Saturday, February 27, 2010

Plastic Sea Creatures

Ever since learning about the Texas-sized garbage patch in the Pacific a couple of years ago, I have been a bit paranoid about how much plastic and other trash we all contribute to it. Life without plastic may seem impossible, yet there are people and websites that offer alternatives.

So, as little as this effort is, for the past 2 years (after I first bought my favorite shopping tote made from recycled plastic bottles at Trader Joe's - $1), I'm happy to say that both my husband and I have greatly reduced our need for grocery store plastic bags. We now have 3 such shopping totes which have been used on EVERY food shopping trip to the store.

And we always try to buy food stored in glass containers and loose vegetables instead of using those thin plastic bags to separate them from the rest of the food items in our cart. We pile it all together in our Trader Joe's bags (mushrooms, scallions, apples, bananas, zucchini etc) and sometimes we put the parsley bunch on top to make it picture-perfect - so proud that we told eager bag-people "No, thanks. We'd like to use OUR bags!".

Yes, this is a miniature effort on our side, yet we feel infinitely happy about it (and, let's face it, a bit condescending, too).

Yet, somehow, there are still several plastic bags around our place.

Sure, we can easily toss them and maybe (but most probably not) think how they'll float from ocean to ocean and choke seals along the way... or we can try to find a way to re-use them .. maybe as an object of art.

Helle Jorgensen is a wonderful artist, and she also had a similar scare!! Knowing that plastic debris kills marine life, she asked people to send her their used plastic bags. She uses these bags to transform them into plastic yarn. Out of this plastic yarn she then knits sea creatures - and such wonderful sea creatures - it's absolutely amazing!!

See her blog here, and her sea creatures gallery here.

She is such an inspiration!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Paper Roses

What to do in a terrible rainy weather?

... I discovered an amazing tutorial from Paula (at Paula's Paper Playground) on how to make paper roses. She was kind enough to post photos along with the instructions, and I have been busy making these lovelies for the past 2-3 days (basically since the rain started pouring on Tuesday).

Thanks for the ideas and inspiration, Paula!!!

These are just a sample of what I have been doing.
... and more paper roses are on their way...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Butterfly Confetti

I love confetti - and even more - green confetti that won't pollute the ground and water, but bio-degradable things to toss in a moment of joy.

I made these with hole punchers in different shapes (like the butterflies from the Martha Stewart collection) and from lovely two-sided paper.

You can easily make your own confetti (like the ones that I made for my wedding), or visit my Etsy shop and see if you like something there.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Paper Flowers as Wall Art

This is our living room wall.

I'm at my paper-flower-making stage right now, where I love creating more and more things out of paper, that I have overwhelmed my studio and have started claiming the whole apartment :)

You can now find these gorgeous flowers/wall art in my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Paper Flowers and Butterflies

Last week was a pretty busy week for me and my little Etsy shop.
I sold 7 listings of paper flowers and paper butterflies on Etsy in one go - something that thrilled me beyond words!!

So, I spent the last 4-5 days (ok, mostly nights and weekends) stamping, cutting, and embellishing more than 40 butterflies and flowers and then packing, wrapping, and sending them (in a snowy blizzard) to my customers. It has all been such a joy, that I really look forward to getting more sales in the future.

Still, these have been the sweetest ... :)

Some of the paper creations went to embellish gift boxes for special birthdays, weddings and baby showers, and some will become favorite playthings for 3 beautiful girls.


What's new in my shop?

Take a peek!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Love, Wine

While the whole world celebrates St. Valentine's Day, tomorrow my husband and I will raise our glasses to the patron saint and protector of wine: St. Trifun.

St Trifun (sounds similar to St. Tree-foon) is a Christian Orthodox saint very popular in my old country of Macedonia. Each February, usually on the 14th, Macedonian winemakers go to their vineyards to prune the vines and hope for a good year.

On St. Trifun's Day, everybody drinks wine, usually red, and also rakija - a type of brandy made from grapes - a potent stuff, golden yellow and known for terrible hangovers, but fabulous when accompanied with feta cheese and red ripe tomatoes.

Both of my uncles on my mother's side used to make wine, and I remember that as a girl the whole family would gather at their vineyards to help in the pruning. We would all be there at grape-picking time in September, too. ...And together once the first batch of wine (usually shiraz) was ready too :)
Ah, the festivities ...

So, cheers to love and cheers to wine!!

Wine Bottle Hurricanes from johnnyrich10 on Etsy:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Felt Cupcakes and Strawberry Shortcakes

Sometimes fabric food can look so delicious!!!

... and after reading Michael Pollan's In Defense Of Food, I think I'll lay off the real sugar, and just enjoy eye-candy creations like these :)

From the top down: Strawberry Shortcake by UpTownJane, and Felt Cupcakes by Liz Noonan.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Bunch of Paper Butterflies

So... back to my paper projects - I made a whole bunch of paper butterflies (similar to the ones I made for my wedding) using "just" paper, stamps, 12 shades of ink, some wire, and a few different sets of jewel accents.

... more are on their way...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Little Paper Flowers

I'm into paper-flowers-making mode these past few weeks, and last night I came up with these tiny (1" - 1.5") flowers that can be perfect for scrapbooking or card-making.

They are made from designer paper with inked petals (red ink). I used white mulberry paper flowers for the centers and added green leaves.

You can find more paper flowers in my Etsy shop. And I've also made a few butterflies, so I'll try to make a post about them over the weekend.

- M

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Paper Scraps Flowers

These flowers were made from paper scraps that I had left over from making some big-as-palms paper peonies and roses (from the other day). I saw the little pieces and decided to reuse them to create something pretty and with a purpose. So, on my next gift-giving occasion, this flower will be the first to go to some dear person with a birthday, anniversary or just because it's Tuesday :)

How to make this flower?


You'll need about 20-25 cutout petals in the shape of hand-drawn almonds. Glue 6 of them by the tips and add 6 more at the back, then keep gluing more petals until you've made a flower. Fold each petal to make it fluffy. Play with it.

Use a pretty button for the center, or if you like sparkle, you can glue a rhinestone dot, or anything else you like.

And that's it.

I like to add safety pins to the back of my flowers or bits of wire so they can be easily attached to ribbons, boxes and so on... Just a tip :)

p.s. You can find this flower in my Etsy shop!

Monday, February 1, 2010


I was messing with some scraps of papers left over from past projects, and these 2 owls came out as the result.

The owls were drawn by hand (the idea came from one of my stamps), and pieced together from different paper scraps that were also cut and inked by hand.

They are quite large (as big as my hand - maybe slightly bigger), and I just have to figure out what to do with them. Create a card with them, or use them for scrapbooking...? Any ideas?

Let me know.