Decorations, Sketchbook

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The latest issue of the newsletter Cut, Fold+Make is out. If you missed this month, the sign up is over on the right. It’s a short curated list of ideas and links that inspire and support creative practice.

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There’s a fun suggestion for a miniature paper garland, and first looks at the new sketchbook kit.

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Possibly what’s most adorable is the ephemera pocket on the inside back cover. They’re  available as kits now over at MMS+S in iconic black cover, kraft, as well as the Warm colorway (orange, yellow and gray) of the Office Essentials line of organizers.

It is spring!

 

Yikes

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The new issue of the newsletter Cut, Fold + Make just went out and I forgot to harangue you to subscribe, if you’ve not already done so. There’s a complementary 1:12 scale vertical file holder template, as well as some inspirational and obscure links of creative goodness. Don’t make my imaginary business coach scold me.

It’s chilly nights here in coastal Northern California— as is seasonally appropriate — and Scarlett is taking comfort as she finds it, in recently vacated slippers.

New Basket Kit, Newsletter, Godzilla

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A-tisket, a-tasket, a new basket kit! Shown here in base white, how many of you will want to make yours green and yellow? This one is open, round, a little shorter than the lidded basket (9/16 x 1¼ inches, 14 x 32 mm) and with a/n optional handle. It works well for knitting, fresh produce or catch-all.

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The kit instructions include an explanatory diagram for the first time! I’m finishing up the photography and bits later; the kit’ll be available over at MMS+S tomorrow, individually and as a 3-pack.

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The February issue of Cut, Fold + Make goes out tonight at midnight, so you still have a few hours to sign up (link in upper right column) for a monthly dosage of creative provocation and exclusive content. Hint: boxen!

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Godzilla wants to show you his new lovey — an iridescent vert comme un lutin (leprechaun) named Verti. The two are inseparable, and it’s heartwarming to see the monster so happy-go-lucky.

 

Basket Kit Progress, Bobo Fun

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This was my desk, late last night, working away on the paper basket kits. After many pattern iterations, file conversion aberrations and test cuts, I had the basket itself fairly well worked out. I was thinking about basket lids — if, how and why — when I had an idea. I was too tired to implement it, but scrawled some notes.

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This morning I drew the pattern and did a test cut.

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And yay! It works swell! (Also, chilly in the studio this morning! My poor fingers.)

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It’s a simple construction, very open to customization.

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I’m thinking about handles now. But enough! I want to get these kits out.

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For those who saw the item in the January newsletter referencing my delight with the typeface Bobo — designed by Jean-Baptiste Morizot in 2016 and published by Indian Type Foundry — I put together this logo. Each character in the all-caps font has at least three variations. So fun, even as an example of expanding your notions of what makes a thing a thing. (And it’s available from Fontshop right now for half price.) Check it out!

Newsletter, Calendar, Party

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There’s a new issue of my newsletter Cut, Fold + Make going out tonight that includes a modern miniature calendar for you to make.

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It’s a quick and simple project.

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You can sign up to receive it with the newsletter link on the right.

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It’s a good  way to keep track of yourself in sequential time.

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And, there’s a party going on to celebrate the new year and new pergola being built at Modern Miniature Succulents + Sundries. All the furniture from Sea House Warming Hut has been dragged over, and there’s a beach driftwood fire blazing, as well as festive beverages. Come on by! It’s been too long since we’ve all hung out together.

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PS: Godzilla will be there.

 

MMS+S Signage

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I continue to explore what works and what does not on the Cricut Explore Air 2. I’ve not yet moved beyond cardstock. I wanted to make signage for the courtyard set. This is my first attempt at cutting a sign 2.25 inches (5.7 cm) square. Lessons learned.

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I scaled up to almost four inches, and it cut beautifully.

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Here is the sign, 23 picas square, released from the sticky mat. I glued a nice piece of translucent plastic salvaged from Japanese rice cracker packaging to the back, and cut lengths of 1/4-inch basswood for the top and bottom.

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The finished sign. At least for now.

Newsletter, Walnuts

I’ve been wanting to publish a newsletter for some time. Printed magazines have always been dear to my heart, and I see an email newsletter as a cost-effective way of sharing my interest imperative of a daily creative practice — however it occurs to you — as essential human activity, without all the adverts. I’m using Constant Contact for delivery, in part because I’m familiar with it from my volunteer work with Pacifica Beach Coalition, and hey, start with what you know.

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Years ago I made an advent calendar for my daughter, when she first moved away for college. It was a garland of shelled walnuts containing tiny treasures glued over a length of ribbon, meant to be re-cracked as the days unfolded. This is a perfect project for miniaturists, for who among us does not have an overflowing stash of tiny treasures?

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Construction is easy enough. Get a pound or so of jumbo walnuts in the shell.

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Split them cleanly open, and remove the good bits. (It’s just weird to call nuts meat.) Share with your squirrels and birds or save for cooking/snacking. I found a shellfish fork to be the handiest tool for all tasks, but use what you have. Keep the shell pairs together.

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Ensure you have a dedicated helper.

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This is the really fun part. Depending on to whom you intend to give this, go through your stash and find small treasures that will fit in a walnut shell. This one is for my almost-four-year-old granddaughter.

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It’s helpful to test fit and line up your treasures so you can roll with assembly. Make sure you keep your walnut shells paired!

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A thinnish, flexible ribbon or raffia works best. (I’ve needlessly complicated the process here by using a sheer ribbon and a novelty yarn, but both have sentimental value :) Dot glue on both sides of the shell, sandwiching the ribbon, and realign the cracked shell edges.

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Hold until dry. Think about good things.

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Decide a pleasing interval between walnuts, and repeat the process for the number of days you wish to advent, depending on what you’re counting down (or up). The finished walnut garland can be hung in any number of ways. Of course you’ll want to give some consideration to the contents vs. the force necessary to re-break the shell, but it’s pretty easy.

If you’re fancy, the walnuts could be gilded or embellished with numerals. Or glitter… or rose thorns. You get the idea. Evoke.

For me, cracking and shelling walnuts returns me to my childhood, when every home had a nut bowl on a living room side table, always available for a snack. Holiday baking involved conscripted labor. Our job as kids was to crack a very large bag of walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, the odd Brazil nut — our mother would never indulge the cost of pre-shelled nuts! — and extract the usable parts. As I recall, whole walnut and pecan halves earned a dividend. These memories are imbued with a happiness of shared industry and rich nut tidbits.

Anyway. Projects, ideas, like this are what I have in mind for my newsletter content, as well as quick inspirations, fun facts, helpful hints, and links to relevant, deeper content around the subject of being a heartfelt creative person. Sound interesting? There’s a clunky link in the sidebar to subscribe, as well as a new “Newsletter” page with a contact form. Obviously I’m still working everything out. I’m thinking a once a month issue to begin with. Interested?