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