Beautiful things for you and your home!

Lots of homely thoughts on sewing, baking, papercrafts, gardening and all the things that go towards making your house a home

Friday, 18 November 2011

Believe in yourself

A short while ago, during an episode of Paperclipping I discovered Elise Blaha's blog. Her musings include lots of gorgeous crafty goodness together with thoughts and feelings, especially lately.

You see, Elise is one of the many people who has a loved one in a war zone. Her husband is in the middle of his deployment. And right now she's moving apartment. Anyone who's ever moved knows all the fun and games that entails; all the people you have to notify, all the things you have to change, buy, alter and arrange. When you've got used to living as a couple, you rely on each other for your own skill sets - he/she can do this, and I can do that, so it works fine and halves the load (well, hopefully!). But now Elise is having to deal with things she wouldn't ordinarily have got involved in - and she's finding she can do it. And I think she's a little surprised at this, and I know how she feels. It can be surprising.

It's a wonderful post that I really enjoyed reading and I think you will too. You can read it here.

I also found the post really poignant because someone I care about very much is going through a similar situation - different circumstances, but similar situation. Depsite being intensely capable at a lot of things, including being a fantastic mother and a wonderful nurse prior to that, she doubted her other capabilities. But gradually she is learning that she's entirely capable of handling whatever she needs to. More than capable in fact.

If you believe in yourself, it's amazing what you can do.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Travel Journal - How to!

A while ago my friend was going on holiday abroad and the idea was that I'd make her a travel journal which she could fill in on her return. Pockets for goodies collected, and spaces for photos taken would all be included. As it turned out, the holiday didn't go exactly to plan with one of the children getting quite ill which lasted for much of the week. Obviously this limited their plans and, although still a break, rather took the shine off it. A travel journal to remember this suddenly didn't seem like such a good idea.

A new plan was needed!

For half term they had booked a week down in the West Country, self catering with no real plans to do too much other than relax and walk and explore a bit. Hoping that circumstances wouldn't repeat themselves (which I'm glad to report they didn't) I went ahead and created a travel journal for them to fill in for this trip instead.

Last Christmas I was given a couple of paper pads and I chose one of these to use as the basis for this album as the colours were jolly and bright and seemed to suit the coastal area that they were visiting.

This is the finished result

I wanted a weathered sort of look for the covers, and they needed to be quite sturdy so I took some mountboard I had, and cut two pieces 6" x 12". I spent some time wondering what size to do. My friend takes a lot of pictures, and although there was no way a book was going to accommodate them all, unless I did a big 12x12 album, I still wanted to be able to get a few on a page withouth compromising on the portability of it. So 6x12 it became.

For the covers, I painted a layer of 'seasidey' colour blue acrylic paint on both and let them dry. I then put a layer of PVA glue on and also let it dry. After that on went a layer of white acrylic. I then let it dry a little and chased it along with a heat gun. The heat from the tool made some areas crack and bubble like paint peeling off on old doors or boats.

Sticker letters were then put on for the main title but I didn't feel they were showing up quite enough so I outlined them with a very fine liner (like those that come with Promarker sets). I didn't have enough letters in one colour to the do the sub title so it became a mix and match affair which worked ok as the ribbons I chose to go on the binding were colours that matched those letters. It was almost like I'd planned it (!) :)

Each page was made from one 12x12 sheet folded in half and creased neatly and then glued down. When all of these were done, I put them together using a large coil from Zutter and the Bind It All machine.

Folding and glueing

Once all the pages were piled together (just before I bound them) I realised they needed something a little extra. Out came a purple ink pad and around it whizzed, finishing off the edges just right.

Purple edges!

The trip away was for a week so I made a little tag for each day on which could be journalled what they did on that particular day, or what they ate, or what they saw - or whatever they felt like writing!

I just cut a plain piece of cardstock down and stamped it with the day and some lines to write on.


These were then stuck on the relevant day's page in the journal.


Once these were in, it was time to start decorating! I pulled out some of the embellishments that had come with the paper pack...


cardstock embellishments

But I also pulled out some other travel themed embellishments I had in my stash, such as phrases and added some of these, like the 'Are we there yet' which I believe was from a Die Cuts With A View collection. As the trip involved about a 5 hour drive, there was always the chance that this question might be asked!


I also made a set of cards, similar to the date ones , with each person's name on it. These were then tucked into one of the pockets created within the journal and that way each person can have their own thoughts on the holiday recorded.

Once I'd decided how to do it, the journal itself came together fairly well over the course of a few evenings. I hope you like the idea. If you decide to do something similar, don't forget to leave me a post and link to your blog! I'd love to see :)