Thursday, 21 August 2014


Last time I showed ways of making pockets, using envelopes and other stationary.  This time I will show how to decorate some of your pages using quick and easy techniques using Dylusion spray inks.  But first here's another pocket, using a 12x12 sheet of paper.

First, fold your sheet into half.  Turn and fold into thirds as shown below. 
Turn each corner in.

With corners turned, fold in the sides.
Now,  fold under, in half.  You have a pocket each side and a nice sturdy page.
  In addition, you could add double sided tape and secure the two halves
 to form another pocket in between, with top or side opening.

 So let's look at other ways of making pockets and decorated pages.  In my last post here 
I showed a page made from a card envelope.  You will be familiar with these if you buy books online.  As I had to reduce the height of the page I had to reseal it.  I decided to add a strip from a file folder so I glued this inside, and folded the excess up and over.

I used double sided tape on the two outer edges,  leaving the top open to form
an additional pocket.  The side of the page provides larger storage space.

I then used Dylusions ink spray to add some colour to the pocket.
I may add more detail or leave this for the recipient.

I love spray ink as they are quick and easy to use, and they make an immediate impact.  I always cover my work surface with plastic covering and use a large sheet of paper to collect the excess ink as it is sprayed.  Interesting patterns and colours form and later I will cut up this sheet and use it as pages in the journal, or as decoration. 
Here's some pages from a book. 
You can see some of the sheet of paper and the colour starting to form.

This time I sprayed a window envelope.  I then turned it face down onto the sheet of paper and because the ink does not absorb into the cellophane it was transferred.  Can you see the imprint?!  A quick wipe with kitchen roll left the window clear. 
A quick spray on the reverse means I have a colourful page.  The wrinkles soon dry out!
At the top of the photo you can see another envelope that I used to mop up some of the excess ink.  You will see this again in a moment.
Next I took a sheet of adhesive labels and sprayed those. 
Can you see how colourful this  background sheet is becoming?
And remember the envelope I used to 'mop up' some of the ink? 
Well there it is with some of those adhesive labels.  I could have added more ink or
colour but I quite liked the subtle effect.  Sometimes it is good to rest the eye.
And on the reverse I stuck more labels.  Once more, I may come
back and add some more decoration, or leave it for someone else.

So that's it for now.  Next time I will show you more of my pages and ways I have decorated them, and Deb, who is taking part in the Swap, will be sharing the story about what inspired her journal.  So I hope to catch up with you soon and thank you for visiting.  By the way:

There is still time to join in the Junk Journal Swap!!
You can find more about it here.  


Monday, 18 August 2014


Hi!  I am back with some ideas about how to prepare pages for a Junk Journal.  In this post  I shared ideas about the different papers and materials that can be used to make pages. And today we will focus on envelopes and ways of folding paper and card as we are looking at how to make pockets, wallets, and ways to conceal or contain things such as journaling, tickets, tags etc.
I will try not to be too photo heavy, though sometimes a picture can say more than words and also show an example.  Here is some of the envelopes and stationary that I used:

Some pockets will be left for the recipient to decorate as they choose, so it was a simple case of choosing a top or side opening.  Where necessary I cut the envelope to fit the journal cover and stuck down any open or cut sides, leaving just the pocket opening.  With the example below I decided to reveal the inside of the envelope as I like the blue design.  This also shows how I formed the sides when resizing an envelope.  In this example I slit the sides and opened the envelope.  I cut away some of the excess paper leaving a small lip which was glued, so that when the page was folded it made a neat edge.  I stuck the other side with tape, leaving the top of the pocket open.  And to conceal a join in the original construction of the envelope, I added a strip of decorative tape across the bottom.... see picture below.

Here's the finished pocket ready to be put into the journal. 
It can be decorated later by me or the recipient.
Windows make a nice addition as they show a glimpse of the contents. 
I upturned the envelope and covered the print.
A magazine cutting neatens the back of this used envelope and adds interest. 
It also folds inside the envelope, strengthening and tidying the original flap.
Next I chose a lunch bag and cut it in half. 
It was too wide to fit the cover so I trimmed it and sealed the edge with decorative tape.  Inside I stuck the gusset with tape to make it more firm.  The finished page provides 2 pockets, one inside the bag and one inside the folded base. 

With the top of the lunch bag I simply stapled the cut edge.  Sometimes simple closures add effect, don't you think?  This is a side opening and the handles would have made the page too wide, so I stapled these onto the page each side. The gusset allows a wide pocket opening so I added a length of string which can be tied to keep the contents secure. 

Next came a greetings card.  This one was quick and easy
with two strips of double sided tape to form a top opening pocket.
 Remember the file at the top of the page?  Well I cut it to size and opened it up.
This just needed double sided tape to make a nice strong pocket page.
 And if you buy books from Amazon, or online, I'm sure you have some of these!  They
make good strong pages and I cut the envelope to the right width.  The cut edge will form
the pocket opening.  I then had to reduce the height of the page, so I measured one side
and folded the excess, gluing it inside to make a nice strong edge.  Next time I will
show an addition that I added to this page.  I hope some of these ideas are useful.
I have started to receive journals and my excitement is growing as fast as my collection of pages!  What's more, I was so inspired by the story behind Deb's journal that I have invited her to tell us more and this will come later in the week.  I'll be back meanwhile with another post, this time showing some quick and easy page decoration.   Thank you for visiting.
There is still time to join in the Junk Journal Swap!!
You can find more about it here.  

Saturday, 16 August 2014

5 in 5 August 2014 - Meeting Joy

                                      Welcome to '5 in 5' where on the 5th of
each month I post 5 photos that I have
taken in 5 minutes. 

This month was special so I make no excuse for two '5 in 5' posts.  You see a year ago I met Joy through blog land, she has become a regular contributor to this neme and someone I would call a friend.  We exchange happy mail.  REAL letters that arrive through the door, with a hand painted picture, photo, or other personal surprise.  And so I was especially excited when Joy let me know she would be in Essex and wanted to meet up.  And what's more, the meeting was planned for 5th of the month, which felt symbolic and special.
We decided to meet at Lakeside as this was near to the M25 and convenient for us both.
Discovery of a restaurant in TKMaxx made things easy because we could shop, and sit and chat all in one place.  And of course, I didn't leave without a pad of 12x12 paper!

Joy asked about the  alphabet stamps that I had posted and asked where she could buy them.  Hobbycraft is a good stockist but surprisingly there is not a store at Lakeside and so we popped into The Range and another store without success.  However, Joy's eyes were opened to other paper products and stash - nd I take no responsibility for her future financial spending!!   Despite having more paper than I can ever use, more was bought before we returned to TKMaxx for lunch.  But don't tell anyone....
It was so lovely to actually meet Joy in person.  She was just as I imagined, and our letters and emails meant that we were easy in each others company and it felt like we had always known each other.  Of course, having similar interests helped and Joy bought me a surprise bag of goodies and news of her planned new venture.  And being 5th of the month I had to take another 5 in 5!  So here they are: 

And all too soon it was time to depart as Joy was on her way to see other friends and family. I was so glad of this opportunity to meet up and next time I hope to visit Joy and plans are already in place.  Meanwhile, to see other 5 in 5 posts for August please go here for the linksIt is not too late to take part....

Tuesday, 12 August 2014


I promised some ideas about how to prepare pages for a Junk Journal and if you missed the first post about how you can take part in the SWAP you can find it here

But before we start I had an interesting question posted by Denise:

"Hello....l kind of like the idea of a junk journal but l just cant see the point of them at the same time! Can you explain to me WHY people make them and what's the purpose of them?  I would like to understand!"

Mmmmm... this got me thinking.  WHY do I make junk journals?  Well first and foremost I love making journals par se.... for me it is somewhere to record memories and to keep
photos and memorabilia together.  I can open a page and immediately I am taken back and other memories unfold.  It is something to share with others and to browse through, it is easy to carry around and store, and it's more interesting than a photo album.  That said, I don't know anyone who keeps their photos in traditional albums now.  Do you?

Lots of my journals are made from new materials, but what separates a junk journal is that you don't have to be precious.  You can afford to make mistakes or be messy, and use up scraps or paper and card that you would otherwise throw away.  You can be experimental,  and it's a good way to practice new techniques or ideas as it's not meant to be perfect or uniform.  Anything goes!  Every page can be  interesting to look at and to create and it's the surprise element that makes Junk Journals fun. 

But they are also functional.  It can be a travel journal, somewhere to record  favourite recipes, or for a person or occasion.  I guess for me a Junk Journal allows free expression.  I can be playful, create something from nothing, and it is totally unique.  As much as I love merchandise (just ask my friends and see my stash!) there is something special about creating pages yourself - taking a sheet of paper or card and making your own mark. And where some of the pages have images or print on them already, you can leave these or alter.... paint over them, add to them, doodle, make into cartoons, do exactly as your please!!   And the swap makes your Junk Journal even more fun.  Because you never know what other papers you will receive until it is returned to you.  That's when more fun begins!   So, for Denise and anyone else wondering WHY people make Junk Journals and their purpose, I hope my personal point of view provides some perspective.

So lets get started!

I always collect card and paper so I have piles ready to use for what ever project I am working on.  Today I gathered some some different collections and laid them out.

Some pages will be unaltered, leaving the recipient to enjoy or change them as they choose so it is always worth thinking about interesting pages or papers.  It is good to have a variety in a junk journal, as this allows lots of scope and interest when you come to fill your journal.  So my pile contains some of the following:

Wallpaper, tissue paper, velum, corrugated card, textured, smooth, glittery, matt, patterned, plain, graph
Envelopes - all shapes and sizes
Maps and atlas pages
Pages from books, magazines, leaflets, catalogues, paint chips, diary, phone book 
Greeting cards, post cards
Packaging, paper bags, advertising leaflets
And so on.....

My plan is to select an interesting variety and I will include these in my journal and in the swap, without changing them.  Lets face it, a take away menu might be mundane to me, but for someone in another country it could be an interesting read.  If not, it provides a base for paint, collage, or other alteration.   I will tear or cut these pages to size (max. 8 x 6 ins) and then next, start to make another pile ready for altering.  And that will be the focus of the next posts, because for the next 2 weeks we will look at the following:

Making pockets, wallets, and ways to conceal or contain things like journaling, tickets, tags etc.


Ways of changing the look of your page by using paint, inks and college

Stamping (including how to make your own stamps using simple, basic materials)

Doodling, drawing, writing

And finally, sewing and adding fabrics

It's not too late to join in the SWAP and the more the merrier!!   So if you want to find out more go to the link already given (and repeated here)  and this is a related post which might also be useful.  It shows one of my recent Junk Journals that is waiting to be filled. If you have already started to collect your pages or to 'make a mark' then brilliant!!  Please do share any other ideas or tips, and also the reasons why YOU like making Junk Journals. 

Thanks for popping by, and if you know anyone who might be interested in taking part please do share this information.  I'll be back soon with more.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

SCAVENGER HUNT 2014 - Let's get started!

One of the things I enjoy each summer is taking part in Rinda's Summer Scavenger Hunt and I decided it is about time I share some of my photos.  Some of the things on this years list seemed quite simple, birds on a wire for example... until you need a photo that is!!  Birds on wires have been elusive, or seen when I am driving, and after a while I began scratching my head.  Then I remembered this bird in our garden.  It is suspended on a wire and I have more than one, so that counts.  No. 3 ticked!

No. 18 - A waterfall was less difficult as we have a pond in our garden so I didn't have to go too far for this one.

No. 13 - A sunrise.  In my former life I used to get up at 5am for work and frequently saw the sun rise.  It would always give my day a good start and put a bit smile on my face.  As I no longer have this routine it meant setting the alarm and first day it was too cloudy.  Luckily my next attempt was more successful and this is the view from my bedroom window:

 No.2 A garden gnome.  This was another on the list that was initially elusive, and even my husband was on the look out for me.  Finally I found some in a small supermarket and took a photo but better still, I came across these cheerful chappies at a local garden centre.  Success!!
And I also got a second chance of taking birds on a wire too because while out on a local walk I came across this sign.  Perfect!!   I didn't know that this area had been the inspiration of Alfred Hitchcock's film, and since we discovered a lovely new walk along the river we will be going back.  We might even get to take a photo, so if we are in time I'll share my third photo of birds on a wire! 

I am enjoying seeing other Summer Scavenger Hunt photos and thank you Rinda for organising this again!!  It's not too late for you to take part if you you're not already, and you can find out more here.

I have more photos to post and meanwhile here is the complete list.
Scavenger Hunt List - 2014
1. A sign welcoming people to your home town (or a nearby town)
2. A garden gnome
3. Birds on a wire
4. A group of tourists
5. A rack of post cards
6. An urban street scene
7. A rural landscape
8. A tattoo on a person
9. A bakery
10. A photo bomb (someone found lurking in the background of photo; the lurker may have intended to disrupt the picture or may be doing it unintentionally, but the background lurker is a surprise to the photographer)
11. A horn
12. A mascot
13. A sunrise
14. A parade
15. A juggler
16. A sign in a language other than English
17. A lamp post
18. A water fall
19. A public garden
20. A bus (not a car, truck, lorry, camper or RV) with a picture painted on its sides.
21. A photograph of you with something representing the season (recognizing that the season will be Winter for our friends in the southern hemisphere). Note: you may not use a substitute for this item.
If you find something on the list too difficult, you may substitute one of the following items for anything on the list, except for Item #21:
Alternative A: A kite, hot air balloon or blimp
Alternative B: A bird house

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

5 in 5 - Melanie - August 2014

Melanie is my friend who lives in Australia and she loves photography. Every month Melanie has taken part in this monthly neme and we managed to find a way round her not having a blog by posting here. I love that we have found a way for her to take part so once again Melanie, a big thank you, and over to you:

A cold August day and my camera has not left the house.  Instead I gathered a few of the projects which I am currently working on and asked them to pose for the camera.  So here they are.  Top right is a very long term project.  I have lost count of how many years ago I begun this cross stitch.  It has seen me through several hospital visits, mainly when my father had been taken ill but also there was a time when I visited a family friend in hospital then last year it kept me occupied while I stayed with my daughter who was recovering from a broken neck.  Maybe I should finish it then perhaps there would never be anyone else to visit in hospital.  The middle top photo is a card making project which should be finished tomorrow as the cards are needed for two nephews that will be having birthdays in a couple of weeks.  The top right hand photo is a cot quilt project which should be finished before the end of the month as my grandson is now in a cot and waiting for the cot to have a quilt.  My grandson is also waiting for the crocheted jumper in the bottom left hand side photo to be finished as if it doesn’t get finished soon he will be too big to fit into it.  Then my final photo is of a pair of applique pieces that I intend to turn into chair back covers. 

If this has inspired you to take part in this challenge you have until 25th before the link closes. It's great fun and this post should answer any questions or give any other information that you need.
Thank you to Melanie and everyone else who has joined in or left comments. Links for this months posts are here and hopefully I'll be back with more photos from Melanie and myself next month. I hope you will join me!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

5 in 5 - August 2014 - THE SECRET GARDEN

Welcome to '5 in 5' where on the 5th of
each month I post 5 photos that I have

taken in 5 minutes. 

I wrote here about a recent visit to Paycockes House in Coggeshall.  Well, I can't miss out the part where we explored the town itself.  Coggeshall has a rich history based around the wool industry and lace making.  The buildings are a rich assortment that span centuries, sitting comfortably side by side.  There is a lovely museum and despite it's tiny size it held our interest for a good time.  We didn't anticipate so much to see and do in one small town and one of the best surprises was the Secret Garden. 

The sign suggested a short cut from the car park, through the garden of a tea room.  But what we discovered what a gem of a nursery, and straight away my camera came out.  This was a perfect opportunity for more 5 in 5 photos, and so I enjoyed wandering around leisurely before setting my timer for the challenge...

A glimpse of the surprise in store.....

I loved the different materials and objects used to display the plants. 

As well as potted plants there was a huge display of baskets and containers, all at really good prices.
And everything looked so healthy and colourful.

I also liked the way height had been added, using different ideas
to show the plants and make good use of space. 

Height was also added along this border, using shelving and stands. 
It looked really affective and we took home ideas to use in our own garden. 
In the corner of the nursery was a large open sided shed, packed higgledy piggledy with mirrors, plant tables and an assortment of baskets and other household items.  I immediately spotted a couple of mirrors I liked and after clambering over piles to reach them we agreed a price.  We also picked up a metal log basket for our log burner. I love it when I come home with things that will become lasting memories of our day - especially when they are things we have been looking for!
One day's visit and three posts written (the third is here). A record for me!  I could write even more because there are lots of stories and even more photos from our day, but I have other posts waiting so Coggleshall will have to be shelved until my next visit. 
I hope you are inspired to get out your camera and join in this photo challenge. Here is the plan:

1.  Choose a location.

2.  Have your camera ready.

3.  Set a timer for 5 minutes (I use my mobile phone).

4.  Take as many photos you can until the time is up.

5.  Choose 5 photos to download and share by using the link tool below.
     You have until the 25th of the month to add your photos.

There are more details here.

And one more thing - when you use the link tool, please click on your post title.  This will show the web address. Please right click, copy and paste this as your link.  This will take readers directly to your '5 in 5' blog page and be easier for them to find.

Thank you to those who have taken part so far, I have loved seeing your photos and hope you will be back with more. 

And don't forget, you have until 25th to post your link
Thank you for popping by! 
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