Wednesday, September 30, 2015

3D Paper Pumpkins - Free Patterns

I've been having a lot of fun “carving” my pumpkins this year! I've designed a round, tall, and wide version, complete with stem, twirling vine, and leaf. They're waiting to greet my little tricksters and I can't wait to give this threesome in their treat bag to assemble themselves.

I've mentioned one of the things that was topmost on Craftsy's agenda for me as an instructor, was to ensure my classes taught skills the students could then use in other projects. In Lesson 1, I show how to make a 3D Christmas Tree and wanted to show you how easy this technique is to apply in so many ways.

Although my step-by-step instructions are not as interactive as watching the Craftsy lesson, you'll get a taste of it anyway. As with the tradition of Halloween trick-or-treating, I thought it would be a fun for you all to go to different houses to collect your treats and learn what else is in the land of paper ingenuity.

House #1 - Round Pumpkin
Jin Yong's house is Under a Cherry Tree and she has the most amazing ways of taking regular die cut files and transforming them in subtle ways to become more tactile and dynamic. Her sense of humour is so entertaining and I love to see what her mind comes up with.

House #2 - Tall Pumpkin
All Things Paper is what you'll discover at Ann Martin's house. Ann creates the most exacting quilling pieces, and pairs them delicately with wedding certificates and invitations. She also has a discerning eye for all the different ways we manipulate paper. Just like a newspaper, she edits out the clutter and delivers the best of paper creations by talented paper enthusiasts.

3D Paper Pumpkin - Wide

House #3 - Wide Pumpkin
Journey on to Michelle of Michelle My Belle Creations, where you'll find an encyclopedia set of cutting files and patterns. Her love of teaching shines in her volumes of tutorials and forums and inspiring ideas. Her Mojo Mondays will get you ramped up each week.

I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have these three amazing talents be my neighbours. Not only are they handing out my 3D Paper Pumpkin treats, they are also hosting a giveaway of my Craftsy class! If you'd like to be shown how to make more paper projects, simply leave a way to be contacted on their sites and a winner will be chosen from each house - that's 3 chances to win!

What I love most is hearing the stories of what you end up making and sharing with others. Please let me know if you have a spooktacular Halloween with them!


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Craftsy Flash Sale! 25 to 75% off all online video classes

Hey everyone, guess what? Craftsy is having a Flash Sale (this is my affiliate link) between Sept. 25-27! You can enjoy so many more project ideas on paper and beyond!

As you can see in the photo above, the crew zooms right into the project so you get front row seats to what the instructor is talking about. If you've ever taken a live class, you'd know you're always straining your neck to see something so tiny. Plus if you happened to be looking down, you missed what they said or showed - with online learning, you can ask it to repeat - well, repeatedly.

They have a 100% happiness guarantee, so no worries!

Monday, September 14, 2015

My Craftsy class is now in session!


It's been quite some time since September heralded school for me, but it certainly does this year! Is that really me up there doing show and tell?!?

To thank you all for being such amazing inspiration to me, please enjoy my class at 50% off until the end of this month. I have read and re-read your comments, cheering me on through all these years. Thank you all so very much!


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Craftsy Class - Sneak Peak of Lesson 1 and a Giveaway!

True to my blog and passion, Craftsy chose topics that have always been my readers’ favorite features. I teach 7 classes and show techniques in quilling as well as making flat sheets of paper pop off a page. 

Let me show you a sneak peak of Lesson 1, a Christmas Tree Card. All DIY crafters know Christmas surprises are planned in advance and need a few elves to complete before the special day. In my class, I show how to assemble the tree, dust it with snow, and top it with a 3-D star. Besides the 1/8-inch hole punch for snow, the cutting files are all included in the Class Materials.

If you look closely, you'll also see a little Hershey's kiss tucked inside the tree, just a sweet prezzie for someone special. It's hard to see in this photo, but the falling snow is not simply flat dots - they're textured paper that really look like fluffy snow.

I don't like wasting paper so I used up the space within the tree too. The Class Materials includes a bonus shape to make a place card holder - in case there are any Christmas weddings or large parties being planned this year. It really made my sister-in-law-who-is-a-Christmas-fanatic, start salivating. 

What I learned as a Craftsy instructor, is their high standards for ensuring students receive skills to apply what they've learned in class to other projects. To show how this can be done in Lesson 1, I made a birthday card using the fanned 3D symmetrical shape technique. 

First, I made an oval and elongated it, tapering one end to make the balloons. I assembled the balloons in varying colors to make them more festive. I put two 3D stars back-to-back and glued all three elements to cloth covered floral wire. To make the streamers out of quilling paper, I used the technique I show in my book, Pretty Quilled Cards (Easter Basket, page 88). I chose a font I liked and cut it out several times to create my own chipboard (I show how that's done in this post). Then I assembled them all on my 3D Cake Collection (available in my Etsy shop).

If you'd like to make your own 3D balloons, I'm offering the free SVG or PDF files here. The shapes are simple enough to cut by hand as well.

To thank you for all your wonderful words of support, I'd like to offer a giveaway of my 3D Cake Collection to one commenter of this post. The details are very intricate, so I do suggest using a digital die cutter that can handle SVG files. To enter, please leave a comment and a way for me to contact you. This giveaway will end Friday, September 18th. I'll announce the winner once they've been notified.

*** UPDATE ***

Congratulations to Honey Moser of Honey's Quilling, who won my digital die cut file for a 3D cake. I pulled the number 2 out of a deck of cards and she was the 2nd person to comment. Thanks everyone!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

My Craftsy Experience

After months of preparation, I can finally tell you all about what it was like being a Craftsy Instructor. My class is called Quilled and Sculpted Cards, a combo of both my two loves. It's available later this month and you can bet I'll be doing a giveaway!

They really know how to make you feel like a rock star! Here is the filming studio, complete with my personalized dressing room.

When I put all my prepared cards on their shelf and looked up and saw their logo on the brick wall, just as I had seen in other Craftsy videos, it really hit me - I'm here! I'm doing this! It's real!

This is a teleprompter and Rudy the Rooster hand puppet, who I crocheted way back. I sat him up there to remind me to keep looking up, rather than what I normally do at home, which is to get so involved in what I do that the whole world fades away.

When I look back on this memory, I'm happy that I pushed past my fears of being in front of a camera and made it happen. There is good stress and bad stress in life. This was definitely good stress, and now I know what I'm made of.

Monday, September 7, 2015

My Quilling Inspiration

Do you have a bucket list? I was very young when I dreamed of one day writing a craft book. After achieving that, I didn't realize I ought to update that list and add more items to reach and strive for. Although I know I want to create a new career surrounded by paper, I don't quite know what that could look like. I didn't realize I could push myself up and reach for something like being a Craftsy Instructor (coming out later this month).

So I'm incredibly grateful to everyone who has commented and told me how my work inspired them. It's because of YOU that I kept making new things or showing ideas that went outside the box and came under Craftsy's radar. Your feedback kept me going all these years to reach this new highlight.

Today I want to share my thoughts of how it all began. My first quilling book was Twirled Paper by Klutz, and it's still the one I recommend when you want to start quilling because it comes with the tool, paper, glue, and so many great ideas for all ages including boys and girls (and adults).

This is the first birthday card I quilled in 2006 based on the Twirled paper book. I've come so far!

Then I came across the store, La Vie En Rose, at the mall and was struck at how beautiful their gates are. Sadly the photo (at top) is of the store closing, but you can see how much those metal bands look just like quilling. So I went home and made a birthday card for my mom. It's still on her fridge and she loved showing it off. After almost 10 years, things have come full circle. This gesture of love for my mom was chosen to be a focus of 1 of the 7 classes I teach on Craftsy (example shown below). I had no idea at the time I made this, where it would lead. If you have similar aspirations, then just know it CAN happen!

Never heard of Craftsy? They offer online classes on crafts ranging from sewing to crocheting, jewelry to cake decorating, and even woodworking and photography. Last year I was the Winner of 2014 Craftsy Pattern Design Awards - Paper Crafts Category for my Snowflake grid pattern.

When my class launches, I'm looking forward to offering a draw for a free class. So stay tuned for more! Better yet, sign up for my newsletter and be the first to know!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Hello Denver!

Have you ever had to hold onto a juicy secret? Each time you wanted to share it, it would bubble up inside of you just wanting to burst out of your mouth and escape as a giggle instead?

Well I haven't been able to blog for some time because I've been burning the midnight oil between reality and a secret project. In May of this year, I was invited to {giggle}.... be a Craftsy Instructor!

OK, let me be the first to admit, initially I was really hesitant. I'm an introvert, shy away from having my picture taken, and stutter introducing myself in a community garden meeting. When I asked myself why I'd even contemplate putting myself through something I'd usually run away from, my main reason was because I could SHOW my methods better than I could explain it with photos in a book. I could demonstrate what goes wrong and how I deal with it on the spot.

When the pilot light went out in our water heater, we dutifully followed the robotic instructions in a dank crawl space, and failed 3 times. It was YouTube that showed us how to do it properly just once. How could I not go on this daunting adventure? I've been asked on this blog to show what I do in video, and now it would be done professionally!

So in August, I said hello to Denver! The class will be available later this month, so stay tuned for more. Sign up for my newsletter and be the first to know about what I'll be showing in my class!

In the meantime, let me show you the "mile high" city, named so because it's exactly a mile above sea level! They were having a heat wave during the week I was there, but obviously their hibiscus loved it.

Our first breakfast was at Snooze, at Union Station. No matter who I spoke to in Denver, they ALL gushed and agreed that it's just SO GOOD to have breakfast there!

We cooled off by having some Little Man Ice Cream. Look at the size of that milk canister! The size of their scoops were like a meal!

Grand architecture abounds in Denver. How can a simply thing like a string of lights be so romantic?!? Can't wait to show you more soon!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

How to make a Paper Sunflower

My neighbor was just about to chop down his first sunflower plant last year, when I asked him why he wasn't saving it for the seeds. He was surprised when I showed him where they were hiding. He gave me a bag after they were dried, but actually they were kind of too small to bother eating. I thought it would be intriguing to make a paper sunflower from those seeds.

I first glued about 4 of them side by side and waited until they dried. Then I stuck them on top of an adhesive backed foam dot (used for holding CDs in place). Row by row, I layered the glue and another set of seeds. It's key to step away and do some other task before gluing the next row (yes, I'm talking to myself here). The foam dot is really just to mound the center so it gets a bit of height.

As I got near the rim, I placed it on a yogurt lid and slid seeds in below. The glue does not stick to plastic and using a flat surface for the last rows ensured I would have a flat item to glue to my final surface.

I made the petals from crêpe paper ribbon from a dollar store. After wadding up a few layers, I freehand cut some petals out.

The crêpe color was a bit too lemony yellow for my taste and luckily I have markers from my college days. Holding the petal base with my finger tip, I lightly dragged the marker across the petal, lifting it off partway – more of a flicking motion. 

The markers are slightly dried out, which is perfect because it allowed for a streakier, lighter coverage of the translucent wrinkly petals. I think the two tones helps add more depth to the petals. Then I cupped the petals by pulling in the middle slightly. Crêpe paper is well known to take on that subtle sculpting nicely.

For the backing of the petals, I cut a circle of paper smaller than the seed circle so it ensured the backing would be covered completely. The petals are quite transparent and I didn't want anyone to see how they all got stuck together – which was simply using glue stick, one row at a time, one petal at a time.

I covered all the seeds with more white glue and stuck it on top of the petals, completing the flower. To ensure all the seeds are extremely secure, I used a fine tip glue bottle and squeezed deep within the mound, just to be sure nothing ever dropped out over time.

This is being placed into a shadow box as a memento gift to someone special. If you give this paper sunflower a try, I'd love to hear about it!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Thank You Card for a Nurse

I needed to make another thank you for card for a nurse again, but felt the need for a change from the ones I've quilled in the past (1 and 2). So instead I used my much neglected die cutter to cut one that I could shape and sculpt instead.

Starting off with her initial, I shaded the edges with an ink pad and adhered foam dots on the back, just to give it a bit more dimension. Everything was cut from metallic paper, so you'll notice a hint of sheen catching highlights. Adding the sculpted die punched flowers at the top left was easy, and just gives a bit of character to the initial.

It's the stethoscope that I enjoyed making most. I envisioned a doctor hanging their stethoscope around their neck or on some equipment, signifying they were done for the day. So that's what I did on the corner of the letter. Letting the tube wrap around itself was pure fun. It's hard to see here, but the circle holding up the heart is raised a bit because I added some hole punched circles under it.

Dotting glue in targeted locations is the key to making it seem like it's just swaying. It's the overlap of the tube that I placed the most amount of glue to really secure it. A tiny dab in the remaining touching areas was enough to secure the loose ends, yet let it still be airy.

Yes, it's subtle, and does one really notice? But it's these little things that I enjoy making most because it gives a lively sense without using a sledgehammer.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Pretty Quilled Cards - 1st Anniversary

One year ago, my book was officially released.

To make that happen, I was inspired by all the kind comments on this blog, which I re-read whenever I needed a boost.

I was given the free hours to write, test, and develop patterns by my hubby, who also had to console me when things didn't work out the way I imagined. I had three awesome quillers by my side, testing and giving feedback along the way. I had friends and family helping and cheering me on as I developed each design or sorted out technical challenges.

After it launched, I had the gracious help of amazing quillers provide reviews. They gave me their precious time and provided their perspective in book reviews. I sweated bullets, wondering how my thoughts and techniques would fare, as I had admired each of them for quite some time.

When I think about this past year and everything that has happened, one word that sums up how I feel is "thanks". I'm so grateful to everyone who helped make the planets line up for me, from my editor who saw my potential to paper enthusiasts all over the world. I'm grateful my friends and family put up with my paper fever and nod along as I prattled on with my passion.

To celebrate this anniversary, I thought I would quill a card to you all, to give you my thanks.

I'm very aware that I haven't been blogging in the last few months. I don't normally talk about personal things on this blog, but feel a need to explain why I've been so quiet lately. I recently changed to a more demanding job and I am also devoting time to a loved one who is ill. My mind has been very preoccupied and it doesn't feel the quiet space it needs to allow papery-goodness to flourish.

To thank all my supporters for the above, my plan is to make this simple word into a tutorial pattern. It would be the same as the others - with templates to show the length, where to glue, and step-by-step photos and tips along the way. I've been making this word again and again, trying different materials and thicknesses until I know what works best.

I look forward to talking about it more when it's ready, and I thank you in advance for your patience as I find the zen to amass all the details.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pretty Quilled Cards - Review by Irena

I had the pleasure of meeting Irena a few years ago on FaceBook. She recently did me the honor of reviewing my quilling book and there is no better sense of a complete circle when I see someone making a quilled item from my book, Pretty Quilled Cards.

The first project she tackled was the baby rattle card, because she was enjoyed the inner flourishes. In a single glance, I can see she has such great control of her paper. Her tension is so evenly matched. I'm grateful she gave me permission to showcase some of her work on my blog.

Thank you for giving me your precious time, Irena! 
I'm so happy to read your kind words about my book.
Your reaction is everything I had hoped for, as I wrote it during that year.
~ Cecelia

 I quite enjoyed her pine needles and Christmas bells card, shown here. That's a keeper for sure!

I like her lilac card more than the one I made, because the fullness of the petals gives the true sense of a 3D shape. Sometimes more is more, and especially in this case!

A project that has been taking up Irena's time is her butterfly. Isn't it exquisite? I don't think I have this kind of patience!

You can see more of Irena's work on her Kiddo's Blog.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Bride and Groom Party Favor Boxes on CTV!

I was so excited to have my bride and groom wedding party favor boxes be shown on CTV (a local TV station) wedding segment for local Etsy sellers. Unfortunately, they ran out of time to showcase it in detail.

Here's a closer shot - can you see them?

...and as you can see, they just missed being in the frame. Oh well, it was still nice to have my designs on TV! You can catch the full video here:

Bride Groom party favor box

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Looking back on 2014, and looking forward to 2015

I awoke this morning to read an email from Dana Byerwalter, of All Free Paper Crafts. I was so pleased to learn my Pretty Quilled Vase and Teacup was part of their Top 100 Projects of 2014! There are many great projects on this list, so it's quite an honor to have been part of this group. My wonderful accolades seem to come to me this way - without me knowing it was something to strive for. I'm extremely grateful to see my work being enjoyed by paper enthusiasts.

Another source of great pride comes from my neighbor's niece, Sarah, who visited them this summer. She took one look at an example of my quilling and asked her aunt for my book, Pretty Quilled Cards. I am simply amazed with her work. Just look at her snowman card! I rated it 4 out of 5 for difficulty, and she just started quilling recently! A handmade Christmas card like this shows such thought and love for the person she gave it to. Here is more of her wonderful work so far. I can envision her making her own designs quite soon.

To be really honest, I had some fears my unusual way of quilling might put off some experienced quillers, or that my explanations were too out there to get across – but gazing at her work reassures me that I have made a body of work that inspires others to give quilling a try. This gives me the most satisfaction of all - knowing that I've inspired someone to discover an all-consuming craft and talent. Thank you for giving so much back to me, Sarah!

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Last January, I eagerly announced I had become an author – a bucket list item I didn't realize was in my reach. I'm indebted to all who agreed to review or spotlight my book and graciously gave their time and thoughts.

Since then, I have received photos from other quillers who have been inspired to take up quilling as Sarah has: Cupcakes by Anna,  Mother's Day by Carrie Finson, and Quilling for the first time by 7th Graders.

Another compliment I received was from Craftsy who pronounced my snowflake grid to be their top paper pattern design of 2014. I received an invaluable time capsule of quilling supplies courtesy Aunt Berni's generous family. I was given the opportunity overcome my fears of public speaking, by teaching quilling at Precious Memories. A blog hop spot was offered to me by Pritesh of Quilling Me Softly.

This year I showed examples of my photo booth set up, how I store quilling paper strips, and even to tame a rat’s nest of tangled quilling strips. I gave tutorials for a Mustache Valentine Card, I <3 U card, a new "Cut Coil" quilling technique (and a 2nd), using Letraset Studio Tac, cutting your own quilling strips, 3D soccer ball card, quilling a monogram, and a not-so-great DIY Electric Quilling tool.

My own personal projects included: an Easter Egg Spaceship, Easter Egg Planet, a DIY Mason Bee Hive, and a quilled poppy (my largest quilling project ever). I managed to launch a couple more quilling patterns in my store for cupcakes and champagne flutes. My die cutting exploits included: a hand drawn birthday cake card, party favor boxes for a ladybug, turtle, snail, jack o’ lantern, and bumble bee.

Whew! I'm actually shocked by this list. I have received and given so much this year, and I'm grateful for all of it. Of the above, of course it's my book announcement that is most memorable, and yet it's my Ladybug box that I had clutched in my hand as I fell asleep after making it – so content that it turned out exactly as I had imagined.

What's my plan for next year? Well...I won't be able to post as much. I want to apologize for not being able to keep up the frequency I've had in the past, but I have taken on a new full-time job, and it's been all-consuming to tackle their projects and learn about their industry. I still itch to play with paper, and this will never go away. I hope you have patience and check in on me once in a while. I re-read your comments, which remind me there is a readership out there who sees the nuances of what I do, and wants to know about the little details that I document – I am more grateful to you than you will ever know. Thank you all for your enthusiasm and words of encouragement. I hope to continue earning it in 2015 with some key projects that I have in mind.

May you all have a paper-filled Happy New Year in 2015!

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