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.


Page 1 & 2
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.

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)…

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.

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!

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!

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.

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).

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.

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!

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?