Book Papers & Stories & PaperSpirals

I love books! Since I first learned to read in first grade, I have not stopped reading. I was the odd little girl that did not play with dolls but instead read one book after another, devouring them like candies. I remember how I waited my mother to return from work each day so I could rush and tell her that I finished three books that day and needed more for the next. My Sweetheart, she always opened her bag and had yet another treasure for me. Together with my husband (and now my son seems to have catched the bug) we have a huge collection of books. And really there is no place your eye can fall in my house that you won't find a book lying in there somewhere.

It's no big surprise that I am fascinated in turning them into art and I bet you have seen some of the things I do with old book pages. Book pages always carry stories, the written stories and the stories of the people that read them. That gives them an atmosphere, an aura, that I find most intriguing and an authentic vintage look with irresistible charm to my eyes. Not to mention the relief it brings to the ocd part of me which hates letting a book go to waste. Every story deserves respect. And I learned that the hard way, when nobody was willing to listen to mine. Breathing new life into old forgotten book pages is such a rewarding art.

Thus, I have a huge stash of vintage books for my own art adventures. And I am thrilled to introduce you to my new line of products called BOOK PAPERS. I mean, I already cut my own, why not prepare some for you as well and save you from all the tedious work? Currently the line includes square 12x12cm origami sheets, a Kusudama Flower Ball Kit that includes all square papers needed to make one of your own and quilling strips of 6mm and 10mm width. I use old books, especially encyclopedias and dictionaries, carefully chosen for their appropriate weight, feel and dimensions and then hand cut them personally.

I hope you enjoy BOOK PAPERS and I look forward to seeing what you create with them!

But that's not all.

I told you I love books. Which really means I love stories. Fictional, philosophical, personal, the written word has such fascinating power. Destructive Or Constructive. The more we close our ears to our stories, the more they define us. Detachment is not a solution but part of the problem and so to rise above a story, to be non attached and genuinely waterproof, you first need to own it. Hear it, read it, accept it with an open heart and compassion. However hard, painful, distorted even, a story deserves full attention and respect and the expanse to take it all in. Transformation is a fine art, even if a pain in the butt at times.

I love stories, mine and yours. Being a lover of stories, a listener and a quiller, I am happy to introduce a new column in my blog called Stories And PaperSpirals, where I will be honoring a story that moved me into quilling about it. All stories are welcome, so long as they spark something creative in me. Some will be in English, some will be in Greek. All will have something to say. Hope you enjoy this marriage of Stories And PaperSpirals and ride along with us in this journey. First one coming up soon, so stay tuned!

All Love!

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There Is A Field

Out beyond ideas of wrong doing & right doing
There Is A Field
I will meet you there

These past days I had the pleasure of hanging out with an amazing group of quillers in the first ever Quill-Along, hosted by my beloved friend Erin Curet of Little Circles. With her guidance we all plunged into the exciting world of quilled mosaics and set out to create our very own Retro Flowers.

As soon as I enrolled, inspiration struck and I knew this field of retro flowers screamed Rumi at me. Flowers and stems are all made with the best damn quilling paper available (yes, it's Culture Pop) but for the background I chose to cut my own strips out of old book pages. The strips are full of words and concepts, a metaphor to our ideas of wrong doing and right doing. Among them, beyond them, a vibrant field of flowers, color bursting with life awaits. 
I will meet you there.

This is my first ever mosaic and I enjoyed every little spiral of it! Girls from the team, I have to say, it's been fun working along you and I loved every piece of art posted on the group. It's so weird... At first I thought that we would all come up with similar mosaics, following the same steps and all. It was a delight seeing the uniqueness of each piece, the different atmospheres and characters brought out through this creative process. 

Some of you wanted to know more so I'll let you in into some of the tricks I used to create this.

First off, I have to admit that I never buy frames and never hire a professional framer. There have been a couple of exceptions to that rule over the years, but no, I stick away from framers. It is very expensive and I prefer to offer art for money instead of frame for money. Plus I enjoy crafting my own. That means that I am a big time hoarder of old frames, salvaged from all kind of trash and have a fairly good stash in my studio. This one just fit the required dimensions and so I gave it a little care and a few coats of chalk paint and varnish to make it all pretty and new. Giving life to old, dead things is quite rewarding!

Then there is the mat, which also raised a few questions. It is also hand made. Simple, really. I just cut a cardboard, painted it and then sealed it with a coat of varnish for extra protection. Perfect to hold the little Rumi quote that inspired me. My signature too... :)

The actual background was watercolored black and sprayed with a coat of fixative to avoid accidents. I know Erin advised against watercolors but I did not experience any trouble whatsoever. The paper strips for the background were hand cut from old book pages with an exacto knife and a metal ruler. That means that the edges of the paper were white and that was out of the question as a background color. To counter that I ran the strips one by one over my black permanent ink pad. So they became aaaalmost black. Obviously the distribution of color is not consistent, some places remained white, others were more soaked black. That turned out to be super cool because it gave the papers a unique ragged look and made for a really organic shading. The pictures just don't do it justice! From an angle all the layers of printed letters, jumbled photos among words and inked edges come together to bring the life and character needed to juxtapose the world of ideas that hides the field we are looking for.

The back of the frame was sealed much like Erin suggested, the only difference being in the hanging system for which I used what shows in the photo instead of wire.

I think that pretty much covers it. If you have any questions fire away and I will be happy to answer. For anyone interested, it is listed on my etsy store.

To all fellow Quill-Alongers, looking forward to rolling with you again!
For Erin there are just no words. There Is A Field & I Will Meet You There.

Love & Light & PaperSpirals ~ Anama


Big Oops! I owe some of you an apology. You see, I use facebook to communicate with most of you and it is my favorite way of connecting with friends. So I wrongly assumed that you all feel the same and neglect my blog. I recently had a couple of complaints because, yeah it happens, some of you do not spend your whole day in front of FB and as such you did not know the results of the contest. Sorry!
And thank you! Better late than never, so know that with your help I won and you made me a very happy happy girl.

Here's me hugging my new papers!

Since my last post I made a couple of more clocks :) 
For this one I used a round wooden base that I repainted and decorated with this beautiful mandala design. It turned out spectacular! And it is still up for grabs!

The second one was a custom order for a friend who wanted a special gift for her sister. We browsed through my newly refreshed collection of colors and decided on a combination that would match her preferences. This is officially the first artwork with my new paper strips! :D 
A little bird told me that she absolutely loved it!

Obviously, all artwork is unique and I cannot duplicate any design. However, you can use this sample listing to order a similar mandala canvas clock with your choice of colors. I will be very happy to make something special just for you! 

Mandalas seem to be my current love affair. Just today I completed another one, my coolest yet! I placed it in a shadowbox, ready to decorate your special place with some paper magic. I have been playing with the idea of adding extra materials for a while now and this is my first piece that includes coral chips. It turned out more beautiful than I imagined and I am definitely going to further play with this concept. Check out more pictures here.

Meantime, I am also working on a typography project related to my other big love, that is EFT / Tapping. For those of you that are not familiar with the term, it refers to Emotional Freedom Techniques, a simple and super effective way to clear energy blocks and regain freedom from anxiety, phobias, limiting beliefs and toxic negative feelings. I have recently gone through a 4 month marathon of clearing all my past hurts and I am currently a student on the way to becoming a practitioner myself so I can share this incredible gift with the world. 
Sounds like I'm pretty busy, right? And loving it!

Till next time, I would love to hear your comments. Stay connected!

PS: For More Love & Light & PaperSpirals Join Here
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