Monday, February 28, 2011

Paper Jewelry Artist - Sabrina Meyns

Thanks to an intriguing Twitter link from artist, Kirsty Hall (@kirstymhall), I was led to the website of jewelry designer and paper maker, Sabrina Meyns.

Large Untitled Brooch
Handmade paper, dandelion seeds, silver, and steel

Based in Waterford, Ireland, Sabrina makes brooches and rings that can best be described as ethereal. She combines handmade paper with precious metals, inspired by the seeds and pods so prevalent in summer and autumn gardens.

Untitled Brooch (Disintegration series)
Handmade paper, seeds, silver, and steel

Sabrina utilizes translucent paper to convey the delicate nature of seed pods as they age, becoming sheer and fragile. Silver and gold represent the pricelessness of seeds.

Turquoise Ring
Handmade paper and silver

Each miniature sculpture captures the fleeting moment that exists in the life cycle of a plant, just before seeds are released to become next year's plants.

Untitled Small Pin
Handmade paper and silver

Sabrina is a 2008 graduate of Ireland's NCAD (The National College of Art and Design) with a first class degree in Craft Design.

Untitled Brooch (Disintegration series)
Handmade paper, seeds, oxidized silver, and steel

If you're lucky enough to be in Ireland next month, she will be exhibiting as part of the Irish Craft Portfolio in the National Craft Gallery in Kilkenny, selected as a representative of the best of Irish contemporary craft. In June, Sabrina will be showing a selection of brooches in an exhibition at the Rua Red Arts Centre in Dublin, Ireland.

Large Untitled Brooch
Handmade paper, seeds, silver, and steel

As a member of the International Association of Hand Papermakers and Paper Artists (IAPMA), her work will be included in a touring exhibition that marks the 25th anniversary of the organization. It starts in Ebrandthausen in Germany in May, and will travel to a number of locations in Germany and Poland. Later in the year Sabrina will be participating in an exhibition of contemporary Irish jewelry which will be touring Australia.
Visit Sabrina's website for details, as well as more information about her work.

Friday, February 25, 2011

New Quillwork from Yulia Brodskaya

Today I'm launching a series called Fab Friday... each Friday morning I'll post a single image that especially caught my eye during the week. And what better way to kick off the series than with a new piece by Yulia Brodskaya?

This amazing babushka is yet another reason to be bowled over by Yulia's talent.

Yulia says, "This artwork is the first piece in the series of works which I consider a declaration of love to the material and the technique. It is also an attempt to raise a profile of this paper craft, which has been previously regarded with some disdain, and to bring this type of artwork on a new level in terms of its ability to convey meaning and emotions"

Yulia, without a doubt your work is bringing superlative attention to quilling.

Have a fabulous Friday!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Paint Chip Wall Art

I'm crazy about these eye-catching art pieces my friend, Allison Patrick, has been making. She's always coming up with interesting ideas... you might remember the quilled New York City skyline I featured a while ago, and more recently, her ruffled pendant lamp. Once again, Allie has created something that fits right in with the theme of her blog, The 3 Rs - Reduce, Reuse, Redecorate.

No doubt the title of this post gives away the main ingredient, but if I didn't know better, I don't think I would have guessed that the bright stripes were slices of paint chips - at least not from a distance.

The idea makes me think of Jessica's thumbprint paper cuts, not only because it requires the use of a craft knife, but because the end result is chic and economical... a perfect project to dress up bare apartment walls.

Here's a pair of framed pieces Allie made in cool shades of blue and grey... just as attractive as the brightly colored version, but a completely different and serene look.

Allie has done lots of paint selecting for her own apartment, her parents' houses, and interior design clients, thus she has an abundance of paint chips. I don't know about you, but I've thrown away quite a few chip strips in my day - too bad I didn't have Allie's foresight to hang onto them.

Allie says, "When I paint a new room, I spend a lot of time picking just the right paint color. This process involves collecting as many as twenty options and carrying them around with me, so I can see how they look in different lights at different times of day."

"While this process is beneficial for the room, it leaves me with lots of paint chips. Smart people might throw them out, but because I'm a bit of a hoarder, I have stacks of chips at the ready. I've always had this sense that one day I would find a use for all these carefully saved supplies. Finally I found one! And because each stack of paint chips comes from a specific room, once I've created my art pieces, I know they'll complement the walls perfectly."

***Use paint chips responsibly.***

Allie and I are definitely not condoning running into your nearest paint store to grab up a supply just for the sake of making wall art!

If you're not the type to take on a fiddly project that involves a good bit of cutting and gluing, Allie sells paint chip art in her Etsy shop, Zipper 8 Design.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Faux Metal Wall Art

Suzy Myers of Suzy's Artsy Crafty Sitcom is quite a character and a very creative one at that. You might remember her pretty paisley letter. While catching up on Suzy's blog recently, I couldn't believe my eyes! Perhaps you've already seen this picture, judging by the multitude of comments on her post, but if not, take a look... a good look...

Lovely, right? Store bought wrought iron wall decor with that popular southwestern vibe...

Not so fast.

Suzy used paper towel tubes and toilet paper rolls to create those amazingly realistic framed pieces!

To begin, she looked online for images of iron scroll work, and then created frames with strips of balsa wood. Suzy mimicked the iron curves by curling cross sections of tp rolls around a paint brush handle.

Each of the four pieces has a different design. Metal-look spray paint gives them the convincing patina of wrought iron. Here's the full tutorial.

Suzy has convinced me... I'm just going to have to start adding cardboard tubes to my craft stash!

If you'd like to receive my occasional All Things Paper newsletter that features posts like this one, sign up here.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Paper Ceramics

Today I bring you a bit of summer, some gorgeous photos, and inspiration.... all from two paper artists who work with simple strips of paper. Actually, this post came about like kismet... two emails in the same day took me to opposite sides of the world. Each contained the name of artist, Siba Sihabi.

Kerameikos by Siba Sahabi 2011
Photography: Maayan Ben Gal

You may remember a post from last spring about Siba's Tea Dance exhibit in Germany. Now she has a new collection of tableware vessels called Kerameikos, that are on display in this Arnhem gallery in the Netherlands. Siba used strong and light resistant white wallpaper to craft bowls, mugs, and vases, inspired by antique Greek ceramics.

And onto my newest blog crush... At Down Under... a slice of kiwi life.

Vanille of New Zealand cuts paper, quills, and cooks... there's something new and beautiful underway each time I visit.

Vanille has been making what she calls paper ceramics or petit pots. When I contacted her about photo use for this feature, she happened to mention being inspired by Siba's work.

Is it trite to say Vanille's gorgeous pictures make me happy? I hope not, because it's true. I've enjoyed making a few paper pots in my day, but none were as colorful nor beautifully photographed as these.

As I mentioned, she also does paper cutting. Here's a beautiful pitcher with Old World influence. It could be translated into quilling, you know... hmm, my wheels are turning. How about yours?

There's always something new under the sun.
Have a lovely, creative weekend.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

JJ Quilling Design / Diane Boden Crane

***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries. Scroll down to see who won!***

For those of you who are like me and continue to be amazed at the possibilities of paper quilling, do I have a post (and a giveaway) for you!

The work of Diane Boden Crane is synonymous with teeny-tiny perfection. You may recognize Diane as the author of the book, Miniature Quilling, featured here earlier this week.

Diane kindly sent these pictures of her designs to share with all of you. The top lifts off the sheep box and yes, even the knitting needles are made of paper! Just look at the ball of yarn - such perfect spirals.

Diane works almost exclusively with 2mm strips (1/16 inch here in the U.S., usually called "narrow" by suppliers). Not only that, but she often cuts them in half to make spirals which she uses as a length, or chopped up to give texture... for example, the covering on the sheep box... such infinitesimally small bits, practically as fine as glitter!

Feast your eyes on this whimsical wedding scene...

Diane and her husband, Tris, are the new owners of JJ Quilling Design in England. If you've been quilling for a while, no doubt you are familiar with the name Jane Jenkins, as she is also a fabulously creative quiller and book author. (Quilling: Techniques and Inspiration is one of my favorites.) Jane and her husband are the original owners of the company.

As a way for us to get to know Diane and her plans for JJ Quilling Design, I asked her to tell us about herself.
How did you get started quilling?
I first discovered quilling in 1982 when I came across Elizabeth Aaron’s book “Quilling The Art of Paper Scroll Work”in a bookshop, followed by “Quilling Paper Art for Everyone” by Betty Christy and Doris Tracy, in my local library. I borrowed this book so much, it was in my house more than it was on the library shelf! More than 20 years later, someone unknown to me brought this book into the Arts Centre where I was teaching quilling one morning. I took one look at it, and thought, “Oh no, it can’t be!” It was – the very same book that I had borrowed so many times all those years ago – it was like seeing an old friend again after a long absence. So dear Betty and Doris have much to answer for!

You're active in The Quilling Guild of England, aren't you?
Not long after my first tentative steps in quilling, I discovered The Quilling Guild and became a member. I consider myself to be one of the “old girls” as my membership number is quite a low one! Around this time, I sent off for some quilling strips from a supply company called JJ Quilling Design. I remember being so impressed by their efficient, friendly service, that I wrote a letter back to tell them so. Little did I know that nearly 30 years on that I, together with my dear husband Tris, would be the new owners of JJ Quilling Design – the quilled coil has turned full circle!

I'm sure customers are happy that the company is the competent hands of another expert quiller.
Now it is my turn to be on the receiving end of customer comments, and I am pleased to say that we are receiving some nice feedback from our customers – definitely one of the perks of the job. Jane and Paul Jenkins are a hard act to follow, but we want to continue their tradition of service and giving customers confidence in our products because we understand the needs of quillers. We are still producing paper strips ourselves, and are still offering the full range of colours and varieties of paper strips.

Any future quilling plans you can share?
Once the business side of things has settled down a bit, my hope and desire is to find a little more time to design and produce Diane Boden Designs, as Jane has done before me – it is all in my head at the moment!

Where do you find inspiration for your delightful designs?
All things paper, to coin a phrase, has been a life long fascination for me, and the longer I live, the more things quillers find to do with a strip of paper – surely one of the most versatile materials ever made by man. I get my inspiration from a variety of sources, but the same topics seem to crop up over and over again . I enjoy gardening, but often my quilled flowers bloom more gloriously than the ones I had been aiming to grow in my back garden! Another recurring theme is food – I love the challenge of trying to represent something delicious in paper. Hopefully, my baking sessions in the kitchen result in tastier creations than my paper versions! It is nice though, when people look at a piece of foody quilling and say, “Oooh, that looks good enough to eat!”

The work of other quillers is always an inspiration, often prompting the response, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Perhaps that is the beauty of it, that everybody sees the world in a slightly different way and, as with handwriting, our quilling is personal to us, and no two hands produce the same work.

Taking over JJ Quilling Design is bringing many opportunities to be in touch with quillers not only in the UK, but by the magic of the wonderful web, with quillers all over the world. It is fascinating to hear how people have been introduced to the craft, and then take their new found enthusiasm to a whole new audience.

As a way of introducing the company and its brand new website, Diane and Tris are offering the opportunity to All Things Paper readers worldwide to win 12 packs of quilling paper of your own choosing! (excluding edged strips)
To enter, visit JJ Quilling Design, select your dream quilling supply, come back here, and name it in your comment.
Mentioning the giveaway on your own site or via Facebook or Twitter will count as up to three extra entries... let me know in your comment how many of these things you have done.
Giveaway ends Saturday night, the 19th. The winner will be chosen by and announced on this post on Sunday morning.
A personal note... I find that JJ papers handle very nicely. Here in the U.S. they're available from Whimsiquills and Custom Quilling, and perhaps via other suppliers too... if you don't see them listed, ask for them by name.
Update: selected #59, Jackie Njeri, as the winner of a dozen packages of quilling paper. Congratulations!
Jackie wrote: What an inspiration! I wish I could quill like that. I love the gold edged strips! Hugs from a quiller in Africa.
Many thanks to everyone who entered. Your enthusiasm for Diane's quilling was fantastic and your comments were a delight to read!

Disclosure: I wasn't paid or perk'd by JJ Quilling Design for this post. Book titles are affiliate links.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Quilled Chocolates

When this picture came through my Facebook feed recently, I knew it would be the perfect feature for Valentine's Day. Hard to believe the candies are made entirely of paper, isn't it?! Maritiza Burbuja Laboy of Puerto Rico was the creator, and I had the pleasure of meeting her last spring at the North American Quilling Guild convention.

Making rolled paper chocolates that look decidedly realistic has been popular ever since the publication of Miniature Quilling. I don't know about you, but just gazing at that tantalizing cover sets off some serious craving - yum!

Let's see a close-up of Maritza's confections...

She told me her two year old nephew desperately wanted a taste... aww, not surprising as they look so much like the real thing. Maritza designed such a nice variety of candy shapes... there are even some hearts in the mix.

Later in the week I'll be back with an interview (and giveaway!) with the author of Miniature Quilling, Diane Boden Crane, so stay tuned.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Disclosure: The book title is an affiliate link.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Punched Flower Valentine Tutorial

Once upon a time a friend sent me a lovely sheet of vintage car scrapbooking paper. I had gold embossed stickers on hand from a CustomQuilling kit, so combined the two and decided to add punched flowers in the center of the heart to tie everything together.

Punched Flower Shaping Tutorial
But alas, my punch wasn't making clean cuts. I'd heard that punching with foil is a good way to sharpen one... I can't say it worked perfectly from then on, but the experiment did leave me with lots of little flowers. Here I was, just getting started...

Punched Flower Shaping Tutorial
The foil is the heavy, textured kind that comes on yogurt containers. I find I use it pretty often as a craft supply.

Punched Flower Shaping Tutorial
To give a punched flower a bit of dimension, hold it on a fingertip or place it on your palm or a computer mouse pad. Rub in a circular motion with the top of a glass head pin or the end of a small paint brush... something rounded. This will cause the edges to cup so it looks more like a natural flower. The two upside-down flowers on the far right show the definite curve that results.

Punched Flower Shaping Tutorial
I dusted some older-than-I care-to-remember eyeshadows in rose, lavender, and blue onto the flowers with a little brush. They stuck surprisingly well to the textured surface of the foil, as would true chalks that are made for coloring stamped images.

Punched Flower Shaping Tutorial
I like the way the colors complement the hydrangeas on the car, and have to say it's fun when a play session goes well - definitely not always the case!

Punched Flower Shaping Tutorial

Monday, February 7, 2011

Spiral Rose Valentine Tutorial

Perhaps you've seen spiral paper roses... start with a circle, cut a swirl, roll it up, done!

Spiral Rose Tutorial
Wait... was that the tutorial?

Honestly there isn't much to add, except for this little twist... try cutting the circle with a pair of scallop scissors instead of your usual straight edge variety. The roses will look like these... which are practically too dark to see, darn winter light.

Spiral Rose Tutorial
Here... a clearer photo. Scallops make it more rose-like, no?

Spiral Rose Tutorial
So, the how-to...

Spiral Rose Tutorial
1. Lightly draw a circle with a pencil. (I used burgundy metallic paper and traced around a bottle which was about 1.5 inches in diameter.)

Spiral Rose Tutorial
2. Cut out the circle with scallop-edge scissors, using the pencil mark as a baseline.

Spiral Rose Tutorial
Step 3. Cut into the circle in a spiral motion, going around as far as the scallop scissors will let you. Oops, I snipped off the inside of the circle. It's okay... the cut doesn't have to be perfect.

Spiral Rose Tutorial
Step 4. Insert the inner end of the spiral into the slot of a quilling tool and roll the paper until you reach the opposite end. Slide it off the tool. If you prefer to finger-roll, that works fine also.

Spiral Rose Tutorial
Step 5. Compress the spiral gently between your thumb and index finger... looks more rose-like now. Put a little dab of glue on the tail and hold it in place on the side of the rose while the glue dries. A quick-dry glue is ideal for metallic paper.

End result.... a rose is a rose is a rose...

Spiral Rose Tutorial
The recent Flower Power card tutorial featured a fringed leaf which works well with roses too.

Folded Leaf Tutorial
But with Valentine's Day coming up, we need to discuss something. To whom does one send such a flowery card? Let's face it, a guy might tell you it's nice, but I bet such a fancy one wouldn't really make a big impression.

Not to worry, I've found just the thing - make that two things - to get your point across.

Show him exactly where your heart lies...

Cut Paper Rib Cage
Or maybe you'd like to suggest he'll have to wrestle with a fierce opponent to win yours.

Cut Paper Praying Mantis
These popular lovelies aren't your run of the mill Valentines. They're available from Etsy shop, xlessthan3, which is owned by Nathan and Matthew Crislip, two New York City designers.

Cut Paper Praying Mantis
Nathan told me the 3D figures are cut using a small digital cutter, then finished by hand - fine details like cutting of the mandibles and eyes, and attaching the heart and antennae. Pretty cool!
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