Saturday, January 31, 2015

Don't judge each day by the harvest

I love this quote because of the layers of meaning it holds: concentrate more on the journey instead of the destination; be patient; do good now for success later; even when you are reaping benefits, don't forget about continuing to plant new seeds … It seems the perfect quote for someone who is graduating high school or college and moving to a new phase of their life. Of course, it makes sense to pair it with my plantable paper so it inspired me to make a new item: plantable paper graduation hats on a stick to use as cupcake toppers at your graduation party.

Friday, January 30, 2015

The making of washi

If I had a professional papermaking studio, I would make paper like this. I find this video so relaxing to watch, like staring at a campfire under the stars. But I don't know how he stays so clean and dry-looking, especially wearing long sleeves and a collared shirt. I always look like I played in a vat of paper pulp after I have made paper!

Thursday, January 29, 2015


About once a month, I try to put aside a little time to go through my shop's stats and check out from where some of the traffic and hits are coming. This month I had a lovely surprise from a very old hobby of mine. It's called Letterboxing and maybe you have heard of it or its cousin Geocaching. Participants seek out hidden letterboxes by following clues that are posted on the Internet. The clues lead to a box with a hand-carved rubber stamp in it and a journal. You use that rubber stamp to log your find into your journal, and then leave an impression of your own personal stamp in the book that remains in the letterbox. Not complicated but a little hard to explain!

When I first started selling on Etsy back in 2008, I was still very heavily into Letterboxing and would also sell my hand-carved stamps in my shop alongside my handmade paper. (I was so into Letterboxing that I even applied for an art grant, based on a project in New Hampshire called Valley Quest, and I have hunted down letterboxes in many states, including Alaska and Hawaii, as well as in Great Britain.)

I haven't made them in years but I incorporate hand-carved stamps into my work every once in a while. I recently added a stamped image to my handmade plantable bookmarks. And just last week, I came across the ghostly stamp shown here that I carved that I would love to add to my current work in some way.

Thanks to letterboxer Jackbear for the mention.

And if you would like me to carve you a custom rubber stamp, I would be happy to! Contact me through the link on my Etsy site:

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Snow storm

Having a big snow storm here in the Northeast. Maybe I'll strap on some snow shoes, find a big field and go do this:

Yes, that is an aerial photo of snow drawings done by artist Sonja Hinrichsen!

And while you are marveling at it, listen to this:

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

One down…

I love when customers tweak one of my designs to come up with something unique for themselves that I like enough to make a new product in my shop. Instead of one larger heart on a tented place card, they wanted two small overlapping ones in their wedding colors of lavender and light peach. Love it.

One down, 174 to go.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Disappearing paper sculptures

The sculptures made by Korean artist Ho Yoon Shin are so beautiful in and of themselves, but I think they are extra special because they are made from paper. Plus, they almost disappear when viewed from different angles. Incredible!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Win an Etsy gift card!

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER. Promotion is open to legal residents of the 50 United States, District of Columbia, Canada (excluding Quebec), France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, age 18 or older. Entries must be received between 12:01 AM ET (05:01 AM GMT) on January 19, 2015 and 11:59:59 PM ET on January 30, 2015 (04:59 AM GMT January 31, 2015). One prize available: Etsy Gift Card valued at ($500 USD for US residents, $500 CAD for Canada residents, £250 GBP for UK residents, €400 EUR for French and German residents). Odds depend on number of eligible entries received. Skill-testing question required for Canadian residents. Go to to enter and for Official Rules. Sponsor: Etsy, Inc.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Perhaps it was the result of anxiety

One of my favorites quotes from a movie —"Perhaps it was the result of anxiety" — was uttered by Goose in the very first Mad Max movie, before the trilogy every existed and subsequent movies tainted the first (in my humble opinion). Did you know the movie was dubbed over because Mel Gibson's accent was too thick for American audiences, or so the creators believed? To make this cast paper sculpture, I made a mold out of clay in the shape of a bottle, then put paper pulp in the mold, and added the words on top - or, rather, to the bottom of the mold before I added any pulp so that the words would come out on top! The different colors of the cast paper were created from different colors of pulp pressed into the mold. Odd? Or really cool? Not sure what I am going to do with it but sometimes it's fun to play around and think up new things.

Friday, January 23, 2015


I have always called myself an artisan and loved the sound of the word "artisanal." Until today:

So funny! But maybe I should come up with a different term now.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Buddha belly

One of my friends, Beth, seems to be good at everything she does. She is an incredible artist, baker, cook, photographer, painter, writer, singer, musician and yoga teacher. Everything she does looks easy, and she brings her incredible love and spirit to all that she touches. When she makes food, she just opens up the cupboards (and her heart), throws some things together and comes up with the most amazing foods without measuring a single thing. I really am in awe of her talents. Today, I made a big batch of her yummy granola so I could munch on it throughout my busy upcoming week of making custom handmade paper orders, and have a really nutritious and easy mid-day snack paired with some yogurt or dried fruit. It has a lot of expensive ingredients - like brown rice syrup, coconut oil and almonds - and this recipe makes a really large amount. So if you want to save some money, cut it in half. Here's the recipe:

By the way, don't toast the almonds before you blend everything together. I did that once and they were over-toasted by the time the batch was cooked.

And if you want to enjoy some really great stories, always paired with a fantastic recipe, check out her blog:

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


I have been getting hits from a French website, where the blogger featured my Petal People cards. Of course, I couldn't understand what was said about my work so I hunted down a translation app and found out. Kinda funny translation that was a little choppy, but I get the gist! Gives me a nice boost since I am currently digging into making a lot more of these figures for an upcoming gallery show. Merci to the blog writer!

Here's the guitar image the writer was referring to. Want one for yourself? You can purchase it here:

Monday, January 19, 2015


So many pretty treasuries featuring my work lately. Thanks to all the creators!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Dard Hunter

For all of you lovers of paper, the 2015 Friends of Dard Hunter conference dates have been announced. The conference is taking place from Thursday, October 22 to Saturday, October 24 at The Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada. The Friends of Dard Hunter are a "forum to exchange information and educate its members and the public about the art, craft, history, science and technology of papermaking, the book arts, and other diverse interests which captured the imagination of Dard Hunter (1883-1966)."

For more information, check back on their website:

Saturday, January 17, 2015

A crafter's brain

The chocolate part is much larger in my brain. I am pretty sure the housework part doesn't even exist at all.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Pressed flowers on plantable stationery

And while I have the flower presses opened up, I made a few pretty cards using my plantable paper, with the pressed flowers adhered to the front for a custom order. Sometimes the nicest design ideas come from customers.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Gallery show … gulp.

YIKES. It's suddenly the middle of January and I have to start seriously thinking about the gallery show that I have this spring, and the big gallery space that I have to fill with my work for an entire month. I am spreading out all of the pictures of the Petal People that I made in recent years for inspiration to get started on some new ones. I am also hoping to get a few new lines created of my Petal People cards to enhance the show. I wish I remembered to take a picture of every one I made. There are some that I loved and would have made into cards but forgot to photograph before I sold them. Between wedding season, Earth Day, Valentine's Day, and my show, I may not come up for air for a little while. Don't worry about me if I disappear for a little bit!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

FaceBook … dislike

I started a FaceBook business page a few months back. Though it is a very low investment of time (and no money at all - yay!), I have become disillusioned with it. Everything I read and research about FaceBook as a marketing tool is disappointing. Apparently, FaceBook has changed their algorithm so that, in order to be seen, you must pay them. You do this by either boosting a post you have written or paying them money for new followers. I wasn't just going to throw money at FaceBook without understanding where it was going, so I did a little research. I didn't have to go very far to find out a lot. Turns out that when you pay for a campaign to get more likes (presumably to grow your audience, to get more customers and to grow your business), you are actually giving money to a click farm: people who are paid to like your shop and then go away forever. They will not be customers and, even worse, they will not interact with your page. The more likes you have but the less interaction there is, the more your page falls out of sight even on the walls of people who do want to see you, and then you have to pay to boost your posts. And once you have paid for these likes, you can't get rid of them. From the start, I knew I was going to grow my page organically without advertising, but this new discovery kinda turns me off to FaceBook completely. Check out this video for a really thorough explanation:

Monday, January 12, 2015

Etsy finds

My plantable paper pea pods made it into an Etsy finds email blast… er, in 2014! They were featured as part of an Earth Day focus on recycling with a concentration on using plantable paper seed bombs. Thanks goes out to the customer who kept the email and recently told me, otherwise I never would have known. Doh!

Interested in getting some for your ecofriendly baby shower? I have lots of pea pods in stock in my shop in fun color combinations. Check them out!

In pink for a baby girl:

With blue peas in a green pod for a baby boy:

In purple:

With green and yellow peas:

In pink and brown:

In a rainbow assortment:

In yellow:

With blue peas for a baby boy:

With three peas in a pod:

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Shades of green!

Time to celebrate all the gorgeous green shades of spring! (I am already dreaming of days barefoot in my garden. Is it too much to ask in the middle of a deep freeze?) What would you do with all this yummy plantable paper? Cut out your own shapes to make your own greeting card? Grab a hole puncher or a die cut and make plantable confetti? Fold in half and use as unique stationery to send a letter?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Sweet heart

NEW ITEM in my Etsy shop. A plantable paper heart for your sweetheart instead of something with sugar in it!

Friday, January 9, 2015

quilt cards

One of the hardest things about being an artisan and selling my work has been figuring out my market. Ironically, I know who my customer is and what she likes, I understand color trends and am great working on weddings. I am pretty sure that I have found the sweet spot for my prices. BUT my online customer buys completely different items than my brick-and-mortar customer. That's the part of selling my work that will always baffle me. My B&M customer buys greeting cards and lots of them. My online customer almost never buys greetings cards. I think there must be something more tactile to greeting card sales. Perhaps for my cards, my customer needs to hold them, turn them over, determine the quality of the card by the heft of the heavy card stock. I have tried offering my cards online in sets, packaged up in raffia for gift-giving, and all kinds of clever marketing ways that I have researched. Still the sales just limp along. If you have any insight, let me know!

After my Petal People, my quilt cards, pictured here, are one of my best sellers in stores. If you would like to purchase my quilt cards (or have a custom order of any kinds of plantable paper cards made) and are not a local customer, let me know! I am happy to make them and ship.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Throw-back Thursday

For a little blast from the past for Throw-Back Thursday, here are some paper tags from a few years ago that were made by another seller on Etsy using my handmade papers. She placed custom orders with me to make all different kinds of papers for her. Then she cut them into a gift tag shape, used a rubber stamp to add fun designs and then added a coordinating string for a festive holiday tag. Very sweet! I have also made paper for packaging for a soap seller. Some patchouli paper wrapped around a patchouli-scented bar of soap, as well as cinnamon paper and lemongrass paper for coordinating soaps. What kind of handmade paper can I make for you?