Monday, August 30, 2010

Paper Art Down the Tubes

Happy Monday everyone! I want to share with you some paper art in the most unique form: toilet paper rolls (yes, that's right, TP tubes). I happened upon these wonderful little creations a few months ago and saw them again today so I took that as a sign to share their magnificence with my fellow paper lovers.
These creations are from the hands of French artist Anastassia Elias. You MUST visit this website to see her other scenes. . .simply amazing! I'm not sure what I love the most: the detail, the tiny little images (because everything is cuter when it's tiny) or the brilliance of creating art in something that is typically viewed as garbage. What's in your trash or recycling? Take a look, you might be inspired! --Kim

Friday, August 27, 2010

Celebrate Shoreline!

This past weekend we were up in Shoreline at the annual Celebrate Shoreline parade and fair. What a fun event! We got to join in the festivities by being in the parade and having a booth at the fair. The fair had a great car show, live entertainment, and, of course, the fair food you all know and love. Here's the PZ group in our PZ gear getting ready to head out on the parade route--even the dogs and kids got involved!

We headed down NE 15th handing out candy, buttons, magnets and stickers.

We were followed by a group of pirates that took a liking to our youngest representative.

Back at the booth we were handing out balloons and doing Monkey Puppet make and takes.

By the way, you can come into any of our stores this weekend and make a free Monkey Puppet--they are a really easy project and we had a great response from the kids AND adults!

A fun time was had by all. Thanks Shoreline for putting on such a wonderful event! We will definitely see you again next year!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

3 Steps to a Unique Birthday Gift

I am always looking for cute gift ideas for my friends that are both personal and relatively inexpensive. I think that giving a gift that has a little bit of thought and love behind it is always better than spending a ton of money on something that is impersonal and will rarely get used. One of my favorite memories with my friends was a girls’ camping weekend that we took a few years ago. We all piled our camping gear in the car, headed off to Hood Canal on a ferry, played games around the campfire, lounged out on the beach all day and just hung out with our favorite people. I took a few photos from the trip and got them developed at the local drug store down the street. I decided to develop them in black and white for my project.

I bought some small canvases (we have some super cute mini ones at PZ that would work perfect for this project), some Mod Podge, a foam art brush and some black paint:
Step 1 - Paint
I painted the side edges of the canvas black so it would look a little more professional. You can use any color for this to match the project you are creating, or just leave it white.
Step 2 - Adhere
Cut the photo to size and adhere it to the canvas using an ATG gun or any adhesive you have on hand.
Next, take a foam brush and brush the Mod Podge all over the photo to create a finished, glossy look. You can put different textures on the photo with varied strokes of the brush or use Matte Mod Podge for a matte finish (I used Glossy Mod Podge for my project).
Step 3 - Embellish!
I wanted my gift to be simple, so I left it as is – but you can embellish these with rhinestones, glitter, or even tie a little ribbon to the top for it to hang from a wall. Tie them up with a pretty ribbon, and your mini photo art is ready to be gifted.
This is the perfect time to get started on these for holiday gift giving too, they make perfect stocking stuffers and are so, so cute on the mini easels that we sell. Happy gifting! --Lauren

Monday, August 23, 2010

Is this a Trick? No, it's a real Treat!

Hi All!

I know it's not even the end of August, and Halloween is a ways around the corner, BUT I have to write about Halloween because the new product arriving in Paper Zone stores is so freakin' cute! Kudos to our buyers for this years' picks, because we have a ton of stamps for only 99 cents that makes me want to become a stampin' zombie. Seriously how cute is this card made by our Jedi Paper Master, Teresa, in Shoreline? I think it's quite possible she had this awesome little card whipped up within an hour of the product arriving in our store!

Bellevue also had some fun with the stamps: blowing up the great little skeleton stamp on the copy machine and making a fun party banner to go along with a cute little favor bag (using more of the awesome stamps!). So, okay, I love our new Halloween stamps and yes, I think it's crazy early. But it's never too early when the end results are as frightfully awesome as these. Plus, now that you know they have arrived, I'm looking forward to seeing all the SPOOKY creations you all come up with.

Now I'm off to have my bite size Snickers. :) --Kim

Friday, August 20, 2010

Paper Crown!

Hi Everyone!
I wanted to share with you all a project I just finished, it is a Birthday crown for my daughter's first Birthday! Everything I used is from PZ including the glitter cardstock that I'm slightly obsessed with! ( ...yes I featured it in my last post too!)

One thing that I was excited about is that I was able to punch the thick glitter cardstock with my Marvy circle punch! I wasn't quite sure it was going to work, but it did!

I was inspired by the talented Molley in our Bellevue store. She has made a few paper crowns and they were so cute I knew I just had to make one! Thanks for the inspiration Molley!

Happy Crafting everyone!
Happy Birthday Baby M!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Cupcake Box

Cupcake Box and Almond Joy Cupcakes

Cupcakes seem to be a big rage these days. There are specialty cupcake shops, cute decorative cupcake liners, wrappers to go around the cupcakes, and cute boxes for carrying the cupcakes. People are serving cupcakes at parties instead of a layer cake or sheet cake; and even at weddings, brides are opting to use cupcakes arranged on tiered displays instead of a traditional wedding cake.

As soon as I see something made of paper, I start to think how I can make it myself. That is what I did with the idea of a cupcake box. I created this cupcake box that can be used as a favor box in order to keep the cupcake safe and avoid the smooshing (yes, that is a word) of the cake and the frosting.

Of course, you can't have a cupcake box without a cupcake, so I also had to make up a batch of these yummy almond/coconut cupcakes.

Materials Needed

Paper cutter
Scoring board
Circle Cutter
4 3.75" squares of cardstock or decorative paper
Two 6.5 squares of cardstock
One 3 7/8’ piece of Acetate cardstock
Ribbon or desired embellishments

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1

Take the 12" piece of cardstock and score at 8" and 4" on one side.

Step 2
Turn the cardstock 90 degrees and score at 8" and 4". There will be nine 4" squares scored on your cardstock.

Step 3
Score the four corner squares diagonally from the outside corner in towards the middle square.

Step 4
Prefold all scores. Fold the diagonal scores in towards the middle of the box.

Step 5
Put adhesive on the 4 middle outside square edges on the right side of the paper and on the diagonal score lines on the flip side of the paper.

Step 6
Fold into box and adhere together.

Step 7
Attach 4 3.75 pieces of decorative paper to box.

Step 8
Take one 6.5" piece of cardstock score it at 1" on each side.
Step 9
Cut a verticle line at the corners of the paper until it intersects with the horizontal lines. Cut again on one scoreline at the corners to remove 4 small triangles. This creates the glue tabs for the lid. Using the circle cutter, cut a 3 inch circle in the middle of the square.

Step 10
Adhere the 3 7/8” acetate square on the underside of the square

Step 11
With the right side of the lid facing up, add adhesive to the glue tabs and adhere to the adjacent flat to create the lid

Step 12
Take the other 6.5” piece of cardstock and score it at 1.25” on each side.

Step 13
Using the circle cutter, cut a 2.5 inch circle in the middle of the square with the circle cutter. And cut out the corners of the cardstock at the score lines

Step 14
Fold down the flaps at the score lines and place inside the box.

This will hold the cupcake.

Step 15
Decorate with ribbon or desired embellishments

The materials and tools I used to create this box are:

Bazzil White Cardstock
Hambly Sweet Cupcake Screen Prints
EK Success Circle Cutter
Score-It Board
Morex Delight Hot Pink Ribbon
Hambly Clear Heavy Overlay
Stardream Rose Quartz Cover

Almond Joy Cupcakes

6 large egg yolks
1 cup milk separated
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon + teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons softened butter

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Lightly whisk the yolks, 1/4 cup milk, and vanilla in a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add the softened butter and the remaining 3/4 cup milk. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed and beat for 1 1/2 minutes to aerate and develop the cake's structure. Scrape down the sides. Gradually add the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients. Scrape down the sides.
Scoop batter into lined cupcake pans, filling to about ¾ full.. Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
Almond Frosting
1 package powdered sugar (16 ounces)
1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
½ cup of heavy whipping cream whipped
Flaked Coconut
1 cup of chocolate chips (optional)

Beat sugar, butter, cream, vanilla and almond extract with electric mixer at low speed until spreading consistency. Set aside. Whip cream and fold into frosting. Frost Cupcakes and immediately dip each cupcake into a bowl of coconut to coat.

Melt one cup of chocolate chips in microwave on high, stirring at 30 second intervals until smooth. Be careful not to over cook the chocolate. Drizzle the chocolate over the coconut.

Happy Crafting and Baking from me to you.

Friday, August 13, 2010

New Arrivals in Handmade Paper!

This week we just received in some great new papers from Black Ink. These are all handmade and screenprinted on recycled cotton rag. The designs are just gorgeous! They feature passion flowers, mums and peonies in a range of colors that are really popular right now.

Handmade papers are great for all types of craft projects from wedding invitations to scrapbooking to wall art. They are also wonderful gift wrap. I'm going to try my hand at bookbinding (again) and use one of the purple ones for a cover. We are having a big sale this weekend, so now is a great time pick some up! -Amanda

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Miss You Already

This is a special post from Rachel.db of the Portland Paper Zone, on her last day working for PZ.

I kind of feel like it’s my birthday and the last day of camp/school all rolled up together. My birthday because I got dressed up to come to work today, my last day at the Paper Zone, and there was even a cupcake with my name on it waiting for me!

It’s also like the last day of camp/school because I’m saying goodbye to a lovely crew of people I’ve gotten to share the last two years with. My PZ pals are going down in my memory book in a pretty fantastic time of life. 2008-2010: my worker-owned bike shop was starting and my own personal business has grown. It’s with a fond farewell that I say goodbye to my blue PZ apron, and my coworkers- though we’ll be keeping in touch. I can catch them at local craft shows. Did you know that most of the associates at the Portland store are also self-employed? I’ll be keeping tabs on Andrea’s BeeTwixt shop, Barb’s Ciao Birdie Designs, Devan’s Nimbi Designs, Mari’s Trulee Twisted Jewelry, Liz’s graphic design. Since I won’t be working on the weekends anymore, I am definitely finding Mayzie’s table at the Portland Zine Symposium, and stopping by on Sundays to talk with Paola about new food dishes to try out at home. Since I mentioned everyone else by name, I also want to give a shout out to Jack, Portland’s captain, I’ll miss working with you all.

And while I want to keep tabs on them, they all want to keep tabs on me and my ventures too. With that in mind, and to satisfy my end of camp/writing-in-the-yearbook-was-my-favorite-part-of-school desires, I made little RDB K.I.Ts for each of my lovely coworkers.

It wasn’t until last week, when a customer asked me to die-cut a selection of 12x12 scrapbooking paper into the Accucut “Artistic Envelope,” that I realized how cute this style is!

Inside the K.I.T. is a handstamped good bye card (complete with sappy sentiments), and a Rachel.db calling card with contact information for current ventures.

Product Shoutout: Only the Portland store currently has an Accucut machine, and we have a varied selection of dies to choose from. The great thing about the Accucut is that as long as the paper is adequate size for the chosen die, we can cut all sorts of items from any of our papers! From favor boxes to wedding enclosures, ATC cards to recipe box dividers, start with a flat sheet of paper and end with a magical little object! The Accucut is a roller die cutting machine that cuts and scores the pieces for easy fold (and glue) assembly.

Each R.D.B-K.I.T., uses:

1/3- sheet of a scrapbooking 12x12

2- brads

2- 3/4”circles (punched from scrap pieces of the 12x12s)

1- 10” piece of baker’s twine (ribbon, raffia, or string will also work!)

Tools you will find helpful in assembly are:

Bone folder

3/4” circle punch

3/16” hole punch


1. Come to the Portland Store and pick out paper and have us cut your envelopes (“eps,” in hip paper store lingo) on our Accucut machine. Ask for your scraps! ( If Portland isn’t your hometown Paper Zone, you can still order Accucut, there are just a few additional steps. Ask your favorite PZ Associate where their Accucut Sample Binder is, and see all the styles we can make!).

2. Fold and burnish all the sides of the envelopes (burnishing, as far as paper is concerned, is the act of smoothing a fold by applying pressure along the fold with a bone folder.)

3. Since you remembered to ask for your scraps (step 1), you have extra paper to punch out circles. Using your ¾” circle punch, punch two circles that will be used to loop the string/twine/ribbon around for closing the eps.

4. Use your 3/16” handheld hole punch to do just that, punch out a hole in the middle of your little circles. A brad will go through this hole, and through the pre-cut holes of the eps to secure the circle. (see the collage below)

Sometimes a contrasting color makes everything pop!

5. Cut 10” of string, twine or ribbon, that you like, to match your eps.

6. Locate the top flap of the eps. The top flap has the brad/circle dealy-bobber closer to the edge. Wrap the twine underneath the paper circle with enough of a tale to tie a knot.

7. Tie a knot to secure the twine and trim the excess tale.

8. Fill with your K.I.T. goodies and loop the twine under and around the brad circles, and give to your BFFs to whom you have to say TTYL.

Good-Bye Paper Zone. I miss you already. Let’s Keep In Touch. Love, Rachel.db

Monday, August 9, 2010

Teacher Giveaways

We’re getting close to that time of year again - time to unwind from the summer vacations and get geared up for going back to school. We are super excited to start this school year off right by giving back to our local schools and communities. I recently read that the average school teacher spends $356 out of pocket on school supplies for the classroom. That’s a lot of money, and we thought it would be great to help them out a little bit! The extra marker sets, glue bottles, pencils and paper really do add up throughout the year. We want to help show our appreciation for everything these teachers do for us and for the local community by having a teacher gift basket drawing at our stores. Each basket has some really cool school supplies, take a look at this list of everything that’s inside the basket – a perfect gift for a teacher.
Next time you’re in the area, stop in to Paper Zone and nominate your favorite teacher – we’re accepting nominations through the end of the month. We’re also hosting a school supply drive that we will award to a local school, we’d love for everyone to bring in school supplies or buy them at PZ and put them in the donation box. I know for me, my day always feels a little happier if I put a few minutes into doing something nice for someone else. We would love for you to help us spread the word about this drawing and the school drive! Tell your friends, let your kid’s school know, post it on your Facebook page or Blog, everything helps – and the more people who know, the more donations we will be able to award to our local schools.

Take a look at some of the teachers who won the gift basket during Teacher
Appreciation Week in May. Thanks for all your help and donations! --Lauren

Friday, August 6, 2010

On the Road

Is it just me or does it feel like fall is approaching way to quickly? I don't know what it is like where you live, but here in the great state of Washington there is an increasingly fall like feel to the air and I am noticing that even some of the leaves are starting to turn. With the back-to-school season officially underway, Jack Frost will be nipping at our heals before we know it. Holy moley, get out your woolens!

All that said, summer is not officially over and there is still time to get out and enjoy the longer days and all the fun activities that the season has to offer. Personally, I have been dreaming of taking a road trip for one last summer hurrah. I would just love to hop in my car, take off for California, and then meander all along down Highway 1, taking in the beautiful ocean views, eating good food, and staying in cozy little B&Bs.

Speaking of hitting the open road, have you come across Cosmo Cricket's Joy Ride line? In case you hadn't guessed, this line is all about travel, and I must say that it is really getting me geared up to make some cards to send from the road, even if, for the time being, that road only extends in and around Washington! Check it out!