Wednesday, March 4, 2015

What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday 300--That's Number 300 Deskers!! Celebrate!

Watch out - I'm in a jewelry making mood!
Here's my humble craft table in the snowy early morning weekday light of the Ozarks USA.
I love working with beads and wire!
An amazing lady named Julia Dunnit graciously, patiently, humorously, and consistently allows crafters from all over the planet--seriously, around the globe--to meet up in the middle of the week and nose around each other's desks. I have never met Julia in person--I live across the pond from her. But I've come to think of her as a fellow crafter, someone in my tribe, and I'm very grateful to her for these new creative alliances in my life. It's kinda awesome, and very cool. Visit here.
This little dish was made by my artist friend Susan


When I was four-years-old, I asked my mother if I could have an old nightstand of hers and make it my personal desk. She said yes. We painted it, and I filled the drawer and shelf with my crayons, of course, coloring  books, coloring sheets, Little Kiddle dolls, ribbon, yarn, play food, a tea set, and my little Indian perfume roll-on from Avon. I sat in my little wooden chair and worked at my new "desk" every day while watching Captain Kangaroo. (Little Kiddles, Captain Kangaroo, and the Indian perfume are on my Pinterest board: My Sixties Childhood)

So here I am a few years ago, starting my blog. Had no idea what I was doing. But when I stumbled upon a crafter's blog here or there, I started noticing who they followed, and then I followed that trail and stumbled upon What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday. I didn't even understand what it was! But somehow I figured out how to link up, and the fun began. Every week. A link-up party about desks!! 
Happy WOYWW 300 to Julia and all the deskers! Hugs and love to you all from my messy desk to yours.
The cross-stitch is packed up and ready for the tote bag.
P.S. As you know, from our weekly party, I'm a huge Downton Abbey fan, and I just want to let some of you in the U.K. know that you were right--after seeing the season finale this past Sunday, I'm completely delighted, I loved this season!! I want to boo hoo in my handkerchief that I have to wait almost a year to be let back in the big house. But as the Dowager Countess says...I will not complain, or explain.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Monday, March 2, 2015

Stash Dash 2015 - Use the Tools You Have

Stash Dash 2015 Five Simple Rules

Remember when you were at that craft fair and couldn't resist the adorable little yarn-making-spinning-mabob contraption? Or what about the four-functions-in-one jewelry tool you couldn't live without? And don't forget the trip to Michaels where you absolutely had to have that complete set of Martha Stewart punches for the most fabulous scrapbook pages ever made. Afterall, you used a coupon.

I think the biggest challenge for some of us who don't have massive size craft studios is, we HAVE to put things away. We have no choice--we have a small space to craft, we still need and want things like great crafting tools, but they can't all sit out within view. Then comes the dilemma--out of sight, out of mind.

Always keep the instructions.
Purposely using your stash this year also reminds you to use your tools--especially the ones you may have forgotten all about. It's just a matter of a little organization and making a point to, once a month at least, use your tools.

Last week, I got out the ole flower loom. (picked it up with a good coupon last year) It initially appealed to me, because looms are fun, whimsical, can even be used by children, and in the dead of winter who doesn't want to make some flowers? Plus, it's another great way to bust my yarn/ribbon stash a little, and I couldn't make flowers without it. But it's one of those things that I don't HAVE to have, so it was put away last year and I just forgot about it. I've had some fun with it though--and I'm making flowers for everything from tags to scrapbook pages to stuffed animals! A double layered flower would make a cute pin. These kind of looms have several sizes and shapes you can snap in and start weaving. It only takes a few minutes to make something.
Then there are tools we'd like to forget we even bought!

Were you fooled by any tools lately?
Because sometimes we get these things home, we may or may not even try them out right away. We may let them lay around our craft table a few weeks to see if they magically make on their own. Then we put them away with everything else.

That's why this is the year to get rid of your tool hoarding non-usage guilt! In other words, it's time to use it or lose it.

Of course, you may have a huge craft studio, and can keep all the tools you want forever. But in my little crafty corner, everything has to earn its keep.

So once a week or so, I'm getting out a tool that still looks like new, and making something. In doing this, I'm going to know what stays and what goes. This week, the flower loom stays! I confess, I forgot how it worked. But I was smart enough to keep the instruction sheet with the loom kit, and in no time at all I was up and running and producing a whole flower garden. So, note to you--always keep the instructions with your tools!

I have to say, after the coldest February in the Ozarks ever, I love making flowers.
So what about the tools that fooled you? Put them in a box. And when you have a few, have a fun crafty tool swap with your crafting buddies, what else? Maybe someone doesn't want their flower loom--so you can get started on your own flower garden! However, I do recommend it, and if you find the need to visit Michael or JoAnn, just use a coupon. You can use so many things in your stash with this tool--yarn, ribbon, cording, twine, or a combination. Happy stashing!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch in Flowers

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

WOYWW 299 - a cleaner crafty table!

Happy What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday fellow desker!
If you're not a "desker" you should be. Your desk might be messy, clean, crazy, creative, and interesting in some way, so come on over to Miss Julia's Stamping Ground and link up!

I stitched a junk journal and added buttons and beads
Today on my crafty table in my crafty corner of the planet (a happy place): that matryoshka cross-stitch pattern, because I'm currently stitching no. 3. Some little flowers laying there--I got out my flower loom during the Oscars the other night, and made some flowers while I was watching with my family. We made a point to see some of the movies this year, which always makes it more fun to watch the Academy Awards live. By far, I love The Theory of Everything.
Also on the desk is some wonderful new hand therapy lotion--very nice to have there when crafting with its lemon and chamomile aroma.
In the middle is my little junk journal--I posted all about it the other day--and I love having it with all its sturdy stitched pages and lots of places to write. Is a junk journal a new thing or technically an old thing? Either way, it was fun to make and fun to use all the time. I'm getting ready to doodle in the new/old thing now. I might be popping over to your place soon too. Have a great week!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Friday, February 20, 2015

Stitching Together An Upcycled Junk Journal - Part 2 - The Diva of Junk Journals

As Mary Poppins says, "Begun is half done."
My junk journal proved it. All I had to do was start stripping out pages from my old art journal-style planners and the next thing I knew, I was stitching them together and the diva of art journals was born.

See Part 1 of this blog right here.
She is a mixed-media treasure full of pretty pages, ready to write on or add things to, a key (just some random little key in a box of things), buttons, beads, stitching, stamping, and lots of love. Another beauty of this journal is that I actually had a lot of pages from those past planners where I had written things I would still like to be reminded of and add to. So now, here they are together with plenty of blank pages ready for creating. 

Of course, I could have just used adhesive to stick all the pretty pages together, hide the old weekly planner pages on the insides, and have nice, sturdy, reinforced pages for my journal. I actually did get out the ATG gun and do that with some of the pages. (Remember, part of Stash Dash 2015 Five Simple Rules, is use the tools you have!)

With a majority of the pages, I chose to stitch them on the sewing machine, and also hand stitch around them with pearl cotton floss--I think both techniques look and feel wonderful! Unique! Nobody else will have a diva junk journal like yours when it is done.
Yet another great thing about using my old planners was that the covers were ideal to still be covers. You can, of course, add anything and everything to them. My favorite add was the beads. There's the glamour with some big, sparkly, acrylic beads. Little glass beads would be adorable too, and I think my journal has some in its future.
front cover
back cover
Are you ready to get out your stamps, floss, stickers, ribbon, gelatos, and beads and have a ball?

The diva of junk journals is ready for her debut to share her inner-most pages. Thanks for taking this little journal journey with us, and I hope you are inspired to use your stash and create something beautiful and fun! Imperfection is beauty.
I cross-stitch hearts and applique them to everything!
See that piece of ribbon? It was just laying around and anyone else would have thrown it away!

A leftover diecut heart from making valentines with my nephew.

Used my wavy scissors on some pages!

There are plenty of pages still to write on.

My favorite zig zag stitch on the sewing machine.

That little piece of grosgrain ribbon was laying on my floor! Now, it's art.

I managed to keep some layouts from the original planner together!

I love that caterpillar with the cupcakes, and now it isn't lost in an outdated planner.

I trimmed down and stuck in some craft paper I had used on my gelli plate. Perfect!

Feel free to add an index card here and there! This journal will have some recipes in it.

I punched holes and added grommets to a piece of felt, just for fun. Going to stitch a quote here.

This might be my favorite little thing: a piece of the costume I wore from King & I.

I stuck in a cute little card I love! It came with a blog candy prize in the mail.

Adding pockets is good--just stitch them right in from scrap paper. Divas need pockets.
I used some steampunk style rings for the bind--found them at Michaels. They easily let me keep adding pages. I need to add a little wire bracelet of glass beads now that I think about it. The dressing up of this diva junk journal may never end! But that's why it's fun. I've already contributed lists, ideas, and plans that can be ongoing and don't run out at the end of the year like my proper planners do. Be creative, have fun, and express yourself. Stitch a junk journal!
Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch a Junk Journal


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Stitching Together an Upcycled Junk Journal Part 1 - Stash Dash 2015 - The Diva of Junk Journals

If you love sewing on paper, junk journals, upcycling, stamping, gluing, and any of the above, this project's for you!
-Click here for my Stash Dash 2015 Five Simple Rules-

This year I'm upcycling more, shopping stash, and really using what I have, and this junk journal fits right in. Anything goes - really - you could use anything. I was grabbing a little lonely piece of ribbon I saw laying on my craft table and stitching it onto a page to my own delight. That's how this junk journal works!
Gelatos and ribbon stitched on the inside back cover
The basis for my junk journal is my old planners. Every year, I have been choosing a really cute art journal-style planner from Orange Circle. I love how the weekly calendar pages mix in with lovely, inspiring journal pages, and by the end of the year I should have written, colored, or drawn on every one of them! But, sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. Over the years, I have kept my little planners, and I don't know what it is, but you are not as likely to look back in old planners for thoughts, and lists and things like you do your regular art journals. So, my latest junk journal was born. It is, in reality, an upcycled planner that became a diva.
I had to add a random key in memory of all those girlhood diaries with a key.
My first task was to choose two planners from years past, grab the craft knife, and start cutting out the pages I wanted. That's when I decided that to really reinforce them for vigorous usage in this amazing junk journal, I would stitch the pages together, and at the same time I would be hiding the old calendar pages. I don't really want to see them anymore, and yet they are still there, all tucked inside the pretty pages.
Inside the front cover
Some pages were hand-stitched with pearl cotton floss, and a lot of the pages were stitched together on the sewing machine with a variety of zig-zag stitches. Whatever you like! I added a little embroidery to some pages, beads, buttons, ribbon, diecuts and stamping. You could also do sequins, and really any embellishment you like. Remember - this is the diva of junk journals. When you are done with your handwork, you will be holding a glamorous little mixed-media take-me-with-you-and-write-in-me one-of-a-kind book of thoughts, dreams, lists, of you!
The front cover shows off with beads hanging on a cute paper bobbin.
I had some adorable paper bobbins made by Yarnology at Hobby one of them had to go on the front cover with beads hanging off of it. This tells the world, I'm somebody who threads a needle every day and paints with it.

Come back tomorrow, and the diva of junk journals will bare her inner-most pages and how she finally got it all together!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch a Junk Journal