Mama Carrie Makes

Friday Craft, Sewing Fabricdoris

The Midori Traveler’s Notebook is a brand of planner/notebook from Japan, a leather cover which holds notebook inserts using elastic. There is an entire community of users who have adapted this concept and created their own covers, inserts and other fun accessories.

These are some handmade versions using fabric instead of leather, with some handmade inserts as well. It’s a lot more fun making the fabric cover than it is making the paper inserts.


It’s been a few years since I took to the sewing machine. I forgot how much I enjoy it. The actual act of sewing, but not the ironing, measuring and cutting. Too bad, because that part takes up 60-70% of the actual time spent on a project.

But I was able to flex my creative muscles with these. Since they’re just big rectangles in essence, and created no small amount of waste fabric after measuring and cutting, I added side pockets to several of them and was able to use up most of that waste.

For my next batch, I want to figure out how to add a zipper pocket, or perhaps some other way to hold a pen inside the cover.






Friday Craft, Ring Bracelet tutorial

I refuse to call these by their common name, so I’m going to call this a Ring-bracelet. I made it by request, and after taking these pictures I revised the design a couple of times to make the ring-bracelet work for my friend’s hand.


I used 20g craft wire and gold fill chain from my local craft store for this. You’ll also need a big focal bead that will lay flat on the wearer’s hand; I used all my pliers, but you could get away with just round nose and nippers.

Working from the wire spool, put your bead on the wire and then create the beginning of a wrapped loop, before closing your wrapped loop string on your short piece of chain. (2) The size of this piece of chain will depend on the wearer’s finger size. My wearer was not a tiny person, so I used 3 inches. Once both ends of the chain are attached, close the loop (3).

Cut the wire from the spool, 1.5 inches below your focal bead. Repeat the prior steps, with the long piece of chain (5). I decided to make the bracelet section big enough to bit around my wearer’s hand so I used 8.5 inches of chain.

I wanted a little more WOW, so I too 10 inches of wire and created a spiral (6). Mark the mid-point of your wire, then clasp this point between your round-nose pliers. Bend the ends around your pliers creating a spiral. Leave at least 2 inch tails to wrap around the wrapped loops, attaching your spiral to your focal bead.

After wearing this for a bit, my friend discovered she could not comfortably flex her hand without worrying about breaking the chain. So I brought the piece back to my studio and added a wrapped link at the top and bottom. This gave her the wiggle room she needed.

Pretty easy gift idea. What do you think?


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Friday Craft, Mother Jewelry

We’ve got an abundance or pregnant women at my workplace, and to celebrate them the staff each chose beads to go into a necklace or bracelet for the mother to wear during labor to remind her of our loving support and wishes for health and well-being.

I have the honor of creating the final product from the raw materials, and this is the first completed one.

Mother's necklace

I was going for a charm bracelet vibe, it was challenging to incorporate all the beads into a cohesive piece. I think it came out well though.

And the mother-to-be was very appreciative and seemed to genuinely like it.

I’m calling this one a success.

How many pregnant persons are there in YOUR life this year?


Friday Craft, Inspiration Book Project #9

I have tried this project before, and like this one twice as much as my first attempt.


7 inches of 16g wire   |   12-16 5 inch segments of 24g wire   |   Pliers   |   Mandrel   |   seed beads and crystals   |   about 4 hours

Make a giant wrapped loop using the 16g wire and a mandrel of some sort, for this I used an empty spice jar.

Take your bundle of 24g wire segments, and wrap them together about 1.5 inches from one end. Use your frame to judge how far to wrap the bundle together. The idea is to have a tree trunk, with roots and branches that wrap around the frame. (See lower left picture)

Once you’re happy with the tree trunk, start wrapping two of the root wires together. Pair up and wrap all the root wires, creating more substantial roots.  Wrap these around the bottom of the frame, sculpting them into roots to taste.

After you’ve wrapped all your roots onto the frame, separate the branch wires, and load them with seed beads and crystals. (I like to spread out the branch wires so I can develop a loose ‘plan’ about how I will include special beads, or spread out the branches to create a full canopy.)

Tree of Life pendant.01process



Voila! I really like how the trunk in this piece is a little off center, and how the roots and trunk came out. Next time I would use at least two more wires in the bunch, perhaps four, for a fuller trunk and more robust root system.

Tree of Life pendant.02product