3 Great Ideas From Pinterest!

My newest obsession/addiction.

Hey all! I’m sorry about the break in posts. My husband and I recently had to move close to 3000 miles, from Salt Lake City to North Carolina! I’ve had a million things to worry about, between packin and unpacking, cleaning, and find a job. Finally, though, the dust has settled some and I’m ready to get back into the saddle-stitching! (Did you see what I did there? Eh? Eeeeeh?)

I haven’t had time to bang out any new projects since I’ve moved in. In fact, my bookmaking stuff is still strewn all over or stuffed into corners, all in a most unorganized manner. BUT I do have something that I’m pretty excited about and wanted to discuss!

I have found a new love in the form of the website Pinterest, to which I was introduced by my great friend Tess. Essentially, it’s a form of bookmarking, but it is more visual and social. As you’re browsing your fave blogs (like THIS ONE wink) or looking for ideas, you simply “pin” the page, using an image from it. You can use “boards” to categorize different pins, and your pins will be shared with those who follow you.

You need an invite, which I’d be happy to send, so leave me a comment requesting one, or you can request one at their home page. It’s a great website and SO FUN. Warning, though: it is slightly addictive. Also,  it can be a lot like looking at a bunch of beautiful stuff that I will never own/wear/make/see/taste. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

One of the first things I did when I opened my account was to make a board for things related to book arts. I’ve been able to get a ton of inspiration and ideas, and even better—they are all neatly saved where I can find them! Here are some of my favorite ideas.

1. Greeting Card Catalog

how to store old
A great and clever way to save cards and sentimental notes, without sticking them in a box somewhere they’ll never get read or looked at again. Simply punch holes in the long edge of the cards (you can even leave them in the envelopes), and run a book ring through them (or yarn, ribbon, whatever works).

2. 52 Things I love About You

This is simple enough to make. Punch holes through the corner of a set of playing cards. Prepare slips of paper, complete with visuals, of what you love about that person. Modge podge them to each card and bind them together with yarn, twin, ribbon, book ring, or so on.

I know this is pretty popular idea, but I like that this version keeps the look of the cards. This set make a great anniversary, Birthday, Christmas or Valentine’s Day gift. And you can make it for anyone in your life: spouse, bf/gf, daughter/son, friend, sister/brother, etc. The possibilities are endless.

3. 365 Day Calendar Journal

I’m big believer in recording your life, and this is an easy way to do it. You make cards (or I suppose you could number the pages in a book) and assign each a date, and store them in a box. Each day, write down something you did. Then, in a year, do the same all over. Insert photos and other momentos in between cards. After the first year, it would be so fun and rewarding to look back on the last year and be reminded of a simple, good memory from that day!


So that’s it. I’d love to hear what you’re using Pinterest for, or what great things you’ve found in your pinning. Also, reply with your Pinterest username and I’ll, like, totally follow you ! ! ! Love you all, thanks for everything (patience, support, etc.) and, of course: Happy Bookmaking!

Tips & Tricks: Keep your blades sharp

Replace your crafting blades often! Pazzow!

Anyone who has watched more than two minutes of the Food Network has heard Rachel Ray excitedly yelling extolling the virtues of a sharp knife. A sharp blade, she screams at you, is actually safer than a dull one.

It seems counterintuitive, but if I had my own TV show about cooking or bookbinding, I would be doing the same. But all I have is this crummy blog, so I’m screaming it here:


Using a dull blade means that you have to work harder and exert more force to get a clean cut. The more force you are exerting, the more pressure is on your blade–pressure that has got to go somewhere, and too often straight into your finger.

Using a fresh crafting blade will keep your projects neat and your fingers safer.

I use a few different blades: X-Acto knifes, rotary cutters, and scalpels. The lifespan of any blade depends on what I’m cutting. When I cut book board, which is heavy and thick, the blade dulls quickly. For cutting single sheets of paper, however, a blade will last a lot longer. If you notice that you are having to use more force than before, it’s probably a good time to move on to a new blade.

The cost of replacement blades varies, depending on the tool you are using, but buying in bulk can save you some serious dough. I usually buy mine from Amazon, just because it is so easy. Some of my favorites (all with free Amazon Prime shipping) include:

  • 100 pack of #11 scalpel blades. These are razor-sharp and pretty tough, not to mention dirt cheap at about $.20/blade. Just make a one-time purchase of a handle and you are good to go!
  • X-Acto Blade Dispenser, 15 count These blades come in set of 15, for those who aren’t ready for the commitment of buying/using 100 blades. The dispenser is also great for keeping spare blades neat and ready to use. You can also get a set of 100 blades.

I also buy my rotary cutter blades off of Amazon, but the price and amount depends on what brand you use. Fiskar blades do seem to be cheaper and Amazon Prime-friendly, but I haven’t tried them and can’t recommend them.

Not only will keeping your blades fresh mean cleaner cuts, it will also save you a lot of swearing and anger. There is nothing worse than bleeding all over the book you’ve been so lovingly crafting.

I’ve had more than my fair share of nicks and cuts, and I have to say that Rachel Ray, girl, I am behind you. And that is a proclamation of agreement, not of my bodily location. Believe me, hun, if I was behind you, you would be able to tell from all the heavy breathing.

Paper Grain: What is it?

What is paper grain?

Image courtesy of Collin Erickson

Once you start doing paper crafts, whether it’s scrapbooking, cardmaking or bookmaking, you’ll hear about grain. But what is it?

The What:

Paper is made of organic fibers, such as cotton, hemp, and even silk. When paper is machine-made (as most paper you work with will be), the fibers are laid down running all in the same direction, usually parallel to the length of the sheet. This creates the grain of the paper. Book boards also have a grain.

Handmade paper, on the other hand, will have not grain because the fibers lay in an organic pattern, not in any one direction. So don’t sweat it with those bad boys.

The Why:

But why is grain important?

Paper’s grain comes into play when folding. It helps to think of grains as the corrugation in cardboard; whatever direction the corrugation runs, it will be easiest to fold with it. When you fold against (perpendicular to) the grain, the paper will be more resistant to the fold. When you fold with (parallel to) the grain, the paper will fold more neatly and flatly.

Not only should the paper grain run parallel to the spine, but also any cover papers, book cloth or boards that you use to make the casing. This will improve the strength and integrity of your product.

So what if you don’t have the right kind of paper? You can still make a book with your papers or whatever materials, BUT the following undesirable results may occur:

-Folded-over text pages may not lay flat, but might “pop open instead
-Folds may have a split or “torn” appearance
-When gluing two things together, the grains may fight against each other and cause the page or board to warp
-There may be a “wave” in the final product
-Your book may not stand the test of time!

I hope I’ve adequately described what paper grain is. I’m going to spend the weekend making a video that explains paper grain and how you can determine it. When it’s done, I’ll post it here!

Happy bookmaking!