From the category archives:

Arts and Crafts

Handmade Paper Ornaments Tutorial

by Julie Kohl on December 7, 2013

I love paper ornaments! They are beautiful, classy and a have a touch of nostalgia. Enjoy these paper ornament tutorials.

Handmade Paper Ornaments Tutorial

Paper Ornament #1

Materials Needed:
2 Pieces of 6×6 Double Sided Scrapbook Paper
String or Ornament hook

Step 1: Select two coordinating 6×6 pieces of double sided scrapbook paper. (I cut a 12×12 sheet into 4 6×6 pieces and used 2.)

paper star step 1

Step 2: Fold the paper in half to form a triangle.

paper star step 2

Step 3: Fold in half again.

paper star step 3

Step 4: Draw and cut out this curved shape from the open edge of the triangle.

paper star step 4

Paper star step 4b

Step 5: Cut 2 rounded slits on each folded edge.


Step 6: Open the paper.


Step 7: Fold the center petal in to the center and glue into place.


Step 8: Repeat with all four petals.


Step 9: Repeat steps 1-5 with the second piece of paper then place the completed piece on top of the new piece and glue in the center.

paper star step 10

Step 10: Fold the center petal to the center and glue to attach to the first piece.


Step 11: Repeat with all four petals.

Step 12: Add a sting or ornament hook and hang on the tree!



Please check out the links below for tutorials to the remaining ornaments.

Handmade Paper Ornaments Tutorial

Ornament #2 – Duitang
Ornament #3 – House Revivals
Ornament #4 – HandiMania

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P. Allen Smith: The Artist

by Julie Kohl on June 12, 2013

A few weeks ago I was so blessed to be invited to P. Allen Smith’s house to tour his home, gardens and get to learn about the importance of soy beans in Arkansas. It was a wonderful day that I will be talking about more in several upcoming posts but today I want to focus on P. Allen Smith: The Artist.
(Photo by Donna Evans. Used with permission by Hortus Ltd. and P. Allen Smith Companies)
If your aren’t familiar with P. Allen Smith he is one of America’s most recognized garden and design experts. He has two shows on PBS, has written multiple books and often appears on The Weather Channel and the CBS Early Show. His website is a wonderful resource for all kinds of home and garden tips and ideas.

Allen’s home and gardens are stunning, but as an artist and art teacher I was amazed to learn that he is an avid supporter of the arts and a budding artist himself. Here are several examples of his art from around his home:

Image courtesy of Beth Stephens @

The depth of color in each of these paintings is striking and rich. Upon closer examination of the artwork you will also discover little bugs playing around, dancing and even doing “naughty” things upon the leaves and stems of the fruit and vegetables. I love an artist with a sense of humor!

Allen gets his inspiration from his gardens. He designs his gardens as “rooms” and wants the gardens to be places that people can enjoy and relax in. What better way to relax after a hard day of gardening than to paint the fruits of your labor? Check out this conversation between Allen and Plein Aire painters Cyndra Bradford and Jeff Smith where they discuss the similarities between art and gardening.

A good portion of our day at Moss Mountain Farm was also spent discussing the importance of local farmers and soy beans to Arkansas’s economy and well-being. Here are two artworks I created that were inspired by the rural landscape around Arkansas.

I was also floored by Allen’s art studio. The studio, which is a symmetrical complement to his summer kitchen is large, airy, well lit and surrounded by unfounded beauty and inspiration.

What a dream it would be if Allen invited me back to his home to paint with him in his gardens and studio!


Felted Balls Cheer Up Dreary Decor {A Guest Post}

March 27, 2013

Felted Balls Cheer Up Dreary Decor {A Guest Post} I don’t know about you, but I was a little sad to put away the Christmas decorations this year. Everything looks so plain without them, and that’s a bad feeling when winter [is slowly melting into spring]. It feels like we need alternative decorations to keep […]

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AWB Hanmade Ornament Exchange Secret Santa Reveal

December 17, 2012

I love Secret Santa exchanges! I recently participated in the Handmade Ornament Secret Santa exchange over at Arkansas Women Bloggers.  We each received the information for another blogger and were supposed to make an ornament to send to our partner.  Today I get to reveal the person who sent me an ornament! 98% of my Christmas tree […]

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DIY Romantic Fall Inspired Mason Jar Vase with Burlap, Lace & Pearls

October 15, 2012

Mason jars are so versatile in the home.  They are perfect in the kitchen for canning homemade goodies, for filling with ice cold beverages and I have even seen individual cakes baked in mason jars! Mason jars are also useful in other areas. They are perfect storage in the pantry, craft room or the bathroom. […]

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Sand and Seashells in a Bottle Beach Souvenir TUTORIAL {Arts and Crafts}

July 11, 2012

Every summer we head to the beach.  Every summer I collect a pail full of sand and seashells.  Every summer I don’t know what to do with the sand and shells and they end up being tossed in our driveway.  This is neat in it’s own way because every once and a while I will […]

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Jersey Summer {Arts and Crafts}

June 27, 2012

I have long had an infatuation with Jersey cows.  Not only are they beautiful creatures they are sweet and produce amazing milk.  I have yet to take the plunge but SOMEDAY I will own a Jersey cow which I will raise for its milk. I have been wanting to paint a Jersey for a very […]

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Crystal Bridges Museum of America Art

June 16, 2012

Sometimes (actually a lot of times) I think the rest of the country underestimates how cool Arkansas can be.  Sure we have a decent population of country boys and girls and our fair share of “hill people” but we are not as backwards as the rest of the world thinks.  In fact, Arkansas boasts a […]

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Bottle Cap Murals

May 21, 2012

Bottle Cap Murals   I’ve mentioned a few times in the past that I am an art teacher.  Teaching art is such a great job! Since I teach 5th – 12th grade I get to play with a BIG variety of materials each day.  I love seeing what the kids can create and am constantly […]

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Online Shop Reopening June 1st

May 16, 2012

I will be reopening my online Etsy shop on June 1st.  I will have a variety of handmade and handcrafted items.  Please bookmark my shop and check back on June 1st!

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