Welcome to the creative home of artist and maker Charlotte Lyons.

mo's tagbook


My new blog friend, Janet over at Primrose Design is posting a series of wonderful tutorials on handwork and embroidery. Nice to see that handwork is again a popular craft. We both collect old treasures and handworked linens. She makes them into darling pillows. I just pile mine up somewhere-- well, I did hang some for cafe curtains in the kitchen. That's 2 of 200.

The first edition of my website had a series of projects that were fairly popular. That feature didn't make it into the redesign so I'm going to offer some here. There are lots of cute projects available in my books, too. Can't say this is really a tutorial, more like sitting next to me in class and listening to the back story. Judging from the interest in those placecards, I'm starting with papercrafting -- the tagbook I made for Mo that was featured in Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion June/July issue, my favorite magazine. This is sure to be a tear-jerker holiday gift if you make it for a friend or family member. I first saw this tagbook format when my super-talented friend Dede Thompson showed me the one she made for her grandmother five or six years ago. The coolest scrapbook I ever saw. Since then I have made my adapted version for a number of friends and family -- one is still out there, having mysteriously gone missing at a scrapbook company's headquarters ---years ago! Hmmmm.....don't want to think about that now.

You can start with the kits available or you can make your own book. The accordion book format works well if you glue or sew some of the pages together to make pockets. Snip openings in the fronts of the pocket pages before you seal the pockets. Hope you are getting that-- it's a little tricky, but you will find your own method for bookmaking that works with what you have. (Not much of a tutorial so far, huh? Just not sure how to go through all that step by step and not scare you off.) This 5 x 5" book of Mo has 4 pocket pages.

Cover the front and back of the book with a neutral paper that you can decorate with more layers. I am really fond of the b/w composition paper because everything I like looks great on it. Next I layered a smaller square of my favorite paper pattern that I made with a potato print and love still more than any other...seemed summery and bright for our little Mo. I had to trim it a little after I added the closure (with an elastic strap for a yawning book) from 7 gypsies which is also a good source for book kits and materials.

For the main focal point I sized and copied the beloved silhouette that our friend and illustrator, Jeff O'Connor made of her. To surprise me, dear Anne O'C french-braided her hair that day long ago and then Jeff cut the silhouette...actually it's of all three darling girls. What a dreamy 40th birthday gift-- good thing it was framed so I didn't cry all over it!


What - you don't have a handcut silhouette? See what you do have. Your central image could be a photo-- maybe in black and white. I stacked the trimmed image onto 2 more layers of paper and edged the last one for a picture frame look. Then I was lining up all my favorite book phrases so I could choose the one I liked best for her, but as you can see, I finally just made a little border of all of them which is much more fun than just one! The uniform look of the type makes a crisp outer frame for the cover.

A scrap of old book paper from the margins stamped with her name waited nearby until I found and added the textile and charms. (I use a muffin tin to sort bits and scraps for a project.) The trusty button box offered up the big, pearly button with jumbo holes -- perfect for a ragstrip woven through it. I have a big ragball of that polka dot fabric and hoard it like it was gold or something. What better place for it than here! Before I attached the button, I added 2 charms --our star, our heart--under it with needle and thread and then placed the MO tag.

So, that's it .... for the cover. Wait 'til you see what goes inside!

little things

xo, charlotte