Friday Favorites

snowballstaywarmTemperatures are in the 20’s here this morning!

Brrrr! 🙂

We’ve already had our first snow of the season, and more is predicted in the next few days. Speaking of snow, you’ve probably noticed that many blogs are featuring falling snowflakes lately! Seeing them reminds me of some especially breath-taking paper snowflakes that I showcased here last December.

Just like Christmas trees and other seasonal decorations – these paper snowflakes truly deserve to be on display every year.

This is just a small sample!

Click here to see many more and also to read about Elsie, an inspirational lady who shares her beautiful paper snowflakes with countless lucky recipients.


I hope you’ll try to find a few moments of quiet time – just for YOU – this weekend! 😀

Meet ya back here on Monday . . .


Giveaway – Paper Art Gift Set

Welcome to Week 47 of my weekly giveaways!!

Most often, the prize is jewelry!!! But this time I have a little surprise. 🙂

Remember a couple of weeks ago when we all went shopping…. and I found some lovely pumpkin gift tags that were created by etsy artist, FrenchCountry?

Well, she has graciously offered to sponsor this week’s giveaway with a sweet 10-piece assortment of her paper art!

First, we have a Set of 2 French-inspired Bookmarks (or large tags) made on high quality pink card stock, handstamped with walnut ink using script and musical sheet background, feminine motives, butterflies, Paris inspired stamps, and dresses and lace. The edges have been shaded with coordinating ink for a more vintage feel. The sheer pink ribbon gives these tags a touch of elegance!


Next, for the Christmas season, a Set of 4 Gift Tags made on high quality green card stock, featuring a cute little Santa holding a Merry Christmas sign. The crackled background provides a vintage look.


And finally (my favorites!) a Set of 4 Pumpkin Tags – hand stamped and painted on high quality card stock. Whether you use them as gift tags, or to accompany home baked treats, or for writing a little love note to tuck into a lunchbox, this sweet set of tags will add cheer from now through Thanksgiving!


Enter below for your chance to win this charming assortment from frenchcountry!


And be sure to visit her etsy shop for many more lovely cards and tags.

Contest Rules and How To Enter

This week, you will have up to three (3) chances to enter the weekly giveaway.

You can choose any or all of the following 3 ways to enter:

1st Chance:

Leave a comment answering the first weekly question:

With the current economic conditions, will you be trying to make more of your gifts for this holiday season and the year ahead?

2nd Chance:

Leave a comment answering the second weekly question:

Can you tell us if there’s a quotation that means a lot to you? And has it changed the way you live your life?
(Thank you to Cindi for suggesting this question.)

3rd Chance:

Comment on any other post except this one. You can do it today or another day this week. You do not have to tell me that you left a “comment” on another post. The blog program shows me all of the “comments” as they come in – so I do not miss any of them! 😀

The Boring Stuff . . .
You must be 18 yrs. old. After the completion of the contest, the name of the winner will be listed here. The winner will also be notified by email. If no valid email address is given at time of entry, or if winner fails to respond to email within 3 days from the time notification email has been sent, the win will be null and void and a new winner will be chosen. The prize will be mailed by USPS First Class Mail.

All entries must be received by 9:00 p.m. EST on 10/04/09, and the winner will be selected on or about 10/05/09.


Giveaway – Origami Gift Set

Happy Monday and welcome to a very special edition of the weekly giveaways!

This week’s prize is a beautiful 6-Piece Origami Gift Set from paper artist, Kayo! She uses the highest quality papers and materials in her art, and her work is absolutely exquisite! (Read more about Kayo and her art here.)


The winner will receive everything you see in the photos including: 2 origami bookmarks, 2 origami greeting cards, a pair of earrings (packaged in a handmade gift box) with tiny origami paper cranes and rare vintage Swarovski crystals, and an origami “lucky star” cell phone charm!


Isn’t this set wrapped beautifully? Notice the tiny lucky stars that are sprinkled within the gift package as a bonus from Kayo!

All items are also available in Kayo’s delightful etsy shop, where she’s offering free shipping with orders of $10.00 or more through April 30th!!


Contest Rules and How To Enter

1. For your first chance to win leave a comment answering this question: If you could hire one of the following, which would it be? A maid, a cook, a hair stylist, or a chauffeur? 🙂

2. For a second chance to win, leave a second comment that answers the question: What is your favorite spice or seasoning?

3. For a third chance to win, leave a comment on any other post on this blog except this one. You can do it today by looking for a post in the archives to comment on, or you can come back during the week and add a comment on any post – old or new. You will receive an extra entry each time you do so.

You can choose any one or all of the above chances to enter.

A valid email address must be given at time of entry. You must be 18 yrs. old. The name of the winner will be listed here after the completion of the contest. The winner will be notified by email. The prize will be mailed by USPS First Class Mail. If no valid email address is given at time of entry, or if winner fails to respond to email within 3 days from the time notification email has been sent, the win will be null and void and a new winner will be chosen.
All entries must be received by 9:00 p.m. EST on 05/03/09, and the winner will be selected on or about 05/04/09.


Friday Favorites – Bookmarks

hearts-border31This week’s “Friday Favorites” features my favorite way to mark my place in a book – and that’s with a little piece of art. 🙂

No scraps of paper or turned down pages for me!

Sometimes I use a miniature print of a favorite painting from our art museum’s gift shop. Other times I might use a handmade gift tag that I’ve received on a present.

But some of my most treasured bookmarks were made by origami artist, Kayo.

Wouldn’t it be fun to see one of these lovely ladies as you curl up with that book you’re currently reading? You’ll find them available in many colors in Kayo’s etsy shop.


Take a little time for yourself this weekend, OK? 🙂

See you Monday for the new weekly giveaway with new questions and a very special prize!


Interview with the Artist: Kayo

In this installment of Interview with the Artist, I am thrilled to introduce a young woman who creates some of the most extraordinary paper art that I’ve ever seen. Her origami greeting cards, bookmarks, and delicate origami earrings are absolutely gorgeous! Please meet Kayo 🙂


It is no exaggeration for me to tell you that her work is perfection. You will truly be amazed at the attention to every little detail in her art.


Cards of this quality are just not available at your local store. When you purchase her origami greeting cards, be prepared to want to frame them, instead of send them! I speak from experience on that. 😉


Her designs, her choice of fine materials, her incredible craftsmanship, and her presentation of the finished items, all blend to make each purchase from Kayo’s shop an experience that will delight you.


She has graciously provided a fabulous prize for next week’s giveaway contest here on Bead Happily Ever After! It will be one of the most beautiful giveaways that we have ever had!!! So be sure to come back on Monday for the new contest, when I will unveil Kayo’s very special prize. You are going to LOVE it!


In the meantime, visit her etsy shop and receive free shipping with orders of $10.00 or more through April 30th.

And now, the interview . . .

Were you interested in art as a child?

Not really. I didn’t get much incentive for arts when I was a kid. In kindergarten the teachers always stamped my drawings like “bad” and “terrible”. LOL. I had the worst grades on my drawings because the teacher would not understand what I wanted to express. At pre-school other kids teased me saying that my drawings were ugly. It was disappointing, but I never gave up my desire to draw well.


What were some of the earliest projects that you created?

I have been working with paper since I was a little kid, so I don’t remember what my first projects were. My earliest projects that I actually sold were artificial flower arrangements. When I was in sixth grade, a friend of mine and I saw a flyer from a local church that was offering a course on how to make artificial flowers and we got very interested. We were the only kids attending the course among about twenty adults. We thought that the course would be very simple, like just to have some ideas of flower arrangements. However, we learned a lot of things like making a type of glue to harden fabric, fabric dyeing, fabric cutting with special tools (petals and leaf shapes), hot pressing, etc. We had to skip some physical education classes in the morning to attend this course, but it was fun. Sometimes I had to pick up my sister at school after the course and some moms (who were picking up their children) would see my flowers and ask if I was selling them. This is how I started selling flowers to classmates and their moms. 🙂

When did you first try origami? Did you like it immediately?

I first tried when I was around 6 or 7 years old. My aunt and uncle used to teach my siblings and me some simple origami (and Japanese language) on weekends. My uncle even gave me an origami book that I still treasure. I liked origami so much. I started making origamis from the book to give to my friends. I remember that I ran out of a pack of my Dad’s paper to make and give origami to each of my classmates! Then, for years I did not make origami, until in the first year of architecture school, when one of the first assignments was to make several origami models to study structural systems! Since then I haven’t stopped making origami.


You have such an extraordinary talent for exquisite detail in your work. Do you also enjoy other forms of art, such as painting?

I like to try any forms of art I can. I enjoy watercolor and oil painting, but I am still in my early stages. I also enjoy drawing and drafting (which is my main professional activity), needlework (knitting, crochet, stitching), working with cold porcelain, and lately, music (keyboard).

Is paper your favorite medium?

So far, it is! It is my favorite medium because it is very accessible, versatile, and requires almost no tools (only scissors and glue) to create something out of it.

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

Usually from Asian paintings, movies, and memories of my grandma.


Do you keep any examples of your best work – just for yourself?

I keep the first works because I think they don’t look good enough to sell. Another reason not to keep all the works I like is that it will be hard to take them with me if I have to move to other places in the future, as I expect to do. At least I have photos of my works to remember them.

How do you promote your work and what advice would you give to people who would like to begin selling their art?

I really do not make any kind of advertisement of my work! Making crafts is just a pastime for me.
My advice for those who want to begin selling their art is:
1. Keep experimenting. Most of the time your creations will not turn out well, but don’t give up!
2. Find your personal style and do your best. Your love and care will be shown in your work!
3. When selling online, take a look at discussions in the forums. They can be very helpful.
4. Try to take good photos of your items.
5. Have good customer services.
6. The most important: ALWAYS believe in yourself!

Thank you so much for interviewing me!