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!
I’m writing this post so that I will feel accountable for my next sentence. I am NOT going to BUY any new craft supplies in 2017 unless they fit the two specific criteria I have laid out here. First, I am ALLOWED to buy the NECESSITIES if I run out. By necessities, I mean things like paint, glue, artist pens and pencils, gesso, etc… Second, I CAN BUY art supplies if I find them ridiculously CHEAP at thrift shops, yard sales or flea markets. That’s it! I am not going to go to Tuesday Morning, Hobby Lobby, Michael’s or any other store just to browse and see what they have. Browsing usually ends up costing me a lot of money!
So why am I making this bold statement? When I was crafting for Christmas, I found I had so many Christmas items in my stash that I didn’t need to go out any buy anything. I made lots of December Dailies, cards, tags and embellishments without purchasing a thing. The amazing thing is, I still don’t need to buy anything for next year either. I have so many supplies I’m drowning in them. Ditto for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Summer, Fall and you get the idea.
Now here’s where it hurts. I’m going to expose my shame and show you all the stuff I have to craft and make mixed media with. Ready?
Sadly, this is not all. There are some drawers in my studio and other places all over the house that have craft supplies in them. Now you can see why I don’t need to go shopping anytime soon. Everything I have I liked enough to purchase or save, so now it’s time to use it all up. I’m excited about the thought of actually having room to breathe in my studio.
Okay, so it’s confession time. I already did buy something this year. This is what I bought.
My justification is that they were cheap (only $1.00 each) and….
They are filled with pages and pages of these beautiful nature graphics! I can use these for so many projects.
So there you have it. I feel better after this photographic confession and goal for 2017. Hopefully you will be seeing a lot of posts showing the stuff I have been making.
If you feel like you’re suffocating in your supplies, or you want to save some money, craft from your stash and have fun with the supplies you already have on hand. Good Luck!
Okay, here is the last project I have for now that deals with using up your scraps of paper. This project is great for using long thin pieces of scrap paper, not tiny fragments. But the best part of this project is that you can use up some of your ugly papers!
My inspiration for this project came from this video:
First I selected my paper scraps, some ugly and some nice. The only requirement is that they be of the same thickness. You’ll want to cut your ugly papers into strips about 2 or 2 1/2 inches wide.
Here are my ugly strips.
Then you want to cut your nice strips into widths of varying widths also.
Here are my nice strips.
Now you will add any cheap glue to an ugly strip, making sure you’ve got good coverage.
Next, start laying your nice strips at a slight angle over the ugly strip.
Be sure your nice strips are covering the ugly strip and that they are lined up tightly against each other without any gaps.
Keep going until you have finish covering the entire length of your ugly strip.
This is what the back looks like.
Now trim off all the excess paper around the ugly strip. Most of these trimmed pieces will still be long enough to use again.
Cut the strips into lengths you like. I pretty much just cut each one in half, although I did to a little extra trimming off the top or bottom to achieve the look I wanted.
Cut the top corners off, punch a hole and insert cord or baker’s twine. Now you have unique tags!
They can even be topped off with the scrap embellishments you made from the directions in my last blog post.
I think these tags are such a great idea and each one will turn out differently. Again, you can make these crafts with any paper and any theme based on what scraps you want to use up.
I hope you will try these scrap projects I have posted lately. Not only are they using up scrap papers and saving you money, but they are so much fun.
When I come across other ingenious ways of using up scrap papers, I promise to share them with you!
I’ve been missing in action on my blog lately because I’ve been busy getting ready for two upcoming vintage shows. Here are some pictures to give you an idea of what I’ve been doing.
I have made several themed junk journals. There will be cooking, travel, garden and general themed junk journals.
Both furniture and decorative items are getting gussied up with white paint. Funnily enough, some of the smaller pieces where then painted aqua instead!
This photo was taken a couple weeks ago. This pile has grown considerably since then!
The next two weeks are going to be my crunch time so I’ll be even busier. I’ll try to remember to pick up my camera and take some pictures along the way to show you.
Information about the Vintage Home Market and Foxwood Barn Sale can be found on my “Up Coming Events” page.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
Next I sort the papers and ephemera into equal piles according to the number of book covers I have.
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.
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!
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!