Sometimes I use the paper and ribbon that I have hoarded.


Remember this rosette? I never got around to posting the other rosettes that I made because they were all failures. I don’t know what I am doing incorrectly! I feel like I am always using too much paper.

I was at the mall last night and noticed that several stores were using rosettes in their window displays. My favorite was the J.Crew display that used colorful pages from magazines. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture. I should have though. Oh wells.

I am in the beginning stages of redoing a 10×10 bedroom. Right now, the plan is to recreate the room in Google SketchUp so I can maximize the amount of storage for all of my belongings. Or I might just draw everything on graph paper. We’ll see.


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Things are in-progress in my crafting world!

  • Arriving in the mail today – camera battery charger!
  • Hiding in a drawer – February craft with kinks that need to be worked out

Here’s a cute picture of a dragon. (From Coloring in Pages) I’m using it to plan my dragon costume some more.

I’m leaning towards a red top and also possibly a red bottom if I can find one. (Otherwise, I will go with black.) And then attaching spikes to the back of the top. I like the idea of a tail, but I’m not sure how hard that will be.

I’ve consulted with my costume-maker and she wants me to bring all the materials with a sketch of my “vision”.

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self-standing trees

Here is a quartet of self-standing Christmas trees. I came up with the idea of making trees that stood up by themselves while I was out having dinner with my boyfriend. He was very skeptical of my idea, but he semi-grudgingly agreed to help me.

He is much more adept at using PhotoShop than I am, so I asked him to draw me a Christmas tree. Like a good engineer, I listed some constraints:

  • swoopy branches
  • pointy top, not curved
  • defined tree trunk
  • bottom branches at same level as the bottom of the trunk for support
  • must be symmetrical along the mid-line

After a few weeks of waiting and with some gentle prodding and maybe some “why won’t you help meeee” whining, I got my tree!

When I cut it out, I realized I should have also addressed aspect ratio in the design phase to maximize paper space, or to lessen wasted paper when cutting. But then I realized that not all my trees have to be in the same proportions – I can make skinnier or fatter trees!

Three tree shapes make up one tree, fold in half, glue the backs together and the branches will fan out by themselves. I’ve found that it’s best to line up the tips of the branches first before aligning the trunks.

I was going to post this tree shape file here, but then I realize it isn’t in printer-friendly format. I’ll have to convert it into an outline first. Which really means I need to ask/bribe the bf to do it for me – but he may not want to help me out because we have a dispute about who designed this tree. He claims he designed it. I claim it was MY idea and he executed it.

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paper balls, variation 2

Remember how I said this pair of balls needed a third one? Well, I added one using How About Orange‘s paper ball template.

The diameter is maybe six inches across. This was really fun and easy to make, mostly because I made my Cricut do all the work. It takes twelve pieces to make one ball. I am pretty sure that if I had to cut them out myself, I wouldn’t have cut enough pieces to form a ball.

Here’s a smaller one. This one fits on the palm of my hand.

I think it looks better with a busier pattern. What do you think?

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paper balls, variation 1

I made some paper balls. I thought these would look cute in a bowl. I stopped cutting at 45 circles because I felt like that was too many, but I think I need to make at least triple that amount to have any sort of decorative impact. Or maybe just find a smaller bowl. Or make bigger circles. Or use different paper.

These were ridiculously easy to make. I cut out 2″ circles using my Cricut. Then I used the raised corners of my scoreboard to use as a placement guide, then scored along the 1″ line. So I really don’t have a good reason for whining about having to make more.

Actually, the original plan was to glue the balls on red ribbon as I made them to make a drape-y festive garland. But at 11pm last night, I just didn’t feel like looking for ribbon. Plus I wasn’t sure if my no-paper-wrinkles glue stick would work. I did leave space at the center of each ball so I can thread ribbon through later.

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paper chains

I purchased those paper balls from Target when I felt like buying something Christmas-y. They were only $1 I think. Maybe $2. I hung them on a hook in the kitchen, but since their looped string was short, it didn’t really look good.

Then I had a genius idea of making paper chains so the balls would hang lower. (Har har.) I proceeded to spend an inordinate amount of time picking out paper to use.

Full disclosure: I managed to somehow make a mistake while cutting paper into 1″ strips. I don’t know how this happened. One strip was too wide, and the other strip was too narrow.

I cut my 1″ strips into 6″ lengths. On the backside of each strip, I made a  mark 1/2″ from the edge – this would be my guide when making the loops so each loop is even.

Other than needing a third ball to balance it out, I am mostly satisfied with the results. I am thinking of hanging one off the ceiling using a tack so the paper chains will hang parallel to each other.

Paper Source is also displaying paper chains in their store – this made me feel like my idea was validated and I wasn’t an idiot for using a project made by young kids. And since I am a grown-up, I am only a little bit jealous that Paper Source made their paper chains using scallop-edged paper.

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I put up the first of my Christmas decorations earlier this week. I decided that this year’s theme is red and white – I am only putting out decorations that adhere to this color scheme. (But I fully expect that I will spazz out halfway through and bring EVERYTHING out.)

Here’s a list of decorations I want to make:

  • paper chains to swag over doors and entryways – like the elementary school project, but better (i don’t know how  yet)
  • cone-shaped trees – layer strips of paper to cover a paper cone made out of stiff cardboard
  • ornaments using styrofoam balls – layer paper over balls and use ribbon to hang

I like to make grand plans, but am short on time and attention span. I need to recruit more Christmas elves.


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Crafting Fail

I was super-proud of myself for putting this medallion together in less than fifteen minutes late one night when I felt like making something. The quality wasn’t very good – the center circles are wonky since my shape cutter needs a new blade, and things are not in the right proportion. But I was sad when I saw that it had degenerated into this a few days later.

I need to redo the construction and beef it up – I offered to make a few Christmas-themed ones for my sister’s front door.

I have a few ideas on how to spruce it up:

  • use a border punch before folding up the paper
  • adding a more elaborate middle part (instead of just a plain circle)
  • make a layered version – perhaps with a softer paper on top
  • embellish with monograms
  • glitter!

Monthly Calendar


Here is my November calendar from Scout Creative. It’s a toucan grandfather clock. I like how the beak on my toucan is tilted, I feel like the bird is being sassy.

I bought special 60lb paper for my monthly calendars because regular paper was just too flimsy. There were 250 sheets in the pack, so I should run out sometime in the next decade.

I can’t wait for the December one.

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Crafting Tools

Here’s a list of tools that I want:

  • Sewing Machine: I don’t know how to sew, but I want to learn. I think just a basic model will do at first, but eventually I will want one that does the edging.
  • Button-maker machine: In my head, I am justifying this $250+ purchase by selling buttons I will make on Etsy. Each button size needs its own machine so I am agonizing over which size will be the most useful. For now, the 1″ diameter is in the lead.
  • Circle punch: While the Cricut can cut out circles, having a punch means I can choose placement of the cuts. I will want these in different sizes.
  • Scallop punch: Similar to the circle punch, but with scalloped edges!
  • Crop-A-Dile: Grommets on everything.

Here’s a list of tools that I already have:

  • Cricut: I have two of these actually, but one resides with my younger sister because I am nice.
  • Paper cutter: I have two paper cutters that make straight cuts. One uses a rotary blade and can fit up to a 12″x12″ piece of paper/
  • Fiskars shape cutters: These are nice for cutting out fun shapes, but I find that sometimes the blade does funny things and you don’t get clean edges.
  • Scissors: I have a pair of super-sharp scissors with super-pointy tips that have injured me, and I have several pairs that do the shaped edges, except I don’t know where they are. I let a friend borrow them and we are both not sure if she returned them or not.
  • Self-healing mat: Mine is small, maybe around 8.5″x11″. I want to replace it eventually with a larger one.
  • Scoreboard: It took me a while to understand why this would be useful – can’t I just use a straight edge and a credit card? This is really useful for when you need to make multiples of the same thing, the measuring guides keep you on track.
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