Saturday, 24 December 2016

Happy Holidays!

2017 has been yet another amazing year for PaperTurns, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support, interest, custom orders, and your many purchases.

Enjoy the holidays, have a wonderful Christmas, a happy Hanukkah, 

and a terrific and very happy new year!


Thursday, 10 November 2016

Open Secret: The Trinity Bellwoods Flea is one of the best markets in Toronto

As a firm believer in what is usually labeled handmade, craft, or artisanal, I love local markets. You know that I make greetings cards, and you may also know that I bake with sourdough, but I also love shopping for handmade gifts for my loved ones from other local vendors. After all, I can't make everything myself! Knowing that the wares have a small carbon footprint, and that I'm contributing to the salary of a local artist gives me a lot of joy. My husband's birthday is in the fall, so I did my gift shopping in the late summer. I know, not usually a time when there are tons of craft markets around. But there is one market reliably popping up every month that has an amazingly well-curated assembly of vendors every single time: the Trinity Bellwoods Flea. It's been so successful as a monthly market that it celebrated its first anniversary, i.e. its twelfth(!) incarnation in August. And needless to say, that's where I got some of my husband's gifts. My husband is a member of Postcrossing, i.e. in constant need of postcards; he is also a history buff and an American, so getting him Hamilton Musical colouring postcards by Justine Fisher was a PERFECT gift. Justine is really young and only just starting out, and without the Trinity Bellwoods Flea, I would have never found her! And that was just one of many cool moments from my own experience as a mere visitor or local shopper. The market takes place at the Studio Bar, which not only has a great vibe but is also really spacious. With its two rooms, it fits a ton of vendors, which is great for visitors, because the event has something to offer for everyone -- adults, kids, pet lovers, stationery enthusiasts, foodies, fashionistas,... The flea provides a really welcoming atmosphere for everyone, and you'll want to linger before, between and after your shopping. There is a different selection of new and seasoned vendors every month, so it's well worth making a monthly visit part of your routine. That's what I've done, and it's been very rewarding. The Studio Bar is located at 824 Dundas Street West, in the heart of the always beautiful Trinity Bellwoods neighbourhood, so you can combine your visit with a stroll through the park, or a meal in one of the neighbourhood's great restaurants. Sounds awesome, doesn't it?

For it's Pre-Holiday and Holiday editions, the market runs Saturdays AND Sundays to double the fun, and I'll give you another good reason why you should attend the next two Sunday pop-ups of the Trinity Bellwoods Flea: I will be part of it as a vendor, and you can get all your greeting cards without having to rely on Canada Post. Have you stocked up on holiday cards yet? You haven't? Well there you go, what better reason is there? For your card-loving friends and relatives you can buy giftable card sets that range from cute ("Panda Love") to elegant ("Four Seasons - Floral"), and from multicolour "Birthday" set to "Thank You" set. I also got you covered for the next few birthdays, weddings, funerals, births, anniversaries or "just because" moments.

I will be in the company of awesome crafters that will make your shopping experience totally worth your while. Let me introduce you to a few who will be sharing the room with me on Sunday, November 20:
  • FoldIt Creations: You've got to admit that it's practically impossible to find a better gift to pair my Santa Crane card with than a necklace that features an origami crane in silver or gold. Right?
  • The Otter Potter: My miniature paper creations are one of the things that draws people to my cards. What if I told you that there was a potter who has as much fun with the minis as I do, the only difference being that we're using two different mediums? Yup, that's the Otter Potter. 
  • Elixir Chic Designs: Remember the jewellery designer who interviewed me for the Toronto Etsy Street Team Blog this summer, and who got interviewed by me in return? She'll be there too with her funky, spiky designs.
  • Citchen Candle Co.: 'Cause who doesn't love the smell of Christmas or pumpkin pie when you're merely lighting a candle? The candles have a long burning time and come with the added bonus of a reusable mason jar at the end. Genius!
  • YYZ Imports: If you've seen me perform with PushPULL Dance, you will have seen one of their models with me on stage. Dancer-supporting jewellery designers for the win! Get starstruck or reminded of your favourite PushPULL moments by association. Hehe. But in all seriousness, their line includes some stunning pieces. 
  • Island Oysters: Because oysters. 

So, yeah, totally worth attending the Trinity Bellwoods Flea for, n'est-ce pas? And that's only a TINY selection! Imagine how awesome all the other vendors will be -- you can find the full list on the Event Facebook page. It shouldn't come as a surprise then that the Trinity Bellwoods Flea Pre-Holiday Edition has been listed among the markets that are a MUST for local holiday shopping. How could BlogTO, Narcity, Style Democracy, AND Daily Hive all be wrong? Basically a mini-version of the One of a Kind Show, except it's all FREE!

Here are all the remaining chances of visiting the Trinity Bellwoods Flea in 2016:

  • Saturday, November 19, 11am-6pm
  • Sunday, November 20, 11am-6pm -- PaperTurns will be there!
  • Saturday, December 17, 11am-5pm
  • Sunday, December 18, 11am-5pm -- PaperTurns will be there!

Monday, 7 November 2016

Live demo of how I make my cards... Coming up on Saturday, November 12

When people look at Paper Turns greeting cards, one of the first things I hear from them is often, "Wow, these are so intricate. How long does it take you to make one?" (Answer: It depends!) Or they ask, "How do you do origami with such tiny pieces of paper?" (Answer: It takes a lot of practice.) But with every art and craft, it's so much more useful to show, rather than tell. And so here is a unique chance to watch me fold origami and see the magic that goes into my cards live! Thirteen unique artists and crafters will be at the Gibson House Museum next weekend and demonstrate their work processes. On top of that, each artist will also have a vending table where you can purchase gorgeous handmade goods. Organised by the Toronto Etsy Street Team, this "intervention" has been included on several lists of not-to-miss holiday markets this season, including those on blogTO, and Narcity. So what are you waiting for?

If you have never heard of the Gibson House Museum, let me tell you why it's a really cool location for this event. The Gibson House is one of 10 historic museums operated by the City of Toronto. It was built in 1851 and is an elegant farmhouse with Georgian-style exterior. Scottish immigrant David Gibson and his family were the original inhabitants, and today visitors can travel into the past and experience what living there was like. The Etsy vendors will be set up throughout the house, which gives you the opportunity to take in both the historic grandeur of the museum and experience ancient crafts such as embroidery, sewing, jewellery making, and paper folding in their modern artistic reincarnations. On top of that, the museum has a tea room where you can enjoy festive treats and of course plenty of tea.

Event details:

When: Saturday, November 12, 11am-4pm.

Where: Gibson House Museum, 5172 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario M2N5P6.

Participating Etsy Vendors: Check out this LookBook featuring all participating vendors. 

How to get there, admission etc.: All available on this website.

Facebook Event Page: Confirm your attendance, set event reminders or invite your friends on this page.  

I looking forward to seeing you there.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

My November Craft Markets

The days are getting shorter and colder, and Christmas and Hanukkah are a mere two months away. If you follow Paper Turns, it is probably safe to assume that you send at least a couple of seasonal greeting cards each year. It takes time to write those, and then there's the time it takes for the postal service to deliver them... Guess what? This year, you can buy them early, and you can write them early, and if you get a bunch of card sets on top of the holiday cards, your gift shopping and holiday mail will be done in no time! A whole lot of holiday cards are already listed in the online shop, and I am busy as ever creating lots and lots and lots more cards for the upcoming holiday markets. That's right, if you're in Toronto you don't have to order online; you can just visit me at one of the markets! Here are three of them, for a start.

1) The Etsy Team 416 Hustler Holiday Market 

Sunday, November 6, 10am-5pm, at the Great Hall on 1087 Queen St. West.
Find more information here.

2) The Roncesvalles United Church Christmas Arts & Crafts Market 

Saturday, November 19, 10am-4pm, at the Emmanuel Howard Park RUC on 240 Roncesvalles Ave.
Find more information here.

3) The Trinity Bellwoods Flea - Pre Holiday Market

Sunday, November 20, 11am-5pm, at the Studio Bar on 824 Dundas St. West.
Find more information here.

I look forward to seeing you at one (or several!) of these markets.

The new 2016 holiday collection will be officially launched at the Etsy Market on November 6, but you'll find a sneak peek over the course of the next two weeks on Instagram and Facebook.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

About those Turns in Paper Turns

Performing with PushPULL Dance in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Photos by Raph Nogal and

Today is World Ballet Day, and numerous ballet companies and aficionados share their passion for dance all day. It seems a fitting occasion to tell you a little more about my own passion for dance, and about how ballet turns inspired Paper Turns. The idea of founding my own greeting card label had been on my mind for quite some time before it became reality in the fall of 2014. Several factors led to it, but the reason it happened then and there, has much to do with a dance company called PushPULL Dance.

I have been dancing since I was eight years old, and it saddened me that after college you were expected to resign yourself to a life of drop-in classes with an ever-changing roster of students and instructors, if you wanted to keep dancing but didn't want to do it professionally. What I loved about dance school as a kid and teenager was the build-up to a performance; the fact that you didn't just dance for yourself, but also with your friends, and for the entertainment of others. Part of what allows you to improve in skill and grace is the fact that you can share it with others whom you get to know intimately, and who grow with you and encourage you. This is what's absent from your average drop-in class. Constantly new faces, and you rarely build towards anything let alone something you can share with others. But then I discovered PushPULL Dance, a company of dancing professionals, not professional dancers. Everyone in the company is so passionate about and dedicated to dance that we meet two nights a week to take classes together, improve our technique in numerous styles of dance, develop choreography together, and create an annual show, in which everyone participates. I auditioned for and was accepted into PushPULL Dance in September 2013, and I have just started my fourth season with them. Becoming a member of this amazing company was one of the best things that happened to me since I moved to Toronto. But what does this have to do with greeting cards?

Well, you see, PushPULL Dance is full of incredibly versatile, creative and successful people. The dancers come from all walks of life, and several of them have gone through a number of career changes and down numerous creative avenues. Not that I was looking for a change of career -- I am still very happy as a professor of English literature and cultural studies -- but my professional identity is only part of who I am and what fulfills me creatively. Being surrounded in my dance company by people who are constantly pushing creative boundaries and willing to go the extra mile to achieve something they're passionate about*, made me realise how much I wanted other creative outlets to be part of my life, too. And that's when I knew that it was time to found my card label as soon as my first PushPULL show was in the bag. So I did.

Conceptually, dance has always been an important part of my card making, even when I was still doing it purely recreationally for friends and family. It was, after all, physical movement that allowed me to turn paper into a greeting card as opposed to an academic essay. Bending, creasing, folding, cutting and gluing paper transformed it into shapes that were beautiful to look at. Paper, in this process, is like the twisting, turning, contorting body of a graceful dancer, moulded into whatever shape the choreographer/designer sees fit. Knowing that my creative passions -- dancing, card making, writing -- all came from the same well, it seemed apt to reflect that in the name of my brand. That's how the idea of "Paper Turns" was born.

My dance bag with the little pile of origami paper that always travels with me

While I typically don't create a lot of dance-related cards, my card making and my life as a dancing professional have intersected in two ways. One, I do a lot of origami in the dance studio during rehearsal breaks. If you have ever held one of my cards that feature origami, chances are that the shape was folded while I was sitting on a dance floor and wearing my ballet slippers or jazz oxfords. Two, I occasionally make thank-you cards for dancers or patrons, which I like to connect to our show costumes. Let me show you a few examples.

Thank-you card tied in with the 2015 "The Art of Dreaming" show

In 2015, the company received a generous donation from one of our patrons during the run of our 11th annual show, "The Art of Dreaming". The main characters in this show wore very distinct costume colours, which were also featured on our poster, and many of the choreographies included masks. I subsequently replicated these features on a thank-you card.

Our 12th annual Toronto production, "Can You Keep a Secret?", in 2016, saw my debut as a choreographer. I created a funky ballet to Michael Jackson's song "Bad", which told the story of a number of professionals in a variety of jobs, whose secret to a great work-life balance is dancing. I was really pleased with how the number -- our show opener! -- shaped up. To say thanks to my gorgeous cast who transformed my vision from scribbles on paper to an engaging performance, I made cards featuring their individual costumes.
"Who's Bad?" from the show "Can You Keep a Secret?" (2016). Performance photo by

We have just started rehearsals for our 13th annual show, which we will be presenting at the Al Green Theatre in Toronto in June 2017. As always, it will contain a mix of styles (Contemporary, Ballet, Jazz Dance, Hip Hop, Folk Dance, Modern...), and I look forward to choreographing a new number for this show as well. What this show will bring in terms of paper crafting inspiration, we shall see, but I have no doubt, that new dance-inspired cards will emerge as the season progresses. 

If you would like to receive updates about future dance shows I am involved in, I recommend joining the PushPULL Dance mailing list. Happy World Ballet Day!

*In order to get a better understanding of what I mean, check out this Toronto Star article about the costume designer of PushPULL Dance, who is also successfully running her own interior decorating and design business. 

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Hello from Europe!

Have you ever been to Iceland? No? Then you should go! It's AMAZING. I spent the entire last week travelling around the country and was blown away by the spectacular landscape and wildlife. Breathtaking waterfalls, geysirs, geothermal baths, volcanoes, craters, glaciers, glacial lagoons, whales, seals, birds, plus sheep and horses everywhere you look. Iceland got my creative juices flowing as well, of course, and because I can't sit still for too long without doing something crafty, I started a six-part photo series entitled "Origami in Iceland". Every day I folded something inspired by the site(s) I was visiting that day. Check it out on Instagram or Facebook. Here's a little taste.

Now I'm in Germany for two weeks, visiting family and getting ready for my sister's wedding. I will have plenty of crafting opportunities in the coming days, but they will all be wedding-centric (stay tuned for pictures on Instagram). In other words, I won't be making any greeting cards while I am in Germany...  If you've been wondering why you can't see any items in my Etsy shop at the moment, that's why. The shop is in vacation mode and will reopen on September 12. That said, if you would like to discuss and/or order custom design, please get in touch! I won't be able to fill orders before I am back in Toronto, but I would be happy to discuss design options, pricing and time frames.

One final piece of information before I go back outside to soak up the German sun:
I have lined up five craft shows/pop-up markets in Toronto (Brick Works, Roncey, Trinity Bellwoods) for the months of October, November and December, with possibly more to come, so mark your calendars! You can find more information HERE.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Happy Summer!

It's promising to be a warm and sunny Sunday -- no better reason to head to Toronto's Evergreen Brick Works for the day. Their Sunday Farmers' Market is well worth a visit, but even more importantly (I think so anyway), the Brick Works are yet again host to a selection of over 30 local artisans this Sunday. Whether you'd like to treat yourself to a new pair of earrings, get a gift for your best friend's new baby, stock up on handmade soaps, buy a greeting card for your cousin's wedding, or pick up a ukulele to complete the Hawaiian summer feeling: the Etsy Marketplace will have something for you!

Here are the details: 

When: Sunday, August 7, 10am - 3pm

Where: Evergreen Brick Works, North Pavilions (Farmers Market), 550 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, ON M4W 3X8


Have you seen my new cards yet?

Much like last year, Paper Turns will be present at the Brick Works with a big table full of greeting cards for all sorts of occasions: birthdays, weddings & engagements, birth, sympathy... I will also have a big selection of blank cards, which include some customer favourites such as the cherry blossom, dragon fly, signature crane and fish cards. If you have been following me on Instagram, Facebook or Etsy, you will also know that pandas and sunflowers have been added to my line of blank cards. I will have a bunch of each for sale at my table  Are you a Pokémon Go player or know someone who is? Then you might want to come to the Brick Works not just to go on the hunt for Pikachu  & Co. but also to get your hands on my new Pokémon Origami Heart cards. I'm sure you know someone who is "a real catch" and deserving of this cute card. Of course, I will also have lots of card sets again. I know you'll want to add them to your own stationery stash, but they also make lovely gifts... just sayin'! Finally, as always: plenty of origami magnets for your fridge and notice boards. 

Panda card (Art. no.: 00JO-JP-WHI16061), Sunflower card (Art. no.: 00JO-A2-YEL16071) and Pokémon cards in different colour combinations

I look forward to seeing you on Sunday! Stop by my table and say hi. :)

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Yours Truly Got Interviewed

The wonderful and resourceful blog of the Toronto Etsy Street Team features an ongoing interview series with Toronto-based Etsy sellers. For the purpose of this series, Michelle Wong of ElixirChicDesigns, a new jewellery label, and I, creator of Paper Turns, were paired to interview each other. It was a fun process, especially once we realised that we had a few things in common, including the fact that we both teach AND craft, and that we're both foodies. The fruits of our labour have now been added to the blog. Check out this interview with me. My interview of Michelle is here. Our interviews are numbers 93 and 94 in the series (a pretty impressive number, eh?), and if you scroll down on the T.E.S.T. blog and look to the right, you can find links to all the other 92 previous interviews. So much talent in Toronto!

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Vacation Plans and the Canada Post Labour Dispute... The Gist: Expect Delays!

After a beautiful long summer weekend, which saw me salute my adopted country on Canada Day and wish my LGBTQ friends Happy Pride, Canada Post decided to make the life of small businesses such as Paper Turns a whole lot more complicated. As the result of an ongoing labour dispute, Canada Post has given notice to the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) that they will be locked out as of Friday, July 8. Canada Post will not be accepting, processing or delivering mail for the duration of the lockout.

What does this mean for Paper Turns

As Canada Post is the default shipping provider for any online orders to be shipped within Canada, please note that your domestic orders will be delayed until the labour dispute has been resolved. If you prefer shipping by courier, please contact me before placing your order on Etsy so that I can provide you with a quote. Shipments to the US and the rest of the world will be processed normally but routed through the US Postal Service.

Coincidentally, I will be on vacation from July 12 to July 20. Any orders placed by July 8 will be processed before I leave; orders placed between July 9 and July 20 will be processed after I return, i.e. after July 20.

Enjoy the summer!

Monday, 20 June 2016

Summer Camp with... Me!

My origami students with their creations on a June afternoon

A few months ago, a wonderful arts studio opened in the Upper Beaches in Toronto, just south of the intersection of Main St. and Gerrard St. The Simple Craft Company (formerly known as Unlimited Arts Studio) is a beautiful and welcoming space, offering a wide range of classes and workshops for kids and adults of all abilities. And guess what: yours truly is one of their instructors! I taught a few afternoon classes there in May and June, and I will be returning there for a one-week summer camp in August.

Here are the details:

When: Monday to Friday, August 8-12, 2016, 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon.

Where: The Simple Craft Co., 152 Main Street, Toronto, ON  M4E 2V8, Phone: (647) 692-8793.

For Whom: Recommended for ages 8-13 years.

What: You'll be crafting with paper in all its shapes and forms. We will start a new project every morning, and at the end of the week you can take home five handmade treasures. You will  
  • Another impression from my June class
    create a stunning origami mobile
  • fold a balloon from paper
  • transform a newspaper into a beautiful box
  • make a set of cards
  • create a 3D paper aquarium
But this is more than just crafts. You will express yourself creatively, while having fun and making friends!

Cost: $160
Register before July 15th and receive 15% off!

Register here:

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Cards, more cards, and wedding stationery

Just because I love sharing photos from craft shows, here's one from the Spring Artisans' Market at Sick Kids earlier this month.

And now that Mother's Day is behind us, Father's Day around the corner and we're in the midst of wedding season, you can probably guess what sort of cards are currently dominating my work desk. Sneak peak at a work in progress:

A photo posted by Paper Turns (@paperturns) on

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram!

I will soon be adding a Wedding tab to this page, where you'll be able to find lots of information regarding wedding stationery offers and custom-design options. If you have any questions about invitations, place cards, thank-you cards, or paper decor in the meantime, please email me at paperturns [at]
But now back to work!

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Mother's Day cards, new card sets and more

After a terrific Spring Artisans' Market last year Paper Turns is delighted to be returning to SickKids Hospital for another one. Join me in the Atrium (170 Elizabeth Street, Toronto) on Friday, May 6, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., and check out the new Mother's Day cards, the new mix'n match card boxes, seasonal greeting cards, origami magnets and more. Lots of other local artisans will be there too. You can also participate in a raffle and win, among other things, a handmade PaperTurns card set. I look forward to seeing you there!

Sneak peak at the cards in the gift box you can win at the raffle...

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Instagram just got craftier...

Guess who just joined Instagram? Paper Turns did!

A photo posted by Paper Turns (@paperturns) on

Monday, 18 April 2016

Impressions from the Flea Market at the German School

The annual spring flea market at the German International School in Toronto was mostly about reselling toys, children's clothes, and German books. But they also invited Etsy sellers along, and as a German Canadian I couldn't resist the opportunity to show my greeting cards to a new audience. I made all of my recent cards with English and German text and was thus able to offer a small line of German cards.

The many children that were there were particularly intrigued by the magnets. They always are. When a girl spotted my pile of mini-origami paper, she asked me if I could show her how to fold an owl, and when I said yes, she bravely folded along. I say bravely, because the owl is not the easiest animal to start with, nor is 5x5 cm the most user-friendly size... but she did very well! When a boy came along, the three of us folded a fish, which was a little easier for the kids. All in all, it was a fun event for all of us. If you've missed the German cards, but would like to buy some and can't find them on Etsy, just send me a message.

German birthday, Mother's day, wedding and baby cards
Origami magnets: flowers, cranes and fish

Friday, 15 April 2016

Paper Turns goes German for a few hours

The German International School Toronto (980 Dufferin St., Toronto) is hosting a Spring Flea Market on Saturday, April 16, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Paper Turns will have a table there!

Do you know someone whom you'd like to say "Herzlichen Glückwunsch" to, or who'd appreciate a birthday message in German? Stop by my table! In addition to cards with German text, I will be selling cards with English text, black cards, and card sets, plus the ever popular origami magnets.

Tschüss bis morgen!  

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Love is in the air

It's cold and gloomy, you've just discarded your new year's resolutions, and you can't wait for something to brighten your mood? Well, think about chocolates and butterflies in your stomach, the smell of roses, and the "warm-and-fuzzy" feeling only a loved one can give you. Valentine's Day is only three and a half weeks away! Just enough time to get excited and to start writing cards. I've been working hard on some new designs, and these two beauties are about to hit the Etsy store.
Article no.: 16WE-A6-BLA15121

The first design is made from black textured card stock in A6, and it features a woven heart made from a shimmery pomegranate-red ungeishi paper as well as chiyogami with a pink cherry-blossom print.

The second, and slightly smaller, design is a burgundy-red card featuring a double-layered heart cut from fibered white paper and dark-red striped tissue paper. It is adorned with little wooden hearts with pink, green and white stripes. 

If you would like to pre-order any of these cards, or if you require expedited shipping, please get in touch. If you need an extra-special custom-designed card that is truly one of a kind, I can help too. I look forward to hearing from you!

Article no.: 16WO-JP-BUR15121