Happy Planner Horizontal Layout Featuring Year to Shine Goals Stickers

Happy Planner Horizontal Layout for January 6, 2023 Featuring Stickers from the Year to Shine Goals Sticker Book

Happy Planner Horizontal Layout for January 6, 2023 Featuring Stickers from the Year to Shine Goals Sticker Book

Here’s my horizontal classic Happy Planner with a couple of pages I decorated using stickers from the Year to Shine Goals sticker book. I got this sticker book in 2022 and loved it so much that I bought a brand new one for 2023.


Usually, I also use some stamped images on my planner layouts — but I have skipped my usual stamping sessions pretty frequently lately because I have been too busy with work to keep up with them. Stickers are just easier — so I used stickers and no stamps to make these pages.


Thanks for dropping by today. I really appreciate your interest in my project.

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Using the We R Memory Keepers Book Binding Tool to Make a Fall-Themed Mini Album

It’s Easy to Make Your Own Mini Albums for Scrapbooking, Art Journaling, Planning, Note Taking or Whatever Other Purpose You Might Need Them for. Read on for Free Mini Album Instructions and Ideas.

Front Cover of the Pumpkin Spice Fall Themed Mini Album

Front Cover of the Pumpkin Spice Fall Themed Mini Album


Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice: That’s What This Cute Mini Album Is Made Of!

Specifically, it is made of papers and embellishments from the “Harvest Market” and “Good Stuff” Collections by Simple Stories.


We R Memory Keepers Book Binding Tool + the First Project I've Made With It So Far: A Fall-Themed Mini Album With Saddle Stitch Binding

We R Memory Keepers Book Binding Tool + the First Project I’ve Made With It So Far: A Fall-Themed Mini Album With Saddle Stitch Binding

Pages from the Pumpkin Spice Fall Themed Mini Album Before They've Been Embellished

Pages from the Pumpkin Spice Fall Themed Mini Album Before They’ve Been Embellished

A Cute Chipmunk Is the Star of This Scrapbooking Layout Titled Nuts About You From the Pumpkin Spice Fall Themed Mini Album Featuring Craft Supplies by Simple Stories. The pages pictured here were made using papers and stickers from the Harvest Market and Good Stuff Collections, plus Happy Planner washi tape by Me & My Big Ideas.

A Cute Chipmunk Is the Star of This Scrapbooking Layout Titled “Nuts About You” From the Pumpkin Spice Fall Themed Mini Album Featuring Craft Supplies by Simple Stories. The pages pictured here were made using papers and stickers from the Harvest Market and Good Stuff Collections, plus Happy Planner washi tape by Me & My Big Ideas.

Nuts About You Layout From Pumpkin Spice Fall Themed Mini Album Featuring Craft Supplies by Simple Stories. The pages pictured here were made using papers and stickers from the Harvest Market and Good Stuff Collections, plus Happy Planner washi tape by Me & My Big Ideas.

Nuts About You Layout From Pumpkin Spice Fall Themed Mini Album Featuring Craft Supplies by Simple Stories. The pages pictured here were made using papers and stickers from the Harvest Market and Good Stuff Collections, plus Happy Planner washi tape by Me & My Big Ideas.

Here you can see a close-up picture of the chipmunk in the Nuts About You Layout From the Pumpkin Spice Fall Themed Mini Album

Here you can see a close-up picture of the chipmunk in the “Nuts About You” layout from the Pumpkin Spice Fall Themed Mini Album.

Crafting Skill Level: Easy

Craft Supplies You’ll Need for Making a Mini Album With a Saddle-Stitched Spine

  • We R Memory Keepers Book Binding Set — This set comes with a book binding tool, an awl, some waxed thread, 2 needles, a felt pouch to use for organizing everything, and an instruction sheet.

    The book binding tool is useful for helping you make straight, evenly spaced holes in your paper to stitch through. It is not a strict necessity. I highly recommend it, but if you don’t have it, you can use a ruler to mark your papers with evenly-spaced guides for placing holes in your papers. In place of the waxed thread, you can use pretty much any sewing thread, fine crochet thread, fine yarn or embroidery floss. It’s ideal to use a tapestry needle or darning needle for doing your sewing, although there are other possible needles that could work, too.
  • Scoring Board or Other Scoring Tool — I’m using a Scor-Pal tool to do the scoring for my mini albums. There are other scoring boards and scoring tools that will also work for this purpose.
  • 12″x12″ Papers — You’ll need at least 2 sheets of 12″x12″ patterned paper to use for making the pages of your mini album. I used 2 12″x12″ sheets of patterned paper from the “Good Stuff” collection by Simple Stories. This collection features one paper for each month of the year. I decided to make my project a fall-themed mini album featuring photos I took in the months of September and October — so I chose to use the September and October papers from this collection. You can use these, too, if you want your mini album to look like mine. If you want to scrap a different season, you could choose papers from some of the other months in the year as an alternative to these. Or you could choose any other papers you love.
  • Paper Cutter or Trimmer
  • Extra Papers and Embellishments — There are zillions of possible ways you can embellish your mini album. You could use stickers, die cuts, frames, washi tapes, ribbon or whatever other embellishments you like. I used stickers from the Harvest Market cardstock sticker sheet to embellish my mini album pages. I also used pocket cards from the Harvest Market 6″x8″ paper pad and handmade frames I made using papers from the same pad. I used the We R Memory Keepers Frame Punch Board to make the frames. I used Happy Planner washi tape on both the book cover and the interior pages.
  • Photos up to 4″x6″ in Size — If you want your mini album to be a scrapbook, you’ll need some photos to scrap with. This small-sized album works best with small photos; photos measuring 3″ x 4″ are ideal, but you can also use 2″x2″ photos, 2″x3″ photos, 4″x4″ photos or photos that measure 4″x6″ or any size smaller than that. A 4″x6″ photo will take up one entire page in this mini album.
  • Adhesive — You’ll need a flat, paper-friendly adhesive such as Cherry Tape, Scor Tape or Nuvo Deluxe Adhesive. It’s optional to also use a three-dimensional adhesive. I like using Scrapbook.com’s Adhesive Foam Strips to make photo frames appear to pop up from the page. I also use them to attach random embellishments to the pages to make them look more interesting. However, please do not overdo it with the foam adhesive so you can be sure of getting your book to close properly.

How to Make the Mini Album: Free Step-by-Step Instructions and Tutorial

  • Cut each of your 2 sheets of 12″x12″ paper into thirds measuring 4″ tall by 12″ wide.
  • Score each of these pieces of paper down the middle using a scoring tool.
  • Put your papers in the order you want them to appear in your mini album and stack them neatly on top of each other with the center fold lines all aligned.
  • Thread your needle with the waxed thread or whichever thread, floss, yarn or fiber you plan to use.
  • Use the book binding tool and your awl or paper piercing tool to punch evenly-spaced holes down the center fold line on your stack of papers.
  • Stitch through the holes using your threaded needle. Saddle stitch simply goes up through one hole, down through the next hole, etc. Then after you’ve stitched the entire spine of the book, you can backtrack and go back through the holes again in the other direction if you want to make the sturdiest possible binding. If you have the We R Memory Keepers Book Binding Tool, you can consult the instruction guide to see how to do this type of binding plus some other fancier bindings, too.
  • Knot your thread at the end to keep the binding from unraveling.
  • Embellish your book as desired.

So there you have it: That’s how to make a mini album using the We R Memory Keepers Book Binding Tool Set. I hope you’ll enjoy making and decorating your own mini albums! Happy crafting!

Over to You:

Have you tried making a mini album with a saddle stitched binding? If so, how did it turn out? How did you embellish it? Did you keep it for yourself or give it as a gift to a loved one? Do you have any questions about making mini albums?


The floor is open for comments — so if you have questions or feedback about this project idea, please feel free to leave a comment and we will do our best to help you if we know the answers to your questions.

Thanks so much for taking a look at this project. We appreciate your interest!

Update 1-13-2023: I am really sorry, I am going to have to close comments on this post because it is attracting many unwanted comments from ‘bots. I feel terrible about this because I really wanted your feedback. 🙁

New Year’s Resolutions for Crafters

Happy New Year! Greeting Card With Hand Lettering -- Photo Courtesy of Jay-Pee Peña

Happy New Year! Greeting Card With Hand Lettering — Photo Courtesy of Jay-Pee Peña

Happy 2023, everyone! Who’s making New Year’s resolutions this year? Anyone want to share theirs?


If you need some goal-setting inspiration for a new year or any time, here’s a quick list of possible knitting, crochet and craft related resolutions you could make.

I Will Learn _______________, Where _______________ Is a Craft or DIY Technique You Have Been Wanting to Attempt:

Any time is a fantastic time to learn a new craft — but beginning your crafting journey at the start of a new year is especially appealing, because that makes it so much easier to track the time you are spending and monitor your own progress.


It is possible to set either broad goals or highly focused goals for learning new craft techniques. That said, my experience has been that people are likelier to succeed with more focused goals than they are with broad ones.


Examples of broad goals would be “I will learn how to crochet, how to knit, How to Make a Scrapbook, how to make cards, how to paint, how to color or how to do brush lettering.


Examples of more focused goals would be “I will learn how to crochet a granny square, and I will make 52 granny squares — one for each week in 2023 — to use for making a throw”.


Do you agree that setting a more specific goal will give you something more concrete to aim for? If done correctly, this can increase your chances of actually succeeding at achieving your goal.


Of course, you could also decide you want to set your New Year’s goals around learning more about a craft you’re already proficient in; if you’re already an experienced card maker, perhaps you might decide that this is the year you want to figure out how to make shaker cards. If you already know how to crochet, perhaps this year you’ll work on learning a more advanced crochet technique such as tapestry crochet, overlay crochet, mosaic crochet or corner-to-corner crochet.

Other Worthy New Year’s Resolutions for Crafters:

  • I will teach someone how to crochet, knit, scrapbook, make cards, or whatever it is you do — or even better, teach __* people how to do this.
  • I will knit, crochet or craft __* item(s) for charity
  • I will complete __* projects (or more)
  • I will finish or frog (unravel) all my unfinished projects
  • I will learn __* new knitting or crochet stitches
  • I will create an exquisite family heirloom to be passed down to a child or grandchild- perhaps an heirloom-quality scrapbook filled with family photos, a beaded bag worked from a vintage pattern, or an elegant lace tablecloth.
  • I will get organized this year! I will organize my paper / stamp / marker / yarn / thread stash, and donate or give away any supplies I don’t plan to use.

*__= fill in this blank with whatever number you think would be a good goal. Pick a number that is small enough to be manageable, yet large enough that you’ll feel like you really accomplished something when you’ve reached the goal.

Resources for Achieving Your New Year’s Resolutions:

Learn How to Crochet or Knit; Learn New Crochet and Knitting Skills: You can take a variety of different crochet classes, knitting classes and other crafting classes either online or in person. If you’d be interested in the the online version, there are several resources I can recommend:

Learn New Crochet Stitches: Here are a few you can try:

  • If you haven’t already learned Tunisian crochet stitches such as afghan stitch, those are a fantastic place to start. Tunisian crochet stitches will greatly expand your capabilities in crochet.
  • Shell stitch
  • Edge stitches
  • See more choices: free crochet stitch instructions
  • Get Inspiration for Organizing Your Craft Supplies:

    Planning to get organized in 2023? Need some new organizers to keep your craft supplies safe, organized and easily accessible? ArtBin Craft Organizers are ideal for organizing any craft supplies you have in your stash. I use mine for organizing papers, rubber stamps, clear stamps, ribbon, fabric, yarn, crochet hooks, knitting needles, beads, buttons and various other sundries.

    Planning to get organized in 2023? Need some new organizers to keep your craft supplies safe, organized and easily accessible? ArtBin Craft Organizers are ideal for organizing any craft supplies you have in your stash. I use mine for organizing papers, rubber stamps, clear stamps, ribbon, fabric, yarn, crochet hooks, knitting needles, beads, buttons and various other sundries.

    • If you need ideas for how to organize yarn for knitting, crochet, weaving or other yarn crafts, I invite you to take a look at my favorite yarn organizers and yarn organization strategies on this page. One highlight: A former colleague of mine, Beth Peterson, shared some truly inspiring photos of her organized crochet supplies. She’s been keeping everything in a basket, which is lined with a custom-made holder for her crochet hooks. Check it out!
    • How are your craft supplies organized? We’d love to have information about how you approach it; please share tips in the comments section.

    Learn New Craft Skills

    We’ve posted a wide variety of resources to help you with learning new craft skills and techniques.


    My 2023 Crafty New Year’s Resolutions

    I fell flat on my face with my New Year’s resolutions in 2022. My big mistake: I didn’t make them public, so I didn’t feel like I absolutely had to accomplish them.


    So this year, I am going to share them with all of you.


    First of all, I am going to give Project Life a try for the first time ever. I resolve to be consistent with the project for the first month in 2023 on a weekly basis. Then at the end of January, I plan to evaluate whether or not I am enjoying it. If I like the results and want to keep going, I will. If I feel like it is too stressful, I am going to call it quits.


    In order to create my Project Life pages, my goal is to take at least one photo per day. But if I miss a few days, I won’t worry about it; the goal is really to just have enough pictures to draw from when I make each week’s scrapbooking layouts.


    In 2022, I wanted to crochet every day. My results were dismal; I hardly crocheted at all. Ugh.


    I’ve been pondering whether to try again with that, and I am leaning towards doing it. Only this time, I will set myself up for success.


    There are 2 reasons I failed at that particular goal last year:


    1. I didn’t have sufficient unallocated yarn to get started. I solved that problem by buying some new yarn.


    2. It bothers me when my snarky husband makes sarcastic comments about my crocheting and crochet projects. There is no solving that one; he is probably going to do that no matter what I do. But if I get up early, and get my crocheting done before he wakes up, I might be able to avoid some of that. I’m going to try that this year and see whether it goes better.


    In 2022, I resolved to live more intentionally and to plan every day. I wanted to do better with tracking my water consumption, wellness and daily activities so I didn’t just waste all my time online looking at cute cat pictures (or reading nonsense memes, or whatever). While I didn’t actually succeed at planning every day, I did plan often enough to feel like I succeeded at the goal reasonably well overall.


    Dear readers, I invite you to set ambitious goals. You won’t ever meet goals that you don’t set in the first place — and partial successes are better than no successes.

    Share Your New Year’s Resolutions

    Are you making any knitting, crochet or craft-related New Year’s resolutions this year? If so, please share them in the comments section!

    Who’s Hitting the After Christmas Sales?

    So, it’s “Boxing Day”: December 26, 2022. You survived another Christmas. WOOHOOOOoooo! Now it’s time for those happysad mixed feelings that come in the wake of the holiday season: “Whew, that’s over and done with!” followed by “phooey, the credit card bills are here already? How’d they get here so fast?” Followed by wave after wave of emotion as you take down the tree, look at your holiday photos and maybe even make a few pages for your scrapbook.

    Another Christmas is now behind us — but if you celebrate Christmas, it’s never to early to get going on next year’s Christmas projects. Maybe you could hit the after-Christmas sales, load up on some cheap supplies, and get started!

    Or not…

    Either way, you’re invited to grab any of our Christmas patterns so you’ll have ’em in your pattern stash when you do get around to working on Christmas designs again — whether it’s this week with deeply discounted Christmas yarns, or next year when the festivities start all over again.

    I hope you had a lovely Christmas, and that your new year will be prosperous and blessed. For those of you who are shopping today, here’s hoping you’ll score bunches of amazing bargains.



    XOXOXOXOXOXO,

    Amy Solovay

    Last-Minute Christmas Gift Ideas

    Don’t you just hate it when you run out of time or money before you run out of gifts you need to buy? That’s such a complete and total bummer, isn’t it?

    Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas

    Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas

    Happily, for crafters who maintain a sizeable stash of papers, yarn or other craft supplies, this sort of thing is almost a non-issue.

    If crafting has taught me anything at all over the years, it’s this: if I have supplies left in my craft supply stash, and at least a couple of hours left before I have to present the gift to its recipient, I’ll never be empty-handed in the gift department. I’ll always have a gift worth giving, and it will be a gift created exclusively with the recipient in mind. (Except, I admit that I sometimes make a few extra give-to-anybody-type-gifts ahead of any gift-giving occasion, in case an unexpected long-lost relative or guest drops by for a visit.)

    We’re getting dangerously close to Christmas, given that today’s date is December 21, 2022. I’d bet money that, by now, some of you are still stressing out about about what to give somebody-or-other.


    Yikes!

    I’m here to help you with some suggestions for last-minute gifts you can make using supplies that most crafters would typically have on hand.

    Gift-Worthy Projects You Can Whip Up in a Hurry:

    If you need to crank out a quick gift, hurry up and grab any of these free patterns or free project instructions from the Internet. Then raid your craft supply stash and get busy!

    Quick Christmas Ornaments

    See that cute little Christmas tree-shaped ornament pictured at bottom left in the photo posted above? You don’t need anything fancy to make this — the pattern is free on our website, plus you need a little green yarn, a little brown or tan yarn, some stuffing material, and a few buttons or beads for decorations. If you don’t have any buttons or beads, you could try cutting out some little felt or fabric circles to stitch to the tree. Or embroider some little ornaments using colorful yarn, embroidery floss or crochet thread.

    This is a reasonably safe idea for a gift, considering that anyone who celebrates Christmas could probably use an ornament.

    An even quicker ornament: this easy lace crochet wreath is super quick to make, and it’s really pretty, too. If you have a little ball of green yarn left over from another project, you have most of what’s needed to make this project. You’ll also need ribbon and a scrap of red yarn, or other appropriate baubles for decorating your wreath.

    Pouches:

    Pouches make fast, easy gifts (not to mention that they make fantastic giftwrap substitutes, if you run out of actual giftwrap.) The only potential problem with that idea is, you might not have the right zippers in your craft supplies stash — but if you do, this idea is definitely a keeper.


    You can give pouches to people of either gender and any age; just customize the pouch accordingly. Bonus points if you can add a few goodies to the pouch, like wrapped candies, small toys, pencils or pens, to “sweeten” the gift.

    Potholders and Kitchen Gift Sets:

    If you have some appropriate yarn and a few hours, you can whip up sets of potholders, or kitchen gift sets, for the chefs on your gift list. If you happen to have red, green and white or off-white yarn in either wool or cotton, you could make cupcake potholders like the one pictured. No need to have these colors specifically, though. If you have any 3 – 4 cupcake-friendly colors of yarn on hand, you could re-color the design to use what you have.

    You have a head-spinning number of options for different potholders you could make, so please check out our list of potholder patterns if this idea appeals to you.

    Jewelry

    For the ladies on your gift list, jewelry makes a great gift. Bracelets, especially, are pretty quick to make, and don’t use up many supplies.

    Quick and Easy Last-Minute Scrapbooks

    If you have pictures on your phone that your gift recipients would like, plus any scrapbooking paper in your craft supplies stash, you can make quick mini albums to give them as gifts:

    • Either print out your pics using your printer or upload them to the closest 1-hour photo place. You’ll want to use them as the central focus of your mini album.
    • Decide on a size for your mini album; 4×6 or 6×8 are good sizes, but you can make your album whatever size you want it.
    • Cut your paper down to size. If you’re making a 4×6 album, cut your papers to 4×12″. If you’re making a 6×8 album, cut your papers down to 6×12″.
    • Score down the center of each paper.
    • Stack your papers on top of each other with the edges and center fold lines aligned.
    • Grab a ruler and an awl or paper piercing tool. If you happen to have a book binding tool on hand, that’s even better, but it isn’t a necessity.
    • Make evenly-spaced holes along the mini book’s center fold line to use for stitching a saddle-stitch binding on your mini album.
    • Grab a needle plus some thread, crochet thread, embroidery floss or sturdy yarn and use these items to sew a saddle stitch binding on your mini album. To accomplish this, you simply stitch up and down with the threaded needle through the holes you already made in the center fold line on your pages.
    • Now grab your pictures and some adhesive, and attach your pics to your album where you want them.
    • If you have stickers, stamps, inks, ribbon, washi tape or embellishments, you can embellish your album however you like.
    • You can also add journaling digitally by typing it on the computer, printing it out and attaching it to your album pages where you want it. Another option is to stick letter stickers or hand write your journaling. It is also possible to hand stamp journaling blocks and / or sentiments to add to your mini album.
    • Voila! You now have a handmade gift that is more meaningful than anything you could have bought from the store. YAY!!

    Christmas Cookies:

    If you’re a passable chef, Christmas cookies are a no-brainer as a last-minute gift. If you have a well-stocked pantry, you can usually find a cookie recipe that’ll work. Even if your pantry isn’t all that well-stocked, look for a sugar cookie recipe that doesn’t require much more than flour, sugar, butter, salt, eggs and a flavoring like almond or vanilla.

    So there you have it: Those are our best suggestions for last-minute Christmas gifts for crafters who are short on either time, money, or both. I honestly hope you don’t need this list at all — it would be ideal if your Christmas shopping is all finished, and you are now kicking back, relaxing and enjoying time with your friends and family. But if you’re still stressing about gifts for your inner circle, I really hope these ideas will be useful to you.


    Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate it! I hope you will enjoy every minute of your holiday.

    Related Resources: