limbo

I hope that those of you that celebrate Thanksgiving had a wonderful time. We spent the day at my parents' house and enjoyed the company, food and relaxation.

The relaxation part was important because we've been in moving mode for three days, transferring many, many of our belongings into the garage. We're clearing things out so that the contractors can finally make our house look decent again. I'm sick of the torn up spaces were we used to have base boards, walking on ripped up carpeting with no padding underneath and having so many things in big piles everywhere.

So... all of the above has placed me in a lamentable state of limbo.
- We'll be living out of suitcases for the next 10 days or so (hotel bound today or tomorrow).
- I feel like the creative side of my brain is on pause.
- All my crafty things are in the garage partially or completely surrounded by a bunch of other boxes, which doesn't help matters. However, I'm taking a small stash with me to see if I can figure something out.
- The house can't be decorated until about two weeks from now (crossing fingers!).

And yes, I know things could be worse. In the end, we'll have a really nice update that was needed anyway. For that I am very grateful.

On the brighter side of things, I do have an ornament that I'll be showing you tomorrow that will help me start December in a festive way. In the meantime, here is a paper piece that has been making the rounds. Brilliant.

natural nursery knits - review

A few days ago I tackled a bit of knitting and here is a small unfinished sample of the results. This time I made a bootie from Natural Nursery Knits: Twenty Handknit Projects for the New Baby by Erika Knight.



As soon as I saw the projects I knew that I had to try something and the booties were calling my name. It's been a while since I knitted anything from a pattern so this is just a quick version with cheap yarn.

I've never made a knitted bootie and I was very surprised at how easy it was—the instructions were very clear. I can't wait to buy the cotton tape that I still need to complete the project. I also need the organic cotton yarn that I'll use for the final version of this project.



After a short intro about natural fibers and their differences, there are twenty simple but very chic projects which include: blankets, sweaters, booties and a variety of items for the nursery. All the projects are made using organic or sustainable fibers. I like that the projects are either very useful or at the very least they will make beautiful gifts. Since we won't be having anymore babies I'll be more than happy to make some for my friends' little ones.



I also need to add that the styling and photography of this book is beautiful. It makes the whole experience of flipping through its pages even more enjoyable. If you know a mom-to-be that knits the book itself would make a wonderful gift.



• • •

For those of you that celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow I hope that you enjoy the holiday with friends and family. Eat plenty, be merry and then fall back into a comfy chair. I know I will.

Happy Thanksgiving!

A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.
~Cicero

hooked

Last night I felt like crocheting a bit and tried it with paper raffia for the first time. I barely had enough for a quick coaster but it kept me entertained (and awake!) while I took care of some laundry (ahhh... the joys of house chores).

Crocheting, much like knitting, gives me such a warm feeling of stillness and peace. I think that because I learned to do both when I was young and only used them in a carefree way to make play things (clothing and blankets for my dolls), those feelings have and will always be there. That's a comforting thought.

Now I just need to remember to try this paper + hook thing more often. Loved it.




Friday Tidbits
- Janna Syvanoja - amazing recycled paper jewlery
- Jacob Hashimoto - I'm particularly inspired by his installations (scroll to the bottom)

Have a great weekend!

simple paper hurricane cover

I've finally come to the realization that I have a thing for paper lamps. I had to go through some old photos and I came across this really simple project that didn't make it into the book. It's super easy and it dresses up a glass hurricane in minutes.

When I have too much to do, simple projects like this one satisfy my hands-on craving. I don't know about you but if I go to many days in a row without making or designing something I don't quite feel like myself.



Materials:
- 2 sheets of letter-sized office paper (height is determined by the glass hurricane that you have)
- ruler
- craft knife or scissors
- glue stick
- cylindrical glass hurricane (mine is 4" wide)

How to:
1. Cut 10 strips that are 2" x 11".



2. Attach strips to one another by adding glue along 1/4" the long side of each strip.



3. Attach all 10 strips to one another (forming a cylinder) and wait for the glue to dry.



4. Slide the paper cylinder over the glass hurricane. Done!



TIP - Make it a recyclable project by using one of those countless of meaningless junk mail letters or a misprint of your own. The typography will give the cover a distinctive look.

grateful

I don't think this is particularly tied in with the fact that Thanksgiving is right around the corner but I have to say that I am overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude right now. I can hear my little C singing in her room (a song she's making up as she goes along), D is doing homework (without any of the usual prodding) and Mr. Z is at the grocery store right now, saving me a trip of getting a couple of things we need—and all of the sudden I'm just grateful. That's it. Plain and simple. I'm so easy to please.


I posted this photo a while back, but I just found it again and I have nothing new right now... ;)

Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy -- because we will always want to have something else or something more.
- Brother David Steindl-Rast

Anything making you grateful lately?

baby favor boxes

Well posting without writing didn't quite last—did it? For anyone that knows me personally I'm definitely a talker. I've been a bit more quiet around here because our house is still a huge mess and it's not very conducive to creativity. On the flip side I've been getting a lot of reading done. I hadn't done that in such a long time—so refreshing.





I've had this set of boxes made for quite some time now and I just got a chance to put them together. I opted for the neutral colors imagining a more natural shower or party theme but they can be printed on any color of paper. They're available at my site or Etsy.

dots

no words



I'm going to try this for a few days. I'll post just photos/ideas + no words.

I hope you're all doing well!

wip - calendar

Remember this embroidery on paper? I really like those random circles and I've been wanting to use them somewhere else. I knew I wanted something for us to enjoy and it hit me last night—a hand written calendar to put in our studio. It's a WIP because I'm going to embroider some of the circles with white thread. Yep. White-on-white again.



Some overdue thank yous...
- To the generous bloggers who've mentioned my 2010 calendar. There are always great designs out there and this year is no exception. Thank you to Holly, Kristen, Kelly and Print and Pattern. Thank you. Thank you! If I'm missing anyone please let me know.
- To Sara for an interview with me that she posted at Handmade News a few days ago.

Friday Tidbits
- This is a repeat from Twitter but I just had to post it again here. I love Noriko Ambe's work. Amazing.
- There are days that I crave absolute simplicity like this.

Have a wonderful weekend!

a question | una pregunta

I have a small question for those of you that speak Spanish...

Hace mucho tiempo he pensado que debería escribir no solo en Inglés sino en Español también. Lo que no he resuelto es si debería comenzar otro blog (un duplicado de este) o simplemente escribir en ambos idiomas aquí mismo. ¿Que opinan?

El plan es comenzar el año nuevo con los dos idiomas. Por adelantado les pido mil disculpas por los "horrores" de ortografía, falta de tildes, etc. Se que en algún momento u otro me hará falta algo. Para los que no sepan y tengan curiosidad, he vivido la gran parte de mi vida en Estados Unidos pero viví unos años en Colombia.

Acepto sugerencias de todo tipo.

gift giving with paper

I've been asked several times if I use my projects as gifts and the sad reality is that the majority of the times I don't. I'm trying to change that. At a minimum I want to make changes in the gift wrapping department and I started this morning.



Instead of starting from scratch, I decided to reach for my own book, to work on a project for a gift that we'll need for one of little C's friends. I remember that the minute I sketched this project out, I knew it was going to work and that it would definitely make a cut for the book. I love it when I have an idea that goes from sketch to paper without any glitches—VERY rare.

I like the box as is but my little C may want to add some cut out shapes to the base. We'll see what we come up with. I'm just happy that the main part is done—and it's ahead of time!



If you need other gift wrapping ideas, here are some more. This is a photo that didn't make it into the book but all the projects are included—templates and all.



• • •

Thank you all for your kinds comments and for sharing your hostess gift ideas in my previous post. I'm in the flowers and wine camp.

The winners (via Random.org) for the Thank You PDF idea are: Jessica Jo and Abbie. Congratulations! Please get in touch with me and I'll send you your file.

Happy Thursday!

thank you stationery box set - printable

With the holidays just around the corner, I thought it would be nice to make a set that can be used as a hostess gift. I'm the type to be running around at the very last minute so I know this will come in handy. I find this set fun to make and would've loved to send them out all made up and nicely packaged but there is no way I can swing that right now. So that's why I decided to go with a printable version for now.

I kept the design very simple, but it can be altered with paper and maybe a few strokes of a crayon if you have little ones that would like to help. All the printable materials are included to make everything you see here: note cards, flats, gift tags and a plain envelope. The templates for the box top, bottom and dividers are also included. Just pick paper, some ribbon and you're set!



The cards, flats and gift tags are provided in four colors (orange, plum, red and gray) in a solid colored font and in outlined form. The outlined version can be used by kids that enjoy coloring.



The base of the box is a good opportunity to show off any patterned or colored paper that you prefer.



If you'd prefer to say Thank You in a different language I'd be happy to set that up at no additional cost—just send me a quick email.

This set is now available in my online shop and Etsy.

As a small thank you to all of you, leave a comment below and I'll be giving away a couple of PDFs of this set to two lucky winners. To make it fun, share your favorite hostess gift to give or to receive. I'll leave comments open until tomorrow at 9pm. I'll announce the winner on Thursday morning.

And as always... thank YOU! :)

crafty tree trimmings: six festive ornaments to make

I'm back! We've had some seriously busy weeks around here—sorry for the absence. I simply had to let some things go and blogging was one of them. I hope to get into my routine again even though things are still not back to normal at all. But enough about that...

After such a long absence, I knew I couldn't show up empty handed and I think I picked the right project to accompany my comeback. It's my first ebook collaboration with Diane Gilleland and I love it. It's always so hard to be quiet about projects such as these, so it's really exciting to finally be unveiling this today.



Our very talented contributors are: Susan Beal, Linda Permann, Kayte Terry and Betz White. Each one of us came up with a holiday ornament that fits each of our styles. The results are six very distinct and fun ornaments to make. I created the paper globe ornament below and designed the book itself.



There's an added bonus for anyone that orders this ebook—part of its proceeds will go to charity. We've decided to donate 15% of our sales to Project Linus, an organization that donates handmade blankets and afghans to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need.

My house is still a wreck (reconstruction still to come... sigh), so it would be a serious crime to bring any new materials home. Even though I'd like to try to make all the ornaments, I'll be tackling only the ones that just require me going to my crafty stash.

If you're interested in joining me with some holiday making fun and helping a worthy cause, you can purchase the book at the CraftyPod shop until December 31st.