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I know this feels a little “anti books” at the end of book week and all, but I wanted to celebrate book week in a very harrysdesk kind of way. And what better way, than to upcycle your books. That way you can keep them forever!

Yellow Flower Fawn - Upcycled paper brooch by REread. Image from etsy.

The upcycled 'bookshelf' by not tom. Photo from site

Botany (Stationery Set) by Dombot. Image from etsy.

The beautiful work of Sophie. Image from her blog... Storms dressed as stars.

Magnets made from a 1930's school book. Image via etsy. Magnets by Misschief

A book counter in 'Brunswick Bound' a bookshop in Melbourne. Image from the design files

Photo from Etsy. 1945 Upcycled Vintage Book Spine Cuff Bracelet ENGLISH in ACTION by SimpleJoysPaperie.

Oh… and you can also read them …. the books I mean…. over and over and over again.

Tomorrow I will do a DIY post on upcycling books so you can have a go yourself.

Yes, I know I have posted here and here on upcycling books before…. but I have new things to share.

See you tomorrow.

The story of the bag from the other side...

Steph has put together a post about her bag.

See what she’s got to say at Moobear!

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

The latest harrysdesk upcycled commission.

Back in September last year, my friend Steph presented me with a challenge…. to make the Ultimate Custom Made Purse… or the UCMP as she liked to refer to it.

She gingerly handed me this sketch of what she wanted….

The sketch.....

….along with two ties she wanted included in the final purse….

.... the check...

...the wave..

Steph carefully listed the items she wanted to carry in her bag…. and since setting me with this formidable task, another friend has been added to the collection.

Yes, that is a Light Sabre and a playstation controller. Don't ask!

Liquorice, her ipad.


I finished her bag just before the holidays, but wanted her to have it before I showed everyone else…hope you didn’t mind!

Steph came back to Sydney  on Monday for the Great Knit -In. I left the finished bag on the book shelf and waited. It didn’t take long for her to notice it…. “ooohh nice!” she crooned….. and then  “Oh Oh OH that’s MINE! That’s MY bag!”

Her hands and fingers were twitching at her chest eager to hold it. “Can I touch it? (Squeals and hand clapping)”

“Yes Steph….. it’s yours!” I said calmly.

It’s a very fun bag. It’s a very Steph bag. I know she will enjoy it….. and now I can share it with you too.

Front with removable rosette, zippered coin pocket and light sabre loop.

Front close-up..... buttons and zippers of every colour.

the back...

The side... removable zipper long strap, side rosettes and more buttons!

The other side....

Inside zippered pocket, and more buttons for no other purpose than entertainment!

More hidden pockets (and buttons) on the other side.

Upcycled owl Broach Tutorial.

I am looking for 5 guinea pigs to test my first ever tutorial!

The upcycled tie owl tutorial is written but as yet untested.


Paula* from the central coast is in, but I need 4 more willing participants.

Leave a comment below and email me your address, and the first four will receive a hard copy of instructions in the post very soon.

It’s free, and I would really like someone to test it with a school age child, if possible.

Previous sewing experience isn’t necessary.

I want constructive feedback (and photos of the finished products, if possible) before I tweak it and unleash it to the general public for sale.

Please help!

*thanks Paula for encouraging me to actual do what I had been putting off for months.

Over It….

June 14, 2010

Steph, my recycling, upcycling, reclaiming, blogging and real life buddy, has recently launched her second eco friendly label.

You can check out her gorgeous greenness here.

I have been sporting my new ‘Over It’ broach (and sometimes sharing it with the girls) that Steph gave me for my birthday, back in May.

Thanks Steph!

Keep saving that planet….. One zipper at a time.

A Parliament of Owls

June 7, 2010

A Parliament of owls Today I finished the backs of the many owls I have been working on over the past months.

Some new owls are now available and will appear shortly in my shop. But…. why wait?

If you want to adopt one before they are offered to the world, let me know.

They are a small $12 and postage is free. Contact me!

For the girls that won one in the blogoversary give-away, let me know your favourite, and it will be in the post pronto.

What do the numbers 23, 34, 45, 41 and  22 * have in common?

They are the 5 extra winners from the bag give away!

I was so overwhelmed by the number of people that took the time to enter the bag giveaway, that I thought I would give 5 extra give aways of owl badges to say thank you.

Thank You for reading my ramblings and for giving me really helpful feedback in your comments. The only way I get better at what I do, is listen to feedback. This is true in all areas of life, not just my tie creations, but everything!

* 23: Christine …34: Caroline E… 45: Theresa… 41: Heather…. 22: Nicole.

Congratulations girls. I will email convo with you regarding colours and addresses.

You have only hours to make an entry in the blogoversary bag give away. Don’t miss out!

I have compiled a list of entries because I wanted to be sure everyone was entered the correct number of times! If I haven’t got you listed and you think you should be, let me know. If you are not listed and you want to be, there is still time!

But only until Midnight tonight!

  1. Stepanie
  2. Stephanie: Facebook
  3. Stephanie : blogged at Moobear
  4. Stephanie: tweet
  5. Ali:
  6. Ali: Facebook
  7. Ali: blogged at Something this foggy day
  8. Liz Cameron
  9. Liz Cameron (fb)
  10. Michelle
  11. Michelle (fb)
  12. Su
  13. Sophie
  14. Sophie: blogged at storms dressed as stars
  15. Thora
  16. Thora: Facebook
  17. Laura
  18. Laura: Facebook
  19. Laura: blogged at Lily & Me
  20. Nicole
  21. Nicole: Facebook
  22. Nicole: blogged at 168hours
  23. Christine
  24. Simone R
  25. Simone.R: blogged at another something
  26. Jo C
  27. Jenny K
  28. Jenny K: Facebook
  29. Cathy McKay
  30. Cathy McKay: Facebook
  31. Cathy McKay: blogged at the Best Book co-op
  32. Caroline E
  33. Caroline E: Facebook
  34. Caroline E: an extra because she wrote her comment as a poem. That certainly took some thought.
  35. Rebecca
  36. Lou Blencowe
  37. Lou Blencowe: Facebook
  38. charissa forrest
  39. Heather
  40. Heather: Facebook
  41. Heather: blogged at epiphany
  42. Kath
  43. Kath: Facebook
  44. Kath: blogged at listening space
  45. Therese
  46. Theresa: Facebook
  47. Theresa: blogged at all my days all my hours
  48. Mel
  49. Susan Ravenhall
  50. Susan Ravenhall: Facebook
  51. Leah Egiziano
  52. Meredith
  53. Elizabeth
  54. bec c