scrapping Peru again!

I churned out a page for my Peru album. I really want to see this project finished – I went there in 2007! The blank space will hold a short snippet about the bioarchaeology field school (which was conducted in the tent in the small center photo).


Though this was the purpose of my going to Lima, I chose to limit it to a single page rather than glorify human remains now that I know better. If anyone wanted to see what we learned, a simple search about bioarchaeology/human skeletal analysis would pretty much sum it up.

Springish cleaning

I’ve been putting my craft room through an overhaul recently. It might be a subconscious thing that I wish it were spring so if I start cleaning, maybe the weather will warm up? Blue skies will return? No? Well, I tried.

So, my closet was a disaster – fabrics stuffed all over the place, wrinkled and unsorted. They are beautifully cleaned up now! I donated much of my fabric stash to my sister-in-law and only kept what I think will come in handy in the future. And, now with our roommate having been moved out for almost a year, I have finally started using that empty room as storage so a lot of things got cleared out and placed there – halloween costumes, extra pillows and blankets, boxes of my graduate studies, those sorts of things.

I discovered a couple of work-in-progresses that I abandoned for various reasons. I am not sure what I will do with these here, but many of the others I dismantled for parts or simply tossed out.

First up was a phone case, for my first cellphone, the Kyocera Slider (man, did I love that phone!). This project is where I fell in love with embroidering and embellishing fabrics. Only back then, I knew nothing of either! I wasn’t even using embroidery thread – just a regular thread spool!

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I also came across a book cover I was making, only to realize my measurement was off so I shoved it aside. It is now hung as a little piece of hoop art in my craft room closet (which is more like a little alcove than a closet). I had begun to understand embroidery by then a little.

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This project was to experiment a little more with different stitches – no end goal in mind and so it sat and sat and sat. Now, it too hangs in my closet (and you may have seen it over on my Library page).

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A stack of discarded book covers – the top one is still among my favorites but currently it is not in use. Most of these were trials – I learned measurements, I experimented with bookmarks, and tested different fabric varieties. Wow, have I come a long way since I began!


To wrap up this post, I had mentioned earlier that I was going to get back into scrapbooking. Well, not only was my standard color printer out of ink, but my photo printer went kaput. I ordered a box of ink to try to clear it out, but it was just too gummy from not being in use for years. Boy and I tried desperately to get it to work, to no avail. Eventually, he came across a price point he could swallow and ordered me Canon’s new Pixma iP110 (of course, I am “working off” that price point by learning Quickbooks at his office, yay). It is very condensed in size, making it utterly portable. And not only that – there is a battery accessory that really does the job! Plus, as most things do these days, it works wirelessly. This means I can print easily from my new smart phone, too. Game on.


I just got it set up, and I still have adult responsibilities like grading exams and whatnot, but I started playing with it and I love it. I hope to be deep in scrap heaven by the end of the weekend!

Oh, and speaking of my new smart phone, I want to say two things. First, we ordered a screen protector and the day before it arrived, my phone cracked. Thankfully, Apple replaced it for free because we aren’t sure what happened to it (and Boy’s company buys a lot of Apple items without ever calling in complaints). I just woke up and it was like that on my nightstand. Nothing untoward had happened to it the night before either. I believe that the only logical explanation is that my wedding ring did it – when someone handed it to me facedown perhaps (my band has stones all the way around) and it took a while for the crack to form. Maybe. I have no idea.


Second, I do not use purses and I did not want a phone case (though I heard this is essentially required for smart phones…). So rather than having a phone case and wallet separate, I hunted for a wallet case. I do not mean might-as-well-be-a-clutch-purse wallet, either. I am a no-fuss, two credit cards and an ID type of girl. I found the perfect one – seriously, I have recommended it to everyone I know. It is the Monk Magnet Wallet Case. I love that it fits my necessary cards and cash, but is still slim enough to pop in my back pocket. I love that the phone portion of the case is magnetic and comes apart from the wallet. This way, I do not have to hold my wallet to my head (though I certainly can very easily if I do not want to remove the phone to talk). I love that I can then use that magnetic case and slap my phone to the fridge for playing music or using for recipes, or just so I don’t misplace it in my house! And, one more thing, I love that I can stash notes in my wallet case by simply putting the paper between the phone and the wallet portion. Love, love, love. I stole these photos from their site because, well, it is winter and dark and gloomy, and their images look a heck of a lot better than mine!

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I do not recommended brands often because I hate advertisements, but honestly, the printer and the phone case are winners. It is true I just got my printer, but I cannot see my opinion changing on that. And as for the phone case, it has been through a lot already in these two months since I’ve had it, and honestly? Looks freaking brand new still. Tell that one to your mother. (Do I even have to mention that in no way whatsoever am I compensated for my opinions? These companies do not even know I exist, psh.)

leather book cover

This project has been floating around my house for quite some time. Frankly, the idea of sewing leather was scary to me, so I hemmed and hawed a lot, but eventually I got through it! I had a swath of green leather from years ago, waiting for an interesting project so when my friend asked to make a book cover for her to keep records of her weaving endeavors, I decided now was the time.


I had the feather inspiration from Maureen Cracknell Handmade, and used hers as an outline. My version is intentionally not as delicate as hers with the idea that the chunky-ness would work well with the leather. Now that it is done, I am not so sure, but I would rather not copy someone else’s work exactly anyway.


My first hang up was cutting the leather itself. See, as I mentioned, this was stored in my closet for years, so it wound up with some creases and wrinkles. Can you iron leather? I am not sure – the internet says yes and no, so I tried a few methods on some scrappy edges and just couldn’t tell if it was working or not. Another problem is the nature of the leather itself – there are parts of it that just do not lay flat because that was not how the leather grew… I did have enough of it where I could cut a fairly flat piece out, so that is what I did (it was not the way I would cut if I was trying to get the most out of my yardage, if you know what I mean!). I will say it cut like butter, though:)


I used my rectangle hoop to stitch the feather onto the leather after I had embroidered it. I delayed here for a long while also because I was not sure how I wanted to do the outline. I tried a few methods on a scrap piece, and settled on using an outline stitch that I had just properly learned for the Zelda crest mug rug I recently made. I did vary between six and three strands, but you can’t really tell. I am still learning embroidery, you know. Plus, I could not find a hand-sewing leather needle that was straight. Mine was not only gently curved at the tip (a feature I actually fell in love with and will search for embroidery needles of like kind) but also had a 90 degree bend before the eye. That made the motions a bit trickier, as you can imagine.

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Then, I delayed even longer yet because I was not sure my machine would appreciate sewing through leather. I did buy heavy duty needles, but since they did not specifically state “for use with leather”, nor did they have a cutting shape to their point, I was concerned – but it was all I could find at the store. Lucky for me, my leather was very thin and supple, so as long as I went slowly over where the leather was folded, it sewed great! I used my little clothespins to hold the layers together. Since both the leather and fabric was thin, I used a heavy-weight stabilizer to make it feel sturdy, and a brown ribbon for the marker.


I used my quick & dirty method so I only had to sew two straight lines, adjusting for the size of the notebook obviously. I only chose this method because I didn’t want to put my machine through any more torture than necessary.


I included a standard composition book; in the event she fills one up and needs to add another, it will be easy for her to find a notebook that fits.

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It feels really nice in your hands! The leather gives a nice grip but is so very soft!


And now, I embark on another hexagon project! Yay! This was the first time I have ever cut squares in bulk – I felt like a quilter. While cutting, I asked myself if I would like to quilt yet – my family all does it so maybe I should join them. But the idea of having to cut more than this tiny stack (which felt monstrous while cutting) still has me holding off on that venture… for now.