Sunday, January 16, 2011

We Have a SPECIAL GUEST today!

Hi, Friends!  I hope everyone is enjoying their day off from organizing. I'm hoping to be back on the wagon by Monday.  In the meantime, I'd like you all to meet a very special guest!  She's a super-talented artist and crafter, and just happens to be my best friend!
                                It's Jen from!

Hello, everyone! I am so happy to be here visiting! Let me introduce myself. My name is Jen Slutsky and I am visiting from my own little blog, I am happily married to my best friend, Daniel, and we have two amazing (and exhausting) little girls, Rebecca (6) and Katherine (3). I work as an optometrist, but my heart truly belongs to all things creative. Because of this I spend what little spare time I have dabbling in a wide range of arts and crafts, such as scrapbooking, sewing, knitting, felting, etc.

I have made a wide variety of crafts over the years, and Sally has received some of my favorite pieces: A pair of bride and groom bears for her wedding, a ladybug bear, a decoupaged ladybug purse, a tree painting, and on of my first Word Art pieces. You can actually see some of these projects over on my blog today.

I've thoroughly enjoyed making my Word Art for a couple years now and it all started with mine and Sally's one little word, and an attempt on my part to combine many of the craft techniques and materials I have been collecting (I tend to be a bit of a collector, just ask Sally). If you are interested in learning more about my Word Art, I'll actually be sharing that story at another friend's blog, Baxter's Mom, early next week.

Now I know many of you have joined Sally in the 21 Day Challenge at A Bowl Full of Lemons (I started, but you lost me at the junk drawer). I thought since we're all in organizing mode, I'd share a project that we could all use to help organize our lives and thoughts--a cute little notebook & writing center. To make sure everyone could join in the fun, I designed the project using items that you should already have around the house. Any supplies you are missing can be found at any grocery store or better yet, at Sally's favorite store: Target!  No need to visit a craft store (unless you like to!). It's repurposing at it's best!

So let's get our supplies:
Cardboard from a cereal box
Empty container (a cocoa or coffee can, I used an old Nestle cocoa container)
Shelf paper (Scrapbook paper or wrapping paper can be used instead,
but then you'll need to add glue to your list)
Twine (or ribbon, yarn, or string)
Butter knife
Hole punch
Label maker (optional)

Now let's get to work:

First you'll want to cut open your cereal box and lay it flat (1). Using a ruler or straight edge draw the shape of your cover (2). You can make the dimensions of your notebook any size you want but remember that this is going to be the front AND back of your notebook, so make it big enough to fold in half!  I also made sure the width of mine was small enough to fit in my container.

Cut out the cover following the guidelines (3), then use your cardboard as a guide to cut a similar size piece from the shelf paper (4). Cover the cardboard with the shelf paper (5) and trim any excess.  Fold the covered cardboard in half and now you have your notebook cover (6)! But we are not done yet. 

Next we need to score (form a crease) along the front cover about 1/2" from the top.  In the spirit of MacGyver, I used the dull side of a butter knife but you craftier women can use your bone folders (7).  This allows the front cover to open upwards (8).

Punch two holes in the top.  Make sure they go through both the front and back cover (9).  Cut some scrap papers to fit inside your book, line them all up, and punch holes through the paper as well (10).  Use twine to tie the whole notebook together (11&12).

To dress up my notebook I cut out hearts from the cereal box (13), poked holes in them (14), and tied them to the ends of the twine (15). You can also use a label maker or permanent marker to add text to the cover of the notebook (16&17).

Finish it all off by making an adorable little home for your notebook. Cover a container (18) and a pencil (19) with matching shelf paper. Add a bit of flair (20). And Voila (21) you are done!

A cute notebook & message center

The possibilities are endless when it comes to these little notebooks. Use them for shopping, To Do Lists, notes, creative thoughts, ideas, etc.. You can add scissors, tape, or whatever you might need to the container. I keep a notebook in my purse, as well as these little writing centers scattered throughout the house, like in the kitchen or by my bed. You just never know when that next great idea will come to you, and you don't want to forget it.

I hope you enjoyed crafting with me. I certainly enjoyed sharing! Be sure to come visit!

By Jen

Thanks Sally!  Love you!

Thank YOU, Jen!  Please go and show Jen some love by visiting!  Don't forget to say "hi!" by leaving a comment.


Amy said...

Cute!!!!! Thanks for sharing! :-)

Baxter's Mom said...

Very cute project...and great post! I think tutorials are your thing, Jen!

Sarah L. said...

So stinkin cute!!

Periwinkle said...

Jen did it again! I'm heading over to her blog next. My Monday morning will disappear before I know it!