The Forest or the Trees?

December 14, 2010 at 6:00 PM (Christmas, trees) (, )

Yesterday, a young couple came into the shop and wanted to “borrow” one of our Bali trees to decorate for a Christmas Eve party they are hosting.  Kind of a strange request, but then again, we are in Bali – where Everyday is an Adventure. Well, to make a long story short,  we worked out a deal so that they can rent the tree, lights and decorations for the evening — go figure!  They’re regular visitors to the island, have no storage access and want their party to be, well – Christmas-y.  So for those of you who haven’t seen our Bali Tree, here’s a photo:

2010Model 2mtr Bali Tree

Undecorated 2 meter Bali Tree

Anyway, so I thought it would be a good idea to post all the different trees we have in the shop now.  All are handmade by Nik or myself, and the Bali Trees are my design but are handcrafted by a local bamboo master craftsman.  Please enjoy browsing through them, and feel free to comment.

Handcrafted bamboo & alang-alang Mini-Trees

Bali Mini-trees are handcrafted from bamboo & alang-alang

Made from foil-lined paper used in packaging

Pine Cone Tree on scrap piece of solid wood base

Quilt Tree of a different color

Luxe Fabric "Quilt" Tree

Modern & Sleek Silver Fabric Tree

"Quilted" Felt and Crochet-covered Trees













Anyway, so these are some of the trees we’ve done over the past year and a half.

Pine cone Tree: I made this by breaking some pine cones (cleaned, of course) and gluing them onto the gold painted styrofoam cone core, then I sprayed some gold on the pinecones to give a bit of a burnished look to it.  Using a piece of scrap wood for the base, stained it and painted the edges gold then glued the tree onto it.  I put a piece of felt on the bottom to protect whatever piece of furniture it might be set on.

Foil Floret Tree: This one was kind of a dual inspiration — Nik was making these cute little florets by rolling and squishing the foil-lined paper we got hold of somewhere.  I had been making the pinecone tree above, and when I saw the flowers, thought I’d try it out.  So this is what we came up with.  What do you think?   The red faux pearl accents really stand out.  Then I put it on one of our decorated scrap wood bases, glued some felt to the bottom and — voila!

Luxe “Quilt” Trees: These, of course, most people will recognize as a variation on the ever-popular “quilted” ball or egg ornaments, as seen on The Ornament Girl’s blog Her ornaments are beautiful and inspiring.  There’s also a great tutorial for the basic ball over at Crafter Without a Cat’s site .  These and other sites were my inspiration.

Modern & Sleek Silver Fabric Tree: This just basically started as an experiment.  I had this metallic thread silver fabric and a cone in hand, so I started wrapping and gluing the two together.   It needed a bit of pop, so I added the red velvet ribbon stripes and a red faux pearl on top.  Again, the base is a piece of scrap wood, painted silver and trimmed with some silver-infused lace edging and the red velvet ribbon.  Red felt is glued to the bottom.

“Quilted” Felt and Crochet-cover Trees: The crochet tree is from a pattern I had on hand (now lost), made to fit a red felt-covered styrofoam cone.  Attached to scrap wood base which I stained mahogany.  The quilted felt trees are just my variation of the fabric quilted trees.  I wanted to change them up to add a bit of interest — plus, the felt gets pretty thick with all that folding, so less is more in this case.  The one on the right actually looks okay up close and personal, but for some reason seems at an odd angle in this photo.

Okay, so those are the trees in our little forest.  I’m working on one now that’s actually a type of sea plant? animal? something.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to get it posted here some day.


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‘Round Again

December 6, 2010 at 1:05 PM (Christmas, paper) (, )

It is said that imitation is the best form of flattery.  Well, I’d like to flatter two bloggers today:  first is Lindsay, over at Living With Lindsay whose paper book wreath tutorial is awesome .  I came across it a few months back and made one.  I must say that the instructions are easy to follow, and guarantee success.   Thanks, Lindsay!   The second blogger I’d like to flatter is Pizzazzie for reminding me about my wreath because I did want to post it here.  I’ve just finished another one using an old phone book.  I had to tear the pages in half horizontally for that one, but it looks pretty good too.

Paper Book Wreath

So that’s the first one.  I added a bit of gold spray paint to the tips and some other decoration in red just to spice it up a little.

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Gift Package Decos

December 6, 2010 at 10:17 AM (Christmas, crafts, recycled) (, , , , , )


Cute Gift Package Decos from Cardboard & Foil


Nik and I made these cute recycled package decorations that can double as ornaments.  We embellished them with a bit of ribbon and metallic cord.

Just cut your shape out of a piece of cardboard (cereal box is good);  for the butterfly we cut only the two wings.  Then we took some old (cleaned) foil and fitted and glued it to the cutout shapes.  For the butterfly’s body, take a strip of newspaper and twist and shape it until you have the body shape; wrap and glue on the foil, then make two slits along the side for the wings and glue them in.  Embellish to your heart’s delight!

These are pretty sturdy, so can be reused.

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The Dragonfly: Elegance in Flight

November 22, 2010 at 3:01 PM (crafts, dragonfly, paper sculpture, recycled) (, , , , , )

So I became intrigued with the cardboard tube stars/flowers/snowflakes I saw posted all over the web and tried to do some of my own.  These are some samples:



Star, Flower and/or Snowflake made with cardboard tube




The two larger ones are wrapped with fabric scraps I had left over, then covered with a semi-sheer fabric, and I coated the edges with glitter.  The white one is just painted silver around the outside and then I glued on some white lacy trim.

I kept thinking there must be other things I can make with this stuff, then – lo and behold! – as I was playing around with them, a dragonfly took shape.   But I didn’t want to cover the wings with fabric,  so I tried using the coiled foil designs I had used for the lotus sculpture.  These are a few of the results:



Cardboard and Foil Dragonfly Ornament


Asian motif red fabric and Gold mesh Dragonfly
















The one on the left is cardboard tube frame with cardboard backing;  the fill for the wings and body is quilled foil paper strips, and the outside is foil wrapping paper.   The red dragonfly is ribbon-wrapped cardboard with kanzashi-folded red Asian motif and gold mesh fabrics; edges trimmed with gold cording.  On the back I used the same red fabric, but just glued it onto the frame and cut to shape.



Back of Red Fabric Dragonfly




Well, gotta get back to work.  I’m trying to finish a rush order, but needed a short break.  More next time.  Let me know if you like these.  And Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Paper Tales

November 16, 2010 at 2:39 PM (crafts, handmade, origami, paper, paper sculpture, recycled, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Okay, I’m not a treehugger — never have been, never will be.   That said, I do delight in nature’s clean fresh beauty.  Living in Bali has brought me a new appreciation and awareness of  my eco-surroundings, and inspired me to make better use (or reuse) of materials that would otherwise  contribute to our still semi-primitive waste disposal problems. Today’s post is basically just a few words and some photos about some of the crafts I’ve been working on within that context for my business for the past few months. I’d like to get some feedback and welcome any comments on these.  The first one is my Lotus sculpture:

Blue Lotus paper sculpture

Pink Lotus paper sculpture

My assistant, Nik, provided the inspiration for my Lotus when she presented me with her Yoga Meditation sculpture:

Nik's Yoga Meditation paper sculpture

Isn’t that awesome!  — she’s so creative.  But that wasn’t all…

We do mostly handmade Christmas items – ornaments, garlands, etc. – so Nik made these one day.

Origami Drops

We call them Origami Drops, and sell them in a 12-pack assortment.  They’re really cute, and have become quite popular.

Hope you like these little creations.  More to come.

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