Thursday, July 30, 2015

Matryoshka Bobbins--Make Your Own Custom Paper Bobbins

I'm a little mad about Matryoshka dolls. I love how they are painted. I love that they nest and there can be so many of them all packaged up. They just make me happy. I collect the nesting dolls, I recently cross-stitched some, and I'm stitching projects right now from the cutest fabric Matryoshka print. I have a Matryoshka coin purse, tote bag and matching notebook I've turned into a TV recipe book, and today I made a few paper bobbins.

Super easy. I found this Matryoshka printable (check Etsy and Pinterest for your favorite paper bobbin designs), printed them on Avery shipping label sticker paper which can go right through the printer to make stickers, and stuck a sheet of six onto a folder I was upcycling. I fussy-cut those out, then cut out the other sticker sheet of six to put each one on the back, and wallah. Matryoshka paper bobbins! Perfect for those extra skeins of floss or pearl cotton.
 Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

WOYWW 321--Making Midori Inserts and Notebook Stitching

 You are about to see my messy desk right smack in the middle of a busy work week, crafting week, cooking week, sewing week, gardening week, singing week--in other words, I do a lot of things during the week! And I'm old! And I have problems like everyone else. And this messy desk is my happy corner of the world. 

Join if you dare at What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday!
 I have dove right into stitching up more Midori-style travelers notebooks. I just love making them. And you should always do what you love. I'm not bad at it either. This week I got some cute Matryoshka doll fabric, Matryoshka doll beads, and started stitching. Here, I'm actually in the middle of putting together and decorating the inserts that will go in this Midori, and I love the beads so much I had to make myself a bracelet. Can you believe me? Bead-aholic. Midori addiction. Matryoshka addiction. See....I got problems.  My little Coach Midori is laying over there, and I'm making more Coach Midori's too because my sister donated an old Coach bag of hers to upcycle! Remember I told you I couldn't bear to cut into any of my vintage Coach bags, but I'll rip hers apart! That's because her bag has a back story. What can I say. Even a purse can have a back story. That's how we roll.
Aren't these beads the cutest? Here's how I turned them into a bracelet.
Hmmm...somebody loves her Russian dolls a little too much. Don't even ask to see my actual Matryoshka collection! 

So, of course, all these Midori notebooks I'm making are not for me. I am making gifts, and I've decided if the love keeps going, the grommets hold out, and I build up an inventory, they may go in an Etsy shop. But then I'll need to finish my logo, figure out my packaging, open the shop and write all the text...and yet it all sounds fun to me. And that's a good thing. Have a happy week.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Day Designer--Doodle Planning

My desk planner of choice: The Whitney English Day Designer - weekly layout.
What's in it: My to-do list for the week, a master make list at the front, appointments and events and notes.
How it makes my week: I love doodle planning--I scrap a little, smash a little, use colorful pens and lots of washi--it's a combo that really makes me happy to look at my current week, and look back at the past weeks.

You know, I've always had an inner planner girl. It's just that now, the super cute stuff is happening! Years ago planners were boring, so I would buy those fabric covered notebooks, very cute at the time, and make those into my planners. In my recent past I've bought Mary Engelbreit, Daytimer, Orange Circle, and recently made my own big homeplanner that serves as headquarters. It has menus, shopping lists, a recipe section, and folders for clippings, mail, in box and out box. Really love how I set it up and it's a constant reference.

Check out how I made my own home planner part 1 and part 2

Why get another planner? Why grow another flower? That's my answer! I couldn't resist Target's new line of the Whitney English planners because I had already been wish shopping online for one to doodle in. Less than 12 bucks, no shipping cost, and in my hands today made all the difference in actually getting one. It's beautiful, lightweight, and helps motivate. My planner is:
  • My personal assistant
  • Motivator
  • Muse
  • Creativity starter
  • Idea generator
  • Playground
  • Scrapbook
  • Smashbook
  • Get-er-done tool
Inside my planner
Whether you are a writer, sewist, scrapbooker, cardmarker, jewelry maker, organizer...a great planner that you enjoy diving into can make you more of the queen of your empire you were meant to be.
Make page markers with paper clips and glitter washi.

Have fun. Use your scrappy stash, stickers, washi tape, and stamps. Use a little thank you stamp on each week, and then note three things you're thankful for regularly. I snipped out pages from my vintage Workbasket magazines and made them into stickers. I made some typewriter printables on pickmonkey and turned them into paperclips. Sparkly washi tape also makes super cute paperclips.

Here's a gift idea: buy a cute planner for someone, make special paperclips, diecuts, and print images that relate to them personally for some stick-ons to use in their planner, include washi tape and colorful pens and it's a real gift. For example, I printed out the cute Little Kittle dolls I used to play with in the 1960's, an image of my Barbies, my Mrs. Beasley doll, and of course I love images of sewing machines and typewriters! You can print your images onto sheets of Avery shipping label paper to create actual stickers--much more economical too. Stickers can get expensive. And there are free printable planner stickers online.
Now I love doodle planning as much as scrapbooking. Plus, it makes me get things done!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Plan

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

WOYWW 320--Minnie loves Midori

Happy Wednesday lovely deskers! Visit What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday to share your madness and mess too.

There's my baby kitty--Minnie--making an appearance in my Wednesday desker photo. She's a crafty kitty...extremely smart and clever at her wise old 14 years of age...and she's constantly following me around and getting involved in my stuff.
I made my own Midori style traveler's notebook--look at me go!
Also there is my babydori. I recently fell in love with the Midori Traveler's Notebooks, and at the same time wanted to find a way to upcycle a beautiful little piece of Coach leather. So I followed a trail of Midori DIY videos and made my gorgeous snatch of leather into a babydori...I call it that because it's just a little smaller than the passport size. I made my own little insert notebooks, pocket folders--see the the striped one there--and even a watercolor notebook. I took some vintage pages from a Workbasket magazine and made the cutest dashboard folder with packing tape to laminate it. That way I can stick post-it note lists on there all the time. I'm still decorating the inserts, and loving how it slips right into my bag and is on the go, safely filled with its pages and pockets.

I posted just a couple of days ago the whole story if you're interested.

Anyhoo, I found those cute clip tabs, on the left, and love using colorful tabs in my planners and now in my babydori.

Since Minnie decided to drape herself on my busy work, I immediately had to cap the exacto knife, and make sure there were no sewing pins laying around. We always have to be careful with kitties on the craft tables.

Have a wonderful week.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Monday, July 20, 2015

DIY Midori with Coach Leather

I have joined the Midori fan club. I love this method of notekeeping, sketching, and journaling. And to make sure I loved it, I made one. 

You can easily find a YouTube video to guide you in the process, but I had a twist. You see, I also love Coach bags. I have the vintage kind with the glove tanned leather and in my Coach stash was a little case that was made to hold a tiny device called a Visor. Everybody had them back then, and I was gifted with a Coach case to keep my little device safe. The problem is, the way the case is made on the inside, it can't be used for anything else. 

I couldn't take it, because I love that coach leather. So...

I destroyed it.

And I made myself a baby Midori. The rectangle of leather I cut out was small, so my DIY Midori is just a bit smaller than the classic passport size.

After trimming out my rectangle of leather, it was easy to use my Cropadile to put a grommet in the back for the elastic that wraps around the whole case, and then two grommets each at the top and bottom to string in two pieces of elastic that now holds four little notebook inserts, a little folder, a dashboard, and a few plastic pockets. You can buy some really cute Midori traveler's notebooks on Etsy that come with charms, so I included some charms on mine from my bead stash. Actually, I didn't buy anything! I made this whole babydori from the leather I had, scrapbook papers, notebook paper, and watercolor paper for the inserts, and the grommets I had on hand. I found the heavyduty black elastic cord in my MIL's old sewing stash. But you could certainly buy some cute colored elastic cord.
I don't know if I had more fun making the notebook, or the inserts. If you buy the traditional plain Midori inserts, you can certainly decorate with them all you want with your scrappy stash, stickers, stamps, washi tape, everything. You can add index tabs, your own charms, whatever you like. I made a cute dashboard folder to go around one of the notebook inserts with cutouts from an old Workbasket magazine, and some packing tape to laminate it.

Making Midori inserts
Here's a peek inside...and keep in mind, I'm still having fun decorating it.
Inside my babydori
Now the question is, do I want a full size Midori? The answer is yes! My babydori now rides around in my bag, and I use it a lot! But before I drop around eighty to ninety dollars to buy a Midori and all the inserts, I've decided just to make more. No, I'm not cutting up a Coach bag! I love my bags...this little case was certainly an anomaly. I am busy making stitchydoris! I'm using cute fabric, embroidering, and doing some experimenting right now to make full size fabric Midoris. And of course, the best part is, I'm making more inserts. I also plan to order a couple of really cute ones from Yellow Paper House on Etsy...check those out if you have a Midori.

This was the best decision...I'm enjoying this Coach babydori so much. I'm linking below here to what I think is one of the best explanations of how the Midori works, if you're curious and don't know, with the Reset Girl on YouTube.

Midori 101

In the meantime, here's another great way to bust your scrappy stash, and upcycle something obsolete! Happy Monday!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Plan


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

WOYWW 319 - Day Designer On the Desk

Visit the the What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday crafty desk party right here at Miss Julia's Stamping Ground.

My love of paper, planning, and scrapbooking has led me astray into the planning community! Basically, it's like scrapbooking in your planner, and you end up with a beautiful book of your days.
Scrapbooking in my planner
I still love my big home planner that I made myself. It's huge, has weekly planning pages, folders for mail, clippings, and recipes, a dashboard for post-it notes, menu planner and grocery lists. Made it myself, made it for me and my life, and I do love that thing.

My big home planner filled with pretty papers and what I need.
That doesn't mean I wasn't secretly longing for one of those gorgeous expensive planners that you could only buy online, like the Whitney English Day Designer. And then, my thoughts reigned in the universe and my local Target store actually had the Day Designers. What!
For 11.99 I got a smaller version of the Day Designer. Apparently, they teamed up with Blue Sky and brought these to Target. I love that it's hardback, the coils are gold and very sturdy, and the pages inside are delightful. It's small enough to travel around--and I love decorating my weeks in it, which makes it my scrappy planner. So while my home planner is headquarters, this is a satellite office. Target had a big Day Designer display with all sizes, shapes, and layouts. But the gold stripe was always what I wanted, and a bit of a smaller version as well. I couldn't believe the price, and of course there's no shipping cost or wait. That was a fun morning at Target!

 I repurposed an old makeup caboodle to help clean up my desk a little--it's holding washi tapes inside and out, exacto knife, favorite little scissors, little diecuts. and several of the pens I use all the time. Was I patting myself on the back for this idea? Yes I was!

Lastly, just wanted to say that the news of our dear Eliza's sudden passing broke my heart. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and close friends. She and I chatted back and forth through this blog party many times, and I always looked forward to photos of her cute kitty Yoda. We all will miss this sweet lady.

Hugs and love.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Busting Your Scrappy Stash - Pretty, Glam, Clipboards

Are you one of those lovely listmakers? I love making lists and there's nothing wrong with it. In fact, I keep separate lists for the following things:
  • Grocery Shopping
  • Craft Shopping
  • Wish Shopping
--okay, enough with the shopping--
  • To-Do List
  • Master Make List
  • Writing Project List
  • Household Lists
And then there are special lists, like when I had a yard sale recently and kept track of prices, the things to do the day of the sale, etc. Planning a party--that's its own special to-do list.

Sewing list clipboard
The one thing that keeps this all straight and organized for me is little clipboards. I recently bought a few chipboard clipboards for pennies. Then I realized, here's another great way to use my pretty patterned papers and get to look at them all the time.

I am a lazy crafter sometimes, and I didn't necessarily feel like I needed to make this project perfect looking. I'm going to use these, not sell them in a craft fair. Sooo...I just slapped white acrylic paint on some of them, and went through my scrap paper pile and mod podged! Each one has its own little personality, and they can each hold two list pads. I usually have a cute list pad and post-it list pad on the one I use all the time. And it's so much better than just having a bunch of floppy pads all willy nilly. Most days I really just need the main clipboard that has my daily to-do and running grocery shopping list.

Speaking of's what I mostly used on this project.

  • Acrylic paint - I just used white
  • Mod Podge
  • Paper scraps, diecut fabric, sticker words
  • Quotes created in and printed on white cardstock
  • Sparkly washi tape
Do not add your decorative washi tape, until your paint and mod podge have dried. The sparkly washi will add all the glam.

I had to give my little clipboards a name. First is the Make Magic clipboard front and back. The f and b do not match--and that's okay.
Second is the Creative Clip. It has a quote print on the front and scrappy stash on the back.
Third is the Happy Clipboard. It really has a scrappy collage mod podged on the front, and a quote I created in picmonkey and printed on white card stock on the back.
Lastly is the Vintage clipboard. The natural chipboard actually looked perfect with this patterned paper. I simply cut up one 12X12 piece that became the front and back. After the mod podge dried, I added gold sparkly washi tape. Love it!
Head to your office supply store, grab some little chipboard clipboards, and have fun busting your scrappy stash and being a glam organizer. You can get as creative as you want to with your pretty papers on this project, and you can even make themed clipboards dedicated to things like the kitchen, craft room, garden, work and school. Embrace your inner listmaker!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch