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!
Last year when I was still permitting myself to buy art supplies, I ran across this little mixed media kit at Tuesday Morning. As you can see, the kit only cost me 99 cents.
I came across the kit again as I was tidying up my craft room and decided it was time to do something with it.
Here are the contents of the kit.
Because the pieces are so small, they lent themselves well to making Artist Trading Cards (ATCs). Here are the ATCs I made.
Besides the cardboard used for the 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ bases, the only other items I used from my stash were rhinestones, brads, a few pieces of washi tape and of course, glitter glue! I hated the color of the bright green corrugated cardboard so I flipped it over and used the backside.
Challenging myself to use up some of my stash is always so much fun. These little ATCs took me no time at all and I used most of the elements in the kit. Why don’t you pull out 15-20 pieces of bits and bobs from your own stash and make your own kits to use and give away to your artsy friends. It’s a good way to use up older supplies and is guaranteed to spark some creative genius!!!
During the months leading up to Christmas I am busy crafting for my shows. I don’t get any time to “play” with my paints, sprays, pens, etc… Now that the holidays are over, I’ve had some time to get back to mixed media. Here are a few of the projects I’ve finished.
I had a lot of fun layering and layering. I hope you like these pieces. I’m finishing up a couple more and will share them when they’re done.
Make some time during this “down time” and yucky weather to get out your paints and play!
A few weeks ago I wrote about the craft items available at Target’s Dollar Spot. The gist of the post was that some of the items crafters are buying there, they could easily make themselves. I purchased three different packs of Valentine’s Day tags and then duplicated them myself.
I would never use the three packages of very uninspired tags left the way they were. I decided they needed some altering to take them up a level.
Altering these tags took only minutes and cost me nothing. I think they are much more fun and worthy of giving than the way they originally started.
If you like to craft and have purchased items that are a little less unique than you like, take a few minutes to “make them your own”. Break out your die-cuts, stamps, stickers and washi tape and get “crafty”!
It’s been since September that I last entered a YouTube crafting challenge. With the holidays and my vintage and craft shows I was just too busy to enter any others. Well now that the dust has settled, I’m ready to enter some more challenges. This one comes from craftyirina on YouTube and it requires participants to make a three page flip book. I had never even heard of a flipbook until Irina explained them. The complete video about her challenge, the prizes and how to make flip books can be found here:
I decided to dig into my hoard vault and use the Prima Marketing “Princess” papers and embellishments I had won from another challenge.
I love these papers so much but this is where my dilemma began.
Flip books work well if the three pages are joined using washi tape because it is flexible enough for the pages to fold up. Unfortunately, none of my washi tapes came close the matching the papers. So I had to make my own with masking tape and a script stamp.
I’m not going to bore you with step by step photographs of the making of this flipbook, but here are pictures of the finished project.
At some point Irina will probably do a video showing my flip book. I will write a quick post and include the URL to the video when she does. In the meantime, go to craftyirina’s YouTube challenge video and see if this is something you are interested in entering.
I have never made a flipbook before, but this was such a fun project I will definitely be making more. This week I will mail my book to Irina. Wish me luck!
Camilla and I just finished another arts and crafts swap! This swap was for embellishments to be used in our various crafts. The only real rules were that we had to make them ourselves and swap a minimum of 50 pieces. Other than that, we were allowed to make whatever we wanted. Here are some of the embellies I made for Camilla.
I also made her some charms, Christmas “postage stamps” and layered paper flowers. For some reason, however, I forgot to take pictures of those embellishments.
Here is what Camilla presented me with!
Once again Camilla and I made each other some of the same type of items, however, they are still all unique in their own way. Each of us made other embellishments that were altogether different.
I am so glad I have a partner to swap crafts with because it gives me an opportunity to try new things and learn new techniques. I am super excited to have all these amazing embellishments and can’t wait to incorporate them into my crafts.
Thank you Camilla for a wonderful time at lunch and for leaving me with a box full of little inspirations!
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.
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.
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.
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.
This box has smaller paper pieces for tags as well as word embellishments.
These are all vintage style embellishments and cutouts.
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.
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!
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!
How charming is this box? (Get it?)
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…
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…..
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.
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!
I don’t usually order items from over seas due to the high shipping costs, however, I recently made an exception to that rule. I saw a craft haul video on Pinterest and the lady had purchased stuff from a company called Yozo Craft. I liked the look of the stuff she had purchased so I checked out their website at http://www.yozocraft.com.
Hours later I clicked the finalize purchase button. I think I looked at practically everything on their website which is considerable as they sell washi tapes, papers, stamps, figural paper clips, Kawaii stationary, stickers, Hello Kitty items, fabrics and lots of other stuff!
I knew I would have to wait about three weeks to get my order and the wait almost killed me (a little exaggeration there)! And then this….
I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to look at my stuff. Well, half an hour later, no exaggeration there, I was able to open the packages. First thing I can say about Yozo Craft is that they package extremely well.
Let’s take a quick look at what I got.
I bought 4 rolls of specialty tape. The top two are decorative packing tape with lace designs. The rosy tape is a fabric tape and the bottom roll is a pink lace washi tape.
I bought five packages of lacy stickers. Some are borders and others are figural.
I got several metal charms. It took me a long time to pick these out because the variety they offer is extensive. I adore the little ruler piece ones. These charms are top quality. They are nice and heavy and finished well. There are no rough corners to snag clothing.
I splurged and spent $1.50 on a cute mouse pad. Yes, that’s right I still use a mouse. It’s the Victorian in me!
Several kinds of paper.
And yet more papers. Again, it took me quite a while to choose these papers because the selection is so great. These papers are not small either, they measure approximately 21″ x 29″.
These papers are ALL really nice and thick. Some are waterproof and are almost like thin plastic. The descriptions on the website say which are waterproof.
I cannot tell you how pleased I am with everything I got from Yozo Craft. The quality is outstanding and the prices can’t be beat. If the shipping deters you, get some friends to order with you and split the mailing cost. My shipping cost $18.00 for the two packages. My only warning about Yozo Craft is that you will spend hours on their website drooling over all the goodies!