Following my North Star

North Star Shadow Gift Boxes by Patricia Zapata for A Little Hut

You know when you have that feeling that you’re on the right track with something you’re doing, with how you’re life is going? That’s how I’ve been feeling lately. I’m so grateful because the times I haven’t felt that way are so disconcerting — like walking in the dark. I’ve been walking with light — knowing that I’m doing what I should be doing. I’ve been truly following my North Star.

When I felt it was time to come up with a holiday project and I started sketching ideas and the star kept coming up over and over again. Was it a reaffirming sign? I don’t know. But it felt right.

The North Star Shadow Gift Box collection includes two cards, a hang tag, and a letter-sized printable pattern surprise. I’m still working on getting the large North Star box (seen below) set up for the shop.

 

North Star Shadow Gift Box and North Star Box

 

It feels like I got my paper making groove back. After a crazy busy summer, I finally feel a little more ‘normal’ when I get home and with enough energy to tackle something creative. I think I’m just more of a fall/spring type of person. The summer just kicks me! Funny that I live in a city where it seems like it’s summer for 80% of the year – ha!

I hope you enjoy this collection and the little quote I found about just being you…

 

“The way to find your own North Star is not to think or feel your way forward but to dissolve the thoughts and feeling that make you miserable. You don’t have to learn your destiny–you already know it; you just have to unlearn the thoughts that blind you to what you know.”
Martha Beck

The end of the week – at peace

I thought I was going to go down the typical holiday theme path. I actually do have a gingerbread man and a Santa design almost done and yet here we are. The Peace and Light Gift Set is the latest addition to the shop. I continued the idea of using candle covers — I love making them and candlelight is just so soothing, isn’t it?

Only use LED lights, please!

Gift cards seem impersonal but they come in very handy when you’re not sure what to give someone. So, I’m including two ways to deliver them in a special way. The gift box itself does not need to have the holder so you can use it for a man’s tie or jewelry, etc.

If you’ve been around long enough you know I really do prefer white-on-white above all else. However, I got curious and wanted to see what this design would look like in a darker version. I used dark gray, and no surprise, the feeling of the project completely changes. I like it but I still prefer white. Again… I want these made out of something other than paper! Really. Want.

I hope that you’re season does start with a lot of peace and light. We all need it, don’t we?

Have a great weekend everyone!

Helping out after Harvey

As many of you know I live in the Houston area and we’re dealing with a lot right now. The devastation left after Hurricane Harvey is so much more than anticipated — ever. My family and I were some of the very lucky ones that came out on the dry side. Many of our friends and neighbors were not.

I’m about to head out for another day of helping with the aftermath. But, before I do, I wanted to finally post my latest project that I got started when the storm was raging overhead.

During one of the nights of the worst part of the storm, I couldn’t sleep after what seemed like endless rain and so many tornado warnings blaring on our cell phones. I think it was day three of the storm. I lost count. The days keep getting blurred one into another. So, I got up and did what I do to relax — I started drawing. I don’t remember why but I decided to look up which is the Texas state bird. I didn’t know that it’s the Northern Mockingbird — a bird I see almost every day — makes sense. This is the illustration that I drew that night (I used an iPad Pro and then added some watercolor textures in Illustrator). It’s the inspiration for the Northern Mockingbird Gift Set that is now available in the shop.

 

I didn’t think much after finishing it. It was something to keep my mind at ease (it worked). But as the tragedy of this last week became more apparent and I realized that we were in it for the long haul I want to contribute a little bit of what I do to help out. While I’m physically doing something to help out our friends and neighbors, you can help me in my efforts and get something fun to make in the process.

I’ve been working on this a little bit every night after running around during the day. This project has helped me unwind in the evenings. I’m at that point that I’m so tired I can’t fall asleep right away. Being crafty comes to the rescue — again!

 

As I put together the artwork and the cards I realized that I was missing a third shade of the color of paper I was using. Since running out to my nearest craft store isn’t an option right now (either it’s not open or it’s flooded — I’m not sure which at this point), it occurred to me to use a colored pencil to darken the bottom half of the leaves to get that third shade I needed. It worked. The background paper and the bottom halves of the leaves are the same colored paper. By adding the extra shade of teal with a colored pencil I darkened it and made the texture of the paper stand out in the process. I need to keep this little technique in mind for future projects.

Another little note: If I would’ve had my way I would’ve used a slightly lighter tone of gray for the top layer of the bird. But again, I was limited to using what I have on hand.

 

So, here’s the part where you can help me out. While I’m out running around I hope that this little set sells like crazy because I will donate 100% of the proceeds to the Houston Food Bank. Right now every little bit helps.

Paper crafting has always been a fun and therapeutic thing for me to do, so why not make it a great way to contribute to a good cause too? Are you with me?

If you have prayers and thoughts that you can forward to Houston and all our surrounding towns I’d appreciate that too. So many people need them.

Thank you and have an awesome and creative week!

XO – Patricia
PS – One last idea: Enlarge the artwork for the cards to a size that you can frame but instead of using card stock for the background use handmade paper or a watercolor sheet painted with the same color of teal that I use here. It would look closer to the original that I made. Have fun with it!


UPDATE
Thank you SO much to all of you that ordered this set. Thanks to your support we were all able to make a donation that was larger than I thought this effort would add up to. $5 x many friends added up to a little more than $300. Thank you, thank you! 🙂

Summer blooms and updates

I’m back. It’s been a long time, I know. Spring was a crazy time around here. We were really busy with the kids, work and just life in general. To top it all off my machine (I’m using my Cricut now) decided to die on me (back in February). By the time I finally got around to getting it sent to Cricut and got it back many weeks had gone by. All I could think of was the ornament project. The 1st day of every month I’d really think about it — it was torture. I felt like I’d let everyone down. I know it was a self-imposed project… but still. So, clean slate, right?

I have a new ornament and I will make up for the missed ones (five) throughout the rest of the year. I don’t want to break my promise and I want the project completed by the end of the year.


When I didn’t have my cutting machine and I couldn’t work on any cutting projects I had to work on something (it’s my therapy after work – seriously!) I started a couple of patterned collections. Flora and Just Lines are new vector artwork sets (EPS files only) that I’m selling on Creative Market.

Some of my Flora designs are also part of my Society6 shop. I’ve applied some of the patterns to tote bags, mugs, shower curtains, and pillows. They’re great for gift giving. I use some of the Society6 products myself (the tote bags above all) and really like their quality.

Finally, I’ve just posted the Summer Bloom Gift Set (the first photo at the top of this post) which was inspired by one of the patterns in the Just Lines collection (the yellow bag below).

The Summer Bloom Gift Set includes everything you need to make two gift boxes (square and A2) with matching gift cards or the corresponding sizes. A bonus is the 3D wall art and small wreath (for more cards!) and a large wreath to frame or use as a gift tag for a large, large gift or the front of a gift bag.

I hope you enjoy the projects and I’m looking forward to making more projects in the weeks to come. Christmas, anyone?!

Have a great day!

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