Thursday, September 11, 2014

Simply Handmade: Upcycled Magazines and Washi Tape Stickers

There are a few little paper crafting projects that I've done over the past couple of months, but never posted about, so I thought I would share them now.
When I came home from my Hawaiian vacation in June, I brought back as much paper ephemera as I could gather--maps, brochures, free magazine publications, and postcards.  Maps always figure prominently into my homemade envelope-making, so I set to making some Oahu-themed envelopes upon my return.
One of the magazines I picked up, whose name I have unfortunately forgotten and can't seem to track down online, is filled with Japanese writing.  I couldn't resist turning several of its pages into handmade envelopes, reinforcing the edges with kawaii tape from the Panda Love Shop on Etsy.

That same magazine featured a kawaii cartoon character scattered throughout its pages that caught my attention.
I had no idea what the little guy was meant to be, but my younger daughter took one look at him and said, "Oh, it's a little island!"  And I do believe that she is correct.  I cut out the island character wherever he appeared in the magazine, glued the magazine squares to adhesive paper, and created stickers that I can use on postcards and envelopes.
Speaking of stickers, I ran across a blog post on Moment to Live For (another link found via Snail Mail Magazine), in which blogger Sabine created a colorful dot notebook using washi tape stickers.  Her process is very simple, and clearly illustrated in her post:  She adhered two rows of washi tape onto wax paper, and then used a paper punch to cut out circle stickers, which could then be peeled from the wax paper.
When I made my washi tape circle stickers, I laid the rows of washi tape on adhesive-backed paper, punched out the circles, and then took the backing off to reveal the adhesive sticker back.  Sometimes I layered three different tapes, and sometimes I used a heart punch, rather than a circle.
Sabine stuck them all over the cover of a fairly plain Kraft-paper style notebook to really liven it up.  I confess that I just laid all of my creations on top of a notebook to see what they would look like, but didn't actually stick them down.  I've been using them on envelopes and postcards instead.
So there are a few very simple paper crafting projects that have made their way across my studio table over the past couple of months.  I feel like I need some sort of catchy tag line now, like, "Get on out there, and play with some paper!"

Monday, September 8, 2014

Glue Sticks and Stitches

Sometimes a paper crafter just has to hole up in her craft room and play around with paper, scissors, and glue for awhile.
Add in in my sewing machine, and I'm in paper crafting heaven!
On Friday, I found a big stack of Project Life 4x6-inch grid cards on deep discount at Jo-Ann, as well as some 7Gypsies journaling tags marked as Clearance.  I've tried to steer clear of random clearance purchases, but these were too good to pass up!
Every time I've managed to slip away for a moment into Studio 791, I've put another layer of paper or another row of stitching into one of these collages.
I envision them in my art journal, with writing added in any open spaces.
Sometimes when time is tight, it's nice to have a big focal element for a page already completed.  Then I can focus instead on a fun background paper, or the journaling, or a border, or something like that.
My husband came in as I was taking this photo of the aftermath of my collaging, and he said quite seriously, "So, what exactly is the purpose of the far away shot...?"  I said, "Crafters love to see each others' messy desks after they've been working on projects!"

He tries so hard to understand me, dear man, but I think that what I do in here still baffles him!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sketches from Paradise

I haven't quite developed the "sketchbook habit" that I am hoping for, but I have completed a couple more pages since I last posted with the leaves from my walk by the creek.  This time, I worked from photographs from my summer vacation in Hawaii
My inspiration photo
First, I sketched a bird-of-paradise plant from our hike up to Manoa Falls.  Following a pencil sketch, I outlined it with a thin black marker, painted it with watercolors, and strengthened the ink lines once the paint dried.
Following Alisa Burke's lead, I added a black-marker border and some journaling to capture a few notes about the subject matter. 
I get the most amazing feedback on my sketchbook pages from my budding-artist daughter, Katy.  When she saw my finished page, she threw her arms around my waist, sputtered a moment over what to say, and declared, "I love you, Mommy!"  If that isn't incentive to keep up my sketchbook efforts, I don't know what is!

Once I finished the bird-of-paradise page, my daughters wanted to watch me do a second page, and "voted" on the lizard we saw at the Nuuanu Pali Lookout on our trip. 
My second inspiration photo
Animals are clearly not my strong suit, and the girls clearly saw that, but enjoyed watching me work on the page and were gracious about my results!
 I always think I should point out, "in my defense," that most of my work is completed on the sofa with a five-year-old on my right side and a six-year-old on my left.  Not a whole lot of freedom of movement for this artist's elbows, and certainly no fear of drawing with an audience allowed!
I think I better stick to leaves and flowers for awhile!