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How to grow a business while raising a baby

Last week, Amity Beane of Florabeane published a short blog post called “How to grow a business while raising a baby”. It’s a fun read and, well, I am in it! It was a real pleasure to be part of this post along aside Amity (who always has such great insights) and Stephanie Redlinger of The Florasmith (who’s articulate comments are so easy to relate to).

Not a day goes by that I am not so very thankful for having my lil' man in my life. He's taught me so much about myself and how to be truly patient without expectation. I see him marvel at the most mundane things, and it makes me see the world through new eyes. I've always wanted to be a mother, however, over the course of the past 16 months, motherhood really challenged how I viewed myself – who am I? I was a family lawyer. I am more of an artist than a lawyer nowadays. I am a stay-at-home mom as well, a role that society places little to no value. And then I think, oh gosh, I'm one of THOSE moms who I used to counsel to get a job and maintain their skill set so they're employable and self-sufficient…Yes, this train of thought can go really dark. What's REAL is the juggling act that each of us, as mothers, have to do on a daily basis to meet our needs, our husband's needs, and our child's needs. How do we do it? Let me rephrase that: How do Stephanie Redlinger of @theflorasmith, Amity Beane of @florabeane, and I do it? Amity wrote a fantastic piece shining light on this exact topic on her blog that I would love to share with you because everything that's said is so relatable (honestly, I awwed when Stephanie wrote how she enjoys making things for her son to make him happy). Both ladies are much more articulate than I’ll ever be. Link in profile. . . . #paperartist #paperflorist #torontoartist #craftedtobloom #torontolife #motherhood #lifeafterlaw

A post shared by Jessie Chui | Crafted To Bloom (@jessieatcraftedtobloom) on

When I was contributing my little part to this piece, I really had to reflect on the events of this past year and how I managed to do so much when on most days, I felt like I had accomplished NOTHING. Then I recall on those days, I’ll remind myself that I have a little boy in my life who I love with all my heart, and a creative outlet that brings me a different type of joy.


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DIY Doublette Crepe Paper

I’m going to demonstrate how I make my own DIY doublette crepe paper using fusible web. This topic has been raised again and again in our Facebook group, The Paper Florists, so I thought it would be of interest if I showed you how I make my own double-sided crepe paper (which I originally learned from Lia Griffith’s magnolia flower tutorial) I was able to put together a quick video, with comments, showing you this technique. A great example of this technique is the helleborus “double green veins” you see above that I made using Lia Griffith’s fine crepe paper in green tea and aubergine.

Here are a few pointers to remember while watching the tutorial:

  • I’ve used 2 pieces of German fine crepe in 32 g weight from The Paper Place, although any light-weight crepe paper would do. Lia Griffith has some fantastic German fine crepes available in her line of crepe paper as well. If you recall, I wrote a review on her fine crepe and double-sided crepe paper awhile back.
  • The crepe paper has a unique colour because I’ve bleached it. In the past, I’ve talked about the process here.
  • I prefer to use Pellon Wonder Web  which can be purchased online. It comes in a 20″ wide bolt and can be purchased per metre/yard at your local fabric store. An alternative is Heat n’ Bond, however, I haven’t tried it myself so I do not know which specific product in that line works best.
  • I’ve used good o’l parchment paper from Costco to line my iron board and iron before applying heat to the crepe-web-crepe. It’s cheap and it works like magic. I’ve tried using paper towel pieces before and the fusing gets all over it.
  • I turn my iron setting to a high temperature, and add water to it for steam. That said, I don’t think it’s necessary for it to be on a steam setting, just a very hot one. I have an old iron that I used exclusively for this to prevent any possibility of transferring a sticky mess to my collared shirts.

Any questions? Leave them for me in the comments section below.

Otherwise, if you haven’t already, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel. Although I haven’t posted many videos in the past, my goal this year is to create more videos for my tutorials, simply because it’s SO much more efficient.

– Jessie

Disclosure: If you decide to make purchases via the links to Lia Griffith’s online store or to Amazon.com, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I use these commissions, if any, to support the operational costs of my blog. These affiliations have not in any way, shape or form influenced my opinion of the products referred herein. You can read my full Disclosure statement here. Thank you for your support!

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  • Joyce MareeFebruary 4, 2018 - 12:04 am

    This is great! I would have never thought of this and I haven’t done a lot with the fine paper yet.  Thank you for sharing your technique.ReplyCancel

    • JessieFebruary 4, 2018 - 10:11 pm

      You’re so welcome Joyce! Like I mentioned in my video, I had originally picked up this technique re of using fusible web from Lia Griffith, specifically from her magnolia tutorial. So I can’t take credit for the idea! The only thing I might be able to take credit for is how I use it, and maybe using parchment.ReplyCancel

Lia Griffith Artist Interview Series

Happy New Year my friends!

This year has started really slow for me. Everyone in my household came down with the stomach flu, which delayed work on my home studio. It’s been a long time since I’ve been so sick that I’ve been bedridden for 36 hours straight. It was also the very first time that my husband and I were both sick at the same time, lying in bed together (and not in a good way LOL). Not surprisingly, Tristan was Patient Zero as he had vomited and had diarrhea just before it hit us.  Last weekend, we finally finished painting 3 of the 4 walls in the studio room and had enough time to put together an old Pax wardrobe for storage. Poor Tristan was just sitting in his highchair for 2 hours straight, playing with cups and eventually, just sucking his thumb and watching us. I like to believe we are teaching him patience! Hopefully this weekend we can clear the other half of the room, finish putting together some bookcases for my papers, and then clean off the grime off the floor.

In the meantime, I’ve tried to continue to be present online.

First, my feature in Lia Griffith Artist Interview Series finally got posted. You can read it here:

You all know how I feel about Lia and Lia’s paper! I was so honoured to have been asked to appear in the series, along with all those wonderful artists like Jennifer Tran (@_papetal_), Quyhn Nguyen (@pinkandposey), Amity Beane (@florabeane), Tiffany Holloway (@nectar.hollow), Margie Keates (@thelovelyave), Suzonne Stirling (@suzonnestirling), Lucia Balcazar (@luciabalcazar), Susan Beech (@apetalunfolds), and Meredith and Cherie Eastburn (@amaranthuspaperflora). I started off my paper flower journey with Lia’s tutorials so I feel like I’ve finally come full circle.

I’ve also become more involved with The Paper Florist group on Facebook. We have a Maker’s Meeting mid-month where we come together (live!) and discuss our monthly flower and a topic of interest – everyone is welcome to join! On alternating Tuesdays, we have a Facebook Live Tuesdays session on a topic of interest related to paper flowers and the business of paper flowers. You can tune in on alternating Tuesdays at 1 pm to hear Amity, Quyhn, and/or I talk and answer viewer questions.

Last year, Amity and Quyhn came up with the idea for an online community of paper floral artists, and called it The Paper Florists Collective. This year, Amity, Quyhn, and myself will be working on this project to make it come to life. We truly believe that every one of us can elevate our art by sharing our experiences and knowledge, connecting with others, and encouraging each other on. Eventually we hope to have an online directory of paper florists and a paper florist conference, amongst our other goals. If you’re a paper flower maker, make sure you join our community!

I admit, I’m still trying to consistently post on Instagram, at least once a week. Blogging, not so good. Pinterest, I’ve totally been neglecting. I definitely have some catching up to do!


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