Sunday, February 28, 2010

Quilling Globe Trotters!

My first custom order was a large one: 50 quilled angel teddy bear christening invitations.  Those went half-way around the world to Australia.  I was absolutely tickled that 50 people were going to see my work.  I was even more tickled that the whole christening event was made around teddy bears to suit the invitations!  My item set the tone (blush).

Ensorcelled Minds has gone international again!  A lovely person from Italy, who said her english wasn't all that good, braved the language barrier and asked if I could make a quilled scorpion.  I have never made a quilled insect of any kind before (although my sister has quilled a butterly in my shop).  I paused for a moment to wonder if I could even do it.  But only for a moment.

I promptly got on the internet (I love Google!) and started looking at scorpion images.  I chose to look at tattoo images for scorpions.  Tattoos, especially the tribal art kind, often have stylized and block shapes - ones I think I could duplicate in quilling.  I sketched out five different scorpions, then narrowed it down to three and then chose my favourite of those.  (If it didn't work out, I had two back-ups!)

I am thrilled with the result.  I like robust looking creatures - my dragons have robust arms and a thick body instead of serpentine ones and and my scorpions have the same arms and a muscular tail.  I made this black scorpion as my test.  I was worried about how to make the legs, since the legs are indeed very thin.  I decided not to quill them at all, but to put them as flat paper.  Then I did the eyeball test - I showed it to my husband.  "Can you tell what this is?" I asked.  There was an immediate response, so I knew I had made something recognizable this time!  He even said it was a very good scorpion!

After I showed it to the client, she said she liked the shape and asked if I could do it in white with a black outline and put a heart on it somewhere.  So, here's the final, customized version.  My customer then promptly purchased it AND three other quilled items in my shop (one of which was my sister's butterfly)!!  Boy, I'm glad I only paused for but a moment when I considered this order!

I'm partial to this version with a quilled heart encircled by the tail.  I like my scorpion.  I think I will make more for the shop. :)

- Scrapninny

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Give a Poem a Home - Valentine's 2010

Just a quick post today - Happy Valentine's Day!

I made this "heart of gold" card for my husband (inspired by the Etsy for Animals challenge: January Jackpot to use gold on our items, which I blogged about in an earlier post).  I'm quite pleased with the verse I thought of for him.  I thought I would share with you to stash away for the next time you need a love themed sentiment!

In all the days I live,
I will never see
A heart so full of passion
As the one you give to me.

Your heart must be made of gold.
There is no other way.
For when your love is with me,
I grow richer day by day.

- Scrapninny

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Collection


I am working on my next custom order!  A friendly fellow Canadian happened upon my Etsy shop and asked if I could make her an album like this Summer Nights one with more pages.  I have to admit, everytime I get a custom order inquiry, I approach it with both hope and hesitance.  What if I can't stick to the deadline?  What if I don't have the right materials?  What if ... what if... what if...

Somehow, I have been lucky enough to attract people with reasonable forethought.  They always make their inquiry well in advance of their needs.  Hooray!  So, I responded to the inquiry and before I knew it, it blew up in to FOUR custom albums!  These albums will be holding a pared down ACEO/ATC collection.  My my, what an honour!  My albums are going to hold only the best of the collection!  Only those that survive the culling!

So, I RAN in to my studio and rifled through my papers to see what combinations I could come up with.  I have said before that participating in challenges has inspired me to create.  Well, this custom order inspired me to look at my stash with new eyes.  The album featured here is my favourite of the bunch.  I could tell just from looking at the paper.  I love the comforting natural tones of this paper, especially paired with the satin brown ribbon and earthy dark button.  I named it "Vintage Garden" because the inside pages are a faint, faded, floral type design.

Here's the story of these albums. I made these envelope albums because, as I trolled around the scrapbooking world, I saw all kinds of albums made of envelopes.  Most are made of coin envelopes and some are made with junk mail envelopes!  I think that is a very clever wait to recycle - just cover up the ugly outsides.  I APPLAUD the repurposing movement - BUT- I have to admit I'm a bit of an archival snob.  Coin envelopes and junkmail are not made of acid and lignin free papers.  If I'm going to make a lasting album out of it, I want the colours and writing to remain as true as possible for as long as possible.  Ever wonder why the old static-cling pages from your family album are a little yellowy? I always thought that it was from many fingers handling them for many years but it's not.  It's the lignin in the paper that makes those stains.

So, I decided I would make my own envelopes to assemble in to an album.  The only thing is, I didn't anticipate how precise everything had to be!  My envelopes are not EXACTLY the same - they can be a few millimetres off in size.  (Hey, I'm not a machine press that makes those coin envelopes!)  When I stack my envelopes, they have a bit of a "rugged" edge.  At first, I was a little disappointed (you know how I love CLEAN lines) but, the more I looked at them, the more it felt like they had an "old world charm": something from back in the days when everything was handmade.  My aunt once told me, it's the little imperfections that mark an item as made by human hands.  It's like leaving a little artistic fingerprint on each creation.  (Thank-you Auntie Jean!  You have a beautiful mind!)

I've got two albums done and two more to go.  You can see the makings of the third one in the background of this next picture.  It's the Summer Nights (expanded) album.

I am tickled that my albums will showcase a collection!
- Scrapninny

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Best "Dressed" - Paper Twirlies Challenge

The Paper Twirlies team is a team of paper quillers on Etsy.  The quilled creations of today find their roots in Paper Filigree. Paper Filigree is the art of making things out of rolled paper. When paper filigree started, the paper was rolled around a feather quill which created the name paper quilling!

The latest Paper Twirlies team challenge is to make something that dresses up something else or that adds a finishing touch.  Any kind of decorative container or wrapper fits the bill, like boxes, lollipop covers, bag toppers, muffin picks, book or journal covers, picture frames, anything!  Since I have been brainstorming about my shops lately, one of the things on my list to do are to make card sets.  Even though I offer combined shipping (meaning, each extra item shipped adds a lesser amount to the shipping than the first item), the less work your customer has to do, the better.  So, I've decided to put up some more ready-made sets so that buyers have the option to put one thing in their carts instead of picking all the cards separately.

What better to package my newest set of cards in but somethng that works for the Paper Twirlies challenge?  In a previous post, I introduced a set of cards that I donated to an animal sanctuary raffle.  That set was housed in a cardstock envelope.  That envelope was only half an inch thick and I found myself having trouble getting enough cards in it (depending on what kind of dimensionals I put on them.)  So, I fiddled with the template and made this one 3/4 inches thick and I moved some of the dimension to the oustide using quilling!
Voila: a quilled card case!  This quilled flower design as a botanical frame is my first attempt at framing and layering quilled pieces.  I struggled with it a lot, but I feel it was worth it.  Boy, it takes a lot of patience to let it dry at each step before you get to see how it turns out!

My set of cards rest inside.  I asked my husband what kinds of cards he buys the most, as a man who might need to keep cards on hand.  (Yes, he is a LAST minute card shopper!)  Birthdays and Christmas are always the biggest ones.  I decided this set would be birthdays with two anytime cards.  One of the any occasion cards is a romantic theme because anniversaries/Valentine's was third on the list of card giving occasions.  The other any occasion card has three possible sentiments so that the sender can choose what they need it for whenever the occasion arises!

I have been having a lot of fun with glitter lately.  I have been practicing for a workshop I will be teaching later this year.  There are three ways to do it and one is harder than the rest.  Working on this set just makes me want to expand my glitter colour collection!

The Paper Twirlies challenge entry isn't due until the end of the month, but I have been working on this glitter set for all of January!  I can't wait to see what all the other Paper Twirlies members come up with in March on the Paper Twirlies Blog!

- Scrapninny