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Studio Snapshot – Accordion Books

This past week I realized I had sold completely out of my little hard covered accordion books with watercolor messages inside. I make these little books out of 80# Strathmore Aquarius watercolor paper. It’s a great weight paper for books, takes watercolor without buckling and folds beautifully.

One accordion book finished and four in the process of being made.

One accordion book finished and four in the process of being made.

These little books are about 3″ tall and 22″ in length. I make them with various messages inside. The covers are some of my paste papers which I paste over book board which is just a little denser than mat board.

This is a detail of the above photo so you can see what the watercolor looks like before I start my embellishment.

This is a detail of the above photo so you can see what the watercolor looks like before I start my embellishment.

Here are the accordion books finished.

Here are the accordion books finished.

Happy Birthday accordion book.

Happy Birthday accordion book.

Thank You accordion book.

Thank You accordion book.

Happy Birthday accordion book.

Happy Birthday accordion book.

I Love You accordion book.

I Love You accordion book.

Happy Birthday accordion book.

Happy Birthday accordion book.

These little books are a joy to make. Making them makes me feel happy.

Enjoy, Candy

 

Calligraphy Cut-Out Place Cards

I try to practice calligraphy every day (notice I say try). Writing the alphabet or alphabet sentences every day can become boring. So, I try to come up with different ways to practice. My latest was to make these calligraphy cut-out place cards.

I turned my practice calligraphy into calligraphy cut out place cards.

I turned my practice calligraphy into calligraphy cut-out place cards.

Please note that these are practice pieces and not final works. The ink bled on a number of the names. And this was also my first attempt at this type of paper cutting. I couldn’t find a small knife, so these were done with my box cutter. Even so, I think these have promise.

I thought I'd make a place card for my dad.

This place card will be for my dad, probably for Father’s Day.

While I did my place cards using calligraphy, they could just as easily be made using a font printed on a printer. For my paper, I used scans of my paste papers that I printed on my inkjet printer. Then I did calligraphy on that paper. I think the ink bled because I was printing on top of the inkjet paper. I would suggest not trying to calligraphy on top of inkjet paper.

Place card for Beverly.

Place card for Beverly.

To make a place card, first either calligraph or print a name on a piece of paper. I suggest either heavy text weight paper or a light card stock. Somewhere about half way up the letters I draw a pencil line across the paper, but not on the letters themselves. You can see the pencil line has become the fold line in the photograph below.

Close up showing the cut out of the letters.

Close up showing the cut out of the letters.

Once you have your pencil line, cut around the letters that protrude above the pencil line.

Place card for Jean.

Place card for Jean.

If there is an inside of a letter that’s above the line, cut that out too. If there is an inside of a letter that’s part above and part below the line, cut out just the part that’s above the line. Examples of this are in the “B” of Beverly and the “O” of Popa and the “D” of Candy.

This shows the cut-out for Jean.

This shows the cut-out for Jean.

I found that I liked cutting just outside of the calligraphy so that a little of the paper that the calligraphy is on shows. I tried cutting exactly on the outside of the calligraphy, but it felt a little dead. Leaving just a bit of the color of the paper around the calligraphy seems to add a little pizzaz.

I made 3 different place cards for Paul and the calligraphy bled in all three. This is the least worst of the bunch.

I made 3 different place cards for Paul and the calligraphy bled in all three. This is the least worst of the bunch.

After you have completed the cutting, fold on the pencil line. Fold only the paper that is not the letters. This is a little tricky the first time. Be patient with yourself. It gets easier with practice. Cut the paper to the size you desire and enjoy.

The ink ran on this one too, but I still like it.

The ink ran on this one too, but I still like it.

The next thing I plan to do is to draw on the calligraphy with metallic pens. I might even do some sort of a collage on the names too. This is just the beginning of my playing.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Chocolate Hershey Kisses Mice

A few weeks ago I showed how to make chocolate mice from Hershey’s Kisses. Since then, I made over 100 mice. I shared on Valentine’s Day to an entire dining room of people. Needless to say, the mice were a big hit.

The mice are gathering together, getting ready for Valentine's Day.

The mice are gathering together, getting ready for Valentine’s Day.

Since posting the DIY instructions, I found purple Hershey’s Kisses and couldn’t help but add them to my mice. The purple kisses are a dark chocolate, the pink and silver and red are milk chocolate and the gold are milk chocolate with almond.

The mice seemed to gravitate towards all things chocolate.

The mice seemed to gravitate towards all things chocolate.

The chocolate strawberries were delicious.

The chocolate strawberries were delicious.

This mouse is checking out the chocolate mouse. I must say it way ever so good!

This mouse is checking out the chocolate mousse. I must say it way ever so good!

For instructions to make your own mice, see my blog post: DIY – Chocolate Mice From Hershey’s Kisses.

Enjoy, Candy

P.S. My friends, Elizabeth and Kay tried making these and added a little something more to their mice. They added a pin for the nose and wire for whiskers. I was going to try this too, but I had some other friends tell me it would make the chocolate inedible, which they didn’t like at all.

DIY – Valentine Envelope Gift Certificate Booklet

Gift certificates are great Valentine’s Day gifts. Who wouldn’t enjoy a foot massage or dinner at their favorite restaurant or even just hugs and kisses. To make these gift certificates super special, I’ve made a booklet out of red envelopes. The envelope booklet makes a wonderful presentation for the gift certificates.

Valentine Gift Certificate Booklet open looks a bit like an accordion book.

Valentine Gift Certificate Booklet open looks a bit like an accordion book.

Firs,t I found some red envelopes at my local Staples store. Any color envelope will do, but I decided on red. Once I knew the size of my envelope, I designed my gift certificates to fit in that size envelope. You can make your own gift certificates using your computer or stickers or just write your gift certificate by hand on a white piece of paper.

I made 8 Valentine gift certificates.

I made 8 Valentine gift certificates.

I found these red envelopes that seem perfect to hold the gift certificates.

I found these red envelopes that seem perfect to hold the gift certificates.

Glue the inside flap of one of the envelopes. I used glue stick because it doesn’t cause the paper to curl as much as a wetter glue would do. Place another envelope on the inside flap you just glued (see photo below).

Glue the inside flap of the envelope and place another envelope on top. Continue until you have used all your envelopes.

Glue the inside flap of the envelope and place another envelope on top. Continue until you have used all your envelopes.

Insert your gift certificates inside the envelopes. It now looks something like an accordion book.

Here the gift certificates have been placed in the envelopes.

Here the gift certificates have been placed in the envelopes.

All that’s left is to wrap it up into a pretty package. I used one white and one red ribbon and tied the booklet together.

The presentation of these gift certificates makes the gift feel super special.

The presentation of these gift certificates makes the gift feel super special.

Originally I was going to use 8 envelopes, but I liked the look and feel of 6 envelopes. You can use as many envelopes as you want.

Enjoy and have a Happy Valentine’s Day, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Happy Valentine’s Day Cards

My studio time this week has been minimal as I have been working on cleaning and organizing my garage (lots of art supplies stored in there), and locating all my tax records. I have had time to package and put together a few Happy Valentine’s Day cards.

Happy Valentine's Day cards

Happy Valentine’s Day cards

As usual, my cards are 5″ by 7″ and fit into a standard 5″ by 7″ mat or frame.

Happy Valentine's Day cards

Happy Valentine’s Day cards

These cards are prints of an original gouache and ink piece I did on Arches cover, a printmaking paper.

Happy Valentine's Day card

Happy Valentine’s Day card

Enjoy, Candy

Long-Stemmed Heart Bouquets

Today I put my vase of Long-Stemmed Hearts on my dining table. I love these hearts. I know I’ve posted these photos before, but I just couldn’t help but share them again. They are perfect for Valentine’s Day and they are one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Long stemmed hearts in a variety of colors are perfect for Valentine's Day.

Long stemmed hearts in a variety of colors are perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Lately I have been playing around with paper hearts. My favorite I have dubbed the Long-Stemmed Hearts. I started out making the traditional red heart. Then I decided to make pinks and purples. Why stop there? I got a little carried away and have made the hearts in all sorts of colors. Then it was time to play with different color combinations for the bouquets.

Purple, blue and teal long stemmed hearts.

Purple, blue and teal Long Stemmed Hearts.

Warm colored long stemmed hearts.

Warm colored Long-Stemmed Hearts.

Purples and blues go together well. You don't always need to have red hearts.

Purples and blues go together well. You don’t always need to have red hearts.

Here I went with cool colored Long- Stemmed Hearts.

Here I went with cool colored Long- Stemmed Hearts.

Unlike roses, my Long-Stemmed Hearts won’t wilt after a week and never need watering. In fact, it’s highly advised that you don’t water them.

I hope this inspires you.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Paper Lotus Flowers For Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is less than 2 weeks away, so I’ve been busy in my studio this past week making paper lotus flowers in reds and pinks and purples. These paper lotus flowers make wonderful gifts. They don’t wilt and never need watering.

Paper Lotus Flowers for Valentine's Day.

Paper Lotus Flowers for Valentine’s Day.

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Lotus flowers are not easy to make. I still sometimes have trouble with them if I’m not in a very calm state of mind when I fold them. I don’t recommend you try making them unless you are quite skilled in origami or paper folding techniques. However, since so many people have asked for instructions, I have included them in my blog post: Steps To Making A Paper Lotus Flower.

Enjoy, Candy

DIY Chocolate Mice From Hershey’s Kisses

In anticipation of Ashland’s annual Chocolate Festival, I’m sharing how to make these really cute mice made from chocolate kisses (and a little bit of paper, the ears). The Chocolate Festival isn’t until March, but I like to be prepared, especially for chocolate.

A bunch of mice made from chocolate kisses. The ears are made from paper.

A bunch of mice made from chocolate kisses. The ears are made from paper. Perfect favors for Valentine’s Day.

The following quote about chocolate is dedicated to my friend, Sophia.

Chocolate comes from cocoa
which comes out of a tree.
That makes it a plant,
Therefore, chocolate counts as salad.
The end.

Now for the instructions for making your salad.

Here are the steps to make your chocolate mice.

Here are the steps to make your chocolate mice.

Steps to making your mice (the numbers below refer to the numbers in the above photo):

1. Get 2 Hershey’s Kisses. I got a package or red, pink and silver kisses and another package of gold kisses.

2. Remove the printed paper message from the kisses.

3. Glue googly eyes on one of the kisses. I suggest using a liquid glue for this step.

4. Cut a 4″ length of bakers twine, put a knot in one end and insert the unknotted end into one of the kisses where you removed the message paper.

5. To make the ears, cut out 2 ovals out of brown paper and two smaller ovals out of pink paper.

6. Glue the pink ovals on the brown ovals. I suggest using stick glue for this step.

7. Glue the paper ears on the kiss with the googly eyes. I suggest a liquid glue for this step.

8. After the glue on the paper ears has dried, glue the two kisses together. I suggest a liquid glue for this step. Hold the two kisses together for a little bit to make sure the glue adheres well. Your mouse is now finished.

Two chocolate kisses mice.

Two mice made from chocolate kisses.

I realize that the ears are the only part of these mice that are made from paper. But, they’re so cute, I couldn’t help but share them with you.

Chocolate mice made from Hershey's kisses.

Chocolate mice made from Hershey’s kisses.

I will be demonstrating how to make these little mice during the First Friday Art Walk on March 6, which is also the first day of Ashland’s annual Chocolate Festival.

These chocolate mice are so easy to make. And in Valentine's Day colors too.

These chocolate mice are so easy to make. And in Valentine’s Day colors too.

I am making a whole bunch of little mice to share with friends on Valentine’s Day. They will be placed as table decorations on numerous tables where I will be having Valentine’s Dinner.

These are the start of my table decorations for Valentine's Day.

These are the start of my table decorations for Valentine’s Day.

Happy chocolate, Candy

A Visit To It’s A Burl

Monday’s I usually share what I have been doing in my studio for the previous week. This week I’m sort of playing hooky from my studio. For some time now I’ve been taking the last week of January off. Rather than go away, this year I’m staying home and having a staycation.

It’s A Burl in Kerby, Oregon.

I’m walking the streets of Ashland and Medford and Grants Pass, checking out new and old shops for inspiration. I’m eating out at least one meal a day. I’m visiting friends. And, Saturday I went to visit one of my favorite places, It’s A Burl in Kerby, Oregon. It’s located on Highway 99 between Grants Pass and the Oregon coast, near Cave Junction.

The front doors to the Gallery at It’s A Burl.

It’s a Burl is where I get all the burl wood for the bottoms of my Earth Spirit Vessels. It’s a magical place that reminds me of the feeling I had while reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. It’s feels almost like a fantasy with wizards and wood elves.

This burl wood sculpture looks as though it could be from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth.

There is a Gallery which has incredible carvings by master woodworkers and carvers. There are clocks and bowls and furniture and things only an artist could imagine.

Wouldn’t this burl wood love seat make a spectacular statement in a living room?

Outside there is the yard where you can purchase hunks and slabs of burl wood. There’s a biplane that dangles in midair, an 8 foot wooden rooster and numerous multi story tree houses.

One of the tree houses at It’s A Burl.

Harvey and Joy Shinerock opened It’s A Burl in 1987. Harvey was a woodcarver who started working burls in 1977. Their grandson, Will, is the one who helps me pick just the right burl wood for the bottoms of my vessels. He even slices the slabs for me. My favorite wood is usually maple, but on Saturday I found a beautiful willow burl that I had to purchase.

Here is where I found my latest burl wood purchase.

In addition to the Gallery and the Gardens, there is burl wood that you can purchase. There are buckets full of small pieces of wood, but I just love wandering through the open shed like structures that house slabs and chunks of various types of burl wood. They are organized by wood type.

Daniel ‘s bench will be in the Gallery later this week.

On Saturday’s trip, I watched Daniel as he was finishing his latest creation, a bench. Daniel is a wood carver, but he said that every once in a while he just has to make a piece of furniture. This bench will be finished and in the Gallery later this week.

This bicycle is made out of burl wood. I’m not sure if It really can be ridden.

It’s a Burl is a fun place to visit. It’s easy to get lost wandering through the Gallery, Gardens and The Yard. There’s so much to see.

This wise old owl is in the Gallery at It’s A Burl.

If you would like to see how I make the burl wood into a base for one of my Earth Spirit Vessels, you can check out this Studio Snapshot.

This is a full sized horse made out of burl wood. It’s on the porch outside the Gallery.

Happy staycationing, Candy

DIY Folded Paper Heart Garland

After making a whole bunch of heart ornaments for the front window of the Ashland Art Center (see my last post, Paper Valentine Heart Ornaments), I decided to make some folded heart garlands.

Folded Paper Heart Garland

I started with three colors of paper, a red, a dark pink, and a purple. I also used a variety of beads. Most were #6 seed beads, but I used a few other sizes of beads to go with them. I liked the contrast of the different sizes and shapes of beads.

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

I used a text weight paper. I started with an 8.5″ by 11″ paper that I cut into quarters.

Beginning steps to make a folded heart for the garland.

1. Cut an 8.5″ by 11″ piece of text weight paper into quarters.

2. Fold the paper in half horizontally and again vertically. Cut a rounded corner shape like in the photo #2 above. Hint: Make a paper template of your desired shape once you have a shape that you like.

3. Unfold as you can see in photo #3 above.

4. Fold into a fan shape as in photo #4 above.

Next 2 steps in making folded paper heart garland.

5. Poke a needle through the center of the “fan” as shown in #5 above.

6. Cut a piece of string, embroidery floss or thread the length you want  your garland. Put a knot at the bottom and string a few beads on the garland. Then thread the needle through the center of the “fan” hole made in #5. See #6 above.

Hint: Start from the bottom of the garland and go up. The first garland I made I started at the top and went down. The second garland I made was much easier to make because I started at the bottom and went up.

Glue the first heart on the garland.

7. Put glue stick on both sides of the inside of the “fan” to make the first heart. Also at this time glue the thread down too, pulling just a bit to make sure the beads are tight against the back side of the paper.

First heart on the garland. Now continue up the garland.

8. Close the two sides of the paper against the thread. Hold for a little bit to be sure the paper is secure. Now you have your first heart on your garland finished.

Keep adding more folded paper “fans” and more beads to your garland.

Add more beads and hearts until you get your garland the length you want. Then tie a knot to secure the top bead and tie a loop at the end so you can hang the garland.

Folded Paper Heart Garland finished.

I got the inspiration and basic instructions (which I have modified a bit) from Kate’s post on Red Ted Art.

This is a fun project that will add a little pazzaz to your Valentine’s Day decor.

Enjoy, Candy