Thursday, July 31, 2014

Paint Chip Notebooks

I do not think there is a crafter out there who can resist the colourful lure of paint chips. All those vivid colours with evocative names like ‘Black Apple’ and ‘Celestial Sun’ – they are eye candy in the hardware store.

Anyone who knows me will also know that I have a great love of blank notebooks. (I have more notebooks then I have ideas to fill them. Clearly, that just means…I need more ideas :P) That is why, when I came across this cute idea on Pinterest, I just had to make it. It marries two of my favorite things!

They are so easy to make and conveniently, I happened to have a stack of paper scraps which were the perfect size lying around my room. I had originally just clipped the papers together with a bull clip and were using them as a scrap pad that way but now, the note pads are far more attractive. I can easily slip one of these in my purse for those earth-shattering, mind-boggling ideas I get on the go.  

I made two different sizes based on the paint chips I had on hand.

The paper stacks were too thick for a staple to go through (no matter how much I tried...)

In the end, I ended up sewing the pages together. A little more work but it holds together beautifully and also lies flat when opened.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

DIY Planners

I love planners.

Ever since I got my first planner in grade 3, I have used one every year. Now that I am out in the workforce though, planners are no longer provided. Sadly, the fancy ones that I am most attracted to are all so pricey (Yep, day-timer and Franklin planners, I'm looking at you).  For the past 6 years, I have been making my own and have been experimenting with many different layouts. As my life changes, so do my planning needs. I tried using just my ipad for keeping track of my schedule for about a year but something always felt a little off. I guess I really am a paper-person.

For this coming year (my work term extends from July of one year to June of the next), I decided to go back to making my own agenda. I focused a lot on the planner layout in previous years (to do lists vs. schedule, one day per page vs. two days vs. one week) but this year, I decided to keep things simple.

The basic skeleton of my planner on my work table.
I printed out full page calendars on ordinary printer paper and then I glued the pages back to back. Making a paper planner, was an impulse I got on call one night so obviously, things had to be basic. I did everything in Microsoft Word.

I carried around the stack of glued paper for about a week while trying to decide how I wanted to design the rest of it. Should I make a fancy folio with pockets and slots? Should I try to make it refillable? In the end, I decided that I should stick to my original plan of keeping things simple and so I glued two pieces of cardboard to the front and back and gave my stack a cover.

It took two weeks to overcome my innate laziness and finally make the whole thing pretty. As I have mentioned several times before, I have amassed a very healthy collection of scrapbooking paper. My problem is, I always feel like saving my favorite craft supplies for some mythical penultimate project which never actually materializes. It took some self-debating but I finally convinced my inner hoarder that beautiful things are useless unless they are used and so I picked some really fun designs.

I struggled, at first, with the sizing of my covers because I did not have any sheets large enough to wrap around both the front and the back. My sister then suggested that I just use two different designs for the front and back and then cover the spine with patterned craft tape. Spicing things up with a little variety! :)

While rummaging through my scrapbooking kits, I came across this "Inspire Me" chipboard and because it was so uplifting, I made sure that one of the papers I chose would work with it.

I made my corners as neat as I could.

Some were a bit more successful than others :P

My inspirational front cover...

...and charming back cover!
Holding the finished project in my hand is so satisfying. I just might go back to making this a yearly thing.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Penguin Pals

No, I haven’t forgotten about my New Years Resolution; I have just neglected it. Once you start procrastinating, it is so hard to try and rebuild momentum.

I have developed a love of making mini beaded animals. I am so impatient these days that I am not willing to commit to a longer term craft. These little guys are sitting right next to my turtles, enticing me with the idea of amassing a penguin army to go with my turtle one. Of course, both armies are currently pretty pathetic right now but any day now, they will grow…

I guess sitting in front of kusudama flowers doesn't give them the menacing look of a growing army, does it? :P