Birds of a Feather Travel Notebook

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For those of you who are unfamiliar with the travel notebook system, let me briefly describe how it’s assembled and why I love it so much.

A travel (or traveler’s) notebook is generally a collection of small notebooks attached to a larger cover with elastic cords.  Most of the travel notebooks I’ve seen have at least four elastic cords running down the inside spine of the larger cover.  This would accommodate up to four notebooks or a combination of notebooks and pocket folders.  To insert a book, open it with equal parts on the right and left side and slip it underneath a cord.  It’s such a simple idea and perfect for “writaholics” like me who prefer paper instead of a keyboard!  It’s also nice having multiple planners and journals in one place which can be taken anywhere.  From watercolor and sketch paper, to lined, dotted, or graph paper, you can find perfectly sized specialty notebooks available almost everywhere from many different manufacturers.  Currently, I have my notebook system set up with a budget planner, a calendar, and a mood tracker.  I got an undated calendar from A.C. Moore and use the plain papered notebook for a mood tracker.  I have a Jane Davenport “butterfly” journal cover (just a more creative name for a travel notebook cover) and I have covered my books with pretty scrapbook paper, stickers, ribbon, and washi tape.  I also purchased some additional pockets and a journal “girdle,” which is a pouch attached to a wider elastic band that slips around the front cover.

I have to say I really enjoy working on my notebook everyday.  I’ve watched tutorials on how to make them and have seen similar handmade ones on Etsy.  As I would now consider myself a traveler’s notebook “addict,” I decided it was about time I made my own.  Given their rise in popularity, what a perfect project to get involved with!

The first step I took was purchasing a laminating machine.  I didn’t need anything fancy, and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money.  After doing some research online, I purchased a Scotch Thermal Laminator for around $20 at a local Target.  It is easy to use, heats up quickly, and does it’s job nicely.  Next, I needed to purchase some elastic cord to hold my notebooks and pocket folders to the cover, as well as some additional travel notebooks to decorate.  I have plenty of scrapbook paper, so I was all set and ready to go!

I chose coordinating Tim Holtz Wallflower papers for my first planner.  Using my travel notebook cover as a guide, I made my measurements and added creases to the paper where I would later fold after laminating to create a “book” to attach my other notebooks to.  This makes for a much sturdier cover. (Not only will it keep it’s shape better, but it gives more of a spine for the elastic cords to attach to).  I used a lace edge punch to add a little more detail to the corners.  I made sure that the paper I used for my cover was double sided because both sides are seen.  I also used coordinating paper to create a four-part folder, with a pocket on the front, back, and two inside.  I used my Jane Davenport pockets for overall measurements, but I added two additional pockets to mine to hold more.  These pockets are great for holding stickers, washi tape, receipts, and other small items that aren’t too bulky.

For inside the front cover, I wanted to add  a couple of pockets for additional storage  for planner accessories.  To make the pockets more interesting, I used paper doilies that I cut in half in two different colors.  I added some pretty floral washi tape to accent the top and overlapped them slightly alternating the colors.  I added some fun paper clips to the pockets and some miniature clothes pins as page markers to my three notebooks.  I chose an undated calendar, a plain white paged notebook, and a task notebook and decorated them with coordinating paper.  Next, I added some plain labels to each notebook cover so the lucky recipient 😉 could name the books whatever they liked.  The last few things I did was add some cute document folders for additional storage on the back cover, decorated the cover and inside notebooks with pretty feather and lace stickers, and added a pen holder.  I didn’t want just any old pen for my notebook, so I purchased some pretty peacock feather pens I found on Amazon.  I just love the cool colors of the feather (which can also double as a tickler when your toddler needs to be entertained, by the way)!

 

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I hope I inspired you to start your own travel notebook.  If you like what you see here, please stay tuned for my Etsy shop “TeapotsAndPansies”.  I’m currently creating away with the intent to open my shop sometime this summer.

Happy crafting!

 

 

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Configuration Mini Book

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There is so much I want to create and unfortunately, just not enough time to play.  I’m still trying different projects to see what I enjoy making the most.  I know I love the creativity involved in constructing journals.  I love making mini albums from small paper bags, and I had a lot of fun most recently experimenting with my own shadow box.  The common thread throughout my projects is paper.  I heard someone call a crafter that enjoys creating with paper a “paper smith”.  I like to think I found my calling as a “scrap smith,” using this and that and all the leftovers to make something beautiful.  My most recent project was a Tim Holtz Configuration Mini Book which I made for my mother as a gift for her June birthday.

The inspiration came from looking at endless images on Pinterest and an adorable little shadow box my mother already has in her possession.  Her shadow box is a sweet little bedroom complete with miniature slippers laying next to a small bed.  She has it hanging (of course) in her bedroom, and I could look into that beautiful little bedroom all day and imagine transporting myself into a room just like that.  I wanted to create my own “story” to get lost in, so I decided to head out to Michaels and purchase a configuration book.  I knew I wanted to make something feminine, as it was for my mom, and whenever I think feminine I envision a Victorian house with “a place for everything and everything in its place,” or so the saying goes.  I imagined pretty floral, intricate lace, fancy tea, and the simple comforts of home.

The simple comforts of home it would be, decorated in floral patterns, lace, and sweet vintage black and white photos, you know, the ones that have only a slight hint of color? I wanted to take the idea of my mother’s bedroom shadow box and create the feeling of a “home” with different “rooms”.  Instead of depicting separate rooms, I decided to illustrate different areas of what you might find in one room.  I wanted to create the illusion as if the viewer was “zooming” in on that particular area.

When I started, I really didn’t have any one particular room in mind.  Looking at my finished project, I get the feeling that I’m looking into a ladies sitting room.  There’s pretty floral wallpaper, soft botanical curtains, a white lace valence, a rose tea set, a wooden cuckoo clock, knitting needles and thread — everything I’d imagine a Victorian woman would want for a peaceful afternoon indoors!

 

 

My advice to those interested in making their own configuration box is: (1) choose the theme or “story” you wish to tell first and whether you have the supplies necessary or if you need to purchase them; (2) decide how you wish to organize your boxes in the book first, because it does make a difference (as I learned the hard way)!  The square boxes can be made anyway you like because they have the same length and width, but make sure you know how the rectangular boxes will be displayed and make sure they fit in the book that way!  (I had to redo the tea pot box and cuckoo clock box, but thankfully it was easy and I was able to reuse everything including the boxes).  After I was happy with the way they looked individually, I glued the boxes in the book in a configuration that worked nicely.  If you want, you can “bind” the edges of the boxes together by adding washi tape (to hide the areas where the boxes abut one another), but I decided to leave them as they were and just use a stamp to distress them a bit.  Because I encluded fabric in my design and my boxes had multiple items displayed in each, I didn’t want to use washi because I thought it would make the inside appear too busy.

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A third thing to keep in mind should you design your own configuration box: work on the outside cover first before gluing your boxes in place!  Trust me, it will make it much easier to flip the empty, lighter cover around while decorating it.  If you decide to use washi around the edges, I would recommend you do that first as well before adding your objects.  Most likely you will have extra tape that you will press into the bottom and tops of the boxes, which would be difficult to do if you already glued down your trinkets.

For my cover, I wanted to add some dimension and additional flowers and lace to tie the whole thing together.  Decide how you wish your book to be displayed.  Consider this when designing your boxes as well.  If you want your book to lay flat on a coffee table, make sure the objects you use aren’t wider than the box depth, otherwise the cover will not lay flat.  If you decide to stand your book up with the cover open, feel free to use wider display objects like I did.

 

 

I love Tim Holtz paper and have been looking for an excuse to purchase a pad of his Wildflowers card stock for awhile now.  This project seemed as good of an excuse as any and I used it on both the front and back covers as well as on the spine of the book.  I also purchased his worn wallpaper as it seemed ideal for this kind of project, but unfortunately I discovered it after I already covered the back of my shadow boxes (don’t you hate when that happens)?  I did find a place to utilize it as the background for the inside cover of the book, so I wasn’t too disappointed.

For the front cover, I used a cardboard “page” from a mini album I purchased and never used.  I covered it with card stock and used the two holes at the top meant for ring fasteners to tie a knot with pretty lace ribbon.  I raised the cardboard piece up even more with sticky dots, allowing room for the laced ribbon underneath so it wouldn’t stick up oddly.  I printed a beautiful black and white picture of a girl with ruby red cherries (the one pictured at the beginning of this post) and settled her beneath a pretty mirrored frame.  I surrounded her with flower and lace stickers and added a cute safety pin to my ribbon knot.  I decided to use a small curio cabinet glass door knob as a means of opening the book and hung some skeleton keys from the same lace ribbon used for the knot described above.

 

 

 

I added some BoBunny ephemera and a “blessed” sticker to my spine and used Ranger Distress Ink in Vintage Photo around the edges and corners of the cover for added demention.

I wanted to keep the inside front cover simple so as to not take away from my shadow boxes.  As mentioned previously, I used Tim Holtz worn wallpaper as the background with some simple ephemera, vintage photos, lace stickers, and more distress ink.

 

 

The last thing I did (before wrapping it of course), was create the illusion of “pages,” as illustrated in the third picture above.  I simply used an x-acto knife to carefully make a slight cut in the box surface by running the blade gently down the three sides and adding a bit more distressing ink to make the pages “pop.”

I hope I have inspired my readers to create their own “story books” to get lost in.  To be creative, you need to use or develop your imagination and this project is perfect for that.

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Happy crafting everyone!

P. S. Happy Birthday Mom!  I hope you like your Victorian “sitting room”! 💗

 

For this project I used:

🌹Tim Holtz Mini Configuration Book (Michaels)

🌹Tim Holtz Worn Wallpaper (Jo-Ann Fabrics)

🌹 Wildflower scrapbook paper by American Crafts (Tuesday Morning)

🌹Simple Life scrapbook paper by Jen Hadfield (Tuesday Morning) and matching stickers (AC Moore)

🌹Graphic 45 Children’s Hour scrapbook paper (Tuesday Morning)

🌹 Tim Holtz Wildflower card stock (Jo-Ann Fabrics)

🌹Simple Stories scrapbook paper (Tuesday Morning)

🌹Tim Holtz Idea-ology jeweled charms (Jo-Ann Fabrics)

🌹K & C Company Susan Winget Botanical Flower Layered Accents (Michaels)

🌹Recollections lace flower stickers (Michaels)

🌹BoBunny ephemera (Tuesday Morning)

🌹Tim Holtz Botanical Layers and other ephemera (Jo-Ann Fabrics)

🌹Tim Holtz mini paper clips (Jo-Ann Fabrics)

🌹Recollections chipboard album (Michaels)

🌹Ranger Distress Ink in Vintage Photo (Jo-Ann Fabrics)

🌹Tim Holtz Idea-ology Decorative Domes (Jo-Ann Fabrics)

🌹Tim Holtz Idea-ology Curio Knobs (Jo-Ann Fabrics)

🌹Tim Holtz Trinket Pins (Jo-Ann Fabrics)

🌹Metal skeleton keys (“bargain bin” at Michaels)

🌹Celebrate It Miniature Floral Tea Set (Michaels)

🌹Timeless Minis Miniature Hurricane Lamp (Michaels)

🌹Sparrow Innovations Miniatures Knitting Supplies (Michaels)

🌹Sparrow Innovations Miniatures Wood Cuckoo Clock (Michaels)

🌹Pemberley Sewing Charms by Bead Landing (Michaels)

🌹Rose picks (Jo-Ann Fabrics)

🌹Recollections white lace frame sticker (Michaels)

🌹Tim Holtz Idea-ology Alpha Dice (Jo-Ann Fabrics)

🌹Recollections Mini Pink Paper Rose Embellishments (Michaels)

🌹DCWV Mini Adhesive Mirror – Ornate Frame (Jo-Ann Fabrics)

🌹Fabric strips (Jo-Ann Fabrics)

🌹Left over lace ribbon from one project or another

 

 

 

Crafting = Happiness

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”

~ Dalai Lama XIV

I’d like to take a moment to relate something I read that I found very interesting and near and dear to my heart.  Before I continue, I’d like to share my background with you and how this all relates to a study on crafting and mental health.

I have major depressive disorder and anxiety.  It wasn’t until my junior year in college that I realize I could no longer continue living the way I was.  It took that long until I could finally admit that openly, even to myself.  I thought: “People are going to look at me differently and think something is wrong with me.  Admitting I need help means I’m weak and can’t handle my own thoughts and related feelings myself.” Little did I know that admitting I needed help only proved how strong I truly was.

I’m very thankful to be able to say I have successfully controlled my illness with talk therapy and medication.  Mindfulness got me through a real hard time several years ago.  Just like anyone with an illness, I have good days and bad days.  Stress and being a perfectionist are two key triggers for my depression and anxiety.   As I can’t always control what causes the stress, I can control how I handle it.  Stress, for anyone, can be overwhelming.  We get pulled in so many different directions daily.  It’s hard to give your brain a break from all of this when it has a 24/7 job!  That’s where crafting comes into the picture.  Studies show that not only is it good for the soul, but the mind as well. Those of you who have a craft know what I mean.  You get into “the zone” and when in that zone, nothing can penetrate it — not the big meeting with the boss next week, not the horrible traffic that will probably make you late for work again, not the constant questioning on whether you are a good enough parent.  NOTHING.  Brain, you are officially on break so kick your neurons  up and relax!

This is your brain on crafting by Jacque Wilson was published in 2015.  I encourage everyone to read this, because whether you suffer from depression or not, everyone experiences stress at some point in life and everyone needs a release.  For some it’s exercising, others baking, some knitting, or for me, paper crafting. Why paper crafting you ask?  Well, I’ve already tried exercising but don’t like to sweat. Baking was so much fun but it put on too many extra pounds, and my Nana taught me how to knit, but I could never figure out how to fix my mistakes!

Crafting is like meditation, meditation leads to inner peace, and inner peace leads to happiness.  Thus: crafting = happiness.  Crafting by definition is to manually “create,” so the whole process of doing something by hand promotes happiness.  This isn’t just true for the process necessary to create, but for what is in turn created.  I would have to agree with the Dalai Lama.  There’s nothing like the feeling you get when you finally finish a project, is there?  Dedication, hard work, passion, drive, whatever you wish to call it gives a feeling of such joy.  So enjoy creating and remember, you don’t just bring happiness to those who admire your work, you bring happiness to yourself and are a better crafter because of it.

Happy crafting! 🤗

Mother’s Day Paper Bag Book – Part II

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As promised, I’d like to share the other two paper bag books I made for my mother and my mother-in-law for my son to give to them on Mother’s Day.  They are made the same as the nautical one made for Paul’s Auntie (shared last weekend on Lisa’s May Discovery Tour) but taylored for each Nana.  I have to admit, it was very strange making these for “Nana” when the Nana isn’t mine!  (I miss you, Nana, today and especially on Mother’s Day.) 💕

 

 

 

 

The top book is for my mother-in-law, the bottom is my mom’s.  I love using butterflies from Tim Holtz botanical layers in my projects.  They are adorable little fillers, especially when you “pop” their wings out – adds so much charm and depth.

Instead of beach themed charms, I found Tim Holtz jeweled charms with epoxy stickers.  They are new to his idea-ology line of “findings”.  They reminded me of sweet little cameos and went well with the paper I chose for the background of my pages.

 

 

 

I slipped them onto mini paper clips, punched a hole in the top of a bag, put a reinforcer on to prevent ripping, and slid the paper clip through.  They are such a pretty addition dangling off the top of the page, don’t you think?

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Instead of tabs on my pull out cards, I used inexpensive page markers and little bird paper clips.  They help the journaling cards I used to stay in place and also to make it easier to slide the cards in and out of the pockets.

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A few sentiments and words of thanks, I bound these little books with beautiful ivory lace ribbon.

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The only thing I have left to do is purchase gifts cards to their favorite stores and coffee shop and slip them in the back pocket.

I truly enjoyed making these books and will definitely be making them again for other occasions.  I would love receiving one of these as a gift, wouldn’t you?

I hope I have encouraged you to pick up some paper bags (or reuse ones you already have) and make your own special creation for yourself or for someone you love.  It’s sure to be cherished for years to come!

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For these books I used:

💐 Michaels Celebrate It Natural Paper Sacks (4.7” x  2.8” x 8.9”)

💐 Fiskars lace corner punch (Michaels)

💐 Wildflower scrapbook paper by American Crafts (Tuesday Morning )

💐 Simple Life scrapbook paper by Jen Hadfield (Tuesday Morning)

💐 Simple Stories scrapbook paper (Tuesday Morning)

💐 Graphic 45 Children’s Hour scrapbook paper (Tuesday Morning)

💐 “Love it” mini envelope (Michaels)

💐 Celebrate It Occasions ivory lace ribbon (Michaels)

💐 Project Life journaling cards by American Crafts in “Odds & Ends” (A. C. Moore)

💐 Tim Holtz Idea-ology jeweled charms (Jo-Ann Fabrics)

💐 Recollections Backyard Table stickers (Michaels)

💐 K & C Company Susan Winget Botanical Flower Layered Accents (Michaels)

💐 Petaloo FloraCraft Botanica Collection Chantilly-Velvhydrangeas (A. C. Moore)

💐 BoBunny stamp stickers (Tuesday Morning)

💐 Recollections lace flower stickers (Michaels)

💐 Recollections Holiday Sticker Book (Michaels)

💐 Me & My Big Ideas Mambi Stickers (A.C. Moore)

💐 Me & My Big Ideas Soft Spoken Stickers (A. C. Moore)

💐 faceted flower stickers (A.C. Moore)

💐 Ms. Sparkle & Co. Paperie mini cards and envelopes (Jo-Ann Fabrics)

💐 MiscMe! BoBunny journaling cards (Tuesday Morning)

💐 Tim Holtz botanical layers (Jo-Ann Fabrics)

💐 Carpe Diem epoxy metal clips in “Domestic Bliss” (Tuesday Morning)

💐 Craft Smart bird paper clips (Michaels)

💐 Momenta Love foam stickers (Tuesday Morning)

💐 Pansy Dementional Stickers by Recollections Signature (Michaels)

💐 various stickers and washi tape from the “bargain bin” at Michaels

💐 K&Company Adhesive Chipboard, Jubilee Alphabet (Michaels)

💐 Tim Holtz mini paper clips (Jo-Ann Fabrics)

 

Happy crafting!

 

Mother’s Day Paper Bag Book

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Happy (almost) Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!  I’d like to thank Lisa for inviting me to join her May Discovery Tour.  I enjoyed Katie’s (heartscontent.blog) recipe for Greek Pasta Salad (can’t wait to give it a try), and Lisa’s (scissorspaperstamps.wordpress.com) Mother’s Day cards are absolutely adorable.  I’ll be sure to check out craftindesertdivas.com for some inspiration for future projects.  Alyssa’s (alyssascraftroom.com) hanging glass frame is such a great idea — sure to be a one-of-a-kind piece for a one-of-a-kind mom!

My name is Brianne and I’m a crafter at heart.  Ever since I was little, I’ve loved creating my own projects.  Now, I’m a wife, mother, and ophthalmic technician who still enjoys creating my own projects (whenever I find the time).  Today, I’d like to share my take on Megan Hook’s (undomesticdiva.typepad.com) paper bag book.  Megan created a teacher’s gift by adding her son’s special memories and what he’ll miss about the school year.  What a cute, unique idea!  I decided to use her instructions to create my own paper bag book/card for a Mother’s Day gift for my son, Paul, to give to three important women in his life (his aunt and both grandmothers).  Let’s take a look at one of the completed gifts.  I hope it helps to get your creative juices flowing!

As my sister-in-law used to work on a cruise ship (lucky lady) and loves everything nautical, I decided it fitting to make a nautical themed book.  Paul spends a great deal of the time with his Auntie as she watches him while Mama and Dada are working.  I get many appreciated updates on how he’s doing during the day, and (as you can imagine) many adorable pictures of what they are up to.  I decided to use these pictures to illustrate the pages and included small cards from Paul thanking Auntie for all she does for him.

What I love best about using paper bags to create a book is that you get bonus “pockets” from the openings to slip additional notes or pictures inside.  I cut a semicircle in the center of some of the pockets to make it easier to slip in/out whatever you wish to include.

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I added cute vintage nautical cards to mine with a picture on the back.  I added small tabs to the top of the cards to also make it easier to slide the card in and out of the pocket.

I embellished the pages with nautical scrapbook paper, washi tape, and beach themed stickers.  I found some adorable silver charms made by Art-C and decided to use them to adorn two of my pocket pages by slipping them onto tiny paper clips, letting them dangle from a hole punched into the bag.

A blue and red ribbon “anchors” the pages of the book and the back cover holds an additional to/from card, special quote, and a personal thank you from my husband and I for taking such excellent care of our little sailor.

I encourage you to go to undomesticdiva.typepad.com for Megan’s instructions on creating your own paper bag book.  You will find similar instructions on Pinterest and YouTube, but I liked the way Megan bound her book so I decided to use her instructions over the others.  If you like pockets like I do, remember you can use the bottom “flap” of the bag — just glue down two sides instead of the whole thing and viola, another slip pocket for something special.

I think these books would make cute little family recipe keepers, although you might want to use slightly larger bags.  The pockets could hold passed down recipe cards and the pages could include the history of the recipe, who made it, and why it’s so special…I think I know what my next project will be!  I think a recipe book like this would also make a great Mother’s Day gift.

For this book, I used:

* Celebrate It Natural Paper Sacks 4.7” x 2.8” x 8.9” (Michaels)

* Love Nicole Seaside Paper Pad with matching washi tape (A.C. Moore)

* Fiskars Lace corner punch with three different edge designs (Michaels)

* Felicity Authentic Life 3×4 journaling cards (Tuesday Morning)

* Celebrate It red and navy anchor ribbon (Michaels)

* Art-C beach themed embellishments (A.C. Moore)

* Tim Holtz mini paper clips (Jo-Ann Fabrics)

* Stickers from Recollections and Jolee’s Boutique (Michaels)

* Create 365 alphabet stickers (Tuesday Morning)

* Project Life journaling cards by American Crafts in “Odds & Ends” (A.C. Moore)

* Ms. Sparkle & Co. Paperie mini cards and envelopes (Jo-Ann Fabrics)

 

I will be sure to post how the other two books come out once they are completed.

Make sure to come back Monday for another stop on Lisa’s May Blog Tour, reviewsbycacb.blogspot.com.

Have a blessed Mother’s Day! 🌷  Mwah!

 

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Slow Start

After a slow start, I’ve taken my first few steps towards identifying myself as a crafter.  I would like to share my handiwork with you all, so let’s take a walk through my very first junk journal!

Let me tell you, it is easier than you think to go overboard when putting together a journal.  That’s why my first journal is a bit on the chubby side!  I was amazed at the size of others’ journals that I’ve seen on Pinterest and YouTube and now I understand why!

I’d say my junk journal is more or less shabby chic and I composed it by letting the scrapbook paper and my favorite things be the inspiration.  I love the three paper packs I used: Simple Life by Jen Hadfield Homemade, Florals by Simple Stories, and  Wildflower by American Crafts.  I picked up these beautiful papers at my local Tuesday Morning store.  The album itself is a chipboard album which was part of a Recollections kit I picked up at Michaels.  It measures 8” x 8” and has pretty scalloped edges.  My various embellishments and ephemera came from  Tim Holtz, BoBunny, 7 Gypsies, Simple Stories, Art-C, Recollections, and Craft Smart (among others).  I also want to mention before I continue that I adapted ideas from Jessica Huffman who has a channel on YouTube called “I’m a Cool Mom,” and from 481 Designs.  I highly recommend inspiring journal makers check out their tutorials and products.  They have amazing ideas and produce beautiful work!

I’ll go through the pages and note a few things I love about each of them as they are all different in their own way.  If you have any questions about the materials or techniques I used, please do not hesitate to ask.  I would love to hear from you!  My goal is to inspire others to create their own works of art.  Crafting has been a form of therapy for me.  It’s relaxing, there is no stress involved, your mind is focused on the task at hand (so you’re not wondering what tomorrow will bring), and you get great satisfaction when you make something with your own two hands.  You don’t have to be an artist to make a junk journal, they can be as simple (or as complex) as you want.

So, without further ado, here it is (drumroll please)…

 

 

Ta da!

It is 10 pages long (which are decorated front and back) and is held together with simple twine (mainly because it was too chunky for anything else to hold it)!  On the front, I put down my new favorite quote from Bertrand Russell:  “Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”  I like to repeat this saying to my husband when he asks if I’m working on my “stuff” again.  I found a cascading photo holder designed by Heidi Swapp with the words “Love Life” which is blank allowing plenty of room for pictures or journaling.  I attached it to the cover on three sides with the right side open as a tuck spot for additional pictures or journaling cards.  I added a cute winged clock from 7 Gypsies to match my quote.  It invites you to enjoy getting lost in your thoughts for awhile.

 

 

The above left photo shows my simple binding (kitchen twine) and the right photo shows a closure with a chain of multicolored metal leaves with a mini clip on either side (an idea I really liked from 481 Designs — you can find them on Etsy).  Just like the creator, I like the idea of being able to take the closure off entirely or to have the ability to move the clips around, using one as a bookmark to save a page.

 

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Page 1 & 2
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Page 3 & 4

The first pages are on top with my “dashboard” on the left.  I have a pocket (mini bag) for pens with another tuck spot and a cute matchbox I found at Michaels for stickers or paper clips.  I put some mini stickers in that my son “picked out” (read grabbed) while we were shopping one day.  The second page features a plain envelope dressed up with added tags attached to string inside for your journaling needs.  The string makes it easy to pull the tags up and out of the envelope.  I used the same idea with cards/ephemera on the bottom left photo which shows two mini mini bags labeled “remember this feeling” and “this moment” for writing down precious memories.

The forth page is bottom right with a three slot pocket I made.  I added a cute mini clothes pin that I already had and attached a cute bird from Tim Holtz for extra demention.

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Page 5 & 6

Page 5 is a simple little note card to journal on with the unsealed envelope next to it that I filled with small papers and cards for additional writing space.

Page 6 illustrates my love for tea, with a “tea bag” card tucked in one of the pockets.  I got the journaling card in a pack by Simple Stories (you’ll see a cute gnome from another of their journaling card pack next)…

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Page 7 & 8

Well, if you haven’t figured it out by now from my tea inspired page, I like my caffeine a lot!  Page 7 has a cute “coffee o’clock” pocket complete with cappuccino washi and a rooster card tucked in.  I mean, really, who doesn’t need coffee at the crack of dawn?  I added other small tags to the pocket to keep Mr. Rooster company, punching a hole in them and added some string to make it easier to slide them out.

You’ll notice that cute gnome with a red hat matching the color of my scrapbook paper on page 8.  Again, nothing fancy here, just added a pre-made notecard and matching ephemera.  I love this notecard because it has two parts: the writing space on the card itself and the cute “pocket” it slides into.

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Page 9

Page 9 is my nautical page.  It makes me think of the happy times spent on my late father-in-law’s boat.  For this page, I taped three mini tabbed folders together at the bottom with washi tape and glued together the front and back of each card on the left side creating cute little pockets for sliding photos, journaling cards, etc in.  I punched a hole on the first file and added a small wooden anchor and silver star fish to a small vintage safety pin.  The pin moves around freely and allows the anchor to dangle down.  Ahoy, it’s time to “seas” the day!

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Page 10

I’d like to thank Jessica Huffman who has a channel on YouTube called “I’m a Cool Mom,” for helping me creating my very own secret pocket!  I won’t spill the beans on how it’s done, though.  To find out, look her up on YouTube and create your very own to “mystify” your friends!

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Pages 11 & 12

On celestial page 11, I made my own document folder with a string fastener.  I tucked some journaling cards inside, same as in the envelope on my floral page 12.  I love the silk hydrangeas I added to the corners for depth.

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Page 13

Page 13 is another pretty floral page.  I added a mini clip to the page by making a small hole in the scrapbook paper and attaching the clip to the paper with a small brad.  I then glued the scrapbook paper to the chipboard and viola!  Mini clipboard for holding whatever you like (I added cute Recollections postcards to mine).

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Page 14

I used this house paper to make a little neighborhood complete with tree and key.  There are two small tuck spots, one with a pretty yellow sun, the other resembling bricks with a butterfly fluttering by.

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Page 15

Page 15 is my library page (shhh, keep it down)!  I glued a cut out of a stack of books along the bottom and side, making a slip pocket.  A pretty bookplate resides on the books and creates another smaller pocket.

Page 16 (lemons in mason jar) reminds you to take the “sour” out of your life and turn it into something “sweet”.  The mason jar is a pocket I made with part of a plastic wrapper.  I wanted something clear and shiny like glass so you could see right inside at the lemons.  I have a Sprocket printer and printed out images of lemons I found on the Internet, “sliced” them up, and plopped them right on it!

Page 17 (top right) are simple library card pockets dressed up with some embellishments while page 18 (bottom right) has a cascading journal card (opening like a book) made by Simple Stories with matching scrapbook paper.  I only glued down three sides, leaving the top open for stashing whatever your little heart desires.  I admit I fell in love with the Victorian “angel” from 7 Gypsies and bought the ephemera pack just for her!

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Back Cover

The back cover paper matches that of the front tying the whole journal together.  I kept it simple, only adding a library card.  Notice my completed date is not filled in.  As this journal is for my own personal use (sorry, not for sale), it continues to be a work in progress.

Well, that’s my journal.  I hope you enjoyed your tour and were able to pick up some ideas for your own journal.  For those interested, I’m thinking of doing a “walk through” video on YouTube which hopefully will show my work better.  I will be sure to post it if I do.

Happy crafting!

Getting Started

Ok, does anyone really know what they are doing when they start something new?  I don’t and I am and I love it!  It’s fun, it’s rewarding, and it’s an adventure I think I have secretly wanted to take for sometime.

Adventuring into crafting makes me smile.  Not only can crafting be a hobby and stress reliever, but it’s also a way to promote myself as an artist and (hopefully) make a little extra money along the way.  Art has always been a passion of mine ever since I was little.  My mom recently moved and you should have seen the gems she saved from my childhood!  Keeping art a part of my life through grade school, high school, and college was important to me.  We all need our thing, right?  Some people play sports or an instrument while others enjoy drama.  Me, I’d rather have  a pencil and a piece of paper. Just like life, blank paper holds so many possibilities!

Well, I’ve traded in the pencil and drawing paper for colorful card stock and craft paper.  Yup, the scrapbooking and paper crafting bug bit me.  It sought me out and bit me hard!  It started out by just looking online at other people’s work. Then I’d look at all the fun things at Michael’s…then A.C. Moore…then Joann Fabrics…and then…my ABSOLUTE favorite store for supplies…Tuesday Morning.  There’s nothing more fun then spending time down their (overstocked and often disorganized) craft aisle.  Can I tell you a secret?  I think I love it more because it’s disorganized, which will come as a surprise to those who know me because I’m a perfectionist.  I could spend all day “hunting” through everything to see where the treasures are hiding!  Ok, all day might be an exaggeration, especially when my toddler tags along.  I work Monday through Thursday and have Paul all to myself on Friday.  BEST DECISION EVER.  I mean, who wouldn’t want Friday off and get to spend it with the love of their life (just don’t tell my husband, although I think he already knows).  Paul, however, doesn’t share my love for “hunting” on our Friday outings.  Unless by “hunting” you mean touching everything within reach and yelling “cookie!” at the top of his lungs.  Then he loves hunting!

My son is my inspiration.  I’m a better person because of him.  He’s my muse, you could say, and because of this, he was the subject of my very first mini scrapbook which started my paper crafting obsession.  Like any new, proud mom, I wanted to capture my child’s first year in photos.  That way, I can embarrass him later when he gets older and brings his girlfriend home to meet the ‘rents.  Just kidding.  Well, only a little…

There was a special satisfaction with completing that scrapbook.  I’m sure any scrapbooker or crafter knows what I mean.  I was pleased to see my beautiful baby boy in the spotlight, proud of myself for making something with my own two hands.  I can’t remember feeling that exact way for a really long time.  Well, yes, I’m proud of myself for the work I do and proud of the mother I’ve become, but this was different.  I was elated!  I did it!  Go me!  But now what?

My mind buzzed with ideas.  After much consideration, I decided to try my hand at junk journals.  YouTube has become my go to source for learning different techniques on making these type of journals.  I like creating something that has no set rules and where mistakes really don’t exist.  Junk journals have no rules and there is no need to start over if you make a mistake.  They remind me a lot like puzzles — you have to put your special pieces together to complete the full picture.  Think of each page as a nesting doll, they oftentimes have pieces inside of pieces inside of pieces.   How fun!  Flipping through the pages is so enjoyable, I now know why people like making them and using them so much.  I thought to myself, “I think I can really get into this…I think I can help others find enjoyment making there very own journals too.”

So, here I am, starting out on an exciting path leading to my very own shop on Etsy!  I always love when people admire my handiwork.  The feeling I get when someone comments on how great my projects are remind me of the feeling I got when I finished my first little scrapbook of Paul.  Why not help others feel the same when they use my creations to complete their very own works of art?

So let’s take that very first step together.

I’m looking for encouragement and advice from those who have been in my shoes.  I’d welcome your thoughts and ideas.  Isn’t it always more fun when you start something new with someone by your side?