Friday, February 17, 2017

Butterfly Origami

I made a card for my niece’s Bridal Shower with an Origami Butterfly. Joan Son makes a similar butterfly plus award-winning Origami. My butterfly is different; Joan's are fluffier.

Start with a square piece of paper. I used handmade paper 5 inches square to fit my 5 x 4 inch card. Only a few steps involved:

1. Fold diagonally both ways using a bone folder.
2. Scrunch the middle together: poke in the center, like this:

3. Fold flaps down to center point - on one side only.
4. Turn over & fold up past the edge - as on the right below.
5. Fold top flaps down & create corner folds - at bottom.

6. Turn over and fold in half - looks like this:

7. Use an awl or needle tool to punch holes for adding a tiny brad to the nose to puff it out. 

For the card: Put through Sizzix for embossing the flowers; added the butterfly  (without the brad) and flattened it.

Ribbon from Target says: “Happily Ever After” - taped that on the card.

I am teaching Origami to the Cinco Ranch Ladies Club: Craft Group - on February 27th - for free. See directions for my other Origami pictured here:

Gift Box:

Once I get started with the butterflies I find other uses for them such as party banners or even decorating a wreath or Christmas tree! Have you tried to make them? Let me know...
©Anne Rita Taylor 2017

Friday, February 3, 2017

Valentine Exchange

I joined a Valentine Exchange with The Guild of Book Workers - Lone Star Chapter - to send 10 Valentines and receive 10 in return. Rules included having an edition using any method of printmaking or paper or book arts.

I used my carvings for a photopolymer plate from Boxcar Press. As a member of The Houston Printers Guild I used The Printing Museum’s tabletop printing equipment & sold some of these cards in their gift shop.

For this exchange I added another dimension having an accordion book inside the card.

I found a quote I liked and practiced calligraphy so it would fit when folded in eighths on one third of an 8 1/2 by 11 inch scrapbook paper.

I attached the accordion with a heart shaped brad. Here is the inside and back of the card where I also attached my "Made by" labels.

I thought it actually needed something more…so I used my Sizzix Embossing Texture Boutique on all the card fronts. You can see the details:

Now let’s see what kind of Valentine cards I receive by February 14th. There will be an online exhibit on the Lone Star Chapter’s website:

To finish I used a wonky heart I carved on each envelope. This month is all about LOVE!!!

If you feel the spirit move you, please leave me a comment. Happy Valentine's Day!
©Anne Rita Taylor 2017

Friday, January 20, 2017

Art Journaling Online

I made a Beaded Longstitch Placemat Journal for an online class from Kelly Kilmer called A Prompt a Day. The paper is 120 lb. hot press watercolor paper from Dick BlickClick Link for related blog:

I met Kelly in 2003 in her fabulous Los Angeles bookbinding class in Beverly Hills. Kelly still teaches around the L.A. area.

Kelly has this wonderful class - A Prompt a Day - on her blog site:  She gives 30 days of suggestions for backgrounds, such as collage, colors, images and writing prompts - for example: writing about a current life issue.

I enjoyed a prompt about writing a secret and placing it in a sealed envelope tucked away on the left side of the dancing girl page - above.

Finished with 10 Things I Do Every Day on April 30th. On this page I used a photo of my younger self.

Please tell me about your art journaling; and let me know if you have any questions in the Comments.
©Anne Rita Taylor 2017

Friday, January 6, 2017

Help Others - Help Yourself

I met people in the arts when I volunteered at the Art League Houston. Through networking, my sculpture was displayed in The Toni Jones Gallery! See Sculpting in Clay, click link:

I wrote an article about volunteering - published in The Star (yes, that supermarket tabloid & they paid me $300!) In 1987 there were 39% of Americans who volunteered which was 89 million. 

In 2016 25.3% of Americans volunteer, which is 62.8 million volunteers, according to the Corporation for National Community Service. What is up with that!?!

Part of my published article from "The Star" -

Working for nothing can pay off in the long run. Being a volunteer not only makes you feel good about yourself, but it is a great way to get job training - for free!

Volunteering can be glamorous & exciting too! 
All these places use volunteers: 
  • Television and radio stations 
  • Fashion designers 
  • Art galleries 
  • Community Theaters
  • The Ballet & Opera
  • Museums 
  • Politicians

You can volunteer as follows:

Arts: assist in an art gallery; become a museum tour guide, also known as a docent.
Entertainment: front or back stage, or wardrobe with sewing skills at a community theater.
Politics: organizer at a campaign headquarters in your area.
Retail: hospital gift shop or charity thrift shop.
Medical: patient visitor; instructor for the Red Cross.
Miscellaneous: office clerk for public supported radio or TV station.

In the greater Houston area there are many volunteer opportunities. 

Volunteer Houston connects people with their passions. 
Click these links for more information:

And if you would like to contact me, 
please leave me a comment.
©Anne Rita Taylor 2017

Friday, December 30, 2016

Review 2016: Top 3 Posts

This is my 53rd post! I started this weekly blog on New Year’s Day 2016. The Unicorn Dream above posted in Creating White Vine Letters (5th most popular!) on March 4th. Click link:

My top 3 popular posts: Blogger tells me how many times each blog is viewed - not including my views either.

Beaded Books is my #1 blog for 2016 - instructional & the most popular - posted on September 23rd. Click link: 

There are two 2nd most viewed posts: Bookbinding in Los Angeles - with Charlene Mathews posted on May 20th. Click link: 
Plus: Carving Images for Prints - DIY posted on January 15th. Click link:

3rd most popular is Marbling Suminagashi Style - also instructional posted on March 18th:

The top calligraphy post - also about book binding -& my 4th most popular is Fabric Book of Intentions on February 19th: Click link:

I was on the Design Team for Arnold Grummer Paper Making: February through July. It was a happy experience - AG sent me free art supplies - what more could I ask!?!
My most popular post for AG is on July 27th. Click link:

If you read this far…  During 2017 my blog posts go twice a month - the 1st and 3rd Friday of the month - so I have more time for art-making. 
Here's hoping we all have a peaceful and rewarding Happy New Year!
©Anne Rita Taylor 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016

Learning Foundational Calligraphy

Lettering Foundational calligraphy seems easier because it is based on the circular O. Also of course it takes lots of practice!

Sheila Waters book, Foundations of Calligraphy is helpful; she has an analytic approach. Sheila studied at the Royal College of Art, London.

Because it was available in 1999, Italic was my first calligraphic hand, taught by The Houston Calligraphy Guild through their Tutorial Program. Simply put, Italic letters are narrow, written on a slant. Using a keystroke we can make anything we type Italic. See Exploring Italic Here:

I tried learning Foundational on my own; then I benefited from a Summer Study class with Karla Hamilton: White Vine Letters and the Foundational Hand. 
See my blog on White Vine letters

I practiced all summer, working toward this finished project. 

I have since enjoyed Foundational as my go-to hand but I know I am not perfect. What makes calligraphy so much fun is trying to master the form.

Practice, practice and more practice - fun on a winter's day... 

Below: I try writing using 4 pen nib widths for lower case and 7 nib widths for ascenders & capitals.

If you would like to share your thoughts with me - please let me know in the comments below.

Have a very Merry Christmas!!!

©Anne Rita Taylor 2016

Friday, December 16, 2016

Cards for Christmas

Every December the Houston Calligraphy Guild has members exchange up to three Christmas cards that we can actually send to others. There is a numbering system at the meeting so you never know which cards you’ll receive.
My Xyron machine added adhesive to the back of the green paper. Double-sided tape works too.
Happy to say - my carved stamps make unique cards. See my carving instructions here: - I carved the deer, ornament, PEACE, Merry Christmas, the tree and small circle. The Earth stamp was from All Night Media - out of business from my Google search.
On my visit to Hobby Lobby last week I found Christmas stamps too. Here is the Christmas Ornament card with supplies used.
And I carved a Christmas tree with open circles for tree ornaments and the planet Earth.
Do you send Christmas cards - store-bought or home-made? Are you satisfied with sending a text!?! What Christmas cards, if any, are you sending this year?
©Anne Rita Taylor 2016