Books, books, books!

Books, books, books!

I love having notebooks on hand, and also love making books. For some time now I have been toying with learning how to do Coptic binding, but the written instructions always seemed very complicated. I finally found a simple video demonstration that made the concept feel more like a a sewing design than a mathematical set of steps. Now I just have to work out what kind of book I want to make, but as a test version, have created 5 signatures using heavy water colour paper, light water colour paper and mixed media paper so I have a portable book for when inspiration strikes! Since this is my first attempt at sewing Coptic binding a book, and all the reviews say my stitching is likely to be too loose, I have created covers from doubled sheets of scrapbook paper. If the stitching has to be reworked, then I can create new covers and try the process again.


As I have been researching methods for binding books, I also came across instructions for creating long stitch binding along the spine. I have made books in the past with the stitching on the spine, but then created a pattern as I sewed the signatures into the book. This long stitch binding technique creates a straight stitch pattern that can then be tied in the center if desired, so am thinking about the kind of books that would be suited to this technique. Again, I think perhaps a larger, portable sketch book might be the direction I choose. I have some beautiful handmade paper I would like to incorporate into a book project soon, but it is too fragile to use as a book cover, and too textured to make end papers, so will have to wait for this idea to solidify!

Books, books, books!

Calendars for 2017

As January is racing past it reminds me that “calendar year 2017” is looming! This means it is time to think about the kind of art I will create for these calendars.

This year’s calendars mostly used the watercolour flowers I created last summer for the 100 Days of Art Project that was displayed on Instagram. I picked my favourite pieces from amongst my 100 paintings, and created two calendars using a selection of those images. It wasn’t long before I got a request for a smaller, desktop calendar, hence the little one on an easel. I foolishly thought that three calendars was a good number to create for one year, but as we went to craft fairs and the adult colouring book mania was in full force, it became clear that a mandala colouring calendar was needed. (If interested, all four calendars are available in our Etsy shop.)

Desk calendar 2016  Horizontal calendar 2016  Vertical calendar 2016  Mandala calendar 2016

So my dilemma now is what kind of art to create for my 2017 calendars? I recently took a screen printing class and used some of the same flower art to create screen prints, using water soluble crayons to create colors in the prints. Since I used these images last year, I feel I should create something new for 2017.


I have recently been learning to create Zentangles, but am not sure they are yet varied or interesting enough to use. Time to leave this idea here and see which direction I choose to go in next…

Workroom Makeover – Days 2 & 3

Workroom Makeover – Days 2 & 3

In case you missed it, here’s Day 1. Caught up? Read on for days 2 and 3 of the workroom makeover:

So after a day of resting (because, of course, I decided to move everything to a room up 2 staircases) here’s where the room stood after the 2nd night:


Much better, but you can’t see the stuff around the corners…


Similar amount of stuff on the other side of the room too, but no picture of it.

Finally after the 3rd night, a room emerged!


Dirty, but I have floorspace again! It’s amazing what you overlook when you are in a room all the time. The walls were covered in scuff marks and pencil scratches. The floor had a lovely combo of glitter, cat fur and general foot traffic dirt on it, which was surprising considering that I vacuum that room fairly regularly. Glitter really does get EVERYWHERE. It will never go away, even after that carpet is long gone.

After 3 hours of cleaning (upon closer inspection, that carpet needed a deep clean in a few spots), it was looking pretty good!


I meant to take a photo with the dinner table ready for the family… but life got in the way and we all sat down and enjoyed the meal before I remembered to take the photo! So this is the after Christmas shot once things had calmed down!


Join me again on Friday for the reconstruction of the workroom!

Destash Supplies

Destash Supplies

Plastic Canvas Easter KitAs you’ve probably gathered from this site, I’ve been crafting for many years. When i was four or five years old, I picked up some pieces of fabric left over from my mother’s sewing project, and worked out how to sew it into a small glove puppet with button eyes and mouth, and haven’t really stopped since. In that time I have moved house (and country) repeatedly, so my stash of unused and leftover materials has been naturally culled over the years. Despite the reluctant shedding of supplies with each move, I have still managed to hold onto knitting needles (English sizes, metric, and now American sizes) threads, yarn, fabric, sewing notions and kits I really did intend to use!

As we started building “Cracking Good Crafts” last fall, I unearthed threads, fabric remnants, patterns and my trusty 25 year old sewing machine. In the process I was forced to confront the many items I had amassed that I realized I would probably never ever use… In all likelihood, if I’ve been carry something around for over 40 years and not used it, there is a strong possibility I never will.Black and gold lace

Caroline, being the brains of this enterprise, kindly suggested that the best way to move these beloved items on (and out of my basement) was to sell them on Etsy. Since then she has been busy measuring and photographing my excess supplies, and we soon created an Etsy shop and website to display these beloved items.

While I may no longer feel I will use the supplies now online, it doesn’t mean they are useless. I am hoping that by releasing these items into the universe, others who can use and enjoy them will find them.

If you are interested in seeing if there is anything you will use, please visit our Etsy shop at

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!