Tuesday, April 21, 2009

page layouts

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

"How To" Project Structure

I plan on using still photographs to illustrate the process of designing and creating these craft items. I am also planning on providing links to places to purchase supplies, both in person and online.

Making Paper Angels and Nuns

Collecting Your Materials

First, have a glue stick, some PVA, Diamond Glaze, scissors, a craft knife and a cutting mat on hand. Download the patterns here. [make the word "here" a link]

Choosing the right base material
Talking about uses of new material and recycled material for the base. Base must be structured and not flimsy. You can buy expensive cardstock or inexpensive chipboard at the craft store. You can also create green by using materials such as cereal boxes, shirt boards and other scrap materials.

[show pics of different bases]

Dressing your Angel

Craft paper is big business. Places like Michaels, JoAnnes, The Paper Zone and other craft stores carry lines of what is called Scrapbooking paper, but is really beautifully designed paper of different weights that can be used for many different crafts. You can also create green and use whimsical choices like junk mail, monopoly money, old music sheets and vintage book pages.

[show many different decorative papers]


Old Buttons, old keys, found objects, ribbon, lace, scraps of fabric and much more can be used to embellish your angel.You don't need to spend a lot of money to dress your angels--you can even use beautiful leaves that you find on a nature walk, or dried flowers from your garden. You can also spend a fortune on costly and beautiful embellishments from the craft store, or pick up bargain embellishments at SCRAP or the local Dollar Store.

[show pics of different embellishments, from free to spendy, new to green]


Making nuns is fairly quick because you stay within a two color scheme--black and white. You can use yellowed book pages to pass for white--I've even used old dress patterns--but you don't need to spend a lot of time picking out coordinating colors. Newspaper makes some cool looking Nuns--especially if you pay attention to the density and or size of the type. In this way, you use the type to create the illusion of dark or light.

[show pics of finished Nuns]

Choosing your pattern and face.

Decide whether making an angel or a nun fits your materials and collect a mass of coordinated papers. Select a face--you can use a favorite picture of yourself, a friend or family member, or a beloved pet. I've used vintage animal pictures too. The thing to remember is to choose an image that looks straight into the camera. The Nun pattern is particularly needful of this.

[Show pics of different faces, animals and people]

Cut your pattern out of your base material by placing your pattern on top of your cardboard (or chip board) and using your craft knife.

[show cutting out pattern]

For an angel, choose a paper for your main dress. You will choose coordinating papers for overskirts, arms, halo, etc.

Adhere the base to the backside of the decorative paper. Smooth out any wrinkles and let dry. Cut around base pattern.

[show finished base]

Choose a coordinating paper for the over skirt, wings, halo, and arms. Using the same method for glueing paper to base, continue with each of these elements.

{show pics of doing this]

Using PVA, glue these base items together, beginning with the overskirt to the front of the base. The arms on top of the overskirt. The wings to the back of the base. The face gets glued on the head of your angel, and finally, the halo glues to the back of the head.

[show pics of each of these steps]

Using your embellishments, begin to decorate your angel. She can hold something, she can be hung by ribbon, she can have a decorative edge of fabric, lace or paper. Use your imagination.

[show different finished angels]

For a Nun, choose your white and black papers--you can use several different ones. Cut out your base Nun dress from your base material. Put that base on the wrong side of your paper and glue it down. Use the same method for the wimple, the headdress, etc, using either black or white paper. The front apron goes onto the front of the base dress, before the arms/sleeves. The wimple gets glued on top of the sleeves. The face gets glued on top of the wimple. The head band is glued to the top of the face. The head pieces are glued together, white to the top of the black, and then they get glued to the back of the head.

[show pics of all the steps]

Nuns don't normally have too much in the way of embellishments, but you could certainly glue a mini rosary or a cross to the front where the sleeves meet. I usually make my nuns with themes, and try to give them imaginative names, but it's not required. :-)

These are fun and relatively inexpensive paper dolls to create for Christmas ornaments, gift tags or just to hang around your house!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

How To: Paper Angels

I'd like to do a "How To" webpage on a craft I make; Paper Angels. I also make Nuns. They can be made with pictures of people or pets, vintage images or current family members. These are some examples.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Websites; Well designed and not so much...

The first website I dearly love is the home site of my favorite digital artist, Maggie Taylor.


Although this is a flash site and can load somewhat slowly on an older machine like the one I have at home, it is visually stunning and created to showcase her amazing artwork. It is interactive to a certain extent, but the flash elements are separated so not every work of art has movement. This leads the viewer throughout the site by way of their curiosity to see what is next. The navigation is easy to decipher and it is a lovely and well designed site.

The second site I love is where the art of Eduardo Recife, a brilliant Brazilian artist lives.


He's got a unique and very grunge style that I love and his site is well designed for the person interested in his artwork. His commercial site is at


Although his commercial site is not poorly designed, and does show some of his prestigious client list, I don't care for the color scheme as much as his personal site, which is very simple and showcases his art better.

I found another site that I thought had a very cool design. It's for designer Michel Rijk.


His design utilizes a silhouette of himself in motion, and has clickable areas around his body. When you click on his briefcase, the silhouette walks toward the viewer and opens up his briefcase, which then showcases his work. Although I am not a fan of the horizontal scroll, it is a clever idea for a portfolio.

Another great site is Goblin Creative.

Super cool/hip iphone design interface with some really nice movement and it's easy to navigate--even though its in another language! I really enjoyed it and I'd hire them to do work for me if I was in the market for a great multi-media design company.

Not so much......

First one, Hasrimy.com


As previously stated, I am not a fan of the horizontal scroll. That's all this page is--one, big, long, horizontal scroll. I would much rather navigate a page that takes you to other pages than try to search through this mess. On the plus side, they have a nice little form at the beginning....

Second one, Ricard Howdy Design Services.

I'm not sure what this was created with. It's not supposed to be a Flash site, but it really slowed down my elderly Mac. Some of the design is clever (the images hanging from pins), but the way it is put together just didn't do it for me and the slowness really turned me off.

Third is Kodis Design.

There are nice elements here (the page he designed for Rock Concerts is nice) but I got really frustrated because there were no scrolling bars and whole bottom sections were obscured. It's one of my pet peeves because I don't have money for a spiffy new computer, and it really irks me when designers just "assume" that everyone out there has a huge screen and design accordingly. That really puts me off of the whole design.