22 December 2011

Small gift boxes from old cards (Great way to reuse your Christmas and Birthday Cards)

Gift packages from old Holiday Cards. (c) 2011, Kristen Stein, StudioArtworks.com

Here is a quick and easy tutorial on how to take old Christmas cards or any occasion card and turn it into a small gift box suitable for holding a gift card, jewelry, or other small gift item. Kids love making these....just be careful with the scissors.  Let an adult or older child be in charge of scoring the edges

What you'll need:
  • Old Cards
  • Glue (Glue sticks work great)
  • Scissors
  • Flat edge or ruler (optional)

First select your card.

Now trim about a 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch off one of the longest edges on the side of the card. Only trim one side of the card.

Now you should have one of the longest edges of the card exposed. We want to score the remaining edge with the scissors to make it easier to foldover.
If you have a flat-edge or a ruler, you can line this up with the cut part of the card and run the scissors along the edge to score the remaining part of the card.  This will make it much easier to fold.  If you don't have a ruler, just use the cut part of the card as your guide. Fold this scored flap to the inside of the card.

Once folded inside, apply glue to the top of the folded portion.  (In the picture above, this is the part with the image on it)  A glue stick works great. Press the card together with the folded edge on the inside of the card.

 This is how the card should appear once the folded edge is glued to the inside of the card.
Above is the view from the inside of the card.  We are almost done.
Now to make the flaps on the side of the gift package.  You'll want to round out the edges.  Just trim about a 1/4 inch from the edges and round them out evenly on both sides.
With the edge of your scissors, score the card from corner to corner mimicking the shape of the rounded edge.  Do this on both sides, front and back.  So you should create four scored edges. Again, scoring the card will make it much easier to fold and create the flap that you want on the edge of the gift package.

Gently squeeze the card to open slightly and push down the flaps along all four scored edges.  You should now have a small gift box suitable for holding a gift card, jewelry, or other small gift!

Note: If your flaps are too wide and hang over the edge of the gift box, don't worry.  Just flatten the box again and trim slightly until the flaps close nicely on each edge.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  Please post pictures if you try this at home! Also, check out my other tutorial on how to make paper globe ornaments out of old Holiday cards and calendars.

Something else to make with these :  Take 24 of these small gift boxes and string them together for an advent calendar banner for next year. Each one can be filled with a special little gift, treat or note for the little one to count down the days until Christmas.

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13 November 2011

Paper Globe Ornament or Centerpiece (Great way to recycle old Calendars, Cards, or Photos)

Paper Globe Ornament using old calendars. (Artwork (c) Kristen Stein, StudioArtworks.com)

Wondering what to do with your old calendar, christmas cards, or extra photos? Here's a great, and EASY, craft that you and the kids can do this holiday season.  In this example, I used images cut from my old 2010 and 2011 calendars. But you can use any type of paper. For holiday ornaments, I think the old calendars and old Christmas cards make a great paper source as it provides dated papers that add a nostalgic feel when trimming the tree each year! Try mixing family photos with family Christmas cards, to make a great family-themed Holiday ornament. They all look great when finished!!

What you'll need:

20 circles from your paper source (I used a 2" paper punch to make perfect circles, but you can cut them free hand as well.)
(*Note - Smaller globes can be made by using just 8 of the circles.)

Glue (I used modpodge with a brush, but my 7yo used Glue Dots and they worked perfectly.)

Thin Ribbon (for hanging the globe as an ornament)

Paper Clips (If you use regular glue, modpodge, or a glue stick, I'd suggest having paper clips on hand to hold the paper together. This is especially useful on glossy paper such as shiny calendar sheets, cards and photos.)

That's all! So, let's get started.

First cut your 20 circles.

First, cut your 20 circles from your paper source. I used my old 2010 and 2011 calendars.  (Here's a link to this year's calendar if you are interested.) Any size circle will work and larger circles will make larger globes or centerpieces.  For the globe ornaments that I made, I used about a 2 inch circle.
Fold each of the 20 circles to form equally-sized triangles.
Fold each of the 20 circles so that they form a triangle. For my 7yo, I made a small triangular template that she folded her circles up against. This made it easier for her.  But, once you've folded a few, you'll know approximately how much of each edge you need to fold to make the triangular shape in the center.  Fold from the frontside of the image, so that the backsides will touch each other when glued.
Stack of 20 'triangles" created by folding the circles.

Once you have all 20 "triangles" formed from the circles, we're ready to start gluing.  If you use a liquid glue, glue stick, or mod podge, have paper clips ready to hold your work in place.  My daughter used glue dots and they worked great to hold the paper together. Glue dots are a convenient, easy-to-use, no-mess adhesive. We love it!
Create the top by choosing 5 folded circles.

To start making your globe, choose a selection from 5 of your folded circles.  Place them next to each other with all 5 pointing toward the center.Now start gluing each one side to side, being sure to keep the points in the center.
Start gluing them together

When you get to the 5th section, add glue to both sides and glue to each of the other folded circles by creating a slightly domed "top".
Make two 5-piece for the top and bottom of the globe ornament.
You will want to make a total of two of these 5-piece sections.  These will serve as the top and bottom of your globe or centerpiece.
Remaining 10 alternate to make the center section of the globe.
The remaining 10 folded circles will now make up the center section of the globe.  Lay the 10 remaining folded circles on your work space with the points and flat-edges alternating.  This will form a line of 10 triangles side by side.  Make sure to alternate between the point at the top and the flat-edge on the top because you want them to wrap-around the ornament.
Glue the remaining 10 together to form a line.
Glue these together and use your paper clips, if needed. You should now have a line of 10 sections all glued together to form a line.
The center section.

Now wrap your line of 10 around to form a circle. Glue the two edges together and you should have a perfect center piece to match with your tops and bottoms that you created above.
Center section and top attached.
 Match up the top with the center piece and glue edges together. Again use paper clips if the glue is making the papers slip around too easily.
Globe viewed from the inside. Top and center glued together.
If you wanted to stop here, you'd have a cute little 'bowl" that might make for a fun centerpiece for displaying candies, etc.  Also, at this point in the project, you could put lightweight gifts or surprises inside and build the rest of the globe around it. This would make a wonderful handmade gift box for something special!

But, we're going to keep working on it to make a globe ornament. So, let's move ahead.
Add a ribbon if you'd like to create a globe ornament.
Now it's time to add a ribbon. (If you want to create an orb centerpiece, you can skip this part about the ribbon.) You can tie the ribbon into any open 'gap' in the ornament. Normally I just use the center hole on the remaining 5-piece section that we haven't yet glued onto the globe.  In this particular picture, I had a larger gap on the center section, so I decided to add the ribbon to the larger gap that was already created. So, I tied a knot in a ribbon and then taped it inside the globe. Tuck the ribbon in between the gaps created from the folded circles and get ready to glue the remaining 5-piece section onto the globe.
All 20 pieces glued together.
DONE! Now you have your 20 circles glued together to create a wonderfully dimensional globe of mixed papers. I love how the calendar creates a dated Holiday ornament that can be treasured year after year. Leave the paper clips in place until you are sure that the glue is dried. Once removed you'll have a beautiful ornament that can be kept for yourself, or shared with others!
The finished paper globe ornament.

*NOTE: Smaller globes can be made with as few as 8 circles.  Just fold them as triangles and glue 4 together for the top, and 4 together for the bottom. Add a ribbon and glue the top to the bottom. Having a variety of different size globes makes for a fun, eye-catching assortment!

 If you decide to make one of these globe ornaments or centerpieces, please post a picture here in my blog, send it to me on twitter, or post it on my facebook page. . I'd love to see it.

HAVE FUN! Hope you find this tutorial useful! -kristen (StudioArtworks.com)

04 October 2011

New paintings this week.

Several new paintings were recently added to my site at StudioArtworks.com A few new minimalist atmospheric landscapes, one new long and lean enchanted garden painting, a moody and mysterious painting based on the legend of the ravens at the Tower of London, and a beautiful lavender tree landscape against a burnt orange background. More pieces will be online soon.

Lavender Tree Landscape (C)2011, Kristen Stein, StudioArtworks.com

Meadowland (C)2011, Kristen Stein, StudioArtworks.com

Enchanted Garden : Solitaire (C)2011, Kristen Stein, StudioArtworks.com

As Yonder Sun Sets (C)2011, Kristen Stein, StudioArtworks.com

Guardian of the Tower (C)2011, Kristen Stein, StudioArtworks.com

25 September 2011

New paintings and 2012 Fine Art Calendar

The year is going by way too fast.  It seems like only yesterday one of my best friends was getting married.  I told her I would create a painting for her and her husband inspired by colors in their wedding invitation.  I don't know where the time went, but in November they will celebrate their First-Year Anniversary.  If I remember correctly, Emily Post's book of etiquette states that you have one year to present wedding gifts. So, I'm still within my one year time period. So, to celebrate their nuptials and their move to a new home, I created "Wedding Garden" which is done is soft, romantic hues.  I love how it turned out and I hope they do too! A print of this painting is available through my website. Just click on "Prints".

Wedding Garden (c)2011, Kristen Stein, StudioArtworks.com

Another new painting this week is "Enchanted Garden: Birds in Paradise".  I created two colorful birds inspired by the Birds of Paradise flower and set them in a wild and whimsical garden.  Very much a world of pure imagination which is sure to bring a smile to those who see it.  Lots of bright, fun colors in this one.
Enchanted Garden: Birds in Paradise (c) 2011, Kristen Stein, StudioArtworks.com

The original painting is currently available and prints are now available as well. (Click on the Enchanted Garden prints.)

I also added two new tree paintings to my site this week.  I love the golden backgrounds in both of these paintings and I think the blue and green and bright red tones contrast beautifully with the warm rustic backgrounds.  Each is textured to give a worn, weathered look even though each piece is newly created. These would look beautiful in a contemporary home with woods and leather furniture.  

6 Tree Family (c) 2011, Kristen Stein, StudioArtworks.com

Red 3 (c) 2011, Kristen Stein, StudioArtworks.com

Lastly, I created a new 2012 Fine Art Calendar.  "Dreamscapes" features 12 of my digital fusion images which combine my paintings with photography to give a dream-like, fairytale image.  A great way to escape each month with a new image.  All 12 images can be trimmed and framed for your own collection of small format artworks.  Each set comes with a display holder. They are available for a limited time.  Great way to own several images at an affordable price.  They also make great gifts for friends, family or colleagues.

More new items coming soon!

03 May 2011

Votes Needed - Franklin Insitute "DaVinci Contest"

Voting Ends May 5. So please cast your vote now by 'liking' my entry on the Franklin Institute's FB page. (Click on photos and then DaVinci contest. My entry is called "Taking Flight"

This is an image that I did in honor of Leonardo DaVinci. It was inspired by his sketchbook and images of his bat-winged gliders, helicopter sketches, parachutes and more. I wanted the bat-winged gliders to envelope the woman like a butterfly and the sketch of the helicopter circles the woman's head like a hat. The silhouetted woman is drawn from one of the woman in DaVinci's "Virgin on the Rocks" painting.

I would love if you could vote for this entry in the Franklin Institute's DaVinci contest. I learned about it late and the voting ends in just 2 days.  So, please get your vote in quickly.  You will need to become a fan of The Franklin Institute and then like my image in the DaVinci Contest Photo Album.  

Thanks so much for your vote! -kristen

11 March 2011

Japan Relief Effort

My Guardian Angel (c) 2011, Kristen Stein StudioArtworks.com

My thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by the recent devastation in Japan.

I am completely awestruck by the intense power of nature and the devastation of the earthquake and tsunamis in Japan.  My thoughts and prayers go out to all who have been affected by these tragic events.  I was hoping to hear from one my dear friends today and fortunately, she is currently in the US and not in Tokyo as I first thought. But, her hometown is the Wakabayashi-Ward, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture which was the epicenter of the earthquake.

Her parents still live there and she is trying to reach them.  Please join me in offering her and her family your heartfelt prayers as she and others wait to hear from, or about, their loved ones. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to not be able to account for your family, friends and loved ones.
[Update : 3/14/11 11:00pm EST - My friend just got a text message from her dad reporting that they are OK. Amazingly, their home in Sendai City was just 2km from coast. So very grateful to all who expressed concern and kept them in your prayers.]

In honor of all the wonderful people of Japan, including my friend and her family, I want to help participate in the relief effort.  I will be donating 25% of all sales now through March 31st to organizations helping in Japan's rescue, care, and cleanup efforts.  Purchases from http://shop.studioartworks.com and http://kristensteinfineart.etsy.com and prints from http://kristensteinfineart.imagekind.com will all qualify.

[UPDATE :: 3/14/11 I was just talking to my husband about my fundraising efforts for Japan.  He's going to match whatever donations I raise (up to $2000.00). So, if you've been interested in one of my pieces for awhile, now's the time to purchase and for a worthy cause.   Thanks to all who have supported this so far.]

If you have a specific organization to which you would like your portion donated, feel free to included this in your checkout memo. Otherwise, I will use the American Red Cross, Global Giving, or other similar agency that has a fund earmarked for Japan Relief Efforts.

28 February 2011

New Images added to my Digital Fusion Series.

Four new images added to my digital fusion series. Two have a French Travel theme with 'Dreams at Versailles" and "Nice Climat Ideal".  The Versaille piece gives an enchanting walk through a dream with castle, hot air balloon and a fairytale-like fountain.  The Nice piece was inspired by a stamp on a letter that read "Nice Climat Ideal d'hiver et d'ete". Both use a fusion of vintage photography with digital painting and collage effects.

Another of the new pieces is a romantic, ethereal piece called "Look to the Heavens". It features a tinted sculpture with eyes and head turned upward with a majestic painted cloud in the background. The last of the newest offerings is "Fields Out There" that combines a photograph I took in Spain with my painting "Out There". A romantic yet haunting image with the suggest of a storm in the background done with rich jewel tones.

These can be purchased as prints, posters or giclees in a variety of sizes here.
You can also view other works in my portfolio.
Visit my website to purchase original paintings, prints, framed ceramic tiles, handcrafted jewelry, handbags and more. (Also on etsy.)

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14 February 2011

Several New Prints added to my Digital Fusion Series

Several new prints have been added to my digital fusion series. An ethereal collection of collaged imagery. This week there's a trip down memory lane in "Meet Me in Paris", a romantic meeting between Winter and Spring in "Dreams of Spring", a nod to heaven above in "Believe", and a tribute to Mother Nature with "To Offer Shade" and "Jack Frost".

Thank you for taking a look at the newest pieces.

See additional prints, or shop for gift items.

A few of the newest images in the digital fusion series (c) 2011 - Kristen Stein : StudioArtworks.com
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New Painting :: Autumn Glow 24x24

Autumn Glow, Acrylic on Canvas 24x24 (c) 2011 Kristen Stein
Newest piece from my modern tree landscapes added online.

Title: Autumn Glow
Artist: Kristen Stein
Size: 24 x 24 x 1.5 inches
Medium: Acrylic
Ground: Gallery Stretched Canvas on Deep 1.5 in stretcher bars
Style: Contemporary, Modern, Abstract Expressionism ,
Expressionist, Minimalist, Abstract, Organic, Rustic, Earthy
weathered, atmospheric,

Subject: trees, landscape, horizon, sunset

Rich, warm, earthy abstract tree landscape. This painting has a rustic, aged, antique feel while still having a modern focus. It's painted on thick 1.5 inch deep stretchers to give a contemporary, chunky look. The painting is varnished and the edges are painted black. No frame is needed for this painting.

Date Created: February 2011

Special features: Canvas wrapped around wooden stretchers; staple-free, fully-painted edges.

This is an original painting direct from the artist. It is not a print. Certificate of Authenticity included.

Please see my other listings for original paintings, prints and gift merchandise featuring my original artwork.

10 February 2011

New Original Painting "On the Edge" 24x24

On the Edge, (c) 2011 Kristen Stein Fine Art, StudioArtworks.com

Newest painting added to my atmospheric landscape paintings.  An ethereal glow from the rustic, weathered horizon. Dark, mysterious shades in contrast with the gentle glow.

Currently offering Free US Shipping. This painting is sale-priced for a limited time. (Regularly $375.00)

Title: On the Edge
Artist: Kristen Stein
Size: 24 x 24 x 1.5 inches
Medium: Acrylic
Ground: Deep Gallery Stretched Canvas on standard 1.5 stretcher bars
Style: Contemporary, Modern, Abstract Expressionism ,
Expressionist, Minimalist, Abstract, Organic, Rustic, Earthy, Weathered, Ethereal, Moody
Subject: Landscape, Horizon,

dominant colors in finished work: Upper portion is an ethereal smokey, blue grey, dominant colors in the bottom include dark purple, turquoise blue and hints of white and magenta.

This atmospheric landscape painting has a rich, weathered, rustic look while still maintaining a modern focus. The piece would be great in a room of woods and leathers. Versatile piece to match a wide-range of interiors.

Date Created: January 2011

Special features: Canvas wrapped around wooden stretchers; staple-free, fully-painted edges.

This is an original painting direct from the artist. It is not a print. Certificate of Authenticity included.

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