Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Guesting for Our Creative Corner!

I was so thrilled to get the news that I would be a Guest Designer at Our Creative Corner this month!    I've made a little "Gratitude" journal with its own wallet enclosure as my "guest design".

Be forewarned, this is a l-o-n-g post, so feel free to skip through, or to cozy up with your favorite beverage and read along!

The journal itself is composed of tags, folded this way and that to create pockets and other areas for journaling.  There are many internet resources for making this sort of thing; I used  this video as my main inspiration.  The author of this (Kit) used wonderful two-sided scrapbooking paper to make her tags; in fact, she makes the entire little book from one 12 x 12 sheet of paper!  However, I knew I wanted to add a lot of images through stamping and die cuts, so decided to make my own paper and cut into larger tags.

I started, as usual lately, by wrinkle-free distressing some heavier cardstock with Antique Linen, Picket Fence, and a touch of Hickory Smoke Distress paints, covering both sides.

Once dry, I cut these into tags, using the Stephanie Ackerman large tag die (Sizzix 660280).  This cuts something very close to the larger #10 tag (just a tad shorter).

Then I sponged on some Tumbled glass Distress Ink..... the paint underlay makes this a bit splotchier than if I were doing this on a plain tag without the paint - but it gives an ethereal sky look, so I went with it.

I arranged the tags as I wanted.... following (more or less) the instructions from the video, and once I liked the arrangement, I glued them together to make the little journal. 

 I left some areas open for inserting tags or other ephemera.

The wallet  is made of the new Ranger "Leather" paper, in white.  I folded it around my now glued-together book, scoring each fold and also scoring a 1/4 inch "spine" to allow for expansion as tags and ephemera were added.  The picture shows two pieces of leather paper, but I only used one for the wallet.  The second was too short to make the band, but I will use it in another project somewhere!
I used a large oval Spellbinders die (one of a set of concentric rings) to trace a large, even notch on one side of my wallet.  Here, I am using the printed edge of my Big Shot platform as a straight edge to align my die and paper before tracing and hand cutting.  I then dry embossed the entire wallet, using a large Tonic Studios embossing folder, for which I needed my Big Shot Plus.

To color the wallet, I sprayed with Stormy Skies and Blueprint Distress Sprays.... which appeared at first to obliterate the beautiful embossed pattern.  But to get some variation anyway, I sprayed, dried, and resprayed areas to get some varied color throughout, on both sides.

And to my delight, once I dried the very wet paper, the embossing showed up, ever so faintly!  The picture does not capture the fabulous indigo blue of the final color..... with beautiful variegation due to the heavy spraying.  The embossing and color were enhanced a bit more when I rubbed Distress Micro Glaze over the entire wallet - this will protect it and my fingers from all that wonderful Distress color from rubbing off in the future.

The wallet  closes with a belly band of collaged little bits of Japanese washi paper.  I was recently gifted with a marvelous stash of these papers from one of my students who traveled to Japan some years ago, and upon cleaning out her house decided they needed a new home - so happy they came my way!  I cut some strips from selected sheets, and then chopped them willy-nilly before adhering them to a couple of pieces of Stick-It that I had taped together.  I didn't worry about the minuscule areas of the underlayment showing through, as it all adds to the pattern.

Once all glued down, I cut out another band from a much larger piece of heavy cardstock, which would be the inside of the belly bandband.  (I work larger than many folks, so had procured some very large paper some time back - you could also hinge some regular sized cardstock together after collaging with some die cuts).  This inside band was sprayed heavily with Distress Antique Bronze, again to create a lot of pattern.  I then adhered the collage to this second band.  Once all glued together, I coated the entire bellyband with matte medium to secure the collage pieces and add some flexibility.  Then I applied a little magnet to each side, so the band would stay closed.  The second magnet is on the underside of the collage flap on the left.

On to decorating the journal!  I cut a bunch of words from various dies from plain cardstock, which I then heat embossed with Vintage Gold embossing powder.

After futzing around with placement with where I wanted what, I then sponged the journal with Stormy Skies Distress ink, and stamped my images with Wendy Vecchi's Cornflower Blue.

Then I glued down my embossed words.

and added some white and gold Frantage here and there in the midst of the journal....

and some eyelets on the front and back pages....

 I also added some die-cut tags, made from two-sided papers from Tim Holtz.

I also added a tag made from a Memory Box corner die on top of some mop-up tag I had from experimenting with Ken Oliver's Color Burst powder in blue.

Lastly, I tied some seam binding died in the same colors of the wallet to the two metal eyelets I had attached to the journal, to serve as a closure to the journal itself.

So there you have it, at last!! (And forgive the wonky placement here and there - Blogger and I are having words this evening, and Blogger is winning, lol!)

Thank you so much for stopping by, and if you've time, please do leave a comment!  I love reading them.... and it is always good to hear from you!

Wishing everyone the best of holiday seasons, however you may celebrate - xxx Lynn


  1. Lynn, this is an absolutely amazing work of art, art on top of art on top of art again! I love the outer wallet and the closure band you made. All those nooks and crannies and pockets and tags have my creative mind racing! Love all of the intricacies and artistic pages you have worked into this monstrous project! You really put your all into everything you make! I love that about you!

    I have to say I was deeply touched by your thoughts on those who inspire you on your OCC Top Talent post. I am so honored that you mentioned my name among those other talented artists, and it has truly put the icing on my 2015 cake! THANK YOU!

    Big congratulations on your Top Talent spot! You are SO deserving, as you are truly a top talent! I wish you a Merry Christmas and all the best as we head into the new year! Big hugs!

  2. Wow Lynn, your Gratitude Journal is amazing and I have really enjoyed all the steps that you showed to get there, the colours are wonderful on the belly band and it is so striking against the beautiful background and I love all the little pocket you created to put little treasures in. Beautiful!! Huge congratulations on your Top Talent place and post too. Big hugs, Anne xx

  3. This is just so beautiful Lynn, every little detail just perfectly done!I love the whole concept of a gratitude journal and yours is just gorgeous! The wonderful colours on the tags, so beautiful with that striking colourful belly band! The little pocket for treasures is just the perfect finishing touch!
    Big congrats on your guest design spot and have the most wonderful Christmas!

  4. A very beautiful mini-book of tags!!! :)
    I have loved reading your post, very interesting and full of creativity and ideas, thank you for the detailed step-by-step Lynn and congratulations again to be Guest for OCC!
    Merry Christmas!
    Coco (from France) x

  5. Sorry I have to skip through Lynn, but this is a bussy day here.
    Your wallet looks wonderful, I love the idea, and stamps you used ,
    I will be back another day to read more .
    Merry Christmas, from Dorthe

  6. What a clever construction, Lynn - and the pages of your gratitude journal are just lovely - wonderful use of those LP and Finn stamps, and great inclusions. Amazing what you've done with the washi papers to create the "belt" too - altogether fantastic!
    Alison xx

  7. An original and brilliant book, Lynn! I love all the pockets and the words. Great combination!

  8. Such a beautiful and stylish book Lynn. All the details are so beautiful but I especially love that brightly coloured band around it - so eye-catching and so cleverly made - I love it! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas,
    Diana xx

  9. That is absolutely stunning Lynn, what a wonderful wallet! Love all of your embellishments and all the nooks and crannies, thanks for the link to the video as well, I have a niece who would love to have one of these for a secret journal! Congratulations on your guest designer post at OCC, very well deserved! Deb xo