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BookSmithStudio.com | Nikki Smith Book & Visual Artist

Handmade books and various art explorations

Posts Tagged ‘cloth paper scissors’

Found Poetry Self-Portrait

January 9th, 2013 by Nikki Smith

My Found Poetry self-portrait is published in the current Jan/Feb ’13 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine!

Found Poetry Self-Portrait

To create this mixed-media self-portrait I rescued a severely damaged and abandoned book and upcycled it into fine artwork, selecting a word here and there and piecing them into unique, original poems and stories. Here are a few samples (but not all) of my poetry in this piece:

“one raindrop fell,
and then many,
a perfect circle expanded
perhaps a little breathless
you chose this moment
to kiss me”

“she licked
some rain
from her lips
in slow-motion arcs
a sudden thought
a kiss. a smile.
memory”

“just dance.
crazed like fire-flies.
it was like a vision
it made me feel
sexy as hell.”

“I was deeply in love with
my own idea of love.”

And, surrounded by my swirling breath in gold paint: “I imagine no more words were necessary”

I highly recommend viewing the piece close-up to read further poetry hidden within the artwork.  You can do so by visiting this link and clicking anywhere on the artwork for a detail view.

Video Tutorial: Windows Live Movie Maker for artists – Showcase your artwork!

December 28th, 2012 by Nikki Smith

The following step-by-step video tutorial is designed for artists who want to create a video slideshow of their artwork, complete with music soundtrack.  You can then share your video on YouTube, your blog, or social media sites like Facebook, Google Plus and more.  The (free) software used in this video is Windows Live Movie Maker.

This tutorial is a companion to my “Getting Technical: Video Simplified” article in the current Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine.  I hope you enjoy it!

Handy Links:

Sources of Legal Music:

You can also view a sample artwork showcase video created in Windows Live Movie Maker below:

P.S.  Did you create a video showcase of your artwork?  Please share a link in the comments below — I’d love to see what you have created!

Artists Give Back – Supporting breast cancer research with ART

October 1st, 2012 by Nikki Smith

This fall, over thirty artists donated original artwork in support of breast cancer research and the National Breast Cancer Foundation.  While some of these pieces (including mine) have already found new homes, there is still time to support this great cause and check out the amazing artwork for sale in the Artists Give Back shop!


Here was my artwork donated for this fundraiser:
(SOLD) My Guitar SINGS by Nikki Smith for Artists Give Back
My Guitar SINGS by Nikki Smith
(Original SOLD; similar fine art prints available)

And here are just a few of my favorite pieces still up for grabs:

If a small piece of original artwork isn’t in your budget this year, consider the Exclusive Cloth Paper Scissors Pretty In Pink Peerless Watercolor DrySheet set, formulated just for this event.

What are you waiting for?  Go snag yourself an amazing original piece of artwork in support of a great cause today!

Papercloth Squid Book

September 28th, 2012 by Nikki Smith

Today I wanted to share with you one of my all-time favorite handbooks.  It has the most organic, touch-me vibe!

This book was featured in the 2012 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors PAGES, shown above.  (If you haven’t seen this magazine, you should definitely check it out!  I also have a fun tutorial article published in the same issue on how to make an accordion book with envelope pages.)


I love everything about this book!  The interior pages have Turkish map-folds so that they explode open.  Each page spread was decorated with organic forms made of custom printed tissue paper.  (See the upcoming November/December 2012 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors for my tutorial on printing your own custom tissue paper from your artwork.  It’s super easy!)


The book has wrap-around covers in four directions – you can see how it opens up below:

And below is the cover with the beaded closure.  Check out that amazing texture!


The cover incorporates custom printed tissue paper as well.  Here, I’ve used tissue paper to create a large sheet of papercloth (also called fabricpaper) from which the cover was cut:

Watch this blog for a tutorial on creating your own papercloth in early November!

Fabric Postcards! (Plus, a child’s 1st recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies)

January 13th, 2012 by Nikki Smith

These formerly unfinished-objects are UFO’s no more!  I finally finished two of my three-plus fabric postcards for the Cloth Paper Scissors fabric postcard challenge and got them in the mail today.  On time.  Early, even!

Fabric Postcards by Nikki Smith

The top one has one of my “wee planets” printed on white muslin and stitched to this fun, fuzzy fabric from my stash.  It reminds me of a blizzard!  The perfect backdrop for my Wee Winter Hotel planet — wish you were here!

Now this one is one of my favorite methods for binding books – the caterpillar stitch!  I thought it would be fun to do on a fabric postcard, too.  It looks amazing wrapped around the covers and spine of a book.  The fabric is from a pair of pants I bought years ago with absolutely zero intention to ever wear — I knew they’d be part of an art project some day.  I finally found the one!

I love adding dimension to a piece!  This was such a fuzzy green yarn – perfect for this little critter.  The accent beads were added last for extra texture and life.  It was fun to finally up-cycle this fabric into something artsy!  (And honestly, I never fit into those pants anyway…  Now they have a purpose!)

Back of caterpillar stitch fabric postcard by Nikki Smith

I know that only the front of the postcards will be photographed for the magazine, but I had fun creating the backs, too.  Mom taught me an easy blanket stitch (do I have that right?) to hold this one together.  It was decorative, and much better than what I was going to attempt on my sewing machine.  While she finished hand embroidering a few inches quickly on the demo fabric when she was teaching me, it took me all day to do the real thing.  Not that it was that hard for me, but that I could only do it for a minute here and a minute there around chasing kiddos and trying to squeeze some real work in the day, too.   I didn’t want the postcard backs to be blah, so I added a graphic element in the corner from my Wee Downtown Bryan planet and then an unusual or creative use for peanut butter on each postcard.

Why peanut butter?  My mom (a.k.a. Grandma) also taught my little toddler how to make her first cookies this week.  They have three ingredients -one cup of peanut butter, one cup of sugar and an egg.  A simple recipe that can hold a toddler’s attention without getting too complicated or long.  She loved making cookies with Grandma!  (And they were delicious, too!)

Peanut butter cookie recipe - Child's first cookies

P.S.  If you would like to make these cookies with your little one, here is the recipe:

Child’s First Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup Peanut Butter
1 cup Sugar
1 egg

Mix 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup sugar and 1 egg together.
Roll dough into one inch balls between your palms.
Pour some more sugar on a plate and then roll each ball in the sugar so it is coated.
Place on cookie sheet two inches apart.
Use the flat side of a fork to press down on each ball in two directions to form a criss-cross pattern and flatten the cookie a bit.
PARENT STEP:  Bake for 7 to 8 minutes at 350 degrees.
Cool and enjoy!

P.P.S.  Oh, and if you hurry, there’s still time to send in a fabric postcard for the Cloth Paper Scissors reader challenge!  Entries are due in their office by Jan. 20th.  The details of the challenge are here.  Or just make and send one to a friend for fun!  Also, the post office has priority mail envelopes with clear windows in front if you go overboard like I did and aren’t sure if it will survive the postal machinery.  Go on, you know it will be fun to do and your recipient will love it, too!