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!
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!
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.
Tape strips of masking tape to a non-stick craft mat (yes, that is a necessary item!).
Randomly spread paints over the tape strips. I used a brayer (yes, that is also a necessary art tool!).
Make sure all your tape is covered with paint.
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.
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.
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!
Several people who have seen the mini-album I made for the swap with my friend Camilla said they would like to see the one she gave me too. I love the album so much that this is an easy post to do! If you read my last post about the album I made for her you will remember there were very few rules we went by. First the album had to be a Christmas themed album. It had to be a mini-album versus a regular sized album and it could only have 6 pages. Pretty simple right? Well, Camilla and I have very similar tastes when it comes to artsy things and we are constantly re-pinning each others pins on Pinterest so it is amazing how different our albums were. But at the same time, there were similarities too! So without any further to-do, here are pictures from the album I received.
There is no way I can do this wonderful album justice with just my photos and words. I could not take pictures of all the pages or all the details as it would have taken forever! Every page is so special and there is no rhyme nor reason to the pages I picked to show you as I just picked them randomly. Camilla really out did herself with this album and I will cherish it forever. I made sure to take lots of pictures this Christmas season so I can fill it up. As I mentioned in my last post, Camilla and I are doing a junk journal swap next. This album has really set the bar high for me but I already have some great junk saved up!
This is not a post about Bing Crosby or Burl Ives because it’s not about that kind of Christmas album. Sorry! This is just a shorty little post to show you a Christmas mini-album I made for my friend Camilla. We decided some months ago to do a Christmas mini-album swap with each other. The only real rules were that the album could only have six pages and it had to be a mini versus regular sized album. I think both of us did our best to cram as much photo real estate as we could in the six pages.
Last Friday we got together for tea at Pinkadilly and exchanged albums. The one she gave me is awesome. I cannot wait to take pictures and make notes to put in it.
Here are pictures of the album I made for her. Almost every page has two pictures, one with the page in tact and the second with the flaps open and tags and such pulled out. I hope Camilla will enjoy filling this album up this season!
Camilla and I decided our next swap will be junk journals! They will certainly be less formal but fun none-the-less!
Yesterday was a totally fun yet freezing day. My friends Barb and Juliana went flea marketing with me in Richmond. To an outdoor flea market. Did I mention it was freezing? But you know what? When you start digging through boxes of treasures and looking at all the goodies you kind of forget your pain, right? No, but you plug on anyway.
Here is what I got at the flea market and the antique mall we stopped at on the way back.
Just look at all those flea market treasures! I need to break it all down for you so you can wallow in all the vintage goodness.
I got these four chalk boards that were made in Portugal. Who knew the Portuguese are expert chalkboard makers? Not me! And I got the prim little wooden shelf because, well it’s a shelf and who doesn’t need another shelf? The tomato pin cushion is filled with stick pins I can up-cycle for journal and mini-album covers.
There was a really nice lady who was selling all kinds of crafting stuff for 25 cents a package but since I already have enough crafting stuff I just walked away. NOT!!! I did refrain from buying the whole bag for $10.00 though and I thought that was pretty good of me. But I did dig through the bag picking out some things I could use. I stopped picking when I could no longer feel my fingers because they were frozen. Getting my money out of my bag was a comedy of errors and I had to dash after a stack of $5.00 bills the wind took out of my numb hands. For an old lady I can still move pretty quickly, especially when I’m chasing flying money!!!
Well, after I recovered my flying money and my dignity, I noticed a stack of books on the same lady’s table. She said all the books were just 50 cents each. Hello! I got some beautiful books that looked brand new like the Pooh Treasury book and a Beatrice Potter book. I also got a book called Miss Spider’s Tea Party. This book was $1.00 because it is MASSIVE. I have never seen such a big book. Although the book is in great condition I bought it with destruction in mind. I want to take the pages with graphics out and hang them in my laundry room. No kidding, the pictures are poster size. Look!
Now how cute is that? Look at it. Just look at it! I’m sorry, you could not stay in a bad mood after looking at a picture like this unless your heart is made of stone. So the nice lady got more of my money and I walked away with a big smile on my face and an even bigger book. What I was really looking for though were linens and lace. I did end up finding a few linens throughout the day.
My favorite linen buy is the bright 1960’s table runner on the bottom. It will add a lot of color to my Spring shop displays. I didn’t find a single piece of lace at the flea market so I was kind of bummed about that. But when we went to the antique mall I found this!
I know, don’t hyper-ventilate like I did when I saw these. Juliana actually found this box first and she bought two of the paper rolls of trim first. And some of the trims are actually no more than shoe laces but for 75 cents a roll who could resist. I had to ask the vendor twice that they were only 75 cents a whole roll and not by trim type. I heard angels singing when she said it was indeed only 75 cents per paper tubey thingy. After selecting my three tubey thingies I found the two pieces of lace with the little roses on it. They are by far, no doubt about it, hands down my absolute favorite find of the day!!! I LOVE them. When I asked the vendor how much they were she said I could just HAVE them. Juliana and Barb almost had to do CPR on me. I told the lady I could not just “HAVE” them because they are so awesome. I told her I must give her something for the happiness she was providing me. I told her I would give her another 75 cents, the same price as her tubey thingies, for these two precious pieces of eye candy. She laughed at me. Some people just don’t understand people with LOD (lace obsession disorder).
I swore I would not buy anymore Christmas stuff this year because the shop is full of it and I really don’t want to have to store the leftovers until next year. So here is the Christmas stuff I ended up buying. I have no words for this lot. Not one word.
And last but not least, here are the things that really don’t fall into any other category of stuff I bought. Yes, there is a big box of PINK Q-tips. I don’t think I really need to explain why I bought those. I bought a beautiful vintage Austrian crystal brooch from a dealer who obviously doesn’t know the value of good old costume jewelry! I’m just saying. The little Italian lacquer box is a stocking stuffer for my mother-in-law because it is an old souvenir from Austria. Yes, she is Austrian and no, I didn’t spoil the surprise because she doesn’t read my blog. The box of chalk is for my Sunday School room because we write our prayer requests on the board each week. The last piece of chalk we have is so small it’s hard to hold never mind write with!
Now, the plastic fruit (grapes or raspberries?) are in this category because I thought they were your run-of-the-mill plastic fruit lights that had been put in the wrong box (pictured above the lights). But no! I plugged them in to see if they work and my breath was just taken away. You see, not only do they alternately flash on and off, but they play “Jingle Bells” at the speed of sound!!! I was actually confused at all the noise and action when I plugged them in. Could somebody please explain to me what flashing fruit (grapes or raspberries?) have to do with jingle bells. I know I can be dense sometimes but I’m just not making the connection here.
Now you can see from all these great purchases that the
early frozen bird gets the worm! So don’t let the bitter, cold and damp weather deter you from flea marketing because you may miss the opportunity to buy a set of “Jingle Bells” flashing fruit lights of your own!
There are some things you can never have enough of, like chocolate, love and money. Then there are those things that seem to multiply much to our dismay, like bills, trash and leftover craft supplies.Usually I can deal with a few extra scraps from paper projects but over time they have really gotten out of hand.
I have two boxes of small pieces of scrap booking papers, maps, wrapping papers, old book pages, advertisements and who knows what else. My name is Helen Hauser and I’m a paper hoarder. There, I publicly admitted it. I feel so much better. But what to do with them all? No, throwing them out is NOT an option. Since I have really been getting into journal and album making lately, I decided to make an itty bitty junk journal for a very special young lady.
First I got a cup of tea. Then I selected scraps of paper that had similar colors. Oh look, they all have pink. How did that happen? I also picked out some embellishments for the journal. Don’t worry if you don’t use everything you picked out because we can always find another project later (and it will give me some more blog fodder).
I picked one of the larger pieces to be the cover and then I randomly folded and layered the other pieces. Not all of the pieces were folded exactly in half either which gives you a more interesting journal. I folded an old coin envelope in half and added it. Unfortunately since it’s the end of the month I didn’t have any cash to put in it!
I even glued a folded piece of paper to an old Monopoly card so it could become a page.
I clipped all the inner pages together and then made three holes in the spine with an awl. I really wanted to use a power drill, but this journal is just too small for that much fun. Then I laid the outer cover, which is a bit larger, over the bundled pages and made holes in the cover to match.
I sewed up the spine with pink embroidery floss and a large needle. I just went in one hole and came out the next and when I got to the end I sewed back down sewing in the opposite direction. When I got to the end (which is also the beginning) I tied it off and added a little blue flower charm. I know that probably doesn’t sound like it makes any sense so just sew it up any way you want. If you want to cheat, you could even staple it together!
Next, I glued some seam binding ribbon around the spine which will be tied in a bow to close the journal. You could use any ribbon or string you happen to have on hand.
I decided to add a layer of paper over the ribbon to make it sturdier and to hide the ribbon, but if you wanted, you could just let the ribbon show.
I embellished the pages with stamps, ephemera, lace snippets, words and cancelled postage stamps.
I think this little book turned out really cute. And to think this was all scraps and stuff I already had in my stash. It didn’t take that long to make, and once I figured out a system I should be able to speed up the process for the next ones I make.
My only regret is that this cute little journal did not make any visual dent in my stash. I will have to make journals for everyone I know, and even some people I don’t know, in order to use up my scraps. I think I’m going to need another cup of tea!!!
Once again I’m about 2 to 3 years behind the trends in paper crafting, but I say, “Better late than never!” I have a really fun project to show you. It is a TP roll mini-album. Yes, that is TP as in toilet paper. Now before you all go, “ewwwww”, I am just using the cardboard paper tube from inside the roll. Nothing more, I promise. This mini-album was inspired by two things. The first is the “Fruit of the Spirit” found in the Bible in the book of Galatians. The second is friendship. As the title states, however, I added a lot of embellishments to this mini-album so it’s really not so mini anymore. No further ado, I’ll just show you the pictures.
Here she is in all her glory. I added lots of ribbons and lace to the binding rings to hide them a little. There is a multi-layered mulberry paper flower and a 3-D sticker that says, “Cherish”.
Here is a blurry picture of some charms I hung from the rings. There is an antique bakelite button, a filigree heart and a colored mother of pearl flower.
Here is the love page. It has pretty gold and teal ribbon and a teal flower.
Joy has a three-dimensional vine and hummingbird stickers for decoration. Both are outlined in glitter. Yeah, glitter!!!
The peace page is adorned with lace, some vintage millinery flowers and a little blue satin ribbon.
Patience has a metal (?) I found in my stash and ran some lace through it.
Goodness has two beautiful ladies enjoying a book. There are two layered flowers adorning this page.
Faithfulness shows two ladies picking flowers. The page is decorated with flowers and silk leaves.
Gentleness shows two ladies out in their finery. Gold sequined ribbon and little shiny black buttons go well with their fashions.
Self-control is embellished with floral 3-D stickers that also have glitter! Yeah, glitter!!! Oh wait. I seem to be losing control.
The inside of the back cover has 3-D stickers. One says “Thinking of you” and then there are two dragon flies. One also has glitter. Yeah, glitter!!! Easy, Helen.
The back of each page has a journaling spot for putting descriptions of the pictures on the tag, favorite quotes or just something that needs to be remembered.
Here is one of the tags that goes in the end of the tube. Pictures can be mounted directly onto both sides of the tag as it is made with heavy cardboard.
So there it is, my first ever toilet paper roll mini-album that turned out not so mini. I love the way it came out and can’t wait to make some more. If you are so inclined to try make one yourself, there are oodles of videos and samples on Pinterest. Just do what I did to collect enough rolls. I told my husband and son there would be a fine every time I found an “empty” in the trash can. Miraculously, I now find them all in my office!
Have you ever had one of those days (or weeks) when you feel like you are so terribly busy and yet you don’t feel like you have accomplished anything? Well I felt that way earlier this week so I decided to stop and take stock of what I had actually done. Now, I’m not talking about laundry, cleaning, cooking or any of that boring stuff. I’m talking about “making” and “creating” because, well, that stuff is more fun. So even though I felt like I hadn’t done anything, this is what was made.
Oh, and there is a Christmas Mini Album I am working on for a swap, however, I cannot show you that because I know the intended recipient (yes, you Camilla) reads this blog. So I guess besides laundry, cleaning and cooking, the fun stuff is getting done too. The next time you are feeling unproductive, just grab everything you have been working on, put it on a table and revel in the fact that you too are actually”doing”!