Wednesday, June 29, 2016

WOYWW 369--Paper Fun and Making a Midori

Happy Wednesday to you!

We are celebrating What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday, hosted by our lovely Julia...and temporarily co-hosted today by our lovely wonderful Jan. Julia is recovering from an operation and we are all thinking of her and praying for her healing and comfort.

On the desk is me cutting pretty papers. *sigh* I could cut and glue pretty papers all day. I love it. This is from my Hello Darlin' stack and it's all kinds of adorbs. I'm decorating a couple of booklets for my Midori which I had ordered from Yellow Paper House. The covers are the sturdy brown craft paper which I love, because then I can decorate them all I want!
The Jan-June 2017 planner I'm adding to my Midori.

Although I have dearly loved my "doll-dori" which is my fabric Midori I made last year with the matryoshka doll fabric...lately I've been craving a stuffed chunky leather Midori. I decided to see if that's what I really want because if I bought one, it's not cheap people. So I upcycled an old leather bag and Bob's your uncle--I have a leather Midori. You can check it out on my blog post right before this one from Monday. 

If you haven't heard me going on and on and on about how much I love a Midori Traveler's Notebook, it is basically a notebook that can house several different booklets, and it has a big elastic loop that keeps it all together so it's great for taking with you. They come in many sizes. In mine I keep a "side hustle" book for ideas and organization of my freelance writing and crafts, then two six-month planner booklets, a six-pocket folder I made with a dashboard to keep a little supply of post-its, a list book which is my everything like a personal assistant, and then my food and exercise journal. It really is my life all in one place! Plus, I really manage to keep my food and exercise journal on point by always having it with me. I separate the days with washi tapes and a fun Smashbook date and phrase stamp, so what could be a very boring journal is kind of scrapbooky and therefore I reference it a lot more than your average food and exercise journal which is bound to get abandoned and not kept up with because without washi tape, stamps and stickers the days all blend into oblivion.

Basically it's called: making life fun!
A unique leather Midori from an old bag. (I mean the purse...not me)
I must visit you now! Have a wonderful week.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Monday, June 27, 2016

Upcycling An Old Leather Bag Into An Everyday Midori Travelers Notebook

 I don't know if I have to tell you how a Midori Traveler's notebook can be your best friend, personal assistant, organizer, art journal and planner...but you may already know! I love making my own Midori style notebooks from the covers to the inside booklets themselves. And even if I order a booklet for my Midori, like I did recently from Yellow Paper House on Etsy, I will also decorate it with my scrapbooking supplies and make it one of a kind.
So this past weekend, I was in the mood to make a real leather Midori style notebook, and I knew my leather source would be a 30-year-old Coach bag that I had never let go of. (I'm all about upcycling) When I graduated from college and got my first job, I really wanted a nice bag, and Coach was the thing in the 1980's. So I have never let go of my first Coach bags, and my big brown one was well-loved, let me tell you. WELL loved! I was running from the beach in a rainstorm one day when I got a huge watermark on my bag, and it never went away. That whole side of the bag looked especially loved with more than one watermark and wear on the leather, so that's the side I cut first to make the Midori. It measured 9X12. Perfect for cahier size. My next question was, what to do with the love, the watermarks, and the imprints where the bag handles had been. I would have loved it to be just a perfect piece of leather...cut it...put in the grommets and done! I certainly could have just left it with all the love and imperfections--nothing wrong with that! But the more I thought about it, the more I actually wanted to applique where the handle had been and add decorative stitches. But could I sew on this leather? And sew, I did.
Well loved leather bag reborn into a newly loved Midori
First I cut out the whole side. Then I took a seam ripper and took off the handle. I took my ruler and rotary cutter to straighten up all the sides and then I put the approximately 9X12 piece of leather in my sewing machine and put a decorative stitch all around the edge, first with some red embroidery thread, and then with a purple variegated thread. I loved it.

I looked around in my stash for what to applique. I'm always embroidering on pieces of felt, and I'm always cross-stitching something. So I found an embroidery to applique to the front cover, and some fabric to make into a heart, to cover a little cut in the leather on the front cover, and then a matryoshka cross-stitch for the back cover. Of course, I have to have a matryoshka doll on there somewhere!

After I had all the stitching done, it was time to add the grommets--one goes in the center back spine, two at the top spine, and two at the bottom spine. This is because I like to have two pieces of elastic on the inside so that I can add a total of six booklets. With such a piece of roughed-up well-loved Coach leather, it was fun to add these decorations, and it made me want some pink sparkly elastic for the closure with some cute beads added.

Appliques all stitched.
I use a piece of 18-inch elastic and thread it in double and tie a knot.
You can see on the inside cover where the handle had been!
I have to say, making a fabric Midori does take a bit longer than this leather one. There is much more cutting and stitching involved, and there is a liner, more ironing, and I add pockets and pen loops with fabric Midori's. With this one, I will just add a binder clip to keep a multi pen on there. I made a six-pocket folder for the inside with a dashboard, so no pockets needed on the inside cover. (more about the insides in another post!)
A c-s matryoshka appliqued on the back cover--there's an old stain I left exposed.
Remains of the day--the bag, now cut up--there's another good piece of leather!
Honestly, if the hardware on this  bag had held up, I don't think I would have upcycled it like this. But it was just rusty and gross, and now I'll basically be using this bag in its new life every day!
I add a charm to the back too.

Although I covered up where the bag handles had been, because I thought it looked odd, I don't mind having all the imperfections in the leather showing. To have a big ole water stain reminding me of running from the beach in a rainstorm when I was young, not bad! Midori's are all about memories and planning for the day and the future. Mine is very personal.

See other Midori posts here:

Making a "baby-dori" from Coach leather
Making and decorating Midori booklets
Stitching a fabric Midori and decorating booklets for it
Planner peace in your Midori

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

WOYWW 368--Summer Dreams and Schemes

Ohhh...I love summer so much! Even when it's 90 out like today. All I need is the sun. *sigh* I've been obsessed with my gardening and getting out and doing things and the next thing I know, I've missed a couple of desker Wednesdays! 
Join What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday
Then, this morning, our whole street had a power outage! Good gravy. So I'm back online, and even though I'm late in the day, I'm determined to join in with this messy desk disaster.
I got a set of 8 crochet hooks in the mail with the grippy handles for just five dollars--maybe I will actually try to crochet something! I have the Midori open with some stamps, chalks, and washi, and getting ready to decorate the next planner book to go in, and there's my cross-stitch. I have now very nearly finished the June room, and I'm on to the next room in the dollhouse. And in my own dollhouse, I'm on to the next room to do some housework and abandon this mess until I can get it more organized! Happy Wednesday.
The June room was the bathroom--something I can say I've never cross-stitched before!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

WOYWW 365--Messy Desk Happy Mail

Happy What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday!

Here's my messy, happy place. The stitching of my dollhouse is laying around there, knitting, and the main event of the day, putting together a new 2017 planner booklet for the Midori. I couldn't find something to print for the first six months of 2017, so I went to Yellow Paper House on Etsy and ordered the undated aqua planner--cahier size of course--for my big Midori and it just came in the mail. I found these heidi swapp planner stickers at Hobby Lobby and got those for just a few bucks with the coupon, and they are perfect to use for setting up this planner. For my work and home, I like to plan way ahead for the next year,
so this will be nice. I really like the weekly layout. Plus, I love decorating booklets for my Midori, and the Yellow Paper House booklets have the brown craft paper covers, so this will be so much fun. I also got the dots multi-color pages booklet so this booklet could be anything I want it to be. I have to say the quality of the paper inside the booklets is a nice heavy stock of paper, so these will stand up to everything I put in them. I think I'll do a separate post to show them off a little more and how I put the planner together.

In the meantime time, hugs and love to dear Julia who I hope is recovering comfortably, and thank you Jan for hosting the gang again! Happy Wednesday.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Deskers Seventh Heaven--WOYWW 364

Happy Seventh Anniversary to our dearest Julia who is the queen of the desker kingdom! One of the things I love about What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday is that I do love my crafty corner desk and even when a few weeks go by when I can't seem to manage a creative blog post, I will post my desk...whatever's going on there! Or what's not going on there. I do something at my craft desk every day though, even if I just slap on some blush and lip gloss and check Pinterest! I have to keep the inspiration going. So happy anniversary to all the desker lovelies! And a special thank you to Jan for carrying on while Julia takes care of herself. Big hugs to both of you English roses. I am. Drinking coffee, and doing some soothing cross-stitching on the dollhouse pattern. I'll show you how far I am today after a little more extensive tour of the desk in honor of #364.
Someone commented about my Starbucks mug last week--it's the ceramic mug that came out at Valentines...I do love that thing, it keeps my coffee warm for a long time, which is good when you tend to stitch while you sip in the mornings! You might check their website though--a lot of times they still sell limited edition mugs. Also there are my new markers, waiting for me to do some journaling...I've got to get on that! I still love my initial mug I got at Michaels to keep stray pens together off the desk. And in the middle is a clear acrylic organizer, meant for the bathroom, but it was on sale at Target and it's perfect for holding scissors, tools and has big tray compartment in the front for craft supplies in use and right now everything I stuffed in there is hiding the back of it.
Here's what's watching over me--a huge basket filled with yarn and topped with an embroidered tablecloth, keeping the dust off the yarn, and two lambies I got long ago at Bath & Body Works. By the way, it's raining cats and dogs here in the Ozarks!! Anyhoo, I have lots of basket storage up there too. I think it's perfect to have the wooly lambs nesting on the wool!
I have more box storage on the side of my mailbox shelves, there's a tray with a big acrylic Caboodles organizer on it with cosmetics, and I had Pinterest up on my tablet there. My big ole vintage desk has a pullout on each side. Stacked on this side are some list books, my Midori, and the little cloth bag that comes in the Sephora Play Box, a monthly subscription (for ten bucks) and you get several deluxe samples of luxury products each month. I think the little bag is cute too and I'm going to embroidery on the other side of it which is blank! My daughter and I love the products this month which focused on natural ingredients.
Here's how the cross-stitch dollhouse is going. At this point, I've dragged this thing around with me everywhere as I work on it, and it is wrinkled, and I even had to wash out what I guess was a little coffee drop stain at the top. Anyhoo, it looks like a mess--but will be perfect when I iron it at some point. The aida cloth has gotten so pliable now though, I do need the hoop on each room I'm working on. The May room is done, and I'm already doing the June room, which is the bathroom! It's cute though, the shower curtain has hearts. I promised myself I would do one room a month, the way she did all 12 rooms last year on elBlogdeDMC, so I'm delighted that I am ahead!

 I realize I didn't take a good photo of my whole desk with the mailbox shelves which were painted white a couple of months ago, so here's that view again. I'm so glad I took the time to take everything down and have hubby paint them white, because it really brightened everything up, and is so much more fun to decorate.
Off to visit some lovely desks now.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Calm Desk Busy House -- WOYWW 363

Good morning lovelies. Posting my desk today for the desk party over at Miss Jan's. Hugs to you dear Jan for taking over posting duties for our dear Julia!

This is a quick post's just been crazy at my house. That's all. This stitching here keeps me calm and yoga. My babydori is laying there because I'm switching out some little notebooks I found at Barnes & Noble. So cute. I made this midori out of a piece of Coach leather I upcycled. My big midori is laying on the left--has my planner in it and I use that thing every day.

My darling daughter graduated from college last week with her bachelor of science degree, and I'm sooo proud of her. She's going to graduate school, she has some major projects happening this summer and she is just a sweet, wonderful, amazing girl. We do our best and then hope for the best, don't we? I do love having some time at home with her right now, and graduation is a crazy time for the household!

Happy Wednesday!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

WOYWW 361--Stitchin' and Coffee Drinkin'

Visit the desker party at Ms. Julia's blog right here.
Isn't your desk your happy place? Big-sigh...I just love crafting here, drinking coffee, putting on my makeup for the day, and sometimes it does get piled up when I'm diecutting and have scrapbooking or planning stuff spread out. 
By the way, I love this combo journal/coloring book I found at Barnes & Noble. When I'm tired of stitching and just want to color and doodle, it's perfect.

So today is relatively calm with me cross-stitching on the May room of the dollhouse pattern I'm working from...this is the first big pattern I've done in a long time, and I forgot how relaxing it is. I'm very ahead of the game right now and almost have the May room, which is fifth room, first one on the second floor, almost done! I have a long craft list piling up in the meantime!  I missed the desker group last week--got a checkup at the eye doctor and did not feel like looking at the computer screen! It went very well though.
The 5th room of the dollhouse is bunk beds--so cute.

Happy Wednesday.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch