Tagged: Christmas

Getting My 2018 December Daily Ready

This is my sixth year keeping a December Daily. I have written posts about some of my previous December Dailies in the past but this is a new Christmas to document and I’m as excited as ever. Here are just a few quick pictures of my set-up. 

Decorating the cover

I usually use old book covers for my December Dailies. The cute snowman image is a piece of a Christmas napkin I decoupaged to the front cover. If you want to decoupage a light-colored napkin, tissue paper or thin paper on a dark background you may want to paint a layer of white underneath. If I hadn’t painted white underneath this napkin I would have ended up with a light green snowman. I just painted a section white and dabbed the edges to soften them and somehow it just looks like snow around the snowman. Of course I added chunky glitter to make my snowman glittery!

Select assorted papers

I selected about forty assorted pieces of paper for the pages. Not all are scrapbook paper however, some are vintage Christmas cards, envelopes, Christmas book pages, Christmas carol pages, old advertisements, etc.. I like to document my entire December and not just through Christmas day. I’ve made sure I have enough “pages” to have at least one a day. Sometimes I may use two pages for one day if a lot was going on and some days I may only use one side of a page. If I don’t have enough pages I can always add more and if I have too many I can take some out.

Arrange papers

After I’ve picked the papers I want to use, I spread them all out on the dining room table and then put them together in an order that is pleasing to me. When arranging the pages I consider color, size and type (such as book page or Christmas card) so I don’t have two of the same type near each other. I make sure my nativity pages are approximately around the 24th of December. I can always fine tune the location of pages as I go along. 

Add a place to stash goodies

I like to attach a small decorative paper bag to the inside of the back cover. That gives me a place to stash embellishments I want to use in the journal. When my journal is completed the bag gives me a place to put items I want to keep that didn’t make it onto a page.

Add binding of some type

I use O rings to keep my journal together. They allow me to make my journals good and chunky and give me the freedom to add or take out pages as needed. Sometimes I will remove a page to work on it if I’m going to use wet mediums like paint or spray ink.

So now that I’ve shown you my “naked” December Daily, I hope to post throughout the month and give you ideas and hacks for ways to embellish your own journal. Just keep in mind the rules for keeping a December Daily:

  1. There are NO rules
  2. Don’t stress if you can’t do it everyday. Maybe just keep track of the highlights
  3. There is no right or wrong way to keep a December Daily
  4. Don’t compare your journal with anyone else’s journal
  5. HAVE FUN!!!

Finished 2017 December Daily

Just a quick post to give you a glimpse at my finished December Daily for 2017. I must say I wasn’t really loving the bare book before December.

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Now that it’s finished, however, I really love how it turned out. 

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It’s a big, chunky monkey!

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I didn’t add any charms or ribbon to the rings before December, but was able to get some cute things on during the month. The bells on the red elastic was a jingle bracelet I wore to Zumba for two weeks!

Here are some random pages from my December Daily.

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As you can see, I do not use photos in my journals. This is partly due to the fact that I don’t take a lot of pictures and partly because there is already so much cute ephemera out there to fill the pages. 

I have been doing December Dailies for quite a few years now, and I must say that this year it was a real pleasure to work on it. I took a few minutes out of each day and recorded the events of the previous day. I was completely finished by New Year’s Day. 

If you have never kept a December Daily before, I urge you to give it a try in 2018. There is nothing quite as fun as pulling journals out from previous years and reliving the wonderful Christmas memories!

 

Easy D.I.Y. Shaker For Journals

If you read my last blog post, you would see that I am doing another December Daily this year. I love December Dailies because Christmas packaging, stickers and ephemera are just so darn cute. As I am just a big kid during the Christmas season, I also like to make shakers for my journals. There is something so fun about making the sequins and beads move around. Most of the time I just use the cellophane wrappers from things I buy but this year I had a different idea. 

I found a bunch of these in my junk journal closet (yes, I really have a closet full of junk journal supplies!)

These are the plain white sleeves you use when you make your own CDs. There is cellophane covering the circle cut out. I stamped mine to make them extra festive.

 

This is the marked up cover of an old Rudolph kids book. I didn’t feel bad cutting up this particular book because it wasn’t in very good shape.

I glued on some sequins in different sizes to give the picture some dimension. Then I put the picture into the CD sleeve.

I got out a few of my packages of sequins and seed beads (and yes, I have many more than this!), and poured them into the CD envelope.

I sealed the sleeve with glue and viola, a cute Christmas shaker to add to my December Daily. I will probably just put it in with a paper clip so I can take it out and play with it when I want.

These can be made for any holiday and can also be used in junk journals. If you don’t have any CD sleeves, just take a look at your crafting stash and see what else you may have to turn into a shaker. Go ahead, your never too old to let your inner child out, especially at Christmas!

Christmas Scraps

All paper crafters face mountains of paper scraps at one time or another. And most crafters, myself included, have trouble throwing any of them away. My basket of paper scraps has grown totally out of control so I spent several hours on YouTube watching what other crafters do with their paper scraps. I’ll show you two projects I found and tried.

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First, I made a load of Christmas tags using pieces of scrap paper and simple embellishments. I didn’t want to get too fancy here because I know these tags will just end up in the trash after the gifts are opened.

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Then I made a pile of strips from my paper scraps. The strips are all different widths and lengths. 

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I glued the strips to a piece of cardstock cut to the size of a card front. I varied the layout of the strips for interest.

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I trimmed the strips even with the cardstock piece and then adhered it to a plain card. I made some simple embellishments and attached them also. 

I hope you like these two simple projects for using up scrap papers. These are both Christmas themed because I have been crafting with Christmas papers, however, you can use any scraps you have and make these projects all year round.

Stay tuned as I have two more scrap projects using Christmas papers coming soon!

 

 

This Years Sort-Of-Hand-Made Christmas Cards

Christmas comes on December 25th every year. So why am I always so late in getting my Christmas cards made and mailed every year? I had two weeks between my two winter shows to decorate the house and make my cards. So what went wrong?

This years excuse had to do with the fact that I made way too few Junk Journals and December Dailies for my shows. You see, I had made them thinking I would mainly sell them at the Expo show. I decided to bring them to the Vintage Home Market first figuring I might sell one or two. That’s where my plan started going wrong. I sold almost all of them at the first show. Now my two weeks for home decorating and card making were absolutely used up making more junk journals and December Dailies. So the cards and decorating had to wait until after the Expo show.

Last year I made elaborate cards, each one very different from the others. Some even had machine stitching on them and of course they went out late because they took so long to make. So this year I decided to scale back on my card making ambitions.

Here are the basic supplies I used.

Card making supplies.

Card making supplies.

I used some colorful striped boxed cards, a package of journaling cards and some stickers all from Hobby Lobby. I also used some K & Company bird embellishments, baker’s twine from Target and some glittered stocking table scatter from The Dollar Tree. Each card also has some Christmas themed background paper pieces that were left over from other projects. I also used some glittered snowflakes and a few other embellishments I had lying around.

Here are the cards I came up with.ccards4 ccards3 ccards2 ccards1

So even though these cards aren’t as fancy as last year’s cards, I like them just as much and they were way more fun to make! So to my friends and family who usually get cards from me, yours is on its way to you. And keeping with my Christmas tradition, it will be late again this year!

Cute Christmas Graphics

A lot of people ask me where I find such cute Christmas graphics for my December Dailies. I tell them, “Anywhere I can”. I don’t say that to be evasive or cryptic, I say it because it’s the truth. When you work on December Dailies and junk journals, you learn to look at the things that pass through your hands carefully. You want great graphics for your journals, however, most people don’t really even look at the papers that pass through their hands.

Here are a few cute Christmas graphics that may make it into my December Daily this year and the place where I found them. Hopefully this will give you some ideas for collecting great graphics for whatever project you are working on.

From and old Rudolph The Red Nosed  Reindeer book from a Salvation Army thrift shop.

From and old Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer book from a Salvation Army thrift shop.

I got a whole box of these cards for $1.00 at a church thrift shop.

I got a whole box of these cards for $1.00 at a church thrift shop.

Snowmen plushy patterns from the Goodwill Outlet (by the pound store).

Snowmen plushie patterns from the Goodwill Outlet (by the pound store).

Cut from a children's Christmas book from the library's free book cart.

Cut from a children’s Christmas book from the library’s free book cart.

Vintage greetings cards purchased at a flea market.

Vintage greetings cards purchased at a flea market.

Vintage sticker that was stuffed into a bag with old Christmas ornaments from a thrift shop.

Vintage sticker that was stuffed into a bag with old Christmas ornaments from a thrift shop.

These are just a few examples of what types of graphics are good to use for journals and where you can find them. But don’t forget to look at napkins, coasters, food bags, labels, newspapers, magazines, flyers, food boxes and shopping bags. Great graphics are all around, you just have to slow down and look for them.

I hope you take your time this Christmas to see all the wonderful images marketing professionals put out there for us to enjoy!

More Makings

As my last post showed, I have been very busy making items for two upcoming shows. Here is just a quick little post showing some more things I have made. Enjoy!

Up-Cycled Child's Skates

Up-Cycled Child’s Skates

Up-cycled men's skates. The blades had marks on them so I covered them with snowtex to hide the flaw.

Up-cycled men’s skates. The blades had marks on them so I covered them with snowtex to hide the flaw.

 

Snowmen "Merry Christmas" plaques from some blank wood plaques that were languishing in our garage.

Snowmen “Merry Christmas” plaques from some blank wood plaques that were languishing in our garage.

A wreath made from a metal ringy thing I found while out junking one day.

A wreath made from a metal ringy thing I found while out junking one day.

As you can see, at least 90% of everything Moss Cottage Vintage makes is made with recycled elements. It is good for the environment and let’s me create one-of-a-kind items my customers can cherish!

So Busy, But Having Fun In A Manic Kind Of Way!

This time of year always makes me somewhat frantic. I have two big Christmas shows, The Vintage Home Market and the Holiday Craft Fair at the Fredericksburg Expo Center. At the Vintage Home Market I can bring vintage Christmas items as well as handmade items with a vintage flair. I don’t feel so stressed about stocking my booth there because I always have a lot of vintage Christmas items I bought throughout the year and squirreled away. The Holiday Craft Fair is another story. Everything in my 10 x 10 booth for this THREE day show has to be handmade! That is quite intimidating. I helped a friend do this show last year and she practically sold out on the first day!

So this is the reason I have not been able to blog as frequently as usual. Every waking hour I seem to be making stuff, thinking of stuff to make, pricing stuff I made, packing stuff I made and generally freaking out in the mess my house has become. 

Here are some pictures of the chaos which has become my life.

Large tote filled with handmade books of all kinds.

Large tote filled with handmade books of all kinds.

This tote is absolutely stuffed with handmade December Dailies, Gratitude journals, altered mini compo books, junk journals and up-cycled denim and cashmere flower pins.

Some of the finished arrangements.

Some of the finished arrangements.

This is just a sampling of the arrangements I will be selling. As you can see, they are mostly finished. 

Empty arrangement containers.

Empty arrangement containers.

These containers are patiently waiting for me to make their arrangements.

Empty containers.

Empty containers.

These are waiting too.

More empty containers.

More empty containers.

Yep, these are too.

My magic workshop, aka our dining room table.

My magic workshop, aka our dining room table.

This is where I will be spending the good part of the next two weeks. I hope to have all the container arrangements done and the totes that are full of supplies emptied, or mostly emptied. 

So now you can see the glitz and glamour that is the life of a crafter! If you would like information about either of these shows, please see my upcoming events page.

 

 

What’s Up?

It  has been a couple of weeks since I last wrote a post but that doesn’t mean nothing has been going on here. In fact, it is because so much has been going on here I haven’t had a chance to blog.

Moss Cottage Vintage was supposed to participate in our very first barn sale, however, six straight days of rain changed our plans. We had a little problem with all that rain outside deciding it needed to come inside.

This is not good!

This is not good!

Across the ceiling and down this wall too.

Across the ceiling and down this wall too.

We are still not sure where this water in the laundry room came from!!!

We are still not sure where this water in the laundry room came from!!!

We have had the outside situation taken care of and now we are waiting on some bids to redo the ceiling and drywall. Like they say, “If it’s not one thing, it’s another”.

After taking all the merchandise that was supposed to go to the barn sale to our shop in Fredericksburg, that freed up some space in our sun room for me Martin to drag out all the boxes and totes containing stuff to make my Christmas arrangements. The problem was that I boxed up the stuff as I bought it and not in any particular order. Last week I spent half a day sorting through every box and re-packing them by category so when I actually start making the arrangements everything will be easy to find. The sorting and re-packing process made quite a big mess.

A great big mess.

A great big mess.

More of the great big mess!

More of the great big mess!

All sorted and ready to be used!

All sorted and ready to be used!

I have also been working on making some cards for another YouTube challenge. These cards are going to be distributed to women who are in the hospital battling breast cancer. It took me forever to come up with these because I really am not a good card maker.

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Cards for a YouTube challenge.

The worst part about making the cards for this challenge is that each had to have a message written inside! I came up with a pretty good message and then printed it for each card. That way I could be sure the person was able to read it. My chicken scratch writing can be a little iffy. I did personally sign each card though.

Other than that I have also been working on a few little secret Halloween crafts that I cannot show because some of the recipients read my blog.

Forgive me for not writing sooner, but this time of year is super hectic for those of us who “make”. I will try to have my camera at the ready so you can participate in my next adventures!

The Rebirth Of Some Forlorn Books

With Kindles, computers, tablets, IPhones, etc., good old paper books are getting the big heave-ho in many homes. Thrift shops are becoming so flooded with books that many are starting to give them away for free while others charge only 25-50 cents a piece. I for one still love to read actual paper books and it breaks my heart to see them devalued in society today.

As many of you know, I am an avid thrift shop junkie and yes, I always look at the books. And even though I am not interested in reading most of what I find, there are other criteria that will get them into my shopping basket. Do they have nice and interesting hard covers? Do they have fun vintage graphics? Are they vintage children’s books, especially Little Golden Books? Are they old accounting ledgers or logs of some sort?

Here are some (and I emphasize some) of the books I have purchased recently. Notice they don’t fit on the bookshelf so they are piled up on the floor!

A shameful hoard of old books.

A shameful hoard of old books.

So what do I do with all these old books? First of all, I deconstruct them and separate the pages from the covers. Then I pull out all kinds of other vintage ephemera I have such as flash cards, stationary, envelopes, playing cards, graph paper, scrapbook papers and the list goes on.

Deconstructed book covers with a stack of mixed ephemera.

Deconstructed book covers with a stack of mixed ephemera.

Next I sort the papers and ephemera into equal piles according to the number of book covers I have. 

Sorting paper and ephemera into piles, each with a book cover.

Sorting paper and ephemera into piles, each with a book cover.

 Lastly  I bind the books together to make sweet vintage junk journals. Usually I bind them with binder rings so there is lots of room for the new owner to add their own treasures. I tie some ribbon on the book rings and each is given a charm to dangle from the top ring.

Eight finished junk journals made from old Golden Book covers.

Eight finished junk journals made from old Golden Book covers.

These junk journals function just as the others I have made. You can glue, staple, tape and clip your ticket stubs, cute packaging tags, greeting cards and all sorts of other collected ephemera onto the pages. This is a really fun way to keep and display all those little bits of paper and ephemera that you have collected and don’t know what to do with.

These journals will be packed up for some shows Mossy Cottage will be selling at this coming fall. I have many more books to give a new life to and plan of rescuing as many as I can in the months to come!