it's been awhile.

i know, it's been awhile since i've posted any books. shame on me. but here are a few of my favorites that i've recently completed. above jane's mom is the one who ordered a book from me, and she was kind enough to send me some fabric (all the way from australia) from the wedding dress. they wanted something very earthy and natural, but elegant.

kelly must have some really great friends because one of her bridesmaids purchased a book from me to give as a gift! another great friend designed the invitations and the pattern you see on the cover and front panel. she was nice enough to let me use her designs so that it would match the invitations.

lindsey was also wonderful to work with! she sent me ribbon all the way from the UK to use on her book. she also emailed me some design elements, which i turned into vector art for her book.

things have certainly been slowing down since 'wedding season' has passed. it has been a nice change of pace though, compared to the craziness of this summer. i have really enjoyed spending a quite evening with doug - watching a movie or cooking dinner, going christmas shopping (or just window shopping) together.

i just wanted to say thanks to all the wonderful brides who ordered a book from me this year. without you, doug and i would not have had such a lovely vacation this summer, i was also able to get some new and much needed equipment, and it also helped out when we went christmas shopping! etsy has really opened my eyes to the world of handmade - and just how passionate so many are about their art/craft (not that those are the same thing...). i will still be taking some orders for custom books - i don't plan on doing quite as many at a time as i did earlier this year. that just about drove me mad! however, i do enjoy creating - and will continue my etsy shop, at least for the time being. i am waiting to see what happens after doug gets out of school...
i hope everyone had a wonderful christmas! i know i did. i will be posting some new year's resolutions here pretty soon... have you written yours yet?



i've seen this on a few other blogs, and thought it might be cool to share a bit about myself... the things i've done are in bold... apparently i need to get out more often.

1. Started my own blog

2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band - does marching band count?

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than I can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland/world

8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sung a solo

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched lightning at sea

14. Taught myself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.

18. Grown my own vegetables.

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitchhiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught myself a new language

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied - there are things that i will always pine for that i can't afford... but will it make me happy? no

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David

41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had my portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies

62. Gone whale watching

63. Got flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma - well, tried at least. i should get an 'a' for effort...

65. Gone sky diving

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check - it was just the one time.

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy - several, actually.

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten caviar

72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had my picture in the newspaper

85. Read the entire Bible

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life.

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one

94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a lawsuit

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee

100. Ridden an elephant



card crunch

i have a very hard time making decisions on many things. stationary is one of them. i changed my mind so many times when trying to figure out what i wanted our christmas cards to look like. i then decided that i was quickly running out of time and that i'd better just make something. well, here's what i came up with. now... doug looked at me kind of funny when i showed these to him, but he does that a lot... and besides, i think they are kind of cute. they are simple, colorful, and clean. what more could you want? and besides all of that... i used all leftover materials that would probably otherwise go in the recycling bin or the trash. so there.

at the hodgepodge.

just another open house at the hodgepodge! dinah had her annual christmas open house on saturday, december 6th and i was able to stop by and help for a few hours! i miss being there and was excited to join in on the fun - even if it was only for a little while. don't we look sweet in our matching aprons and pionsettas?
back row: jen (bellah), dinah, jen (boyd), joanna
front row: amanda (me!) and callie

photo courtesy of jennifer bellah


for those with tiny spaces.

for those with tiny spaces, and large imaginations. merry almost christmas!

by Jane of All the Luck in the World out of the Netherlands
image from poppytalk



thanks grace (at d*s), for posting this awesome website, modgreenpod. they have gorgeous fabrics, and this nifty little interactive room decorator. here's me playing with it above and below. you can even decorate the cat. now, if only i could convince someone to let me reupholster our furniture with this sweet fabric. especially since the wallpaper would certainly be out of the question... 


pooch purse.

my pooch is a little too large to carry around in my purse... but this adorable little puppy purse is easy to maintain, no messes to clean up, and doesn't bark at strangers. love it. wouldn't it be the perfect accessory (and conversation starter) to take to your next holiday bash? this is going on my wish list. doug? are you reading?

canine clutch and photo by TsuruBride


you should be concerned about this...

i love buying handmade items. i love making things for myself and for others. this is definitely a growing trend, especially in our current economic situation and eco-friendly mindset. however, i would like to bring to your attention  a new product safety regulation that will affect all manufacturers, including handmade that sell in the US. you can read up on it here, here, here and here.

i learned about this is from constantly reading the etsy forums. it is of major concern especially to those who sell items intended for use for children 12 and under. this includes toys, clothing, basically any kind of furniture, jewelry, anything child related. even if you are reselling something that you did not make, as in vintage, it will require testing. these new regulations require that each product be (destructively) tested by a third party, even if your raw materials have already been tested previous to you purchasing them. and, it's not just a one time testing. for example: if you knit five scarves that look exactly alike, but the yarn in each is from a different brand or dye lot - each one has to be tested. different colors of the same item must be tested. this will pretty much eliminate any ooak (one of a kind) items. fines are upwards of $10K for noncompliance for each instance... and testing must be completed by feb 9, 2009.

there are many other confusing details on this new law, but since i don't speak legalese, i won't pretend i know what they all mean. please read up on this, especially if you sell, or plan to sell handmade items in the future. also, if you plan on buying any handmade items! this could possibly destroy our little handmade world if all the little guys start getting prosecuted. many are signing an ipetition or contacting their congressmen to make their voice be heard. 

what many others are not realizing is that this extra cost of testing goods will affect the prices you pay on these manufactured goods. feb 10th is becoming known as 'national bankruptcy day'. 

the really sad thing is, many have not yet heard of this new regulation. please pass this on to others who may be unaware. i can only hope (as many others are) that this will all blow over and there won't be a significant change in the world of handmade. i will now get off my soapbox! enjoy your weekend...

awesome shirt and photo via deadworry.


love me some popups...

like many designers, i am having a hard time deciding on a design for our christmas card. of course, doug is asking why do we even need to send one out??? but i think it's a nice way to say 'just thinking of you' during the holidays. i have just about decided to skip the computer graphics this year and go with something simple and handcrafted. i have plenty of leftover decorative paper from my books, so why not? this card above is my first choice... the trees are so simple and don't require large bits of paper. (all photos/projects from martha)

this ribbon card is next in line. i also have tons of leftover ribbon that would be perfect for this project. hmm, reminds me of some other stationary that's sewn together... katie? perhaps you could use some of your leftover invitation material for some awesome xmas cards...

this is probably not something i would make more than a few of, but just had to throw it in the mix. but how awesome would it be to open up a card and see this? reminds me of the good ole college packaging days. am i the only one that misses playing with paper in class?


oh christmas tree

putting up our tiny christmas tree last week made me think of past christmases before i got all grown up... my family always purchased a live tree from a local store and i remember the fresh smell of pine needles that filled our home after we brought it inside. my family stopped putting up live trees not long after i moved out of the house, and it kind of makes me sad. i know that's not quite as eco-friendly as i would like with cutting down the trees and all... however, i would love to keep that tradition, but the man i married is allergic to many things, including evergreens. plus if i really wanted to, i could just decorate one of the many we have around our current house. 

so here is our little christmas tree, ready for the holidays. i bought it when i moved into a small efficiency apartment and haven't had the heart (or the room really) to get a bigger one. it doesn't hold nearly as many ornaments as i would like... but hey, it works! (and yes, that orange madness is our living room...)


new vintage.

loving this upcycled clock from andfurthermore that i found today on one of my favorite blogs, modish. made from vintage plastic lace doilies, wood, acrylic paint, and a clock kit... how beautiful is that? so simple, but graphic. would love to hang this one in my green kitchen... or pretty much anywhere i don't already have a retroesque clock. 


that time again

hello friends. it's that time again. time for a new calendar. so why should you be left with some mass produced, glossy, boring smiley kittens hanging on your wall? i've pulled some of my favorite calendar designs from where else? etsy. get them while they're hot, because some of these are closed editions... so when they're gone - well that's just too bad. there are tons of fabulous, affordable and design-friendly calendars just waiting for you... now to decide which one(s) i must have... above, letterpress calendar from larkpress                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
gorgeous and printable calendar from bluetricycle

inspired calendar from turtlepapers

another gorgeous letterpress calendar from paperedtogether

botanical print calendar from siskastudio


couch frenzy

i have been in search of the perfect sofa (within my budget!) for quite some time now. since i live (oh yeah, we're married) with a very picky man who loves his comfort, it has been a rather difficult challenge to find something that fits our style, is beautiful and is also comfortable. we also have a doggie that loves his couch time, so i have to consider colors and fabrics as well... and while i love pretty much everything vintage - doug does not always feel this way. he has more modern tendencies, which i can certainly live with. i like to think of our style as vintage flea market with a modern edge.

the photo above, courtesy of design sponge and this is glamorous took my breath away. the color, the shape, the buttons, the texture... it is everything i have been looking for. i even love the curtains! now the hunt is on to find something similar that we can afford. i know that it would probably be wise to not worry about it until after doug graduates... but i can't help but look now. i found one very similar for sale in houston... but unfortunately we both drive (very small) cars... so, friends, if you just happen find something similar that is affordable (and that you are not planning to buy for yourself) please send me a line, pick up the phone, or please - stop by the office! 


sarah + dante

sarah ordered a custom guestbook from me earlier this summer and i was thrilled to hear from her and see some photos of her wedding! she was kind enough to answer a few questions for me and let me share them here on the blog. thanks so much sarah! i also wanted to give thanks to their photographers, Orman Photographers (contact info for them below!) for allowing me to show off these wonderful photos!

When and where did your wedding take place?

Our wedding took place on June 21, 2008 in Nashville, Tennessee. We were married in my parents’ backyard.

How did you find out about Paperlust?

I found Paperlust while searching for other wedding-related items on etsy.com.


What is your favorite thing about your book?

I love how personalized it is. The paper, the colors, and the fonts very much reflect the feel of our wedding.

Favorite comment left inside for you and your husband?

People left us many wonderful, special messages. The funniest was left by a group of my husband’s high school friends. Along with their congratulatory message, they took two pictures that are slightly different, titled them “Hocus Focus” and wrote “Find the 6 differences in these two pictures!” It certainly something that will make us laugh every time we look back at the book!

Easiest and hardest decisions during the wedding planning process?

The hardest part of wedding planning was coming up with the guest list. We wanted to keep it relatively small, for space and cost reasons as well as the feel of the event. However, we both have pretty large families so we still had about 130 people, and there were more people we would have liked to invite.

One of the easiest decisions was not to have bridesmaids or groomsmen. It simplified many aspects of the planning and helped us keep the casual feel we wanted for our wedding.

thanks again for sharing with us sarah! and if you'd like to talk to the folks at Orman Photographers, you can contact them via email at: ormanphoto@comcast.net or by phone: 615.373.5965


estate sale finds

i don't get to go to estate sales as often as i would like. but when i do, i'm always in search of a hidden treasure that someone has left behind. and i'm always in awe of the things people sell at estate sales. old photographs, the beloved old chiffon prom dress, diaries, family bibles and heirloom quilts... all for sale and waiting for a new home. i was giving the house one last sweep on saturday before i purchased my finds for the day: several yards of some textured green fabric, an ornate brass frame and a box of old blue glass christmas ornaments (the finish chipping off to reveal the shiny silver underneath!) when i stumbled across a weathered blue notebook on an end table. i opened it up, and to my surprise it was filled with handwritten recipes - all dated (anywhere from 1933 to 1970) and many had names from where the recipe came from. now, i'm not much of a cook, but i couldn't believe that someone was going to sell this. so i bought it (for a whopping $3) - in hopes that i will be inspired to learn more about cooking from scratch from the old, worn pages. so now it is part of my treasured collection of things i hope my family decides not to sell at my estate sale. 


my mini vacation

it's so nice to get out of town for a little while! me and a few girlfriends left last friday morning and headed up to ruidoso, new mexico for the weekend. we stayed in some cute little condos that had the perfect view (above, view from our back porch). i'll post more later, right now my internet is running a little slow... 

here's the entrance to our residence for the weekend. love the red door.

this is what you see if you walk down outside our condo in the back. there are some nice little trails to follow and the deer are not shy!



i love books. the feel of the cover, the smell of the ink, the crack of the spine as i open a new book the first time. so you can imagine my delight when i arrived home rather late from work thursday night to find a package on my doorstep, with these two darling books inside. there was a feature on d*s last week about this domino book. i couldn't resist this beautiful book created by the designers of my favorite magazine. grace from d*s also mentioned this colors for your home book sometime last week, which is a great resource of interior designer's favorite colors and how to use them. i couldn't resist that one, especially since i always have a hard time picking out colors... i haven't gotten all the way through the domino book yet, but i'm about to spend some quality time with it before doug gets home from work. and the bonus? i got it for $10 off at amazon, and it includes a year's subscription to the magazine!


flocked paper...

okay, so i admit it. i really have it bad for flocked paper. i mean, if i could find some awesome chartreuse flocked wallpaper (that i could afford anyway) it would pretty much be covering my entire house right now. i guess that's why i like amanda's book so much. hot pink flocked paper? what more could you want... 

i love the funky flower paper on this book for rosa. i actually have this same paper in green and cream... very retro.

tana's book has got to be another one of my faves. the paper she selected for the cover is very leather-like and super soft. it was a pain to punch holes in for the binding though. :) oh well.

i made two books for a lovely lady named kacee. she's having quite a few guests and wanted to make sure that there were enough spots for photos of everyone. i just love how the polka dots show through that vellum ever so lightly. 

well folks, that's my book update for the week. i am trying to get together another etsy advice article for my few wonderful readers... just haven't decided what topic to cover. there are so many. so, if you have a question you have been pondering over or want to know more about a certain subject, just let me know! i will be more than happy to answer your questions. 



in an attempt to post photos other than of my books, i thought i would share this strange picture of our dog scottie, who finally got a haircut today. i just love that he has eyebrows. it makes him look distinguished :)  we had him trimmed schnauzer-style and he looks so adorable. for some reason he doesn't like looking at the camera when i try to take pictures of him. he must be camera-shy... like brandi's dog cotton. i know this isn't a very good photo but... it was taken in really bad light and i thought i would play around in photoshop and make it look a little funky. i normally take all my photos in our kitchen, but sadly it is overrun with business receipts in my attempt to 'organize' everything before the holidays. so here he is in my office/spare bedroom. as i'm sure you can tell by now, i like green. alot. anyway... there's my ramble for the night. (mainly it's just me avoiding the books...)



these are a few photobooth books i finished up today for my friends over at Smile Now Photobooths. man, i wish we could have afforded a photobooth at our wedding. how awesome would that be? oh well... maybe for our 10 year anniversary party or something :)


goals for october

let's talk goals. i know, it's scary... but it's got to be done. I didn't do too bad on my goals for september, though i did skip out on a few things (like listing new items :) i really do have a hard time pricing my items though. especially the magnets. and how many should be included in a set... got any ideas?

so what do i want for october? here we go:
     100 sales in my etsy shop (i am so close!)
     200 hearts
     5 local guestbook sales
     up my feedback (lots of ppl who buy from me are newbies who don't know about feedback)

in creating new items for my shop:
     yes, list those magnets that are waiting patiently for a new home on my fridge
     more notecards
     a small, inexpensive calendar (how exciting!)
     would also like to get a template set-up so that i can create baby books (boy & girl versions)

i know that i need to have more of a variety in my price range and maybe more people than just brides will look at my shop. (not that there's anything wrong with being a bride!) i have been pondering over baby books for awhile, but now i think it's time to step up my game. this would be a good opportunity to create something 'custom' that doesn't require quite as much work after an order has been placed. once i have a template set up all i have to do is print the pages :) this is speaking hypothetically of course. i will offer my usual selection of paper and design a front panel for the cover... but that's about all as far as customization goes for the baby book. 

i have also been contemplating photo albums and have even gone so far as to purchase a few that have glassine inserts between each page. these are basically just blocks of paper that are ready to be bound into a book. we'll see. my time has been running short lately. or maybe i just need to get more sleep. i don't know if i can handle more 'book' type orders. something that requires less assembly would probably be good to focus on. hence the notecards. and magnets. and did i mention calendars? have any suggestions as to what you'd like to see in my etsy shop? drop me a line at paperlustbooks@gmail.com and i will certainly think about it. 

see you later on this week... hopefully with a new etsy advice post as well as some new guestbooks.


it's already october?

i know i've been bad... i didn't post at all last week. so i thought i'd show you a little of what i've been up to. last week was extremely busy. i had a huge job (144 page huge) to get out the door at my daytime job along with a few rushed jobs for paperlust. i've also been busy trying to get all my sales tax stuff straight since i am technically a 'business'. 

i also wanted to announce that i am no longer accepting rush orders for wedding guestbooks. i have quite a few on my plate right now, and am unable to squeeze any more in at the moment. i'm sorry for the inconvenience, but i have to find some time to sleep :)

in other news, hodgepodge turned 4 on saturday! happy b-day hodgepodge! i know i didn't get to see you for long, but congrats dinah, on all your success with the store. (ps - they also have a new blog... check it out here!)

i hope you all have a great week! i promise i'll be posting more this week... in the mean time - here's a few new books!


at the fair

since i haven't been to a fair in a very long time, i jumped at the chance to go with some family this last saturday morning. it was the last day, so of course it was packed.

this is my cousin's son, jakob. he'll be 2 this halloween :) i don't think he enjoyed that corn dog very much...

we went to see some of the animals, which i think were about ready for the fair to be over with.

this is an unedited photo i took of the carousel. i don't know if i accidentally pushed some weird setting on my camera, or if it's just blown out because of the sun... either way, i thought it looked interesting. i played with the levels in photoshop (below). 

i love carousels. especially the really old ones. i've been particularly fond of them ever since reading something wicked this way comes by ray bradbury when i was much younger. 

i promise i did get some stuff done this weekend, but won't be posting pics until later. right now i'm ready for a nap, but still have things that need to be accomplished before I can call it a day. 


today i am

today i am 23 years old. sometimes i feel like i'm much older than that, though. but i guess i've done quite a bit so far in this short time. i graduated college, i married my best friend (and wonderful man), i've had some awesome (and not so awesome) jobs... and i currently have a great job that i love! i've met some wonderful friends that have always been supportive and encouraging to me. and i've been creating these books for over a year now, and have been selling them for over 6 months! business is growing everyday it seems like. i'll soon be introducing some new notecards and magnet sets. where does the time go exactly?

above is a book that i made for someone else who recently had a birthday. parkridge pregnancy center had their 15 year anniversary this month, and i was able to donate a sign-in book for the banquet they hold every year. i was also fortunate enough to work on their invitation, ministry report, program and other pieces for this year's banquet (through hartsfield design, where i work as a graphic designer). their banquet was last night, september 23rd. jim daly, from focus on the family, was their guest speaker... if you ever have a chance to hear him speak, i suggest you do so. he has a wonderful story to tell and a wonderful sense of humor as well. doug and i had such a great time at the banquet last night, and i'm glad that i get to be a part of something that helps so many people.