Sunday, January 20, 2013


How does your book group keep track of what you've read?  Does your group have a special system?  Well, over the last 13 years or so, my book group is forever trying to recall the many books we have read together.  We just never took the time to write them all down, but we always wish we had kept track.   

And the years marched on.  

That is at least 150 titles, and who could remember all of those without some sort of a system?  

So, for our last book group gathering, I made a little book tracking system for each of us.  It won't go back all those years, but there is a card labeled "aforetime" for some of our favorites from years past.
All of the cards fit neatly in a little folder made of cream card stock.
 The cover reads, "Books we've enjoyed and some we've endured!" and is made with this Sweet Birds With Nest Frame graphic from The Graphics Fairy.
(The font used is a mix of "typewriter" which is on my word processing program, and "The King and Queen" which can be downloaded free of charge here.)

The whole packet slips into a heavy weight gray wool case with plenty of room for more cards - for the years to come.
Now we have no excuse!
Want to make your own Book Club Record Keepers?  All the PDFs needed are available at my Etsy shop, Gillyflower Cottage.

To go to the 20% OFF SALE click  GILLYFLOWER COTTAGE.

Sharing on:
 The Graphics Fairy - Brag Monday
Made For You Monday
Market Yourself Monday

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Monday, January 14, 2013


I've been selling gift tags in my Etsy shop for awhile now - angel tags made from my drawings of cemetery statues, sheep tags from my drawings of Suffolk and Welsh Mountain Sheep, and just recently I added some English Hare tags to my shop using graphics from The Graphics Fairy
I used my angel tags on a lot of Christmas gifts and the sheep tags work for any occasion.   

I've even made gifts of an assortment of the tags themselves. 
Every item I sell on Etsy is tied with twine and sent with a blank tag attached.  
Bakers' twine make a great tie also - or even a thread of burlap fiber.  
Now, I've added these rabbit tags that would be great for spring or Easter gift giving.  They're extra long tags with plenty of room on the back for your sentiments.  The printed tags come with a bundle of twine ties . . .
Or, you can make the tags yourself with the PDF - also for sale at Gillyflower Cottage.  They print out with three tags per page.

See them here.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


There may no longer be young children in this house, but I think one still needs to decorate for the "other holidays", like Valentine's Day, kids or no kids!  Big people love the holidays too!

  So, today I made a valentine banner for the front entryway, and also put a little valentine tree in the dining room.  I typed out some love quotes in the typewriter font, cut them in strips, and glued one onto each piece.  Then you can embellish to your heart's content.  I just used ribbons and some cut out hearts, but you could add buttons, charms, lace, sheet music . . . anything!  

 The quotes are easy enough to type out, but if you'd like to have mine sent to you, just leave a comment on this post, with your email address and I'll send you the PDF.


And, of course you must have the essential Valentine's Day question . . .
Just a couple punches at the top of each piece, a little ribbon woven through, and you're done!  This is an easy project that would probably be even more charming if you let your young children help!
This banner is available for purchase at Gillyflower Cottage on Etsy.

Friday, January 11, 2013


Do you ever find yourself acquiring large of amounts of one particular thing?  You know you had good intentions when you stockpiled this item, but for the life of you, can't remember what those intentions were?  

Well, I recently sorted through my stash of fabric and realized I had an amazing amount of solid 
cotton . . . mostly white. 
I'm not sure when or why I got it all, but I decided it was time to finally DO something with some of it.  I took on a project that made a small dent in the pile and made some white dinner napkins.  They have a deep 8" ruffle along one side, measuring about 22" from end to end.

A mostly white table setting.  

It's been a pretty boring winter in the weather department here in Wisconsin.  Maybe I'm trying to make up for the lack of anything white outside the window?  

What would YOU do with yards and yards of white fabric?  I'm thinking a new dust ruffle for our bed might be in order.  I could use up a good 8 yards making one of those . . .

I'd welcome any ideas!

Monday, January 7, 2013


Today was one of those days when I just had to make something.  Days like this happen to me on a regular basis.  I just want to hear the sewing machine hum, or the sound or my scissors cutting through some cardstock.  
My motivation today came by way of something else I love to do - read.  It's nothing new or earth-shattering.  But sometimes all you need is a little push to get started on a project of your own.  I hope this motivates you!

Have you ever borrowed a book from someone and kept it too long?  Then you decide it's time to return the book and it's been SO long that you don't even remember who you borrowed it from?   With a bookplate in all your books, you'll be sure to have all your books returned to you.  Yes, you can buy ready-made bookplates, but that's no fun.  It's always better to make your own of anything!  So I started to look through some clip art on the Graphics Fairy and picked one to use for making my own bookplates.  

First, I found the perfect vintage clip art from the Graphics Fairy.  
Then I "pasted in" a box with text to show the bookplate information. 
 That's it!  From now on, just make it a habit to glue a bookplate into every book you buy and your books will always be able to find their way home again.

And while you're at it, why not make the perfect gift for your fellow book lovers?

All you need to prettily package some up for your book-loving friends is a stack of personalized bookplates, a glassine bag, and a pretty sticker.  I  bought my bags from an Etsy seller - they're very inexpensive.
 Glassine bags are nostalgic and old fashioned.  They're also waterproof and air-tight, and the bookplates show through the foggy wax-like paper to give the recipient a look at what's inside.
Fold down the bag, apply a sticker, and slip the package inside a book the next time you loan one to a friend.  You can make up a bunch of packets ahead of time, leaving the "owner box" blank, for someone to fill in with their own information later.

They'll appreciate it and so will you, when your book is returned to you!

You don't want to go to the work of creating a bookplate yourself?  If you'd like the PDF I used for this project just leave your email address in a comment and I'd be happy to send it your way.



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