Thursday, June 6, 2013

Etsy Love - Paper Art by bookBW

How awesome is this paper ornament! It is constructed of origami stars, folded and stitched together to form  a paper ornament. Lovely work by Etsy artist Benjamin Wierel, aka bookBW.

It's my favorite thing this Thursday.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Paper Hedgehog!

Paper Source, the store, is one of my favorite place to shop for high quality paper.

I used to have one in Boston near me, but since our move to CA, I've been going to the one in Palo Alto. Burlingame will be getting a Paper-Source store, too, though we might move to San Mateo in the meantime. But, it will be close enough, and that means a lot.

Anyway, the reason I am mentioning Paper Source, is that sometimes when I'm browsing their products (online and in person), I get inspired to create or re-create something from paper. For example, I will see a pattern I like, whether it's on a paper, or pillow or anything, and then I will try to do something similar in my own way from paper.

Case in point, the hedgehog you see here is a direct inspiration of one of their rubber stamps.

I made it via paper-piecing technique, and in terms of materials, it's just two shades of card stock (white and shimmer brown) and glue.

It is part of my new obsession with paper animals. I have recreated the owl, the turtle, the fox, and I have a few other forest animals in the works. The hedgehog is ready, and as soon as we make the move to a new apartment, it will hang on our wall.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Paper Flower TUTORIAL: Carnation

For those who would like to know how I create my paper flowers, here's a little treat:

A TUTORIAL on how to make a paper carnation.

For this flower, I used a pretty double-sided card stock paper from Michael's. It's shimmer yellow on one side and really bright yellow on the other, which is great since it adds an extra layer of depth to the flower when seen from different angles.

Same colored papers look lovely, but it would be fun to use a double sided paper, or layer the petals in different colors. See what works best for you.

I call the flower a "carnation", but it looks like a "daisy", too, doesn't it :)

Here is how to make it.

You will need:
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Chopstick
  • Glue
  • Pearl (for the center, optional)
The steps to making this flower are pretty self-explanatory if you look at the image above, but just in case, here they are again:

  1. Cut out a paper heart (or use a heart-shaped paper punch if you have one).
  2. Cut the heart in half.
  3. Cut the half in another half to make the narrow petals. From one paper heart you will get 4 petals.
  4. Round the tip of the petals. make the narrow petals. 
  5. Shape the petals using a chop stick or a thin pencil.
  6. Glue the petals on a circle in two layers.
  7. Fold the petals upward to shape the flower.
  8. Add a pearl or some other embellishment for the center. Or keep it simple with a few more petals that have been fringed and glued to the center.

That's it!

If you have any questions about the making of this flower, please leave me a comment.

Also, see my other tutorials for additional flower shapes and such.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Pastel PINK Bouquet for a Book Themed Wedding

As you may have noticed, I am getting more and more into book-paper flowers lately.

They just provide that nice simple look, the base of the bouquet, which can then be perked up with a touch of color or form from other flowers.

In this case, I wanted a pastel bouquet, so pale PINK magnolia-style flowers play a big role, as do pale YELLOW flowers, roses in the palest BLUE and tiny paper flowers in different pastel colors.

I was toying with the idea of wrapping the bouquet in a dashing mustard satin ribbon or a more traditional ivory satin, but I am leaving that option open for now. The bride that purchases this bouquet will decide which color ribbon to go with.

The bouquet (sans the knit vase) can currently be found in my Etsy shop.

Pastel PINK, BOOK ROSE Paper Bouquet - Book Themed Wedding

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pink-Hued Book Paper Rose Boutonniere

Here it is.

A book paper rose inked with pale pink ink.

It's one of a kind and I made it just for Judy's wedding this fall.

The boutonniere is part of the Pink Champagne Book Roses set and accompanies the paper bouquet I made a while ago.

This color palette (pale pink, peach, cream and book paper) is so romantic and one of my favorite, and I'm so glad the bride that gets to carry these flowers down the aisle is one who appreciates handmade beauties.

Wishing you all the joy in the world, Judy!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Robin's Egg Blue Paper Bouquet

This timeless beauty bouquet would be perfect for a classic or a book-themed wedding.

I was inspired by illustrations in a natural history book by Gerald Durrell which my grandfather gave me years ago. I believe I was nine at the time.

The book is in Croatian, which at one point I could read and speak fluently (I can only read it now) and is one of my favorite books of all time. I had it with me when I first came to the U.S. and has moved with me from coast to coast and is currently taking up shelf space in my living room.

I love the stories about the author's life in India, in Cypress. The layouts of some of the things you could find in a regular old field or a meadow are amazing. Plants and occasional animal life spread out on white surface, still, yet also beautiful.

One of these layouts had a  color scheme which I wanted to capture in this bouquet.

Pale BLUE, like EGGSHELL BLUE, soft IVORY white and BOOK paper. I threw in a shade of pastel GREEN just to add a touch of warmth.

The blue flowers are in the new shape I am currently in love with. Sort of like magnolia blossoms, only with a pearl for the center.

Paper roses are still present, and abstract book paper roses as well. No fears, I used a different book for these flowers - - - I would never touch my grandfather's book for anything else except for reading :)

I wrapped the bouquet in a blue satin ribbon, but I also enjoy seeing it in a hand-knit vase (more about this vase in another post).

I will list it in my Etsy shop any day now. For the time being, it sits prettily on my desk and I love catching a glimpse of it every now and then.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Love the Lilac

There is something very serene about a lilac paper flower resting on a green background.

I made one of these flowers the other day, while I was experimenting with petal-by-petal techniques. I liked the results and made a few more flowers, and then a few more, in different colors.

These are bigger than my usual paper flowers, which adds a bit more drama when bunched together in a bouquet.

They require a few steps to make, like creating the fringed centers, or carefully folding and flexing the hand cut petals before gluing them into place. But, as you can see, resulting flower looks very natural.

I decided to make a bridal bouquet with just these flowers and maybe just add pale green paper leaves to the mix.

Very spring evoking, don't you think?

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Naturally Dyed Eggs

Happy Easter!

In the past few years I have been slowly switching from artificial store-bought dyes to food-based dyes for my Easter eggs.

Last year I used beets and coffee and this year I added tea and a dash of paprika to the mix. The results are the best so far.

I started with pastured eggs from my local farmers market (the nearest one is in San Mateo). They came in two sizes: tiny Poulet eggs, which greatly varied in color, from white to blue to brown, and regular sized white shell eggs.

First, I set up my coloring station on the kitchen counter.

- Cups and wine glasses to hold the eggs for overnight soaking.
- Egg cartons to rest the eggs on the next day.
- Textured stockings, which I cut into squares for wrapping the eggs in.
- Twine to tie the eggs with.
- Parsley leaves.

Then, I got to cooking up my colors.

I put a couple of cups of water in a pan, then added 4 small sliced beets. After they were cooked (about 5-10 min in boiling water), I strained the water into 3 cups/wine glasses, which I filled only about 1/3 to 1/2.
Beet juice looks gorgeous wine red, but note that the eggs turn out more of a grayish hue.

Coffee gets you a darker shade of brown, which I love. One cup water to one heaping table spoon of coffee (I used instant coffee).

This was the first time I used paprika to color eggs, and the result is that reddish egg you see in the photo. I used only about 1/3 of a spoon to 1/2 cup of chamomile tea.

Since I didn't want to use my fancy green tea for this, I used 2 bags of rooibos tea in 1 cup of water. The eggs turned a little pink/gray, which is great. I also used chamomile tea to get the palest shade of yellow. It's very subtle, as you can see in the photo above.

To make the parsley leaf imprint on the egg, first hard boil your eggs. Once done, dab a bit of white vinegar on a paper towel and wipe the eggs clean. Place a parsley leaf on the egg and wrap it in a square piece of stocking, then tightly tie the stocking with your twine.

Soak the eggs in hot color liquid over night, then untie in the morning and pat dry. Let the eggs rest for a few minutes, and for a finishing touch, dab a little sunflower oil on a napkin and gently wipe the eggs to get them to shine.

Arrange your naturally dyed eggs in a basket, throw in some paper flowers and let your family/friends/guests choose their eggs for cracking (that's how we do it in the old country :)).

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Paper Owl

I got the inspiration for this owl from Paper Source; their holiday owl garland, to be precise. I made the owl using a paper piecing technique.

Overall, I used only two kinds of paper punches: a 3" whole punch, and a 1" scalloped circle punch. I cut the rest of the paper pieces by hand.

Since I wanted something clean and white, I used two different shades of shimmer white card stock over a base color of blue.
As you can see, the body is made of layered circles.

I am also making a few more paper forest animals: a fox, a hedgehog, a turtle and so on.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Happy Spring!

Spring is here!!
Enjoy the pretty clear blue skies and pink paper (and real) flowers :)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

White Paper Sculpture - CORAL REEF

This is the fourth piece of my recent PAPER SCULPTURE Project, called "TEXTURES".

The first piece was SEA URCHIN, the second one SWIRLS, the third JELLYFISH, and this is the latest addition to the series of sea-inspired paper art pieces.

Constructed of waves of cones, this piece, CORAL REEF, draws inspiration from the sea floor in shallow waters where tiny marine animals group together to form communities.

I used only paper, canvas and glue to create this art piece, and the rest of the paper sculptures in this series.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Paper Decorations for Fall Birthday

Ok, I know it's winter and I am a little late with my posts, but we all know the saying: "Better late than never." So, here I am, blogging again.

This fall and winter have been super cozy in California. No sharp temperature changes, no freezing weather (at least not in the San Francisco area), just sunshine and a day or two of the occasional rain. Nothing to complain about.

Just a note. Yes, I admit, I do miss Massachusetts and the snow, but when I see the green outside my window I feel happy again and can't wait to go outside and soak up some sun.

Anyway, about the paper decorations mentioned in the title, here are a few pics of what I made for my son's birthday in the fall.

As you can see, lots of fall colors: yellow, orange, red, brown and gray, with just a touch of electric blue.

Handmade decorations: paper leaves, pom poms, hanging accordion spheres, lighting decoration.