Tag Archive for Resources

Burlap Book

I mentioned in this post that I love making books for other artists. Some times, other artists are even willing to trade their art for mine. Win-win!

Abi and I were meeting up to do a photoshoot for BodSchool, my personal training business. She takes incredible photos and I wanted to bring a thank you gift that I could give her until I was able to make her official sketchbook.

In college, I purchased a book that teaches how to bind books without any glue. As you can imagine, that makes the process much quicker, as you don’t have to wait for anything to dry!

I had some burlap scraps another friend had given me and decided that would be the perfect material to try something new.

I chose to make a “quarto” sized book (a fourth of a page) from 8.5 x 11 paper. The final size was roughly 4.25″ wide x 5.5″ tall…a great little book for stuffing in a purse or camera bag!

I burned the edges of the burlap to give it a more finished look (and also in hopes it would keep it from fraying so badly). Have you ever smelled burnt burlap?! Eww.

Since Abi loves green, I chose olive-colored paper for the pages. It also looks really great with the earthy burlap, don’t you think?

The stitching I chose was Long Stitch/Link Stitch. The sections are sewn together so the stitches are exposed on the spine like this:

I really like how you could see the stitches if you knew to look for them, but that the twine also blended in nicely with the burlap.

This was a really fast book the make. The thing that took the longest was learning the new stitch, but even that went quickly once I got the hang of it.

Abi, thank you again for being willing to trade art! I love making unique things for unique girls like you!

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Day 19 AEDM: Peanut Butter Brownies

Baby boy has decided that NOW is a good time to start teething!


He’ll be five months old on the 23rd, but I guess he’s dying to eat some ‘art’, so he figures he’d better grow some chompers.

Today’s creativity: Peanut Butter Brownies

Some friends of mine (via my Aunt Rouye) are driving up from Dallas, so we’re having a dinner party at my aunt’s house tonight. I asked if there was anything I could bring, and “Dessert!” was the response. It wasn’t until I hung up the phone that panic set in. “What should I make? Do I even have any ingredients?”

So, Google to the rescue! (Sort of.) I searched for “simple desserts” and got no help from the powers that be. So, I fell back on my ol’ reliable site: Tasty Kitchen.

And, let me just say, HOORAY! I found a recipe and had all the ingredients on hand!

Here’s how they turned out…


Day 6 AEDM: Weekend Miscellany

We have our girls this weekend, so things are busy!

Our oldest girl has a science project due Monday, so we spent the morning constructing a model of a sulfur atom.


I’ve also worked on a few more paper pinwheels (see yesterday’s post).


I’ve also started mapping out what I’ll need to fill up a collage frame. My MIL has had it sitting in her house for months and she’s just too busy to put it together, so I offered to do it for her. :)


So, lots of creative things happening, even if nothing is quite “finished” today. Happy Saturday, everyone!

Artist, Organized

Not two words you usually hear in the same context: artist and organized. Why is it that everyone assumes that artists are scatter-brained, messy, easily distracted and ‘starving’? I’m not sure why that is, but I’m probably one of the few artists you’ll ever meet who is able to be simultaneously creative and organized. In fact, I like finding organized ways of being creative and creative ways of being organized. :)

EXHIBIT A: I’ve had tons of scrapbooking thing-a-ma-bobs in a shoebox for years, and I wanted to display them so I could quickly and easily see what I might be able to use for each project. IMG_1833

I also wanted a place (besides a junk drawer) to store my tools and a spot to hang to-do lists and inspiring images. So…I took some measurements and created a sketch and my wonderful husband Andrew built an art board for me! :) The top center panel is 4′ x 2′ pegboard (for tools), the bottom center panel is 4′ x 2′ masonite (into which I screwed many, many little white hooks) and the side panels are 18″ x 4′ sheet metal…perfect for inspiring images and cute magnets!


The hooks are perfect for displaying all my little embellishments.


But over the last few months, things have gotten a bit cluttered. The board itself isn’t a huge mess, but it could be better. And the space below my bookmaking table could sure use some tidying. There are various reams of paper just stacked up, spools of ribbon bursting from a too-full shoebox, a sack of fabric that needs a permanent home, a pile of 12 x 12 scrapbook paper that will eventually become paste pages but currently lies in wait, etc. And my organized artist self wants this space to be even tidier.


Cleanliness makes working in the studio that much more enjoyable…I can get right to a project rather than spending the first 30 minutes cleaning up and hunting for the tools I need.

Don’t even get me started on THIS mess:


Drawers full of crafting odds and ends. Some for card-making, some for sewing, some for stamping, some for decorating. Anything that doesn’t have a place to belong has ended up in these drawers.

All of this talk about streamlining naturally got me thinking about those pesky New Year’s Resolutions that so many of us make. And getting organized will be oh-so-helpful as I attempt to tackle the following 10 resolutions in ’10:

1. Establish a more regular ‘quiet time’ routine concerning spiritual matters: Prayer, Scripture, etc.
2. Maintain a certain level of fitness and a healthy (yet no-more-than-necessary) weight gain during my pregnancy.
3. Do lots of experimenting and build up a book inventory.
4. Set up my Etsy website…I have already reserved my domain (abbiz), I just need to make some stuff to sell!!
5. Declutter the house and sell/donate/give away/use up stuff instead of having to move it when Andrew and I relocated to the country in the late spring/early summer!
6. Knock out some more cupcakes! Hoping to get about 20 more batches done before Baby comes…I have about 26 weeks til my due date, but babies’ exact arrivals are unpredictable. :) (I’ve done two batches since I originally wrote this list!)
7. Network more intentionally with other bloggers. Set up specific times during the week to surf, read, and leave comments, in hopes of creating more traffic on this blog in return.
8. Partner with other artists to create collaborative projects.
9. Dump photos to my Snapfish account and back-up DVDs monthly.
10. Try 2 new recipes per month.

How about you? Are you making plans for this new year that’s ahead of us? I’d love to hear what your hopes and goals are! Leave a comment! :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope you are all enjoying your family, friends, and some FOOD today!!

Check out these Thanksgiving cuties I found on a fellow baker’s website! Learn how to make them from Bakerella. She’s a VERY talented girl…I love how her baked goods are just as much art as they are food! :)

turkey pops

Happy Turkey Day!

New York, New York!

My husband Andrew had never been to New York City before, so I planned a trip for the two of us as a celebration of his birthday (September 29). We saw so many sites and famous landmarks and even got to watch a Yankees game and a live taping of David Letterman’s Late Show!

We did a lot of window-shopping, too. Andrew was so incredibly patient with me as I made my way through various gourmet food stores and paper shops. (I tend to geek out in those types of places!) And when the hustle and bustle got to be too much for him, he waited patiently outside the shops so I could finish getting my “fix”. :)

On Aunt Cristi’s recommendation, we made our way uptown to Zabar’s, a huge family-owned gourmet food store.


BOY, do I love cheese! And this store had HUNDREDS of kinds…an entire section of their grocery area was dedicated to CHEESE!!


Around the corner from the cheeses was the bakery section. All of their cakes looked so gorgeous in the huge display case (if I could justify the need for a display case in my own house, I would totally own one! I think they are so cute.)


Petit Fours…small cake, not-so-small price…at $2.89 apiece, each bite costs about a buck (maybe I should relocate?!)


A couple days later, Andrew and I made our way to Little Italy for an authentic Italian meal and a cannoli! The pastry shop we visited was so darling. Rows upon rows of puff pastry, eclairs, fruit tarts, and cheesecakes.


There’s the cannoli on the bottom row…so many kinds from which to choose!!


OOH, and tiramisu cheesecake. Yowza!


Andrew gave the chocolate-dipped/chocolate-mousse-filled cannoli a try. I caught him mid-bite, and he’s still handsome as ever. :)


After Little Italy, we stopped at Kate’s Paperie so I could get my paper-fetish fix. I’d looked on their website before we left home, and there were so many products I wanted to see in person. I was immediately awestruck by the amazing decor above their check-out area: flowers, all made entirely of PAPER! Gorgeous!


If there’s anything I love more than paper and art supplies, it’s organization. Or bulk. Or organized bulk! I saw this rack first. (When I squealed, Andrew took that as his cue to wait outside for me. ha!)


These floor-to-ceiling displays were set up throughout the store. So awesome!


Pretty patterned papers!


Then I saw their letterhead/envelopes station and thought I’d died and gone to Heaven! Bulk. Paper. Organized. And COLOR-CODED!


If they had had paper cupcake liners, I surely would have fainted.

Now that we are home, I am inspired, re-energized about my business, and ready to grab the bull by the horns!


What simple things in life do YOU enjoy? Share your thoughts with us!

Paper Infatuation Part 1

The more I learn about making cupcakes, the more I find myself tempted to spend money! The latest thing I’ve been drooling over? Baking cups.

Confectionery House has really awesome opaque ones in tons of colors,

and Bakerella was just showing off their polka dot ones on her site.

Once the wedding is behind us, I think my summer project will be experimenting with cupcakes! And I’ll likely be giving them away so I don’t have to eat them all myself!

If you’re reading this and you LOVE cupcakes, leave a comment on this post and I’ll start a running list of lucky cupcake recipients! :)