magazine bowl - recycle project no. 7

This project took me so much longer than I thought it would. I may not be finished yet (I'll explain in a minute) but I want to move on to other ideas so I decided to post about it now. I certainly didn't reinvent the wheel with this one but it was something fun and super easy to make.

- a magazine (I didn't use more than half of a magazine)
- glue gun

I started by making a tight little roll and making the flat circle that I showed you the other day. This can also make a useful trivet if you continue the flat shape to the desired size.

recycle project no. 7 - wip

Each strip that I used is made from one page of the magazine. When the pages are torn out don't worry about them being perfect. Fold the page in half (the long way) pretending that it is a complete rectangle and make the sides line up. The photo below shows a page that I tore out. It's really crooked (I drew an orange line to show that a little better) and it still works. I folded each piece in half four times until I was left with a strip that is about 1/2" inch (about 13 mm) wide.

recycle project no. 7 - magazine bowl

I added each strip to my piece by keeping the folded edge outside and the open side toward the inside. When I decided that my base was wide enough (5 in. across or approx 13 cm) I started going up by placing each strip about 1/8" (approx 3 to 4 mm) above the previous row.

As you place each strip down only do so a short piece at a time because the glue dries really fast. I didn't use something like Elmer's glue because that's the opposite - takes too long plus it makes the paper bend our of shape. For a cleaner look I only used a very thin line of glue. It was more than enough and it didn't seep out from under the edges.

I glued each strip of paper down, leaving a small piece unglued so that I could tuck in the following strip under it. See two photos below.

recycle project no. 7 - magazine bowl

recycle project no. 7 - magazine bowl

Here's my unfinished bowl. I'm not sure if I'm done yet because it may become more of a vase shape if I keep going. For obvious reasons if you decide to make a vase use a water proof container on the inside. The only thing that is really missing is to make the last row all even so there aren't any stray paper ends as you can see in the photo below.

recycle project no. 7 - magazine bowl

recycle project no. 7 - magazine bowl

A photo just to show the scale of the bowl. I like the look of the colored pages but I'm also interested in seeing what it will look like if I spray paint it a solid color. The texture of the edges of the paper would probably look interesting. Since I've started seeing Halloween decorations at the stores I can totally see this spray painted orange and full of candy! Can't you?

recycle project no. 7 - magazine bowl

The beauty of this project is that you can make the bowl any size you'd like by changing the width of the base and by stopping at any point during the process of building the sides. I'm thinking that this bowl will look nicer if it's part of a set. So I'll probably make a couple more in different sizes.

By the way, I dropped the bowl a couple of times while making it and nothing happened to it. Nothing. It is really sturdy because of the thickness of each strip and because of the glue. So it's totally clumsy person and/or child proof too! :)

UPDATE - The bowl in these photos is over a year old now and it has been through a lot. It didn't have a set purpose until we recently started tossing our keys in it everyday. If you have any doubts about it durability I have proof that it takes a beating and still looks great. Just thought I'd share that.

This bowl is also part of 33 projects found in Home, Paper, Scissors, my first paper craft book. More details can be found here.

a fun time outside

This weekend we got a small break from the harsh humidity here and we went to the zoo. I didn't get many photos of our favorite animals because the camera's battery ran out. We had a great time and I got some inspiration for new paper projects - weird. It's really interesting to me to see how I can find inspiration in the strangest of places.

A foot away from a sleepy lion (courtesy of a thick piece of glass).

African cattle. He looks rather sad... It's so conflicting to go to the zoo. I feel that way every time we go. I love seeing the animals and get a kick out of the excitement our kids feel by seeing them but I also feel sad that they have to be in such confined spaces.

These are some trees that are in the zoo and are typical of the neighborhood where it's located. I think they're so gorgeous!

I was so busy last week (noticed the blogging absence?) that taking it easy this weekend was really nice.

thank you

Climbing Jack, will be on my web site at the end of the week. You can sign up for my newsletter to get details on updates of my shop.

I owe some thanks to several blogs for mentioning my projects. Every time I see my work posted on someone else's blog I feel so so flattered. So a big thank you to Jan at Poppytalk for mentioning my work, to Carrie at Apartment Therapy for showing off my recycled trees (they've been all over the place), and Mei Lynn and Rare Bird Finds for featuring my paper art. If I've missed anyone please let me know! Thank you. Thank you.


I've recently realized that I've slowly become a project blogger. I show work that I've designed/produced for fun or for work and very little tid bits about anything else. I'm comfortable with that. Sometimes it's hard for me to know how much of my personal life I should blog about so I tend to keep most of it out. Part of it is a privacy issue and part of it is simply because we're not that terribly exciting. Normal lives, normal kids (cute and cuddly vs fits and fights), school work, house chores, etc. Not that I'm complaining! I know we are very blessed. So all this bla-bla-bla is just to say that I'm still here but kind of busy. When I don't have a project that I consider blog-worthy then I feel stuck. I'd like to blog. But what do I blog about? That's where I'm at today. So I'll just check out with with a few photos...

My to-do list (in order of priority) which I'd like to start in reverse. Oh and I forgot to add... update web site with new work!! ;)

Little C made this hand print in school. There's a poem inside that many of you may have seen already. I got all teary eyed just reading it while having my Little C standing in front of me so proud of her work.

I miss you when we're not together
I'm growing up so fast
See how big I've gotten
Since you saw me last?
As I grow, I'll change a lot,
The years will fly right by.
You'll wonder how I grew so quick
When and where and why?
So look upon this hand print
That's hanging on your wall.
And memories will come back of me
When I was very small.

A weekend custom order project. These is the fourth balsa (two-trees) piece that will be used as a wedding/anniversary present. I love that.

a procrastinator at work

I DO have real work to do but I decided to take a little break and work on this for a bit. She's dressed now! I couldn't leave well enough alone and I had to make a dress to go with the bag I made the other day. Oh and yes, she is wearing white after Labor Day but I think she's headed off to some private island where such a concern doesn't cross the mind. ;)

By the way what should I call her? Any suggestions?

The outfit isn't something I'd really wear but I think she looks cute. I couldn't really make decent shoes because she has awful looking feet. They're shaped like fluffy slippers. I shouldn't criticize her feet too much because mine are nothing to brag about. :(

Speaking of feet, I've been a total slacker in the marathon training this week. I'm so behind now that it's really starting to worry me. Tomorrow I'm supposed to run 6 miles. I don't think that's going to be happening. Wish me luck!

One routine that is sticking is our "back to school routine". It's the end of week two and we're back in the groove. Thank goodness! I still can't make it to bed before midnight (old habits die hard) but I do feel more rested lately. It helps to be able to work in silence all day before the crazy homework/dinner/bedtime evenings. You'd think that I'd have the TV or music blaring all day but I rarely do either. I enjoy working with the sound of the fan overhead and my buddy Otto (our Miniature Schnauzer) at my feet.

Well this is my little break for the day and I still have some work to do before the day is over (aka picking up the kids from school) so I'll catch you next week. I haven't finished my recycling project so that'll be coming. Have a great weekend everyone! :)

a new bag

When you can't tackle a project one way try another. I've had this tote-ish bag sketched out for months. I know how I' want to put it together, the size, how many pockets, etc. and I just haven't gotten around to making it. While I was working last night, I looked up at the shelf above my desk and saw my wooden friend and got the idea of making the bag out of paper. So now I made the bag but I can't put much in it. ;)

Craft has posted the winners of the Tags contest and I'm on the list! See the post here. I can't wait to see my tags in the magazine. Thank you Craft!

I'm also very happy to report that half of the paper illustrations that I posted on my site the other day are now sold. I'm in the middle of making more. If you're subscribed to my newsletter you'll get an email when I post them. Thank you to those of you that have purchased my work. It feels so rewarding!

Thank you to Kim at Desire to Inspire for mentioning my work on her blog. :)


A little girl in a great big forest. That's how I feel right now. Only my forest isn't really full of trees but mountains of things to do. I guess that's a good thing but sometimes I wish there were more hours in the day!

Here is my latest addition to the shop - Thumbelina.

If you click on the image below you can see it a little larger and clearer.

I really like how these are all turning out and I have a lot of fun making them. This weekend I realized that I can't see myself making more than one of each. They just wouldn't feel as special. I initially offered to make them limited editions but now they are going to be one-of-a-kind. Once each is sold... that's it. I do think I'll make more of each character or idea but the composition will be different for each.

One thing I may not have explained about my pieces is that each layer (typically two per piece) is entirely cut out of one sheet of paper. There are no bits and pieces. The only obvious additions that are small and added last are the colored pieces of paper. Other than that they are full sheets placed back to back.

I'm also thinking of making some new block prints to my new collection. My linoleum blocks are calling my name.

This is a little recycling project that I've been working on since last week. It's taking much longer than I expected and other things have pulled me away from it. Hopefully I'll have it completed by the end of this week and I'll be able to show it off.

Have a great day everyone! :)

illustration friday - alphabets

Here is a quick sketch for Illustration Friday. I don't remember exactly how I came up with this. It was one idea leading to the next type of thing. I started thinking about the emotional baggage that each and every one of us carries wherever we go. Wouldn't it be nice if we only had these to take with us?


cut paper illustrations

I didn't mean to disappear for a week. It just kind of happened. I've been really busy. I did manage to create some new pieces for the shop and you can now see them here. I expected to have more work done but it just didn't happen. I will be posting other pieces, that are in progress right now, in the next few days.

As you can see I've been working a lot with white and let me tell you it is not easy to photograph! I will have to figure out a way to make these shots a little better.

These paper cut illustrations are what I see as the natural process of what I've been working on all along. I've been working with the aspect of making something two-dimensional look more 3D with my balsa pieces and then I started the same with paper. I love it. It's challenging because not any illustration works with this. I love playing along the fine line of what works and what doesn't.

I'm in the middle of another busy weekend so I will have to keep this short. I hope that everyone has a wonderful time before we all need to go back to reality and work next week! ;)