Friday, February 19, 2010

Happy recycling! Paper Art by Martha Starke

Wow do I have an a Fantastic Tutorial for you guys today.
Martha Starke is a super talented designer who is going to show us how to create plantable paper.
These can be used in so many ways and have grown popular as gift in weddings and any special event.
Martha says:
Making paper by hand is a simple and fun way to use up paper scraps from card making, scrap booking and all kinds of paper crafts. Card stock and high-quality scrapbooking papers make wonderful handmade paper because they are made of high-quality fibers and have nicely saturated colors. A piece of handmade paper is only as good as the paper you start with – use high quality scraps to end up with high quality paper.

You can add various inclusions to make your paper more exciting: spices such as paprika and curry add gorgeous color to your paper; spearmint or patchouli leaves add fragrance; bits of confetti make for a cheerful piece of multi-colored paper. The project outlined here uses perennial seeds in to the pulp to make a plantable paper that can be recycled by planting in the garden.

1.) First, gather everything you will need: a blender, a packet of seeds, a cookie cutter, paper scraps and a mold. A mold is a frame with a screen pulled across it. While it is possible to make your own (you can find directions on the internet), I recommend buying one from a papermaking supply company. You need a mold that has a very tight waterproof screen so that there are no sags where water might puddle and create uneven thickness in your handmade paper.

2.) Begin your papermaking adventure by tearing paper stock into small pieces and tossing in a blender dedicated to papermaking. Because papers are made with toxic chemicals, you will want to buy an inexpensive blender at a yard sale that will never be
used for food preparation. Rip your paper in small pieces and soak them to soften so that the blender motor doesn’t have to work too hard. Fill the blender with water and pulverize until you have a fine pulp. Once the pulp is the consistency you like, add a handful of seeds to the blender. Give the mixture a quick pulse or two so that the seeds are dispersed but not chopped up by the blender. The seeds are covered with a natural gooey substance that will eventually dissolve into the water and clog up your screen. The sooner you make your handmade paper, the less of a problem you will have.

3.) Place the cookie cutter (I used a butterfly shape) on the screen and place in a sink. Gently pour a little pulp from the blender into the cookie cutter, allowing the water to drain off into the sink. Use your finger to push the pulp around and disperse it evenly in the cookie cutter. When most of the water has drained, lift the cookie cutter off, leaving the pulp on the screen. As the water leaves the paper, the fibers of the p
aper will start to lock together and get strong and stronger. You can place your mold over a heating vent or in the sun until the paper is completely dry.

4.) Once dry, lift the paper off the screen. Use your handmade plantable paper for place cards at an Easter dinner, for a favor at a birthday party, as gift tags or for a card-making project. These tags are a light peachy-pink color for spring.

5.) Make sure to give everyone directions on how to plant your wonderful new paper: place it into raked ground, cover with ¼ inch of soil and then keep moist until germination, which takes 6 to 8 weeks. Take a look at the last photo to see seedlings po
pping out of some white plantable paper!

Thank you so much Martha your tutorial was very clear and sounds so easy that I can't wait to give it a try ! If you aren't up to making your own homemade paper, you can purchase it already made at Martha's etsy shop--PulpArt.

Keep in mind that we have a Great sale currently on :
15% off EcoFriendly 8.5x11 Cardstock & all EcoFriendly Envelopes
We have a large selection to choose from.....
100% cotton cardstock & envelopes & 100% recycled Cardstock & envelopes
Have a Blessed Creative Day & Happy recycling!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

NEW Product--100% COTTON Card Stock & Envelopes

Savoy 100% Cotton Card Stock & Envelopes

Affordable LETTERPRESS Card Stock --(Compare to Crane's LETTRA.)
Matching envelopes can be found in CutCardStock's Environment Friendly Envelopes Section.


Made from 100% pure cotton, SAVOY blends old world elegance with new world sophistication making it the perfect choice for a wide range of projects from identity packages and invitations to luxury packaging. Its sumptuous, elegant look and feel is perfectly formulated for:

letterpress printing
scoring & folding
blind embossing
die cutting
offset printing
ink jet
envelope conversion

SAVOY 80# text and matching envelopes are ink jet and laser compatible.

SAVOY is tree free, archival, acid free, recyclable, biodegradable, and elemental chlorine free.


Inks: Standard offset inks may be used when printing on SAVOY. Because it is manufactured from 100% pure cotton, SAVOY is very absorbent and will dry considerably faster than our other specialty papers.

(If mottling occurs when printing certain colors, it may be helpful to add opaque white to ink formulation).

Design and PrePress

Design and PrePress: Our paper stock charts list all sheet sizes with grain direction last. As for all papers, binding and folding SAVOY parallel to the grain direction is always recommended.

Dot Gain: Printing on SAVOY will result in similar dot gain as printing on other uncoated paper. Expected dot gain on SAVOY will be approximately 15%.

Line Screen: In general, line screens ranging from 150-175 are used for printing on SAVOY.


Varnish & Aqueous Coating: As with all papers, varnishing or aqueous coating SAVOY after printing can help to protect the printed area.

Foil Stamping: SAVOY foil stamps beautifully. As with most processes, we strongly recommend pre-testing as there are many variables (types of foils, complexity of the design, pressure, environment, etc…)

Scoring & Folding: SAVOY will score and fold beautifully. All SAVOY weights (80# text, 92# cover, 118# cover) should be scored prior to folding, to ensure the best possible fold. As for all papers, folding with the grain direction is preferred. We recommend a rounded channel score with a minimum width of 2.5 times the caliper of the sheet. SAVOY is a single-ply paper (not pasted) making SAVOY cover weights ideal for converting and packaging applications.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentines Day Digital Card Freebies

I have been working on 5x7 Digital Cards that are super easy to drag and drop your picture of choice in. These template images are so easy to use and pairing them up with our huge selection of envelopes is a great way to reach out to family and friends.

You Are So Tweet Download Link

Happy Valentines Day Card

Jet'aime Card Download Link

Now I have made these cards super easy for you to add your pictures to & print at home or send out to be printed at Costco or Kinkos.

The first card "Happy Valentines Day" has a built in Vingette to enhance any picture you add to it.

The cards are all ready built at a 5x7 in size so it will be easy to print.

Follow the steps below.

Steps once you have downloaded the Card and unzipped it:
1.) Open up Photo Shop (or any program that will allow you to use png files and layers)
2.) Find the card folder and open it up in photoshop.
3.) Find you picture and crop it to a square.
4.) Drag your picture to the card.
5.) Look in you layers palette (on the right side of the program).....make sure that your picture is visibly under the card. If not. Than in your layers palette...right click the picture and drag it under the card.
6.) Drag your picture so it fills the frame.
7.) Go to your layers tab than click on "Merge Visible"
8.) Now up in the files tab click on "New" than "Blank File". Create an 8.5 x 11 horizontal transparent image.
9.) Drag your card twice onto this layer and Print..super easy

Below is what it will look like once printed at home on an 8.5 x 11 photo sheet.

Now what I have done is matched up envelopes from the shop for these templates.

I really like the Basis Magenta, Stardream Mars or the Stardream Azalea envelopes with this digital card.

I really liked the Greengrocers Egg Plant as well as the Stardream Kunzite envelope with the "You Are So Sweet" digital card.

and for the "Jet'aime" digital card... I really like the Stardream Onyx & Silver envelopes.
Now make sure you head over now because these will only be free till February 21st

Also keep in mind that the free download is only good for personal use. If you are wanting to use these for your buisness please make sure to purchase a commercial liscense and please do read the TOU as you are not allowed to resell the digital images as a download for re-use but rather and only as printed card.

Swing by and check out the variety of other digital elements we offer.

If you have any questions always feel free to email me at :

Have a Blessed and Creative Day !

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Dancing Pen Calligraphy and Future Artists!

We would like to introduce you to Elecia Fogg; she is a very talented artist in the area of Calligraphy. Here is a little information that she wrote about herself "I am a calligraphy artist that specializes in social calligraphy. I am ready for hire for envelope addressing, place cards, escort cards, certificate fill-ins etc. I am self taught and have been creating calligraphy for almost 20 years, creating beautiful calligraphy for weddings, parties, bar and bat mitzvahs, bridal and baby showers, holiday cards, for fun!" Elecia showed off her lovely writing on our Embossed folded Cougar White A-7 Invitations which come with matching envelopes. Be sure to browse all our Invitation Sets.

Elecia's pen name is DANCING PEN. Her blog and ETSY name really attracted us to see what she could do and we were very impressed. In today's world we often see so many Computer generated fonts, that it is refreshing to see when someone can do this type of work with Pen & Ink! Be sure to take a few moments and browse the DANCING PEN Shop.

She Created this valentine using our Basis RED 5x7 Petal Card. These are packaged 10 to a pack. They are a great card to use for Valentine's Cards or Christmas Cards.

Elecia mentioned that she has a 5 year old daughter and some girl friends who also enjoy making cards and that they would love to have a play day creating. So we decided to that it would be a great idea to send some extra cards and paper scraps to these aspiring young artists.

And It looks like the girls had a great time making their own valentines and spring cards. We so enjoyed seeing these photos and thought they might bring a smile to your face, too!

A very Special THANK YOU to Dancing Pen for sending us some of her work. So if you are need of that extra special touch on your next project be sure to contact Elecia, or if you know some one looking for a Calligrapher, be sure to recommend DANCING PEN!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Valentine's Day Themed Cards

Ryan McGurl of SCARLETT DESIGN created these lovely Valentine's Day Theme Cards using Products from . Ryan grew up in New England and attended both the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Boston University, for graphic design and art history. You can see her work by visiting her shop .

For the Doily Heart Valentine Card, Ryan used our 5x7 Red PETAL Card. Be sure to check out the variety of Petal cards available in many colors in sizes 5x7 & in 6.25" square.
Ryan wrote up some instructions, if you would like to duplicate the cards that she made.

Doily Petal Fold Valentine’s Card

1 red A7 (5 x 7”) Perfect Petals Card

1- 8.5 x 11 sheet each Stardream Metallic 81# text MARS, Malmero Perle' Sparkle 81# text Vermillion and Blanc (white)

Adhesive, I recommend a glue stick

Scissors, with a fine point for cutting small pieces or an exacto knife

Optional: Decorative Paper Punches


1: Print out the template on each of the three papers

2: Cut out the shapes as noted on the template, cutting out the dark areas.

Alternatively, you can use decorative paper punches to create your own design, just be sure the two white designs match up. You will also need to cut a 4 7/8 x 6 7/8 rectangle from the white paper.

3: Center the rectangle on the Petal Card, and adhere. Center the Red heart on the rectangle and adhere. And write the message of your choice inside it. Place the two maroon hearts on each side of the red heart.

4: Using the red heart as a guide, adhere the white hearts to the outside of the petals (one heart will cover

two petals) and trim away any excess.

Bleeding Hearts Valentine’s Card


1 white 5 x 7 folded card

1- 8.5 x 11 sheet each Magenta, Brown Bag Kraft Paper, and Stardream Metallic Jupiter

Adhesive, I recommend a glue stick


Red Marker


1: Print out the template on each of the Magenta and Jupiter papers. Or you could use a light box or brightly lit window to trace the shapes onto the papers.

2: Cut out the shapes as noted on the template (click on template below). You will also need to cut a 5 x 7” rectangle, with a 4 x 6 “ opening in the center of it,

from the Jupiter paper, to create a frame. Additionally, cut out two thin curved strips from the Kraft paper.

3: Line the frame up along the edges on the front of the card, and adhere. Adhere one of the Kraft paper strips diagonally across the front of the card.

4:Adhere 3 of the magenta flowers evenly spaced along the Kraft paper strip. On top of the flowers, adhere 2 petals, so that they meet at the top, but are open at the bottom.

5: Use the second kraft paper strip and remaining flower cutouts todecorate the inside of the card.

6: Using the red marker write ”Happy Valentine’s Day” or a message of your choice on the inside of the card.A Special Thank you to Ryan from SCARLET DESIGNS for designing these cards and including instructions for them! Be sure to stop by her blog and see her great photography and unique creations.