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The Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers

What woman doesn’t love flowers? Seriously. I swoon for gerbera daisies. My hibiscus bushes in full bloom are a source of unmatched joy. And any floral-scented perfume is a gift I love to receive.  So when I was told I’d be handling the publicity for a flower-making craft book, I did a little happy dance around my desk.

The book publishes in two weeks and is called The Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers (Abrams | STC Craft), by an amazing artist named Livia Cetti.

The subtitle, A Guide to Making Unbelievably Realistic Paper Blooms, is no joke. Livia’s flowers look breathtakingly liek the real deal. Just look at this centerpiece…

And for my northern virginia and DC friends, just look at these cherry blossoms! With our never-ending winter weather, the trees around the National Park won’t be looking this fabulous.

Speaking of DC, author Livia Cetti had the honor of decorating The White House with her realistic tissue paper petals. At the time, Michelle Obama had hoped to bring in hibiscus flowers for a Korean state dinner. But, they were not in season – so the organizers called on Livia to craft the next best thing! How cool, right?

Livia shares her secrets for gorgeous crepe paper blooms. Step-by-step instructions guide the reader through the basics, like bleaching the tissue paper, freehand painting with bleach, painting leaves, working with wire, making pom centers, wrapping stems, and sculpting petals. There’s even photos for each step of the process…

Then Livia gets to the good stuff – making flowers!

(This beautiful photo, taken by Addie Juell, makes me want to lean down and drink in what must be a heavenly scent!)

There’s projects for 25 of the most popular flowers you can think of…Rose, Dahlia, Jasmine, Sweet Pea, Tiger Lily, Tree Peony, Begonia, and more!

Livia also explains how to combine individual flowers to create arrangements with eye-popping color!
There’s an additional 23 projects for arrangements -from garlands and wreaths to wedding flowers, like corsages and cake toppers.

I’ve invited my craft club to come try their hand at making tissue flowers from The Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers. As soon as the weather starts to feel like Spring around here, I’m setting the date!
I can’t wait! This book is so inspiring – the styling is simple and modern, which speaks to my home decor style. Of course, what room doesn’t look lovely with gorgeous flowers?

If you want to pick up a copy, here’s your link!
Learn more about Livia Cetti here.

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It was a paper-pumpkin party!

A month or so ago I hosted a paint demonstration at my house for some local gals. It was fun – we noshed, drank and chalk painted a hostess tray. While we sat and chatted, I proposed we start a neighborhood craft club. The idea was enthusiastically received, and we now have a Facebook group of 32 members, who will meet once a month to try out a variety of crafts.

Last night was our first meeting. Eleven women from our community came over to my house, where we crafted these adorable paper pumpkins.

The idea came from Better Homes and Gardens. (click for instructions on how to make them)
We tried heavy and light-weight scrapbook paper, as well as additional adornments, like tulle, raffia, twine, fabric leaves, ribbon, etc. And while the instructions didn’t call for it, we stuffed most of them with colored tissue paper. The light-weight scrapbook paper just couldn’t withstand the weight of the wine cork stems. Tip – the heavy card stock papers work great – no need for stuffing!

It was a really fun evening! We ate, drank a lot of wine, laughed and worked just about the whole time on these adorable autumnal creations. I loved how encouraging everyone was to each other, and the team efforts some of the projects became. Some of the women got super creative – like Gail, who hot-glued decorative ribbons to her strips of paper, and Jackie, who used fancy craft scissors to give her paper a special edge.

Here’s some photos from the evening…

Our guest, Michelle, brought Cupcake Heaven! 
(That’s really the name of the bakery and they tasted heavenly!)

 Jackie, made these delightful candy-coated pretzel sticks to display in her Tiffany vase!


Liza took a break from cutting strips of purple paper to smile for the camera!
Tonia made this gorgeous orange sparkly version!

Someone had to drink a lot of wine to accumulate that many corks! 
(I swear its been a group effort over the past two years that we’ve lived in this neighborhood.)

Jen’s lovely pumpkin in green and pink!


Pumpkin-making at its finest!

A bouquet I put together for the festivities.

 Gail displays her great black and orange pumpkin!

 Another beauty – love the raffia!

A butterfly found this one!

The pumpkin patch – delightfully colorful!

Next month our craft will be embossed travertine tiles – perfect for gift-giving. I can’t wait! And we’ll have a special guest craft demonstration in early December with the gents from Our Crafty Home! I am super excited to make a Christmas wreath with these guys! So please make sure to follow along as we share more monthly crafting parties.