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Studio Snapshot – Calligraphy & Art Retreat

For the past 7 days, my studio has been an 6 foot long table in a shared studio space with 11 other calligraphers and artists from Oregon, Washington and California. It is an annual retreat where I get to do whatever calligraphy and art I want to do for an entire week. I don’t have to cook or do housework.

These are 2 magnetic closure books that I made following the instructions Lili shared with us. The covers are watercolors I made this past week too.

These are 2 magnetic closure watercolor journals that I made following the instructions Lily shared with us. I made the covers using watercolors.

This week-long Calligraphy and Art Retreat has been going on for many years. It’s been sponsored by different calligraphy guilds over the years, but it’s always held at the Menucha Retreat and Conference Center in Corbett, Oregon which overlooks the Columbia River. We can do art, swim, sleep, hike, relax and have our meals prepared for us by their wonderful kitchen staff.

Two variations I made based on Elizabeth's instructions of the tiny tab book.

Two variations I made based on Elizabeth’s instructions of the tiny tab book.

Elizabeth's magnetic closure journal with my studio table in the background.

Elizabeth’s magnetic closure journal with my studio table in the background.

I always come home with lots of new ideas and renewed enthusiasm. The format for this retreat is that we can work on whatever we want. There are 4 hours a day of quiet time where we know we can work uninterrupted. At other times there are informal demonstrations, discussions and sharing that we can attend or not.

Some of Kay's work. 2 journals and 3 paintings, resting on the window above her work table.

Some of Kay’s work, 2 journals and 3 paintings, resting on the window above her work table.

One of Lili's creations. The card folds to fit in the little black envelope.

One of Lily’s creations. The card folds to fit in the little black envelope that’s on the left.

This year, Lili taught some of us how to make a journal with a magnetic closure. Elizabeth demonstrated how to make a mini tab book and a few more folded cards and books. Kay demonstrated some acrylic painting techniques as well as how to make 3D letters. Susan demonstrated techniques she uses in making art on cradled art panels.

Susan is demonstrating her warm up exercises using various tools and brushes.

Susan is demonstrating her warm up exercises using various tools and brushes.

Sally's warm-up calligraphy. I found these stacked on a chair by her work station.

Sally’s warm-up calligraphy. I found these stacked on a chair by her work station.

My goal for the week was to practice with the pointed pen. I took a mini class on the pointed pen in May and I wanted to spend some time working on the alphabet. Michelle, who is a master of the pointed pen, kindly gave me some extremely helpful pointers.

Thanks to Michelle's pointers, my pointed pen calligraphy is coming along.

Thanks to Michelle’s pointers, my pointed pen calligraphy is coming along.

We use every possible flat space to put our art as our tables aren't big enough to hold all our stuff. Here are some of Michelle's wonderful cards on a TV stand.

We use every possible flat space to put our art as our tables aren’t big enough to hold all our stuff. Here are some of Michelle’s wonderful cards on a TV stand.

I am more energized from this years retreat than ever. Everything is unpacked and put away. My drafting table is clear and as soon as I am through with this blog post, I’m looking forward to doing art for the rest of the day.

Elizabeth's acrylic painting, as taught by Kay.

Elizabeth’s acrylic painting, after Kay’s demonstration..

Renae's work in progress from a photo.

Renae’s work in progress from a photo.

Some of Michelle's bleach painting works in progress.

Some of Michelle’s bleach painting works in progress.

One of Susan's multi media flower series on cradle board.

One of Susan’s multi media flower series on a cradled art panel.

Another of Susan's collages on a cradled wood panel. Is it finished yet?

Another of Susan’s collages on a cradled wood panel. Is it finished yet?

Nancy's watercolor in progress from a photo.

Nancy’s watercolor in progress from a photo.

Another of Nancy's watercolors made into a card. She used one of my paste papers behind her art to show off her flowers.

Another of Nancy’s watercolors made into a card. She used one of my paste papers behind her art to show off her flowers.

And did I mention great food?

And did I mention great food?

Renee's unique thank you card to Ruthie.

Renae’s unique thank you card to Ruthie.

More of Sally's works in progress.

More of Sally’s works in progress.

Elizabeth's meander fold book.

Elizabeth’s diamond-fold maze book.

One of Sally's backgrounds that she painted. She sells a book called Background Blitz which explains how she makes many of her beautiful backgrounds.

One of Sally’s backgrounds that she painted. She sells a book called Background Blitz which explains how she makes many of her beautiful backgrounds.

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!

Somehow I managed not to get photos of Edna’s, Judy’s or Sam’s work. I’m so sorry, because they all do such great work too.

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

Happy creating, Candy

Tapered Roll Fold

A tapered roll fold is a type fold used in the printing industry for brochures. I thought this fold would work for either a book or a card. Here is what I created using this fold.

Finished tapered roll fold, perfect for a card or small book.

Finished tapered roll fold, perfect for a card or small book.

I started by cutting a piece of watercolor paper and cut it 5″ high, making it 5″ by 22″. I painted an almost rainbow like graduated wash on the paper and added a bit of sea salt.

This is how the watercolor paper looks while wet. I hav ejust sprinkled the salt on the paper.

This is how the watercolor paper looks while wet. I hav ejust sprinkled the salt on the paper.

This is how the watercolor looks when dried.

This is how the watercolor looks when dried.

After the paper dried, I cut off one end and folded at 4″. I then wrapped the paper around and folded until I had 5 sections. I cut off the remaining bit on the other end.

This shows the 5 folds and the pieces cut off each of the ends.

This shows the 5 folds and the pieces cut off each of the ends.

I cut the taper on three of the folds. See photo below.

Here the taper has been cut.

Here the taper has been cut.

All that’s left is to roll the paper around itself. There is so much potential in this fold. I’m thinking it could be a fun soft cover for a little book. It would make a great greeting card too.

Front of the tapered roll fold. How about a slit for the taper to slip into?

Front of the tapered roll fold. How about a slit for the taper to slip into?

I’m thinking that it could have a slit in the cover for the taper to slide into. I can see that I’m going to be playing with this fold for a while. There are so many things I could do with this.

Here's what the back of the tapered roll fold looks like.

Here’s what the back of the tapered roll fold looks like.

Vertically, the tapered roll fold looks a little like a purse.

Vertically, the tapered roll fold looks a little like a purse.

Vertical tapered roll fold as seen from the back.

Vertical tapered roll fold as seen from the back.

Note: If you make this fold, you will want to make sure you are making your folds with the direction of the grain of the paper. If you don’t know what that means, you can check out my blog post: Understanding Paper Grain Direction.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Calligraphy Practice While Camping

It’s been hot here in the valley recently, hot as in lots of over 100 degree days. So I took off this past week with a bunch of friends for camping at a mountain lake.

Practice pages from my journal along with my pocket brush pen.

Practice pages from my journal along with my pocket brush.

I camped in my trusty old VW camper where space is at a premium. Food, camping supplies and a few clothes took up most of the available space in my small camper. So, I only took my sketchbook and my pocket brush pen which I need to work on perfecting consistent pressure.

More practicing with my pocket brush.

More practicing with my pocket brush.

I was able to pack them in a small bag which was easy to take from campsite to campsite as we all visited and relaxed together. Having a very portable art studio with me worked out great. There was lots of down time where I could just practice.

Happy camping, Candy

DIY – Paper Dahlia Wreath

My friend, Beverly, grows the most amazing dahlias. She has always shared her dahlias with me, until this year. My dahlia supply has dried up since Beverly is now traveling in her motorhome for the next year or so. Great for Beverly, but I’ve been missing my dahlias.

Finished dahlia wreath on my front door.

Finished dahlia wreath on my front door.

So, when I saw some dahlia wreaths on the internet, I had to jump in and try to make one of my own. I felt that yellows felt right for summer. And, by wonderful coincidence, I happened to have a treasure trove of the perfect yellow color papers.

I used my dinner plate as a template to cut the base for my dahlia wreath. The two yellow colored paper cones were glued to the base to make the dahlia flower petals.

I used my dinner plate as a template for the base for my wreath. The yellow paper cones are waiting to be glued to the base to become the dahlia flower petals.

I started by cutting a circle of cardboard. One of my dinner plates looked like the perfect size for the base of my wreath. It turned out to be 10.25″ in diameter. I cut lots of yellow 4″ squares of paper in both light and bright yellow. These I rolled into paper cones (see photos) and glued the paper with glue stick.

The beginning of my dahlia wreath.

The beginning of my dahlia wreath. I’m using a glue gun to glue the cones to the cardboard base.

I punched 2 holes in the cardboard backing and laced ribbon through it. That will be how the hanger when the wreath is finished.

The first row of paper cones is now glued on the cardboard base.

The first row of paper cones is now glued on the cardboard base.

It took an awful lot of paper cones. If I make another dahlia wreath, I think I will make the cones a little larger so I won’t need quite so many.

Second row of paper cones glued.

Second row of paper cones glued.

I flattened the cones slightly and glued the first row about an inch in from the edge, using a glue gun. I glued the second row about an inch in from the first.

For the third row, I changed to a lighter yellow cone.

For the third row, I changed to a lighter yellow cone.

After two rows of the yellow, I changed to a lighter yellow for the rest of the wreath. I’m still flattening the bottoms and gluing in about 1″ from the previous row.

Four rows of paper cones have now been glued to the cardboard base.

Four rows of paper cones have now been glued to the cardboard base.

After completing 4 rows of paper cones, I added another row, this time gluing them in a little further than in the previous rows. The result is that the cones are just a little shorter than in the previous rows.

Here I've added a couple more rows to the dahlia wreath.

Here I’ve glued a fifth row of paper cones to the dahlia wreath.

After the fifth row, I cut my papers in 3″ squares rather than the 4″ squares of the previous rows. I kept putting the new cones in until there was no more room. The wreath was finished. I just tied the ribbon on the back to the right length and hung my wreath.

My finished dahlia wreath.

My finished paper dahlia wreath.

I love it!

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Brush Calligraphy

My friend, Robbin, is a fiber artist. She and another fiber artist have just rented a studio at the Ashland Art Center. She commissioned me to make her a sign for her new studio that said “my needle is my paintbrush.”

Here is the brush calligraphy I did for Robbin's studio.

Here is the brush calligraphy I did for Robbin’s studio.

With words like that, it was obvious to me that the sign needed to be done with a brush. Originally she was thinking of having me write in black, but after I saw that the back wall in her studio was blue, I abandoned the black and went with blue.

My final brush calligraphy amid some of my practice papers.

My final brush calligraphy amid some of my practice papers.

Enjoy, Candy

DIY – Paper Star Card

While I was cleaning up my studio last week, I came across some of my red, white and blue paper start that I made my Star Garland with. I decided the stars would look great sewn on a card, and I was right.

I used left over stars from my Star Garland to make this 4th of July card.

I used left over stars from my Star Garland to make this 4th of July card.

This is one of the few projects that went together just the way I thought it would. Nice when that happens.

I wanted my card 5″ x 7″ to fit an A-7 envelope. So, I cut my paper 7″ wide and 15″ high. I wanted an extra 5″ to turn under to cover my stitching. If you don’t mind your stitching showing, or if you want to paste a piece of paper over the stitching, cut the card 7″ wide by 10″.

My paper is 7" wide by 15" high. I have folded it in thirds so my finished card will be 5" by 7".

My paper is 7″ wide by 15″ high. I have folded it in thirds so my finished card will be 5″ by 7″ and fit into a standard A-7 envelope..

I printed “Happy 4th” in the Bermuda Squiggle typeface and colored in the left side of the squiggle in alternating blue and red. I used a dark blue embroidery thread to sew my stars.

Here I have started sewing my stars on my card.

Here I have started sewing my stars on my card.

I laid out my red, white and blue stars on my card and decided where I thought they would look good. With a white card, I thought two red, two blue and only one white set of stars looked really good together.

This photo shows a finished card and the reverse side of one that hasn't been covered up yet so you can see how the stitches look on the reverse side of the card.

Here is a finished card and the back side of one that hasn’t been covered up yet, so you can see how the stitches look on the back side of the card.

I folded two stars together, then sewed them on the card and then another and another. After I sewed the stars, I folded and glued the flap back to cover up the stitching which made for a clean looking card.

Two finished "Happy 4th" cards ready to be put in an envelope and sent.

Two finished “Happy 4th” cards ready to be put in an envelope and sent.

You could write Happy 4th by hand or use another font. I hope this sparks all sorts of ideas for you future cards.

Happy 4th, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Pencils To Match Gift Tins

Last week after sharing my Paper Covered Metal Tea Tins, I decided that each tin ought to have its own set of matching paper wrapped pencils. So that’s what I made in my studio this past week.

I think these gift wrapped tea tins just became pencil holders.

I think these gift wrapped tea tins just became pencil holders.

Metal tea tin to unique pencil holder.

Metal tea tin to unique pencil holder.

Metal tea tin to unique pencil holder.

Metal tea tin to unique pencil holder.

Metal tea tin to unique pencil holder.

Metal tea tin to unique pencil holder.

Metal tea tin to unique pencil holder.

Metal tea tin to unique pencil holder.

Metal tea tin to unique pencil holder.

Metal tea tin to unique pencil holder.

I just love how they turned out!

Here are links to the tea tins and how I made them, how I wrapped the pencils and how I make paste papers.

link to: What To Do With Empty Metal Tea Tins

link to: DIY – Decorative Gift Containers

link to: DIY Paper Wrapped Pencils

link to: Making Paste Papers: Part One

Enjoy, Candy

 

DIY – Pinwheel Fold Card

I saw a card that I liked the look of on the internet last week. There were no instructions on how to make it, so I made my own and the instructions to go with it. When I was done, I decided it looked like a pinwheel, so I named it the Pinwheel Fold Card.

One Pinwheel Fold Card open and one closed.

One Pinwheel Fold Card open and one closed.

Then 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 easy 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″, then the inside square is 4″.

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″ squares of paper,  a card stock 4″ square in gold and a 3.5″ 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″ squares, I also used some 6″ 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″ 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 Summer, 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

Paper Father’s Day Gift Ideas

My father says he doesn’t want anything for Father’s Day. He claims he has everything he wants and is more interested in getting rid of things than accumulating more stuff. I figure I can get away giving him Father’s Day gifts as long as they are consumables. Here’s what I have in mind for this year. Links to  projects are included at the end of this post.

Happy Father's Day accordion card book.

Happy Father’s Day accordion card book.

First, I know he loves crossword puzzles. I gave him a set of pencils wrapped in paper from the New York Times crossword puzzle paper a year and a half ago. They were a big hit and I’m pretty sure he could use some new ones.

These pencils were wrapped in a New York Times crossword puzzle from my local Sunday newspaper. They are going to my father, an avid crossword puzzle fan.

These pencils are wrapped in a New York Times crossword puzzle from my local Sunday newspaper. 

Next up is chocolate. I know he likes chocolate and he also likes spicy. What could be more perfect than Xocolatl Taster Squares from Dagoba Chocolate. They contain rich dark chocolate, chilies & nibs. I’m sure he’ll love them.

Xocolatl Dagoba Chocolate Taster Squares (with chillies) are the perfect size to fit into my Clover Fold Boxes.

Xocolatl Dagoba Chocolate Taster Squares (with chillies) are the perfect size to fit into my Clover Fold Boxes.

Then there’s the packaging. I designed these Clover Leaf Boxes to fit one Dagoba Taster Square for this past March For April’s Oregon Chocolate Festival.

I know I can't go wrong giving my dad milk chocolate Taster Squares. Shown with my Clover Fold Boxes that I made to hold a single Dagoba Chocolate Taster Square.

I know I can’t go wrong giving my dad milk chocolate Taster Squares, shown here with my Clover Fold Boxes that I made to hold a single Dagoba Chocolate Taster Square.

Dagoba Chocolate just introduced two new Taster Squares, orange and lemonberry zest. OMG! I tasted both and they are ever so delicious. It was hard to choose my favorite, but the orange finally won.

Dagoba Taster Squares and Clover Fold Boxes. My new favorite, orange is on the left. Lemonberry zest is on the right.

Dagoba Taster Squares and Clover Fold Boxes. My new favorite, orange is on the left. Lemonberry zest is on the right.

I have found that the presentation of a gift can make the gift feel super special. So, my Father’s Day card is going in one of my Father’s Day gift bags. The gift bag makes a great statement.

Father's Day Tie Gift Bag - This paper reminds me of art deco. I even made a paper lotus flower from this paper.

Father’s Day Tie Gift Bag is made from a 9″ by 12″ white envelope and a decorative paper for the tie which is attached with velcro.

I also made a larger clover fold box that holds 5 Dagoba Chocolate Taster Squares. I was thinking of a masculine color, so I made it black. Then I got the idea of making a topper for it, so I made the Happy Father’s Day “ribbon” and attached it to the top of the box.

A larger version of my Clover Fold Box with a little topper for Father's Day.

A larger version of my Clover Fold Box with a little topper for Father’s Day.

Since my dad doesn’t go on the internet, I feel certain that he won’t see what I’m giving him for Father’s Day. If you know him, please don’t spill the beans.

Have a Happy Father’s Day!

link to DIY Paper Wrapped Pencils

link to Clover Fold Box instructions

link to Father’s Day Gift Tie Bags

link to more Accordion Card Books

Enjoy Candy