Christmas Workshop - Used Book Ornaments

Posted on October 16, 2016 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

This November I will be holding a Christmas Workshop at the Dovercourt Recreation Centre. Using old paperbacks and hardcover books, we will be making cute little snowmen, tiny Christma trees, star tree toppers as well one or two ornaments. These can be embellished with a little paint or even some glitter (bad, bad, bad, I know!! but it's Christmas).

For info and to register, click here

Upcycling Workshop

Posted on October 12, 2016 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

I'm holding a Halloween workshop at an after-four program at a local community centre and had to really put my thinking cap on to figure out what kind of projects that kids aged 6 to 8 years would enjoy. Of course, I wanted to ensure that recycling was part of the theme and when I looked through my bits and pieces I found I had a lot of stuff that could be reused.

For example, the witch hats were just made from cardboard shaped into a cone and glued to a paper plate. Then I painted the hat black.  Of course my Stephen King street find will be used to create my macabre skull garlands. Instead of pumpkins, I'm reusing my folded (in this case, rolled) books into perches for ravens and other Halloween cutouts such as witches, bats, etc.


Halloween Workshop News

Posted on August 18, 2016 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Is it really time to start thinking about Halloween? Yes, it sure is and when you come to our Halloween Decorating Workshop, you’re in for a ghoulish and ghastly time. There's not a pumpkin in sight. Instead, think Edgar Allen Poe meets Alfred Hitchcock, then you'll have an idea of what I've planned for my three Halloween workshops. Deliciously wicked but with a touch of elegance. The good news is that almost everything I'm planning (whether it's a wreath, bunting, or scary images for your tableware), can be recreated from what's hiding in your recycling bin and cupboards.  

Are you ready to be frightened (but only in a good way)? For more information and to register, click here.

UPDATE: All Halloween workshops are sold out. Keep watching for our last minute Halloween decorating workshop. Our Christmas workshops are coming up soon. 



DIY Mother's Day (Workshop Edition)

Posted on May 6, 2016 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

If you're still looking for inexpensive, quick and easy DIY projects for Mom or Gran, there's plenty on the web to choose from but in this post I will highlight some ideas made by participants of my past and recent workshops. All are easy-peasy, quick, and very low cost. We used what we needed from my recycling bin and went to town.

Flower Pot Cards

Made from gardening catalogues, cereal (or other) cardboard boxes, brown paper grocery bags, and saved ribbon, these flower pot cards take only minutes, so most of the participants made several. No fancy-smancy equipment needed. Participants simply cut out flowers they liked from the gardening catalogues, glued these on cereal box cardboard, and then trimmed these. The flowers can be pulled out of the pot to reveal a message to the recipient. Oh, and we also made envelopes to match from the grocery bags. 

Paperbead Bracelet

Perfect gift form Mom and so easy. All you need are a pile of old magazines, glue, a wooden skewer, ruler, pencil, and scissors. Participants added some beads from broken necklaces and bracelets I pick up at charity shops. The 12-year old participant who made this bracelet added a found metal Valentine's heart. His Mom is sure to love it.

Twig and Scrap Yarn Brooches

Made from small twigs and whatever wool yarn and embroidery thread on hand, these were very popular and so fast to make. Everyone left wearing at least one of their creations. For this brooch you will need to have fasteners on hand. These can be purchased at any Dollar Store for about $1.25 for 10.

Gift Boxes from Magazine Covers

A few of the magazines we worked with had nice stiff front covers with interesting images, so, of course, I suggested making gift boxes out of these. After all, you'll need a nice one for Mom's gift. You can also cut long, thin strips of magazine pages to use as fillers for the boxes instead of tissue paper. 

Tag, You're It!

After boxes are made, you'll need a tag or two. So why not make a few like these using images you like from those old magazines. Participants cut out and glued images they liked onto used cereal box cardboard, then trimmed these into nice label tags, adding a bit of string.

Et voilà, all done and ready for Mom.

Christmas Holiday Workshop News & More ...

Posted on October 28, 2015 at 8:35 AM Comments comments (0)

My first Christmas Holiday workshop - Folded Book Christmas Trees - was a success and we had loads of fun transforming old books and magazines into festive trees. That problem of how to decorate the trees was solved by my friend, the awesome Sean, who made decorating suggestions for a large sample tree I had prepared for the workshop. I had originally had just draped a wide red ribbon over the tree and topped it with a cardboard star. After studying the tree for a bit, Sean took a black feather wreath I usually put up for Hallowe'en and draped it over the tree. This gives the impression of the tree floating on a feathery cloud. Very nice, I have to admit. He also made suggestions for a tree topper which I embellished a bit more, as you can see here.

Almost everything I used for my Folded Book Christmas Tree workshop were items upcycled from my recycling bin. In the sample tree, the feather boa is at least 10 years old and I can still reuse it for Hallowe'en for years to come; the tree itself is an old book topped with a rosette made from a paperback page and a star made from a bit of cardboard. The only new items I used were battery-powered LED string lights and a bit of glitter (I know, I know, but it looks good). I'm hoping the lights last a long time.

As for the sample tree, black may see like an odd colour to use for Christmas but I'm enamoured with the Scandinavian style of Christmas decorating: a lot of white and black with touches of natural embellishments such as tree twigs and branches, evergreen boughs, tree cones and occasionally a spot of red. They also seem to use a lot of discarded reindeer antlers but I doubt that Rudolph and his pals can be found lurking about and discarding their antlers in our back woods (i.e., the Gatineau hills). We once spent a couple of nights in a lodge in Scotland where all the rooms and hallways were decorated with huge antlers still attached to Rudolph et al. Spooky, or what!

I'm still learning how to style photos and think I managed okay with this one of my book tree (maybe should have ironed the backdrop linen sheet first???). But, anyway, the workshop attendees loved the sample so much I had a hard time insisting that it wasn't for sale. Hmm ... something to think about.

This week brought sad news when I learned that my daughter's former mother-in-law passed away suddenly. She was a good woman and a huge support for my girl and her little guy as well as for her own family. She will be greatly missed. So, of course, I'm finding it hard to focus on planning more workshops.  However, it will keep me busy and I can honour Pam with Christmas workshops she would have enjoyed. Look for Christmas Workshop postings later this week.

Recycling Folded Book Workshop - Christmas Trees

Posted on October 5, 2015 at 9:20 PM Comments comments (0)

 September was been an exciting month after getting lots of feedback from you, thank you. Folded book art seems to strike a cord with a lot of people. Its popularity is in part, no doubt, that it is easy, even theraputic, and all you need is a book and a pair of hands.


I am very happy to introduce two workshops to my range of folded book classes. This Folded Book Christmas Tree workshop is a hands-on approach to creating tabletop holiday trees to decorate your home for the festive season. A second workshop (still in the works) will focus, not on folding books, but on using cutting methods to create snowmen, Christmas tree ornaments, and holiday trees. You definitely don’t want to miss this one.

If you would like to learn how to create your own Christmas holiday book trees and decorations, you can't miss these events. Keep reading for more details!