Junk Journal | June 2022

Between the months of Feb and June, I continued to work on the February installment of Nature Diary by Zoe Patching featured in Cross Stitcher Magazine. The little rabbit and the hellebore on the design was perfectly fitting for what I saw in my garden this Spring. With that, I was inspired to make a garden themed spread.

A Winter/Spring newsletter from my local garden center was the background pieces you see that say “Onions”, “Rhubarb”, and “Asparagus”, along with some other themed scrap papers. Towards the top of the left page I glued down a saved used tea bag, Calm Chamomile, a year round staple in my home. The focal rabbit was a printed image from The Graphics Fairy. Sometime in the spring, for Easter, they emailed a fun variety or rabbits, this one of course stood out to me as the perfect one for my journal. I originally had planned him to cover both pages of the spread, but in the end decided to cut him to half, as if springing forward from the crease of the pages.

What I found most fun about this spread, was using white gesso for the first time. I ran it across a brick stencil as a reflection of my home. I really love the texture and contrast that it provides. Highly recommend giving it a try!

And of course the stitching! I find the backstitch to be a little advanced. The placement the designer chose is not intuitive and hard to count as it doesn’t follow the natural over 2 placements as the stitches do. It is because of this that I took so long to complete the little project. I even left out a few of the design elements in order to finish it sooner. Going forward I have decided to be selective on which months of the Nature Diary that I will stitch and perhaps only stitch a motif or two from it — whatever calls to me.

I wrapped the cross stitch around a piece of cardstock and glued it down to the page. The right side page already had a stamped quote and I decided to collage around it and let it peek out from behind the fabric selvedge scraps that I tacked in. I continued the gesso brick design onto the page to help it flow together with the right and tucked a little journaling card in to remind of the bunnies that lived in my backyard through the spring months. Luckily, only a few zinnia seedlings and some of my gaura were nibbled on, but for the most part they fed on the grassy weeds, which was most welcomed.

I really enjoyed the process of this spread. Definitely a little more collaging than my first spread. Looking forward to working on another stitchy design for the next junk journal creation.

Junk Journal | Jan 2022

I’m excited to share with you my first finished cross stitch piece for my stitching journal! I did actually complete this stitch in January and completed the spread towards the end of that month. The stitching that I’m focusing on for this journal is a monthly series by Zoe Patching featured in Cross Stitcher Magazine. It’s called Nature Diary and as the name suggests will focus on all the sweet things you might spot in the garden.

I stitched January on a scrap piece of 36 count Lakeside Linen in the color Vintage Maritime White. I used only 1 strand of DMC for a softer vintage look. I used most of the called for colors but substituted for like shades if I didn’t have the color. Here’s the full spread and I love how it turned out!

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to use all or snippets of poems from The Very Stuff by Stephen Beal throughout my journal. DMC 746 is the lightest color used in the stitching and I was able to find a poem on that color. The poem makes reference to a line of latitude on a map and all the places along the path, which inspired me to use a piece of map paper as the back drop to my stitching. It only peaks along the edges which is perfect, because it doesn’t necessarily show the places referenced in the poem. Also collaged behind the map are some botanical line drawings from an old book and topped with ferny stickers. As you can see I frayed the edges of the stitching while slowly pulling the threads out one side at a time. Glued some brown paper behind the stitching to act as stabilizer and glue that down to the map page. I finished the page with some labels, one that shows a row of mushrooms and the second one with the Month.

For the left hand side, I knew I wanted to use the triangular plastic window, which is actually packaging to some holiday pretzels we received over Christmas. I decided to make a side pocket, perfect for repurposing what would have otherwise been thrown away! I scanned, printed, and distressed the poem, tearing it up into sections and then glued onto a vintage mushroom post card. I love that you can peak to see parts of the poem, but then pull it out and read it completely. On the back is where I will journal the details of the stitching and anything else I would like to remember about the spread. I added some handmade paper for texture and another mushroom label with a fern sticker to unify the spread. Of course this triangle shape makes me think of the tree that the Goldcrest bird is nesting in, so it was only logical to add her nest there at the top.

I have yet to start stitching the February piece, but I hope to get to that soon. The design features a bunny which already has me searching for some bunny embelishments. I found some great vintage images on The Graphics Fairy that I’m looking forward to using. Thank you Sharon for telling me about that site!

Enjoy the additional close-ups here:

Junk Journal | Intro 2022

So I recently fell down the junk journal rabbit hole! I started following a junk journalist named 49dragonflies on youtube back when I started my bujo/planner journey and it wasn’t until just before the new year that I decided I would try my hand at the crafty hobby. I was also inspired by Bendy Stitchy’s stitching journal that she shares on her flosstube. I wanted to merge the two aesthetics together and make mine an artsy nature inspired stitching journal.

While I have seen the process of making my own journal, I decided that for my first one, I would purchase a handmade journal on Etsy. The shop I purchased from was SimplyMeByCynthia and she offers a variety of book bound junk journals. All the pages are coffee dyed and she adds sweet handmade touches throughout, but the journal is mostly blank for the owner to add their own touches. The signatures are removable which made decorating my pages really easy to do.

I decided to make the first page with a few new learned techniques of paper collaging, a small pocket, and a journaling tag. I purchased some ephemera kits from etsy and The Digital Collage Club, which has given me a solid foundation to jump right in! Junk journaling is meant for you to use anything disposable and turn it into something beautiful. But you can also buy new and grunge it up through various processes.

I should have photographed the page before my added embellishments, but basically the foundation was the image of the nest and the sewn lace on the edge. I added a paper collage at the top that includes some torn pages, printed vellum, and a mushroom sticker. The circle #1 represents the journal number, this being my first. I inked up the edges using Tim Holtz Distress Oxide in the color Vintage Photo. The owl tag was already shaped as a tag so I printed it and cut out the design using my cricut, then glued it to some scrap card stock for some stability. I embellished the tag with a sticker, some rub on text that reads “fig.1” and stenciled around the owl with distress oxide. On the back I glued a piece of graph paper for journaling my intentions and finished it up with a torn scrap of fabric. Finally, I decided to splatter with some watered down acrylic paints in black and a metallic orange.

Here’s a list of youtubers that are currently inspiring me. I’m sure this list will grow: