Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Vintage Ephemera: Old Trade Cards

So there I was, salivating all over the vintage ephemera over on Winterthur Digital Collections and pinning like a crazy woman when "it" happened!

Winterthur trade cards page 7

This is that moment when panic grips you, literally cutting off your air supply because you've just realize that all the images you so carefully selected to pin are bringing up a "page not found" error when clicked. *insert the sound bite to any scary movie theme here*

Winterthur trade cards page 5

"That sinking "oh shit" feeling slowly settles over you like nausea because you know you have to go back, page by page to find EVERY image all over again and figure out how to link them properly. You do this because unlike others, you're a conscientious pinner and like any reputable pinner, you care about others being able to get back to the original source. . . right?

Winterthur trade cards page 11

You go back to the source and find the URL info posted (in fine print) directly above the image. Great! This will be easy, time consuming, but easy . . . that is until you realize AFTER you've relinked everything that you still haven't learned your lesson about testing the first one before you move on to all the others.

Winterthur trade cards page 4
Yep! You guessed it. That was an exercise in futility because the new link still resulted in the same "page not found" error which is why I created this post. I can post and pin the images from here and keep the integrity of the original source.

Winterthur trade cards page 186
All that being said, feel free to grab the images by clicking and downloading them directly from Winterthur. This way I don't deprive you of the opportunity to see what other tasty morsels this site may have to offer you. Enjoy!

Note: The images posted here have the background edited out along with some size modifications otherwise the images themselves remain unaltered.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Whimsical Assemblages of Miss Clara

Some artists have the most divine way of expressing their creativity, it almost makes me cry. Miss Clara is a French artist and the creator of these enchanting little whimsical assemblages that begin with a simple box. These are a perfect example of design that is clean, simple and oozing with understated elegance.

le bon marché
The typography and flourish designs against a backdrop of a slightly distressed white washed wood are what really what excite me the most about these pieces. Add little splashes of color by placing miniature works of art inside and you've got instant gorgeousness. Something like this could make the perfect display for paper outfits.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Watercolor Paper Flowers

I recently discovered the works of French artist Lyndie Dourthe who has elevated the art of paper flower making to a level far beyond any I've seen so far. The word beautiful merely touches at the surface of the artistry and elegance with which Lyndie delivers her technique.

Subtle gradients of color that bleed ever so gracefully into one another is the equivalent of actually catching a glimpse of a mermaid, moon bathing on a mid summer evening. You know you've discovered something startlingly beyond the mainstream.

I'm not only captivated, I'm dazzled and inspired. Where can I learn how to make leaves and flowers like this? Without much effort, I was able to find a tutorial put out by 100 Layer Cake. These ladies do not go into any detail about how they are applying paint which is the key to the whole look so I'll probably spend some time experimenting and creating my own tutorial.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Vintage Button Card

Yesterday I gave you some thread card templates to have fun with. In keeping with the sewing theme, here's a blank button card originally posted by that one woman wonder of public domain imagery, the Graphics Fairy.

vintage button card from the Graphics Fairy
This is yours to do with as you please. Click the image to visit the Graphics Fairy where you can enlarge and download the image. Happy Creating!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Vintage Mending Thread Cards

I like this box idea for holding mending thread cards. This box originally came from a blog that is no longer available. What a pity too because that place had some achingly beautiful vintage items on there. Yep, there's that word again. It was like crack cocaine for the eyes! Anyway, I'm getting off track.

thread card box - original source unknown
We may just have to break out the chip board and make a thread box of our own, eh? This will give you the opportunity to use some of those vintage papers and old book pages you've been dying to use but were waiting for the right project.
mending thread cards - click image to enlarge and download
What thread card box would be complete without some thread cards to put in it? I'm giving you some basic card shapes with a texture. That way if you want to do something with them digitally, be my guest or use your stamps and inks if you prefer that. Enjoy and let the crazy fun begin!

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Achingly Beautiful . . . Box?

It's true, I said I wasn't going to announce a new project and just to be clear, I'm still not going to so I'll call this the quasi new project announcement. Since I've literally got a drawer full of paper corsets and dresses languishing away in sandwich bags, I thought I would use my down time to finally get around to creating those displays I've only been posting about for months.

"a thought became a whisper" via wild goose chase on flickr
I know I'll still create paper art over the next five months so why not take you with me? The challenge? The achingly beautiful box. Interesting word, achingly. I recently saw that term used on a blog and while I agreed with its usage in the particular context in which it was used, how does one set about making something that can be defined as achingly beautiful when art is so subjective?

via aussie scrap source
The answer is simple. How do YOU define beauty? That is truly all that matters and all that is needed for you to make a beautiful box. I'll provide the inspiration and a little instruction along the way, you supply the creativity and originality to make your projects nothing short of divine!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

What's in a Name?

I'm doing that thing again where I try to come up with a catchy, memorable name to represent yet another eclectic interest of mine. Since I seem to be adding metaphysics and healing through perfumery to my paper and digital art endeavors, the name should be something that captures the essence of all of those rolled into one while still maintaining the Kell Belle name recognition.

crystal reader via Pinterest
Here's the kicker, the name should also leave room to incorporate other interest that might develop along the way such as *cough* herbalism. It's gonna happen and I've got my subscribers to think about before I jump into completely changing the name. Just looking at my thought process in printed form, I think the choice might have just been made for me.
I toyed with the possibility of using Kell Belle Apothecary but paper art and intuitive readings don't appear to incorporate well under that umbrella. With Kell Belle Alchemy I don't have to sacrifice an already established name and based on the definition of alchemy, possibilities are left wide open for expansion into just about anything that interests me.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pretty Little Specimen Labels

Do you ever buy crap you know you don't need but you buy it anyway just because it looks pretty? If you're anything like me, there are times when pretty simply kicks practical in its ass. The way I see it, you only go around this life once (in this body anyway), why not live it surrounded by things that inspire you?

via Neville Trickett on Flickr
My essential oil blends are an extension of my creativity so not only do I want them to be practical, I want them to inspire my clients in every way starting with their presentation and labeling. While my first attempt at labeling was okay, I need something that will really make my products sparkle. What's my solution? Pretty little specimen labels!

edited via Belle Brocante
Sure, you say. Nothing inspires more than the scientific labeling of dead things but it's more than that. There's something classic and clean about the look of specimen labels because they are all about typography which, when approached artfully, is what appeals to me the most.
I'm still trying to work out the logistics of labeling on a 1 ounce bottle size so I still have a little bit of work left to do. I'm also trying to come up with an all encompassing name so I don't have to reinvent myself for the 10th time. I'm inspired so I think I'm on the right track.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Corset Diaries XII: Miss July

Miss July is aptly called Fiery Opal for her gorgeous, eye popping, fiery color. Below is your diary page for this month. It includes a pocket for keeping bits of paper or fabric for use in your project along with a place for notes on either what you learned or how you want to approach your project.

click image to download at full size - 6 3/4" x 9 3/4"
Next month I'll give you a cover for your book and we'll put all 12 pages together so you'll have them all in one place to refer back to later.

In addition to providing inspiration for the corset this month, the video also goes through the assembly of a pocket that's incorporated into your page so if you have any questions about the look of the template, you might want to watch the video for help. Enjoy!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Fiery Opal Paper and Wire Corset

I see Opal dancing playfully on the horizon with a fiery sunset. Energetic yet well grounded and tempered with a cool nature, it is here she feels comfortable enough to set her audacious heart free. Mostly I'm talking about myself. Opal is an expression of my desire to break out of conformity.

wire and paper corset front
The Opal corset is a combination of paper and wire combined beautifully to demonstrate the organic possibility of wire and the architectural power of paper. Each leaf was hand cut, hand painted and hand adhered to a hand twirled piece of annealed wire.

wire and paper corset back
My creative process is such that I don't always know what the finished outcome will be as my muse likes to change direction on me mid stream. Thank the universe she does because I'm always delightfully surprised. This corset has now got me thinking about other ways I could use wire in my paper designs.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What the Bleep is Anti-Fartus?

Do you suffer from embarrassing bouts of public flatulence? Could your swamp gas power a small town? The Anti-Fartus Elixir may be the relief you've been praying for.

While this may not be the most genteel post in the world I don't know of a single living human who isn't afflicted with this particular bodily vocalization and wouldn't miss it if it stopped. Can you imagine Marie Antoinette strolling along with the King and suddenly ripping one off in court?

Now that I've got you wondering where I'm going with all this, I created my first aromatherapy blend. Using a limited number of oils, the assignment was to decide on a purpose for the blend. I figured it might as well be something I could actually try out now instead of waiting for my next cold which could be years for me.

the gas blend ingredients
The next thing to do was label the blend. After careful consideration I decided to have some fun with this and come up with a name that others could connect with on a humorous level. Instead of naming it something like "Gas Be Gone," which personally makes my eyes glaze over and roll up into the back of my head, the name Anti-Fartus seemed to bubble forth quite naturally.

we'll work on presentation for next time
The first thing I'm going to do when I shop next is load up my cart with lots of fresh, high fiber veggies like squash, beans and my personal favorite - beats! I'll try out my blend for awhile and report back here on its success or failure. We're all counting on you, Anti-Fartus. Make us proud!

Monday, July 8, 2013

10 Uses for a Kraft Envelope

Many of the kraft envelopes I've seen are not all that exciting or particularly inspirational to look at other than the fact that they are brown which, I suppose, automatically lends an antique usefulness to them. Sometimes we just need a little help with uses to really get the imagination spinning in the right direction so the question becomes, once you have these nifty little treasures, what do you DO with them?
  1. Sachets - fill with a little potpourri to make a scented drawer sachet
  2. Wedding Favor - fill with 2 tbs bath salts for a unique wedding favor
  3. Money Holder - need I say more?
  4. Buttons - a great way keep your buttons organized unless you're a button junkie in which case you'll probably need something larger
  5. Scrap holder - if you're anything like me you hoard even the smallest bits of paper because you never know when they might come in handy on another project
We'll get to the other 5 uses in a moment. Here are a few digital, printable kraft envelopes I designed that have a little color to them. Not saying the plain envelopes are boring per se, I do like the look but maybe something with a little more pizazz is in order, eh? 
printable digital kraft envelopes in the boutique
Wanna see what these beauties look like from the front? Fortune smiles on you today because with a single wave of my magic wand, I can instantly transport you to Le Charmed Life on Etsy where you can get more detailed views of these magnificent creations. Now for the final 5 uses.
  1. Journal Pocket - add interactive elements to your journal
  2. Letters - why not send your sweetheart off with a little love note tucked into one of these, oooh, that sparks a few ideas
  3. Trinkets - keeps track of charms and trinkets and other small embellishments
  4. Seed Packet - why not give your favorite gardner the gift of seeds packaged in a unique way
  5. Envelope Journal - create a little envelope journal
I've noticed that when I push myself to come up with uses for things, the most dynamic and exciting ones start coming after you've listed the most obvious uses. Can you think of some others? I would love to hear about them. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

What if . . . Part II

Earlier this week I posed a question that was meant to stimulate the imagination through participation in a game called "What if . . ." The question was what if you could fly without being limited by time or space. What would you do? Who would you meet? Where would you go?

Those were some pretty awesome things to imagine myself doing. I could take just about any of these and build an entire story around that one event. I invite you to share your imagination by telling us how you would use your gift of flight. Bon voyage!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day America!

Kell Belle Studio wishes those who celebrate a safe and happy 4th!

via the Graphics Fairy - girl with flag
This image is free for you to use in your artwork or keep in your collections. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Developing Imagination: What if . . .

This past Saturday in my tarot class, we were told that the fastest way to develop psychic ability is to develop the imagination. I thought I would present a series of exercises that you might find fun to do even if you have no interest in becoming more psychic.

via magic and fairy dust on Pinterest
Playing the "What if . . ." game really appealed to me so here's the first question. What if you could fly and were not limited by time or space? Where would you go? What would you do? Who would you meet?  I'll post my answer in a few days to give you some time to think about it.