DIY Origami Paper Garland

A friend of mine gave me a package of lovely origami paper this summer and it’s taken me this long to do something with it.  We finally managed to get Christmas out of the boxes and up around the house this week.  Now that we are in a new house, I have to reconfigure all my decor for the holidays.  It’s nice to have a little more room to spread out the cheer.  The cheer moved into the dining room this year in the form of glass ornaments and a simple DIY paper garland made from origami paper.  

 I started with the square origami paper and then cut them in half, using my paper cutter.  One could also fold them if you wanted your garland to be two-sided.  I stacked them up according to the in order in which I wanted them to appear on the garland.

Then, I ran them through the sewing machine using a simple straight stitch through the middle of the triangle.  I used festive gold thread to complement the gold theme throughout the origami paper.  Be sure to leave a little space between each piece of paper to allow for movement and hanging abilities of the garland.

The finished design looks festive, though I am thinking that this garland plus the ornaments may be a bit much.  Like I said, I am still figuring out how things work in this new place – perhaps the garland will find a new home today.  Sometime in the next few months that chandelier will get a makeover.  I have bright plans for it.

Sewn Paper Cards – Playing Card & North Carolina Theme

I’ve been working on more sewn paper cards this week.  I added in some scrap booking paper, but I am still using old books and the interior print from envelopes – the blue North Carolina came from our old credit union’s mailed statements.  That is one problem with being into collage – you save too many scraps.  I have my scraps organized into file folders and in a plastic tub for easier access.  

The card symbols were inspired by the pages of an old bridge book – I just love the mix of text and card suits.  The Crisco pie ad, on the right, is from an old advertising book I found at an antique book shop in Greensboro – it’s a treasure trove of card possibilities.

These are heading off in the mail this week for a friend’s birthday.  I just love making things and passing them on to others.  I have to, otherwise my house would be full to the gills by now.  So friends, say mercy when you’ve had enough and say more if you’ve not had enough.

Sewn Paper Cards

These are a few more of the sewn paper cards I have been working on lately.  I have so many projects, they are coming out of my ears – I can’t get them on paper fast enough.  The infrequent art project posts on here are only because I have too many going at once to get them finished enough to document for the blog.  Not to mention a all the other distractions in life: work, daycare prep, making meals, keeping a house clean and organized for showings, packing, and the move.

The move to Iowa has been in the back corners of my mind for months now.  We leave NC for Iowa in two months – surreal – I won’t deny that I am nervous and scared out of my mind.  Changes are, and always have been, difficult for me – I am still to this day amazed that I chose to pick up and move myself to a state I had never been to, a job I didn’t know if I would love, to place where I knew no one.  Now, after years of saying how much I want to be back in Iowa, I am realizing how much I will miss Greensboro and the state of North Carolina.  I have grown to love this place and we made it our home.

Despite my fears of the unknown, I am getting more excited though as we look at places to live in Iowa, discuss Greta’s birthday in Iowa, the new job possibilities for Eric, applying for teaching positions all over the Des Moines area, and the old friends we will get to spend more time with.  It also helps that we have two excellent people who have committed their time to helping us get back to Iowa and know that with their help I can stay upbeat.

To help me focus on the positives of this move, I made a book for Eric and me to use on nights out.  Each page has a different restaurant from the Des Moines area – in an effort to get us to try new places and maybe just maybe find my new Sticks & Stones and become a regular.  I have a few good leads on a place to call ours.

I saw this idea from Sara of the Spotted Fox, on Pinterest and knew it would be a perfect way to find new places in our new old city of Des Moines.

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Happy Valentine’s Day + Vegan Chocolate Cherry Cake

It’s not too late to make this sweet treat for your Valentine.  It is fast, simple, and takes very minimal prep time.  

I spread out on the dining room table last night to make this cake for Eric, who actually requested a cake.  Usually if I start talking baking on a weeknight there is some eye rolling, because of course, there are other more important things I should be doing – lunch prep, coffee prep, walking the dog…

I mixed the cake up in a medium mixing bowl.  Normally for this recipe, you mix everything in the pan, but since I was using a layer of cherries on the bottom, a bowl was necessary. 

I made the same vegan cake I made for the Super Bowl last year, but added a twist with a layer of cherries on the bottom of the cake. 

Of course, I made the horrible mistake of reading the ingredients!  I think next time I will go with frozen or fresh cherries and a sprinkling of sugar and melted butter or margarine.  No more corn syrup and Red 40 for me. 
Grease a 9-inch cake pan with margarine and then pour the can of cherries on the bottom of the pan.  That Red 40 sure does look festive and Valentine-like though! 
Happy Valentine’s Day to you, Eric!  He got to enjoy his cake with an IPA. 

Here are the last of my Valentine Day cards for 2013.  I liked the ice skating design on this one.  I used pen and ink again to create the blue heart background and then sewed the image to the card.  My sewing line slipped a little on the ice.  :)

Eric and I always opt to stay home on Valentine’s Day, we are curmudgeons that way – it is just too busy in the restaurants, the wait staff is annoyed, and the “specials” are over priced.  We plan on staying in and making dinner tonight.  What are your plans?

Vegan Chocolate Cherry Cake


1-1/4 c. flour

1 c. sugar
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 c. warm water
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9-inch cake pan.  Open can of cherries, pour into bottom and smooth out.  In a medium mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt with fork. Mix very well.
2. Mix water, vanilla, oil, and vinegar in a small bowl or glass mixing cup. Add all at once to the dry ingredients. Mix well. Use a spatula to scrape sides and bottoms to ensure adequate mixing.  Pour cake batter over the cherry mixture. 
3. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or til knife comes out clean.


Handmade Valentine’s Cards

I’m back with more handmade Valentine’s card ideas.  This time, I mixed things up a bit and used pen and ink as the background to my old advertising book collage.  I love the classic car in this image.  
The Iowa collage is for an Iowa transplant friend here in Greensboro.  I saved a couple books from library discard on Iowa and have been using them for art projects.  The background on this card is made from rubber stamps. 

For this card, I went out on a limb.  I decided to take a more abstract approach.  This card is the practical card for teachers – tissue, bandages, paperclips, and paper.

Tune in tomorrow for the rest of the Valentine Day cards from 2013.  Enjoy your evening, y’all!

Hand Made Valentine’s Day Cards

Here are a few more examples from my 2013 Valentine’s Day cards.  For this card, I stamped the background with a rubber stamp before sewing paper shapes onto the surface.  At first the faded stamps bothered me, but upon finishing this card, it turned out ok. 

Here is another gem from the old advertising book.  The book is chock full of old advertisements that crack me up.  Who knows why this person is standing inside of a hay stack.

This card is made from layers of torn and cut papers from my old advertising books.  The repetitive red edges of the paper corners is my favorite part about this collage.  I used watered down glue to get a smoother surface quality.  I am never going back – brushing on watered down glue is the way to go.

2013 Valentine’s Day Cards

Valentine’s Day is nearing, my friends!  Here are a few from the collection of 2013 Valentine Day cards – more designs will be debuting throughout the week.  This year I decided to creative and take collage to a new level with the aid of my sewing machine.  I stuck with a few constants – selections from old books, red thread, recycled papers, and stamps.

Some cards were randomly created,  while others were made specifically for a certain person.  This one is for a friend here in NC.  The blue heart is the paper from the inside of the envelope that the SECU statements come in.  NC friends, you are welcome to bring these to me or send them my way.  I have plenty of other uses for these envelopes.

This one is covered in x and o stamps and overlaid with a selection from one of the books.  One of the old books I was cutting up is on advertising, so it has some different text and image selections.  This heart shape was a random find in an art drawer – something from Valentine’s in years past, I guess.

In this digital age, will you send or give a real Valentine card this year?  If you are interested in any of my handmade cards, I am always willing to sell them.  Send me a message, if interested.

Easy Halloween Garland

I love sewing with paper – it’s my new favorite go-to decor project.  Here’s my 30 minutes or less Halloween paper garland.  
I started with some orange paper – left over from when I thought I was going to make my own wedding invitations – ha!  This paper has beautiful strands of colorful fibers in the paper.  
I cut 10 squares into 4 x 4 inch pieces. 
Using India ink, I painted designs on the pieces of paper.  
I sewed them together, corner to corner.  Be sure to leave plenty of extra thread at each end to affix your garland to whatever item you choose.  I always recommend sewing a test strip of paper, before launching into your project.  
This is a cheap and easy way to decorate for any occasion.  If you do not fancy yourself a painter or drawer, this would be just as easy to do with clip art.  
In other news, a big fresh bottle of vanilla showed up, courtesy of my in-laws!  Hooray, it is safe to bake again.  
A personal favorite ink: