Monthly Archives: October 2015

DIY Halloween Treat Boxes

Every year I give out Halloween treats in boxes that I’ve made. This year I’m using my Truffle Box template to make my Halloween treat boxes.

This box is made from a file folder and covered with fabric. I cut and folded the file folder, then glued the fabric on the file folder.

This box is made from a file folder and covered with fabric. I cut and folded the file folder, then glued the fabric on the file folder.

In addition to making my own Halloween treat boxes, I taught my fellow calligraphers how to make them too. I asked them to bring paper suitable for Halloween boxes and taught them how to make these boxes without the need for a template.

This box was made in my box class. The paper ribbon makes this simple orange box into something very special.

This box was made in my box class. The paper ribbon makes this simple orange box into something very special.

The instructions for making these boxes without a template is a bit too much to explain in this blog, so for those of you reading this blog, you can just download the Truffle Box template and print it on the back of your paper and fold as shown in my blog post DIY Truffle Box.

Another Halloween box made in my class. This was made with scrapbook paper.

Another Halloween box made in my class. This was made with scrapbook paper.

There are many adaptations you can make for the closure of this box. You can see some of the ideas my fellow calligraphers came up with. Think of beads and loops and sticks and wire ribbon and more.

Fall leaves scrapbook paper was used to make this box. This is another box from the class I taught.

Fall leaves scrapbook paper was used to make this box. This is another box from the class I taught.

If you look closely, you can see that this box is made from paper that is black on black. Another box from my class.

If you look closely, you can see that this box is made from paper that is black on black. Another box from the class I taught.

This box, made in the class I taught, uses raffia to hold it closed.

This box, made in the class I taught, uses raffia to hold it closed.

I decided to tie all my Halloween Treat Boxes with raffia. It's easy to open and has a Halloween feel to it.

I decided to tie all my Halloween Treat Boxes with raffia. It’s easy to open and has a Halloween feel to it.

Luckily I don’t get too many trick-or-treaters at my house. All I need is a few dozen boxes which I fill with non-edible treats. I don’t like the idea of giving candy to children, so I give bat and skull rings and other little treats in my boxes.

This Halloween Treat Box is made out of a digital scanned image of one of my paste papers.

This Halloween Treat Box is made out of a digital scanned image of one of my paste papers.

I still have a few boxes from previous years, so I can be pretty confident that I won’t run out of boxes for my treats. So far, I haven’t had that problem.

Another of my scanned digital paste papers made into a Halloween Treat Box.

Another of my scanned digital paste papers made into a Halloween Treat Box.

Another Halloween Treat Box made from one of my scanned digital paste papers.

Another Halloween Treat Box made from one of my scanned digital paste papers.

I love how these Halloween Treat Boxes look together.

I love how these Halloween Treat Boxes look together.

Here’s the information on making these yourself.

Truffle Box template (click to download)

DIY Truffle Box (blog post with instructions for folding)

Enjoy, Candy

Calligraphy Workshop – Big Words for Big Ideas In Your Journal by Marilyn Reaves

This past week I took Marilyn Reaves’ 2-day workshop, Big Words for Big Ideas In Your Journal. We played with pointed brush and flat brush alphabets for headings for our journal pages.

Journal page by Marilyn Reaves.

Journal page by Marilyn Reaves.

After we all drooled over Marilyn’s beautiful journals, we started by working with the pointed brush and watercolors. Then we switched to the flat brush and gouache. Marilyn likes to use watercolors with the pointed brush, but thinks the flat brush needs the consistency of gouache to make the best letters.

Vicci's practice sheet of the various alphabets we worked with.

Vicci’s sample sheet of the various alphabets we worked with.

We practiced pointed brush lower case and upper case letters, then switched to the Zebra alphabet which is made with multiple strokes with a pointed brush. We shifted to the flat brush for Uplift and two variations of Neuland, one of which we renamed Chinky Neuland rather than New Neuland.

Marilyn demonstrating the Uplift alphabet.

Marilyn demonstrating the Uplift alphabet.

From top to bottom: Chinky Neuland, Zebra, Uplift, Neuland and pointed brush all done by Chris.

From top to bottom: Chinky Neuland, Zebra, Uplift, Neuland and pointed brush all done by Trisha.

Day two of the workshop started with flat brush script, Jovial (lower case) and Bluebird Brush Caps. These are loose and casual and made with one stroke when possible.

Marilyn Reaves demonstrating Bluebird Brush Caps.

Marilyn Reaves demonstrating Bluebird Brush Caps.

After playing with all those different alphabets, it was time to incorporate them with sketches and a bit of writing in our journals. Marilyn demonstrated various ways to sketch images in our journals.

Marilyn demonstrating multiple ways to sketch pears.

Marilyn demonstrating multiple ways to sketch pears.

Now it was our turn to sketch in our journals. Our homework had been to take a 30″ by 40″ piece of Arches text wove and tear it into pages for our journal. We could choose whatever size of page we wanted for our journals.

Vicci's sketch of a glass bottle. Note the information on the right of the page showing the colors she used.

Vicci’s sketch of a perfume bottle. Note the information on the right of the page showing the colors she used.

One of our exercises was to create a focal point with a single work or phrase and from there build a lively journal page. We looked at ways to combine elements and fine a means to integrate the whole journal page.

Bugs journal page done by Cynthia.

Bugs journal page done by Cynthia.

Marilyn emphasized that we can make our journal be a reflection of our life in emphatic or quiet words and simple images. We looked at playing with colored pencils, pens (both waterproof and not) and other materials to use to make our journal pages.

Eleanor hung little pen and watercolor dangles from her Chinky Neuland letters.

Eleanor hung little pen and watercolor dangles from her Chinky Neuland letters.

We looked at how to carry tools for creating journal pages while we travel. Marilyn gave all of us a tiny metal case for us to put our watercolors in while traveling.

Cynthia's moon journal page.

Cynthia’s moon journal page.

Marilyn demonstrated the difference between Intense pencils and watercolor pencils. Intense pencils (once dry) glaze over and don’t pick up the color that’s underneath. Watercolor pencils will pick up the color underneath.

Pear journal page (in progress) by Chris. Note the color pallet on the right that she will be able to refer to at a later date.

Pear journal page (in progress) by Chris. Note the color pallet on the right that she will be able to refer to at a later date.

Marilyn did a marvelous job. We covered a lot of information in just two days. There’s so much more I want to explore using these techniques. Thanks, Marilyn!

Happy Creating, Candy

Letterfest 2015

Last Saturday I attended Letterfest 2015, the All Oregon Calligraphy Conference hosted by the Portland Society for Calligraphy. Calligraphers from all over Oregon, and some from Washington, converged on Southridge High School in Beaverton, Oregon for a daylong festival of calligraphy with mini-classes and shopping.

Letterfest 2015 was held in Beaverton, Oregon.

Letterfest 2015, held in Beaverton, Oregon, was hosted by the Portland Society for Calligraphy.

Shopping was an integral part of Letterfest. John Neal Bookseller, from Greensboro, North Carolina had books and supplies for sale. I loved the ability to look through the vast assortment of calligraphy and bookbinding books.

Peggy Skycraft of Skycraft Designs had some wonderful marbled and paste papers as well as ties and scarves for sale.

Peggy Skycraft of Skycraft Designs had some wonderful marbled and paste papers as well as ties and scarves for sale at Letterfest 2015.

Peggy Skycraft showing one of her favorite marbled papers.

Peggy Skycraft showing one of her favorite marbled papers.

There were morning and afternoon classes along with plenty of time for shopping. In addition to having shopping before and after the classes, we were had an hour and a half for lunch. Since lunch was prepared for us, it was easy to eat and chat with friends, then go shopping once again.

Another Letterfest vendor, Black Thumb Studio sells vintage pen nibs and ink wells.

Another Letterfest vendor, Black Thumb Studio sells vintage pen nibs and ink wells.

Before the conference and during lunch, we had the opportunity to bid on a number of fabulous pieces of calligraphy that were in the silent auction. What a joy to see so many wonderful works of art.

More ink wells from Black Thumb Studio. The one in the front center is like the one I own.

More ink wells from Black Thumb Studio. The one in the front center is like the one I own.

One of the best parts of Letterfest was making new friends and connecting with old ones. I could have chatted for hours with my new and old friends. The day was over all too quickly.

Laurie Weiss of Black Dog Studio makes some beautiful journals which she sold at Letterfest 2015.

Laurie Weiss of Black Dog Studio makes some beautiful journals which she sold at Letterfest 2015.

My morning class was Bookbinding for Calligraphers taught by Diane Flack. Diane taught us a number of simple book structures and showed us a myriad of variations for each book. The visual stimulation was amazing. My head was spinning with ideas by the end of the class.

Diane Flack showing one of the books she taught us in Bookbinding for Calligraphers at Letterfest 2015.

Diane Flack showing one of the books she taught us in Bookbinding for Calligraphers at Letterfest 2015.

Diane showed us many variations of simple book structures.

Diane showed us many variations of simple book structures.

My afternoon class was Drawn & Decorated Versals taught by Angelina Cox. We started with traditional drawn versals and then went on to more free and playful versals which we colored with colored pencils, watercolors and gouache. The variety of what each of us in the class producd was astounding. We all had the same instructions, but our versals were quite different.

Angelina Cox demonstrating drawn versals.

Angelina Cox demonstrating drawn versals.

Angelina's samples of decorated versals.

Angelina Cox’s samples of decorated versals.

Decorated versals by Angelina Cox.

Decorated versals by Angelina Cox.

Now I need to figure out how to carve out more time to practice what I learned. With my attending a 2-day workshop starting tomorrow, that will be a bit of a challenge.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Creating Inventory

I am very lucky to have a studio in the Ashland Art Center. What that means, is that as I spent most of August and September working furiously on making paste papers in my garage at home, I was still selling lots of art from my studio at the Art Center.

These are just some of the paper covered pencils I've been making for sale in my studio.

These are just some of the paper covered pencils I’ve been making for sale in my studio.

Sales were great. So, now it’s time to buckle down and get busy making more of my paper art to replace what sold.

Crossword puzzles and sheet music are the most popular of my paper wrapped pencils.

Crossword puzzles and sheet music are the most popular of my paper wrapped pencils.

This past week, I concentrated my efforts on making paper wrapped pencils. I sold out, so now it’s time to make more. Plus, I’m wanting to make some to sell at our neighborhood Arts, Crafts & Collectibles Holiday Sale that takes place the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

The papers for these paper wrapped pencils are oriental papers. Most are from the left overs after I made paper lotus flowers.

The papers for these paper wrapped pencils are oriental papers. Most are from the left overs after I made paper lotus flowers.

Although the gold doesn't show up too well in this photo, the papers from these paper wrapped pencils all have gold on them.

Although the gold doesn’t show up too well in this photo, the papers from these paper wrapped pencils all have gold on them.

More paper wrapped pencils with gold on the papers.

More paper wrapped pencils with gold on the papers.

More paper wrapped pencils.

More paper wrapped pencils with an oriental feel to them. The set of pencils on the right were made with origami paper that a friend gave me.

It’s been a busy week, but very rewarding too.

Enjoy, Candy

DIY Halloween Pumpkin Face Envelopes

These Halloween Pumpkin Face Envelopes were quite popular when I shared the instructions on how to make them last year, so I thought I’d share them again. They are so fun to make.

These Halloween Pumpkin envelopes are fun to make. I made them for children during the First Friday Art Walk and they loved them!

These Halloween Pumpkin envelopes are fun to make. I made them for children during the First Friday Art Walk and they loved them!

I love the change of seasons from summer to autumn. Even though the days can still be warm, the evenings are wonderfully cool. The mornings feel crisp and there’s a tang in the air, the trees are starting to change the colors of their leaves. At this time of year, I can’t help but think about the upcoming holiday of Halloween, and of course, pumpkins.

After printing the envelope template on computer paper, trace the design onto black paper by using colored transfer paper (similar to carbon paper, but not as messy).

After printing the envelope template on computer paper, trace the design onto black paper by using colored transfer paper (similar to carbon paper, but not as messy).

I got the idea of making a fun Halloween envelope from some black wrapping paper I found at Paper Source and some orange paper I had here in my studio. I made a small catalog envelope template (there’s a template for you at the bottom of the blog post) and drew a simple pumpkin face to fit on the front.

Here is what it looks like after tracing the template onto black paper.

Here is what it looks like after tracing the template onto black paper.

Make a pumpkin face design of your choice and trace it on the inside of the open envelope.

Make a pumpkin face design of your choice and trace it on the inside of the open envelope.

Cut the envelope out with a craft knife (or scissors) and fold the envelope (but don't glue or tape the envelope yet).

Cut the envelope out with a craft knife (or scissors) and fold the envelope (but don’t glue or tape the envelope yet).

After printing the template on white copy paper, I traced the template (both the cut and fold lines) onto the back of the black paper using blue transfer paper, because I knew that regular transfer or carbon paper wouldn’t show up well on black paper. And printing on black paper was out of the question. My colored transfer paper was purchased at my local art supply store. If you don’t have or can’t get colored transfer paper, see the other options below.

Cut out the pumpkin face with a craft knife. Here I've cut out the eyes and put a piece of orange paper behind one of the eyes.

Cut out the pumpkin face with a craft knife. Here I’ve cut out the eyes and put a piece of orange paper behind one of the eyes.

Once I cut out my envelope, I centered the pumpkin face on the back of my envelope and traced the pattern, again using my colored transfer paper. Then, I cut out the face from the back of the envelope. The orange paper was glued to the back of the envelope with glue stick, then the envelope was folded, and double sided tape was used to glue it together.

Here I've pasted a piece of orange paper behind the face. Now you can paste or use double sided tape to close the envelope.

Here I’ve pasted a piece of orange paper behind the face. Now you can paste or use double sided tape to close the envelope.

I made my pumpkin mouth large enough to write a name or name and address in. Unfortunately, although this is a mailable envelope size, the cut out face makes it impossible for it to go through the postal machines. If you want to mail this envelope, you can’t cut out your pumpkin face, but you could draw the face on your envelope.

Options If You Don’t Have Colored Transfer Paper

1. You can use bar soap to cover the back of the your envelope template before tracing your envelope on black paper. You will need to reapply the soap each time before you trace.

2. You can print the envelope template on orange paper and place a piece of black paper behind the cut out face.

This envelope doesn't have any cut outs. I used the small catalog template and printed it on orange paper. Then I drew the pumpkin face on the envelope with a black marker. I will be writing the address either under the eyes in a black pen or in the mouth with a white gel pen.

This envelope doesn’t have any cut outs. I used the small catalog envelope template and printed it on orange paper. Then I drew the pumpkin face on the envelope with a black marker. I will be writing the address either under the eyes in a black pen or in the mouth with a white gel pen.

Click here to download the Small Catalog Envelope template.

Happy creating, Candy

Earth Spirit Vessels Are At Nimbus In Ashland, Oregon

Nimbus is one of my favorite stores in Ashland. It’s part gallery, part unique gift shop, part men’s shop, part women’s shop all with very unique and wonderful art and clothing. I have purchased many gifts for family and friends there over the years, even some gifts and clothes for myself. I am so excited to share that my Earth Spirit Vessels are now being carried by Nimbus.

Nimbus, in Ashland, Oregon is now carrying my Earth Spirit Vessels!

Nimbus, in Ashland, Oregon is now carrying my Earth Spirit Vessels!

I am so thrilled to have my Earth Spirit Vessels at Nimbus! It’s such an ego boost. Nimbus has a contemporary feel and I think my Earth Spirit Vessels fit right in with the other art on display there.

Two of my Earth Spirit Vessels on display at Nimbus.

Two of my Earth Spirit Vessels on display at Nimbus.

I’m still bouncing off the ceiling with excitement. They will also be taking a bunch of my paper covered pencils. It feels so good to have people I respect want to carry my art.

Nimbus’ website: Nimbus 
More about my Earth Spirit Vessels: Earth Spirit Vessels – The Process

Enjoy, Candy

Octagon Box In Progress

My friend, Sheli, and I are working on making some octagon boxes. My first step was to take apart a Victoria Secrets box a friend gave me a number of years ago. I then made myself a template in Adobe Illustrator.

The opening in the top of my box is a little big, so I used a big bead as a handle to pull up the top of the octagon box.

The opening in the top of my box is a little big, so I used a big bead as a handle to pull up the top of the octagon box. It’s still a work in progress.

My friend, Sheli, purchased some Roylco Painting Boxes from Dick Blick. They are flat circles of paper with scoring and perforations that are painted and then folded into dodecagon boxes (twelve sided boxes).

Roylco Painting Box shown painted and folded. They can be ordered from Dick Blick.

Roylco Painting Box shown painted and folded. They can be ordered from Dick Blick.

The painting should be done on the dull side of the paper, not the shiny side. It’s not easy to fold the box, and the instructions aren’t as clear as they could be.

Roylco Painting Box shown open.

Roylco Painting Box shown open.

I decided that I would play with an octagon based box rather than a dodecagon box first as I assumed an octagon box would be simpler. Simpler, yes. Simple, not really. But fun, definitely.

Octagon Box from Victoria Secrets.

Octagon Box from Victoria Secrets as seen from the top.

The Victoria Secrets box has a ribbon in the center which is used to pull up to open the box. There is a knot in the ribbon that makes it stay in place when the box is closed.

Victoria Secrets Box as seen from the side.

Victoria Secrets Box as seen from the side.

Sheli and I are working on making a template for the octagon box. We’re still modifying and playing with possibilities.

Octagon box before folding.

Octagon box before folding.

I must admit that I haven’t managed to get the folding down quite to my satisfaction yet. It’s not as easy as it looks. I’m hoping to share a template as well as techniques in a future blog post.

One variation of our octagon box almost folded.

One variation of our octagon box almost folded.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Making Portfolio Books For My Earth Spirit Vessels

The majority of my time this past week has been putting together four portfolio books for my Earth Spirit Vessels. I made two different types of portfolio books, two have 8″ by 8″ pages and two have 4″ by 6″ pages. Each format required a different layout for the photos.

Pages for my 4" by 6" portfolio for my Earth Spirit Vessels.

Pages of my 4″ by 6″ portfolio for my Earth Spirit Vessels.

When I started, I figured it would take me a day to complete as I already had started on these portfolio books when I first started making my Earth Spirit Vessels. However, as I started working on the portfolios, I realized I needed to start from scratch and come up with a layout that worked for showcasing both Earth Spirit Vessels that were for sale as well as ones that had sold. I had originally had 2-page spreads for the vessels I had for sale and a single page for the vessels that had sold.

Pages for 8" by 8" portfolio book of my Earth Spirit Vessels.

Pages of my 8″ by 8″ portfolio for my Earth Spirit Vessels.

Since I have sold quite a few vessels over the past few years, there wasn’t enough room to include as many photos as I wanted to include for each vessel. I also wanted to make it easy for me to keep the portfolio books up to date. My previous format hadn’t been optimal for that. The result was that I made new formats and  even changed how my files are organized on my computer.

Two different sized portfolios for my Earth Spirit Vessels.

Two different sized portfolios for my Earth Spirit Vessels.

I now have a system that will be easy to keep up to date. All four books are organized the same way. I have templates made so that I can print out everything I need for all four books plus the information that goes with the vessel itself, all at the same time. While it took me a week to accomplish, it will save me lots of time in the future. It was well worth the extra work.

Enjoy, Candy

Paste Paper Envelopes & Gold Brush Pen

I really enjoy Jean Wilson’s blog, Pushing The Envelopes. Jean is a fellow calligrapher who is an avid mail art enthusiast. She regularly hosts mail art envelope exchanges. This is what I send out for September’s exchange.

Envelopes made from paste papers in autumn colors. Gold brush pen on bottom right.

Envelopes made from paste papers in autumn colors. Gold brush pen (bottom right) was used to write the names on envelopes.

I made my envelopes out of autumn colors of paste papers I made in August. After cutting and folding my envelopes, I used my new Kuretake Gold Metallic Brush Pen. I purchased it from Paper and Ink Arts last spring, but had never gotten around to trying it. Now that I have, I’ll be using is a lot more. I love it!

Paste paper envelopes with names and stamps. One of the envelopes goes to France and one to Australia.

Paste paper envelopes with names and stamps. One of the envelopes goes to France and one to Australia.

I really am going to have to play with different colors of backgrounds for my gold brush. It’s obvious that it shows up better on some backgrounds than others. I love trying new tools and this one is obviously a keeper.
Enjoy, Candy