South Hollow Gallery & Leapenhi Paper
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Leapenhi Paper

Love to shop online?

Visit our wonderful web store for a great selection of original Canadian fine art, contemporary greeting cards, craft supplies for paper artists AND handmade & specialty papers from around the world. Drop in anytime!

Good Links

For overall great arts & crafts ideas:

For magical lighting:

For holiday decorating:

For fun & easy card making

A festive cat door-knocker

We are fortunate to have a large yard with many types of shrubs and perennials. Every December the wreath on our front door reflects a sampling of the flora around our place. Thought you might like to see this year's wreath- it's hung low on the door to encircle the "cat door-knocker" we created this summer - red, green and gold cords hung with bells and metal rings for the cats to jingle when they want in (instead of scratching the door or side trim).

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Wishing you the happiest holiday season & the best new year ever!

Please note that our Downtown Courtenay store will be closed January 1 - 11, 2015. See you Monday, January 12!

Leapenhi Paper
Leapenhi Paper

December 2014

'Tis the season... 

A big part of the holiday season is creating magical spaces. Sparkling lights and glittering foils go a long way towards setting the perfect festive scene. The best parts are found in the personal touches - artsy decorations, handmade ornaments, seasonal garlands, greenery and such. You can always go shopping to track down these precious items, but it's often more fun to put them together yourself. 

(The photo above was taken under our tree last Christmas. We like to wrap using a mix of papers including foils, iridescents and tinsel then toss a short string of mini-lights across them to make the colours pop. And of course, the best papers get re-used again and again!)

Create a warm welcome

A beautiful wreath on your front door offers an inviting entrance and making a fresh one is pretty easy. Depending where you live, the basic materials can already be in your home or outside your door. Look around the yard for possibilities or explore wild public places in your community. Evergreens of all kinds make good choices but also check out dried flower heads, seed pods, dry grasses and branches in interesting shapes and various colours. You won't need much - just a sprig or two and if you clip from inconspicuous places, you can leave the area looking unscathed. We make ours using the "bundle" method:
  • First choose or make a base ring to hold the greenery (we build our own using circles made from wrapped branches and/ or grape vines or else wire hangers bent into a circle, masking taped together and wrapped in strips of green garbage bags).
  • Then collect a selection of natural materials and sort them into two main groups: Larger pieces for the background greens (eg. pine, fir, holly, big leaved ivy, cedar) are trimmed to about 4"/ 10 cm or 5"/ 12 cm in length. The rest are trimmed into smaller pieces of varied lengths between 2"/ 5 cm to 4"/ 10 cm long.
  • Put together 6 bundles of the long pieces, placing the greens on top of each other in a visually pleasing way, longer and wider cuttings at the bottom, binding them together with fine wire. Then using the smaller pieces, make another 6 bundles with interesting combinations of colour and texture.
  • Wire the completed bundles evenly around the base, large ones at the back and smaller on top. Add a bow and bit of wire as a hanger - that's it!
There's LOTS of other ways to put your wreath together and we've included links to a few other ideas under Good Links.

(At the top are some wreaths we've made over the years using cedar, holly, fir, azalea, Japanese maple, snow-in-summer, hydrangea, salal, spirea & sage.)

When is a card not a card?

When it's a gift, of course! Getting a handcrafted card is like receiving a small work of art. And when it's made just for you by someone special, it can be the perfect present. 
All you need to start is a basic paper craft tool kit of scissors, double-sided tape and/or glue (in your preferred form) plus a selection of colour-coordinated papers. Pens and other embellishments (like glitter, flocking, stamped images, inks, peel-off letter and design stickers are optional but fun to play with and can create some great effects.

There's no one way to make a greeting card so gather your materials and go ahead. Use your own ideas or check out what other people are doing. There's a world of techniques and designs online to try out or you can talk with some real live people. At our store, we offer impromptu tutorials and have loads of exciting papers to fire your imagination. Or ask card making friends to share their tips and tricks - they'd probably love to!

So are you still looking for that perfect gift? It's not too late to create a few little masterpieces of your own.
(What do you think about all these cool Yule cards created by Valerie Taylor?) 

Yes Virginia, there is no holiday sheriff

We know there are folks who prefer their seasonal lights and decorations be taken down promptly in early January. But there is no law that says this HAS to happen. So if you like the idea of prolonging the season and the happy feelings that go with it, why not create a new tradition at your place? Give yourself permission to keep up your favourite bits well into the New Year.
Years ago at our place we decided to leave our decorative mini-lights up until Spring. At first some friends thought it was kind of strange but on dark winter days, they really helped brighten up the mood. Now we run clear mini-lights all year round and sometimes even a string or two of coloured ones... Keeps all seasons bright!

For questions or comments please contact