Buckling….

Hello friends!  Norine here again.  I have something to confess.  I’m buckling.  The Travelers Notebook movement has grabbed me and won’t let go.  And so I’ve decided to give it a go!  I’m not planning on using mine for notes, thoughts, lists and words, like many people do, but instead it’s going to become a form of memory keeping for me.  Like an ongoing mini-album.  I love the smaller page size, and the relaxed feel of just being able to lay a single photo or two on a booklet page and add only a few embellishments and how quickly it comes together.  I’ve never been concerned about getting or being “caught up” with all my photos taken over the years, but I would like to document and remember a lot more than I have been able to do.  The homemade version of a Traveler’s Notebook that I did (here, here and here) for our family’s winter trip really helped me remember how good it feels to tell a current story, quickly and without a lot of stress.  While I was in Florida last week, taking classes at the local scrapbook store there, I saw them open the box and stock the shelves with these notebooks by Ranger for the Dylusions line.  You’ll be happy to know that Lori has them on order and they’ll be arriving in Winkler before too long!!

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Why did I buy THREE?  Because the guts of each is different.  How would I ever decide between lined, graph or dotted pages??  This way, I don’t have to.

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The first thing I did was remove the stitching from the spine of each book.

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The idea was to mix and match the pages from all the books so that each book would end up with a variety of pages, then I’d  stitch it all back together again.  At first I thought I’d add in some plain white and some kraft pages from books of another brand but then I abandoned that plan, deciding that I didn’t really want to mix the weight of the papers.  The Dylusions books are made up of very nice heavy-weight paper, at least 80 pound if not 110 pound.  The other books are very thin, flimsy paper and they’ll have their place, but not in these books.  If you decide to do this, let me share a little thing I learned.  The middle pages of each notebook are about 1/4″ narrower than the first/last page in the book.  They shrink gradually.  It’s so that when the book is folded closed the center pages don’t stick WAY out.  So you want to reassemble the book with your pages in much the same order or you’ll have a wonky mess edges-wise.

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Stitching the books back together was a simple process.  Obviously the books have been pierced and stitched by a machine, as all the holes are in the same place on each book.  I used a darning needle and some heavy duty top-stitching thread and looped up and down the spine twice to get a solid stitch line on the inside AND outside.

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Here is the first book I’m going to use.  My plan at this point is to allow myself to do whatEVER I want.  There are no rules.  Never have been, when it comes to paper crafting but even I forget that sometimes.  Loosely formed, my idea is that I’d like to devote one book to pages about my grandson (who is soon to become a big brother and then it will be a book about my grandchildren!!  Oh JOY!!)  I think I may have 2 or more on the go, once I think about it more and decide on formats.  But probably the 2nd book will be just miscellaneous photos and topics having no special theme, except perhaps, a gratitude component.  Many photos I take (especially for my Photo-A-Day series), are images of things that make me particularly uplifted and glad to be alive!  It would be nice to match photo to words to paper in a small way.  What is going to stretch my tolerance though, is the Grandchildren book not having a chronological order.  But I am going to set that small neurosis aside, and let myself be inspired by whatever photo or memory grabs my interest and attention, and scrap that!  And so on that note…..let me first apologize if you’re thinking I didn’t come here for babies, babies, and more babies, (but chances are, you will be seeing more and more of that)…and share with you my first page!

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While Archie was visiting AZ for the very first time, we heated the pool and Papa took him in every day for nearly an hour of splashing and paddling.  We had bought a baby floaty thing but he much preferred to be held in the water and obviously that didn’t break Papa’s heart at all!  You can see already, the pleasing combination of graph paper on the left and the dotted paper on the right.  Likely I will want to incorporate other patterned papers on other layouts, and then I’ll just cut a piece to size and glue it over the background paper.  (I understand now why people’s TNs are often so THICK).

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On the left side I used some washi tape from Carpe Diem, a clear “love this” sticker from the Amy Tangerine sticker book, a “beautiful moments” sticker from Studio Calico, a “you & me” label from the Sunshine and Happiness sticker pack by Simple Stories and a random scrap of paper that matched the little bit of orange color from the right hand side.

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On the right hand page, I used a piece of Jillibean Soup (Hardy Hedgehog) paper that has a pattern of journaling cards on one side.  (I’m looking at those journaling card papers differently now!)  I love the look of repeat stamping a phrase to help carry the story forward, so I set up my huge, ginormous alpha-roller stamp to spell out “no one is stressed”.  But I think it backfired.  The repeat stamping makes it look like someone IS, in fact, very stressed!!  I tried to balance it with the calmly written title at the top, that I painted over with a calming shade of ocean green water color paint, but I’m afraid I may yet pull out my Un-do and cover the stamping with the journal card from the bottom.  I just wanted you to see that things don’t always work out perfectly for me when I scrap.  In case you thought it comes effortlessly.  The yellow heart is a die cut from a Jillibean Soup pack and the flower is from the Simple Stories Bloom & Grow chipboard sticker sheet.

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Before I go, I have a technique to share with you.  It’s something I learned in one of the classes in Florida (is she EVer going to stop about Florida!?) and something you’re going to see me do again and again.  I wanted a small green tag/label to write the date on.  Not cardstock - too boring.  Not patterned paper - too busy.  So I painted the color I liked onto a scrap of watercolor paper and let it dry.  One, an actual fish-tail banner shape and the other, just a swish of paint.

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When they were dry, I cut them out and now I have a couple of easy, homemade embellishments that exactly suit what I wanted.

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That’s it for today, thanks for stopping by and we’ll chat again soon!

Posted under Design Team Inspiration

The final installment…

Hi, hello!  I’m back again today with….you guessed it…more TRAVELER’S NOTEBOOK MINI ALBUUUUUUMMMMM!!  The last few pages, plus the binding of said album!  Lets dive right in!

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This might be my favorite page in the book, with it’s December-Happy Holidays stamped page.  It’s times like this when I’m digging in the very back of the stamp drawer and find a rarely used Months-of-the-Year stamp set that I’m profoundly pleased that it has survived all my previous purges!  The Happy Holidays stamp came from one of my current seasonal stamp sets.  I will mention, that the trick to getting the stamping to line up straight is to lightly pencil in some lines before hand, and erase them when the ink is dry.

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This is another page that started off as plain, cream colored card stock.  I used the Echo Park Fairy Dust background stamp with a light brown ink to stamp the whole lower part of the page, and a striped background stamp along the top.  And again, used up a BUNCH of word and phrase stickers to help tell the story.

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This layout as well includes some stamping - this time it’s a random assortment of leaves, branches and boughs.  For this page I used black ink, but stamped 1st on a piece of scrap paper, and then on this page to achieve that faded grey color.

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You’ve seen this page already, in my first post.  But the editing of the photos in the first version bothered me, because they were so dark.  So I re-edited and re-printed them and I’m much happier with them now!

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Here is the cover, front and back.  I added a few more word stickers on the front, making sure to adhere them with a strong liquid glue to make sure they don’t come loose and fall off down the road someday.

Now for the binding.

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Basically, the method I used is what you would do if you were joining several signatures together into a larger book.  (A signature is what most printed books are made up of, a few pages folded and sewn together, then added to many more groups of a few pages folded and sewn). In essence, what I have here is a booklet made up of 9 signature covers that have no additional pages inside them. I began by poking holes in the fold of each page 1 1/2″ apart, and 1″ from the top and the bottom.  I used heavy-duty top-stitching thread and doubled it for the sewing.  I could write out the instructions for how I joined each page, but you would soon be either, lost or snoring.  The video that taught me is a much better way for you to understand the process than my telling you.  You can learn how here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9O4kFTOEh6k

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Once the pages were all stitched together, I measured the width of the spine, and cut a piece of wood-grain patterned paper to that measurement plus a generous half inch.  I scored 1/4″ from either side, machine stitched down each edge and then glued that strip to cover the back spine of the book.  I used narrow strips of strong double-sided tape for the edge flaps and Aleene’s tacky glue for the center portion of the spine itself.  The white glue dries flexible and holds very well, and the double sided tape holds everything in place until the tacky glue dries.

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And there we have it!  That was a bit of a haul, huh!?  I’m really pleased with my mini-album of memories and it feels sturdy enough to handle many hands leafing through it for a long time!  It’s got me all fired up to start on my grandson’s Baby album next, which I hope to start on in a few weeks, once things quiet down around here!  It won’t be a Traveler’s Notebook style though, but rather a vintage book of poetry re-purposed into a mini-album.  I hope you’ll follow along with me for that project!

Thanks for hanging in there with me these last few weeks, and I promise to have something altogether different for you next week!

Posted under Design Team Inspiration

This post was written by Norine on March 21, 2018

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