Growing my flower garden

I have been busy growing my paper flower garden for months now.  I have to admit that I often “get lost” in the midst of drawing and cutting and assembling my pieced paper flowers.  I would tell myself I will sketch one sheet and I end up doing three.  I cut one piece off and I just have to cut up everything drawn on it.

My Paper Flower Garden Series
Why do I draw these flowers anyway… it’s not so much a question as a statement.  I find it very relaxing and it helps me to unwind.  At the same time, it fulfills a need to create and do something artistic even if I have always considered myself a crafter and not an artist.  I kept drawing not knowing what use I would have for these flowers exactly.  While I had started drawing them for my Thank You Postcard project which has not really gotten off the ground, I have kept on going and I’m still drawing.

Each piece is hand drawn on a copy of a background I had once created through watercolor or acrylic paint.  There are sheets of paper towels I had used as catch cloth for ink spray projects, or sheets I had used to wipe off my work surface.  Even those have come in handy and very useful.  The randomness of the way the colors got layered and settled next to each other have always been a source of wonder for me.  And then mixing up the papers through the various layers I pull together gives me a new creation each time.  Forget that the strokes and shapes I draw are the same.  The randomness of which layer goes with the next makes for a unique flower each time.

I would carefully fill empty spaces with dots of swirls and spirals to form the stamen of the flower, or that central dot from which all the petals and layers emanate from.  I just can’t stop drawing more of them in the spaces between, and every time I cut them up I end up making new sheets of flowers and so on and so on.

I have marveled at how the flower itself has gained volume even when the sheets are 2d and really one dimensional.  I guess it’s the way the flowers are sketched, or just the way I draw them.  I had gone on and on, drawing with no particular use in mind for these, until an idea hit me just a few days ago.

Blank cards.  Greeting cards.  In two sizes, possibly three.  Gift tags.

You purchase an original work each time you buy one of these.  They are not printed in multiples.  Each layer of each flower is drawn individually, cut and pasted onto the next layer.  Developing these designs has been a continuing learning process for me.  I have seen my first attempts grow into something more fluid and more naturally drawn.  While variations have been difficult to come up with, they are slowly but surely finding their way into the designs.  One at a time.

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Craft bits

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I was cleaning up my desk at work (because yes, I do have a day job!) when I stumbled upon some craft projects I chose to do over a period of time, but which I had set aside for later.  Okay, I confess, I sort of forgot about them.  They’re the long term projects which were really more about stocking up for something bigger rather than being the project itself.  Like my pressed rose petals.

I had forgotten about my #PaperGarden of #doodledflowers until I stumbled upon them while cleaning up the other day. These #flowers are perfect for #spring #papercrafts. #crafts #craftproject #creating #personalart #embellishments #gothamhicksays #gothMy Paper Flower Garden.  Two years ago, I had thought to start a postcard project that would have meant sending out hand made postcards.  I am still seriously considering redoing this but there are a lot of things in the way.  I had created backgrounds or “blanks” to work on which had been piled together.  Part of the design were this doodled flowers which I have a ton of, both at work and at home– a bunch of colorful layered and doodled flowers I need to cut and draw further.  I am almost afraid to pick up a pen and start drawing again or even a pair of scissors to cut the ones that need cutting.I had found the whole exercise very calming way back when and I long for the repetitive and no-pressure doodling.  Then I remembered, I had cards to make which maybe I will make using these as embellishments.  That’s a new purpose for a project I had started with different intentions.

The only thing is that’s can get deeply engrossed and distracted by the project when I’m into it, but I’m trying to use my time wisely.

Bag idea book. I have always loved bags and a current interest is making fabric clutches.  I actually joined the sewing class at Mood University hoping to be able to sew one together using an electric sewing machine.  The idea has been brewing in my head for almost a year now but has been slow getting to fruition.  I stumbled upon a year old edition of Harper’s Bazaar (click here to subscribe) which was almost half riddled with bag ads.  I had actually started tearing off the pages when I realized that the whole magazine was seemingly dedicated to bags.  So I cut the pages clean with a xacto knife and put them aside to ringbind as a glossy idea bag of sorts.

The idea is to make this a notebook of sorts.  I haven’t quite gotten past the first few pages and am still trying to write around the blank spaces in the ads.  I have always found it helpful to have my ideas in writing.  It might and it might not work.  I might yet transfer selected clipped images into a real notebook in the end, but it’s something I’m working on.

Finally, my first attempt at a purse!  This actually came from a failed attempt at wrapping a plastic canvas “mold” with fabric and fleece interfacing.  It didn’t quite work, so I started to undo it and I was left with a cut piece of fabric with interfacing I couldn’t remove.  In the midst of experimenting and fiddling with my sewing machine (which is pictured on the left), I decided I would try to work on creating a mock purse, or a model, or prototype and just see if I can work this contraption the way I want to.  And voila!  It did work… but that’s another post altogether.

So I’ve been trying to do my own bit of crafting the last couple of weeks, but as always, there just aren’t enough hours in a day to do as much as I would want.  The sewing classes in Mood Fabrics have helped me to refocus on crafting and have sparked a new interest in exploring other channels of creativity. I try to do it a day at a time.  Like trying to keep this corner of my web presence going.. baby steps, I say.

 

Paper Crafts: Recycling Gift Wrapping Tissues into Flowers

One part I like about the holidays most is the wrapping of the gifts. This year wasn’t all that much because Angelo had picked smaller toys, and we really didn’t have many gifts going out. I had postponed my holiday giftgiving to after Christmas, being that we as Catholics, do the Feast of the Three Kings which is another excuse to give gifts. I only have a few I’m putting together, so it won’t be much.

I hate having to throw away good giftwrapping paper, though, more so when they have those cute designs. For my own gifts, I stick to the regular green, red, silver or gold giftwrappers. I am trying to get rid of my stash of several years which I had acquired at a post holiday season sale at IKEA. I had bought some 10 rolls of at 25% the original selling price. January is always a good time to buy holiday wares because everything is being pushed out of the store for a song.

I’ve been busy putting my craft corner in order, and while I am nowhere near finishing, I think I did major progress sorting things out, and one problem I have is that I put away stuff to cut or punch at a later time that the best way to get rid of them is to actually do what I had intended to do in the first place.

I had a beautiful holiday gift bag that had held a present from a friend with gold and white striped tissue in in it. Two sheets. I usually fold my gift bags and had to get rid of the tissue when an idea struck me. How about trying to do pom-pom type flowers? I thought I’d give it a try, and I ended up with a half dozen or so “blooms” like the one pictured below.

PaperKrafts: Recycled giftwrapping tissue - 1

How I did it:

1. Fold the paper tissue into two, then fold further into a width that would accommodate your paper punch. I had used a rather wide mega punch so I ended up folding the two-fold into three.

2. To achieve the pompom effect above, I used a multi-flower punch and you can see the original shape below with a view of the back of the flower:

PaperKrafts: Recycled giftwrapping tissue - 3

3. I ended up punching a dozen (6 x 2) and I moved the batch by a 1/8th inch turn clockwise to make the flowers separate.

4. I then stapled the whole bunch together and fluffed the petals to form the pompom.

These, I will use sooner than the coming holidays, but if you have a lot of pompoms, you can store them in a jar or a shoe box to avoid them from getting flattened, or you can punch, move the petals to “alternate” but not fluff and store flat.

Voila!

PaperKrafts: Recycled giftwrapping tissue - 2