Something new

January has disappeared in the blink of an eye and in a blur of ink and papercrafting. I honestly don’t know where the time has gone. I work full time so most of it was wasted at the office šŸ˜„ . Or sleeping šŸ˜“šŸ˜„ . Either way, it’s going way too quickly so far this year.

In December, I decided to get myself a Sizzix Big Shot Plus šŸ˜ …I have wanted one for so long and didn’t want to wait any longer. I love sewing but I’ve always loved paper crafts too; origami and card making but my cards were always very basic and nothing special.

Creative chaos

I had the idea to attempt making a journal. I’ve seen tons of stuff online, pictures, tutorials etc. but a lot of it, although stunningly beautiful, is not really my cup of tea. There are some beautiful journals out there made by some incredibly talented people. Among the most popular seem to be art journals, vintage style junk journals and bullet journals. The vintage ones I’ve seen have been so beautiful, but not my style. And watching videos of some of these being constructed with all the layers and tearing up bits of old books and the random look in the end, although beautiful, makes me twitch; I’m not good at random. I like straight edges and I would never, ever rip up a book. I was raised to believe that books should be cared for and respected. I am all for upcycling, but cutting up books is a big no-no for me. But this doesn’t take away from the beauty of some of the creations I’ve seen.

Anyway, I got a few dies for my new Big Shot Plus, some mini Distress Inks and started doing a practice run for myself. I’ve ended up with some kind of mash-up of different journal types and I used different techniques that I picked up on Pinterest, the Sizzix blog (how great is Pete Hughes!? I just love his videos!) and YouTube. I also like colouring so made some pages with little die cuts from some printable colouring pages so I could just do some colouring if the mood takes me.

I don’t consider myself to be an artistic person, I love lots of different crafts and I make some nice things but only because I am a perfectionist and am very good at following instructions. When it comes to imagination and actually coming up with something myself I am definitely lacking. I need visual cues and instructions or a guide to help me along. I’m not very good at thinking outside the box. I did try though, and managed to put some nice pages together.

My mum was the inspiration behind the journal and ultimately I wanted to make one for her. I know she likes to keep a daily diary and likes to jot things down and make note of recipes etc, etc. I’ve always been rubbish at keeping a diary or a journal, I’ve tried so many times but I never put the time aside or I forget – even lists I’m no good with, I make lists and leave them behind or forget about them so I tend not to bother. So my practice journal has less writing space and more pockets and colouring spots. The first one here is the Tim Holtz Thinlits Die – Stitched Slots which at this point I hadn’t filled. Then the rest are just pockets I made myself using different dies & techniques. And the little colouring page, cute huh!? ā¤ļø

The cover was made using the Eileen Hull Sizzix ScoreBoards XL Die – Wrapped Journal which I love. My first attempt was faux leather but it was quite thin so the score lines on the die actually cut through. Since I wanted something a bit more rigid anyway, I fused the faux leather to some heavyweight fusible interfacing I had (I can’t remember the name) and then stitched around the entire edge and zigzag stitched down the wrapped edge where the scorelines were. I then glued the entire piece to another die-cut wrapped journal cover that I cut out of some thick card I had on hand. From there, it was pretty much trial and error. There was a lot of inking and stamping and cutting and die-cutting. I then remembered having some washi tape that I got forever ago but then had to go buy more in different colours!

I made up several pages before feeling like I was ready to start my mum’s journal. Since she wanted more writing space, the majority of what I’ve done are just pretty colour pages with some sparkly washi tape. I added a few sentiments throughout and some little pockets for her to pop things in. I’d had lots of ideas but too many to be able to fit into one small journal and too little time to do it in. She received her journal today and absolutely loved it šŸ’œšŸ’™šŸ’• . I am no good at filming since I only have two hands and an iPhone so although I did make a quick flip through video, I am not going to share that but I do have this handful of pics I took along the way. These pics were taken before I decided to add some stamping and the odd gem and the finished journal has all four signatures completed.

Here is a link to my board on Pinterest where I have pinned a lot of posts that have inspired me šŸ˜Š

What else have I been up to?

I’ve also done some sewing, albeit not much. Liz of MOMENTS by Liz created a wonderful tutorial for these awesome little baskets that have snaps at the corners so you can store them flat and then snap them up for super versatile vessels! They are also reversible depending on the snaps used! The pattern is called Snap it up! If you like to sew then pop over to Facebook where you can join her group (don’t forget to answer the questions!) and download the pattern for free. If you’re not on Facebook or you are but don’t want to join any more groups, then you can also buy a copy of the pattern in Liz’s Etsy shop for a small fee. Here is my little collection made from faux leather (incidentally the same one I used for my journal!) and quilting cotton from a coordinating pack of fat quarters.

Aren’t they adorable! And they have taken Facebook by storm, Liz created this freebie in her group as a thank you for reaching 5,000 members! In the space of 5 days the group has hit over 7,000 members! So many people have made them already and it is amazing to see my group feed on Facebook filled with so many beautiful creations. It really is lovely to see.

More exciting news…G surprised me a week or two ago, he went to the bakery to get lunch and came back with a vintage Singer sewing machine! It is a beauty, she’s a 66k from 1919 and has a motor and foot pedal. I am hoping to get a new motor for it so that I can use it for bag making as I am reliably informed that the old Singer machines can handle pretty much anything you put under the foot. I really hope this is the case because my modern Janome does struggle with some of the bags I’ve made. Here she is with my others too…they are enjoying the sun after a nice clean and polish.

Singer 66k – 1919
Singer family: 28k, 66k, 99k

So overall it’s been a very crafty month, I’ve loved making the journals and it has got me out of my comfort zone quite a bit. I can take a little break from it now and do some other bits. I haven’t managed any crochet time for a while so hoping to do a little of that.

I love to see what you’re all up to, so why not follow me on Facebook or Instagram to see what I’m up to and leave me a comment, I’d love to hear what you think of my recent activities šŸ˜Š .

Happy crafting everyone xxx šŸ’œ H šŸ’œ xxx

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