Monthly Archives: May 2016

Studio Snapshot – More Paper Wrapped Pencils

Most of this past week was devoted to making a huge batch of paper wrapped pencils. I only had 4 sets of pencils in my studio and The Rogue Gallery was almost out as well.

These are some of the over 150 pencils I wrapped in paper this past week.

These are some of the over 150 pencils I wrapped in paper this past week.

I was obviously overdue for a long session with paper, matte medium, paper scraps, sand paper, naked pencils and rafia. I say naked pencils because I use pencils that haven’t been painted. It’s easier for the paper to stick to unpainted pencils. It makes for a lot less sanding. I like anything that makes my job easier.

I use paper scraps to wrap my pencils whenever possible. These pencils were wrapped in Thai Momi paper that was left over from making a wreath.

I use paper scraps to wrap my pencils whenever possible. These pencils were wrapped in Thai Momi paper that was left over from making a wreath.

The above photo shows a left over scrap from when I made my Thanksgiving Paper Leaves Wreath. Note that the paper on the pencils looks a bit darker. That’s the effect of the matte medium I use on the paper to seal it. I seal my paper wrapped pencils with two coats of matte medium. It protects the paper and it also protects fingers from getting any color offset from the paper.

I like wrapping my pencils with rafia. The rafia is left over from a basket project I did many years ago.

I like wrapping my pencils with rafia. The rafia is left over from a basket project I did many years ago.

I try and reuse art (and non-art) items as much as possible. The rafia I use to tie my paper wrapped pencils together is from a long ago basket project. I knew the rafia would come in useful again, so I kept it. I do try and give away as much as I can that I don’t think will ever be useful to me again.

The paper for these paper wrapped pencils were left overs from making paper lotus flowers like the one in the center.

The paper for these paper wrapped pencils were left overs from making paper lotus flowers like the one in the center of this photo.

Many of my paper scraps come from end cuts from making my paper lotus flowers. Sometimes people will buy a lotus flower and a matching set of pencils for a gift.

My two most popular paper wrapped pencils.

My two most popular paper wrapped pencils.

My two most popular paper wrapped pencils are the crossword pencils and the music pencils. It was the crossword pencils that started me on the journey to making paper wrapped pencils. I made them as a gift for my dad the year he requested I not get him anything for Christmas. Since he loved doing crossword puzzles, I made these for him. He loved them and forgave me for giving him a Christmas gift.

These pencils were wrapped with chiyogami papers.

These pencils were wrapped with chiyogami papers.

If you are interested in making paper wrapped pencils, I have instructions on my blog post DIY Paper Wrapped Pencils.

Enjoy, Candy

DIY – Pinwheel Fold Card

My most popular DIY from last year has been my Pinwheel Fold Card. I decided to repeat it. I originally found a photo on the internet of this card, but no instructions, so I created my own version. The card looked like a pinwheel, so I called it a Pinwheel Fold Card.

One Pinwheel Fold Card open and one closed.

One Pinwheel Fold Card open and one closed.

After I made the card, I decided to google “pinwheel fold card” and found out that other people have made the card and called it the same name. I even found instructions on how to make them on YouTube. My instructions, however, are a bit different from those on YouTube. My instructions allow you to make this card using any size square. My instructions also doesn’t require straight and diagonal folding boards. Once you have made your first one, you realize that they’re really quite deceasy to make.

I made my Pinwheel Fold cards in two different sizes.

I made my Pinwheel Fold Cards in two different sizes.

The basic concept of this card is that there is an inside square and an outside square. The length of the side of the inside square is half the length of the outside square. If the outside square is 8 inches, then the inside square is 4 inches.

Here are the papers I am using to make a Pinwheel Fold Card.

Here are the papers I used to make my Pinwheel Fold Card.

I started with 2 text weight 8 inch squares of paper,  a card stock 4 inch square in gold and a 3.5 inch square with the card message on it. You can see my choice of colors and patterns above. Using two coordinating patterns would work nicely too.

Here are the steps I went through to make my Pinwheel Fold Card.

Here are the steps I went through to make my Pinwheel Fold Card.

Instructions:

  1. Using either a glue stick or double sided tape, glue the two 8″ squares together in the center only. In order to let the papers bend without buckling, make sure the gluing is only in the center of the two squares and doesn’t extend out to where you will be folding (see figure 1 above).
  2. With a pencil, mark with a line the middle of the length and width of the square that will be the inside of the card (figure 2).
  3. Lay the 4″ card stock with the points of the square lining up with the pencil marks that show the middle of the larger square. Glue in place (figure 3).
  4. Fold up the outside paper against the inside square (figure 4).
  5. Repeat around each side of the square. Notice that there are 4 triangles made at the intersection of these folds (figure 5).
  6. Cut out the triangles (figure 6).
  7. Turn the card over. Fold the first pinwheel flap as shown in figure 7.
  8. Repeat for all 4 sides (figure 8).
  9. Turn the card over again and glue the message into the middle of the card (figure 9).
  10. Start folding the sides of the card up, one overlapping the next. Make sure you fold so that the result looks like a pinwheel (figure 10).
  11. When you get to the last flap, insert it under the first, like folding a box lid (figure 11).
  12. The finished Pinwheel Fold Card (figure 12).

In addition to working with the 8 inch squares, I also used some 6 inch origami squares of both printed and coordinating solid papers. Using the origami paper, which was already cut, made the cards go super fast. With the 6″ squares, I used a piece of 3 inch card stock for the inside square.

These Pinwheel Fold Cards were made from 2 sheets each of coordinating origami paper, one print and one solid.

These Pinwheel Fold Cards were made from 2 sheets each of coordinating origami paper, one print and one solid.

Note: The pinwheel folds keeps the two papers together, so no additional gluing is necessary after the first gluing in step one.

I hope you enjoy making your own Pinwheel Fold Cards.

Happy creating, Candy

Josie’s Story – Introducing Art On The Go!

A few years ago Fred purchased a Roadtrek RV with money from an inheritance he received from his mother. He named his new Roadtrek Josephine, in memory of his mother. After a few years of traveling all over the country, Fred decided to sell Josephine and spend time with his new grandchild.

This is Josie on her maiden voyage with us. Larger than our old VW van, but still limited in space for art supplies.

This is Josie on her maiden voyage with us. Larger than our old VW van, but still limited in space for art supplies.

Around Mother’s Day, my partner, Paul, decided to purchase Fred’s Roadtrek with money Paul from an inheritance he received from his mother. We flew to Arizona and Paul bought Josephine, who with Fred’s permission, is now called Josie.

Although the actual sale occurred 4 days after Mother’s Day, we have decided to celebrate every Mother’s Day by taking Josie someplace special in memory of both Fred’s and Paul’s mothers.

Josie is only 19’ long, so she can fit in downtown parking spaces. I confirmed this when I met my sister-in-law and niece for pizza in Redlands, California on my trip back to Oregon from southern Arizona where Paul purchased Josie. Luckily there was diagonal parking in Redlands, so I didn’t have to try my hand at parallel parking. I’m not quite ready for that yet.

Josie is definitely larger than our old 1987 VW camper, but there’s still only so much room available for things like art supplies. I have one cabinet in Josie dedicated to art supplies. Unfortunately, I only get half of that cabinet because Paul seems to think he should get some space for his art supplies too. Since he’s the one who purchased Josie, I’ve decided to relent and give him some of the space.

This past week we spent 3 days learning a few of the intricacies of how use an RV. We feel we’ve barely scratched the surface. We have figured out the basics, like the refrigerator, stove, water and sewer. We’re still struggling with some of the electric. And we made numerous trips home to get things we forgot or didn’t know we needed. Luckily we were smart enough to camp only a few miles from home.

Our first visitor while camping, Sammy the Snake.

Our first visitor while camping, Sammy the Snake.

Now for the art part of this story, which starts with space constraints. It’s really, really hard not to have my entire studio at my fingertips. It means I have to plan ahead before we head out on a trip. I have a spontaneous nature, so this is a bit difficult for me. I figure others may suffer from the same condition, so I’ve decided to add a new category to my blog posts called Art On The Go!

Paul is working on his jewelry in the shade of Josie's awning.

Paul, working on his jewelry in the shade of Josie’s awning.

It is under this new category that I will talk about the art I do while traveling as well as tools and materials I use while traveling. I’ll try new things and tell you what works for me and what doesn’t. I want to encourage others to chime in with suggestions.

Happy Creating, Candy

 

Nuptial Spirit Vessel – The Process

Last summer I received a commission to make one of my spirit vessels for a wedding. I posted a photo of the paste papers that were chosen for the vessel and asked for ideas as to what to call this type of vessel. After many suggestions on my blog and from friends, I finally settled on calling it a Nuptial Spirit Vessel.

Nuptial Spirit Vessel, Safe Harbor.

Nuptial Spirit Vessel, Safe Harbor.

Now that it has been delivered to the bride and groom, I can share the photos of its making. It started with blue, teal and silver paste papers.

Paste papers cut and folding started for the Nuptial Spirit Vessel, Safe Harbor.

Paste papers cut and folding started for the Nuptial Spirit Vessel, Safe Harbor.

I chose to write the messages for this vessel in copperplate, rather than the italic that I use for the Earth Spirit Vessels. Because copperplate is traditionally used for weddings, it seemed fitting for a Nuptial Spirit Vessel.

Here are some of the 25 messages I calligraphed for inclusion into the vessel.

Here are some of the 25 messages I calligraphed for inclusion into the vessel.

The messages were chosen specifically for the two newlyweds by the person who commissioned the vessel.

The start of Nuptial Spirit Vessel, Safe Harbor.

The start of Nuptial Spirit Vessel, Safe Harbor.

I start making my vessels at the bottom and work up. The above photo shows the vessel with four rows completed.

A closer look at the first few rows of this Nuptial Spirit Vessel.

A closer look at the first few rows of this Nuptial Spirit Vessel.

I continue adding pieces, one row at a time. I add one row, fiddle with making sure everything is round and just the way I want, then glue each individual piece of paper.

Here I've added another couple of rows to the Nuptial Spirit Vessel.

Here I’ve added a few more rows to Nuptial Spirit Vessel, Safe Harbor. This is looking inside.

The above photo is looking into the center of the vessel from above. Its shape isn’t visible from this photo.

This is the look of the outside of the Nuptial Vessel. It's looking at it upside down.

This is the look of the outside of the Nuptial Vessel. It’s looking at it upside down.

The above two photos are from the same stage of completion. The second photo shows the outside of the vessel, though it’s upside down in the photo so you can see what the outside looks like at this point in its construction.

Now the Nuptial Vessel is a little further along. Looking down at the inside.

Now the Nuptial Vessel is a little further along. Looking down at the inside.

The more rows I add, the more the shape becomes apparent. The size of the hole in the bottom of the vessel actually changes shape as the vessel gets larger.

You can finally see how the outside of the Nuptial Vessel is taking shape.

You can finally see how the outside of the Nuptial Vessel is taking shape.

The above two photos show the vessel at the same stage of completion. You can see how the shape is starting to show.

Now it's time to choose the burl wood for the base of the Nuptial Vessel.

Now it’s time to choose the burl wood for the base of the Nuptial Vessel.

All my spirit vessels have burl wood bases. The photo above shows the different pieces of burl wood I looked at before deciding on the one I liked best for this vessel.

Nuptial Spirit Vessel, Safe Harbor.

Finished Nuptial Spirit Vessel, Safe Harbor.

I have been told that the bride and groom absolutely loved their Nuptial Spirit Vessel and were actually moved to tears. It gives me great joy to know that my art has touched the heart of others.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Inspiration Books

While I love designing and playing with new ideas for paper art, sometimes I need to make art to sell in my studio. The past couple of weeks I’ve been working on replenishing my supply of Inspiration Books. It’s not the most exciting thing I do in my studio, but it has an enjoyable rhythm to it.

This past week, I've been making Inspiration Books.

This past week, I’ve been making Inspiration Books.

I have a couple of dozen designs for these little books. Each Inspiration Book has a word or words on the cover which describe the quote inside.

I cut out squares with a utility knife to make a piano hinge closure. A toothpick holds the Inspiration Book closed.

I cut out squares with a utility knife to make a piano hinge closure. A toothpick holds the Inspiration Book closed.

These miniature accordion books each have a quote inside. The books close with a toothpick holding the book closed.

These Inspiration Books have a quote inside. This is the Happy Birthday Inspiration Book.

My Inspiration Books each have a quote inside. This is the Happy Birthday Inspiration Book.

I make the cords for each of the Inspiration Books from multiple threads and yarn. I pick the colors to go with the colors of the book.

I use different threads for the cord for the Inspiration Books.

I use different threads for the cord for the Inspiration Books.

Since I want all my covers to be the same weight and easy to repeat, I scan images of my paste papers and print them out on Epson Premium Presentation Paper.

Close up of three of my Inspiration Books. Note the toothpicks that hold the books closed. They are miniature accordion books.

Close up of three of my Inspiration Books. Note the toothpicks that hold the books closed. They are miniature accordion books.

It’s not always new and innovative things I work on each day, but I do enjoy it.

Enjoy, Candy

DIY – Colorful Spiral Paper Flowers

Wildflowers are everywhere I look. They’re so colorful and inspiring.  They inspired me  to try making some colorful spiral paper flowers.

I love how these spiral paper flowers turned out.

I love how these spiral paper flowers turned out.

I’ve seen lots of this type of paper flower all over the internet for some time now. I decided it was time for me to try to make some. Although they were fun and fairly easy to make, there was a bit of a learning curve. Isn’t there always when you try something new?

I couldn't stop trying different colors of these spiral paper flowers.

I couldn’t stop trying different colors of these spiral paper flowers.

These flowers start with a circle which you cut into a spiral. Because I wanted to make the best use of my paper, I made my circles 5 and 1/4 inches in diameter so that I could get 2 out of an 8.5″ by 11″ piece of paper. While I had success with these, I think next time I’ll start with a larger circle. Maybe I’ll make a number of different sized flowers.

I made my spiral paper flowers from 60# text weight paper.

I made my spiral paper flowers from 60# text weight paper.

I have seen instructions to make these flowers from card stock to text weight paper to napkins. I made mine from 60# text weight paper and it worked well.

See instructions below to correspond with the steps in the above photo to make your spiral paper flowers.

See instructions below to correspond with the steps in the above photo to make your spiral paper flowers.

Instructions:

  1. Cut a circle out of paper
  2. If you wish, you can trace a spiral on your circle with a pencil.
  3. Cut your spiral. If you trace your spiral, then be sure to erase your pencil lines after you cut.
  4. Roll your spiral from the outside of the circle inward. I found a toothpick helped me to start rolling the paper.
  5. Once you’ve rolled to the center, gently release the spiral until it forms the shape you like.
  6. Glue the bottom and hold until glue dries. I used a hot glue gun because the glue dries quickly.

Warning: Be careful if you use a glue gun. Mine fell over (off its stand) and melted a bit of my cutting mat. And that glue’s pretty darn hot too. Be careful!

I can see that these spiral paper flowers could become addictive. Try them in all sorts of sizes and colors.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – DIY Gift Card Origami Envelope

What do you get for a high school or college grad? These days more and more people are giving either money or gift cards. So, I decided to make some good looking envelopes for those gift cards.

These origami envelopes are the perfect size to hole a gift card.

These origami envelopes are the perfect size to hole a gift card.

A couple of weeks ago on my blog post, DIY Origami Envelopes, I mentioned that they could be made in different sizes, depending on what size square you started with. I took my own advice and played with different sizes and found a perfect size square to make envelopes for gift cards.

These origami envelopes can be made the perfect size to hold gift cards.

These origami envelopes can be made the perfect size to hold gift cards.

Start with a slightly larger than 5″ square piece of text weight paper. I used a 5 and 1/8 inch square. Not all gift cards are exactly the same size, so I used a square slightly larger than 5″ so hopefully any gift card will fit in it.

These origami envelopes can be made the perfect size to hold gift cards.

These origami envelopes can be made the perfect size to hold gift cards.

I demonstrated how to make these gift card origami envelopes last Friday during the First Friday Art Walk. For my envelopes, I printed out digital prints of my paste papers on 20# copy paper. You can find lovely papers at art supply stores and scrapbook stores.

I love these origami envelopes! They can be made the perfect size to hold gift cards.

I love these origami envelopes! They can be made the perfect size to hold gift cards.

See more of my origami envelopes along with links to both video and print instructions on my blog post: DIY Origami Envelopes.

Happy folding, Candy

DIY – Color Your Own Flower Envelope

Adult coloring books have become popular of late. So, I thought my readers might be interested in coloring their own flower envelope. I’ve done the drawing and have a template that you can print out. All you have to do is to cut out the envelope, fold it, and color it.

These are the markers and pens I used to color my flower envelope. Downloadable template is at end of this blog post.

These are the markers and pens I used to color my flower envelope. Downloadable template is at end of this blog post.

I know not everyone feels comfortable drawing, so this way you don’t have to. I drew the flower, scanned it, and placed it on on the front of the envelope. I made the template to fit on an 8.5″ by 11″ paper. It makes an A-2 size envelope, but you can size it to fit whatever paper size you can print on.

My finished envelope. Downloadable template is at end of blog post.

My finished envelope. Downloadable template is at end of this blog post.

Flower Envelope Template

Happy Coloring, Candy

Studio Snapshot – National Letter Writing Month (week 5)

Last month was National Letter Writing month. And each day for the entire month, I sent out at least one letter a day in a hand decorated envelope. Here is what I sent out last week.

This note and envelope went to Sequoia for day 26 of National Letter Writing Month.

This note and envelope went to Sequoia for day 26 of National Letter Writing Month.

Sequoia’s envelope was hand delivered, so I didn’t have to worry about US Postal Service requirements. I didn’t have to put an address on the envelope or put a stamp on it.

This is the back of Sequoia's envelope for day 26 of National Letter Writing Month.

This is the back of Sequoia’s envelope for day 26 of National Letter Writing Month.

Here is the reverse side of Sequoia’s envelope. It’s on of my origami envelopes. More information is on my post: DIY Origami Envelope. These envelopes are fun to make with a square of paper.

This letter and envelope was sent to Jackie for day 27 of National Letter Writing Month. The keyboard is washi tape.

This letter and envelope was sent to Jackie for day 27 of National Letter Writing Month. The keyboard is washi tape.

Jackie is a retired music teacher. She plays the piano and accordion and a myriad of other instruments. I found keyboard washi tape in Portland last fall and have been waiting for the perfect time to put it on an envelope.

This letter and envelope went to Janet for day 28 of National Letter Writing Month.

This letter and envelope went to Janet for day 28 of National Letter Writing Month.

Janet has written me a number of letters and I wanted to send her one. I’ve been meaning to for some time, so National Letter Writing month was just the perfect push to get me to send her a letter.

This letter and birthday greetings went to Gaea for day 29 of National Letter Writing Month.

This letter and birthday greetings went to Gaea for day 29 of National Letter Writing Month.

Gaea asked for a letter, and since her birthday is at the end of April, I wanted to make it into a birthday card/letter. Notice “Happy Birthday Gaea” around the flower on the envelope and around the card. I had fun with thinking how make this envelope.

This letter and envelope was sent to Angela for day 30 of National Letter Writing Month.

This letter and envelope was sent to Angela for day 30 of National Letter Writing Month.

By the time the end of the month came around, I found I had promised a few more letters than there were days left in the month. So, I sent out 3 letters on the last day of April.

This letter and envelope was sent to Rachel for day 30 of National Letter Writing Month.

This letter and envelope was sent to Rachel for day 30 of National Letter Writing Month.

It was a happy month of making envelopes, trying to figure out a way to make matching stationery, and writing lots of letters. I’m now starting to get a bunch of lovely letters from my friends, old and new.

This letter and envelope was sent to Paula for day 30 of National Letter Writing Month.

This letter and envelope was sent to Paula for day 30 of National Letter Writing Month.

Paula was the last person I promised a letter to for National Letter Writing Month. I do have, however, a list of more people I want to send letters to. So, I’ll still be sending out letters this month, but they’ll go out at a slower pace.

Happy Letter Writing, Candy