Saturday, January 30, 2010

Defining moments defining me...

A funny thing happened yesterday when I went to create the cover for the first of my two new creative journals. Let me backtrack slightly... I decided that one journal would be mostly dedicated to me and my life and the other would be dedicated more to creative ideas and thoughts, inspirations, sketches, design concepts, etc. That being said, I set forth to create a cover for the first journal and thought it would be interesting to tear apart my old dictionary and use it as the base for the cover. You know, find words that defined me, tear them out and collage them on the cover. So here's the funny part, I walked to the bookcase and grabbed the dictionary which I have not used since my college days and my thumb slipped into a page when I grabbed is the page it opened to...

I kid you not, my jaw dropped when I saw the title word was craft! I took it as a sign that I was on the right track, despite being a bit conflicted about tearing apart a perfectly good dictionary. It was a defining moment. Needless to say I was now off and running. I started thinking of words I identified with and tore the pages out of that dictionary until I had enough for the cover of my "defining me" journal.

After tearing out the pages the real fun began.  Mod Podge is something I never really used as a kid. It was however, my sisters favorite craft supply as she loved to decoupage. This was because she couldn't really draw so well but she could cut and Mod Podge Holly Hobbyesque pictures onto precut and stained little wooden plaques which were then proudly displayed throughout our home, while my multitude of drawings stayed firmly rooted in my sketchpads due to the fact that nothing, and I mean NOTHING was ever magnetically attached to our refrigerator for fear of scratching that beautiful brown Kitchen Aid appliance, and you could forget about ever using tape  or tacks on doors too! This is not to say my parents didn't applaud my creative endeavors. The most certainly did, and look where it's gotten me today! - oh yeah, where I am today...sorry, I digressed. Anyway I thought, in the case of collaging the cover of my new journal, Mod Podge would work beautifully (or so I hoped) So I found an old paintbrush with bristles pointing every which way and started coating the cover with the podge, positioned pieces and applied more mp as needed. And when all the pieces were placed, I mod-podged over everything one more time until I was left with this...

The hardest part was... WAITING FOR IT TO DRY! - I, of course, cheated and held it in front of a space heater to speed the process :) Once dry, I trimmed the edges and added a few crafty touches including some clear cut frames and words from a program called Love Letters designed by a friend and former co-worker Lori Marek for Little Yellow Bicycle. Although it was a Valentines program, the black elements worked fabulously with the basic black and white of the text and the back cover a black spiral binder. I finished it off by applying a few flocked chipboard pieces and rub ons,  ran a ribbon along the rough left edge along the binder to clean up the look then topped it all off with a few ribbon ties on the binder (noting that I will probably want to completely cover the binder with many more ribbons over the course of using this journal).

Here is a view of the finished cover.

After cleaning up the mess I had made I realized I had a few leftover pieces that I didn't want to lose or forget so I decided to make a pocket for the inner front cover of the journal. I used a gorgeous flocked brocade paper (again from Lori's Valentine program) trimmed it to size and cut a decorative edge on the top edge of it for the front of the pocket. Then I chose a great lined notebooky style paper to complement the flocked piece, cut it to size and sewed the two pieces together then adhered the pocket to the inner front cover and voila, adorable and stylish storage pocket! You can see the pocket below.

This was a super easy project that transformed a standard black sketchbook into a journal that truly defines me.  Now I can start writing again :)


  1. Hi Krys,,, I love the journal you made with the dictionary words. I have been enjoying your blog. I love post about Girlie Girl... I too have a craft cat who sounds just like yours! Her name is Lucy and I think she must have been a famous artist in another lifetime. LOL
    Happy Creating. Gail

  2. thanks Gail! :) All my best! -Krys