Wednesday, January 30, 2013

illuminate: Book Review and Giveaway

Congratulations to the winners - Gitana and Catherine Schneider!

Perhaps you remember Hannah Nunn, whose paper cut lights I've featured on more than one occasion. She brings together makers of beautiful objects via her lighting and craft boutique Radiance in Hebdon Bridge, England.

Hannah Nunn
Fairy Lights
A string of glowing paper cut lanterns
5 M long, each lantern 7 cm high
Photograph: Hannah Nunn

Reading Hannah's new book, illuminate: contemporary craft lighting, is a most enjoyable form of armchair traveling. She introduces the reader to more than forty artisans who create handmade lights around the world. Yes, Hannah has a knack for bringing people together, and like her shop, this book is a perfect medium for her talent.

Cover light: Zipper 8 Lighting
Photograph: Allison Patrick

Of course there is a chapter on paper lighting, but the book includes much more... you'll learn about contemporary textile, ceramic, glass, print, wood, and metal lighting. There is also a chapter on recycled lights in which paper most definitely plays a role.

Scrap Lights, Jupiter with Moons
Spherical series of repurposed cardboard pendants
Range from 8" diameter to 17.5" diameter
Photograph: Jonathan Junker

I was sent a review copy and my first spin through had me ogling the gorgeous photographs. I also found myself stopping over and over again to read Hannah's words about the individual makers.

Louise Traill
Chandelier detail
A detail of a three tier paper chandelier
61 cm high x 40 cm diameter
Photograph: Hannah Nunn

She writes in an engaging, conversational style that makes illuminate the type of book you can dip into at any time. Not a project-based, how-to tome, Hannah relates the stories that tell why these creative individuals do what they do.

Andrew Ooi
Mokume Walnut Light
Mokume paper with a walnut base
12 x 12 x 14"
Photograph: Yumiko Miyamoto

Her enthusiasm for lighting is contagious; if you leave the book out for guests to enjoy, I predict they'll be drawn to it like moths to a flame.

Celine Wright
Point de Suspension
Japanese paper with a white marble pebble
50 x 40 x 250 cm
Photograph: Virginie Perocheau

Bloomsbury has offered to send a copy to two readers worldwide. Just leave a comment as your entry - easy peasy.

Louise Traill
Heirloom Lights
A string of handmade paper lanterns
Each lantern is approximately 12 cm high
Photograph: Hannah Nunn

The giveaway will end on Tuesday, February 5th. Winners will be selected by a random number generator and announced on this post + the All Things Paper Facebook page as soon as they have been contacted. Good luck!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Tight Coil Heart Tutorial

Here's a variation on last week's wrapped paper hearts. Once again, Licia Politis made the examples and I'm the post writer - teamwork! She used the same ring coil base to create a heart shape, but rather than wrapping the frame with paper strips, she rolled them into tight coils in a variety of sizes and colors instead. The colorful dots are pretty and the heart frame fills in quickly.

Quilled Heart Tutorial

To roll tight coils, it's easiest to use a slotted quilling tool. These are inexpensive and available at many craft stores, as are packages of multicolored quilling paper. You can also cut your own strips from any paper you have on hand using a metal ruler and cutting blade or a paper trimmer. Quilling paper is generally a bit heavier than typical copy paper, but using it to make tight coils would be fine.

Quilled Heart Tutorial
Licia gave the heart a different look for this card by gluing the ring coil strips together only at the top curved areas. 

To make a tight coil:

Slide one end of a strip just far enough into the slot so that it doesn't extend beyond the end. Rotate the tool with one hand while guiding the strip with the other.

Quilled Heart Tutorial

When the end of the strip is reached, apply a dot of glue to hold it in place. A little tip... before beginning to roll, tear the far end of the strip. A torn end will blend better than a sharp cut so your coil will appear perfectly round. I find that a straight pin or paper piercing tool works well to apply glue when I'm making coils. There are also fine-tipped, refillable glue bottles that many quillers like to use.

Quilled Heart Tutorial

Licia added a silvery glint by gluing a metallic-edged quilling strip around each tight coil. Her heart frame also has some metallic strips mixed in with colored strips.

Completely assemble the heart on a non-stick surface and then place it on a journal, card, or mat board after spreading a thin layer of glue on the back.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Beck's Song Reader as Paper Art

Singer-songwriter Beck released a new collection of songs last month, interestingly not as an album, but as a book... it's called Song Reader. That's right, a book of sheet music and many pages of art. Beck's premise for not recording the songs himself was to encourage fans to experiment with their own versions. And if they wanted to share them... so much the better! They can do that at


Well-known typographer Jessica Hische created the cover art... an appealing design with graceful scrolls extending from the words.

Beck's avid fan, Ham, who runs Japanese fan site Hambeck, is not a musician. Nonetheless, she was inspired to contribute to the project by recreating the cover design via her paper cutting and quilling talent.


 Ham's art is extraordinary, as you can see in this time-lapse video.

Not only that... her mesmerizing motions are backed by the singing of one of the book's songs by Beck fan Max Miller, who is accompanied by Rachel Roth. The recording allowed Ham's work to be shared on a win for all involved!


Ham brings the graphic design to life as we watch her steady fingers apply the tiniest dots of glue and position hand cut scrolls, letters, and musical notes. For the curious, Ham used an NT Cutter art knife and quick-drying Konishi glue.


As a music fan, I can completely appreciate her passion and the many hours devoted to this project.

Ham blogs at
Read more about this piece at FontFeed
Thanks to Palomaria for alerting me to the video.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wrapped Paper Hearts Tutorial

Licia Politis sent over this photo of wrapped paper hearts she's been working on and I immediately had the thought, Oh good, another Licia-diy! She's the idea person/photo-taker and I write up the steps... gotta love teamwork. :)

Licia was inspired to make these hearts after seeing natural, cane-wrapped stars in the shops at Christmas. They look like fun and are easy to do.

Wrapped Paper Hearts Tutorial

Make them as Valentine's Day decorations or as a crafty activity at a birthday party. Metallic paper adds a bit of glam. Young girls can add a jump ring and chain to wear as a necklace. You could also glue one on a card along with the sentiment Wrapped in your love... or I'm so wrapped up in you! 


Pre-cut quilling strips or any medium-weight paper cut into strips
Round object to use as ring coil form
White glue
Quick drying glue
Straight pins
Cork board
Necklace chain - optional


1. Make a ring coil as the heart base:
a. Roll a paper strip around a glue bottle, jar, or whatever object is on hand that is roughly the diameter you would like your heart to be. There's no need to glue as you roll, as long as the paper is held firmly. When the strip end is reached, glue it in place.

b. Glue one end of a second strip immediately next to where the first one ended. The two ends should meet, butting up against one another. Continue adding strips to the ring coil until it is sturdy and about 1/8 inch thick. Slip the coil off the form.

Wrapped Paper Hearts Tutorial

2. Make the heart shape:

Pinch the ring coil to indent it. Smooth a coating of glue on one side of the coil, pin it on a cork board to preserve the shape, and allow the glue to dry. (There's an excess of glue shown here for illustrative purposes.)

3. Now the fun part - randomly wrap paper strips around the heart:
a. Apply a dot of quick-drying glue on the end of a strip and press it to the back of the coil. Wrap the strip around the heart until a good stopping place is reached on the back. Glue it in place and trim excess paper.

b. Glue the next strip on the back of the heart ring anywhere you like and continue wrapping. As more strips fill in the heart, glue the strips where they happen to end, overlapping another strip slightly. Make sure the strips are always joined on the back of the heart for a tidy look.

Wrapped Paper Hearts Tutorial

For a pendant:
Make a small ring coil by wrapping a paper strip around the indentation of the heart. Check to be sure the opening is large enough for the chain to slide through. Glue the end in place.

Here Licia has added an extra charm to the chain - cute!

Wrapped Paper Hearts Tutorial

Find another Valentine project from Licia here!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Ty Wilson-inspired Quilling

Perhaps you're familiar with the romantic illustrations of artist Ty Wilson. I was introduced to his wonderfully spare and sophisticated line drawings via my quilling friend Nandini Rao of Dubai, U.A.E.


She had come across Ty's work online, recognized how perfectly it would translate to on-edge paper design, and wrote to ask if she might replicate some of his art with narrow strips of paper. Permission granted, Nandini has enjoyed creating a series of romantic works that are for her own enjoyment; not to sell.


She uses fairly stiff 1/8 inch black paper strips to create the outlines and 1/16 inch red strips to make the folded roses. I asked Nandini about her method for gluing on-edge paper, as tried-and-true tips are always happily received.


She lightly embosses a design and then goes over the indented line a little at a time with a blunt needle that has been dipped in glue. It's very slow work, but Nandini is careful to use the smallest amount so there is no shiny trail once the glue dries. If an extra small strip needs to be adhered, she holds it with tweezers, dips it in a shallow glue puddle, taps it once or twice to make sure there is no excess, and places it into position.


Nandini got into quilling by chance after coming upon a book by Trees Tra and Malinda Johnston at her local bookstore. Her then four year old daughter was on a school break and Nandini needed a project they could work on together. Later she searched quilling online, found the Yahoo quillers group, and has never looked back.... those of us who have been down the same path know how addictive quilling can be!

Nandini blogs at Dream Scapes and posted more about her Ty-inspired work here.

Friday, January 18, 2013

HiiH Lights - Handmade Paper Lights

Recently I was contacted by Tristan Stoch, a videographer in Oregon, who had just completed a short video portrait of HiiH Lights, the creative enterprise of two Portland artists who make extraordinary paper lights. The video is lovely... take a look.


Lâm Quảng and Kestrel Gates, husband and wife, work together hand sculpting and painting custom lighting for private homes, shops, restaurants, offices, galleries, outdoor exhibits, and even the New York Metropolitan Opera.


Lâm, who is from Vietnam originally, began making paper in the late 1990s. It wasn't long before he became interested in creating sculptural lamp forms, inspired by memories of childhood moon festivals. Kestrel, who has a background in the performing arts, joined him in 2004. They design pendant and table lamps, sconces, standing lights, and chandeliers that are inspired by nature... flowers, sea creatures, and even insects.


Lâm and Kestrel work with natural, raw materials, such as cotton and abaca paper pulp, local beeswax, damar resin, walnut and indigo dyes, along with Golden airbrush paint. He creates the armature of the lights with bamboo and wire of various types.


Right... I seem to be getting away from choosing just one stellar image for my Fab Friday posts. But while clicking, clicking, clicking through the HiiH Lights photos on Flickr, it was impossible to choose just one.


Is it any wonder?
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Quilled Typography - Sabeena Karnik

You might recall the colorful Happy New Year on-edge paper typography I shared on the last day of 2012. It was quilled by Sabeena Karnik of Mumbai, India, who was originally featured here after her on-edge alphabet started flying around the interwebs. I thought it would be fun to take a look at more of Sabeena's lovely work, see how far she has come in just a year's time, and learn a bit about her.


Have you always been interested in art?

Yes, I knew I wanted to pursue art ever since childhood. I have always had a very keen interest in beautiful writing, calligraphy, be it the names of my family, friends, and even people I idolized.


Did you study art in school? 

Pursuing an education in art was a very natural process. I completed my degree in graphic design with a focus on typography, my first love. In my final year project, I concentrated purely on paper and 3D paper sculpturing. Fortunately the result came out very well. I thought why not try and experiment a little more by combining the two, so as a fun way to pass the time one afternoon, I randomly started making alphabets out of paper.


The typeface was very simple since the focus was on paper, patterns I could make, and colors. The result was an offshoot of paper quilling, although I don't concentrate on traditional pinched coil shapes.

SPAR billboard illustration

I remember that before your alphabet was even completed, it was already attracting attention!

Yes, before I could finish the entire letter series, I started getting offers from advertising agencies to collaborate with them. And I have been very busy ever since, working with agencies in the U.S, Europe, the Middle East, South America, and South Africa.

magazine illustration

I'm sure you put a great deal of time into your designs. 

Since the outcome is very decorative and eye-catching, people don't realize the amount of work that goes into each piece. It requires a lot of patience and nurturing, just as you would take care of a baby. Moreover since it's paper, making corrections is extremely difficult. 

A girl's name and commissioned piece

There was an instance when a design had been approved by a client, but had to be changed after everything was complete. It was heartbreaking to slice the entire paper art out and make the alterations. Everything we do is a learning process and paper has its limitations because it is very fragile.


Do you still enjoy the process?  

Paper is one of the most wonderful mediums to work with. It attracts an audience of all ages universally and it never gets boring. Every strip and piece plays such an important role in creating a unique artwork.


What are your plans for the future? 

I want to plunge into paper typography more and even create my own paper fonts. The world of paper is so vast and magical; no matter how much you explore, the possibilities are limitless!

created for a Seattle software firm postcard

Thanks for the interview, Sabeena.  It will be fun to see where your talent leads you next.

 Keep up with Sabeena via Behance and Facebook.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cut Paper Quotes Giveaway

This giveaway has ended.
Congratulations to Pratvam, Shannah, and Heather G!

With Valentine's Day on the horizon, a cut paper quote from Ant Design Gifts would be a perfect present to give to a loved one!


Kashmira Jhaveri, a graphic designer and creative shop owner, is offering an unframed, standard quote of choice to three winners worldwide.


You might recall this feature post about Kashmira that details her cutting process and shows many more of her lovely designs. She offers a wide variety... inspirational, romantic, wedding, baby, and family. All are cut from artist quality, 270gsm cardstock in your choice of white or a color.


Kashmira welcomes personalized orders for births, weddings, anniversaries, and other special occasions.She recommends displaying your quote in a clear glass float frame like the ones you see here.


Simply leave a comment on this post as your entry, but you might want to take a moment to visit Ant Design Gifts to choose your favorite quote (you know, just in case you win!)


Three commenters will be selected at random on Sunday, January 20th, and will be announced on the blog and the ATP Facebook page as soon as all have been contacted. Good luck!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Welcome January Sponsors!

This is the monthly post in which I introduce the fine shops that sponsor All Things Paper. Pictures ahead!

Sandy Diaz of Sweet Spot Card Shop returns with her perfectly quilled cards for any occasion. She has a great sense of humor and puts a clever spin on lots of popular sayings.


Sandy's unique 2013 calendar features a vintage, quilled camera on each page.  She also makes pretty paper flower accessories.


Owner and creator Linda B of Partycraft Secrets [no longer active] has an endless supply of fast, fun, and affordable ideas for crafting with young children. Her theme party e-books are written in an encouraging, you-can-do-this manner that I find very likeable. Companion paper printables are a fantastic resource for busy parents.


Her blog is full of easy craft projects too. Just one example is this cute idea for a tasty, handmade Valentine.


Kashmira Jhaveri of Ant Design Gifts is a graphic designer who creates beautiful cut paper quotes that are elegant in their simplicity. The clean lines of an optional float frame add to the stylish look. She also does custom designs for special occasions, such as births, weddings, and anniversaries.


All Things Paper readers receive a 15% discount by entering code PAPER15 at checkout. Stay tuned for a lovely Valentine's Day giveaway from Ant Design Gifts that will be coming up shortly!


Linda Thalmann of PaperPhine stocks a beautiful array of paper twines. Perfect for crafting and gift wrapping, they are available in many colors and weights. Linda will be happy to advise you on the type(s) that will work best for whatever project you have in mind.


I love these vivid colors that arrive rolled on vintage braider's bobbins. PaperPhine offers subtle shades that are very pretty too. Use them to create eye-catching jewelry or purchase ready-made pieces from the shop.


Sarah Yakawonis of Yakawonis Quilling combines paper quilling with on-trend graphic design. For example, this stately owl fellow. You'll also find wall decor featuring musicians, movies, and even ever-popular cupcakes.


Sarah's retro genie in a bottle signed poster is a nod to one of her favorite old TV shows, I Dream of Jeannie. Ahh, the memories!

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