don't forget to use your scraps


Just a little something with some leftovers of my number 6. It will be attached to the package I will be sending to the Paper Quilt giveaway winner. Congratulations Anat! You won!

I want to thank everyone that commented on yesterday's post. I know that it's a touchy subject and that there are many of points of view to explore. I just hope that this type of conversation doesn't end.

Have a great weekend everyone!
See you next week.

what do you think about knock-offs?

paper wall panel at anthropologie
[simple great idea - paper wall panel I saw at anthropologie yesterday - unrelated to post]

I'm not a controversial kind of person. I'm not one to rock the boat. But let me get on my soap box for just a moment. I've thought about this for a long time but I've never had the need to speak up until now—maybe because I can't take it anymore.

After reading this interesting conversation about knock-offs and differing opinions on why they are Ok and why they are not, I just had to write. I'm in the 'it depends' camp.

As is natural, the crafting community is made up of very capable people that handle all sorts of mediums and tools. So, it is very natural to see something like a $100 cushion and say "I can make that—and I can make it for $5".

I have nothing against you making it, if it's for personal use only. Make hundreds if you'd like. What I am against is broadcasting how you made it (with tutorials and such). I'm not an attorney, so I don't know what the legal ramifications are, but I do know that ethically I don't believe in it. It simply is not Ok in my book.

If, as a creative community we condone this behavior, what right do we have to complain when it happens to us? I don't care if you're copying a big chain store object or a small Etsy shop design. It's all the same to me. You're still bleeding that company or designer from their creative endeavors, diluting their brand and possible income. If you figured out how to make the knock-off, the very capable members of the creative community we belong to, will figure it out too. It's up to them to proceed or not.

We should work together, not against one another.

As a designer and crafter I have had people commit blatant copyright infringement of my work on several occasions. These acts have been committed by individuals and small to large companies alike. That's why I'm passionate about issues like these. That's why I know how it feels to have your ideas taken and disseminated in an unapproved fashion.

Legal or not, it simply is not Ok. I think it's more about ethics than anything else.

Instead of spending time on a tutorial of something that already exists, why not create a new tutorial that is inspired by someone else's work and includes your own unique twist? Isn't it better to stretch the boundaries of your own creativity as well as that of others?


Not the tone I wanted to end the week with. But there it is. Any thoughts?

EDIT: I just want to add one more thing. I don't understand why there seems to be an underlying thought that it is more acceptable to make a knock-off when the copied item comes from a large store vs copying one from an indie designer. Just because you're not making the slightest dent in the profit of a large company doesn't make it Ok. The standard should remain the same, shouldn't it?

Ahh well. This is just an opinion. We will probably have to agree to disagree on some of these points. The important thing is that the conversation is happening.
• • •

Thank you so, so much for all your lovely comments on yesterday's post. I was blushing all day. Remember that there is still time to enter the Paper Quilt giveaway. I will close the comments section of that post tonight at midnight.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

day 26 - 6 years of blogging

day 26 - 6 years of blogging

Yay! I made it! Today could not come a moment too soon. When I started this series I knew it was going to be work keeping the making going every single day. It was harder than I thought. Not so much physically but mentally. But I do have to say that even though it was challenging I pushed myself like I haven't done in a while and that is definitely a good thing. I hope you enjoyed it!

So... 6 years. Wow. It doesn't seem real. I never imagined that I'd be here this long. I thought a lot of all the "profound" things I could possibly say today, but I've decided to just keep it simple.

Here are six things I've learned through my blog and still want to keep in mind.
I've learned to...
1. Always be me and stay true to my creative voice (self doubt: stay away!)
2. Work with something other than paper to stay on my toes (have slacked on this lately)
3. Stay away from the blog when an idea is weak (haven't always been successful with this)
4. Stay in touch with my online friends as much as possible (getting harder as I get busier but I do value everyone I've met through this blog sooo very much! you're all so inspiring!)
5. Make space for down time (recharging makes for better blogging)
6. Remember that above all else, I am a mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend and artist. As much as I love it, I am not my blog. It's just a part of me. If it fails or succeeds that does not change who I am.

Here is a little video I put together as a last minute idea. No planning. I just stuck the camera on the tripod and went for it. As you can see I seemed to forget that I needed to stay in the center of the screen. Oops. I may be getting better at working with paper every day but my video skills are sorely lacking! Another thing... play your own favorite music to entertain yourself with since this is completely silent. I didn't think you'd enjoy hearing some lame TV sounds in the background—ha!

So, what did you think of my 26 days of making? Which project did you like the best? Honestly, I thought I would get more ideas produced. I should've known better—you can't rush this sort of thing. It will all get done when it needs to get done. The process never ends—and that's a good thing.

For my third and final giveaway of the week I'm going to do a drawing. I'd love to send one white paper quilt (unassembled but cut and scored) and some other paper goodies to one of you. If you are interested in participating, just say hello (or answer the questions above) and give me your contact information in the comments section of this post. Wherever you may be, you are all welcome to participate. I will close the comments section on Friday at midnight. Good luck!

As always thank you, thank you, thank you for all your support. I wouldn't have made it this far without all of you.

Thank you!

• • •
This is the final day of a my 26 days of making series.
The End—for now!

day 25 - mini dollhouse tutorial

day 25 - mini dollhouse

I didn't want to finish my 26 days without making the beds I promised little C—so here they are!

I made a new house (also her request—"We need another house for friends!"). The house is the same design, with added window frames and a punch of color on the door.

day 25 - mini dollhouse

She saw it this afternoon and literally squealed. The look on her face was all I needed as a thank you. She completely lit up.

And guess what?
You can make your own too. Today I have another download for you and it's here.
(PDF, DXF and SVG). Since I set up the PDF files on letter-sized paper the house will be a bit smaller than you see here.

day 25 - mini dollhouse

Little C set up the photo below.
"Take a picture! Take a picture!"
Ok! Ok!

day 25 - mini dollhouses

TIP - I forgot to mention something in the handout. The first house is much stronger because I cut and glued two houses one over the other (with Spray Mount before assembly). I completely forgot about that for the second one. The difference in strength is quite noticeable—so that may be something you consider doing.


• • •
This is part of a my 26 days of making series.

day 24 - paper sconce tutorial

day 24 - paper sconce tutorial

As you can see, I apparently have a slight obsession with tea lights and candles at the moment. I made a Paper Sconce for my Pebbles pattern and the good news is that if you're interested, you can make one too. Making it by hand won't be a problem with this pattern. The random uneven shapes will be very forgiving.

I've made all the files available to those of you that would like to make this project by hand (PDF), with your Silhouette (DXF) or any other cutter (SVG). Download here.

I'd rather play it safe and emphasize the fact that I used LED tea lights for this project. DO NOT use candles under any circumstances—please! I do not want to be responsible for any fires. (scary!)

Can't you see these many of these along a wall at a big event? I'd love to see something like that.

Have fun and if you have any questions please let me know.

• • •
This is part of a my 26 days of making series.

day 24 - paper sconce tutorial

Work a great deal with evening effects, a lamp, a candle, etc. The tantalizing thing is not always to who the source of light, but the effect of light.
- Edgar Degas

day 23 - just create

day 23 - pebbles pattern

Design work (a logo) took over my day. So, I did make something. I just can't show it. But my determination to actually show something today turned out fruitful. When flat, this may not be the most exciting pattern ever, but I'm very excited about the way I'm going to be using it. I'll be showing you tomorrow!

This brings me to something a bit different...

Inspired by a couple of comments on yesterday's post I was wondering how the rest of you feel before you start a project.
- Do you feel held back about the time, energy and materials you're going to use or do you just jump in with gusto?
- Are you a planner with projects or you more of a spontaneous type of maker?

I'm not one to hold back. If I'm completely honest sometimes my every day responsibilities (hello laundry?) are forgotten for the sake of making. As far as the second question, I'm a little bit of both. My sketches lead me to planning. But on nights like tonight I start something on a whim and end up with a great project idea (not always!).

So how about you? What kind of maker are you?

• • •
This is part of a my 26 days of making series.

day 22 - something out of nothing

day 22 - votive covers

I was trying to come up with a new stationery folder design and I failed miserably. It was horrible.

Mayday! Mayday!

Somewhere along the line my math messed up the whole thing. It was a total loss. But, I wasn't about to toss away perfectly good paper—so, I went for something simple, handmade (I'm sure you've been wondering if I'd pick up an Xacto again) and small enough to rescue the sadly misused paper. I ended up with votive covers.

This couldn't be any easier.

- Cut out a rectangle that is as tall as a votive and wide enough to wrap around the container.
- Using a craft knife cut randomly placed V-shapes.
- Add glue to 1/4" of one end of the paper and attach it to the opposite end.
- Curl the cut Vs outward.
- Slide the cover over the votive.

Done! Hardly original but it does count as making something, right?

The highlight of my weekend? Buying a new bike! I haven't had one in years. We went out for a ride with my little C and it was wonderful (even if she did fall once and blamed it one me—apparently my chattiness distracted her).

I hope you had a wonderful weekend too!

• • •
This is part of a my 26 days of making series.

[Gratuitous photo — Some days I bomb but some days I don't. Every time I look at the corner and see this mobile, I like it more and more.]


day 21 - tweaking

day 21 - white paper quilt

I don't know what it is about birthday parties but after today's celebration (little C's) I am completely wiped out.

The only thing I managed to play around with was my paper quilt—which doesn't look so "quiltish" now. But it does feel more like me. I'm more of a neutral palette kind of person and yesterday's photos are starting to look odd to me—too bright. Seeing these photos makes me think the solution is really in between.

I'm still undecided as to whether I should keep the blocks separate or together. I'll need to explore further.

The top photo is a day time shot, while the bottom is a night time shot. It's amazing how much the shadows change from one to another.

day 21 - night shot

When I took the day time photo, I stood away from the wall a bit and noticed this other wall in my studio (no set up at all). If it looks familiar, it's my 2011 calendar.

day 21 - do you see a pattern?

It seems like I have a theme going here, doesn't it?

Oh one more thing... for those of you that have asked about the coaster patterns—I've added a Four Pack of designs that are sold for digital cutters and in PDF format to be cut by hand. Because of the latter, I picked the four designs that I think are easier to cut if you don't have a cutting machine.

I hope you're enjoying a great weekend!

Update :: If you'd like to make your own quilt the files (PDF, SVG, DXF) are now available in the shop.

• • •
This is part of a my 26 days of making series.

day 20 - paper quilt

day 20 - paper quilt

As I played with, what you know as box covers, I realized that I hadn't shared how the whole project really got started.

The first time I revealed these patterns you saw them in my coasters project. But my initial thoughts were really to make a hanging paper quilt.

Making a fabric quilt is completely out of the question for me. I entertained the idea at some point but I just know that I wouldn't have the patience for the sewing machine. So, paper popped into mind one day and I'm kicking myself for not thinking of it sooner.

Today I finally made my way towards making my quilt 'blocks' come together. I played around with the order in which I should place them. The background colors will not be staying—but I wanted to see all the color before getting rid of it. I really want to see what the 'quilt' would look like completely white. Another idea is to work minimally with color, the way I did here.

If you notice that the whole piece looks a bit crooked, it's because it is. It's being temporarily held with clothespins (see them on the left side of the piece?)—it's a complete work in progress.

Now it rests on the floor in my studio.

Where am I going to put everything?

day 20 - paper quilt

In an ideal world I would have all the time I could possibly want to make something new every day. The thing is that creativity can be spontaneous (like my mini doll house) or it can be a process as with these patterns. You're seeing more of the same from me, because my daily making has been in fact part of the process. I still have other applications for the patterns coming up next week... but hang in there, new things are coming too.

Update :: If you'd like to make your own quilt the files (PDF, SVG, DXF) are now available in the shop.

• • •
This is part of a my 26 days of making series.

day 19 - summer blooms

day 19 - summer blooms

I love mobiles. They're fun to make. They're fun to look at.

Unfortunately, I haven't made one since making the one for my book. That means it's been at least (thinking...) 2 1/2 years. Wow! I didn't realize it had been that long.

But with these results, I think it was worth the wait. I love how it fills a once lonely corner. I killed two birds with one stone with this one.

After completing my SVG Summer Blooms collection, I wanted to work on a project that didn't go down the typical embellishment or card making route. That's how I ended up here.

I used 5 different flowers, a small wooden embroidery hoop, clear monofilament and transparent glass beads.

day 19 - summer blooms

I would love to see the top blue flower cut out for place mats or something similar. The smaller ones can be combined to make 3D flowers and you'll recognize the orange flower as the one I used for these note cards.

The collection includes the seven petals you see here and it is now available in the shop.

Silhouette users! - I am now including files in all my packages that are compatible with the Silhouette digital cutter.
[Thanks for testing Elizabeth! :)]
• • •

This is part of a my 26 days of making series.

day 19 - summer blooms

day 18 - making what you don't see

flickr favorites

Some days aren't made for specific tangible work. Days like today are more about being inspired by the work of others.

Part of what I did today was go through my Pinterest boards, my Flickr favorites (photo above — look for all credits here), and the books and magazines that are on my night table or in the bag that I carry everywhere. And I sketched and sketched a whole lot.

This is a list of some of the materials I'm into at the moment (I'll be posting some reviews at the end of the month):
- Decorate by Holly Becker: I love, love this book! This one needs a post all of its own.
- Family Knits by Debbie Bliss: I love the simplicity of all the designs.
- Pulled: A Catalog of Screen Printing: I should've taken screeprinting in college... grrr.
- Latest edition of InsideOut magazine: it always makes it to the US stores about 2 months late—but I don't care—always love it
- Natural Patchwork - I still don't sew with any frequency (probably never will) but books like this one make me wish I did.

While I'm on reading materials...
Someone once asked me if I subscribe to any paper craft magazines or if I could recommend any. I'll tell you what I told her: I don't and I can't. I try not to look at them too frequently in the book stores, because I want my work to stay fresh and different. However, sometimes I do wish that there was a paper craft magazine that had more of a contemporary feel to it. I feel like what is on shelves right now only speaks in one voice. There is so much more to explore.

If I 'm totally honest... I know what it would look like and what kind of projects it would feature. I feel like it's needed—where do the non-scrapbookers and card makers fit in today's publications?

Just some random thoughts...

• • •

This is part of a my 26 days of making series.

day 17 - new svg files for gift boxes


A bit late today but it still counts, right?

I'm really excited at how these all turned out. I've been working with the patterns that I created for the coasters and more ideas are in the works. I wish I just had more time! I really could go on and on with these sort of projects. My mind doesn't stop, so my sketch book is getting a work out.

The boxes are great for small gifts and when cut out in smaller sizes, they would work for jewelry. I'm not offering them as PDFs simply because I'm not sure that anyone would be interested in cutting these out by hand—but if you are, just order the SVG and email me to let me know that you prefer the PDF.

Here's a look at what the production line looked like on our kitchen table.

day 17 - production line

I'm saving the tops of the boxes to work on a large art piece which I'll reveal in a few days.

The SVG files for 9 different patterns are now available in my shop.

• • •

This is part of a my 26 days of making series.

day 17 - new pattern boxes

day 16 - coaster tutorial update

day 16 - coaster tutorial update

I realize that the last thing you want is another coaster update but this is actually an important one. My coasters had their first real test yesterday and some of them didn't pass. I thought I had done a good enough test (prompted by your comment Jessie!) regarding the resistance to the effects of water condensation. It turns out that I hadn't.

The circle that forms when a glass is set down was marked on the coasters. The Mod Podge got a bit white and translucent. After they dried up they were ok again (maybe a slightly different opaque look to them) but I wasn't satisfied with that. I decided to hunt down a solution in the hardware store and I purchased clear spray paint, hoping it would work. I applied a generous coat to one of the tiles, and after it dried, I set a wet glass on on it for more than a couple of hours. The surface of the tile wasn't affected at all. So, the last step to the tile coaster tutorial is now added as step 4.

Now, I can move on to other things, with a lot of sketching and photography.

I'm really trying with the water—with lots, and lots of lemon added (no sugar)!

Happy Monday!

• • •

This is part of a my 26 days of making series.

day 15 - making memories

That's what today was all about. Our precious little C celebrated her First Communion. She looked so, so beautiful and yes, the tears were hard to hold back.

My mother's godmother gave my mom a cross on her First Communion day.
My mom gave the same cross to me on my First Communion day.
I gave it to my little C today.

Then it came time to celebrate with family and friends—while I blew out some candles. Hello 41!

In the midst of all the craziness, before heading out to the church, I actually did make this jewelry box. Can you believe it? We needed it for today and I just hadn't had a chance to put it together. Can you tell this is a quick oh-my-God-we're-running-late iPhone photo? Phew.

It was a wonderful day and I'm wiped out (in a good way). See you tomorrow!

• • •

This is part of a my 26 days of making series.

day 15 - jewelry box

day 14 - one last coat

day 14 - just one more coat

Here they are. These are the coasters that I just finished with one final coat of Mod Podge. For those of you that missed it, the tutorial to make them is here.

Off to get the rest of things taken care of today!

• • •

This is part of a my 26 days of making series.

day 13 - just more coasters

[Random photo - I saw these amazing torn paper flowers in Anthropologie a few weeks ago - the center was made of some sort of rubber and about the size of a melon. They all looked so striking!]

The photo session I had planned for Thursday was completely cut short because of dark clouds and thunderstorms. We desperately needed the water, so I'm not complaining. That just means that my reveal has to be postponed. While I waited for the weather to clear I made sure we won't be lacking in the coasters department. Now we have more patterns. I know... What a tease! I'll show you next week for sure. For those of you that asked, the new patterns will be in my shop next week.

Today it's perfectly sunny, but I've seriously run out of steam. The fact that Blogger was down since yesterday gave me the perfect excuse to just relax a bit.

By the way, my apologies for all the extra posts—old & new—being sent to the inboxes of my feed subscribers. It was all out of my control. It looks like Blogger is back to normal again. Let's hope!

This weekend I will be "making" but in a different way. I'll be...
- making the house look decent for Sunday visitors
- making lasagna from scratch for said visitors
- making sure all our Sunday outfits are ready
- making wonderful family memories on Sunday—while we celebrate with my little C on the day of her First Communion (which happens to be my birthday too)

Like I said, there will be a lot of making—just not of the paper crafting type. It's all about priorities, right?

Happy weekend everyone. Go and make something fun yourselves!

day 12 - make, make, make


Cut, assemble, glue, photograph. Repeat (over and over again).

This is definitely a make day. I'm gearing up for a shop update so you'll forgive me if I only have time for a sneak preview today.

See you tomorrow with a full reveal!

• • •

This is part of a my 26 days of making series.

day 11 - how to make a coaster set

day 11 - coasters

I have a thing for coasters. I don't know what it is but I always need to see what selection is available in whatever shop I'm in. I don't own very many (a good thing that I'm not a compulsive buyer!), but I just find them interesting—maybe because they come in so many different colors and styles. It's amazing how one little square (or circle) can have so many interpretations. I have the same fascination with boxes (may have mentioned that before—can't remember at the moment).

So, you'll imagine how much fun it was to make my own set. I've been wanting to try this out for a very long time—and opening the Mod Podge yesterday was the only nudge I needed.

- Blank tiles (found at the hardware store for $0.10 each!)
- Paper cut outs
- Mod Podge or glue
- Brush
- Clear spray paint (gloss or satin)
- Felt circles for the corners of the tiles or felt squares that are as large as the tiles
- Adhesive for the felt

day 11 - coasters wip

First a disclaimer! - I'm a novice when it comes to the use of Mod Podge. I'm just going to describe what I did—which may not necessarily be what is supposed to be done. All I know is that this worked‚—in the end.

1. Have your cutouts ready before you start. Paint a thin layer of Mod Podge on to the surface of the tile and set it aside (step 2 needs to be done quickly so this doesn't dry).

2. Hold the paper cutout by one corner (not completely flat) on a plastic surface so it won't stick to your work area. I used the plastic cover of an old Cricut mat, but I'm sure that a saran wrapped piece of cardboard would work just as well. After the cutout is completely covered in Mod Podge, let it air dry for a moment or two and lay it over the tile, making sure there are no trapped air bubbles. Use the brush and maybe just a bit more of Mod Podge to completely flatten the paper.

Don't overdo it with the Mod Podge. I think it's more effective if you use more thin layers than fewer with heavier coverage.

3. Let the tile and paper completely dry. Add two more layers (drying time in between) of Mod Podge to seal the coaster completely. I think I'll be adding two more layers, on top of this, just to make sure that no moisture will affect the cutout.

4. Once the tiles are completely dry (overnight preferable), add a coat of clear spray paint to seal the surface of the tile. Make sure to do this outside or in a very well ventilated area.

5. Glue the felt to the bottom of the tiles.

Lesson learned: I had no idea that the Mod Podge would make the color of the paper bleed onto the tile. I don't know if that happened because of the quality of the paper I used, because that's something that usually happens with Mod Podge or because I made a newbie mistake. All I know is that I was really disappointed. After thinking about it for a bit, I came up with the idea of sealing the surface of the paper with Mod Podge before attaching it to the tile (step 2). I worked on the yellow tile first and you can see the yellow stains on the tile. The dark blue tile was my second attempt (with the sealing step) and you can see that it worked like a charm—no bleeds.

day 11 - coasters - yellow bleeding :(

Isn't this a great gift idea? And it definitely does not break the bank.

I'm hoping that at a minimum a pretty coaster like this will improve my water drinking during the summer (I'm horrible at that!). I can only hope!

EDIT : If you are interested in making your own set of coasters a Four Pack of patterns is now available in my shop as PDF, SVG or DXF files.

day 11 - coaster

• • •

This is part of a my 26 days of making series.

day 10 - scraps turned into magnets

scraps magnet

Sometimes scraps can be a nuisance. Sometimes they can turn into something useful.

After I made the cards that I showed you yesterday, the pieces of petals that were left over on the table looked too pretty to throw away. I decided that I needed to use them for something and I didn't want the project to be too big.

Magnets! Perfect.

scraps wip

It's a really simple project.

I cut out a circle of white card stock with a paper punch for the base. I randomly glued the scraps onto the base and then cut the excess around the circle. For the last steps, I added Mod Podge (you can also brush on a thin layer of glue) to seal the whole thing and after they were dry, I attached the magnets. Done!

• • •

This is part of a my 26 days of making series.

use your scraps!

BTW - I'm filling up my calendar for the remaining days of this series. If anyone would like me to try something let me know in the comments!

day 9 - note cards

day 9 - note cards

I had such a wonderful Mother's Day! I woke up to hugs and kisses, tulips, roses, and breakfast in bed. Then we spent the rest of the afternoon with my brothers, their significant others and my parents. Just a really nice day—the kind where good company and some laughs are all that you need.

note cards

These cards are similar to ones that I included in the stationery box for my Mom (forgot to take a photo!). I love all the color possibilities and the added texture of the colored paper on the surface of the card. The ones I worked on today, are going to be for teacher's gifts. I can't believe I'm getting this done a month ahead of time!

I hope you're having a great start to the week!

• • •

This is part of a my 26 days of making series.

note cards

day 8 - happy mother's day!

day 8 - happy mother's day!

Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful moms! Enjoy your special day!

• • •

This is part of a my 26 days of making series.

dia 7 - hexagon candle and tea light cover

hexagon candle cover

A bit late today... but it almost seems appropriate since these are lit right now. I love candlelight.

These are the tea light and candle covers that now reside on one of our side tables. I love the shadows that appear on the wall once the candles are lit.

The SVG files for this project are now in the shop.

hexagon candle cover

It's been a typical family Saturday—soccer game, pool party and now getting ready to watch a movie. Perfect.

I hope your day has been a good one too!

• • •

This is part of a my 26 days of making series.

day 6 - another gift box

another gift box

I lied. The leaves are back. I need them to wrap a few other goodies for my Mom. So this box will go along with her stationery box. My idea is to wrap what I will be adding to the box (part of which will be a couple of sachets she loves) in colored tissue paper so that the design stands out. It's hard to tell by this photo but you're seeing the bottom of the box through the leaf design of the top.

If you haven't noticed by now, I am completely addicted to this whole illustration and digital cutter thing. It's the best of both worlds. Handmade quality with the speed of technology. The good news for those of you that don't have a cutter is that all of these projects can be done by hand—they just take a while longer.

By the way, my C loved the house. After her initials squeals were over, she blurted out, "Where are the beds? Can you make beds?" She said it with the cutest "pretty please" face she could muster. She cracks me up, because she knows how to get to me. Beds will be coming...

• • •

This is part of a my 26 days of making series.

Have a great weekend everyone!

recap week 1

[week one recap]