Succotash at the Studio

Making Paper Rosettes with Jerry and Cyndi on Daytime TV

Its always so much fun to visit Jerry and Cyndi at Daytime TV.  NBC Channel 8.  We did a fun summer craft for kids from 6 to 106!  These were the make and take at the ETSY Craft Party, its fun to add typed messages as a finishing touch.  These are perfect to dress up packages, your hair, outfit or to brighten up your desk. 

Paper rosettes

 

Sweet Paul Makerie 2017: Making & Creating in Brooklyn

Finally, able to share with everyone a magical weekend of making in Brooklyn. I was fortunate to attend my 5th Makerie, a creative retreat designed by the amazing Ali DeJohn.  It was the 3rd Sweet Paul Makerie for me, which is a collaboration with the luscious Sweet Paul Magazine.  The Makerie is a weekend of creative making, nuturing and celebrating.  Ali and Paul dreamt up another oh-so-cool retreat in the heart of Gowanus, an arty neighborhood in Brooklyn.  

Opening reception was held at the studio and shop of Lotta Jansdotter who I was lucky enough to take a workshop with at an earlier retreat.  It was so great to see where she plays and creates.

Gowanus - Makerie

Anticipation of spending two whole days taking four workshops and eating delicious food with cool, smart people is what fueled me through many late work nights.  Being there reminded me why I started this business and to be brave and take risks in life.

Here are the workshops I took, it was almost as if they were created for me, as it was a dream come true:

sashiko
sashiko japanese mending
Sashiko Mending
- Taught by Katrina Rodabaugh, she lives and breathes textiles and social responsibility. Sashiko is the art of Japanese decorative stitches to reinforce items. This mindful mending extends the life garments and reminds us to not be wasteful and disposable.  We did a sampler tea mat for practice and finished with mending a piece of clothing we wanted to keep rather than throwing away.  The white stitching against the blue of the denim is quite striking.




Alternative Botanicals
- Taught by Melissa Martin - Julien of the Proper Flower, she is also part of the Matthew Robbins team.  While I missed not taking a class with him this year (hope he comes back next year?) She was a ray of sunshine and made us all have a dance party in the middle of making!  We re-thought succulents and wearable botanicals.  Rings, pins, headbands, bracelets and more, we learned to make floral jewelry and discover some alternative centerpieces.  The best part was working on such a tiny scale.  Designing for a pin or ring is definitely an exercise in restraint. 


bobbin lace

Bobbin Lace
- Taught by Elena Kanagy-Loux, who founded the Brooklyn Lace Guild, this was my favorite class for sure. It was also the class I was the most nervous to take.  It looks complicated and hard.  I released my fears and jumped in.  Elena was an excellent teacher and I actually took to lacemaking like a fish to water!  I have always loved lace, my mom used to tat and it is pretty advance in my mind.  Bobbin lace is sort of like macrame but really tiny.  It took 3 hours to make a 5 inch by 1/2 in piece you see here!

 
Coptic Book Binding
- So I saved the best for last. This was a book binding class that was one of the most comprehensive I have taken.  I especially like the coptic stitch because the books lie flat and you can see the exposed spine.  Delicate yet strong, the stitching shows it is handmade. Taught by the incredibly talented Natalie Stopka, I wish I could have taken all of her classes.



There were several surprise speakers, one was Genevieve Gorder, an interior designer who spoke on trends and the Fabulous Beekman Boys!  I really miss their show, they have had quite the journey and are now featuring local makers in their fabulous shop in Sharon Springs and online.

The entire event was held at 501 Union (an stylish event space) and the Textile Arts Center, just down the street.  If you are looking for amazing and unusual classes, this is the space for you. And if you are looking for a national/international creative retreat, The Makerie is for you. They have events in Boulder, Colorado as well as in the New York area with Sweet Paul.  To all the sweet and creative people I met, thanks for playing and see you next year!

Introducing the Blackwing 73

The latest Volumes Limited Edition is the Blackwing 73: 
Inspired by the beauty of Lake Tahoe and places like it.

You cannot fully understand a place or the people living in it without understanding the paintings, writings and songs created on its soil. Our local natural wonder of Lake Tahoe is a perfect example. The landscape paintings of Albert Bierstadt, the photographs of Ansel Adams and the intricate baskets of Dat-So-La-Lee all make up the tapestry of Lake Tahoe’s cultural identity. 

As a result of human ambition, the lake’s signature blue color began to disappear in the 1960s, and its Secchi depth (a unit used to measure clarity) plummeted to 66.6 feet by 1997.Fortunately, through aggressive conservation efforts, the lake has begun to regain its remarkable clarity.

Blackwing 73 celebrates Lake Tahoe and other landmarks that have had a comparable impact on arts and society. Each pencil features a Tahoe blue finish and raised texture that mimics the lake’s topography. The number 73 references Lake Tahoe's last measured Secchi depth of 73 feet. Each pencil features a silver ferrule, white eraser, white imprint and our soft graphite formulation.

Highlights:

  • Topography Finish
  • Specially formulated soft graphite that writes smoothly
  • Silver Ferrule
  • Cedar casing that sharpens evenly and easily
  • Removable, replaceable eraser

Pre-order yours now!

What is Washi Tape? And Why is MT the Gold Standard?

Washi tape literally means "paper" tape.  It is colorful and simple, can be torn by hand and is easily repositionable. The tape can be layered for pretty effects and it can be written on. It is often used in letter writing, mail art, decorating lunch bags to gift wrapping.  Whole walls have even been decorated with washi tape. Best of all, it is temporary and reusable.

There are many brands with varying degrees of sizes, color, price and pattern. In our opinion, not all washi is made equal.  MT is the original brand of washi paper masking tape, created by the 100 year old company Kamoi Kakoshi and produced in Japan. The superior level of ‘just right’ adhesion allows MT to be easily repositioned and to be used on painted walls without damaging paint. Their highest quality and vast selection of designs have made them be sought out by some of the worlds best artists.  We proudly carry a large selection of washi tapes, but our heart belongs to MT.

Read more about the MT Story here.

In Search of Mindfulness? Learn a New Skill Take a Creative Class

“I need to slow down…find some balance…I can't keep up…I need a break from the speed of life...I want to be mindful and creative.” Everyday people from near and far come into our bright, sunny studio and say very much these same things.

We live in a world fueled by technology and while so much of it is good, it can leave us anxious, stressed, and depleted. Humans are easily distracted and studies have shown that multitasking (or switching your attention from thing to thing constantly) actually lowers cognitive performance, contrary to conventional thought. 

In other words, a digital detox may be what you need and we can help!

Sitting still and being mindful through making has proven benefits for health and well-being to balance our notification-filled, caffeinated, digital, and multitasked modern lives.

Data (Huffington Post, Verily) also shows that regularly engaging in creative, free-flow, nonjudgmental making can improve mood, reduce stress, and increases overall brain function.

Flexing your “analog” making creativity may come through any number of activities, like:

These are all activities which require undivided attention and will take you to your flow, a state of reduced awareness of time and internal or external chaos—a calm focus where you are tapped into positive thoughts, ideas, and inspirations. In other words, mindfulness.

Writing and making helps us state to oneself or to others: “this is who and where I am at this moment.” It may also improve our social bonds through sharing an experience or skill. By providing the platform to engage in the simple joys of analog creation, we see stressed people become calm and centered right before our eyes.

Creative making is uniquely cathartic, and not a placebo. It can lower your levels of stress hormone cortisol. And, by requiring communication between different parts of our brain, creating can also help prevent Alzheimer’s disease

At The Paper Seahorse, our mission is to improve the quality of life of people overwhelmed by our fast-paced, technology-driven world.  Rather than being in front of one screen or another throughout the day, we make a point to unplug, unwind and enjoy the benefits of peace, relaxation and positive energy that mindful creation can bring into our lives.

Our collective health and wellness depends on it!