Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Filling a Junk Journal: My 'Summertime 2014' album *Part 4*. The 'scavenger hunt' photos

Ahoy there.
This series is an attempt to show how YOU could use a junk journal ... by sharing how I've been using mine to document my summer. Like a relaxed scrapbook, photo album and filing system all in one. 
You can catch up on the previous episodes here:
Today let's consider how you might want to put your junk journal to use because, as well as being decorative and fun to make, they can also be a practical place to store and present your photos too.
The 'Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt' pages:
While I've been sharing my Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt [hosted by Rinda at Gallo Organico] photos here on my blog, I also wanted to have a printed record; one I could flip through in the depths of winter, or in years to come, to remind me of the days of summer!  

To do this I made photo collages of the photos - 2 to a page - then printed them out on to 4x6" photo paper. This made them an ideal size for my book pages which I decided to keep quite simple.
I didn't need a lot of journaling on these pages as the category titles already have it covered and each photo has its own sticker label:
I typed out all 21 labels at the start of the project so they'd be quick and easy to add as and when I found the image to match without me having to get the typewriter out for it. [And, as you'll know from this post, my typewriter isn't the most portable of devices!]
The majority of my Scavenger Hunt photos share the same page layout of:
  • photo
  • category title 
  • scrap of patterned paper
  • date stamp
Plus I did throw in the occasional [ancient] photo corner under the notion I might be reviving an old trend ...
... but I equally forgot to do that more times than I remembered ... so maybe the trend needs a bit more help before it's fully resurrected! [I guess I can go back and add them in any time!]
And I haven't done anything as restrictive as add them to the journal in number order or by precise date taken. After all this isn't a historical document that researchers will rely upon for chronology!

It's just a nice, expressive, book which is gradually being filled with photos of weird hats, garden gnomes and bears etc ...
... so I simply allowed the journal's relaxed 'junk' style to filter through into my approach to completing it; there was just no need to add any pressures or 'rules' which could possibly deter me from enjoying documenting my summer however and whenever I felt like it!


If you've missed any of the other ideas my journal has spurred me to share with you, make sure to scroll back up [or hit the 'Home' button] to return to the opening of my post where I've linked to the earlier instalments.
There's one further approach/technique I plan to share from this project ... so I'll be back with that soon.

See you then.

Julie :-) 

Monday, 18 August 2014

Filling a Junk Journal: My 'Summertime 2014' album *Part 3*. How to add in a greetings card page

Hello again.

Welcome to the third post in a series which aims to get you crafting with all kinds of junk, bits, bobs, and pieces by sharing my current summer journal. [Catch up with Part 1 and Part 2 here].

I like to add in a few pages-with-a-difference to my journals - and to the Junk Journal packs in the shop - as they add a nice jumbly feel to a project. And I'm all for the eclectic!

And one simple way to achieve this eclectic effect is by using a greeting card as an  interactive open-me-up type page.
 Whether it's a card someone's sent to you, with a message you'd like to keep, or if it's a blank card you're simply planning to use as a means to add colour and interest to your book, then here's one way you can add it into your journal ...

What you'll need:
  • a greeting card OR any piece of card folded over
  • a hole punch
  • a length of string / twine
What to do:
Like my previous page binding technique, this one's pretty self-explanatory ... but just in case ...
  • Punch two holes in the fold of the greeting card;
  • Thread a loop of twine through from the inside out:
  • On the inside of the card tie a knot in the twine large enough that it can't slip through the hole:
  • Then thread the loops on to your album's book rings. Done!
I decorated my blank card with journaling blocks and there's a photo inside too, but that's entirely optional.

The key idea is just the basic but fun method of adding an open-out card to your journal whatever you chose to do with it once it's there!


I do hope these posts have tempted you try your hand at junk journaling / relaxed scrapbooking. You can always get in touch to let me know when you've tried an idea for yourself, and if you're not there yet, then do pin/save this post for a future project!

I've got a couple more posts in this series planned which I'll bring you very soon. Until then ...

Julie :-)

Friday, 15 August 2014

Filling a Junk Journal. My 'Summertime 2014' album *Part 2*: strengthening a page for binding

Hello again.

This summer I'm sharing the pages from my current junk journal to demonstrate one way of making a record of your days from paper, card, scraps and bits!

[If you've purchased a Junk Journal Bits pack, or a kit, or any of my Plundered Pages packs ... all the ideas can be applied to those.]

All the posts -so far- which feature this particular journal can be found here:
Today we'll continue to look at ways to get that journal filled up .... in creative and thrifty ways!

How To: add a decorative edge to strengthen ephemera pages

From time to time you'll find a sheet of paper or scrap of ephemera that you'd like to use as a page in your book and yet ... it might also feel a little too thin to hold up to having holes punched into it and being flipped over on the book rings all the time.

You could strengthen it by backing it with card/ another sheet of paper .... but if there's something interesting on both sides then you won't want to hide one of them!

So, next time you're faced with that dilemma ... or even if you're just looking for a fun way to bind any sheet of paper OR even just make a sheet larger ... this is for you ....

What you'll need:
  • a page / piece of ephemera / paper bag / scrap that you plan to use as a page or feature in your album
  • two strips of paper in a heavier, more sturdy, weight
  • a glue stick
  • a hole punch
What to do:
Erm ... I'd hate for this to sound patronising but this is so simple I might not be able to avoid it .... let's see ...

You simply:
  • Cut 2 strips of heavier paper approximately the same height as your thinner page. I used patterned scrapbooking paper.
  • Glue one of them to the front of your page and the other to the back sandwiching the flimsy ephemera in between the sturdier strips.
  • To make the page larger extend the paper strips beyond the edge of the existing page [my page was torn from an unused diary].
  • Next punch holes in the strips and slide on to the book ring binding inside your journal.
  • Finally, feel self-satisfied for a while ... then add a photo, journaling, collage, or nothing to your page depending on what it was for.
Here are a few more examples of where I've used this technique in my summer journal. This one, like the one above, made use of the two-for-one patterns provided by that little decorative patterned strip you get on a full sheet of scrapbooking paper:
And another page ripped from a diary:
And finally, I wanted to use a paper bag which came from a shop we visited on holiday [where James treated me to a pair of bird earrings]. The bag was hand-stamped with a bird image so it seemed appropriate to hang on to it.

I've used it in the journal as a pocket to hold additional ephemera from the holiday and, as it was a flimsy textured paper, I strengthened the edge with the same patterned paper technique:
And that's all there is to it. Strips of paper, glue stick, hole punch .... and the world of ephemera's your crafty-oyster!


Do let me know if you give the technique a try.
Next time in this series I'll share another easy-yet-creative, unexpected, method you can use to add a non-standard page into your journal.

See you soon.


p.s: any pinning, sharing, or shouting about this idea would be very much appreciated!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Filling a Junk Journal: Inside my 'Summertime 2014' album *Part 1*

Hi you.

This year my junk journals are like buses; you wait forever for one and then you become so desperate to get home that you blindly get on the next one that comes which turns out to be the wrong one and then you have to get off and walk in the rain. No, hang on ... I'm confusing junk journals with my life ...  ;-), what I meant was: you wait forever for one and then two come along at once. Yes, that's what I meant.

My 'Summertime 2014' journal ...
... is the second I've shared here recently after sharing my 'May 2014' one in the last few weeks here, here and here.

Plus there's a full step-by-step tutorial here all about how to add a spine feature to a junk journal / mini-album as I did to today's journal.

 And I'm sharing them with you this summer for two main reasons:
  1. I like how they turned out. Woo! Yay! It's always nice when a project goes to plan!
  2. And ... I get asked by customers and people interested in the junk journal 'bits' in my shop [all one-of-kind packs, filled with genuine ephemera and oddments!] if I can show them any examples of the kind of things they could make with their packs. [They do ask that!! I swear!]
And it can be tricky to offer up simple examples as each pack I sell  is different ... so I can't show a pre-prepared sample ... or else I'll have used up the kit and it'll be gone!

But I can at least use my books to demonstrate a few possibilities and general approaches you can take with the 'bits' packs you've bought from me[or your own ephemera].

So, if you've ever asked ... and even if you haven't ... here's what you too could do with a small pile of paper, a hole punch, two book rings and something sticky. [Like glue or tape I mean. Not honey. Or a stick.]

My starting point:
I created this 'Junk Journal Bits' pack for myself which - like many I sell - contained a mix of 20 or so colour-coordinated items of ephemera:
For some reason I was inspired to use a colour scheme I don't think I've used before: green, yellow and peachy orange and [fortunately!] it seems to have turned out OK in the end!

BTW: My golden rule whenever I'm trying to get a colour scheme to work is: be brave and just keep adding. A few items in a weird colour mix will stand out and look odd. But, thrown in a lot of odd colours, several times across the project, [a yellow page here, a yellow label there, a strip of yellow washi somewhere else] and you've got yourself a deliberate colour-scheme!

The basic assembly of my original 20 pieces involved nothing more taxing than punching holes along the sides of the items I planned to use as pages and at this point it looked a bit naked ...
The cover:
To house my journal I followed the techniques I've detailed in this tutorial, to create a book-style cover ... leaving it better dressed than before! [See above] To personalise the cover I added a vintage collector's card and old postage stamp featuring butterflies, a strip of vintage wallpaper and a few word snippets on a summer theme.

The pages:
 As it's intended to be a document of my summer it contains:
  • photos of my July city break;
  • plus pockets of ephemera [tickets, leaflets, receipts] from the holiday;
  • notes about what we ate ... we're foodies; eating out is one of the highlights of any trip and definitely needs documenting!
  • plus it was the obvious place to house the photos I've been taking throughout summer for the 'Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt'.
To store all of this I used a mix of page bases and you really can use anything you fancy to fill a junk journal [the clue's in the name!]. 

Here's a page from an old book which I've done nothing more to than add a few scraps in the bottom corner. When you've got a fabulous illustration like that there's no need to cover it up! Just allow it to add a unique feel to your journal:
I even used the back cover from of the old map that I used on my front cover and, rather than trim it down and cover over the holes in it, I simply kept it whole, punched holes for the book rings and stuck a photo on top: 
Another page was made from an old mileage claim form [from my ephemera collection] which happened to fit my colour scheme and subject matter perfectly!
Then there are lots of pages made simply by chopping up sheets of patterned paper:
And they really are all chopped up. Not carefully measured and trimmed. Chopped / hacked at with scissors. 

In fact, the whole book is a particularly higgledy-piggeldy, randomly eclectic project; no two pages are the same size ... it's quick and wonky and that suits me just fine!

As much as I love playing with paper I really want a book about my summer to be completed in my summer! There's no hanging around for perfection here! 

And, when the end result is a fun patchwork of colour, shape and moments ... then the lack of straight lines or carefully measured edges really doesn't make any difference!!


This glimpse into the basic make up of my summer junk journal is just Part 1.  

There are several more to come in the days ahead all aimed at offering up general ideas which YOU can adapt into your own book. I'll be covering:
  • a variety of ways to store ephemera, leaflets, tickets etc
  • plus a few creative techniques you can use to add in some more unusual page styles
  • all with examples on how I've used the methods in my journal.

If you're inspired by any of the ideas from today then please do pin / share them with like-minded crafty-types. Your support really does help my blog and shop reach new sets of eyes and it's always very much appreciated! 

Right ... I'll be back soon with those further ideas on how you can fill a junk journal. See you then then!


Monday, 11 August 2014

Overheard: An off-the-cuff remark

Hi, hi.

It's been too long since I shared some everyday conversational gold sifted from the general hubbub of life so here's the most recent nugget I've overheard. Except the thing with this one is that it wasn't so much overheard -  as it was said directly to me and my friend ... here's how it went ...

Date: Friday 8th August 2014
Location: A gift shop, Ripon.

My friend Janet had been looking at gifts for her son which featured deer / stags on them and, in this particular gift shop, I spotted a pair of stag's head cuff links which I thought she should see. So I  called her over and she picked them up.

At that moment the young assistant moved in and, assuming it was the cuff links rather than the stag design we were interested in, she directed us over to a larger display with the words:

"We've got more cuff links over there'. Except ... that's not quite right

That is not what she said to us.

It's undoubtedly what she meant to say.

It's what Janet thought the girl had said as she followed her over to browse the display.

And part of me really hopes it's what the girl herself thought she said ... because, as long as she can keep assuring herself that that is what she said to two potential customers browsing for an innocent gift for a son, then she'll be spared the embarrassment. The mortification felt by the young.

Because ... as she swept her arm in the direction of the larger display of gentleman's accessories ... what she actually said to us was ...

"We've got more hand cuffs over there'.

And no ... she wasn't directing Janet to some early merchandising for the 50 Shades of Grey movie ... it was actually just a joyfully magnificent Freudian slip! 

I think it was the knowledge that, by witnessing it, I had my next blog post all wrapped up that kept me from spluttering out loud right then and there!

Will you join me for a moment to share in my hope that it never dawns on her what she said? Either that or we all start making donations to her future therapy fund ...


Wishing you an embarrassment-free week ahead.

Live long and eavesdrop my friends!

Julie ;-)