Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Happy customers make happy makers!

Recently we have been reminded of the pleasure we get from our lovely customers who send us images of their "two in a teacup" purchases. Although we only post on Instagram intermittently and our handmade products are labour intensive to create so that we only have a small production rate, we love making them and are so, so pleased when they are enjoyed by our customers too. 

We sent a tiny nest, some vintage paper baubles and gift tags to the mainland a little while ago and we were touched to see this lovely photo of our wares so delightfully displayed when they were unpacked.




Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Winter


What a year 2020 is turning out to be! 
Firstly, we hope that you and your family and friends are all staying safe and well. At the start of Winter (June in the Southern Hemisphere) an article I wrote was published in the Black Hen's lovely e-magazine. The article is about how we are supporting each other in our communities during this time of lockdown, isolation and social distancing and this is the link if you are keen to read it. 
http://www.theblackhen.com/the-black-hen-magazine The whole magazine makes for some great reading and is full of creative ideas and wonderful recipes, images and stories.


During June and July we have been busy making our vintage paper covered eggs and have begun creating a range of nests ready for Spring. As you know we love re-purposing old books and so we have also started making our vintage paper baubles. It is early for us to be thinking about Christmas at this stage of the year but this is turning out to be such an extraordinary year, so engaging in the making process seems to be a really positive thing to do.We hope that you too have some creative projects underway. Stay safe and well.


Thursday, 23 April 2020

Paper Egg Tutorial - 1


Hi everyone,
I have taken a series of photos of each stage in making a 3D paper egg and I will try to explain the process so that the images make sense. Please let me know if it is too hard to understand and I will attempt to make a little video showing the process and upload it here. I took the photos at night so I apologise for their colouration! I definitely need to up-skill in the technology sphere!!

To start an egg you need to select thin paper as it is easier to cut through at the end. I used an old dictionary so something similar is good to work with or even tissue paper sheets.You will also need a ruler, stanley knife, glue stick, needle and thread or thin twine, a piece of card or thick paper to cut out an oval shape stencil and an awl or sharp thick needle to pierce through the glued sheets of paper at the end. A cutting mat is also useful.

 You will need at least 30 - 35 sheets depending on how fluted you     want the final egg to be. One dictionary page can be cut in half for   the size egg I made. (see image) I used 32 sheets glued together and the block was big enough to cut out two egg templates that could be joined together to make one egg or perhaps two simpler eggs. Keeping it to 30-35 sheets makes it manageable to cut through for the egg shape so that the two halves can then be put together to form one full egg. If your paper is very thin, like tissue paper, you could glue more layers together and it will still be easy to cut through.

          
On a plain sheet of paper begin by drawing around the paper you are making the egg from. This gives you a marker for placement. Then mark the template with a line down the middle and just in from the edge (approximately a centimetre) on either side. These are my red marks in the photo below. Then make a line in the middle of either side - see my green marks on the image three below. All these markers indicate where you will run the glue down.



Now the process of gluing the sheets of paper begins. Start by running a glue line down the two red outside marks and down the centre line and lay a sheet of paper directly on top smoothing over the glued lines. Next glue down the two green marker lines and place another piece of paper on top making sure it is stuck to the one below. Continue this process alternating the green and then red glue lines until all sheets of paper glued together.


When all the sheets are together, cut a half oval shape out of folded card or paper. This is the template of the egg shape. You can check that it is a pleasing oval shape by opening it out.  It should be as long as the glued block of paper so that when the half egg shape is cut out the end glued lines are not right on the edge. (See image)




Next line the template along the edge of the glued paper block and draw around the shape. Note - I was able to fit two template shapes onto my paper block.






Using a sharp stanley knife carefully cut around the drawn template shape(s).







If you are joining the two cut shapes together for a fuller egg check which glue lines you need to make by looking at the last ones on each half then press the two halves together. If you have used a thinner paper and do not need to glue the two sides together you are up to the next step.



Now you are ready to pierce two holes just in from the corner on each side. You can see how the sharp point has gone through to the other side on the right and the spot for the left hole is marked with a dot. Make sure these holes are clear all the way through and hold the paper together tightly so it doesn't move or slip while you pierce it.


The next step is to thread a needle with cotton and thread it through each ends and tying it off loosely leaving about a little finger thickness loop from the hole. The thread loop needs to be loose enough to allow the paper to open out to form the egg. If it is too tight the egg wont have enough room to curl around to form the 3D shape.





Now you are ready to reveal the egg! Take both sides and open it out. I usually tuck the cotton ends into the egg before I glue both sides together but if you wish to hang it you can use the ends of the knot to do this.



This last image shows both sides being pulled together after the last lines of glue have been applied. Check which lines will continue the pattern before closing the egg - and there you have it!!






Do let me know if you are able to follow these instructions or if you need any further help. Have fun making your eggs and of course this technique also looks wonderful if you change the shape - circle, tree, bell, diamond!

Good luck. xx






Sunday, 19 April 2020

Paper Egg Tutorial

Just to let you know that I haven't forgotten about the instructions to make the paper eggs recently shown on our Instagram account. We will be posting them here in a couple of days - so keep checking in! See you soon.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Our New Normal



To be honest I am not sure what the new normal will look like as we all grapple with the uncertainty of life in a Covid-19 world. I hope where ever you are that you and your loved ones are safe and well.

In Tasmania we are just bracing ourselves for lockdown - all stores and businesses have closed except the essential ones and the cases of people diagnosed with the virus are beginning to climb. So... how do we manage our lives in this new state of being?

For our family, we have begun to hunker down at home and make lists of some of the things we think we can still achieve while we are home based. Of course this includes cleaning out cupboards, sorting through things that have been waiting for a rainy day as well as tasks that we have been putting off for some time! In reality we will probably be reading books and planning meals to enjoy! My daughter and I are beginning to work on some creative projects and one that we have joined is a free online series of workshops called 'Sketchbook Revival 2020', by Karen Abend.
https://www.karenabend.com/sketchbook-revival-2020/  This course only started on March 23 and you will have access to the videos for a month. It offers a range of artists who will be sharing their skills with specific tasks for participants to engage in. Check it out as it looks a lot of fun.

On another note I have included a link to a lovely e-magazine that is free to access and which makes for some interesting reading about nature, cooking, artists and makers and lots of heartfelt stories. It is the third edition of 'The Black Hen' magazine and I feel very fortunate to have been able to contribute to this Autumn edition and the earlier Summer one.  Here is the link  http://www.theblackhen.com/the-black-hen-magazine 

Stay well and safe as we all charter a course through this changing world. I am hoping to share some of the ways we are spending our days as we learn how to be house bound and stay positive. It would be lovely to hear about some of the things you are all doing to adapt to our new normal at the moment.

See you again soon,

Deborah

Sunday, 2 February 2020

New Vintage Paper Eggs


As you saw in our last post we have begun making small batches of our eggs again and recently I started bringing back some images of rabbits again as Easter draws near. We love being able to re-use old book papers in these little treasures and have also been incorporating decorative collage elements on some of the eggs. It is so lovely to see the variation in the aged papers we use - some are quite pale while others are darker with soft earthy tones. Some of the new eggs will be available on our bigcartel shop which can be accessed through the link on this blog.


Monday, 30 December 2019

Happy New Year!

It is the 30th of December 2019 and I find myself asking how can this be the end of another year? We hope yours has been a happy and healthy one and that you are ready and excited for the start of the next decade! Here at 'Two in a Teacup' we have plans to update our blog and shop site over January and give thought to some new products that are on the drawing board. 

In November this year I was honoured to be asked to write a small piece for the second edition of The Black Hen Magazine. This is a beautiful online publication and includes many articles from artists and makers as well as on gardening, food and styling ideas. I wrote about the nests I make, the inspiration behind them and some ideas on creating your own nest. The photograph below was taken by Julie of The Black Hen and is included in my article in the magazine. If you haven't seen this publication yet this is the link that will take you to The Black Hen site where you can download a copy http://www.theblackhen.com/the-black-hen-magazine



Earlier in December we sent off an order of our vintage paper eggs to one of our lovely stockists - Crazy Beautiful Life - Homewares and this time each egg had an added collage image. We used various birds, leaves and nest images to embellish the text covered eggs.





Our living room this Christmas season smells deliciously of pine tree. We love a real tree and the ritual of bringing out the box of decorations each year to dress the tree is one of our favourite parts of Christmas . We hope you have all enjoyed your Christmas festivities this year and we wish you the very best for the coming year ahead.