Bookmaking & Birthday Gifts (and an ugly yet delicious cupcake)

I’ve been wanting to blog about my newest favourite creative obsession outlet, but thought it would be better to wait until I had a little more to show you. I wanted to explain the why’s and how’s, give you the soul behind the groove…

But I just can’t wait because it’s so fun!


I am in love with making these notebooks! Don’t you love the unfinished, just raveld enough edges? I think they look so natural. Sometimes I wonder if it’s normal to enjoy sewing into paper so much, because it’s the bee’s knees. I promise a more in-depth post soon, but you know when you’re into something and you just have to share it? This little cupper is actually on its way to a very sweet Birthday Girl. It doesn’t have far to go, but I don’t think it’s going to make it in time. Sigh.

These notebooks have become my birthday gift idea par excellence, and I’m working on a few others right now. I’ve done a pretty good job honoring my Handmade Pledge, and this is a great way for me to send something from the heart and hands. I’ve been using Moleskine (over-priced) and faux-Moleskine (far more reasonable but difficult to find) notebooks, but I’m going to be making my own soon (that’ll be part of the part 2 of this post!).

Rather than typing this post, I should be embroidering this :


It’s going to be for a notebook for my nephew’s birthday. These groovy little carp are from this book :


I bought it last summer when visiting the U.S. I think it’s a great book for embroidery beginners (like me!) because it gives a good explanation of some basic techniques and has some fun project ideas, and though not all of them are really my cup of tea, I’ve enjoyed flipping through the pages for inspiration. I’m excited to use a design from this book for the first time.

I’ll be posting a proper bookmaking W.I.P. soon, promis, juré!

Did you happen to see the whiteout cakes that were taking over the Internet last week? If not you can visit Honey B or Natalia to see how beeeutiful they looked. They got me dreaming of deep, dark chocolate and frosting and since Guppy & I are on vacation, we decided to make some cupcake love…


Clearly not as fancy as it could have been, but very fun to make with Guppy, and even more fun to eat! We just used the chocolate cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World, but I doubled the cocoa (because I’m punk rock like that) and we made a variation on the fluffy buttercream recipe. Betcha want one, too!

30 thoughts on “Bookmaking & Birthday Gifts (and an ugly yet delicious cupcake)

  1. I sooo want to get into bookmaking too! I have been ogling handmade books for a while now. But am yet to make the jump. Can’t wait to see how you get on with yours.

    Love the embroidered cupcake too! Lucky birthday girl.

  2. I’ve made those layered filled cupcakes and called them cupcake mountains. They’re not that practical for eating, but they sure are fun to build! Yours sounds way delicious with the extra cocoa!

    Once again I love your craftiness. I’m truly impressed. I mean, my brain can’t even IMAGINE the things you actually create.

  3. The little cupcake notebook is all kinds of cute! That is one very lucky birthday girl!

    The notebook for your nephew’s birthday is going to be lovely. He must be a Pisces, how very appropriate! 🙂

    I’m loving that cupcake tower of awesomeness!! Oh, and of course the Guppy’s sprinkles on top. Must have sprinkles.

    PS: You always leave me the sweetest comments! You ARE punk rock! 🙂

  4. I love the notebook! I wish I had time to embroider because I’d totally make myself one or five! And that cupcake looks monstrously delicious. Can you teleport me one please?

  5. The notebook idea is fabulous! I love how crafty crafty you are! And I wish I could have that cuppie for an afternoon snack. I’m trying to avoid extra sugar today (other than what was in my breakfast and coffee) because I gorged on sweets this weekend. But that just makes me want sweet stuff more…

  6. “Punk Rock like that” You make me laugh. Gorgeous little notebooks! Can’t wait to see your WIP on it. Makes me want to go sign out an embroidery book from the library, or better yet to go buy one 🙂

  7. i think that’s the most glorious chocolate cupper i’ve ever seen! and the blue sprinkles rock so hard! yay! i just love your cupper notebook too, Shelly! it’s adorable! i think the carps are going to rock! w00t!

    sewing really is the bee knees! i really need to look in to a sewing machine & learn how!

  8. “because I’m punk rock like that” – you crack me up!! 🙂 Those cupcakes (both 3-D and 2-D) look awesome! I’m loving your creativity!!

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