spill into neighboring boxes while I was moving the plastic box they were in. I also realized that I wanted clear plastic lids so I could easily see the beads without having to open all the boxes.

I made clear plastic lids for my paper boxes so I can see exactly what beads are inside and protect them from spilling while I'm carrying the container.

I made clear plastic lids for my paper boxes so I can see exactly what beads are inside and protect them from spilling while I’m carrying the container.

My answer was to take used clear plastic container lids and cut out a 2″ by 3.5″ rectangle. I scored and folded .75″ on both of the long sides of the plastic so I ended up with a 2″ square with .75″ flaps on 2 sides. I then slipped the flaps into the sides of the box and I had my clear plastic lid. (See photo above. Both bead boxes on the left have clear plastic lids on them.)

Now I'm able to see all my beads at a glance. It was well worth the effort!

Now I’m able to see all my beads at a glance. It was well worth the effort!

Enjoy, Candy

DIY Ladybug Card – Perfect For Making With Children

Ladybugs are universally thought of to bring good luck. No one seems to know why ladybugs came to be viewed as lucky or why this is common in many different cultures. So after running across a wonderful ladybug quote, I decided I wanted to make it into a cute little card. The result is a project that is perfect for sitting down with some young children and making some ladybugs and cards them.

My Ladybug Card with a few extra ladybugs hanging around.

My Ladybug Card with a few extra ladybugs hanging around.

An alternative would be to make one of these cards and send it to a child along with some “extra” little ladybugs. These little ladybugs can be made in a variety of sizes and can be modified in a number of different ways. Have fun playing with them.

The above photo shows the steps to make a paper ladybug. I started with a 3" square of red paper, but they can be made any size.

The above photo shows the steps to make a paper ladybug. I started with a 3″ square of red paper, but they can be made any size.

Instructions for making a paper ladybug:

1. Cut a 3″ square out of a red piece of text weight paper.

2. Fold the paper into a triangle (#2 above)

3. Fold the bottom left corner up to the top of the triangle (#3 above)

4. Repeat with the right corner (#4 above)

5. Using a circle template (I used a spice jar lid) make a pencil line around the open end of your folded ladybug. See #5 above which shows the way the circle is drawn.

6. Cut along the pencil lines you made (#6 above)

7. Open up your folded paper and color the section that will be under the ladybug’s wings black. I used a black coptic marker, but any black marker will work. (#7 above)

8. Fold your ladybug back up and using a black marker, color her face black (#8 above)

9. Make black circles on her wings. You can also make white dots for her eyes. A white paint marker or gel marker works well for this (#9 above)

For the card, I drew a dashed line and wrote “Ladybug . . .” on the front and hand lettered the inside in my own ordinary printing. I think it would be fun for children to write the quote themselves and have it reduced on a photocopier for the card. Another possibility would be to do the writing on a computer.

Front of the Ladybug Card. On this ladybug, I trimmed her wings just a little to make a bit of a curve.

Front of the Ladybug Card. On this ladybug, I trimmed her wings just a little to make a bit of a curve.

After I finished my ladybug, I decided to curve her wings just a little. You can play around with other possibilities. You could make legs and antenna. Have fun with your ladybug. Make multiple ladybugs. Try making different sizes. Make other bugs in other colors. Play and enjoy!

The quote I found:

Ladybug . . . a good luck symbol. It’s believed she first came to earth by lightening sent by the Goddess of Love and Beauty. When she swoops in, it’s to remind us that life is short, and not let worries cloud a single day. Author Unknown

My Ladybug Card with a few extra ladybugs hanging around.

Perfect card to send to friends who love ladybugs or to the children in your life.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Calligraphy & Art Retreat

For the past 7 days, my studio has been an 6 foot long table in a shared studio space with 11 other calligraphers and artists from Oregon, Washington and California. It is an annual retreat where I get to do whatever calligraphy and art I want to do for an entire week. I don’t have to cook or do housework.

These are 2 magnetic closure books that I made following the instructions Lili shared with us. The covers are watercolors I made this past week too.

These are 2 magnetic closure watercolor journals that I made following the instructions Lily shared with us. I made the covers using watercolors.

This week-long Calligraphy and Art Retreat has been going on for many years. It’s been sponsored by different calligraphy guilds over the years, but it’s always held at the Menucha Retreat and Conference Center in Corbett, Oregon which overlooks the Columbia River. We can do art, swim, sleep, hike, relax and have our meals prepared for us by their wonderful kitchen staff.

Two variations I made based on Elizabeth's instructions of the tiny tab book.

Two variations I made based on Elizabeth’s instructions of the tiny tab book.

Elizabeth's magnetic closure journal with my studio table in the background.

Elizabeth’s magnetic closure journal with my studio table in the background.

I always come home with lots of new ideas and renewed enthusiasm. The format for this retreat is that we can work on whatever we want. There are 4 hours a day of quiet time where we know we can work uninterrupted. At other times there are informal demonstrations, discussions and sharing that we can attend or not.

Some of Kay's work. 2 journals and 3 paintings, resting on the window above her work table.

Some of Kay’s work, 2 journals and 3 paintings, resting on the window above her work table.

One of Lili's creations. The card folds to fit in the little black envelope.

One of Lily’s creations. The card folds to fit in the little black envelope that’s on the left.

This year, Lili taught some of us how to make a journal with a magnetic closure. Elizabeth demonstrated how to make a mini tab book and a few more folded cards and books. Kay demonstrated some acrylic painting techniques as well as how to make 3D letters. Susan demonstrated techniques she uses in making art on cradled art panels.

Susan is demonstrating her warm up exercises using various tools and brushes.

Susan is demonstrating her warm up exercises using various tools and brushes.

Sally's warm-up calligraphy. I found these stacked on a chair by her work station.

Sally’s warm-up calligraphy. I found these stacked on a chair by her work station.

My goal for the week was to practice with the pointed pen. I took a mini class on the pointed pen in May and I wanted to spend some time working on the alphabet. Michelle, who is a master of the pointed pen, kindly gave me some extremely helpful pointers.

Thanks to Michelle's pointers, my pointed pen calligraphy is coming along.

Thanks to Michelle’s pointers, my pointed pen calligraphy is coming along.

We use every possible flat space to put our art as our tables aren't big enough to hold all our stuff. Here are some of Michelle's wonderful cards on a TV stand.

We use every possible flat space to put our art as our tables aren’t big enough to hold all our stuff. Here are some of Michelle’s wonderful cards on a TV stand.

I am more energized from this years retreat than ever. Everything is unpacked and put away. My drafting table is clear and as soon as I am through with this blog post, I’m looking forward to doing art for the rest of the day.

Elizabeth's acrylic painting, as taught by Kay.

Elizabeth’s acrylic painting, after Kay’s demonstration..

Renae's work in progress from a photo.

Renae’s work in progress from a photo.

Some of Michelle's bleach painting works in progress.

Some of Michelle’s bleach painting works in progress.

One of Susan's multi media flower series on cradle board.

One of Susan’s multi media flower series on a cradled art panel.

Another of Susan's collages on a cradled wood panel. Is it finished yet?

Another of Susan’s collages on a cradled wood panel. Is it finished yet?

Nancy's watercolor in progress from a photo.

Nancy’s watercolor in progress from a photo.

Another of Nancy's watercolors made into a card. She used one of my paste papers behind her art to show off her flowers.

Another of Nancy’s watercolors made into a card. She used one of my paste papers behind her art to show off her flowers.

And did I mention great food?

And did I mention great food?

Renee's unique thank you card to Ruthie.

Renae’s unique thank you card to Ruthie.

More of Sally's works in progress.

More of Sally’s works in progress.

Elizabeth's meander fold book.

Elizabeth’s diamond-fold maze book.

One of Sally's backgrounds that she painted. She sells a book called Background Blitz which explains how she makes many of her beautiful backgrounds.

One of Sally’s backgrounds that she painted. She sells a book called Background Blitz which explains how she makes many of her beautiful backgrounds.

View from Menucha Retreat and Conference Center overlooking the Columbia River. What an inspiring place to come to each year to make art!

View from Menucha Retreat and Conference Center overlooking the Columbia River. What an inspiring place to come to each year to make art!

Somehow I managed not to get photos of Edna’s, Judy’s or Sam’s work. I’m so sorry, because they all do such great work too.

I love my fellow artists and look forward to transporting my studio, once again next year, to Menucha.

Happy creating, Candy

Tapered Roll Fold

A tapered roll fold is a type fold used in the printing industry for brochures. I thought this fold would work for either a book or a card. Here is what I created using this fold.

Finished tapered roll fold, perfect for a card or small book.

Finished tapered roll fold, perfect for a card or small book.

I started by cutting a piece of watercolor paper and cut it 5″ high, making it 5″ by 22″. I painted an almost rainbow like graduated wash on the paper and added a bit of sea salt.

This is how the watercolor paper looks while wet. I hav ejust sprinkled the salt on the paper.

This is how the watercolor paper looks while wet. I hav ejust sprinkled the salt on the paper.

This is how the watercolor looks when dried.

This is how the watercolor looks when dried.

After the paper dried, I cut off one end and folded at 4″. I then wrapped the paper around and folded until I had 5 sections. I cut off the remaining bit on the other end.

This shows the 5 folds and the pieces cut off each of the ends.

This shows the 5 folds and the pieces cut off each of the ends.

I cut the taper on three of the folds. See photo below.

Here the taper has been cut.

Here the taper has been cut.

All that’s left is to roll the paper around itself. There is so much potential in this fold. I’m thinking it could be a fun soft cover for a little book. It would make a great greeting card too.

Front of the tapered roll fold. How about a slit for the taper to slip into?

Front of the tapered roll fold. How about a slit for the taper to slip into?

I’m thinking that it could have a slit in the cover for the taper to slide into. I can see that I’m going to be playing with this fold for a while. There are so many things I could do with this.

Here's what the back of the tapered roll fold looks like.

Here’s what the back of the tapered roll fold looks like.

Vertically, the tapered roll fold looks a little like a purse.

Vertically, the tapered roll fold looks a little like a purse.

Vertical tapered roll fold as seen from the back.

Vertical tapered roll fold as seen from the back.

Note: If you make this fold, you will want to make sure you are making your folds with the direction of the grain of the paper. If you don’t know what that means, you can check out my blog post: Understanding Paper Grain Direction.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Calligraphy Practice While Camping

It’s been hot here in the valley recently, hot as in lots of over 100 degree days. So I took off this past week with a bunch of friends for camping at a mountain lake.

Practice pages from my journal along with my pocket brush pen.

Practice pages from my journal along with my pocket brush.

I camped in my trusty old VW camper where space is at a premium. Food, camping supplies and a few clothes took up most of the available space in my small camper. So, I only took my sketchbook and my pocket brush pen which I need to work on perfecting consistent pressure.

More practicing with my pocket brush.

More practicing with my pocket brush.

I was able to pack them in a small bag which was easy to take from campsite to campsite as we all visited and relaxed together. Having a very portable art studio with me worked out great. There was lots of down time where I could just practice.

Happy camping, Candy

DIY – Paper Dahlia Wreath

My friend, Beverly, grows the most amazing dahlias. She has always shared her dahlias with me, until this year. My dahlia supply has dried up since Beverly is now traveling in her motorhome for the next year or so. Great for Beverly, but I’ve been missing my dahlias.

Finished dahlia wreath on my front door.

Finished dahlia wreath on my front door.

So, when I saw some dahlia wreaths on the internet, I had to jump in and try to make one of my own. I felt that yellows felt right for summer. And, by wonderful coincidence, I happened to have a treasure trove of the perfect yellow color papers.

I used my dinner plate as a template to cut the base for my dahlia wreath. The two yellow colored paper cones were glued to the base to make the dahlia flower petals.

I used my dinner plate as a template for the base for my wreath. The yellow paper cones are waiting to be glued to the base to become the dahlia flower petals.

I started by cutting a circle of cardboard. One of my dinner plates looked like the perfect size for the base of my wreath. It turned out to be 10.25″ in diameter. I cut lots of yellow 4″ squares of paper in both light and bright yellow. These I rolled into paper cones (see photos) and glued the paper with glue stick.

The beginning of my dahlia wreath.

The beginning of my dahlia wreath. I’m using a glue gun to glue the cones to the cardboard base.

I punched 2 holes in the cardboard backing and laced ribbon through it. That will be how the hanger when the wreath is finished.

The first row of paper cones is now glued on the cardboard base.

The first row of paper cones is now glued on the cardboard base.

It took an awful lot of paper cones. If I make another dahlia wreath, I think I will make the cones a little larger so I won’t need quite so many.

Second row of paper cones glued.

Second row of paper cones glued.

I flattened the cones slightly and glued the first row about an inch in from the edge, using a glue gun. I glued the second row about an inch in from the first.

For the third row, I changed to a lighter yellow cone.

For the third row, I changed to a lighter yellow cone.

After two rows of the yellow, I changed to a lighter yellow for the rest of the wreath. I’m still flattening the bottoms and gluing in about 1″ from the previous row.

Four rows of paper cones have now been glued to the cardboard base.

Four rows of paper cones have now been glued to the cardboard base.

After completing 4 rows of paper cones, I added another row, this time gluing them in a little further than in the previous rows. The result is that the cones are just a little shorter than in the previous rows.

Here I've added a couple more rows to the dahlia wreath.

Here I’ve glued a fifth row of paper cones to the dahlia wreath.

After the fifth row, I cut my papers in 3″ squares rather than the 4″ squares of the previous rows. I kept putting the new cones in until there was no more room. The wreath was finished. I just tied the ribbon on the back to the right length and hung my wreath.

My finished dahlia wreath.

My finished paper dahlia wreath.

I love it!

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Brush Calligraphy

My friend, Robbin, is a fiber artist. She and another fiber artist have just rented a studio at the Ashland Art Center. She commissioned me to make her a sign for her new studio that said “my needle is my paintbrush.”

Here is the brush calligraphy I did for Robbin's studio.

Here is the brush calligraphy I did for Robbin’s studio.

With words like that, it was obvious to me that the sign needed to be done with a brush. Originally she was thinking of having me write in black, but after I saw that the back wall in her studio was blue, I abandoned the black and went with blue.

My final brush calligraphy amid some of my practice papers.

My final brush calligraphy amid some of my practice papers.

Enjoy, Candy

DIY – Paper Star Card

While I was cleaning up my studio last week, I came across some of my red, white and blue paper start that I made my Star Garland with. I decided the stars would look great sewn on a card, and I was right.

I used left over stars from my Star Garland to make this 4th of July card.

I used left over stars from my Star Garland to make this 4th of July card.

This is one of the few projects that went together just the way I thought it would. Nice when that happens.

I wanted my card 5″ x 7″ to fit an A-7 envelope. So, I cut my paper 7″ wide and 15″ high. I wanted an extra 5″ to turn under to cover my stitching. If you don’t mind your stitching showing, or if you want to paste a piece of paper over the stitching, cut the card 7″ wide by 10″.

My paper is 7" wide by 15" high. I have folded it in thirds so my finished card will be 5" by 7".

My paper is 7″ wide by 15″ high. I have folded it in thirds so my finished card will be 5″ by 7″ and fit into a standard A-7 envelope..

I printed “Happy 4th” in the Bermuda Squiggle typeface and colored in the left side of the squiggle in alternating blue and red. I used a dark blue embroidery thread to sew my stars.

Here I have started sewing my stars on my card.

Here I have started sewing my stars on my card.

I laid out my red, white and blue stars on my card and decided where I thought they would look good. With a white card, I thought two red, two blue and only one white set of stars looked really good together.

This photo shows a finished card and the reverse side of one that hasn't been covered up yet so you can see how the stitches look on the reverse side of the card.

Here is a finished card and the back side of one that hasn’t been covered up yet, so you can see how the stitches look on the back side of the card.

I folded two stars together, then sewed them on the card and then another and another. After I sewed the stars, I folded and glued the flap back to cover up the stitching which made for a clean looking card.

Two finished "Happy 4th" cards ready to be put in an envelope and sent.

Two finished “Happy 4th” cards ready to be put in an envelope and sent.

You could write Happy 4th by hand or use another font. I hope this sparks all sorts of ideas for you future cards.

Happy 4th, Candy