Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The 4th of July is probably my favorite holiday of the year. (Yes, it beats out Christmas.) It is this holiday that I seem to have my favorite childhood memories from, and it is the one I like best as an adult. As a kid, I remember being with my cousins in the small town of Garrison, North Dakota, in which my grandparents lived. It was a day of carefree play; a picnic at the park; no one worrying where we were or if we were okay. We would go to the variety store to get some fireworks and light them off. Just a lot of fun. As an adult it is a lot of the same. BBQ with friends; lots of kids playing and having fun; and sadly the last year we will be able to do fireworks in our neighborhood. There isn't months of preparation needed to get things ready, and everything is relaxed. It is just a wonderful day all the way around.

I wanted to share this great recipe I found for some red, white, and blue ice cream cupcakes. I will have fun making these and sharing them with our friends and family on the fun Flag Plates that we are now selling in our stores. I sure hope that everyone has a great long weekend.

Happy Crafting....and baking


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wanna thrill them? QUILL 'em!

I am oh so excited to write about the new quilling kits and supplies arriving this week at Paper Zone. After seeing some amazing quilling designs in a recent Oprah magazine, I asked Amanda to buy a kit as a sample and I think I heard angels sing when I opened the little box. First of all, the set is awesome. The kit includes a convenient carrying case, PAPER, quilling tools, tweezers, glue, and instructions that show you how to make basic shapes and designs.

For those of you that know me, you know that I can be crafty when guided, but oftentimes my projects end up looking like a 2nd grader did them. But this quilling was a snap! I kid you not that my first attempt was this little dragonfly to the left. It was so easy! You seriously just coil the paper using the tool, pinch it to shape and then glue it into place.

Next I attempted something bigger: the flower.

I was so happy with the results I decided to put the two together to make a little card using PZ facets, an embossing tool and powder for the "Thinking of You" and touching it up with some colorful rub-ons from American Crafts. Making this card was so fun, quick and easy I am so excited for everyone to try the art of quilling.

According to wikipedia, quilling was popular in the 18th century amongst "gentle ladies of quality" because the hobby was not too taxing on their minds. To that I say, "sign me up!".

I truly hope this art style makes a comeback because it's not only easy and fun, it's really quite beautiful and unique. . .yet another wonderful art form using our favorite medium: paper. Stay tuned for tutorial videos and hopefully a class or two. All you ladies (and gentlemen) of quality, get ready. . .your new hobby is here. --Kim

Monday, June 28, 2010

Memorable Moments

This past weekend I was getting out of my car at the Tacoma Dome to celebrate my Commencement Ceremony…I was finally going to receive my Master’s Degree! As I was straightening my gown and hat, I noticed a couple getting out of their car. I whispered to my husband that I knew the couple and debated whether or not I should say hello, as I was pretty sure they wouldn’t recognize me initially. They happened to be one of my favorite Paper Zone customers who had originally come into the store for assistance in making invitations celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary (yes, fifty!). They had since returned on numerous occasions, in which we shared updates about our families and chatted about nothing in particular. As I approached them on my way in, the man exclaimed, “Sarah! From Paper Zone!” and proceeded to hug me and tell me that I had added a whole new dimension of happiness to his day. I certainly was glad that I decided to say hello, as they too added a new dimension of happiness to my day. This small, yet meaningful, interaction also made me realize something: looking back on my almost seven years working at Paper Zone, I have both celebrated and helped others celebrate many major life events.

For me personally, I have made my own announcements for two degrees received, first my Bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound, and more recently my Master’s degree from the University of Washington Tacoma. I made my own wedding invitations, programs, centerpieces, and favors. I made the announcements for both my cousin’s first baby and my brother’s first baby. I made gorgeous programs for my mother-in-law’s memorial. Not to mention countless parties, celebrations, and events in between. My children’s teachers always received handmade note card sets and personalized holiday gifts. I no longer can buy a card from the store or the card recipient is convinced that I am mad at them…yes, handmade cards are expected. And our annual Valentine’s Day card and letter (my solution to always missing the ball on getting Christmas cards and letters out in time) is eagerly anticipated, and well, expected, by my family and friends. All handmade. All personally created. And all from Paper Zone.

Through good times and bad, Paper Zone has been there every step of the way.

For almost seven years, Paper Zone has played a major part in the many milestones of my life, not to mention in the lives of the countless customers that stop in each day. Paper Zone has provided me the opportunity to celebrate each of these events in a very special and personal way and it is absolutely amazing to think that people come to Paper Zone at life’s most memorable, special, or critical moments: weddings, anniversaries, graduations, birthdays, and deaths. What an amazing feeling (both as an employee and a customer) to know that there is a place to go to help create and design the perfect thing to help celebrate these memorable moments in such a unique and special way.

With love,


Tacoma Store Manager

Friday, June 18, 2010

Crepe Paper Flowers

June is National Rose Month, so I thought I would share some creative ideas from our Bellevue store for making paper roses. Using crepe paper streamers (the kind you use at your kid's birthday party), they put together these fantastic paper rose decorations. All you have to do is just wind the streamers in a coil varying the tightness of the coil as you go to get the effect you want and...voila!

They attached all of the rosebuds to central round ball and tied a ribbon to it for hanging. This is such a great and easy decoration idea for a summer luncheon, bridal shower or just to brighten up the room!

If you want to get a little more elaborate, this rose, also made with crepe paper, would make a great centerpiece element, corsage or boutonniere.

Each of the petals was cut out from sheets of yellow crepe paper and attached to a central floral wire stem. The edges of each of the petals have been lightly inked with a ColorBox Cat's Eye inkpad to get that red-tinged effect. What's great about crepe paper is it can be formed to take any shpe you want and it holds that shape. This turns out amazingly realistic and truly looks like something you would see in an heirloom rose garden.

Crepe paper can also be used for a fun gift wrap for odd shaped packages. Here the packages were just simply wrapped and tied with ribbon, but the ends have been rounded and shaped to produce beuatiful blooms. They are almost too cute to open! Once you get started playing with this paper it's hard to stop. The possibilities are endless!

Happy June!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Father's Day Cards

Hi Everyone

Father's Day is the weekend, which means it is time to make some Father's day cards. We had a card making contest for the associates here at paperzone, and there were a couple that used the origami men's shirt for their card by just scaling down the size of the paper a little. Instead of using and 8.5x11 sheet of paper, I used a 6x8.5 sheet of paper. Since I really like to personalize the cards I make, I thought it would be fun to bring out the personal styles for the men I was making cards for, my dad and my husband.
The first card I made is for my dad. My dad lives in Arizona and is always wearing Southwestern Style clothing. I haven't seen him in a traditional tie for years, so I figured a bolo tie was going to have to be incorporated into it.

Product for this card;

Basic Grey 12x12, Max and Wiskers - Hercules
Basic Grey Brads, Cappella Stitched Brads
Morex Rattail Ribbon - Black
Making Memories - Small black brads

Next was my husband. I usually see these shirts created as button ups with or without a tie. Well, my husband will only wear a tie if he absolutely has to, and is more inclined to wear a Polo. Therefore, I decided to tranform the shirt into a polo. It wasn't reall very difficult. Insead of having a middle crease, I only folded the paper at 1.5 inches from the width on each side. Then for a little more color, I used a small strip of the coordinating 12x12 color for the placket and a cuff on the sleeves.

Product for this card

Basic Grey 12x12, Max and Whiskers - Mittens
Making Memories - Small silver brads.

I had fun making these simple cards and loved that I could personalize them so much.
Happy Crafting

Monday, June 14, 2010

We matriculate a lot

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past two years, you've probably heard of Twilight. I was struck with Twilight fever a few months ago so I can say from experience that it completely takes over your whole brain! Everywhere I go I have an eye out for silver Volvos and boys in gray peacoats. Of course my obsession follows me to work, where I take every opportunity to squeeze a reference to the series into displays and samples.

Since summer is upon us, I wanted to make a sample card for the kids coming in looking for graduation invites and announcements. Even if they don't like Twilight, I thought it would be something funny and unexpected that would hopefully inspire them to inject a little of their own personality and interests into their project.

One of my favorite moments in the Twilight movie is when Bella visits the Cullen's home for the first time. On their wall is a large piece of art, which upon closer inspection are rows of graduation caps. When Bella asks Edward about them, he shrugs it off as an inside joke and says, "we matriculate a lot." Here's a screencap of the scene:I thought the art in the Cullen's home was cool enough that it would appeal to people not privy to the inside joke as well as die-hard Twi-hards like myself. I love the clean lines and color spectrum in the original art and I knew it would translate to paper easily. I used my two favorite tools, the Dahle 15" guillotine paper cutter and the Scotch Adhesive Transfer Gun, as well as a small hole punch. These heavy duty tools make quick work of the project, but it would be just as easy with a smaller paper cutter or Tombo adhesive runner.

Working with a nice palette of silver and blue metallic cardstock, I cut about half the sheet into 1" squares (I had plenty left over after making the card). I chose metallic colors since we carry such a great spectrum, and the shine reminded me of that awful polyester that graduation gowns are made from.

I used some of the left over cardstock to make a base to stick the squares to. My base is 4"x6", since I wanted the finished card to be 5"x7". I started on the left side, lining up a column of the four lightest-colored squares and attaching them to the base with double sided tape. I worked towards the right side, one column at a time, overlapping the columns so only about a half inch of the square was showing. To keep the feel of the original art piece, I incorporated darker colors as I worked, so a light-to-dark gradation was formed from left to right.

Before I stuck down the last row of squares, I turned them into "hats" by attaching a tassel to each with a small brad. I made the tassels with sewing thread, but it's much easier and faster to use embroidery floss (here's a nice tutorial on how to make a tassel, I did pretty much the same thing but I made them only 1" tall, and I didn't put a string through the very top.) Once the last squares were transformed into hats I stuck them down and attached the whole thing to an A7 card. Voila!

Eclipse, the next movie in the Twilight saga, is coming out at the end of the month and includes Bella's first matriculation (and Edward & Alice's umpteenth). The timing was so perfect, I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to direct the folks looking at the card to their on-screen graduation! Come to think of it, you could make this card as a graduation announcement, an invite to a grad party, a thank you card, or even for an Eclipse DVD release party. The font I used is the same one that represents Edward's handwriting in the books, it's called Be Safe and you can download it for free from

So there you have it: a public confession that I am a total nerd. I won't spoil anything for you, but there are two more action-packed films to come after Eclipse, so you will be seeing all kinds of wacky hidden references to the Cullens around the Portland store in the coming months. Come check them out, I'm always looking for friends to talk Twilight with. Congrats to those of you who just finished high school or college, and happy summer to all!

-Mayzie, Portland Paper Zone

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tissue Puff Balls

I just love these tissue puff ball decorations and I think they're the perfect way to add a little color and pizazz to a party. Think of how cute these red, white and blue puff balls could be hanging from trees at a 4th of July BBQ or picnic. The best part is that you can get 4 large puffs out of each roll of tissue paper (only $3.99) so it makes for a super inexpensive decoration that makes a huge statement.

We've included a link to our video with instructions to show you just how easy these are!

Step One:
Open the roll of tissue and cut it in half at the crease. Stack 9 of these tissue sheets and accoridan fold them.
Click Here for Step One Instructional Video.

Step Two:
Fold the piece in half to create a crease so you know where the center is. Using scissors, cut the edges off in a rounded shape. Tie ribbon, string or fishing wire around the center where you made the crease.
Click here for Step Two Instructional Video.

Step Three:
Peel away each layer of tissue one sheet at a time to finish your puff ball!
Click Here for Step Three Instructional Video.

These decorations would also be a great addition to a birthday party, summer garden party or even for a wedding! Look at these great ideas from Martha Stewart:

Monday, June 7, 2010

That's a Wrap!

I love birthdays... celebrating with friends and family, giving gifts and of course the cake! After I purchased the (hopefully) perfect birthday gift for my Mom's 50th my next step was heading to PZ to the perfect wrapping paper.

I think we have such a nice selection of wrap, it is all high quality paper with the best patterns around. I was also able to find some pretty green ribbon that was the icing on the cake!! (I know. Sorry, I couldn't resist!)

I also must mention that I always find the best cards at our stores, they always hit the spot... they are either funny, sentimental or have a really cute dog. No matter the occasion or type I always find what I'm looking for!

Happy Birthday Mom!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Create Your Own Envelopes

Hi Everyone

We have recently starting selling the Scoring Board by Martha Stewart Crafts. One great feature about his scoring board is that it comes with tools to create your own envelopes; and the measurements you need to make #1, 4 Bar, A2, A6, A7, A9, 6” SQ, and #10 envelopes are all conveniently displayed right on the tool itself. This makes it really simple.

In order to create these envelopes, you will need the following items: assorted 12x12s, a paper cutter, the scoring board with the included tools, and some adhesive.

Step One- Cut your 12x12 to the appropriate size (given on the tool)

Step Two – Place the envelope guide in the left hand corner and line up your cut piece of paper to score at the appropriate measurement points (given on the tool)

Step Three – Fold along the scores and then fold the flaps inward. There are some little triangle pieces that are created between the scores which you can either cut out or fold inward also.

Step Four – Place adhesive on the bottom edges of the two opposite flaps. You can use either set of flaps, depending on how you want your envelope to open.

Step Five – Fold up the bottom flap and adhere to the side flaps.

These envelopes don’t take very long to create, and you can use any 12x12s in order to complement special occasions or your own creative style.

Happy Crafting

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cute as a Button

Just wanted to share a sweet surprise from Rachel at the Portland store.

My sentiments exactly! --Kim