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Studio Snapshot – Valentine Place Cards

As an incentive to practice my calligraphy, I took an online class last month from Martha Lever called CalligraFun. I have done brush lettering for years, and this class was a lot of playing with brush calligraphy and embellishments. So this past week I played around with different ideas for place cards for our brunch on Valentine’s Day.

These are two of the Valentine Place Cards I am making for the 7 of us who will be having Valentine's Day Brunch together.

These are two of the Valentine Place Cards I am making for the 7 of us who will be having Valentine’s Day Brunch together.

A group of seven to nine friends and family have Sunday Brunch together each Sunday. Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year, so I decided it would be fun to make Valentine Place Cards for our table.

Some of my practice lettering.

Some of my practice lettering for Valentine Place Cards.

It has been so much fun trying out new ideas for lettering names. I used the brushes and pens I had on hand, but now am going to go out and buy a few more colors.

Playing with ideas for lettering names.

Playing with ideas for lettering names.

Different pens and different papers give different results. I have decided that I will use watercolor paper for my final place cards.

Playing with different brush pens and papers. Practice can be a lot of fun too!

Playing with different brush pens and papers. Practice can be a lot of fun too!

 

It’s been a special week full of birthdays and calligraphy. I loved it!!!

Happy lettering, Candy

DIY – Painting Paper For Heart Cube Box

I wanted to make some Heart Cube Boxes for Valentine gifts, but I didn’t like the colors of papers I had on hand. So, I painted some. Here’s how I painted them.

Heart Cube Boxes made from my painted papers.

Heart Cube Boxes made from my painted papers.

First I found the papers I wanted to use. I used two types of paper, neither of which I tried to fold before starting. Big mistake! One of the papers folded perfectly and the other cracked when I folded it. Second, I printed out the template on the back of the paper before I painted the paper. Believe me, it’s much easier that way.

Getting ready for painting my paper with acrylic paints mixed with acrylic matte medium.

Getting ready for painting my paper with acrylic paints mixed with acrylic matte medium.

I started with 4 different acrylic paints in reds, pink and purple. I mixed them half and half with acrylic matte medium. I used discarded plastic jar lids as my paint containers. I put dabs of all the different colors of paint on a rubber roller and started rolling colors around, making what looked like a monster mess.

The process of painting the paper for one of my Heart Cube Boxes.

The process of painting the paper for one of my Heart Cube Boxes.

After the entire page was covered in paint, I mixed acrylic interference blue with acrylic matte medium (again about half and half) and spread it all over the painted paper. You can see in the photo above how it starts to change the colors on the lower photo. I’ve painted just a little bit of the painted paper with the interference blue.

The process of painting the paper for one of my Heart Cube Boxes.

The process of painting the paper for one of my Heart Cube Boxes. The top photo is before adding the interference blue along with a bit of interference gold.

For my first paper I used acrylic interference blue. My second paper included both interference blue and interference gold. For my third and forth papers, I just used acrylic interference gold. Play around with different acrylic colors and interference colors and see how the colors change. It’s fun. Play!

Painting papers for two more Heart Cube Boxes.

Painting papers for two more Heart Cube Boxes.

There’s no one right or wrong way to do this. Just play and have fun. I’m including the template for making this box.

I painted the paper for these Heart Cube Boxes.

I painted the paper for these Heart Cube Boxes.

Template: Cube Heart Box Template

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Learning My New Camera

I bought a new camera this week. While I love my little iPod touch’s camera, I have been asked to send higher quality images of my art to be printed in books and catalogs. So, much of this past week has been spent getting to know my new camera.

All the photos on this blog post (except this one) were taken with this camera.

All the photos on this blog post (except this one) were taken with this camera.

So, here is what I’ve been taking photos of this past week. Some shots are from my studio and some from a couple of local shops here in Ashland, Oregon.

Two shelves in my home studio.

Two shelves in my home studio.

My last high quality camera used film. Technology has changed a lot since then. The number of menu options is mindboggling. But as the past week progressed, I learned enough to take photos and get them on to my computer so I could check them out in Photoshop.

Two shelves in my home studio.

Two shelves in my home studio.

While it will take a long time to get to really know what is possible with this camera, I think I’ve got the basics down enough to take acceptable photos to send to publications. And that was my goal.

My "orange" shelf in my studio.

“Orange” shelf in my home studio.

I realize I have just scratched the surface with learning how to use my camera. Looking at the instruction booklet, it looks as though there are 128 different menu options that I can use. That’s not counting the numerous dials and buttons.

Two shelves from my home studio.

Two shelves in my home studio.

I’m sure I’ll become more confident using my camera as I get more practice.

My latest tea bag folded rosette.

I’m still playing with folding tea bag wrappers. Here’s a look at my latest rosette.

For those of you who are interested, I got a Sony a6000. I told my camera guru what I wanted to use the camera for, and this is what he recommended. I am pleased my the results so far.

Paper yarn from one of my favorite shops, Websters, in Ashland, Oregon.

Paper yarn from one of my favorite shops, Websters, in Ashland, Oregon.

The photos above and below are two shops in Ashland. They both graciously allowed me to take photos of some paper products they had in their shop. Obviously, I have more to learn about taking quality photos, but I hope you enjoy seeing what they have to offer.

Marbled paper bags from Jupiter Row in Ashland, Oregon.

Marbled paper bags from Jupiter Row in Ashland, Oregon.

Enjoy, Candy

 

DIY – Making Heart Garlands

I think what I like most about Valentine’s Day is hearts. I love hearts! And around Valentine’s Day, I get to play with them for weeks on end. Over the years I have made a number of different heart garlands. So here’s a bunch of them along with instructions or links to the instructions from past blog posts.

I used red, dark pink and purple papers along with some beads to make this paper folded heart garland.

My Folded Paper Heart Garland is made with red, dark pink and purple papers along with thread and some beads.

Below are some photos of a super easy heart garland. All that is necessary are strips of paper and a stapler. It’s a perfect activity to share with a young child.

A strip of paper and a stapler are all you need to make this heart garland.

A strip of paper and a stapler are all you need to make this heart garland.

For this garland I cut 3/4″ strips out of a couple of 8 1/2″ by 11″ red papers. You can use multiple colors to make you heart garland. You can use double sided scrapbook pages too.

You can see the staples on this photo.

You can see the staples on this photo. The staples are actually hot pink staples which were a gift from a friend. I love how they look on this garland.

And, should you want something a little more “professional” looking, just use glue instead of a stapler. Glue stick dries quicker than a liquid glue, but any glue will work.

Red and white heart garland made with strips of paper 1/2" x 6"

Red and white heart garland made with strips of paper 1/2″ x 6″. I used glue stick rather than staples on this garland.

Another heart garland can be made by sewing paper hearts, like I have with the heart garlands below.  While I prefer to sew by hand, you could use a sewing machine which would speed up the process.

"String of Hearts" hand sewn with metallic gold thread (about 6' long)

Rainbow Heart Garland, perfect for any time of year, not just Valentine’s Day!

I like to fold 2 hearts together and sew them with a coordinating thread. I use either embroidery thread or waxed linen thread. I add a few beads at the bottom and a loop at the top.

My Spring Heart Garland has bright colors that remind me Spring flowers that are now blooming.

My Spring Heart Garland has bright colors that remind me Spring flowers.

By changing the colors of the hearts, I have made heart garlands for more than just Valentine’s Day. I have used green hearts for St. Patrick’s Day, spring colored to celebrate spring and pastel pink and purple hearts for Easter. You could even make a red and green garland for the Christmas season. You can find instructions for this type of garland on my blog post: DIY Saint Patrick’s Day Paper Garland.

My finished garland is about 8 feet long.

Heart garland in colors perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.

Did I mention that I love heart garlands? My folded heart garland is my favorite of all garlands. I made this one last year and I have had it hanging in my studio ever since. Instructions on my blog post: DIY Folded Paper Heart Garland.

Folded Paper Heart Garland finished.

Folded Paper Heart Garland finished.

Not exactly a heart garland, but you could make multiple and make them into one, is the hanging heart ornament. Instructions on my blog post: DIY Hanging Paper Heart Ornaments.

One of my paper Valentine Hanging Heart Ornaments for the Ashland Art Center front window.

One of my paper Valentine Hanging Heart Ornaments.

Wishing you all a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – New Thank You Cards

I received a request to make some Thank You cards for our local Community Art Committee of which I am a member. There are times when we need to send out thank you’s and the committee thought it would be great to have it made by one of the artist members.

One of the new thank you cards for our Community Art Committee

One of the new thank you cards for our Community Art Committee

One of the members suggested using a photo of one of my lotus flowers. So, here’s what I made this past week. I hand lettered the “thank you” and scanned it into the computer. I then changed the color of the “thank you” to match the color of the lotus flower that I photographed. Photoshop is great!

One of the new thank you cards for the Community Art Committee

One of the new thank you cards for our Community Art Committee

Enjoy, Candy

DIY – 2016 Dodecahedron Cube Calendars

On her Facebook page, 25 Days of Paper, Helen Hiebert shared the link to Craft Meister’s 2016 Dodecahedron Cube Calendars. There are nine different designs that you can download, print and make. After seeing them, I had to try and make some.

Three 2016 Dodecahedron 12 Sided Calendars

Three 2016 Dodecahedron 12 Sided Calendar Cubes.

The instructions say to print them on 8 1/2″ by 11″ card stock. I figured that would make them very small, so I printed them out at 140% on some 100# text paper I had (13″ by 19″). It printed and went together just fine.

The first 2016 Dodecahedron Calendar Cube that I made.

The first 2016 Dodecahedron Calendar Cube that I made.

Of the 4 designs I printed out, I would say that the purple stars design (not shown) was the easiest to see the cut lines. With the jeans design, it was almost impossible to see the cut lines (so don’t try this one first). Luckily I had already made 2 other designs before I made the jeans. I printed the purple stars and gave it to a friend to make, which is why I don’t have a photo of it. I first made shades of blue, followed by swirls, followed by jeans. I love them all!

My second and favorite design of the 2016 Dodecahedron Calendar Cubes.

My second and favorite design of the 2016 Dodecahedron Calendar Cubes.

The instructions were a little vague on cutting, so I’ve shown a close up so you can see where to cut. Do all the cutting first, then score before folding. If you have any difficulty with folding, check out my blog post: How To Score & Fold Paper.

Close up of one of the 2016 Dodecahedron Calendar Cubes, cut out & folded, but not yet glued along side one already made.

Close up of one of the 2016 Dodecahedron Calendar Cubes, cut out & folded, but not yet glued along side one already made.

These were fun to make. They didn’t take as long to make as I thought they would. The instructions suggested using a glue gun, which I did, because it made the gluing go quickly. I agree.

The third 2016 Dodecahedron Calendar Cube I made. This one is called "Jeans."

The third 2016 Dodecahedron Calendar Cube I made. This one is called “Jeans.”

Here’s the link to the files and instructions to make your 2016 12 Sided Dodecahedron Cube Calendar: 2016 12 Sided Dodecahedron Cube Calendar.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Paper Origami Mandalas for Valentine’s Day

This past week I got the urge to make my paper origami mandalas in reds and pinks. I pared them with a red shadow box frame, and they’re perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Perfect for Valentine's Day! Paper Origami Mandala in shadow box frame.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day! Paper Origami Mandala in shadow box frame.

All the paper origami mandalas were made with left over paper scraps. I used eight 1″ by 4″ pieces of paper to make each mandala. Each of the eight pieces of paper were folded many, many times.

Perfect for Valentine's Day! Paper Origami Mandala in shadow box frame.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day! Paper Origami Mandala in shadow box frame.

Perfect for Valentine's Day! Paper Origami Mandala in shadow box frame.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day! Paper Origami Mandala in shadow box frame.

Perfect for Valentine's Day! Paper Origami Mandala in shadow box frame.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day! Paper Origami Mandala in shadow box frame.

Perfect for Valentine's Day! Paper Origami Mandala in shadow box frame.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day! Paper Origami Mandala in shadow box frame.

Perfect for Valentine's Day! Paper Origami Mandala in shadow box frame.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day! Paper Origami Mandala in shadow box frame.

The pink on this Paper Origami Mandala didn't look good in a red frame, so it's not framed.

The pink on this Paper Origami Mandala didn’t look good in a red frame, so it’s not framed.

Links to how to make these and other mandalas and rosettes are on last week’s blog post: DIY – Tea Bag Folding & Paper Origami Rosettes.

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

Studio Snapshot – Paper Origami Mandalas with Messages

If you follow my blog, you will remember the Paper Origami Mandalas I made last week. As I was making them, I kept having more ideas about what could be done with them. Here is what I made this past week. I call them Paper Origami Mandalas with Messages.

I call these Paper Origami Mandalas with Messages.

I call these Paper Origami Mandalas with Messages.

This is sort of a peek into my process of making. As I work, I get new ideas and I have conversations with my art.

Paper Origami Mandala with the message, thank you.

Paper Origami Mandala with the message, thank you.

On Thursday, I will be showing some other mandala type foldings. I will also provide links to instructions.

Paper Origami Mandala with the message, laugh.

Paper Origami Mandala with the message, laugh.

The centers of my Paper Origami Mandalas are brads. I found the various brads at a number of different art stores. I had fun matching the colorful brads with the different papers of the mandalas and their accent papers.

Here is an example of how the same paper used for the Paper Origami Mandala can have a different appearance with different accent paper and brads.

Here is an example of how the same paper used for the Paper Origami Mandala can have a different appearance with different accent paper and brads.

It has been a challenge to get these done this week as my scanner crashed and I needed to get another scanner immediately to finish this project. Luckily my local (three towns away) computer store had just the model of scanner I wanted.

Paper Origami Mandala with the message, peace.

Paper Origami Mandala with the message, peace.

So it’s been a busy week in my studio, folding and pasting and doing calligraphy.

Paper Origami Mandala with the message, joy.

Paper Origami Mandala with the message, joy.

Then there were trips to art stores for colored paper to match my mandalas and to look for various colors and shapes of brads.

Paper Origami Mandala with the message, love.

Paper Origami Mandala with the message, love. Check out the sparkly pink heart brand in the center.

Then there was the scanning of the calligraphy which required the trip to the computer store for a new scanner. That was followed by computer work, sizing the calligraphy and putting it in InDesign and making a printable file.

Paper Origami Mandala with the message, dream.

Paper Origami Mandala with the message, dream.

Then the printing on watercolor paper and tearing the edges to make the deckled edges. Yes, it was a busy week. But, I love the result.

Paper Origami Mandala with the message, joy. This was made from scraps of beautiful marbled paper I've had for years. I still have a number of full sheets of it in my paper stash.

Paper Origami Mandala with the message, joy. This was made from scraps of beautiful marbled paper I’ve had for years. I still have a number of full sheets of it in my paper stash.

The paper origami mandalas themselves are made from my paper scraps. I love being able to recycle all my left over papers.

Paper Origami Mandala with the message, music. Notice the sparkly gold star brad in the center.

Paper Origami Mandala with the message, music. Notice the sparkly gold star brad in the center.

Then there were the decisions of which mandala and which words to put together. Some combinations were obvious. A few I asked others for help with.

Paper Origami Mandala with the message, laugh.

Paper Origami Mandala with the message, laugh.

Then I glued the pieces together.

Paper Origami Mandala with the message, thank you.

Paper Origami Mandala with the message, thank you.

I find it interesting that different people have different favorites.

Paper Origami Mandala with the message, dream.

Paper Origami Mandala with the message, dream.

You are welcome to comment on which is your favorite.

I call these Paper Origami Mandalas with messages.

I call these Paper Origami Mandalas with messages.

I am continuing to play with these Paper Origami Mandalas. I just love how they are turning out.

Enjoy, Candy

2015 Year End Review & A Preview For 2016

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

My finished dahlia wreath.

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

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

One Pinwheel Fold Card open and one closed.

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

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

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

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

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

Chocolate mice made from Hershey's kisses.

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

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

My Ladybug Card with a few extra ladybugs hanging around.

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

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

50 triangle boxes are a whole lot of boxes.

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

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

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

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

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

Earth Spirit Vessel, Dreamscape

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy, Candy