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!!!
The Christmas holiday season is over and all the goodies are gone, including the 3 batches of Chex mix I made. So it’s time to say goodbye to the empty cereal boxes.
Some went the way of the recycling bin and others… well, they went the way of my craft room.
I cut a box into tag shaped pieces.
Then I covered one side with printed paper and the other side with plain white card stock.
I layered on pieces of different papers and sandwiched trims, pieces of paper doilies and snippets of tulle between the layers.
Here are the finished tags.
I didn’t buy anything for this project. I only used supplies from my stash. I think they turned out pretty well considering they started as waste.
I hope this inspires you to look in your recycling bin, pull something out, and use items in your stash to create something pretty and new!
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!
As mentioned in my last post, I am trying to use up my paper scraps from crafting instead of letting them go to waste. I promised two more projects that will help you bust your scrap box, basket or suitcase! The first project I’m going to share is Christmas embellishments.
The inspiration for making these scrap embellishments came from this video:
First, I cut some scraps into interesting shapes, both by hand and with dies.
Then I made some ornament shapes just using a round die and gluing a topper on each.
Next I just played and played with all my little goodies and came up with these cute embellishments.
Here are some close-ups:
Please note that you are not going to get rid of lots of scrap paper, as these embellies are so small, but you will use up the smaller pieces. The bonus is that you will have a stash of Christmas embellishments for cards, tags and other projects for 2017 already done!
This was a super fun and relaxing project. After Christmas I plan on making loads more and for once, getting ahead of the Christmas rush!
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.
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.
Then I made a pile of strips from my paper scraps. The strips are all different widths and lengths.
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.
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!
Every once in a while I get the urge to make a project just using the junk that is
cluttering up on my desk. I decided to make an ATC sized magnet so I could reuse the magnet strip off list pad I had just finished up. I always have varying sizes of cardboard on my desk so that was a no-brainer for the substrate.
I opened a new bottle of gesso and an obscene amount poured out onto my little ATC. I was actually able to gesso 2 – 8 x 10 canvas boards, 2 – 5 x 5 stretched canvases, 1 – 6 x 8 canvas board and my ATC with that huge puddle!
Next, I painted on some cream and brown acrylic paints to give it a vintage feel.
This very blurry picture shows some eggs I cut from some scrapbook paper. I inked the edges with distress ink before decoupaging them onto the card.
Here is the “finished ATC”. It’s really simple, but it gives me that old field guide feeling.
I painted the back of the card the same color blue I spattered on the eggs and attached the magnet strip from the used up note pad.
I like how the ATC magnet came out, but I just needed to add one more touch to make me love it.
Yep, you guessed it. I added glitter to the butterfly’s wings. NOW it’s done and I do love it! I hope you like it too and that it inspires you to make your own little work of art with things that are already on your desk!
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!
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!
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!
As I was browsing through a JoAnn’s store flyer a couple weeks ago, I saw this cute metal owl lawn stake. I love the corrugated metal look. And I love owls. So, I decided to try make some of my own. As I did not have any corrugated metal just laying around I needed to make some adjustments.
Because cardboard can’t logically be used as garden decor, my project got a little smaller.
I loved the way this little guy looked, so I went ahead and finished decorating him and gave him some friends.
I made them into little hang tags that could be used on gifts, hung on furniture knobs or even used as bookmarks.
They are all tucked into a little wooden drawer and ready to be taken to an upcoming barn sale!