Paper Crafts

(another) handmade holiday

I love that my best friend in the world, the love of my life, is just as crazy as I am.  (I’ve always said, it’s why we work.)  We are makers.  If it can be made, we’re going to attempt it.  His projects are usually larger than mine, but occasionally, I’ll tackle something big too (remember this attic bathroom shower?)  The holidays (and birthdays) provide the perfect platform for us to exercise our insanity.  This year I made a few personalized items for my recipient, but I spent some time this year making my own wrapping paper.  I used regular mixed media paper 14 x 17 sheets and basic acrylic paint.  And since I didn’t have near as many packages to wrap this year (as opposed to last year), it was totally doable in one afternoon.

The hubs however, has had his project in the making for about a year.  While we were off the grid last year in West Texas, he busied himself by hand harvesting a few limbs of Wild Texas Persimmon. He then learned how to turn that wood into beautiful tools of the civilized world.  He made a few pens, pencils, and stylus’.  I think they are beautiful.  The persimmon has unknown markings with each piece you turn and it just so happened that the stylus for his mother had a beautiful black mark, almost like it was painted there.  It was perfect.

He’s so handy.  (And handsome to boot!)

Handmade Holiday 2012

the seven week project

While the hubs was away for 7 weeks I kept myself busy with a little photo project.  I tried to take a photo-a-day and then actually print it.  It’s funny how the vast majority of my photos never see paper.  But I decided this would be the occasion and since the ink in my pen has been running a bit dry, maybe a visual journal would be a little more intuitive.  I used a baseball card holder for the photos and each shot is 2 1/2 by 3 1/2.  I also included a date page and then a poem; it’s actually a seven stanza poem by Wendell Berry (The Country of Marriage).  (I thought it was appropriate for the project at hand.)  And although I have yet to fill those last three slots — I’m thinking I will actually type up my thoughts on the project and our time apart — I’m happy with the way it turned out.  I could see doing this for our next adventure — near or far.

travel journal

I love hanging onto travel ephemera.  But very rarely do I actually put it anywhere but in a box.  However, I stumbled across this lovely travel journal by Victoria and I am completely inspired for my next trip.  (And now I can’t wait to see the hubs’ upon his return.) See all of her lovely pages here.

all photos (and more) by Victoria

handmade holiday — part 3

The packages…  I used all scrap material: grocery sacks, twine, newsprint, tree trimmings, ribbon, paper clips, and a hole punch.  There is even an upcycled pastry sack and Freebirds to-go sack!  The tree trimmings were free from Whole Foods (which is where most of the grocery sacks came from).  And I was so proud of myself for FINALLY using Martha Stewart wrapping paper (*confession — I’ve had it for FOUR years!). However, these packages didn’t stay pretty for very long…

paper people

I’m so glad to finally have my crafts back.  I was simply drooling over my beloved paper stash, but alas all crafts will need to wait until other things are done.  (My sister on the other hand kept reminding me what a crazy person I am for having so many storage bins of crafty materials! — Seriously though, it could be a problem!)

I just love it when people get crafty with paper products.  Upon seeing the work of Peter Clark, I was instantly inspired and wishing I was clever enough to “re-fashion” a map and make stuff like him.  Check it out:



One of the many weekend activities was harnessing my inner child and playing wither watercolors.  I was at my public library last week and got the urge to check out a book on birds.  This made me want to paint them.  I am not a painter.  Did I say that clearly enough… I – Am – Not – A – Painter.  I may pretend from time to time, but I’m as much a painter as I am a writer.  However, that said, I had an itch I wanted to scratch and so I did.

I found it strangely therapeutic to put color to paper.  I’m surprised by how much more I enjoy using watercolors versus acrylic or oil.  It’s more intuitive for some reason.  Who knows.  But maybe I’m not completely hating these little guys and I’ll get creative and put them to good use in my neglected sketchbook.

Watercolor Bunting Bird

an eye for the every day

I am in such awe of artists like Lauren DiCioccio.  She uses newspapers, plastic bags, old slides, and magazines to create a paused moment in time, by embroidering them.  When people can take the most prosaic of items and turn them into something original and beautiful is real talent indeed.  Wonderful.  Just Wonderful.

{all images}

group art

I wouldn’t consider myself much of a “group project” kind of gal.  I’ve got bad flashbacks of school projects gone awry.  Typically what happened is that my type A personality would take over because I didn’t want to have my name on something that I didn’t have full control over and of course no one was going to be able to do things the way I would.  Obnoxious, I know.

But I did, however, find a group project that I actually chose to join.  The Sketchbook Project is a unique collaboration of individual sketchbooks that will tour the country.  The catch?  Anyone can join and submit their book.  The day that Shannon posted about it, I immediately signed up and sent off for my own book.  Then a few days later she had the brilliant idea to collaborate with other bloggers and have us each create a page or two in one book.  I am so excited about both.  I received my book last week and have been staring at the blank pages for inspiration.  I love the accessibility of this project.  It’s for everyone from the professional to the amateur.  I hope I get to make it to Austin next spring to see it in person.

pick your favorite paper please…

…and send a note to someone!

it’s so sad that the post office is in so much financial trouble.  you can read an interesting story about it here.  the real tragedy (ok not really) is that so few letters personal notes are being sent.  i can appreciate the effort “to go green” and reduce all the unnecessary and superfluous paper out there (good-bye junk mail!). but i still find so much joy in sending ( and receiving) a hand-written note on carefully selected paper, written with a special pen, and consumed with deliberate thought.  i can’t imagine an entirely electronic world.

i’ll have to add these to my wish list:


{get these things here}

busy week, busy weekend

This week went by so fast.  And I’ve got a busy weekend planned.  I’ll be doing some serious spring cleaning among other things.  Wonder if I should put on a dress, fix my hair and wear lipstick to make me have a good attitude about it???

{image via, via}

Lent is underway and it’s going to be a long 40 days without this.

I’m completely fascinated with this article for so many reasons.

I finally finished this Valentine and the recipient should have it by now.

I’ve been making lots of these.

I’ll be volunteering here this weekend.