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As a passionate listmaker, it goes without saying that I love all kinds of notebooks and paper products, and it is even better when I get the chance to make them unique with my own drawings. Lately I have been on a kick of drawing on MUJI plain notebooks in a coloring book style, and adding color with markers while I am in the train commuting to and from work. I am so used to drawing in the slight motion and shaking of the train that whenever I sit on a solid seat to draw it feels odd! Most of what I make ends up as a gift to someone, but I also make them for myself, of course. The ones I know I will keep are usually where I experiment with new ideas, knowing that even if the result is not great I will still love and use it.

Another way to experiment is on my old-time little notebooks made of scrap paper. At work I end up with a lot of printouts that have only a brief time of use. I always feel bad throwing out paper, and the pages usually end up in a messy pile next to my desk. Every now and then I get the urge to create something, and then I cut and fold them to various sizes according to need and simply use a staple to bind a few pages for instant gratification.

I have been making and using and giving away these notebooks since I was in primary school, and over the years they have been given away on Earth Day at the Library reference desk, made into light and portable expense notebooks to keep close track of expenses, sticker books for the boys, or simply a place where I keep a specific type of information gathered in one place.

The covers change according to whim, from laminated collages to being covered with stickers, to a simple drawing with or without color. I made the one on the last photo above just now, when I simply had to make a 10-page booklet from some almost blank pages I printed out.

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We were invited to a birthday party the other day. In addition to the bought gifts, I wanted the birthday kids (4-year-old twins) to also have something handmade. I feel that kids today have very little access to handmade things, and they don’t have the chance to appreciate the uniqueness of something made just for them.

With very little time for something fancy, I appliqued each kid’s initial and made 2 drawstring bags. My theory of “one can’t have too many drawstring bags” applies to all ages, and the sooner one starts collecting them, the more they ‘ll end up having 🙂

I hope the kids will find lots of treasures to store in them!

Remember these two kitties? it was a hint to a pair of Christmas gifts I made, but did not want to show in case my brother, one of the recipients, would wander across the photos (I might be wrong, but I don’t think he checks the blog regularly).

I wanted to make something with a kitty theme, as both recipients are great cat fans. Not knowing how I would proceed, I looked online for kitty images, and this was the one that caught my attention. I traced and enlarged it, and only after I had appliqued it on the white background I was inspired to add the butterfly (my original thought was to add kitty paw prints).

So, this is what came out. I am very pleased with it!

The butterfly movement is the only (hand-) quilted part of the design. For the quilting, I tried a couple of techniques using Japanese thimbles, and I think that by the end of it I had got the hang of it well enough. I like the slowness of the process, and its ability for great precision, and I definitely see more hand-stitching in my near future.

This was the last finished project of 2011, and since then I have worked on and started a number of projects, but not finished any. Several are very, very close to completion, though, so stay tuned for some FOs in the near future!

After a long time thinking and allowing inspiration to run havoc in my brain, I had some time to settle down and actually make something. I needed a new pair of pot holders for our new kitchen, and once I got going, it seemed like I couldn’t stop. I made a very long strip of scraps, then cut it into smaller pieces, enough to make 5 pairs of pot holders.

They have all been assigned already, as gifts to friends. I have 3 friends who have their birthdays next week. I seem to have been gathering lots of Libras in my life!

I backed the pot holders with a plain off-white fabric, and used an old towel for filling. There was some more of the backing fabric left over, so I used some leaves as stamps and made these.

I am not sure what I will do with them yet, but I have an idea for the one with the fall leaves that will fill another need for our new apartment.

Lots of Aries in my life, it seems. We celebrated 4 birthdays, all for family and close friends. Some, those who were close, got presents. I made a padded phone cozy for a friend who makes very good use of her iPhone, and was in need of something special for her loyal device. Her favorite color is this pale, pale blue, so I didn’t have to think too hard for what color to choose.

But this is already old news, from the previous weekend. Today is a gloomy and chilly day, in contrast to the glorious sunshine we had the last 2 days. I am coming down with a cold in its first stages, so each time I swallow I can feel a scratching pain in my sinuses. Fun times! Nevertheless, the day began with  conscientious snuggling by the kitties, and tea drinking while listening some old songs of Medieval Babes. And if the weather improves and I feel okay, I may even ride my bike to my favorite destination, the duck lake at the end of the swamp.

Two days ago I watched a very handsome duck playing in this spot. He would fly in a straight line, land and let himself slide as far as he could, like a surfer. He was having so much fun, I wished I could join him!

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