30 April 2018

Pretty Flowers

Just a photo for today:

A gentle reminder that life is fast, fleeting, and precious.

23 April 2018

A Paper Vase

Hi everyone! It's so nice to see you today!

On a trip to the Museum of Modern Art gift shop, I spotted these vases. They are made of paper! Well, not really. There's an actual vase inside and the outer covering is like a jacket which is made of paper.

I think it's a smart inspiration for crafting. The actual vase can be a bottle or jar, and the "jacket" can be made of paper scraps like printed scrapbook paper or gift wrapper. Or stick with plain paper with cut-outs made using a hole punch, craft punches or an X-acto knife.

I think it would be a nice accent for a desk or line them up on the table for your next dinner party. TADA!

16 April 2018

Paper Quilling

Hey, hey! Have you heard of the craft "paper quilling?" I first encountered it in the pages of Oprah Magazine

via Yulia Brodskaya

Instead of the usual photo, the article had these letters/words rendered in paper quill resulting in a colorful and 3-dimesional effect. I was blown away!  I was even more impressed with the artist behind it, Yulia Brodskaya.

Of late, I've seen a lot of paper quilling by different artists, I just had to try it out.

I sketched my initial -- a simple letter C. I drew some squiggles as a guide for the quills that I'd be adding.  

I bought this kit that included a slotted quilling tool and colorful paper strips from the craft store. All purpose glue, a toothpick, and a pair of scissors were the other tools I used.

The strips measured 5 cm (width) by 38 cm (length) and came in these attractive colors.

You can make your own strips using colorful paper cut with a pair of scissors or an X-acto knife and a self-healing mat. Extra points if you're using paper scraps!

After deciding which colors to use, I started with the outline of the letter C. I put a dab of glue on a smooth and stable surface (bottle cap), dipped my toothpick here, and using the toothpick, applied glue on the edge of the paper strip. I then used some pressure so that the paper strip attached to the sketch.

I continued using other colors.

I just followed the same process, being tidy as I went along.

The slotted tool is useful to make the quills. It has a plastic handle and a needle-like tip that has a slotted opening in the middle.

This catches one edge of the paper strip in place as you twirl the rest of the stip to make circles and other flowy shapes. A pair of tweezers or needle-nose pliers might work as an alternative.

I just pried the quills with my fingers to make them bigger and used the slotted tool to coax the paper strip to follow my design.

With an eraser, I removed any visible pencil lines.

Here is my very first paper quill project...TADA!

Hopefully next time, my circles will have less edges, I'll try out more elaborate designs, and work faster.

Have you tried paper quilling? Any tips I should know of? Thanks!

09 April 2018

Tips for Letter Writing

Hello everyone! Did you know that April is "National Card and Letter Writing Month"? I understand why it should be celebrated, for a whole month, no less! Letter writing is a dying art.

While rifling through my ever-growing paper stash, I found a leaflet with the heading, "Tips for Letter Writing", which I got from Paper Source. It has some good advice, I have to share them with you:

Express Yourself 
Hand write your letters, your penmanship, no matter how eccentric, is a piece of you. By hand writing your letters and notes, it gives the recipient something special.

Enclose a photo your recipient might have forgotten about or has never seen, or perhaps a ticket stub from the play you saw together (special materials can be photocopied, rather than sending the original) or a leaf you picked up while walking with that person. Lining your envelope with gift-wrap from the present you are thanking them for is another favorite.

From the Heart
Write from the heart, tell a story, remind them of your history together, a favorite time. Share one thing about that person that you admire -- everyone loves and needs a compliment.

Coordinate with Style
Choose beautiful paper to write on and a pen you enjoy writing with. Embellish with ribbons, snaps, brads, glitter or hole punches -- the possibilities are endless. Coordinate your postage stamp with your envelope color or the theme of your letter. If you can draw, sketch or doodle, add something from yourself.

Write, Rewrite, Right!
Email has made it easy to jot down a few words, spell check and hit send. But when handwriting a special note, use a scratch pad and draft your letter first. Check spelling and grammar. Know what you are going to say and how you'd like to write it. Save your good stationery or handmade card until you have a clean draft to copy.

Don't let any of the above frighten you. The most inportant thing of all is to just do it.

I hope you found these tips useful. There are a few more here. Happy writing!

02 April 2018

Handmade Greeting Cards

One of my greatest pleasures is snail mail! Whether I am at the receiving end or the one sending it, all the steps involved make it worth it. And that includes making the card itself. Here are a few of the cards that I made:

I call this the "Hi" card. The "Hi" is made with wood burning tools and a beechwood tag. The card is an assemblage of scrapbook paper, stickers, and punched-out paper.

This I call the "Shabby Chic" card. It's made of scrapbook paper, glitter, and lace.

This card is personalized and is made of chipboard and stickers.

These are postcards. They come in a little book that contain coloring book pages for adults. I filled in the blanks with watercolor.

This was created with a bunch of stamps and black ink.

These are handmade and heartfelt. TADA!