Things I’m Liking – Silver Stud Earrings

Today in ‘Things I’m Liking’ are three styles that are very representative of my own aesthetic leanings.

I love the Art Deco period. It’s very interesting to me because it spans such a long period of time: Started in the 1920s. Was strong through the 1930s and early 1940s and although it’s decline could be seen post WW2, you can still see it’s influence in design of the 50s… and again today with a lot of geometric design being so popular right now.

deco shell upper metal class

Art Deco Shell Earring Studs by Upper Metal Class

These Tulip earrings by Ginny Reynders are evocative of her Dutch heritage, but speak to a larger Folk art aesthetic.

tulip

Tulip Earrings by Ginny Reynders Jewellery

These are particularly interesting to me as a long time digital designer of icons and interfaces, but they also have a bit of a Kawaii aspect, like my own work at Paper Ivy.

weather forecast huili tan

Weather Forecast Stud Set by Huiyi Tan

Creative Collaboration Club Begins!

In my last post I mentioned that a collaboration was brewing between myself and Anastasia from Anastasia Drawing & Dreaming (and Percival Road!) and Sally from Jambo Chameleon.

How it works
Each week one of us will post a creative work of some kind on our blogs and the following week the next person will create something inspired by that and we can do this in any medium.  It’s an exercise in riffing off each other creatively, a space in which we can just have some creative play time and where we aren’t pressured by too many rules!  Actually, the only rules are that we have to take inspiration from the previous piece (or pieces), and we take turns!

It’s Started!
The first piece has been posted over at Jambo Chameleon and Sally has served up this little gem to get us going.  There is so much in it.  It’s the perfect starting piece and I’m already dying to see what Anastasia will come up next!  Also, I’m so freaking busy right now, but I still can’t wait for my turn!  Ah, but this is why we started doing this.  Many hands make light work!  A perfect plan for the busy, yet compulsively creative! And our readers get a post on the project every week.  Stay tuned!

The Blog Society & a Collaboration

blog_society

Yesterday I went to the Blog Society Workshop Launch: Embracing The Art of Digital Story-Telling.  I’ve been a little neglectful of my blog and thought I should go for a little jump start.

I went quite early and had a coffee at a cafe in The Rocks (oldest part of colonial Sydney) before I met up with Anastasia from Anastasia Drawing & Dreaming and Sally from Jambo Chameleon for lunch and a catch up beforehand.  I love the grounding feeling I get from catching up with other creative people and seeing how they’re doing juggling the whole life/work/family/design/make/blog thing. It’s nice to know we aren’t all superhuman and that doing it all is a struggle for most (I suspect all) of us.

It was nice to hear the blogging stories of Jaclyn, the founder of Blog Society and blogger from Little Paper Trees, Jen Bishop from Interiors Addict and Vivian Mansour from Ish & Chi.  After listening to their stories we wandered around and asked questions of various experts on photography, styling and some of the commercial ins and outs too.  Aside from getting great advice we were also able to apply some of this with all the props they brought along for us to play with.

Here are some tips that I took away from the workshop.

  • When you’re setting up a photo, position objects to lead the eye around the shot by using objects that have a relationship to each other (such as the same colour)
  • Using all hard angles can be jarring and it’s nice to contrast a hard line with something curved or soft.  It’s also just gives the shot some more interest.
  • Blog about something you are truly passionate about. (Done!) Make it something you could talk about endlessly.
  • Make a connection. Although I think we’re all trying to do that and I think this is often what drives us. That’s what I’m trying to do here: give people some access to the person behind Paper Ivy and share my creativity with others.

I should also mention that the refreshments being served were lovely.

straws and oj

Apologies for the blurry shot. I was trying to get out of the way quickly so others could grab something to drink!

jars

Jars from Rainy Sunday

We were given pretty awesome goodie bags as we were leaving: with everything from organic chocolate to Gorman socks.  Nice!

I wish I could’ve gone out for a drink afterwards, but I didn’t feel it was fair to be coughing around people anymore (seriously, when will this cough go away)!  Despite the reassurance I received that the alcohol will act as an antiseptic barrier of some kind, it didn’t feel right!  I hope everyone had a great night.

Before I go, I should also mention that towards the end of the workshop Anastasia, Sally and I ended up talking about pretty much the same thing we started with before the workshop: how it’s hard to do everything and THEN find time to be creative.  So aside from wanting to pay more attention to our blogs, we also talked about how it would be good to sometimes just forget about the commercial side of the creative stuff we do and just release the creative valve without worrying about how it would fit in with everything else.  Sally connected the dots and suggested that we do some sort of collaboration that allows us to do what we want, but doesn’t add to our already unwieldy to-do lists too much, allows us to have some creative playtime AND also gets us to post on our blogs. A plan was hatched, but more about that in another post!

Paper Ivy in Postal Travels Magazine

I was very excited to wake up to an email from Tee at Postal Travels Magazine.  Both Tee and Karina reviewed some Paper Ivy items and they are in the latest issue.  See what they have to say here!

Go to pages 40-41 for the review of Paper Ivy products.

ptm_coverPostal Travels Magazine is an online zine for letter writers and the pen pal community at large.  They review stationery, books, sites that help letter writers and letter writing related DIY’s.  They have a bulletin board where you can post messages or request a pen pal. In this edition, they even do a letter writing set up: give you tips on organising your writing materials and keep your letter writing process organised (this is especially helpful if you have more than one person that you write to regularly). Honestly, I need to put some of these strategies in place so my correspondence has a better turn-around time!  You’d think I would be all over this, but noooo.  I need to work on it!

Did I mention that they are also super nice people?  They are.

Check them out in these places!
postaltravels.tumblr.com
postaltravelsmagazine.blogspot.com

On Little Ones and How They Grow up

I was reading the post: “No More Hokey Pokey” by Pip over at Meet Me At Mikes. She was talking about what it’s like to have kids that are nearly adults and how it changes things (for the good and the not so good). I’m looking forward to the stage she’s at in some ways (No more nappies. Seriously. Other than having a little one in hospital it is THE worst thing about parenting). The post made me think about where my kids are at…

  1. It makes me a bit sad that my 5 year old has the demeanor of a shirty 13 year old.
  2. Then I feel comforted by the fact that my 2 year old is still so little and sweet.
  3. I look at said 2 year old and realise how tall he is getting.
  4. I think telepathically at 2 year old: “Stop growing up”
  5. 5 minutes later we are all on the couch and they won’t let me up because they don’t want to stop cuddling me.
  6. I figure it’s not so bad yet.
  7. I still secretly look forward to them being old enough to make coffee for me.

Blog Upkeep, Notes + Want to follow?

I’ve been doing a little maintenance around the blog.  You may have noticed I’ve tidied up the sidebar so that there is a little line between the sections, so that it doesn’t look so jumbled in together and everything has it’s own place.  This makes it a bit easier to digest.

I’ve also added a small “About” blurb so that people can get a quick impression of what the blog is about without going to the “About” page and so they can see the person who is behind it.  An improvement yes?

The other thing is a “Follow me on bloglovin'” button on the sidebar.
Follow on Bloglovin
Bloglovin’ is a blog reader so you don’t lose all the great blogs you come across and it will tell you when they post something new.  You can search for blogs, subscribe to them and you can even organise them into categories to suit your browsing mood!  I can’t live without a reader and since Google announced that it was retiring Google Reader I started using bloglovin’.  The options to my mind are bloglovin’ and Feedly.  I may go over to Feedly in the future, when they add more of the options I want, but for now, bloglovin’ is for me!  Why? It’s interface is easier to use and it lets me know how many subscribers I have through them.  Although Feedly is a bit slicker, has better use of space, nicer design details some things aren’t immediately obvious and I think they need to have more emphasis on certain navigation items.  Of course, you can use either to follow the Paper Ivy blog, but it’s a quick click on the bloglovin’ button to sign up.

I’d love for you to keep in touch!

Anzac Biscuit Recipe

Ok. This is the first time I’ve posted a recipe.  I guess I normally keep my posting more closely related to the creative things I do, but this is a little creative, because it is my take on Anzac biscuits.

anzac biscuits

I started making Anzac biscuits for my husband’s first Anzac Day in Australia.  He’s from America and had no idea what these were.  As any good Australian would, I was looking for opportunities to share a piece of our culture, so he could find more things to enjoy about Australia, so he could expand his knowledge of Australia, so I could prove that not all Australian foods were as hard to like as Vegemite and so I could have the fun part of introducing something yummy to someone.

There was a problem with this though. Neither of us like coconut, so it had to go.  The other thing is that I really like chocolate.  So from a combination of searching for coconut-less anzac biscuits and me just adding chocolate. I now have the best tasting biscuit ever… probably.  I am not kidding.  These things are great.  Now before you say there is a point at which Anzac biscuits cease to be Anzac biscuits, I’ll remind you that they are already not what they used to be.  Those things had to travel long distances, in the heat, and last for a long time so they would reach troops on distant shores.  The other thing, is that regardless of what I put in them, they still afford me the opportunity to teach my husband and now my little ones some history and local culture.  So, now that everyone is feeling a little less judgey, I bring to you my…

Coconut-less Chocolate Anzac Biscuits

INGREDIENTS

‘Wet ingredients’ – 1
90 grams butter
1 tablespoons golden syrup

‘Wet ingredients’ – 2
1 tablespoon boiling water
1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarb)

Dry ingredients
1 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar

Chocolate
1/2 cup chocolate chips (Omit these without adjusting other ingredients if you want.  It still works)

METHOD

  1. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. In a saucepan, gently melt the butter, then add the golden syrup and heat, stirring until thoroughly combined.
  3. Put the baking soda in a cup or small bowl then pour in the boiling tablespoon of water.
  4. Pour the foaming mixture into the warm butter/golden syrup mixture and stir. It will foam a bit. That’s ok. It’s supposed to do that.
  5. Now gradually add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring well.
  6. Add chocolate chips and mix. If you you want to make plain ones for the kids, skip this step and go straight to the next step. (I usually make up some plain, then half with chocolate.)
  7. Place walnut size pieces of the dough on a buttered oven tray and then press down with the back of a fork to flatten.

Bake at 175 degrees C for approx 17 mins.

Additional Notes: If you like them thin and crispy, make sure the oven is nice and hot first. If you like them thicker and crunchier, then lower the heat.

Recommendation: Eat while still warm!

Enjoy!

Things I’m Liking: In cold rainy weather

In Sydney, Australia it’s cold and raining.  Last night I broke out the electric blanket. I suspect the heater might be coming out tonight!

Hooded Sweatshirt Cape by Emily Ryan

Hooded Sweatshirt Cape by Emily Ryan

original oil painting of girl walking in rain with red umbrella

Original oil painting of girl walking in rain with red umbrella by Kathleen Bush

Up Up and Away - Reusable Fabric Wall Decals (not vinyl)

Up Up and Away – Reusable Fabric Wall Decals by Love Mae

This Mothers Day

Mothers take on a lot.  They also have a lot put on them.  It’s because of this that when Mothers Day is approaching and you ask them what they’d like to do, they might say: “Nothing” or “Don’t worry about it”, because really it’s one more thing that they’ll have to think about, may well end up planning themselves and will most likely be looking after other people anyway.

So this Mothers Day, DO buy her a present (thoughtful beats expensive) AND a card (which you will write something lovely in and if you can’t think of anything, go find a quote) and DO take her out to breakfast/brunch/lunch/dinner.

I’m just saying…

Mothers Day Card from Paper Ivy

Mothers Day Card with Deep Pink Berries

WIP (Work in Progress): Ivy’s ring

Finally, Ivy’s ring is soldered together and awaits finishing.

Ivy's ring soldered

This was not an easy project, but I did learn a few things and maybe some other beginners (or those coming back to it after a long time) will get something out of this.

  1. When you fuse your silver scraps into a tiny ball, as soon as it reaches ball shape the force of the torch will make it roll away. Good luck looking for that.
  2. This can be minimised by making a small round dip in a charcoal or magnesia soldering block with a bur or another rounded abject you might have.
  3. Tip number 2 won’t help when you’re trying to solder this small ball onto another, much flatter surface!
  4. This kind of work, on a small scale, is very difficult.  Not just the soldering of very small pieces, but saw piercing tiny shapes!
  5. A second third hand (little base that you can attach some tweezers to) might be a good idea
  6. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to do some easy projects in between the tricky ones!

Once it’s polished up and completely finished I’ll post another photo.

If anyone else has any tips or advice I’d love to hear it!