Paper Ivy in Packaging Your Crafts by Viola Sutanto

Packaging you crafts Paper Ivy layout

Designer Spotlight – Paper Ivy – from Packaging Your Crafts: Creative Ideas for Crafters, Artists, Bakers, & More by Viola E Sutanto

Sooo, I’ve had some work published in this book: Packaging Your Crafts: Creative Ideas for Crafters, Artists, Bakers, & More by Viola E Sutanto

That’s a bit exciting isn’t it?! I’ve been sitting on this information for so long because I was waiting for the US edition to arrive on my doorstep, but I fear it was lost at sea, because it never arrived! I’m hoping I will receive the UK version, when I do, I’ll do a little book review for you.

The UK and Australian version is titled Crafter’s Guide to Packaging Handmade Products.

A big thank you to Rotovision books for sending me the page layout of my pages, for their interest in Paper Ivy and for asking me to make a contribution.

Paper Ivy Stall at The Finders Keepers Autumn Winter Markets 2014

cards low angle

I had a great time at The Finders Keepers art and design market this long weekend. It was my first time there as a stall-holder and I was a bit nervous, but there was such a good crowd of people there that I got comfortable pretty quickly.  I met some really nice people, got some great feedback, had some interesting conversations and I hope it’s a the first of many Finders Keepers for Paper Ivy.

Here are some photos of my stall set up and a peek at some of the new designs I made for this market. There are lots! I’ll post some more detailed photos soon.

The Paper Ivy table at The Finders Keepers.

The Paper Ivy table at The Finders Keepers. Since it was my first Finders Keepers, I got into the Debut section. It was a small space and a challenge to get a little of everything in, but I think it worked out really well.

stand display shelf

The shelf I reserved for displaying items: A boxed stationery set, lots of pendants and some walnut and sterling silver earrings.

Wooden Laser Cut Brooches

Wooden Laser Cut Brooches

Hello December!


Ah December: the busiest time of year.  Lots of parties, lots of work and lots of cards and letters to write.  I’m working on  the brand identity for a client.  I’m printing some Christmas Tree Forest cards as I type and I have other orders pending.  Once I get through the urgent stuff I’m off to buy a new printer. A fancy printer. I’m a bit nervous about buying this printer. It’s expensive and the only furniture we have that’s large enough to hold it is the dining table (so no), our bed (no again), my desk (no because even if I move my current printer there still won’t be enough room for it and my computer) and well, it might fit where the stereo is.  Still, I’m going to try for the stereo option before I buy more furniture.  If not, then I it’s off to Ikea to find something to put it on that will fit in our space.

Then I’m off to Finders Keepers to catch up with Rowan from Frank Ideas and to go to an ABCD Meetup.

Then I’ll come home and collapse.  I’ll be exhausted, but happy.  How’s your December?

WIP: Work in Progress – 2014 Calendar

Illustration for December 2014 Calendar

Illustration for December 2014 Calendar… You can also expect to see this as a Christmas card soon.

I’ve been very slow off the mark with the calendar this year.  I’ve normally started by June and July.  This year I’ve struggled with the illustrations and the overall concept.  Normally I base them on designs for cards I’ve done during the year, but give them a twist.  This year I wanted to do something different and have struggled with two other concepts for it, neither of which worked out, for one reason of another.  I think I’ve found another way to work with it, which I’m far happier with, and which I still think I can get into my Etsy store soonish.

Let me know what you think?   Do you like geometric designs?  Too minimalist?  Like the bows?  Think the bows ruin the geo-minimalism? Other thoughts?

Writing Sets Get an Upgrade

I’ve just given the Paper Ivy writing sets an upgrade. They used to have 8 pieces of writing paper and 4 envelopes. Now they have:

– 8 pieces of writing paper
– 4 envelopes
– 4 envelope seals
– 1 ruled writing guide to help keep your writing in line… literally.

Let me know what you think.


p.s. You can buy a Paper Ivy Writing Set at the Paper Ivy Etsy Shop or if you are a Sydney-sider you can also get them at The Elm Tree.

Sprout Writing Set

Sprout Writing Set

Red Blossoms Writing Set

Red Blossoms Writing Set

Green Blossom Tree Writing Set

Green Blossom Tree Writing Set

Green Blossom Tree Writing Set on Cream Stock

If you use the writing guide behind your writing paper you won’t get to the end of your letter and find that it’s all sloping down the page! (Green Blossom Tree Writing Set on Cream Stock. )

Little Tree Writing Set

Little Tree Writing Set

2013 The Year Ahead

At the beginning of the year I like to think about what I’d like to achieve for the next 12 months. I wouldn’t call them resolutions exactly, it’s more a planning phase. I thought I’d share some of these with you.

The first (as my newsletter subscribers will know) was to have a rest! Actually, I should say this one wasn’t planned so much as it happened organically (read: I pushed myself too hard and my body pretty much told me to ease up). This explains the month-long silence on the blog. I really needed to do a little nothing for a little while. Just to sit and watch an episode of something on TV without sitting there making something became unheard of and I think I needed to just sit still for a while and enjoy some family-time and some me-time.

Extend My Skills
So, after going on about resting, it really didn’t last all that long because I’m now doing a course in silver-smithing, on top of everything else. I’m so excited about it though and very curious to see how or if it changes the way I make jewellery… aside from it updating my personal collection. I did minor in jewellery and object design at uni, but I want exposure to other techniques. Wish me luck!

List All Current Stock
I have a lot of laser cut jewellery that I haven’t added to the shop yet, so I need to allocate lots of time to photographing and listing them all. This brings up yet another listing point…

More Occasion Items
I really want to offer a bigger range of options for people interested in special occasion cards. To start with, I have two Valentine’s Day items in the shop: a heart pendant in walnut (the first pendant offered in the online shop!) and a matching heart grid card.


Of course not everyone is a heart-pendant-wearing type, so don’t forget that other styles of brooches and earrings are available too.

More Single Cards
Traditionally I’ve offered occasion cards as single cards and art cards as packs. Now I’m starting to list all cards as single cards, but the art cards will still be available in packs of 6. A couple of single non-occasion cards have already made their way into the shop, like this one!

Update the Website
I need to do some housekeeping with the website and add a few nice visual things to make it a better experience.

What Else?
I do have some other, slightly grander plans, but I don’t want to jinx them. I’ll let you know further down the track!

Why is Paper Ivy Passionate About Stationery Design?

It should be obvious to anyone reading that I am passionate about stationery design.  I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it, but there’s probably more to it than that.  Firstly, it’s not actually just stationery that I’m passionate about.  I love all kinds of design, illustration and art.  I don’t just like to make it myself, I love the work of others, and I love to collect it, to look at it and wonder at it.  So what is it about stationery in particular?  There are a couple of things:

I love that it is tactile and sometimes textural. I love that I can hold a card and wonder about the person who made it.  It is something very real.  This is one of the reasons that at time of writing, 100% of Paper Ivy card and paper stock is textural.

I also love that it is art that people share with each other and a connection can be made with it.  This connection is enhanced by the textural aspect.  A person can be made more alert to what they are holding if it has a texture or emboss.

However, one of the great things about stationery is that it I consider it the great leveller.  I don’t require that this visual (and sometimes sensory) treasure be expensive in order to value it.  I love that for a small price, I (or someone else) can take home a small, precious piece of art.  It is precious, because being on this side of the business I can tell you that what goes into the effort is not trivial.  I think most artists, designers and illustrators deliberate long and hard over their creations.  We agonise  and obsess over colour combinations, typography, shapes, composition, character representation, sometimes narrative, look and feel.  In the end, you still don’t need much money or wall space to buy a little card with a cute design, illustration or painting on it and I love that I can send someone a little piece of something I have created.