Archive for October, 2007

No More Paper Towels

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

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A sampling of unique kitchen and tea towels, printed, embroidered, or woven by hand:

Left to right, top: PataPri, artgoodies, hannahlaura, rockpaperscissorsart
Left to right, bottom: ofpaperandthread, OHHONEY, MrPS, jschubertdesigns

After years of using paper towels, I’m giving them up. Well, not completely, but as much as possible. My most recent trip to Europe made my dependence on a constant stream of disposable paper very noticeable. Blame it on being American, but I had no idea that I was needlessly filling up my trash can with fluffy white paper used to dry my hands and wipe my face. About the same time as the trip, I received a very special collection of hand-embroidered tea towels as a wedding gift. I love these towels! I am now creating a collection of fun and pretty towels that hang all over the kitchen. This way, I have no excuse to reach for the paper when my hands are dripping wet. This new change of pace led me to the next step: cloth napkins. I’m not sure what took me so long to prefer cloth over paper, but now I will never go back. Cloth napkins are much more fun. I don’t even need to mention the money and the trees that I save.

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I came up with an easy way to create a fun stash of cloth napkins on the cheap, created from kitchen towels. Most available cloth napkins are white, and I frequently eat curry, spaghetti sauce, blueberries, you name it. This makes the white napkins look gross after one or two uses. I select kitchen towels with dark colors or busy patterns which can hide my messes. The set of towels I selected above are from Anthropologie. The process is so simple. I fold each towel in half lengthwise and cut along the fold. I then double fold, pin and stitch a new hem along each cut edge. Done! That’s it. These napkins are not a standard “napkin size” but they work quite well for everyday meals. You can bring out the fancy white ones when you have guests.

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Back in Action

Friday, October 26th, 2007

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My husband and I left the beautiful Kansas sky for the beautiful California weather. After the long hiatus caused by moving, I am so happy to be back in a studio space.

One of the first projects I began was to convert a stash of matchbooks (that I found while moving) into mini books. I decided to convert them all. I had plenty of interesting paper scraps saved up from past projects and they made perfect little pages in these matchbook books. I like to think of these as books in disguise. That way, if you ever need to take secret notes while on a detective mission, for example, this is the perfect place to do it. I already began to post some of them individually and also as sets on Etsy.

Paper Quilt Project

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

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Back in July I was fortunate to participate in the Paper Quilt Project. This project, involving a variety of fantastic artists, was organized by Dawbis, an artist and environmentalist. This is how the project works: each month 12 artists contribute a collage panel toward that month’s quilt. Over the course of this year, there will be 12 quilts built, one representing each month. Once all of the panels are created and collected, they will be auctioned off or donated to a charitable cause.

Dawbis sent me a little packet of paper scraps and directions, so that my collage would be the right size, etc. What fun! I took an evening to collage the scraps together… it isn’t my best work, but it was enjoyable to make. I sent it back to Dawbis, and she posted it with the others on the Paper Quilt Project site. I love the way the different panels look together in the online gallery.