Please follow my new blog, Paper Zen, to see my latest quilling and die cutting paths.
22 Aug 2013 Leave a comment
09 Aug 2013 Leave a comment
Dear Crafting Creatures readers, I want to say thank you!
I started this blog years ago with my friends to inspire each other with our projects. I’ve been the only one adding to it for some time, and the name Crafting Creatures doesn’t suit my new direction. I will continue blogging in my spare time, but now it means more to me than a hobby. I’m taking my paper on new paths and I really hope you’ll follow me there, as I will not be updating this blog anymore.
My new blog is Paper Zen, which describes both how tranquil I feel when working with paper, and the enlightenment I hope my work gives others.
I’m indebted to you, kind reader, for giving me wonderfully encouraging words to keep going. To return your enthusiasm, I’d like to give you my quilled Thank You card and matching envelope. It’ll be for sale in my Etsy shop afterwards, so grab it now by visiting Paper Zen!
02 May 2013 2 Comments
01 May 2013 Leave a comment
29 Apr 2013 4 Comments
27 Apr 2013 Leave a comment
This was a par-boiled idea, but I was making espresso the other day and realized the grounds are quite fine, so of course I thought of flocking. I have a birthday for a guy coming up and he loves coffee (it’s not as easy for me to make cards for guys for some reason). I thought of making a coffee cake and covering my cake with grounds, then topping it with real whole coffee beans.
11 Apr 2013 2 Comments
Before buying my Silhouette SD digital die cutter, I bought die punches like these. I toyed with giving them away, but now I’m really happy I didn’t.
I shudder to waste paper scraps and want to use every inch of it before tossing it out (see my post on How to Use up Scrap paper). Using these die punches was easier and faster than trying to register the exact placement needed on my Silhouette. However, I still used the Silhouette to cut my cherry blossoms (middle punch) because I wanted the cup the petals more readily.
Top left: If using a cherry blossom die punch, snip in between the petals to make them easier for cupping.
Top right: This blossom is cut from my die cutter – see the deeper gaps between petals? I used a burnisher and rubbed the petals against a mouse pad. For those who have a digital die cutter, here is the cherry blossom I made in SVG and DXF or PDF format.
Bottom left: Continue rubbing into the center to make a small bud.
Bottom right: If you want the blossom to stay open, flip it over and poke a smaller burnisher into the middle, then add dots with a felt marker to represent the stamens.
I then used them to decorate this 3D cake card.
11 Apr 2013 Leave a comment
My sister in law is always well-dressed, so put together. She is feminine without being girly. I wanted to give her a 3D birthday cake card that expressed that (I hadn’t chosen my greeting yet when I took this photo).
I had so much fun making these flowers after being inspired by Michelle‘s version. After stepping back I worried I had gone too far and overdid it, but I think I’m just not used to so much adornment, being a tomboy at heart.
I cut some 1/8″ quilling strips in half which made them more pliable as I decorated the cake. This let me strew blossoms in a more random way. I used a white felt marker to dot some stamens in the middle of the blossoms.
I dipped the blossoms into Aleene’s Tacky Glue and they held fast when applied to the cake. I didn’t have to sit there and wait around. I’ll be showing how I shaped the blossoms in a following post soon.
06 Apr 2013 9 Comments
I’m thrilled to introduce a new quiller, Karen Harr. Can you believe she JUST started quilling after buying my Flowers and Butterflies patterns? I asked if she’d mind me posting her photos here and share her experience.
I think many readers would be inspired to know what you’ve done because they think it’s too hard. Would you like to describe what the process was like?
First and foremost you were my inspiration for my project. I knew I wanted to do something special for my granddaughters and when I saw your beautiful quilled name “Jade”, I knew I wanted to try doing something special like that for them. You were the biggest help to me. I had so many questions and you were so kind and helpful, sending me links, answering all my questions, and going above and beyond for me, someone you didn’t know. Thank you so very much.
Any advice you might give to other beginners?
Quilling is very relaxing and rewarding to me! I had so much fun doing these. Since I am a beginner, I don’t really have much advice. I am in awe of all the beautiful work that is out there in the world. There are so many wonderful people out there who are willing to help, give advice, etc.
What helped you get started?
Actually my wedding invitation was quilled as a gift 36 years ago. I didn’t know anything about quilling back then. But I did know how beautiful and special it was. I was looking at it a few months ago thinking how beautiful and unique it really is. Here I am, just learning to quill and thinking, why didn’t I start this years ago. Better late than never.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the fact that my adorable granddaughters love them. It is something special that I could do just for them.
What are you going to make next?
Here is a pic of my next project. I am just starting it as you can see and have been playing around with colors and shapes. As you can tell nothing has been glued yet, lol. I thought I would do just the first letter of my grandsons name for something different. Hopefully it will turn out like the idea I have in my head.
Thank you, Karen, for letting me showcase your work on my blog and offering your thoughts. You have given me just as much inspiration by letting me know how my work has meaning – definitely a win-win! I hope you will start a blog of your own and continue to show us your masterpieces.
Readers, I hope you’re inspired by Karen to give quilling a try. Please let her know your thoughts by commenting.
13 Mar 2013 6 Comments
Wishing our niece a happy birthday with a bubbly cake. She was into pink for years and now that she’s on the brink of becoming a teenager, I thought I’d give one last shout-out to pinkness. Somehow the years of coloring with her made me really aware how well pink and purple go so well together.
The purple confetti and curls on top were made of quilling paper. The text is cut from vinyl. Everything else was cut with my Silhouette die cutter. I designed the 3D cake pattern months ago but got sidelined with a huge project, so I’m relieved to finally re-visit this in time to use it myself.
10 Mar 2013 Leave a comment
Paper Poet, New Westminster is holding a Meet Up to swap Artist Trading Cards this Friday. This is the first ATC I’ve ever made. Of course I’d use a combo of die cutting and quilling, and somehow express who I am. What I like the most is how the owl puffs up simply with a folded half moon on the top of his head. Please leave a comment – I really enjoy your feedback.
13 Feb 2013 4 Comments
When I first started my career in graphic design long ago, the culmination of my efforts was smelling the fresh ink off the presses, holding the sheet and imagining how it would be received. I know Feb 10th’s Sing Tao and Ming Po newspapers are so “yesterday’s newspapers”, but it still gives me a feeling of accomplishment – not as a graphic designer this time, but as a quiller.
Here also are the “Lai See” or Red Lucky Envelopes that Home Depot gave out during their promotional event. I was incredibly lucky to have found a Customer Service Rep who not only gave up her own saved package but also hunted down other departments so I could have enough to give to my nieces and nephews this special year.
09 Feb 2013 6 Comments
I’m a day early to wish you Happy Year of the Snake, but I couldn’t wait any longer. Besides, the ad is out in today’s Ming Pao and Sing Tao newspapers in Vancouver and Toronto.
This is my first commercial quilling project in my portfolio, and also my largest. The width of the snake is 7.5″ wide, just fitting within my digital die cutter (Silhouette). The Chinese words and Home Depot logo were also cut on the die cutter.
I used regular quilling paper for the words because the spaces were so thin. I cut Canson Mi-Tientes paper for everything else because the extra thickness was needed to traverse a larger distance and hold its shape.
For those who are curious about the process, a Toronto ad agency presented the mock up on the left and the client approved, then I worked towards that direction.
I’ll be grabbing a newspaper after breakfast this morning and seeing how it all looks. Happy Year of the Snake everyone!
*** UPDATE*** I’m sorry I got the date mixed up and the ad will be in tomorrow’s paper.
08 Feb 2013 2 Comments
Yet another variation of the first card, just a different mix of colors and layout. Thanks to all who have been tracking this set of 8 cards.
The blank greeting card stock I’m using is Neenah Classic Linen Cover, Solar White, 80 lb. It’s A6 size (4 5/8″ x 6 1/4″). Can you believe I scored a box of 250 for just $5 from Spicers Cash & Carry? They were being discontinued, so of course I bought all 5 boxes for easy Christmas gifts. I love how the embossed rectangle subtly frames everything.
I’d like to thank my client, “C”, who kept me in her back pocket for a whole year, waiting for this project to come along to contact me. It’s been a dream come true! I am allowed to reveal it tomorrow, and if you live in Vancouver or Toronto, you’ll can see it in the Ming Po or Sing Tao Chinese newspapers too.
07 Feb 2013 Leave a comment
I was running out of left over bits, so this one was a bit of a struggle. Not my fave, but it still runs along the same vein as the rest.
It’s an amazing time we live in when I can “show and tell” online and within seconds, my thoughts are read halfway around the world. Without the web and its crafting community, I wouldn’t have had the exposure I’ve had. I’m thankful for the opportunities that have been handed to me on a silver platter.
06 Feb 2013 Leave a comment
I never realized how fun it would be to do abstract quilling until I had to use up my leftover pieces. It’s amazing to me how little can still say so much. Since these were made with thicker strips I didn’t want to mix it up with my regular pile of quilling pieces in progress, which I keep in a fishing tackle box – just $6 at Canadian Tire and comes with re-positionable compartment walls.
My thanks this time goes out to all of you who comment on and follow this blog. Your positive words encourage me to work through my doubts and give me a pick-me-up. I appreciate your visits and the time you take to let me know your thoughts. Thank you all!
03 Feb 2013 2 Comments
Another variation of Card 1 and 3, but with a softer color palette and smaller scale of petals.
These quilling strips were cut on my Silhouette die cutter out of Canson Mi-Tientes. I chose this paper because the thicker qualities allowed me to carry the curves over a longer distance with more control. I find standard quilling paper to be rather thin, more suited to smaller designs. I learned cutting with/against the grain had an impact on the innermost coil, causing either buckling vs a smooth tight line. I suggest cutting one strip and testing it first before cutting the entire sheet.
A quick thank you to hubby for wrapping all the xmas gifts this year, leaving me free to focus on finishing my project on time. It’s not his forté, but he took it on without hesitation.
30 Jan 2013 2 Comments
These two particular shades of orange and green remind me of cantaloupe and honeydew – they just go together.
The project I’ll be showing soon had to be completed during the holidays, from the moment I got off work on Dec 21st and due on the 27th. Usually hubby and I would do our holiday baking together in choreographed synchronicity in our compact kitchen – this time he did almost all of it himself and with a huge variety as well. Although it was nice not to be covered in flour, I’m looking forward to next year’s bake-fest when we can just orbit each other again. Thanks honey, for taking this huge task off my “plate”.
27 Jan 2013 4 Comments
This is obviously a variation of Card 1. The deeper colors were the client’s first choice, but we had to swap it out because it took away from the main piece. It was also too large compared to the overall design. Sometimes with quilling, I can’t tell until it’s all done.
I’m very thankful my hubby cooks (so much better than I can), and didn’t mind taking on all our meals, prepping, and clean up so I could focus solely on this project.
23 Jan 2013 2 Comments
Here’s my 2nd thank you card made from leftover quilled items from the project-yet-to-be-named. Ever feel that zipped mouth feeling playing Taboo when you can’t say the actual words?
I’d like to thank my hubby for driving me to 3 different store chains, 4 separate nights, to pick up 23 shades/sizes of paper for this 1 project…and for listening to countless hours of debates on color usage, composition, drawing style and my self doubts of ability to do this in general.
A sneak peak can be seen in today’s SingTao & MingPao in Vancouver and Toronto. They’re Chinese newspapers, so that should give you a hint which direction I’m going in!
20 Jan 2013 2 Comments
I hope everyone’s new year has had an auspicious start. I’ve been sitting on some wonderful news since mid-December that I’m still not allowed to share for yet another few weeks. So until then I’m just going to leak out a few items so I don’t burst. These are quilled items I couldn’t use in the final design, so made them into Thank You cards. I’ll be posting more in the month to come, until I can finally reveal the full design.
I’d like to thank my hubby for letting me peruse the aisles of Daiso, an Asian version of a dollar store, for an hour and a half. His patience has no bounds – even though I test those bounds often. Anyway, here’s a little gem I found that was perfect for my cards to make a floating message. Pre-cut foam squares (336 small and 84 large) for just $2.
05 Dec 2012 6 Comments
That was the sound of my quilling tool snapping off completely. It was also the sound of my heart breaking after 20 years of great use. Was it some kind of Freudian slip that I blogged about this tool recently and had a reader, mariannetolosa, who mentioned she uses it for clay? My sanity was saved knowing I could find it somewhere out there in a craft store near me (Vancouver, BC).
DeSerres sold two bookbinding awls but the Lineco Light Duty Awl didn’t taper smoothly or come to as fine a point (imagine sharpening a pencil with an x-acto knife). The Heavy Duty Awl was too large a circumference. Their clay section offered an awl but was part of a larger tool package. I finally found the $4 Kemper Lace Tool at Opus on Granville Island and did a silent scream/dance of joy in the aisles.
Thank you mariannetolosa – you saved my sanity!
20 Aug 2012 6 Comments
I’ve recently been asked what type of quilling tool I use, so here it is. I bought it 20 years ago during a student trip to a university book store in the US. I believe it was meant for bookbinding and don’t have a clue what the scooped end is for. I didn’t make books, but I thought it was a well made tool and since it was under $2, it fit my student budget. I had no idea I’d be using it like my right hand today.
I usually quill just a bit from the narrowed tip (highlighted in green) because otherwise the innermost coil is inconsistent due to the taper. I don’t own any other needle quilling tool so I can’t compare with anything else. Although it took some time to transition from a slotted tool, I much prefer the un-crimped innermost coil.
Hope this answers your questions. What’s your favorite quilling tool?
08 Aug 2012 Leave a comment
I often get asked what type of glue I use for quilling. I bought a big bottle of acid free white (dries clear) wood & paper craft glue 10 years ago. It lasted so long I didn’t realize it became an aged bottle of wine. It had slowly thickened, so when I dabbed just a bit and pressed two quilling strips together, it was quickly bonded.
The inevitable happened and I needed to buy more. I bought the typical kids’ school glue and was mortified by the liquid ease it came pouring out. No wonder others had complained about quilling taking so long to set!
That new bottle quickly got shuttled off to the nephews and I hunted for a similar wood & paper craft glue I had lucked upon the first time. I found it at Opus (Canada) or you can also get it at DickBlick (US). It’s not as thick as my aged vintage decade old glue, but it’s certainly closer than anything else I’ve found.
What’s your favorite quilling glue?
26 Jul 2012 Leave a comment
I’ve loved being on Etsy, but Meylah offers immediate gratification – instant download, even for my cut files. I can be asleep and someone in France can start crafting right away. Check out their marketplace for other shops.