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

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

WOYWW 318--My Glam Plan

 Join us for What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday -- the best desker party on the planet!

It is early morning, and remember that little notebook that I turned into my business planner for my side hustle things, like craft selling and my writing projects? Well, I decided to break it into two notebooks--one for my writing projects and my blog, and one for my craft making/selling and Etsy. I made some inspirational print-outs to slip in the front covers, and with the addition of some sparkly washi tape it is all glammed up and fun to use and keep everything organized.

Now I realize that all of this could be digital. And of course, I actually write on the computer, research publishers, etc. on the computer. However, there is a little-ole-lady inside of me that LOVES paper. I love writing lists, organizing, and no doubt the paper love is why I became a scrapbooker. So it's only natural I keep hardcopy style planners and organizers. And you all will thank me when a solar flare hits the earth and we lose the satellites and the internet! Okay, maybe you won't thank me, because most of my sweet desker friends live all over the planet and we need the internet to communicate! *sigh*
Best thing I've bought lately is a huge package of sparkly washi tape
 Now these Avery notebooks are so inexpensive, and I love the size, so I'll give my organizing a year to make sure I'm really using this system. Then I might treat myself to some Filofax domino style planners--I think I've secretly wanted an authentic Filofax for years.
Tomorrow I'm posting about my scrapbook paper clipboards. Finally! Now I'm on to more organizing because I've found the perfect caddy for my gelli plate stuff so it doesn't have to just sit around on a cookie sheet! I hope you are happy, well, and have a wonderful week.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Playing with Dollhouses and Scrapbook Paper - More Scrappy Stash Busting

I actually do know grown women who have dollhouses. One lady in particular would host the best Christmas open houses and always feature her Victorian dollhouse decked out for Christmas. My dollhouse actually came to me from a stage show, Secret Garden. My husband designed the set, and a dollhouse had to be built and look as if it were on fire during the show. Later, after strike, no one wanted the little house, so I adopted it. For a long time it was pretty traditional looking. Then, my scrappy stash bug hit, and I painted and redecorated the whole thing...the way a scrapbooker would.

See some of my dollhouse renovation from last year.
For the past few weeks I've been posting on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the more unique ideas for busting that beautiful stash of scrapbook paper. One of my favorite ways ever to enjoy my pretty papers is displaying them in a dollhouse.
Scrapbook paper layered on the living room wall.
I mean face it, some of us would wallpaper our own houses with this stuff if we could. This is the next best thing.
Vintage wrought-iron furniture from a dollhouse my dad built me when I was little.
My dollhouse is filled with dollhouse furniture and miniature tea sets from my childhood, some from my daughter's childhood, a few little purchases here and there, like my old-fashioned stove, and my favorite thing which is actually using Christmas ornaments as things for the dollhouse, like the blender, the toaster, and the chandeliers. There's a little crystal punch bowl from my mom, and sunflower seeds from my garden in a bowl! I even have a little typewriter in the craft room that was originally a pencil sharpener! I guess it still is a pencil sharpener.
The craft room has scrapbook paper everywhere.
I also love taking some of my more wonky knitted hearts and using them as throw rugs throughout the house. I embroidered the welcome mat at the front of the house--which is never really seen--on a square of felt.
There are little hand-sewn pillows in the bedroom top floor--I could definitely add some scrapbook paper to the ceiling--that's next.
I have a dollhouse in my dollhouse.
If you have little ones with dollhouses - let them help redecorate with your pretty papers!
I love this teapot scrapbook paper on the kitchen wall.
So my dollhouse has performed on stage, provided a place to keep childhood treasures, and now it's a showcase for some of my prettiest papers. All great reasons to have a dollhouse!
I used some letter stickers on the front, and there is stamping on the floor.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Thursday, July 2, 2015

DIY Cell Phone Holder - Busting Your Scrappy Stash

 Here's another quick idea to help you enjoy your pretty paper stash...
Make a cell phone holder! It's very easy--but you need to find a plastic case to upcycle. I made this one from an old acrylic computer disk case, believe it or not, but you can actually use an acrylic cassette tape case and achieve the same results. A cassette tape case will probably still have the J-card inside, and you can use that for your template.
Found this when I cleaned out a closet at my office!
I didn't have the J-card in this to use a template, so I just eyeballed it, trimmed out my scrapbook paper to fit inside, after the case is standing open, and then I trimmed a little square piece for the inside bottom to coordinate and used both adhesive and some washi tape.
I love being able to both stare at some of my pretty papers, and have a stand to keep my phone on my desk! Also, it always feels good to upcycle.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Upcycle

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

WOYWW 317--Clipboard Crafting

Good morning fellow desker! Happy Wednesday, and happy July!

If you don't know what a "desker" is, you must find out right here at What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday.

Of course, I have too many projects in the air and my previously neat workdesk is a big ole mess. I decided I wanted a few little clipboards to keep the to-do lists separate. I'm having a yard sale, so I needed a clipboard just for that--I have my price list, my to-do's, and my notes for the day of the sale. I also needed a little clipboard to keep just the everyday lists for grocery shopping, the house, the garden, and my makes--which later I can also stick in my planner.

I tell you, when the organizing bug bit me, it bit me hard!

Anyhoo, I got ahold of some chipboard clipboards! They were, I kid you not, 49 cents at an office supply. Just little plain brown clipboards, perfect for holding more than one post-it note or list pad.

Then I got out the white paint, Mod Podge, sparkly washi tape, and the patterned paper leftovers. I did about four clipboards over the weekend and was able to start using them pretty quickly as they dried. So, I'll post about what I did on them front and back as part of my scrapbook paper stash buster series I've been doing on Tuesday and  Thursday lately if you are interested. I do projects that let you actually keep and enjoy those pretty papers.

Oooh...and I did something really fun last week. I got to work with a chef and demo a new Cerafit color edition ceramic pan for an international infomercial! I was in awe of this chef, and I got to pick out the purple pan and do a stirfry demo in it. Plus, I got paid for having this fun. Woo hoo!

In the meantime, I've got things to price and lists to do! Have a wonderful week.