Personalized Gift Wrapping Paper

Little boy eating pink ice cream

The pink ice-cream eating kid doodled above is my adorable nephew Chase.

I drew Chase and his baby brother (my other nephew, Maddox, not shown) licking their ice cream cones onto brown packaging paper using markers last Christmas. I then used the doodled packaging paper to wrap their Christmas gifts.

Needless to say, the doodled wrapped gifts were a huge hit with the two boys.

My sister, the kids’ mom, said the kids enjoyed seeing their own faces on the gift wrap so much that she and her husband didn’t have the heart to toss the paper out after the gifts were opened.

In fact, many months AFTER Christmas, the doodled gift wrap prominently hangs from their kitchen fridge door where they share it visibly with family and friends.

So now that Christmas is looming around the corner, I’ve been thinking of decorating a new roll of brown packaging paper with updated images of Chase and Maddox to surprise them again this year.

And this year, I’ll definitely take pictures 🙂 because last year, I didn’t even think to photograph my artwork … something I now regret as I have no way of sharing how lovely it all turned out beyond the single photo I took of Chase’s doodled face, which I’ve shared above.

Let’s see how it goes for this year.

I’ll share more at some point in the coming weeks as we get closer to the holidays.

~ Mayra

French Bread-Themed Sketchbooks

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mixed media sketchbooks covered in french bread packaging by Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

Call me creative-crazy but I’ve been collecting product packaging I consider pretty for over a year or more.

To me, “product packaging” is literally ANYTHING that is used to cover a box, wrap food, grocery bags, and the like.

Most of my product packaging stash has been just sitting in a box, collecting dust. For months.

Yet every time I’d bump into my stash, I’d think:

“I need to do something with this.”

Finally, just yesterday, I bumped into my stash once more while searching for a notebook and that was it. I’d had it. I decided I had to do SOMETHING with at least one of the packaging papers.

And so there I was, sifting through the stash when I saw it:

French bread wrapping paper 🙂 “European Style.”

Don’t ask me why this particular food product wrapper was calling my attention but it was.

I immediately found myself with scissors in one hand, glue in the other.

Before long, my two mixed media sketchbooks were completely wrapped in this once-french-bread-covering paper.

Honestly, I know it may sound ridiculous (for those that are unfamiliar with the joy paperie projects can bring) but I was beyond giddy-happy with the visual outcome. I kept staring at my sketchbooks all evening long feeling so excited to draw in them over the weekend.

Perfect timing to feel so drawing-inspired as it’s a long Labor Day holiday weekend 🙂

~ Enjoy

Mayra Ruiz-McPherson



Acrylic Painting: A Starting Point

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acrylic painting in the starting phase by Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

This acrylic painting “starting point” came about because my teenaged son accidentally squeezed one of my blue acrylic paint tubes yesterday afternoon *sigh*

But once I saw the accidentally squeezed acrylic dollop on the coffee table, my mind began to wonder how I would possibly rescue the paint.

Then it came to me.

I decided to use the paint to begin an acrylic painting of a vintage doll I’ve had in my possession for more than 10 years.

I’m excited to push this painting forward and will share my progress over the coming weeks.

Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

Chalk Marker Wall Doodle

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chalk marker wall doodle by Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

So if you’ve not physically yet drawn with chalk marker on any of your home’s walls but are planning to, here’s something you should know:

No matter how smooth you think the wall looks beforehand, the moment you start using chalk marker, you’ll realize the wall is hardly smooth.

I recently painted 3-4 coats of chalkboard paint onto various walls in our home, intending to draw murals on all of them (well, most of them).

After the chalkboard paint was dry

I waited several days for the chalkboard paint to cure before I started my wall doodles.

Yet within seconds of wall drawing, the chalk marker began to repeatedly bump into super tiny wall imperfections, which kind of made it challenging to draw perfectly smooth lines.

I was thinking maybe I should go get a sanding block and try to smooth out the teeny bumps but eventually decided to just continue drawing, doing the best I could.

Which is what I did.

So you can see here one of my quick wall doodles of Charlie, my 8-year old daughter.

I purposefully wanted the wall drawings to look like doodles and am so happy with the outcome. I may keep tweaking and adding but initially, I felt I was off to a good start.

My kids got into wall drawing as well and so I’ll be sharing some of their chalk marker masterpieces in a future post.

Mayra Ruiz-McPherson