Wednesday, March 7, 2018

2018 Garden Journal / Mini Album

I have had this little book finished for about a month, but I needed to get some good photos of it to post here on my blog. The task has been moving around on my TO DO list and I have finally finished! I started making it on the last day of 2017, and I have been using it for several weeks. I have removed the notes, lists, pictures, and other things I had tucked inside, but I am including everything else in the photos.

The purpose of this little book is to have a record of my gardening adventures for the year all in one place and in an orderly fashion. Last year was the first year for my perennial garden. It was a year of planning and planting . . . and learning about bugs, butterflies, rabbits, woodchucks, and deer, as well as the simple pleasures a garden can provide. I saw how fast things grew and changed and wanted to have a place to properly document those things this year. Last year I kept my records on a clipboard, but there were so many notes and receipts, that it couldn't hold them all! That's one of the reasons I made this little book. Plus, I wanted some of my many garden photos in a book where I could enjoy them, instead of hidden away on my computer's hard drive or in my phone's gallery; and I wanted to use some of the supplies in my stash! I hardly made a dent in my supplies with one little book, but it is a start. It has led me back into my studio where I have been spending time almost every day since then.

I had a master plan when we first planted the perennial garden.
As it turned out, some of my ideas changed and plants were put in other spots.
I kept all the receipts and labels from the plants on this clipboard so I could refer to them.
It is time to review them so I will know how to take care of the plants when they emerge this spring.

For the Garden Journal / Mini Album, I used Susan Winget Specialty papers, SW Meadow by DCWV, along with some embellishments that went with the line. I hate to admit how long they have been here on the shelf. They were among some of the earliest purchases I made when I started my paper crafting hobby in 2012. I found them all in the clearance section at the local JoAnn's. At the time, I wasn't aware of how little paper one needs from even just one pack of paper, no less two, to make a mini album. At the rate I am going, and with the amount of paper I have on hand, I need to live for a very long time to use up my stash. Lord, have mercy on my paper hoarding soul!

I am lucky when my husband crosses the threshold of my studio, because he doesn't try to give me unsolicited advice or lecture me about my paper stacks, which are all stored on shelves. He just looks around and says something like, "you sure have a lot of paper, Emmy." At those times, I think to myself . . . if you even knew how much there really is! When you start adding up the metals, ribbons, paints, stains, tools, dies and die cutting machines, embossing folders, and a couple of pieces of equipment that I wanted really badly, but have never used, it borders on a sickness! But, I'm pretty sure he already realizes that, and after he reads this post, it will just confirm it for him! I can make excuses all day long for why I have so much, but I do try to be easier on myself now than in the past, when I would regularly heap feelings of guilt on myself. A woman who once visited us suggested to me that if I enjoy having these things in my studio and they make me happy, I shouldn't be so hard on myself. So, I get them out from time to time and think about what I could make with them, and I do like them as much now as when I first brought them home. I just need to use them! My husband often points out to me that there are always new paper lines coming out that I will fall in love with, so I should make room for them by using what I have! He is right. It really is okay to cut the pretty papers! So, this is one small step in that direction. Hopefully, there will be more this year!

Below are photos of my 2018 Garden Journal / Mini Album, including the pages, the photo mats and the tags that are tucked inside. It was made entirely with things from my stash. The covers are constructed with chipboard and are covered with black cardstock. The book measures 5" x 7" and the spine is 3" wide. More detailed information appears under each photo. You can enlarge the photos by clicking on them, if you want a closer look.

The front cover ended up being just big enough for the title! I used chipboard letters that matched the paper.
I inked the edges of all the papers with Tim Holtz Dried Marigold Distress Ink and used a black Sharpie on the edges of the chipboard elements.

There are seven pocket pages in the book.
Each page measures 4 7/8" x  6 1/2".
I used 1 1/2" organza ribbon for the closure.

I used a Tim Holtz brad with a ring to attach the dangle charm to the spine.
The charms are a flower, a leaf, a round gear/sun, a crown and a glass rain drop.
I used a little specimen bottle to place some of the milkweed seeds and fluff that I saved from my garden last fall and attached it with a brown wire. The milkweed seeds are important to me because they attracted Monarch butterflies to the garden last summer. I used permanent black ink to stamp the numerals for the year on paper and matted it on black cardstock. It is a little hard to see, but I used three strips of 1" black velvet ribbon to attach the covers to the spine. 

Inside the front cover is a little booklet tucked under a chipboard element that I matted on black cardstock.
There are tags on the right, tucked behind another matted chipboard element.
I used a Tim Holtz "tiny attacher" stapler to attach the ribbons to the tags. It holds staples that are much smaller than the regular size found in an office stapler.
You can see the three velvet I used strips I used for the binding better in this photo.

The booklet on the left measures 3 1/2" x 5 1/4".
It has four pages and is blank inside.
It can be used for photos, memorabilia, or journaling.
The tags measure 2 1/2" x 5" and are blank on the back for journaling.
On the right is a photo mat booklet that is tucked in the pocket page.
It measures 4 1/4" x 5 3/4", and has design paper on the front and back where I can place photos.
The inside is blank for more photos or journaling.

Throughout the book, I used a stamp set for the months of the year and matted them on black cardstock.
Each month has its' own page.
January has a little pocket that holds three different sized little photo mats that are blank on the back.
February has a chipboard butterfly attached by a brad at the top, so it can swivel and the tags can be easily removed.

The three little photo mats and tags for January and February.

March has a "belly band" (a term used in paper crafting that always makes me giggle a little bit) that holds a photo mat.
There is enough space to tuck a couple of other little things behind the band, too.
Two tags are tucked behind a chipboard element on the April page.

Left to right: Photo mat booklet from the pocket page, the photo mat from behind the band, and two tags.

May and June pages are constructed in the same way as January and February.

Left to right: Photo mat booklet from the pocket page, three small photo mats, and two tags.

July and August pages are constructed the same way as March and April.

Left to right: Photo mat booklet from the pocket page, photo mat from behind the band, and two tags.

September and October pages are constructed the same way as January & February and May & June.

Left to right: Photo mat booklet from pocket page, three little photo mats, two tags.

November and December pages are constructed the same as March & April and July & August.

Left to right: Photo mat booklet from the pocket page, photo mat from the band, and two tags.

Inside the back cover: The same as inside the front cover, but opposite layout.
Two tags on the left and a little four-page booklet on the right.

Left to right: Photo mat booklet from pocket page, two tags, and little four-page booklet.

Close-up of the decorative dangle on the book's spine.

I made some little tags to tuck in here and there in the book.
This is one from January 30th when I saw a large red fox traversing the field behind our house on a snowy day.
He moved too fast to snap a photo, but this little note will always bring back that memory.
I used a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen to write on the black paper.

The book is probably the smallest size I would consider for this kind of use. I started it to keep my mind occupied while I was recuperating from surgery, so I didn't want to try to make anything too large or complicated. I like how it turned out and I think it will be fun to use. Hopefully, by the end of the year, I will have it filled with memories.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. As always, I welcome your questions and comments. By the way, I found the place where the comments have been hiding in Blogger, so I will see and reply to your comments here or on Facebook, if you prefer to comment there. :-) And until we meet again, may the Lord hold you in the hollow of His hand.



  1. Emmy, your creativity never ceases to amaze me. You are so very talented in making these things. Thank you for sharing all the "prettiness".

    1. Thank you, Elaine! I've had a lot of practice and am having fun by trying new things. But I do still enjoy making these little albums. :-)