Sunday, July 7, 2013

DIY- How to Make a One of a Kind Pocket Journal

I love notebooks! I would actually consider myself a notebook junkie. I can't live without them. I am an obsessive list maker and due to my attention deficit disorder, I need to have one on hand whenever a "bright idea" hits me. If I don't write it down, it's gone forever! 

I started making my own journals/notebooks in 2010. After some prompting from friends, I decided to open up my Etsy shop. Almost 3 years later, I'm making journals for wonderful people all over the world. I absolutely love the idea that someone, somewhere is writing in a book I made with my own hands!

I thought I'd share a tutorial, so you can start making your own.


  • A sheet of 140lb watercolor paper (I use Strathmore, but you can use any you prefer)
  • 15 sheets of 8.5” x 11” paper
  • Paper Trimmer
  • Various paint brushes (optional)
  • Pencil
  • Your favorite marker
  • Twine
  • Watercolor paint (optional)
  • ¼ Corner Punch
  • ⅛ Hole Punch (not pictured)

Step 1

Use your paper trimmer to cut the cover and pages for your book. Mine measures 
5.5” x 4.25” (A2 size) 

Next, use your ¼ Corner punch to round the edges of your cover and pages.

Step 2

Make a light mark with your pencil about a ¼ inch from the binding edge on the front cover and lightly mark the four spots where your holes will be.  


Step 3

Score the cover about a ½ inch from the binding edge and punch the holes. Here’s a tip, use the cover as a template for punching your pages and back cover.


Step 4

Design your cover. This is the fun part, so get creative! Use your favorite marker or pen and doodle or draw your one of a kind design.


Step 5

Measure your twine and sew your book together.


I used this easy to follow video tutorial by artist Kelsey Norwood from

I watched her video to learn the technique I now use to make all of my books.


If I had to use watercolors again, I would probably use different ones. I wasn't exactly happy with the bold blue binding, but my daughter liked it, so I gave this one to her.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this tutorial.

Hope you like it.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Goodbye Middle School

It's been a busy few months at our house. My kids are growing so quickly and I wanted to make sure I was present for every big moment, so my blog was put on the back burner for a bit. The most recent event was my daughter's 8th grade dance. It's the middle school equivalent of Senior Prom. Such a bitter sweet moment for me and the hubby. Watching our beautiful daughter grow has been an incredible gift.

Toni and her childhood friends Jordan & Chris.

We love you so much Toni!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Valentine's Day Love

If you're going to give me flowers, this is what I want! These beauties are from West Elm and are completely made of paper. Not only are they great to look at, they'll last forever!

Valentine's Day Love


Sunday, January 27, 2013


There's so much I can say about my mother Madeline. She's one of those women who does it all. She is incredibly giving, loving, and will do anything for anyone, sometimes to a fault. I always worry that people will break her heart.

Mom is 69. She's an incredible wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. She works wonders with fabric. Personally I think she should go into business making sewn, home goods.

Here she is sewing a dress for my daughter.

Mom was born in Puerto Rico in September of 1943. My siblings and I are no strangers to old stories. We've been told countless times how she ran around barefoot with her brothers all day so she could save her shoes for school. How "back then" a penny went a long way.  That we don't know how lucky we are to have an actual bathroom, because her "letrina"-outhouse- was so scary!

Sadly, mom isn't getting any younger. She asked me to make her a book so she could write down her life's stories. She wants it to be a keepsake for us and the grandkids. I see it more as something she can leave behind that will be passed on for generations to come. 
This is mom's book. 

I can't imagine my life without her!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tuesday Twine Picks

These are two of the new designs I recently added to my shop. I'm so happy with the way they turned out. I love anything personalized! I made one for Maria my intern, who plans to study abroad in the fall. I have my fingers crossed! The Recipe Book is for my dear friend Ashley. Not only is she an amazing food photographer, Ashley creates some incredibly delicious and healthy recipes for her blog Simple Craves & Olive OilCheck out some of her work here.


Sunday, January 13, 2013


Re-branding isn't easy. I have so many ideas, but not enough hours in the day to get everything done. I can't tell you how excited I was when Maria Garcia asked me if I needed an intern.

I didn't even have to think about about it! I said YES before she could finish the sentence.

I was a yearbook advisor for four crazy years. Maria was my youngest staffer and quickly became the editor in chief. We spent countless hours together working hard to meet deadlines. There were so many times we slept right in my classroom, not to mention the all nighters at my dining room table when the network was down at school. It was by far the hardest job I've ever done as an educator.

Maria was that "all around" girl. She was part of student government, played varsity volleyball, ran cross country and track, and graduated second in her class in 2011. I can't tell you how much I cried during her senior year. I just didn't want her to grow up and leave for college. She was more than one of my "kids," she was like a daughter. I am so grateful to her parents, (especially her mother) for letting me borrow her all those years; they were so supportive. Her father, who is a computer techie, even took time out of his day to help us when our computers were going crazy. They did a phenomenal job raising her!

Maria is now a sophomore at Johns Hopkins University. I am so lucky she's home until the end of January. We are working on a bunch of great things. Sometimes, we get off track when a new idea hits us, but she's definitely helping me make things happen. From marketing to design, that kid is on fire!!

Thank you Maria, you have no idea how much all of your help means to me. I love you!!

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