Tagged: junk journal

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!

The Lonely Queen

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?

Stack of coffee stained papers.

Stack of coffee stained papers.

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.

Journal from old book.

Journal from old book.

I had to add pretty ribbons and charms, including a crown as the title dictated.

Bees remind me of Marie Antoinette.

Bees remind me of Marie Antoinette.

On some of the pages I stamped images that remind me of old royalty.

More stamping.

More stamping.

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!

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!

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas…Already!

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.

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Stacks of coffee dyed papers and envelopes.

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Coffee dyed papers and envelopes sorted into equal stacks. Each book will have twenty pages.

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Inside pages of hand bound junk journal.

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Ten finished hand bound junk journals with different covers.

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Finished stack of junk journals bound up and ready to pack!

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!

From Flat to Fat

Happy New Year everyone! I know it has been a long time since I last wrote a post but you know how busy the holidays are. I am betting that all of you were too busy to read blog posts anyway, right? Well, now that the holidays are over for the most part I will show you something that I made to help me remember this wonderful Christmas time. If you have read my blog for a couple of months or more you will remember seeing my December Daily in the post, “Out of the Mess”.

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This is the unfinished version. The pages were all there but none of them, including the cover had been decorated. Well everyday in December I wrote down a little something I did and put aside some ephemera that corresponded with what I wrote down. Then every other day or so, I played with my December Daily and all the embellishments and ephemera I had so I could go back to it in the years to come and remember the fun times.
This is what my December Daily looks like now!

I didn’t show you all the pages but you get the idea. This is the second year I have made a December Daily and I love them. I had so much fun reading what I did at Christmas time last year I know this is a tradition I will hold on to. So now you can see how my December Daily (and my waistline) went from flat to fat over the holidays. Later this year I will post a blog when I start constructing my one for Christmas 2015 and I hope some of you will come and play along!

Work First, Then Play

Last year I made myself a December Daily, which is a type of decorated journal where you keep track of what you did each day in the month of December. So much happens during the holidays, and we are in such a hurry, we tend to forget all the events that happened. I kept a journal last December because I wanted to remember the month instead of letting it go by in a big blur. Here is a picture of the December Daily I made last year.

An old Christmas ornament box top layered over vintage wrapping paper.

 

I made it junk journal style using all kinds of papers, ephemera and embellishments. (If you would like to see more of this journal you can check out my post from  November 30, 2013.)

I had as much fun making the journal as I did filling it, so I decided to make another one for this December. So all year I have been collecting bits and bobs to put in my journal. I even purchased some cute retro styled Christmas papers. Well, a year is a long time to collect stuff and as I pulled everything out to start making my journal, I realized I had a giant paper-ephemera-embellishment-sticker-cards-ribbon-charms mess. I was so overwhelmed I didn’t even know where to start. That made me unhappy because I was so excited to work on this journal.

Yesterday I finally decided to do something about it and it all started with this.

A BIG plastic tote box.

A BIG plastic tote box.

Poor Louie was so excited. He thought I got the box out for him. Sorry baby. But throwing everything in a big tote would not make it any easier for me to find what I was looking for so I got some old Tupperware food boxes and got to organizing.

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Okay, this is actually a shoe box, but I needed a big container for paper and cardboard to be used as pages. I also have some envelopes in there.

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This box has smaller paper pieces for tags as well as word embellishments.

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These are all vintage style embellishments and cutouts.

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Be still my heart. Here is a box of glittered embellishments. Notice that I took the time to bag everything so as to prevent a glitter downpour.

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This is a fun box too. I have all my vintage Christmas stickers, alphabet stickers, washi tapes and just look at that cute roll of Duck Tape!

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Here are some 3-D type embellishments. I think I did a blog post last year about that little button wreath. Well if I did, it wasn’t in December or I would have written it down!

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How charming is this box? (Get it?)

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This 6″ x 6″ paper pad and the Christmas napkins were too big for a box so they just lay on top of the tote.

Two hours later and my efforts produced this…

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How fun is this box? I get so excited just looking at all that Christmas junk journal goodness!!!! And if you look really carefully on the right side toward the top, you will see this…..

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It is my still naked, still plain, still waiting for the good stuff 2014 December Daily. I am very happy that all the bones of my journal are in place now and I can get out my big box of Christmas happy and just PLAY!!!

I will definitely post a blog with the finished product before December. So in the mean time, get out some cardboard, get out some paper, get out some embellishments and get started on your December Daily. You’ll really be glad you did on December 1, when you can start recording all the magic that is Christmas.

Artsy Art Supplies Part 1

It’s amazing what big business art and craft supplies has become. I’m guessing billions of dollars each year are spent on all kinds of creative endeavors. And while I do see the need for things like paints , certain adhesives and some specialty tools, I think most crafters spend way too much money on items they don’t really need or could make themselves. After all, if we are supposed to be creative, why do we have to buy the same stuff as everyone else?

In an effort to be more original and save money I decided to make my own washi tapes to use in my junk journals and mixed media pieces. Here is a quick run down off the process I used.

washi

 

Tape strips of masking tape to a non-stick craft mat (yes, that is a necessary item!).

washi1

 

Randomly spread paints over the tape strips. I used a brayer (yes, that is also a necessary art tool!).

washi2

 

Make sure all your tape is covered with paint.

washi3

 

Stamp, paint, draw, ink and anything else you want all over the painted strips. The paint circles on top were made by dipping various lids and tape roll centers in the paint.

washi4

 

Here are my finished designs. I just couldn’t leave well enough alone and splattered some India ink on the top strips.

Once the strips are finished and dry, transfer them onto the shiny side of a piece of waxed paper. This allows the tape to be stored without losing it’s stickiness. I cut the waxed paper into strips after attaching the masking tape.

embelly6

 

And here is how I store them. All I have to do is peel the tape off the wax paper and they are ready to use in my projects.

So this is my first hand-made “artsy” art supply. Now you can make washi tape  as unique as your projects!

 

 

Junk Journal Swap Part 2

Okay, I’m finally getting around to showing you the awesome junk journal my friend Camilla gave me for our swap. To see the journal I gave her, read my  blog post titled “Junk Journal Part 1”. If you read my post about our junk journal swap you already know what the rules were. For those of you who don’t know the rules, they were fairly simple.

1. Nothing could be purchased for the journals from the day we agreed to do the swap. We wanted to use up some of the stuff we already had on hand and, of course, junk mail.

2. The finished journal had to be at least 1″ thick. I think we both met that criteria pretty well. The problem with junk journals is that they are so fun to make, it’s hard to stop!

Camilla  laid out my journal in specific sections such as my gym workouts, recipes and kitchen notes, fashion and style, family photographs, travel, art and vintage pictures. She did such an awesome job packing it with goodies. Enough with the talk, here are the pictures. Enjoy!

I’m so thrilled with this awesome journal and I’m glad we finally got to do the swap. I have a pile of stuff to go in it already. Guess what I’ll be doing tonight!

 

STUFFED!

A little over a year ago on May 27th, I posted a blog about smash books. I even showed one I made  myself. Smash books and junk  journals are what I call, ” Scrapbooking for the rest of us”. I haven’t gotten into proper scrapbooking yet, although I’ve seen some awesome mixed-media type layouts. Most of my photos are still lingering on my computer’s memory.The ones I have actually printed out are lingering away in photo boxes. “One day,” I tell myself. “One day!”

But what about the ticket stubs, playbills, receipts, candy wrappers, maps, postcards and other ephemera you want to hold onto?  All of life’s little papers hold memories that deserve to be remembered. That is what junk journals and smash books are for. And the best part of junk journals is that there is absolutely no talent required to fill one. You can tape, glue or staple your papers in. No particular order is required. Then you can add doodles, stickers, sentiments or nothing. It’s entirely up to you.

I have filled up the junk journal I made a year ago and there is absolutely no empty spaces for anything else. IT IS STUFFED. So here are some random pictures from my stuffed junk journal.

 

In my next blog post I will show pictures of the awesome new junk journal that I got from my friend Camilla in a swap. And if you’d like to make a junk journal for yourself, see my post from May 27, 2013. If you’re not inclined to make  your own journal, but still want one to fill, please visit my Etsy shop at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MossyCottage?ref=si_shop where I have many to choose from. Once you start “smashing” things into a journal you’ll see why it’s become so popular!