Monday, October 31, 2016

no. 75

It is Monday, Halloween.

My youngest is ready to be decked out for tonight in his very planned out costume.  It is laid out, ready to be jumped into and has to be perfect (even his blonde hair isn't blonde enough and required blonde hair spray paint).

My oldest has now reached the point of "I'm too old for trick-or-treating" and has struck a deal with his brother to receive a third of his candy tonight.  Funny to watch how things evolve over time with kids.  Just when you think you know what they like and don't like they up and change it.  Wondering if there may be some regret as he walks around the neighborhood.

All I know for sure is, there better be a lot of kids tonight because our bowl of candy is bigger than ever and I cannot eat one more piece of chocolate today!
Spent sometime last night working on something, just for the heck of it.  Opening up the book of past projects and having a go at it again.  This one, a needle and pin book for my work space.

Such a fun, colorful, and easy booklet to construct.  Just pull together some felt, some of your favorite trims (always plenty to choose from), and your needle and thread or sewing machine.  I use a die cut to create the "pages"; however, if you do not have a die cut for this simply print out a rectangle shape from your computer and use it as a pattern.

Finish it off with an embellished cover, align the pieces and stitch along one edge to create the book.  There you have a fun needle book for your own craft space!

This project was a needed one last night.

Over the past two years I have struggled with ups and downs of living so far away from family.  You would think ten years after making the choice to move 3,000 miles away from all of our family I would get used to the distance.  My other half doesn't understand me, but I guess I miss the casual get-togethers.  I miss the holiday celebrations as a family with cooks in the kitchen, football on t.v., someone napping on the sofa, and small chit chat all around.  Even mentioned yesterday I would love to just say to my husband "I am heading to my sister's house for a bit". 

How do I settle with the fact that a move is not in the cards?

There have been google searches, pro and con lists, extended trips home, finding activities to keep me busy, and talking about what is possible.

Our summer there was amazing, and didn't help resolve my feelings.  It may have actually made things more confusing.

Any suggestions when...

Hoping for a better today.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

no. 74

Ok, so this is the second post of the day, but I wanted to share a new item that has popped up in my shop.  Spent some time working on my indoor paper garden and came up with a card and sticker set that I just love to pieces!  A mix between doodle and digital brought together to make a card set that is now part of the CPT family.

no. 73

Just peeking in to say hello!

Today is a day for such activities, like this above, if only we had a fish bowl.  I guess I could sit next to the windows, peer out towards the street, and watch passersby.   Ok, may come off a little creepy.  Not going to do that.

Wishing you a very, very wonderful Sunday!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

no. 72

Sitting here on a Friday evening with disorganized thoughts bouncing around in my tired brain.  Not sure exactly how to tackle the clutter.  Going to bed just seems to make them more noisy.  

Between a scattered, fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants school week and a pain in the neck that is now no longer much of a pain, we have thankfully reached the weekend.  Yeah!

With upcoming evaluations for the kids, a year's worth of work to be organized and nicely placed in a larger-than-life binder, I don't think there is much of a break ahead.  Kind of amazing to see all of the work they have done in one year piled high in the hall closet.  Thankfully, I have kept them in order and divided appropriately.

One thing is for sure to be at the top of my list this weekend, house cleaning.  Yikes, did that get out of hand quickly.  How can two days of being confined to my sofa cause a house to just, well, fall apart?  Happy to know that laundry is not on the to-do list though.  I think I would rather scrub toilets than do laundry, not sure why, but it is a fact.

Second on the list, creative tinkering.  There are so many ideas floating around in my mind that I actually brought out a dry erase marker and jotted down some notes on the dining room, I mean my office, mirror.  Working on a lot of things that I think represent my style and creative voice the very best.  Can't wait to share more soon.   For now, just one of the new items I posted in my Etsy shop.

My yawning is telling me it is time to turn in for the evening.  Hope we can all enjoy a weekend where we don't get bogged down with too many chores, it is inevitable to have a few I suppose. Darn it!  Well, enjoy the other parts.

Friday, October 28, 2016

no. 71

Ok, this is probably the prettiest zucchini you may ever see.

During our planter gardening days, Zucchini were our best performing plants.  With our lack of bee helpers in our tiny space, this plant was both easy to hand pollinate and keep healthy.  I was quite surprised by the number of zucchini we could get from just one semi- large, fuzzy plant.  Thankfully we grew only one plant at a time, preventing us from getting sick of it (I have heard stories).  Even the bright orange flowers got me excited about what was to come. Did you know that these are edible as well?  I have yet to taste them, but one day I hope to try.  Have you ever eaten one?

I see many varieties being planted in my future garden.  So many recipes to try.  So many beautiful flowers to see, and maybe eat?   When that day comes I hope my kids finally like zucchini because we will have plenty.

Going to attempt some new veggie pieces in the coming week.  Until then, I am hoping to fit in a couple of these this weekend.

 Maybe you can sneak in one too?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

no. 69

When the house is a little out of sorts, when the a pain in the neck becomes a pain in the neck, when a day you had planned out in your head does not exactly go as planned, what do you do?  Well, as that was my day yesterday, I was sneaky and spent a little time creating.  It seems to bring me back to a very peaceful place.  Maybe why I went floral and soft last night. 

My youngest was in desperate need to finish his costume yesterday, and it has to be exact, so we ended up swinging by Michael's on the way home.  Picked up the chain he needed and a few other items as well. How can I go through a craft store and not find something?

After arriving home, I looked around, picked up a few things and fit in a few moments of creating these before turning in early to bed.

 Woke up early with a plan for today, but have to be prepared for anything. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

no. 68

Have you ever tried a pea straight from the garden, popped right out of the pod into your mouth?  Oh my goodness,they are amazing.  A couple of years ago I grew some in our tiny planter garden.  Just when the plump pods were ready to be picked, I would pluck them off, split open the pods and ate them on the spot.  I couldn't help myself.  They never made it into our kitchen.

I love the combination of these two fabrics.  A soft aqua floral and a green and white floral make for a goo pairing.

Been waiting on a much needed sewing supply before I move on to make more, but they are coming.  Think it is time to share a little more of the textile quilted square tomorrow.  Back to layers of stitches.  

Monday, October 24, 2016

no. 67

It is the start of the week, back to a full school schedule (following a week of a printer malfunction, which then led to a new printer).  The house is still quiet and sat down to finish my digital owl piece this morning.  Felt fitting for how I am feeling this morning.  Going to tackle the day continuing to repeat "bring it on." 

This little owl has made me smile so much this past week.  Something about how the glasses came out in creating him.  Once I get a much needed box of supplies on Wednesday I will be making him out of felt and fabric.

Here is a little snap shot of my holiday ornament using the owl...
Probably would look cute with wire glasses, but haven't constructed those yet. 

Off to wake up some kiddos, enjoy the last pieces of banana bread I made for myself the other day (my favorite!) and get this day rolling. 

photo credit

Sunday, October 23, 2016

no. 66

 When you love your veggies and you want to share it with the world...
Shrinking down my vegetable to the small wearable kind and posting them in my Etsy shop.  These have been satisfying my need to garden this week, as you might be able to tell from my very weedy garden today outside. 

Hope you had a great weekend and see you again tomorrow for something maybe of the digital kind.

no. 65

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

no. 64

Can you guess what it is?  I wasn't kidding about bringing the outdoor garden in.

I have been dreaming of having a beautiful, cottage-setting garden for years.  One with a rustic gate that creaks when you swing it open.  Once inside you see rows of growing vegetables and herbs, with a mix of brightly blooming flowers lining the perimeter.  Just typing it out I can imagine being there right now, of course sitting in a wooden swing that is hung from a trellis overgrown with morning glory (ok, maybe not so overgrown that there are spiders everywhere).

This is what inspires me at the moment.  How, living in a crowded city, can I bring the beauty and life of an outdoor garden into my current environment?

So, here you have it, a carrot pin cushion.  Inspired by nature, created with intention and fitting a purpose.  A perfect treat for my little felt bunnies and crafting area.

Next up?  
Been working on all sorts of things this week and will keep share things as I get the photos snapped.  Never been so in love with felt and sewing as I have this week.  I am especially head over heals for this white wool felt that is my number one go to supply.  It is so soft and fluffy, well as much as it can be being wool and pressed into felt.

My favorite Disney movie has to be Mary Poppins. The entire time I was creating this framed piece I kept singing, "let's go fly a kite."  Kept getting strange looks from the kids, but I just kept on singing.  All apart of the creative process.  Sing a song, well sing a portion of a song, over and over until the project is complete.  Today was just a tune that repeated itself in my mind, and didn't even know the words.  Still don't.  Tomorrow it will be another one and I have a hunch that it will be a Christmas song.

Off to sing, create a little and spend a day with my family.  Much needed day out of the house.

Hope you find the perfect music to get your weekend started on a happy note!

Friday, October 21, 2016

no. 63

Did you know this fun fact about tomatoes?

There are currently over 3,000 varieties of heirloom and heritage tomatoes being cultivated worldwide.

I don't know about you, but I probably have only tried two dozen varieties.  Now that I know that I will be seeking out more.  For now though, my favorite is the yellow tomato.  There are probably several kinds of yellow tomatoes, but all I know is that it is the big yellow-colored one at our local grocery store in it's own special basket, and it is delicious!

This is the one plant that if you show to my youngest will be stripped of the tomatoes as they ripen.  Thanks to his grandmother's garden, he has always been able to pluck a perfectly orange tomato from the plant and right into his mouth it goes.  Can't ask for more freshness than that.

From the carrot, beet, eggplant and now the tomato, my applique garden is coming together.  There is always more to come.  They will become more difficult as we go, since I did choose the easier vegetables first.  A bit easier to care for than an actual garden these days.

So, after the introduction of my little mouse yesterday, here is a little digital peek of what I was working last night.  We are all ready here for the cool weather and Christmas music, never too early for either if you ask me.  Wanted to make him up in his winter gear to celebrate the coming of the holidays!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

no. 62

It's Thursday. 

Last full school day for the week.

Weekend is just around the corner. (Finally we are getting sweater weather!)

There will be more, guilt free, time to create!  I have a sketchbook full of ideas that I can't wait to work on.

Here is a new little friend that I have been working on.  Just love him and his little chunk of cheese.  He will soon be popping up more as the weeks go by. 

Off to embroider a bit on lunch break.  Tomorrow I will be sharing a new farmers market piece.  See you then!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

no. 61

There was a time when I had a bunny.   In fact, it was a white angora rabbit to be specific.  The responsibility of feeding, cleaning, and brushing him was a bit too much at the age of ten and, shortly after arriving, returned to his original home.  I have yet to be responsible for another one since then.  Maybe, one day, when we are living in the country again I will see a few passing wild bunnies.

Tomorrow I be sharing a new felt friend.  Hope you can come back to take a peek.

P.S.  The slow cooker is filling our house with an amazing aroma, making it really difficult to wait until dinner.  Trying my best to be patient. Tummies will be full soon.

no. 60

Oh, the eggplant.  Not easy for me to cook with, but I will make one out of fabric and felt any day!  

Just like the eggplant isn't a staple ingredient in our meals, purple fabric (this deep purple) isn't a well stocked color in my craft closest.  Thankfully this fabric came from my purchase at Etsy a couple of weeks ago.  Since my pieces are so tiny, buying a mixed bag of scrap fabric is the way to go.  A little bit of everything.

Always more to come.  Until then, here is a little more of what I introduced yesterday...


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

no. 59

As I attempted to fall asleep last night, instead of counting sheep to make me drowsy, the idea for this little bunny was hopping around in my mind.   With my phone screen lit, I reached for the pad of paper to the bed and started sketching.  When that didn't keep my mind from racing, I jumped out of bed, snuggled up with a blanket under a dimly lit lamp next to our sofa, pulled out my official sketch book and started drawing.  After a couple of hours and filling a three pages it was time to put the creative process on hold.

After only a few hours of sleep, I was at it again this morning turning an idea into reality.

So here she is, the new mascot of Creative Paper Trail.  

Working on her, as well as many of her friends, and will share them all here very soon.

Monday, October 17, 2016

no. 58

Give me a beet!

This mighty root vegetable seldom sits upon our dining room table.  There have been sightings, attempts to sneak it on, but not a permanent staple at our house.

These once grew in our small container garden.  My favorite, golden beets.  They were a gorgeous addition to the small number of vegetables we were able to grow.

Did you know that beet seeds are actually called a seed clusters, just like the ones below?

photo credit
Don't they look like tiny walnuts, freshly removed from their outer shell?

From the edible sprouting leaves to the slow growing nutritious root, this is a wonderful vegetable to add to any garden.   Easy to grow and so many ways you can add them to your recipes.

Celebrating the beet in my own stitchy kind of way today. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

no. 57

It was late last night, my eyes wanting to close, when the last piece of this ornament came together.  Woke up this morning to a bit of a jumbled mess of felt and thread from putting the finishing touches on it a little later than I should have. There was determination in me to complete it, not quite enough to clean up after.
I chose the word "bold" because I thought it paired well with all of the elements of the ornament.  To me it means to stand out.  Being unique in color, theme, materials, technique are just a couple of ways we get to be bold with our creativity.

photo credit
Not sure what fits into that regular category, which I am sure I live in most of the time, but in my creative life I always shoot for being bold.  Why not, right? 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

no. 56

A couple of years ago I spent time creating a raised garden.  I tried everything.  A variety of flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fruit once grew in my large cedar planters.  It was amazing to see the process of planting a seed that would one day produce edible food.

Well, as stated in my previous post, the elements did not work in my favor and I no longer have the ability to grow these types of plants. That is something I have dealt with, put on my future dream list and look forward to the day when I can have a space that doesn't challenge me as much.

It will happen.

For the time being I am going to enjoy gardening in a completely different, but fun, way.

Let's stitch!
There is a series of stitched garden goodies coming to my blog, the carrot being the first.  I love carrots, my kids love carrots, and even our puppy loves carrots.  Seemed like the perfect vegetable to start with.

Pulling a carrot from the ground after it has sat in the dirt for months is pretty thrilling.   There is something fantastic about the range of colors and sizes to choose from.  We tried a few with a bit of success.

One winter we were visiting family in Oregon when I ventured out back to the newly fenced in garden my mother had started earlier that year.  I poked around in the dirt and came across some carrot heads that were still firmly rooted in the ground.  I dug up a few and took them inside with such excitement for what I had found.




How incredibly sweet, cold and crisp they were.  Even after months of sitting in the half frozen earth, they were delicious.

There will be a day when I can pull up a carrot from the garden again, but I will do what I can now to celebrate it in my own artistic way. 

The next time you bite into a carrot just remember how amazing the process is from seed to table.

Bon appetit!

Friday, October 14, 2016

no. 55

Over the years I have tried it all when it comes to gardening.  Annuals, perennials, start with seeds, buy seedlings, buy mature plants, plant them in pots, plant them in the ground,  over water, under water, there is one thing I know now, it is a lot of work in an environment that doesn't always want to cooperate with me.

There are challenges I have yet to overcome.

Our back patio is a heat box, thanks to the stucco concrete blocks that surround it on all four sides.

Planters, like the garden beds outside our gate, have little pests that like to nibble at the roots of our plants.  Wish they weren't so hungry all the time.

A cat which we, or really I, started feeding last year likes to leave little surprises in our rock bed and planters.  Digging up a few plants along the way.

One of the two pine trees I have been growing over the past ten years, has been trimmed by a not so knowledgeable tree trimmer.  My husband has a way of over trimming plants when they get a little taller than he likes, the pine tree included.  It no longer has it's original top.

So here is what is working.

We have two varieties of butterfly bushes that grow no matter what is happening around them, thank goodness for that.  The more butterflies the better in my garden.

A few planter boxes of tropical plants that love the heat and humidity, but do not care for the cold.  Not sure what to do come winter this year as they were a new addition in the spring.

A table planter box that was intended to only contain herbs, but thanks to our kitty visitor I have now filled it with non-herb plants.  Darn cat.

Fern.  They pop up everywhere.  Ended up moving a few plants to planters and they are pretty easy to maintain, unless there are a few dry days and they go unwatered.  They don't seem to like that and become brown and shriveled pretty quickly.  Still very hardy.

A couple of years ago a plant sprouted in our rock bed, right below a trellis.  It has worked its way up the trellis and now has completely covered it.  Was not sure exactly what it was until I saw it blanketing the wooded area near my house. Not sure how it made it's way to my garden, but it is here to stay for the time being.  It was free!

So, maybe you get where I am going with this.

It is easy to create a long lasting felt indoor garden sometimes compared to the rooted, outdoor kind.  Forgot how fun these are to create and when capturing all of the color and layers in a photo it just makes me smile.  Needing something lower maintenance in my life at the moment and these fit perfectly into that category.

Here's to a pale green thumb that needs to vacation.
photo credit

Thursday, October 13, 2016

no. 54

I am a dreamer.  Maybe too much, if you ask the people around me.  It is a hard habit to break.  There is always something new I hope to try.  Images of the perfect place to call home dancing through my mind.  Planning out the possibilities of how to spend my free time each day.  Chatting with my closest friends about what I long for in the future.  The list could go on and on.

There is something about dreaming that is completely thrilling, opening the door to so many possibilities.  There is just one catch, I am too much of a worrier and not a huge risk taker.  Mix in with that a spouse who doesn't tend to dream, not even at night, and I am left with just a pile of dreams that will probably stay dreams. 

This brings me to my creative side.

When I pick up a pair of scissors, get my sewing machine positioned just right, and pick up fabric pieces, the part of me that dreams too much gets a little relief.  Maybe it is the color combination?  Maybe it is the material?  Maybe it is just keeping my mind and fingers moving?  There is no risk involved in placing thread or fabric in a particular place.  There is no need to worry if it isn't a masterpiece.  It is just taking what I have imagined and turning it into physical form in front of me.

I probably will never stop being a dreamer.  There is so much I hope for in the future; however, these little outlets are completely fulfilling for the time being.

Are you a dreamer?  Do you have days when your head is in the clouds like mine?

Off to dreamland here, once again.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

no. 54 preview

Got my drill out for this little number yesterday.  Will share more tomorrow, but was excited to give just a peek.  There was a reason I had sawdust all over my kitchen counter yesterday.

Happy, happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

no. 53

Ended up going down a slightly different path with no. 53 here.  For the past week I have started one piece, scratched the parts that didn't sing to me and ended up with what you see above.  Maybe that is what makes the process of creating most fun.  When it is forced, it doesn't give me that feeling of joy.  When it is a natural progression and everything falls into place...ahhh.
The part I love the most, color and lots of it!  When it came time to picking the perfect word, easy! 
I have found embroidery to be quite enjoyable, but completely new to me.  There is a wonderful pairing of techniques when you using a sewing machine with hand-stitching, as used in a few elements here.   I like the fine detail of the sewing machine, but also very fond of the hand work that is slightly uniform with each stitch.

Well, off to clean up my crafty space for the night.  Been using one half of the dining room table for my work space.  With growing kids, homeschooling and fitting in as many family dinners as our schedules allow, my supplies are permanently portable.

Have a wonderful day!