Audrey Hepburn publicity photo for ‘Funny Face’, 1957.
How-to: Make a “paper tree” in five easy steps
This project was inspired by two things: 1.) A neat “printed paper pine” item from Anthropologie, and 2.) my discovery, in the attic of my parents’ house, of an assortment of vintage sheet music — mainly trumpet and saxophone parts from the 1950s-1970s (that hadn’t been touched since the 1970s) when my father played in a band.
- One chopstick
- Something into which the chopstick can be anchored, like a scrap piece of wood, so the stick stands vertically (I upcycled an old plastic reel-to-reel tape spool as a base)
- Several pages of printed sheet music, pages from a discarded book (or book you’ll no longer read), old holiday cards, or pages from magazines or catalogs
- A piece of cardboard, roughly 1.5’x2’ in size
- Pinking shears, or something else that provides a decorative edge
- An ice pick, or other hole-punching device
- Optional: Glue, small nail, hammer
Estimated time for completion:
- A couple of hours, though you probably can multi-task (read blogs, like I did, or watch TV) while working.
- Using pinking shears, or another cutting tool, cut the music (or other paper pieces) into squares. I cut my largest square approximately 5” x 5”, and smallest 1” x 1”. As I went along, I didn’t measure the pieces, but estimated the size based on that of the squares I’d just cut. For one tree, I used 40 paper squares.
- Next, use scissors to cut the cardboard into small squares to add as spacers between the paper squares. The cardboard squares should be considerably smaller than the paper squares — that’ll help make the cardboard less visible. (I used a piece of recycled cardboard that held a case of cat food — it’s thinner and less rigid than some cardboard which made it easier to cut, I think.) Cut out the same number of cardboard squares as you have paper squares.
- Poke holes in the center of the paper and cardboard squares. With an ice pick, I was able to punch holes through several squares at the same time. (Your mileage may vary.)
- Next, place your chopstick in whatever object you have handy to use as a base. You may want to nail or glue the chopstick into/onto your object. (I didn’t need to — my chopstick fits pretty snugly into my base.)
- Now place the cardboard and paper squares onto the chopstick, pushing them down from the chopstick’s tapered end. Start with your largest square of cardboard, then add your largest piece of music on top of it. Continue stacking the cardboard and paper squares, keeping an eye on how your “tree” is shaping up. Hopefully, it’s a nice cone shape.
As your layering of squares nears the top of the chopstick, stop at whatever point you want to. You could put a dot of glue on the topmost cardboard piece and paper square, to hold them in place. (I’d like to take the tree apart after the holidays — to store everything flat in a box — so I didn’t add glue.) Also, I left my chopstick top bare because I like the minimal look of it. You may want to “top” your tree with something.
That’s it. Place your tree on a table, and enjoy!
Note: This project carries a stamp of approval from Veto, my feline quality control officer.
Yes, yours truly (Unconsumptioneer Molly) posted a tutorial for something I made. Hope it inspires you to make something of your own!
Eye cream is an essential part of any personal care routine. As a devout user of eyeliner and mascara - protecting this sensitive skin is very important to me. I have tried many many eye creams. And Herbaliz Eye Cream so far has been my favorite.
Herbaliz eye cream gets an enthusiastic thumbs up. It hits all the right spots:
- At only $15/jar - it’s affordable.
- Texture is smooth like velvet - and a little goes a long way!
- EWG Skin Deep rating of 1 - This stuff is handmade with natural and safe ingredients.
- The smell is light and deLIGHTful.
- NO animal testing :)
- Sustainable shipping options - packaging was a biodegradable pillow plastic AND you could select UPS Carbon Neutral shipping! Thumbs way up Herbaliz!
- Excellent customer service from Herbaliz. The company is based in rural Pennsylvania, and the owner was very friendly and prompt in emailing me when she shipped my order (which arrived quickly and in tact). She also encourages customers to make requests - that is how they have extended their product line! This company has set high standards - safe, affordable, sustainable products - and they have yet to compromise.
If you are in the market for an eye cream - order this stuff… you won’t be disappointed. I will do a follow up post to check in with how this product works long term. But I am now a devoted Herbaliz fan. I ordered a bunch of products to test - so look for more posts soon!
My next product review in the quest for a healthier, more sustainable, and more ethical makeup bag is:
Terra Firma’s Line & Define Gel Eye Liner in Cleopatra black.
This gel eye liner comes in at a 1 on the toxicity rating by EWG Skin Deep Cosmetic Database, which is a thumbs up. The price is decent, at $12.99 for a reasonably sized pot (but no brush included!). However the quality is presently a thumbs out… I’m not entirely sold on this one.
The good: The pigment is great, I like to apply this gel over my pencil liner for really bold eyes… Terra Firma Gel Eyeliner it works well for this.
The bad: It is very thick, and not the easiest to apply (despite their claims), at least not when compared to Maybelline's gel eyeliner. As I applied the liner I couldn't get it to stay put when I tried to smooth out the line. To help with this I added a little bit of water to the lid and mixed the gel into the water, and then applied. I also think if you warmed up the eyeliner it may apply easier (I wil test this theory out soon).
The ugly: Be warned though, while this liner is smudge proof it is NOT water or sweat proof at all… went running and this stuff smeared and burned my eyes :( Not very sexy.
So the jury is still out, I don’t think I can replace my eyeliner with this one, not yet, or not without tinkering with how to apply it.
“Please stay in line and do not push your way onto to the train.”
2011 subway etiquette posters from Tokyo Metro with cats, birds and dogs.
TrailGating: Check out this video for an interview with Dan Harding (director of the Community Research+Design Center) and several of the students involved with the Sustainable Tailgating project
James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor, 1955.
Continuing the process of revamping my beauty regimen to be more sustainable and healthy… let’s take a look at Ecco Bella mascara. I bought this in black from Vitacost, and I am pretty happy with it.
It rates a 2 on EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetic Database, and of course the company doesn’t test on animals.The packaging itself is awesome, there is a built in mirror on the back of the bottle! Yay for applications on the go.
The formula is buildable, and doesn’t flake. I want to try it out with an eyelash curler for more dramatic looks. It is water resistant but not water proof (could be a problem come summertime), and I do use eyeliner which helps add definition to my lash line.
An added bonus: the formula is supposed to actually promote eyelash conditioning and growth… I can’t confirm this yet (I have only been using it about a week) but will update you later.
Overall I would recommend this mascara for a natural and buildable look. If you are going for the false dramatic lash look this one might not be for you. An eyelash curler would likely help. But the mascara works well for daily wear and is a much healthier choice for you and the environment.
Students in Africa doing homework under the lights in an airport parking lot.
Could trailers developed by Trailgating (www.trailgating.org) be a potential portable classroom (when equipped with solar powered lights) that could deliver shelter, light, and a platform for learning in these third world countries at a low cost?