long, long ago, in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century…

Emily’s Bites of Fun:

The more and more I read on the history of quilling and papercrafts, the more intriguing it is.  There were and are so many cultures affected by papercrafting, it’s fun to search it all out.

Here’s a paragraph taken from, “The Book of Paper Quilling” by Malinda Johnston:

  • “By the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, paper was more widespread and much less costly.  Its use in decorative crafts burgeoned, especially in England.  There, quilling was considered to be an appropriate hobby for the fashionable ladies of the time.  As a result, may women of the upper and middle classes became expert quillers.  At least one women’s magazine described paper filigree (or “quilling”) in some detail, and others published patterns.  Princess Elizabeth herself gifted her physician with a quilled screen, one which is now at the Victoria & Albert Museum.  And even novelist, Jane Austen, in Sense and Sensibility (1811), refers to a “fillagree” basket.”

A Note From Emily: 
My August 13th class at Impress Cards and Crafts in Tukwila was a success.  It was great fun  to meet new ladies.  Some of them were pretty excited for some other classes.  I am getting ready for now to book a lot of those classes, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 16th, from 6-8:30 pm “DIY Papercrafted Magnets” at Vintage Vino & Espresso in Maple Valley by Fred Meyer. Cost: $30 ($15 to reserve your seat) includes all supplies and a medium hot/cold drink. Ages 12 and older.  Sign up under my “store” tab on my website.

Thursday, August 17th & 24th from 10-11 am, at “Camp Westfield” at Southcenter  for ages 3 and up.  This is part of Westfield’s Summer Day Camp for kids.  There is no sign-up. The location is next to Seattle Team Sports on the 2nd floor up the escalator by the Disney Store.

Saturday, August 19th, from 10-Noon at Impress Cards and Crafts in Tukwila.  This is their Annual Christmas Sale and it’s a big deal!  It’s also their annual Christmas Kick-Off sale with 10% off of everything.  I will be giving a quilling demonstration and shopping, so come and join me in the extravaganza!  I would love to see you there!  Nothing to do, just be there!

Saturday, September 2nd, from 11 am to 1 pm “Love Seattle Greeting Cards”,  at Impress Cards and Crafts in University Village (just north of University of Washington campus). Come learn how to create papercrafted greeting cards showcasing highlights of Seattle using die cuts, stamping, sliders, and quilling. Cost is $35. To register, please call the store at (206) 526-5818.

Thankful for the cooler weather – Getting ready for fall!


quilling basics: how to get started

Emily’s Bites of Fun:

Quilling can be fun but for most of us, we are not sure where to begin. For those of you who are new converts to quilling,  don’t be overwhelmed, here are some basics to get you started:

  • Use quilling paper:  You can buy packs of pre-cut quilling paper in most major art and crafts stores, but you can also cut your own strips of papers. The length and size of the paper will determine how the paper quilled project eventually looks. A paper quilling pattern will tell you the size you need.
  • Choose the right tools: A slotted tool is usually recommended to the paper quilling beginner because it is easier to roll paper with it. However, the slotted tool tends to crease the paper strips. Those who are more experienced in paper quilling may prefer the needle tool. Even though it is slightly more tricky to use, many crafters prefer the needle tool as it tends to result in a neater, crease-less paper roll. If you need a basic quilling kit to get started, I sell them, so contact me for one.
  • Learn basic shapes: The most basic shape of paper quilling is the rolled paper coil. By pinching and adjusting the tension of the paper coil, different quilled shapes are made. There are pdf instructions on my page to start the basic shapes.
  • Start with an easy project: Check out some of my quilling patterns on my website or sign up for one of my classes this month. Cards are a great project to work on when you are starting.  Because cards are small and take a shorter time to complete than wall hangings, they can be very rewarding when you see the completed project in a shorter amount of time.  Then, you can give the to others too.
  • Experiment: Experiment with quilling combined with other crafting techniques like water painting or stamping.  When you combine your techniques, it makes for a very unique and beautiful result.  You can also use your die cuts as a background to your card or wall hanging. See some of my cards on my site for ideas. See the Seattle card I made with watercolor, you can easily add a quilled cloud or raindrops to a card like this.  Get the idea?
  • Find great resources: You can find a lot of books at the library or garage sales on papercrafts.  Sometimes the kids’ books are the easiest to follow and you can use them for practicing your craft with basic language and instructions.
  • Practice, practice, practice:  You only get good at quilling by quilling!  Yes, it takes practice and you can get pretty good at it if you do the work to keep practicing.  It’s worth it, I promise!

A Note From Emily:
July was such a great month as I mentioned last week.  Let’s do it again! Here are my classes that are coming up this month:

August 13  from 2-4 pm – “Love Seattle Greeting Cards” class from 2-4 at Impress Cards and Crafts in Tukwila. Learn to create papercrafted greeting cards showcasing Seattle.  Cost is $35.  To register, call the store at 206.901.9101.
August 16 from 6-8:30 pm “DIY Papercrafted Magnets” at Vintage Vino & Espresso in Maple Valley by Fred Meyer. Cost: $30 ($15 to reserve your seat) includes all supplies and a medium hot/cold drink. Ages 12 and older.  Sign up under my “store” tab on my website.

Hope you are having a great summer!


a brief history of paper


Emily’s Bites of Fun:
“It is amazing to me,” said Bingley, “how young ladies can have patience to be so very accomplished as they all are.”
“All young ladies accomplished! My dear Charles, what do you mean?”
“Yes all of them, I think. They all paint tables, cover skreens, and net purses. I scarcely know any one who cannot do all this, and I am sure I never heard a young lady spoken of for the first time, without being informed that she was very accomplished.”
From Pride and Prejudice

One genteel pastime for young ladies in the late 18th and the first part of the 19th century was decorating objects with rolled paper.

Undecorated wooden frames were often sold for this purpose. Ladies then decorated the object with pieces of paper rolled and cut into different patterns. After being rolled up, the papers were cut in short lengths and glued to the wooden frame in a filigree pattern. The project might be finished by painting and gilding. Sometimes a focal point was created using a watercolour or print. Objects decorated in this way might include mirror frames, jewel boxes, tea caddies, and even a screen.

Similar results to rolled paper crafting can be created by experimenting in Quilling, an ancient art form that has been practiced since ancient Egyptian and/or 4th Century Grecian times. Although they obviously would not have used paper in the 4th century, it is believed the Greeks used thin metal wires to decorate containers, especially boxes, and Egyptian tombs have been found containing similar wire shapes akin to modern quilling.

During the Renaissance, nuns and monks picked up the art to decorate book covers and religious items. They used gilded paper strips in order to imitate the original metal wires. The name quilling is said to be derived from the fact that the nuns and monks originally used feather quills as their tool to roll the paper. Later, the craft spread throughout Europe and to the Americas.
(Used with permission from https://www.janeausten.co.uk/rolled-paper-crafting-and-quilling/ – Posted on June 20, 2011website  HERE.) 

A Note From Emily:
New Classes: Some new classes at “Camp Westfield” at Southcenter started July 27th from 10-11 am for ages 3 and up.  The first class was free and this is part of Westfield’s Summer Day Camp for kids.  I will be there for 4 more weeks on Thursdays teaching and having fun from 10-11.  Please contact Michelle Giles at 206.802.6048 for details on classes and any pricing that will happen after the first class.  New Classes at Vintage: September through November are booked at Vintage Vino & Espresso every 3rd Tuesday and Wednesday – Check my “Class” schedule starting in mid-August to sign up for those classes. Farmer’s Markets: My last market for the season will be on Wednesday, August 9th in Wallingford.  HERE is the info on the WFM.

The month of July is over and I wanted to say thank you to those who helped make it a success! In July alone: I taught 15 classes, 4 Farmers’ Markets, one full-weekend event, 4 different art displays, and provided 7 custom orders totaling 149 greeting cards, 51 wall hangings, 1 pair of earrings, and 1 mobile! Thank you!! On with August!

Stay cool, talk soon!


kid’s classes, new adult classes and Seafair are all coming!


Emily’s Bits of Fun: Let’s talk about tension.  No, I don’t mean the kind you have when the kids are melting down, dinner needs to be made and it’s late, or life just isn’t going right.  I mean the type of tension you use when you are quilling a scroll or any kind of circle.  I have found that the smaller you want your circle or scroll to be, the tighter the tension should be.  Also, the larger you want your circle or scroll to be, the looser your tension should be, regardless of the actual size of the item.  I was usually using the same tension for everything and then adjusting or trying to fix it after the fact.   It took me awhile to figure this out and I have been doing this a while.  It’s always fun when the “light” comes on and you think, “Hey, this is much easier than what I was doing!”  So, adjust your tension and see how that makes a difference.  Just a little tip that I hope you can use during your projects.

Personal Note:
New Classes: Some new classes at “Camp Westfield” at Southcenter starting this Thursday, July 27th from 10-11 am for ages 3 and up.  The first class is free and this is part of Westfield’s Summer Day Camps for kids.  I will be there for 5 weeks on Thursdays teaching and having fun from 10-11.  Please contact Michelle Giles at 206.802.6048 for details on classes and any pricing that will happen after the first class.  New Classes at Vintage: September through November are booked at Vintage Vino & Espresso every 3rd Tuesday and Thursday – Check my “Class” schedule starting in mid-August to sign up for those classes. Farmer’s Markets: I have had so much fun at the Farmer’s Markets this summer.  I always meet a great bunch of creative and fun people.  My last market for the season will be on Wednesday, August 9th in Wallingford.  HERE is the info on the WFM.  Seafair: Seafair starts this weekend with the Torchlight parade on Saturday evening.  There is always something fun to do at Seafair – check out the schedule HERE. 

Stay cool, craft on and talk to you soon!


The Health Benefits of having a hobby

Hi Everyone!

Emily’s Bits of Fun: Pull out your knitting needles: Grandma was on to something with that ever-lengthening  scarf tucked in her handbag. Whether you’re into gardening, or even cross-stitch, new research has found that hobbies are just as important to good health as exercise is, thanks to their ability to relieve stress. That’s right and not one of them is better than another.

There have been studies over the years that followed over 100 adults as they went about their daily activities. Participants wore heart monitors and also completed surveys periodically to report their activities and how they were feeling. After three days, the researchers found that people who engaged in leisure activities like hobbies were 34 percent less stressed and 18 percent less sad during the activities. Not only did they report feeling happier, but their heart rates were lower—and the calming effect lasted for hours. All in all? Stress was reduced drastically.

Personal Note: I have had the pleasure of teaching a lot of classes so far this summer and as i look at my calendar I see that  it’s going to be just as crazy and fun in the next few months as it is now.  Don’t forget to sign up for a class and remember if you are the first one to do so, there will be a free quilling kit given out.

Talk soon and hope to see you at a class or at a market!




are you a creative person?


Hope you are all enjoying this fabulous summer and getting around to doing something creative with any extra time that you have.  Don’t forget to share your creativity with your kids and grandkids or even the neighbor’s kids.  It’s all worth it.

Emily’s Bites of Fun:  Creative people really do see the world differently.  Some of the things that come to light as we look at creative people can be quite interesting. Their willingness to be flexible and original can make for a very different personality from other people but it helps us understand them a little more.  At  “secondprinciple.com” they have put together some interesting information and some reflective exercises for you to see how creative you really are.  Check them out  HERE  and let me know if you found out something about yourself that you didn’t know before!  I see some traits that I didn’t know about myself but they really do ring true!  Have fun!

Here is a list of some of the attributes of creative people:

  • Independent, anti‑authoritarian
  • Divergent thinker
  • Generally considered intelligent
  • Open to new ideas
  • Little tolerance for boredom
  • Willing to undertake stimulating challenges, curious and inquisitive
  • Self‑actualizer
  • Aesthetically-inclined
  • Above average use of brain functions located in the right hemisphere
  • Strong imagery ability
  • Abilities of synthesis; tasting color, seeing sound, hearing smells
  • Generally unaffected by peer pressure
  • Versatile and adaptable
  • Score high on Torrance Tests of Creative Ability in the following areas:
  • fluency‑‑produce numerous ideas
  • flexibility‑‑produce variety of ideas and approaches
  • originality‑‑novel ideas
  • elaboration‑‑fill in details
  • redefinition‑‑define or perceive in way different from the average

Personal Note: Having your supplies handy when you start any kind of project is vital  If you have to constantly get up to get something you might lose interest or get distracted.  Make a list for the times you feel that you had everything you needed.  You may add to it but it will make the next project go much smoother.  Don’t lose heart, keep going and you will get your “groove.”  Most of all?  Have fun!

Talk Soon,

History Galore

Hi Everyone!

There is a lot of history being remembered today.  We remember that our independence cost something and that we are so thankful to be free in this country.  Because  we are free we can celebrate with friends and family making priceless memories.  Have fun doing that, it’s all history you will share one day with a loved one.

Emily’s Bites of Fun: (The History of Quilling) The ornate rolls and scrolls of quillwork were most likely inspired by metal filigree, the art of shaping fine silver and gold wires into delicate, open designs.  Handmade papers were far less costly that these precious metals but could be shaped in similar ways.  Quilling therefore proved to be an aesthetically pleasing and economical alternative to the elaborate metal art is resembled.  To emphasize this resemblance, some quillwork was even gilded.

Personal Note: I have had a couple more places ask to sell some of my cards.  One place is a children’s boutique called, “Little Spruce.” I have made some little girls and boys cards that can go along with a gift for a newborn or even a toddler.  It’s pretty exciting to take a craft that you do and tailor it to find a niche’ that someone can use in their place of business and add a creative flavor in the meantime.  Thank you to them and I look forward to working with them again in the future. I have also picked up some new class times and locations for July, so check out my webpage to see more. Hope to see you there and if you are the first to sign up for a class you get a free Quilling Kit!  Save your spot now!

Have a happy and safe 4th – Talk to you soon,