Archive | December 2013

PaulMar Prensa Last Issue

It’s hard to believe we’ll be back in the US in a little over a week. Here’s the last issue of the PaulMar Prensa about our last few months in Ecuador as Peace Corps Volunteers. Click on the image to see the full newsletter as a PDF.

Enjoy, Mari & Paul

PaulMar Prensa

VIDEO: 25 Years of Christmas Mornings

Handmade Holiday: Felt Owls and Concentric Circles

Here are two more craft projects in time for the holidays.

Enjoy, Mari

Felt Owl



  • Felt (at least two different colors)
  • Scissors
  • Embroidery Thread
  • Needle
  • Buttons
  • Batting/Cotton Balls

The process to make the felt owl is very similar to the felt birds (see tutorial here). Print out my Felt Owl Template, pin to different color felt pieces and cut out. Add button eyes and embellish with different color embroidery floss.

Concentric Circles



  • Felt (at least two different colors)
  • Scissors
  • Embroidery Thread
  • Needle
  • Buttons
  • Batting/Cotton Balls
  • Ribbon

Also similar to the Owl and Birds, cut out circles of different sizes and colors. Find a coordinating piece of ribbon and complementary button. I sewed the button through all of the top pieces first so they would stay in place. Then, I sewed on the back circle with a contrasting color of thread about halfway. After filling the half sewn circles with cotton, I continued to sew the edge of the circle to close, ending with sewing the piece of ribbon in place.

Some inspiration for your circles by Wassily Kandinsky:

Kandinsky Color Study Squares with Concentric Circles

Handmade Holiday: Cardboard Tree & Stockings

Cardboard Christmas Tree


See this tutorial on Instructables from Makedo for how to make this cardboard tree.

Glitter Star on Top!


See my previous tutorial here for the glitter star.

Concentric Circles


See my previous tutorial for concentric circles here.



Print out this Template for Stockings and embellish with embroidery, felt, sequins, buttons, and whatever other crafting supplies you have around.

The Home Stretch

It’s hard to believe but we’re in the home stretch of our time here in Ecuador. This past week has been jam-packed with milestones and despedidos (farewells). In addition to visiting various doctors we’ve given away most of our stuff and are in the process of closing all of our Ecuadorian accounts.

The fun part was seeing **Clare** for a day on a lucky layover and hosting 3 of the members of Mujeres: Cambia. Three of the women and one of their daughters took a 10-hour bus journey each way just to say good-bye to me. I haven’t been able to visit the coast like Paul has so they saved up money and we spent a lovely day together, including a visit to the Botanic Garden.

Finally, I had my last day of work at The Nature Conservancy, which coincided luckily with the holiday party including a BBQ and gift exchange. I handed in my last work product, a PowerPoint presentation that can be used for all different audiences (see the cover slide below).

I feel so lucky to have so many incredible people to despedir. It’s always hard to say good-bye but I know we’ll be back someday. Enjoy some images from our crazy week!


The Little One Looks Like Me


Mujeres: Cambia Members Visit

Botanic Garden Entrance

Enjoying the Botanic Garden

In the Greenhouse

The Nature Conservancy Presentation

TNC Title Slide

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