Category Archives: Books

Recycled Book Birthday Chandelier

Its best to recycle when you can but it makes even more sense to recycle when you live in Mozambique and a simple birthday banner costs you $10. I love to recycle and enjoy finding ways to use items, that would normally be destined for the trash, in a new way.

Here is my latest creation and one that we will use over and over.

I used clips tied to string for holding the numbers, that way you could change the numbers for the next birthday.

I even recycled this little egg carton into my flower shape holder!

Born-Again Vintage


I found another book that I really want, anther one for the Christmas wish list ~ Born-Again Vintage by Bridgett Artise + Jen Karetnik: 25 ways to deconstruct, reinvent + recycle your wardrobe.

My clothing line, B. Artise Originals, is a product of my love for vintage duds but also my frustration with them. Period-dated, era-related clothing is great, but how many people can really pull it off? Whether the pieces arent in good shape of their fit is less than ideal, vintage clothing can be challenging. Some designers try to fix that with reconstruction: reworking the older piece, fixing the places that are worn. There are also designers who incorporate new fabric, coordinating with the flow of the older piece.

Not me. At the simplest level, Born-Again Vintage is about turning antique and disused clothing into stylish togs by deconstructing it, choosing its best elements, and piecing those together with those of other garments. I’ll completely rip out the seams of one basic vintage item and put it back together with a second, perhaps more contemporary piece to create an entirely different look.

My niche is bringing together the matchless quality of vintage with a dash of trendiness and edge to create a fashion-forward conversation piece. B. Artise

Check it out for yourself. You can purchase the book at most online book stores. Click here to purchase.

Re-Bound: Creating Handmade Books from Recycled and Repurposed Materials

A friend mentioned this book, Re-Bound by Jeannine Stein, to me and from what I can see online this book seems to have some interesting projects in it. I am excited to actually get my hands on a copy of this book. It is definitely going on my wish list for Christmas, although I am hoping to be able to find it used. Did you know Christmas is only 84 days away? I have a lot to do before than…ok now I am distressed, am I going to get all my Christmas projects done?

Anyhow on to this book – Re-Bound shows readers how to take every day materials from around the house, flea markets and thrift stores, and hardware and office supply stores, and turn them into fabulous books. Instead of saying, “What can I make a book out of,” readers will be thinking, “What can’t I make a book out of?” In Re-Bound, a vintage souvenir wallet becomes a photo album. Last year’s trendy sweater becomes a take-along journal. Even potato chip bags get a second life as a handy pocket notebook. This fun pursuit is economical as well as ecological. A variety of attractive, uncomplicated bindings, how-to instructions, and step-outs bring each project to life.


Whats better than recycling and re-purposing items around your house? Thanks Joanna for sharing this book with me.

Gifts for Christmas Past


Oh I am so embarrassed to admit this but here goes….I still have Christmas gifts to make and give out from last year! Ok close your mouth, I know its hard to believe, but I do know that I am a tad bit behind.

Yes its true, last Christmas I promised each of my nieces, sisters and mother an apron. I have 9 nieces, 4 sisters and one mother. I completed some of the aprons, but the sad part is that I am not sure who I have left to make an apron for. I do have a bit of an excuse though, my father was in an out of the hospital the months leading up to Christmas and passed away on the 23rd of December. Wow still brings tears to my eyes.

Well this morning as I was laying in bed, I spotted my beloved A is for Apron book sitting next to the sewing machine, it was calling to me(I am not the only one this happens to, am I?), so I opened it up(haven’t looked at it since last December) and my mind started going, thinking of all kinds of great aprons I could make. The creativity is flowing and I am excited to get the aprons going and to their rightful owners(if I can figure out who they are).

And it doesn’t help that I have a bunch of over ripe bananas on the counter too, waiting for me to make them into a wonderful banana bread from a recipe I got from my friend Bianca. Dang too much to do today, better get moving! Check back for the finished aprons and banana bread recipe.

Make a Handbag out of a Recycled Book

As I was browsing the internet last night I found a few blogs that featured books that have been turned into purses. I am not sure I love the idea but at most it is interesting. You could use an old book of your own or your child’s to make a purse out of, which could be a sentimental keepsake.


From Rebound Designs

Below is a step by step video from Curbly on How to Make a Handbag out of a Recycled Book.

8 Things I Really Want

So we all want something, right? I mean even the most selfless person wants something, even if they don’t strive to get it, they still want it. Fair to say? Well I have some things I want, some I will get and some I wont and who knows, some that I may be surprised that I get. I have been surprised in the past.


1. Batucada – I have been looking at this necklace for a couple months now and with my birthday being today, I’m thinking its time to buy it. I will have to purchase it myself but that is ok. The best part about this necklace is, all the jewelry is made with eco-plastic.

2. Amour Sans Anguish – I posted a few photos from their line of clothes last week. They sell garments on Esty that are constructed entirely from recycled and reclaimed materials. I would be happy to end up with any of their beautiful dresses.

3. iPhone – Ok this is so not recycled in any way but I have always wanted one. I watch people use their iPhones to look up things while they are talking or while they are in the store to compare a price. It just looks like so much fun. So this would be one of those things that I will most likely not ever get, its not the phone that would be hard to come by, its the monthly payment that just doesn’t fit into my budget right now.

4. Craft Books –  99 Ways to Cut Sew Trim & Tie Your T-Shirt, Your Denim and Your Scarf. These books I think I will acquire in time. They are full of very creative ways to Cut, Sew, trim and tie your t-shirt, denim and scarves.

5. Scalloped Cheeky Panty from Victorias Secret – Again these are not recycled, but they are oh so cute and some days, as a woman, you just need a little pick me up and knowing you are wearing cute undies under your outfit can make the day so much better.

6. Handmade Vintage Zipper Circle Necklace –  On Etsy from Green Eyed Girls shop I found this vintage zipper necklace. I have seen them in the past but this one is a bit smaller and more wearable than the ones I have seen. I just love it, but again with the steep price tag, I don’t think this will become a reality for me.

7. Lulu Shoes by John Fluvog – I have been a longtime fan of John Fluvog shoes. I have one pair that are still in amazing shape considering I have had them for over 10 years. At $155, I am thinking that these will be on my want list for awhile. I saw these at pedX, a shoe store on Alberta St in Portland, Oregon. If you ever have a chance to visit Portland, skip on over to Alberta Street and check out the interesting stores and amazing food.

8. Le Creuset Rectangular Baker – Aside from sewing and crafting, I love to cook. In time I would love to have a whole set of Le Creuset cookware but it will be a slow one-by-one process.

I Finally Received My Books

I guess there was a mix up. I had ordered the books from Amazon and under our accounts we had two credit cards so I apparently clicked the one that was expired so my order was cancelled. I had to redo the whole order and when I went to order the books I ordered before I found another book that I thought would be more my style and decided I wouldn’t get the Pillowcase book.

So here is the new book I ordered:

I am so excited to get started on some of these skirts. I will work through this book and give a review on it in a few weeks. Check back!

Two New Books

I am so excited! I just ordered two new books. Im almost as bad as my husband, who has new books arriving every week. I guess not as bad but I just went for it and ordered two sewing books. Ones that I am sure I will get a lot of use out of. I can’t wait to receive them!

The first one is by Amy Karol, Bend the Rules Sewing. The essential guide to a whole new way to sew. Fresh patterns, 30 cute designs, great for beginners, learn the basics, have fun, sew with abandon, its easy.

The second book is by Suzanne J.E. Tourtillott, Craft Challenge: Dozens of Ways to Repurpose a Pillowcase. Take the challenge! Craft challenges are all the rage among online crafting communities, and this new series—the first ever on the subject—marries the popularity of repurposing with the appeal of the “new pretty” aesthetic. This time, it’s the common pillowcase that’s undergoing uncommon transformations in 28 beguiling projects, ranging from patterned pinafores and aprons to decorative, embellished boxes and quilts.