Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Decorate To Celebrate Design Challenge "3D Flowers"....Paper Dahlias


     As I was working on my submission for the Design Team at Decorate to Celebrate (call out was for 3D flowers), I received a call from a girlfriend who was in the throes of planning a baby shower for her daughter. "I need some ideas for place settings and favors that are cheap and easy to do, so I thought of you."  Well, ok?  I've been called worse!  So the timing couldn't be better to come up with an idea for both assignments.  Just as as was sitting down with my vast inventory of arts and crafts supplies, my inbox flared up with my new email from with the subject line "Paper Flowers How-To".  Divine intervention!

     So following the suggestions from my idol and her team, I came up with a simple paper dahlia using tissue paper I got at my favorite dollar store and I think the results are cute.  Have fun!


     What you will need:
-tissue paper - colors and/or patterns up to you
-Ribbon or Raffia
-container - for my examples I used small glass candleholders and a small mason jar

     Now get started:

1.  Print out the template from the webpage (  You can enlarge or decrease the size based on the size petals you want.

2.  Fold your tissue paper in half lengthwise and then in half from right to left.

3.  Line up your template - making sure the straight edges of the template are on the folds of your tissue paper (you will know if you don't do correctly, as you will have a fractured petal - but don't worry, you can always put that to good use on a later project!).

4.  Cut out and you should have two full circles remaining.  Layer on top of each other, staggering the location of the petal tips.

5.  You can create as many layers with as many different types of tissue paper you want.

6.  For my example, using a small candleholder, place your container in the center of the circle and gather around the container.  This is the same process regardless of what type of container you are using.

7.  Wrap with raffia and/or ribbon and fill your container with goodies - I thought the gumballs looked festive, but use anything that may fit with your particular theme or event.  Once you have it securely tied, fluff up the paper petals until you get the look you want.

Here are other examples using different types of tissue paper and containers:

Using the same flower, but placing it inside a glass as opposed to wrapping around.  Fill the glass with sand, river rocks, beads.  Every choice will  lead to a unique look.
Using some striped tissue paper changes the look again.

Using two tones of a natural colored tissue paper around a small mason jar would look great in the Autumn. Could be a great gift idea -- fill the jar with the components for your favorite soup recipe.

Think red, white and blue for July 4th or green and red for the Holidays.  I love projects that make me feel like a kid again and I hope you find it fun as well.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Confessions Of A Paper Addict

        Ok, I admit it.  I'm a Paper Addict...and  I know there are many of you out there like me.  Oh, I try to pretend by having every gadget known to man for high-tech note taking and synced calendars and appointment reminders.  However, there is still nothing as beautiful to me as the sound of a pen on paper.

      Like some of my friends hide new shoe purchases, I horde notebooks.  I have notebooks of every manufacturer and each of  them has a very specific purpose:  My Moleskine for sketching, my Rhodia for general note taking, my Levenger Circa notebook for my planner and a whole slew of lined, blank, graph, storyboard pages.....yes my problem is vast.

     Like the sweet enabler he is, my husband introduced me to a product with a cult following that I, shockingly, had never heard of.  Called The Traveler's Notebook by Midori, this little wonder is like a precious treasure.  First of all, the Japanese paper that comes with the notebook is beautiful and takes any type of ink with no bleed through.  And the beautiful, minimal yet functional packaging, is like a treat to open.
     And there are accessories you can purchase that can help you personalize your own Traveler's Notebook.  I had to get the graph paper and perforated sketchbook ones.  And charms, and bands and pen holders - Oh My!

     Along this journey I also discovered a great e-commerce site for my supplies.  Baum-kuchen is an amazing paper goods site and the owner, Wakako, sent me an email after placing my order asking me about myself, thanking me for my order and kept in touch with me until the moment my beautiful package arrived at my door!  Great site, check them out (


     Your new stationery adventure starts with the beautiful packaging and Japanese literature.  The Traveler's notebook comes in a heavy card stock envelope and then it is wrapped inside a lovely burlap bag (both of which I see incorporating into future crafting escapades).  My example is the dark brown full size Traveler's Notebook.  They also offer a passport size book.

 There is limited hardware and the simple leather notebook is  held together with a band.  It is beautiful as is, but the joy is in customizing it to suit your purposes.  To add notebooks (they recommend a maximum of two additional notebooks) you find the center of the supplied notebook and back that book up with one in the back and one in the front.  Find the center of those books and add your band.  If the following pictures don't do it justice, there are many blogs out there as well as YouTube videos.  I will post my favorite one at the end of today's entry.

Notice the YouTube tutorial playing in the background!

     I also changed the outer band with an orange one.  I  added the accessories of the pen holder and adhesive pockets - great for business cards, receipts and a larger pocket that has one end zipped and the other open.  Great for collecting scraps of memorabilia on your travels.  You just feed that piece underneath all the books.

     Just by starting to handle this, the leather is just gorgeous to the touch. I think of my artist friends -- this book is a journal waiting to happen.  Makes me want to be sitting in a Parisian cafe sketching the world as it goes by.

      YouTube tutorial from The Goulet Pen Company

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

You've Been Framed! Valentines Gift Box


     Are you looking for a different custom box for your loved ones this Valentines Day?  Something a little special to present those diamonds, chocolates or car keys perhaps?  Here is my current submission for the Decorate To Celebrate Design Team.

     I enjoy creating gift boxes that could serve a dual purpose.  See below for an easy project that is not only a cute gift box, but a stand alone frame.  I love two gifts in one!

     See how easy it is to create this yourself.