a few ideas for halloween

 This was Stella and Oliver as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera for an actual Frida themed birthday party. Easy!

Hahaha, it's not even October yet. But I just found photos of some fun Halloween-type things we've done in years past so I thought I'd share them. From the collage below:

1. The Wonder Twins, Zan and Jayna
These were from Halloween 2000. My friend Mike flew in from Denver, and we did everything from dye long johns purple to sculpt the hair from rubber flip wigs. Do you love the highlights? Just like the comics! Mike even brilliantly wired two squeezable flash light controllers into the bases of two of those giant ring pops so we could just squeeze them and then activate our Wonder Twin powers. Needless to say we were a GIANT HIT!

2. Scary cake pops
I did these for a fundraiser for Stella's school a few years ago. Also a giant hit! I used Bakerella's Halloween post as my guide.

3. Watermelon brain
I saw this on the internet somewhere, wasn't my idea. It was fun to do though, and it was thoroughly disgusting. Stella is so squeamish that it kept her out of the fridge for the MONTH I KEPT IT IN THERE. The grossest part was that the rubber maggots I stuck in the creases would stick to our arms if we brushed against them. Yucky!

4. Baby in a pumpkin
Scoop out a pumpkin and stick your baby in there! I did it to Stella (at the height of newborn acne) and we ended up getting some postage stamps made of it because it was so adorable/ridiculous.

Here's a slightly more sophisticated idea. Make some egg piñatas in halloween or candy corn colors. They are sweet decorations. Just follow the tutorial for the eggs I did at Easter for A Subtle Revelry (click HERE) and adjust your crepe paper colors accordingly.

And here are four donut pan ideas from last October. I was really on point with the season last year!

What else, what else. I'm not sure what I'll be this year. I've been leaning on my Frida burlesque costume for the past few years and it's probably time to move on. I have such a hard time with costumes, believe it or not (here are some of our costumes from past Halloweens). I usually wait for inspiration but it never comes. I'll keep you posted!


descent into madness

In the last two weeks a bunch of opportunities have piled themselves on top of each other and I am a little stressed out and EXTREMELY exhausted right now, to say the least. I said yes to every single offer, and now my to-do list is a mile long and I slept for three hours last night so I could work late and get up early to work some more and I'm feeling pretty crazy. But I also feel like this is really the beginning of something exciting so it's worth it to me. This is more or less the first time I've been paid to do something since my last architectural project ended four years ago. I call it "starting a business", but it's really just me diving in to a ton of work. No website, no business cards, no logo. I'm just Tiffanie Turner of papel SF and I'm rolling with it for now!

A handful of people have asked me to share a D.I.Y. tutorial for the "closed" piñata I shared photos of in my original giant peony piñata post (the hot fuschia one). I have gotten half way through it but I need to get the piece I was using for the tutorial finished and shipped to Maine in the next few days so I had to abandon photographing as I go for now. I will come back to it, because it is a bit easier than the larger peonies and is still a stunner, and it's cool that people are asking me for it.

I do want to write about more than just paper and flowers, and I also don't want to only show up here every time some cool opportunity comes along, but just bear with me a few more weeks, there's so much going on right now. The season has changed and so will my content I am sure. I do want to tell you that I just signed a contract to teach a paper craft LIVE online and with a studio audience in November, which pretty much guarantees I won't lose a pound before then. I'm really excited about that one and I'll keep you posted.

I hope you have a really great weekend, and I'll see you next week. I leave you with a photo of a giant peony stamen cluster I cooked up a few nights ago. Thank you for continuing to come by here, it still means a lot to me!



donut pan idea no. 57: brioche à tête

This is another one of my most inspired donut pan ideas, and one that came out better than I imagined it would: brioche à tête, or brioche with a head. I've done another brioche-type donut project before (my challah rings), but this one is different because it's actual brioche, and if you research brioche à tête enough you will see that a lot of people have a hard time keeping their "tête" on straight. But not me! The donut form of the base of the each brioche provides an excellent nest for the top ball of dough, so they all came out perfectly. I'm serious. Stunning, delicious and perfect, the whole dozen.


paper flower headpiece class

I taught my first paper flower headpiece class last week at Makeshift Society in San Francisco. Carte Fini supplied me with a good portion of the crepe paper I used to make a basket full of paper flowers ahead of time and also a lot of the paper we used that night (and we used a lot of paper), so thank you to Carte Fini, you know I love you!

I met a lot of really nice women in the class and although it got pretty hectic for me at the end, I think it went pretty well. I don't know if you know this, but it turns out you can learn a lot about how to teach by teaching! I made some notes after class on what went well and what things might require more thorough instruction so I'll know how to do it better the next time.

Photos by Christine Bohn of Makeshift Society.

Speaking of the next time, I'm going to run this class again on Sunday, October 27th at the newly opened Handcraft Studio School in Emeryville, CA. We are going to have three hours this time to get everything done (as opposed to the two hours that stretched to almost three at Makeshift). I will also be offering another class at Makeshift Society featuring a seasonal project, but we are still hammering out the details on that one, so I'll let you know more when it's all sorted out.

To sign up for the paper flower headpiece class at Handcraft Studio School, send an email to Marie at info@handcraftstudioschool.com and she will get you signed up. 

Here are some more photos from the class. I hope you can join me next time, it's a fun way to spend a few hours. With the holidays coming I'll be shifting the palette a little, but I'll bring enough pink pompom fringe and coral crepe paper that you can still make a bright and playful headpiece if you'd like!

Photos by Lisa Milestone of Pippa & Co..

Photos from Lauren Crow (except the adorable one in the corner OF Lauren Crow), the amazing artist, performer, photographer and all around too-gifted-for-her-young-age lady about town.

(L) Illustrator Nicky Ovitt's amazingly inventive piece, and photo of said piece;
(R) me, mid-sentence.

Photos by Laura Monfredini of elle PHOTOGRAPHS.

The flowers I brought with me, almost all made from the same general technique.


the new juju

Here's my answer to the high cost of the gorgeous feather juju hat wall hangings I have been seeing all over the place for the past few years. I noticed them first on SF Girl by Bay, and if you search for them on Pinterest you will see just how popular (and pretty) they are. I really wanted one myself, but this summer when I started thinking about making these chrysanthemums I realized they would be a great juju substitute. These started out as piñatas like their peony cousins, but they evolved, and I hope they keep evolving!

I'm really excited because I've just been asked by a major online home decor site (One Kings Lane) to be part of their artisanal sale site in mid-October. I don't have much inventory for them yet, but I am going to go for it and crank a few more out as soon as I'm done with a commission I'm working on. I may not be winning any American Made awards this year, but that's how they found me, so I'm happy I participated!

This one is actually headed to Maine as a table top decoration at a bar mitzvah.

The above items and all of my piñatas are currently available through my Etsy shop, papel SF. They are made-to-order at the moment, but I hope to get my inventory up over the following weeks.


round up: just the usual

A skull I made resting atop his and hers interlocking petrified wood slices from Utah.

Just the usual. Snapping some shots around the house. I do leave once in a while, I swear, but I'm a little overwhelmed with things I need to do right now so I've been spending a lot of time here. None of it spent cleaning unfortunately.

Lunch a la Oliver.

Our small opaque white Heath collection.

And a small portion of my beloved Fire-King collection.

Paper fuschia trial and error.

Both Stella and Oliver spent most of their time at the Grand Canyon this summer chasing the squirrels
instead of enjoying the view. I got them these inexpensive squirrel pillows from H & M Home. 

They were actually so inexpensive that I finally got duvet covers and the like for everyone. Animals everywhere!

I am a sucker for stamps. My absolute favorite are the USPS pine cone and pine needle stamps
that came out last year (not pictured). Have you ever seen the stamp covered bird house I made? 

I almost never photograph Stella's room anymore. Here's why.

And here's the best part of Stella having a pet snake: this cool museum looking cage.

I love seeing which tchotchkes Stella likes to display around her room. Here's a mushroom from Tin Tin, a Terra Cotta Warrior from one of David's trips, a camera she made in preschool from wood and bottle caps, a pooping chicken, a fan my friend Liza brought me from Spain long ago.

Have you ever checked out Stella's room in its more pristine state? You can see how it looked when we first pulled her room together here. It was so clean for a minute!


donut pan idea no. 56: monkey bread donuts

Donuts on a Friday! These are monkey bread donuts, and they are killer. I have to admit, I'd never heard of monkey bread until it started showing up on some blogs I read here and there, and then The Kitchn ran an article on 15 different ways to make monkey bread (I'd love to make this savory version of it, it looks so delicious), and then it really caught my attention.

This is like a morning bun on crack, or at least with a crackle. The hard-ish caramelized coating is what helps keep these donuts together and what makes them taste so damn good. The assembly of these donuts would be really fun to do with kids, but the baking and subsequent removal of them from the pans intact takes a bit of art, so be careful and click on "read more" below to read more!


two spots left for paper flower headpiece class!

I promise this blog has not just become a depot for paper flowers. But I am a little consumed, doing some custom orders (yay!) and getting ready for my upcoming class at Makeshift Society here in San Francisco. And I am here to tell you that there are only two spots left in the class, so if you want to come, click on the link below, sign up, and I'll see you next Thursday evening!

I'll be back tomorrow with some donuts for the weekend! xo


writing a beginner's cv

My body of (non-architectural) work.

I am currently applying for a grant and some long-shot positions where a CV is required in the submittal process. I was fairly clueless about what a CV entailed, so I did some research online and quickly realized how different a CV is from a resumé, and also how special they are. To me, a CV seems like a great opportunity to tell someone the things you really want them to know about you. It gives you a chance to customize your list of life experiences to whomever your audience might be. 

Unfortunately, in cases like mine, being an amateur in the field you are trying to break into can make writing a CV pretty difficult. For me in particular it was hard to come up with life experiences in the arts. My entire professional career up until Oliver was born was in architecture. 

To start to pull my CV together, I worked in a parallel path: one side of my brain was researching what a CV was, what to include on it and how to lay it out; the other half brainstormed any brush with professional art or craft related experiences/awards/writings, etc. and scribbled them all down on a page nearby. Over the course of two days more and more ideas kept bubbling up, Some of them ended up being too irrelevant or bull-shitty for me to use, but I was able to squeeze enough out of the list to put together my CV. 

If you do your own CV research, you'll see that I eliminated some categories I just couldn't fill and placed things out of the recommended order so that less significant stuff didn't end up at the top. I can't tell you that this is a good or successful CV (yet!), but when you've got very little to offer in the way of experience you've just gotta give whatever you've got.

I'd love to hear any CV advice (or critiques) you might have. I thought it was especially interesting and challenging when it came to web and blog-based press/exhibition type items. If an artist or craftsperson has had most of their success and attention from the global online community, how does that translate on a CV? I made up some "online" categories at the bottom, but I wonder if this could have been done better.

Oh, and FYI, here are two really helpful articles I used that helped me greatly in the physical set-up of my CV:


i need your help

There is one more week of voting left in the Martha Stewart American Made awards, and I need anyone and everyone who has ever had faith in me and my creativity and my work ethic to give me their votes. I am so touched by all the support I've received so far and astounded by the endorsements! There are a few people ahead of me in the CRAFT category by a few hundred votes (and a greeting card maker who is miles ahead). I just want to get noticed, and EVERY VOTE MATTERS right now.

So, if you are so inclined, please set yourself a reminder and cast your SIX votes my way every day until midnight of next Friday, September 13th. This means so much to me. I promise not to do this to you again, I just really need your help right now.

Click here to cast your votes:

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Have a wonderful weekend!


paletas de ollie

These are just a few photos from Oliver's birthday this year. Oliver is a late bloomer. He weaned a little after three years old, left our bed shortly after that, and potty trained when he was damn well ready at about 3 1/2 years old. He started preschool at almost four years old and through no fault of his own still doesn't have a good friend. I didn't have a mommies' group with similarly aged children when Oliver was born like I did with Stella, and I spent way less time at the playground in his toddler years. We still had a lot of fun, but we never found a family with a little one Oliver's age that all of us clicked with or that lived near enough to us for Oliver to hang out with on a regular basis. 

Oliver is the type of guy who because of all of this calls a kid he's met for five minutes on the playground his friend. He is SO ready for kids and friends. He's the only kid out of the 16 at his preschool each day that doesn't speak Spanish, where it is immersion and no English is allowed, so he doesn't really have that going for him. With any luck he will start being able to communicate with the other kids and make some friends like his sister did when she was there. He's having fun now, but I'm sure he's hanging back like Stella did, trying to figure it all out.

For Oliver's birthday this year I brought popsicles (paletas) to his school to have after lunch at the end of the day. The kids took them home with them and some climbed to the top of the front steps above the school to eat them. Oliver stayed at the bottom at first, then we encouraged him to join the others. He went half way up, then some of the kids came down a few steps to join him. I just thought it was the sweetest thing.

Here is Oliver's third birthday party, a nautical Spongebob theme with mostly grown up guests, and here is his second birthday, which was a super small affair. xoxo


donut pan idea no. 55: lava donuts

It's been almost two months since I've used my donut pans. Sacre bleu! I'm back at it now though. Here's donut pan idea no. 55: molten lava donuts! This is a great idea if you don't have ramekins or other molds around for individual lava cakes. The donut pans work well because the batter bakes up just enough to allow you to flip all of the donuts out of the pan afterwards without them falling apart, but they are still liquid-y and fudge-y and addictive! Plus, to be able to hold a lava cake in your hand while drinking your coffee? Nothing wrong with that.

This is one of Stella's many clever donut pan ideas (like this one), so kudos to her. She was really good at eating these, too!

Click on "read more" below to get the full recipe and instructions.

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