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Fresh Start: Art • by Ann Martin

Ann MartinA Family of Makers
I'm fortunate to have been born into a family of makers. My dad was the proverbial fix-it man, and my mother and grandmothers were role models of patience while introducing me to many crafts. Christmas morning always included kits and supplies under the tree. I became a medical/surgical hospital nurse and although I loved my fast-paced job, I looked forward to coming home and spending a stress-free hour or two on whatever project I was immersed in at the moment.

A Quilling Discovery
About 10 years ago, a magazine article caught my eye — seemingly magical designs could be created just by rolling and shaping narrow strips of paper; I simply had to learn how to do it! I set about reading all I could find on the subject of paper quilling and connected with other enthusiasts online. Once I’d familiarized myself with the technique, quilling became one of the most relaxing things I’ve ever done. As a person who was used to following kit directions to the letter, I’ve surprised myself at just how much I enjoy the challenge of creating original designs.

Happily, a second career emerged as the result of discovering quilling. While avidly searching the internet for ideas, I would constantly come across amazing things that others were doing with paper. I found myself wanting to shout from the rooftop, “You have to see THIS!” which, probably to no one’s surprise, led directly to blogging.

All Things Paper
Not only is my blog, All Things Paper, a way to spread the word about cool finds, but I’m also able to share personal projects, such as the custom marriage certificates and ketubot I create for engaged couples. The blog also gives me the opportunity to encourage others to try quilling via tutorials. I’ve found this mix to be incredibly satisfying and am looking forward to taking my teaching role one step further next year when All Things Paper in book form is released by Tuttle Publishing. It will present a step-by-step collection of brand new projects designed by paper artisans I’ve had the pleasure of meeting via my blog.

I’m grateful that the simple act of shaping paper has allowed me to unleash my creative side, and has brought new skills, friends, and a sense of accomplishment into my life.

To learn more about Ann Martin, visit


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