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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas crafting

I spent some time with my family in Chico, CA. My sisters Melissa and Dana and my friend Cathy did a little Christmas crafting. They all wanted to make the tiny "book" trees. Melissa and Dana are both elementary school teachers. Melissa will be able to teach her third grade students how to make the tiny trees next year.

Here are the results of the book trees we made on Christmas. They came out nice in all different sizes!

My sister Dana and I carved a few rubber stamps out of erasers. I made the tree and Dana carved the tiny town.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Ending the year creatively.....

Wow the 2012 year is nearly ending and it was a full year of recreating, workshops and art and shows.
Here a few photos of the last workshops in December and how I closed out the year. My friends Dorothy Yuki, Megumi Inouye and Aiko Cuneo were fellow teachers at some of the holiday workshops.

These are some of the projects the workshop participants at The coffee filter bows and  2011 calendar gift bags were some of the projects we made. 

The tables are always overflowing with supplies at the workshops.

This was my sample display for the participants at We had samples for Hanukkah and Christmas  all made from repurposed, found, recycled and unusual materials.

These gift tags are made from fabric swatches by one of our creative participants at

The coffee filter bow with a paper bag center were a hit to make at the  holiday workshops.

I volunteered to teach at the Arc Studio and Gallery where sponsored an afternoon of free make and takes for all.

Artist Aiko Cuneo taught the participants at Arc Studio and Gallery how to make wire sculptures and jewelry.

Dorothy Yuki show participants at the San Francisco Quilters Guild how to make ornaments from found paper.

The table was filled with all kinds of paper for the tag and ornament workshop  we gave.
Did we bring enough materials? Our friend Kenan Shapero asked up to participate. We had a great time.

Many of the participants at the workshop enjoyed using the Big Shot die cutter I brought
from It cuts material, felt, card board and more. I love using it.

One of the last workshops of this year was  at the The title of the workshop was "Not your ordinary wreath". Look at all the beautiful wreaths made from coffee filters, discarded books, old maps and paper towel and toilet paper tubes!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Paper Trees for the holiday and beyond

Today I had a workshop at www. where I am the Artist in Residence. We made tiny paper trees. All you need for these trees are skewers from the $ store and some old corks and your choice of paper.  I took a nail a little smaller than the skewer and drove a little hole in the cork. Push the non pointed end into the cork. The pointed end on top allows the paper to easily push down the skewer.

Tree number 1--- made from a thin paper bag, cut with shredder scissors
Tree number 2---punched round circles from music sheets with different size punches. You could hand cut the circles as well with scallop scissors.
Tree number 3---made from a Asian newspaper. Fold long strip of paper in half, cut on fold but not all the way through. Glue spirals around the tree from bottom to top.
Tree 4 & 5 are made from discarded books. I chose different books to get different colors of pages. Cut squares in various sizes so your tree will taper.

Leave a comment if you need more details. I may take photos of the steps and post later. It was really fun to make. You can make a tiny forest of trees!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Birthday Greetings!

Today is my friend Dorothy's Birthday. Last night I was having difficulty thinking of how to make a card for her. You see she can do just about anything! I was trying not to be intimidated with that thought so I got out some old books, a pair of scissors, a glue stick and card stock and started creating.

I searched for old books that had different color pages. It is hard to find books that have
pages that have turned brown. They are so acidic that the pages are often too brittle and tear.

Here is the final birthday card. A three tiered birthday cake and present for DOT.

Happy Birthday Dorothy to a dear friend!! You are so incredibly talented. I learn so much from you!
 Thank you for being such a great friend. We met three years ago at our beloved
sitting by each other at a Print Gocco workshop and we have been creating and working together ever since that day.
It has been a whirlwind of activities. We must have taught nearly 100 workshops by now nearly all with the intent to repurpose materials our passion.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Holiday Workshops!!!!

These  next few weekends are very busy with a lot of DIY holiday workshops. Some are team taught and others I am doing solo. All are going to be fun and "green" I hope some of you can check them out and make some cool stuff with me.

Fabmo: Eco wrap class  We are going to use the wallpaper and fabric samples and
                                                                   more to create bows, and wrap presents the Eco way.
                            December 8,2012            Register for the class online.
                                                                   I am team teaching this with friend Dorothy Yuki.                           The class is in Mountain View from 9-12:00 pm.

Later on Saturday!!!!

 SCRAP Party:   at the Arc Studio and Gallery
                                                     December 8, 2012
                                                     1:00-3:00 pm
                  Make and Take:  Gift tags, ornament and bows
Using found, repurposed and recycled materials: calendars, file folders, buttons, bottle caps, twine, card board and junk mail....I am volunteering at this event with fellow artists Dorothy Yuki, Megumi Inouye, Aiko Cuneo and Leslie Flores.

Here is the before picture of the supplies.

Here are the samples for the workshop. I used cereal boxes and card board for the base tag. And then used found
objects I found around my studio... .

Sunday Workshop!
December 9, 2012

This one is at Ruth's Table in the San Francisco Mission District.
Join us for DIY Holliday Crafts!
Register for the workshop at

Use wall paper, discarded books and more to wrap your gifts or make some tiny Xmas trees... Hanukkah stuff ... 

                              December 15, 2012
                              1:00-4:00 pm
                              Register at

This is team taught by me and my friend Megumi Inouye It is out third annual gift wrap workshop at SCRAP!  We have all of the warehouse of SCRAP to use for materials. How great is that?

This bow was made out of a discarded book.

The last workshop of the season is in Mill Valley, CA. at the O'hanlon Center for the Arts.   This is called "NOT YOUR ORDINARY WREATH"
Register online for this class also.

December 16, 2012
10:00-12:30 pm

We will use ordinary materials to make up to three wreaths... coffee filter, paper towel tubes and a discarded books and repurpose them into wreaths.  Give these object a new life! Use the wreaths all year round.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

SCRAP ART show at Arc Studios and Gallery in SF SOMA district

Last Friday was the opening for the SCRAP Art show at the Arc Studios and Gallery. It had been raining most of the day but the crowd turned out! It was packed. It was tough to get photos but here are few of the opening. The exhibition was put on by I was fortunate to have had two pieces of work accepted into the show.

Friends Megumi Inouye and Dorothy Yuki with me at our opening.  My "book cake' is  on the
left and Dorothy's piece is in the center. 

Me, Megumi Inouye, Dorothy Yuki, Kenan Shapero and SCRAP's Executive Director Shaui Chen
My daughter Elana and her friend Annakai aka were  asked
to display their terrariums made with material from SCRAP on the reception desk and the food table
at the Arc Gallery.

One of my favorite pieces by Marguerite Gilligan.

My friend Megumi's piece- repurposed bows from SCRAP items. 

The opening  ended with a fashion show by Tuan Tran.

The opening was so much fun with family and friends. Many thanks to all the great people at
I have been going to SCRAP for over twenty years. It is one of my most favorite places to shop for art supplies in the whole city! Thank you Jenny Morningstar and Shuai Chen for putting on an awesome show. I am  proud to have been a small part of it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Today I dropped off my two art pieces at the Arc Gallery in San Francisco's SOMA district. I saw a lot of wonderful artwork being dropped off. Jenny Morningstar is doing a fantastic job of curating the show and I  can't wait for the opening on Friday night. The variety of work was very broad. The show is title SCRAP ART presented

There will be art work made with objects from SCRAP at this exhibition. The drop off day was today.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My funky airmail envelopes!

Last night I was looking at a tutorial on that was taught by Christine Schmidt on making airmail stamps. I bought Christine's book Print Workshop when it came out a couple of years ago. I also own a lot of her great rubber stamps. Here are my handmade rubber-stamps inspired by the tutorial on Creativebug.

I bought a eraser stamp at Daiso for $1.50. You can buy other carving blocks
but I wanted to try using inexpensive materials for this project and it worked just fine.
 The cutting tools are Speedball linoleum cutters.

These are the two sets of stamps I carved mounted with rubber cement on blocks of wood.
This is where I did my version of the airmail stamps. I decided I wanted to have two colors so I carved my first stamp with three marks on it leaving enough SPACE in between for the single stamp.  The second stamp was a single mark. This is an easy way to get two colors on the envelope.

I used the "three mark" stamp with the blue ink pad trying to get close to the edge of the envelope.

The next step is to use  the single airmail "mark" stamp with a red ink pad and stamp
in between the blue "marks".

Here are some of the finished stamped envelopes with my new stamps.
 I used craft paper envelopes and used an airmail stamp I found at I didn't trust myself to cut out letters! I am not accurate enough or skilled enough for the linoleum cutters. As you can see I made two sets of stamps. The first one the airmail "marks" are wider and the second one I made was skinnier. I plan to make a third more accurate set but as usual  when I see an idea and I want to make it FAST and now. My version is pretty funky but definitely one of a kind envelopes for mail art!

Here is the great book by Christine Schmidt called Print Workshop showing
all sorts of hand printing techniques including making rubber stamps.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

O'hanlon Center for the Arts

Join me this Sunday November 11, 2012 for a Repurposed Book workshop at the O'hanlon Center for the Arts
10:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Give a discarded book a new life!!
Stretch the limits of a creativity and repurpose a book for all sort of great projects.

Make cut and paste cards, a photo holder or paper sculptures in this workshop.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Day of the Dead Workshop

Join me at Ruth's Table this Friday the 26th of August from 6- 8 pm for a Day of the Dead Altar making workshop.
We will have a lot of material available to have everyone build altars. You can bring your own mementos from home to used to honor your loved ones. Last year Aiko Cuneo lead this workshop and I will lead it this year.

These are some of the Day of the Dead Altars made last year at Ruth's Table workshop. Every altar
was different and wonderful.

A resident of the Bethany House where Ruth's Table is located makes her altar.

I made this simple Day of the Dead Altar yesterday. I used a box lid and added the handmade flowers that
I made at the Mission Cultural Center made out of crepe paper. I made my own rubber stamp that I carved
using a large eraser bought at the Daiso $ store. I made a print of it. While I cannot draw very well the crudeness of my drawn skeleton looks a little like a wood block in my opinion.

Cempazuchitl Flower workshop

Last Saturday I walked with my friend Dorothy to the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts in the San Francisco Mission District. I have passed this center for years and this was my first time inside. We attended a Day of the Dead Workshop where we learned how to make Cempazuchitl flower known as the "flowers of the dead". These flowers are used to decorate the Dia De Los Muertos altars to honor loved ones that have passed away.


We started making the flower by scrunching and crinkling the crepe paper. We cut little triangle across the top.

Dora Luz Sanabria the instructor shows Dorothy her method of folding the flower.

You then add the 24 guage floral wire for the stem.

Using floral tape the flowers bottom and stem are wrapped to finish the flowers.

The finished wrappped marigold. Now just spread out the flower gently with your fingers to desired "bloom".
The finished Cempazuchitl flowers.