Harvey and Audrey and Grover, Oh My!

I was saddened to hear about the passing of comedian Harvey Korman last week. I used to love watching the Carol Burnett Show and its incredibly talented cast of characters. Whenever Harvey was teamed up with Tim Conway, you knew you were in for a good laugh. I searched YouTube and found this gem:

I could spend hours watching all the videos from the Carol Burnett Show – even 30 or 40 years later, they are as timless and funny as ever!

In more creative news…
Now that I’m fully recovered from the crazy super-bug I caught a few weeks ago, I’ve been spending lots of time at my craft table. I’ll be moving into a new loft later this month and will need to decorate the new place. Since my budget is limited at the moment, I decided to create a decor element of my own. I introduce you to my new friend Audrey:

The photo on the right shows the image that I used to create the canvas painting. I’m thrilled with how she turned out, and I can definitely see myself making more of these in the future!

I’ve also been making books, books, books for sale at nathalie-roze & co. Of course, I forgot to take photos of the dozen or so LP journals I made before delivering them, but they included Steve Miller Band, Eric Clapton, Rolling Stones, BTO, and more. I found out that one of my David Bowie LP journals will be used as a guest book at a gallery in Scarborough. They’re showing an exhibit on LP cover art (including the Bowie cover I used to make the journal) so it’s a perfect match!

I did remember to take a photo of this journal I made for a swap – the theme was the Muppets and I absolutely love this book. I wish I could keep it!

As a change from making books all day, I started making these a few months ago. I have to admit, they’ve become a bit of an obsession. I loooooove how they add a touch of class to just about anything:

(I’m also loving the macro feature on my camera!)

Today I plan to plug away and make more books for sale, but I’m not sure how far I’ll get with the heat. It’ll be close to 40 Celcius this afternoon with the humidity factor, and it’s already hot and sticky. Ouch. I may need to take a few ice cream and cooler breaks in between the book making…

Happy crafting!


If You Could Read My Mind…

You’d know that:

  • I had a great time at the Gordon Lightfoot concert last night (it was pretty thrilling to see a Canadian icon in person):



  • I haven’t disappeared from the face of the earth; I’ve simply been dealing with some life changes that include becoming newly single, finding a new place to live and everything in between. Part of the process is yucky and sucky, and yet it’s a time for great opportunies and changes. I’ve always believed that everything happens for a reason and it’s important to learn from every situation that comes your way, good or bad. Already, some good has come following the bad…more to come soon.
  • Now that things have finally slowed down at the pesky day job, I’ve finally found the time to take a few workshops, such as a basic letterpress class –


  • I even took my very first scrapbooking class (!):


  • I’ve been busy making LP Journals to sell (available at nathalie-roze & co.) – by the way, you can learn how to make your own LP Journal on May 24, when I’ll be teaching a workshop at nathalie-roze & co.:

  • I’ve been making bookbinding kits to sell (available at Urban Scrapyard):

  • I completed a commission that had been in the works for a long time – a dos-à-dos (back-to-back) large-sized journal:

  • I participated in several swaps on Swap-Bot:

  • I even found the time to take a walk on the beach:

And yes, there is a beach in Toronto.

Frida Star Book

A few weeks ago I took part in a Swap-Bot swap featuring handmade books. After reading my partner’s profile, I discovered that she is a huge admirer of Frida Khalo. That set the wheels in motion and this is what I put together for her:

frida-star-book1.jpg  frida-star-book2.jpg  frida-star-book3.jpg  frida-star-book4.jpg

The book itself had been lying around the house for some time – I had made it as a demo during one of the workshops that I was teaching. I had no idea what to use it for…until I realised that its colourful inside pages prefectly reflected Frida’s colourful paintings. An idea was born!

My partner indicated she was quite happy with her book, for which I’m glad. Part of me loves the simplicity of the pages, but part of me wishes I’d had more time to embellish the book. I’m in love with this book nonetheless and I’m happy it went to a good home.

Letters and Envelopes Book Swap

I’ve mentioned a few times that I love participating in swaps, particularly on Swap-Bot.

The last swap I took part in required each participant to make a book filled with letters and envelopes filled with goodies. Here is what I came up with for my partner:

book-of-letters-envies-1.jpg book-of-letters-envies-2.jpg

I created my book based on a Christmas theme – I found some wonderful old-fashioned clip art from a CD & book my mother gave me for Christmas last year. If you look closely, you’ll notice that each of the signatures is made from a mini file folder, with even smaller (minier?) file folders interpersed.

book-of-letters-envies-4.jpg book-of-letters-envies-3.jpg

In one of the envelopes, I included the famous “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” letter. In some pockets I added a packet of tea and one of minty hot chocolate.

All in all, this was a fun project to make. As usual, I wish I’d had more time to work on and embellish it…oh well, maybe next time.

Advent Calendar Star Book

I’ve had this idea stuck in my head for several weeks now, and was trying to figure out how exactly I should execute it… This past weekend I finally produced my first star book/advent calendar – here’s what it looks like:


And inside…

star-advent2.jpg star-advent3.jpg

There are a total of 24 tiny envelopes, each containing a round tag that expresses “Merry Christmas” in a different language… That’s right, by the time Christmas rolls around, you’ll be able to say it in 24 languages! There are two tags per panel, with one extra panel at the front of the book where I added a short history of the advent calendar, and one at the back where I simply added “Merry Christmas” with a hand-drawn tree.

I’m very happy with how it turned out, although there are parts I’d like to tweak, such as the round tags. I’m thinking of replacing them with more traditional-looking tags. And I need to figure out how to decorate the covers, which are too plain-looking. I’m not one to embellish my handmade books – this is an enormous step for me! I love the colours on the outer panel (the ones the envelopes are glued to) – it looks Christmas-ish without looking too Christmas-y. Know what I’m sayin’???

I also received a great package in the mail yesterday – it was for the Handmade Happiness swap on Swap-Bot. As part of the swap, we were to send two handmade items to our two partners. Here is what I received from Lithmire:


It’s a tote bag made from a t-shirt! Brilliant! I love it – especially the t-shirt she made it with (I believe every town should have its own Rubber Chicken Festival). She also included a handmade bracelet in beautiful green and teal beads.

I’ve really become hooked on Swap-Bot – this past month alone so many great and creative swaps have come up. I think I’m signed up for at least 10! Better get my butt into gear and start creating…

Autumn Renewal Care Package Swap

I’ve been spending way too much time on Swap-bot this past week. Looking for inspiration, mostly, and something to motivate me to create more books…

I’ve just created a new swap – basically, you’ll be creating an Autumn-themed care package for your partner. Check it out, and if you’re interested, please sign up! Last day to sign up is August 25…

You can find all the details here:

Autum Renewal Care Package

Getting Things Done

Well as I’m reading “Getting Things Done” by David Allen, I’ve certainly put it into practice this weekend (even though 6 weeks later I’m not yet done reading the darn book, but that’s a whole other story). I took full advantage of it being a long weekend in Ontario to work on some projects – although tonight I couldn’t even remember what I did until I looked at my photos… I tell ya, my mind isn’t as sharp as it used to be!

Saturday morning I taught a workshop at Urban Scrapyard – it was a great group and we had lots of fun making ribbon-hinged albums. It’s always amazing to see how every person’s project turns out even though they all choose different papers…

That afternoon I went out for lunch at a local bakery then came home to work on some books. I spent an unreasonable amount of time online – I seem to be doing a lot of that lately, not sure why. Can you say procrastination???

Sunday morning I woke early and watched “The Shop Around the Corner” starring Jimmy Stewart on tv. I love old movies, although the acting and dialogue always seem so dramatic and exaggerated. Entertaining nonetheless.

Then I got to work on some swaps I’m part of. My partner on an earlier swap never received her package (she’s in the UK), so I promised I’d send her a new one because I really wanted her to have a good experience. This despite the fact that I never received a package for the last three swaps I’ve participated in… It’s very disappointing, considering the amount of time I spend putting them together (I mostly include handmade items), but that’s part of the game, I guess… Anyway, enough with the whining – here’s what I put together for my swap partner (LAVA please shut yor eyes!):

Which included these handmade items in particular:
explosion-map.jpg coin-book-with-inserts.jpg cd.jpg mini-album.jpg

I was on a roll! I even prepared items for another swap that are only due in 3 weeks – how productive is that!
swap2.jpg swap-card.jpg

This afternoon I drove to Richmond Hill to pick up some paper – last night while browsing online I found a lady wanting to get rid of some reams of paper. Here’s what I got for $20:

Quite a bargain – many people don’t realize how expensive coloured paper is… The colours are a bit funky, but I’m sure I’ll be able to put them to good use…

Part two of the weekend report will follow tomorrow – it’s getting late and this post is already way too long!