Author: Erin G.

leather tasselry.

After my last leather bag workshop I had lots of extra leather to play with so I made tassels! Here’s how. Materials: scrap leather, keyring, ruler, roller cutter, fabric scissors, self-healing mat, hot glue, bead (optional), ribbon (optional). Cut a rectangular piece of leather, any size; then cut fringe. Leave at least a finger’s width uncut at the top of the fringe. Cut out one strip of leather; this will be the part that anchors the tassel to the keyring so make sure it’s narrow enough to fit. Insert the strip of leather onto the keyring and attach strip to itself with a drop of hot glue. Add glue to the top of the tassel on the wrong side, and roll onto the keychain. Do this step slowly, adding glue little by little, in between rolls. Trim the anchor leather if it peeks out from the tassel. Done! More options: Try out different sizes, use ribbon instead of leather to serve as the tassel anchor, add a bead before glueing on the tassel, just add …

tambourine.

My friend Laura and I took a leather tambourine bag class! I was so excited for this class because I wanted to learn to sew leather on a machine (my last leather class involved hand sewing) and how to sew circles. I was also eager to review adding a lining and working with zippers. I found most of my supplies at Discount Fabrics – sheep leather, velvet ribbon, D rings, and leather sewing needles. For the lining I dug through my stash for some options and purchased zippers and thread at Joann. Our instructor Sienna DaFonseca provided the pattern for the class and guided us through the process. First, we cut our fabric. We finished the ends of the strip inner lining to avoid fraying. Then sewed the inner lining and leather with a basting stitch to keep the pieces together as we constructed the bag. We added the zipper on a curve. Then sewed on the second circle. After all the pieces were attached, we trimmed the excess fabric. Then the moment of truth: …

travel journaling.

Whenever I go on a big trip I bring along a notebook to do some journaling. I usually go for a watercolor book because the paper is dreamy and textured. Sharing a little of my Japan travel journal today! I try to journal everyday on vacation to document highlights and everything we did during the day. And I decorate with things I find on my trip. In Japan, I found Kitta washi tape books and sakura washi paper stickers. These were perfect for adding accents to my journal pages. I also save all receipts, booklets, and little paper finds in case I want to include additional decorations. I add these at the very end, usually when I get back from my trip. Some of the local travel guides had cute images of places we visited; I liked including these, too. I sometimes create pockets in my journals to store small booklets, too. And I do lots of doodling (mostly food doodles). Do you journal on vacay? Share your journaling tips and habits below.

soap.

I felted soap! I’m quite the soap collector. I love buying locally made soaps when I travel, and when I stay in hotels I’m a big fan of taking the daily soaps. I grew a collection so I decided to share the goods and create some felted soap for gifting. The felt acts like a loofah! The process is quite simple For this project you will need: bar soap, wool roving, pantyhose foot, draining rack, warm and cold water, and a bowl (optional). I read that merino and alpaca wool roving works best for this project. I went with merino because I found that it comes in many more colors and is less expensive than alpaca wool. Wrap each bar with small pieces of roving, wrapping in different directions. Then, working one bar at a time, enclose the wrapped soap tightly in a pantyhose sock so it’s completely covered. Dip the soap in a bowl of warm water and rub the soap in different directions for 1-2 minutes. The idea here is that the roving …

ring dishes.

For our fifth annual Hearts and Crafts Valentine’s celebration at work we made ring/catch all dishes out of air dry clay. We celebrated early to allow the air dry clay to dry in time for Valentine’s day gifting. To set the crafty mood, we decorated with paper fans and honeycombs, a felt ball garland, and heart balloons (leftover from Hubby’s tennis bday!). My friend and I made a snack plate and guests brought additional goodies to share. All set up for the craft! I also made kits for my coworkers who were out sick (it’s flu season!). Look at all the fun creations my coworkers made! Someone even made a rat (for Lunar New Year)! Here’s the how-to for the marbled effect. You will need: air dry clay, hard surface, parchment paper, circle shape guide and Xacto knife (or cookie cutters), rolling pin or glass jar, paint markers, decoupage glue and brush (optional), and stamps (optional). I explored the interwebs for the best air dry clay and found Maqaroon’s super helpful air dry comparison video. …

mini envelopes.

Valentine’s is just around the corner. Here’s a super quick paper envelope DIY for the occasion (or any occasion!). For this craft you will need: paper, paper cutter, bone folding tool (or similar), and glue. Cut paper into a square, any size works. I cut out 5″ squares to form ~3.5″ by 2″ envelopes. Fold paper in half diagonally, open, fold in half diagonally the other way, and open. This creates guidelines. Use a bone folder to create crisp lines. Fold the left and right corners into the midline. Fold the bottom corner up, not quite to the midline. Fold the bottom ‘corners’ up, aligning the edges with the tip of the bottom corner. Add glue to the left and right flaps. Fold up to seal. Write a mini note. Fold the top flap to complete the envelope. Optional: add stickers or other decor to your envelope. Review! Happy Valentine’s crafting!

write that down.

New stationery store alert! Write That Down in Walnut Creek has everything lovers of the handwritten note are looking for! They carry some of my favorite things, like Letterfolk letter boards. Plus a selection of pens, cards, notepads, notebooks, calligraphy kits, … …books, list notebooks, coloring books, totes, wall art, … And since it’s Valentine’s season, lots of fun love day gifts and goodies. Here’s my haul: a pencil case by R.P.S (because can you ever have enough pouches?), a pack of banana thank you cards by Paula & Waffle, and self-adhesive wax seals by the Social Type (so clever, right?) Write That Down just opened last month, and they are adding crafty workshops to their schedule, too. Check them out!