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February 5, 2017 / artonalark

New Challenge 2017

Today we started a new Challenge at Paper Parachute in Beaverton Oregon. We are working on a paper mache accordion book with the theme “Wings and other Flying Things. The kits are $15.00 and the project will be due in early May. Check back for dates. Email Helen or stop by Paper Parachute for a Challenge Kit.feb-1-009

March 19, 2013 / artonalark

A few New Things…

this weekend is the Heirloom stamp and Paper arts show at the Expo Center. You can buy tickets at Paper Parachute or at the door. details at

Start thinking about Arte Junque Sale at PP, the first 2 weekends in May

She is doing a “mini-class” on Saturday April 6th, if you want to know more. she wants to start a 6 week group to meet on Sundays, Thrsday evening or Friday evening. Please contact me with a prefrence so we can set it up ASAP. She will also be scheduling Private Sessions.

October 28, 2012 / artonalark

Paint can Challenge starts on Sunday!

I totally forgot to remind everyone…tomorrow (Sunday) is supposed to start the new CHALLENGE! Meeting at Paper Parachute at one!
Don’t worry if you can’t make it, I am so behind on posting directions and putting together new kits, I am including the following studio times for anyone who has or wants to do either the Book of Charms or Paint Can Challenge. Both Projects are “due” at the January 27th meeting. Just let me know…
Sunday, October 28th 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Friday, November 9th 5:00pm – 9:00pm
Sunday, November 25th 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Friday, December 14th 5:00pm – 9:00pm
Friday, January 11th 5:00pm – 9:00pm
Yes, any or ALL. ain’t guilt wonderful?
October 24, 2012 / artonalark

Book of Charms – Cutting Niches

Once your blocks have dried, remove the clips and check they are glued together all around, if not, more glue!


Use a pencil to lightly mark the edges of your niche on the top of your block. Don’t worry about the marks or cutting it perfectly, that’s one of the reasons for the 10 pages in between each section. (Don’t worry, we’ll get there) The pages in the yearbooks are so delicate that they will “cut” just with a sharp pencil, so be careful.


When cutting niches, REMEMBER YOUR CUTTING MAT!!!! Place the mat behind the area you are cutting. DO NOT FORGET!

I use my metal edge ruler and a craft knife to cut. Make sure you have a sharp blade, you might have to change your blade 2 or 3 times while cutting niches, if you feel any drag or your pages are tearing where you cut, CHANGE YOUR BLADE. I know, I feel wasteful too, but I don’t change mine enough and I have torn the pages.

Make your cuts one side at a time, three or four strokes until you get fairly down into the niche, then do another side, and keep going round and round. No need to use a lot of pressure, more cuts are better. I will over cut my corners a bit in order to get the pages out easily. I pull out the cut pages as I go. When I am done I scrape the inside edges a bit to smooth them out.

Now it’s time for MORE GEL MEDIUM and, of course, clips and waxed paper. Use the brush again to dribble or tuck as much medium as you can into the edges, cover with waxed paper and clip. Let dry.

When they are all dry, I remove my clips and get ready for more gluing and cutting.

October 22, 2012 / artonalark

Book of Charms 2 – Gluing Your Blocks


Once you’ve decided the where and how thick of your blocks and pulled out 10 pages on either side ( not needed on back or front) It is time to GLUE! I used regular Matte Gel Medium from Golden. People sometimes use regular Matte medium, slurry (MM mixed with water) or even Mod Podge or Collage Podge.


What you want to do is use a bunch of clips to keep your pages a s straight and smooth as possible. Try to get the block section to be able to open flat both ways and don’t obsess about it too much, (you know who you are)it doesn’t have to be perfect. Then, using a brush apply your medium to the edges, working it down in between the pages as much as possible. Use smallish pieces of waxed paper under the clips to re-clip as you go. Then wait to dry, I prefer over night. If it needs some more in areas repeat as needed.


Tomorrow we start Cutting!

October 22, 2012 / artonalark

The Book of Charms – Getting started

ImageNormally, I pretty much create any which way without much planning. For this book I suggest you start with a plan. Choose 4 to 6 items that will be your charms or the dimensional objects that focus your story or theme. You don’t have to have a theme, it’s whatever you want. I picked “The Sea” based on the mermaid vial that a friend gave me and a shell bracelet my grandmother brought me from Florida over 40 years ago. Also I am using a “doubloon”, a key, vellum envelopes with various stuff and some feathers.



First, I guesstimated the depth of the objects I chose and where to put them in my book. I clipped the pages into the blocks I would need. Now it’s a good idea to decide what kind of niche you will cut for your charms.  You will want to cut one in the back block, the back cover makes a great back for a heavier charm. Same thing with the front of your book, or you can cut through the front cover and mount your item to be seen when the book is closed.


Your middle niches are a little more complicated. You may want to suspend an item in the niche (more like a window) so it can be seen from both sides, you could use the mica, vellum or transparencies to create a barrier to keep the charm within. You might want to cut only partway through and mount your charm with a backing that is either pages you didn’t cut through, or another piece of paper as a backing.


Once I had my main blocks clipped, I then took 10 pages out of the blocks for the front and 10 for the back of each section.

The pages are more delicate than I originally thought and need to be glued together for some stability. These smaller blocks of 10 are to be glued together page by page and later glued to the front and backs of the niches you cut for a more finished look. (Don’t worry, more explanation to come)

October 22, 2012 / artonalark

“The Book of Charms “

Photo Caption

October 1, 2012 / artonalark

Challenge Projects started in September

I have revived the very popular ART CHALLENGE series starting in September. Each CHALLENGE is designed to rev up your creativity and provide the bare bones of a Project that can be completed on your own terms. The meeting times provide an introduction to the project and accompanying kit, instruction and ideas for adding your own flair.

We will meet monthly the 4th Sunday of the month from 1:00 – 4:00 at Paper Parachute. Each month we will start a new Challenge that will be completed and shared at the meeting 2 months from then.

Our first Challenge Project is A BOOK OF CHARMS, inspired by the Halloween season, but yours doesn’t have to be magical or dark in nature. Your kit will contain a small 1940’s Year book, charms, old jewelry, mica, glassine and a whole bunch of stuff. We will be making blocks of pages and cutting niches in our books and creating a story that describes how a special or everyday object can be a magical charm to create a small magic.

Don’t despair if you missed our first meeting. Kits are available, you can attend our Studio night at Paper Parachute, the second Friday of the month (October 12th) and I will be posting pictures and directions here.

We will start a second Challenge Project at our November meeting, November 25th. and you can email to get a kit, I know that’s a busy weekend.

If you can’t attend meetings but want to participate, please email Helen at to buy you kit.

Due at meeting on January 22, 2013 . (we are skipping the December meeting)

We will have a Studio time 5:00 – 9:00pm on Friday, October 12th and Friday, November 9th.

Meetings at Paper Parachute:
2056 NW Aloclek Drive Suite 316
Hillsboro, Oregon 97124
503- 533-4513

August 24, 2012 / artonalark

more Dollar Days at Paper Parachute!

Saturday, August 25th is Dollar day at Paper Parachute in Hillsboro! Tons of stuff just put out. Charms, buttons, beads, bags, paper, paper, stamps, ink pads – all for a dollar each!

August 15, 2012 / artonalark

Dollar Days at Paper Parachute!

If you can get to Hillsboro on Wednesday afternoon, Paper Parahute is having a sale you won’t believe. Everything on the tables is only a Dollar! Tons of stamps, ink pads, markers, embellishments, paint, and Paper! 3pm until 7!