Mixed-media paper crafter; stamper, freelance craft tutor, designer of PaperArtsy JOFY stamps

28 January 2015

Countdown to Christmas!...

Don't panic, I'm not going to tell you how many days it is until christmas day 2015, and start counting down (but just incase you're now wondering how many it is - its 331! lol)  I just want to share with you my final christmas project.... (I would've shown you earlier but 'secret' stuff took priority...)

I made a book of this year's christmas (or oops, last year! 2014) - a sort of mini journal.  Sometimes its hard to decide what is the 'perfect' format/size for books/journals/scrapbook so I left it to chance:  all the pages are made from the envelopes christmas cards arrived in through the post..

This was a fun way to create the book- and challenging and freeing - no worrying about 'what if its not the 'right' size'!...

My general self-imposed guidelines for the 'upcycling' of the envelopes were:
* cover the address with papers, photos, embellishments
* decorate the front, journal on the reverse
* use up stash! (a never ending goal and guideline!!)
* start and, more importantly, FINISH the book

The cover is created from corrugated cardboard (the spine) and 2 1960's book covers that I've been saving for a 'special' project... I used instructions that I saw on Julie Kirk's blog (go here to take a look).. a really useful way to bind a project because its so adaptable...
2014 is American Crafts stickers - nice white sparkly ones - very wintery and suitably festive, Noel is a die by Sizzix, and the tag you might recognise as the one I 'upcycled' from a Next jumper swing tag (here)

So here, in no particular order, are a few of the pages... (btw the 'leather' behind each page is to hide the other other pages behind the one featured)

Several of the cards use left-overs from festive projects and class kits - like on  this page: the snowflakes are a die (poppystamps) used in a class - such a pretty die it was a shame not to use it. The envelope was stamped by the sender - a lovely finishing touch when you're sending a card..

I am having a lot of fun with pocket scrapbooking cards at the moment (they feature quite heavily in this book).. on this page I repeatedly stamped 'eat, drink & be merry' onto a card and let it flow onto the page (ties the card and the background together) - the phrase is from JOFY02.  The tag is another upcycled product swing tag..

This is me in my natural state - angelic (ahem) - complete with halo! lol  teaching a festive workshop at The Artistic Stamper.
The UK stamps were nice this year so I kept them visible when possible when upcycling the pages.

This page uses a headline from a shopping event... I thought this was appropriate because we all spend quite a few hours (at least) shopping at christmas for the 'perfect' gift for our loved ones...

 ... which leads nicely onto this page - a quote from one of my favourite christmas films - 'The Grinch'... (stamp is by Kaiser Craft)

This page reminds me of the decorations in our hallway - sometimes a photo isn't necessary, a decorative element can be enough... this is quite a dimensional page but the loose construction of the book can cope with that..

..The tags I made for the christmas presents.. teamed with one of my favourite 'go-to' christmas stamps - JM07

 .. and here are the presents under the tree... this is such a fun page - little 'packing' notes & bobble/pom-pom fringing - whats not to love about bobble fringing!!!  It makes me smile.

and here is the tree (with another upcycled tag!)... decorating the tree this year was a very stress free task - its pre-lit! A revelation!... 3 pieces, 2 connections, plug it in... ta-daaaaaaa! ho ho ho!

My favourite ornaments.. I love the simplicity of the colour scheme, the classic design, and this year I displayed a few of them in a bowl surrounded by lights - so pretty... The dark grey wall behind them really sets them off...  I liked creating the page in the colours of the baubles - crisp white and deep baby blue....
Next year I display coloured baubles in the same way - I think it will be really effective..
The pages of the book are all quite clean and simple - and thats how I wanted it - this isn't a sketchbook christmas journal its more of a scrapbook christmas journal...  its quite thick - about 4cm but light, all the pages are different sizes and colours..

and what I like the most is that I FINISHED it!!

I'd really recommend using envelopes as the pages - its fun & creates an interesting, unpredictable book... leave the book pages to chance - you don't know what size they'll be until the post arrives.. :o)

ho ho ho


  1. I was getting worried when I saw the headline.. gorgeous book!

  2. A fab book Jo, well done on finishing it! I am still making Christmas cards... (for 2015)

  3. Gorgeous. ....Though thank goodness it's not for 2015!

  4. Wonderful idea! I think I'll save this post to remind myself next Xmas :-)



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