Paper Arts (page 1 of 3)

Vintage French Post Cards for Poisson d’Avril and Easter

What’s with the French and 1 April, the day when school children go around pasting paper fish on the backs of the unsuspecting and yell “Poisson d’avril !”. No one knows for sure but there are plenty of adorable, probably not-entirely true theories behind the tradition.

One comes from the fact that back in the day the new year began around the first of April. That changed in 1564 when King Charles IX took France into the modern world by adopting the Gregorian calendar and a new year beginning with January. This caused understandable confusion and frustration. (Think about it. As it is, Daylight Savings Time throws me off for weeks. Imagine shifting a whole season.) The response was to jokingly continue to celebrate the beginning of the new year on 1 April with gag gifts of fake fish.

Okay, but why fish? It may have been connected to Lent which often fell about this time of year. Meat was forbidden and fish was a big treat, ergo giving someone a fake fish was hilarious. (Don’t ask me, I don’t understand pranks at the best of times.) It is more likely to be linked to the fact that fishing [read more]

Vintage Birds: Free Downloads for Your Pages

One of the questions I am asked the most often is where do I get my bird images. Well, I do actively search them out and then some just find me but yes, I have a lot of birds. So here are a few to share and add to your collage, art journals, altered books, or other mixed media work. To use these, click on an image for a larger resolution, then right click and copy. You can then add it to an editing program such as Paint. (I use Word. Even though it is not a visual platform per se, I am used to it.) You may want to resize these, make them larger or smaller. Happy Making!

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Vintage Wildlife Backgrounds: Free Downloads

Recently I made an altered book layout using mix-and-match, contrasting backgrounds for a sort of torn wallpaper look. (The video is below.) You can use the techniques shown – rough tearing papers and layering them – using any papers that you have such as  sheet music, varied text, junk mail, magazine pages, and almost anything in between.

 

But if anyone would like to have these images, which are from Goldsmith’s Animated Nature, the 1876 edition, either for a similar background or any other project, I have added these high-res scans for you to use. Simply click on any image to get a larger version, then right click and copy the image into an editing program such as Paint. (I use Word. While it is not traditionally used for photo editing, it works for me and I am used to it.) Please note, you may want to resize this and make the page and images smaller. [read more]

Vintage Women from The Girl’s Own Paper (1892): Downloads

The Girl’s Own Paper was a periodical published in Britain from 1880 until 1956. I really enjoy the older versions for their plates and engravings that I use a lot in my altered books and art journals. They also have some writing that is as ridiculous as it is humourless: sanctimonious advice to young women about the quality of the verses, suggestions for becoming lace menders or lady’s maids, and serialised stories that were meant to be uplifting but today seem terrifying in their narrow expectation for the female half of the species.

Here are a few plates for you. Click on any image for a larger version then right click, copy, and put into an editing program. Paint is a good one although I also use Word (because I am used to it). Below is a video flipthrough of some of the prettier (and cheesier) selections from the book. Let me know if you have any questions and please get back to me and let me know what you [read more]

Vintage French Postcard Images

Here are some high-res scans of vintage French postcards with gorgeous handwriting in old ink. To use them in your work, click on an image for a bigger view then click, copy, and save into an editing program such as Paint. You can then add a light card for some backing and hey presto, you can play around with them to your creative heart’s content.

And here is a video tutorial showing how to use vintage postcards to make pockets in an altered book. This technique would also be good in junk journals or art journals or other mixed media work. Please let me know if you have any [read more]

French Holy Cards to Download

I recently acquired a batch of French holy cards (images pieuses) from the 1870s. They are utterly charming engravings on paper surrounded by a lace border, which is why they are also called “dentelles,” which is the French word for lace. Cards like this were often given as gifts for a first communion, baptism, or other important events in one’s church life and were cherished.

I have made this into high-resolution (300 dpi) scans that you can download and print or use digitally in your own collage, journal, or other mixed media work. TO USE: click on an image below for a larger resolution. You either print from there or right click and copy into an editing programme such as Paint and then size and print from there.

Please check back soon as I will be adding some images pieuses in colour!

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How to Use Text, Print, or Handwritten Pages in Your Work

I sell quite a bit of vintage paper from my studio, from letterpress text to handwritten letters to just plain old antique book pages. Sometimes the happy new owner of these pages is off and running with using it her work but other times I get emails saying that it is beautiful but what do I do next? Can I really use it in my pages?

The answer is, you bet. Let me show you some of the ways you can incorporate old papers into your work. As usual, I am going to show most of these methods using my altered book but remember, you can do the same in your art journals, junk journals, collage, or any other mixed media project.

  • Full page coverage. Using handwritten documents or letters is one of my favourite go-to ways to start a layout. It is fun and atmospheric and allows your focal points to shine, all at the same time.
  • A variation on the full page cover is to mix and match it with the original underpage. I like to rough tear a letter in an irregular way and then glue it to the base so that you can see some layer. [read more]

What’s in My Portable Art Studio: Travel Art Kit

This video is the first in a series on keeping a stay at home travel journal because just because we are not traveling these days doesn’t mean that we can’t keep a creative, cool record of our days, especially these crazy days. I want to start by talking about supplies, the tools that I carry with me to work on my illustrated journals, on the road and at home.

When I first discovered illustrated journal keeping I was told that the first, number one rule was – never go anywhere without your portable art kit on you. If you do this, if you are ready to work at any time. I am rarely without my supplies which means I can make pages in coffee shops, dr’s offices, parks, wherever I find myself. So let me introduce you to my portable art studio.

  • Waterbrushes (I use Pentel)
  • Variety of fineliner pens
  • Pencils
  • White gel pen
  • Bamboo dip pen
  • Scissors (mine are Cutter Bee)
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Eraser
  • Palette
  • Portable watercolour kit
  • Bag with pockets

 

Here are the links to some of the items I rely on. Note, I am not paid by any of these companies.

LIHIT Lab bags

https://www.cultpens.com/c/q/brands/lihit-lab

Gallo Watercolour kit

https://www.agallocolors.com/

Derwent Inktense Sticks

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Handmade Journal Bundle Kit Grey

I really love these boxed bundles of journal jumpstart stuff inspiration.

It starts with a handbound journal.  It measures 6″ x 6″ (16cm x 16cm), with 30 tea-dyed pages (for 60 sides). The cover is handmade grey linen paper that I bought at Calligrane in Paris. The wraparound cover ties with fawn sari silk. The binding is covered with a piece of a French dictionary page from 1826. It is truly one-of-a-kind. CLICK ON ANY PHOTO FOR A LARGER IMAGE.

Then there are the journal-keeping accessories:

  • UHU glue stick
  • 60 ml handmade walnut ink
  • Two bamboo dip pens in various sizes
  • Spritzer/mister bottle (to be filled with ink and water or acrylic paint and water to embellish pages)
  • Paper bundle pack (vintage French print, handmade marbled paper, mulberry paper, Nepalese lokta, vintage blueprints on acetate, a variety of tissue papers, two oversize tags). Papers are all different but approximately 6″ x 6″ (16cm x 16cm) and can be used in your blank book or in other mixed-media work.

This bundle makes a unique starter kit for the new diary keeper or a charming addition to the longtime journal addict’s stash.

Cost is £65 GBP plus £5 shipping. You can use the button below to Buy It Now or [read more]

Handmade Journal Bundle for Creative Pages – Indigo

I really love these boxed bundles of journal jumpstart stuff inspiration.

It starts with a handbound journal.  It measures 6″ x 6″ (16cm x 16cm), with 30 tea-dyed pages (for 60 sides). The cover is handmade indigo linen paper that I bought at Calligrane in Paris. The wraparound cover ties with oxblood sari silk. It is truly one-of-a-kind. CLICK ON ANY PHOTO TO SEE A LARGER IMAGE.

Then there are the journal-keeping accessories:

  • UHU glue stick
  • 60 ml handmade walnut ink
  • Two bamboo dip pens in various sizes
  • Spritzer/mister bottle (to be filled with ink and water or acrylic paint and water to embellish pages)
  • Paper bundle pack (vintage French print, handmade marbled paper, mulberry paper, Nepalese lokta, vintage blueprints on acetate, a variety of tissue papers, two oversize tags). Papers are all different but approximately 6″ x 6″ (16cm x 16cm) and can be used in your blank book or in other mixed-media work.

This bundle makes a unique starter kit for the new diary keeper or a charming addition to the longtime journal addict’s stash.

Cost is £65 GBP plus £5 shipping. You can use the button below to Buy It Now or email me at kellyboler79@gmail.com to request an invoice. Please let me know if [read more]

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