Monday, September 28, 2009

Iris Folding

by: Hema Santhanam

Use of Iris Folding for making Jewish Motifs

Iris Folding is a paper folding technique that involves using strips of colored or patterned paper arranged in a spiral pattern with a central focal point that resembles an iris or lens of a camera. This method originated in Holland and was employed as a means of using up scrap paper. Often the patterned inside flap of envelopes were utilized to make these designs. The technique is worked backwards by first cutting out an outline of your image and them applying the paper strips from the backside in a circular fashion until the cut out shape is completely filled up. Although the traditional application commonly uses strips of papers, more contemporary interpretations included the use of other materials such as Mizuhiki paper cords and ribbon.

I have found this technique to be very useful in creating motifs on cards and scrapbook pages that convey a Jewish theme, although the possibilities are endless.

Here is an example of a “star of David” design that I used in creating a scrapbook page for a custom Bat Mitzvah Album.

Here is another example of the image “Chamsa,” also called “Fatima’s Hand.” This is a motif that is a symbol of good luck and is common to many Middle Eastern and South Asian cultures.

Here is one of my favorite sites for step by step instructions on iris folding and a gallery of free patterns:

Hema Santhanam


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Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Feature: Honizukle

1. Tell us about you and your shop

Ever since I was young, I have loved to create. I particularly loved to draw and so I went on to study art and got a degree in Animation from the School of Visual Arts in NYC. I did animation, illustration and design for a while before completely going off on my own. Ever since I took that leap, I have had the time to work on more of the things I enjoy, like Stationery. I started to create my own little line, mostly inspired by what my sister and I used to love such a long time ago when we collected stationery.

2. How did you get started in your craft?

When I was growing up in Costa Rica, my sister and I absolutely LOVED to collect stationery. We had treasure boxes of the most beautiful things we could find and occasional pieces that I’d make. That never faded from my memory and once I had more time to dedicate to my own passions, I started to create my own designs.

3. What tool can you not live without?

My Wacom Tablet!!! I feel completely lost without it. I absolutely love the ability to work with a pen in the computer and draw exactly what I want to see on the screen. It has been especially useful because I particularly enjoy working on ornate patterns and imagery and it is wonderful for that.

4. What inspires you?

I think a lot of my inspiration comes from my sister and our relationship and how much we enjoyed collecting stationery. I think of things that we would enjoy to see and I try to create them. I find a lot of inspiration in nature and pretty much in any cool little pattern, color or image I come across. I try to make things that are a little different but that remain classic at their core.

5. Name one favorite item from your store.

One is so hard to pick, but if I have to, I’d say my favorite is the special occasion accordion book. Because it is a small book you can create personalize it with a poem or anything you’d like and is such a nice way of making a regular greeting that much more special.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

AJ's Designs Offers This Weeks Giveaway

This week AJ's Designs is offering as a giveaway your choice of one of her beautiful Mandala cards OR an actual mandala.. Below are two samples of her work.

About The Artist: My name is Aletha and I live in Tulsa, OK, or better known as “tornado alley.” I am a self-taught artist and am still in the process of learning. I love rubber stamps, mixed media, and collage!!! I started with rubber stamp art around 10 years ago after working at Hobby Lobby as assistant manager. Rubber stamps, watercolors, paints, inks, paper, etc., are a part of me. What comes out of that are collages, mini wall art, frameable art cards, greeting cards, note cards, handbound journals, bookmarks, mandalas, and seasonal items. If I can stamp it, paint it, cut it, tear it, glue it, varnish it, I will do it.

Entry requirements: Please leave a comment about what you like best about our Etsy Greetings Blog? Please list your Etsy shop URL and blog link (if you have a blog). A winner will be picked from the comments made on the evening of the 26th. If you are chosen the winner of this giveaway you will be contacted for your choice. At that time your item will be made and sent to you.

Please make sure that you leave a way for you to be contacted should you be the winner.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Etsy Greetings Featured Sale: Collective Elements

Each week EtsyGreetings highlights a sale from one of our member shops. This week, we are excited to offer you special pricing from Collective Elements.

The Sale: Free shipping on any item in the shop. Enter "etsygreetings" during checkout. You will received an immediate shipping refund. Also, buy now and receive a code to save 15% off holiday cards. Sale begins Tusday, 9/15/09 12:00AM EST and will end Wednesday, 10/15/09 11:59PM EST

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Feature: Paper Pansy

1. Tell us about you and your shop
I am a high school reading teacher by day and boy do I have to be creative to reel in my students. They have thus far been very unsuccessful at reading and I aim to convince them that learning is worth the effort. I love creative expression of any kind.

My shop is the Paper Pansy. I picked the name because my last name is Flowers. In my shop I have cards, scrapbook pages and a couple of small albums.

I am working on Christmas pieces and hope to have them up soon. I don’t get to spend as much time crafting as I would like especially now that school is on again.

2. How did you get started in your craft?
I initially began making cards and taking classes at a small local craft shop. Hurricane Ivan wiped her out, as it did many businesses in my area, but I began to experiment and play on my own and I really enjoyed it.

I began scrap booking a few years ago. I wasn’t very good at it but the idea of creating beautiful pages was exciting. I became a scrap book consultant with a popular company and fell in love. Since then I have been hooked on creating with paper and use products from everywhere.

There are so many fabulous techniques to use to make beautiful paper art. I love learning new ones. I guess you could say I am a technique junkie.

3. What tool can you not live without?
Thinking about this one is hard. I guess the tool I use the most is my paper trimmer. I have several but my favorite is the good old Fiskars cheapy. A brand new blade is heaven. My Cuttle Bug runs a close second. I love those embossing folders.

4. What inspires you?
I love nature. I am inspired by flowers, and trees, and butterflies. I find pictures in magazines that catch my eye because of color combinations. Maybe a pretty piece of jewelry. Lots of beautiful things inspire me.

5. Name one favorite item from your store
My favorite item in my store sold a couple of weeks ago. It was a two page layout made with black and white and tan papers. The sentiment was Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After.

A current item I love is this two page layout titled Joy and Happiness

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Etsy Greetings Featured Sale: Studio Flower Power

Each week EtsyGreetings highlights a sale from one of our member shops. This week, we are excited to offer you special pricing from Studio Flower Power.

The Sale: BOGO - Buy any card and get one card free!!! When you buy one card, I will automatically send two cards. Sale begins Thursday, 9/17/09 12:00 Midnight EST and will end Thursday, 9/24/09 11:59PM EST.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


By Tanya Goodall Smith of Wimzie PrintsEver since I started writing to my first pen pal for a class project in second grade I have been fascinated with the idea of corresponding with complete strangers. So, it's no wonder I was delighted when I came across this fun experiment online called Postcrossing.The goal of the Postcrossing Project is to allow people to receive postcards from all over the world, for the cost of a postage stamp. The premise is that if you send a postcard, you will receive at least one back from a random Postcrosser from somewhere in the world.

Why would you want to send and receive a postcard from a complete stranger, you ask? Like me there are lots of people who enjoy receiving real mail. Bills are pretty much the only items that arrive in my mailbox these days so I thought it would be a nice surprise to receive a postcard from a random place in the world every once in awhile.

postcard by

How does it work? First you must register on the Postcrossing website and request an address and postcard I.D. It is totally FREE. Then you mail the postcard (note: it costs $0.98 to send a postcard to Europe and Asia, a fact I did not know until I went to the post office to send my postcards) and wait to receive a postcard from someone else. When you receive a postcard you register it on the website and begin the process all over again.

I decided to try Postcrossing a couple weeks ago. I sent 5 postcards to 4 different European countries and one to Oregon. The woman in Oregon already received my card and registered it on the site. She even sent me a nice thank you message through the site and offered to send me a postcard also. So fun!

postcard by

The Etsy Greetings Team challenge this month is to create postcards, so you'll have plenty of great designs to choose from if you decide to give Postcrossing a try. Stay tuned for the challenge reveal and give away!

Monday, September 14, 2009

This Week's Giveaway is from Fanshefolds

When this card is opened & closed repeatedly, the pop-up diamonds will spin & twirl. I think this is a FUN card to giveaway - with just a few simple cuts & folds, you can watch it go into ACTION :)

To enter all you have to do is visit Fanshefolds Etsy shop and leave a comment here on the blog what do you like about her shop & what else would you like to see, more jewelry? more origami?

A winner will be picked on the morning of September 18th. Please make sure to leave a way you can be reached should you be the winner.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Feature: Happy Elephant Designs

1. Tell us about you and your shop.

My name is Shannen Cleis and when I'm not chasing my two year old daughter, Molly, around or chilling with my husband Eric of almost 13 years you can find me doing something crafty or reading. I've always loved doing arts and crafts. My mom (who was an artist herself) would make sure our lives were immersed in art in some way.

I originally tried to sell my cards on my own website. I remember the excitement (and naivety) the night before I went live. I thought I would have hundreds of orders flooding my website. LOL! Needless to say, I never got one order! So then I ventured onto eBay. But found that site too expensive and time consuming. Then in June 2008, I discovered Etsy on Martha Stewart. So I opened my shop (Happy Elephant Designs) and have slowly learned the ins and outs of owning a shop on Etsy.

2. How did you get started in your craft?
I have always enjoyed making cards for my family and friends’ birthday’s, baby showers, weddings, etc… But I would have to say I really started making cards seriously in 2005 after making my Christmas cards. Everyone was floored by them and strongly encouraged me to try and make a go at selling them.

3. What tool can you not live without?
My little Fiskars cutting board and my new 3M 700 adhesive gun!

4. What inspires you?
Everyday things that I see or come across inspire me. TV ads, magazine ads, colors… I usually start a card by sitting at my desk and seeing which colors and papers I’m drawn to that day.
This may sound silly, but my subconscious helps me out too…right before I fall asleep is when I get my best ideas. That’s why I have a little notebook next to my bed so I can jot down or sketch the idea so that I can fall asleep!

5. Name one favorite item from your store

Right now I think my favorite item is a Thank You card.

Shannon's crafty nook is pictured below:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

This Week's Giveaway by MollyLee

MollyLee is offering three cards in this week's giveaway.

Cards that move have always fascinated MollyLee and her etsy shop reflects this fascination with a variety of pop-up and mechanical cards.

For this giveaway, MollyLee is offering an assortment of her most popular cards: "Tell Her 3 Reasons Why She's a Superhero," "Tree-themed 3 Reasons card" and her "Flying Pig Pop-Up Card."

To enter this giveaway, just visit MollyLee's shop and leave a comment here about your favorite item in her shop OR what item you think would be a good addition to her lineup.

One winner will be selected from the comments on the afternoon of Sept 14. Please make sure that you leave a way to be contacted in case you are a winner.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

August Team Challenge WINNER!

And the winning card belongs to PaperFairy!

The lucky comment winner is Shannen!
You will be contacted for your details so this lovely card can be sent to you.

Thank you to everyone for voting and leaving their comments! Please be sure to check out the September Challenge!

Monday, September 7, 2009


created by: birdtracks

Beautiful, just beautiful. That is what I say when I see the cards that are made by you. God has given out some gifts of creativity and it is definitely being put to work. When I make cards, I think they are nice, but then I see what you have made and I marvel at your beautiful gift to create, and you share this gift with all of us. Thank you....

Many of you are also gifted in the area of organization. Not just keeping your work area clean, but keeping your life organized. Children are being raised, Husbands tended to, Wives are being loved, all the while you find the time to create. I guess when you have a passion nothing will keep you from your crafting station.

I remarried in 2000. My husband and I are empty nesters so I have the time to sit in my craft space, as my husband calls it, and work for as long as I care to. And that is usually two to three hours a day. I am getting ready for a local festival here in town so I am making cards and sewing like crazy. I know how valuable my time is and sometimes how fast time passes. Especially when your in the middle of making something and you have to stop and go somewhere. I just want to stay and play. So whether we have children that need our attention or husbands to take care of or dinner to cook or wash to fold. Never fear... We will make time to do what we like to do. Use our God given talent and CREATE.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday Feature: AndreaGayle Photography + Design

1. Tell us about you and your shop.

AndreaGayle Photography + Design caters to those who love simple + modern
= paper design. Bursts of color on white, fun patterns + simplicity are what we LOVE. Most of our work is custom, but we are now starting to include pre-designed items, such as thank you cards, party packs, and fill in party invitations. All of our designs are flexible, so colors and text can always be changed, just ask! We also specialize in lifestyle photography in Northern Virginia. It's a great way to incorporate those family pictures into the stationery you purchase.

2. How did you get started in your craft?
I've always had a love for creativity and art. When I was a kid it was drawing, then photography. When I went to college for soccer I put it aside to focus on physical education and health. Now that I'm a mom, I love the creative release graphic design and photography gives me. I officially opened my doors as Invitations By Design in 2005 and in January 2009 became AndreaGayle Photography + Design. I'm loving every minute and can't wait to see what the future brings!

3. What tool can you not live without?
Adobe Creative Suite, My Camera, My Mac!

4. What inspires you?
Anything and everything from interior design magazines, to nature, to the laughter of my children. I find inspiration from colors and patterns mostly, but pictures of weddings and parties inspire me too.

5. Name one favorite item from your store

Hmm that's a tough one. I would have to say right now my favorite items "Writeables" for the holidays. They are a stylish, yet affordable way to say Happy Holidays to your friends and Family. My favorite is Flurries, but they all are FUN!