Meet Shannon Miller, author of Paperplay. She’s our guest blogger today!
Hi, crafty friends! My name is Shannon Miller and I’m the author of a new paper crafts book called Paperplay. I am thrilled to be here today to share a little bit about the book and some of my favorite products!
Paperplay by Shannon Miller
Paperplay is a fun, vibrant project book that’s sure to have something for everyone, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced crafter just looking for a new way of using a favorite technique. Each chapter is themed by both color and technique; so the red chapter features folding, orange is cutting, yellow is sculpting, green is quilling, blue is stitching, purple is painting/marking, and the neutral chapter wraps it up with collage. There are lots of cards (28 to be exact), plus plenty of general projects for gifts and décor, such as wreaths, flowers, wall hangings and more.
Afterglow Wreath by Shannon Miller
The projects within each chapter of the book are arranged from least difficult to most, so if you’re trying a particular technique for the first time, I recommend starting with one of the first projects from each chapter. Once you have the hang of it, you can make a natural progression to the more complex (but still simple and very doable) projects featured toward the middle and end of each chapter. And of course, you can do what I do with craft books – jump around as you please, and just refer back to the easier how-to’s to brush up on the basics as needed!
Ironically, the inspiration for Paperplay came from my cluttered craft desk. I know I’m not alone with my tendency to hoard craft supplies, and especially those related to paper and scrapbooking! I found myself constantly buying more materials for my stash, but having a hard time finding an abundance of quick, easy projects that could be easily adapted to what I already had on hand.
Lacy Autumn Leaves by Shannon Miller
That said, my very initial concept was that Paperplay could be a stash-busting book of sorts; in fact, one of the first ideas for the book’s title was, literally, “Stash-Busting Papercrafts.” I wanted to create a collection of projects that allows you to use papers from all colors of the rainbow, and all the unique products you’ve stored away for “someday.” I also made a point of offering lots of tips for how you can make a project your own using different papers, or ways of using alternative tools if you don’t already own the specific one recommended (for instance, if you don’t own a quilling needle, you can just use a straight pin or a tapestry needle for coiling up your paper strips). Furthermore, projects throughout the book use non-traditional found items such as a pretty bottle cap, jewelry findings, sewing notions, an old key, and assorted found papers – so you are able to create one-of-a-kind versions of your own!
I also made a conscious effort to use the most basic tools and supplies possible for most projects in the book. One of my personal favorite tools to use is a regular old craft knife (like an X-Acto). I use it for everything – cutting, scoring, and even sculpting! I prefer to use the craft knife to score my papers for folding instead of a bone folder because of the precision it offers – I use the wrong side of the knife and gently run it across the surface of the paper, either along the edge of a metal ruler, or freehand for curves and such. I also love the smooth, round barrel of the craft knife handle – it’s a perfect utensil to use for creating gentle curves and rounded shapes with paper.
Iris Card by Shannon Miller
I also almost always use Zip Dry glue. Once I discovered the easy-to-use properties of Zip Dry, I was hooked! It is my favorite adhesive for simple paper crafting, particularly on cards, because it dries super fast, never wrinkles, and works like a dream with precision-tip applicators. I especially love using a little bit of Zip Dry to adhere card fronts onto a folded card base – it stays wet and movable for just long enough to make sure the card front is aligned on the folded base, then dries quickly for a perfect finish.
Thanks so much for having me here on the blog to share a little more about my new book Paperplay! I hope you’ll check it out – with more than 40 projects, I think there’s a little something for everyone. I’d love one of you to have a copy of Paperplay so I’m giving a copy away to one random winner. Leave me a comment by Wednesday, October 22. Enjoy!