Instagram Pictures Poster Display

Before leaving for her first year of college, my daughter made an Instagram pictures poster to frame and hang in her dorm room. After her first year, she made a new one and left the old poster lying around at home.

The problem: I didn’t want to leave it out where it would get wrinkled and end up in the trash, or roll it up and put it into storage where it would just gather dust and take up space.

The solution: I laid it on her desk, covered it with the plastic insert from an inexpensive poster frame & now she has something nostalgic to look at when she comes back home.

Instagram Pictures Poster + Plastic Insert = Desk Art!

Instagram Pictures Poster Display by tamdoll

I labeled this project “recycling” because this was a creative reuse of 2 items I had around. Actually, any number of pictures, art, or papers could have been used here under the poster frame plastic.

Poster created at My daughter said she’s very happy with their printing and has gotten many posters and prints from them.

If you don’t have an unused poster frame to scavenge the plastic from, here are 2 affiliate links where you can find them:

20x30 Black Poster Frame     


Have any creative re-use stories to share?

Bead Weaving Bracelets

When I start a project, there’s usually left-over materials; and since I do so many different crafts, I have a well-stocked craftroom. One of these supplies I have a lot of are beads – I used to embellish my cloth dolls with them, and I’d usually end up with more than I’d ever need for a single project. Over the years I’ve incorporated beads into embroidery, crochet and other jewelry – this winter, I’ve been bead weaving bracelets to give as gifts.

The two bracelets with black beads in the center row were made with a Trendsetter pattern “Just Rollin’ Along”, and the red bracelet pattern was called “Parisian Lace”. It looks like the patterns are only available at bead shops, I picked mine up locally.

bead weaving bracelets

bead weaving bracelets  bead weaving bracelets

The first time I made one, it took about 4 hours. After that, each bracelet took about 2.5 hours to complete.

Beading and Books

Once I got the rhythm of the pattern down, I was able to listen to an audio book while bead weaving. While I made the red bracelet I listened to The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry: A Novel* by Gabrielle Zevin – about a bookseller who experiences grief, a theft, and a mysterious delivery to his business that turns his life around. It was a good, slow paced book that I could listen to while working – but a little more sappy and contrived than I prefer in a story. It’s main character reminded me of another recent book that I LOVED – A Man Called Ove: A Novel* by Fredrik Backman – a story about a curmudgeon whose “…world is turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.” A Man Called Ove made me laugh out loud, and cry – it was fantastic. Audio books can be downloaded free through many libraries – visit yours to see what’s available.

You can find Jewelry & Beading Supplies at*, (click here for coupons & online coupon codes). (*affiliate links).

Some online beading weaving project how-tos:

Most of my friends and family prefer traditional books, and multitask crafting with music or tv in the background. Do you love a good book? Multitask when crafting? Please, leave a reply below to comment.


Creativity and Books

Over the years I’ve blogged about books, but maybe not as much as I should have. I love to read. LOVE. There are shelves of books in my workroom, piles on my nightstand, always an audiobook downloaded onto my phone, and dozens on my Kindle. I work part-time at a library, for goodness sake (3+ years now!) – so it’s probably about time I include more books in my blog. For me, creativity and books go hand-in-hand.

Books have always played an important part in my creative life: I taught myself to knit on 4-needles by studying a library book when I was a teenager (wish I remembered the name of it!); and I learned low-level programming from manuals back when I was in high school, which led to my college major and all future computer-related work. Recently I’ve read a few motivational art/craft books that I wanted to share.

Creativity and Books, 2015:

The Confident Creative: Drawing to Free the Hand and Mind by Cat Bennett. Don’t be put off by the “drawing” in the title – it was motivational, and such an easy read, that I believe anyone can grow by jumping into the exercises she describes. Any type of creative work can benefit by looking at things with a different perspective, and being confident. This book was really clear, to the point, with short, easy-to-digest chapters; it was really encouraging, with practical how-to’s. If you need a push, feel negative, or stuck – this is a good book to take a look at.

Art Saves: Stories, Inspiration and Prompts Sharing the Power of Art by Jenny Doh. When I first glanced at the book, I didn’t find the projects inspiring. But then I started reading…. and changed my mind. I got so much out of what each artist had to say about their journey, what they learned, their advice, and how they found the courage to do what they loved. This book made me think and realize that the only restrictions that I have, are self-imposed ones. This book will reassure you that you’re not alone in your ruts, or doubts, and can help you to focus on your goals.

55 Christmas Balls to Knit: Colorful Festive Ornaments, Tree Decorations, Centerpieces, Wreaths, Window Dressings by Arne Nerjordet. This book was like a cookbook that has more than just recipes – I always like the ones that have stories to go along with each dish – they draw you in and make you feel that it’s much more than just an instruction manual. The descriptions and facts that accompanied the patterns were very interesting. There weren’t just knitting patterns in here – but poems, holiday stories, and traditions. Creativity of all kinds and really charming. And a shout-out to Pam of for introducing me to this.

On my to-read list: Make It Mighty Ugly : exercises & advice for getting creative even when it ain’t pretty by Kim Werker. Her blog is also really great.

create journal page for creativity and books

Journal page from notes & thoughts while reading Art Saves.

“We each have our own art journey and life journey. The important thing is to be ourselves and to be happy to be ourselves” – Cat Bennett.

Books + Creativity: Have any recommendations?