Wednesday, 8 October 2014

JUNK JOURNAL - sharing Debs story

In previous Junk Journal posts I have made reference to one of the swap participants, Debs.  Not only did I love the way she came up with her ideas but the story behind it and so I took photos of her journal and invited Debs to tell all. 

So let's not waste time and with a big THANK YOU - it's over to Debs!

1.       So, Sandie’s junk journal challenge, should I do it, too busy really, work and getting ready to go on holiday and on top of that having to pick up my new passport in person from Peterborough due to lost photos……..well, I combined that trip to Peterborough with holiday shopping and whilst very pleased with the clothes and cosmetics I came away from that trip totally inspired by the packaging that all the things had come in. I loved the colours and the feel of the bags, so it was straight into my stash to have the fun of looking at papers and ephemera that all of us can describe in our craft spaces. Old photo mounts, paint chips, post cards from Ikea, an old A-Z of London, an old botanical book. Although this was a junk journal and I knew some of the pages would not come back to me I still couldn’t help but think of the journal as a whole and carry the colour theme through the pages, oranges, greys and blacks inspired by the shopping bag from Taking Shape.  (A brilliant shop for the slightly larger and curvaceous ladies, clothing with attitude and quality).

2.       How to use the papers and bags……decide on a size, and go for it.  A really useful tip that helped was to use the Ikea postcard as a template for the page size and take the postcard to the shopping bag and move it over the printed patterns and also over the folded part of the bag to see how to deconstruct the bag but keep the interesting features (technical term here now….keep the folded part in as a feature….the folded part is called the gusset!!!!)

3.       A page simply cut out from a No 7 gift bag leaving the black cord handles on. After the journal was finished these handles were too long so I just tied a knot into them. Onto the inside flap by the handles I attached a clear acrylic name badge holder with a brad. A place for hidden journaling.

4.       Opposite this I used an old photo mount, used paint chips to add colour and then distress inks blended in to the colour theme. Ink also enhanced the slight embossing on the photo mount.

5.       This page uses the shopping bag from taking shape, I even left the name on the gusset as I liked the expression. On the reverse I utilised an existing fold in the bag and tucked in an envelope and card for more hidden journaling. The card and envelope from my stash, a TKMaxx find. I also distressed inked the inside of the page but has to go really carefully as it was glossy paper and took ages to dry.

6.       An Ikea postcard mounted onto a Chanel No 5 hand-out. I had used photo glue and this reacted with the  glossy card giving an interesting texture in parts. Who can resist a quote “A drop of No5 and nothing else”!!!!

7.       I always have books that I have got from charity shops or car boots that tell a story in their design, can work as personal references to friends and places, or they work as background papers. This is simply a page from a botanical book with torn strips from the London A-Z.

8.       Almost the same on the reverse but instead of the street maps I used the index of street names.

9.   The reverse of the Ikea post card was distress inked and a line of chandeliers stamped across the top of the page. Overlaid on the top and affixed with glossy accents is part of the packaging from Tresor perfume, you can see where the bottle fitted into the acrylic and a chandelier printed onto it.

10 . Utilising part of the taking shape shopping bag and paint chips this page was created. I even used an existing hole in the bag (where the handles had been) to add a tag. This tag was created from the label from one of the items of clothing bought for my holiday!!! I covered the name and details with a piece of coordinating card.

11.   Another photo mount, left fairly plain as I liked the muddy greys and old grey writing.

12.   Using the A-Z as matting and layering.

So the pages were done, and interestingly I had passed half the night being inspired by Sandie’s challenge and thinking I didn’t really have the time. Amazing where thought and inspiration can take you. So what do I do for the covers, this part is really serendipity. I looked around by craft space and of course it was cluttered,  untidy and with evidence of good intentions to tidy up and sort out, i.e. Ikea cardboard cartons for packing. Way to go!!! Took my postcard template to one of the cartons, tried it out in different positions and even the existing  perforations created a spine, the hand holds created a view into the journal and the lines for labelling the box fell into an ideal place on the cover. The handles from the shopping bag were used to tie the journal up and a clothes price tag covered and coordinated as an embellishment to the cover.

So thanks Sandie for this challenge.

I think you will agree that Debs certainly got her inspiration from this packaging and it was also a lesson for me.  I am someone who saves interesting paper and card for projects and perhaps in future I will use what I have to hand instead, as I love the way this journal came together and the story attached.  

When it came to making up the journals for the swap I had a small dilemma as Debs had gauged the size of her cover by her postcard.  The instructions asked for pages up to 6 x 8 inches and this meant some of the swapped pages would be too big.  I wanted to keep Debs cover so I used the back of it to extend the length and added a new back replacement.  I know Debs liked the detail of this packaging, and the 'hand hold' now left space for a tab to be added for a title.  I punched holes in the journal and used a thick ribbon to secure, adding the original handle from the shopping bag and tag as a  detail.  I hope Debs likes the result....

The  journals have now been returned to the swap participants and if you took part I do hope you like your package when it arrives.  And I wonder which of Debs pages you will find in your journal?!  

Thanks for popping by, for taking part, and again to Debs for sharing her thoughts and ideas.   It has been fun! 


  1. Great use of everyday bits and it.

  2. This was a great read! Deb - thank you for all the photos so I could see the details

  3. It is always such fun to use things from everyday life - and they will be all the more interesting in years to come ...

  4. Wonderful Deb! So inspiring.
    My journal arrived today. Lucky me to have received many gorgeous pages including Deb's paint chip and card mount page!
    Thank you Sandie for a beautiful book I cannot wait to play in!

  5. Great ideas for journaling and love how this looks. Such cute ideas using everyday t hings!


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