Mini Leather Journals

These are some journals I made for the amigas’ x-mas gifts out of some scrap leather.  It was hard to let go of them because they’re so cute.  They’re small, about the size of a deck of cards.  I like the organic look of them, the uneven edges, the scarring and crinkling of the leather…

Mini Leather Journals

Mini Leather Journals Side View

Mini Leather Journal


"You better work, bitch"

While I doodled around on my computer this morning at “work”, I came up with an idea for a line of journals featuring the prolific, though-provoking quotes of our time.  I put together a couple of rough (very) prototypes just to get ideas; they don’t even have a text block, but here they are:

Prolific Quote Journals (Prototype)Other quotes I plan to use include:

“You better work, bitch.” -Rupaul
“I’m a genie in a bottle.” -Christina Aguilera
“When I think about you, I touch myself.” -Divinyls
“Eeey, macarena.” -Los del Rio
“Hey, baby. Hey, baby.  Hey.” -Gwen Stefani
“My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.” -Kelis
“Quit playing games with my heart.” -Backstreet Boys

And much much more.  I’m using, obviously, various inane song lyrics I’ve enjoyed in the past (and now to be totally honest).  I’m trying to up the ridiculosity with trying to make the journals look as serious as possible.  I would probably add some black book cloth to the spine and add some kind of florish below the quote.  I originally wanted to make it stark white with black lettering but the only white paper I had was copy paper, which was too thin to handle the glue.  Instead I used a beige cardstock I had around.  I like the color but I’m not sure which one I will ultimately choose.  I think the beige makes it look more serious, which is what I’m going for, so that will probably be my final choice.   This could be a fun line.   I just have to work on my technical skills.  I don’t like codex book so much but it’s the style that fits most I think.  We’ll see what the final product will be.

Catching Up

I have been terribly unfaithful with blogging.  Thanksgiving break was amazing.  I was always eating, cooking, or hanging out with family, so it was hard to get to the computer.  Thanksgiving dinner was a huge success.  I made all the desserts, including the flan that received rave reviews from the family.  And if they like it, I know I did well.  Mom made her famous “estuffing” which was delicious as usual, and we made the turkey together, the first year it was cooked without the men, like Dad or Abee (Abuelo).  We seasoned it with an amazing recipe Mom found in a magazine a couple years ago, a Latin style marinade that has now become OUR family secret recipe.   I also made capuchinos again.  I’m trying to perfect the recipe. Break went by so quickly, and it was so sad to leave my aunt and uncle and my adorable cousin Hayley.  She’s grown so much over the last several months since I saw her and it sucks that I’m probably only going to get to see her once a year.

This past week has been tough since I had three final papers and two finals.  I’m two finals away from going home, and I can’t wait.  I’ve been watching way too much food network and I’m dying to get back to the kitchen.  I’m going to experiment with the capuchinos again, try to see if I can find a way to make the correct cone shape and spiking the sugar syrup with liqueur.  I’m also going to try a coconut flan and some Christmas cookie recipe I found in the old Spanish cookbook we have.  I’m definitely going to have to do a lot of working out to counterbalance the holiday goodies I’ll be making.

Since my finals aren’t til Tuesday and Wednesday, today I was free to do whatever I wanted, the first time in a long time I had that freedom.  So, I got out the paper, glue, and paint, and played.  Here’s what I whipped up:

Stick Figure Notepads

Here’s a better look at my illustrations:


I love the little illustrations because they’re cute and a little sad at the same time.  I might keep working on them and making variations, perhaps for a line of notepads or journals.  These are just simple notepads held together with glue.  One of the things I’m unhappy about is that I don’t have a paper cutter so my pages are very uneven.  It’s something I’ll have to work on.

Marlene Dietrich Notebook

This is a coptic stitch notebook I made using corrugated cardboard and various types of paper for the inside.  The cool-looking lady is Marlene Dietrich; I found this photo in a magazine and I’ve been dying to use it.  The black around her I painted myself.  Corrugated cardboard is definitely not ideal for books, but it’s better than nothing.  Again I had the issue of uneven pages and I’m running out of paper to use for the text block.  Also, I kinda just winged it with the coptic stitch so there’s some technical errors; it’s also hard to get the binding tight.  I have to be more careful with gluing too.   You can’t see it in the photo, but there’s unfortunate glue marks on the cover.  …I just realized half this paragraph is self-criticism and not very interesting to read…Ah, well, this blog is a way for me to work out my thoughts and criticisms and needed improvements for my crafts anyway, even if it’s not too entertaining.

Since I’ve become obsessed with Etsy, I’ve been equally obsessed with the idea of having my own shop.  I know I have to slow down though and refine my work and style before setting up shop.  My style is a little eccentric so far.  It varies to the classic to the modern and graphic like the ones in this post.  I just have to keep working at it.  Another part of the obsession of having my own shop is seeing if I can start my own business.  I’ve decided to take some business classes next semester because the idea of having my own business really appeals to me…but we’ll see what happens.


I was right.  My mom threw out the cigar boxes.  I also realized by looking through Etsy that my “innovative” idea for them has been done before–not the same exact way granted, but it was a little bit of a let down.  I may still try my idea out if I can get my hands on a box.  My mom suggested I start smoking cigars. : D

Anyway, since most of my big stuff before Thanksgiving break has been taken care of (an exam and presentation) I’ve been cooking up some books.  Last week was my last book arts class, which was very sad but I got to take a ton of unused paper with me, enough for hours and hours of fun. >:D  Emily, my teacher, is going to do a book class next semester with more emphasis on mixed media books, using found objects and unique materials.  I’m definitely going to take it.

The last book we made was a star/tunnel book.  It’s made of three layers, the first two of which are cut through in an interesting way to reveal the back layer.  I was skeptical when I first started but then I printed cows on my back layer and it made it all better.  Here it is:

Open - each fold has a cow...
...and when viewed from this angle, two cows make one cow!
...and when viewed from this angle, two cows make one cow!

It turned out better than I thought.  It’s a quirky, fun kind of book.  : )  Click continue to see what else I’ve made:

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