Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Paper Ice - Andy Singleton

A year ago at this time, an icy world was on display at the Oriel Mostyn Gallery in Llandudno, Wales.

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Artist/illustrator Andy Singleton was commissioned to create a wintery installation to coincide with an opening at the gallery. He hand cut paper patterns and sculpted paper structures to resemble a beautiful ice cavern.

andy singleton 1

3-D icicles effectively combined with flowing 2-D paper cuts to create a winter wonderland.

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See more of Andy's impressive work on Flickr and his blog, including really beautiful paper birds.

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I'm thinking my front porch would look pretty cool dressed up in icicles this holiday season. For the record, I much prefer the paper variety to real ones. Brrr... we've had some hanging off our roof in winters past that look just like these. Gorgeous, but I can easily do without them!

Photography: Nick Singleton

Monday, November 28, 2011

Plantable Paper and Giveaway

***The giveaway has ended. Scroll down to see who won!***

Perhaps you've heard of plantable paper, but haven't ever had the chance to experience it. Neither had I, but that changed recently when Botanical PaperWorks sent me a package of handmade sheets with wildflowers seeds sown throughout. The rustic sheets are lovely - hefty in weight, but not too thick to be workable, and they come in rich colors and pastels.


It's the birthday of oldest son's girlfriend (of thumbprint paper cuts fame), so I made some folded roses to decorate this gift bag for her. Plantable paper is good for rose making because it softens when handled, giving a nice look to the folds. By the way, the paper isn't a bit messy to work with... in other words, the seeds stay put.

Plantable Christmas card

If you find it a bit sad that gorgeous holiday cards usually wind up in a landfill, then plantable cards might be right up your eco-friendly alley. Botanical PaperWorks also sent along a set of pretty cardinal cards. I hope the recipients will plant them in pots placed under a grow light for continued holiday cheer or put them aside until spring sunshine has warmed the soil. The seeds grow and the paper composts... soon they'll have this!

Flowers grown from plantable paper

I came across a very nice video from Rena of The Cheese Thief blog that shows how to make a nifty woven ornament. I crimped some French blue and yellow plantable strips and got started... much gnashing of teeth ensued. I suppose mine does look somewhat like Rena's, but I won't admit to how long it took - hah! I'm sure the next one will be easier.


In addition to sheets and cards, Botanical PaperWorks designs a wide selection of stylish invitations, favors, gift tags, journals, notepads, postcards, calendars, coasters, and even packaging materials... whew, basically everything possible!

Plantable journal

Plantable gift tags

Not only are wildflower seeds used in the products... some of the papers contain herb or vegetable seeds. It's satisfying to know that plantable paper is made from recycled post-consumer waste collected from local offices and schools.

Plantable recipe cards

Place cards are usually thrown away when an event is over, but in this case they can go home with the guests and spring to new life once planted... a lovely reminder of the occasion. A butterfly punch, gel pen, and calligraphy marker... so simple.


Plantable journal

Now about that giveaway!

Botanical PaperWorks will award one person in the U.S. or Canada a $25 gift certificate to use in their online store and will include a coil bound eco-calendar with the winner's order. (International readers, so sorry to leave you out this time, but there will be a worldwide giveaway coming up before too long.)

Plantable confetti
Plantable confetti - throw and grow!

Visit Botanical PaperWorks and leave a comment below to enter. Earn an extra entry by liking the PaperWorks Facebook page. The winner will be announced on Sunday. Good luck!

By the way, the company is currently offering free shipping through December 14 to Canada and U.S. addresses with a minimum purchase requirement - see website for details.

Congratulations to Tara! Her name was selected by a random number generator and she has been notified by email. Thanks so much to all who took the time to enter.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Paper and Wood Sculptures - Kylie Coles

I was alerted to the work of Kylie Coles via Twitter and came away so impressed after seeing the beautiful bowls she turns out in her woodworking studio.

Xmas paper top 72.jpg

True, the impractical shape makes these bowls purely decorative rather than dinner table friendly, but that's perfectly fine... some things in life should simply be admired.

website low paper detail

Kylie studied Contemporary Crafts at Manchester Metropolitan University in Cheshire, England, and calls her current conical series of work, Converging Forms. She layers discarded magazine pages or even Christmas wrapping paper, onto wood and turns it on a lathe.

Small Top_72.jpg

These bowls piqued my interest so much that I wanted to ask Kylie a few questions:

How did you happen upon the idea of combining wood with discarded paper?

I was an undergraduate exploring line and form, in particular layering and revealing line. Working in mixed media, I had been making layered paper experiments, and also layering wood, plywood, and veneers, and turning them on the lathe, so I thought it would be good to combine the two. Experimenting with materials that come easily to hand in unusual ways was very much encouraged on the course, so it wasn't such a big leap as it seems.

What is your favorite part of the process?

My favourite part is taking the layered up blank of wood and paper which at this stage looks very uninspiring, and cutting through it on the lathe to reveal its inner beauty. Also, when the wax goes on at the end, it really brings out the colours and warmth of both the wood and paper.

I apologize for asking this question as I'm never too thrilled with being asked the same thing about my quilling, but here goes... How long does
it take to make a bowl from start to finish?

In man hours it usually take six to eight depending on the size. However, because of the layering process it happens over about two weeks, so I work on more than one at a time.

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Kylie likens her work to "a fine balance between artistic control and serendipity." What an apt description! See more bowls on Flickr.

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in the U.S. and to everyone, I wish you a wonderful weekend. My brother-in-law is cooking the turkey for our family's celebration... and that's just one of the things I'm thankful for this year. Another that tops the list is all of you who visit All Things Paper - thank you!

Facebook Finds this past week:

Exquisite paper ballerinas
Fringed paper poodle
Pretty paper balls

Monday, November 21, 2011

Quilled Bird Thank You Card

Quilling and birds often seem to go together. I've enjoyed making quite a few and have seen real beauties that lots of others have created. Because of the color variations and feathery details, it's no wonder birds are so popular in the quilling world.


All that said, here's a very simple one that would be good to whip up when time is limited, yet you're determined to send a handmade card. It's just a pinched ring coil with the addition of teardrop wings. Sit him on a curved strip and quill a few leaves. There you go! Add a sticker and a couple strips of washi tape - love that stuff - as an accent at the top and bottom of the background paper.

The full tutorial can be found in November's CardMaker Magazine where there's a whole section on using aqua as an accent color. Check out the little stamped tree on the cover - wouldn't it be great as a quilled design? Come to think of it, my bird could be adapted as a dove of peace... hmm, the wheels are beginning to turn as to what I'll do for Christmas cards this year!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Corrugated Brooch - Anne Finlay

I always marvel when a person is able to transform the most rustic form of paper into something sophisticated. Anne Finlay of Scotland is one of those people... she creates fine sculptural brooches from corrugated cardboard. To my way of thinking, cardboard jewelry often looks... well, how do I put this tactfully?... homespun, but Anne's pieces have flair due to their geometric patterns, rich colors, and modern lines.

Blue brooch

Anne returned to the studio after a long break and was ready to try something completely new after previously working with plastics. She enjoys the many possibilities paper provides, its flexibility, and the slowness of the process as she glues and shapes the many layers of each piece.

See more examples of Anne's paper jewelry at The Scottish Gallery. You might also find it interesting to see her acrylic and PVC jewelry here... again, very modern and sculptural.

Facebook Finds this past week included:

Ornate quilled typography
An unusual paper wreath
Cute chalkboard place cards
Folded money rings

Oh, and there's still time to enter the generous Le Papier Studio giveaway. Ends tomorrow, Saturday at 11:59 PM EST. Good luck!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Quilled Snowflake Patterns

Would you believe more people search this site for snowflake patterns than anything else all year long?! I suppose it's not really too surprising... if a person is familiar with quilling, they're probably also aware of how beautifully it meshes with intricate snowflakes.

I promised another snowflake pattern a while ago, so to make it up to you, I actually have three pretties to share today, thanks to two quilling friends who generously provided the photos and instructions.

Quilled Snowflake Tutorial

If you've never quilled before, you may want to refer to my Quilling Basics or Quilling 101 tutorials that show techniques and tools. There's no need to buy special paper until you see if you like making snowflakes - 1/8 inch strips of basic computer paper will work just fine. This helpful lined grid can be printed out and placed under a sheet of clear acrylic. Use it as a guide while assembling coils and the result will be a perfectly balanced snowflake.

Snowflake 1
3 inch loose coil (make 1)
2 inch heart scroll - glue coils together at top (make 6)
1 inch tight coil (make 6)
3 inch marquise/cat eye (make 12)
2 inch V scroll - glue coils together at top (make 6)

Refer to the picture above and work outward from the center:

Glue the heart scrolls evenly around the loose coil.
Glue a tight coil inside the point of each heart scroll.
Glue a marquise between each heart scroll.
Glue a V scroll point between the coils of each heart scroll.
Glue a marquise to each V scroll between the coils.

Quilled Snowflake Tutorial

Snowflake 2
1 inch tight coil (make 6)
2 inch heart scroll (make 6)
3 inch marquise (make 12)
2 inch tight coil (make 6)
4 inch marquise (make 6)

Refer to the picture above and work outward from the center:

Glue two 3 inch marquises together to form little teepees. Allow to dry thoroughly.
Glue the six pairs of marquises to one another forming a circle. Allow circle to dry.
Glue a 2 inch tight coil between each marquise pair on the outside of the circle.
Glue a heart scroll on the inside of each marquise pair.
Glue a 1 inch tight coil at the top of each heart scroll between the coils.
Glue a 4 inch marquise perpendicular to each marquise pair.

The first two patterns were designed by Deb Mackes who makes really lovely flakes and doesn't even use a grid to line up the coils - amazing! She has also shared a couple of patterns in the past that you'll find here and here.

Deb suggests using clear acrylic spray and iridescent dust to add strength and shimmer to quilled snowflakes. She sprinkles the dust on immediately after spraying so it adheres well, and gives it just a light sprinkling to prevent clogging the airy coils.

Quilled Snowflake Tutorial

The third and more complex snowflake pattern can be found on the website of the North American Quilling Guild. It was created by Molly Smith of the blog, It's Molly Smith, and would be a lovely one to try once you've mastered simpler patterns - not that it's harder to do, just more time consuming. Making snowflakes is methodical and satisfying because they're just so pretty!

A big thanks to both Deb and Molly for sharing their expertise. Think {paper} snow!

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

Monday, November 14, 2011

Paper Silhouettes from Le Papier Studio - Giveaway

Back in the days of yore when this blog was practically brand new, I featured Vana Chupp's lovely company, Le Papier Studio. I've always admired silhouettes and have to say Vana has found more ways to present them than I could ever have imagined. Art prints, stationery, jewelry, ornaments, pillows, plates... and that's just the tip of the iceberg!

Le Papier Studio silhouette plate

Le Papier Studio cufflinks

In keeping with our paper theme around here, Vana is offering a generous, worldwide giveaway that features her elegant 2012 wall calendar and a set of personalized holiday cards.

Le Papier Studio card

Le Papier Studio 2012 Wall Calendar

Le Papier Studio calendar

Le Papier Studio card

Le Papier Studio calendar

Another thing that Vana has done beautifully is create a kit for Chronicle Books that's titled Silhouette Art - Papers, Instructions, and Patterns for Making Modern Heirlooms. It details the way Vana makes her lovely silhouettes using a photograph as a guide, and includes paper supplies for you to do the same.

With a bit of practice, you'll be able to "transform the apples of your eye into artistic heirlooms."

Le Papier Studio calendar

Now back to the giveaway... To clarify, two winners worldwide will be selected at random and each person will receive both the calendar and a dozen cards. The cards include the option of customization using your very own photograph. To enter, please visit Le Papier Studio and then return to this post to name your favorite item in the shop. Be sure to include your email address within your comment if you don't have a blog or website where your address is readily available. I will need it to notify you if you are one of the lucky winners.

Le Papier Studio card

The giveaway will close at the end of Saturday, the 19th. Winners will be announced on this post and on the All Things Paper Facebook page the next day. Good luck!

Please note: I've not received compensation in any form from Le Papier Studio in exchange for doing this giveaway.

Drumroll, please... and the winners are:

Congratulations to Maureen and Jan Castle! They've been notified by email. Thanks very much for entering everyone, and take heart if you didn't win this giveaway as there will be a couple more coming up before the holidays!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Handmade Paper - Calyrew

Meg Bollinger's richly colored, handmade papers transform frames, coat racks, mirrors, coasters, and magnets into appealing, functional art. Meg, the owner of Wisconsin-based Etsy shop Calyrew, finds a certain excitement in her work, as she's never sure what the end result will be.

Wall mirror

As a little girl, Meg was fascinated with paper - so much so that she wouldn't want to use the special pieces she acquired. (I bet lots of us can relate!) "But once I let go, I found a whole new world. Ahh, paper snowflakes, origami frogs, handmade cards to loved ones, and making awesome paper from my leftovers."

I asked Meg about her process of turning discarded paper into such colorful and useful art pieces.

Wall mirror

The plain newsprint (no ink) that I use is packing material you might see instead of Styrofoam peanuts. The process is no real secret; actually it's even very hard for me to duplicate a sheet, which can be a bummer! I paint each sheet randomly once made and dried, using lightfast acrylic paints for fade resistance. There is no sizing applied so I can achieve a watercolor effect. As a last step, I brush on several layers of polyurethane for durability and water resistance.

The name Calyrew by the way, is a combination of letters from each of Meg's children's names - what a nice idea!

Facebook Finds this past week included:

A beautiful stop-motion origami video
Cardboard castle wedding
Win a bouquet of beautifully realistic paper flowers from The Crimson Poppy.
Amaze a child with a magic cardboard wallet.

Have a happy 11-11-11!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Paper Ink Press and Honey's Hive

Today I'd like to introduce you to Paper Ink Press and Honey's Hive, two new sponsors at All Things Paper this month. I hope you'll enjoy meeting each of the owners and seeing a sampling of their lovely wares.

Letterpress wedding invitation

Melissa Bilieu of Etsy's Paper Ink Press uses three antique printing presses at her home in Colorado to create stylish, yet classic stationery. Having had the pleasure of seeing her work up close and personal, I can tell you she uses the most delicious, thick paper and beautiful colors.

Letterpress birth announcement

Letterpress note card

Melissa's note cards, custom invitations, and birth announcements are pressed to perfection, and she also sells gift wrapping lovelies. Two items I especially like are a monthly letterpress subscription... she mails you or your gift recipient an assortment of letterpress items three or six times, and also offers grab bag assortments that I've ordered twice now and each was wonderful.

Letterpress grab bag

You might enjoy Melissa's blog, The Handwork Chronicles... she writes in an engaging way about the house that she and her husband have renovated from tip to stern, her baby, dog, garden, and chickens. Melissa offers giveaways too, so there's another reason to check it out!

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The other new sponsor, Honey's Hive, is owned by Honey Moser of Malaysia who makes a variety of colorful quilled items. She experiments with imaginative shapes that lead to playful earrings and pendants. These earrings remind me of bubbles and her dolphins look so much like the real thing!

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For those who don't enjoy folding roses but love the look, Honey has you covered. She'll make up a pretty batch in any color.

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Honey started quilling as a ten year old, cutting strips from colored paper with scissors. One of her very first projects was a flower pendant proving that some things in life truly come full circle. She grew up in Wisconsin, moved to Malaysia, married, and taught at an international school. Now that she's the stay-at-home mom of a three year old, Honey looks forward to evening hours when she can bring her creative ideas to life.

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If you enjoy quilling and marketing, you'll find her blog, Honey's Quilling to be a very helpful resource. You'll see her latest creations and there's even a giveaway going on at the moment. She's also on Facebook.

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Mention All Things Paper when placing an order at Paper Ink Press or Honey's Hive to receive a 15% discount.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Quilled Quaker Marriage Certificate

This past summer I had the pleasure of creating a marriage certificate for a September wedding. The organized bride had contacted me months earlier which was ideal... it can be surprising just how much planning goes into a certificate - there's the overall design, calligraphy style, wording, and colors to consider. It's all handled easily via email though, and causes me to marvel at what a slow process it would be without the internet. Come to think of it, the bride wouldn't have even found me without this website!

Quilled Quaker marriage certificate by Ann Martin

She loved the style and colors of the chandelier certificate and wanted something similar, but not identical. The couple's vineyard wedding had a green, gray, and red color palette which might sound a bit like Christmas, but trust me... having seen their amazing photos, the end result didn't make one think of December in the least.

Quilled Quaker marriage certificate by Ann Martin

For the quilling, the bride requested muted, natural greens - I used forest and moss - along with shades of gray and touches of silver. Once again calligrapher Riva Brown of Living Letters Studio did the lettering and mounting of the certificate. She placed rich red ribbons at the corners which worked well to tie the certificate in with the wedding colors.

Instead of a chandelier, the bride expressed interest in a swirled design as the top motif... she said she would leave it up to me to make something pretty and wanted to be surprised when it arrived in the mail - a dream client for sure!

Quilled Quaker marriage certificate by Ann Martin

One major difference with this certificate is that the guest signatures were placed on a separate sheet along with the couple's favorite quote. This way the quilling is completely out of harm's way during the signing. Also, framing can be less expensive if the signature sheet is placed back to back in the frame with the certificate, and of course it can be framed or stored separately.

Quilled Quaker marriage certificate by Ann Martin

If you enjoy reading about wedding details, the bride is Mrs. Pony on the popular site,, where she blogged (delightfully, I might add!) throughout the entire planning process. Mrs. Pony even included posts about marriage certificates in general, and their decision to commission one.

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