Tuesday 29 December 2020

New Beginnings, a big thank you and the final freebie of this year

 Dear friends, Hope you are all keeping well and healthy. I did not want to end this year without one final post to say a big thank you for all your lovely comments and visits during this very strange and different year.

I know Christmas itself is over, but I like to celebrate right through the 12 Days of Christmas, so today I am sharing my final Christmas journal for this season. It is a bit more grungy than some of my other journals and I used a mix of one of my downloadable Christmas Collections and vintage papers, mostly from Paper Garden Finland. Below some photos with brief descriptions of how I put it together.

Here is the cover, the journal is Travelers Notebook size (roughly 8 1/4 by 4 1/4") it has one insert stitched inside the cover on my sewing machine and then I zig zagged right around the out side. As you can see it closes with some crinkly seam binding and I collaged and stitched some bits and pieces from my stash to decorate the front.

A large tag fits inside a full length pocket made from one of the papers in the collection. I sewed around both the tag and the paper that makes the pocket and then glued around 3 sides onto the cover from the inside. The closure ribbon is glued behind it. Hope this all makes sense.

Here is another large pocket that has two flaps, each holding a pocket too, so the whole thing is very interactive with lots of space for journaling cards, smaller tags etc. I used various images from some of my other Christmas Collections and freebies to decorate these flaps and pockets.

Another double page with a little fold out booklet that tucks inside another pocket.

Some of the vintage papers sewn inside

And here a bookmark or tag that fits under a belly band enhanced with some lace.

Here you can see some of the tags and journal cards that fit in the pockets.
Below is an image from one of the embellishment papers that comes with the Christmas collection so you can see what I used for some of the tags etc.

Now the freebie I put together for you matches this pretty well, and even though Christmas is now over, I hope you can still use some of them for your winter projects or otherwise use them for Christmas in another year.

Like usual, if you want the full resolution for printing, just email me and I will finish by wishing you all a very happy and creative New Year!
Thanks for your visit like always

Friday 4 December 2020

A Merry Little Christmas and a sad announcement for A Vintage Journey

Hello all and welcome.

Let me start by saying this is going to be a somewhat unusual post in more ways than one, but sometimes we have to bite the bullet, so bare with me..

This time of year usually brings us festive cheer and a focus  on seasonal projects to inspire and motivate us leading into the winter and up to Christmas. 

2020 no doubt has brought us all many different kinds of opportunities and challenges and while many people are able to enjoy their hobbies and pastimes, others have suffered greatly as we all know on so many different levels. For me and many others, what has become particularly noticeable is how we, as a creative community, seem to have changed our habits using the internet and over past months a wider use of differing social media platforms has allowed many to reach into each other's studios and meet together to learn and share our creations in a fascinating variety of distanced ways. Internet relationships for many seem not to have suffered but blossomed allowing us to diversify and explore hobbies and interests we might never have had before. Even though personally I largely boycott Facebook and Twitter as poisonous places of polarisation, I do use Instagram as many of you know, even though it is owned by Facebook. My only design team in this past year has been A Vintage Journey, and as Brenda says in her post there, "AVJ has always tried to be a place to motivate, inspire and share creations within a likeminded community, a place to teach and learn, to excite and stretch the boundaries of our imaginations. But within this new world we live in and the changes to how we interact, blogging seems to be less popular than it was. It can be a very time consuming way to 'show and tell' whilst elsewhere 'like' buttons that are quicker and easier to express our feelings enable us to move around the community in much faster ways. It is, therefore, with great sadness that we have seen fewer visits, entries and communications on our very successful blog and feel it is time to close it down and give ourselves time to see out the pandemic and watch with interest how the community relates to the changes it has brought to how we will all operate in the future".

Reading the comments here, I am adding a quick post script, I am not closing my own blog, this is about the Vintage Journey Blog and challenges only!!

As the creative guides we decided to come together for one last challenge to share small ATC creations that focus on that Christmas cheer we look forward to and some nostalgic reflection in saying goodbye.

So I will share two different ATCs created for this challenge, the first just to say goodbye to the challenges at AVJ and the second as a contribution to the "Merry Little Christmas" theme.

For this first one, I pulled out some of my Tim Holtz stash, because in the first years of AVJ we were mainly a Tim Holtz inspired challenge. I created a mixed media type background and then collaged some other elements, the "found relative" paper doll girl, to symbolise the friendships we all formed in our years designing for the challenge, my fellow creative guides there really have become like a new family of friends.

I did some stitching around the edges, added some old book page and the word create, for more than anything that's what AVJ has done over the years, encourage us to create, just for the joy of it.

I added some shadow with a Stabilo All pencil to add some more depth, and finished the collage composition with a wax seal.

For my second ATC, I again created a mixed media background, but this time added some collage elements from one of my own paper collections on Etsy
This one was finished in a very similar way. I chose the word Peace, because more than anything I hope that this Christmas, fear, anxiety and uncertainty will be replaced by some peace in people's hearts and minds.

Well, that's it for now. If you would like more detail on the challenge or feel tempted to play along for one last time, please head over to the Vintage Journey Blog, where there is of course also loads of inspiration from my teamies.

Thank you for visiting here like always, stay safe and well, and keep crafting and creating!

Friday 27 November 2020

Small is beautiful, - A Christmas project and a freebie

 Hello friends and welcome. Christmas is coming ever closer and I am in full Christmas creating mode. But before I continue, let me start by saying that I hope that all my American friends and followers had a great Thanksgiving!

First off I am showing  a couple of Christmas cards I made recently, I show them because they kind of relate to the main project I am sharing with you today:

I made these cards with a combination of some Tim Holtz 3D embossing folders and 3D embosslets and some of my own papers available in my Etsy shop HERE

I made the card bases from Kraft coloured file folders which I cut to size. I then was left with a strip of the folder, about 4" high and about 17" wide when folded open. This formed the base for the little notebook folder I am showing below: This project is similar to one I shared a while back here, just simpler and quicker to do. Perfect to make as little gifts for friends.

Let me quickly talk you through how I put it together:

Start with a strip of a file folder, roughly 4" high, score at 4" from each side and also 1/4" on each side of the centre fold of the file folder strip, this will be the place where you will sew in your little notebook.

Next cover each panel on both sides with your chosen papers cut to size. Make pockets on some of the panels, create tags or little journal cards to put in the pockets, and then embellish as you like. Below I will show you what I did and at the end of the post you will find a freebie that you can use as well.

I started by sewing right around the outside of my strip and inked all the edges. Here is the first panel, it has a side pocket made with an element from one of my Etsy collections, you can find it HERE The journal card which you can see more clearly in the last photo was collaged with elements of that same collection.
Here you can see the next two panels, again one with a side pocket and one with a wider pocket at the bottom. The background papers are from another collection HERE
Here you can see the front of the notebook that I sewed inside. I used coffee stained papers, cut to size and folded in half. The notebook has 8 double pages and I simply sewed it in the centre with my sewing machine.
Here is the panels at the back of the notebook, again with a collaged tag inside. The tag was cut with a large decorative tag punch. I will link some of the products I used at the end of the post.
Here is the final panel, again with a large pocket at the bottom, and below finally some of the tags I made.
And here finally is the freebie. I put that together after I finished the project, so have not actually used any of the tags and embellishments here, but you could easily use them in a similar way. Like usual, if you want the full resolution one for printing just email me

And just in case you are interested in some of the products I used, I will list them below, I have no affiliation with any of the linked shops, they are really just there for your convenience, specially for my UK visitors.

Kraft coloured file folders: Here or here

Tim Holtz 3D embossing folder (used in cards): here

Tim Holtz Embosslets: here and here

Decorative tag punch: here

Well, that's it for now, thanks for your visit and happy crafting!


Friday 6 November 2020

Christmas is coming, a little file folder tutorial and a freebie

 Hello friends, - now that Halloween is over and winter here in the Northern Hemisphere is just around the corner, I though I would put my attention to a Christmas project, - so this is what I came up with:

A little folder, made from an old file folder with multiple pockets and a notebook sewn into the middle.
I'll show you more photos of the finished project toward the end of the post, but first a quick tutorial, really in response to the many emails I receive from visitors telling me how they appreciate them, - so thanks for that!

It all started with a simple Kraft coloured file folder:

I opened it, folded it in half, closed it again and then cut off the tabs on the side using my trimmer, as the photos below will hopefully show:

There are now 4 layers but my trimmer managed to cut through them ok as file folders are usually not very thick.

Once the tabs were cut off I opened it again and folded the bottom up to create a pocket. This is a little trickier, so a bone folder is definitely helpful at this stage.
Next you need to fold the sides in towards the centre, leaving a gap in the middle to sew in the notebook. This is a stage you could easily leave out, and just keep your project as a little tag folder only.

To make it easier to fold your project into a booklet, I found it helps to cut a little slit in the pocket fold as you can hopefully see from the photo above

Now I like the look of sewing with projects like this, but you could easily just glue. So either sew or glue everything in place. If just using glue, run a thin line of strong glue on the inside of your fold lines and then glue the sides but leave the top open. If you sew, you can zig zag right around three sides, but leave the top open also. Next glue your 4 pockets, or using a wide zig zag stitch sew them like I did. The open top is for 4 additional pockets, you can punch a notch with a circle punch to make it easier to get the tags in and out.

Now all you need to do is cover everything with papers of your choice, make your tags and you are done. I hope the photos below will show more or less what I did, but obviously the possibilities are endless.
Here you can see the side flaps folded in. I used my latest Christmas Collection, as I wanted to make a Christmas themed folder, using both the background papers and all the embellishments that come with the kit.
                                    Here you can see the inside pockets on the left of the note book.
            Here is the front cover of the notebook, the inside pages are just plain coffee dyed paper.
I just folded this paper cut to size and then sewed it in with my sewing machine, but again you could do this by hand using a pamphlet stitch.
                Here you can see the centre of the note paper with a simple running stitch holding it in place

Here are the tags that fit in the top pockets, they are slightly larger than the ones that fit in the inside pockets.
And here you can see some of these smaller tags inside their pockets on the right of the note book.
Here finally is the back of the booklet, I fitted a piece of paper and some lace around the spine to hide the stitching from the notebook. I fitted some seam binding underneath that to close the booklet.

Well, that's it, and here finally is the freebie that you have been waiting for, enjoy, and like usual, just email me to get the full resolution sheet for printing.

                                            Happy crafting and thanks for your visit like always.


Friday 30 October 2020

Tag Friday for A Vintage Journey

 Hello friends, - it's the last Friday of the month and that means that when it's a month with 5 Fridays, like this one, we have a Tag Friday over at A Vintage Journey.

Well, tags are always fun to make and as I was making a tag to add to a journal anyway, I decided to play along.

I started by creating the leave that I wanted to use as the focal point for my tag. On some strong card I played around with my Distress Inks and Sprays until I had more or less the colour I wanted, and then I cut and embossed the leave with one of Tim Holtz's 3D Embosslets (at least I think that's what they are called).
Next I glued a couple of old book pages together to give them some strength, cut out a tag shape and then zig zagged around it with my sewing machine.
The final steps were to add some scraps of paper and other collage elements that were flying around my desk, including the leave of course and then I just inked around the edges and that was it. I'll leave you with some more photos and if you would like to get some further tag inspiration, do head over to A Vintage Journey
to see the fabulous tags my teamies have created.

Thanks for your visit, stay safe and happy crafting!


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Just got a whole lot of new stamps from a brilliant place called the Stamp Smith. This is the image that I first saw on Docraft and really liked. I asked the friend who has used it in an ATC, where she got it. Well she borrowed it from a friend who got it from ebay as a one off. But.... it had a title. I googled the title, and hey presto found the site. They have great stamps and offer a really friendly fast service. I highly recommend them!

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