My kanji stamps finally arrived from Japan, so I can start personalizing my tiny Note to Self Journals.  Personalized jewelry makes such a great holiday gift.  I am happy to have found a way to make personalized, customized origami jewelry with a Paper Demon touch. Right now I have stamps for:









ki (energy)

Also tiny birds, butterflies, and Japanese and English alphabets.

Ki, Eternity, Inspire

I love these little journals.  They’re folded from a single 6″ sheet of Japanese washi paper.

They aren’t the most sophisticated tiny bound book in the world,  but they have a sweet simplicity that speaks volumes.

1 1/4" high

Find them at Paper Demon Jewelry:

You love giving gifts, but you hate wrapping gifts.  I get that.  Wrapping gifts is stressful.

That’s where I come in.  I wrap your gifts for you.  I send you hand-folded Japanese jewelry boxes, hand-folded Japanese gift boxes, and hand-folded Japanese gift bags.  All created using traditional origami box folds, and all made from eye-poppingly gorgeous imported Japanese chiyogami paper.  Lacquered jewelry boxes also available.

The PDJ Hand-Folded Origami Gift Bag with Japanese Bead Zipper Pull Extra

Two of the sizes available--2 inch and 4.5 inch

The flat box--6 inches; other sizes available.

And all complete with coordinating ribbons and handles, and optional Japanese imported cute doo-dads for customization.  Custom size orders also gladly accepted!

The PDJ Heirloom Gift Bag is like enclosing your gift in another one of a kind gift.   I start with heirloom quality chiyogami paper.  Each of these papers comes with a story.  All chiyogami papers are replete with history and symbolism.  This paper in the photo, for example, is the Hinadan Pattern.  It is the pattern traditionally used to decorate the doll display for the Girls’ Day Celebration in Japan.  This pattern has been used and loved by Japanese girls and women since the 18th century.

With optional zipper pull from imported Japanese bead

The bag shown is 4 inches high.  (Custom size orders gladly accepted ) .  It’s finished with metal eyelets and handles of imported mizuhiki cord from Japan, in your choice of colors.  The one pictured here is sparkly red.  Green, white, silver and gold also available!

Inside view

If you want, you can add on an optional zipper-pull or pendant dangle made from an imported Japanese bead like this one, embossed with a glorious chrysanthemum pattern.  Goldfish, fabric beads, geisha hair dangles and other one of a kind items are available.

You need these.  You really do.  You want to impress her.  Christmas is coming.  Do you really want to wrap all those gifts?

(Special Introductory Pre-Christmas Price:  $4 for small boxes, $6 for heirloom gift bag; $4 for regular gift bag)

As I remarked earlier, who knew that the best place to buy Japanese paper in the northern hemisphere, outside of Japan, was the city of Toronto? And yet Toronto boasts not one, but two superb resources devoted to Japanese paper: The Japanese Paper Place, discussed in a previous post, and The Paper Place.

Today I want to talk about The Paper Place.  First off, check out this screen shot of it’s gorgeous website!!!

Screenshot, Website of The Paper Place

These people clearly love paper.  They get paper.  They get that for paper lovers it’s about the colors, and the textures and the patterns and the prints.  I love how their header has a kind of Hokusai wave of rainbow washi with its fibers all hanging out.

The Paper Place has been located at the same address for 20 years (887 Queen St. West, across from Trinity Bellwoods Park), but it used to be The Japanese Paper Place, ie, the wholesaler we introduced in our last post.  Apparently, and I’m not totally clear on the details (and folks from both places, you are welcome to comment with some history!) The Japanese Paper Place under founder Nancy Jacobi some years ago decided to devote itself to wholesaling Japanese paper and maintaining a warehouse resource center for conservators and artists, and handed over the retail side of things, along with the storefront, to The Paper Place.

From their mega-colorful washi-centric website, to their blog, to their workshops, to their inspiration page, to their online store, The Paper Place, as far as I can see, is just bubbling over with the sheer joy of Japanese paper.

Screenshot of The Paper Place Online Store

And lest you think it’s all about serious artwork (not that you would—does it look like it’s all about serious artwork?), they even carry those adorable Japanese paper animal balloons (I always buy a jellyfish when I’m in Japan).

Japanese Paper Animal Balloons

I am most taken with three things about The Paper Place.  The first thing is the sheer volume of Japanese papers, and the care with which they are clearly selected.  Take katazome-shi, for example.  Katazome-shi are traditional stenciled patterns of washi made using old kimono dying techniques, and are usually in very broad and bold color schemes and patterns that are very distinct and different from the layers of tiny pink plum blossoms, etc. that one normally sees in Japanese chiyogami.    They can be very hard to find outside of Japan.

Katazome-shi page

The Paper Place has no fewer than 12 pages of katazome-shi patterns, and even a cool page that explains how katazome shi are made (you should check it out).

Second, their blog features all kinds of cool washi-related art like the video of papercutting genius by Maurice Gee that I introduced last time, or for example, these cool washi paper dresses.

dresses made from washi!

And third, hello,  the graphic design?  Genius, sheer genius.  Who does it?  Can I get them to work for me?

There is only one downside to The Paper Place.  I don’t have such a good excuse for “needing” to go to Japan to buy paper anymore.

So says the writer for The Paper Place.   And she’s not kidding.  You just wait.  Hang on a sec.

I had planned to write part two of my two part series on handmade and Japanese paper resources in Toronto tonight.   Part two is about The Paper Place (Part one was about The Japanese Paper Place.  Yes I know their names are almost the same.  There is a reason for that.  All will be explained.  Patience, grasshopper.)

But when I was doing my research, like a good blogger should, on The Paper Place’s website, I stumbled on this video.  All they say about it is the having your mind blown thing, and this:  “This video from the New Zealand Book Council is one of the most amazing things we have seen. It takes the art of paper cutting to a whole new level. enjoy…..”

Now, you don’t know this yet, although you will shortly, but if people at The Paper Place are rendered speechless by a work of paper-related art, then that work of art is really something.

So here it is.  “Going West.”   Two minutes and 10 seconds of paper art genius. By artist Maurice Gee.

Thank the New Zealand Book Council for sponsoring this brilliant artist. And The Paper Place of Toronto for bringing it to paper-lovin’ folks’ attention.

The Paper Demon is taking a brief break from her blog to finish the 125 necklaces that have to be shipped off  in the next week.    She’ll be back in a day or so with Part Two of her Japanese Paper, In Toronto? series on The Paper Place.

But meanwhile, she just discovered this wonderful origami artist, Lotus Tree Crafts, and wants to share!  Lotus Tree Crafts does beautiful things with origami, making amazing glass ornaments with tiny cranes inside.

Lotus Tree Crafts' Origami Crane Ornament

How cool!  What a perfect Christmas item!   Be sure and visit her store on Etsy and her blog.

Re-Use is the New Recycle!  That is the motto of Next Step Recycling, a leader in the reuse movement in Eugene, and the motivation behind their second annual Eugene ReArt Festival , coming up August 6.  The ReArt Festival is an awesome arts and crafts festival devoted entirely to recycled art.  Everything at the festival needs to be at least 75% made of recycled materials.  And by recycled, they mean, actually destined for the trash heap.

Since the Paper Demon is going to have a booth there, she needs to get her act together and start pumping out recycled jewelry!

She had a plan but needed materials.  So, today wonderful partner and I took a trip to MECCA (where else), and I got everything I needed.  I came home and created a beautiful piece of jewelry in almost no time at all.

100% Recycled Paper Art Pendant

I don’t have time to post a tutorial right now, because I also need to create 75 of these for swag bags at a Green Beauty event in San Diego next month.  But I’m going to share my photos of the process in the hopes they inspire someone else to grab something really really old and ugly, cut it apart, repurpose it, and transform it into something beautiful.

A skanky cable bundle and a bread bag full of paper scraps

Noticing the nice soft wire inside the skanky cable bundle

Use a mat knife to cut open and remove the rubber cable cover

unwinding some of the wire

shape and hammer flat a beautiful shape. For me, it's spirals. I burnished for shine.

Attach paper scraps

coat with gel medium. let it dry. Appreciate.

hang on recycled cord. Voila!

I’ve been thinking about branching out (so to speak!) into a new direction—origami flower bouquets and origami flower garlands.  Maybe even origami flower cupcake toppers!  There are hundreds of gorgeous Japanese origami flower folds (my favorite right now is jasmine), and in beautiful solid colored washi or even scrapbook paper, these could make amazing room decor.

I spent the last couple days experimenting.  Here are my first photos.  Please comment and tell me what you think!

Origami Flower Bouquet in Pearlized Washi

origami jasmine flower fold

The pearl sheen made these challenging to photograph!

Did you know women start their own businesses at twice the rate of men?  That women entrepeneurs are one of the fastest growing segments of the economy?  Well, neither did I.  But I just saw this book, The Boss of You, on the blog of my hero-jewelry-designer Lulu Smith, and learned those facts, and also that I need to get this book as soon as I possibly can, because it is about:   “Everything a Woman Needs to Know to Start, Run, and Maintain Her Own Business” ( by Lauren Bacon and Emira Mears).

Cover of The Boss of You

Anyone out there read this book?  Let me know how it is!

And meanwhile, because we need some eye candy, here are two things by Lulu Smith.  She’s so awesome.

Lulu Smith Hobnob Bracelet, as seen on artist's website

Deco Bracelet by Lulu Smith as seen on artist's website

Every jewelry-designer’s dream: to be the featured designer in the spectacular international jewelry blog, The Beading Gem’s Journal!

And lo, it has become reality for The Paper Demon!

The Paper Demon "On the Newsstands"!

How thrilling!

Just discovered the work of Bela Borsodi, an artist who constructs animals and people out of discarded and repurposed clothes and accessories.

Bela Borsodi face

Wow–that’s all I can say!   Check out this cool blogpost on his work!