Saturday, December 22, 2012

Craft Project: Princess Sash


Inspiration: I wanted a craft for my daughter's Princess themed birthday party but since we had already purchased tiaras from Oriental Trading, I had to come up with something else. I had originally thought to do sashes with materials but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the paint could stain and would take too long to dry. My husband mentioned making paper sashes at school as a kid, so we gave it a try one day with our daughter and liked how they came out.

How We Made Them:  Before the party, I used a large roll of white butcher-style art paper to cut long strips (folded over once to make them a little thicker).  I took two strips and angled the ends together so they overlapped with a diamond shape.  I stapled the diamond together and used white mailing labels to cover both sides of the staples (so they wouldn't pull on anyone's clothing).  I folded creases around the top to help when we put them on the girls and labeled the bottom of the creased area "Rt" to remind me that they go on the kids right shoulder.  On the side that would be the front, I used a black Sharpie to draw a crown and then wrote each girl's name in large block letters (the example in the photo was without a name).

Closed up of the finished top.

The sash before coloring.

During the party, we had crayons and stickers out for the girls to decorate them.   When they finished, we put them over their right shoulder and held the lengths together near their left hip and then stapled the paper together with 2 staples (if we needed to we covered the staples with white mailing labels).


  • I would have liked to have time to trim the length down for each girl and maybe cut in a V to make the ends look more like ribbons.
  • I've seen some websites where kids make them with brown paper bags and then design "badge" stickers like a Girl Scout Brownies sash.
  • This idea would also work for a pageant themed party.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Party Decorations: Banner & Shield


Inspiration: For my daughter's Princess Birthday party we wanted to add some more castle-like decor and signs.  I had read where someone had made some large banners and hung them near an entranceway.  So we did something similar as decoration.

How I Made Them:  I used a large roll of paper I got at Hollo's and cut out 3 large sheets.  From two of them I cut a shield shape - rounded to a point at the bottom and three points at the top.  The last one, I notched at the top to look like a banner and scalloped the bottom.  I hand-drew a castle on the shields with the words Castle above it.  I color one and our daughter colored the other one with help from her grandpa.  For the banner, I added the text "Princess D*'s 4th Birthday" and a crown.  I colored the scalloped edge to look like strings and then cut little slits all along the bottom edge to make it really seam like a strip of strings.  The shield I colored we hung outside so the guests would know that this was the Castle.  The other shield was in the hallway and the banner was in the dining room where the cake was going to be served.


  • If you'd like a sewing project instead, shields and banners could easily be done using felt.  Felt can even be used attached to a board and then pieces of felt on them could be changed since felt often sticks to felt on it's own (at least for short periods of time).
  • I know Oriental Trading Company has cardboard shields that you can buy and then decorate.
  • You could also make these using foam board and foam pieces.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Card: Winter Ice Skate


Inspiration: I've had on my idea list for a while to do an ice skate card. I decided this was the year since I wanted to do a series for the seasons starting with Winter.

How I Make Them:  I used the template that I use for the Birthday Roller Skate Card to make the boot.  I made a new template for the blade.  I cut the boot using either a light blue or light purple.  The blade I used metallic silver paper.  I glued the boot on and then the blade.  I used the Martha Stewart Glitter Pens to add laces with a tassel and "Happy Winter".  Inside I wrote a little verse of impressions of winter:
     Glide through the streets
          where the snows
     Glisten and sparks
          in the light as we
     Gladly celebrate and share


  • The boots can be in any color, might be cool to use a vinyl paper or a print fabric.
  • I've thought about making a card with a pair of skates dangling by their laces.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Party Game: Find the Shoes


Inspiration: Every year at my daughter's birthday party, we play a game where I hide around 20 images of something related to the party around our living room and the kids find them. They have a blast and we usually play this 2 or 3 times.

I started this game when I worked at a Day Care Center while in High School. I'd cut out shapes related to the time of the year and number them on the back (so we were sure all of them were found). The 3-5 year-olds I worked with thought it was the best game and would even pick up the toys in record time so we can play.

This year her birthday theme is Princess so I thought I'd take a page from Cinderella and use shoes.


How I Made Them:  I found a picture of a high heel by doing a Google Search.  I used Word to print it so I could make it the size I wanted (about 2 inches tall).  I used this printed image to make a template with a piece of paper and then traces pairs of them on different colors of paper.  I cut them out and then laminated them with my Xyron Laminator.  Finally I put 1/2 circle velcro stickers on the backs.

For the closet, I took a book cover (the hardcover part of a book) that I found at Hollo's Papercraft.  They had a bunch of choices for color, but I decided to go with white since the others were so dark.  I glued on a piece of tan paper cut to fit on each side and added dark brown shelves - 5 on each side.  Then I used the other 1/2 circle velcro sticker to attach the shoes.  The velcro means they come off the book.  I attached the soft velcro side to the shoes so they aren't rough when held by little hands.

To finish, I decorated the front of the book with "Ye Royal Shoe Closet", a crown and a large shoe.


  • For her Dora party, we hid baby animals from a book - I think they were Marmosets.
  • For her animal birthday party, we hid animals (we still play with these).
  • I've also done shapes based on seasonal images (leaves, snowmen, umbrellas, flowers) and holidays (dreydel, colorful eggs, hearts, shamrocks).
  • You could even get the kids to help you make the shapes or at least decorate them.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Cards: Strawberry Shortcake Stationary Set


Inspiration: My daughter loves Strawberry Shortcake.  She's almost 4 and she always wants pretty stationary for writing to her pen pal.  Since we cut up her first few issues of Strawberry Shortcake magazine so she could hang the posters on the walls of her room, I kept some figures cut out to use to make stationary for her.

How I Made Them:  They're actually pretty simple.  I just took the cut out images and used Modge Podge to adhere them in different ways.  For things like this, I avoid my Elmer's School Glue because it tends to make the images wrinkly when the paper is too thin.  I used to use Rubber Cement but I don't have any so I used the Modge Podge which seems to be working pretty well.  I added some text based on the pictures using the Martha Stewart Glitter Pens.  And finished them up with neon pink envelopes.

Alternatives:  You can use any character or item you can cut out.  Have fun!  I have a few Sunday comics I've been saving to do some others.  I tend to use things like this for just everyday stationary but it could easily be adapted for any occasion.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Card: Christmas - MiniPics


Inspiration: I get this catalog for mailing labels every month and I've always thought about cutting out all the little images and doing something with them.  So now I have!  Kind of like those pictures made from lots of timy pictures.

How I Make Them: As I mentioned, I cut out all the square and rectangular pictures/images from a label catalog I got in the mail.  I took my usual card stock and folded the card in half.  I measured out a space that I outlined in pencil to make sure I had a small edge around it with enough room at the top to write my greeting.  I used Modge Podge to adhere all the pieces.  If I don't feel that I get them down smooth enough, I use my daughter's play-doh rolling pin to smooth it out.  I let the whole thing dry under a pile of books.  After it's dried, I put a layer of Modge Podge over the collage and let it dry.  Then I used the Marther Stewart glitter marker set to write Merry Christmas at the top of the card.  I'm leaving these blank inside to write personal messages on them.

  • I created a few Fall ones to use as stationary.  I also made one for the 4th of July. 
  • I've made a few postcards with these as well - for Christmas and just general summer ones.
  • Basically any catalog or magazine could be used for images on just about any holiday or season or occassion.

Additional Photo (though it's a little fuzzy because I didn't use the flash):

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Decoration: Fall Garland


Inspiration: There were instructions in the Strawberry Shortcake Magazine that my 3-year old received for making a Fall Garland and she wanted to make one.

How We Made It:  I used the Fall Stencils that I got from Oriental Trading Company ( to make the shapes (the set has 12 different ones, I used the 3 leaves, the acorn, the pumpkin, the corn, and the haystacks).  I cut out the shapes in fall colored paper I got at Hollo's.  My daughter used the cut up scraps, some stickers, gems, googly eyes and pipe cleaners to decorate them with some help from her Dad (she does fine with the glue stick but the gems and pipe-cleaners needed stronger glue so he helped there).  After the pieces dries, I punched a hole in each one and added a reinforcer support on the back (so it hopefully won't tear).  Since I was out of yarn, I used some sisal-cord twine to string them up.  I put double knots between each piece so they stay spaced out.  Then we hung them up.

Alternatives: (aka things I thought about later)
  • We probably could have done double the number of shapes for the window space we have.
  • I later got some pumpkin confetti - that would have been fun to use too.
  • We could have always made our own shapes without the stencils.
  • I could have used some package ribbon (I have green) instead of the twine.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sewing Project: Toddler Backpack


Inspiration: Over the summer we tried many backpacks on my daughter who starts Pre-School is about 2 weeks now.  She didn't like any of them - too big, too big, it hurts, too big, yucky!  So I finally asked her if she'd like it if I made her a backpack and she agreed.  I found an on-line tutorial for a Dora backpack ( and made some modifications to get what I wanted/needed.

My Modifications:  Originally I was going to try to make it big enough to hold an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper.  But when I held that template up to my daughter's back, it went past knees.  I ended up scaling back quite a bit.  It's not exactly what she's supposed to have for Pre-School but it should work for the first part of the school year at least. 

Since I didn't want it to really be Dora's backpack and my daughter's current favorite color is pink, I chose a pink corduroy fabric.  It has glitter in it but at least it's by strips of glitter thread and not glued on.  For the liner, I chose a quilting fabric that was hot pink and had large daisy-like flowers on it.  Instead of Backpack's face, I made a large daisy with different colored petals (My daughter chose the fabric which was packed for quilting).

I added her name embroidered on the top flap.  And on the inside top flap, I took an extra piece of fabric from one of the petals to make a name/address plate.  My husband was a school bus driver years ago and often tells of the one kid who was still on the bus when he finished his route and how the kid had has name/address/phone on the inside of his backpack and that's how we was able to get the child home.

Alternatives:  If I had to do it over again, here's what I would have done different:
  • I would have gone ahead and used the bigger size.  Since it's softer than the store-bought backpacks, I don't think it would have been a problem.  Plus she's been growing quite a bit lately so it probably wouldn't have been oversize for too long.
  • I would have made wider straps.  Even using the recommended method for turning the straps, they were a major pain.  Plus if there's more in the back, I think wider straps would be more comfortable.  I'd probably have used a 2-3.5 inch width for the final straps instead of the 1" that the tutorial used.
  • I saw a really neat magnet set for bags in the notions aisle at Jo-Ann.  I didn't get it this time cuz I knew that her backpack isn't going to close when her school folio is inside, but I'd definitely use this next time and sew one part inside the upper flap and the other to the inside of the body just above the flower.
Additional Pictures:
Back side
With her School Folio inside

Monday, June 25, 2012

Card: 4th of July - Fireworks


Inspiration:  I wanted to send 4th of July cards this year and wanted to try a technique I hadn't used since elementary school.

How I Made Them:  On a large sheet of paper I drew lots of fireworks with crayons.  Then I took very watered down kid's paint in dark blue and brown (mixed) and did a wash over the paper.  After it dried, I cut the large paper into rectangles that fit on the cards.  After gluing them to the cards, I used Sharpie's to add "Happy 4th of July!" on the outside.  On the inside I wrote "Celebrate independence with fun and fireworks!"

  • I'm out of watercolor paint so I just really watered down my daughter's Crayola Kid's Paint, but watercolor would have been much better - smoother, and closer to the color I wanted.
  • This technique would work really well for Halloween cards too!  And maybe even "Over the Hill" birthday cards.
Additional Photo


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Card: Mother's Day - Hand in Hand


Inspiration: While my daughter is still small, I wanted to do something with her hand in it cuz it's little and cute.  I thought incorporated both her and my hand would be special.

How I Made Them:  I traced my daughter's right hand and my left hand on thin construction paper and cut them out.  I used a full 8x11 piece of paper for the card, folded in half.  I glued my hand on first, just putting glue near the wrist.  Then I placed my daughter's hand so it was partially under mine and glued it down.  Then I added glue on the tips of my hand's fingers and curled them so they were glued over and around my daughter's hand.  On the outside, I wrote "Hand in hand...".  On the inside, I wrote:
  • holding hands when we are small
  • sticky sweet PB&J kisses
  • wrap-around full hugging squeezes
Happy Mother's Day"

  • The hands could be decorated to add nail polish and rings or even a henna tattoo and maybe a bracelet.

Additional Photo:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Decoration: Giant Candy Hearts


OK so they're not quite the same as candy hearts, but they were fun to make.

Inspiration:  My 3-year old loves to help me decorate the house for holidays and she loves to paint at her easel.  Since most her paintings are just big blobs of color, I thought it would be cute to cut them out in heart shapes to hang them as decorations.  I wanted to add some words to them as well.

How We Made Them:  My daughter painted on large sheets at her easel.  I always try to restrict her to about 3 colors (and try not to let them be a combination that makes brown!).  We hung them on the clothesline in our basement to dry.  The next day, I used a Sharpie to draw a large heart and cut them out.  Then I wrote out block letters with sayings from Valentine's Candy on them.  Finally, we taped them to the wall in the hallway.

  • We made some that are mostly green and shamrock shaped for St. Patrick's Day (they're still up on the wall).
  • As long as you can come up with a large shape, you could do them for any holiday.
  • After drying, you could also make these multi-media by gluing on pictures cut out from magazines or shapes cut out of construction paper (or my personal favorite, small shapes cut for paint samples).

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sewing: Nook Cover


I got a Nook Color and decided I needed a cover to carry it in my big bag.  However, I didn't like the hard covers so I made my own.

Inspiration: A geocaching friend made me a holder for embroidery supplies a number of years ago.  It was a little bigger than my Nook but I used the basic design she used to create my cover.

How I Made It:  I used paper to make a pattern.  A piece of each of the 3 pocket layers.  I decided to add an additional pocket with a snap so I can store my micro SD cards.  I used some material I bought years ago for curtains in the dining room (that I never made).  The two upper pockets are just folded layers of materials.  The lowest pocket has batting.  The whole outside has batting.  After sewing the pocket piece together, I pinned it to the outer and inner fabric and batting.  Sewed the whole thing, turned it (I sewed it inside-out) and then hand-sewed it closed.  I wish I'd have added a material loop to the cover to attach to a button.  I didn't so instead I used 2 buttons and I use a pony tail holder to keep it together.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Card: Valentine's Day - Shadow Hearts


Inspiration:  I remember making silhouettes in grade school, probably for President's Day.  I'd also seen some lovely cameos lately and really wanted to do one of my daughter while she was little.

How I Made the Silhouette:  I tried to do the silhouette like I remember doing in school but the light I had made a very big shadow no matter where I put it and my 3 year old daughter was too squirmy to sit long enough for me to trace her shadow's outline.  So instead, I grabbed my digital camera.  She was very happy to pose for the camera even if I was only taking pictures of her shadow!  She loved looking at them on the camera's display afterwards.  I transferred the images to my computer and chose a few that I liked (I actually used 4 different ones for the cards so they wouldn't all be the same - some had her hair down and some had it up in a pony tail).  I used the free Picasa software to increase the contrast in the image and switch it from color to black and white.  I then pasted the images into Microsoft Word so I could size them how I wanted with the ruler gridlines present (so that the longest edge was no more than 2 inches).  Then I printed the page of images.  I made templates by cutting out the image.  I was going to add them to card stock and then recut but instead just printed them on a slightly stiffer paper.  I traced the template onto black paper and cut out my silhouette to use on the card.

How I Made the Card:  I folded a piece of 5"x8" white card stock in half along the short edge.  I took my black already cut out silhouette and glued it to a heart.  Then I trimmed the edges a little to keep the heart shape.  I glued the heart with the silhouette onto a larger heart.  All the hearts were cut ahead of time using heart templates made from old die cuts.  I glued the larger heart to the card.  I added a smaller heart in the same color as the heart I glued the silhouette to.  I then wrote Happy Valentine's Day on the added little heart.  Inside the card I wrote:  "Valentine hearts and ____'s shadow bring greetings of love, kisses and hugs! XOXO"

  • I could have done the silhouettes in color but wanted to go with the traditional this time.
  • With an older child you could cut out the silhouettes on white paper and have them color in their own face and hair.
  • Maybe next time, I'll do my husband and me too and we can have a shadow family photo on a card.

Additional Photo:  Below is the image from my computer after editing with Picasa.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Decoration: Valentine's Day - Sanded Layered Hearts


Inspiration: I remember making these in school a long time ago and wanted to try making one on my own.

How I Make Them: I cut my shape out of many pieces of different colors of construction paper (I used basic construction paper since it sands better). For the heart I used about 20 cut out shapes. For the butterfly shown below, I used at least 40. I punched the hole in each shape next, trying to get as close to the same spot as I could on each piece. Then I glued the layers together using Elmer's School Glue. I let that dry over night. The Elmer's School Glue causes it to warp a little - that's good! Warping will help when we smooth it out with sanding. After it's dried well, I start sanding. I took an old shoebox lid and taped a piece of fine-grit (120) sandpaper inside it. Then I sanded my piece from the flat sides. I did both sides, stopping every so often to dump the sanded off particles in the trash. This takes a few days to get done (my arm would get pretty tired from the sanding). When the front and back had the layers exposed in a way I liked, I took a piece of sandpaper and rounded the edges. I smoothed the hole a little with sandpaper around a skinny pen. I wipes the piece clean with a lightly damp paper towel and then let it dry overnight. The next day, I put a layer of Modge Podge on it. I let it dry overnight and then lightly sanded it and did another layer of Modge Podge. I repeated until I had done 4 layers of Modge Podge. Then I let it dry for a week (Modge Podge tends to be a bit tacky until it's really well dried). When it was well dried, I added a ribbon and was ready to hang it.

  • Any shape can be used. I've made hearts, butterflies, moons and stars.
  • If you make it thick enough, you can use sandpaper to add more texture to the piece (though I tend to just try to get it flat).
  • Instead of Modge Podge, you could try a poly-urethane coating but it might yellow over time. If you don't coat it, the layers will eventually just peel off.
Additional Photo:

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Decoration: Valentine's Day - Pipe-Cleaner Twist Hearts


Inspiration: I wanted a decoration that I could make with my 3-year old. I thought she'd be able to twist pipe-cleaners and then I could shape the twisted lengths into hearts. She needed a lot more help that I anticipated, but we had fun making them.

How We Made Them: We took 2 pipe-cleaners of the same length in different colors. I initially made a few twists in the bottom (starting one pipe-cleaner about 1/2 inch above the other). Then I held the bottom and one pipe-cleaner. I had her wrap the other pipe cleaner around to where the first was. I made it a little tighter when I grabbed the pipe-cleaner she held and then handed her the one I had held. We kept switching back and forth with her leading a pipe-cleaner around the one I held. When we neared the end, I finished the twisting. Then I took both ends and twisted them together and finally shaped the circle into a heart.

  • With some skill, other shapes for other holidays could be created.
  • We could have glued it down to paper when we finished.
  • I did make one with three pipe-cleaners braided. While this is more difficult, it might be fun for an older child.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Card: Valentine's Day - Strawberry


OK, I got bored waiting for us to be ready to decorate so I had to make another card...
Every year we go to a geocaching coffee at a local chocolate/ice cream place very close to Valentine's Day.  We've always brought Valentine's to hand out.  Our daughter has been the one handing them out the last 2 years (she say's a very cute "Happy Valentine's Day!" as she does).  Since I was growing impatient waiting to decorate, I figured I could make some for this year rather than just buying them that morning.

Inspiration: My daughter loves Strawberry Shortcake.  We'd been shopping for clothes for her and she saw a dress with a strawberry and a heart.  They were very similar.  I thought it would be cute for a valentine.

How I Make Them:  I took a heart die cut and made a template in which I softed the pointedness of the heart (see left part of photo above).  Then I cut the hearts out of stiff sticky-backed red felt.  I took my 5 x 8 white cardstock and used my paper trimmer to cut it into 8 pieces (2 x 2.5 each).  I peeled off the backing on the felt hearts and stuck them closer to the bottom of the card stock.  I used the Martha Stewart green glitter pen (review) to draw the leafy top of the strawberry.  Then I added "You're berry special, Valentine!" to the top with a red gel pen.  Finally, I used a silver gel pen to draw little circles on the felt heart to make it look like the seeds on the strawberry.  I plan on having my daughter help write her name of the back of them before we hand them out.

  • I've seen glittery foam board that might have been fun to work with too. 
  • Polka-dot fabric could also work.
  • Instead of just using marker for the leafy part, it would have been nice to use something that made it 3-d, (a green painted cotton ball or some fabric scraps or maybe some easter basket grass).

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Valentine's Idea Recap

Valentine's Day isn't too far away.  I'm really excited about the cards I made this year, but I can't share them until after I've mailed them since there are some recipients who I know sometimes read this blog.  In the meantime, I thought I'd recap some of my earlier posts that are relavent for the holiday.

Woven Heart Card

Arrow Words Card

XO Card

Silk Heart Card - written as an anniversary card but can be used for Valentine's Day

Words that come from the heart Bookmark

Stained Glass style decorations - can easily do hheart shapes

Hopefully, I'll remember to take photos so I can post the decorations I'm making with my daughter next week (twisted pipe-cleaners hearts).

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Project: Jewish Wedding Calligraphy Gift


Inspiration: Years ago my husband got me a card with the saying from the Baal Shem Tov that I used for this project.  I love it!

How I Make It: I worked out the spacing on the Calligraphy on practice calligraphy paper that was pre-lined.  Then I tape the practice sheet along with a piece of vellum onto a light box.  I use a C-4 Speedball nib and black India Ink to do the calligraphy on the vellum.  I let it dry and then cut out the vellum to match the frame size (5x7).  I cut out and place a piece of wrapping paper behind the vellum to give it some color.  The wrapping paper I used here (Love) was one from my Grandmother's collection I inherited after she passed.  It's always meant a lot to me as well.

  • Use a different text that's a favorite of the couple.  I've used Corinthians for a few Christian relatives and other biblical verses.
  • Sometimes I mix ink to match the color(s) on the wedding invite or will include the invitation in a double opening frame.

Text of the above verse:
From every human being there rises a light that reaches straight to heaven. And when two souls that are destined to be together find each other, their streams of light flow together, and a single brighter light goes forth from their united being. - Baal Shem Tov

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Product Review: Zots


I bought these through LTD Commodities a few months ago to try out.  For the most part, they seem to work really well.  I've used them for some smaller pieces on cards and I used them to make the Pom-Pom Snowmen for my daughter's birthday party.  They only worked ok on the pom-pom and didn't hold long against the stiff felt (glue is still better for those).  I've also used them in my daughter's baby book, so they're definitely good for scrapbooking.  The set I bought come with 3 sizes: small, medium & large.  There's very little difference in size between the medium & large so I just use them interchangeably.  Overall, not bad though I think I still prefer the running strips and small applications of glue.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bookmark: Hebrew/English Calligraphy - Education without Vision


Inspiration: Education is so important.  It's a major value in my life so I chose this quote to turn into a bookmark to share.
How I Make Them: Again I use a pre-cut 1.75 inches by 6.5 inches bookmark from Hollo's Papercraft. This time I use it horizontally. I draw my pencil lines from the top at 3MM and 8MM. From the bottom I draw them at 3MM, 8MM, 10MM, and 15MM. I calligraphy this bookmark in aqua ink (usually Speedball ink or self-mixed watercolor paint). I write the Hebrew letters using a C-4 Speedball nib and a Hunt Ex-Fine Bowl 512 for the vowels. I write the English using a C-5 Speedball nib. After the calligraphy ink has dried, I draw a open book using gel pens. Finally, I laminate the card using my Xylon sticker laminator.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Bookmark: Hebrew/English Calligraphy - Unfinished Symphony


Inspiration: Another quote I like.  "Education is an unfinished symphony." by Aranne.
How I Make Them: Again I use a pre-cut 1.75 inches by 6.5 inches bookmark from Hollo's Papercraft. This time I use it horizontally. I draw my pencil lines from the top at 2MM. From the bottom I draw them at 3MM, 7MM, 8MM, and 12MM. I calligraphy this bookmark in royal blue ink (usually Speedball ink for the blue and self-mixed watercolor paint). I write the Hebrew & English letters using a C-4 Speedball nib and a Hunt Ex-Fine Bowl 512 for the Hebrew vowels. After the calligraphy ink has dried, I use a music nib with a silver Speedball ink to draw the music staff. Once the staff has dried, I use gold gel pens to add some music.  Finally, I laminate the card using my Xylon sticker laminator.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Bookmark: Hebrew/English Calligraphy - Violin


Inspiration: Another quote I like. "The language of every nation is a wonderful violin." by Kahan.
How I Make Them: Again I use a pre-cut 1.75 inches by 6.5 inches bookmark from Hollo's Papercraft. This time I use it horizontally. I draw one pencil line from the top at 1inch. From the bottom I draw them at 1MM, 5MM, 6MM, and 10MM. I calligraphy this bookmark in brown ink. I write the Hebrew & English letters using a C-4 Speedball nib and a Hunt Ex-Fine Bowl 512 for the vowels. After the calligraphy ink has dried, I draw a violin with a bow using gel pens. Finally, I laminate the card using my Xylon sticker laminator.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bookmark: Hebrew/English Calligraphy - Torah image


Inspiration: I chose this quote mostly because I felt I could illustrate it with the image of an open torah scroll.  I'd drawn images like this since I was a child in religious school and wanted to do one on a bookmark.

How I Make Them:  Again I use a pre-cut 1.75 inches by 6.5 inches bookmark from Hollo's Papercraft.  This time I use it horizontally.  I draw my pencil lines from the top at 4MM and then a 2nd line at 1cm.  I repeat the same lines at the bottom edge of the bookmark.  I calligraphy this bookmark in a brown ink.  I write the Hebrew letters using a C-4 Speedball nib and a Hunt Ex-Fine Bowl 512 for the vowels.  I write the English using a C-5 Speedball nib.  After the calligraphy ink has dried, I draw an open scroll torah and color in the finials with a gel pen.  For the fake text in the scroll, I squiggle lines using black india ink and the Hunt Ex-Fine Bowl 512 nib.  Finally, I laminate the card using my Xylon sticker laminator.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Bookmark: Hebrew/English Calligraphy - Hillel Quote


Inspiration:  I made a series of these bookmarks with quotes from Rabbi Hillel as handouts for an activity fair for my college Hillel club (when I was advisor years ago).  On the back I pasted a calendar listing of all the Jewish Holidays from that year.

How I Make Them:  I use a pre-cut 2.25 inches by 7.5 inches bookmark from Hollo's Papercraft.  This time I use it horizontally.  I draw pencil lines to evenly space out the calligraphy.  For the Hebrew I used 7/16" spacing and for the English translation lines I used 5/16" spacing.  I write the Hebrew with a C3 or C4 Speedball nib and use a GLOBE nib for the vowels all in a Speedball Aqua colored ink.  For the English, I use a C5 or C6 Speedball nib with a purple Speedball ink. I also added "Rabbi Hillel taught:" at an angle using a C4 nib with a Speedball Royal Blue ink.  After the calligraphy ink has dried, I used scrapbooking tape to attach a small listing of Jewish holidays for the current calendar year on the back.  Finally, I laminate the card using my Xylon sticker laminator.

The quote in the above image is from Pirke Avot 2:6.  I also used Pirke Avot 1:14 (If I am not for myself, who will be for me?  If I am for myself, what am I? If not now, when?)