Saturday, September 27, 2008

Apple Pickin'

So I took the boys apple pickin' and we all had a wonderful time.  The orchards were beautiful and I could have snapped pictures all day long.  The negative space between the leaves, the shapes cast by sun light as it fell between the branches, the vivid colors of the fallen apples in contrast to the rich green grass... what is it about the light that falls on an apple orchard? Perfect!  Well that was all missed by my young children.  The enjoyed picking, eating and throwing apples.  We shinned apples on our shirts until the gleamed... and then I saw the pumpkin patch.  We are so going back to the pumpkin patch.  For now I need to deal with all of these apples.

Monday, September 15, 2008


OK... summer is over and our big fundraising event will be over soon too.  It is time to get back into the studio and be creative.  I have been collecting papers and wonderful materials all summer and I have already stocked up on bookboard and PVA...with no time to work out all the ideas in my head.  I feel like I am all dressed up for the ball with no pumpkin to get me there.  First things first... and I know I have been saying this... but I need to organize my studio.  I have a new set up for paper storage and some new work spaces to install.  I need to get the blades on my board shear sharpened and I need to take stock of all my tools.... I know for a fact that I desperately need a new pair of scissors, new brushes and a larger garbage bin.  I would also love to paint my studio walls and floor.  Starting very soon I will have a respite worker coming by to help with Sam.  We will get 12 hours a month and I plan on using that time to get organized in my studio and my house so that I don't have to clean up and hunt for things before I even get started on a project.  Lofty goals (considering things as they are presently) but a girl has to have aspirations ... right!  

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Getting Ready for the Buddy Walk... and trying to sneak in a bit of creativity where I can

So besides all my mommy and domestic duties, I have been painting wine glasses and martini glasses like crazy to donate to the silent auction and raffles for our local Buddy Walk. So far I have 5 sets of 6 wine glasses and 2 sets of 6 martini glasses... with a few more to go. Can you say HOLY WINE GLASSES BATMAN? I am really not a painter but the simple dragonfly design is whimsical and fun... and dishwasher safe!!!  We have a ton a of great prizes this year... 

The Buddy Walk was established in 1995 to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. As many of you know Patrick is the president of our local Down syndrome parent support group The DDC (Down syndrome Development Council) and I am also on the board. Our Buddy Walk is September 21st at Lambs Farm in Libertyville from 12:00-5:00. It is a fun family event with games, music, inflatables, silent auction, raffles, performances by persons with Down syndrome, food, petting zoo and so much more. It is free and open to the public so if you are in the area... please stop by and meet a few thousand (we expect 1000-2000 this year) other people who love someone with Down syndrome too. For more info you can check out the DDC's website at . In the mean time I am busy getting things done for our big event... so if you don't hear from me for a bit... you will know what we are doing. 

Buddy Walk Facts 

*The Buddy Walk was established by the National Down Syndrome Society in 1995 to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October.

*The Buddy Walk has three primary goals:
1. To promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome;
2. To raise funds locally and nationally for education, research and advocacy programs; and
3. To enhance the position of the Down syndrome community, enabling us to positively influence local and national policy and practice.

*The Buddy Walk has grown from 17 walks in 1995 to more than 260 in 2006 across the country and around the world.

*At least 250,000 people are expected to participate in more than 275 Buddy Walks this year.

*Since 1995, more than 1,750,000 people have participated in the Buddy Walk program.
Last year alone, the Buddy Walk raised more than $6.5 million to benefit local programs and services, as well as national education, research and advocacy initiatives.

*The Buddy Walk program is supported at the national level by the National Down Syndrome Society. Local Buddy Walks are organized by NDSS Affiliates, parent support groups, schools, and other interested organizations and individuals.
Most Buddy Walks take place from September through November to recognize Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October.

*John C. McGinley, who plays Dr. Perry Cox in the hit NBC show "Scrubs," is the 2007 National Buddy Walk Spokesman. Mr. McGinley is both an accomplished actor and the proud father of Max who has Down syndrome.

Anyone who wants to support acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome can participate in the Buddy Walk. To find a local Buddy Walk in your community, visit the "Find a Walk" section of

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

all in good time...

Well... Sam's surgery went very well.  Both Andrew and Sam are back in school and if I play my cards right the baby will nap for an hour or two while they are gone... giving me much needed time to clean, put away laundry and other mundane house hold duties.  Slowly but surely I am getting back into my studio.  I am trying to organize and get ready to really get busy.  I have several lovely new papers calling my name... I hear the rustling at night (make me into a box or book or something!).  Right now I am also painting sets of wine glasses and martini glasses (10 sets in all) for a our local Down syndrome group's annual Buddy Walk (a national Down syndrome fundraiser that also promotes awareness).  The hand painted glasses will be mixed in with baskets and put into a silent auction... we have a chocolate martini basket, several wine tasters baskets and so on.  Both DH and I are on the board our local group (The Down syndrome Development Council), he is the president and I am the wizard behind the curtain... one of my main duties besides painting all these wine glasses is to bring treats to the meetings...LOL.  So with homework, soccer, cub scouts, the upcoming Buddy Walk, painting wine glasses and just daily life I fear that the studio must again be patient and wait a bit longer for my return.  I am busy jotting down ideas and getting ready.  In the mean time Family comes first... but once they are well into their routine I hope to be presenting a bunch of new things.  I keep reminding myself... patience young grasshopper, patience.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

OH MY... where has the summer gone

The summer is getting away from me.  I cannot believe that August is here and summer is starting to slip away.  The baby turns 1 this weekend, Sam's surgery is next week and then following week the boys go back to school... throw in a few events, some therapies, soccer practices, and religious education classes and it barely leaves time to soak up the last of the summer sun and spend time at the pool.  We are all getting excited about going to the
Wheatland Music Festival ... we try to go every year and the boys love it.  We will don our best tie-dyed tees and spend the weekend enjoying fun music, good food and a relaxed atmosphere.  Although I love spending time with my boys... I can't wait until they are back in school allowing me to spend a bit more time in my studio.  I acquired some new papers and some bobbles and I am itching to get some work done.  I hope to replenish and freshen up my Etsy shop soon with new items.  For now I am just enjoying the rest of the summer with my boys...  

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

still here...

OK... So I have been MIA for a bit but what can I say... my family comes first and sometimes my life is not my own.  The rest of July is packed and August is impossible... I hope to see myself more in my studio in September.  Anyway... We just got back from a camping trip in the UP (upper peninsula).  I am originally from Michigan so it is fun to take the kids back to see the places I remember as a kid.  Being outside, unplugged and in nature really got my creative juices going.  Colors, textures, negative spaces, random groupings.... aaahhhhh.... I can't wait to get back to work.  Here are some pics... hope they inspire you too.

Tahquamenon Falls (lower)

hay bales on the farm

old house at the ghost town (Fayette State Park)
another old building at the Ghost Town

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Today we hatched as new Letterboxers and had our first find. What is Letterboxing you ask... check out the link. It is basically a treasure hunt with the prize being and exchange of rubber stamps. You get a set of clues (I believe there are several ways to obtain clues but we got ours from one of many letterboxing websites) that lead you to a box that contains a rubber stamp and a log book. Once you find a letterbox you stamp the log book within with your personal stamp and you stamp your personal log book with the stamp inside the found letterbox. Then you discretely re-hid it again for the next letterboxer to find. It combines hiking, nature, clues, art (as many of the stamps are handmade vs store bought), map reading and a basic sense of direction. We are very new and I had no idea how popular it is and really surprised to find that there are letterboxes stashed everywhere... really everywhere. Today, as a family we found our first box. Our collective trail name is Collins 5, but I think we will all come up with individual trail names too (Andrew is getting really creative). It was really a lot of fun. Besides all the local letterboxes we plan on making some side trips when we travel back and forth to Michigan and may even plant one of our own...what a nice way to let the kids stretch their legs after being in the car for several hours or to just burn some energy.

Think you want to try Letterboxing too... check out these sites

Monday, June 30, 2008


I am having a box sale in my Etsy shop. It is about time to clear out some my current stuff to make room for some new boxes in the works. So stop by and check them out. Enjoy!  For now the kids and I are off to the pool. Hope you are all having a happy and healthy summer.

I am also curious what you use boxes for.  To hold treasures, gifts, to just look pretty on a shelf... to keep old love letters or just to store junk in your basement ???? Do you like boxes for function or for aesthetic reasons or both??? Personally I like to make them and I find that the process of constructing them is the most rewarding for me.... from an artistic stand point.  I construct the boxes from scratch using book/binders board and then cover them with beautiful papers and bookcloths.  

Monday, June 16, 2008

stolen time

I was able to steal a bit of time and play around in my studio a bit.  My life is not my own these days with all the games, practices, doctor appointments .... well you get the idea.  And then the weather... who ordered that!  Our area has been hit hard with rain, thunderstorms, tornados, flooding and other random acts of God that have otherwise disrupted our normal flow.  As if the construction traffic was not bad enough already... I find it disturbing that it takes me 30 minutes to drive the 2 miles commute to soccer practice.  So needless to say I was thrilled to get a bit of time to myself, to work with my hands, to complete a task, to just think...  slowly these little books are becoming somewhat like therapy for me... it is like a mini vacation.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Monday, June 2, 2008

I Saw Red...

So I joined in on the I SEE RED game over at Sadie Olive.  Sounded like fun and perhaps a creative boost.  I am always taking pictures so I thought I could spy with my little eye something red... here is some of the RED I saw...

Friday, May 30, 2008

so this is where I have been....

I just finished teaching 2 workshops... so to speak... at DePaul University and Columbia College. Previously I was going to teach a drop spine box making class at Columbia but due to low enrollment the class was canceled.  However, I was contacted by the head of the Special Collections at the Richardson Library at DePaul and they wondered if I would consider teaching 2 of their staff members at DePaul.  Well of course I would!  I spent the past 3 Wednesdays in wonderful company teaching the ins and outs of constructing drop spine boxes.  I forgot how much I enjoyed the career I had in a previous life (book conservator/conservation tech in the Ryerson Library at the Art Institute)... but sometimes life just happens.  

Then Saturday I was off to Columbia College Center for Book and Paper Arts (where I got my MFA).   I have been teaching workshops there since roughly 2000.  This time I taught a How to Make Your Own Book Cloth class.  I will admit I felt a bit unprepared... I usually teach box making.  I am very confident in my technique  (it is quite simple actually to make your own book cloth) but I have never taught it as a class... originally someone else was supposed to teach it but something came up and I offered to fill in.  When I got there in the morning some of the supplies I requested were not there and then we ended up running out of some supplies half way through.... but in the end it all worked out and everyone left with some nice handmade bookcloth.  Next time I would do a few things differently but over all I things went pretty well.  

Today was also my oldest last day of kindergarten and next week my middle son (with special needs) begins a 2 week break before starting summer school.  Summer puts a whole new twist on things.  Our family schedule has literally been packed for the past month but I am hoping that things will start to slow down a bit.  On Saturday we have a soccer game and a cub scout fishing derby, I need to do some grocery shopping and laundry and well that is our day.  Sunday is mine!  After church, I already told my husband that I NEED to get some work done in my studio.  I have several "almost finished" commissions that I want to complete and a few projects that I am itching to start.  I seriously don't think I have spent more than 5 minutes in my studio doing anything productive in the past 3 weeks... (except my work on the Convergence Project, but that was done mostly at my kitchen table where I could drop it at a moments notice and finger swipe some small foreign object from the baby's mouth, set Sam up-right after he tips over in his chair for the tenth time and help Andrew with his homework)... it is sad really.  So I have started my WISH LIST of things to accomplish on Sunday.  

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

more on the convergence project

I just finished the second round of the Convergence project.  3 artists work on each piece... I am the second contributer for this piece.  Pam Paulsrud provided a wonderful base to work from. I did some shading with a yellow color pencil,  sewed on some buttons and an antique key and added squares cut from old text books.  The squares of random text were dyed with distressed ink (tea dye).  Keeping with Pam's alphabet theme I punched holes in the squares that correspond to letters in the braille alphabet that spell out the names of the three artists who contributed to this piece (Pam, Carla, Rae(me).  I am now sending it off to Carla and like the others it will end up at Vespine Gallery in Chicago.  I have now participated in round 1(first artist), and round 2(second artist)... round 3 should arrive next week and then I will add my finishing touches and send it back to the Gallery.  I assume that in the end, like me, all the artists participating will contribute to 3 of the 10 convergence project pieces.  I can't wait to see the final pieces.

the dots punched in the squares of paper above spell out my name (rae) in braille

Monday, May 12, 2008

Convergence Project

Oh what fun... I have been asked to participate in a convergence project.  I received a 10" x 10" square of printmaking paper and a few collage materials and the rest is up to me.  Paint, draw, alter...whatever I please.  Then I send it, along with some more materials, to the next person on the list.  Finally the last person will send the finished piece back to Vespine Gallery in Chicago where it will be framed and displayed.  Well I was first on the list... so below is what I did and now I will be sending it off to Helen in Lawson MO.  I can't wait to see the finished piece.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

the kindness of others...

So it is official... Aikos, my favorite Japanese paper store, has closed it doors for good.   I kept going back to Aikos time and time again because of the wonderful staff and their outstanding service, not to mention their fabulous papers, materials and books.... "handmade Japanese paper and gift items to inspire and delight".  I know that the decision to close their doors  after 50 years of service was very difficult but they have their reasons... even so it is also hard to say good-bye.  They really had something special, something you just can't find in those big chain stores that have it all.  

Well... yesterday I came home to find a large package on my porch. I saw that the package was from Chuck Izui at Aikos... a gift! Inside, neatly and carefully wrapped as one would expect nothing less from Aikos, was a treasure.  I about cried. Paper, paper and more paper! Lovely Momi papers, vibrant Dyed papers, and heavy Chiri papers and and invoice marked "PAID... a gift from Aikos".  I was speechless.  A very generous gift indeed that I was so not expecting. I humbly thank you Chuck and everyone at Aikos for your years of service and dedication... you will be greatly missed.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I won! I won!

I am finally getting around to posting the give-a-way I won from Jen over at Sanctuary Arts.  A lovely set of note cards printed from one of Jen's original drawings...good enough to eat!  Thanx Jen, I love them!  Jen is so talented so pop on over to her blog and see what other creative things she has up her sleeve.  

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Arte Y Pico Award

The very lovely Rosie over at Rosie's Whimsy gave me this great award.  Go over there and say Hi!  Thank you so much Rosie...big hugs to you!

The rules for this award are:
1. You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also contributes to the blogging community, no matter what language.

2. Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his/her blog to be visited by everyone.

3. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her/him the award itself.

4. The award winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of Arte y Pico blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.

5. To show these rules.

 ... there are so many that I would like to nominate!!! In my attempts to share the wealth I picked 3 from my Girl boxmaker blog roll and 2 from my Blessed and Lucky blog roll.  It was a hard choice but I am no particular order ***drum roll please***

Heather at Little Wonders

Renee at My special K's

Monday, April 21, 2008

Sunday, April 20, 2008

So how'd ya like them apples...

Apple Red that is...
My cousin's son (15 years old) built these chairs.  They have been sitting in my studio all winter long just waiting for a fresh coat of paint and a nice warm day.  Today was the day.  I primed them and painted them and best of all got them out of my studio and outside on the deck where they belong.  Killing two birds with one stone... also freeing up more space in my studio.  There is now one tidy corner in my space...a big step in the right direction towards getting organized.  

Now all I need is a bottle of wine and a bug zapper... I am realistic after all.  Obtaining a bottle of wine and a bug zapper are far more likely than finding a flat stomach and a nice tight @$$ in time for bathing suit season... but a girl can dream.  

Saturday, April 12, 2008

oh my poor neglected blog

Romantic Reds

I am still here!  Just busy.  This weekend I have a todo list the length of my arm and would be thrilled to get any number of the items crossed off.  I find such satisfaction in crossing things off a list.  I have a shelf and pictures to hang, 2 chairs to prime and paint (Home um Depot here we come), I want hang my paper rack and get my paper organized,  work on commission and ETSY stuff...(a girl just has to make stuff) , laundry... there is always laundry and the list goes on and on.  I think I convinced the husband that a trip to Home Depot would be a good rainy day family activity and then the prospects of using power tools later on today...that man is putty in my hands.  LOL.  Well I am off to hopefully go great things today and fingers crossed I can steal away some work time in my studio.  For now the baby thinks he wants to eat a bag of diapers... gotta run.  

Monday, April 7, 2008

and so it has begun...

I NEED to get my studio space organized! I am torn between spending what precious little work time I have on making stuff or organizing the space. However, I am finding my work table is becoming incredibly cluttered so making time to organize is a MUST (don't worry I am still getting my commission done and a few small projects for ETSY but I am holding off on starting any new projects this very minute).

I know that I will only have a small window of opportunity when the boys are otherwise occupied and my husband is willing to help me move all this stuff. He does not have the patience for me to move one thing and look at it for awhile, then move it again and again...nope... it is a one time shot so I have to get it right the first time! So I am working out my lay out.
I cut out small pieces of paper to represent all big stuff that needs a new home. I feel so powerful being able to move around my 1700 pound board shear with just the tip of my finger... when I know in actuality my husband would kill me if I even suggested moving it again... on second thought perhaps I should just plan to leave it where it is and make everything else work around it. Anyway... it is a start.

I dragged the family to IKEA this weekend. I got these pants hangers that will become paper hangers. Thank from "C" at Washi Wholesale for that great idea. I just need to hang the rod from the ceiling and then I can put my paper up. That will free up an extra table for more work space and it will be a much better storage system for my paper...not to mention hundreds of $$$ cheaper than buying a flat file storage system.

I got this little rack shelf too and as you can see it is already filled with usable paper scrap, felt and for now my buttons and bobble trays are living on the top. This too will have a new home too. I think I might end up needing another one of these tray towers???? hmmmmm???? I have totes full of stuff that I need to go through and determine what I can use, what I can toss and what can be stored away.

happy Monday!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

note to self...

Just in case you were wondering...
it is possible to eat your weight in jelly beans!

A very Excellent Award

Whoo hoo! Look what I got... Thanx Jen for the honor. As I step up to accept my award I must now recognize 10 other blogs that I feel are EXCELLENT! I nominate the following blogs for several reasons...they inspire me, they make me laugh, they make me think outside the box, they are entertaining or just simply because.

1. Jen over at Sanctuary Arts

2. Ryan at All Things Littlput

3. Kristen from Mommy Needs A Cocktail

4 Lisa Leonard at It's the Little Things

5. Rosanna posting from Rosie's Whimsy

6. Cindy at The Paper Studio

7. Kim from Today's Creative Blog

8. Heather at Little Wonders

9. Kelly from outnumbered mommy

10 Katie at where are the sens

OK Ladies...take awhile to bask in the glory and then if you so choose to accept this Excellent Blog Award you must also share the love and give this award to 10 others you deem worthy... it is ok to re-gift and give to someone who has previously received the award. So have fun and pass on this 'atta boy bloggy pat on the back for a job well done.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Saturday, March 29, 2008

getting back to normal

I survived Spring break... only 2 more days to go and we will be back into our normal routine.  I have spent precious little time in the studio this past week and I am looking forward to getting my hands dirty again.  I just ordered some paper from a new source, washi wholesale, and I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my new stash of beautiful Japanese papers.  

still on my list to do....

1. ****done**** order binders board and PVA... been putting this off because the delivery charge for such heavy items is depressing.

2.  ***for heaven's sake girl...get your butt moving*** finish prep work for Drop Spine Box Making class and Making Your Own Bookcloth class that I will be teaching in the next few weeks.

3. ***some progress*** commissions... I already have some work being requested for Christmas time, but that always sneaks up on me so I am trying to get some of those projects out of the way while things are slow.

4.  ***3 loads done...countless more to go*** laundry... lots and lots of laundry


Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter and Spring Break!

We had a lovely Easter weekend full of family, friends, good food and I am still finding little colored speckles around the kitchen area left over from our egg coloring event.  The boys are on Spring break this week which literally translates into me getting very little done that has to to with my own agenda.  I am hoping to sneak into my studio for a bit here and there but I am not going to hold my breath.  Instead my days this week will be filled with finger painting, baths...just for fun, walks in the forest preserve, counting geese on the pond, a few messy projects that require scissors, crayons and glue, a playdate or two, a few doctor appointments,  and (oh Lord, Please) a few calorie burning minutes on the elliptical trainer.  

This week I pray that my heals are tougher than the sharpest Lego, my ear drums able to withstand the loudest shrill, and Lord help me to remain calm when the whining exceeds usual and customary.  

Not yet down from their sugar high... I think now is the time to bundle everyone up and head out for a walk... a really, really long walk in hopes of an afternoon nap.  :)  There is always something inspiring to be found in nature so the walk will be good for us all.  May we all come back refreshed, refueled and full of new ideas.  

Friday, March 21, 2008

World Down syndrome Day!

March 21st is World Down syndrome Day and in celebration of this day I thought I would share the montage that I made for my son Sam. The significance of 3/21 is that people with Down syndrome , also called Trisomy 21, are blessed with three 21st chromosomes while the rest of us have only 2. Not only was Sam born with a little something extra (and extra chromosome that is), but he was also born 13 weeks premature and had several other medical issues requiring many, many surgeries... however I am happy to say that now, more than anything else,  he is just a naughty little boy.  We are trilled with his naughy-ness and are excited to see what he will teach us next.  So in honor of my chromosomally enhanced son I thought I would share his amazing journey and I hope you will agree that too much of a good thing is... wonderful.  

View this montage created at One True Media

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tip of the day...

I have been busy playing with my new papers... and while not paying attention to what I was doing I sliced my finger on the blade of my cut-trimmer.  OUCH!  Perhaps worthy of a few stitches but at least I didn't lop the thing off so of course I just wrapped it up tight and continued working... I only had 30 more minutes before Sam got off the bus, Sean woke from his nap and Andrew was on borrowed time so I just did what any mom on the go would do.   I will spare you the gory details, but for those of you who know me know that this is not the first time I have done this and most likely will not be the last.  However, that brings me to my tip of the day... 

Your own saliva is a solvent for your own blood.

Gross you say, but oh so true.  So if you are ever sewing signatures of a book and poke yourself with your needle or get a paper cut while covering a box or slice your finger with your scalpel and accidently get blood on the paper(s) or cloth(s) that you are working with... just use a little of your own spit to remove the blood.  Sort of like Shout It Out for grass stains... your own saliva can get your blood out.  However, One should take care when wielding sharp implements young grasshopper!

Just in case you are worried... I did not bleed or spit on any of my current projects... rest assured.  

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

OH happy paper day

Look what just came in the mail from The Paper Studio.... yippee!  

Friday, March 7, 2008


So it is day 3 of antibiotics and I am still plugged up and have a nasty cough.  I practically coughed up a lung in the doctor's office so not only did I get a supply of antibiotics but narcotics as well! That brings the tally to 3 out of 5 of the Collins clan on medication for sinus infections... 3.5 if you count the babe who most likely is getting residuals via breast milk. Needless to say things have been slow in the studio, my house could use a really good once or even twice over cleaning and I think I may have reached a point were I may never catch up on the laundry... yup things are about back to normal.

Monday, March 3, 2008

paper junky

I sometimes feel like a junky when I buy papers.  I love papers and I cannot leave a paper store empty handed.  I try to limit my paper buying but like any good addict sometimes I just need a good paper fix.  Although I always prefer to buy in person where I can feel each sheet and check dye lots and grain direction, the fact remains that I have 3 small children (a 6 year old with ants in his pants, a 5 year old with special needs and a 6 month old) so I often resort to purchasing online.  Thank you Al Gore for creating the internet...ha ha.  I am anxiously awaiting a shipment right now for a special commission (yes H it is for your box) and I can't wait... I am like a kid at Christmas when new papers arrive.  

I really love this Lokta paper for covering boxes.  It has a soft texture and the natural fibers of the paper are visible and I like that it is not soooo pristine.  I get my Lokta stash and many other fabulous papers from The Paper Studio .  Cindy Iverson, who owns the shop with her husband in Tempe Arizona, went through the same MFA for Book and Paper Arts program that I did.  I believe she graduated a few years behind me and besides being a very talented artist she then ran off and opened this wonderful paper store.  They offer classes and all sorts of stuff... check them out! 

Lokta paper

For making boxes with hinged lids I prefer using Momigami paper (Japanese crinkle paper). Momi paper is very strong, pliable, has as wonderful crumpled texture and hides a variety of sins.  I get it from Aiko's  in Chicago. I could spend hours in Aiko's... eye candy for the paper lover.  Sadly Aiko's is closing its doors for good on April 11th. They carry beautiful Japanese papers so stop in while you have the chance and take advantage of their sale going on now until April. Please note that they don't sell the momi papers online but you can find lots of lovely Chiyogami and other papers on their site.  You can contact them via email or phone if you had any questions and I am sure they would be more than happy to assist you.

Momi paper

I have also been known to frequent Paper Mojo and Talas for other papers, bookcloth, PVA and other adhesives. 

So my husband took over nose wiping duty for a bit this weekend so that I could get some work done in my studio (God bless him).  And as if that wasn't enough... I found that he also doubles as a pretty good hand model. 

Oh how I wish this was the only little bit of Green that I saw this weekend 

I actually sort of swept out my studio in a sort of half-a$$ed way and was appalled by the large pile of discarded scrap that I ended up with.  Little does my husband know, but I am secretly planning the new layout of my studio which will involve several hours of shelf assembly, countless swear words, a trip to IKEA and a few gallons of paint.  He will tell you that he would rather dig ditches naked in manure than paint so perhaps for now I will only bring up the shelves and IKEA trip for now.... I can bribe him with their Swedish meatballs.