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Tuesday, June 23, 2009


A few hours ago, I said goodbye to a lovely sister-in-law.  She is leaving us to go have adventures in the UK, first stopping into Canada to say hi to some friends, and some of my family too.  Amy is such a thoughtful, sweet, pretty, funny, blonde in-the-joke-sense (she called herself blonde first, btw), dorky, fashionable, small, squealing, clapping girl who leaves more food on her plate at the end of the meal than what she started with - we don't know how she does it (though I think I have figured it out: she goes for seconds, then doesn't eat any of them).

Since trawling the internet and reading the fantastic mags from my family in by bed-ridden days, I have come across so many crafty & inspiring people, ideas, blogs, everything. I've been wanting to make something like this for myself for ages, and luckily, I am a bit of a hoarder, so I have lots of cool paper, materials, and ideas to last a lifetime. Anyhow, I thought this was a good idea:

I made a journal-type thing for Amy. But it doesn't have to even be that. It's like a spot to put a collection of moments, and a way to keep them organized, or a cute note paper holder, or whatever you want. It can be dismantled and used in pieces, or kept together and added to.
And, if you're crafty, it can be pretty cheap to make too.

I made up some title pages, which I formed into dividers with pockets in the back. Then I printed some free print designs from the internet, of which I have a folder of saved on my computer full of PDF's collected from over the months, like these:

Having some photoshop skills is an asset, but not needed. I scanned a lot of the art work myself from random objects and post cards I have saved over the years. Other designs I found from and added to them myself. Luckily, I have an illustrator for a husband, so I can use some art work of his royalty free :)

All in all, this was a really fun thing to work on. I have been learning Photoshop slowly over the years, and this was a great way to reinforce some of the things I have learned. I tend to enjoy the creating part the most. I'd much rather make something than buy it, and that is handy in these harder times.

Anyhow, here is a run down of what I made for Ambo:
These are all the divider pages I made for her, making a pocket in the back, and adding a stick-on divider tab on each page for her to label...(I erased a part where our address was written...still want to be as anonymous as possible for now)

...then I filled the gaps between dividers with paper. I had a collection of labels and interesting tags and cards...

...and a collection of free printable paper designs / printable wrapping paper designs (some of which I changed into colours that I wanted, using photoshop)...

...and a collection of interesting lined paper, from music sheets, to log books, to typical graph paper, and your plain old run of the mill paper...

...and the I made my own lined note paper with vintage label scans I found online...

I determined the size of the journal by cutting a plastic document protector in half to use as a clear cover and backing. Then I secured everything with hinged rings, and wrapped it all up in the cliche (but lovely) brown paper, and string, with a fabric flower I made. I love the office-y industrial look of simple wrapping, using brown paper, string, or masking tape, staples and tags, etc (the list is endless). It can look so cool. 

Here are the basic supplies I normally use when doing cards, or anything paper related
-exacto knife, tape, scissors, glue, hole punch, metal ruler, cutting mat, black sharpies & embellishments of the office-y kind...

These are the places I remember grabbing paper patterns from, but if you look around at all the lovely crafty blogs, and their links, you are bound to find some great free downloads...

and for inspiration, I really like her work: enJOY it


Anonymous,  June 24, 2009 at 5:59 PM  

Kathryn, that is an amazing gift! I wish I could see it in person! It must've taken a lot of time and planning. I'm sure Amy will treasure it. If it were winter here I'd be inspired to try something like that myself. I want to get a better version of Photoshop and learn to do more (I only have the freebie!) Mom