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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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:
- There are NO rules
- Don’t stress if you can’t do it everyday. Maybe just keep track of the highlights
- There is no right or wrong way to keep a December Daily
- Don’t compare your journal with anyone else’s journal
- HAVE FUN!!!
Most people who are in the arts and crafts or planner worlds know what a traveler’s notebook is. There are tons of videos and blog posts about how to set up your TN (traveler’s notebook). And what you use them for is only limited by your imagination. I have watched many YouTube videos showing pretty TNs filled with TN inserts and paraphernalia all which add up to the cost of a new car! I’m not kidding, the bare bones TNs, without inserts, sell from $30.00-$70.00. Yeah, I’m so not cool with that.
So I decided to make my own TN. Basically all they are is a piece of leather or vinyl and some elastic cord. So how hard could it be to make my own? Not hard at all. I used two pieces of sample vinyl wallpapers from one of those huge sample books. First I glued them backsides together so I have a pretty cover and inside. Then I followed a video detailing how to attach the elastic pieces.
This is what my bare bones TN looks like.
Okay, I know it doesn’t look great yet, but that is because I haven’t worked on any of the pages inside.
I am using my TN as a prayer and Scripture book. But if that’s not your thing, you can use them as day planners, art journals, junk journals, glue books, etc…
Here are some of the pages I’ve made for my journal. As my prayers are private, I photographed these pages before I wrote my prayers on them.
Traveler’s notebooks, however you deem to use them, are a great way to use your creativity as well as use your stash!
If you don’t already have a TN, check out some videos about them. I bet you’ll get hooked just like I did!
I have already started making junk journals and such for the upcoming Christmas season. Although I really don’t need a lot of ephemera to make new journals, I did want to beef up my stash a little bit. So I picked up some really cool stuff in the last couple of weeks and wanted to share it with you. So without any further ado, here’s the stuff I hauled.
Cool old books and magazines. The pictures in these books are fantastic!
More vintage books with great graphics.
This book is not that old but…
the inside is chock full of vintage street signs. These will also be great to use in my mixed media projects or as embellishments in my journals!
Two more vintage cookbooks, but check out the insides of these…
great pages for journaling. The top one gets extra points because it’s a binder!
Vintage wrapping papers and tissue papers, because the one huge box I already have is apparently not enough! Again, these can be used in junk journals or in mixed media.
Vintage kitchen labels, a note pad and vintage sewing supplies. These are great additions to junk journals.
A box crammed full of vintage matchbooks. The matches have already been taken out so these will make great tags and embellishments for my journals. This photo doesn’t show the quantity too well but there are at least 250-300 old matchbooks here!
And lastly, a yummy box of old ephemera. There are all kinds of receipts in this lot. Also included were some cards of vintage rickrack and some old pens, some of which are fountain pens.
So all in all, I feel well stocked for a while and am ready to get on with making the journals. If I remember, I’ll show you some of the finished ones.
It gives me a great feeling to know I can reuse these old treasures to make journals and mixed media projects people will enjoy. Recycling is always a win-win situation!
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.
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!
If you have followed my last couple of posts you will know that I am making lots of journals for the shows I am doing later this year. I had made a stack of hand-bound journals using coffee stained papers. It just so happened that I had a stack of the papers left over that were not the right size for the bound journals. See the stack with the holes in it?
What to do? What to do? Well it so happened that the holes all lined up perfectly so really all I needed was to find a cover that fit and some book rings. I found an old book called, “Asylum For The Queen”. I never read it but I loved the title. Here is the finished journal.
I had to add pretty ribbons and charms, including a crown as the title dictated.
On some of the pages I stamped images that remind me of old royalty.
This journal has blank pages, except for the few stamps, to allow for lots of journaling or space for smashing other ephemera.
I’m so happy I was able to use every last piece of the papers I had stained from that project!
I am already making items to sell at my shows this fall. Gifts items and Christmas decorations are what I am concentrating on. Because the biggest show I am doing is a very expensive show to participate in, my theme for making items this year is, “Something out of nothing”. What this means is I am using up my stash of craft supplies and up-cycling and recycling everything I can in order to offset my expenses. I am not buying much of anything to complete my items. It does not mean, however, that I am producing anything that is not up to my standards. It just means I’m being more creative, which is actually quite fun!
Here are some pictures from one of my first show projects.
These junk journals were made only with stuff I already had on hand, so my only investment was a little time.
This is the first completed set of books I made. I will be making many more junk journal/glue books of various styles for the shows. I absolutely love making journals and can’t wait to start my next project!
I was lucky enough to purchase this big bunch of old hand written and typed letters recently.
I really had no idea what I was going to do with them. I looked around my craft desk and my Twinkling H2o’s (shimmering watercolor paints) were still at hand so they were the medium of choice.
So I just sat down and made a big mess with lots of paint and water. It was really quite fun.
I used every color of H2o’s I had in different combinations. After playing and letting the letters dry, this is what I had.
But now what? I knew I could tear some of the papers up to use in mixed media pieces or my art journal but I had another idea.
These fun little stamps were also still on my craft desk so I decided to use them on some of the paper and make a bunch of small embellishments.
I think they turned out really cute and they have an awesome crackling paper texture. Now I am ready to made an art journal page using some of these cute little embellishments that were made from just messing around!
Just a quickie post today as I don’t have too much to share.
I have been very busy lately with Mossy Cottage but I did manage to finish (I think) one page from my first attempt at Journaling by 5s by Shannon Green.
And here is an ATC (Artist Trading Card) I made for a challenge.
Well that’s all for this post. Hopefully I’ll have some time now to work on some more of my art journal pages. I’ll post them as I finish them. And if you haven’t tried journaling by 5s yet, what are you waiting for???
I am now on the last “mandated” part of Journaling by 5s by Shannon Green. As you can recall the first 15 minute session was paint/ink for color, the second was collage/recycled stuff for texture, the third stamps/stencils for pattern, the fourth words/images for focal point and lastly pen/pencil for finishing details.
Why is it that 15 minutes is so long when we are waiting at the Doctor’s office or for a table at our favorite restaurant and so short when we are
on Pinterest trying to be creative? One would think it easy to doodle some words and scribbles on 20 pages in 15 minutes, right? Wrong! Once again the timer kicked my butt and although I worked on all 20 pages, I am nowhere near finished. Mostly what I did during this time is to outline pictures and words with my Pitt Pens and then smudged the lines to give a blended effect. You have to look really hard to see it in these pictures, but trust me I did it.
Here are some pictures of pages I have been working on. I won’t bore you all to death with all twenty pages.
Shannon says in her video that after you finish the 5 sessions you have “free time” to work on the pages as you wish. These pages are really just in their beginning stages and will take a lot more work. I am looking forward to working on them and will post some pictures here and there as I get the pages done. The thing with mixed media is that I “have to be in the mood” in order to do it well.
Now, drum roll please! Here is the status of the heinous page so far……
Alright so I am moving right along with my Journaling by 5s sessions which was created by Shannon Green. This is the fourth 15-minute session and I had to add my focal graphics and words. To me this was the step I really dreaded the most because this is the area I tend to over-think.
I already have files of collage graphics and a box of words and sentences, however, I did cut some more out of some old magazines just in case.
So I got my glue stick, images, words, journal and timer ready.
I just had one preconceived idea which was to put light graphics on dark pages and dark graphics on light pages. The words and text would be whatever I grabbed. With only 15 minutes and twenty pages there really isn’t any time to think.
This step was actually the easiest for me and I did finish in the time allowed. I’m okay with the results so far even if a lot of it doesn’t make sense yet. I still have a doodling session and some “free play” time to tie everything together. Stay tuned, I may even show you how the heinous page is coming along!