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The Book of Lauren

Recently I had the pleasure of delivering another book to a worthy recipient. The bookmaking process was surely a fun one that taught me some new tricks in my craft. I had a whirlwind weekend of thrifting that presented me with many options for book covers.

I was inspired by a vintage sailing manual which was in hardback. From the get-go, Lauren insisted that she wanted a hard cover, so this was perfect. Though I didn’t quite know what I was going to do with it, the book quickly came alive once I got started.

Conveniently, I also came home from thrifting with a big swatch of lace curtains. I decided to work a little magic… I separated the sailing book cover from its pages, and then spray-painted it metallic gold. Once it dried, I adhered the lace and once again let it dry. Then I sprayed it gold once more.

That’s the book cover, along with the tulle ribbon and the doily bow that I made.

Once I assembled the pages, I went to town. I have to say: it was quite satisfying to make the book out of printed copies of my paper designs… some of which you’ve never seen. (More on that in another post, though…)

Here are some of my favorites from the inside of the book.

Both pages are papers that I designed. They look pretty good in the book.


Next week, I promise I’ll be back with another Freebie Friday. Have a great week!


Another book adventure

At the beginning of the year, I started working on another altered book using this lovely hardback book I picked up while in Big Bear for the winter holiday.

Isn’t it adorable?

I initially had this crackpot idea that I’d stamp a gold doily all over the page in a nice little pattern. I quickly learned, however, that you should test out your ink pads when using for the first time. I wasn’t sure how to recover the page…. and then it came to me with the help of some washi tape. This October Afternoon sticker was totally perfect to round out the design. It just brings a smile to my face.

This was the next page of the book. I really liked how well the white acrylic paint soaked into the paper for a smooth feel. The snow scene on the left page was an illustration that was part of the story; the right side had words. I can’t believe one coat of paint covered it all so well. I decided to enhance the snow scene with some Sassafras Lass embellishments and more October Afternoon stickers.

Next up is this fun colorful page. Note that the paint did not take quite as well to this page, so I went with it. I was also surprised by how neon bright the Mr. Huey’s drops ended up being. I had a million cut outs from a giant fashion magazine, which is where I found the “Color Me” square that I embellished with some washi. The other stickers are more Sassafras and the label sticker on the bottom right is from Martha Stewart’s collection at Staples.

I really loved the two-page illustration that came next, so I just dressed it up with a few embellies. The blue strip of paper on the right side is from the next page (not shown) that extended past the original page size.

I will say it until I’m blue in the face and my fingers fall off: I LOVE SASSAFRAS LASS. I will never get over their stopping production. I know, Tim & Beck design for Studio Calico and other manufacturers, but it’s not *quite* the same. I MISS YOU, SASS. That is all. There is also another insert from the fashion magazine (right page.)

This page was painted with more of that same white acrylic, but it didn’t soak in as smoothly as the front. I then sprayed it with Mr. Huey’s and let it set for about a minute. Next, I took a paper towel and put it flat on top of the pages to soak up ink. Then I went back in and wiped some of it around. The baby cutout is Madonna’s child, I believe, which is also from the fashion mag. Add another Martha label and another OA sticker plus three half-medallions I made with a Martha punch and we’re done.

I have big plans for this book and plan to start placing photos and journaling in it. I think I’ll use it as an inspiration book, which means I’ll simply have to include some envelopes and pockets. Fun times ahead! I’ll probably add 2013 to the inside cover, since I doubt it’ll be done by the new year. That’s perfectly fine with me, though. Cheers!



The Journal Your Journey book series by yours truly. Exciting stuff!

Very shortly, these will be available for purchase in a variety of formats from my etsy shop.

What started as a personal gift for someone special has become the jumping off point for endless creativity! Journal Your Journey is a hybrid of a blank journal, an art journal, a scrapbook mini album and an activity book all in one. Each book is handmade by me and includes an assortment of illustrated book pages with activities & unique ways to journal your day. I’ve also selected my favorite patterned papers and elements to work into the books in addition to a number of my own patterned paper designs (some of which have never been seen by the public) and of course, some doilies for added pizzazz.

Part of the fun with these journals is that they can totally be customized to fit your life. Each book has its own identity and as such, the pages are paired in a variety of settings. There’s a good mix of plain white pages for you to colorize or leave white in addition to pops of color interspersed throughout the book.

If you think you’re not creative, you’re wrong – and this book will prove it to you. Through various exercises over the course of several weeks, you’ll tap into your creative side of the brain and realize just how awesome you are!

While some of the pages stick to traditional methods of journaling, most of the exercises ask you to think about the day-to-day moments that most people don’t think to jot down. There are plenty of pockets & opportunities for stashing ephemera, so it even pairs nicely with your Project Life planning.

Above all else, the book gives you the power to make it your own. Skip through pages & complete them in a random order, or go day by day, page by page. Rip pages out, put paint over them, tape a bunch of photos in place, whatever- it’s your book.


In the meantime, I’m sharing a little page from the book as a freebie to you. This page is in the second photo on the bottom left. I love the frames to write or draw your week into. Click the thumbnail to go to the pdf download:

Jump into January journal

I posted way back in November about my Jump into January Journal and I’m here to provide an update. I’m still catching up on a few days here and there, waiting for photos to be printed or whatnot, but I’ve been doing pretty well. I’m excited for February to start so I can begin my new daily book, which will be larger and thereby easier to cram photos into.

Here are a few images from my journal:

I wrote a little wish on a small card that I then sealed in the envelope- let’s hope it comes true! Then I used my instax mini to document the closet organization that had taken place. I had a headache all day long so I didn’t feel like writing much, hence the bullets.

On this page, I used my Polaroid Pogo printer to get some images off of my phone, including the one on the left of the paper trays. On the right, I cut out a frame from an overlay, then used a Hambly bird rub-on on top of it. I adhered it flat to the page, but put the October Afternoon “fun times” banner from the miscellany package on with foam squares to make it pop a bit. I used another Instax mini on the right, which you can see below. The middle insert was a Sassafras Lass tag backed with another Pogo print from dinner. I used a Studio Calico tag and cut it so only the hole portion was attached, then put some bakers twine between the layers before sealing them and was able to put this in between the pages. I’m not sure if I’m totally won over, but it works.

The left page is interesting because it was originally designed totally different and I decided that I didn’t like it. I then took a strip of paper and adhered it to the page, then layered different colors of washi tape in uneven lines across the page. I used my Slice to cut the 6 and walah! On the right, the photo was pinkish in tones and was thus perfect for the page.

January 7th was an eventful day/night, so there are actually 4 pages for this day. The store that I scrap at regularly had a huge moving sale so I got there early to help. I used the pre-printed shape on this page for my journaling and added a Sassafras Lass sticker in the bottom left corner to enhance it. I really love the foam Thickers from American Crafts. Woot. When we went to Jenny Doh’s book launch party later that night, I snagged a party card and used it for a page. We met Jenny, who was super cool and treated me like an old friend she’s known for years, so that was brilliant. I also included a card from Kim Caldwell’s event, which was also being promoted at the party. The last page was Jenny’s business card facing a photo of me with JWE, who took me to the launch.

This was just a random day, back to work and the first time I saw a lot of coworkers and my staff since prior to winter recess, so I just jotted some random things by bullet and used the other side to sum up the day’s events.

I’m still waiting on some photos from friends for some of the days between 1/9 and 1/14 and I don’t like a couple of the pages in there, so I’ve skipped ahead. This was the final final night at the store before it was torn down and moved. The photos are once again from my Pogo printer and show the store without all the product on the walls. Eep. The owner let us each take a postcard so that became the other page. On the other side of the postcard, I put a favorite sheet of paper, a cute little line of washi tape and another photo from the Pogo. I did a little hand lettering and viola. The right side of the page is funny because my Pogo must have gotten its bluetooth wires crossed when it printed two photos on one sheet. Oh well. I went with it. There you have it.

On the 15th I went to Fallbrook to crop with some amazing ladies and we took a little trip in Toni’s mobile scrapping unit to visit Michael’s. This is what we saw along the way. Holy guacamole, that was pretty! I used my Pogo to print them on the spot, naturally. I love that little Fiskars cloud punch! The heart was my own creation in an effort to mimick the lovely American Crafts fabric paper that I used for the page, and a little sticky kraft. Dunzo.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into my own version of Project Life. Stay tuned for more, coming soon! Cheers.


It’s My Birthday!

Thirty two years ago, the world got that much weirder because I was brought into it! Woot.

Today, my homeslice Roger & I are going to a taping of The Ellen Degeneres Show and check out what I made my fellow Aquarian- a nice little birthday book:

When I went to a taping last year, they had a little collection area for things that people brought for her, so I’m banking on the fact that they’ll have that again. I hope she gets to actually see it and that it makes her smile — I love watching her show every day and it’s certainly cheered me up on more than one occasion.

That’s it for today- time to celebrate! Cheers!

Freebie Friday

I apologize for such a late post; where has this day gone? I can’t believe how late it already has become. I’ve been working feverishly all day long to put some things together for the shop and plan to have a number of wares listed by the end of the weekend. Hopefully the masses will enjoy them as much as I do! In other news, I took a nice big leap toward my dream of having a successful business — more on that soon enough. Without further adieu, I bring you the post!


Welcome back to another Freebie Friday where I offer you not one, but two free downloads. I hope you like them!

First we have a set of elements for your papercrafting adventures. As always, click the image below to go to the file and print to your heart’s content.

Whenever I do any kind of Thanksgiving layout, I can’t help but think about pie. I’ve turned the pie graphic from the download above into a template you can use to make your own paper pie — just scale to the size you want, then print, cut, trace and cut again. Before you know it, you have the pieces of the pie. Put them together and amaze your friends with your craftiness! Click the image below to go to the template. Enjoy!
 I hope your holiday was smashing — enjoy your time off (if you have it) and I’ll be back soon with some Christmas and winter-inspired goodies. Cheers!

Jump into January!

This past weekend I spent nearly 20 hours scrappin’ with my amazing Adhesive Sisters for a special December Daily event. While the December daily album wouldn’t really suit my life or holiday style, I did fall in love with the idea of a daily album for a month. Since my birthday falls in January, I decided there would be plenty of things to jot down for the month and came up with my Jump Into January Journal since we love our alliterations so much.

Here are a few peeks at the book in progress:

I intentionally made it somewhat pocket-sized so I can be sure to carry it around with me each day. After spending so much time cutting down the pages & getting it all prettified, the worst thing that could happen would be for me to leave it on a shelf and forget about it.

I’m really looking forward to this project, so I’m sure you’ll see a few more posts about it. If all goes well, maybe I’ll do another month-long daily book. I could really get into this, methinks. Have a great Thanksgiving and for those of you headed out of town — be careful and arrive alive! xoxo

Freebie Friday!

My oh my, where has the week gone?

Maybe it’s being in California where the leaves change year-round, maybe it’s having a job that keeps me busy all the time, or maybe it’s a combination of those + having an active social life… whatever the cause, it seems that the weeks fly by in a millisecond and I’m left to wonder time and time again, where has it all gone?

I hope you’re gearing up for a fun-filled weekend. I’m headed to a little gathering with my adhesive sisters to work on December dailies tonight and Saturday. It’s always a barrel of laughs with those ladies!

Here’s another freebie to help you in your crafting. I have a whole collection of hand-drawn frames that I turned into some journaling spots. Hopefully you can find a purpose for these- I can’t wait to see what you do with them!

Click the image above to be taken to the pdf download. Enjoy!

Freebie Friday!

I’ve been working like a dog to crank out doodle pages for an art journal I’m making and in the process, I chose to use the wrong marker. I’ve been using the Pilot Vball BG05 liquid ink pen for many years and really love it for my illustrations. However, I use my Papermate Flair Tip Felt Pen for shading and one night I wasn’t paying much attention so I mindlessly moved on to my next doodle page without switching back to my Pilot.

When I import the pages done with the Papermate pen, the lines are too thick and uneven and don’t go with the rest of the pages. Therefore, I have a few throwaway freebies to share with you.

Today I bring you a nifty little monstrosity to help you track the [not so] insignificant parts of your day. Click the image below to download. Enjoy!

the coolest gift

For about a month or so, I’ve been working on a labor of love for a staff member: a hand-made journal with weekly prompts and activities. I gave it to her tonight and she loved it, so you finally get to see some of the pages!

When I started it, I had no idea what I was going to do. I had an old sketch pad that I hadn’t been using so I cut a ton of pages out of it. My friends were just looking on in confusion, having no idea what I was doing. I cut the sheets down to size, then experimented with a few ways of fastening it. Once I figure out my method, I got to work and this was the result. I had a lot of fun and in the process, learned a TON. I’m already well into the next book- get ready world, here I come!

I intermingled scrapbook papers with regular sketch pad paper for a fun mix of thicknesses. The bottom of the left page is a little pocket to store something special that will be used later.

This is one of my favorites. The bottom portion with the Week three label flips over and there’s a space for goals…

The other side of the page flap…

I love this page on the right. That will definitely make an appearance in future books…

This is a little mini book inside a book. Love it.
I really love these letters from Sassafras- I could use them for everything! This was the perfect combination of excellent paper (Thanks to American Crafts) and a doily and great letters- plus great doodling and watercoloring on the right. Love it!
Another one of my favorites, Lots of watercolor to make it pop- and great number stickers from Crate Paper.
I hated this page when I first put it down, so I pulled out the white acrylic paint and covered most of the black and white dots. After it dried, I added some watercolor wash and wa-lah, so much better! The right side is another of my favorites- I think I want to try that with my morning tea.

That’s it for now. Cheers!