Workshop Announcement

Posted on July 6, 2015 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)

At the moment my studio is in a bit of a disarray as I've been working hard making samples for my coming Saturday Morning Craft Club workshops. I am not by nature an organized soul so I spend a lot of my time sifting through my craft storage boxes and recycling bin to find materials and supplies. I do make an attempt to label everything but during the occasional organization frenzy, I tend to misplace stuff.

Since my brain tends to go overboard when coming up with ideas, I've had to narrow down my workshop choices and came up with over 50 easy-peasy, frugal projects. As I have only 5 Saturday mornings, you can see I had to whittle down my choices a bit more. 

The workshops are geared for adults, teens and kids 5 to 12. Anyone who wants to start a new hobby, make stuff for their church bazaar or raise funds for school projects, maybe even be inspired to start a part-time home business at little or no cost will want to attend. These workshops are also great for grandparents or childminders who are looking for cheap and easy ways to entertain the little ones will find a few ideas to get started.

The first will be my popular Book Folding workshops scheduled for July 25. I'm still working on the others.

To more information on the Book Folding workshop and to register, go here.

Recycling Paperbacks - Book Folding

Posted on March 16, 2014 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

My first Book Folding workshop is over and here are a few samples of what we made. Book folding is an easy and fun way to relieve stress - a little like knitting. You can do it while watching TV (once you've mastered the folds - very easy!!) or while on the phone. Just don't tell the person on the other end that they don't have your full attention.

Each of the above samples can be made under one hour. So - what are you waiting for. Grab a book and get started. By the way, I get most of my books by going to different second-hand bookstores and asking if they have any books they can't sell and usually they let me rummage about in the cellars and back rooms for old, battered books they've yet to get rid of. Cost - usually nothing but some do charge a buck or two. These I don't bother with. You can also pick up cheap books at church bazaar sales. Charity shops here are now getting too expensive for me!! 

Green Valentine - Something Bookish

Posted on February 9, 2014 at 6:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Sometimes the nicest Valentine we can give are those we make from whatever we find in our cupboards, drawers, and closets. If you know your Valentine treasures a special photo - whether it's a photo from your wedding day, one of your child or pet, why not make a gift of it. An old book can easily be turned into an unusual frame. It only takes minutes to do and is a great way to showcase your favorite photos along with your favorite hardcover books. The book frame stands on it’s own and, best of all, the book is still completely readable.

To Make a Book Photo Frame:

Take a photo that you want to use and copy it - don't use the original unless you print it off online and can make others. Open up the book and centre the photo on the inside of the cover and draw an outline. Remove the photo and then draw another line around the original one making it slightly small than the photo. Use an Xacto knife to cut out the opening. Glue the edges of the photo and place it over the opening (on the inside) pressing down and you're done. Wrap it all in pretty paper and give it to your sweetie.

Repurposing Christmas Book Tree

Posted on November 19, 2011 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (1)

Someone asked me if there was other ways to use the little paperback trees made from a hardcover (or paperback) book at my last workshop. Had to think for a little while but here's one idea that might work if the book is small enough - use it to embellish a plan Jane gift wrap!

It's a great idea if the gift inside is a book!! For this one, I reused some Kraft wrapping paper from a box I received recently in the mail. Of course, I had to iron it a little to remove the wrinkles but it came up well. With the addition of a repurposed red ribbon, I made a gift anyone would love to receive. Thanks to my friend Sean, who inspired the paper wrapping!

You could also use the small paper trees as place holders at a festive meal. Top the tree with a star that has the guest's name written on it and at the end of the meal, let the guests take their tree home as a thoughtful gift. 

Or, remove one of the covers and then glue a printed menu to the cover you left on. Put one at each setting. By the way, you can keep the kiddies really quiet while entertaining guests during the holidays if you let them make up some of these. The trees are so simple to make almost any kid will be happy to fold away while the groups gab away. Slim junk mail brochures work best for this activity as too many pages may bore the little ones. Show an older sibling (or hire a sitter) how to make the trees and have them supervise the kids. 

To learn how to make these great little trees, why not register for my latest workshop at Bloom Artisan? It's being held on Thursday, November 26 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Cost is only $25.00 and you'll go home with a cute little tree and instructions for making even more.

Recycling Paperbacks and Magazines into Holiday Trees

Posted on December 9, 2010 at 5:50 PM Comments comments (4)

I blogged about making Christmas trees as decorations in an earlier blog but here I'm showing off my versions of this tree. One is a simple one just like Martha's Christmas tree but I did not fold the bottom of mine as instructed. Instead I placed a faux trunk to the bottom (a piece of bark glued on to a short length of paper towel roll. I think it looks just dandy. By the way, I don't bother gluing my paperback book trees as they seem to hold up just fine without glue.

This one is the tree that was in my Ottawa Citizen article. It has three tiers instead of one and was a little more complicated to make but it's kind of nifty. 

What, no comments??

Book Forest in Berlin

Posted on October 6, 2010 at 10:54 AM Comments comments (0)


You all know how nuts I am about recycling books, whether as a medium for craft or art projects or ensuring books are passed on for others to enjoy. Bookcrossing is one way but take a gander at what was done in Berlin by the apprentices at BAUFACHFRAU. A “book forest” was created where passerbys can take or leave a book.

To quote their website:

"The Book Forest contributes to sustainable vocational education and deals with the value chain forest-wood-book. It was developed and realised by BAUFACHFRAU Berlin e.V. as an interdisciplinary, project orientated cooperation of apprentices of forestry, carpentry, cabinetmaking, media design, printing and book selling.

"The project adopts the idea of putting up a bookcase in a public space, in which people could release their used books to be picked up by others."

By the way, BAUFACHFRAU is an educational institution for training women to work in building trades. It develops and executes employment and qualification projects on a local, regional as well as European level. Neato!

Image by Béatrice de Géa for The New York Times