Thursday, December 04, 2014

CRAFT: Why Not Create Your Own Giftwrap?

You can easily create wrapping paper, or giftwrap, out of newspaper, white drawing paper on a roll, newsprint, etc. This can be done with the paper surface laid flat, or after you have wrapped the gift in it.

I created some giftwrap designs on brown kraft paper, after I wrapped the gifts. This gift was stamped with my hand-carved Uptree Downtree stamps. Before I did that, I painted the blue hills. I used a gold metallic paint pen to add the treetop stars and golden snow flakes on the ground.
Handmade Giftwrap: Stamped & Painted
I painted this manly plaid design in blue and green. Metallic gold and silver paint pens were used to finish the grid design. I also added a raffia tie.
Wrapping Paper: Handmade Plaid Design
For this simple tree design, I first painted 3 hills in 2 colors of blue. Then, I used a small tree template as a reverse stencil and sponged green paint around it. I finished this gift with gold metallic paint pen for the star, tree outline and hill outline. My last touch was to create silver metallic snow flakes on the middle hill.
Giftwrap: Handmade With Stenciling
For small gifts, grab a piece of regular 8 1/2 x 11" printer or drawing tablet paper and create a quick piece of sturdy giftwrap. This is how I began creating my Heart Papers. This design started with leftover red paint from another project. I painted the hearts to salvage the paint. Over time, I added a stamped (foam roller) grid pattern in metallic copper and painted in green highlights.
Red Hearts Handpainted Paper By Artsy Craftery Design Studio
This is a pretty striking black hearts hand-painted paper design isn't it? I think it would make an attractive giftwrap for a man, or someone who likes Goth-inspired themes. Again, I used leftover black paint to create the hearts. The fuchsia highlights were made with leftover paint also.
Black Hearts Hand-painted Paper Design by Artsy Craftery Studio
Keep a folder, like I do, of various sizes of scrap paper to paint on. I always have a supply of hand-painted papers in various stages of completion. As you finish out each one, you'll always have a supply of unique giftwraps for small gifts. Only use your favorite designs to wrap gifts for other artists or crafters. Then, you won't have to suffer seeing your designs ripped apart and tossed into the round file. You know that fellow creatives will gingerly remove your masterpiece and cherish it, or even better, reuse it in the creation of a hand-bound book or collage. That would make you very happy!

Leah Goren Hand-printed Paper For Handmade Soaps
 To create your designs, make marks on paper with brushes, rubber/clear stamps, cut fruit, carved veggies, or any make-do tool, with anything that you can hold in your hand. Don't forget your fingers!

Looks like a cut potato was used to begin the creation of this watermelon slices paper.
Mommo-Design, Italy
This elegant blue slate bird giftwrap was created with a randomly-placed stamp. You can tell that the crafter angled the stamp differently for some of the prints.
La-Petit-Cuisine, Finland
How about creating a black wrapping paper with a white design. See how it's done at Alisa Burke: Redefine Creativity.
Alisa Burke Design
 You can paint a scene on your paper, or one of your favorite animals. Paint an animal, bird, fish or an insect that your gift recipient loves. You don't even have to use paint. Use markers or both.
Hand-painted Wrapping Paper By Arty Shroo
 Here's a simple paper design marked with color bars. You can use a brush, the long edge of a piece of paper or cloth folded, or even your finger. A UK-based Lifestyle Blog.

I created this brown kraft paper design for a gift to my sister on her birthday. I used 3 different designs of small foam rollers. Actually, my tool is a mini paint roller with interchangeable heads. Three of the heads are made of yellow sponge with designs carved in. I started my design with dark blue in a horizontal bars pattern.
Foam Roller Design Handmade Giftwrap
Next, I used the grid pattern to roll on orange acrylic paint. I didn't have a design in mind when I started. I just chose some roller heads that I wanted to try, and a paint scheme. My sister's favorite color is blue. I chose the orange because it's complimentary, and the white to relieve the heaviness of the dark paper and other paint colors.
Orange, Blue, White Hand-painted Paper By Artsy Craftery Design Studio
Grid-design Hand-painted Wrap For Gifts

I ended with a white pattern rolled with the vertical bar roller head. The white added a nice (here comes that word that you, like me, now hate) POP of color.
Hand-painted Giftwrap by Artsy Craftery.
I really liked the design. Once the package was wrapped, the design reminded me of city lights in a mega-tropolis. From certain angles, the brown, blue and orange colors recede, and the white glows like window lights.
Gift Wrapped With Hand-painted Paper Design offers some great tips on quick routes to holiday gift-wrapping.

Yahoo quick gift-wrapping tips.
If you are good at image editing and uploading pics to websites, you can create your own wrapping paper at several POD sites. Upload your image and save your design. Place your order, and the website will produce your giftwrap and mail it to you. Some sites that offer this nifty service are:

Spoonflower Paper Design Created By Member
Some Of The Blank Papers Available At Amazon:

Brown Kraft Paper
White Paper Rolls
Art Paper
Solid-Colored Papers

Monday, October 20, 2014

HOME: Easy Apple Cider Tea

Time for hot drinks! In some areas of the country, it's been time for some time now. The October issue of Southern Living Magazine has a recipe for an easy Mulled Apple Cider, that starts with tea and ends with adding the cider. Hibiscus tea is used, but then Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger is mentioned at the end. I think the Red Zinger is an alternate suggestion. I've never tried Hibiscus tea . If used in a regimen, it is supposed to be good for helping to lower blood pressure, especially for those with Type 2 diabetes.

Southern Living Magazine: 5 Cozy Apple Cider Recipes What Are the Health Benefits of Hibiscus Tea?
EbscoHost article excerpt: I've heard that hibiscus tea is helpful for high blood pressure. Is that true?
Pixabay: Free Images 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

PUBLISHING: Kizoa's Nostalgic New Slideshow Template

Kizoa, the free video maker, slideshow creator and collage builder, has a new template called Sepia. It's really nice in that it is reminiscent of viewing old family movies on a reel-to-reel. As a free service, I like Kizoa more than Animoto, because it offers a longer video length with the free account. I don't know what their max free length is, but the slideshow that I created was close to a minute. Animoto's is about 30 secs. 

There's a lot you can share within the free time length, so don't discount this resource. Using a free service is also an excellent way to learn video clips and slideshows creation. While you can use your Windows Movie Maker, Youtube Video Creator or other software, sites like Kizoa offer large popular music clips libraries and attractive themed templates. Step-by-step directions and video tutorials make it possible for anyone to learn the technology.

Upgrade your skills and start marketing your work with video clips and slideshows. Wouldn't the Kizoa Sepia template look fabulous for a wedding layout? It's so romantic and nostalgic!


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

WRITING: Writing Contests

One fun and unique feature that I like about is the ability for members to create contests. It's easy to create one with the text editor provided.

One of the logos that uses.

The creator decides on the award(s) and the number of placements. Some offer nothing but a placement with an award icon, and I've seen from 1st to 3rd place, up to 8 placements in some. Others offer publication too, or features. WC shares these contest creation guidelines:

You are solely responsible for the terms of this contest. You are not allowed to charge any entry fees and you can not enter the contest yourself. You will not be able to change the terms of the contest once submission has begun. 

Writer's Cafe also uses this logo.

While any member can enter, the poems submitted must already be published at the site. A drop-down menu submission tool lists your onsite poems to choose from when you enter. If there is a poem that you'd like to submit, but it is not onsite, that is not a problem. Delay your entry, post your poem, and start your submission again so that it will show up in the drop-down.

I have placed in several contests since I joined in July. I won Honorable Mention in the Nature Poems Contest for my poem

23 pigeons play in my yard.
They eat, they drink, they frolic.
With breasts puffed out
And chins tucked in,
They run.
And then with one accord,
With the flip of one loose feather,
They rise like a tide and are gone.
And me and the feather
Are alone.

WritersCafe caters to not only poetry, but all writing genres and formats. The interface is user-friendly and images can be added to posts. It's free to join, readership is active and there's no limit to the number of contests that you can enter, or create.

Poem © 2008 SHolland profile:
Images Credit: Pigeons-, Family of Pigeons-, Feather-