Archive for the ‘How-To’ Category

Christmas Tree Light Garland

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

I love Christmas and I love Christmas crafting projects.  There’s no better time to start something than when it’s cold and snowy out.  If you’re like me there’s always a trade off between practicality and holiday festivities if you live in a small space.  I love real trees, but unfortunately I don’t really have room for one.  This year I decided to put my tree on the wall!  Seen here with the Christmas garland I made last year.

light garland tree

I cut the lights from four different coloured cardstocks we carry and added the end bits out of our Titanium cardstock.  I used about one 8.5×11″ size sheet for each colour .  I strung them on our twine and topped it with one of our great Dresden Trim stars.  I used washi tape to hang it up on the wall.

close up

The perfect thing if you don’t have any floor space to spare.

Jax

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Printed Washi Cards

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

I recently went on a family vacation to Quito and the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.  It was truly an amazing experience.  Everything was so beautiful.  Using some of the papers from our Natural Washi Sampler (available instore) I printed out some of the pictures I took. I then mounted them on the Photo Frame Die-Cut Cards we carry instore (8 cards and 8 matching envelopes to a pack).  A perfect way to send out some easy cards when all you wanna do is recover.

Packs

I was able to get some great results printing on the Washi, but I would always test print before committing to any paper.  Every printer is different so it’s hard to say what will work best for you and your project.  The Natural Washi Sampler is great to play around printing with because they’re already cut to 8.5×11″ sheets.  If you wanted to test out different papers, than are in the sampler, you could always cut them down yourself as well.

Cards 1

I printed a picture from the Cloud Forest in Mindo on the Gampi Smooth (left) and of Darwin’s Lake in Targus Cove on Isabela Island on Kozuke (right).  I loved the texture the fleck in the Gampi Smooth gave the picture of the forest floor.  I really wanted to work the beautiful nature of the paper into each picture.

Back Detail

On the back side of the print you can see the natural fleck in the paper a little better.  I thought this would be a great pairing and add another layer to the photo.

Cards 2

I think the thing I loved the most was the Lava Fields, there was so much raw texture everywhere you looked.  I printed a picture of the Lava Fields on Santiago Island on Usu Kuchi Heavy (left) and Elizabeth Bay on Isabela Island on Sekishu Tsuru Large (right).  The photos almost look three dimensional printed on the light paper and then mounted on the cards.  Again you can see the natural fibre inclusion in the clouds (right picture).

Hope your printing projects work just as well as mine did!

Jax

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Adventures in Marbling

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Like many others this past long weekend I was fortunate enough to escape the city and get back to nature at a friend’s cottage. I knew going up there that it would be the perfect environment to do some material exploration so I brought along with me our Suminagashi Marbling kit and decided to try my hand at some floating ink marbling.

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Our store owner Heather had created some really beautiful samples using our Usu Kuchi Heavy, so I brought some of that along with me as well to test out along with a couple of sheets of our wood veneer. Being someone who enjoys working with natural and found materials I also harvested some birch bark from the woods surrounding the cottage to experiment with.

 

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Heather’s marbling samples using the Suminagashi Marbling kit and Usu Kuchi Heavy.

 

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The marbling kit works by filling a clean shallow pan with water and then dropping the high-grade cosmetic pigment ink onto a small circle of float paper that helps keep them on the surface. The ink can then be swirled and manipulated using a stick or your finger before you place the material (paper, cloth, hide, wood, etc) face down on the ink to let it sink in.

 

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I’ll admit that my first time cottage attempts at marbling didn’t turn out as well as Heather’s samples, but the process of doing it was really fun and I found the contrast of the bright marbled ink on the natural birch to be a really interesting juxtaposition even though the details of the marble didn’t come through as strongly as I had hoped.

 

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My first attempts on paper and wood veneer (which be warned, will curl in the water, but really soaks up the ink nicely).

 

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As far as cottage activities go the Marbling kit was both relaxing and meditative and fun to share with my friends. I can see it being both a great tool for artists wishing to create their own one of a kind patterned paper and a fun activity for kids to experiment with during craft time (the inks are non-toxic so safe for kids 6 and above to use). I’m definitely looking forward to more adventures in marbling and have a newfound appreciation for artists such as Robert Wu, whose prints we carry and sell in store, who have clearly mastered the technique.

- Justine

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Washi Tape Walls

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

If anyone knows me they know, I love using Washi Tape.  It’s easy to get creative when you are using something with endless potential.  After 4 years of living in my small apartment with my boyfriend it feels like it’s time for a bit of change.  I was getting a little bored of the piece that hung above our bed and  wanted to add a little something extra to our plain old boring walls.  We rent and my boyfriend doesn’t really like the idea of painting the walls to add a bit of colour to the room.

Before

Our apartment has a lot of blues, greys, and red so I wanted to add something in the same colour family.  Using Washi Tape, I created a geometrical mountain pattern.  I first cut out pieces of kraft in the sizes that I wanted so I could map out where exactly I was going to tape off.  I made outlines on the wall around my kraft pieces and then discarded them.  I found it easiest to know exactly where I was going to tape off with the outlines.  Once I had my mountains in place I just filled in the space.

Done Wall

I made each stripe the width of two pieces of tape and measured the spaces in between each one to make sure they’re look uniform.  After I had everything taped off I cut off the excess making clean straight lines.

Wall Close Up

It took an afternoon to create and looks great!  Now get out there and make something new with some Washi Tape!

Jax

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Washi Tape Nails!

Monday, July 7th, 2014

I’ve been wanting to try out washi tape nails for a while now and with such amazing patterns and colours I just couldn’t resist any longer. It’s a little finicky at first, but once you get a system going it’s pretty quick and easy! To do your own, all you need is:

- A roll of your favourite washi tape
- A pair of scissors (the smaller the better)
- Nail clippers
- Something to flatten out the creases from the washi (I used a cuticle tool)
- Clear top coat
-Base polish (optional)

Here’s how I did it!

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Before I started, I did a quick coat of white nail polish just to make the tape pop a bit more, but it isn’t totally necessary. I then cut the washi tape into strips long enough to cover my entire nail and have a bit extra.

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I then flattened out the washi tape onto my nail, and used the cuticle tool to create an outline around it. I’ve also seen a pencil used to trace around the nail, but decided against it as it marks up the tape.

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Next I took the tape off my nail and used scissors to cut around the outline/crease I had made. I reapplied it to my nail and did my best to flatten out all the creases. I left the length of the tape long and then used nail clippers to shape the tape to my nail.

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…Repeat times ten, topcoat, and you’ve got a super easy and fun manicure! I think in total the whole process only took about 25 minutes. Not to mention how much more cost effective this is in comparison to nail strips, or even polish!

And just as a teaser…here is part of our washi tape selection here at the store.

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Happy taping!

-Emily

 

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