Pre-Spring Paper Tree

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It may be spring where you are.  Here in St. John’s, however, we don’t put away our snow shovels until after the Victoria Day long weekend at the end of May.  It’s kind of the rule.

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So in the absence of spring, I’ve decided to make my own.

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Interfering a bit with my marine mobile while it’s at it.

This branch fell victim to yet another of our vicious wind storms last night and managed to scare the crap out of the dog by moving along the sidewalk just as he was about to sniff it this morning.  In retribution we captured it and will torture it into submission.

Paper Tree 1

In actual fact one of the major branches on it was broken.  This branch was walking wounded.

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So I fixed that up with some floral tape.

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For this project you will need some paper.  It can be scrap booking paper, origami, magazine paper, whatever you want.  I picked a spring-themed magazine because I thought I could get the best colours from it.  I should have really cut out the paper in the shapes of leaves, but I’m super lazy so I used my 2″ circle punch instead.

Paper Tree 2

Some floral wire, a pair of scissors, a paint brush, and some glue would also be handy.

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So you start by cutting out your shapes. Whatever they’re gonna be. Us lazy people like our circles. It’s “modern”. Deal with it.

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Then you put some glue on one side of a shape. Then you take a leaf-stem length of floral wire, bend it a bit so it won’t just slide right out again, and slap it on there, with another shape on top. BAM.

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And then you do that a bunch more times. Until you run out of shapes. Or until you get bored and don’t want to make any more shapes.

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Then you take your branch and anchor it in a sturdy vase.

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And then you start winding the shapes onto the branches, following the line of the branch, bending them a little bit for depth. It ain’t that hard.

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And you keep going.

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Make sure to spread them out as you add them so that when you run out of shapes and don’t want to make any more you don’t end up with bare branches.

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And then you put it somewhere and admire your handiwork!

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Here it is on my mantle.

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Long-Distance Greeting

The Pie and I don’t usually celebrate Valentine’s Day, but I thought I would make up a little card for Cait and send it home to Ottawa.

Sweet Greetings 1

The base is cardboard with construction paper overlaid on top and I used construction paper to make the “hinges” of the card.

The “clothing” for the figure on top is a textured origami.  The limbs are pipe cleaner and the heart is made of felt.  Heartfelt.  Get it?

Sweet Greetings 2

I originally just had glue holding everything down, but you see I had to resort to tape. Alas.

Under the “clothing” is a hole to accommodate this chocolate bar (which I bought from the Newfoundland Chocolate Company here in St. John’s, specifically because their bars are small enough to fit in an envelope), which is wrapped in origami.

Sweet Greetings 3

Sweet Greetings 4

I used a circle punch to make confetti out of my paper scraps and stuffed a bunch of it inside the card so it will all fall out when she opens it.

Sweet Greetings 5

♥ Happy Valentine’s Day! ♥

Wee Origami Dishes

Origami Dishes

I made these little dishes out of Super Sculpey and baked them according to the directions.  I know.  I suck at sculpting.  But this was my first time using Sculpey in well over twenty years.

Origami Dishes

BUT THEN.  I thought I would use découpage techniques (which I’ve never done before) and experiment with Mod Podge (which I have never used before) and paste some torn up bits of origami paper over top, make ’em look like they’re papier mâché or something.

Origami Dishes

So it was pretty simple.  I started with laying one untorn sheet on the bottom of the dish, as a base, and then I tore up other sheets in colours I liked for the rest of it.

Origami Dishes

Some Mod Podge and a brush later, I’m sticking away.

Origami Dishes

On this one I put a cutout of a key, to imply that perhaps you could keep your keys in this dish.

Origami Dishes

Then I just coated it all with a layer of Mod Podge and let it all dry.

Origami Dishes

Tada.

Origami Dishes

Simple but fun.

Origami Dishes

Newspaper Plant Pots

I have a baby spider plant here for S that I am trying very hard not to kill.

I am also trying to root a cutting of my parlor palm for Kª.  I’m dubious about this, because apparently it’s impossible the way that I am doing it.

Anyway, today I decided that the day had come to introduce them to the earth for the first time.

I don’t have any spare small pots lying around so I surfed the internet for a while on making pots out of paper. These are biodegradable, of course, and can be planted right into the soil outside if that’s what you’re into.  Just make sure if that’s what you’re planning you use a newspaper with soy-based ink.  Because the newspaper is porous, you can put lots of seedlings close together and they will absorb each other’s water.

I found two versions that I liked.  One is the origami version and the other is the jar method.  Both need one half of a full broadsheet of newspaper (as in, not the whole square piece but the half-piece that is the individual page you turn).  Fortunately newspapers tear easily along this fold so you don’t even need scissors for this project.

Origami Method

Fold your paper in half vertically so that the two short edges match up and crease.

Fold it in half again, this time horizontally.

Aaand again, this time vertically.

Take one of the (now square) flaps of paper and turn it out into an upside-down isosceles triangle.  Flatten and crease the edges.

Flip it over.

Do it to the other side.

Now ‘turn the page’ of your new upside-down triangle to the left.

Flip it over and do the same to the other side.

Take the edge of the top flap of your triangle and fold it to meet the centre crease.  Grab the opposite edge and do the same.

Fold those edges in towards the centre one more time.

Make sure to crease your folds good and sharp.

Flip your paper and do that whole rigmarole to the other side as well.

Take the little bit of paper hanging over the top of your folds (the length of it will depend on the size of the newspaper sheet you used) and fold it down over your folds to hold them in. 

Mine were super short, so I actually used a single staple to hold things in place. 

I figured, what’s one staple to the thousands of nails and screws buried in my garden?

Now open out your box and flatten out the bottom.

Fill it up with soil or just admire your handiwork.

Jar Method

This is less complicated but less sturdy.

Fold your newspaper sheet in half, bisecting the short end.

Take yourself a jar, a can, or a glass and place it at the edge of the paper.  There should be enough paper sticking out from the bottom of the jar to fold up and cover the bottom of the jar.

Roll up the paper around the jar.

This works best on jars or cans or glasses that have a depression in the bottom.

Fold the bottom of the paper to the bottom of the jar and use the jar to squish it down.

Pull out the jar.  This version is not freestanding so you need to fill it immediately with soil to keep it steady.

Two pots.  Two minutes.