my studio

Every time I see an Instagram shot of someone's studio, I go a little nuts inside. This is what we're working with over here, the kitchen counter where we eat taken over by paper, paper and more paper from after breakfast until dinner time. Peaceful looking, isn't it? You can't see what's going on behind me in this shot, but it's the hundreds of rolls of crepe and half-finished blossoms and it's just crazy. This is why I haven't done my favorite round up posts in so long. Nothing to see here.

San Francisco real estate and rents being what they are, combined with the impractical amount of time it takes me to finish each of the pieces and then sell them means I'm not moving this rig out of here anytime soon. So yesterday I finished my application for a grant offered through the Sustainable Arts Foundation. They award very generously sized grants for artists and writers with families. I realize I should've mentioned this sooner, in case you would have liked to apply, because the deadline is today. They do offer this grant twice a year, so you should consider signing up for their mailing list for the next one if you are interested.

I applied last fall and did not receive an award. But this grant was designed for people like me. People who have a ton of things they would love to study with their work but have no time and especially no space. Some of the essays in the grant application ask you to write about how your family affects your ability to do work. Of course I wrote about the constrictions on our space, as I do everything right on our kitchen counter and we are all going bonkers because of it.

So, I am hoping that they notice me and my work, and that they see it as more than just window dressing, which is definitely something I'm trying to address as I create each piece I'm working on right now. I have SO much more I'd love to study with these pieces. Pods, seeds, decay, wilting, the amazing "organized chaos" that is nature! David and I have basically planned out all the best ways to use the award for all it was meant to be used for, so our fingers are crossed.

It was exciting to put together the writing and the portfolio, regardless of what happens. I was able to add a lot more to my CV and my portfolio since the fall. (Wow, have I been busy!)

That's all for now. Below is a screen shot showing the beginning of my new portfolio, formatted for the grant application. There are few new pieces in there that I am really proud of.

Have a great, fun weekend (do it for me)!



fresh bread

I am spending a lot of time these days riding the highs and lows of being chin deep in a project and being beyond exhausted. The highs are lessening and the lows are hard, but I know at the end of April it'll all be normal again so I try not to fret. 

One thing that made me feel good this weekend was making bread. I am serious. White bread. One of the least healthy foods on the planet, I know. But taking the time to mix it up with the kids, watching it rise, making a few different variations on it and incorporating it into both our Saturday dinner and Sunday breakfast made me feel like the wife and mother I want to be but can't be right now. 

It's been out for a few years now, but if you haven't checked out Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day you should. These loaves are the buttermilk bread recipe because I happened to have buttermilk in the refrigerator. I added a swirl of chocolate, sugar and cinnamon to the Sunday morning loaf, a variation on the cinnamon raisin bread recipe from the book.

Back to work now. Have a great week!




The bases for all my large scale pieces start like this.

I've got nada. I'm too exhausted to say much beyond happy weekend, folks. Last weekend we had a wonderful time hiking and going to the movies and such. This weekend I'm going to try to sneak "work" time in between everything that we do, using Stella being sick on our couch as an excuse. Hopefully I'll come out the other end feeling more on top of things than I do. I wanted to have ten pieces for my May 9 opening completed by the end of February, but it's looking like I'll end up with fewer than that.

I've been doing little sketches of each flower I want to make by starting a bunch of them and taking them to a point where I know what will happen next, so our house is like a garden of half-made blossoms right now. It's so fun, but I wish it wasn't all so crazy at the same time.

I am hoping to get a donut project done this weekend. That would be great. I'll let you know how it goes. Have a great weekend, and thanks as always for reading. xoxo


d.i.y. hydrangea headpieces

This simple but impressive hydrangea headpiece tutorial comes as a response to the dozens of requests I have received this past year through my Etsy shop for affordable and fabulous floral headpieces for performances, photo shoots and weddings. Many of those requests are for children's recital costumes in particular. I can just imagine a stage full of little ladies looking like a beautiful garden in these fluffy toppers. Additionally, I was recently asked by a reader for a tutorial for the headpiece I wear in this performance. That one is just a slightly scaled up version of the one shown in this d.i.y. and the tutorial works for both. I'm thinking of turning these into kits to be sold through papel SF, but until then, I am very happy to share how to make them here!

For the full tutorial, click on "read more" below.


what i: heart(s) on my sleeve

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! I'm hanging out at home working away, trying not to eat all the kids' chocolates. I'm looking forward to a night in tonight with David and a bottle of wine, and a date night out tomorrow night, too. Poor Oliver thought today was going to be more of a celebration than it was and was pretty disappointed in the "short holiday" after he got his box of chocolates this morning. Spoiled rotten. I filled his pockets with tiny crepe paper hearts for him to toss all over his classmates during their Friday hike. I hope he does it.

Today I am wearing an awesome red cotton Hawaiian shift dress with tiny white hearts all over it that I bought at a thrift shop years ago and always forget I own. I am also wearing my newest pair of clogs (purchased on sale here) which replace the blue ones I have worn down to splinters. Hot stuff.

I am taking the weekend off from working nonstop to do some serious mom-ming and wife-ing. Have a great weekend and lovely Valentine's Day! 



papel SF

I just cooked up a little papel SF page, housed here until I have time to build a website for it. Nine of my favorite projects in paper, most with tutorials. It looks like this:

papel SF
Tiny and giant works in paper, made in San Francisco.

egg heartsmock-vintage floral bulb reflectorssimple crepe paper flowers

nice big paper rosesoversized dahlia headpiecesthe new juju

Current workshops offered:
woodland egg ornaments
paper flower headpieces
egg + crepe paper valentines
 big paper roses

Oology, April 2013, Rare Device, S.F., CA
Heads, opening May 9, 2014, Rare Device, S.F., CA

Etsy shop:
papel SF


egg heart workshop

Clockwise from top left:
Beautiful sill; mini pompom trim for the hearts (find it here);
the fruits of our labor; six dozen blown out eggs

I held a class at beautiful Handcraft Studio School this past rainy weekend making my egg and crepe paper valentine hearts. I love teaching at Handcraft. The attendees are always truly wonderful women, and the owner Marie is a beautiful soul with a wonderful aesthetic. She's a great host and and all around super lady.

There was a nice turnout for the workshop even with several cancelations due to sickness. I am looking forward to the next class I've scheduled there for May (details to come so stay tuned). Marie has some other fantastic workshops coming up over the next several weeks, including Intro to Indigo with the lovely Kathryn Davey, Pine Needle Baskets with Judith Thomas, and Ombre Dye and Macrame Necklace Making with Cathy Callahan. That's the one I am definitely hoping to attend. I love everything Cathy Callahan makes, and I can't wait to be on the other side of the table at one of these things, learning something new.

More photos from the my class below. And then enough with the frigging egg hearts already, amiright? I do have to say, I love coming up with ideas for Carte Fini as their featured artist, because it forces me to think really, really hard to create new uses for the paper, and almost all of those projects have parlayed into great classes. Win-win.

Some really sweet women; the Valentine's Day mini pop-up shop in the studio, featuring goods
by Dutch Door Press and papel SF among others (open through Valentine's Day)

 A pink heart coming along well; all the colors

Just getting going; a real stitch and bitch


showtime: childhood memories show, elbo room, january 14, 2014

I performed two acts in January at Bombshell Betty's childhood memories themed show, this pink pompom confection and my favorite chair dance with the Showgirl Chorus. It wasn't as highly attended as the December show, but we had fun. I had fresh blood in the audience, which is always a thrill for me. I had a prop malfunction (I couldn't get my pompom "fans" to untie on one end, so they were attached like a "V" for the whole act), but I managed to make it work. If I ever have time to create a new act, it is going to be made all of velcro! Nothing to untie. Untying makes me really nervous because so much can go wrong, and this time something did. But it was fun and it's a really joyful act, so I was all smiles during it. I have never performed at this weight before (still on the weight gain train) which made me feel a little off my game, but I was happy to find these photos that make me feel pretty nonetheless!

Here are a few shots from a super, super fun choreography Betty taught us. I have always loved this act and even though I haven't perfected some of the arm work in it, I have SO much fun performing it.

Members of the Showgirl Chorus performing "Feelin' Good". The wonderful Cooki Crumbles, the marvelous Boysenberry Cupcake and me, Yve Jobs. 

So, that was lots of fun! It will be a few months before I perform again, I'm still waiting for another chance to do my flamenco act which I love the most. I will keep you posted!


egg + crepe paper valentine workshops!

Did you like my little egg valentines from last week? Well, I have a giant box of pink and red crepe paper and a bag of mini pompom fringe, and I'd love to hang out and make some with you! If you're in the area, I'm holding two workshops and I'd love to see you there. We can get our Valentine's Day crafting done in the nick of time. These replace the paper rose workshops I had previously scheduled.

Here is the class description, and the links to register are below. 

"Using a giant array of Valentine's Day hues, learn to make beautiful heart-shaped valentines using blown out chicken eggs and gorgeous Italian crepe paper. Tiffanie will guide you through the process of assembling the hearts and finishing them with several different techniques and trims. You will complete at least one egg heart in class, and be provided with materials for another as well as a discount code for future crepe paper purchases. These little three-dimensional valentines are beautiful on their own, or strung up together on garlands. You can even fill them with mash notes, candies and confetti. They make perfect Valentine's Day gifts!"

Handcraft Studio School, Emeryville, CA
Sunday, February 9th 11:00-1:00 p.m.
Note: There will also be a Valentine's Day pop-up shop at this location, where I and others will be selling our best hand made Valentine's Day wares.

Makeshift Society, San Francisco, CA
Tuesday, February 11th, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Over the weekend the hearts were featured at Poppytalk and Studio DIY (thank you Jan and Kelly)! They are really cute and you should really come make some with me! 


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