I recently ordered some wonderful Japanese papers from one of my favorite online shops Uguisu. I got really inspired by the bright palette used by artist Yonagadou in a paper design and thought it was a great place to start this series.
I painted several patterns using this palette and then hung them on the wall in my studio to help brighten things up. It is a very dark time of the year here on Vancouver Island and I particularly enjoyed using the bright sunny yellow. Of course tulips and paper whites are in all the supermarkets right now and they can really brighten up a corner of your home.
I used a sweet little hanging vase set that I purchased last year from Terrain to hold some tulips and greens on my wall.
I was recently asked to participate in a mail art project with some online friends. I was thrilled as I thought it would be a different and inspiring way to connect with paper loving folks. These kinds of connections make being a part of this online community so special for me.
We are all busy in our lives and it can be difficult to find individuals who may just squeal with glee over a stamped paper like myself! Needless to say I have been making envelopes and collecting special piles of papers to send out each month. I love my envelope template as I can turn any piece of paper into one in a few seconds!
The winter has been a great time to be busy with creative projects. I look forward to sharing more with you here next month! See you soon. xo, Leslie
(images & styling: Leslie Shewring)
Hello friends! It is Leslie here with my Color Me Pretty column for October. Holly and I decided to try something different this time. She sent me an image that she liked and I created the color story based off of that image. We wanted to show how you can take something that inspires you and turn it into a craft project, a floral arrangement or maybe a little décor item for your home. She thought with so many people pinning stuff on Pinterest, why not try to inspire YOU with how to actually translate something you’re pinning into a real project that you can work on at home. Here is the inspiration from Holly – this photo and this palette. This was my mission!
The image of Kelli Murray’s invitations was a fun starting off point for me because I love stationery and I often look at paper for inspiration! The palette of a medium gray, coppery brown, black, and bright melon is a fun one to use for fall. Since it is not a traditional fall palette it could definitely be used year around. Since I did not have much copper paper on hand I shifted the color to a kraft brown. I hope you enjoy this series!
I just love the cute little feather garland Kelli included in her invitations and I wanted to try scaling it up to make one for my studio. I had a natural twine on hand and cut the feathers out of scrap paper, including a paper grocery bag (can’t get enough of them!!!). I had seen a post Merrillee on the Mer Mag blog had done on feather crowns and used her tips on how to cut out feathers as a guide. I did not use I stencil but rather just free hand cut the shapes. The feather shape is a nice change from the typical fall leaf shapes.
The black on white stylized owl illustration inspired me to get out some of the stamps I purchased last year from Impress in Seattle. I wanted to try making some stamped wrapping paper with them. I cut open large mailing envelopes because I have a box of them to use up! Then I quickly stamped some strips, cut them out and used them on some parcels. I finished the gifts off with some washi tape, black ribbon and more paper feathers. All this gift-wrapping had me motivated to make some more gift tags using my scraps and my handy Marvy Uchida gift tag punch! Their punches are awesome and it is a super fast way to use up any scrap paper. I then punch a small hole in them and store them away for future wrapping in a little box.
I continue to create small mood boards in my little notebooks. It is an easy way for me to record a color palette I have worked with. I like using bits of paper to create a tiny color story. It is always inspiring to go through them later and look back on what I was interested in. Do you create visual journals? If you don’t you may want to try, as it is a relaxing way to get the creativity flowing.
Of course, you can also create the more traditional mood board on the wall, which is what I did above.
I also thought of ways to simply add some dots of the palette around my work studio – you can see the results of that above on my shelves. I even added washi tape around the shelves for some color.
Thinking about all my friends on the east coast who have been dealing with this terrible storm. Take good care. xo Leslie.
(text/styling/photography: leslie shrewing)
Hello friends, it is Leslie here, back with my column Color Me Pretty. You haven’t seen me over the summer (since my last color story in May) because I took the summer off to work on some creative projects and to spend time with my family, including my little ones. That is why I disappeared in June, July and August. But I’m back monthly again and the palette I am exploring for September includes mint, light peach, gray, some emerald, a little orange and a touch of copper. I like these colors together because they are versatile and work well for any season.
I can imagine all my fall and winter wool fashion items, mostly gray and black, being perked up with my chalky mint jeans, or a pale peach top or maybe some new copper toned accessories. Home décor schemes with loads of grays, linens and whites could also look great freshened up with metallic copper and a little mint.
I wanted to use watercolors to paint some geometric patterns for you with this palette. I love all the bold triangular patterns I am seeing on fabrics and just felt so inspired. It is fun to mix these geometrics with more organic shapes or even polka dots.
I found myself layering papers, my paintings and ribbons in my journal. I even painted some of my journal pages with metallic copper paint. I always encourage readers to play with colors in these small ways first before you go on to tackle a room or buy a new wardrobe!
I have seen many modern looking quilts lately that use simple geometric patterns as well to make beautiful and functional décor items for the home. I have dusted off my sewing machine and it is waiting for an interesting project like this. I have been flipping through a book I recently purchased called, Sunday Morning Quilts, which I think is great for new aspiring quilters like myself.
Pale peach and orange flowers are some of my favorites and this time I decorated some of my plain soda bottles with some scrap paper and twine to use for a little party. These flowers were all snipped from my garden as the weather has remained warm and late summer roses still have some blooms.
I hope you have enjoyed this color series and I look forward to seeing you back here next month. Take care, Leslie.
(photos: leslie shewring)
Hello friends, it is Leslie here for May’s edition of Color Me Pretty. As you can see this series is about the many shades of ocean blue, like fresh aqua, ultramarine, indigo and pale blue. With summer around the corner it is hard not to think about this classic blue and bright white combination.
I have been spending a lot of time in my studio lately working on some projects with watercolors and acrylics. If you don’t already, I highly recommend playing with paints to explore color combinations. It is nice because you can also experiment with a color’s intensity by adding a little water to lighten, or a little more paint to get a darker shade. You can explore a color palette on a small sheet of paper before you use it in a larger scale design project.
A couple weeks ago I spent the day on a little beach near my home with my family and we had fun finding loads of sea glass that was washed up among the rocks. I decided to sort our colorful treasures into piles. It is always an interesting design challenge to think about good ways to display collections. I can imagine this sea glass glued to these pieces of paper and then put into a deeper frame or shadow box. It may also be nice to find some pretty clear bottles to put the glass in to then admire on a little shelf. I think my daughter would like that as she enjoys holding and looking at her “treasures from the sea”. I love the aqua and pale teal shades, and could see them looking pretty in the water of a floral arrangement or in a dish in my bathroom.
With all the watercolors on my desk I couldn’t help but dip the edges of some doilies in the colored water! I have seen some crocheted doilies dip dyed and wanted to experiment with the paper ones for gift-wrapping. This was so quick and you just need a big sheet of paper to dry them on. The drying paper looked beautiful too with the doily patterns left on it in blue paint. The dip dyed little doilies would look sweet wrapped around a jelly jar full of flowers. You could also dye the paper with food coloring for a food safe option. I think I may try dipping them in hot pink next!
I hope you have enjoyed this color story and maybe you have a few ideas to try out. Take care, enjoy May and thank you! – Leslie.
(photography: leslie shewring)
Hello friends, this is Leslie here and for my column this month on decor8 I am using a springtime palette of peaches, pinks, and yellows combined with a soft, putty neutral to inspire you for Easter. After a long, dark winter here on Vancouver Island, I am excited to see all the buds and blossoms on the trees. The soft pink cherry blossoms are incredible and the daffodils, forsythia and hellebores are blooming in the yard.
The sweet colors of spring are here, I hope you enjoy these ideas that I’ve pulled together to inspire you for Easter or springtime in general.
I have been seeing so many pretty ways to decorate eggs lately. From simple dips in vegetable dyes to using rub on tattoos as décor motifs. I decided to go for a more painterly approach. I did the typical poking of the eggshell on each side, as well as poking the yoke to break it and then blowing out the inside into a bowl (lots of scrambled eggs the other morning). I used Martha Stewart acrylic craft paints from Michael’s to dab on my various floral and confetti patterns. It was so much fun to decorate them!
I then hung them on a cherry blossom branch for a festive display.
I decided to take some of my ribbons out of their usual storage bin and hang them from pretty blue hatpins on my tack-board. I love looking at all the thin strips of color and it got me thinking about what else I can use them for…
Like tying different ones simply around napkins when entertaining…
Or bundling a few small bottles together to make a sweet floral arrangement. Sometimes just looking at my craft and art supplies gets me inspired. When they are all tucked away too neatly I forget they are there!
I also wanted to share with you some art supplies I have been experimenting with called PanPastels. I know they have been available for a while but I just started using them and love the effect you can get. They are similar to typical pastels but less messy and easier to control. You can apply them with various sponge like applicators and they layer really well. The hardest thing is choosing the colors, as there are so many. I am partial to the “tint” tones right now and I can see myself using them for sketching and collage.
I hope you got some ideas today and thank you for having me here Holly! I will see you all next month. – Take care, Leslie.
(photography: leslie shewring)