Category Archives: Gifts

My 2017 Gifts of Random Kindness & Senseless Acts of Beauty

I am an idealist and generally a positive person. Lately, however, I have noticed more and more people concentrating on negative things rather than positive ones. I know that my health suffers when I am surrounded by negativity and improves when I am surrounded by love and kindness. After a lot of introspection, I have decided that for 2017, I will offer the world more love and kindness through Random Kindness & Senseless Acts of Beauty.

One of the boxes I made to leave for someone to find.

I am making handmade little boxes and will be leaving them in random locations throughout my travels. I want to share love and bring smiles to the faces of strangers I will never meet.

Close up of the bead/handle on the lid of the box.

I have written a little tag explaining the gift that I will be attaching to each box that I leave for someone to find. It says:

To whoever finds this:
This is for you!

I’m glad you’ve found it and I hope this gift lifts your spirits and makes your day happier. Please accept it and enjoy it!

This box is a handmade original, one of a series I’ve created to surprise others with random kindness and senseless acts of beauty. I believe that when we put more love into the world, we help heal the rifts tearing us apart.

You may even want to “pay it forward” to others with your own random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.

Handmade box I made as part of my desire to spread more love and happiness in the world.

This is what I feel I can do to bring more love into the world. I would like to encourage others who are so inclined to find their own way to practice Random Kindness & Senseless Acts of Beauty.

Let’s send more love into the world, Candy

DIY Holiday Origami Envelopes

Today I thought I would share some Christmas envelopes I made for my friend Margie. She had seen the ones I made earlier this year and wanted some made from Christmas wrapping paper.

The papers for these origami envelopes are from a holiday gift paper sample book.

The papers for these origami envelopes are from a holiday gift paper sample book.

Back in April, during National Letter Writing Month, I made a number of these envelopes using scanned images of my paste papers. I then found I could make them the perfect size for gift cards (the perfect gift for new grads).

Close up of some holiday origami envelopes made from gift wrap sample paper.

Close up of some holiday origami envelopes made from gift wrap sample paper.

Now, using wrapping paper from sample books that were given to me, I made a bunch of holiday origami envelopes.

HINT: It is best to work with quality wrapping paper, not the cheap variety. I found this out the hard way. I started with some cheap wrapping paper a friend gave me, but I didn’t like the way it folded. Luckily my friends at Nimbus, a local Ashland gallery, gifted me some samples of wrapping paper at just the right time. So, get a heavier weight quality wrapping paper to get the best results.

Close up of some holiday origami envelopes made from gift wrap sample paper.

Close up of some holiday origami envelopes made from gift wrap sample paper.

You can find links to the instructions to make these envelopes on my blog post: DIY Origami Envelope.
And to check out how to make them the size for gift cards, you can see my blog post: DIY Gift Card Origami Envelope.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Ashland Open Studio Tour 2016

I was one of 22 artists who opened their studios to the public during last weekend’s Ashland Open Studio Tour. It was non-stop people all weekend. And it was wonderful. I really enjoyed a number of enthusiastic children who wanted to learn how to make ladybugs, blob birds, spooky Halloween envelopes and more. It was delightful!

The display shelves in my home studio.

The display shelves in my home studio.

I apologize in advance for the quality of my photos. My house has windows everywhere, making it difficult to get good photos.

Paper wrapped pencils.

Paper wrapped pencils.

Looking down on triangle boxes and clover fold boxes.

Looking down on triangle boxes and clover fold boxes.

Looking down on truffle boxes and puffy pentagon boxes.

Looking down on truffle boxes and puffy pentagon boxes.

Looking down on paper lotus flowers.

Looking down on paper lotus flowers.

Origami mandalas and metal prints of my calligraphy and paste papers.

Origami mandalas and metal prints of my calligraphy and paste papers.

Origami gift card holders, hand paper cut cards, photo portfolios, Earth Spirit Vessel and origami mandalas.

Origami gift card holders, hand paper cut cards, photo portfolios, Earth Spirit Vessel and origami mandalas.

Sets of matching origami mandalas, lotus flowers and paper wrapped pencils.

Sets of matching origami mandalas, lotus flowers and paper wrapped pencils.

Now to get everything put away so I can start making art again. I have more ideas than time to make them all, which is a good thing. No boredom in this house!

Enjoy, Candy

Dorothy’s Dinky Doodles

Last year, before my friend Dorothy moved, she gave me a couple sheets of one of her Dinky Doodles. I’m not sure if they’re laser or ink jet copies, but I absolutely love them! I put them away and forgot about them until I was going through the paper piles in my studio closet this past week.

I was able to make all these little boxes from the two papers of Dinky Doodles that Dorothy gave me.

I was able to make all these little boxes from the two papers of Dinky Doodles that Dorothy gave me.

I decided it was time for me to do something with these doodles that Dorothy gave me. The papers were light weight copy paper, so I decided folded little paper boxes would look great out of these papers.

These were the two Dinky Doodles that Dorothy gave to me. They are copies of doodles that she makes.

These were the two Dinky Doodle papers that Dorothy gave to me. They are copies of doodles that she makes.

I folded the tops of the boxes out of Dorothy’s paper and made the bottoms of the boxes out of colorful coordinating papers.

Little folded boxes made from Dorothy's Dinky Doodle paper.

Little folded boxes made from Dorothy’s Dinky Doodle papers.

Dorothy paints what she calls Dinky Doodles on papers. It’s fun and easy for anyone to do. Then she copies her doodles. This would be a perfect project to do with children. It would work well with crayons or watercolors or markers.

Little boxes made from Dorothy's painted papers she calls Dinky Doodles.

Little boxes made from Dorothy’s painted papers she calls Dinky Doodles.

Enjoy, Candy

 

Studio Snapshot – More Paper Wrapped Pencils

When I made an enormous amount of paper wrapped pencils a few months ago, I thought they would last at least until the end of the year. Boy was I mistaken! I’ve had to make more for both my own studio and a couple of orders for Nimbus. (Please note: this is not a complaint. I’m super glad they’re so popular.)

Some of the paper wrapped pencils I made this past week.

Some of the paper wrapped pencils I made this past week.

Nimbus also asked for a few more “masculine” looking pencils. I looked through a number of my paper scraps and I think I came up with a number of papers that have sort of a “masculine” feel to them. What do you think?

These are some of the paper wrapped pencils I made for the request I received for a more "masculine" feel.

These are some of the paper wrapped pencils I made for the request I received for a more “masculine” feel.

The process for wrapping pencils takes a number of days to complete. First I wrap the pencil using acrylic matte medium as my “glue.” Then I apply two coats of acrylic matte medium to the paper on the pencils after they have been wrapped. The pencils need to dry between coats. I then let the pencils dry for a couple more days before wrapping them with raffia to create sets.

I think these fit the request for a "masculine" paper wrapped pencil.

Close up. I think these fit the request for a “masculine” paper wrapped pencil.

This past week I wrapped over 100 pencils. Not all of them are dry yet. These should last me through next spring since our local tourist season is now ending.

Another close up. I think these fit the request for a "masculine" pencil. The pencil set in the middle is from a paper of postage stamps.

Another close up. I think these fit the request for a “masculine” pencil. The pencil set in the middle is from a paper of postage stamps.

If you would like to make your own paper wrapped pencils, check out the instructions on my blog post: Stocking Stuffers: Paper Wrapped Pencils.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Making Lots Of Colorful Long Stemmed Hearts

On my last blog post, I gave directions for making long stemmed hearts. Somehow, many of you who subscribe to my blog never received that post. I don’t understand the technology of why that happened, but here’s the link to the DIY instructions: DIY Long Stemmed Hearts.

While these are not the customary colors for hearts, I really like them together as a bouquet.

While these are not the customary colors for hearts, I really like them together as a bouquet.

For that blog post, I made a dozen red long stemmed hearts. And seeing that I had a whole lot of colorful fade resistant papers sitting around my studio, I couldn’t resist making lots more long stemmed hearts is ever so many different colors.

These paper long stemmed hearts won't wilt and you don't have to remember to water them either.

One dozen Long Stemmed Hearts as shown in last week’s blog post.

As I stated last week, I use Pop Tone colors from French Paper Company, located in Niles, Michigan. I had to order directly from the company to get all the colors I wanted.

Purple and pink Long Stemmed Hearts.

Purple and pink Long Stemmed Hearts.

One of the things I love about these hearts is that I don’t have to remember to water them. I can leave for a week or two without worrying about them. No wilting. No watering. As a matter of fact, it’s not advisable to water them at all.

I love the bright colors of these Long Stemmed Hearts.

I love the bright colors of these Long Stemmed Hearts.

All week, I just kept making all different colors of folded paper hearts. I kept trying out how different color combinations looked together. It was so much fun!

Green and yellow Long Stemmed Hearts.

Green and yellow Long Stemmed Hearts.

The vases I used for most of today’s photos used to hold balsamic vinegar. They make great vases. I bought the balsamic vinegar at Trader Joe’s years ago. I don’t know if they still sell it in these glass bottles. I added the band of red cord to coordinate the vase with the wrapping of embroidery thread on the hearts.

Pastel Long Stemmed Hearts.

Pastel Long Stemmed Hearts.

I have also found lovely vases at yard sales and estate sales. Look around and you’re likely to find the perfect vase for your Long Stemmed Hearts.

Lots of colorful Long Stemmed Hearts.

Lots of colorful Long Stemmed Hearts.

For instructions, see my blog post: DIY Long Stemmed Hearts.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Playing With My New Chiyogami Papers

This past week I’ve been making paper lotus flowers, origami mandalas and paper wrapped pencils out of the new Chiyogami papers I received from Washi Arts. I shared the photo of the papers I received on my last post and here is what I’ve been doing with them.

Paper Lotus Flower, Origami Mandala and paper wrapped pencils made from Chiyogami paper.

Paper Lotus Flower, Origami Mandala and paper wrapped pencils made from Chiyogami paper.

I love these papers! The colors are spectacular and they fold beautifully. Yes, they are expensive, but so worth it.

Paper Lotus Flower, Origami Mandala and paper wrapped pencils made from Chiyogami paper.

Paper Lotus Flower, Origami Mandala and paper wrapped pencils made from Chiyogami paper.

Paper Lotus Flower, Origami Mandala and paper wrapped pencils made from Chiyogami paper.

Paper Lotus Flower, Origami Mandala and paper wrapped pencils made from Chiyogami paper.

Paper Lotus Flower, Origami Mandala and paper wrapped pencils made from Chiyogami paper.

Paper Lotus Flower, Origami Mandala and paper wrapped pencils made from Chiyogami paper.

Paper Lotus Flower, Origami Mandala and paper wrapped pencils made from Chiyogami paper.

Paper Lotus Flower, Origami Mandala and paper wrapped pencils made from Chiyogami paper.

Paper Lotus Flower, Origami Mandala and paper wrapped pencils made from Chiyogami paper.

Paper Lotus Flower, Origami Mandala and paper wrapped pencils made from Chiyogami paper.

Paper Lotus Flower, Origami Mandala and paper wrapped pencils made from Chiyogami paper.

Paper Lotus Flower, Origami Mandala and paper wrapped pencils made from Chiyogami paper.

If you haven’t tried Chiyogami paper, treat yourself to a sheet. It’s a wonderful experience.

Enjoy, Candy

Helen Hiebert’s New Calendar for 2017

Paper artist Helen Hiebert has a Kickstarter campaign going on to fund her new 2017 Calendars. These are not your ordinary calendars, each month includes a paper project along with instructions.

This is the cover of Helen Hiebert's new 2017 Calendar.

This is the cover of Helen Hiebert’s new 2017 Calendar.

The calendar is filled with fun paper projects to enjoy each month. Every page features photo of the completed project, an interesting paper quote, a list of materials and tools you’ll need to complete the project, plus step by step photos and easy-to-follow instructions.

This is December's calendar page.

December 2016 is a bonus calendar page, so there are actually 13 paper projects included in this calendar!

To purchase your own calendar, check out: Helen’s Kickstarter Campaign. I purchased the calendar along with the custom paper pack. Delivery is expected sometime in October. I can hardly wait!

Enjoy, Candy

More Photos – Calligraphy & Art Retreat 2016

After posting Monday’s blog post with lots of photos of what went on the annual Calligraphy & Art Retreat I attend every year, I realized there was a lot more I wanted to share. So much happened within those 7 days, it’s hard to remember it all.

My first attempt at pastel dusting.

My first attempt at pastel dusting.

After I got home I realized that I took many photos of what others did, but only one photo of what I did during the week. The above photo shows my first attempt at pastel dusting. Sally demonstrated both the pastel dusting and making the squares into a mobile.

The other side of my pastel dusting mobile.

The other side of my pastel dusting mobile.

My head is still swimming with ideas. And my dreams for the past few nights have been incredible, all about ideas for new art projects.

Wonderful little gifts I received from my artist friends.

Wonderful little gifts I received from my artist friends.

There was a wonderful camaraderie and sharing of ideas, techniques, tools and more.

I took some of my stash of tea bag wrappers and demonstrated tea bag folding.

I took some of my stash of tea bag wrappers and demonstrated tea bag folding.

My tea bag folding demonstration was a hit. I took a bunch of my tea bag wrappers and shared them with everyone.

I think I got Sally hooked on tea bag folding.

I think I got Sally hooked on tea bag folding.

The above photo shows some of the rosettes that Sally made. I find it amazing how such a simple folding of tea bag wrappers can be so meditative and relaxing.

File folder dipped in walnut ink shown with walnut ink crystals.

File folder dipped in walnut ink shown with walnut ink crystals.

The above photo is of the file folder I dipped into walnut ink, then dried on scrunched up plastic. The plastic bag in the photo is 8 ounces of walnut ink crystals. I will be using these to make my own walnut ink later this winter when I have some free time to experiment with this technique for an extended period of time.

This is one of Michelle's walnut ink file folders. She started with a red file folder.

This is one of Michelle’s walnut ink file folders. She started with a red file folder.

The above photo is something Michelle has been working on. It started out as a red file folder that was dipped into walnut ink. The white areas are where she dabbed on bleach. She then added stitches and some ink drawing. I think this would be perfect as a cover for a little journal.

One of the projects I worked on during the week.

One of the projects I worked on during the week.

I got to work on a number of different projects during the week. The above photo shows some of the card books I started making.

We sent two mobiles to two of our past Womenuchans who were unable to attend this year. Here are the squares that were eventually made into mobiles.

We sent two mobiles to two of our past Womenuchans who were unable to attend this year. Here are the squares that were eventually made into mobiles.

Tea bag folding, pastel dusting and mobile making were three constants throughout the week. The above photo shows the squares that we each decorated for Sam and Judy. They became mobiles that were then sent to them. Hopefully both will be able to make it next year.

This is what Adelaide made to carry her colored pencils.

This is what Adelaide made to carry her colored pencils.

There was a lot of sharing during the week. Adelaide showed us how she made a colored pencil carrier from a piece of felt. The creativity of everyone who attended our retreat is amazing.

Information as well as lots of mobiles were posted on this door in our joint studio.

Information as well as lots of mobiles were posted on this door in our joint studio.

It was one amazing week. I am so looking forward to next year.

Happy creating, 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

Studio Snapshot – Making More Truffle Boxes

I made Truffle Boxes for my dad and his friends for Father’s Day. They were a big hit, so this past week I made a bunch more out of my hand painted paste papers.

These Truffle Boxes are made from my hand painted paste papers. They're the perfect size box to hold a single truffle.

These Truffle Boxes are made from my hand painted paste papers. They’re the perfect size box to hold a single truffle.

If you are wondering what paste papers are, you can check out my blog post: Making Paste Papers: Part One. And if you are wanting to make paste papers, you can check out my blog post: Paste Paper Recipes.

These Truffle Boxes are held closed by a ribbon with a bead on each end.

These Truffle Boxes are held closed by a ribbon with a bead on each end of the ribbon.

If you would like to make some Truffle Boxes of your own, check out my blog post: DIY Truffle Box With Template.

I have included a link to my blog post that has instructions and a template so you can make your own Truffle Boxes.

I have included a link to my blog post that has instructions and a template so you can make your own Truffle Boxes.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Boxes With Chocolate For Father’s Day

The first half of my week was working on Origami Mandalas (see Art On The Go! – Making Origami Mandalas). The last half of the week was spent thinking about Father’s Day. Do you realize, it’s less than a week away?

Chocolate in their own boxes for Gary, Nelson, Bob & Warren for Father's Day.

Chocolate in their own boxes for Gary, Nelson, Bob & Warren for Father’s Day.

My father has made it difficult for me, again, by requesting no gifts. He says he doesn’t have room to store more “stuff.” I get that, but it’s hard for me not to get him something for Father’s Day.

I figure I can get away with giving him some chocolate. That’s edible and won’t take up space once it’s eaten. Dagoba Taster Squares are perfect since they are like individual small bites. They can be easily saved (or eaten immediately).

I made each box in the favorite color of the recipient.

I made each box in the favorite color of the recipient.

Since my dad and I we will be with 3 other fathers on Father’s Day, I decided to make 4 boxes, one for each of the fathers and fill them with Dagoba Taster Squares.

You can download the template for making these boxes from my blog post: DIY – Truffle Box. I also show how to close the box once it is made.

Happy Father’s Day, 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

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

Studio Snapshot – I Love You Accordion Card Books

For over a month I’ve been busy with family and helping my dad downsize and move. This has left me with little time to make art. The result is that I haven’t been replacing the art that has sold out of my studio.

Three I Love You Accordion Card Books. Each one is hand lettered with watercolor and gold accents.

Three I Love You Accordion Card Books.

This week I realized I sold out of my I Love You Accordion Card Books. I guess they were popular for Valentine’s Day gifts. So this week I worked on making three new ones. I won’t put them all in my studio at once. I’ll keep a couple here in my studio at home.

Each of my accordion card books has a cover that is covered in one of my original paste papers.

Each of my accordion card books has a cover that is covered in one of my original paste papers.

It feels good to be back in my studio again. Although my current schedule is still pretty busy, I’m hoping to be able to carve out a couple of hours a day to work on my art. I’ve been missing it.

I Love You Accordion Card Books.

I Love You Accordion Card Books. Because each book is an original, they are all just a little different.

Enjoy, Candy