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!

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Show & Tell: Norsola Johnson

At that same Marché La Récré where I purchased earrings by Tatsuko, I got another pair of completely different (and completely beautiful) earrings from local Montrealer and metalsmith Norsola Johnson:

I spent quite some time at her booth, looking over the creations she describes as “a collection of daily whims and everyday jewellery”…Being me, I was particularly fond of the everyday pieces, especially the stardust and cosmos collections. These consist of little silver cups (with either an oxidized, polished or satin finish) filled with crystal clear resin containing silver dust. The effect is both beautiful, and somewhat of an optical illusion…because I swear it looks like you can touch the concave surface of the cup…but you can’t (because it’s filled with resin)… here’s a good example from Norsola’s Etsy shop.

In the end, I think because I loved the novelty of being able to touch the concave silver surface (!), I opted for an empty pair with a satin finish. I wear them a lot….like, almost everyday (they go with everything!).

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Friday I’m in Love: 2011 Goals

Because everyone else is already doing it, and I love to jump on bandwagons, I thought I’d look forward to the new year and share a few of my goals for 2011:

I always struggle to get (and most importantly) stay organized…but the last few months of living in a temporary apartment have made it a Herculean effort. More often than not, the apartment (and especially my office) has been a complete (and embarrassing) disaster area.

During my week off, I made the effort to clean up and organize my office…it’s still fairly “temporary” in that most items remain in bins or boxes, but I’ve at least reined in the chaos. I’d like to try and keep it this way.

I’m a fantastic saver….give me money, and I’ll squirrel it away and not spend it. But that’s about all I’m good at….which just isn’t going to cut it in the new year as I become a full-time self-employed consultant. Having to manage and remit all of my own taxes to the provincial and federal governments, track expenses, and surely a ton of other factors I’m too overwhelmed to comprehend absolutely scares the bejeezus out of me. But I don’t want it to….which means I’ve got a lot to learn.

I’ve been talking and talking about it, but this year I actually want to set up a Pretty Gurl Bijoux online shop…Now seems as good a time as any (even better), as it’ll complement my self-employed status quite nicely….expenses and income for the shop will be just one more thing to track.

My head is filled with ideas…I’m constantly coming across inspiration…I keep collecting (old stuff, new stuff, whatever…I’m a bag lady) in anticipation of all the things I want to make. This year, I want to set aside more time to actually sit down and create: both for myself, and for my (future) shop. Can’t wait to get started (in fact, I think I kinda already have…more soon!).

To help motivate myself, I’ve pledged to participate in Project ReStyle, the brainchild of Elsie Flannigan and Rachel Denbow…both creative titans in the blogosphere.

I love photos. I love looking at photos. I love taking photos. But I’m notoriously bad at taking them on a regular basis (I usually pull out my camera on vacations, and leave it buried in a drawer the rest of the year). In 2011 I’m going to make an effort to record everyday things, in addition to (and instead of just) extraordinary things. I got a brand-spanking new compact camera on steroids for Christmas, I’ve (finally!) signed up for a flickr account, and will try to take at least one picture every day (or so…). Wish me luck.

In case you didn’t know: I am an introvert. I am perfectly happy to sit by myself for days at a time just doing my own thing. I have no difficulty keeping myself busy or amused. (Does it come as any surprise I studied archaeology? I wanted to sit in a hole and dig….by myself.)

This year, I want to get out more (and not just on solitary excursions): I want to see my family more, I want to reconnect with and see friends, and I want to go out on more dates with my boy.

Think I can do it? I sure hope so.

Do you have any goals for 2011? What about non-goals? (stuff to avoid or to keep doing?)

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Oh My: Vintage Camper Follow-Up

A few weeks ago, I wrote about running away in a vintage camper…at about the same time, my boyfriend’s mother was discovering my blog, learning a few new things about me, and coming up with some pretty special Christmas gift ideas. Today, I’m sharing one of those gifts with you. A photo:

Imagine my surprise when I opened up a pretty package to find the above snapshot from a family camping trip back in the early 1950s with….yep….a vintage (wooden!) teardrop camper.

Teardrop campers like this had room for two adults to sleep, with an area for cooking outside under the rear “hatch”. The image to the left provides a better idea of its likely configuration [ source: ]. Apparently only the larger campers had their wheels inside the body of the camper…so this sucker could have been as big as 6-1/2′ wide, 5′ high, and nearly 12′ long.

This alone was a fantastic find…but what I found wrapped up beneath it almost blew my mind: the camera that took that very same photo…an old Kodak Brownie.

According to the Brownie Camera Page, the Brownie Holiday Camera was produced from 1953-1962 and came in two models: one with, and one without, a flash (mine doesn’t have the flash attachments). The Brownie Holiday Flash retailed for about $5.00 (which seems an obscene amount of money for the time), and came with this cutie little manual:

So now I have to find a suitable display for my oh-so-cute brownie camera, and the photo it took…though that’ll only happen once I’m in a more permanent living situation where I’ll actually bother to decorate.

(Oh the plans I have for that future, mysterious, and elusive abode.)

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