paris in july – polaroid fotobar pics

When my husband and I first went to Paris in July, we weren’t entirely sure what to bring.  Camera wise I mean.  Did I really want to lug around my new Canon Rebel that I’m just learning to use? Would I regret it if I didn’t bring it? Probably, yes, even though I wasn’t sure I was brave enough to take it off the auto setting.  So we decided to cover all the bases.  I packed the Canon, he brought his point and shoot and we both brought our iphones.  The result was over 1,200 pictures. Because yes,  Paris is that beautiful.  And it wasn’t like we walked around with a camera stuck to our eyeball, we strolled, we sat outside in the park, we sat and chilled in a cafe.  But still, we ended up with a ton of pictures.  I decided to whittle down those 1200 pictures to a few of my favorites and tried out the Polaroid Fotobar.

I think that overall, mine came out just a tad darker than I intended, but I continually mess with my monitor settings, so that is probably my fault.  I arranged them in the order I wanted and put them up on the wall with double stick re-movable Scotch brand tape.  (It’s thick and gooey and doesn’t damage the wall when you pull it off.)  As a plus, the pictures are printed on stock thick enough that when I pulled one off to realign and straighten it, it didn’t bend.

I love my little photo collage.  And I truly loved Paris.


rosewood necklace

materials + tools
I picked up these rosewood beads in a darling bead shop in San Diego about 3 years ago. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with them when I bought them. I just knew I liked them. And now they’ve finally found a home in my jewelry box.

The assembly was simple.  I used headpins and round nose pliers to create links between each of the beads. I then joined the chain to the end link on the beads.  I used jump rings to join the rest of the chains together and add a clasp and closure ring.

  • side drilled rosewood beads
  • two types of chain
  • 3″ headpins
  • clasp and closure ring
  • jump rings

collage w tools

Paris Travel Journal

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When I go on vacation I can’t help but come home with handfuls of maps, tickets and museum guides. (Oh, and lots of pictures too, but more on that later.) I’m always looking for a way to keep all my vacation stuff together instead of just throwing it in a shoe box. So, I came up with a way to keep my maps, receipts, etc. easily and anywhere I want them in just about any journal. These 4 storage pockets are made from the journal pages themselves and a bit of strategically placed washi tape.

Journal Supplies:

  • Journal – I used a notebook by Cavallini. The pages are thick and it comes with an elastic closure to keep everything from exploding out.
  • Washi tape – 2-3 different styles (I used Tape Works by SandyLion and tapes from Cavallini)
  • Pens  – I use a Pilot Razor Point II
  • Rubber stamps
  • Stamp pad by Archival Ink
  • Scissors, double stick tape
  • Cavallini paper clips and 7 Gypsies spiral clips
  • Cavallini map of France

1.  Map pocket
This is the easiest to make. Hold two adjoining sheets together and attach washi tape along the bottom and side edges.

2.  Folder pocket
You’ll need a sheet from your journal to make the front of the folder pocket. If your journal is spiral bound, just pull out a page. To see if your journal is sewn together – look at the inside of the book, near the binding and lift up the center pages until you can can see the “signatures” (see photo above). The signature are the individual folded sections of a group of papers that together, make up the overall journal or book. Find the center folded seam of a signature – you will know it because you will see the stitching down the center. Cut the paper out along the fold – but DO NOT cut the threads holding the signatures together. (If I think there will be unused sheets in the journal , I’ll pull out more of these pages to allow room for the thicker maps and pockets.)

Fold a page in half then cut off about 3/4″ along one unfolded long side. Hold the pocket so the bottom and outside edges align with the next adjoining sheet. Attach washi tape along the bottom and side edges.

3.  Pleated pocket
You will be cutting out a “t'” shaped piece that will be folded in half, then pleated on the sides.  I think the pictures above illustrate this easier, but I’ve included written instructions as well. Pull out another page from your journal. Trace around the item on you want to make a pleated pocket for.  Add about 1/8″ to the sides and top. Flip your item down, trace around it and add about 1/2″ to the sides for the side tabs. Cut out. Fold in half along bottom. Fold side tabs in toward pocket. Fold this tab in half again aligning edge with fold to make a little pleat. Use the washi tape to attach the back to the pleated sides.

4.  Envelope
Find the two adjoiningg sheets where your want your envelope. Fold the top page back about 1 1/2″. Fold the back page over this fold line. Hold two adjoining sheets together and attach washi tape along the bottom and side – keeping clear of the flap. To make a self stick closure, fold back about 1/2″ of washi tape, leave 1/2″ exposed, then stick the washi tape across the middle of the flap and across the back. Add about 1″ of washi tape under the sticky portion.

Over the course of this vacation, between our iphones, a DSLR and a point and shoot, my husband and i managed to take over 2,500 photos (yes. we did.)  I was thrilled when I discovered little 2 1/8″ x 3 3/8″ photos printed by Social Print Studio. You can send an order in right from your phone and they come to your home all wrapped up in these tidy cute stacks, just like little presents.  Sometimes pictures I want to use in my journals aren’t my best photos, they’re just favorites. And these pics are a cute and inexpensive way to include a bunch of them in my journal.

warm up

Finishing up
After adding the pockets,  I start doodling on a warm-up sheet to test out the colors of the pens, stamp inks and tapes.  This is where I discovered that cutting the washi tape in half looked better with the smaller photo’s.  I also discovered that the stamp pad I was using will bleed through to the other side of the page.  (I still wanted to use it because this ink is a really black, black.  So, I only stamped words where the other side of the page was hidden – like on the pockets.)  The warm-up sheet also helps with writer’s block – which sometimes I get staring at a blank page.  My teachers in grade school called this our “sloppy copy.”

Au revoir, and have fun journaling!


Memory Lane Pillow Top

As a fabric store owner, I was thrilled when Amy Butler reissued one of her older fabric collections “Belle”.   My store was relatively new when Amy Butler’s fabrics first burst onto the scene.  It was fun to see our customer’s excitement and reactions when they first saw her fabrics.  Seeing the fabrics reissued again reminds me how much fun we had when the new bolts of fabrics arrived and how we fussed with arranging them “just-so” on the shelves.  

For this pillow top I used pre-cut strips of fabrics from an Amy Butler “Belle” jelly roll, but it can be made with any strips of your favorite old (or new!) fabrics.  Stay tuned, because I’m working on a Memory Lane Apron and Memory Lane Market Tote as well!


  • 13 strips of 2 1/2″ x 22″ pieces of fabric (or you can use pre-cut strips from a fabric jelly roll)  to make a 21 ” x 21″ pillow top
  • 21″ x 21″ piece of fabric for back
  • 20″ x 20″ pillow form
  • thread
  • marking chalk or wash away fabric marking pen
  • general sewing supplies (scissors, pins, tape measure etc.)

Pillow Front Instructions:

First lay out the strips in the order you want to sew them.  Stack them in a neat pile, so you are ready to sew with them.

With right sides together, sew all long sides of the strips together using a 1/4″ seam.
On the back side, press all the seams flat in one direction.
Using a 1/4″ seam, sew seams with wrong sides of fabric together, encasing the original seam. When folding the fabric together, try and keep the just sewn seam centered in the middle of the fold.

Starting in center of pillow, mark a vertical line from top to bottom. Mark 4 more lines on either side of the center line at 2″ apart.

Pin – Starting with the first strip, find the middle line just made and pin the first seam in the middle facing down. Pin the seam to the left and the seam to the right facing up, then alternate pinning the rest of the seams up and down to create a “wave.”
On the next strip, alternate the direction you pinned to create a “wave” and continue pinning the rest of the seams.  On the side seams, pin in the same direction as the nearest vertical seam.
Sew across all layers and seams following the vertical lines.

Pillow Back Instructions:

The edges of the pillow top may be slightly uneven after sewing the strips together. Cut off the uneven edges and cut the pillow top and pillow back so they are 21″ x 21″.  (Or as close to this measurement as you can get.)
Pin together front to back with right sides together. Using 1/2″ seam, sew around 3 edges. On the fourth side, leave a 10″ opening to insert the pillow form. Insert the pillow and hand stitch the opening closed.

If you would like a free downloadable of this pattern, click on one of the links below.


Design/Build Headboard – finding a new use for some old wood shelves

Would it have been easier to just go to IKEA? Maybe, but when the nearest IKEA is 9 hours away, you’re sometimes forced to be a little more creative. This is what happened when the need for a decent looking headboard met up with a pile of used shelves.

It all began when my husband and I attempted to clean out the garage. We don’t toss out lumber of any kind, not even scraps, so the pile tends to accumulate. This certain pile included a number of beat up plywood shelves from my store. I was pondering where to re-locate the pile when it occurred to me we might be able to use some of it for the headboard needed in our guest room. A headboard for a double bed needs to be 54” wide plus a little extra for the sides. The shelves were only 46″ long, so that would have to be the determining measurement for the design. The shelves were a little scratched, had shelving grooves cut in the bottom and water damage from sitting on the floor of our garage. So, knowing the damaged areas would need to be cut off, I came up with a slat design using boards of varying width and an off-center detail maximizing the 46″ length of the shelves.

After finding a Saturday afternoon free on both of our schedules, we got started. First, we cross-cut the short boards and then ripped all the boards to width. We followed the layout of the boards from the design sketch, but ended up having to fudge a little towards the bottom because my measurements were slightly off. (Hey, it happens.)

Once the cutting was finished, we roughed up the old lacquer finish on the shelves to provide a better adhesive surface for the primer. We used an alcohol base primer to prime the wood. Next, I applied a light coating of the finish paint. In our case, we wanted a soft white, not a shiny, high gloss paint, so we chose an acrylic latex enamel.

After drying completely, we used a drill-press to drill countersink holes into the front slat boards. Countersinking the holes allow the screw heads to lie flush with the surface of the boards. The drilled ends were then attached to a center back vertical support board. We laid out the boards according to the sketch and set nails between the slats to keep the spacing consistent. To prevent stripping the screws, my husband hand screwed in each one. This is where we discovered the boards were slightly different sizes, which exposed more of the screw head than we would have liked on a few of the boards. Such is the nature of re-purposing.

We then flipped the headboard over to attach two outer back vertical support boards in alignment with the attachment points of the metal bed frame. We also added 2 horizontal boards across the back of the 3 vertical boards for added structural support. We hauled the headboard upstairs and aligned it with the slotted holes in the metal bed frame and bolted it all together.

The supplies we needed to purchase cost less than $50.00. Here’s what we used:

  •  from our pile of lumber, we used about 6 – 12” x 46” x 3/4″ Baltic birch used wood shelves
  • for the 2 horizontal supports, we had to dig further into our pile to find boards the width of the headboard. We found a couple 1 x 3’s and cut them down to the width of the headboard
  • for the 3 verticals we used the same wood shelves
  • we finished off a box of 1 1 /4 x 12 wood screws – much larger than what the job called for, but we wanted to express the screws in the design
  • we switched to 1 1 /4″ drywall screws for the back boards- because they go in easier than wood screws and aren’t as easy to strip out. (My husbands hands were pretty sore by this point. So for the back boards, he used a screw gun and the drywall screws.)
  • paint brushes, primer and a quart of acrylic paint

So, a big thanks to my hubby for giving up his afternoon to help make a headboard. And another big thanks to M of the blog Redesigned by M – a blog that inspires me to redesign, reorganize and repurpose. A trip to IKEA will just have to wait.

finished headboard


DIY – glass bead mosaic ring

mosaic ring

mosaic ring materials w numbers

Italian tile work has always inspired me – so full of rich color and texture.  This simple ring uses a combination of 4 colors of Miyuki square glass metallic beads to recreate the look of contemporary mosaic tile.  I used:

  1. adjustable ring base with a lip edge approx 4mm high 
  2. 4mm Miyuki square glass beads – or any square bead approx this size will work
  3. E-6000 or any adhesive that works with glass and metal
  4. tweezers, toothpicks or a magic pick to help pick up and place the beads

mosaic ring glue in

I started by arranging one row vertically and one row horizontally to verify the beads would fit the ring base and to see how careful I would have to be with spacing.  The Miyuki beads vary a bit in size which is fine because I think it gives it a more true, artistic mosaic tile look.  When positioning the beads, turn them on their sides, so you can’t see the holes. When you are happy with the layout, glue down the beads using E6000. (I flipped the beads out onto a piece of cardboard, so I could maintain the layout while I glued them down individually.) Wait about 24 hours for the E6000 to set.

mosaic ring hand


stacked leather bracelets

bracelet stack turq 100

So, are stacked bracelets fashionable? Or is it just my crafty desire to wear everything I make?  Either way, here are some of my own favorite leather bracelets.


But first, just a bit on the materials I used:

  • Buttons- any size or shape will work, I just picked what I liked
  • Leather- look for a soft high-quality leather that is pliable. You can soften leather before working with it by pulling it through your pinched fingers a couple times to remove the curl. If this hurts your fingers, string on a large center hole bead that doesn’t have rough edges and run the bead along the leather, scraping to soften the leather.
  • Beads- any size you like will work but always, always, always coordinate the size of your leather with the size of your bead holes
  • Spacers + Beads- any size you like will work, but again, and I can’t stress this enough, always coordinate the size of your leather with the size of your bead holes

leather double

Double strand sliding knot bracelet


About a year ago, I Pinned the bracelet on the left to my Pinterest “Crafternoons” board.  At the time, it retailed for $90.00.  My version above, cost only about $5.00 in materials to make.

You’ll need:

  • 2 yards of 1.5 mm distressed brown leather (I’ve tried other leathers, but felt they were too stiff.  The distressed brown leather seems to work the best for me.)
  • 32 – 4 mm beads with holds large enough to go over leather
  • a clip board and tape to help hold everything down while knotting
  1. Cut two lengths of leather about 24″ long each.  Slide 14 beads to the middle of one strand of leather and set aside.  Repeat for other piece. 
  2. Making sure your beads are centered on the leather, tape both strands together near the end of the beads.  This holds it all together to make it easier to tie the other end.
  3. On the end opposite the tape hold both strands together and tie an overhand knot right against the ends of the beads.  Remove tape and tie the other two strands together with another overhand knot.
  4. Now, you are ready to make the sliding knot.  If you already know how to make a sliding knot, the rest is a breeze.  If not, here’s a link to sliding knot tutorial.  Sliding knots for bracelets are great because they are adjustable, but tying them off can be a bit tricky, so here’s what I do:

slider knot end with text

5.  After my final knot, I like to tie a knot on the under side, then stick the ends up into the open side areas of the knot just made and pull. (See above)  I’ve worn waxed cotton cord and distressed brown leather bracelets made in this manner and have had no problem with my ends working free.  However, I have tried a stiffer black and other brown leathers and could never get the ends to stay put.  (If I use thinner cording material such as waxed linen or hemp for sliding knots, I always put a dab of glue or E6000 on the knot to help it stay put.)

6.  Slide on end beads and tie a knot.  Try on.  If your tails are too long, re-tie the end beads higher up being careful to leave enough cord so you can remove the bracelet with ease.

sunflower leather wrap

Triple wrap leather bracelet with button

Here are complete instructions to make this triple wrap bracelet from one of my earlier posts. 


Triple strand sliding knot bracelet – here’s what I used:

  • 3 or 4 yards of .5 mm brown distressed leather
  • six 4 mm beads with holes large enough to go over the leather
  • 3  feature beads with holes large enougth to go over the leather
  • a clip board and tape to help hold everything down while knotting
  1. Cut a single strand of leather about 1 yard long. Slide your feature bead onto the leather and locate it in the middle of your strand.  Tie a knot on either side of feature bead, securing it in place.  Repeat for the two other leather strands.
  2. Hold all three finished strands together with the featured beads positioned where you like them and tape them all together to secure.
  3. Holding all 3 strands together, tie two overhand knots, one on either side of the group of feature beads.
  4. Finish bracelet by completing steps 4-6 from the directions above for the Double strand sliding knot bracelet.

carnelian bracelet

Carnelian Bead Bracelet

Here are complete instructions to make this easy knot carnelian bead bracelet from one of my earlier posts.

triple wrap leather

Leather triple wrapped bracelet  This is the bracelet that got me into so much trouble.  It was the first leather wrapped bracelet I made, and I made it during a vacation to the Caribbean.  Needless to say, I was hooked.  Now I take a little tin of bracelet making tools and supplies with me on every vacation.  I used:

  • 2 ply brown waxed Irish linen
  • 2 yards 1.5 mm antique brown leather
  • one 12mm bead for the clasp
  • about 20″ of 4mm crystal cut beads
  • collapsible eye needle

Here is a video link to a tutorial on making these leather wrapped bracelets.



making bracelets – “waxing” on linen, cotton and chinese knotting cord

bracelets black cropped

 As a craft store owner I hear “What’s this used for?” over and over in regards to the variety of bracelet making materials available. It can be somewhat overwhelming if you are just getting started.  So here in a nutshell, are my thoughts on waxed cotton cord, Irish waxed linen and Chinese knotting cord and some bracelets I’ve made using them.

waxed cotton

Waxed Cotton Cord

1.  Waxed Cotton Cord –  I love this stuff!  We have it in 1mm and 2mm widths.  Its only real drawback is the limited color range and we only have it in brown and black.  Its tightly braided construction means it’s durable and the ends just barely fray with use.  The very light wax coating wears off over time and becomes very soft. Then it feels like cotton.  It’s not as stiff as leather so it’s great for knotting and specifically sliding knot bracelets.

spacer bead bracelet

For this spacer bead sliding knot bracelet (also pictured second from left in first photo aboveI used: 

  • 1 yard 1mm waxed cotton cord
  • 24 heishi spacers
  • two 4mm round beads at ends

To start this bracelet, use about 12″ of waxed cotton cord and slide all but 2 of the spacer beads to the middle of your cord.  (You’ll use the extra two spacers and 4mm beads for the end knots.)  Tie a knot right against both ends of the spacers so the spacers are centered.  Next, you can tie your sliding knot.  If you haven’t tied a sliding knot before, here is a really good tutorial on how.

pearl single slide knot

Pearl and waxed cotton cord sliding knot bracelet (above).  I love this bracelet because the pearls remind me of the ocean. I wore this everyday, all day, for a week and the cut ends of the waxed cotton cord did not work their way out of the sliding knot and barely frayed on the ends. For this bracelet I used the 2mm waxed cotton cord and 7 pearls with large drilled holes, made exactly the same as the spacer bead bracelet above.

waxed linen stack

Waxed Irish Linen

2.  Waxed Irish linen – Great for working with small hole beads.  We have it in a variety of pretty colors and in 2-ply (smaller) and 4-ply (larger) sizes.  Leather wrapped bracelets are very popular and the 2-ply is great for keeping the beads in place while you wrap them onto the outside leather cord.  Some people don’t like working with the waxed linen at first because of its stickiness, but the light wax coating eventually wears off.  If you don’t have a collapsible eye needle – get one!  It makes the process of stringing small hole beads much easier.  A dab of glue down on the cut ends of your knots will prevent fraying.

triple wrap leather

For the leather triple wrapped bracelet on the left I used:

  • 2 ply brown waxed Irish linen
  • 1.5 mm antique brown leather
  • one 12mm bead for the clasp
  • about 20″ of 4mm crystal cut beads
  • collapsible eye needle

Here is a video link to a tutorial on making these leather wrapped bracelets.

rhinestone double wrap

Waxed Irish linen, leather and rhinestone chain bracelet (above).  These are really quick and add some color and bling to your bracelets.  Here’s the link to the blog “Honestly…WTF” and the post I used to make these bracelets.
luv-u-charmlet-finalWaxed Irish Linen Charmlets (above– I used 4 ply waxed Irish linen for these sliding knot bracelets.  They are very simple and plain, but look cute with a charm or little pendant added. The sliding knot is pretty sticky at first, but after some usage and wear the knot works great.  Here is a great link to how sliding knots are made from the blog “The Adorned Article.”  

chinese knotting thread

Chinese knotting cord

3.  Chinese knotting cord – This is a nylon woven cord that is also easy to work with. It comes in bright colors, a variety of widths and the knots it creates are very even and clean.  The smaller sizes work great for the Shamballa Style bracelets (see below) You can use a cigarette lighter (I don’t smoke, so I have to admit buying a lighter for this project felt sort of strange) to seal the ends from fraying.  It doesn’t have the stiffness of leather so the knots are easier to make and stay in place well.

gold bead bracelet

For this metal bead bracelet (made similar to spacer bead sliding knot bracelet above) I used: 

  • .8mm black chinese knotting cord
  • fourteen 5mm beads with holes large enough for 2 strands of cord
  • a cigarette lighter to seal the ends

agate macrame

Shamballa Style Agate Bracelet (above–   Here’s a how-to video on making the Shamballa style bracelet above.

For this bracelet I used:

  • I.8 mm black chinese knotting cord
  • twelve 12mm cut agate beads
  • two 6mm beads for the ends

bracelets black cropped

Rhinestone Sliding Knot Bracelet  Here is one last really cute bracelet using chinese knotting cord that is pictured second from the right.

I made this one straight from the blog  “Honestly…WTF”.  Look for the DIY Rhinestone Sliding Knot Bracelet.