A Christmas Travel Journal

Christmas Travel Journal by Natalie Parker

What’s this?  What’s this?  A new travel journal?  I know, I’ve never made two in a year before.  But here she is.

Travel over Christmas = festive required (it’s a rule).  I went for festive rather than something that screamed holiday.  In the past, I’ve shopped for paper with the trip in mind.  For our big trip back in September, I used some paper from my stash.

I used my stash again here.  I had a bunch of great stuff with metallic accents that I hadn’t used yet due to my creativity problem.  I went with Shimmer by My Mind’s Eye.  Actually I had two finalist choices and let Mr. P choose.  He has to earn his keep around here somehow.

What do you think?  I love that it totally fits with a holiday theme but not stereotypically so.

A little secret: by the time this post goes live, I’ll already be well into my trip.  Want to know where I am and see some live shots?  Follow along on Instagram!  If you’d like to stay surprised, I’ll have some photos ready to share in January.

To learn how to make your own travel journal, check out my travel journal tutorial here.  To understand why I keep a travel journal, check out this post.


Map Coasters Update

Map Coasters by Natalie Parker

It’s been over three years since I posted my map coaster tutorial.  It is one of my most popular craft projects of all time here on the blog!  How are they holding up?

Yep, we are still using them.  Every day.  They get a lot of use and get tossed around every which way!  I wasn’t sure how long they would last but they are still going strong and I have no plans to replace them.

Click here to visit my map coaster tutorial

I heard they now make dishwasher safe Mod Podge?  What is this madness? I haven’t tried it yet but it may negate the spray enamel step in the tutorial.  Let me know if you’ve tried it!

Map Coasters by Natalie Parker

Recycling Pre-Printed Envelopes

Turning Leftover Wedding Supplies into New StationeryTurning Leftover Wedding Supplies into New StationeryTurning Leftover Wedding Supplies into New StationeryTurning Leftover Wedding Supplies into New StationeryI’m in love with how this very simple project turned out!

Remember my recycled wedding response card notecards?  These are the envelopes that go with them.

I had a stack of return envelopes pre-printed with our address leftover from our wedding.  What to do with them?  It seemed like a waste to throw them out.

I used a frame design that came pre-loaded with my Silhouette software and cut labels that fit over the pre-printed address.

I used these for the first time the other day.  I wrote the address and glued it to the front of the envelope.  Simple!

If you’re keeping score, I’ve been married for almost seven years.  I held onto these supplies for that long waiting for the perfect idea.

Crafty Movies

Crafty MoviesI’m curious, what do you watch or listen to during creative time?  Do you watch TV?  Listen to music?  Watch movies?  Enjoy the silence?

I watch a lot of TV and movies.  Well, I listen to a lot of TV and movies because I’m usually not actually looking at the TV.  I also try to clear off the DVR before I start watching movies.

In My DVD Player Right Now

I have a hand-me-down DVD player that holds 5 DVD’s.  This is awesome because I can be lazy and keep multiple movies in the DVD player without putting them away.

The only real rule here is that the movie has to be something I’ve seen before.  That way I can listen to it mindlessly and not have to worry about missing plot points.

  1. Little Women – The Winona Ryder version.  Of course no movie is completely true to the book, but I find this one to be the closest.
  2. Notting Hill – I could watch this movie over and over again and I’m not sure why. I have a very high bar for romantic comedies and they usually disappoint me.
  3. Pride and Prejudice (2 discs) – The BBC version.  Colin Firth is and always will be the only Mr. Darcy in my book.
  4. The Royal Wedding – As in Will and Kate, BBC version.  I got this for Christmas and it is awesome (and finally allowed me to delete the wedding coverage from the DVR).

I’m not going to get into what’s on my DVR.  Let’s just say I watch a lot of bad cable reality TV.

Book Coasters – Harry Potter Style

Harry Potter CoastersAnother project to use up the leftovers from my book project/wall art!

Note – I am not going into detail about all the steps here.  For full detailed instructions on making coasters, including troubleshooting info, visit my map coaster tutorial.

I know the best way to make coasters and I had all sorts of book pieces lying around.  First up – some Harry Potter coasters for my sister-in-law.  I love Harry Potter, but they really love Harry Potter over at their house.  My niece got a Harry Potter-themed room when she was born!

The steps here are exactly the same as I followed when I made the map coasters.  I took the leftover Harry Potter pages and picked eight favorites.  I still have a bunch of coasters that I got at the dollar bin at Michaels.

Harry Potter Book CoastersI cut out circles and Mod Podged them to the coasters.  I used a couple layers of Hard Coat Mod Podge to seal them.  Guess what I discovered?  When you seal book pages with Mod Podge there are no streaks!  These turned out prettier than my map coasters!

Harry Potter Book CoastersI sprayed them with my clear spray paint to seal and totally waterproof them.  After they dried, I added a pretty ribbon and wrapped them up.  Then I wondered if I needed more coasters at home because these were seriously cool.

Harry Potter Book CoastersSeriously, how many coasters do you pick up and get read about when Harry Potter first learned to fly a broom?

Harry Potter Book Coasters

Big Time Jewelry Rack

Jewelry rack

I have some big serious necklaces.  I’m convinced there isn’t a jewelry box big enough to hold them.  Well, not one that would fit in my room.

All of my big necklaces just sat tangled on the top of my dresser.  It was a disaster.

Messy dresser.

Then I went to Egypt and this happened:

Jewelry Shopping in Egypt


I needed a big, serious jewelry rack.  Not one with some tiny hooks.  Time to get to work.

Building a Coat Hook Jewelry Rack

Let’s get right to it – I won’t belabor you with my thought process, because I thought about this for months.  I went to Egypt in March, remember?

I picked up this pine board from Michael’s and painted it.  It measures 23 inches wide by 6 inches tall.  I thought about using some leftover wood from The Book Project, but I liked the curved edges of this.

Remember:  Sand, prime, then paint.  I used spray primer and spray paint because I wanted to get an even coat on the edges.  I used white spray primer and Rust-oleum satin Heirloom White leftover from painting the nightstand.

Spray paint.

The husband came up with the brilliant idea to use coat hooks.  Coat hooks are sturdy and can hold more than one necklace.  I took this a step further and bought double-hook ones to hang even more necklaces!

Jewlery rack.

The hooks were measured and easily screwed in.  I added a wire to the back and clear bumpers so it wouldn’t scratch the wall.

Hanging wire on jewelry rack.

No more tangled mess on my dresser.  I can actually see my big necklaces!

Finished Jewelry rack.

Between building the rack and writing this post, I bought another large necklace.  It was on sale.  I can’t help myself.

Finished jewelry rack.

My Favorite Posts of the Year

Pssst!  Did you know that I’ve been writing this blog for almost a year?

I’ll do more reflecting later.  For now, I’ll share with you my favorite posts from the past year of blogging.  They are my favorites for many different reasons, favorite projects, favorite writing, etc.  Enjoy!

Using Makeshift Carbon Paper to Transfer a Design

The Only Scrapbook Album I Use and Why

Turning My Wedding Pictures into Wedding Cards

How to Make a Paper Bow

The Statement Picture on a Scrapbook Page

Keeping a Travel Journal

Saving Travel Keepsakes

Yosemite Layout in Squares

The Book Project

My Last College Layout

Paper Bow Tutorial

I’ve seen several sets of instructions on making bows and was very eager to try this myself. I could never get the instructions to work quite right, so here is my own design with tutorial. My darling little niece turned 6 years old last week, so I jumped at the chance to make something for her.

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