Trending Articles

Friends of SOAR

For great posts about the business of art, check out The Artsy Shark HERE!
ArtistsBillofRights.org reviews competitions and appeals seeking creative content, listing those that respect your copyrights and highlighting those that don't. Art Matters! publishes calls to artists, and not all of them may be compliant with ABoR's standards. Visit their site to learn more.
We support the Embedded Metadata Manifesto.  Metadata is information such as copyright notice and contact info you can embed in your images to protect your intellectual property, save time when uploading to social sites and promote your art. Click to visit the site and learn more.

Downsizing My Art & Art Supplies

The past three weeks have been jam packed with packing, reduction and letting go of ever so many things I never imagined I could give up. But, it’s for a good cause. I’ll be renting my house out for a few years and traveling. I have a place to stay for the winter months in Arizona. I’ll come back to Ashland for the summer. And in between, I plan to travel the U.S.

It was even hard to let go of this failed necklace made from circles punched from Sunday comics. It failed because the newsprint rubbed off on my skin.

I’ve sold most of my furniture. Letting go of it was hard, but not as hard as it’s been to let go of paper and art supplies. I gave many car loads of art supplies to my friend, Cynthia, who has promised to find good homes for all of it. My two drafting tables went to be sold at a shop whose profits go to our local Hospice.

I gave the framed original for these Happy Valentine’s Day cards to our clubhouse to be used for Valentine’s Day decoration.

On Friday I hope to head out for Arizona and Kansas for a month. I realize this is the wrong time of year for that, but Paul has a couple of family reunions in Kansas and I want to drop off some of my art supplies in Arizona where we will be spending some time this winter.

Paper flowers with some of my vintage buttons didn’t make the cut. I figured it would be easy to make more at a later date.

So, no art has been done lately. My home studio looks barren. My display shelves are empty. I still have my studio at the Ashland Art Center. I will be working there when I’m in Ashland and I’ve added a couple of other artists who will work there while I’m traveling.

I spent untold hours punching and stringing circles from the Sunday comics. My intent was to make a necklace. Now I’ve let them go, which I should have done long ago since the newsprint stains skin.

It will be interesting to see what paper art I do and what paper art I find on my travels.

Happy trails, Candy

Puffy Pentagon Boxes and Chocolate Make Perfect Travel Gifts

I always like to have a bunch of gifts on hand when I travel as I never know when I may want to give a little “thank you” to someone. It doesn’t seem to be a problem for me when I’m traveling by car or in my van. There’s always a little space to pack my gifts.

These puffy pentagon boxes pack flat for packing. They’re the perfect size to hold a Dagoba Chocolate taster square.

But it becomes a little more difficult when I travel by air. And our current trip was even more difficult because because we flew back to Arizona where we had left our van. Our suitcases were full of clothes and supplies for six weeks of traveling. There wasn’t much “extra” room. I solved the problem with two of my favorite things, my puffy pentagon boxes and Dagoba chocolate taster squares.

It takes just moments for the puffy pentagon box to go from flat into a delightful little box.

The puffy pentagon box stores flat, making it a perfect choice for taking with me when traveling. And the taster squares don’t take up much space either. The only hard part has been not eating all the chocolate before I give it as a gift.

The perfect paring for a gift, chocolate and a handmade little puffy pentagon box.

Here’s a link to my DIY blog post that details how to make the clover fold box and the template so you can make your own.

Blog post: DIY – Puffy Pentagon Box

Template: Puffy Pentagon Box

Enjoy, Candy

Paper Illuminated Online Class – Weeks 5 & 6

You may wonder why weeks 5 & 6 come before weeks 3 and 4. Well, there were a few equipment and materials glitches that happened due my traveling. They will show up later, but this is the foldable paper chochin lamp that I made this past week.

I collaged my collapsable the paper on my chochin lamp rather than using the template Helen provided.

Week 5 was building the armature (which can be used over again and again). Week 6 was making the lamp shade. I collaged mine rather than following the instructions exactly. I like the way it came out.

Collapsable paper cochin lamp.

The chochin lampshade can be made in different shapes and sizes. There are so many different possibilities with this type of lampshade. My mind is swimming with possibilities.

Enjoy, Candy

National Letter Writing Month 2017 – Week 2

I have been having a lot of fun with making envelopes and writing letters this past week. I have finally found something that works well with traveling. I still don’t quite have things as organized as I’d like, but at least I’m not losing my art supplies as I was on my last trip.

These are two of the letters and envelopes that I sent out this past week.

I love it when April rolls around each year. I seem to be way behind in my correspondence and National Card & Letter Writing Month gives me permission to drop everything else and concentrate on writing letters and making unique decorated envelopes.

I was delighted to find that there was no additional postage for the folded envelopes with the diagonal corners. Yea!

This year, I’ve been making a bunch of folded envelopes that have diagonal corners. I took some of them to the Post Office to ask just how much extra postage they would require. No extra postage. So, I’m making lots more of these envelopes. I’m including another little origami envelope in with my letter. See my blog post DIY Origami Envelope and a link to the instructions.

Two of the letters and envelopes I sent out this past week for National Card & Letter Writing Month.

I feel as though I might actually get caught up on my letter writing. Of course, with being away from home for a month and a half, I’m sure there’ll be a bunch more mail waiting for me.

Two more of the folded envelopes with diagonal corners.

I have lots of pen pals who enjoy folded paper, so I’m sending them the folded envelopes with diagonal corners. I made my envelopes from wrapping paper samples.

Two more letters and envelopes that went out this past week for National Card & Letter Writing Month.

Enjoy, Candy

National Letter Writing Month 2017 – Week 1

I’m just getting started on my letters for National Card & Letter Writing Month. As in past years, I’m sending out at least one letter (in a decorated envelope) for the entire month of April. This year, with all the traveling I’ve been doing, I’m way behind in my correspondence, so I’m going to try and get caught up this month. Wish me luck!

My first two letters and envelopes for this year’s National Card & Letter Writing Month.

My first letter went to Susan, a dear friend who could use a little pick-me-up. I decided to send her a flower envelopes I though it was cheery and she could enjoy it without having to water or care for it.

More envelopes sent out this week for National Card & Letter Writing Month.

As the month progresses, I’m hoping to get some inspiration for decorating envelopes from my “new” stash of old stamps that I acquired last fall from a stamp collector. I got to go through a bunch of his stamps and pick out ones that I liked. They’re so cool, I’m going to have trouble parting with them.

These are just a few of the stamps I purchased last fall from a stamp collector. Aren’t they wonderful?

Happy Mail Art, Candy

April Is National Letter Writing Month

I brought a bunch of my correspondence with me on this latest trip. With April being National Letter Writing month and me being behind on answering all the wonderful letters and little paper gifts I’ve received lately, I figured this would be a win-win.

Some of the wonderful mail art I’ve received lately.

There’s not much space for art supplies while I’m traveling, but I have enough space for envelopes, a few pens and brushes, and a little paper. As with the past few years, I will be sending out at least one letter a day for the entire month of April.

It’s so much fun to open my mail and have such great surprises inside the envelopes.

I have many more than just 30 letters to write, so I’m going to try and double or triple up on as many days as I can. It’s going to be a fun month, and I’ll be sharing a few envelope projects with you.

I have such creative friends. It’s a joy to open my mail.

Tomorrow I’ll be driving to Tucson. I remember from my last trip that they had wonderful artwork on the bridges along the trip. This time I will have time to stop and take photos, maybe even sketch some of the designs in my journal. I’m hoping they will make their way into some of my envelope designs this next month.

Some of the wonderful mail art I’ve received lately.

For those of you who have been following my blog, here’s an update on the Paper Illuminated online class that I’m taking from Helen Hiebert. We left the van in Arizona and flew back home and then back to Arizona. I hadn’t planed that when I signed up for Helen’s class. I thought I would be home for the entire 6 weeks of the class. I got my first two projects done (More Traveling Ahead & Paper Illuminated Online Class – Week 2) and brought the rest of the supplies with me to work on while traveling. However, I decided TSA wouldn’t take fondly to my taking a saw in my carry on luggage, so I left it at home and just purchased one here. So, my shoji screen, which was this week’s project will be a little late. I bought a little saw and mitre box yesterday and should be able to get started on it on Sunday. Biosphere2 and Tucson are tomorrow and Saturday.

It’s wonderful having such creative friends. Long live snail mail!

I am looking forward to writing lots of letters and decorating lots of envelopes this next month. I hope you are too!

Enjoy, Candy

Paper Illuminated Online Class – Week 2

I’m taking an online class from Helen Hiebert called Paper Illuminated. This past week I made a wraparound lampshade. I didn’t have a lamp the right size so the photo shows a bit of the bulb base. Still, I do like how the lamp looks when it’s lit.

Wrap around lampshade I made from paper.

When I signed up for the class, I thought I’d be home during the time of the class. I was for the first two weeks. Now, however, I’m traveling again. I packed the remainder of the supplies and have them with me. I am hoping I can make the rest of the projects while I’m gone.

Wrap around lampshade made from paper.

Enjoy, Candy

Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2017

I made this shamrock some time ago and shared the instructions last year. See the link below to make your own.

See the link below for the instructions to make your own paper shamrock.

DIY Paper Shamrock

Enjoy, Candy

More Traveling Ahead

After the two months of traveling I did recently, I’ve decided I want to travel more, a lot more. I’ve been home less than a month and I’m itching to get traveling again.

Paper lamp shade I made from Helen Hiebert’s Paper Illuminated online class.

The only real paper art I’ve done since I got back home is the paper lampshade from week 1 of Helen Hiebert’s online class, Paper Illuminated. (Filling out 1040 forms for my dad’s and my taxes don’t qualify as paper art.) This is a six week class, and I’ll keep you posted with the projects I make. Since I’ll be taking off soon for the southwest, I will be taking the supplies with me so I can keep working on the class projects as I travel.

I love how the light shows through the paper on this lamp shade.

I used the paper for this lamp shade that was included in Helen’s kit. It almost matches perfectly the switch plates I covered with paper a few years back. You can see my switch plate in the above two photos. Here’s the link to my blog post about covering them: Paper Covered Switch Plates.

Great instructions from Helen Hiebert for making this lamp shade in her online Paper Illuminated class.

I am sure this traveling is going to have an effect on my art. I just don’t know what it will be right now. I’m sorting through my art supplies and trying to figure out which ones I’ll want to travel with. I’ll keep you posted.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Mail Received

I’ve been home for just over a week and the only paper I’ve been involved with is going through two months worth of mail and working on my and my dad’s taxes. Not the kind of paperwork I enjoy, but it needs to be done.

Mail I received while I was traveling for two months. Opening it will be my reward for finishing my dad’s and my taxes.

As an incentive to make sure I get it all done quickly, I’ve not allowed myself to open all the lovely mail art I received while I was traveling. I keep looking wistfully at all the wonderful envelopes and it does help me keep focused on getting the drudgery of paper work done. Actually, I’m almost finished. I’m thinking I will get to finally open my mail tomorrow or Friday.

I also received in the mail yesterday the supply kit for the online class: Paper Illuminated that I’m taking from Helen Hiebert. There’s still time to register for that. It starts March 8. See: Paper Illuminated Online Class for details.

Enjoy, Candy