Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Reed's Ginger Ale Junk Journal

Started: Nov. 27, 2017. Completed: Nov. 29, 2017. Measures: 12.5 x 13 cm.
Reed's ginger ale and ginger candy products have always been eye catching with their bright colors and geometric designs.

This is one of the reasons I've kept multiple boxes of this brand in my stash for using as tuck spots, journal cards, and in this case a book cover.

This is the all recycled edition. I plan on making a second version with one of the boxes using pretty scrapbook papers on the pages.

For this version I used the fin binding, and made my base pages from black card stock. Additional flips, tucks, and pockets were made from recycled items like sardine and oyster boxes, along with security envelopes. Any additional tags and miniature collages were made using scraps leftover, with a bit of stamping here and there.

The front covers have an internal flip out for more writing space, and a closure of double tied teal ribbon.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

White Tree and other fun stuff

It's not December yet, but my Christmas decoration shopping has started early. On Nov. 15, 2017 I got myself a Big Lots 4 foot tall white tree (they held them in the back-box J). Last time I went there I couldn't find any on the floor, and this time still didn't, so I had to ask. One was brought from the back; I guess white trees are still not all that popular.

We use to put up a large white tree for the family, but it turned yellow in time. I've missed having a white tree, which seemed like it would be a better choice for the ornaments I have, pale pastel and sparkling white shades mostly, better on something pale instead of dark green.
There's been some packing and stacking of boxes going on, and I needed some tissue paper for a few of the things. I got silver and white snowflake and winter themed tissue paper for 2 dollars to wrap new ornaments in. Out of all the tissue papers, these were the cheapest, and more appealing than all those bright reds and greens.

I might use some of it for a book or two, along with wrapping up small items like glass beads. Three packs should do it for all that.

Nov. 10, 2017-  During a trip to Johann's I found myself some new ornaments to add to my tree. I got a coffee cup ornament, doughnut ornament, and a tube of blue and white snowflake ornaments. All of them were Makers Holiday brand.
The snowflake decorated balls are plastic made to look like glass, hence why they're called shatter proof. I got them because my mind is focused on winter themes for decorating. I'm a fan of winter themes over traditional Christmas color schemes. I like being reminded of icy characters from my stoires when looking at these colors.
Doughnut ornament. The price was high before, I'm glad all the ornaments were on sale. It originally was $9.99, but it was on sale for $4.99.
I love the bead sprinkles, always have liked sprinkles that sparkle on my doughnuts or ice cream, real or fake.
Resin coffee cup ornament was $6.99, on sale for $3.49.

I like coffee themes and doughnuts, specifically because I have that dream to own a little coffee hut or cart. Imagine a mini tree with all things coffee and pastry based on it, placed in a little coffee shop.
My venture through the ornament aisle was an interesting one, then I rummaged through the jewelry bins, and also got some 16 gauge black coated copper wire for creating new loops on my Florida Chicken book.

In the 1.99 jewelry bin I found New Age Moon Halloween jewelry charms (I plan to use them for making a goth belt for a Monster High doll). The dyed howlite from Bliss Beads are those funny rock beads that look like candy, which I plan on using for that very purpose in a miniature setting.

I also got two Blue Moon products. The metal arrow chain has always seemed interesting, and the dangling bead, pink and gold chain assortment with fuzzy tassel (hidden gems contents) is a thing I've looked at every time I've gone through the bin during a visit to the store. I caught myself dreaming about the pink chain recently, so I decided to just get it finally since it's been in that bin for months.

I also looked at a few other chain assortments in the bins, but decided not to get those and limit the items so I wouldn't get too expensive (curse of an artist in a craft store).

My main reason for going to Joahn's was to check for silver plated chain which I didn't find, and for cutting blades to try out on my yard sale find, a Criket machine. I discovered that Joahn's doesn't allow the use of coupons on Criket products because the company provides that store directly as the carrier of their products. For two tiny blades it costs 15 dollars, and I backed away from the idea of getting them.

I'm starting to reconsider the idea of using the Criket machine, feeling like the company is out to make lots of money. I'm considering selling the machine I have and getting a sizzix big shot cutter instead. At least I don't have to buy blades for that, and the dies can be used over and over, never needing to be replaced.

My main reason for even wanting a die cut machine is because I want to make my own tags, labels, pockets, envelops, cards, and journal accessories.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Seaside Coconut Conch notebook

Completed Nov. 10, 2017. Measures: 9.5 x 9.5 cm. Materials used: Pre-made mini book, Studio 112 adhesive gems and mini paper pack, sparkly blue recollections craft tape, and other scrapbook papers.

This mini book started off as a pre-made white notebook with a plastic spiral binding. I've had it tucked away with other small books for years, originally intending to emboss my watermark symbol on the front of it.

After making my Seaside Apothecary journal, I had some leftover scraps of paper and had also dug out some accessories from my stash which I ended up not using in the junk journal. The front decorative paper with a zig-zag edge, and the spiraling adhesive gems were both small accessories from Studio 112, items I had gotten years ago from Joann's.

I've always wanted to find a project to display the adhesive gems on, having gotten them because one, I like spirals; two, I love that teal color. The milky sheen and shade of these plastic tear drop gems reminds me of hypoallergenic, moisturizing, coconut scented liquid bathroom soap. 

Call it a form of synesthesia, but the specific color of these gems reminds me of the coconut scent, which I find oddly relaxing.

I cut my paper scraps down to size, used liquitex varnish to seal them, added some sparkly tape to the inner covers because my inside papers weren't quite wide enough, and I made sure those gems were secure by adding fabri-tac to each one.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Seaside Apothecary Book

Started Oct. 30, 2017. Completed: Nov 7, 2017. Measures:13.5 x 14 cm.

I enjoyed making this journal just because the colors of it are relaxing to look at. Continuing practice with a fin binding technique, I found a way to use up certain specific elements that were still lying around in my island junk journal supply bag.

This book has to be my favorite as far as the cover is concerned. The internal pages on the other hand weren't planned, they were technically just leftovers from larger island themed journals I had been making. those leftovers somehow complimented each other rather well.

You can see the stages of my work on the cover above. Its spine is around 4.5 cm. wide. To make it I chose some thin board for my base, left a gap between the spine and covers on either side, then held it together using a pretty teal blue colored paper with little white flowers on it, along with a woven basket looking paper.

I chose the teal paper because it reminded me of the ocean with small traces of sea foam. The choice of using a paper that looked woven reminded me of a basket made from ocean grass that you carry seashells in. Both these papers were from a stack found at a yard sale, so I don't know what brand they are.

The decorative square base I adhered my shell pictures to was from a small dollar paper pack by Studio 112. Another element from that pack also made it into the book as a journal spot. The shell images and ocean wave boarders were dye cuts and vellum boarders from the K and Company-Tim Coffey travel collection.

I used my new Tim Holtz distress tool to add some interest to the spine cover and decorative square, then inked the edges with Tim Holtz vintage photo ink. I wanted to give it that rough seashell basket appearance.
I glued down most of my elements including the vellum boarders using fabri-tac, which works surprisingly well on transparent mediums with slick surfaces.

Other parts in making the cover were experimental. When creating my fins for adding pages to, I hid the white cardstock using strips of the same paper I decorated the inside with. This made it blend in, and I inked the creases a bit to further hide the white color.
Everything was sealed and protected using Liquitex varnish, all except the vellum pieces.Vellum resists thin varnish. 

After the cover was finished, I simply added my assembled pages to the fins, and got a cute mini book made mostly from recycled materials.

I used white, glossy cardboard, ink, a Smash book rub on of an anchor, scrapbook paper, parts of a bubble patterned tissue box which has been in my stash for ages, a sand and sea tissue box top with window, paint sample sheets, washi tape, a hand sewn plastic bag with stamping done in Staz-on ink, and finally half a ginger ale box with a whale on it.

About the book's name: Two of the paint sample cards I added in the front of the book as inserts have little labels on them that inspired the name. One says dried mint, another is labeled Apothecary Jar. Among these are blue cards with names like Fountain Foam and Niagara Blue. This inspired me to name the book Seaside (or Sea Foam) Apothecary.

There was another reason I liked this name, and the name itself inspired me to add a couple of experimental mason jar shaker cards (shown left). Seaside Apothecary as a theme is based off of a setting from one of my stories (the MN- I role play). In the beach region with a sea town, there's an Apothecary owned by a character named Dorian. He's friends with the local medic and renowned chowder house owner, Irna, who visits his apothecary for herbs and spices relating to both her healing job and her restaurant.
The mason jar shakers were something I added specifically to represent these two characters. One jar has herbs in it, the other has chowder.

I viewed the jars as exchanged gifts between the two characters. Unfortunately my chowder (which isn't actually a shaker) ended up looking kind of like barf in a jar. I'm sure it tastes great....just looks odd. This was a result of making a collage with green pasta and shrimp, then painting on it with a cream colored acrylic, an attempt to make it look like chowder. 

The herb collage in a jar is a partial shaker in the sense I used a small hole punch to create free floating peppercorns which can kind of move around. The jars were stamped on plastic, then glued to white card stock using fabri-tac glue.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Nov. 6, 2017- More craft supplies

Over a period of three days and a few times back in October, I've been getting different art supplies as I find a want to experiment with different things.

The 1'' ms. sparkle and co. double sided tape was found at Johann's for 2 dollars. It was worth getting, especially because I found it works extremely well for my recent fin binding experiments with the key lime and Seaside Apothecary junk journals.

The tape holds the spine piece in place nicely, and I only had to cut one piece to fit a four fin spine which is 3 cm. wide. Also on that day I got myself a dollar pack of mason jar shaped cards by ms. sparkle and co. These items were found in the 2 dollar bin section.

The rich cocoa Memento ink was purchased the same day, and is a very deep, dark brown ink pad. It works well, unfortunately it's rose scented.

I don't enjoy perfumes in general, finding that during crafting with the ink I get a slight headache from it. This could be related to my health, but I can't use the ink unless I hold my breath, and afterwards I have to wait a day to touch the inked item.

The smell does disappear after 24 hours, but that can put crafting behind schedule. Thankfully the scent isn't permanent, but I wish Memento would be kind, and stop scenting the ink pads.

After October passed, I started finding my recent projects could look better if I used a few different tools I didn't have. I had the items on my list for Amazon; that was on Nov. 2, 2017. They arrived two days later and I was thrilled to experiment with them, having waited for them so I could finish my Seaside Apothecary book.

The Tim Holtz vintage photo ink has a nice color, a bit of a dark, reddish brown. I found the foam blenders worked wonderfully; they were making me happy just using them. I'm glad the company finally made foam pads that properly spread ink, unlike the distress ink pads which are just thin felt blocks you stick to the blender.

Only thing I did notice was that the little blenders are cheaply made. The toothy part of the velcrow is only slightly sticky, and held in place with a staple. Aside from that though, the foam pads are just right (set came with two blenders and two replacement foam pads for around six dollars).

I also got the Tim Holtz paper distress tool, which seems to be the only paper distress tool there is now days. It has little notches, and within there's a fixed rotary blade that scrapes the edges of the paper, thus giving it an aged look. I wanted this for making light distress marks on certain elements of my Seaside Apothecary book.
All three of the Tim Holtz items were used to complete the book, which turned out great.

On the fifth we stopped at Michael's, now relocated and more cramped feeling than before. It was awful, first day of reopening and there were too many people, with room for only one cart practically in every aisle. 

We had a couple of coupons, I got myself some Recollection 110 1b white card stock, Tim Holtz broken china distress ink because I've been wanting to make more aquatic themed stuff, and I also got the canning jar stamps from Inkadinkado. I've wanted those stamps for awhile now so I could stamp on plastic with Staz-on ink, and create mason jar shakers and pockets (been in an odd mood for mason jars and herbs).
Paper products and beads purchased from Tuesday Morning Nov. 6, 2017

My main reason for going to Tuesday Morning was to see if they had any tools in the scrapbook section. A gator clamp, or a fuse tool were the main things I was hoping to find. I had no luck in finding any tools, but I did get my hands on some paper items and beads.

The bubble bead assortment from design elements by Jesse James were a new discovery. I've never seen something like them before, and love the way they feel when shaken. They reminded me of little candy jars for dolls (one of the reasons I got them), that and I love sparkly things that move around. The beads are made of glass, and the caps are plastic that have been glued on.

I also got a pack of paper called "You Are Here" by Simple Stories. More whimsical island stuff seemed fun for five dollars. 

There also was a family themed pack of journal cards by Misc Me! I got them for the vintage look, and plan to use some of them in a steampunk journal.

The most surprising thing I found was the Artisan Style Graphics45 paper stack. You don't often find Graphics45 stuff, so seeing this at Tuesday morning for six dollars was exciting. It even comes with templates I plan on saving for multiple projects.