Category : Paper

The Great Katazome Giveaway

The Paper Place - The Great Katazome Giveaway – 12 Days of December

The Paper Place is currently running a rocking contest – The Great Katazome Giveaway – 12 Days in December. The contest runs from 12/1/10 – 12/12/10, with the winner being chosen at random.

You have to get in on this. If I you win, I you will receive one 8.5×11 sample sheet of each of the 169 patterns of Katazome they offer in their online shop.

You can learn about how Katazome is made on their website. FYI – it’s cool!

There are several ways to enter the contest:

  • Leave a comment on their blog post announcing the contest = 1 entry
  • Add a link in your blog comment to a photo of your paper art = 5 entries and
  • …if your paper art photo includes Katazome paper = 5 entries
  • Mention the contest on your blog (hey, that’s what I’m doing!) = 5 entries
  • Tweet about the contest = 1 entry per tweet
  • Create a video, upload it to YouTube, and add a link to your blog comment = 50 entries

Best of luck to all who enter!

Halloween in Vermont

I seem to be on a lucky streak. Earlier this week, I won the 2010 BEST Zombie Award.

Then I won the contest on Dennis Yuen’s blog!

Entrants had to create something Halloween-inspired, using paper no larger than 8.5″ x 11″. The winner would receive a $50.00 gift certificate from Paper Mojo.

Yeah, that was a good motivator.

I had an immediate urge to make a Halloween snowflake. In Vermont, the first snow usually comes in October. Every now and then, we’ll be surprised by a big snowstorm that gets everyone scrambling for their snow tires. I often think about how kids must freak out during this time of year:

What if there’s a snowstorm on October 31st? What happens to Halloween? My parents will never let me go trick-or-treating in the snow. I want my candy! Bwahahahahahahhh!!!

Thus, Halloween in Vermont was born.

Halloween snowflake - cut paper art by Elissa Campbell

My piece was made from one sheet of laser vellum (in the photo it’s on top of black paper).

I started out by printing out snowflake clip art on a piece of paper. Then I chose Halloween clip art that seemed like it would work for different parts of the snowflake – ghosts, witches’ hats, bats, Jack-o-Lanterns, and a skull. I edited and resized the images as needed, then printed out multiples of each. I cut out the images and pasted them to the snowflake.

Here’s what I ended up with:

Halloween clip art snowflake

Next, I taped the snowflake to my cutting mat. I taped a piece of laser vellum on top of it and started cutting with an X-Acto knife. I worked from the inside out.

I slowly worked my way around each part of the snowflake, carefully cutting away unnecessary pieces of laser vellum. The one error happened right at the end. Everything was trimmed, except for the last ghost. I was working on the top of his head and my knife slipped. He lost the adorable little swoop at the top of his head.

I was so pissed off. I’m at the last few cuts and that’s when I mess up. Grrrrr…

Sadly, I had to de-swoop the other 5 ghosts so they’d match. At least there were no decapitations.

This was my first attempt at paper cutting and I really enjoyed it. I could totally see myself doing it again.

And just in case you’re wondering, we didn’t have snow on Halloween.

Vermont Arts Council grant – the sequel

I have been remiss in talking about something awesome that happened this past summer – I was awarded my second grant from the Vermont Arts Council! I consider myself very fortunate.

The grant came from a special funding pool available only to students of the VAC’s Breaking into Business workshop program. The program offers artist-specific business and marketing planning. It was such a rewarding experience – if you are Vermont artist, I highly recommend attending the program.

My grant was for the design and printing of a professional identity package, including letterhead, note cards, and shipping labels.

I’ve always felt that if you’re in business, you should have letterhead – it makes you more official. Unfortunately, when faced with the cost of such items, I had to make a choice between letterhead and supplies – it’s a not-so-fun game of Rock, Paper, Letterhead.

FYI: Paper always wins.

Well, that’s not true. Since I received the grant, letterhead won. And paper won a little bit because I got to pick the paper for my letterhead – I chose Strathmore Writing 25% cotton in Bright White Wove finish. An eco-friendly choice, the paper is Green-e Certified and is manufactured using wind power. It has a nice subtle texture to it. Yum.

And I lloooovvvee that the ink is such a rich shade of blue.

The design of the shipping labels is flexible enough for me to use them for the covers of promotional packets (or more grant applications). I look forward to using the labels on my packaging for orders – I think they’ll help me present a more professional image.

Just like last time, I took pictures of my application before I submitted it:

Once again, I proudly state the following:

This project was supported in part by the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Thank you thank you thank you to the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts for helping to make me feel that much more of a professional artist.

NEA logo

VT Arts Council Logo

A fond farewell to Langdell Paper

I received a letter today that contained the news that I had hoped I’d never read:

As of July 25, 2010 Richard Langdell no longer operates Langdell Paper.

I.am.heartbroken.

I have used Langdell Paper since I started making books – it’s like the paper grew up with me.

I’m really feeling a profound sense of loss.

I knew that Richard was looking to sell his business and I’m happy for him. He’s been making paper for 20 years and is ready to begin a new chapter in his life. I wish him well.

Part of me hoped that when his mill sold, it would be to someone in Vermont – then I’d still have it nearby. At least he has inventory available for sale until it runs out.

I can easily live in denial until then.

Welcome to Elissa’s inability to accept change.

The mill has moved from Vermont to Michigan and as of August 16th, will operate under the business name of Maple Street Paper Company. I look forward to seeing how the business (and paper selection) grows under the new owners, Whitney Korstange and Hilary Smith.

But I’ll sure miss taking that bumpy ride down Willey Hill Road during mud season.

Vacation paper – yay!

Confession time – it seems that I’ve become one of those paranoid people who gets freaked out over the possibility of someone breaking into their house, based on information posted online. Now I can comfortably reveal that I just returned from a 1 1/2 week vacation.

I had an awesome time. My hubby and I did a National Park loop through Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming. We are big National Park fans. You can read more about this in my post about my National Parks passport.

Sheets of shiny reptile embossed paper

Being who I am, I had to find someplace to buy paper. It seems that there aren’t a whole lot of paper stores out in the Midwest. I did find Kozo Fine Art Materials in Denver, CO. They have a nice selection of papers and a small quantity of bookcloth (Kennett).

I bought three sheets, different colors (red, lime, and black) of an embossed reptile paper. I love love love the intensity of the colors. It’s also nice and shiny. I just want to run my fingers over it all day.

Do I know what I’m going to do with this paper? Nope. Well, except for love it so very very much.

If you read my last post, then you would know that under no circumstances would The Tube not accompany me on this vacation.

Now that I think about it, there were no paper-related freak outs during this trip.

This is a first.

[pats self on back]

During my trip I was able to get another sticker for The Tube.

Sticker from Kozo Fine Art Materials - Denver, CO

I feel silly asking for stickers, but store owners usually seem flattered to have been asked.

At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself.

The Tube

Cardboard tube for storageI’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but whenever I go on an extended trip somewhere, I make a concerted effort to come home with paper.

Note: See San Francisco and Paris.

These paper trips would not be possible without the help of one thing – The Tube.

The Tube has been very good to me. I can store paper both inside the tube and wrapped around the outside of it. Not only does the tube protect my paper, but it often validates my decision to buy more paper than is necessary. There’s always room for one more sheet!

My husband does not like the tube. It’s the paper wrapped on the outside of the tube that makes him nervous. He thinks that tube is a four-letter word. When he sees The Tube, he realizes that there will be at least one occasion during our travels when I will have a paper-related freak out. I just read that sentence to him and he laughed.

He knows it’s true.

I acquired the tube during a trip to Papers! in Albuquerque, NM. I liked that they branded the tube with their logo.

Label from Papers!

It wasn’t until last year that I decided to actively collect stickers from places that I purchased paper. I’m going for a luggage label vibe.

Label from Arch Art Supply

The Kozo Arts label bums me out since they are no longer in business.

Label from Kozo Arts

So that’s the grand tour. I have a total of three labels. For now. All hail The Tube!

Be our guest, be our guest (book)

My brother-in-law is getting married this weekend and I just finished the guest book. Nothing like waiting until the last minute.

I gave my future sister-in-law the guest book as a gift for her bridal shower. I used the same paper for the cover as I did for their wedding invitations. I also got to use one of the gorgeous Japanese brocade bookcloths I bought last summer in San Francisco at Kozo Arts (before they closed). I love love love this bookcloth.

Here’s the process in a nutshell:

For the mat under the title card on the front of the book, I used some paper I had left over from the invitations from another Campbell wedding. I can’t help but feel sentimental about making that family connection through paper.

It’s going to be so satisfying to be able to see one of my books in action – I almost never have that opportunity.

Super Awesome Paper Week

I recently had the most rocking paper week.

It started out with a Saturday trip to Langdell Paper. I was treated to a late mud season trip, which consisted of super lumpy driving. Ah, the joys of dirt roads.

Before I left the house, I did what I always do and made a list of the specific papers I would be getting. Yeah, that didn’t stop me from picking up something new.

I got this beautiful silvery-grey paper with inclusions of baby’s breath. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it yet, but I’m thinking of pairing it with a silver Japanese bookcloth.

Several days later, I received a large order of Japanese Chiyogami that I had been planning for months. When the order showed up, I just wanted to lay it out on the floor and roll in it.

Please don’t repeat that.

It took me forever to settle on designs I wanted – they were all so beautiful! I would make a list of what I wanted and then change my mind the next day. I then asked my hubby to show me what he liked so I could get a male perspective. I pretty much ignored everything he told me. So much for market research.

Here’s what I finally purchased:

Japanese paper swatches

Most of the Chiyogami will be used for new designs in my line of Chopstick Journals. I have found some great designs of chopsticks that are a fabulous match for these papers. I should be debuting at least a couple of the designs in the fall.

Stay tuned!

Campbell wedding invites, part III

Studio life has been pretty busy lately. First of all, I’ve been engaged in the oh-so-fun [read sarcasm] task of inventory for the past couple of weeks. Although I do enjoy going down paper memory lane (“Hey, I forgot I bought that!”), after the umpteenth piece of paper, I start having stash revenge fantasies.

In addition to inventory, I completed a gift of wedding invitations for my brother-in-law. This is now the third Campbell to have received invitations made by me – since no one has complained yet, I’m assuming that I’ve been doing a good job. There’s only one Campbell left and she’s engaged – thankfully her wedding is over a year away.

I need to time to recuperate.

Speckled moss paper from the Greenfield Paper Company

The invitation wrap was made from paper by the Greenfield Paper Company. The company is located in San Diego and they specialize in plantable seed paper. I used their “Speckled Moss” paper, which contains wildflower seeds.

Wedding invitations in the press

The paper was really thick and after the invitations were scored and folded, I had to press them to help them stay closed. It’s amazing what a little pressure can do.

Note: A lesson for marriage?

Wedding invitation - interior

I used Paper Source’s Eco-White paper for the invitation cards, response cards, and mailing envelopes. Thankfully, the card stock went through my laser printer like a dream. I highly recommend it – it has a lovely texture.

Wedding invitations in a row

The invitations were wrapped in a green lokta paper belly band, which coordinated nicely with the flecks in the outer wrap. I got really lucky with the lokta – I had ordered a bit more than I needed and ended up using all of it. It was a close call!

These were probably the most eco-friendly invitations I have made to date:

  • In addition to being plantable, the wrap paper is made of only post-consumer content.
  • The Eco-White paper is 100% recycled with 30% post-consumer waste.
  • Lokta fiber comes from the Daphne plant, a renewable resource (it reaches maturity in 4-5 years). The harvesting process is actually beneficial to the crop because old growth results in decay, preventing new growth.

Wedding invitations wrapped up and ready to go

I was so glad to get those finished invitations into the mail. I was even happier when I found out that the bride was happy. Happiness all around!

Now I just have to get the guest book done…

The joys of the unknown

I’m a control freak. I’m not afraid to admit it.

When I buy bookbinding supplies, I rethink my choices repeatedly until I finally pull the trigger. And even then I’m not sure I’ve made the right decisions. I think it’s because supplies are so expensive and as is often the case with handmade papers, not returnable.

About once a year, I put myself to the test when I place a very specific order with Creative Papers Online, one of my favorite places to buy paper. The magical item is #99-99-99 – the Super Value Assortment.

Here’s the item description from the website:

What a deal! We’re clearing the shelves for some new papers and there are many limited stock papers we are making available in lots of 10 assorted for a blockbuster price! 10 sheets for $10.00! Savings up to 80% off the original price. Your selection MAY include, but is not limited to colorful handpainted batiks, silks, blockprints, recycled organics, loktas, florals, marbles, metallics, cardstocks etc.

How can one resist?

Of course, it’s a crap shoot as far as what you’re going to get. You’re probably not going to love everything, but if you’re lucky, you’ll end up with something you love that you never would have purchased otherwise.

Today I offer you a glimpse into the 2 orders (20 sheets) of paper that I received in my recent purchase (a.k.a. “The paper’s here! The paper’s here!”):

Would I do it again? Hell yeah! Random paper discoveries = most fun I’ve had all week 🙂

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