Sunday, October 10, 2010


An Interview with
Charlene Ball of the
"Paper Angel" Etsy Shop
by Marian Cates

Lotus Blossom Box Wedding Favor

Charlene Ball is a veterinarian living in the seaside town of Napier, New Zealand. Her fiance is very supportive of her creative ventures and her Etsy shop, "Paper Angel." When she finishes her day at work, Charlene has time to focus on her creative projects.

MC: Why did you choose paper for your craft?

Charlene: I’ve loved to work with paper since I was a child. My Mum taught night courses in cookery. One of those courses was about creating food gifts. I helped her craft cartons for her students to “wrap” their food gifts in. It’s a fond memory.

MC: What inspires you?

Charlene: One thing that inspires me is the symmetry I see in nature. And I also draw inspiration from architecture. I guess you could say that Ideas come to me from the world around me. And, of course, holidays.

MC: What is your favorite paper?

 Charlene: I love smooth 225 gram cardstock. It’s lovely to work with. My templates fold beautifully with this high-quality paper. I like to use bright colors. I love producing eye-popping color combinations.

Creating an intricate 3-D structure from a flat piece of paper is such fun. I love the geometry and logistics of the transformation. For years, I’ve created boxes and cartons as presents. I also love origami.

MC: Why did you decide to sell templates in your Etsy shop?

Charlene: Living in New Zealand created shipping difficulties. My customers live all over the world. Oftentimes, shipping was slow and expensive.

I decided that a great solution was to offer PDF templates that my customers could download on their computers. I love the instant gratification of digital downloading.

MC: Where do you see "Paper Angel" heading in the future?

Charlene: I consider "Paper Angel" my creative outlet, which is something I need. Having something creative to put my mind to, after a day at work. Even if it’s been a stressful day. Giving myself over to creative ideas and designs for "Paper Angel" soothes my mind.

Charlene's shop is at

Bulldog by Marian Cates

Bulldog by Marian Cates
Click for prints, canvases & various products

Burrowing Owl by Marian Cates

Burrowing Owl by Marian Cates
Click for prints and canvases & products

Jack Sprat Mother Goose Rhyme by Marian Cates, from a vintage illustration

Jack Sprat Mother Goose Rhyme by Marian Cates, from a vintage illustration
Click for prints, canvases & products

Robin Hood by Marian Cates, from a vintage illustration