Tissue Paper Dilemma

As the title says, I have a dilemma! I love using tissue paper in my collage because it layers beautifully, both with beeswax and with glue. In the last year, I’ve been both buying interesting looking tissue paper, as well as rescuing what would otherwise go in the garbage after parties. I now limit myself to colors and patterns I don’t already have (or have very little of) but either way, it’s become an organizational problem. Originally, I had it in one of the plastic drawers in one of those Rubbermaid drawer towers. However, it quickly got so full I couldn’t even open and close it properly. Then about 4 months ago, I found an old accordion file from school, and decided that was the solution. I organized it by color, and it’s been great for finding just what I need. BUT even so, I have several similar shades in each little divided section, and then in my sections for patterns, it’s getting downright crowded! And– this is the part that is the most troubling– it’s a huge effort to wrestle it closed, and even closed, it’s so fat it barely fits in my desk drawer.

Take a gander at my current set up:

This is what it looks like “closed”– if you can call it that. Notice how it’s bulging, and that poor elastic strap is going to snap. Either I need a much stronger strap (like the belt around the Monster Book of Monsters in Harry Potter, perhaps?) or else I need a different solution.

This is what it looks like when open. I am not holding it at all. It quite literally pops open to that wide.

So, I’m asking you, lovely readers. What should I do? Here are my needs:

  • organization by color
  • space efficient (preferably able to fit in said drawer as I have NO floor space left, very little desk space, and would need to do some serious rearranging to get shelf space)
  • Easy to get in and out
  • Friendly to wrinkled and torn paper (the set-ups with the dowels are lovely, but intended for brand new, full size sheets)

Postdated: Fish Garland

Another April craft, also for a swap-bot swap. For this, the instructions were to make a garland 2 feet or longer with decorated paper fish. Mine did not turn out as I first envisioned at all (in part due to the size of my fish, in part because my partner liked pink, which is unfamiliar territory for me) but I still like it. What I envisioned was using my sewing machine to do the outlines, but after I did the drawings, I realized there was NO way I could pull off that level of detail– at least not in the time I had left to complete the project. Instead, I used a micron pen to sketch and crosshatch the details. I apologize for the quality of the photos– I took them at night before packaging the garland to send.







Postdated: Scripture Cards

One of the April crafts I did was for a swap on Swap-Bot. The swap called for three scripture cards, each with a different verse– a personal favorite from the sender, a personal favorite of the recipient, and one specific to challenges in the recipient’s life. To be quite honest, the swap did require decorations, but was more along the lines of nice paper, doodles, and stickers, but I wanted to go all out.

Scripture Card front

I first covered index cards with gesso, then smeared them with acrylic paint. My recipient liked bright colors, especially orange, blue, and burgundy, so I did my best to incorporate those colors. I was unsure how to complete them at first, but in the midst of my decoupaging crafts (Easter Eggs and Matchboxes) it occurred to me that I could use tissue paper to add more layers.  I am not certain I am happy with the handwritten verses, but I was running out of time to brainstorm.

Scripture Cards back


Postdated: Easter Crafts

I don’t normally get into holiday crafts, but I saw Alisa Burke’s post about her lovely canvas wrapped easter eggs, and wanted to try my own. Over my students’ spring break, I needed a craft, and as the canvas might have been a little much (just for materials and time, if nothing else) so I improvised. I did the same project with two 4th grade students, and they each made a handful of great looking eggs. The two I finished were done alongside my students, and the last one I ran out of time to decorate. I may do more eggs later, holiday or not!

Three Eggs

This one is my favorite:

Green Egg

How did I make them? Pretty simple.

1. Take a plastic egg, and decoupage with tissue paper and white glue.

2. When sufficiently covered, decoupage other colors if needed.

3. Glue decorations such as rhinestones, buttons, sequins, flowers, etc.

4. Let dry.

Tada! Pretty Easter egg!


Not Actually Missing

Much as it might appear I’ve been neglecting the site, it isn’t so. I just have been neglecting the blog portion, and for a good reason. I have been working on a gallery of my work. Previously, I did have a gallery of my ATCs, though there were issues with it. For one, it was difficult to update. Also… I haven’t done many ATCs in this last year. There were also various mistakes in the format. After THREE WEEKS (I kid you not) of grueling work with html, and no small amount of griping and tears, I have finally completed my gallery. Look at the shiny tab above! See? That wasn’t there before. Granted, turns out, I did leave something out. *facepalm* Oh well. Give me a few days.

In this process, it has become clear to me that I have outgrown Wordpress. It’s lovely for what it is, and I’d still totally recommend it to the casual blogger, but I have had little annoyances here and there for awhile. Now, trying to put together an attractive and efficient display of my work in hopes of making art more than just a hobby, I realized I will probably need to find a different server, one that doesn’t limit which html I can and cannot use, and allows CSS (which… I don’t actually know yet, but clearly need to learn). Also, as I have no extra money, it needs to be free, or very verycheap. At the very least, until my art actually earns anything. I’m willing to renegotiate that if it contributes to it’s own room and board, so to speak.

At any rate, during all this grueling work and frustration, there were still crafts done here and there, either due to the holiday, craft nights with friends, or swapbot swaps (of which I overwhelmed myself with in the beginning of the month– oops!). There are also a few art related things rattling in my head that I’ve wanted to ramble about. However, if I was on wordpress, my energy went first to the gallery.

That said, expect some updates on various April activities in the next week.


Some Good Things on a Tuesday

Tuesday was just an all around good day. By the end of it, I knew I had to do a journal page about it. I didn’t actually start until Wednesday night, and didn’t decide on adhesives till the next day, which is why it isn’t going up until tonight. I am REALLY pleased with it though.

Granted, it looks like I stole it from Samantha Kira’s journal, haha. Oh well. I think it was the bright colors– not my usual fare, but it just fit. I picked the cheeriest background I had prepared, and then, on a whim, I tried the gauzy orange paper stuff (not sure what it’s called, but I like it!). When I first received it, I was dubious. It was ORANGE. I’m not a fan of orange. But it just… worked. And then I tried other stuff from my scrap file, and found the pink color someone sent me ages ago. And what do you know? It looked GOOD. And then it dawned on me with the ink writing, and the bright colors, it was definitely like something Samantha Kira would do. I panicked briefly, but then I just shrugged and went with it. I was having fun. And I’m enough of a fan, a tribute page couldn’t hurt. So there you are.


Stamp Carving: Leaf

Yesterday (or rather, the day before yesterday, as I’m sure any moment I’ll see the tinges of daylight) I had the privilege of watching Samantha Kira’s tuesday vlog. This week, she focused on stamp carving, by request of one of her fans. It really got me inspired. I was supposed to meet up with a friend for artistic stuff tonight, but I completely flaked out and forgot AND left my phone downstairs. Thankfully, we didn’t have a specific time set even, just a general plan. And we’ve known each other long enough not to be offended. However, I was still bummed that I missed out, because I’ve been wanting to do art, but rather unmotivated beyond very basic background prep.  So (after being lazy for a few more hours) I plunked myself down, and decided I was doing a stamp.

Unlike miss Samantha Kira, I don’t have that cool rubber stuff. Nor did I buy the rubber erasers at the dollar store (this time…). What I have is this odd cork looking stuff. My carving did not go so smoothly as hers. And I still made mistakes (especially since I was  free-handing it and kinda changed things as I went). Nonetheless, here is the end result.

Yes. that is an envelope I tested it on. To be specific, an unopened envelope containing the pay stubs I never look at until months later due to the modern marvels of direct deposit and online banking. It was the nearest thing I had handy.

Also, I worked on a journal page, which is nearly done. I will post that later/tomorrow.