Leather knotted rings By Boe

When I was a child I was always the worst person to be ‘it’ when playing tag.

I thought chasing after people was stupid, plus I just hated running.

Lately I feel like I’ve been playing tag with my typical, uneventful life.

Ever since I decided to seriously apply for grad school I haven’t been able to catch those relaxing moments I took for granted when I wasn’t so swamped with responsibilities.

Sometimes you just can’t win.



Danielle Kroll

J and I spent the past week up in the San Juan Islands.

It can be hard work, relaxing.

I felt like I had finally got the hang of it, even sleeping until what would normally be my first union break at work; of course by then we had to make our departure and return to reality.

Life can be so hard sometimes.


Check out Kroll’s designs for ‘The Wedding Story.’

Considerably more sassy than the sweet and whimsical print above.

Two weekends in a row J and I have been to the river.

Of course, I didn’t bring my camera to take pictures because J didn’t think it was safe to bring valuables into the canoe with us. He’s a smart man… so you can blame him for the lack of photographs.

This leaves the score: summer fun: 2 :: blog: 0


+ covet: Tree of Life litho print

+ make: sign up for DIY Dress Up (an e-sewing course) via A Beautiful Mess

+ blog: Design Darling


I’ve definitely been flyin’ like paper these past few weeks as I’m sure everyone noticed by my drought of posts. (I wasn’t getting high like planes though, don’t judge me) Sometimes I’m just a terrible blogger, what can I say? Anyways, I’m back in business and I definitely don’t have a shortage of lovely things to share.

Brace yourselves, is all I have to say.



+ covet: Painted Stones by Geninne

+ read: Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer (current read/indulgence)

+ look: Sundtorp for Apartmento by Wai Lin Tse (the last image makes me melt)

+ eat: Mini Spinach and Jarlsberg Quiches (I used asparagus, gouda and prosciutto–J loved them)

+ make: Instant Comfort Pocket Boxes

+ wear: My Diamond Ring by betty+cash

Sad crocodile

sad crocodile card via hellolucky

Obviously I was ill this past week, which is why I didn’t post something super awesome last Sunday.

I’m not 100% yet but I’m over being sick (mentally).

So incubus of viral plague or not, I am giving you TWO posts to make up for it.

No need for applause, though I do enjoy the encouragement.


el matador lucida


+ shop: MaraisUSA

+ watch: He’s Not A Boy

+ make: Bagels

+ visit: oneword


Breaking out my nautical-themed cashmere afghan as I sail away on a sea of loveliness.

(Ugh, I make myself sick sometimes with how saccharine I can be)

pirate ship cake

How cute is this Pirate Ship cake via Baked Bree?!



I’m pretty sure that’s illegal, but this sand-encrusted turtle is precious.

Beach-combing Series No.6 by Quercus Design


+ watch: The Invisible Moustache of Raoul Dufy

+ visit: Fishs Eddy

+ eat: Tilapia and Quinoa with Feta & Cucumber




The long-awaited how-to!

So as I’ve mentioned the last few posts I created these beautiful Monastery-binding sketchbooks for some of my lovely friends as holiday gifts, and because it’s such an easy and sweet craft I wanted to share it with all of you.

First things first: Materials Needed

*important side note: Some of the materials listed above are kind of optional. Some of the items are expensive–the specialty paper, PVA glue, Mulberry paper and Waxed linen thread. Those items can be substituted for less expensive items. For instance I used 100% recycled Strathmore sketchbook paper–still good quality paper but not nearly as expensive as cotton Zerkel paper (which is technically what you’re supposed to use).

There are some things that you should really invest in though, like the PVA glue, linen tape, a bone fold and good paper. If you want the journal to be archival–which means last for a long time–then you’ll want to invest in good paper and the glue (PVA glue is not made out of animal by-products so it remains more flexible, which is necessary for the spine of any book, and is more archival than regular “animal” glues–HOWEVER, not all PVA glues are archival so make sure you check before you purchase it).

Additionally you’ll want to invest in good archival writing utensils to maintain the longevity of said notebook. My favourite archival pens are Sakura Pigma Micron Pens with a 05–0.33mm line width–tip. These are kind of spendy but beautiful writing tools. Of course, any archival product you buy will be properly labeled on said product, so if you’re worried about acid, just check the packaging.

If you’re on a really tight budget but still want to make these journals you can use these items instead:

  • recycled paper (i.e. newspaper, computer paper, lined notebook paper, etc.)
  • cotton tape (in place of linen tape)
  • floss or thick cotton thread run over a block of wax
  • a sticky note or regular paper (in place of Mulberry paper)
  • heavy paper–like pastel paper, or butcher paper
  • something sharp–you can even use a pencil/ball-point pen point–in place of an awl

Next: Important vocabulary

  • bone fold: rigid flat piece of bone or plastic used to create crisp and precise folds and tears

  • gutter: the centerfold of your folios
  • signatures: a collection of folios–in this case 4 folios or 8 ‘pages’

Let’s get started!

Measure the length and width of your paper. (I used 9″x 12″ paper and got 2 folios out of each sheet–using a total of 6 full sheets of 9″ x 12″ paper. My pages measured out to be 4.5″x 5.75″)

If you’re using a large sheet of cotton/watercolour paper–which typically measure out to 22″x 30″–then your measurements will be different.

Tear and fold the sheet(s) of paper to yield 3 signatures–each signature should have 4 folios.

Stack all the signatures together and measure the thickness of the spine. Add 2 inches.

Cut your linen tape.

Using your craft paper, make a template to the exact size and fold of one folio–this will be your scrap folio to mark measurements and holes.

Mark on your template 0.5 inches from the top of your folio, and mark 1 inch from the bottom. Divide the space between those measurements into three equal sections. This is where the linen tape will be. Place the linen tape on top of the marks, and create marks on either side of the linen tape.

Place your template within the gutter of one signature. Using your awl, punch the holes as marked on your template, making sure that the top and bottom measurements correspond to your paper–the first punch should be 0.5 inches from the top of your signature, the last should be 1 inch from the bottom.

After you’ve come to the end of your first signature, place the next on top and sew in the same fashion as before.

When you come to the end of the second signature tie the thread with the tail of the first signature.

Place the third signature on top and begin sewing again. At the end of the row, link with the previous signature by passing the needle down from the last hole to the link between the first and second signatures.

Tie a knot.

Burnishing in this instance means rubbing your bone fold, ruler or spoon along the spine and edges to make nice, smooth edges around your text block.

Whew that was long! Now you’re all monks… or at least you can pretend so when you tell people that you make your own booklets using monastery bookbinding techniques.

If you have questions please use the comment area to ask them; I promise I’ll respond! If you have a difficult time reading the text on the images–thanks Preview!–click on them.

(All the images are mine so please be kind)

Oh… and P.S. happy new year :]



I said ‘Happy Christmas’ quite a bit the last four days and I’m kind of tired of it… so

‘Happy Holidays!’ instead.

(I always think of Harry Potter and Ron Weasley–“Happy Christmas Harry,” “Happy Christmas Ron.”)

The images above and the one below are of a holiday display that I saw in the San Juan Islands last winter.

I love them because the display is made completely out of recycled materials, and you know how I get all excited about recycle art.

The super secret how-to will be arriving sometime this week, so hold on to your hats.