Category Archives: Crafts

Scrap Paper Notebooks: Check!

Remember my recycled scrap paper to do? Well, I was pretty determined to try it out. So I took my heaps of scrap paper, bought a small paper trimmer (on sale), and tracked down some washi tape….and presto! A few glue mishaps later, and I’ve got myself some brand spanking new recycled scrap paper notebooks!

I started with some old paper bags I had hanging around, and piles and piles of old scrap paper: old one-sided print-outs, as well as miscellaneous odds and ends from old notebooks and pads, like graph paper, sketchbook paper, tracing paper, etc.

The tutorial I followed wasn’t too specific on the type of glue to use (it mentioned a few). I used white LePage glue. I think for future notebooks, however, I might try to get my hands on some actual bookbinders glue, or something like a flexible contact cement.

Regardless, I covered up the spine with wide masking tape first, and then made it prettier with washi tape….to open the book without completely cracking (i.e. breaking) the spine, I’m going to crease the cover and pages as I go.

I’m quite please with how they turned out…I’ll use them for blog, craft and jewellery ideas. Hurrah!


San Marco: A Pretty Gurl Bijoux Prototype

To celebrate the opening of a new store a few months ago, my favourite bead store had a 50% off sale on everything at all of their locations (they seem to be doing quite well for themselves and are now up to six locations in and around Montreal).

I took it as an opportunity to buy supplies I wouldn’t normally purchase, for projects I really wasn’t sure would work out. Among my purchases were a whole pile of flat metallic filigree-type discs which I envisioned connecting together in some way, creating a breast plate, of sorts…truthfully, my vision wasn’t too clear at the time.

Here’s what I came up with:

Not quite a breast plate…it’s not dense enough, but it is still quite a large piece…interspersed with the gold-coloured metal discs are bright blue and metallic crystal tyre beads.

The chains are a hodgepodge of old and new gold and gold-ish chains, put together with a vintage clasp bought from Black Tulip Designs at last year’s bead expo in Montreal:

I’ve christened this piece “San Marco” after St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice which is just filled with gold mosaics, interspersed with beautiful glints of colour…as far as new designs are concerned, I think it’ll be a beautiful addition to my Byzantium collection.

What do you think? Could you see a piece like this, or similar, fitting into your wardrobe?


Recycling Scrap Paper: A Crafty “To-Do”

I’m one of those people who’ll hold on to a scrap of paper as long as it has a blank space on it…you never know what little note, doodle, or vital piece of information could fit into it. I’ll write on anything: the back of envelopes, statements, receipts, old post-its, or whatever else I can get my hands onto that I don’t need to keep clean, and that has that beautiful blank real estate.

Admittedly, my love of paper isn’t wholly utilitarian. I’m also drawn to the areas that are filled in….be they the pages of a book, newspaper clippings, comic strips, maps, old letters, certificates, ledger entries, drawings, old photos, ads, illustrations, you name it…I like paper.

For instance, I shudder at the mere thought of these 4-inch squares of paper ephemera collected and sold by gleancreativereuse, including both vintage and contemporary….well, scraps of paper:

So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that I tend to hold on to it, and generally end up with my own pile of miscellaneous paper scraps…(unfortunately, they aren’t as beautiful as the ones above…but are generally more useful, because they do tend to have those wonderful blank spaces).

But how to organize them? How to make them even more useful? Well, looking around, I came across these Rescued Paper Notebook by SUKIE (based in Brighton, England) which are effectively notebooks of various sizes assembled out of an assortment of discarded papers.

Each paper includes a usable blank side, and may consist of end of print runs, advertising, envelopes, posters and paper work….from India.

While my paper sources aren’t nearly as exotic, I’m convinced I can create my own rescued paper notebooks out of my growing stash of scrap…but how to bind them? I went on the lookout to see if anyone else had already tackled this problem.

And of course, someone has….on one of my favourite blogs, no less. In September, Design*Sponge posted a DIY project by the BBBcraft sisters for Recycled Scrap Paper Notebooks where they repurposed old faxes and paper scraps, old wrapping paper, books, and other odds and ends…including a tutorial component that covers how to bind ’em all together easily. BINGO!

I’ve got everything I need…though I think I’ll get some colourful or decorative washi tape to make the spines of my recycled notebooks just a little more special. Like these beautiful minty and seafoam tapes from kawaiigoodies:

I can’t wait! I’ll keep everyone posted on my progress!!

…What do you do with your scrap papers? Do you bother to keep scraps around to reuse? Throw them out? Throw them in the recycle bin? Shred them? Or do you use them for other crafty projects?


Type Tuesdays: Lady Rene

I recently came across a beautiful new(ish) hand-drawn typeface designed by Laura Varsky and Alejandro Paul…meet Lady Rene:

Lady Rene is a product of Argentinian type collective Sudtipos. I’m currently very attracted to hand drawn, almost crafty-looking fonts, and I particularly love Lady Rene’s whimsical, almost storybook, quality and beautiful curves and swirls. This one’s going on my type wish list.


Why Every Crafter Should Date a Fisherman

Growing up, my dad used to take me fishing. I got so into it that I had my own rod, and we went out and bought a Fisherkid Kit from Canadian Tire (basically a small green tackle box, with some very basic tackle). As I got older, my fishing rod broke, we sold our cottage, and I stopped fishing. My fisherkid kit was emptied, cleaned, and I started using it to store my nailpolish (I still do).

I hadn’t really thought to pay much attention to tackle boxes since…until my boyfriend (who loves loves loves to fish) asked if I could make use of some extra ProLatch StowAway Organizers for my beads.

As I began to examine them (and to smell them…just in case), I had an epiphany: I had missed out on well over a decade of tackle box advancements!!! This wasn’t just some plastic box with a crummy latch….this was a *pro*latch organizer….it was durable, solid, well built, and with adjustable compartments. It was made to slide into another case with other organizers, which meant it was expandable. This was amazing!

I made due with just two for awhile. But I began to envision a future in which all of my beads were neatly stored away in the exact same organizers. I wanted more.

So I put my internet sleuthing skills to use, and discovered fairly rapidly that Plano Molding – the company that fabricates these handy dandy little organizers – is also the company behind Caboodles makeup organizers (remember those?) and, lo and behold, Creative Options: an entire division devoted to fulfilling the organizational needs of crafters. I’m particularly fond of model 2-3650…which, if you’re a crafter, has purple latches.

As you can see above, my latches are burgundy because my organizers are “for fishing”…I also got them for a great deal at the Bass Pro Shop in Vaughn (near Toronto). Seriously: if you have one near you, go. GO NOW, and head immediately to fishing tackle…there, you’ll find yourself in an incredible and wonderful world filled with organizers (and lures, obviously, but you can ignore those). The possibilities for your crafty supplies are just endless.