Paper Raven Co. Blog
Because Mom is always extra, I whipped up this adorable DIY Cake Topper for you to use on Mother's Day (you're getting her a cake, right? She deserves a cake.)
It's super easy and fun and your Mom will totally be like "Whoa, a cake topper." *bonus points awarded* You're welcome.
- The Cake Topper Printable (click below to download)
- Scissors and tape
- Skewer or stick
- CAKE! Make your own or go to your local bakery. Maybe a good time to support a small biz in your neighborhood? ;)
- Any berries or flowers to decorate your cake.
1. Click below to download the printable. Then print the sheet in color on your home printer or take to your local printer: 8.5x11” sheet. (Pro tip: This works best on slightly thicker cardstock paper!)
2. Cut out the graphic in your printable - leave a margin like I did or cut a large oval around the graphic - up to you!
3. Attach a skewer/stick to the back of the graphic with tape. Make sure it’s secure.
4. Insert into the top of the cake and decorate with flowers or berries. Voila! Enjoy! (Mom gets the first bite!)
If you use the printable, I would LOVE to see how it turned out! Don't forget to tag me on Instagram and let me know how it goes (and also what flavor of cake you chose because that's super legit important.)
Happy Mother's Day! Love, Erin.
Yea, I really wanted to make my monthly subscriber desktop download a shameless homage to the song that's been stuck in my head for a week straight. I cooled it, though, and did some watercolors for you instead. Things have been super busy around here, so I'm going to be brief this month and just let you get to the good stuff right away. Shazam! Click below to grab the wallpaper!
Happy Earth Day! Earlier this week it struck me: I needed to do a free printable for Earth Day, and we need to spread some love around for our gorgeous, amazing Planet! I am SO inspired by nature (can you tell?) in my work, and even walks in my neighborhood, enjoying the Springtime, give me so much peace. I am a huge advocate for Green Energy, Climate Change Awareness and preserving our planet. So I wanted to send you a gift for you to enjoy for Earth Day, in support of our planet, its wildlife, and the organizations, scientists, and regular citizens like you and me that are committed to protecting it. Enjoy!
One of the best parts of my day, as the weather has warmed, has been walking my sweet dog Patty in the afternoons. Our neighborhood is in bloom, and we have a ton of bird species nesting in the trees. During our outings, I like to pause and take a moment to intentionally appreciate nature, to notice details, and welcome that peaceful mental state into my work. If that sounds a little "woo-woo" to you, maybe it is. But in an increasingly chaotic world, especially when the environment and the planet is at such risk, it's become a focal point of my day to stop and be grateful for the beauty around me. Nature teaches us so many things: persistence, balance, harmony; I find that very comforting, and I've strived to make those principles an integral part of my illustrations.
So for April's Desktop Download, I give you an illustration based on my favorite scene from Alice in Wonderland: you can learn a lot of things from the flowers. Click the image below to grab it.
Here is the full illustration (but click the image above for the download!), and a detail shot of me drawing it. I start with a pencil sketch, then ink in the leaves with India Ink, and then ink in the lines. Finally, I bring the illustration into Photoshop to finish it. Happy Spring!
I have no grand schematic for this blog post, but I just felt the undeniable tug to say something today: I am so happy to be standing here with you.
I had never owned the word "feminist" before; but in the last year of my life I have realized that feminism has been with me all along, and recently I have whole-heartedly embraced it. Feminism is the idea that men and women should have equal rights - financially, emotionally, in their healthcare, and in their home. In that a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle, the same is true for feminism. When we see ourselves in others' success, we know we can succeed. When we use our resources to lift up women and communities in need, we ALL win.
For my MFA Illustration Thesis project, I created 12 illustrations of women who inspire me. These women impacted social change, started a dialogue, and live on as examples of the positive force women are in the world - and who WE can be. Today, I would like to share a few with you. These illustrations were created with pencil, ink, watercolor, acrylic and Photoshop.
Malala Yousafzai: A powerful activist for Women’s Educational Rights, Yousafzai survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban on her bus ride home from school. She is the youngest person and first girl to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Maya Angelou: An acclaimed writer and poet, Angelou is not only known for her poignant and moving autobiographies, but also for her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. The message of strength and enduring faith in her writing has resonated with readers throughout her career.
Marie Curie: A ground-breaking chemist and physicist, Curie was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize, and the only person to win in two different sciences. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris. She is credited with the discovery of Polonium and Radium and coined the term “radioactivity”.
Anne Frank: Renowned for her famous diary written during her 2 years living in the “Secret Annex” during the Nazi Occupation of Amsterdam, Frank’s faith, honesty, and positive outlook continue to inspire and inform millions of readers. The Diary of Anne Frank has been the basis for several plays, movies, and documentaries, with over 30 million copies of the book sold in 67 different languages.
* As we've come into a new era in America, I have decided to revive this series, as I feel the need to highlight the achievements of women and true equality has only gotten stronger. If you have a woman you'd like to suggest for this series, please leave a comment.
The whole collection can be viewed here. Thank you so much for standing with us today.
Hello friends in love + equality, happy March! I can't believe it's already here, and as I am writing this, my balcony door is open and the first breezes and rumbles of a March thunderstorm are rolling in.
This month, I created a new illustration for our Desktop Wallpaper, starting with a pencil sketch, painting with india ink, and finally lining with my Faber Castell Artist Pitt Pen. The colors for this one gave me a bit of a time, but when I popped in that spot of lime, I was in love. I hope you enjoy it too!
Here's a close-up of my inking process:
I love to see when others enjoy my freebies, so feel free to post a pic and tag me on Instagram as @PaperRaven.Co - I would be thrilled to check it out and send some good vibes your way.
Every month, I create a special, original illustration for email subscribers to download and use for their enjoyment on their desktops. This December, I created a mini calendar backdrop with hand-drawn type and lots of festive flourishes. I used my trusty Tombow Calligraphy Pen to do the lettering ;) Just my way of saying thank you for taking a step alongside of me on the journey of building Paper Raven Co. So without further ado...
I hope you have a peaceful and fulfilling Thanksgiving, whatever your traditions are. In the spirit of the holiday, I have created a free printable wine label for you to dress up your hostess gifts! Please print as many as you'd like.
What You'll Need:
1. Bottle of Wine or Spirits
2. Double-Sided Tape (Or regular tape will work)
1. Click below to download the printable. The print size is at 8.5x11" (standard printer).
2. Cut out the printable along the border.
3. Fill in the "To" and "From" sections.
4. Use double-sided tape to attach to your bottle (you can remove the label first if you'd like, but it's not required - this printable wraps around a standard size bottle).
5. Bring your gift with you to your gathering!
Halloween is my favorite Holiday. I mean, I like it more than Christmas. Maybe it's the air getting crisp on my morning walks with Patty, or maybe it's that everything is covered in Pumpkin Spice, or maybe it's the beautiful scenery and changing colors. Or the opportunity to carve pumpkins. This year, I wanted to do my own take on Pumpkin Decor, so I spent a nice sunny fall morning making this DIY to share with you. Enjoy!
Don't forget to post your finished pumpkins on Instagram and tag me at paperraven.co so I can see!
1. Gather your materials! I grabbed the mini Pumpkins from my local grocery store, and if you need some cheap (but good!) paint, you can head over to your local hardware store and grab a sample of Valspar "Satin" (pictured above) for like, $2! That's less than a tube of good acrylic, this art school grad will tell you. Pick up your favorite paintbrush and a Gold Sharpie. You may also want a cup of water for refreshing the brush and a paper towel.
2. Get ready to paint! Don't forget to shake up the sample for even pigment distribution!
3. Paint a flower shape. It doesn't have to be intricate - we will be adding the gold accents on top of the paint once it dries, and this is where the detail will come in.
4. Be free to make floral shapes, leaf shapes and berry shapes. Don't worry about messy edges - they will be covered in gold! Try to fill the front side of the pumpkin, or you can even cover the whole thing! Once the paint dries (about 20-30 minutes), apply a quick second coat.
5. Voila! They look so elegant and sophisticated - and the gold isn't even on yet! Let these babes dry for 30 minutes and make yourself a cup of coffee or tea.
6. Now the fun part! Using your Gold Sharpie, carefully outline each shape in gold. I found it was easier if I pressed lightly. Then, add in interior details like petals, leaf veins, and decorative elements. Have fun with it! You can go for realism or a graphic style or a mix of both.
7. The Gold Sharpie dries fairly quickly, but give them a good 5 minute sit so you can admire without smudging.
And there you have it! You can make as many of these as your heart desires! Here are some ideas:
- Nestle them at your front doorstep with a cinnamon broom and a basket of pinecones.
- Get the super mini gourd pumpkins and make each a place setting at your next Fall Get-Together.
- Fall Wedding? Make one for each of your tables for a pretty (and affordable!) centerpiece.
- Or, decorate your Thanksgiving Table and make a beautiful place setting, like we have done here:
Don't forget to share your finished pumpkins on Instagram and tag me at paperraven.co so I can see! Or leave a comment here with how you used the DIY :)
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