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July 2014
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November 2014

October 2014

The Noteworthy Notebook Project

Noteworthy Notebook flowers

Take a boring compostion book and turn it into a notebook that everyone will envy! I've been covering my books for years and its exciting to jazz them up. I love goofing around with all the components ... finding the perfect paper and then deciding which piece will go where. They don't take much time and are fun to do. Here's how!

Noteworthy notebook supplies

Gather your supplies and get to work!

Measurements: Front and back cover ~ 7” x 9 5/8” (use a decorative blade to trim one edge for the front and a mirror image for the back) 

Inside cover ~ 7 1/4” x 9 5/8”

Note: Measure your book before cutting as there may be some variation

Cut tag, flowers,a circle for initial from scrap paper, and a tab for the side of the book,  by hand or with a punch or die cut.

Other supplies: 3-4 pieces of fiber approximately 7” long, glue stick, initial stamp,  ink pad

Chestnut Roan chalk ink by Colorbox to darken the edges is optional. Lightly brush it across cut edges before you assemble the book.

1. Dip the flowers in a small amount of water, then carefully scrunch them up to wrinkle the paper. Be careful on thin petals so you don’t rip them. Open the flowers up and let them air dry.

2. Open up the tab and spread glue over the wrong side with a glue stick. Fold it back in half and then place it on the back cover, about 2” from the  bottom, straddling the inside and outside of the cover.

3. Spread glue over the entire front cover and part of the binding.  Lay the pre-cut paper on to the cover, lining up the straight edges, and smoothing out the  paper. The zigzag edge covers part of the book binding. Trim the rounded edges with a scissors before continuing.

4. Next do the inside of the front cover and continue to the back cover.

5. Use a sanding block or emery board to lightly sand the edges of the book. If any of the book edge is showing, sand that a little more to remove the printing. Lightly sand the tab.

6. Ink the edges of the book, tab, flowers, tags and initial with Chestnut Roan chalk ink if you choose.

7. Layer the flower pieces and glue together, then glue to the tag. Add the  initial to the center of the flower.

8. Punch a hole through the front cover. Push fibers through the tag and then the hole and tie at the top of the book with a double knot.

Noteworthy notebook R

There are all kinds of ways to decorate the front of your notebook. I tied some fibers and a tag to a big R and then glued it to the front. From the scraps, I covered a smaller composition book. You can find them in the same place the big ones are located at most stores. They look cute finished!

Noteworthy notebook travel

You can make books for any theme you want, like this travel journal. Sometimes I'm lucky and find notebooks with graph pad paper ... I use those for my quilting themed books. Try a kitchen theme for recipes or a gardening theme for your flower beds and landscaping projects.

Noteworthy Notebooks are perfect for a girlfriends crafting night. Look at all the fun I had with some of my pals when we did a Girls Day Out one time. It was filled with laughter. Best kind of day!

Noteworthy notebook pile


An Autumn pin!

Autumn pin 1

After the post about our Great River Road bus tour, I've had a lot of people ask how to make the pins we gave to our riders. The really were easy to make and would be perfect for Thanksgiving favors, a tag, or to fill a bowl. So here you go ... this is what you have to do.

What you'll need:

  • Premade burlap leaves ... I got mine at Hobby Lobby but you could also die cut some from burlap, use paper, or pull leaves from a garland
  • Acrylic paint ... mustard yellow, deep red, dark green, orange
  • Fluffy brush ... I found mine in the kid's crafts at Michaels
  • Glitter spray
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Autumn sentiment stamp
  • Black ink pad
  • Orange glitter fibers ... I found some in the yarn department
  • 1 1/4" pin backs
  • Glue dots, hot glue, paper crafting tools

Autumn pin 3

Protect your surface with plastic before you begin ... it's messy! Start by using a fluffy brush to pat on a base coat of paint on top of the burlap leaves. Mix the bases up so that there are some of each color. Let some of the burlap show through.

Autumn pin 5

Autumn pin 6

Autumn pin 7

Using all of the colors, pat on paint here and there to give the leaves a mottled appearance. Make sure the base coat is dry. If you've put on too much, wipe your brush on a paper towel and pat over those areas before they dry. Drag a brush with just a small amount of paint down the center of the leaf. Think about how leaves look when they fall from the trees ... that's what you're aiming for.

Autumn pin 8

Spray with glitter spray to add some sparkle. Put a few leaves in a box with sides. Make sure you open a window or do this outside! If your leaves had stems, use a needlenose pliers to twist them into a loop so you won't get poked when they are worn.

Autumn pin 9

While the glitter is drying, stamp your phrase on to scapbook paper, using an acrylic base. I found it was easier to rotary cut my paper first and then stamp. Cut your paper to match the size of your stamp.

Autumn pin 10

Notch one end of the tag and punch two holes close together in the other end. I used the smallest setting on my Crop-A-Dile.

Tie the tag on to the stem of the leaf with several layers of your glittery yarn. Don't pull so tight that you rip the tag. Add a glue dot farther down the tag to anchor it to the leaf.

Use hot glue to attach a pinback to the back of the pin. Skip this step if they are party favors or bowl fillers.

That's it! Make some leaves for when you and your friends go out for leaf peeping and lunch!

Autumn pin 2

Along the Great River Road!

Great river

One of my favorite Cottage activities is to hire a bus and take people out on an adventure! And what better place this time of year than up and down the Mississippi River! So we headed out before the Sun rose and pointed our bus toward Lake City ... our first stop on the Great River Road bus tour. It was foggy and I was glad I wasn't driving the bus but the fog just enhanced the beauty of Highway 61. There's something magical about how the fog muted the bright colors of the hardwoods along that stretch of road.

Great river 2

Lake City, Minnesota was our first stop. Did you know that this is where waterskiing was born? Lake Pepin is a large body of water that is part of the Missisippi River ... plenty of water to trying pulling someone behind a boat on slabs of wood! Almost directly across the lake on the Wisconsin side is where Laura Ingalls Wilder's family crossed in the middle of winter to begin their new life as pioneers. Lots of interesting history in this area. But we were here to shop! The bus dropped us in front of  Pumpkinberry Stitches. Lisa met us with a welcome bag from the Chamber and pretty little pumpkins from her store. This shop has charming touches ... including a vintage window that looks into the classroom. Quilters had a field day here and at Rather Bee Quilting  just down the block. Rather Bee had several amazing samples of Tula Pink's Butterfly Quilt ... and I'm dying that I didn't buy the pattern. What was I thinking?

Great river 3

While everyone else was shopping the antique, vintage, and primitive shops in Lake City ... many who opened up early for us ... I was out taking pix of the scarecrows. There were so many clever ones scattered thru town.

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Just down the road about twelve minutes or so is Wabasha. It may look familiar to many because it's where a lot of Grumpy Old Men was filmed. Lots visit  for the National Eagle Center. I am partial to it because my sister the Sister was a first grade teacher at St Felix Catholic School for many years. But we were visiting to take advantage of SeptOberfest ... a month-long weekend celebration of fall. Each week in the park under the bridge there is music, arts and crafts, pumpkins, scarecrows, and a view of the river with all of the bright colors. Every corner was decorated with scarecrows and pumpkins, too. They have done it up right! I love the boutiques that pop up during this time and also the interesting shops. I picked up some great finds there for not many $$$!

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Our visit in Wabasha was too short but the reward we were dangling to get back on the bus was lunch at Nelson Creamery in Nelson, Wisconsin. It was a short drive over the Hwy 60 bridge across the Mississippi River and then a quick turn onto WI-35. Thankfully we had lunch prearranged because the lines were lllllooooonnnnngggg! It was such a beautiful day that our entire group was able to sit outside on the patio to eat. Inside are other charming areas to eat, a cheese shop, a wine shop, ice cream, coffee and sweets ... oh ... and a wine bar. Several of our guests decided that since we didn't have fruit with our meal, a glass of wine would fill in that slot!

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One of the reasons I love Nelson's ... in addition to the wonderful food ... is the old-world look. When you drive by, it looks interesting but sort of small and it makes you wonder what all the fuss is about. But then you walk in the door! It smells delicious! And then you start noticing how deep the building is and all the many areas it encompasses. And then you see the details ... ivy covered walls ... planter boxes ... peeks of the river here and there. It's hard to leave.

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Nothing says 'Fall' better than bittersweet. We found this guy right outside Nelson's selling gigantic bunches from his truck. I want to know his secret ... this is not an easy plant to grow!

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Our final stop was Stockholm, Wisconsin.  There is a huge arts community in this area and it explodes in this town. Make sure you look at their events calendar ... their Christmas event is not to be missed! My favorite store is Ingebretson's ... I must have lived in a Scandinavian country in a past life because I'm fascinated by all they have to offer. This is the same business that is on Lake Street in Minneapolis. But in addition to this shop are many more that are filled with interesting things. Don't miss the second floor of the hat shop ... the lean of the steps and the tilt of the floor upstairs makes you wonder if you were sipping a few back at Nelson's!

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I always enjoy the Tibetan prayer flags outside one of the stores. The Amish shop is filled with furniture but sadly the Stockholm Pie Company was totally sold out. You have to get there early for the best pies ... they have a Sunday brunch so that's when I would go! As you can guess, this is a busy time of year there with all of the leaf-peeping.

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One of the things I've never noticed about Stockholm before was the sweet campground right on the river. I'm being pressured into buying a reproduction vintage camper ... or a glamper if that's what you like to call them. I can see the appeal after visiting this camping park! Now the biggest issue is how to carve out time for yet another hobby.

So our tour was quite the success ... given the amount of packages that came off the bus. Many asked where we were off to next ... I have some ideas! But it did make me smile to see that one of our riders was wearing her pin from our fall trip last year and the new one from this year on her jacket. Over the years I've made close to 6000 pins for our tours ... yike! But it's exciting to realize that they are treasured.

There are lots more photos and things for you to see. We'd love it if you'd follow along on Facebook and Instagram.

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