One of my favorite daily things to do is check the mail. There is so much mystery hiding in that little box each day. Will I receive a favorite magazine? A card from an old friend? Something that I ordered? Unfortunately, most of the time it is a postcard for a new dental practice in the area and bills (boo!).
Since I am a big believer in putting into the universe what you would like to see and receive back, I am planning to make July all about Happy Mail! Since there are 31 days in July, I am going to focus on mailing 31 pieces of Happy Mail to friends, family and even a few strangers (see below for some “swap” sites that can be used to find some “strangers”). I’ve already bought my stamps for it. Check out these awesome Total Eclipse of the Sun Stamps commemorating the Solar Eclipse that will be taking place this August – the first to be seen from the US Mainland since 1979!
When I send Happy Mail I like to make it look fun and interesting straight out of the mailbox. I like to decorate the envelope with washi tape, write their name/address in a fun way or more. Some people make their envelopes a true piece of art. Just check out some of these pieces of Happy Mail for inspiration.
The two pictures of inspiration below have great tutorials posted to recreate the look - be sure to check them out!
Look at these stunning envelopes, click here for the details and steps behind them.
If you are looking for people to send Happy Mail to outside of your normal circle of friends and family check out these sites.
Swap-Bot facilitates group snail mail and internet swaps, plus, it is also a community where swappers can connect, share, and have fun. There are swaps ranging from postcards to packages filled with specific items and themes. If participating in a swap be sure to read all of the details regarding the deadline for the item needs to be mailed, whether it is a domestic or international swap, etc. When you swap you may receive a truly fantastic swap and other times you may be disappointed that your partner didn't put as much thought into the swap as you did (In my experience, I would say I received great swaps from truly caring people about 85% of the time). Also, when swapping online use common sense and be careful with what information you share, etc.
Send Something is an on-line database of addresses and interests of people that have signed up with the “no frills” site. There are no swaps, and if you send something out you may not receive something in return. However, the nice things about the format include you can pick and choose who you send mail to, what you send and when you send it. For example, you can look for someone that has a shared interests as you (e.g. chihuahuas, hot air balloons, ATCs, traveler’s notebook, etc.). In turn, if something in your profile catches a fellow member’s eye they may send you a surprise in the mail.
Upcoming "Happy Mail" Opportunities at P&P!
If you like Happy Mail, Palette & Paper is offering a couple of workshops in July that may spark your interest. Kimberly is hosting a “Down by the Sea” Pocket Letter Page (PLP) workshop on Wednesday, July 12 at 6 pm (held during open studio). For only a $5 materials fee you will receive all of the materials to make a PLP to mail to a friend. Not sure what a PLP is? That’s okay, read here or just sign-up and come on the 12th. Kimberly will have several examples of PLPs she has made and received.
Martha is leading the Color Your Way Cards workshop on Saturday, July 15 at 10 am. For only $12 you will receive a pack of stamped images on paper of your choosing to color with your preferred coloring medium (Copics, watercolor markers, etc.) that you will then turn into cards.
Check out all of the details here for both workshops, sign up and get ready to send some happy mail!
Do you send Happy Mail? Participate in swaps? We would love to hear all about it!
We’ve all read that coloring and “adult coloring books” are good for the mind and stress-relief, but what should you do with your coloring books filled colored pages? Are you the type of person that prefers to make “useful” crafts?
Did you know that you can turn your colored masterpieces into items like coasters, furniture and more, Today we are going to share some projects to get those beautiful colored pages out of your coloring books and into fun projects that can be used and enjoyed.
Grab some tiles at the local hardware store (they are less than 20 cents a piece), some Mod Podge and cut down your coloring pages, and with this tutorial or this tutorial you will have a set of coasters in no time. Finish up the edges of your tile by applying some Inka Gold by Viva Decor (available at P&P). The Inka Gold will give it a gorgeous metallic finish.
Upcycle some furniture
While hitting up the local garage sales this spring look for furniture pieces that could use a little upcycling. With some fresh paint and your colored pages added to it you will have a masterpiece in no time.
Mixed Media Projects
Cut out shapes from your colored images and work them into a mixed media canvas or art journal page. Grab a Wink of Stella glitter brush pen (available at P&P) to add some shimmer to your artwork.
Wrap a gift
Use your colored pages to wrap a small gift, cut out a piece to adorn a tag or card front. Note, you don't have to completely color the image - the white space can add visual interest to your creation.
Create a floral arrangement
Create a floral arrangement that even those without green thumbs can keep alive. Cut petal and flower shapes from your colored pages and glue on sticks you can gather from your yard. Pop them into a vase (again, a great item to pick up at garage sales or a thrift store).
Emergency Kit for Your Purse
Grab an Altoids tin or similar small container and upcycle it with your colored image. Fill it with a needle and thread, dental flosser, a mint or two, Shout Wipe, hair tie, bobby pin, antibacterial wipe, Advil or similar, bandaids, safety pins and more. Get the kids involved and make a few of these to give aunts and grandmas for Mother's Day.
Make a Bookmark
This is a simple craft that you can involve the kids with also. Cut a narrow strip, punch a hole in the top and add a tassel. If you have a rounded corner punch, you can use it on all four corners of your bookmark. Laminate it if you would like.
Make a Decorative Dish
This is another great idea for Mother's Day! Grab a small dish or two, mod podge your colored image to the dish. While not safe for food and handwashing, it would make a cute ring dish on a bedside table, perfect to hold keys in the entry way and more.
We hope you have gathered some inspiration on ways to use your colored images. Have you taken a page out of your coloring book and turned it into something else? We would love to see!
Palette & Paper recently added three varieties of Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens to our inventory. These Brush Pens are a favorite amongst those that do lettering, calligraphy, cartoonists, sketch artists and more.
Tombow is a Japanese company that has been making some of the best pens on the market for over 100 years. Their packaging is labeled in Japanese, so it can be difficult to know what you are buying. We wanted to provide this little guide to the three pens we have in stock.
Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen – Soft Tip, $3.50 (green packaging)
This Brush Pen is a similar barrel size to most regular pens making it easy to hold. The tip is very flexible and allows you to control the width of the pen stroke based on your pressure. It comes in black ink and reviews say that the tip stays sharp, even after months of use.
Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen – Hard Tip, $3.50 (blue packaging)
This Brush Pen is exactly like the Soft Tip version, with the exception of the tip. It has a regular size barrel and comes in black ink. Reviewers say the tip stays sharp after a lot of use. The hard tip is still flexible, but much firmer than the soft tip and you will notice the difference.
Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen – Double Sided, Gray/Black Ink, $5.50 (purple packaging)
This pen is slightly longer in length, but has the same regular sized barrel making it easy to hold. Both ends are soft tips – one in a light gray ink and one in black. The soft tip is very flexible and allows you to control the width of the pen stroke based on your pressure. The tip stays sharp and allows for precision.
Each of three pens comes with a small plastic template. The template is designed to help with spacing and writing kanji characters. However, it is handy to help with spacing and maintaining a straight line when writing English and other languages also.
We are excited to welcome Ken Oliver to Palette & Paper a little later this month. He will be teaching three workshops focusing on using Color Bursts and other products in the Ken Oliver Crafts family.
Color Bursts are “an amazing powder watercolor medium that lets you create beautiful watercolor techniques like you’ve never created before”. They come in 20 colors (including the newly released “Caribbean Brights Collection”), and are great for watercolor painting, fine art and mixed media. You can make artwork suitable for framing quickly and easily with Color Bursts (take Ken’s Stencil Magic Class and walk away with a framed 12x12” piece of artwork!). It’s easy to “sprinkle and spritz” to create watercolor backgrounds like an expert also. Palette & Paper has an assortment of colors in the Shoppe that can be purchased for $6 each or in 6-packs.
Color Bursts also come in Liquid Metals (12 colors). The Liquid Metals add an eye-catching metallic luster to your artwork and can be mixed with other Color Bursts colors. Finely granulated metallic powder along with colorant is suspended in a dispensing liquid in a handy dropper bottle to make this unique product.
It is so awesome to see the colorants react to water and spread over your artwork. Once you “sprinkle and spritz” you will be hooked!
Just look at the Gallery below showcasing items made with Color Bursts and Liquid Metals by Ken and his Creative Team. As you can see, you can add Color Bursts and Liquid Metals to almost every kind of craft type and project.
Another great product that is hot on the market are Ken’s Cut n’ Color stamp and die sets. Ken says they were designed with versatility in mind. Cut n’ Color lets you “color” stamped images, then cut them out with matching die sets making it quick and easy to cut multiple images. You can use these sets for a multitude of projects including: card making, party décor, mixed media artwork and art journaling.
Attendees of Ken’s Watercolor Cards class on Friday, July 29 will have the chance to use these great new Cut n’ Color stamp and die sets (there are still a few spots left so register today!).
If you haven’t signed up for one (or all three) of Ken’s classes yet we know you will want to. His products are so fun to use and can be used in a multitude of ways with various crafts and projects. This is a great opportunity to learn from the King of Color Bursts himself!
As artists and customers of Palette & Paper, a lot of us are believers in the “Color Outside the Lines” adage.
However, coloring inside the lines can be just as good for our minds and souls. The trend of “adult coloring books” has really taken off these past couple of years. Wondering what the hype is about, read on . . .
Coloring offers a variety of mental benefits. Marygrace Berberian, certified art therapist, stated to CNN “Coloring definitely has therapeutic potential to reduce anxiety, create focus or bring [about] more mindfulness.” A research study in 2005 proved that anxiety levels dropped when subjects colored mandalas (round frames with geometric patterns inside). When subjects simply doodled though, it had no effect in reducing their stress levels.
The act of coloring is a lot like meditation. It allows you to switch off your brain to other things and simply focus on the moment. This can be a major positive, since according to the American Psychological Association, Americans reported being more stressed out this past year than the year before (source). It is easy to understand increased stress levels with the fast-paced culture we live in where so many focus on work and money.
In addition to coloring being meditative in nature, it also allows you to take a break from “screen time”. In 2015, adult Americans spent an average of 11 hours per day on electronic gadgets (computers, smartphones, TV, etc.) (source). Considering that most people are only awake 16-18 hours per day that is a huge percentage of “screen time”.
Palette & Paper has a great assortment of coloring books, including:
The Coloring Studio combines a coloring book and magazine in its quarterly publication. It is filled with over 100 coloring pages in an array of styles. It also has interesting articles and tips. Below is a look inside the summer edition of The Coloring Studio.
Palette & Paper offers a variety of Zenspirations Coloring Books in different themes (Inspirations, Flowers and Abstract & Geometric Designs). Also, Dylusions has a fun coloring sheet book featuring the whimsical designs of Dyan Reaveley. This booklet contains heavyweight cardstock making them ideal to use with markers or watercolors. Plus, these sheets work fantastically as additions to your art journal or collage pieces. Palette & Paper also carries ADORNit coloring sheets. These sheets are great for when you want a small scale coloring project. You can turn them into a card to send a friend, include on a bible journaling page and more.
Some say that Johanna Basford, creator of the Secret Garden Coloring Book, launched the "adult coloring book obsession". Her designs are gorgeous so it is easy to understand why. Palette & Paper carries her Secret Garden Postcard book. How lovely it would be to color a few of these and send friends and family some happy mail!
So stop in today and get a coloring book! You are invited to sit on our back porch and color a while too (or inside in the AC during Open Studio every Wednesday evening).
Do you color? We would love to see your creations. Please share on our Facebook page or on Instagram with #paletteandpapercreation!
Palette & Paper's blog is written by various creative team members.
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