Confessions of a Craftaholic

Tag: book binding tutorial

A Memory Book For Luna

Here’s a book I made for a friend of mine, Dawn, who just had a little baby girl. I’m headed over there, and just wanted to share with you the book I made.

You’ll notice there’s no quote today or philosophical quote. That’s because I decided I’m going to do them as separate posts, once a week. I hope you don’t mind waiting.

Anyway, here’s the book I made:

It’s just a quick little book I made, really. The baby’s name is Luna Love.

You like? I can make these books in my sleep.

The Craftaholic

Create-A Watercolor Journal


“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

-Abraham Lincoln

I keep telling people when they tell me they worry too much, that life is too short. There is so much focus on saving money for the future, and planning for the future, and living a healthy lifestyle, but not enough emphasis on how much joy and peace there is in your life.

I always go back to forgiveness and letting go. We store too many things within ourselves; we suppress things. Why are we so focused on the outside, and not on the inside?

We must look within ourselves and let go of the negativity. It doesn’t serve a purpose, at all. Let it go. Life will continue and pass you by, and all you will be left with is these useless feelings that only repel others from you.

I finished something I am truly proud of. I wanted to keep it for myself! This is for a swap, on craftster. I got flaked on by my original partner, and got assigned a new one, so I put some effort into it.

She said she wanted a combination of lined and unlined pages, so I gave her that.

This book has a spiral binding, for which I used my binditall machine.  I used fantasy fiber that I ironed and made into a fabric, to layer on the cover, with a vintage playing card, and typewriter letters by All Night Media, by Plaid Crafts.

This fairy is a rubber stamp, by All Night Media by Plaid Crafts.

Here, you can see how I made it lined for her. I was unsure as to what I should do for the other side of the watercolor pages, so I went ahead and glued lined paper to the blank side of the watercolor paper. This way, she’s got lined AND unlined pages in her journal. Nice, right?

I stamped quotes and images on the pages of watercolor paper, so they can serve as writing prompts for her. Plus, it’s nice looking.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I hand painted the watercolor paper. It’s easy! Squirt a nickel sized bit of watercolor into a spray bottle, then fill almost full with water, and shake. You can spray it on, then brush it with your brush, so that it makes more of an interesting look on the paper!

That’s all for now. I have a couple more small-ish swaps to work on and send out. And I got a sudden craving for Nutella. Yum.

The Craftaholic

Day 347: A Halloween Chunky Book


“Human potential is the same for all. We all have the power of thought—so what are you lacking?”

-The Dalai Lama

Holy moly! The power of thought. When we think of what we’re lacking, we tend to think of practical things like diapers, money, clothing, food…but those are just external things. What we lack is the idea that things will get better, that we have the power to improve things, just on our own. And we can. When we believe in ourself, we accomplish much.

Today, I accounted for the lovely autumn weather by making a Halloween themed chunky book. I really love how it turned out. I have an appointment next week with someone (I can’t tell you who yet) and I must prepare a portfolio of my work. I am so excited for it! I wish I could tell you, but I can’t yet. It’s next week, though. I can tell you that.

Anyway, here’s what I made:

I used a vintage frame that I had laying around, just waiting for such a project. Lovely, right?

The tabs are handmade, of course.

That frame was part of my wooden vintage frame. I took it out, and voila!

The handmade flower is easy. It’s just six or so scallop circles with a brad in the center, then they are crumpled up into a ball to look like a flower bulb, then you slowly unfold them. Easy peasy!

So, what do you think? You like it? I love it. Today is lovely! The weather outside reminds me of when my husband and I first married, in the fall. It was such nice cool weather, and everything we had was brand new…you remember that feeling?

I guess I am feeling nostalgic because my anniversary is coming up next week, on the 30th. It’ll be 7 years of us being together. I’m not a fancy pants kind of lady, so I don’t need much. I’d like a Smashing Pumpkins CD that I lost  to an old boyfriend years and years ago. That, and a sit down dinner at this old fashioned diner in manhattan. It’s called La Bonbonnierre, and it’s almost next door to the Ink Pad. That’s all I want, really.

Anything else I want? Actually that’s all. I honestly can’t think of anything realistic that I want. Amazing, right? Meh, I’m a simple girl, really. Given the chance, I would rather buy art supplies than clothing. I don’t know why, but whenever I set aside money for clothing, I end up buying art supplies.

I don’t know what to get for my husband. At all. He’s not a tie wearing guy, I can tell you that. I got him the mandolin he’d been asking for. Maybe, I’ll make him some really good soap. He’s into good soap. That’s how I got into soapmaking. I had made soap before I met him, and then when we started dating, I started making more for him, because he loves a good bar of scented soap. So I’ll do that then. I wonder if anyone makes a fragrance oil that smells like Irish Spring…?

The Craftaholic

Day 333: A Flowery Scrapbook


“If you want to change the world, first try to improve and bring about change within yourself.”

-The Dalai Lama

Oh now you see? This reminds me of the song by Micheal Jackson, really. Remember? “I’m looking at the man in the mirror…”

So, to illustrate my point today, I decided I’m going to post a link to the youtube video. The thing is, we must, as Ghandi said, “be the change” in the world. We talk so much about how we want to change things, and as artists and creatives, we long to create statements with our work, much like the Dadaists of long ago.

But you must actually BE the change. BE the statement. BE the artwork.

Today, I made a scrapbook. It’s been a while. I’m going to try to make a bunch, in attempts to sell them in shops around New York City.

What do you think?

Today is a bit of a gloomy day, so we’re staying home. I’m doing some work on my website, just organizing my gallery and such. That, and I have some swaps to catch up on!

The Craftaholic

Day 331: Handmade Books, with Friends


“But once you take the crystal away from the surface you can perceive its actual clarity.”

-The Dalai Lama

Space. Sometimes, a person needs a space of their own, to just….relax and find themselves. It’s hard sometimes to find that. But I’m a firm believer that we must FIND time and space for ourselves, if we are to be good parents, spouses and friends. We have a duty to ourselves to find time for ourselves.

Yesterday, I led a workshop with my craft group. We met up at the Brooklyn Lyceum and made some Dream Books. These are fun books with pockets and such, that reflect what you want out of life, and where you see yourself going.  Here’s a few pics from the event.

And here’s what we made:

I made that one.

Anyway, that’s that. We had so much fun! Today, is my crafting day off, so no projects for me. I was cleaning my desk today, and did find some turquoise leaf beads that I might make into a pair of earrings for my mother. She loves jewelry, but for her, it has to be real silver, real whatever. This is real turquoise, so that should be good enough.

It is strange to have a clean desk. Don’t worry though, it won’t last. It never does!

The Craftaholic

Day 321: A Playing Card Mini Book


“Everything has its limits. Too much consumption or effort to make money is not good. Neither is too much contentment.”

-The Dalai Lama

To the lady on the train, who

wore designer clothing:

you can’t take it with you

when life takes you

New York woman


gets on the train, snubbing those who

wear modest and inexpensive clothing


uses expensive telephones, showing them off when she can

New York woman, she

loves to buy shoes that cost more

than my rent each month

and New York woman

in her high rise apartment

and her

Jimmie Choo shoes

fake blond hair

and grays that she covers

wrinkles that tell a story, and she

hides them, too


she makes love to it each night, while

rolling her eyes at the homeless man

while pity is far from her heart

she lives alone

in her greed

with two faced friends and

vanity that rules her life


too much

one day,

New York woman

she’ll learn the lesson:

anyone can end up


and without a home


too much, New York woman

too much.

Today, I made a little mini book for a swap I’m in. I really love making mini books, a lot. It’s so fun! I actually prefer it, to making regular sized books.

I actually meant to show the card side of the card, not the picture side. But I punched the holes wrong, so that’s that. I used an awl for punching the holes, since I couldn’t find my other hole.

Anyway, so that’s that.

What else? Hmmm….I have to make a button bracelet for another swap.  I actually have a lot of work to do. I have a sample to work on for a class, an embroidery project to work on for DMC Threads, and a custom order to work on. Not to mention, the many swaps I am in. Good grief!

The Craftaholic

Day 320: A Memory Book For Isador


“When a positive goal has been set, you should pursue it all the way to the end. Even if it’s not realized, at least there will be no regret.”

-The Dalai Lama

Follow your dreams all the way through

I tell this to my daughter

until you cannot follow any further

until you see them in your hand, in your life, in your spirit


follow them

to where the sun doesn’t shine

to where the moon glares at you

shining on you

the brightness

that comes in the dark

in these dark places

follow your dreams

until they no longer are a dream

but a reality

I tell this to my daughter

and I


what I preach

Today, I made a memory book for a client. I had started one before, but was not satisfied with it, so I decided to change it up a bit.

It’s still a hand bound book, but this time I used paper bags. I’m not done with it, actually. My husband is going to help me with the headers for each page.

It’s a cloudy day today, so the shot of the front cover didn’t come out so great. But here’s some inside pics:

Sadly, those are the only good shots I got. Can you believe it? Blame it on the crappy weather.

I am still quite exhausted from my surgery, and I think I over did it by going out yesterday. So today is an indoor day, filled with  projects and swaps to work on, and baby wrangling, of course.

The Craftaholic

Day 279: Paper Bag Books


“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” -The Dalai Lama

Love yourself. YOU deserve to be loved. We all do. The christian bible says that we are to “love others  as ourselves”, and so it implies the same thing that the Buddha said hundreds of years earlier. That in order to love others, we must love ourself.

Like Rupaul says, “If you don’t love yourself, how the hell are you going love anybody else?”

Today, I taught a class at the Ink Pad. Remember the Paper Bag book I made? Well, I taught a class based on that book.

That’s my friend Amy. Cool tattoos, right?

I should mention that we exclusively used Graphic 45 papers, along with paper bags provided by the Ink Pad. Lots of fun. I don’t have a finished product to show you because I got really caught up teaching the class. I also forgot my video camera. Sorry.

What else did I do? Went out today to buy a toy for my little one, and sandals for me. Actually, the first pair of sandals in about 5 years. I am obviously not a shoe person.

We took the bus there. It’s not too far. And we bought the DVD of the Tim Burton movie, Alice in Wonderland. Baby is going to sleep now, so I’ll let you know how the movie was tomorrow. If I make it through the whole thing without sleeping.

The Craftaholic

Day 257: A Memory Book for my Daughter

“It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.” -The Buddha

This is probably the third time I use this quote. But what can I say, I love it.I love it because it is such a hard thing, conquering yourself. What does conquering yourself mean to you today?

Today, for me, it means eating healthier. I am a holistic practitioner, and am embarrassed to say I have slipped a lot with my eating habits, as far as eating whole grains and things are concerned. I still heal myself naturally, and all that. But sometimes being a mommy gets the best of you, you know? Time becomes of the essence.

So conquering myself to me, today, means reforming my bad habits and trading them for good positive actions. What negatives can YOU trade for positives today?

Today, I made a very special project. I made a little scrapbook to hold pictures of my little one.

I love love love this. So much. I used the “Nerdy Bird” stack by Sassafras, along with some others that I can’t remember. I used a vintage Bingo Card for the cover, and paper bags for the inside. I used ribbon to bind the pages together, using my own version of the coptic stitch.

I added lots of journaling pages, so we can write little stories to her, about all the funny, quirky things she does.  In total, this book has 12 pages. I loved making this so much.

I went to Coney Island today with my little one!

We had so much fun, she went on all the rides, and ate cotton candy for the first time. And, I was good. No junk food at all. I am quite proud of myself.

We got our pictures taken in the black and white photo booth. I love those, don’t you? I didn’t scan the pics, but I’ll post it tomorrow.

The Craftaholic

Day 225: A New Vintage Journal & Hello Kitty GIVEAWAY!


“Human potential is the same for all. Your feeling, “I am of no value”, is wrong. Absolutely wrong. You are deceiving yourself. We all have the power of thought – so what are you lacking? If you have willpower, then you can change anything. It is usually said that you are your own master.” -The Dalai Lama

I think I’ve used this one already, but oh well. I was reading Andrea Shroeder’s blog, and then I realized she’s right. The minute that we convince ourselves of our true creative potential, doors start opening, things begin to happen. Self doubt happens, especially when you are an artist. It is something that needs to be stopped right at the beginning. You must stop. It’s normal yes, to have a nagging thought of self doubt. But then…don’t accept it as normal. Don’t accept that as a normal and natural thought process in your mind. Accept that positive things are what is normal. Change the way you think about your art, your creativity and yourself. And then things will change.

I finished the book I was working on.

The symbol in the middle is called a Triquetra and is a celtic symbol. I printed out the symbol, and mounted it on heavy chipboard and painted it with Copic markers. I used E-6000 glue to adhere the frame to the book. You think she’ll like it?

Actually, if you want, you can make a book like this. It’s easy. Just buy a blank bound journal, and cover the front and back with vintage fabric from your stash, using Aleen’s Craft Glue.

Then, when it’s dry, use E-6000 glue to adhere a nice vintage frame to the cover. And then, embellish it with a picture or even your name or something.  Easy, right?

I also made these:

little kitty hair clippies. Cute, eh? I am going to make some for my etsy shop, tonite. I need some more glue though. You want this pair? Leave me some comment love, and next week, one of you will be randomly picked! Leave your email address, so I can contact you.