Category Archives: books

Dr. Suess canvas tote


Dr. Suess library tote

I made this cute library book tote for my future step-nephew, Ethan. I was inspired by this version on Ucreate (one of my favorite crafting blogs) but I decided to make mine more topsy turvy-it seemed more Suessian like that. I also accented the crazy topsy turvy by stitching the felt with a zig zag pattern. The entire project cost about $3! I used a Hobby Lobby coupon to purchase the canvas tote.

Dr. Suess bag closeup

Do you ever watch Cake Boss? Making the basic design for this bag I felt sort of like I imagine those bakers must feel when they make one of those crazy ass cakes. Except for the fact that there was no possible way 10 layers of baked goods could flop over on me. Winning. Especially considering the Pirate Cake Disaster of 2012-ship wrecked pirate cake anyone? (My sister doesn’t want to talk about it.) Though I will proudly tell you that the blue “wave” to the forward of the watercraft is none other than a roll, added purely for structural reasons. This was a split level pirate cake, if you will. But I digress.

pirate ship cake


  • Canvas tote
  • One sheet each red and white felt
  • Sewing machine and white thread (or thread and needle if hand stitching)
  • Fabric marker
  • luggage tag (to act as library card holder, optional)


Print out the Dr. Suess hat template.

Cut out the topsy turvy felt pieces from felt and pin in place on your tote. Leave space for your quote if desired. Sew felt in place by hand or using a sewing machine. If you’re using a machine, a zig zag stitch lends a whimsical feel.

Pencil your Suess quote on the tote. The Ucreate tutorial I linked to above has a link to a neat Suessian font, but my handwriting sucks, so I decided to go basic on this. Go over your quote with a fabric marker and done!

I chose to make a library card holder out of scrap fabric, but it was really a pain, so if you want to add a card holder, I’d recommend using a spare luggage tag of some sort. (I did successfully sew a button/buttonhole in the process which seemed like a big deal for a beginning sewer like me-woo!)

library card holder 

So that’s it! I hope you enjoy crafting a tote of your own.




Cheers to 2013


Cheers to 2013

Is it mid-January already? Oh well, belatedly, here’s to a joyful and peaceful 2013!

I’m not into resolutions, but I just read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, and it really made me think about the little changes I can make in my daily life to be happier (even though I’m already pretty happy). Worht a read if you are (or aren’t) into new year’s resolutions.


Photo above taken just West of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on Christmas Day 2012

You might also like: You should read these

You should read these


An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11-Year-Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny, by Laura Schroff

The touching story of an unlikely friendship between Laura, a successful NYC business woman, and Maurice, a bright child from a rough background. Laura tells the story of their friendship interweaving stories from her own childhood as well as Maurice’s.








Forever: a novel, by Pete Hamill

The enchanting story of Cormac O’Connor, an Irishman who is destined to live forever until he avenges a wrong done to his family. Cormac is born in Ireland in the 1700s. I was fascinated by the Celtic myths and history Hamill included in the story and want to read up on this before our big trip to Ireland in June. (Update-we have accommodation booked in Waterford and Dublin so far!)

Cormac travels to New York where he lives, well, forever, and gives a first-hand account of what life is like in the big apple from 1740 to present. Hands down the best novel I’ve read in a long time.






The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices into Fearless Home Cooks, by Kathleen Flinn

The author graduated from a prestigious culinary school but a light bulb went off for her when she realized that a lot of at home cooks want to make fresh, delicious meals but simply don’t have the knowhow. Flinn starts a project where she teaches a group of home cooks basic cooking skills. Their stories were inspiring and I photocopied a number of pages of the book containing recipes and useful information for combining ingredients for various flavor profiles. Flinn shows that you can cook a good meal without a lot of fancy kitchen do-dads or a culinary degree, An inspiring read.






P.S. Are you on GoodReads? Well, you should be. GoodReads is great for keeping track of books you’ve read and books you want to read. I also browse for recommendations or use it as a resource to recommend books to others.

All cover art photos from GoodReads