creative reuse and design for weddings, holidays and special occasions

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A Very Musical December

The gift of music is one of my favorite traditions during the holidays. This weekend, my youngest child is singing in her first holiday college concert. Hearing her beautiful voice is a warm woolen scarf, hot cocoa, delicate snowflakes, winter lights, star dust and cinnamon sugar all rolled into one. My heart’s delight! The following weekend, her choir joins the Greater Bridgeport Symphony for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, a gorgeous jubilant celebration of musical genius, art and joy!

With a family of musicians including a violinist, pianist and guitar player, music fills our lives. Favorite holiday music includes:


O Holy Night


Silent Night


Handel’s Hallelujah

What is your favorite holiday music?

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Holiday Colors

The newest designs are up at our Etsy store! I had a lot of fun creating these designs and documented the process at @papersoilsamples, our Instagram account. I was going for a minimalistic design that danced with winter creativity. The upcycled giftbags used for these cards contain some of my favorite color combinations: purple, green, and teal. These bags have been given to me over the years containing birthday, anniversary and holiday gifts from my husband. The first of these artful bags I received was a tall purple bag decorated with green, gold and blue peacock feather designs.

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The Ecochic Upcycled Giftbags Holiday Card Set with Purple Tree and Teal, Purple, Green, Gold Paper Snow – Set of 12


The Ecochic Upcycled Giftbags Holiday Card Set with  Teal, Purple, Green, Gold Tree and Paper Snow – Set of 12 

are each available for $35. Place your orders between now and Thursday, Dec. 3 for a 20% Cyber Week Sales discount!

Wishing you and yours a creative holiday season!






Cyber Week Sale – 20% off all Paper Soil products!

This week we are participating in a Cyber Week Sale with some of our Etsy friends from SPS Team. There are some truly unique and gorgeous finds available and easily findable from beautiful treasuries, products from a range of stores, created by our Etsy team members and leaders. The sale runs Friday, November 27 to Thursday, December 3, with a range of sales events from Free Shipping to 20% Off sales. The Cyber Week Sale can be accessed at all participating shops with coupon code CYBER15. Enjoy discovering and supporting artisans around the world!

Purple and Grey Jewelry Collection


Gift Guide in Turquoise and Brown

Blue Christmas

Colorful Christmas

BLACK FRIDAY SALES  Preview Participating Shops!

Wishing you a merry artful holiday!

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The World is a Beautiful Place

I have had the good fortune of traveling to many beautiful places in the world. As a child of immigrant parents, the desire to travel is in my blood. Throughout my childhood, our family travelled to Newfoundland, Canada during the summer to visit my mothers’ parents and our large extended family. My grandparents lived in a small coastal village on a farm, my grandfather was a farmer and a fisherman. We would spend countless summer hours collecting sea glass and shells on the gorgeous wild beach, hiking through dense woods, eating wild berries native to Newfoundland and tasting rabbit and moose meat. During my college years, I lived in Maine and enjoyed scenic leisure activity from hiking trails, cross country skiing and standing on the top of Mt. Katahdin to getting a true glimpse of a “Maine winter”.

As a college student then adult,  I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing the world’s beautifully diverse landscapes in Mexico, Guatemala, Scotland, England, France, Italy, Tunisia and the United States. When my own children were younger, we spent the summers exploring our nation’s stunning destinations including Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, Assateague National Seashore in Maryland, Ocracoke Island in North Carolina, New Orleans, Louisiana and Jekyll Island, Georgia.

This weekend I will be traveling to Long Island, New York to visit relatives. You can follow the trip on our Instagram @papersoilsamples and enjoy all the scenic treasures to be found!


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Castelnuovo dell’Abate, Toscana, Italia


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A Message of Hope

This weekend has been filled with images of suffering and sadness as we have watched the developing news of the violent attacks on innocent civilians in Paris, France. Because I was so busy at work on Friday, I was not aware of these events until I arrived home. I received a Facetime call from my youngest daughter,18, who was on a college choir trip to Philadelphia and was anxious about the news. Through our iPhones we shared positive images and messages of people uniting around the world to show their support for France. We talked about the negative stereotypes of muslims because of the hateful acts of a small minority and the importance of speaking up against ignorance. We talked about the Eiffel Tower going dark in memory of the victims of the attacks and we shared images of the world lighting up blue,white and red in New York City, San Francisco, Brazil, Australia as a message of hope and support for France. We talked about the peace symbol created by graphic designer Jean Jullien spreading all over social media from company cover photos, twitter profile pictures to instagram messages.

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Let’s keep the positive images and messages going!

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To the Galleries!

We love the arts! Art museums, art galleries, art shows, art walks. A key step in our creative process is surrounding ourselves with art and scheduling creative exploration into our routines. We were thrilled to participate in our first Light Up the Arts Holiday Bash last night which followed a black and white theme with all manner of creative costumings. As a fundraiser for Easthampton City Arts, the night included the Small Works Show and Sale featuring three of our holiday items, a silent auction, rovers with surprise gift boxes and a hilarious live auction. Wine was served from Black Birch Vineyards of Southampton, MA , beer from Abandoned Building Brewery of Easthampton, MA and tasty treats from Myer’s Catering. We enjoyed exploring the many great silent auction items and were the highest bidders and winners for a weekend in the Catskills and an aromatherapy spa basket!

Some of our favorite art museums include MASS MoCA, MoMA, and the Smith College Museum of Art. We are always open to new and interesting places and welcome any ideas. This weekend we are looking forward to exploring more beautiful local art and talent at Cottage Street Holiday Open Studios. We’ll be posting eye-catching pieces to our instagram @papersoilsamples, so be sure to follow us for your own online art tour!

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Team Spirit!

All this week, we have been participating in a Cyber Week Sales Event with our friends at SPS Team on Etsy. Its been delightful to help promote truly exquisite art and gorgeous gift ideas for the holidays. Each day, we have adopted a shop and promoted several items for each on twitter and pinterest. There are too many fabulous finds to cover in one blog post but we have captured many of them on our Pinterest board : Happy Holidays.  These include Sparkling Teal Lampwork Earrings from BelladonnasJoy, Mint Ceramic Christmas Tree Ornaments from Ceraminic, Alice in Wonderland Necklace with Handmade Charms from Catching Waves , cute Felt Purses from Hermitinas and many many more! You have just one day left to participate in this sales event and take advantage of all the great promotions! Wishing you happy shopping and a very jolly season!


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Handmade for the Holidays!

Today we delivered our three holiday items that are featured in the 6th Annual ECA+ Small Works Show and Sale. We are delighted to participate in this event which is housed in the ECA+ Gallery in Historic Old Town Hall, a place we visit each month during our favorite arts event, Artwalk Easthampton. The Show and Sale kick-off on Thursday evening with a fabulous celebration of arts and local creativity at the Light Up the Arts Holiday Bash. If you are in or near Easthampton, MA, this is the place to be! You can reserve tickets for free until December 1, or pay $5 at the door.  The Small Works Show and Sale runs through December 17.  We hope to see you there!

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Grab one of our creative reuse business cards while you are there!

Grab one of our creative reuse business cards while you are there!

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Happy Thanksgiving

We would like to extend a warm and happy Thanksgiving to all. This year, is special as the holiday falls on our son’s 19th birthday.  We had more than one turkey today in honor of our Thanksgiving boy!


At Thanksgiving, we also pick our Secret Santas. With a large family which includes many cousins ages 3 – 20, we began doing Secret Santa a few years ago. This year, our niece Jenny, age 10, coordinated the process. She is very happy to take over this role for the first time this year from her older sister and cousin, both high school seniors.


A very happy holiday from our family to yours!