Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Ski Sweater Paper Chains

More festive paper chains! Today I have cigar band-style links in a ski jumper motif (channelling all the hygge hype!). You can join them link-to-link (bottom) or use the spacer links provided so that the designs face front.

Here are your freebie paper chains:

Have fun making your Ski Sweater Paper Chains. Bring on the hot choc! :)

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Snowflower Paper Chains

Here are paper chains with snowflower motif - look like snowflakes - look closer - it's a flower medallion! You can join the links side-to-side (bottom pic) or use the spacers so that all the medallions face front.

Here are your free printable paper chains:

You can glue the links with tacky PVA glue or use double/sided tape. To make the snowflake link into a loop, overlap the end sections, matching the curved ends.

Have fun!

Monday, 21 November 2016

Toast Rack Card Racks 2016

Continuing on the hygge theme, here are this year's toast rack card racks. Looks like they have been influence by two things in the news - the hygge trend... and Toblerones! These card racks are handy for storing greetings cards, especially if you get too many to display them all - some people prefer to browse.

As always, I was also influenced by Christopher Dresser, the Victorian industrial designer. Toast racks? He had a million of them (all genius):
Here are your free toast racks:



As you can see, there's one card rack body and a choice of two side panels.

Toast Rack Card Rack 2016

1 Print and cut the templates by hand or Silhouette machine. (By hand: you will have to use a craft knife, against a metal ruler, over a mat to cut the slots - take care.)

2 Score the folds at base of body and around side edges. Crease the folds.

3 Use double/sided tape to assemble the card rack. First, stick the side panel bases onto the base of the card rack body. Then, work around the side units, joining them to the card rack body. Finally, seal the join at the base of the card rack body.

4 Gently shape the rack body into the "organic triangle" shape.

Good to go! Have happy, hygge holidays!

Friday, 18 November 2016

Snowflowers Mug Hug

This project is ideal for gifting! It makes a lovely presentation and has a life beyond giving - as a desktop storage container. The Snowflower Mug Hug (look closely at the snowflakes!) has five pockets, plus, inside - a square box and a milk carton. There's also a gift tag.

This project is fun to make and give. The mug hug consists of a base (to wrap around the mug), the pockets, a milk carton, mini-box, and gift tag. Fits an 8cm (3-1/4in)-diameter mug.

Here are your free designs (pdf or Silhouette Studio): 




Snowflowers Mug Hug

Here's how to pimp your mug :)!

1 Print and cut out all the pieces. You need five pockets for the mug "apron" - two of one design, three of the other. 

2 Score the fold lines on the pockets and boxes.

3 To assemble the "apron" - glue the reinforcements on to the holes in the base. To assemble each pocket, fold the creases, accordion sides. The tabs go on the outside of each pocket. Make five pockets, two of one design, three of the other. Stick a pocket onto each compartment marked on the mug hug base - I use stripe of d/s tape. Alternate the designs. The "apron" is now finished. Tie it on to the mug at the handle. Wrap the apron around the mug, thread ribbon through the holes - lace an 'X', tie a bow. You must tie the apron on to the mug in place - you can't lace it first (d'oh) :)

4 The milk carton and mini-box are basic box assembly. Fold and stick the side tabs.

Note: mugs may vary in size - you may have to tweak the sizes of the templates by enlarging or reducing a smidge.

Enjoy crafting for the festive season! Give a mug a hug:

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Mind-Blowing Modular Origami, by Byriah Loper. Review.

The Art of Polyhedral Paper Folding
By Byriah Loper
Tuttle Publishing 2016
Paperback £12.08
ISBN 978-4-8053-1309-1

Star rating: *****

I am in awe of origami innovator Byriah Loper – in just a few years’ time he learned how to construct complex modular origami constructions and design them himself. He's tops in the field. Like learning a language, mastery is indicated by thinking in it (anyone seen the amazing new sci-fi film, Arrival?). This new title from origami specialists, Tuttle Publishing, is a showcase of Loper’s fantastic modular models. Many of them consist of folded paper straws – they remind me of the K’nex construction toy – which are interwoven – these are know as wire frames. Many look a bit like multicoloured rubberband balls. 

Yes, this title has geek appeal – but anyone with an appreciation of the puzzle-like nature of modular origami will be dumbstruck with the beauty of the models’ design and construction. Assembling the models requires repetitive action and patience – so full marks for the mindfulness quotient. The shapes are like 3D mandalas.

The instructions for the models are exemplary. The author’s step-by-steps include lots of fine-points to ensure construction success. Folding of the units is illustrated in line drawings, while construction of the modular globes is shown with photographs superimposed with directional arrows. 

The book begins with more conventional modular origami shapes, with larger interlocking units, then works up to the interwoven straw shapes. 

The large format of the book is suited to the material. Each project begins with a ginormous beauty shot of the orgami globe. Wow factor.

This book lives up to its title – and is ideal for those who are up for a fascinating origami challenge. Congrats to Byriah Loper on his cosmic constructions!

Note: I was supplied with a review copy of this book.

This book comes out on 1 December. I am posting the review now in case you wish to pre-order with Christmas gift intentions.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Hygge Holiday Cards

This is an alternative version of yesterday's blogpost
which featured the same designs as season's greetings cards. Hygge is the buzzword of the moment - with good reason. So - here are some hygge holiday card. The folk art designs, card liners, and the envelopes are the same as for my previous post.

Here are your free hygge cards:

 Have a hygge holiday season - preferably starting now.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Free Printable Folk Art Season's Greetings Cards

Here are some Scandi-inspired folk art greeting cards. I've done the whole package for you - cards, liners, and envelopes. It is always handy to have printable cards on hand so you can run them off in a hurry. The cards fit two to an A4 sheet - so cost effective (always a help in the holiday season).

Here are your free folk art greetings cards (hand-cut pdf or Silhouette):




 Season's Greetings!

Monday, 14 November 2016

Paper Panda's Guide to Papercutting. Review.

By Paper Panda & Friends

Search Press 2016

Paperback £12.99UK/$24.95 US

ISBN 978-1-78221-324-6

Star rating: ****

If you –or someone you know– are thinking about trying your hand at papercutting, this new title from Search Press is an ideal go-to sourcebook. Fronted by papercut artiste and star Facebook blogger Paper Panda (Louise Patricia Firchau), this is a handy user-friendly guide to the craft of papercutting – chock full of tips and tricks, plus it contains 20 papercutting templates of varying levels of complexity (so this title is not just for newbies). Papercutters of every level of experience can glean a new insight or inspiration from this delightful book.

The “& Friends” in the title are papercutters Sarah Trumbauer (from Pennsylvania, home of Pennsylvania Dutch folk art designs), Suzy Taylor, and Louise Dyer – they, along with Paper Panda, offer designs in their own recognizable styles, plus their own personal takes on the craft.

Paper Panda, although she has art school training, did not zoom in upon the craft of papercutting until 2000. She is self-taught – and she recounts her creative journey and generously shares her papercutting tips – best studio practice, sourcing inspiration, copyright info, presentation tips – all in her friendly, funny, approachable conversational style. The Techniques section is particularly useful – it includes Making a Layered Papercut (dimension it!), Making Infills (placing colour behind cut-out areas), and Framing and Finishing. 

A nice feature is the inclusion of Mini-Cuts – when you start a new hobby, a small success leads the way to more ambitious undertakings. 
Now I should tell you that all the designs are extremely appealing - but none are super-duper simple - so expect a learning curve. 

So, a papercutting addition to your crafty Christmas book list.
Note: I was supplied with a review copy of this book.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Hygge Oat Pot Greeting

The holiday season is upon us - and we could all use a smile-inducing treat, the sooner the better - say, for breakfast. Also, the festive coffees are in the shops, so I am taking my cue. My papercraft project is a hygge-themed oat pot cover. Hygge - in case you have been living under a rock - is the buzz word of the season, the Danish word for cosy, homelike goodness - something we all need more than ever. So - I have decorated the oat pot cover with Scandi-inspired folk art motifs - and a warm and cosy greeting.

Feel the warmth of the oat pot as you gaze at the smile-inducing greeting! :) 

Here is your free hygge oat pot cover:

Attach the cover with a strip of double-sided tape on the coloured underlap. Stick on the lid with a few snippets of d/s tape - it camouflages the foil oat pot lid.
You can also use this project to recycle oat pots as gift containers. I have included a gift tag. (You will have to glue the lid on to the rim of the pot.)
Hope you have a hygge holiday season!

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Origami for Mindfulness, by Mari Ono. Review.

Origami for Mindfulness

Colour and fold your way to inner peace with these 35 calming projects

By Mari Ono

CicoBooks 2016

Paperback (includes 61 sheets of origami paper), £12.99 UK/$19.99 US/$23.95 CAN

ISBN 978-1-78249-405-8

Star rating: ****

The world was bound to move on from mindful colouring books – and, thankfully, origami was right here, waiting to be re-discovered! J Author Mari Ono’s new book focuses on the therapeutic value of origami. Who knew, for instance, that the fingertip movements involved in origami activates busy brain activity – and so is a dementia deterrent (we all knew that crafting is good for you). The introductory section is a mine of such information, plus it also provides a delightful social history of origami and its role in Japanese society. (Apparently, the first origami book was published in 1797 – so, like crochet, the craft does not have a long recorded history.)

The well-chosen projects are presented in three chapters: Love & Hope, Happiness & Laughter, and Belief and Willingness. All of the projects are given difficulty ratings. The step-by-steps are photographic with superimposed arrows to indicate folding direction. The projects are playfully propped and photographed. Some of the projects involve a little cutting and/or gluing (Cherry Blossom, Kusudama Decorative Sphere) – so origami purists may not be happy bunnies (but crafters are sure to be).  There is plenty of variety in the projects – there are useful  containers, modular designs, and a stunning Kimono that would make a fab gift wrap decoration.

The 61 origami papers have been specially designed for the projects in the book, a joint project by the author and her husband,Takumasa. Consideration has been given to where the folds fall on the paper. (I am always so very impressed by engineered patterns!) Many papers featured graduated colour, and almost half of the designs are supplied in black and white (in case you want to ramp up the mindfulness quotient by doing a bit of colouring).

This title would make a lovely gift. It is suitable for origami newbies of all ages – older children upwards.

Note: I was supplied with a review copy of this book.