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!
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!
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!
For any of you who don’t already know this, I LOVE CRAFTING! So how can you take something you already love to do and make it better? You can craft for a cause!
way too much a little time each day watching crafting videos on Youtube. I do this so I can learn new techniques, see what other crafters are making and see what new crafting products are out there. Youtube is like Pinterest because I can start with one video and end up ten videos later on someone else’s channel about an entirely different craft. It was through this wonderful web of videos I stumbled upon craft challenges with a cause.
One Youtube channel that really got my attention is Bethsscrrapbookroom. Beth is so funny and her sense of humor is so much like mine. Anyway, I came upon a video where she was asking crafters to make cards, or other items, for people who are currently undergoing breast cancer treatments as October is breast cancer awareness month. She is going to mail the submissions to patients in five of the top cancer research hospitals in the United States.
Since I am not a card maker, I decided to enter her challenge by submitting some small junk journals so patients could document their journeys. I also sent Beth an ATC (artist trading card) because she collects them. I am not an ATC maker, so this part of the challenge really scared me.
Here are some pictures of the items I sent her.
Last Sunday, October 19th, Beth made the videos that showed my entries. I say “videos” because as she was showing my entries her video time ran out so she had to start another one to finish. If you would like to see my 15 minutes of fame you can check out Beth showing my entries at these addresses:
My items start around 17:20 minutes into this video
My items finish about 6:55 minutes into this video
Like I said before, Beth is very funny and has such a good heart I think you would enjoy watching both videos in their entirety. You will also get to see some wonderful entries by other crafters.
So if crafting is your passion too, see if you can find a craft challenge with a cause and spread your talent and love to others who need it right now!
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!
Just for fun my friend Camilla and I decided to do some arts and crafts swaps with each other. Our first swap consisted of mini Christmas albums. You can see my posts from December 12 & 29, 2013 to see those.
This time we opted for something a little more fun and relaxed so we decided to exchange junk journals. The rules we had to follow were simple. First, they had to be at least 1″ thick and second, we were not allowed to buy anything new to use in the journals. The idea made us use up stuff we already owned and to collect other junk papers as fillers. It’s amazing how every piece of paper takes on a new life when you are making junk journals. You turn every box, bag, envelope and scrap of paper over and over in your hands wondering how to incorporate it into your journal.
I changed my mind a ridiculous amount of times as to the theme for Camilla’s journal. The more I looked at Pinterest and YouTube the more overwhelmed with themes I came. Finally I decided on an “elegant” junk journal. I called it “A Ladies Junque”. I actually made it so thick I think Camilla will have to take some pages out as she adds her stuff! To spare you from having to look at every page, I only photographed a couple random pages. Enjoy!
I hope Camilla enjoys this album and has lots of fun filling it up. I will show you the journal she gave me, probably as my next post. If you would like to get yourself a junk journal to fill (here comes the shameless advertisement) I have several in my Etsy shop right now. The address is: http://www.etsy.com/shop/MossyCottage. I also can make themed junk journals on request.