Saturday, July 30, 2016

Jingle In July Journals-sneak peek

Jingle In July journals, a coin name invented by someone in the junk journal community to describe Christmas themed books made in the summer.

I've been working on a total of three Christmas books for almost my entire July. It started with the middle one shown in the picture, but didn't end there when I found I had lots of materials left to make more Christmas based journals. I had plans to make only two, but as always I found I could only bind so much with the wire sizes I had in particular colors, so I had to split the second journal and make a third. 
In the end it all turned out fine, proper contents and colors winding up in the right book after I split the pages for the Winter Wonderland journal and used the more country shades and earth tones to make the Cozy Christmas book (shown on the left).

I'll try to get more in depth on the details of these books in separate posts later on. Still have quite a lot of work to do in each of them, mostly detail work.

It seems that July must just be one of those months that brings out the want for colder seasons...specifically December. Even Joann's advertises towards this odd new craze, which makes me ask myself how many people like making Christmas crafts in July? And is this a common thing?

The reason I started it is because every summer for many years now, I find myself dreaming of the colder months when it gets really hot out. 




In my case I seem to get in the mood for the opposite season in art depending on the time of year. If it's summer I feel relaxed making winter themed things. If it's spring I'll want Autumn, and if it's winter I'll get summery ideas. 
I find that instead of waiting to do something seasonal when it's the season, I do better making themes out of season. 

The reason I started my recent Christmas journal craze is because I started wanting to experiment with all the fliers I had on hand, and gathered together a bunch of Christmas ones. I also found that during my work on these books, I realized something silly.
I like holidays as concepts in a fantasy setting. In real life they don't have the same charm or balance that they do in my head, and that to me is the beauty of imaginary settings; everything is more fun to me when it's in fantasy.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Recycled Sticker Book

Completed on June 23, 2016.

You know those sticker books that you can get for kids with the glossy pages you can keep a sticker collection on? I've always loved those kinds of books, especially when I was a kid, and vaguely remember having one I kept stickers in. 

Sticker books like those always seemed useful in the sense of storage and crafting, especially when you junk journal and like specific stickers that come off packaging. For years I've wanted to make one for storing random stickers of all kinds, ranging from collected stickers off packaging, to scrapbook stickers that came loose from their original backing. 
What better place to keep track of your sticker collection than in a specific book made for holding them. This is why after so many years of putting it off, I finally made my own sticker book using scrap material I've been saving for something like this.
Having a Zutter cutter (Bind-It-All) made this project super simple, but the materials I used can easily be made into signatures and sewn together as a traditional book. I like the wire spine for the sake of expansion and the aspect of it laying completely flat while I browse for the right stickers.

I had some leftover scraps of chip board, and after cutting it to size I glued on some scrapbook paper that made me happy, then sealed it with a liquitex satin varnish to protect it.
Whimsical flowers and polka dots on green just seemed right for a sticker book, plus the colors just caught my eye.
On the left you get a peek at the contents of the book.


So far I've managed to randomly add stickers to the book that came from food products, headphone boxes, and clothing.
Some of the stickers are a tad bit big for the pages, but I managed to fit the chicken burrito label in there with just a slight overhang.
There are two kinds of pages in the book. On the left you see the most common pages are one sided, meaning one side is glossy and the other side is flat paper. I can only put stickers on one side of the page, but I suppose if you want to add some creative touches to the book, you could doodle or collage on the paper sides of the pages. Second kind of page is the translucent plastic sheeting that can hold stickers on both sides of a single page. In some ways I'd say this kind of plastic sheet is a more ideal choice for a sticker book.













So what are my pages made from? They're made from the backings of laminate sheets used for documents and other projects.

I used a lot of laminate sheets through the years to protect photos in my journals. The specific size I cut the sheets to was always 4.5x6.5, a slightly larger size than a basic photo. 

By the end of it I had a whole pile of laminate sheet backing in the size of 4.5x6.5. I knew I could use them for something, and that's when I got the idea to make a sticker book. 
I'll note that the GBC brand works well for sealing photos, and is the brand that has a paper backing with a glossy side. The other laminate backing I used was from a different kind of laminate sheet that wasn't permanent on contact, and rather a slow sealing, adjustable laminate sheet. This is why there are two kinds of pages in the book, I simply used what I had on hand.

I also think that it's possible to use plastic from packaging as a surface for holding stickers, but so far the laminate sheet backings are just like a sticker book's pages and work super well. If you use laminate sheets and like stickers, I strongly encourage the idea of saving the backings for a project like this. :)