Paper Flowers Photo Shoot!

Paper Flowers Photo Shoot!

Making paper flowers for special events creates a thrill in me that never grows old. I’m especially excited when a professional photographer captures my flowers in stunning ways I can only hope to do myself one day.

Melissa and Beth Photography contacted me about making some paper flowers for a “first birthday” photo shoot. I couldn’t have been more thrilled!

Just look at these gorgeous photos!

The cake was made by Cami’s Cake Company.

It was like opening presents and eating cake for me to be a part of this collaboration to be sure!

Contact me if YOU are in need of some yummy cake decor or an extra special topper for some presents. I just might feature YOUR photos on a future blog post!

Paper Succulents

Paper Succulents

Succulents not only love the heat, they are just plain HOT right now! Greenhouses are full of them and they have long been popular on Pinterest and in Magazines.

spiked paper succulent wm | Barb Ann Designs |


paper succulent in little pot wm | Barb Ann Designs |


I love to plant real succulents in pots for the patio.

bunny statue with succulents


I also love to make paper succulents.

paper and real succulent planters | Barb Ann Designs |


Can you tell which ones are paper and which ones are real??

paper succulents plus real ones | Barb Ann Designs |


Here, let me give you some help.

showing paper succulents with arrows


The real deal doesn’t require much care or attention. However, the paper ones even less so. For me? I like having both around. I am having fun with both the dirt and the scissors!

basket of paper succulents | Barb Ann Designs |

Ideas and Beginnings

Ideas and Beginnings

Sometimes, I get asked the question: “How did you start doing paper flowers?” That question has caused me reflection on the how I started many of the things I do.


paper boxes made for a soup shop

paper boxes made for a soap shop


I’ve always said this business has been a journey. Truly the road has had twists and turns. If you’ve read my story here, you’ll know that it all started with handmade cards.


Handmade card with ruffles | Barb Ann Designs


Somewhere along the way, small paper flowers entered the picture. I had been intrigued by a video I saw and began the learning process. I found techniques that were unique to me but just seemed like a good way of doing things.


Paper Rose


Then I started making roses out of sheet music and old books. That seemed to be a hit with people.


paper flower boutonnieres | Barb Ann Desings |


I’ll never forget the random phone call I got one day. It was from a bride who had seen my sheet music flowers and wanted me to know if I did wedding flowers. Well, from that moment on, the answer was yes! Now, I have lost count of the number of wedding flowers I’ve made but it is always a special joy to be chosen by a bride for such a special event!


coral jewel bridal bouquet | Barb Ann Designs |


Another twist in the road was the magnet business that I have. It all started with one of my daughters. She worked for a doctor’s office who had added new staff and had 3 boxes of magnets that were going to the trash since they were outdated. She jumped in with, “I’m sure my mom could do something with those.” Well, of course I could. That was the beginning of that venture. I never dreamed it would become a mainstay of my business.



Thoughtful Images Ink


The large paper flowers were created along the same lines. Someone else made the suggestion. I’ve long worked with a local shop whose owners support my creative endeavors. They were working on a Spring event and asked if I could make some big flowers to go over the mantel. Again, I never dreamed that would turn into what it has.


paper flower set original | Barb Ann Designs |


Those same shop owners asked another time for a paper wedding cake for a display. And yes, again….it was the first of many!


Paper wedding cake staged on suitcases


The moral of this story…. Be open to new things….You never know where they might lead you.

Oh, and PS…. Do YOU have any new ideas for me to try???

Mixed Media Pumpkin Canvas

Mixed Media Pumpkin Canvas

Mixed Media Canvas of Pumpkin Using Hymn Titles

Playing in Mixed Media 

It is August but I find myself making a mixed media pumpkin canvas. What is up with that? Well, I have been craving the change of seasons. The hot air has been closing in on me and I’m pretty much done with Summer. Scrolling through Pinterest has helped or hindered, depending on how you look at it. It has helped me to slip away from the humidity and rising temps as I scroll through countless pictures of leaves, apples, and of course pumpkins. The downside is finding contentment in the here and now. But that is a whole other blog post philosophizing the ins and outs of contentment. (I’ll save that for another time!)


Staring at a computer screen can only get you so far into something and it doesn’t take any creativity to slide your finger down the mouse. So what’s a girl to do when Autumn is calling her name? There are a few page flips on the calendar still waiting to be turned.  An even bigger question is what would satisfy not only my cravings for the next season but also satisfy the need to just make something….Something I haven’t done in ages….Something that feels new and fresh….something that feels like playing around and not work. Well here is the result.

Mixed Media Canvas of Pumpkin Using Hymn Titles


The Process

The process of laying down torn paper randomly, slapping and scrapping paint here and there is really kind of freeing. There’s no precision necessary. In some ways the sloppier the better.  If you don’t like what you’ve done, use more paint or paper to cover it up. My favorite part of creating the background is the anticipation of the end result. It looks like such a mess that is anything but art in the beginning stages. Then as you slowly add detail it comes to life.


mixed media pumpkin canvas closeup of butterfly and lace


The Details

My stash of random scrapbook embellishments, ribbon, and lace are happily rummaged thru to find the perfect accent pieces. While I can paint a pumpkin fairly well (with lots of looking at examples again via Pinterest). There is no way I could paint a beautiful butterfly. But thanks to keeping every scrapbook bit I’ve ever purchased, there was no need. Another thing I have in plenty is hymnals. I make lots of items out of old sheet music and so my stash of vintage sheet music is shall we say “abundant.”  Thumbing through the pages of a hymnal is always a treat. I was in church from day one and the melodies start singing in my head as I turn the pages. Here’s an upbeat version of the song I used.

Mixed Media Canvas of Pumpkin Using Hymn Titles

Using texture for mixed media pumpkin canvas

For the stem, I added a paper leave with some jute strands for a 3d dimension. You can also see some of the gold metallic paint in close detail here. It was a game changer for how I felt about the final result. The gold paint made all the difference for me feeling pleased with what I’d made. NOTE TO SELF:  buy more metallic paint for projects.

Mixed Media Canvas of Pumpkin Using Hymn Titles


Now here’s the question.  Will I sell it or keep it?  Maybe I’ll just make a few more and do both. Either way, those few hours the other evening helped me find some playtime, stir my creativity, and get me just a wee bit closer to my favorite season. Now, back to Pinterest for some more inspiration. If you are a Fall-fanatic like me here are a couple of my boards you might like to follow. Fall Decorating Ideas and Fall Photography.

4 Button Storage Solutions For You To Try

4 Button Storage Solutions For You To Try


If you are a collector of buttons like me, you need some button storage solutions to know how to keep them orderly. Buttons come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. Button storage solutions also can take on a few different varieties. I like to store my buttons in ways that are both functional and pretty. Let me show you 4 ways I’ve come up with.

Button Photograph


The Dump in Something Pretty Button Storage Solution

The easiest method to store them is just to dump them in a bowl, a jar, or any container you can find. The colorful chaos is therapeutic and fun to sort through.


pretty button storage solutions

Color Sorting  Button Storage Solutions

If your cup of tea in organizing is to have all the colors separated. Then finding a plastic divided tub is a great option for you. They can easily be found at craft stores for just a few dollars. Just don’t cry about it when you drop them on the floor. (I say this from a voice of experience.)

sort and store buttons in plastic divider tubs


Muffin Tins aren’t just for the Kitchen

If you’d like that separation but with a vintage flair for display, then muffin tins are your ideal choice for button storage solutions. They can also divide and display many other things that need to be sorted.

Muffin Tins make great storage solutions for buttons and such


Keep Those Cards

But what if your buttons are still on cards. Many of my vintage ones are and I want to keep it that way. The old cards are just as lovely as the buttons sometimes. For this storage solution I incorporated some of my enamel ware collection and wire baskets to hold my precious cargo.

vintage buttons make great display


There’s no wrong or right way to store you buttons.

I can’t say that I have a favorite way. Each one appeals to me. When I’m really needing a small purple button, most likely you’ll find me in that divided plastic storage box. If I just want a button in general, there’s nothing like digging around in the bowl to find the perfect one. If I need multiple buttons to all be matching then I go to the ones on cards. I use each of these methods for storing and more. For me if things are put away in drawers, I tend to forget about them. So, you’ll see each of these storage systems around my art studio.


For my creative spirit, collecting and storing my supplies is half the fun. Button storage is a favorite because buttons rank up there in my top nick-nack supply love list.

What do you like to collect in vast number in your crafting/art space? Do you display them with thoughts only on purpose or does design and display play a factor.

Dreamy Wedding Colors

Dreamy Wedding Colors

Eucalyptus green, cream, and gold….Simply Stunning!! I’m over the moon in love with these color choices one of my bridal clients chose.

It is always such a privilege to be chosen by a bride to help with her decor on the special day. This time was no exception! I can’t wait to see the flowers in the venue instead of just  being displayed on my front porch!

This shade of green was a hard paper to come by. It was worth the search and the camera doesn’t really do it justice.



Adding the gold to this palette was the winning ticket! It made the other flowers pop and brings a bit of glamour to the set.


Each of the variances of color, flower style, and size combine to make this a set that I’m quite proud of! These will be listed in the shop on the website very soon. Until then feel free to contact me for your unique color choices to make that baby nursery, wedding shower, or reception one that is uniquely you!