Tag Archives: art

Thank You WordPress, You Have Changed My Art

Thank You WordPress

Thank You WordPress!

Dear WordPress,

I began this blog about two years ago. This will be my 40th post on this blog that you were so kind to provide for me, so obviously I am not a prolific blogger. In spite of the fact that I don’t blog a lot, as of today you’ve brought me 84 followers and an average of 25 to 30 views a day. Thank you!

What I find most exciting, is not the number of followers or the number of views, but where my views are coming from.

In the last 90 days, I’ve had people from over 70 different countries visit my blog. I find this absolutely amazing. This has changed the way I think about my art, because it makes my audience global rather than local.

Because you have allowed me to reach a global audience, I have decided to make my art available digitally. I am moving my blog to a self-hosted site and am changing my blog name to My Paper Arts (www.mypaperarts.com). Please visit and subscribe to my blog there.

In addition to my blog I’ve started a new Facebook page and my a Pinterest account. I will also be setting up a new Etsy shop where everything will be sold as digital downloads so there will be no shipping fees and my art will be available worldwide.

Thank you. And thank you, everyone who has subscribed, followed, and commented on my blog. Please join me at My Paper Arts and make my next two years even better.

Many thanks, Candy

DIY Decorative Gift Container

What started out as a tin for my tea has been transformed into this beautiful decorative gift container.

What started out as a tin for my tea has been transformed into this beautiful decorative gift container.

It’s easy to make your own decorative gift container. All that is necessary is a container, some decorative paper, double sided tape and a craft knife or scissors. Just follow the do-it-yourself instructions below.

From left to right: the tin my tea comes in. the tin with the paper torn off (sticky stuff still showing), tin cleaned, De-Solve-It which really takes the sticky off my tin.

From left to right: original tea tin. tea tin with paper torn off with sticky residue remaining, tea tin cleaned, De-Solv-it which takes off the sticky residue.

I love to use cylindrical containers like the ones that tea or hot chocolate or oatmeal comes in. My favorite is the metal tins in the photo on the left that contains Double Green Matcha Tea from The Republic of Tea.

First I empty the contents from my container and clean it as best I can. For my example I have used my tea tin. I first remove the paper label. There is usually an awful sticky residue and some paper left behind. To clean this I use De-Solv-it which is organic, biodegradable, environmentally friendly and works like a champ to remove all sorts of sticky stuff.

Paper cut to the height of the can and enough to overlap about an inch.

Paste paper is cut to the height of the can and enough to overlap about an inch going around the can.

Once my tin is ready, I measure the height of the tin. I cut a piece of decorative paper the height of the tin and about an inch longer than its circumference. I have found that using a fairly light weight paper works best. In this example I am using a piece of paste paper that I made. For information on how I make my paste papers, see my posts Making Paste Paper: Part 1 and Making Paste Paper: Part 2.

Here I am trimming the double sided tape to the height of the paper.

Here I am trimming the double sided tape to the height of the paper.

Now I attach a strip of double sided tape to each of the ends of the paper. Be sure to apply the tape to the wrong side of the paper. I put the tape as close to the end of the paper as possible and overlap the tape on top and bottom on to a cutting surface. Then  I cut the tape as close to the height of the paper as possible without cutting the paper. See the photo on the left. The double sided tape is just one I picked up at a local stationary store. You don’t need a special type of artists tape.

The photo above shows one side of my paste paper has been attached to the can.

The photo above shows one side of my paste paper has been attached to the can.

Now I attach one side of the paper to the tin. I carefully line up the paper on the can and press to attach the paper to the tin. I roll the tin slowly while making sure the paper fits properly. If I am off, I unroll the tin and carefully reposition the paper and start rolling again. When I come to the end of the paper it should overlap a little and I push to attach the end of the paper. Now all I need to do is to add a gift.

My finished gift container.

My finished gift container. Note that the seam is facing you in this photo. It’s hardly noticeable at all.

See, it’s easy. I love finding ways to re-use things that would normally end up in either the trash or recycle bin. Once I give a gift in this container, I am sure my container will get used over and over again.

Enjoy, Candy

Courage Inspiration Book

Accordion Courage Inspiration Book closed

Accordion Courage Inspiration Book closed

This tiny accordion Courage Inspiration Book was a custom order from an artist friend. It is going to be a gift to an amazing woman who is going through chemotherapy. My friend supplied the quote and I made this tiny accordion book for her.

The cover of the book is a scanned image of one of my paste papers. We decided that courage was red/maroon. I picked this paste paper design for the cover. The circular impressions were actually made by pressing a cork into the wet colored paste.

Accordion Courage Inspiration Book open

Accordion Courage Inspiration Book open. It says, “Courage is not the absence of fear or despair, but the Strength to Conquer them.”

The little book is closed with a toothpick inserted into a piano hinge. I made the twisted cord to match the colors of the cover of the book. The text inside was done in Adobe Illustrator and printed on my archival printer.

Hugs and courage to all, Candy

December 2012 Lotus Flower Calendar Page

December 2012 Lotus Flower Calendar

December 2012 Lotus Flower Calendar Page

It’s winter already! We hardly had a fall this year. The leaves changed color later than usual this year and I’ve been seeing snow in the hills for weeks now. There is enough snow on our local mountain for it to open for skiing later this week. It all seems to be happening a bit fast this year.

With the days getting shorter, I have found myself with more time in the evenings to work of some new art projects. Here is a little preview of what I will be blogging about later this month.

Here are a hot chocolate jar and a metal tea container that I up-cycled into decorative gift containers.

Here are a hot chocolate jar and a metal tea container that I up-cycled into decorative gift containers.

These tile ornaments with dimensional glazes that I've been playing with. I will be post some DIY instructions and my experiences with these dimensional glazes later in December.

These tile ornaments with dimensional glazes that I’ve been playing with. I will be post some DIY instructions and my experiences with these dimensional glazes later in December.

Wishing you a wonderful crafty December,  Candy

Framables™ – Beautiful Greeting Cards Designed To Be Framed

Framables™ calligraphy card. The quote says, “the heart never gets wrinkles.”

I started selling my own greeting cards back in 1980. I designed them myself using my calligraphy, and had them printed in black ink on a brown parchment-style card stock. When folded, the cards were the size of a quarter sheet of paper, a standard small greeting card.

Two of my first calligraphy greeting cards

Many people who purchased or received my cards ended up liking my calligraphy so much they would want to frame their cards and put them on display. But the cards looked out of place in standard sized frames because the frames were the wrong size for the cards. I loved it that people wanted to frame my cards, but I wished the cards would fit better in the frames.

So, when I designed my new line of greeting cards in 2008, I decided to make sure that the cards would fit in a standard frame. Thus, my new line of Framables™ was born. I’ve designed all my Framables with a colorful border around the calligraphy, which looks like a mat. The border is a scanned image of a paste paper, watercolor, or marbled paper that I have made myself.

The cards fit perfectly in a standard 5” x 7” frame or  an 8” x 10” frame with a 5” x 7” mat. Now I feel good about people framing my greeting cards.

Here is one of my Framables™ greeting cards in a double mat and an 8″ x 10″ frame. The quote says, “The difference between young and old is a fine line called a wrinkle.”

I have been  collecting quotes for as long as I can remember. Many of the quotes that became Framables™ started out as a something special that I sent to a friend.

“I wish I could wrap you up in love and take the hurt away” was a quote that I originally sent to a family friend who was ill, when we didn’t know whether or not she would recover. Thankfully, she did get better, but I had realized there was a need for cards for those who were ill and wouldn’t get better. Traditional “Get Well Soon” cards just weren’t appropriate.

“Take only one day at a time” was done for a friend after the loss of a friend’s husband.

“Happiness is everyone remembering your birthday but forgetting your age” was done for a friend who would always refuse to tell anyone her age.

Framables™ calligraphy greeting card. The quote says, “Happiness is everyone remembering your birthday but forgetting your age.”

I’m grateful that I’ve had a chance to reinvent my greeting cards and spread beauty to others. Anyone can send a greeting card, but being able to send art is special. This is one occasion where it may be better to receive than to give.

For information on how I make my paste papers that I use for many of my borders, click here for Making Paste Papers: Part One and here for Making Paste Papers: Part Two.

Hugs to all, Candy

November 2012 Lotus Flower Calendar Page

The calendar page from my 2012 Lotus Flower Calendar

Happy November! The colors are absolutely lovely here in Oregon. The trees are losing their leaves later than usual. There is a chill in the air, but it’s not quite cold yet and it’s a great time of the year to go on hikes. Spring and Autumn are my favorite seasons.

My November Lotus Flower brings to mind a Thanksgiving turkey just out of the oven. It is actually made out of a very thin, semi-transparent oriental paper and does not go well with cranberry sauce.

If you are interested in seeing what my 2013 Lotus Flower Calendar looks like, click here.

Enjoy, Candy

Eco Friendly Earth Paints

Non-toxic water-soluble Earth Paint kit for children

My friend Leah Fanning Mebane has produced kits of non-toxic water-soluble paints for children and kits of non-toxic oil paints for adults and professional oil painters.

Leah, herself, is a professional oil painter. She found out she was pregnant with her first child at the same time she was invited by a local gallery to hang the largest one-person show of her career. She needed to create 25 new large-scale oil paintings. Being pregnant, she did not want to be breathing the fumes from toxic paints every day throughout her pregnancy. Luckily she had already begun researching natural paints and eco-friendly oil painting techniques for environmental reasons and had already started taking steps to reduce these toxins.

Leah got rid of all her toxic solvents and resupplied her studio with natural clay pigments and walnut oil. Turpentine, paint thinner, mineral spirits and varnish emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) as they dry, so out they went. Long-term exposure can lead to cancer and damage to the liver, kidneys and central nervous system.

Leah painted with her non-toxic paints throughout her pregnancy. She even went out and dug up clay to make some of her paints. Her show was a success and the reception was a week before her due date.

Django and Leah painting with water-soluble Earth Paints

After Leah’s son, Django, was born, she discovered that most commercial “non-toxic” kid’s paints contain biocides such as pesticides and fungicides. Some paints contain formaldehyde to extend the paint’s shelf life and yet are still called “non-toxic.” She also learned that conventional paints may contain hundreds of different chemicals, many of which contain carcinogens or neurotoxins. After more research she was delighted to find out that natural earth paints are not only eco-friendly, but have a far better track record of quality, archival durability and UV-resistance than any synthetic paint on the market.

Leah found that other mothers were asking where they could find truly non-toxic paints for their children. She realized there was a market for safe, healthy paints for children as well as adults. Thus, she launched Earth Paints.

Painted Hills in Eastern Oregon

Earth Paints are created in much the same way that our ancestors made their paints. The clay pigments are collected from the ground, and they are crushed, sifted, and sieved into a very fine powder. There are a surprisingly large range of earthen colors in nature, including blues, greens and violets. Look out your window as you’re driving down roads that have been cut into the earth. You can sometimes see the layers of colors formed over millions of years. I was reminded of Leah’s Earth Paints when I took a trip through Eastern Oregon this past summer and stopped at the Painted Hills.

Mothers can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that only the simplest and safest earthen paints are touching their child’s skin.

Leah’s children’s paints can be used on rocks, paper, fabric, wood, shells and more. They have a creamy, tempera-like consistency that is easy for toddlers to use. Unlike many other children’s paints on the market that are transparent or dull because of added fillers, preservatives and low quality pigment, these are very high quality, opaque and can be enjoyed by older children and adults as well.

Earth Paints oil painting kit

Leah’s Earth Paints Eco Oil Painting Kit is designed for artists from teens to professionals. Included in the kit is a booklet that tells how to eliminate every single toxin from the oil painting process.

To find out more about Earth Paints, nature-inspired art projects, DIY natural art supplies, recipes and move, visit Leah’s website at www.NaturalEarthPaint.com.

Enjoy, Candy