This week we are adopting an Etsy shop from SPS Team to help promote artisans around the world and their beautiful, creative works. Our adopted shop is LadyLyBoutique located in Oxnard, California, offering beautiful vintage products and unique vintage inspired designs perfect for holiday gifts! Check out some of the dazzling items that can be yours for 15% off Nov. 27 – Dec. 3.
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!
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!
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.
Let’s keep the positive images and messages going!
One of our newer designs is the Japanese Origami Wedding/Holiday Ball. There are many steps that go into creating this beautiful minimalistic piece. We take a lot of care and time to ensure our product is consistent and well made.
The process begins with preparation of cardstock. We have selected a deep rich mediterranean blue and bright white cardstock for our piece that is featured here. We begin with a 12″ X 12″, 80 lb. sheet of cardstock. We cut 2″ X 12″ inch strips. Then from these, we continue to cut the paper into 2″ X 2″ squares. Each piece of cardstock renders 36, 2″ X 2″ squares. For each Origami Ball, we need 96-100 of these squares.
The next step is measuring and marking the squares for an even fold. Each square is measured and marked at the top center of the square at 1″. Using a our favorite bone folder, each square is folded at the top into an even triangle shape. The total time required to neatly cut, measure and fold one sheet of cardstock is 20 minutes.
Next we use size 17 Bridal and Lace Pins to secure the cardstock pieces to a 6″ foam ball. To begin, we take four blue cardstock pieces and pin the top point and two bottom corners of each piece to the top of the foam ball. We apply even pressure using our fingers and secure the pins by pressing them firmly with the top of our craft scissors. In the event that a piece is not well aligned with the other pieces or looks askew, we take out the pins and realign the cardstock piece.
Cardstock pieces alternating in two rows of white and blue are then secured to the foam ball with two pins at the bottom corners of each cardstock piece. When the rows reach the base of the Origami Ball, we repeat the initial process of selecting four blue cardstock pieces and pin the top point and two bottom corners of each piece to the bottom of the foam ball. A final row of blue cardstock pieces encircle the bottom of the ball, secured in the opposite direction, with the points facing downward.
When the cardstock pieces have all been secured, a 16″ length of 2″ sheer blue ribbon is secured with pins and glue to the top of the Origami Ball.
The total time required to secure the cardstock pieces and ribbon to the foam ball is 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Below is a collection of images from different stages of the process.
“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.” – Vincent Van Gogh
One of the principles behind our work is a profound respect for nature. Growing up in New England in the United States, we are surrounded by deep forests, lush meadows and color wonderful seasons. Our family is deeply in tuned with nature and has developed life long pursuits discovering and appreciating nature including bird watching, gardening, hiking, camping and adventuring. We are dedicated to creating art that combines simple beauty and reuse to offer eco friendly alternatives for holidays, weddings and special occasions.
This month we became the new captain for the Recyclers Team on Etsy. This is a great opportunity for us to meet like-minded shoppers and sellers as well help promote some truly unique finds which include upcycled denim jeans, vinyl record art, eco friendly wine stoppers and much more! We have enjoyed exploring the many wonderful shops on our team and have been inspired to create online galleries on both Etsy and Pinterest to promote eco friendly holiday shopping.
Take a look at these fabulous finds and give a gift that helps keep our world beautiful!
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!
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!
Upcycled Teen Magazine Christmas Trees – $25
Origami Holiday Ball – $50
Mint Green Merry Chopsticks – $10
Grab one of our creative reuse business cards while you are there!
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.