Category Archives: Eco-friendly

Memories Of My Dad: Tea Bag Folding Holiday Garland

Every Monday I my dad and I would go out to his favorite restaurant for lunch. While we would order different items from the menu, our beverages were always the same. He would order English Breakfast Tea and I would order Green Tea. When I started folding tea bag wrappers early this year, we started saving our tea bag wrappers from our Monday lunches.

Holiday Garland made from tea bag wrappers. I sewed them together with gold thread.

Holiday Garland made from tea bag wrappers. They are sewed together with gold thread.

I realized that our tea bag wrappers were red and green, the perfect color combination for the holiday season. I played around with different combinations, all green and all red, but my favorite was the red and green together.

Our tea bag wrappers along with the front and back of the folded rosettes.

Our tea bag wrappers along with the front and back of the folded rosettes.

My original plan was to make red and green tea bag garlands to decorate my dad’s Christmas tree. I showed him my idea and he loved it. Unfortunately my dad passed away a little over a month ago. I am now making these garlands as a memory of our Monday lunches together.

Close up of the folded rosette.

Close up of the folded rosette.

Each garland has eight 2″ by 2″ squares cut from the front of the tea bag wrapper. You can see how they are folded in the above photo. The pieces are then glued together to make the rosette.

Front and back of the rosettes along with the folded squares ready to become another rosette.

Front and back of the rosettes along with the folded squares ready to become another rosette.

If you are interested in making some of these yourself, check out my blog post: DIY – Tea Bag Folding & Paper Origami Rosettes.

Start creating your own memories!

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Calligraphy & Art Retreat 2016

I am just back from my annual Calligraphy & Art Retreat. My studio for the week was a six foot table in a converted greenhouse. I got to do nothing but make art for an entire week. No cooking or cleaning, just a week of art and inspiration. I shared space with 11 talented and wonderful women artists. Nirvana!

My first attempt at paper cutting.

My first attempt at paper cutting. I drew my flower on the back of the paper, then cut from the back. I laid the cut outs over metallic papers.

I packed lots of art supples and minimal clothes. Gotta keep priorities straight when going on an art retreat.

Michelle demonstrated dipping file folders into walnut ink.

Michelle demonstrated dipping file folders into walnut ink.

Many of us give informal demonstrations to anyone who was interested. Michelle showed us how she dips file folders into walnut ink, then places them on crumpled plastic to get a texture on the file folders. The above photo shows her laying a file folder on plastic from dry cleaner bags.

Dried file folers that were dipped in walnut ink.

Dried file folers that were dipped in walnut ink.

Once dry the file folders can be further decorated with paints, drawing, bleach or whatever media you like.

Walnut ink file folders that have been decorated.

Walnut ink file folders that have been decorated.

Once decorated, the file folders can be used in any number of art projects. Book covers come to mind immediately for me. I think this will be one of my winter projects.

Sally showed us how to make delightful mobiles.

Sally showed us how to make delightful mobiles.

Sally showed us how she makes mobiles. She made numerous mobiles this past year. One is shows above. She also made a number of mobiles celebrating The Beatles and all their songs.

Rhonda made this mobile using walnut ink file folders.

Rhonda made this mobile using walnut ink file folders.

Our annual retreat takes place at the Menucha Retreat and Conference Center in Corbett, Oregon. Rhonda made a mobile which used cut outs from her walnut ink file folder to spell Menucha (photo above).

The reverse of Rhonda's mobile.

The reverse of Rhonda’s mobile.

It’s hard to photograph mobiles. The above photos show the two sides of Rhonda’s mobile. It looks great when hung, but the photos I took of it hung don’t do it justice, so I photographed each side on white paper.

We don't always work on finished projects. Sometimes we try out new materials.

We don’t always work on finished projects. Sometimes we try out new materials.

Sometimes it’s important to try out and keep track of how different inks, paints, pens and other materials look like. The above photo shows one of Sally’s testing sheets. She made lots of tests. It’s helpful to keep track of what different materials will do, especially when combined.

Weathergrams that will be hung on a tree near the labyrinth.

Weathergrams that will be hung on a tree near the labyrinth.

If you’ve not heard of weathergrams, check out How To Make A Weathergram.

Renae made this wonderful dog portrait.

Renae made this wonderful dog portrait.

Renae makes the most wonderful animal drawings and paintings. You can see more of her art on her Facebook page: Birdland Art.

Goose painted by Kay.

Goose painted by Kay.

A page in Kay's journal documenting her recent trip to Ireland and Scotland.

A page in Kay’s journal documenting her recent trip to Ireland and Scotland.

Kay makes the most amazing journals. Above is a 2 page spread of her latest journal. It’s all about her trip to Ireland and Scotland.

Credit cards painted and ready to be made into a book.

Credit cards painted and ready to be made into a book.

Lily is an amazing bookbinder. The above photo shows what she has done with credit cards. They have been textured and painted. They will be turned into a book.

Lily's finished book with covers that were originally credit cards.

Lily’s finished book with covers that were originally credit cards.

The photo above shows a book Lily made using credit cards as covers. I guess I need to be collecting old credit cards now in addition to tea bag wrappers.

Nancy made this delightful watercolor painting for the front of a card.

Nancy made this delightful watercolor painting for the front of a card.

Nancy makes the most delicate watercolors. Every year I am impressed by what she produces. I snapped this photo while she was still working on her painting. I imagine there may be calligraphy added to the card.

Michelle tried working with walnut ink on fabric. This is just the beginning. I can hardly wait to see what she makes with these.

Michelle tried working with walnut ink on fabric. This is just the beginning. I can hardly wait to see what she makes with these.

Michelle played with both walnut ink and fabric this year. The above photo shows the beginning of her experimentation.

Painting fabric and lettering with puffy paint.

Painting fabric and lettering with puffy paint.

Michelle colored fabric and then wrote on it with puffy paint. She gave each of us at the retreat a “Womenuchans” fabric hanging. What a treat!

Experimentation by Adelaide.

Experimentation by Adelaide.

As I mentioned earlier, not everything we do at Menucha is a finished product. There’s lots of experimentation that goes on here. Adelaide did a lot of experimenting. I really like the effects she got by putting different metallic paints into wet walnut ink. Yes, there was a lot of experimenting with walnut ink this past week.

Adelaide made tea bag wrappers made into rosettes after my short demonstration.

Adelaide made tea bag wrappers made into rosettes after my short demonstration.

Early in the week I demonstrated how to make rosettes from tea bag wrappers. Adelaide went a bit further and used coffee creamer wrappers and candy wrappers as well as tea bag wrappers to make her rosettes. A number of my fellow artists joined in this activity. Links to instructions are on my blog post: DIY – Tea Bag Folding & Paper Origami Rosettes.

Edna made this wonderful birds nest using colored pencils.

Edna made this wonderful birds nest using colored pencils.

It’s hard to remember all the details of what everyone did. I believe Edna used watercolor colored pencils to make this birds nest.

Edna breaking in her new journal.

Edna breaking in her new journal.

I can’t remember the word Edna used, but the idea is to make marks on your journal pages to make it easier to write in. With something already on a page, it’s less intimidating  to write on the page. I do have a number of wonderful journals that I haven’t used yet. This sounds like a great idea.

One of Sally's works in progress.

One of Sally’s works in progress.

Sally is an amazing calligrapher. The above photo is one of a number of ones she was working on when I stopped by to photograph what she was doing.

Another of Sally's works in progress.

Another of Sally’s works in progress.

More of Sally's work.

More of Sally’s work.

I love Sally’s calligraphy and paintings. I have one of her works in my hall, just above a large vase of sunflowers. The sumi painting, calligraphy and flowers compliment each other. You can see more of Sally’s work on her website: Sally’s Website.

Rhonda did some playing with white and color on black paper.

Rhonda did some playing with white and color on black paper.

Black paper is fun to work on. The above photo shows some of the playing Rhonda did with color and white pens on black paper. So much potential!

Renae made this stand up tiger for Kay for her upcoming birthday. Note the birthday hat.

Renae made this stand up tiger for Kay for her upcoming birthday. Note the birthday hat.

Renae made the above tiger card for Kay for her birthday. If you look closely, you can see “Kay” written above the tiger’s eyes.

Playing with pastel dusting.

Playing with pastel dusting.

Sally also demonstrated pastel dusting. There were so many wonderful things happening through out the week, it is impossible to document it all. It’s something you need to experience in person.

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!

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

Happy creating, Candy

Art On The Go! – Tea Bag Folding

Another trip this past week in Josie, our new-to-us camper, gave me a little more experience in organizing and making art while traveling. With limited space, I had to pick my project carefully and decide what to take on this trip. For this trip it was cutting and folding tea bag wrappers.

This tea bag rosette was made from 8 tea bag wrappers like the one in the photo above.

This tea bag rosette was made from 8 tea bag wrappers like the one in the photo above.

My friends have been graciously saving and giving me their tea bag wrappers for a number of months and I have amassed a rather large number of them. I decided to take a stack of the tea bag wrappers with me and cut them into 2″ squares as well as start folding them into rosettes. I wanted to try a new fold I had found and see how it looked when folded.

I have great friends who have saved their tea bag wrappers for me. I now have a great treasure trove of many varieties of tea, many I never new of before.

I have great friends who have saved their tea bag wrappers for me. I now have a great treasure trove of many varieties of tea, many of which I never new about.

This trip was easy to pack for because I didn’t need to do any prep work other than gathering the supplies and putting them in the van. I just packed a small cutter, some tea bag wrappers, the new instructions I had just found and a little glue. It all fit in one small bag.

This is the portable cutter I took with me. It was easy to cut 2" squares from tea bag wrappers.

This is the portable cutter I took with me. It was easy to cut 2″ squares from tea bag wrappers.

I enjoyed playing with the tea bags and the new fold. What I found was that cutting and both folding use similar muscle groups. For future trips, I’d like to include more variety in what I take with me to work on while traveling.

This photo shows the original tea bag wrapper and how it looks cut into a 2" square along with a sample of the completed rosette that is made of 8 of the 2" squares.

This photo shows the original tea bag wrapper and how it looks cut into a 2″ square along with the completed rosette  made of 8 of the 2″ squares.

It’s going to take lots more trips to get through all my tea bag wrappers. I have some ideas I want to try out along with different folds and color combinations.

I didn't know there were this many different Stash teas. I love all the different colors of the wrappers. I can see a rainbow in my future.

I didn’t know there were this many different Stash teas. I love all the different colors of the wrappers. I see a rainbow in the future.

For more information about tea bag folding (including links to instructions) see my blog post: DIY – Tea Bag Folding & Paper Origami Rosettes

Enjoy, Candy

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 – Square Envelope Made From Paper Circles

I had a bunch of donated paper shopping bags of various sizes left over from the Arts, Crafts and Collectibles Sale I managed last fall. I wanted to find some use for them. I had seen where someone made square envelopes from 4 paper circles and decided that would be a great use for these bags.

Square paper envelope (above right) made from Coldwater Creek paper bag.

Square paper envelope (above right) made from four paper circles cut from a Coldwater Creek paper shopping bag.

Cutting circles out of different portions of the bag made it possible for me to use specific portions of the bag where I like the pattern.

I used an old CD as my template to cut circles out of my paper bags to make my envelopes.

I used an old CD as my template to cut circles out of my paper bags to make my envelopes.

While the circles can be of any size, I used an old CD as my template. It’s something most people have access to, so I decided to use it for my template.

Four paper circles are folded in half, then intertwined like you would to close a box lid. I used a piece of removable tape to keep the circles in place before turning it over for gluing.

Four paper circles are folded in half, then intertwined like you would to close a box lid. I used a piece of removable tape to keep the circles in place before turning it over for gluing.

Fold the circles in half, then position them (one flap over and one flap under all around to make the square). I found I had to adjust the folded circles a bit to make them form a square. I put a piece of removable tape on the center (see above photo) to hold it in place before gluing.

Turn the envelope over and glue under each of the four flaps.

Turn the envelope over and glue under each of the four flaps.

Turn the envelope over and glue under each of the four flaps as shown in the above photo. Any glue will work for this. Just be careful to use just a little bit for thin papers so it doesn’t crinkle the paper.

Square envelope made from paper circles.

Square envelope made from four paper circles cut from a paper gift bag. In order to use this bag, I had a couple of holes in my circles from where the handles were. I just made sure they were on the inside of the folding, so they wouldn’t show.

These envelopes are easy to do. As with most projects, there’s a bit of a learning curve, but after making a couple of these envelopes, they go really fast.

Square envelope made from four circles cut out of a Happy Birthday gift bag. You notice the word "birthday" showing on the top left envelope flap.

Square envelope made from four circles cut out of a Happy Birthday gift bag. Notice the word “birthday” showing on the top left envelope flap. I cut out my circles to make sure it would show.

Position the CD before cutting to get the best possible pattern from the bag.

Square envelope made four circles cut from a Coldwater Creek shopping bag.

Square envelope made four circles cut from a Coldwater Creek shopping bag.

While I used old gift bags, these envelopes can be made from any paper. Scrapbooking paper or paste paper will work fine.

Square envelope made from four paper circles cut from a gift bag.

Square envelope made from four paper circles cut from a gift bag.

A really fun children’s project would be to use portions of drawings or paintings made by children. The circles could be larger or smaller, depending on what you wanted to put in the envelope.

Square envelope made from four circles cut from a white gift bag that someone had sprayed with color and spray webbing.

Square envelope made from four circles cut from a white gift bag that someone had sprayed with color and spray webbing.

This was a fun project. I love it when I can recycle or upcycle to make something new from something that was going to be discarded.

Five square envelopes made from circles cut from old gift bags.

Five square envelopes made from circles cut from old gift bags.

Enjoy, Candy

DIY – Paper Birds With Paper Clip Legs

I was visiting a friend last week who has multiple bird feeders that are situated right outside her living room window. The finches and other birds simply loved her feeders. So today, I took her one of my paper birds with paper clip legs. It reminded me that I wrote this post last year,  but thought it was worth sharing again.

These paper birds are made from paste paper scraps, discarded paint sample cards and paper clips.

These paper birds are made from paste paper scraps, discarded paint sample cards and paper clips.

Although I consider myself a serious artist, I sometimes just have to do cute. And these birds certainly are cute.

I’ve made their legs from paper clips, while their bodies are from paste paper scraps left over from other projects. If you remember my most recent post showing the spring flowers I made from discarded paint chips, their wings might look familiar to you.

The paper bird on the left is the only one who doesn't have paint chip for his wing. I had some left over shiny green paper that I thought went well with his colors.

The paper bird on the left is the only one who doesn’t have paint chip for his wing. I had some left over shiny green paper that I thought went well with his colors.

They are really easy to make. The hardest part for me was deciding on the shapes for the birds and wings. I sketched out a bunch of ideas, and found that I liked a simple, but very graphic design best. Once I decided on my design, I made a template out of card stock and traced the bodies and wings of my birds.

Paper birds perfect for springtime.

Paper birds perfect for Spring decorations.

I cut out the body shapes from scraps of paste paper and cut coordinating wings from solid colors of paint chips. I found I liked a card stock weight for my bird bodies. A scrapbook paper would probably work well for both bodies and wings.

Those who know me, know I like color. Even my paper clips are colorful. So, it seemed natural to make my birds’ legs and feet out of colorful, bendable paper clips, which were right within reach. I just straightened out most of the wire and left one curve for each foot (see photo below).

This photo shows how I made the bird feet and legs from paper clips.

This photo shows how I made the bird feet and legs from paper clips.

To assemble your bird, tape two legs on to the inside of one bird body. Then, paste a mirror image bird body on the back, sandwiching the legs between the two bodies. Glue on the wings, positioning them to suit your taste. Add a triangle for the bird beak. Add the eye. You can draw a black circle for the bird’s eye, use a seed bead or googly eye. For my birds, I opted for the simplicity of a black circle for the eye. I thought it went well with the simple graphic style of my birds.

These paper birds are easy to make.

These paper birds are easy to make.

There are lots of possibilities for these birds. Experiment and see what you can come up with. I’d love to see what you do.

Enjoy, Candy

DIY – Tea Bag Folding & Paper Origami Rosettes

Tea bag folding is a type of origami that uses the paper envelope that tea bags come in. It is also referred to as miniature kaleidoscopic origami. It usually uses squares from tea bag wrappers or patterned paper.

The rosette on the left is made from 8 two inch squares of green tea wrappers like the one on the right.

The rosette on the left is made from 8 two inch squares of green tea wrappers like the one on the right.

The story goes that in 1992, a Dutch woman, Tiny van der Plas, had been practicing origami. She was sitting at home, drinking a cup of tea, when she suddenly realized she had forgotten a birthday card for her sister. As she was drinking her tea, she started folding the paper envelope her tea had come in. That gave her the idea for folding multiple tea bag envelopes to create a three dimensional rosette.

The rosette on the left is made from folding 8 squares of wrappers made from the mulling tea bag wrappers like the one on the right.

The rosette on the left is made from folding 8 squares of wrappers made from mulling tea bag wrappers like the one on the right.

I have been told that the European tea bag wrappers are much more interesting than the ones we have here in the U.S. Perhaps that is why many people are using patterned paper for tea bag folding rather than actual tea bag wrappers. You also don’t have to drink lots of tea before being able to fold your rosettes.

This rosette is made with 8 square pieces of origami paper like the one on the right. This fold was the one that started me on my journey of folding origami mandalas.

This rosette is made with 8 square pieces of origami paper like the one on the right. This pattern was the one that started me on my journey of folding origami mandalas.

Tea bag folding usually uses 8 small identical squares of paper folded exactly the same way. These folded papers are then either interlocked or laid side by side to produce a symmetrical medallion. They are used a lot on cards or as ornaments on scrapbook pages or photo albums.

2015 DIY Tea Bag Folding 4

Top photo is the front and bottom photo is the back of the same tea bag folded rosette. They both look great!

Top photo is the front and bottom photo is the back of the same tea bag folded rosette. They both look great!

 

I came across tea bag folding after I started making my paper origami mandalas (see my blog posts Paper Origami Mandalas and Paper Origami Mandalas With Messages). I then asked friends and relatives to save their tea bag wrappers for me. I managed to collect enough wrappers to make 3 of rosettes using actual tea bags that I found interesting enough to share. I also discovered that not all tea bag wrappers made pleasing rosettes .So, in order to show a number of different folds, I have used patterned paper for a few of my rosettes. The patterned paper that is cut into squares is also referred to as a “tile.”

The rosette is made with 8 square folded pieces of paper like the one on the right.

This rosette is made with 8 square folded pieces of patterned origami paper like the one on the right. It’s difficult to see but the center pieces in this rosette are raised, not flat.

It’s been fun trying out many of these folds. I am not adept at writing origami instructions, instead I am supplying links to where I have found instructions on the web. I have tried some of these folds, but not all. I also cannot guarantee that these links will work in the future. If you find a link that does not work, please leave a comment to that effect and I will attempt to find another link to replace it.

This Paper Origami Mandala is made with 8 pieces of paper 4 times longer in height as in width.

This Paper Origami Mandala is made with 8 pieces of paper that are 4 times longer in height as in width like the one in the photo above.

There seems to be a cross over with the paper origami mandalas I have been making and the rosettes and other designs of tea bag folding. Some people use tea bag folding to include both types of folding.

Links:

The easiest tea bag fold is the kite fold.
Kite Fold Instructions

This is the fold I used for my Stash tea bag wrappers.
Waterbomb Fold Instructions

This is a link to instructions for
Tea Bag Folding: Rosette

A more complicated kite fold with instructions on YouTube.
Kite Fold by Craft Maniacs

A different tea bag fold with instructions on YouTube
Tea Bag Folding by Origami Twist

Tea bag folding flowers from a blogger in Singapore, Sandy Ang.
Tea Bag Folding Flowers

A tea bag seven pointed star that uses 7 squares (you can click on variations)
Seven Pointed Star

And this is the YouTube video that sparked my interest in making my origami mandalas. I made this and then started making more complex mandalas.
 DIY Easy Origami Corner Bookmark

These are the instructions I used to make my Paper Origami Mandalas.
 Paper Origami Mandalas

This is on my list to try next.
Robin Star

And I’ll be trying this star too.
Eifel Star

Rosette made from folding 8 squares from tea bag wrappers.

Rosette made from folding 8 squares from tea bag wrappers.

NOTE: I have not tried to make all designs in the above links. I have looked carefully at all the instructions and watched all the videos. If you have any trouble with them, please let me know. And if there are any links that stop working, please leave a comment and I will take update the links.

If you drink a lot of tea, especially tea that comes in fancy wrappers, and are willing to share at least 8 of the wrappers with me, I’d be ever so grateful. I might even send you something in return. If you are interested, leave a comment below and I’ll be in touch.

Happy Folding, 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

 

 

Studio Snapshot – Paste Paper Boxes

My neighborhood is sponsoring a Holiday Arts, Crafts & Collectibles Sale the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The profits from this sale will be donated to our Community Art Fund for art for our community.

Three of the boxes I'm donating to our Holiday Arts, Crafts & Collectibles Sale.

Three of the boxes I’m donating to our Holiday Arts, Crafts & Collectibles Sale.

One of my contributions to this sale are these boxes that I have been making this past week. These were originally flat white boxes that were leftovers and donated by two different people. I took the flat white boxes and applied colored paste that I use to make my paste papers. You can see the wonderful results once they are folded into boxes.

Three more of the boxes I'm donating to our Holiday Arts, Crafts & Collectibles Sale.

Three more of the boxes I’m donating to our Holiday Arts, Crafts & Collectibles Sale.

You cannot purchase these boxes. You will only be able to get them if you spend a certain amount of money at our Holiday Sale.

This is how the boxes started out, flat. You can see the four colors of paste I'm using for this box.

This is how the boxes started out, flat. You can see the four colors of paste I’m using for this box.

I love being able to use boxes that were destined to be put in the recycle bin and make them into something to be treasured. Hopefully they will be used many times to exchange gifts.

The box on the lower left was the box from the photo above this one.

The box on the lower left is the same box from the photo above this one. It’s so much better looking once it’s colored.

I made a lot of these paste paper boxes this past week in my studio. Actually, for this month, my studio is my garage. I do tend get messy throwing colored paint around, so my garage is the perfect space for making paste papers.

I have added gold pigment to most of my paste paper boxes. I love how it jumps out on these purple boxes.

I have added gold pigment to most of my paste paper boxes. I love how it jumps out on these purple boxes

I will be sharing other items I’m making for the Holiday Arts, Crafts & Collectibles Sale in future blog posts.

Three more of the boxes I'm donating to our Holiday Arts, Crafts & Collectibles Sale.

Three more of the boxes I’m donating to our Holiday Arts, Crafts & Collectibles Sale.

Enjoy, Candy

 

DIY – Paper Beads From Calligraphy Practice Papers

Last May I took a 2-hour class on Copperplate capitals. Translation: I decided to learn a new calligraphy alphabet using a pointed pen, an alphabet in which the thicks and thins of the letters are made by the amount of pressure applied to the pen. I loved it! So, when I was at my week long calligraphy retreat last month, I practiced Copperplate and ended up with lots of practice papers.

Paper beads made from cut up strips from my calligraphy practice papers.

Paper beads made from cut up strips from my calligraphy practice papers.

Not wanting to waste anything, I decided to make paper beads out of some of my practice papers. I cut long triangles out of my practice paper and wound them around a toothpick. I applied a little glue at the start and end of the winding.

The photo above shows triangle strips from which I make my beads

The photo above shows triangle strips from which I make my beads

Then I sealed the bead using acrylic matte medium. I like a matte finish on my beads. If you prefer a shiny finish, you can use acrylic gloss medium to seal your beads. The matte medium will not make your beads waterproof, but will make them water resistant.

Acrylic matte medium has been applied to the two paper beads on the toothpick to seal them.

Acrylic matte medium has been applied to the two paper beads on the toothpick to seal them.

Now I need to think of a project to use these lovely black and white beads for. The finished beads have an almost oriental feel to them. I’m thinking of maybe making a black and white necklace.

Paper beads made from strips of my calligraphy practice paper.

Paper beads made from strips of my calligraphy practice paper.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – What To Do With Empty Metal Tea Tins

One of my favorite teas is Double Green Matcha tea. It comes 50 bags to a tin. But what to do with the tins once the tea is gone? I’ve been drinking this tea for years, so I’ve built up quite a stash of tins. The empty tins are too good to just throw in the recycle bin.

All these started out holding tea bags, like the tea tin in the middle of the photo.

These all started out holding tea bags, like the tea tin in the middle of the photo.

First, I clean the tea tins. The paper comes off  easily, but the adhesive is a little harder to get off. I found De-Solv-it works fairly well. It sometimes takes a few applications, but I usually have a clean and sparkling tin in minutes.

Empty metal tea tins are easy to decorate for use as gift containers.

Empty metal tea tins are easy to decorate for use as gift containers.

For these tins, I printed some of my paste papers onto a light weight Japanese sketch paper. The paper muted the colors of the paste paper a bit, but I loved the look and the texture. I found that a light weight paper, and light weight oriental papers specifically, work wonderfully for this project.

Empty metal tea tins are easy to decorate for use as gift containers.

Empty metal tea tins are easy to decorate for use as gift containers.

I wrote a DIY blog post on how I wrap these tins a number of years ago (see link at bottom of this article). This technique will work for lots of different containers you may have in your kitchen. I’ve wrapped cocoa tins, spice jars, even oatmeal containers.

Empty metal tea tins are easy to decorate for use as gift containers.

Empty metal tea tins are easy to decorate for use as gift containers.

This is an easy project. It’s a perfect summer project to do with children. All you need is a container, a light weight paper and some double stick tape. It would work great to use children’s artwork as the paper wrapping too.

link to DIY – Decorative Gift Containers

Happy Creating, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Eco-Holders

I made my first Eco-Holder a few years ago after going to an Estate Sale where the sellers were going to take a garage full of paperback books to the landfill. I took three large garbage bags full of these books and tried to think of something to do with them that would keep them out of the landfill. Eco-Holders were the result.

Three Eco-Holders made from recycled books, tiles and beads.

Three Eco-Holders made from recycled books, tiles and beads.

I used all recycled components to make my Eco-Holders. The books were saved from going to the landfill. The tiles and beads are from Habitat for Humanity ReStore, from the discard bin at a local tile shop or from Scrap in Portland.

I originally made Eco-Holders to hold business cards, but people have used them to hold many different things.

I originally made Eco-Holders to hold business cards, but people have used them to hold many different things.

After folding and making what I thought was something to hold business cards, I started selling my Eco-Holders in my studio at the Ashland Art Center.

Another Eco-Holder that I made this past week.

Another Eco-Holder that I made this past week.

My customers have found many other uses for my Eco-Holders. They have been used to hold poetry, recipes, “to-do” notes, grocery lists, Christmas cards (for a display), business cards and more.

This Eco-Holder reminds me of a hedgehog.

This Eco-Holder reminds me of a hedgehog.

Making Eco-Holders is what I’ve been doing in my studio this past week. I really enjoy making something useful out of recycled items.

This Eco-Holder sits on a peg and can be turned upside down for a slightly different look.

This Eco-Holder sits on a peg and can be turned upside down for a slightly different look.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – More Paper Wrapped Pencils

I’ve not been able to spend much time in my studio this past week due to my trip to Edmonds, Washington (see Thursday’s post: Four Glorious Days of Calligraphy) and showing at ArtFest, a benefit for the Children’s Miracle Network. Still, I did manage to start to make some more paper wrapped pencils. My pencils have been selling well in both my studio at the Ashland Art Center and the Rogue Gallery in Medford.

Here are the paper wrapped pencils I made this past week.

Here are the paper wrapped pencils I made this past week.

Sometimes I work in my studio doing new and interesting things, like my flower envelope series, and sometimes I make more of things I’ve made many times before. This week I’ve been doing the latter. Yet, I still enjoy seeing the transformation of plain pencils into wonderful paper covered pencils.

Presentation matters. Here are 3 pencils wrapped in an Italian paper and tied with raffia. They look elegant.

Presentation matters. Here are 3 pencils wrapped in an Italian paper and tied with raffia. They look elegant, even though they’re “only” pencils.

Paper wrapped pencils. The set in the middle of a crossword puzzle is the most popular of all the pencils I have made.

Paper wrapped pencils. The set in the middle, made from a crossword puzzle, is the most popular of all the pencils I have made.

Paper wrapped pencils. All sorts of paper can be used to wrap pencils, though I suggest starting with a thin paper for your first set.

Paper wrapped pencils. All sorts of paper can be used to wrap pencils, though I suggest starting with a thin paper for your first set.

Paper wrapped pencils. Red and purple are popular colors, but they come in second after the crossword puzzle pencils.

Paper wrapped pencils. Red and purple are popular colors, but they come in second after the crossword puzzle pencils.

DIY instructions to make your own are on my blog post: Stocking Stuffers: Paper Wrapped Pencils.

Enjoy, Candy

DIY – Make Coasters From Old CD’s

I enjoy entertaining in my new-to-me home. With the constant flow of friends and family, I realized that I needed additional coasters to protect my wood tables. I had some old coasters, but I wanted something artistic that went with my decor, so decided to make my own coasters.

These coasters are made from old CD's and recycled paper. They even work well for putting under a vase of flowers.

These coasters are made from old CD’s and recycled paper. They even work well for putting under a vase of flowers.

I had a bunch of old CD’s that I had kept hoping to find an art project I could use them on. Perfect coaster size! A little experimentation and now I have a new set of coasters.

This coaster made from an old CD and recycled paper is a perfect to protect my wood end tables.

This coaster made from an old CD and recycled paper is a perfect to protect my wood end table.

I love finding ways to upcycle things that were destined to go into the landfill into something that is useful and artistic too.

My dining table is oak and my favorite placemats are a little small to hold a dinner plate and my mug of tea. My coaster made from an old CD is the perfect solution.

My dining table is oak and my favorite placemats are a little small to hold a dinner plate and my mug of tea. My coaster made from an old CD is the perfect solution.

I made my coasters by covering the CD’s with a recycled handmade paper. The paper I bought years ago. It is made from corn cobs, newspaper and  homework.

I used recycled handmade paper to cover old CD's and transform them into coasters.

I used recycled handmade paper to cover old CD’s and transform them into coasters. Be sure to seal the coasters before using.

1. Cut two pieces of paper, one 6″ in diameter and one 4.5″ in diameter for each coaster.

2. Apply acrylic matte medium to the back side of the 6″ paper and place an old CD in the center.

3. Cut slits in the paper about every half inch around the CD, then wrap them around the back side of the CD one by one.

4. Paint acrylic matte medium on the back side of the 4.5” circle and place it over the back side of the CD.

5. You now have a coaster. Coat the coaster (first one side, then the other) with 2 to 4 coats of acrylic matte medium to seal and protect the coaster from moisture.

Hint: Putting the coaster on the top of a glass or jar (smaller than the coaster), then painting one side and letting it dry before painting the other side makes the job less messy.

Mugs, each with their own handmade coaster from an old CD is perfect for entertaining on Earth Day.

Mugs, each with their own handmade coaster from an old CD is perfect for entertaining on Earth Day.

Note: I like the look and feel of a matte finish on my coasters. A matte finish will also be less slippery. However, you could use a gloss finish if you prefer.

Enjoy, Candy