On Hold and A Video to Share

I know, I know–this blog’s been on hold for quite some time now. I’d like to happily blame it on the activities that were going on after the Make It In Design Summer School was over. The Facebook group remained active and a project came up that I couldn’t resist joining.

Yup, it was another contest and I was using my digital brush instead of real ones. I do miss working with paper and glue and my Gelli plate, though. Luckily, one of my fellow MATS-ers, Jordan Kim, posted a video of her making a portrait of her grandmother using paper! She did such a terrific job of honoring her grandmother that way and I want to share it  here on my blog.

I’ll be posting my Inktober doodles on my other blog soon. Hope you hop over and visit!


The Spoonflower 30-Day Challenge

I just proved it to myself. I’m not great at keeping up with things like 30-day challenges. The whole idea of the Spoonflower challenge was to do a sketch or illustration a day for 30 days. My hesitation had me a day late the first week it began, but catching up seemed easy.

Then this week I realized there were a couple of deadlines to beat so while it’s now Thursday, I’ve only managed to do Monday’s prompt. Last night. While watching the last half of a Criminal Minds rerun and the first half of Extant.

Am I giving up? Probably not. I remember years and years ago when I spent most of my time in a dance studio, one of my friends asked how I managed to do a particularly excruciating ab workout without pausing or giving up as almost everyone did. My answer? Pride. And it’s the same reason I have for not giving up on the challenge no matter how far behind I am.

Besides, it always fun to be able to create something that’s different from whatever it is I happen to be “seriously” working on at the moment. So far, I’ve done some stamping, stenciling, cut paper and collage, and even digital illustrations for the challenges. At first I wanted to do everything with just paper but some, like the River prompt, didn’t manifest on paper. In my head it did. The hands refused. And last night, I used the Paper by 53 app on my tablet because I didn’t want to bring my pens and sketchpad along.

If all goes well today, I may be able to churn out the rest of week’s prompts that I’ve missed then get to work on the Make It In Design Summer School‘s second brief.


This was made with stencils cut out of freezer paper.


This was on the Spoonflower blog as one of their favorites though it was grouped with the Tree prompt. This was actually for the Mountain prompt!


This was my work for the Tree prompt. It got quite a bit of Likes on Instagram. The trunk is from a brown paper bag and the leaves are from a few of National Geographic Kids subscription insert in magazines. The tire is from the styrofoam sheet that covered a box of chalk pastels.


Couldn’t think of what to do for River until I remembered Wynken, Blynken, and Nod sailing off in a wooden shoe.


I know you’re supposed to make lemonade but I happen to love lemon bars! Created via Paper by 53.


The Pop-Up Guest Book

The pop-up guest book I’ve been working on is finally on its way to my cousin. I have to say, all modesty aside, that I was rather impressed with myself only because it was the first time I’d ever made anything like it. Other than the coming together of painting and paper-crafting techniques, it was a gift that I felt privileged to make.

I mentioned in the previous post that I had come up with the pop-up book idea and I was raring to begin. Raring to begin didn’t mean I already had something to begin. In fact, it took me a couple of days before deciding on what pop-up  to make.

test piece

What did I know about pop-ups? Except for Robert Sabuda and my fascination with anything that moved on a page, almost nothing, really. However, I wanted to make that pop-up guest book so I turned to Google and did a search for tutorials and patterns. I found one by KirigamiArt on You Tube, did a test piece, and satisfied with the outcome, proceeded to work on my pop-up wedding cake.

At this point, I hadn’t quite planned the whole project through. I have to confess that I rarely ever do. I just wanted to make the pop-up and I knew I’d have to use paper or card stock that would withstand whatever I might decide to do to it. The thing with paper is that you have to be prepared for how it might react to anything liquid. It shouldn’t buckle or warp or disintegrate. As I was looking around at my stash, the Aquarelle Arches watercolor block caught my eye. Aha!

Watercolor Paper

After transferring the design, making the cuts (this was a bit tricky because of the thickness of the paper), and scoring the fold lines, I did the folding test. Except for a few cuts which had to be lengthened, my pop-up worked and I was thrilled! The watercolor paper had enough stiffness in it for the card to remain open although that wouldn’t have mattered because it was going to be mounted onto the book cover anyway.

Starting to Decorate

I already had the boards for the cover. A few months ago, I had purchased The Cinch during a sale on HSN and it came with a selection of boards for scrapbook covers. Serendipity at its best!

But first, I wanted to decorate the “cake.” That’s the fun part even with real cakes. It was tempting to get ready-made flowers from Michael’s or JoAnn’s but I decided that the only ones I’d get were the white sprays since I knew I wouldn’t be making anything like those anytime soon. Instead, I made flowers from paper clay and the left over pieces of watercolor paper.

Adding Flowers

Making the Flowers

 Then came the discovery that with the decor, the pop-up wouldn’t be able to close as flat as a pop-up normally would. They’re never quite flat but my decorated cake wasn’t going to come close to pop-up flatness. No matter, I thought. I’d make the book look more like a box or like a cake slice! The cake slice idea was quickly discarded, though, because the proportions would have made for a really wonky looking slice.

Making the Box

I ordered book cloth from Oregon Art Supply after once again scouring the internet. Most of the sites I went to had lots of options to choose from and the prices were almost all the same. However, most of them also charged a bit too much for shipping. The Oregon Art Supply had the most reasonable rates and the book cloth arrived pretty quickly.

Now the idea for the guest book is that when it opens to reveal a pop-up wedding cake, it will also have space for the guests to sign their names. The floor of the box and the lid had lots of space but it wasn’t going to have that TA-DA! factor. So instead, I drew and painted flowers and leaves for the guests to sign and then stick on so that the cake will be surrounded by a kind of flower garden. Much more fun and you can think up of metaphors as you look at it.



I was a bit worried about how the whole thing would hold up in the mail but then one night, we had a thunderstorm and a huge gust of wind blew the opened guest book off my table along with some of the flowers that I had begun to cut. I didn’t know right away that they had fallen so it was with quite a bit of trepidation that I picked up the guest book, ready to repair any damage. It survived the fall unscathed! I just had to do a search for some of the flowers that flew away and thankfully found each and every one.

When all the flowers and leaves were painted and cut out, I packed everything in a box, found some packing peanuts I had put aside (serendipity again–my husband gave me a funny look when I said I was keeping them for “just in case”), tucked in a note with instructions for my cousin, and last Monday, went to UPS to get it sent away. I’m not posting the finished piece. I think the bride should have the first look.

What’s next? Well, there’s the Make It In Design Summer School which is taking care of any MATS Bootcamp withdrawals. It’s free and it’s keeping me going. There are competitions and submissions that I’ve tacked onto my cork board as well as projects with Christmas shoppers in mind. Most of these are not paper related and will probably end up on my other  Blog or website if you’d like to take peeks. I’m still flakey about joining the MATS Global Talent Search. I have until tomorrow to decide, so let’s see!