Chicago Renegade 2018

renegade craft haul

I decided this year I wasn’t going to post a Renegade haul, and just not worry about it. Some of the vendors didn’t give me bags or business cards and so I was going to skip the whole thing. Then I started feeling kind of bad for breaking the yearly tradition that’s been going on for probably over a decade.

Chicago Renegade 2018

I gathered up the treasures, many that had already been in heavy use, and took this quick overhead shot. My sister’s items aren’t included, and neither is the Justice of the Pies pie we bought (but you can visit the last couple years’ posts to see what it looks like, as we bought the same one).

As I said before, I’m not sure the artists of a couple of the items.

Top left and clockwise, spiraling in: Oatmeal ceramic knot necklace, Letterspace stationery cards, Stay Home Club stickers and iron on patch, Muro Jewelry necklace, leather bracelet from ?, buttons (I think are from the same artist as the..) stickers, card and notebook by The Little Red House, A Mano ceramic speckled cup, spirit stones and rainbow brooch, and a skull button from Migration Goods.

Renegade 2018 Chicago - Muro jewelry booth

Rosa was back again and so of course I caught another video of people shopping in front of her booth.

Untitled

And we (L-R, my sister Chris, Rosa and Me) took another picture.

Untitled

I wear this necklace allllll the time. I love it so much.

Past Renegade Haul posts


Mini Circle Series Little Art Book

Mini Circle Series Little Art Book

In August I got it in my head to make a little art book filled with Circle Series pieces. I hadn’t done any Circle Series pieces for a while, so I thought I’d do some mini ones to get the ball rolling. When I started making Circle Series pieces over 10 years ago, it was meant to be very loose and free, but as more and more pieces have been made, I started to be more intimidated that they had to be perfect, which was the direct opposite of the original intention. Working in a small size would hopefully be less intimidating and I could combine it with another love, small art books.

I went to my studio and grabbed a piece of watercolor paper, cut it and folded so each page was a square, accordion style. The pages are 4″ and I think I just jumped right in without any expectations and somehow it ended up in a blue theme, which is not a direction I would have purposefully gone in. I’m just not normally drawn to blue. Greens, reds, yellows, yes, but not blue.

Page 1 of the mini Circle Series #littleartbook I made last week. I shared the 5 page book of mini #robayrecircleseries over at @littleartbook and will share more close ups of the individual pages over here this week. The pages are around 4” square and yo

This piece was definitely inspired by my stencil stacks, which have been creeping more and more into my work.

Page two of my mini #robayrecircleseries #littleartbook. This piece is the one that feels most like the original pieces of this series. Visit @littleartbook to see the whole book #mixedmedia #bookart #artistsbook #artistbook #watercolor #artistsoninstagra

This piece was definitely a nod to how my circle series pieces first began.

Here’s the first piece I made for the #robayrecircleseries little book. The piece that got the ball rolling. The collage element, features in the process shot a few posts back, was made from vintage men’s magazines from the 70s. If you are interested to s

I had been cutting from a stack of 60s men’s magazines a lot at the time

Page 4 of the #robayrecircleseries #littleartbook. Check out @littleartbook to see the book in whole. One more page to share! #mixedmedia #watercolor #embroidery #circleseries #robayre #bookart #artistbook #makersgonnamake #creativityfound #creativelifeha

and I was working on practicing my embroidery stitches at the time

Aaaaaaand finally, the last mini #robayrecircleseries from my #littleartbook. I can’t remember if I mentioned before but I thought it was so weird that this series had a blue theme when I don’t think of it as a color I am drawn to in my work. You can see

I saved this one for last, as I had a general idea of what I wanted to do

Circle Series Little Art Book

Here’s a little video, to show it in action and give you an idea of size.

Mini Circle Series Little Art Book

Spring 2018 Chalkboard and Fitbit Anniversary

Spring 2018 Chalkboard Calendar

It is not out of the ordinary that I don’t get around to sharing my previous season’s chalkboard until fairly late, BUT usually I have taken the picture and already moved on to the next board by the time I post it. This time around, I still haven’t even erased the spring board, and I feel super guilty about it. I’m gonna have to use my phone (going through pictures I’ve taken) to try and remember all the things that have happened so far this summer.

One thing that I will have to share on the Summer chalkboard is that I just had my 5 year Fitbit Anniversary. On the evening of my anniversary I had 19, 976, 371 steps. That averages to 10,945 steps per day, and almost 4 million steps a year.
Fitbit anniversary

I posted to my blog on previous anniversaries, like here, and I have been averaging almost 4 million steps per year.

I am so glad I found fitbit and I love my One. As I’ve said over and over and over again, I always wanted to be able to track 10K steps per day. Since the late 90s I would get a pedometer here or there, always the old school click, click, click type, and they were bad. I would think they worked, but then I’d get home and realize that I had only walked 2K steps the whole day. I was certain that the 10K steps per day idea was only for people who are runners, not the average person, like it’s aimed at. Then Fitbit comes into my life, and lo and behold it tracks actual steps AND while getting 10K steps a day isn’t always easy, it is totally feasible. I don’t know how or why I’ve been able to stick with it for 5 years, but I am so grateful for this tool.

That being said, I’m about to get negative with Fitbit because they discontinued my device last year without any announcement, and I’m devastated.

Hello, fitbit

I’m not exactly sure why the bracelet type pedometers have really taken off, but they have, and so companies are ready to take in as much money off of the trend as possible. My device, the One, was a clip on, that I wear discretely clipped to the center of my bra. Some people just wear it on a waistband or hold it in their pocket. I just don’t like the idea of having to wear a bracelet all the time and even though reviews show the bracelets to be very accurate against the One. I just don’t understand how my arm movements won’t get tracked as steps. My mom says her steps ARE NOT tracked on a bracelet if she is walking with a shopping cart at the grocery store, so I’m guessing there are plenty of other circumstances that are similar.  The One is rechargeable and holds that charge for about 10 days. It can be used to track sleep, and counts flights of stairs.

Meanwhile, the clip type fitbit that they kept on the market, the Zip, is half the price of the One. Let me just tell you from experience, DO NOT BUY THE Fitbit ZIP! It only takes batteries, so you have to replace them regularly. It doesn’t automatically sync to your devices either. We bought one for our mom and it was the worst. I think it died and had to be replaced 2 or 3 times before we just decided to upgrade her to the Flex. The zip does not count flights of stairs, and neither does the Flex, so the One was really a great product. People have complained many times online about their discontinuing the One, but they just shut down the threads and refuse to respond other than to say that they have made up their mind. That being said, when I looked up the link for the One, it redirected me to the zip automatically, BUT it looks like they are still selling the One in Europe. I wonder if it was more popular there? I keep hoping that maybe if this bracelet fad kinda dies down a bit they will realize they need to have at least one quality clip pedometer to their brand and the Zip is NOT it. Fitbit has SEVEN different bracelet trackers and only the one clip. What a bummer.

Rant over.

My Work is Featured in Two Publications This Summer

This year, I was approached to submit my work, and then commissioned to write articles, for the Stampington / Someset magazine Art Quilting Studio. My work was then referred to Jewelry Affaire Magazine (also by the same publishers) for a second article in a separate issue. Both issues are still available in stores this month, if you are interested in picking one up, or you can order past issues on their website.

Art Quilting Studio summer 2018

The article is about my quilted journal covers, in the midori traveler’s notebook style. I have a few available for sale in my etsy shop. Keep an eye on the shop if you are interested, as I am always making more and adding them slowly.

Art Quilting Studio summer 2018
Untitled

It was a huge thrill to see the magazine in a store. I wasn’t expecting it, but had to take a little photo sesh selfie-ing myself with the magazine.

A post shared by Robyn Wells (@robayre) on

Untitled

The next magazine that came out was Jewelry Affaire and featured my quilted fabric rings.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Winter Chalkboard 2017-2018

Chalkboard winter 2017- 2018

This is loooong overdue. I was actually really bad about writing down things on the board over the winter, so the list is short. No worries, I’m making up for it on the spring board, which still has a month to go until Summer begins but is nearly full. Highlights for this winter board include knitting my first sock, getting into 2 magazines, and finishing another Pattern January.

In January, while daily pattern making, I got into a REALLY horrible sleep pattern. By the end of the month I had gotten into this bad place where I was sleeping in shifts… a few hours (3-4) of sleep at night and a couple hours of napping after work. For someone who knows I need 8-9 hours of sleep, getting 6 hours is not enough, let alone broken up like it was. I’m a creative night owl, so while I was super happy to be productive and creative, I was also sleep deprived and feeling lousy, and I knew it wasn’t healthy. In February I set a goal for myself to focus on getting on a proper sleep schedule. It probably took me a complete month to get back on track. I had to be at work at 6 am, and it was really starting to break me. When I feel I can’t get into a creative groove until after 10 p.m., why bother? The motto of February and March felt like “I can be creative, OR I can be well rested, but the twain shall never meet.” So it was very hard to go from being so productive and creative, to feeling like the soul nourishing part of me was dashed away. Fortunately, my hours were shifted slightly and now I go in at 7 am. Oh, the difference an hour makes!

It’s also kind of funny that since I got my sleep squared away, I have noticed that my creativity has been taking the form of exploration. Where a year ago, I would have said “no, I can’t try that new thing, I need to focus strictly on pattern making/stationery design/collage and mixed media art, now I have found myself knitting, sewing, and trying all sorts of different projects. I feel like I am replenishing the well. I also see myself using some of these new techniques to bring back to my main focuses and hopefully strengthen my work overall.

Previous Chalkboard Calendar posts right here!

POCKET LETTERS!

pocket letter addiction header

I have been wanting to make a pocket letter (using trading card sleeve pages as a unique way to snail mail) for YEARS.

Side note: It wasn’t until googling it for this post that I learned Pocket Letters is apparently trademarked by Janette Lane, and Janette’s website is a great source to start out at.

You can find bajillions of inspirational posts and videos online, and tips and tricks for how to create, send and store your pocket letters.

In general, pocket lettering appeals to the crafty, scrapbooker, and snail mail loving types. You can find templates that spell out precisely what to put in each specific pocket, but as a MAIL ART enthusiast myself, I just love the basic idea as groundwork to then take and be as creative as possible. One dilemma I face while making a pocket letter is that I want most of the pockets to be filled with items that the recipient can take out and use regularly and love, BUT I’ve seen a lot of posts where people store the pocket letters they’ve received in 3 ring binders, to flip through and enjoy later. If you take the elements out of the pocket letter, that leaves empty pockets that aren’t so pretty to look at later. I see a lot of the scrapbookers will even fuse and seal pockets shut so that they are not even meant to ever be opened, but just admired from the outside. Meanwhile, I’ll insert a garland that I hope the recipient takes out and hangs up in their home and brings them joy whenever they see it, rather than sit inside a binder. But, that would leave an empty pocket, if your recipient wants to save your letter. I love that idea of collecting pocket letters, but how do I find a middle ground? I still haven’t gotten there yet.

When I first found out about pocket letters a few years back, I set about creating one for my friend Anna (Alphabet Pizza). I filled a few pockets, and then fell down the overwhelming inspirational rabbit hole and quickly got overwhelmed. The partially started pocket letter floated around my studio for years before I agreed to do a valentine swap with Anna this year. I set my sights on finishing up this Valentine themed pocket letter for her AND I DID IT!

Pocket Letter to Anna

Once I got going, I had SO MUCH FUN and I completely spaced out on taking any pictures before rushing to drop it in the mail. Fortunately, Anna took some pictures and then posted them online so I stole those. It’s safe to say, I’m officially addicted to Pocket Lettering!

I like sending my mailart naked, meaning no envelope. My hope is that it can brighten the day of that many more people along the way, you can read more about that here.

Pocket Letter to Anna

I tried to make it fun, happy and pretty from both sides. Instead of sharing what was in each pocket, I’m going to make a master list below this post that includes a ton of ideas for things to include in pocket letters for future reference.

Pocket Letter to Anna

I will however share my favorite thing, which was one of the very last items I made – a “coloring book” style card. It says You Do You, which is an inside reference for Anna. I colored one in myself and included a couple others that were blank for her to use and/or share.

One of my favorite things I made for the #pocketletter was this little illustrated/coloring book style image, specifically for Anna. I scanned my drawing from my sketchbook, and printed out a sheet of them. I colored one in, and gave it, and a few blank o

After I sent the pocket letter off, I found a test sheet of the coloring book image and stuck it up with some colorful washi tape on the wall by my side of the bed. It makes me so happy to see it every day.

Untitled

Anna was so excited about the pocket letter that she made me one in return.

Pocket letter by Anna

Mine was a mix of “valentine” and red themed, hers was so stylized and so very Anna and I LOVE IT.

Pocket letter by Anna

My favorite thing from her letter was the fact that you can fit the fuji instax mini pics inside makes me want to get the mini so bad! I have a fujimax, but the pictures are about twice as big so they wouldn’t fit in one of these pockets. That being said, I do however have a polaroid pogo and those would probably fit fine in a pocket. AND, I know that the “traditional” pocket letters are made from these trading card sized pages, but I also really want to expand and try out the square coin collector pages, and various project life pocket pages, so I may find something that fits the fuji max pics yet.

Ok, so here we go… a list of ideas to put in your pockets. I made it as a graphic so you can pin it to your pocket letter pinterest boards.

Pocket Letter

If you haven’t tried pocket lettering I hope you do soon and get as excited about it as I am.

Also, I’d love to hear of creative and unique ideas/items that you put or received in pocket letters as well. Leave a comment below!

Right Now I’m…

AnticipatingUgh, this is something I need to work on. I just wrapped up a few projects and so now I’m in a slump of “what to do now?” Not that I don’t have anything to do, I have plenty more projects going, but I’m needing a BIG thing to look forward to and excited about.

Untitled

Buying  Some lovely fabrics from a trip my mom and sister and I took to Linda Z’s in Arlington Heights and Stitchworks in Evanston.

Knit sock

Creating I knit a SOCK! Just one sock, lol. I remember first attempting to knit a sock back in probably 2002-2003 and got to that heel turn and couldn’t figure it out. I have tried several times since then and just never pushed through. Finally, with the help of my sister, I got it done. Pictured above, Matt modeling the sock I knit. Now onto a whole pair.
Eating My mom, sister and I are doing Seattle Sutton over Lent, and I’m so thankful to them for gifting it to me because it is incredibly expensive. I’ve always said my whole life that I just wish I could get a Jetson’s type pill meal so I could just pop in my full and balanced nutrients, and move on, and not have to worry about food. This is by far the closest I’ve come to that.
Feeling Relieved that I’ve gotten a few big deadlines wrapped up, for work-work and for my personal work.
Listening to true crime podcasts. Someone Knows Something,  Atlanta Monster, Family Ghosts, Dirty John, Cold Case Files the podcast, The Vanished Podcast,
Loving Our humidifier. Matt’s parents handed us down their old one a year ago and I swear that this thing has transformed me from starting to HATE winter, back to loving it again. It’s all about avoiding the dry air! I think I probably drop a couple gallons of water into the air every single day in our home. Before, I was trying to use a baby’s room mister, but still getting bloody noses and my hands and fingers were so dry they would crack and peel. 
Missing  The 80s and 90s. I had a very vivid dream a while ago where my mom and I were able to go to a mall that was the 80s. We didn’t go back in time, but somehow found ourselves transported to this time. The fashions! The prices! Even though we were in an 80s mall where you wouldn’t have a shopping cart, I had one and was stuffing my cart full of stuff because I was so excited to be able to bring all this stuff that was straight from the 80s, back to current day. The dream really stuck with me and for weeks I couldn’t stop thinking of things from the 80s and 90s that I missed and wished that I could go back to get a glimpse of again. One thing in particular that I think of all the time anyway is the store chain Arcadia, that I finally found out was probably only in our area as a test market because it was part of Carson Pirie (Scott) which is a Chicago based business. Arcadia was the most amazing stationery/gift shop store. It was my favorite store at malls and I remember dreaming as early as 5th or 6th grade that some day I’d be able to design my own paper products because of it. What I would do, just to see pictures of those stores again, and the products. I remember lines of paper products, one that really stuck out to me and I had a bunch of, was a white matte on white gloss stripe motif. Spiral bound notebooks, folder, pencils, papers, etc.
Procrastinating – Sending in my latest Art-o-mat series. It’s complete (I’m embarrassed to admit, 5 years in the making), I have photographed each piece. and now need to package them all up. I also ordered blocks for my next series which I’ll begin, once I have the last series sent off.
Reading – I’ve been so busy I haven’t been reading at all, but I need to get back to some books I was enjoying, but put down when my schedule got crazy.
Seeing  We went to the movies for the first time in almost a year and saw the new Star Wars movie.
Watching  It’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these posts so I’m just gonna list a bunch of things we’ve watched and loved. At Home With Amy Sedaris, Love, Lady Dynamite, The Good Place, Last Man on Earth, Broad City, Difficult People, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Alias Grace. Oh, and always watching whatever true crime docs I can, wherever I can. 
Wanting –A whole wardrobe that reflects my pinterest fashion board, Oh, and anything else in my regular wishlist, lol. 

Right Now posts

Pattern January 2018 part 3

View part 1 here

View part 2 here

Untitled

Day 21 – Rainbow. I recently did a rainbow pattern and I love it so much that I decided to expand on the idea and make another pattern that can go in the same series, but STRIPES!

Pattern january

Day 22 – IKEA. Last year I started a dollhouse pattern for the theme house or home, but had such high expectations I was kind of frozen with the fear of screwing it up. This year I started tackling it more, inspired by the flisat dollhouse by IKEA (which I just happened to purchase earlier in the month as well). I want the pattern to have each dollhouse filled with dollhouse furniture and decor when it’s done, but I don’t know… still afraid.

Untitled

Day 23 – Scribble. When I was in college we had to do a “portrait” of our foot done entirely in scribble (one continuous line) emptying a ballpoint pen. I loved how everyone’s scribble is different and unique, like handwriting. Some people have all back and forth and some people are all circles and mine is a combination of loops and hard turns.

Pattern january

Day 24 – Fly. One thing that is so great about Anika’s prompts are how most themes are words that can be interpreted in many ways. I was stumped for a while on this day’s theme, with just the image of a house fly pattern stuck in my head. It wasn’t until later, when I did a search in my flickr archives for the word fly that I saw “Flying Geese” and realized of course I had to do a watercolored version of my flying geese quilting. I love how this piece came out.


Pattern january

Day 25 – Garden. I hadn’t done a “little art book” pattern yet, so I drew and painted these cuties, my favorite from our garden, snap peas.

Pattern january

Day 26 – Slow. A water and lazy river inspired watercolor lined piece


Pattern january

Day 27 – Ends with “ing”. String!

Pattern january

Day 28 – Outline. Based on my grass paintings. The base was acrylic paint applied with a roller, then I painted white silhouette “outlines” in white and then came back in with green, and then finally added the veins.

Day 29 #patternjanuary #birdhuse This one gave me a lot of grief, similar to “dollhouse” last year, I have/had such high hopes that I kind of become paralyzed with fear of screwing it up. It’s funny how I had posted a pic of a cute little birdhouse earlie

Day 29 – Bird House. A work in progress, watercolored quilt blocks with birdhouses as the center. This piece got me excited to paint and decorate a real birdhouse. I’ve added a scalloped shingle roof, but no paint yet.

Patternjanuary

Day 30 – Skate. Letters were hand cut from gelatin prints made with my handcut paper stencils. Originally there was going to be a rollerskate at the end of each WEEEE, but then I nixed it.

Patternjanuary

Day 31 – Night Sky. While I was working on the tropical themed piece, I realized that the hexagon kind of resembled a coffin. I loved that initial piece so much that I decided to continue with the theme, and inspired by the coffin idea, make a moon/night pattern. Originally I wanted the moons to be at different phases, but I did one and I was afraid I was going to screw it up, so I added some in digitally for the time being. You can see that here.

Thank you for following along on my PatternJanuary project. I’m so glad I participated again this year and am proud of the work I created and have begun. I hope I can finalize many of these and use them for future projects.

I’d also love to invite you to visit and follow me on instagram, as I share most of my work and WIPs there first. Have a scroll through my hashtag #robayrepatterns and feel free to reach out with any inquiries.

Pattern January 2018 part 2

View part 1 here

Pattern january

Day 11 – Rhymes with itten. I still want to add color to this pattern

Pattern January

Day 12 – Ogee.  See more process images on instagram

Pattern January

Day 13 – Make up. I made circles in a “makeup” color palette and then drew a few patterns over them.

Patternjanuary

Day 14 – Tropical. This is my favorite pattern from the whole month. It was a very time consuming watercolor piece, much larger than showed here, but I think it was worth it.

Day 16 #patternjanuary - “Circle or Cube?” Another one that came to me as I fell asleep the night before. All I could think of was Qbert. Only, the original vision had the line work done with a blue ball point pen, shading in watercolor, and all of it wou

Day 15 – Circle or Cube? I immediately thought of Q-Bert

Untitled

Day 16 – Antique. This piece was inspired by the tiny fabric patterns from the 30s. While I was working I decided to try only half with the additional dots and leave half plain, because I rather liked the plain, but once I scanned it, I liked the more detailed part of the pattern after all.

Untitled

Day 17 – Instrument. Another favorite. A wax paper comb. I drew the combs in Paper by 53 and then added the wax paper and music notes in photoshop.

Untitled

Day 18 – Stay Warm. Watercolor illustration and then assembled at the desktop in photoshop

This is a hot mess. Day 19 #patternjanuary -#chevron This is a piece I started years ago at the peak of my chevron obsession, and not even halfway through I decided I was over chevron. I decided to hunt it down and finish it. It looked lame, so I thought

Day 19 – Chevron. This was my least favorite pattern from the month, mostly because I’m tired of chevron pattern.

 

Day 20 #patternjanuary - Favorite Food. But who can pick just one? I can see this as an ongoing pattern as I think of other things to add. It started out pretty straight with seedless watermelon then started getting oddly specific with my grudge with jimm

Day 20 – Favorite Food. Illustrated in pencil and watercolor with added cheeky comments

There will be one more post coming to wrap up Pattern January

Tips for Making Quality Kusudama

Gelli arts kusudama

A friend inquired yesterday about how to make one of the kusudama balls that Matt and I make each year for Christmas ornaments. I realized I never shared the ornament we made for Christmas 2017.

Gelli arts kusudama

I thought I’d pop in again to share the ornament and some quick tips that might help make your ornament go smoother. We’ve done it now for 10 years! Only 7 actually fit on the tree, because I kept having to relearn the same mistake for the first 3 years. That brings me to tip #1.

#1 Start with 3″ square papers for a 6″ diameter ball.

Unlike origami where you start with one piece of big paper and it folds down to a tiny size, the finished kusudama ball will actually be roughly twice the size of one square paper that you start with. The first year we probably used a 6″ square and ended up with a foot wide “ornament” that is really just table decoration now. The next year, trying to learn from my mistake, I think I referenced the instructions again and made 5″ squares, still not small enough. The third year, I thought I was going smaller yet, and still did a 5″ piece, both of these ended up being 10″ balls that are also too big to fit on a tree, and sit alongside the gigantic one for holiday decorations.

Gelli arts kusudama

#2. Origami paper is not preferable for a long term keepsake kusudama ball.

We’ve done a few in origami paper and after a few years of storage and use in between, the corners have all gotten mangled. The paper is just too thin and flimsy. In previous years, we have used recycled magazines, origami and wrapping paper. Christmas 2016 was the first year that it occurred to me to use a paper I decorated myself. I picked a color scheme and used regular office paper with gelatin prints on the front and back. I use basic, cheap craft paint ($1-$2 a bottle) on my gelli plate and the added layers made the paper firm, but not too heavy to fold, or the ornament too heavy to hang from a branch of the Christmas tree.

Gelli arts kusudama

3. It takes a lot longer to make one than you might think

You fold down and glue 60 squares of paper, into 12 flowers with 5 petals each.

I remember the very first ornament we made, I started out thinking if it went quickly enough, maybe we could decorate a whole tree with these handmade ornaments! That was a joke. One, because we made it TOO BIG, and Two, because the paper was so big, it took us way longer to fold and glue Three Since it was our first time doing it, we were learning as we went, and we had to reference the tutorial a lot and that added time and Four, we used white craft glue like the instructions said. Now, we have it down to a science, don’t need to reference the tutorial, and can pump it out in an efficient manner. Still, it takes the two of us working continually about an hour to make an ornament (just the folding and gluing, not including the printing of paper and cutting it down to size, etc.). It takes 2 hours for just me to make one. 10 years later, we have 10 ornaments (7 that actually fit on the tree) and I like having one for every year as a mark of our tradition.

Gelli arts kusudama

4. Use a hot glue gun

The tutorial we originally referenced instructs you to use white glue. Um, no. That will easily triple or quadruple your assembly time and will result in a lower quality finished piece, with a shorter life span. I also tried a double sided sticky tape (like a tape runner), also a no! Every year when I take them out again I have to kind of “fix” the original 3 (white glue and tape runner) and that means gluing them back together again because these adhesives start coming apart over time. We now use a glue gun and it goes SO FAST and the pieces have stayed together marvelously. You have to know how to use a hot glue gun, be safe and efficient. There’s no take back if you glue something together wrong and you want to get the pieces together with fairly good precision. That being said, Matt glued this year and maybe last year’s pieces together, while I folded. If you look at our pieces you can see the meeting point tips aren’t perfect, but off much more and things might not meet together to glue.

Gelli arts kusudama

5. Make sure you work space is clean

There’s nothing worse than soiling a piece you’ve invested a lot of time on.

Here are all of my previous kusudama posts, so you can see the other ornaments we’ve made, individually as well as in the collection.

The original tutorial we referenced has changed, and is now asking for donations and that people don’t share or direct people to the instructions? (how will people be able to donate if you get no traffic), but I’m sure there are tons of other instructions out there by simply googling it.

If you make one and share it to your blog, I’d love to check out the link. Thank you!