Monthly Archives: December 2015

2015 Year End Review & A Preview For 2016

As 2015 comes to an end, it is a delight to review my accomplishments of the year. I take a look back each year, both with my blog and with my personal journal. And each year, I’m always amazed at how much I accomplished during the preceding year.

My finished dahlia wreath.

DIY – Paper Dahlia Wreath was my most viewed blog post in 2015.

Looking back over my blog posts, I found that my most viewed blog post for 2015 was DIY – Paper Dahlia Wreath.

One Pinwheel Fold Card open and one closed.

One Pinwheel Fold Card open and one closed. DIY – Pinwheel Fold Card was my second most viewed blog post for 2015.

My next most viewed blog post for 2015 was for DIY – Pinwheel Fold Card, followed by my DIY – Clover Fold Box.

Clover-Fold box is just the right size for Dagoba Chocolate Tasting Squares.

Clover-Fold box is just the right size for Dagoba Chocolate Tasting Squares. DIY – Clover Fold Box was also a very popular blog post.

Although I can look at the numbers and know which post got the most views, it’s impossible to decide which is my most successful blog post of the year. Some posts are viewed a lot. Others have lots of comments. Some are shared a lot, or have lots of Facebook likes or are pinned on Pinterest. Some blog posts have been up for most of the year and some only a few months or weeks.

Chocolate mice made from Hershey's kisses.

 DIY – Chocolate Mice From Hershey’s Kisses was another popular 2015 blog post.

What is obvious, however is that DIY blog posts are popular. So, I will continue to offer instructions and templates this next year.

My Ladybug Card with a few extra ladybugs hanging around.

My Ladybug Card with a few extra ladybugs hanging around from my blog post DIY – Ladybug Card.

Quite a few of my older blog posts are still getting a lot of views too. 50 Triangle Boxes for A 50th Wedding Anniversary gets thousands of views from a photo on Pinterest. The DIY – Triangle Boxes, which includes a link to the template for making these triangle boxes, gets lots of views too.

50 triangle boxes are a whole lot of boxes.

My most popular photo on Pinterest brings thousands of views to the blog post 50 Triangle Boxes for a 50th Wedding Anniversary.

This information is helpful for me as I make plans as to what to share for 2016. Obviously there will be lots of DIY blog posts. I will be sharing links to instructions from others as well as my own instructions and templates.

Wouldn't this be a perfect box for white chocolate? I made the paper for this box by rolling a comb through drips of white acrylic paint on black paper. The black and white bead which was a gift from a friend. I think it goes perfectly with this box.

Truffle Fold Box from DIY – Boxes For Chocolate. This was my most popular blog post in 2014 and it’s still quite popular today.

I will continue to post twice a week. My Monday, Studio Snapshot, will show what’s been going on in my studio for the previous week. My Thursday blog posts will be more informative and include online pharmacies things like DIY posts, more detailed information on my art and the process, book reviews, shows and what other paper artists are doing, tools and techniques and more.

Earth Spirit Vessel, Dreamscape

Earth Spirit Vessels were popular in 2015. They were featured in a number of blog posts.

I was quite pleased to find out that my blog readership has continued to grow, more than doubling in the past year. I’ve been blogging now for 5 years and loving it. Apparently others are enjoying it as well.

I just love my finished necklace. I have a small neck, so I was able to make it just the right size for my neck.

My personal favorite blog post from 2015 is Paper Calligraphy Bead Necklace with instructions for paper beads DIY – Paper Beads From Calligraphy Practice Papers.

Happy New Year! I look forward to a new and wonderfully creative 2016.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Paper Origami Mandalas

With all the paper projects I do, I have lots of scraps of paper. I sort my scraps in boxes. I have boxes for decorated papers, plain papers, metallic papers, paste papers and decorated papers. This past week, I made origami mandalas from scraps of my decorated and metallic papers.

These origami mandalas were made with scraps of decorated and metallic papers.

These origami mandalas were made with scraps of decorated and metallic papers.

Each of the mandalas has 8 pieces of paper, each 4 inches long and 1 inch wide. I decided that a lot of my decorated papers would look good with gold or silver. I combined them and loved the look.

This origami mandala was made using a Japanese paper combined with a gold metallic paper.

This origami mandala was made using a Japanese paper combined with a gold metallic paper.

This origami mandala was made using an Italian paper combined with a gold metallic paper.

This origami mandala was made using an Italian paper combined with a gold metallic paper.

The silver oriental lettering on this paper combines with the silver metallic paper to create a beautiful origami mandala.

The silver oriental lettering on this paper combines with the silver metallic paper to create a beautiful origami mandala.

This origami mandala was made using a Japanese paper combined with a gold metallic paper.

This origami mandala was made using an Italian paper combined with a gold metallic paper.

The blue floral pattern on this paper combines well with the silver metallic paper to make this origami mandala.

The blue floral pattern on this paper combines well with the silver metallic paper to make this origami mandala.

This origami mandala was made using an Italian paper combined with a gold metallic paper.

This origami mandala was made using an Italian paper combined with a gold metallic paper.

This photo shows the fronts of two origami mandalas (in gold) and the backs of two others (in silver). I love both the fronts and backs of these.

This photo shows the fronts of two origami mandalas (in gold) and the backs of two others (in silver). I love both the fronts and backs of these.

I have enjoyed making these origami mandalas. There are many other patterns to try. I think I’ll be playing with these for quite a while.

Enjoy, Candy

Wrapping Paper Made From Paper Scraps

I try and find uses for my paper scraps and trimmings. I use scraps left over from making my Paper Lotus Flowers to make my Paper Wrapped Pencils. This year, I’m trimmings to make wrapping paper for my holiday gifts.

Christmas gifts for my dad wrapped woven paper scraps.

Christmas gifts for my dad wrapped woven paper scraps.

I must say that this takes a bit of time to weave, so it’s great if you have small gifts. Luckily, my gifts this year are mostly small gifts. For my larger gifts, I made lined fabric bags that are reusable. I made about 30 bags in various sizes about 10 years ago and my family and I continue to use them every year.

I wove this wrapping paper from 25" trimmings off paper that I cut to make my Earth Spirit Vessels.

I wove this wrapping paper from 25″ trimmings off paper that I cut to make my Earth Spirit Vessels.

I have boxes of paper scraps. I have them organized into plain paper, decorated paper, metallic paper and, or course, paste paper. I take the boxes to workshops and retreats and share them with friends. Still, I have a whole lot of paper scraps, especially the plain paper.

I have taped the edges and then cut the excess with scissors.

I have taped the edges and then cut the excess with scissors.

When I cut the paper for my Earth Spirit Vessels, I end up with a 25″ narrow strip of paper with a deckle edge left over. I decided to use these strips, deckle and all, to weave paper to use for gift wrap.

Close up of my paper weaving. I love how the deckled edge adds to the character of the weaving.

Close up of my paper weaving. I love how the deckled edge adds to the character of the weaving.

I didn’t worry about making this perfect, as it’s wrapping paper. I taped the edges to secure the strips and cut off the excess.

Three gifts wrapped in woven paper scraps.

Three gifts wrapped in woven paper scraps.

I really enjoyed the look, even if it wasn’t traditional holiday colors.

Happy Holidays, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Feels Like Slow Motion

Work in my studio is moving at a snails pace. My life is proceeding in what feels like slow motion. I had eye surgery a little over a week ago, and though I’m recovering quite nicely, many naps are required each day.

Just few of the paint samples given me to do something with from Ashland Hardware.

Just few of the hundreds of paint samples given me by Ashland Hardware.

The good news is that the surgery was successful and I am expected to make a full recovery. The bad news is that it could take up to a year for my vision to get back to normal. So, my reduced vision and reduced time in the studio, has slowed down my paper art.

I've been punching and cutting triangle and heart shapes in the paint samples.

I’ve been punching and cutting triangle and heart shapes in the paint samples.

This past week I did play around with the large batch of paint chips. I was given a salesman’s case of hundreds and hundreds of 4″ square paint samples from Ashland Hardware. I made flowers from them this past spring (blog post: Studio Snapshot – Spring Paper Flowers. Now I’m playing with hearts and triangles.

Two of the heart punches I've been playing with to punch some of the paint samples.

Two of the heart punches I’ve been playing with to punch some of the paint samples.

I’m thinking the triangles may become trees and the hearts may become cards. And I may play around with stars next, between my naps that is.

Enjoy, Candy

 

 

DIY Three Dimensional Paper Star

This star is folded from a piece of paper in the form of an octagon. I made my octagon with each of the eight sides 2″ in length. If you don’t know how to make an octagon, I’ve included a template that you can download at the end of this blog post.

I love these Three Dimensional Paper Stars.

I love these Three Dimensional Paper Stars. I used metallic papers to make them.

Note: If you don’t know how to score and fold, check out my blog post: How To Score And Fold Paper. It’s important to know since this star requires a lot of scoring and folding. It also explains mountain and valley folds if you are unfamiliar with them.

Check out my blog post on How To Fold And Score Paper to help you with making this Three Dimensional Paper Star.

Check out my blog post How To Fold And Score Paper to help you with making this Three Dimensional Paper Star.

I suggest using a light weight card stock to make this Paper Star. Heavier paper can be used, but I suggest starting out with a light weight card stock for your first few stars because it is much easier to work with.

I start with an octagon to make this Three Dimensional Paper Star.

I start with an octagon to make this Three Dimensional Paper Star.

Directions (see photo above with the corresponding number for instructions below):

  1. Start scoring and folding four folds where you connect the points of the octagon across from each other.
  2.  Turn the paper over. With the paper turned over, you now have 4 mountain folds. Now make 4 valley folds by scoring and folding the center points of each of the octagon sides to its opposite side. I made my octagon with 2″ sides (see Octagon Template at end of this post).
  3. Turn paper over. Cut 3/4″ into each of the valley folds, the folds that are half way between the points. Then score and fold from the bottom of the 3/4″ cut to the point of the octagon.
  4. Continue around the entire octagon.
  5. Glue the tabs you have made together. I used a glue gun, but any paste or glue will work. Note: The closer together you glue the tabs, the more dimensional the star will be.
  6. The star is now finished. You can glue a back on the star if you wish.
These Three Dimensional Paper Stars are so much fun to make!

These Three Dimensional Paper Stars are so much fun to make!

Download: Octagon Template (this is the outline of 2 octagons that you can use to cut out and make this star)

Note: If you get confused about turning the paper over and getting the mountain and valley folds confused, don’t panic. Just refold the paper so it comes out the right way.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Winter Wonderland Garland

This past week, I’ve been making garland strands of circles to hang from a branch. My Winter Wonderland Garland was inspired by the autumn window display I saw last month at Red Sail, one of my favorite places to visit when I’m in Portland.

This photo of my Winter Wonderland Garland was taken outside my house.

This photo of my Winter Wonderland Garland was taken outside my house.

Red Sail, on Alberta Street in Portland, Oregon, is always one of my go-to places to visit. In addition to having the most marvelous merchandise (modern and unique that fits my style), they have great window displays. I was inspired by their autumn colored circle garlands to create one of my own in cool winter colors.

My Winter Wonderland Garland was inspired by this window display at Red Sail in Portland.

My Winter Wonderland Garland was inspired by this window display at Red Sail in Portland.

Close up of the window display at Red Sail in Portland that was the inspiration of my Winter Wonderland Garland.

Close up of the window display at Red Sail in Portland that was the inspiration of my Winter Wonderland Garland.

I found the perfect muted purple and blue metallic papers at the University of Oregon Bookstore in Eugene, Oregon. I cut 1.75″ circles from these papers and painted a “swish” across each circle in silver.

These are the materials I used to make my Winter Wonderland Garland.

These are the materials I used to make my Winter Wonderland Garland.

I found some metallic thread in my stash and pasted my circles to it. No measuring, I just put them wherever I felt they should go. I pasted a blue to purple with the thread going between. I folded the paper just a bit to give it a little dimension.

Our latest winter storm broke off the branch I used to hang my garland strands from.

Our latest winter storm broke off the branch I used to hang my garland strands from.

A winter storm caused some branches to break off of one of my trees, so I dried them out in my garage for a couple of days, then pruned them a little bit and hung my garlands from one of the branches.

Winter Wonderland Garland

Winter Wonderland Garland

My garland will be hanging in front of one of my windows, but taking photos in front of a window doesn’t work well, so I’ve photographed the branch in a couple of locations to give you an idea of how it turned out. It looks much better in person than in the photos.

I love the interplay of the shadows and the circles on my Winter Wonderland Garland.

I love the interplay of the shadows and the circles on my Winter Wonderland Garland.

Winter Wonderland Garland

Winter Wonderland Garland

Enjoy, Candy

How To Score And Fold Paper

Next week I will be sharing how to make this paper star ornament. I love this star, however, because I want you to have success making it, I am first writing this blog post about how to score and fold paper. There is a lot of folding to make the star, but it’s not difficult if you know how to score (first) and then fold.

I will be giving instructions for making this star next Thursday. First, however, it's important to know how to score and fold paper so you can have a success folding your star.

I will be giving instructions for making this star next week. First, however, it’s important to know how to score and fold paper so you can have success folding your star.

I like to use a bone folder to score the paper. If you don’t have a bone folder, you can use the non-serrated portion of a plastic knife (which I am using in the photos below) or a credit card. If you sew, you may have a tool called a point turner that can also be used.

Here I am scoring the paper with the back side of a plastic knife.

Here I am scoring the paper with the back side of a plastic knife. While I prefer using a bone folder, other tools can also be used to score paper.

Place a metal ruler (or straight edge) at the location you want the fold. Hold the ruler firmly with one hand. With the other score the paper by running the bone folder against the metal ruler.

Keeping my hand on the ruler, I slip my folding tool under the paper and use it again to push against the ruler from under the paper. This makes it so much easier to get a good fold.

Keeping my hand on the ruler, I slip my folding tool under the paper and use it again to push against the ruler from under the paper. This makes it so much easier to get a good fold.

Key point: Keep the pressure on the ruler and raise the paper and pull up with the bone folder against the ruler, but from the bottom of the paper. This is how I get the best possible folds when using card stock. If you just score the paper and then fold it, you may not get the crispest folds possible.

After scoring, carefully fold the paper along the fold. Using the flat surface of the bone folder, press down on the folded paper to help make the fold crisp. There are times when I want a “crisp” fold and other times when I want a “loose” fold. If I want a “loose” fold, I hold off doing this step at this time. I might want a “loose” fold if I will be wanting to make a final adjustment to the fold, as in folding over another fold. In that case, I will wait until I have all the folds complete before smoothing the fold with a bone folder.

This photo shows two "mountain" folds with a "valley" fold between them.

This photo shows two “mountain” folds with a “valley” fold between them.

Sometimes I will want a “mountain” fold and sometimes I will want a “valley” fold. These “mountain” and “valley” folds are traditional origami terms and their names are descriptive of the way the folds look (as either mountains or valleys).

As you can see, there are lots of mountain and valley folds required to make this lovely star.

As you can see, there are lots of mountain and valley folds required to make this lovely star.

Not all folds need a bone folder. I usually don’t use a bone folder with text weight paper if I am folding with the grain of the paper, that is with the way the paper likes to be folded. (For information on paper grain, check out my blog post: Understanding Paper Grain Direction.) However, I almost always use a bone folder when folding card stock. It makes for a much more professional finished project.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Paper Poinsettias For Centerpieces

Last week’s DIY Paper Poinsettia post inspired me to make a whole bunch more Paper Poinsettias to use as table decorations for a potluck I am hosting tomorrow night. I’m having 14 people over and have set up tables that span both my dining room and living room.

I'm loving how the Paper Poinsettias make a lovely centerpiece for this holiday table.

I’m loving how the Paper Poinsettias make a lovely centerpiece for my holiday table.

I decided to make the Paper Poinsettias in red, pink and white. The white ones are just a little smaller than the red and pink poinsettias and make a lovely, but subtle, contrast. I wanted something simple, but elegant looking. This fits the bill.

The hot pink Paper Poinsettia has a shell for its center.

The hot pink Paper Poinsettia has a shell for its center.

I sprinkled some tiny gift wrapped ornaments I’ve had for years among the Paper Poinsettias. The simplicity of the white plates and red napkins keep the focus on the Paper Poinsettias.

Simple, but elegant. I love how the Paper Poinsettias make the table look super festive.

Simple, but elegant. I love how the Paper Poinsettias make the table look super festive.

A big plus for this centerpiece is that it doesn’t interfere with people seeing each other across the table. I love that!

Once the Paper Poinsettias are made, they're so easy to arrange into a running centerpiece. It took me only minutes to put it together.

Once the Paper Poinsettias are made, they’re so easy to arrange into a running centerpiece. It took only minutes to put this centerpiece together.

I loved finding all sorts of different treasures to put in the center of each of the Paper Poinsettias. I found a discarded single earring that I was able to snip apart and use for two of the Paper Poinsettias. Shells also made lovely centers.

Paper Poinsettias make the table look elegant with minimal effort.

Paper Poinsettias make the table look elegant with minimal effort.

Loving the look of these Paper Poinsettias as my centerpiece for my holiday potluck tomorrow night.

Loving the look of these Paper Poinsettias as my centerpiece for my holiday potluck tomorrow night.

I hope this inspires you to try making Paper Poinsettias for your holiday table.

I hope this inspires you to try making Paper Poinsettias for your holiday table.

You can get directions to make your own Paper Poinsettias on my blog post: DIY Paper Poinsettia.

Enjoy, Candy

DIY Paper Poinsettia

These paper poinsettias are easy to make and can be used for holiday decorations, package toppers, table centerpieces or place cards. I made mine in off white and in red, traditional poinsettia colors.

Three Paper Poinsettias surrounded by vintage buttons, which make great flower centers.

Three Paper Poinsettias surrounded by vintage buttons, which make great flower centers.

I started out by folding strips of paper in half lengthwise. Then I cut out 8 boat shaped petals of each of 3 sizes. Photo below shows the paper folded and pencil marks for each of the three sizes of petals along with how the petals look once cut and opened.

The folded strip of paper above the Paper Poinsettias show the three sizes of petals I cut out of the paper to make the flowers.

The folded strip of paper above the Paper Poinsettias show the three sizes of petals I cut out of the paper to make the flowers.

I cut 8 petals of each of the three sizes and a square of card stock to glue the petals to. I drew diagonal lines from corner to corner to help line up the petals. I started by gluing the larger petals around the square (see photo below). The second layer uses the middle sized petals and the last layer used the smallest petals (see photo below). I then glued a button or bead in the center of the Paper Poinsettia.

This shows how I add each layer of petals to make my Paper Poinsettia.

This shows how I add each layer of petals to make my Paper Poinsettia.

For my first Paper Poinsettia, I used glue stick to attach the petals. It worked fine. For the rest, I used a hot glue gun, which I rarely use as I am not very adept with a glue gun. However, for this project, having the globs of dried hot glue actually helped add dimension to the Paper Poinsettia. I preferred the end result of using the glue gun, but any glue will work.

Paper Poinsettia with large pearl bead for its center.

Paper Poinsettia with large pearl bead for its center.

I used a heavy text weight, about 60# to 70# papers. Feel free to experiment with different colors, weights and sizes of petals. Play and enjoy.

Happy Holidays, Candy