Thursday, February 25, 2016

New Tricks for Your Old Bag--Crafter Style

Here's a little Thursday tip...go vintage with your bag, but pretend like it's new.

Still hanging onto some of your oldest bags? I bought this Coach leather toaster-style bag back in 1985. I'm really pretty sure it was 1985--I was right out of college and working in a big city, and I wanted a big girl bag. I loved this thing to pieces. Now, this isn't the only vintage Coach in my bag stash, but it's probably one of my favorites because it stayed very pristine looking I have to say. Except for maybe the hardware has not aged as nicely as I would wish. It may not have seen the light of day for over a decade at a time, wrapped in tissue paper in a drawer.

So what would make me want to bring this bag out again and feel like it was cute? The little chain holding the original Coach tag was very tarnished, so that's where I started. I took a gold bracelet that I never wear, and used that for the tag. Love. Then I picked up this tassel at Michaels, with a coupon of course--I love this tassel decor, and I switch it around and use it on tote bags too. On the other side I added ribbon and a cool energy rock charm from my bead stash--I wanted to give the old girl some energy!

And there she is, ready to go out and be seen again. This bag was made in the factory in New York back then and still has the amazing Coach smell. Also, you can clearly see its serial number on the inside pocket. And I'm quite sure these vintage Coach bags in this style are easily available on ebay. This bag, though, is sentimental to me. It's one of the first things I bought with my first real job, and it has lots of good memories. I could never sell her! So here she is, all dressed up for a day on my arm 30 years later!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hello Lovely Desker! WOYWW 351

The desk party starts right here at What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday.
How are you? It's a random weekday desk photo - and that's a good thing since I can't seem to bring myself to actually craft something and blog about it. Good grief! So what you're seeing there is my morning coffee in my favorite heart mug on the right (I do heart that mug, it keeps my coffee sooo warm)...crafts and coffee just go together don't they? Then right in the middle of my desk I was cleaning out my Midori, and lifting some listing...ooh, I like that, "lifting some listing" that I did from previous weeks in my planner, which I keep in my Midori, and just doing an overall cleanout of it, because it's a great place to stuff things during a busy week! I had been cross-stitching on mah dollhouse, and laid that down to take the photo. That's where the stitching landed. Laying on the left is a purple ink pad and my Smashbook date stamp with little phrases. I love that thing. I use it for so many things...but lately I've had it out to use in my food and exercise journal which I keep in my Midori. I like to use the date stamp with happy phrases, I divide each day with some washi tape, so my food/exercise journal stays fun and inviting and therefore I feel more encouraged to keep journaling everything. And it is working...I had a great checkup at the doctor. Woo hoo!
A little Michaels haul including that luscious fabric tape

Ooh, and I love my new initial mug. I picked it up at Michaels the other day with a great coupon, and got it with a matching spiral journal. I just couldn't leave the store without them both. Apparently, I needed them in my life! Here's a closeup I took the day I got them. I can't stand the cuteness! And I can't decide if I should use the mug for pens on my desk, or to actually drink out of. (please tell me what to do) Also picked up a makeup bag at Michaels that folds out with lots of zipper pockets--oh how I love that too. I'm just full of's February. And that new bag carries all my essentials and some crafting and goes into my work bag. It's a winner.

Sooo...Downton Abbey lovers...I swear. Every time a new episode airs on our PBS station each Sunday night, I get sadder and sadder because I keep thinking how close we are to the end. Waaahhh!!!

Okay, rant over. Back to happy Wednesday desking-around.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

WOYWW 350--Don't Tell Anyone What My Bag Is

Well the whole thing started with this mess...

I tell you, I get so tired of my desk piling up! And I know it's because there are several little things I do almost every day. I write in my planner and other booklets in my Midori notebook. I cross-stitch on a large dollhouse I'm working on (a little bit a day goes a long way). I knit on something. Sometimes I watercolor. I doodle in an art journal. And I get out my list book because I'm always making a list. So then, I thought of a solution to this madness and mess.
And here's what happened after that...
Tada! It's What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday magic. And all of those things I realized that I work on the most, I primarily work on at my craft desk, but sometimes I take them around the house. So I decided to pull out my Orla Kiely bag. I love Orla Kiely bags--she makes purses, makeup bags and even diaper bags.'s my secret...although I said goodbye to my diaper bag era many moons ago, I bought an Orla Kiely diaper bag to be my craft bag! No kidding. Don't tell on me. It has oodles of pockets inside and out. Everything is so sturdy, great zipper pulls, and think of all the things you can use that diaper changing pad for! Plus, it's all waterproof and made to be wiped down, and we all know craft supplies can make a bag messy.
I picked this one up at Target for around $35 (yes, in the baby aisle). It has a cute print, and it is a really huge bag. I could travel with this too and it would fit all my planners, scrapping, and crafting supplies. Since I'm not traveling anytime soon though, I unloaded my desktop and loaded up this bag. It sits on the side of my craft desk now, I can find everything I'm currently working on, and I can move it around the house when I want to camp out and craft in another room. It would be great to take to a crop if you have a lot to pack, or to a friend's house. I just can't get over all the pockets. I just picked up some new washi tape at Michaels and it's going on a big ring I'm hooking on the side by the embroidery floss. I still have other cute tote bags I love, but this is the workhorse for now that's keeping my desk a little more organized.

Happy Wednesday lovelies.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

WOYWW 349--Planted at the craft table

Happy Wednesday Desker!
Visit What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday right here.
So...I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date! Just now posting my desk at 11 a.m. here in the Ozarks. It's probably too late for lovely visitors...sigh. I'll share anyway, maybe Julia will see it! I'm going through my new seed packets and deciding what to start this weekend. My phone is sitting there in my monkey! (if you don't know about my Ty Peek-a-boo, see last week's desk) and room number two in the cross-stitch dollhouse is going well! I have a new chair for the craft table - it's made by Serta and love it! I'll try to take a photo of it next time. And while crafting I'm rewatching all the old Downton Abbey's on my Amazon Prime videos. And after seeing that they had a whole dinner conversation about Gwen the maid wanting to be a secretary in season one, (spoiler alert) I can't believe that this season they acted like they didn't remember her at all!! Lords and ladies have short-term memories I guess.
Have a lovely week.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Monday, February 8, 2016

Two Balls of Yarn - One Chunky Ski Band with Poms and Sparkles

I love to wear my hair up in pony tails and buns, so a ski band is a bit more my style rather than a hat to keep my ears warm! Knitting a little bit, here and there while watching a couple of movies, I made a warm, cozy ski headband in a weekend. Perfect for a cold windy and even snowy day! 
I was rummaging through a box of yarn I had and realized what a great match the pompom yarn was with a rosy beige sequin yarn laying next to it. I'm sure you could use any combination of colors though. I just picked a fat pair of knitting needles--around size 10--and I was ready to make the cutest, coziest ski band. If you want to experiment with different sized knitting needles, depending on your yarns, just do a test swatch.
When you're ready, cast on 12 stitches with your two yarns, and start knitting. I knit a length of about 18-inches to fit my head perfectly, but you can measure around your head as you go. Then I cast off and stitched the two ends together with the sequin yarn. The seam doesn't even show!
The thing I love about the sequin yarn is that it is not just loaded with sequins...they are really spaced out on the yarn. When it is combined with the pompom yarn, a lot of the sequins get tucked in there, but just a few show here and there which is perfect for this everyday ski band to keep any head cute and cozy during winter. You could also stitch on a flower or a big cute button.
Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

WOYWW 348--Monkey on My Desk

Happy happy Wednesday! It's a lovely cloudy cold morning and time for coffee. Oh, and a visit to:

Look at my monkey! His name is Chimps and he's one of those Ty Peek-a-boo phone holders. He also cleans your screen. I love him. He holds my phone on my desk perfectly. And I love this time of year because everybody sells stuff with hearts on it!
So, piled on my desk is a new wristlet/cross-body bag from Charming Charlies I got with a bonus card from there, I love those. It has tons of pockets. This was last night and I was in the middle of cutting off the tags and drinking some green tea. Also laying there is a new list pad/posty book from the Bargain bin at Barnes & Noble.
Here's what the list pad book looks like on the inside.
I'm already using these in my planner. AND...I had just got some MAMBI pocket pages in the mail I'm going to use for scrapbooking and other things. They are super cute. It was an Amazon add-on item for a little over two bucks!
So this is how I get through winter. I love hearts and Valentines and I make my desk a happy place. Although I have to say my heart is still recovering from a shocking moment I was warned about on Downton Abbey. Oh my Lord. What a moment. Enjoy your day!
Monkey on my desk!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Valentines Tree

There are many things you could upcycle or recycle to create the base for your Valentines tree. And if nothing else, snap off a few tree branches, paint them white and add glitter! I have done that, but this post features an upcycled photo tree purchased many moons ago from the Hallmark store.
Some stitched felt, sparkly beads and wire, and a few cross-stitched hearts transform it into a Valentines tree!

See here for more about stitching felt hearts on diecut circles.

Stitching frippery is a great on-the-go project. Just diecut your shapes ahead of time, pack some pearl cotton no. 5 floss and you can stitch up your cute frippery everywhere you go.

 Be sure to use a small length of floss to make a hanging loop on each ornament, and then get your tree base ready. A few cut branches in a tall vase would make a stunning Valentine tree display. But I was about ready to get rid of this old Hallmark photo tree when I decided to transform it. The original idea from Hallmark was that you would buy their teeny tiny ornament frames, and somehow come up with teeny tiny versions of your photos to hang on here. Well that was never going to happen--I could barely see photos that size without my glasses! This tree is metal, and with all those little hooks on it, there were definitely other possibilities.
Playing with bead and wire is one of my favorite things. These gorgeous, sparkly acrylic beads, I picked up at JoAnns, and a little copper wire turned into some pretty accents for the top of the tree. Sitting on my sunporch, they catch the sunlight and make the whole tree sparkle. I think eventually though, I may just spray paint it all gold.
Beads and copper wire
When I start making these little beaded wire treasures, I realize I can use them for a lot things.
This will make a cute bottle to root plant starts
From my felty frippery heart to yours, I hope you make a Valentines tree this year and enjoy your heart day.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch