Category Archives: Paper Craft

A Couple of Holiday Creations

IMG_2504-001I love staying home for vacation (although though the term “staycation” grates on my nerves for some reason) because it allows me a chance to nest, to reconnect with my home and spend some extended time in a creative mindset verses trying to cram all of my creativity into the hours after work or on the weekends.

I cooked a lot this week.  Beyond the holiday fare I made food that takes longer than an hour after work to put together.  That alone is incredibly fulfilling creatively.

I started a writing project that is still in its infancy.

And I made some things with my hands.  First, an Advent Calendar to hang on the mantel above the fire.  Each day we will add that day’s date until the calendar is full on December 25th.

Awaiting December One

Awaiting December One

I kept to a very limited pallet which not only goes well in my home, but is neutral and could work with many decors.  Until the start of Advent we have a black grosgrain ribbon stretched across the fireplace below the mantel with a basket of date tags sitting in wait, each with a tiny brown clothes pin to clip it to the ribbon.

Each date tag is slightly unique.  I stamped the dates on Kraft and manila tags, brown and white doilies, and a couple of custom shapes I had in my stash.

IMG_2587I embellishedIMG_2586 with punched snowflakes in red, white and brown and some stamped images. On just a few I used red sealing wax and and a seal and on others paper butterflies made from book pages  and custom paper

The final tag, for Christmas Day is an envelope.  I won’t be home for Christmas.  I will be off in New Hampshire with my middle child and the two who will be home in Denver can open the envelope for a surprise.  Even adult children deserve unexpected surprises on Christmas.


I will share more tomorrow.  Happy holidays!

Altered Notebooks

As a lifelong journaler (yes, that’s a real word in my mind) and diary keeper I have had a fascination with notebooks, paper, pens, diaries, composition books and just about every other type of bound paper that I could write in for as long as I can remember. There are journals and notebooks that have stuck with me throughout my life, either because they were so wonderfully made or textured, or because of what they represented at a particular time in my life.

There was a composition book purchased in Mexico on a Potter’s Clay trip in high school that became a shared prayer journal, and a blue, raw silk covered large journal I bought at Roku, a wonderful store on State Street in Santa Barbara when I was a teen. It felt so luxurious, both because of the silk and because of the size of the pages. I had a small Chinese journal that fit in any purse or bag that I carried with me and pulled out anywhere and everywhere to capture moments. When I was much younger I received a Norman Rockwell diary with a lock for my birthday which I thought was the coolest thing ever!

I have a leather covered journal that notes my thoughts on naming my girls. Before Cassie was born I was focused on names with hard C’s or K’s and S’s – they sounded so clean and crisp and evoked the fresh wind for me. Before Sammie was born I was all about the soft warmth of names with a “th”; The ubiquitous Heather, and Samantha, Beth, Faith. I had forgotten some of that process until I re-read those old entries.

So it’s not surprising that I have been playing with altering notebooks. I love Moleskine books and have used them for years at work and at home. A few months ago I altered a notebook for a journal and one for my family history notes using great thick scrapbook paper, pockets and washi tape. They are both nearly full and pretty battered now.


Right now I am playing with different types of paper, a bit of Modpodge, paper elements, ribbon, pockets and envelopes.

The first attempt with Modpodge is less than wonderful, but it’s been a good learning experience. I promise no one will get this as a gift J I do like the effect of the paper doilies and the french mail washi tape. I don’t like the warping and buckling much though.

My favorite of this batch used a couple of different styles of paper and a couple of different patterns of washi tape.

Altered NotebookAltered Notebook Altered Notebook

I wanted to make something that my Mom could use for her sewing ideas, but I am a bit neutral on this effort so far.

The last in this set falls back on my stash of scrapbook paper. I always need pockets or I stick things between the pages and lose them.

Do you alter notebooks? What techniques, tools or materials have you found to be best?

Mail and Papercrafts – What Could be Better?

This year I participated in the annual handmade postcard exchange created and coordinated by and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys mail and loves playing with paper.  I received postcards from around the world (see the last two pictures  in the gallery below for some of the postcards I received).  You can check out a couple of the artists who I was lucky enough to receive cards from here.

Monique Houlmann  sent my favorite card from France.

Quinn McDonald is an artist I have long admired and I love her work featured in Stampington magazines.

I find that I work well under a deadline and this experience was no exception.  I made the ten postcards that I sent across the world over two days.  I used collage, my Silhouette Cameo, metal, paper ephemera and fibers, photography and digital techniques including PhotoShop on my computer and PhotoShop Touch on my iPad. I even dropped in a paragraph from my WIP on one of them

And it was fun!

I am very new to digital art.  I have been teaching myself PhotoShop and Adobe Illustrator over the last few months, but I am so very far from expert. I am considering taking an online course.  I would love to take a practical, hands on class, but I travel so much for work that I simply can’t sign up for anything that requires that I am available on a given day or time on a regular basis.

I have one of the postcards propped up on my desk, reminding me every day that I love to create with my hands.  I love words, I love paper and I love mail.

Are you in love with mail; paper mail with stamps and ink and written words, as much as I am?

Type Rider 2; the Tandem Poetry Tour kicks off tomorrow in Boulder. Here’s a couple of photos from Patti Digh’s DYL Camp last year where I met Maya and Amy. Patti’s camp this year is Life is a Verb Camp – you should check it out.

If Type Rider 2 happens to pass through a your home town it would be very worth while to go meet Maya Stein and Amy Tingle.