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Ladybug Cards & Mobile

In just two weeks, I will be opening my home studio to the public during the Ashland Gallery Association Open Studio Tour. It’ll be the first time I’ve opened my home studio for viewing and it’s a little scary for me. I decided to include a number of demonstrations of my more popular blog projects. That includes my ladybug cards and ladybug mobile.

Ladybug cards.

Ladybug cards.

I designed my ladybug cards last summer. They can easily be glued to a card or glued back to back on a string to make a mobile. I’m sure there are many more ways these wonderful ladybugs can be used.

Ladybug card and ladybug mobile in progress.

Ladybug card with ladybug mobile in progress.

The ladybugs themselves are made from a square of red paper. When added to the card, they make a wonderful 3-D effect. And when glued to the string of the mobile, they move wonderfully when there is any breeze or other movement around them.

Ladybug card with ladybug mobile in progress.

Ladybug card with ladybug mobile in progress.

Instructions for making these ladybugs are on my blog post: DIY Ladybug Card. You can also see more photos of my ladybug garland on my blog post: Paper Ladybug Garlands.

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

DIY Long Stemmed Hearts

I made some long stemmed hearts a number of years ago for Valentine’s Day. Recently, I noticed that a number of the colors had faded from being in the sun. So, I decided to make them again using fade resistant papers. I also decided to simplify the process I and share my instructions here.

These paper long stemmed hearts look great in these three vases I purchased years ago from Ikea.

These paper long stemmed hearts look great in these three vases I purchased years ago from Ikea.

I got a variety of colored papers from French Paper Company which is located in Niles, Michigan. I used their line of Pop Tone colors. These papers are some of the most lightfast, fade resistant papers available. They come in a wonderful variety of colors, too.

Instructions for making my Long Stemmed Hearts.

This is how I make my Long Stemmed Hearts.

Instructions:

  1. Cut paper 8.5″ by 2.5″ with the paper grain going the 2.5″ direction. Fold the paper in half like in #1 above (note: the fold is on the right). If you don’t know about paper grain, check out my blog post that explains it at: Understanding Paper Grain Direction.
  2. Draw an arc in pencil like in #2 above. It should be just a bit higher on the fold line (that’s where the center of the heart will be).
  3. Cut the arc and start folding. Fold towards the center fold as in #3 above.
  4. Continue folding as in #4 above, folding each fold in half.
  5. Continue folding as in #5 above, folding each fold in half again.
  6. Continue folding as in #6 above, folding each fold in half again.
  7. Put the accordion folded heart into a bulldog clip as in #7 above (or secure it with rubber bands). Tie embroidery thread around the bottom of the heart using a square knot. Put a dab of glue on the knot.
  8. Wrap the long end of the thread around the knot about a dozen times with the short end of the thread still visible above the wrapping. Tie the ends together with a square knot. Glue around the thread, including the knot as in #8 above. You can see the wet glue in the photo, but it dries clear. I used PVA glue, but a white glue like Elmers would work well too. Cut the thread after the glue is dry. For those wanting a super clean looking wrap, put the thread on a needle and thread it under the now glued wrapped thread.
  9. Push a bamboo skewer through the center of the heart, between the center fold and the thread. Push the skewer all the way down to where the thread goes around the heart. Gently open the heart. It should look like # 9 above.
One dozen red paper long stem.med hearts. Make your own and look for unique ways to display them

One dozen red paper long stemmed hearts. Make your own and look for unique ways to display them

These are fun to make. And now that I have simplified how I make them, they go fairly quickly. Before I actually sewed the folds at the bottom of each heart. This way is much quicker.

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

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

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

Chiyogami Papers From Washi Arts

Just what I needed to raise my spirits, my paper order from Washi Arts arrived! After spending most of the past week in the hospital at the bedside of a family member, receiving these papers was just what the doctor ordered. It put a smile on my face.

These Japanese Chiyogami papers arrived at the right time to raise my spirits.

These Japanese Chiyogami papers arrived at the right time to raise my spirits.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Paper Lotus Flowers

My studio this past week has been a chair beside a hospital bed. A dear family member had a massive stroke. It’s been an emotional week, but making paper lotus flowers has proved to be calming and meditative.

Paper Lotus Flower made from Chiyogami and metallic silver papers.

Paper Lotus Flower made from Chiyogami and metallic silver papers.

Luckily I had already cut the papers for a number of paper lotus flowers. I simply put the papers, waxed linen thread, scissors, a pencil and a clipboard in a box and took it with me to the hospital.

Paper Lotus Flowers

Paper Lotus Flowers

I sat and was present while we listened to soothing music. I folded while my family member slept.

This Paper Lotus Flower was made from wrapping paper and gold metallic paper.

This Paper Lotus Flower was made from wrapping paper and gold metallic paper.

Paper Lotus Flowers

Paper Lotus Flowers

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flower

Paper Lotus Flowers

Paper Lotus Flowers

With love, Candy

Spending Time With Loved Ones

A dear family member just had a stroke. I am spending time with them rather than writing the instructions for my Long Stemmed Hearts. You can look forward to the instructions coming for these soon.

Soon I will be posting instructions for making these Long Stemmed Hearts.

Soon I will be posting instructions for making these Long Stemmed Hearts.

With Love, Candy

Studio Snapshot – 2017 Lotus Flower Calendar

My 2017 Paper Lotus Flower Calendar is finally finished. I got busy and didn’t make one for 2016, but I really missed having it sitting my my desk. So, I made sure I got one made for next year.

My 2017 Paper Lotus Flower Calendar and the lotus flower that is on the cover.

My 2017 Paper Lotus Flower Calendar and the lotus flower that is on the cover.

I think it’s finished. I’ve been working on my calendar for the past 3 weeks. I will proof it one more time before having it printed.

My 2017 Paper Lotus Flower Calendar features a photo of a different lotus flower for each month.

My 2017 Paper Lotus Flower Calendar features a photo of a different lotus flower for each month.

What I love most about my Lotus Flower Calendar is that it makes me feel so much peace and tranquility when I look at it.

Enjoy, Candy

DIY – From Blobs To Birds

I was testing out some watercolor combinations and ended up with a number of splotches and blobs on my paper. A little playing with these and I ended up with some cute little birds.

Two little birds made from watercolor blobs.

Two little birds made from watercolor blobs. Mother and son?

It’s really simple. Make some somewhat circular watercolor blobs on a paper. Outline the blobs with a waterproof marker. Then add details like dots for eyes, squiggles for the tail, a triangle for a beak, lines for the legs and feet, and possibly a wing.

These little birds are so easy to make. Just a watercolor blob and a few lines.

These little birds are so easy to make. Just a watercolor blob and a few lines.

These are so cute. They can be added to envelopes, place cards, journal pages and so much more. I think these would make a great children’s activity.

A page from my sketchbook showing a few birds made from blobs of watercolors.

A page from my sketchbook showing a few birds made from blobs of watercolors.

I am pretty sure I saw something like this somewhere, but I can’t remember where, probably on the internet. It might have been done with fingerprints. Anyway, play around with this and come up with your own playful little birds.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – New Earth Spirit Vessel: Embrace

A couple of weeks ago, I showed the latest Earth Spirit Vessel I was working on. Well, last night I finished it. I have named it Embrace.

Earth Spirit Vessel, Embrace, contains 688 individual pieces of hand folded papers.

Earth Spirit Vessel, Embrace, contains 688 individual pieces of hand folded papers.

Looking in from the top of Earth Spirit Vessel, Embrace. All the green papers are hand painted paste papers.

Looking in from the top of Earth Spirit Vessel, Embrace. All the green papers are hand painted paste papers.

To see photos of it in its early stage see: Studio Snapshot – Starting Another Earth Spirit Vessel

Enjoy, Candy