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december daily no. 1

Tue November 16 2010

today you can read my guest post about making a simple scrapbook all about one day in your life over at Our Big Earth!


i am completely energized by the december daily project and postings happening all around the www! i made my first altered book to use as my cover for my december daily, and that is very addictive! i am already scouting out the next book i can gut and turn into another minibook.

i simply used my sharp craft knife to cut the innards of the text pages from the book cover. now, i love love love books and this did not give me one twinge of regret! i also think that the librarian who taught my kindergarten class to SIT ON THEIR library books while she read them a story is the smartest librarian ever. books are wonderful and special, but only if they get used and are as much a part of your real life as your pants or your shoes. it’s liberating, trust me.

i ordered my binder mechanism from small box hardware, which is, happily, a Canadian company, and i am pretty sure it’s the same place that janet hopkins once mentioned in relation to her junk journal supplies. attaching that thing might seem complicated or technical, but if you can punch a hole and turn a screw, you have all the skills necessary. martha might tell you you need an awl or a specialized punch tool or something, and maybe you might if you wanted to be a professional binder ring attacher, but i just used the tip of my scissor blade. luckily the book i was using was on the mature side, so the spine material was just crackly enough that all i needed was my scissor tip. a thicker or younger book might need some more manpower.

i reinforced the spine with a strip of heavier cardboard/chipboard cut to size just inside the spine and punched that with my crop-a-dile (which really does bite through anything! amazing).  i think i used some glue to stick the strip to the spine. i lined up those punched holes with the holes in the binder mechanism and then fastened them with the screws i ordered at the same time as the binders. i asked my home improvement store guru husband if our local medium-box store had similar fasteners i could buy in bulk, or at least not pay shipping for, and he didn’t think they carried anything similar. however, diehard scrapbook album scrapbookers may notice that they look identical to the screws for attaching scrapbook albums — in fact i saw some at michael’s the other day. they were longer than i wanted though, but good to know they are there. right beside the post extenders.

but before i actually attached the binder rings, i covered the inside of my book covers with some red gingham fabric i had brought home from my local thrift store one day. i crazy stitched the hems on my sewing machine with plain black thread, because i love this kind of crazy. and i had to punch THAT too to attach my binder rings. i glued the fabric down onto the covers – i think i used the martha stewart gel gluestick to do that. i use that glue for almost everything crafty, just because i like something about it.

i was really pleased with the book – looking so book-like, yet handmande-like, ready for its new life as a house for my family’s memories. but i started to worry that it wasn’t going to close properly once all the photos and journaling extras were in there. so i took a deep breath and went to work modifying my altered book. i actually cut the front and back covers off!  ack!  you can say that again. so now i had my book in three parts – front cover|space|spine|space|back cover!  i decided to extend the spine with additional fabric, so i sewed and glued and punched some more of my red gingham. yes,  it’s a tad unconventional but i really love its individuality AND my problem-solving-ness (involving no more dollars).

for the  inside pages, i lucked out in the thrift-shopping department and the mental-idea-acuity department when i happened upon some tabbed, numbered file cards while on one of my wanderings. i saw them, saw their potential for justthis purpose AND scooped them up at the same time. i think it’s a great idea but i have to say i might have been much less enthused about it if i had to trudge to staples or somewhere to find them new. they appeared as a solution – you have to love some serendipity.

the file cards are that neutral, file-folder buff colour, so i gesso’d lightly over the numbered side and painted the back side of the tab portion only solid white. i covered the front side of the cards with some christmas-y scrapbooking patterned paper that i couldn’t resist, and with some thrifted/repurposed/upcycled papers on theme too. the back side of the cards i covered with sheets of ledger paper that i also scooped up at my local thrift store. i don’t know where it’s coming from but there is more of it each time i go there and i just can’t leave it! i have all kinds – refills in boxes, vintage ledger binders with leftover paper it it, vintage spiral bound ledger books, and one gorgeous giant huge sized bound ledger book. gold!

i intend these tab file cards to work as a two page spread – left side for journaling using the ledger paper as a base, and right side for photo(s). the book/file cards are about 5×8, so it will accomodate 4×6 prints and maybe even some 5x7s. i don’t mind that the vertical orientation will be the default – for horizontal photos we will just have to! egads!

i am still working out some ideas for embellishments and journaling – i think it will be a combination of the thrifted papers, the patterned papers, some digital printables from my digiscrap stash, and some fun stuff – like my dymo labeler and my new love of typing on muslin. in the meantime, i have already put together some stacked journaling clusters (don’t really know what to call them!) to make it even easier to get the photo and jounaling in the book with minimal fuss, but maximum craft 😉

imagine some white buttons on top of that, some stories scribbled by hand or typed on the typewriter, maybe a little ribbon or washi tape too — done+fast+cute=awesome.

looking forward to saving our stories and surroundings – december will be here before you know it! december also starts on the BEST day of the year too – my birthday – so that’s some extra fun to look forward to in this house.  my extra awesome husband has already given me my “december present” (birthday/Christmas/our anniversary) – a Lensbaby Muse lens! yes – so excited. thanks to him, for always being there and being him.

also – come back soon to see my SECOND december daily album foundation (plus more on those journal stack thingers)!! i think i almost love it even more than this one! my lucky friend will be getting one or the other in the mail for her december documenting, and we plan to share online together too!

16 Comments leave one →
  1. Nicol permalink
    Tue November 16 2010 4:56 pm

    That is such a cool book! I love vintage/repurposed paper and books. I too love books and feel like they need to be used to be appreciated! Can’t wait to see how you fill this up!

  2. Nicole Mackin permalink
    Tue November 16 2010 5:49 pm

    This is amazing!!! Love it, very inspiring!

  3. Raylene permalink
    Tue November 16 2010 6:58 pm

    Excellent! I love that you recycled! I also didn’t know you could order the ring mechanism! What a great project and I will be following you!

  4. Wed November 17 2010 2:17 am

    I really love that you use fabrics : it’s cool with vintage pictures… it’s like an old christmas time, from the past… sorry : i don’t speak english very well! 😉

  5. Wed November 17 2010 8:33 am

    This is one of my favorite Dec Daily books! I’ve made a few junk binders after seeing Janet Hopkins’, why didn’t it occur to me to make one for my DD? Yours is truly beautiful, can’t wait to see what you do with it.

  6. Wed November 17 2010 9:23 am

    Just goes to show that you can make great things with old fabrics

    Just great to see

    Keep on sharing

  7. Wed November 17 2010 3:24 pm

    I always love the idea of recycling books f0r projects, but haven’t done it. I love the way you used the book pages here.

  8. Thu November 18 2010 2:19 pm

    So great! I love your process.

  9. garynka permalink
    Thu November 18 2010 5:52 pm

    Your album is amazing, Joanne! LOVE your creativity!

  10. Fri November 19 2010 1:01 pm

    So amazing, I love your creations! You’ve really found your calling here 😉

    I can’t wait to start my memory keeping project!

  11. Sat November 20 2010 9:41 pm

    This is gorgeous! This is my first December Daily and I’m using Teresa Collin’s “Noel” Album Kit BUT decided to dig through my stash of paper scrapping supplies tonight (I had packed it all away since going totally digital) and I found things I’d totally forgotten about, tons of papers, vellum, stickers and I’m in Hybrid Heaven! Your project has truly been an inspiration to me to mix it up!!

    • 2girlsandapoodle permalink*
      Fri November 26 2010 11:41 am


  12. Sat November 20 2010 10:13 pm

    yours looks so awesome and unique and very cool!

  13. Barbara Dyrda permalink
    Thu November 25 2010 11:29 am

    What a great book. What size binding mechanisms would you recommend for an old book?

    • 2girlsandapoodle permalink*
      Fri November 26 2010 11:43 am

      it depends on the book, i think. as long as the base is shorter than the book, you’re good. they seem to come in different lengths. what i just learned is that my rings are not going to be large enough to hold all the pages, so i will have to switch it to a larger size ring sometime in the near future.

  14. Mon December 26 2011 5:19 am

    So nice, I wish I could make those but it is my goal for the New Year!

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