Friday, October 29, 2010

Planning Obsessed

As some of you may know, I am quite crazy for calendars. Every year I usually end up buying several for myself, which I scatter about at home and at the office. Apart from enjoying the imagery, I just love the feeling of organization and, consequently, peace of mind that calendars can bring. To see all the days and months neatly laid out is reassuring as I sit amongst the towers of papers, heaps of samples, and precariously balanced tchokis that occupy my desk.

Given my calendar obsession, imagine my delight when we decided to bring in some 2011 Planners from Cavallini. As you can see, these calendars are really quite something.
Measuring 4"x6" these calendars will fit nicely in a purse and as they are covered in the beautiful and timeless artwork that Cavallini is known for, are sure to stand out amongst the lipsticks, cellphones, sandwiches (Annie Hall lovers take note) or anything else you may carry with you. They also feature week-at-a-glance layout, sections for addresses and notes, and each calendar has Paris, London and New York City transit maps. How cool is all that! These calendars make the perfect gift for yourself and others, of course :).
Happy planning!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wrap Your Gifts with Origami Boxes

As we approach the gift-giving season, it's always nice to have some new fun ways to wrap up all of those packages. The tower of packages above was created using an age old origami technique and brand new paper from the Making Memories Paper Reverie line. These boxes not only turn out absolutely gorgeous, but they are so simple to do...even for the origami novice. Here are the simple steps you will need to follow:

Step 1: Begin with a square piece of paper. The patterned side (the side you want on the outside of the box) should be facing down as shown.

Fold the paper in half and unfold.

Step 2: Turn the paper 90 degrees and fold in half again and unfold.

Where the folds cross is the center of the paper and will be used as your guide for the steps to follow.

Step 3: Fold each corner in so that it meets the center.

Step 4: Turn your paper 45 degrees. Fold the edge of the paper closest to you up so that it meets the center point of your paper.

Step 5: Turn the paper around and fold the other side to meet the center as well.

Step 6: Unfold the folds you made in steps 4 and 5.

Step 7: Turn the paper 90 degrees repeat steps 4 and 5 but on the sides that have not yet been folded.

Step 8: Unfold the folds you made in Step 7.

You have completed all of the folding that will be required. Now we will put the box together.

Step 9: Unfold the top and bottom corners.

Step 10: While holding up the still-folded sides, pinch in the corners (as shown below where my index fingers are) and bring up the back corner and fold down into the interior of the box.

Repeat on the other side:

You now have the bottom of your box!

To create the box lid, repeat steps 1-3.

In steps 4-7 you will still fold the edges in, but fold them so that they are about 1/8" to 1/4" (depending on the size of paper you start with) shy of the center point as shown below.

Continue with steps 8-10 as shown above and you will have created your box lid. This lid should fit together nicely with the box bottom you have created.

Using a 6"x6" piece of paper, your box will be about this size:

Using a 12"x12" piece of paper, your box will be quite a bit larger, like this:

This simple box is sure to impress anyone on your gift-giving list and there are tons of great papers to choose from, so the options are endless!
I want to send out a special thank you to our teacher, Vicky Mihara Avery from Mountain Valley Paper, who was kind enough to visit this past week and give us a tutorial on this and other great gift wrapping ideas. Thanks Vicky!

Happy Crafting Everyone!


Ms. Pompidou

For those of you anxiously awaiting Ms. Pompidou from my previous post, here she is:

I'm thinking she could still use a little trim off the sides... maybe some highlights to frame her face. :) -Amanda

Monday, October 25, 2010

Easy Envelope Liners

We get a lot of questions about the how-to's of lining envelopes. It's something that is so simple to do (really, it only adds a few minutes to your cardmaking time) and adds a huge statement to your card or invite. I figured with holiday cardmaking right around the corner, we could all use a little refresher course on how to create an envelope liner.

Step 1: Gather your envelopes and 12x12s (or whatever you are going to use to line your envelope - handmade paper works really well here too).

Step 2:
Trace around the outer edge of the envelope. I love the way the liners look in the deep V-flap of the PZ facets envelopes, but you can do this with any envelope shape or size.

Step 3: Cut out along the line, trim about an inch off the bottom so the liner will fit when you place it in the envelope.

Step 4: Place adhesive on the back of the liner and insert it in the envelope so just a little bit of the envelope shows around the edges. Once your liner is in place, press it down to be sure it is secure.

Step 5: Score the crease of the liner. I used the Scor-It Board, but you could also use a Bone Folder for this. Fold along the crease.

And that is all there is to it, so simple and easy. My friend who recently got married added envelope liners to all her invitations and I think it made such a beautiful presentation - it's the first thing you see when you open up an envelope! Hopefully this has inspired you to add that little special touch to your holiday cards, party invites and thank you notes. --Lauren

Friday, October 22, 2010

More Winners!

The winning submissions to the Halloween Crafters Challenge - made by PZ employees are: 1st place goes to Sarah Schilt, Manager at our Tacoma store; 2nd place goes to Helen Hogan-Campbell, Assistant Manager at our Bellingham store. We had so many great entries, please check out our album.

I asked each winner to tell us about their creation. Here is what Sarah said about her unbelievably creative album:
"I am always looking to challenge myself when it comes to being crafty. One of the best ways I have found to do this is to look for random, inexpensive items that can be transformed into something super cute. Recently, Paper Zone started selling plain paper lunch sacks - alone, not that exciting, but when turned into a mini album, simply amazing! (And at only $0.15 a piece, the entire album base cost less than $1.00!) Add some adorable ribbons (at only $0.99 a roll!) and coordinating decorative papers (only $0.89 a piece!) and you have an inexpensive yet priceless mini album that can be given as a gift or used to preserve memories of any kind.

The album I made was inspired by the upcoming Halloween holiday, but just think of all the mini albums you can make: First Day of School, Special Holiday Moments, Friendship Album.the list goes on and on! My next mini album: a collection of my family's favorite recipes to give as Christmas gifts. Think: pull out recipe cards complete with photos of the completed dish, quotes, memories, etc. all compiled into an adorable (and did I mention inexpensive!) gift that will be cherished by many.

The album itself is super easy to make and so much fun!" - Sarah, Paper Goddess

Click here for a list of supplies and step by step instructions for this project.

And here is what Helen said about her spooky little tin:

"I like to alter tins, so thought it might be fun to see what I could create using the challenge products. I used an empty candy tin, measured the top, bottom and around the tin and cut the paper pieces to fit. To get the corners exact I used the Corner Chomper. I could not get the top rim piece straight for the life of me, so finally colored it black with a sharpie. I inked the edges of the paper pieces to "finish" them, and adhered with red line tape. Before I adhered the top I stamped the web and added the skeleton sticker and the button to the web. After attaching the paper pieces inside the tin, I attached Martha's bat punches with glue dots. It was a lot of fun to make, and I've made a few more with candy inside for friends. " - Helen

We hope you were inspired from ALL of the entries. We will be announcing the Holiday Crafters' Challenge on Monday!! --Kim

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

And the Winner Is. . . .

Congratulations to Gillian Moyle Johnston for creating the winning submission for the Halloween Crafters' Challenge!! (PZ employees, we will be announcing an internal winner later this week). Gillian's paper doll stage immediately caught our eye, taking our imagination to a Halloween playland full of charm and whimsy.

I asked Gillian to be a guest blogger and tell us her inspiration behind the project and this is what she had to say:

"My inspiration for this project came when I was at Paper Zone to pick out the items I would use in my project and saw the paper doll kit in the Halloween section. I was immediately drawn to it and knew that I had to incorporate them. I thought about how much fun I use to have with my sisters and friends when I was little and how a play stage would be perfect for these charming paper dolls. In designing the stage set for a Halloween theme, I chose a haunted house on a hill (made out of cardstock from an online clip art image embellished with orange and black glitter), the bat flying in the sky, and a tree (drawn and cut out of cardstock, embellished with some stamp pad ink). I imagined a couple of little girls playing with this which is why I wanted the stage to be playful and fun rather than dark and spooky, thus the choice of blue cloud paper for the sky, green cardstock for the grass, and the colorful fall leaves. I thought the star side of the paper was very fitting for a stage floor and the closet door labels. The right side closet I left with just a faux mirror as I thought a little girl would want to be able to have a place for her own creativity to be incorporated, whether that be costumes she creates herself or additional props for play time.

The last element I created was the closure, I thought a simple ribbon with the skull embellishment completed the project nicely and gave a hint of what the theme inside would be. The hardest part was choosing the adhesive for the costumes as I wanted them to stick inside the closet when they were not in use but be able to come off easily during play; I did have to return to Paper Zone and purchase a second paper doll kit as the first attempt to find a good
adhesive did not work as planned; ultimately I used the re-positionable liquid glue for the Slice glass mat. This was so much fun creating, I do sometimes have a hard time deciding what to create, so having the paper, ribbons, and embellishments as a starting point really got this project started. Not to mention having a really good excuse for stopping by the store! Kind Regards, Gillian"

We are thrilled Gillian had the inspiration she did because the end result was a delight! Please check back with us to see the winning submission created by a Paper Zone insider.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Origami Cats

Hi Everyone

Keeping with the spirit of Halloween, I tried my hand at creating two origami cats. The first is simple and the second is intermediate. Of course being who I am, I immediately wanted to jump into the advanced cat, but it was just a bit too frustrating, especially given the fact that I have done very little origami in my life.

I did find it to be a fun project and am looking forward to becoming more proficient and making some great paper art. I have a sneaking suspicion this is just the beginning for me.

Simple Origami Cat
Step 1: Start with a black piece of origami paper or a very thin equivalent.

Step 2: Fold down the top half of the paper and crease.

Step 3: Fold the paper in half once more so it is fourth of the original piece. Re-open the last fold.

Step 4: Using the middle line as a guide, fold over the two opposite corners to create the ears of the cat.

Step 5: Hold down and crease the top triangle to create a flat top of the head.

Step 6: Flip the cat over.

Step 7: Embellish your cat face with eyes, a nose and whiskers. I used googlie eyes, a small piece of pink ribbon for the nose, and thin paper strips for the whiskers.

Intermediate Cat

This cat is more complicated, so I have also included a video showing you how to fold the piece. Since I am new to origami, I am not sure yet of all of the technical folding terms, so this video also helped me out a lot.

Step 1: Start with a square piece of origami paper.

Step 2: Fold the paper in half.
Step 3: Unfold the paper and refold in the other direction.

Step 4: Open up your square and fold in two opposite corners to where they meet at the mid line.
Step 5: Fold over at the mid line
Step 6: Taking one corner, fold over, using both top corner angles as a guide. The top right hand corner should create an angle that is shy of 90 degrees. Line up the right corner with the left corner to create a line running corner to corner. This is important as this fold creates the body of the cat.
Step 7: Fold the bottom half of the body over the corner fold at the fold line. This creates a tail.
Step 8: Unfold to step 5. Holding the tail portion, open up the other fold to look like the following picture.
Step 9: Push down on the side corners to create a face and crease.
Step 10: Using the body as a guide, fold in one of the triangles at the side of the face.
Step 11: Fold the tip of that triangle out to create the ear.
Step 12: Flip the body over to the other side .
Step 13: repeat steps 10 and 11 to create the second ear.

Step 14: Your project should resemble this.

Step 15: Fold down the top point of the head to create a flat top for the head.

Step 16: Crease and tuck in the top fold. It will fit under one of the ears.

Step 17: Flip the cat over and fold the bottom triangle (nose) up.
Step 18: Fold the top of the triangle down to complete the nose.
Step 19: Using the bottom of the cat as a guide, fold the tail in.
Step 20: Unfold this last fold and refold it inside the cat.

Step 21: Take the tip of the tail and fold it back half ways and crease.
Step 22: Now the tail sticks out from the body just a little bit.
Step 23: Decorate the cat face with eyes and whiskers.

If you enjoy these projects, join us at the Paper Zone in Portland, OR for an Origami Class.
The class will be held on October 24th (12pm to 2pm). Ramsay Cowlishaw will be teaching some fun Halloween themed origami projects (pumpkins, bats, and scary masks!)
The class will cost $20, and all materials will be provided.

Happy Crafting, Sandra