Category Archives: journals

Flowery journal

Flowery journal

I finished this journal today. It’s SO much easier putting one together when you know who it’s for. The cover was made a while back, and I had added some watercolour-painted paper and some pages from an adult colouring book. I decided that this would be a gift for one of the ladies at work who is leaving soon, so I added some plain sketchbook paper and some gridded paper. One of her interests is pencil drawing.

I added an insert for the middle of the book that was made in a similar way to the crochet hook roll I made recently for my new KnitPro Waves hooks. It uses the same fabric as the cover, fits perfectly inside, and has two pockets on the left of the spine and six pencil slots on the right.

I do hope she likes it.

Happy Friday

Happy Friday

Hi all

It was a beautiful sunny day today, but cold. Last night we had freezing rain and when I was driving to the dentist to get my tooth prepared for a crown I was sliding a little on the road, despite my new winter tires.

The dentist spent a long time reshaping my tooth and getting a 3D scan of my mouth for the new crown to be made. It wasn’t painful and I wasn’t stressed out but I was glad when she was done. Afterwards I had a walk around the neighbourhood, cosied up in my new winter coat and a crocheted grey beanie with a neon yellow pompom! First hat day of the winter.

Once I’d had my exercise, off I went to my sewing room. I finished the Christmas journal, which I think will probably be the Secret Santa gift for work this year. Below are a few photos of some of the pages.

I called that one done, and started adding pages to the flowery cover I showed you last time. It’s not quite full enough yet so you’ll have to wait to see that one.

I’ve finished two balls of the Cygnet Chunky on my Turtle Dove swoncho now. The yoke is growing bigger and bigger – by the time I split for the sleeves and body I should have about 300 stitches.

It’s definitely good Netflix knitting – or I should I say “Knitflix” (I know, not an original joke)!

What do you like to watch on Netflix? Recently, I burned through five seasons of Lucifer, then watched The Queen’s Gambit, and now I’m on Dark. When you’re knitting, the fact that the voices are dubbed isn’t a big deal because you’re not always looking at the screen anyway. Better than subtitles anyway – you have to watch for those!

Dark is a German series. It has quite a convoluted plot, and without trying to be too spoilery I find that watching people walking/crawling through caves makes me feel very claustrophobic and tense. I shall have to choose something lighter when this show is done.

Whew, feeling tired and it’s not even 9pm. I went to bed really late last night, forgetting I had to be up early for the dentist appointment. And tomorrow and Sunday I have work so need to be well-rested, so I’m going to say ta ta for now. Have a great weekend!

Another new journal

Another new journal

I just managed to finish off this journal before work. All I needed to do was put the paper inside and make a quick bookmark. This journal has a bit of a crochet theme, with some pages having crochet motifs to colour and some bits and pieces from a crochet magazine.

The cover is made from my piece of “artwork” that I showed you last time. I left the edges raw and backed it with a hot pink fabric.

The pocket on the front page is made from tiny scraps sandwiched and stitched between layers of tulle.

And now I have to dash, as work calls!

FO: denim rag quilt, and more journal play


Hello my crafty bloggy friends. How are you?

I have been spending lots of time at my sewing machine. After my last post, I quickly finished the rag quilt that I had in the pipeline. This used a huge chunk of my stash of old denim jeans.

I managed to get all the sewing done in one afternoon. It helped that I had some 505 temporary basting spray because sewing the squares together was a heavy job. Three layers per square (denim and two flannelette) times two equals a tough job with the walking foot on the machine. I made sure to switch to a heavier duty needle and a longer stitch.

As I wanted the denim side to be the “right side” all my seam allowances ended up on that side. I turned every alternate square a quarter turn, so that the deer print on the back looked more interesting. And then I spent ages clipping the seam allowances every half an inch, most of which I got done in the evening. There was just a bit left to do next morning, and then I tossed it into the washer and dryer to fluff up the snipped bits.

I almost forgot to say that my seam allowances were 3/4″. I decided that it would be better to lose a bit of size overall and to have a fuller fringe effect. I love the result!

The next thing I played with was a picture created with scrap fabric. When I was on my retreat at the beginning of October I made a very rough sketch of the view from my bedroom window. I attempted to recreate it by using cotton strips, raw edge applique and free-motion quilting.

I started with the sky, which is actually my favourite part. It even has some tulle stitched over the top for a bit of a misty texture. The mountains were next, then the fields of trees, fruit and vegetables. This is appliqued onto canvas and would make a good journal cover!

Talking of journals, I made another cover today with, once again, the raw edge applique technique and some sugar skull fabric. The colours I picked out for the outside were inspired by the skull cotton.

That took me about three hours! I think with this sort of modern print and clear colours, it would be more appropriate to use regular white paper rather than tea-dyed for this journal. I shall have to think about how to decorate the pages though.

I’ll be working the next four days so that will seriously limit playtime in my sewing room, but I hope I will be back soon with more fun stuff to show you.

FOs: sewing/paper play

FOs: sewing/paper play

Hello and happy Saturday! We’ve had a beautiful sunny day so far. It’s a bit cold but Mr Fixit and I were working hard, clearing out some dead wood in the backyard (and broken branches from last week’s snow, which has now all melted).

Last week I showed you the cat journal – this week it’s the sewing journal. It took a long time because of work getting in the way and also the time it took to gather a few more things for embellishing the pages. I think the more journals I make, the more interesting they will become as I build a stash of useful paper/objects.

Here’s the front cover.

And some more images of the cover from different angles.

And a few more images from inside.

I’m calling this one finished and I’m moving on.

Yesterday morning I had more fabric play, making some things for my sister. (Caroline, if you’re reading, stop now!)

I bought this New Delhi fabric from Wool Warehouse in the UK with her in mind, because she’s been to India a few times and loves it. Rather than sew a random ‘thing’ and hope for the best, I asked her if there was anything she’d like made out of this fabric. This is what she asked for…

A yoga eye pillow, which she will need to fill with flaxseeds or rice when it arrives in the mail. The spice bowl fabric is the washable cover.

And a peg bag (in UK terms) – clothes pins to you North Americans. I made two patchwork rectangles and lined them with canvas. A bit of shaping with the scissors to match the shape of the child’s clothes hanger inside and it all came together quite easily.

Next, I need to work on the rag quilt. My sewing room floor is covered in denim and flannelette squares which I will be sewing together. As Mr Fixit went out this afternoon to have a cup of tea with friends, I think that I will get started on that shortly.

FO: Cat Journal


As promised, here is the finished cat journal. Above, it is held closed by thin elastic. Aesthetically, it could be prettier, but I do like the idea that as the journal is used and filled with fun stuff the elastic will stretch to hold everything in safely.

The pages are letter-sized copy paper folded in half, dyed with tea or coffee or spices, or painted with watercolours.

Here’s what they looked like before putting them in the book.

This is the fabric I used for the lining of the cover. It’s a rather amusing puppy-themed one that looks like a newspaper.

That was fun! I have already cut the canvas and lining for another one, this time with a sewing theme.

Journal Journey commences


My brain has been mulling over all sorts of ideas for handmade journals and the last three days at work have been getting in the way of the creative stuff I want to do!

Having said that, it was a pretty productive three days in that I did get a lot of fabric onto tables/shelves, and a lot of new bags and sewing machine totes hung up/placed on the shop floor. But today, well, it was the perfect sewing day.

Yes, our first snowfall – and it was big!

Nothing like a snowy day to make you feel all cosy and warm inside. It has snowed all day, though it’s much lighter this evening. Ds1 and I cleared the driveway mid-afternoon and it was the heavy wet stuff – about 10 inches deep!! (Sadly, our smaller apricot tree didn’t survive the added weight, and a few other trees in our yard suffered broken branches.)

We had a great party at work on the weekend. We made Christmas stars/snowflakes out of fabric – we all chose different fabrics and they all looked pretty – and we had pizza from a local pizza place (not a chain) which provided dessert pizza in addition to the individual ones we ordered. Pumpkin, apple and blueberry dessert pizza! YES! We also had the opportunity of buying stuff at better discounts than the usual staff discounts, because the owner recognises how much extra stress the staff have been under the last six months. My stash was enhanced considerably!

It’s all stuff I have plans for. Lots of small cuts of quilting cottons in all colours for scrap/patchwork projects. Meshing for laundry bags. Canvas for journals. Batiks because…well…batiks! (Those were lovingly washed, ironed and folded and put in the batik drawer with the others.) Curtain grommets for bag handles. Clearance patterns that were cheap cheap cheap.

So what did I get done today? These…

The red bag is for ds1 and matches some masks that I made for him. The second photo is the back of the bag – as you can see, it has meshing on the back and he can use it to wash his masks in, if he doesn’t want to just toss them in with his work clothes without protection. The third photo is a small laundry bag which will be great for bras or masks (I always use the one that Knix sent me with my new bras and it will be handy to have a second) and the last photo is a super-sized one with the zipper across the centre.

Once I had those made, I moved on to making a journal cover. I was a little nervous about actually getting started as I didn’t want to mess it up, but really how bad could it be? The worst thing that could happen was that I might have to change course a bit.

In fact that’s what I did. I cut out the canvas to be an inch bigger all around than my copy paper, because I intend to use copy paper that’s folded in half for my signature (innards). I fused Thermolam to the back, and belatedly realised that instead of cutting the interfacing at 8.5 x 11″ I should probably have made it 9.5 x 12. Oh well!

I had some fun cutting and fusing fabric to the canvas and fully intended to use my sewing machine to free-motion some stitching on top – but forgot and went ahead and sewed the canvas to the lining fabric. Duh!

Slight change of plan! I hand-embroidered some running stitches and daisies on the front, then topstitched it. So now that’s done, it looks like this…

Cute coordinating quilt cottons from work

I’m pretty pleased with it. I’m sure I will get better with practice. I was about to add the eyelets along the spine when Mr Fixit came home and said if I wanted to get to the grocery store we should go. (He has newer winter tires on his car and I prefer it when he drives in the snow.) So now I am cooking dinner and itching to get back to my sewing room 😀

I have played around with a bit of paper dyeing. I tried just swabbing paper with a black teabag, which worked quite well, and I’ve also tested out sprinkling wet paper with turmeric, instant coffee and paprika.

Original paper on left, tea-dyed on right
Just after sprinkling!

The turmeric came out best.

That’s it for now. I will show you the finished journal when it’s done, hopefully over the weekend. Happy crafting!

Playing with fabric and paper

Playing with fabric and paper

I’ve been watching quite a few YouTube videos this week from various channels and getting so inspired. I just had to try journal-making using some of the ideas that I learned.

I made a small journal with a denim cover and a fabric inner, and added pages using a variety of different kinds of paper that I had lying around the house. I used cast-off half zippers, buttons, fabric, greetings cards and envelopes to embellish the pages. As this was my first attempt, I didn’t go overboard, but I want to make more of these with a better plan in place.

I managed to fit this project in today between the stages of making our Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, it’s late. I was working all weekend and decided that today would do. Out of five of us, only one was working, so it was the most convenient.

This morning, I made the vegan double-layered pumpkin cheesecake (from fatfreevegan), cut up the root vegetables and sprouts, and prepped the stuffing and chestnut lentil loaf. I then had some time to spare to go and play in my sewing room. Later on, I baked the food, made salad and gravy, and we stuffed our faces!

Mr Fixit was busy outside while I was cooking. He was patching the driveway and unblocking gutters! We went for a walk after dinner, which was much needed, despite the wind and rain.

You may have noticed a new FO on the dinner table – a pumpkin crocheted with the other skein of Berroco Espresso that I had in the stash. It’s a medium-sized one, and nice and squishy.

I hope you are enjoying some temperate weather, whether it is spring or fall where you are. We went to Costco yesterday and they had cosy warm coats with faux fur-lined hoods and micro fleece-lined pants/trousers. Yes, I did buy both! Once I tried that coat on, I just had to have one. I feel like whatever the weather throws at me this winter, I will be toasty!